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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Donald Trump Releases New Video Message Hours after Defending Capitol Rioters; House Democrats Eye Quick Impeachment Vote if Pence Rebuffs Attempt to Remove Trump from Office; Interview with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Source: VP Pence Has Not Discussed Invoking 25th Amendment With Any Cabinet Members; Sources: Trump Asking Aides, Lawyers About Self-Pardon Power; Top Conservative Ally Calls On Trump To Resign. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired January 07, 2021 - 20:00   ET



GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): Whether it is directed at me or Dr. Fauci or Republican Secretary of State or Congress, every one of us has a responsibility to call it what it is, and it is domestic terrorism. These people need to be held accountable.

And we, as a nation of leaders, need to say this will not stand.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Governor Whitmer, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

WHITMER: Thank you.

BURNETT: And thanks very much to all of you for being with us. Anderson starts now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And good evening. There are a lot of developments in the wake of yesterday's failed attack on the Capitol including a new video from the President. In it, he concedes the election he lost, but evades responsibility for the insurrection and continues to lie.

We'll play that video because it's important for you to see it in a moment.

Among the other headlines, growing calls mostly from Democrats, but some Republicans for the President to be impeached a second time or be removed on the 25th Amendment. One Cabinet member has resigned along with several senior White House staffers.

There have also been recriminations as well over the massive security failure. The chief the Capitol Police is resigning, so too the Sergeant-at-Arms. The law enforcement spent much of today securing the area around the Capitol.

The President has been indefinitely banned, as you know from Facebook by that company. We've also witnessed today and last late last night the attempts by

some of the President's enablers to rewrite history and duck responsibility for their lies, and their inflammatory rhetoric.

Now we are all flawed as human beings and we all make mistakes and we're sometimes seduced into telling ourselves, we're doing the right thing when it turns out later, we're not.

But what we're seeing now is not a recognition of that by remorseful people. It seems it is people trying to save their reputations and their political careers or trying to rewrite history.

Exhibit A for that is Congressman Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama. He is now pushing the lies that it wasn't Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol, tweeting this morning, in a quote, he says, "Evidence growing that fascist Antifa orchestrated Capitol attack with clever mob control tactics."

Congressman Brooks got a firsthand look at that mob when he was encouraging them to start "kicking ass," in his words yesterday morning before they attacked the Capitol.


REP. MO BROOKS (R-AL): We are not going to let the socialists rip the heart out of our country. We are not going to let them continue to corrupt our elections and steal from us our God-given right to control our nation's destiny.

Today is the day American Patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.


COOPER: It looks like he switched into a Fire Pelosi hat for that part. Patriots, that's what he called them like, I guess, this guy with his feet up on Nancy Pelosi's desk. His name is Richard Barnett from Gravette, Arkansas, a self-proclaimed white nationalist, not a member of Antifa boasted to several media outlets about what he did, and he is of course hardly alone.

The attackers wore MAGA hats, Trump t-shirts, flew Trump flags and are supporters of the President, not Black Lives Matter protesters in costumes.

So no, Congressman Brooks, these weren't clever anti-fascist storming the Capitol, they were just playing fascist in some cases and white nationalists in some cases and QAnon cult members, in some cases, searching for pedophiles, part of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

In other words, just the kind of, quote, "very fine people" unquote, whom the President praised after the attack as very special people who he loved.


know you're hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows that, especially the other side.

We love you. You're very special. You've seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil.


COOPER: Now, remember those words as you see what the President has now said just a short time ago. We're going to play that for you in a while. Just keep that in your mind.

By the President's way of thinking, it is the people who worked the polls during the pandemic and counted the votes over and over again, and certified the results and recounted and passed judgment in court case after court case: all those good and decent Americans of all political stripes, Republicans and Democrats. Apparently, in the President's eyes, they are the ones who are evil.

Today, he was nowhere to be seen, except in that just released video spreading more lies and of course trying to save himself and rewrite history.

