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CNN TONIGHT

No Intel Briefings Allowed to President Trump; Biden Push COVID Relief Bill Without GOP Support; Former President Cannot be Trusted; No Remorse Seen from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene; Rep. Ilhan Omar (D- MN) Was Interviewed About Security Concern in the U.S. Capitol; Trump's Impeachment Trial Set to Begin. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired February 5, 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]

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Look, I can't wait to read it.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Thanks.

CUOMO: All right. Thank you very much for watching us. You know, I like on a Friday to kind of try to pick some spots of things that shake the week. The Lou Dobbs thing just happened. I don't think it's a one off. I don't know what they're doing over there, but obviously their business model isn't working anymore in terms of the editorial of the news. So, I think it's going to be one of many. We'll see.

CNN Tonight with D. Lemon, the big star, right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: It was -- it was interesting to watch the evolution of Fox over the Trump years because, you know --

CUOMO: Or devolution.

LEMON: OK. Fair. And I agree with you. So, here's a, you know, usually especially news organizations don't use a double down on lies, right? And it was the strangest thing. Any time that there is a mistake with, you know, truth-telling or what have you, you see immediately, news organizations will correct it and try to fix it, apologize, or do whatever. But they kept following, to me, it seems, in Trump's example of just saying everything, putting outrageous things out there, just continuing to do that and doubling down what only seems so far, so far to have worked for Donald Trump.

Maybe it will in the case of Marjorie Taylor Greene, I'm not so sure, but it seems to have only worked for Trump Fox followed that example, it didn't work for them. two pint seven billion dollars, that is real, real money right there. I don't -- I'm not saying they're going to get that, who knows? But every legal person I have spoken to said that this is -- this has teeth, this particular lawsuit.

CUOMO: Well, I mean, you know, you have to be able to stand behind what you put on television. You know, usually just the specter of a lawsuit will scare a news organization into rethinking editorial. Hey, they say they are going to sue us if they do this. Usually you go through everything right then and say hey, not do we

win the lawsuit? Which I think the standard should be, I always have. But are we going to get sued for this? So, usually people play pretty cautious.

You know what the x-factor though is on the Fox side? Not the lawsuit. It's the boogeyman, it's the former president, who does he sign up with? If he signs up with Newsmax, and he starts going on TV there, he will take their audience. And they have to know it.

LEMON: You think so?

CUOMO: Yes.

LEMON: I had a thing and not that I want to offer anybody advice, but I had a total pivot for the state TV that they should actually, instead of doubling down on opinion, crazy, they should double, they should have done more news and more investigating. They should've done real news instead of, you know, the election was stolen.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: It's working for them. When they were home base, Don.

LEMON: Doubling down on white grievance.

CUOMO: They were home base. They had every upset white person in America watching that channel.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And Trump would tell them to. Trump would tell people to watch the shows that were on.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: I mean, don't ever have that event. Nobody --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: But you know what the weird thing is, before I move on, so let's just say, no one knows what's going to happen with these lawsuits. Right? Because that's --

CUOMO: We've got to see if they get to discovery.

LEMON: OK.

CUOMO: If they get to discovery it's a new game.

LEMON: OK. So, then, and if it's all shown to be, you know, that they were not on the up and up, they didn't tell the truth, the entire truth, does the audience believe it? Do they go, do they wonder if they've been led to believe B.S.? You know what I'm saying? Judges, you know, 60 cases, thrown out. There are still people who believe it.

CUOMO: If that organization has to pay --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: If (Inaudible) this lawsuit and then they have to do something.

CUOMO: But you can only do so much. Right. Changes incremental. And if a big bank like that gets bitten in the wallet hard --

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: -- things will change in terms of how they allow that place to do business.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: I've been in the business a long time. So, have you. You cause a place money, I never have, thank God, but if you do, things change, D. Lemon. They change.

LEMON: Knock wood. We have to knock wood. But let me just --

CUOMO: It's a closest thing I got.

LEMON: That's not wood. That's particle board.

CUOMO: That's mozzarella.

