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D.C. Rally Organizer Says He was Helped By 3 GOP Congressmen; Three Members of Congress Contract Coronavirus After Capitol Siege; U.S. Shatters Record with Over 4k Reported Deaths. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired January 13, 2021 - 07:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Drew Griffin joins us now with a much more on that. That's something, Drew.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: It is. Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama already facing calls for a censor, John. But as the Department of Justice announces, it's looking for instigators of what happened. These three congressmen could be in much worse trouble than just a censure.


GRIFFIN (voice-over): The siege on the Capitol started with a protest just like dozens of "Stop the Steal" rallies across the country since the election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seventeen-seventy-six!

CROWD: Seventeen-seventy-six!

GRIFFIN: And one of the main organizers, extreme right-winger, Ali Alexander, who says he was getting help from three members of Congress.

ALI ALEXANDER, PROTEST ORGANIZER: And I'm the guy who came up with the idea of January 6th when I was talking with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Andy Biggs and Congressman Mo Brooks.

GRIFFIN: You heard that right. Alexander says these three members of Congress actually helped plan the rally. Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, and Mo Brooks.

ALEXANDER: It was to build momentum and pressure, and then on the day, change hearts and minds of Congress people who weren't yet decided or saw everyone outside and said, I can't be on the other side of that mob.

GRIFFIN: Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar has been working with Alexander since the election, firing up crowds with lies about the election results. REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): Live free or die.

GRIFFIN: Gosar replied to or mentioned Ali in dozens of tweets, including, "I'll be in D.C. with @Ali and the rest of America, adding, we will fight back against the leftists who have engaged in sedition." Another tweet on January 6th, "we fight for Trump. On the morning of the siege, he would send followers this image, stating, Biden should concede. I want his concession on my desk tomorrow morning. Don't make me come over there." He promptly went to Congress, stood up and opposed the certification of the electoral college results.

GOSAR: I rise for myself and 60 of my colleagues to object to the counting of the electoral ballots from Arizona.

GRIFFIN: The end of his speech interrupted by the very mob he helped stir up. Former Republican Congressman Denver Riggleman has been warning about the impact of lies being fed to the public by America's own leaders.

DENVER RIGGLEMAN, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: I think there's a massive issue here with education and facts that these individuals don't have it. This information is being pushed by people in positions of power.

GRIFFIN: Gosar's Arizona colleague Andy Biggs was near Gosar on the house floor, January 6th and met with President Trump along with others protesting election results. Even provided a taped message to be played at one of the Arizona rallies.

REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): We're fighting for the freedoms that made this country great.

GRIFFIN: Biggs now strongly denies any involvement in the protest. His staff stating Biggs can't even recall meeting with Ali Alexander. Mo Brooks is more direct.

REP. MO BROOKS (R-AL): Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass!

GRIFFIN: This is the Alabama congressman the morning of January 6th in Washington D.C. A few days later, he told an Alabama news service, "I make no apology for doing my absolute best to inspire patriotic Americans to not give up on our country and to fight back against anti-Christian socialists." Former Congressman Charlie Dent says the actions of his former colleagues show it's time for a serious reckoning with the Republican Party.

CHARLIE DENT, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: We have to rid ourselves of these radical elements. I would recommend to every one of my Republican colleagues, sometimes you have to risk your job in order to save it. Well, this is the time.


GRIFFIN: Alisyn, Mo Brooks facing a lot of heat in Alabama, put out a rambling statement saying that his words were taken out of context. Meanwhile, Ali Alexander, that organizer, he's going in hiding, but continues to raise funds. A fund-raising page for that "Stop the Steal" rally has raised $184,000, all based on lies. Which means, Alisyn, this danger is not over.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Drew, that's incredible reporting, and we have two of Congressman Gosar's siblings coming up on the program about when and how he became radicalized. Thank you very much for all of your reporting. Joining us now is Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, she tested positive after hiding from the insurrectionists that stormed the U.S. Capitol with her Republican colleagues who refused to put on masks when they were being handed out. Good morning, congresswoman.

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Good morning, Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: How are you feeling?

JAYAPAL: You know, I'm doing OK. I have some mildish symptoms, I have a fever, chills, sore throat, you know, kind of like the flu, just generally lousy feeling. But I'm doing all right.