This evening, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, read a brief statement to reporters. In it, she made no apology for the President's behavior or her own lies or his rhetoric or his administration.

His acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary though, he did issue a critical statement without mentioning everything that he himself has done enabling the President's worst impulses.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigned today so did the President's envoy to Northern Ireland and former Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.


MICK MULVANEY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I called Mike Pompeo last night and let him know -- and telling him that I'd be resigning for that.

I just -- I can't -- I can't do it. I can't stay.

I didn't sign up for what you saw last night. We signed up for making America great again. We signed up for lower taxes and less regulation and the President has a long list of successes that we can be proud of.


MULVANEY: For example, you could go and talk about the lowest unemployment rate for African Americans in history. You could talk about the fact he is the first President in recent memory not to start a war overseas during his term. There's great successes there that we can take pride in.

But all of that went away yesterday, and I think you're right to ask the question as to how did it happen?


COOPER: Yes, how did it happen, Mr. Mulvaney? Perhaps you should look in the mirror because whenever the President said or did something beyond the pale, he had people like you, Mick Mulvaney, to back him up and help him.


MULVANEY: Look, the President is a fighter, there's no question about it, and you will see him fighting down to the very last. At the end of that process, Joe Biden as the President, you can absolutely guarantee a peaceful transition of power. I just hope the same is true on the other side.


COOPER: Yes. So now he is backing away from enabling the boss. So is Elaine Chao's child husband, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, he has now broken with the President. And to his credit, his break with the President came before the insurrectionists tried to break down the door.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. We'd never see the whole nation except an election again.

Voters, the courts and the states have all spoken. They've all spoken.

If we overrule them, it would damage our Republic forever.


COOPER: That is undeniably strong stuff and it is well-spoken and well thought out, and probably comes from the heart. But it comes also from a figure who had the power and the platform to put an end to this nonsense weeks ago, months ago, but instead enabled and normalized it.

He let his members continue to spread lies about the election under the disingenuous and cynical guise of, oh, just asking questions and people are talking. Talking about people like Ted Cruz.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): We've seen in the last two months unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, and that's produced a deep, deep distrust of our democratic process across the country.

I think we, in Congress have an obligation to do something about that.


COOPER: "Unprecedented allegations of voter fraud" from the President of the United States. That's who has been spreading unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, unprecedented, comma, false allegations about voter fraud. And Ted Cruz knows better, but he wants to be President in 2024 and he is hoping that the President will continue to maybe throw him a nice tweet.

Well, no, not continue to insult his wife for her looks. What the President believes about her looks, that the President will like him, and that his supporters maybe -- maybe just like him.

Ted Cruz said the same thing yesterday in the Senate floor when he had the gall to speak out against the very flames that he was fanning.


CRUZ: We have seen, and no doubt will continue to see a great deal of moralizing from both sides of the aisle. But I would urge to both sides perhaps a bit less certitude and a bit more recognition that we are gathered at a time when democracy is in crisis.


COOPER: He says in a very certain and moralizing tone. He issued a statement today reading in part, "The attack at the Capitol was a despicable act of terrorism and a shocking assault on our democratic system." He also reissued his call for a commission to investigate the alleged election fraud, which we should say yet again, has never ever, not even once been proved.

As for Josh Hawley, the up and coming senator who first fueled the false hopes of the President and his violent followers that Congress would somehow overturn the election, he to decried the violence, even though just a short time earlier, he had been raising his fist in solidarity with the crowd. Tough guy.

Still hoping to keep the President and his supporters on their good side for future elections, Senators Hawley and Cruz maintain their objections, specious, though they were to the electrical accounts throughout this episode.

And to the end, they were they're trying to cover their role as enablers and their standard layer of smooth talk and debating points. Other enablers though blew a different kind of smoke. Here is Senator Graham seeming to say the real damage here was to his friend, not democracy.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): As to yesterday, it breaks my heart that my friend, a President of a consequence, would allow yesterday to happen and it was will be a major part of his presidency.

