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CNN TONIGHT

Rep. Marjorie Greene Ousted from Committee Assignment; Nebraska GOP Looking to Censure Sen. Ben Sasse; Fox News Sued by Smartmatic; GOP Still Fears Trump; Johnson & Johnson With Promising Breakthrough; QAnon Stands Firm on Their Belief. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired February 4, 2021 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[22:00:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Thank you for watching. CNN Tonight, the big show with D. Lemon starts right now.

Quick story for you that goes to the heart of why going after AOC --

(CROSSTALK)

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Do you have video? You don't have video of it, do you?

CUOMO: Of what?

LEMON: The story you were talking about.

CUOMO: Well, yes, there's video.

LEMON: Yes. That why I want to see it if you have.

CUOMO: I don't want to show you this. The story that I'm telling you about is when I got blown up in Iraq with my cameraman on this M.P. mission that we were with. With the military police in Ghazaliya, south of Baghdad.

Here is my point. You go after AOC for her fear, saying it was illegitimate, she was in the adjacent building, you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: She knew she was under attack. She was running. She heard people saying where is she, where is she? She didn't know who those people were.

LEMON: That's right.

CUOMO: Why am I using my experience? Because when we were on that patrol and they stop us by these bodies and this captain was explaining to me that they are often weaponized and people started firing at us, a lot of fire, they detonated the bodies, it blew over the Humvee in front of us, people were screaming all this gunfire was all over the place. Don, I swear, I thought I was --

LEMON: Going to die?

CUOMO: -- a dead man.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: I was haunted for weeks after that. I heard screaming. I heard shots of pain, gunfire. I couldn't move because of the position that we were in after the explosion. I thought somebody was going to stick their weapon in the turret, circle the fire and it was over.

My cameraman, Barkley Price (ph) and I were looking at each other and we thought it was over, OK? We were wrong. The voices I heard were our troops communicating, killing the insurgents, calling in tank fire and controlling the whole situation but they couldn't talk to me because they were busy.

LEMON: So how would you know it? It's the same with this. And here's the thing. First up, I'm glad you're here. I'm glad that didn't happen. I'm glad --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Changed my life.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And I'm glad I'm here.

LEMON: But here's -- I'm glad you said that. Because I've been watching, you know, state media and listening to conservative media all day because, you know, I want to hear the other side. I was like, I don't understand why this is a story.

How is she supposed to know who is on the other side of the door? How was she supposed to know how many people were on the other side of the door? I'm not -- I'm just saying I'm not -- it has nothing to do with anything AOC or whatever.

But how, I kept trying to figure out how the people who were actually involved in that siege and all the chaos could be criticizing someone else who was involved in it because they were -- because she was explaining how -- what she thought was going on, in her particular situation. It was just flat-out partisanship. And a distraction to Marjorie Taylor Greene.

CUOMO: They're going after one of the Democrats --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: That's the focus.

CUOMO: -- because the Democrats are going after one of theirs.

LEMON: Yes. CUOMO: I'm telling you Mr. noise pollution over there at state TV and the others they want to frame the Democrats for January 6th. They've been leaking it out all these different ways that there's an untold story, that this was a setup.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: It's all B.S.

LEMON: Let them do it. Let them do it.

CUOMO: It's their toxicity. And I'll tell you what. You just heard Katie Porter say AOC was freaked out.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And let me tell you, I lived a situation like that. And it doesn't have to be real, the threat, for you to believe it's imminent and real.

LEMON: It's what you believe. And let me tell you something, let them do it because they look like idiots in the process and people are on to it.

CUOMO: No more than any other time.

LEMON: So, keep doing it. Keep doing it.

CUOMO: I hope people learn this time.

LEMON: I know, I encourage them. Continue to do it. I think people -- the -- I think the veil has been lifted. People's eyes are open. And they know what's going on. They know that it's all B.S. and they know that it's partisanship.