LEMON: You're crazy. I very good -- I have a very good, I wouldn't call it ESP, or whatever you want to call it. I can -- I have a very good sense about things. OK?

CUOMO: Yes?

LEMON: I feel like the veil has been lifted with these folks. That's why I think they should double down on doing news rather than doubling down on doing this really strange sort of alternative reality opinion that they've been doing.

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: Well, they're only getting worse --

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: -- since Biden got in there.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: I mean, I'm ready for some of those guys to show up and want to take us on like anchorman. Literally. I'm walking out of the studio at night worrying about a trident getting throwing at me.

LEMON: If you see this lapel, I got the seventies suit thing ready to go.

CUOMO: They are all tear away just in case. LEMON: In the back alley --

CUOMO: Keep on tight.

LEMON: -- down by the docks. As my dad would say, Chris, I'm a lover, not a fighter.

CUOMO: I know.

LEMON: And I love you.

CUOMO: That's why you got a friend like me.

LEMON: Yes. I got to -- yes, I love you. And I got to run.

CUOMO: Love you, D. Lemon.

LEMON: Have a great weekend.

CUOMO: I'll see you this weekend.

[22:05:00]

LEMON: Yes, absolutely, football. Football. Are you ready for some football?

Are you ready for CNN Tonight with Don Lemon? Thank you so much for joining.

Breaking news, the current president, Joe Biden, going on the record tonight with a statement that we haven't heard from any president in recent history. He doesn't think his predecessor should still receive intelligence briefings.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NORAH O'DONNELL, ANCHOR, CBS NEWS: Should former President Trump still receive intelligence briefings?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I think not.

O'DONNELL: Why not?

BIDEN: Because of his erratic behavior unrelated to the insurrection.

O'DONNELL: I mean, you've called him in existential threat, you've called him dangerous, you've called him reckless.

BIDEN: Yes, I have. And I believe it.

O'DONNELL: What's your worse fear if he continues to get these intelligence briefings?

BIDEN: I'd rather not speculate out loud. I just think there is no need for him to have that intelligence briefing. What value is giving him an intelligence briefing that? What impact does he have at all other than the fact he might slip and say something?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: That is a very generous way of putting it. It's diplomatic, I should say. That's diplomatic. The President of United States saying that he is concerned that the previous president, who he calls reckless and dangerous, whose behavior he calls erratic, could slip up and say something.

That's really something in this day and age. Never really heard anything like that about a former president. Keeper of top secrets, right? There is plenty of evidence though that he could do exactly what Joe Biden is concerned about. The current president is concerned about it.

Let's remember Russia. If you're listening.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Russia if you're listening. I hope you are able to find the 30,000 e-mails.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: I think we should also remember that perfect call with the president of Ukraine. The one that got him impeached the first time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I had a very good call with the president of Ukraine. I assume that's what you're talking about. The call was perfect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: We should probably also remember him saying that he would take opposition research from a foreign power.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If somebody called, from a country like Norway, we have information on your opponent, I think I'd want to hear it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Sharing classified information with Russians in the Oval Office. And with his predecessor's second impeachment trial just four days away, President Biden declines to answer the question of whether he would vote to convict.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'DONNELL: If you were still a senator would you vote to convict him?

BIDEN: Look, I ran like hell to defeat him because I thought he was fit to be president. I watch what everybody else watched. What happened when that crew invaded the United States Congress? But I am not in the Senate now. I will let the Senate make that decision.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Well, that is happening as Democrats are moving ahead with impeachment. Signaling tonight that it's unlikely they'll subpoena the former president to testify. Relying instead on hours of video evidence that they believe shows Trump's clear intent to incite the riot.

And with all of that President Biden is coming forward with his agenda. Pushing ahead with his massive COVID relief package without waiting for support from Republicans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: A lot of folks are losing hope. And I believe the American people are looking right now to their government for help. To do our jobs. Do not let them down. So, I'm going to act. I'm going to act fast.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: America is moving forward, moving forward while the Q- Trumplican party is stuck in the mud of lies and conspiracy theories. Tomorrow marks one month. One month since the insurrection at the United States capitol when rioters incited by the then president and his big lie tried to overthrow our government.