It was a self-inflicted wound. It was going too far.



COOPER: This, from a man who back in 2015, when he was running against him for President said the President's comments are going to, quote "Going to kill my party." More recently, though, this particular profile on courage also had a role to play leading up to yesterday trying to get the state of Georgia to reverse the President's defeat there.


BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: He asked that the balance could be matched back to the voters, and then I got the sense he implied that, then you can throw those out and we really would look at the counties with the highest frequent error of signatures. So that's the impression that I got.

Well, it is just an implication to look hard and see how many ballots you could throw out.


COOPER: Remember, that was the guy the President and his supporters demonized for simply following the law.

So whether it was Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley's aw-shucks pot stirring or Lindsey Graham's dubious phone calls, Mitch McConnell's cynical tolerance or Mo Brooks out and out war cry, the people invaded the Capitol yesterday and the person or persons who set pipe bombs and swung makeshift clubs, they had plenty of validation for what they did and encouragement.

And as Democratic Congressman Conor Lamb pointed out yesterday, it continues.


REP. CONOR LAMB (D-PA): That attack today, it didn't materialize out of nowhere. It was inspired by lies, the same lies that you're hearing in this room tonight and the members who are repeating those lies should be ashamed of themselves, their constituents should be ashamed of them.


COOPER: Now, we should point out that a number of Republican lawmakers have not gone along with this. They've stood up.

Senator Mitt Romney for one, also Congressman Adam Kinzinger. Other G.O.P. lawmakers had planned on objecting to the vote count yesterday, they changed their minds. Sure, only after the rioters came and went, only after they felt a sense of fear.

They knew the fear others feel when people are pounding at the door. And again, to Congressman Lamb's point, even so-called grownups like

Senator Marco Rubio. They were still sowing election fraud doubt hours after the attack ended.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Democracy doesn't just depend on having elections. It depends on people's confidence in those elections.


RUBIO: And their willingness to abide by those results. They are interrelated. I don't know why the Senate can't do Watergate-style, Titanic-style hearings. We could take testimony and subpoena records. It wouldn't change the outcome of this race, but it would give people the clarity and the answer.

And by the way, the changes that we need to make.


COOPER: Remember the President's voter fraud commission, Kris Kobach -- they were going to find out get to the bottom of it. It got disbanded because there is no widespread voter fraud in this country that affects elections. There are cases here and there and that should be prosecuted. But there's no widespread voter fraud, not in this country, not now.

Again, it cannot be said too often there is no evidence of any consequential voter fraud anywhere not now, not in decades. But as the President showed during that call this weekend to Brad Raffensperger, it's now a token of faith among Republicans who have mainlined into the body politic using social media.

Today, Facebook blocked the President from posting. Yesterday, Twitter suspended his account. It has been restored. I understand. It's not just social media, so-called mainstream outlets like FOX News pumping the same poison, mainstreaming the same lies, colliding over the same bad behavior.

Earlier today, it all got too much even for diehard conservative Republican, Trey Gowdy. He was surprised when the anchor on FOX he was talking to seem not to make the connection between the President's speech yesterday and the rioters storming the Capitol.


SANDRA SMITH, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Who told them to do that?

TREY GOWDY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Did you hear -- did you hear the speech? Did you listen to the President's speech yesterday?

SMITH: I did.

GOWDY: Then you tell me who said that. Who said go fight? Who blamed Mike Pence? Who blamed Republicans? Who said the election was stolen? (END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Surely before that moment, FOX anchor, Brian Kilmeade admitted, quote, "The President's behavior has been terrible since the election." But as you saw Old habits die hard in any case, 13 days before the end of the administration. It's a little late in the game, which as we saw, and as we're still seeing is no game at all.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we what we witnessed yesterday was not dissent. It was not disorder. It was not protest. It was chaos.

They weren't protesters. Don't dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It is that basic. It's that simple. And I wish we could say we couldn't see it coming.

But that isn't true. We could see it coming.