And look, they're talking about how they are -- how the limited and the framing -- limited amount and the framing of the insurrection on Capitol Hill, anyone can see, everybody knows what happened except for the fringe, right, who keep trying to, as you say, blame it on Democrats.

CUOMO: I wish they talked about the groups that attacked our capitol and why as much as they're talking about AOC's feelings about it.

LEMON: No.

CUOMO: I'll tell you what. And I say the new party is the GOPQ.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And it shows that they actually embrace diversity, because they just created the QAnon wing.

LEMON: Another. Yes. You know, you say GOPQ. I say QOP. I like to call them the --

CUOMO: You got your Q-Trumplican party.

LEMON: Q-Trumplican. Yes, you got to pick your brand, brother. I always tell you this.

LEMON: I love you. I got to go.

CUOMO: I love you, D. Lemon. Speak the truth, brother.

LEMON: I'll see you. Thank you. Thank you very much. I enjoyed the show.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

The Q-Trumplican party's message to QAnon is come on in. The water is fine. Get in here. Come on in, you all. This is great. Marjorie Taylor Greene, by the way, who wore a mask labeled free speech even as she defended her lies, stripped of her committee assignments.

[22:05:06]

The vote, 230 to 199. Only 11 Republicans crossing party lines to stand up for the truth and against her toxic, dangerous lies, 199 Republicans supporting Marjorie Taylor Greene even after she refused to take responsibility for her own words.

You've got to stick with me here because I hope I can make it through this. Because I mean it's just so ridiculous and outrageous and hypocritical and insulting. And it just gets worse, worse every day. lies on top of lies on top of lies on top of lies. And they think you're stupid. They think you are stupid, her own words, for lies, conspiracy theories, expressing approval of violence against Democrats.

I just want you to take a look at this moment. One like nothing that we have seen before, OK? Look at the center of your screen there. This is the Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, walking a giant version of one of Greene's post across the floor to make sure Republicans, Trump -- Q- Trumplicans see it, to make sure they couldn't pretend they didn't know.

A post showing Marjorie Taylor Greene with a gun juxtaposed with photos of Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib titled squad's worse nightmare.

And even in the face of all that, even in the face of all of that, 199 Republicans still voted to support her. Today, Marjorie Taylor Greene tried to rewrite history. This is where you want to stick with me. She tried to avoid taking responsibility for what she said, what we heard her say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): I was allowed to believe things that weren't true and I would ask questions about them and talk about them. And that is absolutely what I regret. Because if it weren't for the Facebook posts and comments that I liked in 2018, I wouldn't be standing here today and you couldn't point a finger and accuse me of anything wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Lying through her mask. Come on. I was allowed to believe things that weren't true. I'm sorry, who? I mean, I have to give it to her. That's a good one. Next time I'm going to say, I was allowed to believe things that weren't true. The next time I -- well, I don't really, I don't lie to people so -- but that's a good one.

But it is outrageous, Marjorie Taylor Greene, to try to play the victim when you're confronted with your own words. I was allowed to believe things that weren't true. Now that is a new one. But it is also passive and it's irresponsible, and it is pathetic. Not only is she refusing to accept responsibility, she is resorting to that old favorite excuse, trying to blame the media and blame cancel culture.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREENE: You see, big media companies can take teeny, tiny pieces of words that I've said, that you have said, any of us, and can portray us into someone that we're not. And that is wrong. Cancel culture is a real thing. It is very real.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Did you ever notice that when we play what somebody said and we do it in their own words, their own words, coming out of their own mouths that it's always the media's fault that they said it? It's like we're in there going like this, like inside of her back, like, OK, Marjorie Taylor Greene, make sure you say -- we didn't say it. You said it. We're just playing your words back for you. Don't blame us. Don't fall

for it.

The now congresswoman was a QAnon troll who posted countless hours of her deranged rants. She says that she never mentioned QAnon during her campaign. Never mentioned it since she was elected.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREENE: I never once said during my entire campaign QAnon. I never once said any of the things that I am being accused of today during my campaign. I never said any of these things since I have been elected for Congress. These were words of the past, and these things do not represent me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. So, she claims that these words -- these were words of the past, OK? Words of the past. We're in February now. OK. So, two months ago, not even.