And I hope and pray that I will be all right. But what really enrages me is the way in which we were in a secure location, locked down, over a hundred people in that room, and Republicans refused to wear masks. And I'll just tell you, Alisyn, I know that I was negative before that day because I actually got a test on Tuesday and it was negative, end of the day.

And then Wednesday happened, and I know I was exposed in that room, that's why I started quarantining as soon as I got out. Thank goodness, I didn't put anybody else at risk, and now, obviously, I'm isolating here in D.C., I'll be voting by proxy because I -- you know, obviously, I'm deeply involved in removing the president from office, making sure that, that threat to national security is gone.

CAMEROTA: And before we get to the impeachment, I just want to put the names up of the Republicans who we saw in that video refusing, laughing, they don't need a mask, no thank you. Here are their names. This is Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs, Texas Congressman Michael Cloud, Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin, Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry, California Congressman Doug Lamalfa. What do you think should happen to them?

JAYAPAL: Oh, I think that they -- you know, I've already called for fines, significant fines to be levied. And last night, we passed in the rule to the 25th Amendment resolution, the ability to fine members of Congress who don't wear masks, and deny them entry to the floor or any other building if they're not following the public health guidelines.

There are others who have been tweeting me, who are sharing my rage across the country, who are saying, you know, these people should not be allowed in Congress, they should be sued. At this point, I just want to make sure that any member of Congress follows the rules that we set on the floor. This is not about them. You know, wearing a mask doesn't actually protect you, it protects the people around you.

And this is what they -- the callousness, the cruelty, the idiocy is a word I used in my statement is really beyond belief. We just had a domestic terrorist attack, an insurrectionist attack, a terrific trauma to the country and to all of us who are involved, and then we get into this room and they are simply refusing to wear masks.

And those are the ones you saw in the video with Lisa Blunt Rochester offering them masks. But I can tell you, there were others who were wearing masks or wearing them below their nose or acting like it's no big deal. This is about lives and livelihoods. Over 300,000 people in the United States have died --


JAYAPAL: And it is over almost 400,000 people have died, and it is high time that these Republicans took it seriously.

CAMEROTA: Congresswoman, I just want to get your reaction also to the reporting that Drew Griffin just had. That there were people inside, your colleagues, your Republican colleagues, once again, Congressman Andy Biggs, Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks who may have been coordinating or communicating with some of the domestic terrorists, according to the terrorists. What's your reaction?

JAYAPAL: Well, I saw that video from the organizer, Ali, naming those three congressmen several days ago, and that's why you see that there are some resolutions for censure. But honestly, Alisyn, I think we need to go further. There is a clause in the 14th Amendment that says that people who have committed insurrection, who have been part of the planning for an overthrow of the government, that they should not be allowed to serve in Congress.

That they should, you know, be taken out and of serving from Congress. And I think that's what needs to happen, if this all turns out to be accurate. That is certainly everything that I have seen on paper, is that there were members of Congress and these are the three that are most often quoted, who were deeply involved in the planning, the calling for, and the inciting of these insurrectionists.

Now, you know, obviously, the number one person that did that is Donald Trump, the sitting president of the United States. Who even as this was happening, Alisyn, was delighting, according to reports, in seeing mobs, insurrectionists, with Trump flags completely destroy the Capitol and desecrate the Capitol.

The worst attack on the United States Capitol since the war of 1812, with an intent to overthrow the government. And of course, white nationalist groups that have been deemed a serious domestic terror threat to the country. So I think that these members of Congress and the president and all those who were part of fueling, aiding and inciting this attack on the Capitol, this overthrow of the government.

[07:40:00] By the way, with crowds chanting "hang Mike Pence" with stated plans

on the internet and elsewhere that we are now finding about, to take and kill Nancy Pelosi, now additional threats to continue these armed rallies and riots, which I think will turn into riots, to kill Democrats. So I just think that this is about the most serious threat we face.

And as I listen to some of the security briefings that we've had, I can't help but think that we are in the midst of a war right here in the United States. And it is against the rise of the confederacy, the rise of, you know, these very violent domestic terror groups that are white nationalist groups all aided and fueled by the sitting president and many, unfortunately, members of Congress.

CAMEROTA: Yes, and reminder that also, President Trump during the insurrection, was not fielding the calls from Republicans, calling, begging for him to send backup. Begging for their lives. I want to talk to you about impeachment.