The past four years, we've had a President who has made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law clear in everything he has done. He unleashed an all-out assault on our institutions of our democracy from the outset and yesterday was the culmination of that unrelenting attack.



COOPER: Again, the President just put out a video, in part seeking to justify his actions yesterday. We're going to show it in its entirety because it is important from a news standpoint, given we have not heard from the President all day today, but I do just want to give you a heads up. He lies in this video about his actions yesterday claiming he called in the National Guard right away, claiming he was outraged by what he saw.

And we know he is lying not only because of reporting, but because of what he said previously about what he witnessed. And we'll tell you what he said previously, after we play you this. It's about two minutes and 41 seconds. This is the President's latest statement released just a short time ago.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol. Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem.

I immediately deployed the National Guard and Federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders. America is and must always be a nation of law and order.

The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy. To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country, and to those who broke the law, you will pay.

We have just been through an intense election and the emotions are high, but now tempers must be cooled and calm restored. We must get on with the business of America.

My campaign vigorously pursued every legal avenue to contest the election results. My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. In so doing, I was fighting to defend American democracy.

I continue to strongly believe that we must reform our election laws, to verify the identity and eligibility of all voters and to ensure faith and confidence in all future elections.

Now, Congress has certified the results.

A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.

This moment calls for healing and reconciliation. 2020 has been a challenging time for our people. A menacing pandemic has upended the lives of our citizens, isolated millions in their homes, damaged our economy, and claimed countless lives.

Defeating this pandemic and rebuilding the greatest economy on earth will require all of us working together. It will require a renewed emphasis on the civic values of patriotism, faith, charity, community and family. We must revitalize the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that bind us together as one national family.

To the citizens of our country, serving as your President has been the honor of my lifetime.

And to all of my wonderful supporters, I know you are disappointed. But I also want you to know that our incredible journey is only just beginning.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.


COOPER: Now, I think if he had said that to the mob before they marched on the Capitol, would it have made a difference? Listen to what he actually did say to that mob before they attacked the Capitol, in fact, encouraging them and claiming making it sound as if he was going to be walking with them toward the Capitol. This is what he said before it just before the attack.


TRUMP: We're going to walk down -- and I'll be there with you. We're going to walk down -- we are going to walk down, anyone you want, but I think right here, we're going to walk down to the Capitol and we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,

because you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.


COOPER: "Never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, you have to be strong." As for those people that he called into action that he claimed he was going to be marching with, the ones that Mo Brooks told to you know, kick some ass. He now says those people have defiled the seat of American democracy. That is quite a change from what he said while it was happening, as he was watching it on television and then immediately afterward, when he made a taped statement.

Here's what he said yesterday just after the attack while there were still people on Capitol grounds.


TRUMP: We love you. You're very special. You've seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil.


COOPER: Perspective now from CNN senior political analyst, Gloria Borger and CNN Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta.

Jim, it seems to me that the President is now, you know, saying that these people defiled the Capitol, he is soon probably going to be saying that it was Antifa just like Mo Brooks in suggesting it and Matt Gaetz and others.

And now, I guess this is his way of sort of saying, you know, his supporters he loved and they are great people, but there were these rogue elements dressed up, I guess, in, you know, Trump paraphernalia pretending to be that actually defiled the Capitol. You have new reporting about what led up to this video tonight. What did you learn?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Anderson, I mean, if you believe that the President was trying to bring healing to the country with that video, I have an exciting array of Trump products to sell you.

But putting that to the side, Anderson, let me tell you, I talked to a White House adviser earlier this evening, who said, listen, President put out this video because he was facing imminent resignations from his senior staff and because he is facing potentially an imminent impeachment process.

And this adviser went on to say that message and tone should have been relayed on Election Night, or shortly thereafter, not after people died, which is essentially what happened.

The President released this message this evening, because his house is on fire, and he is facing the prospect of losing his presidency before it's over. And I will tell you, one of the people he has to be worried about right now is Vice President Mike Pence.