But the Q-Trumplicans have given into the QAnon congresswoman who got nothing but a slap on the wrist for her toxic, dangerous lies. While a respected conservative like Liz Cheney had to fight for her political life after voting her conscience to impeach the former president for betraying his country by inciting insurrection.

Sources telling CNN that the former president is livid, fuming to aides and allies about what he thinks was a betrayal by Kevin McCarthy for standing by Liz Cheney. One top Republican adviser calling out McCarthy saying does he want to be the Republican Party or the QAnon party? Great question. I think the decision has been made though. I think we know the answer to that.

[22:10:01]

I think we have seen the party of Lincoln has sold its soul. It's a page right out of the never apologize Trump playbook, Marjorie Taylor Greene refusing today to address her support for executing Nancy Pelosi.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): I --

JESSICA DEAN, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Do you stand by the fact that you said Nancy Pelosi is guilty of treason and that's punishable by death? GREENE: I think you heard my speech yesterday. You owe the people an

apology. You lied by President Trump. You owe the people an apology. I've done mine yesterday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Bingo. See how sorry she is? See how contrite she is? Nothing has changed. They don't change. If you blame the media, you win. That is right out of the Trump playbook too. And for anybody who still thinks, or is holding out hope the GOP is the party of Lincoln? Don't kid yourself. Marjorie Taylor Greene has a stark answer for you, the party is Trump's. It doesn't belong to anyone else.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREENE: You see a record number of Americans voted for President Trump. Record number of Republicans voted for President Trump. Do you want to know why? It's because they loved his policies. The party is his. It does not belong to anybody else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Doubling down on loss, failure, stupid. Doubling down on stupid. From the party of Lincoln to the party of Q-Trumplicans, what does it even mean to be a Republican right now?

Now that is a good question. When Marjorie Taylor Greene tweets that -- excuse me, tweets that Democrats are a bunch of morons, what does it mean? And says it will be fun to be stripped of her committee assignments.

Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger responding this is why I voted yes. There is no remorse here for her past comments. Just a huge desire to be famous.

See he said the same thing that I said. But you don't like it because I looked like me. Let's be real. That's why you don't like it. That's why you get mad at me. Adam Kinzinger and I said the same thing. There is no remorse there. Check yourself. All of you.

But for speaking the truth with his vote to impeach former president, Kinzinger was censured by GOP officials in his district. What does it mean to be a Republican or a Q-Trumplican? What does it mean? What can you say about a party that includes Matt Gaetz, who said this about Marjorie Taylor Greene's press conference? Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): That was so good I almost had to smoke a cigarette afterwards.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: I don't even want to go there. That is really, really creepy. That is creepy, right? How low can you go with that creepy comments like that? Big lies, conspiracy theories, that is the Q- Trumplican party today, the hypocrisy everywhere. Everywhere. This is a massive example of hypocrisy -- Tucker Carlson of Fox News, of Fox. This week outraged, outrage at rioters who attacked the capitol are being labeled terrorists.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS: We defeated Al Qaeda and can do the same thing to the fascist thugs who attacked our democracy last month, but only if we take similar hard measures against the enemy within. Treating Americans like Al Qaeda, the enemy within. Apparently, that's the new conservative position on the riots of January 6th.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: I mean, who would dare call -- who would dare call Americans -- excuse me -- who would dare call Americans terrorists? Who would dare call Americans terrorists? I wonder who. Play this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: If the rioters were Saudi nationals it would be very clear there is nothing local about what we're watching. We would understand immediately that it's terrorism. It would change the course of this country's future.

If the Justice Department rounded up the leaders of antifa tomorrow, along with every single person caught on camera torching a building, destroying a monument, defacing a church and put them all in shackles. And then frog marched them in front of cameras like MS-13 and called them what they actually are. Domestic terrorists.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[22:15:06]

LEMON: Sometimes I think people get their own tape. That's what he said. He was talking about antifa, right? There was some of the rioters. And then there was also the Black Lives Matters protesters or what have you.

