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CNN TONIGHT

A Call That Wasn't Perfect; Trump Denies Knowing the Riot; Trump Defense Team Played Well-Edited Videos; One Trump Lawyer About to Quit; Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) Was Interviewed About the Call Between Kevin McCarthy and Then President Trump. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired February 12, 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: How will that translate into the disposition towards any kind of collaboration dealing with the pandemic. This is going to be very telling. I know we're exhausted, but we must grind on.

CNN Tonight on this Friday night begins with the big star, D. Lemon now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Keep coming a little bit. Why you are a second early?

CUOMO: More than enough.

LEMON: Boy, boy, boy. Today, I can't believe that they think they helped their case today. It was -- it was shocking to me, again, to watch. And the whole thing about -- I was surprised when they actually played the whole exchange about the Charlottesville thing. And I said, they think that helps him? They actually think that that soundbite and the longer it plays out, that it actually helps the president about very fine people on both sides. It didn't help at all. It made him look worse.

And we've discussed all of it before. We've gone over that. The permits for the right to march in Charlottesville were gotten by an avowed white supremacist. OK? And it was a white supremacist march. And so, if you want to conflate and do all that craziness, no, the president should have known his history. He should have known what had happened. He should have known.

The lawyers should have known that counter protesters did not need a permit to protest against the people at the march. It was all smoke and mirrors. I couldn't believe it.

CUOMO: Well, they were doing it to show a demonstration of Donald Trump calling out violence. And that's how few examples they had, that they had to use that one.

LEMON: Well, that was, and again, a bad example. Because the longer the soundbite went on the worse it made him look. Because he did not know his history about who exactly was at that march. And if you saw the people with tiki torch -- CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: -- torches saying Jews will not replace us, you will not replace us, blood and soil, how many fine people were with that?

CUOMO: You're looking at it differently than his audience. The audience of his --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: They're looking and they're grasping for anything.

CUOMO: Yes. Their audiences are Republican senators who are desperate for an out.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: There he is. He just says he hates violence. All right. Good.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: I'm good with that. You know, they're just looking for an out. Look, Don, even if you put aside everything that happened on the 6th up until the insurrection, OK, he didn't want there to be. That's just him running his mouth. He didn't know where it was going. OK.

And when he said fight, he meant it the way everybody means it. OK. Fine. Great. What he did after it started, what he failed to do, that alone is grounds for charging him with a violation of his oath of office.

Kevin McCarthy calling it, his boy, you know. It's like you're calling me and you say people are breaking into my house you have to come. And I'd be like, well, I guess like my show more than yours, Don. Carry on.

LEMON: Then people would know that would be a lie.

CUOMO: Unforgivable.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Unforgivable.

LEMON: It is. Really, it's just, I've watch it and I'm like, at some points I just have to --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: How are they ever going to work together? How can there be collegiality after this?

LEMON: OK. Now you're saying what I've been saying. For who -- how can you work with people who are not tethered to reality? How do you do that? How do you -- how do you unite with people like that? I don't understand. I don't care -- I don't care what you are. I don't care if you're Democrat, or Republican, or independent, (Inaudible) or whatever. I don't care.

How do you work or unite with someone, or with a group of people who don't live in reality? I don't think it's possible. And that is -- that's a sad thing for our country. Because you have so many people who want to believe anything the president says.

But you know what? I'm not willing to let them off the hook that way -- that much. Because they are adults. They are grown people. They make their own choices. They talk about personal responsibility. They have their personal responsibility to stand up and do what's right. And they are not doing it for whatever reason. I think it's because that's who they are.

CUOMO: The guy I learned the most about in this trial is McCarthy.

LEMON: How so?

CUOMO: Because he's so angry. And legitimately frightened in the moment.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: That he gets the president on the phone and says you have to do something.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: The president basically flips him off. He throws the f-bomb at the president. He gets off and tells everybody about the call. He goes up in public and says Trump is responsible. And then --

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: -- I guess it's because he wants to be speaker in two years if they take the House back. He not only votes to decertify the election where a group of people just came to try to find and do bad things to him, he advances the lie of the guy who did him dirty.