[22:10:06]

December, CNN's Ryan Nobles asked her about QAnon and she said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREENE: I think it's unfair to criticize regular American people that just are looking things up on the internet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. Just a month before election day, she was defending QAnon after Congress passed a resolution condemning them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREENE: I want to tell you about a resolution that was passed by the House of Representatives today, and it gives me great concern. And this resolution, House resolution 1154 is condemning QAnon and rejecting the conspiracy theories it promotes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK. That was October. And then in July, she defended QAnon, saying there's never been any dangerous rhetoric out of people like that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNKNOWN: In the video you say, quote, "Q is a patriot." Do you believe that? Is that what you believe?

GREENE: I've only ever seen patriotic sentiment coming out of that source and other sources. I think Twitter has just announced recently, last week, that it will be removing anyone that associates themselves with QAnon, yet there's never been any dangerous rhetoric coming out of people like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: One hundred ninety-nine Republicans voted for Marjorie Taylor Greene. Tonight, just look what they voted for, OK? They voted for a racist, anti-Semitic, Islamaphobe who repeatedly expressed support for executing prominent Democratic politicians.

In January of 2019, she liked a comment that said, quote, "a bullet to the head would be quicker to remove Nancy Pelosi." In a statement she didn't deny she liked posts and replied to comments but claimed many people have run her Facebook page.

So, again, the whole words thing, so let's hear it, hear what she said in her own words. She desecrated the memory of 184 people who died at the Pentagon on 9/11 when she said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREENE: The so-called plane that crashed into the Pentagon, it's odd there's never any evidence shown for a plane in the Pentagon.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: OK. Just days before election day, she endorsed political violence to defend freedom, which she says is earned with the price of blood.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREENE: If this generation doesn't stand up and defend freedom, it's gone.

UNKNOWN: Yes.

GREENE: And once it's gone, freedom doesn't come back by itself. The only way you get your freedoms back, it's earned with the price of blood.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And she said this about Muslims living in the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREENE: If you want Islam and Sharia law, you stay over there in the Middle East. You stay there, and you go to Mecca and do all your thing and, you know what? You can have a whole bunch of wives, or goats, or sheep, whatever you want. You stay over there. But in America, see, we made it this great, great country. We don't want it messed up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: She said this when she harassed David Hogg, a Parkland shooting survivor inside the capitol in 2019 before she was elected to Congress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREENE: How do you get so much media coverage for the group? Who pays for this? Who sponsors this? I'm a businessowner, I'm a mom --

CROWD: Enough is enough! Enough is enough!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And let's not forget, let's not forget her insane claim that space lasers controlled by the Rothschild family are a frequent target of anti-Semites, started the California wildfires.

The Republican Party, once the party of Lincoln, has sold its soul again and again they have faced the moment of truth and again and again they have taken the coward's way out like 199 of them did tonight, refusing to stand up for the truth and call out the lies.

And it didn't start with Marjorie Taylor Greene. This is what happens when you knuckle under to a president, to anyone really, who defends white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. You had people in that group -- excuse me. Excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The never said it people, he said it. It is on tape, OK? A president who ran on the racist birther lie that the former president Barack Obama was not born in this country, a president who incited insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[22:15:05]

TRUMP: We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. You'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength. And you have to be strong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, it all came home to roost on January 6th. And that's the truth. That's when that crowd attacked the seat of our government, smashing, looting, threatening the lives of lawmakers. Look at that.

Now the former president, is just days away from his second impeachment trial, a trial that will take place at the scene of the crime. A trial that may be the only way to stand up for the truth of what happened on one of the darkest days in the history of our country.

And who is responsible for it? Well, Senator Ben Sasse is facing censure by the Nebraska Republican Party for his criticism of the former president. And so tonight, he has this message and I want you to listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BEN SASSE (R-NE): It happened because the president lied to you. He lied about the election results for 60 days. Despite losing 60 straight court challenges, many of them handed down by wonderful Trump-appointed judges.