Now, we are being told that it is unlikely that Pence is going to pursue the 25th Amendment option. But at the same time, I will tell you, his people are telling me that they are very upset with President Trump, for not checking in on the Vice President and his family. He was with his wife and daughter yesterday up on Capitol Hill, and they're very upset with the President because the President essentially tried to strong arm the Vice President into carrying out a procedural coup, which obviously didn't happen.

Vice President Pence is the last person in the world that President Trump wants to upset right now, because if Vice President Pence becomes President, remember, Donald Trump probably would like a pardon at the end of this process, and so -- yes.

COOPER: I don't understand. What did these people expect? What does Vice President Pence expect? He has been at the side of this man through -- as this man has, you know, mocked, you know, disabled people. I mean, the list --

ACOSTA: This is the story of the Trump presidency.

COOPER: Yes, what did these people expect?

ACOSTA: Anderson, I, 100 percent agree with you. It is one of the -- I think storylines of this presidency, people thinking they could ride the tiger without ending up in its mouth.

And you know, for far too long, too many administration officials thought that they can manage this President, deal with this President, benefit from this President, take advantage of this President, only to find out that it only works in one direction with this President.

The loyalty only works in one direction, and that's in the direction of Donald Trump.

COOPER: Gloria, the 25th Amendment thing, which is you know, there was all this reporting about the Members of Cabinet kind of whispering or talking about it. It would require Vice President Pence, my understanding, correct me if I'm wrong, Vice President Pence if they want to do this and get a majority of the Cabinet in secret to do it. That seems highly unlikely.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. It does at this point. As Jim was saying, I mean, Mike Pence seems completely uninterested in it. Nancy Pelosi tried to get in touch with him today. He didn't return her phone call and one can presume it's because he doesn't want to talk about this.

Because she has said if you don't evoke the 25th Amendment, we're going to impeach him. And what you see Trump doing in that ridiculous video is caring about himself. He's staring at the 25th Amendment. His people are jumping ship.

He is looking at a Congress that wants to impeach him, even the people he thought would be loyal to him, of course, are not loyal to him because he incited violence the other day. And so they gave him a speech. What we saw was, you know, teleprompter President there. He read it.

And the real one we saw was the one the other day who said, I love you guys, because at the end of this speech tonight, he said, I'm going to be back. And this is the message he wanted to give.

So he expects loyalty, but he doesn't give it and he is loyal to himself, not the nation. If he were loyal to the nation, he would have conceded two months ago, when the election was over.

COOPER: Jim, the acting U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C. says his office is looking to anyone involving interactions, possible charges. I mean, is the White House concerned about possible legal exposure for President Trump or Donald Trump, Jr. or, you know, Rudy Giuliani who talked about you know, trial by combat.

"The New York Times" reported White House Counsel Pat Cipollone warned the President that he could be at risk.


ACOSTA: Yes, there are concerns about that. But again, this is a -- this is a catch me if you can President and the President has done this so many times. He is an escape artist when it comes to evading accountability and responsibility.

And the people around Donald Trump know that. They believe this evening that this video helped, you know, sort of stem the tide that's running against the President right now for the 25th Amendment, for impeachment, and so on.

They believe this video is going to be helpful to that end. And I will tell you, there are just some White House officials here who are not dealing with the reality of the situation.

I talked to one just recently about the protest and the riots that took place yesterday, Anderson, who said, oh, this was just a small group of Trump supporters who got out. I mean, come on. I mean, there are people inside this building behind me, Anderson including the President, they're just not living in the real world.

COOPER: And there are people who are dead. I mean, a Capitol officer is dead. There's a woman who, you know, whether she was a conspiracy theorist or not, she was a woman who had a family, she's dead for no reason.

BORGER: Right, and --

ACOSTA: There is your blood on their hands.

COOPER: She believed this crap that they've been spewing and other people, you know, died from medical conditions. I mean, it's just -- it's ludicrous.

BORGER: It's sickening. It's sickening. And what I've been told is that the President has cordoned himself off. He is not talking to anybody, I'm told.