This proceeding, this historic proceeding is going to begin in less than an hour and a half. We have the names, as we know it, at the moment of the Republicans, five of them, including the third highest- ranking Republican in the house, Liz Cheney, I'll put them up on the screen, these are the people who have publicly said that they will support impeachment. Do you know of any others who we have not heard from yet?

JAYAPAL: I don't know definitive names, but what I do know is that when you have the number three Republican, and I have to give, you know, credit to Liz Cheney for breaking from Kevin McCarthy and that side of the GOP. The GOP is cleaving before us as we see it.

And you know, hopefully, when people see her, that will give others some strength to also do the same thing. Jamie Herrera Butler from my home state of Washington, who also spoke up against the challenging of the electoral college votes, is another one that has said she will vote to impeach. And I'm really -- I'm so glad that the country is finally waking up. This is not a partisan issue. The security and the safety of our country is at stake. And if Donald Trump stays in office for a single day longer, we are putting the safety and the security of our country at risk.

And so, I hope that there will be anywhere from a dozen to 20 Republicans at the end of the day, but that is a hope, not a prediction. And I hope that then we immediately send those articles over to the Senate. And that the Senate takes them up immediately. I understand Mitch McConnell is saying they're not going to convene. Chuck Schumer is going to use a procedure that allows him to ask for a convening immediately in a situation of security and national security and emergency. But Mitch McConnell does have to agree to that, as long as it's before Senator Schumer becomes majority leader. We need this done today.

CAMEROTA: And it sounds like the first step will be. Congresswoman Jayapal, we are so happy to see that you appear to be on the mend. That's a relief. Thank you very much for helping us understand what to expect next.

JAYAPAL: Thank you so much, Alisyn. It's good to be back.

CAMEROTA: We'll talk again soon. So as President Trump is consumed by his election loss and the second impeachment today, the coronavirus pandemic again breaking records for daily deaths. Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us next.



BERMAN: All right, breaking news. Four thousand, three hundred and twenty seven new coronavirus deaths reported overnight. That's a record. A horrifying record. Joining us now, CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, just to state it one more time, that is more Americans dead in a single day from coronavirus than South Korea has suffered the entire pandemic, than Japan has suffered the entire pandemic. We did it in one single day. And I've got a feeling this is not the last time we're breaking that record.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes -- no, I mean, you know, I can't believe it. We're coming up almost on the one year anniversary of the first patient that was confirmed to have the infection in this country.

That was late January of last year. And here we are, breaking all kinds of records, several states breaking their records over the last day, and you're right. I mean, you know, I want to show you these graphics. These models that we've been following for close to a year now. These come from the IMHE. Basically looking at what the sort of moderate case scenarios are and the worst-case scenarios. If we have it, we can put it up.

But basically, what we see when we sort of follow this is a couple of things. One is that we are sort of on the worst-case scenario trajectory at this point. That shouldn't surprise people. You can see at that point where there's three lines that sort of break off, one goes straight up, two lines come down. That period of time is coming up now.

And that's basically saying, that's the inflection point. Are we going to continue to go straight up, this is in terms of debts or are we going to have -- are we going to come down? Are states going to put in certain restrictions that may bring these death rates down. It's not going to be the vaccine as we've talked about, that's going to have an immediate impact, but right now, it looks we're heading into that worst-case scenario line.

And I can tell you by sort of mid-end of February now, that's when the numbers sort of peak. And they peak at these unbelievably high numbers, close to 5,500 people dying per day. It's hard to believe, that's the end of February. And the big question at this point, I think, is not so much are we going to hit those numbers, sadly, I think we will. But how long will we potentially stay there? Will we plateau there for

a period of time? Right now, the models are a little unclear. I've looked at a bunch of them, but that's sort of what we're looking at right now. There's lots of things, you know, weeks, months down the line that are going to have an impact. But these next few weeks, these next couple of months, as we've been talking about, are going to be pretty rough.

CAMEROTA: And Sanjay, for my own mental health, I just -- it's very hard for me to stay put on that 4,300 number. I just have to like pivot off of it as quickly as possible because I -- to think about the individual people, it's hard to do that.


And so, I pivot right to the vaccinations, and so 27 million doses distributed, 9.3 million doses administered by now. Are we getting at all better with this? Is there any escalation -- acceleration, I should say in being able to administer these?