He lied by saying that the vice president could just violate his constitutional oath and declared a new winner. That wasn't true. He then riled a mob that attacked the capitol, many chanting hang Pence. If that president were a Democrat, we both know how you would respond. But because he had Republican behind his name, you're defending him. Conspiracy theories aren't conservative.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Perhaps you disagree with his positions. Maybe you do. Maybe he's not a guy that you would vote for, maybe he is, but you have to respect his character and standing up for the truth. We need more people willing to do that.

And while the former president hides out at Mar-a-Lago, refusing to take responsibility for the big lie that sent the mob to the capitol, his one-time favorite TV network is facing a monster $2.7 billion, billion with a b, dollar lawsuit over how they helped spread the big lie.

Voting technology company Smartmatic, the subject of baseless conspiracy theories about the election suing Fox News. Some of the network star hosts and team Trump Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell alleging they waged a, quote, "misinformation campaign that has jeopardized the company's survival."

The lawsuit saying this about the lies pedaled by the former president and his supporters, and I quote. "The earth is round. Two plus two equals four. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the 2020 election for president and vice president of the United States. The election was not stolen, rigged or fixed. These are facts. They are demonstrable and irrefutable."

As we've said all along on this network, facts first.

In the face of all this, President Joe Biden is pushing forward with his agenda, visiting the State Department today and giving a world -- giving the world a message.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America is back. America is back. Diplomacy is back. It's the center of our foreign policy. As I said in my inaugural address, we will repair our alliances, engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday's challenges, but today's and tomorrows.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, America is turning the page. But the Q-Trumplican party cannot. They sewed the wind and so they now reap the whirlwind. That same party now the home of big lies and conspiracy theories. Is that what they meant by a big tent, plenty of room for the QAnon congresswoman? A former QAnon believer speaks out tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEY VANDERBILT, FOMER QANON BELIEVER: This is my opinion. She shouldn't have a job. Anyone that thinks anything that there's any truth of anything that involves with Q, they have no place in government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[22:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Marjorie Taylor Greene stripped of her committee assignments tonight. Only 11 Republicans voting with Democrats to take action against Greene who has lies and 9/11 and deadly school shootings -- about 9/11 and deadly school shootings and embrace crack pot QAnon conspiracy theories.

A los to discuss now with CNN's senior political correspondent Abby Philip is here, and senior political commentator John Kasich, the former Republican governor of Ohio.

So good to see both of you. Thank you for joining. Abby, I'm going to start with you. So tonight, only 11 Republicans joined Democrats to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments. Last night, 61 Republicans voted to remove Liz Cheney from leadership. Is the GOP now the QOP?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's so telling. I mean, the disparity between those numbers, it says everything, I think, you need to know about where the Republican Party is. There's -- there are going to be a lot of members who say they voted against stripping Marjorie Taylor Greene tonight of her committee assignments because they didn't like the precedent.

But the ball was in their court yesterday and there was no groundswell from Republicans to force Leader McCarthy to take action, to take some kind of action that would have forced their conference to have a vote on the issue. And it's because so many of them don't want to be on the record, condemning what Marjorie Taylor Greene represents and, more importantly who she represents.

I think there's a lot of concern and fear among Republican lawmakers that they can't afford to offend the types of voters who might identify with some of these more wacky views that she espouses.

[22:25:08]

The unfortunate part about that is that it means that there are millions of Republicans who are not QAnon supporters, not conspiracy theorists, who don't have advocates, it seems, in the House of Representatives right now.

LEMON: Interesting. So, John, listen, it's conspiracy theories. It's anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic comments, the racism, the threats against our House members. She harassed a Parkland shooting survivor. And the thing is that, John, none of it is ancient history. Is the tenth pole, the tenth flag wide open for QAnon to come on in? Is that what's -- what's happening here?