LEMON: Again.

CUOMO: Again.

LEMON: You are proving my point. You are proving my point.

CUOMO: And then he goes and meets with him and kisses his ring.

LEMON: When people show you who they are, believe them. This is because he wants to be speaker. This is because he doesn't have a backbone.

[22:05:01]

And if he had a backbone, he might actually become speaker. If he stood up and did the moral thing, and actually led people instead of --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: But how can you think he's going to work with the Democrats --

LEMON: -- mislead --

CUOMO: -- if he'll bend over that backward to, you know --

LEMON: Again, in order to do that you don't -- you can't have a backbone.

CUOMO: To bend over backwards you cannot have a backbone. I'll give it to you.

LEMON: Lead of mislead. And right now, they are misleading. I got to run.

CUOMO: D. Lemon, I love you. Have a good Friday night.

LEMON: If so, I can't wait for my Valentines present.

CUOMO: Chocolate. Low sugar.

LEMON: That was I was called in --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: That was your nickname in high school?

LEMON: -- in college. I'll see you later.

This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.

If you had any doubt about the Republican Party and how enthralled they still are to Donald Trump, this tells you everything you need to know. One of the most loyal guys gets basically called a liar today. And another who knows from personal experience the president was on the side of the mob and didn't call them off. He still sucked up to Trump at Mar-a-Lago. There he is right there.

Now we know why he said the president bears responsibility. While the capitol was under attack, Kevin McCarthy called the then president begging for him to call off the mob. Trump stone called response. Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are. He cared more about his big lie than lawmakers who are under attack at that very moment.

A furious McCarthy telling the then president rioters were breaking into his house -- into his office through the windows and demanding, quote, "who the f do you think you're talking to?" That as Trump loyalist Tommy Tuberville pushes back against claims by the former president's lawyer today that at no point was Trump aware his vice president was in danger. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TOMMY TUBERVILLE (R-AL): At no point was the president informed the vice president was in any danger.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Here's what's Tuberville is telling CNN. He is saying that he stands by his account that he told Trump personally in a phone call that Mike Pence had just been rushed away from rioters by the Secret Service. A source close to Pence says Trump's attorney was not telling the truth when he said at no point did the then president know Mike Pence was in danger.

How can the enabler still support him knowing what they know now? How can they? Can having power really be worth valuing a man who launched a mob of domestic terrorists at you above your own safety and dignity? And in the face of all of this Trump's attorneys won't even answer the question when did he learn about the riot?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNKNOWN: Exactly when did President Trump learned of the breach of the capitol? And what specific actions did he take to bring the rioting to an end, and when did he take them? Please be as detailed as possible.

BRUCE CASTOR JR., DONALD TRUMP'S IMPEACHMENT LAWYER: The House managers had given us absolutely (AUDIO GAP) to that question, we're able to piece together a timeline and it goes all the way back to December 31st. January 2nd, there is a lot of interaction between the authorities and getting folks to have security beforehand on the day we have a tweet at 2.38. So, it was certainly sometime before then. With this rush to bring the impeachment there's been absolutely no investigation into it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: And tonight, we have some new reporting by Maggie Haberman at the New York Times. She's reporting that Mr. Trump was still thinking about making changes to his legal team just last night. And that one of the lawyers, Mr. Schoen, said that he was quitting over a dispute over the use of video clips they showed today. Until Mr. Trump called and got him to come back.

And in the end, everything we heard from that team today was Trumpism in a nutshell. I'm going to go through it for you. OK? False claims, lies, what aboutism, gaslighting, and telling you not to believe what you saw with your own eyes and heard with your own ears.