GUPTA: Yes, I do, and I think that, that is a note for optimism. I spent a lot of time talking to people who are involved with vaccine distribution, but I've also talked to people at the pharmacy level now trying to understand what have been some of the limitations. And I think when we put it all together, I think we have been getting better and I think we will continue to get better.

Couple of things, you know, the big pharmacies, you know, have been largely responsible for inoculating people in these long-term care facilities. By the end of the month, that -- you know, January 25th time frame, they think that they should be done with that or pretty much up to speed, hopefully being able to divert some attention then to, you know, the rest of the country.

You also have the situations now where you are starting to get these large mass vaccination events. I was talking to people in Los Angeles yesterday about Dodgers Stadium. We're hearing about things on the East Coast as well. I think that, that's certainly going to help. The criteria have been expanded, if you will. We can put these up if we have them. But basically, you've heard this, but people over the age of 65 will now qualify, you know, as being in the priority groups in most places around the country.

They're not going to put the second doses on reserve anymore, so they were sort of holding back the second dose. The idea was we want to make sure there's enough doses, but when you look at the manufacturing capacity, like a Pfizer, they're saying they could do 2 billion doses in 2021. So, you know, you're 150 million doses a month roughly, they say they can make.

Now, a lot of that as you know is going to the rest of the world. But the point is that the manufacturing capacity seems like it's going to be able to keep up. That was the big concern. Would there be a problem getting some of these second doses out? That's less of a concern now.

BERMAN: Sanjay, thanks so much for being with us. I'm sorry it's under such horrifying circumstances this morning, but we appreciate you keeping us up to speed.

GUPTA: You got it.

BERMAN: So, breaking overnight, YouTube taking major action against President Trump. The video that finally pushed them over the edge, next.



BERMAN: Developing overnight. YouTube says it is suspending Donald Trump for at least seven days over a recent video on his channel that they say incited violence. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan joins us now. YouTube joining the growing list. What's the video that did it?

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER: Hey, Johnny, that is certainly a very growing list of companies that are shutting down Trump. Let me show you. You've got Reddit, Twitch, Spotify, Twitter, Google, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, TikTok, Apple and the list goes on. YouTube not giving us a lot of specifics on what was the straw that broke the camel's back here. But here is what they are saying.

They say, "after review and in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Trump's channel for violating our policies", and it says, he will now be prevented from uploading new content for a minimum of seven days. Suggestion there that he may be cut off entirely. And you know, John, I think particularly with the president's Twitter feed put off here and his Facebook feed, you know, he has lost his most common drumbeat of misinformation and intimidation, and I think that might be making it easier for some Republicans to support his impeachment. John?

BERMAN: Just to be clear. YouTube leaving old Trump videos up, though?

O'SULLIVAN: They are leaving those old videos up so there's a whole archive and library of misinformation there. They are interestingly, though, turning off comments on those videos. So potential indication there that there was concern about maybe organizing or incitement in the comments under his videos by his supporters. But you're right. Right now, the channel is still live and there's a whole library of misinformation and intimidation and hate on there.

BERMAN: So, stopping new lies, but not doing anything about the old lies, in other words from YouTube so far. All right, Donie O'Sullivan, thanks for helping us understand this. Your reporting has been terrific on this, and I'm sure there's more to come. What a day in the United States of America. In about one hour, the impeachment process begins the second impeachment of Donald Trump. NEW DAY continues right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democrats are now poised to impeach the president for the second time. Only this time around, there are going to be Republicans getting on board.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitch McConnell signaling that there may be some opportunity for his conference to pick up these articles of impeachment and eventually convict.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump cost him the majority. He sees Trump now as an albatross to the party in the future.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're looking at significant felony cases tied to sedition and conspiracy. The gamut of cases we're looking at is really mind blowing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not going to negotiate with domestic terrorists. And that's who these people are.


BERMAN: All right, good morning everyone. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY, and this is history. It is infamy for Donald J. Trump, by sunset, he will become the first president to be impeached twice.

The process beginning very shortly this morning. This time, a growing number of Republicans are turning on him. At least, five Republicans on board so far, including the third ranking Republican Liz Cheney, we are watching that number grow throughout the morning, expecting more names possibly soon. On the Senate side, an earthquake. This is an all-out political earthquake.