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Don, I think it's just a blunt reach for power. I think Abby said it right. That they are appealing -- what they don't want to do is to lose the support of the far right. They don't want to lose that support and they're hoping that if they don't lose that support, they also won't lose the support of the thinking Republicans. So, they can try to have it both ways.

LEMON: Can they?

KASICH: And why? Don, I hate to tell you this, but you know, come 2022, if you look at history, there's a very good chance that they'll be in the majority. And they don't want to jeopardize that. It is a naked search for power.

Now what they would do with that power, I have no clue, because it's all been attacks. There's been nothing that has been put forward that has been constructed, that gives Americans a chance to do better.

There's a member of the Congress there right now, Republican by the name of Freddie Upton. Fred and I served together in the House. I don't know what he's thinking. I mean, he voted -- he voted to strip the committee assignments away. I believe he voted for impeachment. He is in a district in Michigan, and I'm going to have to call him because he must not even know what the heck is going on, Don, because this is so bizarre --

LEMON: Well, John --

KASICH: -- so far from anything that we've ever seen.

LEMON: John, let me ask you. Because you know, we've been talking a lot about this. And you say you believe the fever is breaking and that the support that -- Trump is losing support, especially with -- because of issues like this. But you said something very interesting. You know, they're trying to have it both ways. I heard -- I've heard --

KASICH: They are.

LEMON: -- conservatives on television today, Megan McCain saying you can't have it both ways. This is something where you have to draw the line, you have to take a stand.

KASICH: Yes.

LEMON: So, do you -- you said they're trying to have it both ways. I ask you in the middle of the question, I'm not sure if you heard me, can they have it both ways or is this a losing proposition for them?

KASICH: I hope it's a losing proposition because you can't do this. A naked search for power, without any ideas behind what you're doing is bankrupt. It's morally bankrupt. You know, I've got people that represent me out here, and I don't even know what I would say to them, if I would say anything to them because this -- it's like you've just lost your conscience. And it's like this group think.

And so now they're kind of like together and, yes, we're not going to let them get us. That's not what you went to Congress for. And they weren't expelling this woman. They were just taking her committee assignments away for this outrageous behavior.

Frankly, we've got to stop repeating it all the time because it gives other people out there, ideas. But the fact is, I understand why we look at it because it's really amazing.

LEMON: You have to expose it.

KASICH: Now, Don, the good news is there have been some -- there have been some members of the Senate --

LEMON: Yes.

KASICH: -- who have condemned this, Republican members of the Senate.

LEMON: I got to get Abby in.

KASICH: They need to win this tug of war.

LEMON: Yes.

KASICH: Yes, I'm sorry.

LEMON: Ok. That's OK. So, Abby, you saw what Ben Sasse -- what we, you know, I played the sound bite from here and I'm sure you've seen it today. It looks like the Nebraska GOP is about to censure him for criticizing Trump. I mean, you put out a video saying that Trump lied about the election and says that he thinks politics is supposed to be about more than about bending the knee to one man. Why aren't there more Sasses, why aren't there more Cheneys and Kinzingers, Abby?

PHILLIP: There aren't more of them because look what's happening to them. There have been more Republicans like Ben Sasse, like the Liz Cheney's of the world, like the Cindy McCain's of the world who have been reprimanded. Tom Rice in South Carolina reprimanded by their own party for simply going against not principle, not policy, but against the former president, Donald Trump.

And so, this is, as John has been saying, about power. And it's about people wanting to stay in office, wanting to get into office, wanting to stay in office. And there's a recognition among Republicans that you can't do that without Trump. Not just without Trump support, but without showing Trump voters that you are loyal to him.

[22:30:00]

But that's exactly what Ben Sasse is trying to say, is the scary part of this whole thing that the Republican Party used to be about a set of values that people could organize themselves around. Now it seems to be about organizing one's self around an individual.

What is, I think, a big question for Republicans going forward and it's to what you were asking John about just a second ago, can the Republican Party do both things at once, appeal to the fringe but also keep, you know, reasonable Republicans?