A bloodthirsty mob inflamed by then president, running, riot at the -- just rocks at the capitol. Threatening to kill our elected representatives. Yet the Trump defense team says that he is the victim. The victim of what they call constitutional cancel culture.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASTOR: This unprecedented effort is not about Democrats opposing political violence. It is about Democrats trying to disqualify their political opposition. It is constitutional cancel culture.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[22:10:09]

LEMON: It is no such thing. Because we all saw what happened. But the former president's lawyers want you to believe this is about disenfranchising his voters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID SCHOEN, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LEGAL COUNSEL: Another perhaps vitally significant example was the denial of any opportunity, ever, to test the integrity of the evidence offered against Donald J. Trump in a proceeding seeking to bar him from ever holding public office again. And that seeks to disenfranchise some 75 million voters. American voters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK, so we like facts around here, right? As we say facts are facts. The fact is that Trump got a little over 74.2 million votes. That's not 75 million. No matter how many times they say it. It's not 75 million. OK?

But what's really outrageous is claiming Democrats are trying to disenfranchise voters with impeachment. The former president was impeached precisely because he was trying to disenfranchise voters. Millions of black and brown voters in Atlanta, in Philadelphia, in Detroit. That is the big lie he pushed to the point where it erupted in deadly violence at the capitol, incited by the words of the then president in a speech where he mentioned fighting 20 times.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we fight, we fight like hell, if you don't fight hell, you're not going to have a country anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: But his defense team wants you to think that he didn't say what he said. They want you to think what he said was edited. It was out of context. And then they play a video that is edited and out of context. With the music and graphics like some kind of campaign spot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I am your president of law and order. And an ally of all peaceful protesters.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The vast majority of the protests have been peaceful.

TRUMP: Republicans stand for law and order, and we stand for justice.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I just don't even know why there aren't uprisings all over the country, and maybe there will be. TRUMP: My administration will always stand against violence, mayhem

and disorder.

UNKNOWN: There needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there is unrest in our lives.

TRUMP: I stand with the heroes of law and order.

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): And you push back on them. And you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere.

TRUMP: We will never defund our police. Together we will ensure that America is a nation of law and order.

BIDEN: During high school I would've take him behind and beat the hell out of him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Wow, that is -- didn't they -- their pushback in criticism of the Democrats, the House impeachment managers, is that this is a Hollywood version edited together. What was that music? Who takes you seriously with that music? That campaign style, whatever that was.

Law and order? Have you spoken to the police officers who were at the insurrection? The one who got head injuries, or heart attack? Did you speak to them about the ones who were beating people with blue lives matter flags? Please. Come on. Stop it. Don't insult our intelligence. So, they are objecting to edited video with no context and then proceed to show you more edited video with no context.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Now we can whimper, we can whine, or we can fight back. I'm here to fight back.

UNKNOWN: Yes!

(APPLAUSE)

WARREN: I'm here to fight back. Because we will not forget. We do not want to forget. We will use that vision to make sure that we fight harder, we fight tougher. And we fight more passionately for it more than ever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK, so you remember that big march? Millions of people. All over the country. I should -- I don't know the exact number but to say a lot of people in cities all over the country. So, I have to ask you some questions, OK?

[22:14:56]

Did Elizabeth Warren's speech in Boston the day of the women's march fire up a crowd to take angry violent, deadly action? No, it did not. I know that. You know that. They know that. And there is more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STACEY ABRAMS, (D), FMR. GEORGIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: We have been fighting the fight. And we need to be side by side so we can succeed. And so, I hope you will all join us in our fight. And, if we fight, and as the next governor of Georgia, I will never stop fighting. We can show the old guards something new, and we can fight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, another question. Has anybody seen a mob wearing Stacey Abrams hats? Bludgeoning police on the state house steps? With Georgia flags? No, you haven't. Why? Because it's just another lie. Another lie, targeting a person of color.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STACEY PLASKETT (D), DELEGATE TO U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: I'll briefly say, the defense counsels put a lot of videos out in their defense. Playing clip, after clip of black women talking about fighting for a cause, or an issue, or a policy. It was not lost on me as so many of them where people of color and women, and black women. Black women, like myself, who are sick and tired of being sick and tired for our children. I thought we were past that. I think maybe we're not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Like I said, there is more. So, they tell you that Democrats are recreating the former president's tweets. OK? They have to. Why? Because he has been banned from twitter. Those tweets don't exist anymore. There is no timeline to go to get the tweets. They must be recreated. And this is just beyond belief.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOEN: House manager Swalwell showed you this tweet this week and he emphasized that this tweet reflected a call to arms. He told you repeatedly that this was a promise to call in the cavalry for January 6th. The problem is, the actual text is exactly the opposite. The tweets are promised to bring the calvary.