I was told no serious person has access to Donald Trump anymore.

COOPER: All right, Gloria --

BORGER: Except the ones who got him to give this speech tonight, I guess.

COOPER: Appreciate it. Yes, Jim Acosta as well. I'm joined now by Senator Bernie Sanders who has demanded that Vice President Pence and other officials invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Trump from office.

Senator Sanders, thanks for being with us. You called on Vice President Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Trump from office. A, how likely do you think that that would happen? And if it doesn't happen, would you support an effort to impeach the President?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): Yes, I would. I'm not sure how likely it is, but I think it should -- look, we have a very, very unstable President at the end of his term and God only knows, nobody knows what this man is capable of.

Just yesterday, he incited people to invade the U.S. Capitol. As you've indicated people died. What happens tomorrow? I don't know. You don't know.

So I think the best bet right now is if we can get them out of office as quickly as possible.

COOPER: The likelihood that Trump is actually removed from office the next 13 days, it probably seems low. If he does remain in office, what else could be done to contain him?

SANDERS: Well, I think what you've already seen and your commentators have made this point when you are already talking about the 25th Amendment, when you are talking about impeachment, when you're seeing resignations from longtime associates of Donald Trump, he is catching on that he is becoming increasingly isolated. People are not supporting him, and he's going to have to be on good behavior. I hope that is the case.

COOPER: Do you think President Trump should face legal repercussions for his role in what happened yesterday?

SANDERS: Well, there's a lot of legal issues regarding Donald Trump. I am thinking about his discussion with the Georgia Secretary of State where he asked him to find 12,000 votes and reverse that election. We will see what a new Attorney General in the Justice Department will do after Biden becomes President.

COOPER: You know, even if -- the President is going to leave, you know, 13 days from now, however it happens, he will be gone. He will still be out there at the bar at Mar-a-Lago tweeting and whatever else happens in the future. But there's obviously a lot of people in this country who, you know,

still follow Him and believe what he said and have legitimate grievances and have real pain out there. And, you know, economic pain, which you have spoken to time and time again, what do we do to bring this together?

SANDERS: Anderson, that is the most important point. Trump has been a disaster, the worst President in the history of the United States, and that's terrible. But what I worry about even more is that something like 74 million people voted for him. There are tens of millions of people believe his outrageous lie that this election was stolen.

And what we have got to do, let me just be very clear, as the incoming Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, I remember what happened in 2010. And that is the Democrats during the 2008-2010 period controlled the White House, controlled the Senate and controlled the House. Remember that?

Do you remember what happened in 2010? Democrats got wiped out. They had the power, but they did not deliver for the American people. So what we have got to do right now, no ifs, buts, or maybes, is have an aggressive agenda that says we understand that millions of people including my neighbors, right here in Vermont, people lining up in their cars in order to get emergency food, people can't pay their medical bills. People are going deeper and deeper into debt. People are facing eviction. Millions of people have lost their jobs.


We have to act and act now. And the first order of business by the way, is to pass an emergency COVID-19 bill which among many other things says to working class Americans, we know you're in pain and we are going to get you a $2,000 check for every working class adult in this country, we are on your side, we are prepared to take on the big money in trust with so much power. We're going to expand health care to cover the uninsured, we're going to deal with student debt, we have got to be bold in a way that we have not seen since FDR in the 1930s.

And if we do not do that, those millions and millions of people who vote for Trump, they're going to continue to believe that government does nothing, nothing for them. And we've got to change that attitude. The only way I know how to do that is to do the work that the people need us to do. And by the way, we have got to develop grassroots, strengthen grassroots organizing all over this country, instead of investing in consultants and 32nd TV ads, we need to put tens of millions of dollars in the neighborhood and community organizing all over the country. Talk to people knock on their doors, not just the week before the election, but two years before the election. Listen to what they have to say, can they afford health care? Can they afford prescription drugs? So we need to be bold, and I will do everything in my power to see the Congress moves in that direction.