I think that's a really open question, because thus far they have been able to do that. President Trump, for four years, appealed to the fringe. He told the Proud Boys to stand back and stand by. There was Charlottesville. And yet, he actually brought a lot of Republicans who might have even been opposed to him four years ago back into the fold in 2020.

It wasn't enough for him to win the election, but what the thing to be on the lookout for is how many, you know, sort of rank and file, average Republicans, maybe George W. Bush Republicans are willing to look the other way to extremism if it means that they get what they think is more important perhaps. Abortion rights is important to -- you know, abortion is important to them as an issue.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Taxes, yes.

PHILLIP: Or judges. Taxes.

LEMON: Yes.

PHILLIP: I think there are probably a lot more Republicans willing to compromise on the fringe in order to get some of those other things.

LEMON: Look, maybe you're right. Listen, you sat there front and center and we all watched on election night that erosion -- election nights, right, that erosion that happened in the suburbs especially among women who were just like --

PHILLIP: Yes.

LEMON: -- you know, college-educated women, moms in the suburbs who are saying I can't deal with this. So, we'll see if they can have it both ways.

PHILLIP: We've seen --

LEMON: I think there was an erosion there that was very obvious as we watched returns come in a number of times in the primaries and during the general.

Thank you very much. Good to see both of you. Be well. I'll talk to you soon.

A new vaccine could be available just weeks from now. Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells us what he knows. There he is. He's next.

[22:35:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Here's big news on the battle against the COVID pandemic. Johnson & Johnson asking the FDA for an emergency use authorization for its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine. It would be the third vaccine in the United States.

I want to bring in now CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Good to see you, doctor, Sanjay. I like to call you --

(CROSSTALK)

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Don. I'm not going to call you Mr. Lemon.

LEMON: I like to call you, doctor, I like to respect people's titles. So, you know, I know we're friends. GUPTA: I appreciate that.

LEMON: I know. All right. So, listen, it is big news. We know Johnson & Johnson is a single shot vaccine. What else do we know about it, Sanjay?

GUPTA: Well, you know, we saw the results that came out of this clinical trial. And there was all these numbers people were looking at trying to figure out just how effective this is.

And I want to show you this, Don, because a lot of people are analyzing this data. But basically, the bottom line is -- the number on the right side of the screen -- 85 percent protective against people really getting sick.

Don, this is the sort of thing, you know, people out there for the last year, especially people who might be older or have some sort of pre-existing condition, is a lot of worry, right. If I get this thing how sick am I going to get? Eighty-five percent protective against getting really sick. No hospitalizations. No deaths in that group.

And Don, if I can for just a second, if you look at all the trials that have gone out, five big clinical trials for these vaccines. There's been 75,000 people who have received the vaccine in these trials, nobody died in that vaccinated group. Point is that these vaccines work. This is going to be another one. We'll see. It takes a few weeks to go through the regulatory process. But this could be a big deal.

LEMON: I understand you have a comparison you want to tell us about? You have some sound for us?

GUPTA: Well, yes. You know, one of the most common questions we get now is, so which vaccine should I take, Johnson & Johnson if it gets authorize, Moderna or Pfizer? Which one is better? Can you compare them? I had a chance to talk to the head of R&D for Johnson and Johnson about this. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GUPTA: How does this vaccine stack up to what is already been authorized in the United States, the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines?

MATHAI MAMMEN, GLOBAL HEAD OF R&D, JOHNSON & JOHNSON: The honest answer is that they can't be compared head to head. Because the vaccine programs with mRNA were recruited in accrued cases in a different time where the incidence was much lower, so less pressure on the vaccine to protect. And there were no -- none of these problematic variants that everyone is talking about right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUPTA: What they're really saying here, Don, is that at the time the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was trialed, it was later. There was more virus circulating. It was also trialed in places like South Africa, Brazil, where we know the variants are there. And it performed really well, again, 85 percent protective.

Here's another way to look at it. If you did the Moderna and Pfizer trial at the exact same time, same places where Johnson & Johnson was trialed it may have had similar results. Point is, you really can't compare these things head to head. They're all pretty similar in terms of how well they work.