A public display of crisis, crucifixion, a central symbol of our Christian faith with her to the president's speech. A symbol of faith, love, and peace. They just never wanted to seem to read the text and believe what the text means.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Now that was just another insult to the intelligence. And for the person who wrote the tweet, I would be embarrassed for someone pointing out my mistake. Maybe, even ignorance. For someone who says we should believe what the text means, it's very clear what the text means. It means cavalry. Nobody says calvary is coming. OK? Calvary is the hill where Jesus died. It's just a mistake the -- a lot of people make that mistake. But nobody says the calvary is coming.

That argument just tells you how weak their case is. And then it gets worse. They are trying to re-litigate Charlottesville now, as I mentioned. OK? To suggest that Trump was just misquoted when he said that very fine people on both sides. Somehow, they think that playing more of what the president said makes it better. It does not.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: But 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. You have people, in that group, that were there to protest the taking down, to them, a very, very important statue, and then the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

(CROSSTALK)

UNKNOWN: George Washington is --

TRUMP: George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So, will George Washington now lose his status?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[22:19:57]

LEMON: Yes, I don't -- do I need to? Someone should have briefed the president on who did that rally. The purpose behind it. Who asked for the permits? What kind of group, or groups it was? Who was speaking?

If you think they are a very fine people who were at a racist, white nationalists, neo-Nazi rally yelling Jews will not replace us, blood and soil, fine people, Mr. President. OK? Mr. Ex-president. The more he says, the worse it gets.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And you had people, and I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.

Now, in the other group, also, you had some fine people. But you also had troublemakers, and you see them come with the black outfits, and with the helmets, and with the baseball bats. You had a lot of bad -- you had a lot of bad people in the other group.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: His lawyers even argue that there was no insurrection.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CASTOR: Clearly, there was no insurrection. Insurrection is a term of argument. Defined in the law it involves taking over a country, a shadow government, taking the TV stations over, and having some plan on what you're going to do when you finally take power. Clearly, this is not that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Clearly, it is. Mitch McConnell had no doubt it was an insurrection, saying this just hours after the riot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): They failed to attempt to obstruct the Congress, this failed insurrection only underscores how crucial the task before us is. For our republic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Come on, defense lawyers. The American people are not stupid. Like I said, this trial tells you everything you need to know about the Republican party. Still enthralled to a disgraced former president who launched a terrorist mob at them, refused to call off the attack, and is still lying about what happened.

In fact, the truth is, all of their misleading, instead of leading, selectively edited Breitbart comments section versions of a legal case, proved today is Donald Trump and his MAGA mob that they went further and were more violent than any president or elected official has been.

I'd say the Republicans gave their dignity away to President Trump. But did they? Did they? They didn't have to. Every man and woman have freewill. Liz Cheney has free. Adam Kinzinger has freewill. Mitt Romney certainly does as well.

President Trump couldn't take anything away from the rest of the Republicans if they weren't willing to give it. Couldn't make them act any kind of way that they wouldn't previously act. Couldn't make them support voter suppression and subversion of democracy if they didn't agree.

The they say the presidency reveals who you are. In the case of the Trump party, Republicans, his presidency has revealed who they are. That expletive laced phone call between the former president and Kevin McCarthy while rioters were trying to break into his office shows you Trump refused to call off the rioters. The reporter who broke the story is here, next.