But listen, you feel how you want to feel about antifa. Right? That's -- they are Americans, though. The people who stormed the capitol, not good, but they're Americans too. Come on, man. Really?

Like I said, the hypocrisy is everywhere, and the Republican Party, the Q-Trumplicans, they have sold their souls to conspiracy theorists, disgrace former president, and disgrace former president who incited a riot at the capitol with his big lie and who is facing a second impeachment trial next week.

You guys see this, right? That's why I said to Chris, I think the veil has been lifted. We'll see.

Phil Mattingly is here. He is our senior White House correspondent. Good evening to you, sir.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Don.

LEMON: President Joe Biden remarkably candid in that new interview. We played a couple of sound bites for you. He is now saying that President Trump should -- should no longer receive classified intelligence briefings. That's big, Phil.

MATTINGLY: Yes, look, it really is. And it goes further than where the White House has been on this issue. They've made clear they're reviewing the possibility that President Trump could request briefings, they've made clear that the intelligence community is generally responsible and responsive to when past presidents request those briefings.

But the president now, the current president, making clear, he doesn't believe that President Trump, the former president, deserves those briefings, is more or less, what he is saying, is he's capable of handling those briefings.

And I think the biggest take away from what President Biden just said is this point of, why? Why should President Trump, or former President Trump, be able to access those briefings?

Now senior administration official told me he has not requested any briefings right now, and also made clear that when the intelligence community briefs former presidents they get to kind of control and manage how those briefings are formulated. But President Biden making very clear, lining up also with the House intelligence committee chairman, Adam Schiff, that President Trump or former President Trump doesn't deserve and shouldn't receive those briefings, Don.

LEMON: Phil, President Biden is also making news on the minimum wage part of his COVID relief package. What do you know?

MATTINGLY: Well, look, it's a key plank of the that $1.9 trillion dollar package, particularly for progressives. But if you take a listen to President Biden, he makes clear, the odds of it making it into any final package that he signs into law, very minimal. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O'DONNELL: You also want to raise the minimum wage to $15. Is that something you would be willing to negotiate on in order to get Republican support?

BIDEN: Well, apparently, that's not going to occur because of the rules in the United States Senate.

O'DONNELL: So, you are saying the minimum wage won't be in this?

BIDEN: My guess is it will not be in it. But I do think that we should have a minimum wage that stand by itself, $15 an hour, and work your way up to the 15. It doesn't have to be boom. And all the economic show that if you do that, the whole economy rises.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MATTINGLY: And now Don, to make it perfectly clear, the $15 minimum

wage is in the White House proposal. And without wandering you down the rabbit hole that is Senate procedure, President Biden is like, right, the expectation is that it will likely have to be strip down in order for Democrats to be able to pass the package on a simple majority vote.

But what -- if you listen closely, what he is also saying there underscores the reality in the United States Senate. There aren't currently a majority of Democratic votes for the minimum wage proposal. Several have raised concerns about the $15 minimum wage, particularly if it's not targeted state by state.

President Biden seems to allude to that as well. They say that they can also try and raise this in another bill, in another package, but it's not just Senate rules here. There's also the reality of the Senate Democrat caucus where they have the narrowest of narrow majorities. They're clearly moving forward on this package, and they want to move it as quickly as possible.

But now very unlikely it sounds that that $15 minimum wage will be included, Don.

LEMON: Phil, have a great weekend. Thank you, sir.

MATTINGLY: Thanks, buddy.

LEMON: I appreciate it.

So, President Biden didn't want to say what his worst fear is if his predecessor gets intelligence briefings. I'm going to ask a former FBI director Andrew McCabe what he thinks, that's next.

[22:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So here is our breaking news. President Biden making a major statement, saying that Donald Trump should not receive intelligence briefings.

A lot to discuss tonight with the former FBI deputy director, Andrew McCabe. He is now a CNN senior law enforcement analyst and the author of the book, "The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump."