LEMON: Sanjay, the White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, tonight says that the White House is hoping to resurrect the scrap Trump era proposal to send every American face masks. What do you think of that idea?

GUPTA: Yes. Well, you know, I thought it was a good idea, you know, Don. And I actually have a package of the face masks that were supposed to go out via the postal service middle of last year. Robert Kadlec who used to be the secretary for preparedness and response, he gave me these. They didn't go out via the postal service. You know, the idea was scrapped. Many of those masks did go out via faith-based organizations and things like that.

[22:39:53]

Don, the issue is, will people wear the masks? You know? Now I don't think the supply of masks, at least cloth masks, is really the issue. I think the larger question now is can we get people masks like this? The N95 masks.

There's a letter that's gone out from Senator Sanders and others to President Biden, basically saying invoke the Defense Production Act, these are the best masks available for people in high-risk situations. Why wouldn't you use them?

And we'll see how they respond. One of the guys I talked to at Harvard who say tracking the viruses, if people wore these N95 masks in high- risk situations for four weeks, just the mask for four weeks, we could essentially end this pandemic in the United States. So that's another discussion about masks.

LEMON: Yes. And I'm sure you'll agree, every little bit helps in this situation to get those numbers down and save lives. Thank you, Sanjay. I appreciate it.

GUPTA: No question.

LEMON: Thank you, Dr. Gupta.

GUPTA: All right. Mr. Lemon, take care.

LEMON: So, do you ever wonder who is in QAnon and what they say and do behind closed doors? Well, CNN got behind those doors and into one of their meetings. See for yourself. That's next.

[22:45:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: The House removing GOP Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments, in part because of her embrace of the dangerous and debunked QAnon conspiracy theory.

So, who are QAnon believers and what do they say behind closed doors? Well, tonight, we have an exclusive look. CNN's Donie O'Sullivan goes inside a gathering of QAnon followers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNKNOWN: Is that supposed to be the media (Inaudible) is the --

UNKNOWN: One little piece of advice for the mainstream media is not everything can be debunked.

UNKNOWN: The media is ether will have to get on the right side of history or they're going to go down with a shift.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER: You might think wearing a face mask would help a reporter go unnoticed but not at this gathering of QAnon followers in Arizona just two weeks before November's election.

UNKNOWN: Take off those damn masks and leave them off.

(APPLAUSE)

O'SULLIVAN: That's me and my colleague there, two of the very few people wearing masks at this indoor event in the middle of a pandemic, and the guy at the back of the room? He's known as the QAnon shaman, and he would go on to storm the capitol in January.

(CROWD SINGING)

O'SULLIVAN: Where we go one, we go all, an infamous QAnon slogan promoted by Trump's first national security adviser Michael Flynn.

UNKNOWN: Where we go one, we go all.

O'SULLIVAN: And played as an anthem at this meeting of Trump supporters.

UNKNOWN: We are at war right now and we in this room understand that very, very much.

UNKNOWN: Obviously, we heard the president talking about stuff, haven't you?

CROWD: Yes.

UNKNOWN: That QAnon thing.

CROWD: Yes.

UNKNOWN: Did he disavow anybody?

CROWD: No. O'SULLIVAN: Two nights earlier, Trump had praised QAnon followers at a

town hall with Savannah Guthrie.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, CO-HOST, NBC NEWS: Can you, once and for all, state that that is completely not true? And disavow QAnon in its entirety?

TRUMP: I know nothing about QAnon.

GUTHRIE: I just told you.

TRUMP: I know very little. You told me. But what you told me doesn't necessarily make it fact. I have to say that.

(APPLAUSE)

O'SULLIVAN: The message to the people in this room was clear. Trump was on their side.

UNKNOWN: So, we have 17 days between now and a massive Trump victory.

(APPLAUSE)

O'SULLIVAN: In the room prominent figures in the QAnon movement, including Jim Watkins, who runs the 8-field site 8kun where QAnon messages are posted and at least two people who would go on to Washington, D.C. on January 6th.