[22:25:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Here's our breaking news. That expletive laced shouting match between the then president and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as rioters stormed the capitol, details from multiple Republican lawmakers revealing Trump refused to call off the rioters, even as members of his own party begged him to help. Joining me now with more of her reporting, CNN special correspondent,

Jamie Gangel. Jamie, always a pleasure to see you. I understand you are learning a lot. What do you have for us?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: This, Don, is critical insight into Donald Trump's state of mind and his intent during the insurrection. Look, we previously knew that there was a phone call that took place on January 6th between Trump and Kevin McCarthy when McCarthy called Trump pleading for Trump to stop the rioters.

I've spoken to multiple Republican members, guess what, on the record, who have knowledge of the call, who say that after Trump tried to say, Kevin, it's not my people. McCarthy, we know responded, no, these are your people. And here's the new part. These are the new details.

So, after McCarthy says that, Trump says, well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are. To which McCarthy responded, who the f do you think you are talking to?

Don, CNN confirmed this exchange with Republican Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler of Washington who was briefed on the call directly by Kevin McCarthy on January 10th. The congresswoman has been taking careful notes. Not just on this call but since the insurrection and the impeachment.

We are also told by several other Republican members that McCarthy wasn't shy about this heated exchange with Trump. He wanted people in his conference to know about it. So, Congresswoman Herrera Beutler says that Trump's -- that Trump's comments to McCarthy speak to his state of mind and explained why she voted to impeach.

[22:30:00]

This is what she told me today. Quote, "you have to look at what he did during the insurrection to confirm where his mind was. That line right there demonstrates to me that either he didn't care, which is impeachable, because you cannot allow an attack on your soil, or he wanted it to happen and was OK with it, which makes me so angry. We should never stand for that for any reason under any party flag. I'm trying really hard not to say the f word.

LEMON: Wow, Jamie.

GANGEL: Yes.

LEMON: That is really powerful reporting. I mean, you have learned, I understand, that a number of other Republican members of Congress --

GANGEL: Correct.

LEMON: -- also feel that Trump's words give critical insight to his state of mind and intent and what they describe as a dereliction of duty, Jamie? Is that accurate?

GANGEL: Absolutely. Dereliction of duty. So here is another Republican on the record. This is Anthony Gonzalez from Ohio. He is another one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach. And this is what he told me earlier today. Quote, "I think it speaks to the former president's mindset. He was not sorry to see his unyieldingly loyal vice president or the Congress under attack by the mob he inspired. In fact, it seems he was happy about it or at the least enjoyed the scenes that were horrifying to most Americans across the country."

The other thing that all of these Republicans, I spoke to about half a dozen Republicans today who said Trump's failure to act immediately after Kevin McCarthy asked for help shows one thing. He was not some blameless, helpless observer, and it speaks to intent.

We reached out to Kevin McCarthy's office, we reached out to President Trump. They have not responded to our request for comment. I think the question now, Don, is will what we now know Trump said to Kevin McCarthy make a difference to the Republicans in the Senate when they vote.

LEMON: That's a really good question, Jamie. I mean, Congresswoman, what is it, Beutler, saying in a statement tonight, she is saying that what, to the patriots who were standing next to the former president as these conversations were happening or even to the vice president, do you have something to add here?

GANGEL: Right.

LEMON: Now would be the time.

GANGEL: Right.

LEMON: That hasn't happened yet.

GANGEL: That hasn't happened yet. That statement you put out confirmed everything she said and then she, as the kid would say, called out people who have not come forward. I think there's something that we have to keep in mind. Getting to 17 Republicans is a high bar. I think that we think there were five or six, but if these words tip the balance at all, if we get to seven, eight, nine, at least it is a few more people in the party breaking with Donald Trump. Not 17.

LEMON: But I think you bring up -- bring a good point. And by way, this is the best reporting all day. Thank you for appearing on the show and doing this.

GANGEL: Thank you.

LEMON: But you bring a very good point. A lot of people are focused on the outcome of this. And I think that there is a -- there's a bigger picture than the outcome. The pictures we are getting to see, the video they're getting to see, the insights from reporting like yours the president's state of mind and what he was actually doing.

So, regardless of the outcome I think people would love a conviction, the country, the majority of the people in this country would because who wants to be on the side of insurrection, right? But maybe this is -- this will break the fever and the tide -- the tide is turning. I know too many cliches but you know what I mean. GANGEL: You know, could I add one more quick thing?