Good to see you, sir. Thank you so much for joining.

President Biden says Donald Trump is a threat, he shouldn't get intelligence briefings. Does this decision make the country safer?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Much. Much safer, Don. Look, this is such an easy call. I mean, access to classified intelligence briefings, it comes down to a need to know. In a normal circumstance, former presidents have a need to know so that the current president can rely on them for advice and counsel on specific issues.

That's obviously not going to happen here. President Biden is not going to turn to President Trump for his advice on highly significant national security issues. President Trump didn't want briefings when he was president, so there's absolutely no reason that he should have access to classified now.

LEMON: He -- Biden didn't want to say, you know, what his worst fears, because he said, why is it, what are you worried about, he didn't want to say what is his worst fear is, what he is worried about, that Trump could possibly do with high-level intelligence.

As president, we know that he revealed classified information to Russians, I talked about it early on at the White House, and he was talking about intelligence out in the open at Mar-a-Lago. I'm sure you remember that.

MCCABE: Yes.

LEMON: he's done that. There are a number of times that he revealed classified, or was careless with classified information.

[22:25:07]

MCCABE: That's absolutely true. We know that he shared top secret, highly sensitive intelligence that we had received from the Israeli government with the Russians in the Oval Office. We also know that he took photographs of top-secret satellite imagery of an issue in Iran, took pictures of it on his phone and shared it with people.

And, we know, of course, Don, that this is a president who routinely declassified highly sensitive intelligence for his own political purposes. You know, to undermine people's reputations, or to raise issues about the Russia investigation.

So, he has repeatedly proven to us that he has no -- he has no regard for the importance of classified methods, and sources, and he should not be trusted with that information now that he is no longer a president.

LEMON: But this is a, two things here. Because not only that, but he didn't divest himself of his business, his businesses. And he has business interests all over the world.

MCCABE: That's right.

LEMON: And so, we know he is close with the Saudis and the Russians. He made decision as -- decisions as president that benefited them. We know that, again, his financial troubles. That's also got to be a part of the calculation when it comes to sharing intelligence with him.

MCCABE: It absolutely is. If you apply for a class -- access to classified, a clearance, and you have connections to overseas entities, or you do business overseas, or you have family members overseas, those are all big problems in terms of you, ultimately getting a clearance. Here, we have a former president who we know is pursuing business

deals, has in the past anyway with the Russians. We understand his relationship with the Saudis, we know, listen, he is going to be anywhere he needs to be to try and make a buck overseas. And that is a danger, that is a risk to any classified information that he might have.

LEMON: Thank you, Andrew McCabe. I appreciate it. Good to see you.

MCCABE: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Trump is livid and stewing down in Florida. Angry at the House Minority Leader McCarthy, and he's not the only one. Why the Republican Party's problems aren't going away anytime soon? That's next.

[22:30:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: A stunning statement from President Biden tonight. He doesn't believe Trump should receive classified intelligence briefings. Calling his predecessor's behavior erratic, doubling down on calling Trump dangerous, reckless, and an existential threat.

I want to discuss now. Ron Brownstein is here. He is CNN's senior political analyst, and Mark McKinnon, the former adviser to George W. Bush and John McCain. He is also the executive producer of The Circus on Showtime.

Gentlemen, thank you for joining. I really appreciate it. Ron, you're first. We have a lot to discuss so let's get right to it.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.

LEMON: A sitting president denying a former first -- a former first on -- excuse me, denying a former intelligence briefing. It is unprecedented.

BROWNSTEIN: I believe it is. I've read from Sue Gordon, the Deputy Director of National Intelligence in the Washington Post that this has not been done before. Certainly, justifiable in the case of President Trump, who as you mentioned, has business interests all over the world, how has shown a reckless behavior regarding classified information.

And by the way, Don, I think it's reflective of something broader and important, that the Biden administration is not simply going to be caught in conventions that have been kind of been at run over by the excesses of the Trump years. I mean, they announced today, for example, they are no longer allowing the American Bar Association to vet judicial nominees before they are named which (AUDIO GAP) during the Obama administration that was, the way that was done impeded diversity.