JACOB CHANSLEY, QANON SHAMAN: In that time all it takes is keeping our eyes and our ears open to see who is on what side.

O'SULLIVAN: Jacob Chansley, the so-called QAnon shaman who is charged for his role in the insurrection and went on a hunger strike in prison because they didn't have organic food.

UNKNOWN: We are at war right now.

O'SULLIVAN: And this man, Alan Hostetter known for organizing anti- lockdown protests in California.

ALAN HOSTETTER, AMERICAN PHOENIX PROJECT, QANON SUPPORTER: Nobody wants violence. So, we are conditioned from the time we are children in this country to always think that violence is a horrible, horrible thing. Until we go back and reflect on our revolutionary war.

They picked up guns at some point and said enough. Until we reflect on the civil war. We ended slavery by picking up guns and fueling with the (Inaudible). We don't want that to happen but it has to be something in the back of your mind.

O'SULLIVAN: Hostetter's home was raided by the FBI after the insurrection. Media was not allowed to officially attend the event but any member of the public could attend and I signed up using my name and work e-mail address. Also, in attendance was Travis View, host of the QAnon Anonymous podcast who has been tracking this conspiracy theory for years. TRAVIS VIEW, HOST, QANON ANONYMOUS: One of my big takeaways for

attending the Q conference is that the QAnon movement is so much more than just the predictions or the feeling like you're getting inside information, it's about the community. The people there felt they were part of something big and revolutionary and that they were opposing absolute evil.

And that made me feel like this is something that's not going to go away just because Trump lost an election.

CROWD: Where we go one, we go all.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: That was Donie O'Sullivan there in that QAnon meeting. And he's got more details about what could be QAnon's next moves. He's going to tell us after the break.

[22:50:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So, We -- just before the break, CNN's Donie O'Sullivan gave us an exclusive look inside a gathering of QAnon followers. And he joins me now with now. It is fascinating. And then you got the Q shaman guy on tape. I mean, that was, what a coincidence that was.

So, you pointed out the sense of the community in that meeting. That QAnon would last past Trump. So, I mean, what do you think, tell us, what do you think their next moves are?

O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Don, I mean, it's not going anywhere, right? It's built now. It's so big. I mean, it was enabled by the infrastructure that was built in Silicon Valley that rewarded, you know, lies and hate.

It was obviously fueled by the president -- by president -- the former president, President Trump, but also, you know, a lot of this is just -- really what we're seeing is so much of it is based on the existing sort of history of hate and racism in this country, which QAnon has enabled and given license to many Americans to now freely express openly.

[22:55:08]

So, there are all the questions and problems that Silicon Valley has given us and also Trump, but a lot of this goes become back and sort of, I think just begins to scratch the surface on some of the more fundamental challenges of racism and anti-Semitism and hate.

LEMON: How are they going take what Marjorie Taylor Greene said today?

O'SULLIVAN: Well, Don, you know, I -- you played earlier in the show, I spoke during the week to a 27-year-old mom, a Trump voter, who used to be a QAnon supporter, and she's called it out now. She realized it's B.S.

Marjorie Taylor Greene does not sound like a former QAnon believer, right? And what that mom who had left QAnon, what she told me was, you know, when you see people in power, when you see senior Republicans failing to call this sort of thing out, it sends the message to QAnon believers that there's something to all of this, that they should stay believing it. They view it as an endorsement of their conspiracy theory.

LEMON: It's interesting I was watching a similar piece earlier. I was on the phone, and we both stopped to watch it with Drew Griffin. And at the same time the person I was on the phone with what you just said at the same time, these people are crazy. Like, it's just, it's not rooted in any type of reality. It's unbelievable. I got to run. I got the break, Donie. But thank you. Your work has been excellent. Keep it up. Thank you so much.

O'SULLIVAN: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Marjorie Taylor Greene removed from her committee assignments today, only 11 Republicans voting in favor. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)