LEMON: Absolutely.

GANGEL: When the impeachment is over, there's something that's not and that's the Justice Department --

LEMON: Correct.

GANGEL: -- and the FBI. And they're not just going to do an investigation into the people who walked -- broke into the capitol today. Some of these people the FBI may be knocking on their door. They may want to interview Kevin McCarthy about that call. They may want to interview Trump's inner circle, the people who were with him that day when he was watching -- watching everything happened, apparently delighted. So, it's not necessarily over after impeachment. There could be more.

LEMON: Excellent point. Great reporting. Thank you, Jamie. I'll see you soon.

GANGEL: Thanks.

[22:35:01]

LEMON: Be safe.

GANGEL: Thanks.

LEMON: Yes.

GANGEL: Take care.

LEMON: Sources close to Pence say Trump's legal team is lying. They say Trump knew Pence was in danger during the riot and they're angry. More on our breaking news. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: Our breaking news tonight. CNN's explosive reporting on house GOP Leader McCarthy's urgent call to the White House and new information from the New York Times about one of the Trump lawyers temporarily quitting the team over the use of those videos we saw today.

There's a lot to discuss. CNN's Jim Acosta is here, as well as Charlie Dent, the former congressman from Pennsylvania.

Gentlemen, it's good to see both of you. Thank you so much. Jim, I want to start with you to talk about this reporting. Maggie Haberman is reporting that Trump's attorney, David Schoen tried to quit last night over the use of the videos, but Trump convinced him to stay. Does this show what a mess his legal team has been and how hands on Trump has been just really with his -- hands-on, I should say, he's been with his own defense?

[22:39:56]

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Don, it has been a mess. And you know, I will tell you that the former president does feel better about his legal team tonight. We're hearing from our sources that he thought today went much better than it did earlier this week.

But I will tell you, Don, talking about the New York Times reporting, I just spoke with a source on the legal team in the last several minutes who confirmed that report in the New York Times that David Schoen briefly threatened to quit last night, had to be talked into staying back on the team. He is on the team and they're trying to move forward.

But in the words of the source, you know, for a few moments it caused, quote, "all kinds of problems." But at the moment the team is still intact. But it just goes to show you, Don, I mean, this is a problem that to some extent, and this is going to sound awfully familiar, that Donald Trump created himself.

Remember, he had a separate legal team before this one came on board but that team bolted because they didn't want to deal with Trump and his lies about the election. This team came on board and it seems that they have had some trouble ever since. No question about it.

You saw what happened earlier this week when Bruce Castor came under a lot of scrutiny for the way he handled his opening presentation. But according to the source I spoke with just a short while ago, the legal team is intact and they are going to be fine until the end of this, which is not much longer.

LEMON: Charlie, let me bring you in. Because Jamie Gangel's new reporting shows that Trump knew that Congress was under attack, he sided with the rioters, refused to get help. What is -- what is -- what the heck is wrong with Kevin McCarthy and the rest of the Republicans who continued to bow down to a man who doesn't lift a finger when their lives were in danger? Do they have no self-respect at all?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, Don, what's so remarkable about her reporting is that I learned this within a couple of days after the attack. I had more than -- more than two House Republican members tell me of this conversation that Kevin McCarthy had with the president during the attack, that Kevin called the president, the president was unresponsive, failed to respond, wouldn't lift a finger to defend the government against a violent attack.

I mean, this is again, a mortal crime against the republic. I just am astounded that this didn't break sooner. And Jamie's reporting is spot on. She added a lot of color to the story but Jaime Herrera Beutler has gone on the record and she has again reconfirmed what she had said in that story.

So, again, it's simply remarkable to me that then Kevin McCarthy would then go down to Florida, you know, after this whole event to try to kiss and make up. And that's -- and that conversation between the president and Kevin McCarthy I believe was part of the reason why some of those folks voted for impeachment because they were so upset by what had happened.