And you also see them moving much more quickly to a reconciliation as a way of passing their agenda on a majority vote in the Senate rather than going through the weeks and months in negotiation that Obama did trying to get a handful of Senate Republicans on.

And all these ways you see the Biden administration beginning to show that his learned lessons from the boundaries that were shattered in the Trump presidency.

LEMON: Well you called me on the reconciliation thing when everybody was going back and forth about what Mitch McConnell was doing and you are like, OK, everybody, cool down because this is actually the way it works. Right?

So, Mark, Marjorie Taylor Greene defiant. What did you think of what you heard from her today? And she said the Republican party belongs to Trump?

MARK MCKINNON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, that was the real story of the week, Don. I mean, we have the sort of epic clash around Liz Cheney, and around Marjorie Taylor laser beam. And for the short term, Kevin McCarthy kind of kept the coalition together. The problem is for the longer term.

Because the real story this week is that the Republican Party still is lock stock and barrel belong to Donald Trump as Marjorie Taylor Greene said today in her press conference. And that's the problem because the Republicans had an opportunity at this point. And this is where, I think Mitch McConnell jumped out and where Liz Cheney jumped out.

They know that for the long term the party has to move away from Donald Trump. And now rather than doing that they're moving even closer and showing that that bond is just as tight as ever.

LEMON: Yes, well let's talk about those too, Ron. Because new -- this is a new CNN reporting that former President Trump spent the last two days livid and fuming. He sees McCarthy and Cheney as that they betrayed -- they betrayed him. At the same time --

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

LEMON: -- standing by Cheney, I should say, as a betrayal to him.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes.

LEMON: But still, I mean, her actions, right, a betrayal as well because she voted to impeach him. But you know, at the same time the establishment Republicans worry not rebuking Greene has tied the GOP brand to conspiracy theorists. How does McCarthy come out of all of this?

BROWNSTEIN: Well, look, I mean, you know, (AUDIO GAP) kind of found a short-term bandage that kind of kept the caucus together.

[22:35:01]

But just think of what he did, he created a moral equivalence between Liz Cheney and Marjorie Taylor Greene. He basically said, you know, our party is big enough to contain both of them. And that act of saying, well, you know, we kept Liz Cheney even though she criticized Trump, so we can keep the woman who, you know, has talked about assassinating Democratic members of Congress and space laser beams.

I mean, just think about the moral equivalency that he's establishing there and the way in which it rounds these extremist within the Republican Party, as I wrote this week, if you look at how the Republican Party handled the John Berg (Ph) society in the 1960s, which was kind of the QAnon of the day, there was a bigger center of critical resistance to them then than there is now.

Not that everybody opposed it. But they were the center of resistance. The same story as we talked about before in the 50s. There were more Republicans who resisted the lies and conspiracy theories of Joe McCarthy then than there were who did the Donald Trump in the post- election period.

So, all of these ways, Don, the barriers between the Republican coalition and these far-right extremists is being knockdown brick-by- brick, decision by decision, all out of fear, as Mark said, of alienating Donald Trump. It provides a kind of umbrella of protection for this kind of extremism.

LEMON: Mark, Marjorie Taylor Greene said that she is fine with getting kicked off her committees because it would, you know, it would have been a waste of her time. You have a lot more on Greene, on the Greene saga this Sunday on your show The Circus. What are we going to see?

MCKINNON: Well, among the things we're going to see, we went down to Rome, Georgia. And first of all, we talked to a lot of constituents and the kind of the head of the party who are backing Greene. But we also talked to the doctor, Dr. Cowan who ran against her in the primary. And this is really a key thing.

He's a neurosurgeon, extremely conservative, really reflects the district. But he blew the bugle very loudly then and said, if you get behind Marjorie Taylor Greene, you got real problems in the party because it's going to become the party of QAnon. And he made that clear to the party leadership.

And at that time the party had an opportunity of supporting really strong, great candidate in Cowan and they chose instead with the leadership of the freedom caucus specifically, Mark Meadows, came up with the thumb on the scale. So, they created Marjorie Taylor Greene. And now they got to live with her.

And now that Democratic Party has a very easy job, they just brand the Republican Party as the party of Q. They've got a new squad now with Republican squad with Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and others, Gosar from Arizona.

LEMON: Yes. The QOP.

BROWNSTEIN: And they're running ads already.

LEMON: Yes. Yes. BROWNSTEIN: They're running ads already.

MCKINNON: Yes.

BROWNSTEIN: In some targeted districts.

LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen. And we'll be watching this weekend, Mark. Thank you all. Thank you both, I should say.

MCKINNON: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Republicans are retaliating, trying to push Congresswoman Ilhan Omar off her committees because of the vote to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from hers. Congresswoman Omar, there she is, she responds after the break.

[22:40:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So, this is new tonight. GOP House members Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Louis Gohmert of Texas, have each been fined $5,000 for refusing to follow security protocols when entering the House floor.

Democratic aide confirms to CNN this is the first time members have been fined since that new policy they have went into effect that, this week. It just went into effect this week. It requires members to follow security protocols including being screened before entering the chamber.

I want to discuss now with Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, and that's Ilhan Omar. Congresswoman, I appreciate you joining us. Thank you so much.

These two GOP congressmen fined for refusing to go through that security. Does this make you worry about the safety following the insurrection?

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): It does, it's really quite disturbing. So many of us have spoken up about the need for there to be security protocols. We don't know what to expect. We are still traumatized and terrified after the events of January 6th in that insurrection.

And it's also I think really important for the public to remember that these are people who have taken an oath to protect and serve. If they are not willing to uphold the laws that they are supposed to create for the people of the United States then we are in real big trouble.

LEMON: I want to ask you about the majority leader, Steny Hoyer, holding up a poster featuring you and your colleagues, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, Congresswomen, I should say, Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib. It's a social media post from Marjorie Taylor Greene. And she is a holding an assault rifle over the words squad's worse nightmare. What was it like to see that on the House floor?

OMAR: It was very emotional after he gave his speech. I actually went up to give him a hug, sort of forgetting about the COVID protocols we are supposed to follow. I just think it was a really important moment for people to remember, yes, you know, we are their colleagues. We are mothers.

I remember when those posts went up, I remember what that meant for my children. I mean, it's terrifying. We've got teenage children who are on social media. To see images like that, especially for mine who know that their mother escaped guns like that at a young age, to know that that's what she has to face them now in Congress, is quite scary.

LEMON: Listen, Greene's -- some defenders of Marjorie Taylor Greene like to hold this up, right, they accused you of saying things that are just as bad as Greene, that's their accusation.

[22:44:57]

Back in 2009, you face bipartisan backlash for comments that were deemed anti-Semitic, including saying that Israel has hypnotized the world. You apologized, saying my intention is to never to offend my constituents or Jewish-Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocal apologize.

What do you say to Republicans who equate you and Congresswoman Greene?

OMAR: It's ludicrous. I mean, it's not even something worth addressing. They know they are doing what is in their playbook, which is that every time they are accused of wrongdoing, to say, hey, look over here, there is a Muslim, an immigrant, there is a black person doing something else, which is exactly what they did right after we came back, after the insurrection on January 6th.

Still terrified, they said, no, these were not white supremacists, these were not the mob we unleashed on you, these were antifa. And so, you know, I'm not surprised, it is expected that they are not willing to hold themselves accountable. They don't have a shred of integrity. Everything is a game to them.

It's important for all of us to remember to not play their game, to stay truthful, to remain confident that the American people see through their childish, foolish, games.

LEMON: Let's talk some policy, shall we? Because you are calling for President Biden to eliminate up to $50,000 of student loan debt. But the White House says, the president supports canceling just $10,000 because of the COVID crisis. Is that even a good start for you? Do you support that?