I believe Kevin McCarthy said that in a quasi-public setting so multiple members heard that conversation -- heard about that conversation.

LEMON: Gentlemen, our time is short so we'll give you a little bit more time to enjoy your Friday night. Thank you both. I appreciate you. I'll see you soon.

The Senate is getting ready to -- for the final impeachment vote tomorrow. And I'm going to talk to a key senator, next.

[22:45:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So, here's our breaking news tonight. The expletive-filled phone call between the former president and Kevin McCarthy while the riots at the capitol -- riot at the capitol was raging, sources say McCarthy begged for help but the former president had no intention of calling off the riot saying, well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.

Joining me now is Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii. Senator, thank you so much. I appreciate you joining.

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D-HI): Good evening, Don.

LEMON: So, you were one of the senators evacuated from the capitol when the rioters broke in.

HIRONO: Yes.

LEMON: What's your reaction to hearing the president didn't act immediately when Kevin McCarthy called and pleaded with him to stop the rioters? And good evening, by the way.

HIRONO: Well, it may be shocking but not surprising because of all the evidence presented by the House managers. They certainly connected the dots that the president cultivated this mob by pushing out the big lie for months that the election was stolen. He assembled the mob on January 6th, he lit the match and set them forth to do what they did in the big riot that the U.S. capitol. So, it's shocking but not surprising because we all know that the president only cares about himself.

LEMON: Do you want to hear from witnesses now, particularly Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler?

HIRONO: I think that, you know, this statement from her is very much in line with the kind of reaction that Trump had because we know that he had to have known that the riot was going on because we senators were taken to a safe place. We didn't even see the video until, I don't know, about an hour later. But when we saw what was going on, a lot of us were getting texts. I

got texts from people in Hawaii who were watching what was going on and asking whether I was OK. The president had to have known. And of course, we know that Senator Tuberville told him that the vice president has been taken to a safe place.

So, the president knows all this and yet he does absolutely nothing. Here's a man who knows how to use the word stop, stop the count, stop the vote, you know, stop the steal, and yet he doesn't tell the rioters stop the rioting right now. Kevin McCarthy calls and begs him, and he still doesn't stop it because, one, he expected it. Two, he liked it. This is what he wanted. These people are rioting for him.

LEMON: I mean, if anybody thinks that Donald Trump wasn't watching television, I mean, come on, I've got a bridge to sell you.

HIRONO: Please.

LEMON: Thank you, Senator.

HIRONO: Exactly.

LEMON: I appreciate it. Be safe. I'll talk to you soon. Thanks.

HIRONO: Well, let's hope that the Republicans do the right thing and convict this guy.

LEMON: Thank you, Senator. I appreciate it.

It's been a long year, couple of years, on Capitol Hill but take this, the person complaining the most is one of Trump's own lawyers.

[22:50:05]

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LEMON: So, take this. Trump lawyer Michael van Der Veen says he is having a miserable time in Washington as he attacks lead manager Jamie Raskin, falsely claiming the managers doctored evidence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL VAN DER VEEN, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LEGAL COUNSEL: We aren't having fun here. This is about the most miserable experience I have had down here in Washington, D.C. There's nothing fun about it. And in Philadelphia where I come from, when you get caught doctoring the evidence, your case is over. And that's what happened. They got caught doctoring the evidence, and this case should be over.

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[22:55:04]

LEMON: Miserable time, right? Maybe read the room, sir. A room full of senators and jurors who experienced something beyond miserable on January 6th. The same room they evacuated during the riot. Officers were crushed by the mob, having to fight hand-to-hand combat. Five people died. Anyone who experienced that knows the most miserable time in the nation's Capitol.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD), HOUSE LEAD IMPEACHMENT MANAGER: The counsel said before this has been my worst experience in Washington, and for that I guess we're sorry, but, man, you should have been here on January 6th.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: The Trump legal team is likely to win the case and get their client acquitted, but it's certainly not due to the job they did. But the one Republican senator will fail to do.

And after all of that, new details of a shouting match during the riot show Trump knew what was happening and refused to help. That breaking news is next.

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