OMAR: So, the reason, you know, as you probably know, I've called for a complete cancellation of student debt. We are now asking for up to $50,000 because we know he has the executive authority to do it with an executive action.

The state that I represent has about 750,000 student debt borrowers. The average student debt is more than 35,000. We know that 10,000 is not going to make a dent. We want people to have the ability to not worry about making their student debt loan payments in a time during a pandemic where they are severely struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

LEMON: Yes. Well, I imagine the fight for that and the policy continues. And we appreciate you, and we'll have you back to talk about it. We appreciate you joining us. You stay safe. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Days away from Donald Trump second impeachment trial, will Democrats subpoena him? Stay with us.

[22:50:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: The former president second impeachment trial is set to begin in just a few short days. House Democrats now signaling that they are unlikely to force a confrontation over his testimony. They believe there is enough evidence from video and other sources that they don't need him to take the stand.

Joining me now CNN legal analyst, Elie Honig. Elie, I guess, it would be nice to hear his explanation. But you know. Go on.

So, it's looking like Democrats are not going to pursue the subpoena for Trump's testimony. They think that they have plenty of evidence. But, I mean, what -- would that be your strategy if you are presenting this case?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think so, Don. At this point, I think it's the most realistic approach. Look, if they are going to subpoena Donald Trump, they are going to put him in a tough spot. But in all likelihood, he'll fight it in the courts, that will drag on for weeks or months, you know, we have to be practical this impeachment trial can't last forever.

There is a really strong body of evidence that already exists in the things that Donald Trump has done and said on the public record, his tweets, his statements to the crowd, all the stuff that went down in the capitol. If I'm presenting that case, if I'm thinking back to my prosecutor's days, you have to hit your audience in the gut, you have to be visceral here. You have to bring us back to what it was like, and how horrible it was that day January 6th. I think that's really the task before the impeachment managers.

LEMON: Well, I get what you said about it's drag -- but what's the rush? I mean, you know, he's not -- because -- and there are big questions that still remain about how long this trial is going to take. Again, as I say, what's the rush? And whether any witnesses be called? Because if witnesses are called, that's going to take time too. So, I don't know.

HONIG: I share your instinct, Don, believe me. The old aggressive prosecutor in me is thinking, fight. I mean, subpoena him. (CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I'm just asking. I'm just asking.

HONIG: No, I agree. I think go to court, fight him, force his hand. I think there is a political overlay here. And I think the Democrats on the House impeachment committee understand that they don't want to lose the public attention. They don't want to lose they public appetite, they don't want to end up trying this case in April, May, or June, just because at a certain point, you lose the public's attention. So, there is the tension there, but Don, I'm with you. I would love to see --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Elie, Elie, Elie, you can lose every single person in America's attention, which you won't.

HONIG: Right.

LEMON: But if you get a former president to testify in his own impeachment trial and that president is Donald Trump, twice impeached, one term president who incited an insurrection, I don't think you can get any more attention than that. I'm just saying. OK. So --

[22:55:04]

HONIG: A hundred percent.

LEMON: All right.

HONIG: You and I are singing from the same songbook here, Don.

LEMON: All right.

HONIG: I'm not sure that Jamie Raskin and Chris Coons, and the leaders of the Democratic delegations are thinking the same thing though.

LEMON: Yes. OK. Elie, thank you. Always a pleasure.

HONIG: All right, Don.

LEMON: Thank you.

HONIG: Thanks.

LEMON: President Biden tonight saying Trump shouldn't get intelligence briefings because of his erratic behavior. More on that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Tonight, a stunning statement, President Biden saying that he does not believe that Donald Trump should receive classified intelligence briefings. Citing what he calls Trump's erratic behavior.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O'DONNELL: Should former President Trump still receive intelligence

briefings?

BIDEN: I think not.

O'DONNELL: Why not?

[22:59:59]

BIDEN: Because of his erratic behavior and related to the insurrection.

O'DONNELL: I mean, you've called him an existential threat. You've called him dangerous. You've called him reckless.

(END VIDEO CLIP)