COOPER: It's hard to be bold. I mean, you know better than anybody, you know, when the senate, yes, Democrats can, you know, have a will have a majority with Vice President Harris at the top of it. But in order to, you know, it's not 60 votes, which to really get big things done, you probably need more than the majority that they have no?

SANDERS: No, I don't think so. I mean, yes, and no, there's a lot that we can do through a Biden's executive actions. You know, Trump showed us the power of executive orders. It's not the best approach, but there's a lot that you can do. On day one, you can make sure that you are undo all of the racist, anti-immigrant legislation that Trump has promulgated over the years. What you can also do is use what we call budget reconciliation. I won't bore you with the crazy rules of the United States Senate. But in fact, we can move forward with 51 votes to pass some very significant legislation, which among other things, is what Republicans have done in the past.

COOPER: Senator Bernie Sanders, I appreciate your time on this really momentous part of our history. Thank you.

SANDERS: Thank you.

COOPER: Just ahead, someone with insight into what the President may be planning for the final days of administration, particularly as pressure mounts for him to resign. His niece Mary joins us.

Also, the law enforcement efforts to bring the attackers to justice, what authorities are doing to name find and prosecute the rally goers who attack the U.S. Capitol.



COOPER: (INAUDIBLE) is frightening question right now is what will President Trump do over the next 13 days of his administration, particularly as we reported, with Democrats counting vote for possible impeachment, a federal prosecutor examining the President's role in sparking yesterday's violence, and conservatives calling him to resign. One reaction tonight that new video claiming that his focus is, quote, a smooth, orderly and seamless transition.

Someone who knows the president very well, his niece Mary Trump joins us. She's also author of the book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man.

Mary, first of all, your reaction to the new video message that the President released this evening, given what he's just been saying, to the mob before the attack, and even after the day before?

MARY TRUMP, PRES. TRUMP'S NIECE: Well, the video was clearly coerced. And by that, I mean, somebody was able to convince him that he was in serious jeopardy. And if he didn't do something to mitigate the harms, he basically incited yesterday, he would be in even more trouble. So, it was obviously a way to cover himself. There was not an ounce of truth in that video, and I think it's also really important to point out that he still hasn't conceded.

COOPER: Right, and he, in fact, he didn't say, you know, President- elect Biden's name at all. And as you said, no concession there. I mean, your uncle is, is a man who has really never faced consequences for his behavior. I mean, he's had really close calls, casinos going bankrupt, you know, endless lawsuits, all of that. But that's sort of that's a normal day for him. He seems to have always gotten away with lying and cheating. He's increasingly isolated, you know, maybe facing some legal charges. I don't put much, you know, you know, it doesn't seem like the 25th Amendment thing is going to happen. There may be some sort of impeachment by Democrats.

When -- I mean you're a psychologist, when a person is backed into a corner like this. I guess there's what normal people would do. And then there's people who are who, whose lives are played out, backed into a corner. What do you expect him to do?

TRUMP: Absolutely anything, he thinks, oh, help him get out of this. And by that, I mean, overturn the election, he still thinks that that's a possibility, because you're right. He's never been in a situation like this before, in the sense that he has always been able to get the win, even if it had an asterisk next to it, you know, so, whether he cheats, lies and steals his way, he was able to get out of a bad situation. He can't do that here. He's tried everything. So, in addition to being desperate, he still has all of the power, which is why it is so vitally important that he be impeached and removed immediately.

COOPER: It does seem to me and again, I don't, you know, like to speculate about stuff. But it does seem like the next step for him is claiming that it was Antifa or, you know, provocateurs who actually were behind the storming of the Capitol. I mean, that's what mo Brooks and some of these enablers of the President are already saying.

TRUMP: Yes, I mean, I don't -- we can't put anything past him. Honestly. He's desperate. He's terrified. As you mentioned, he's increasingly isolated. People are resigning, people in the cabinet are resigning, not at a protest, but so that they don't have to be involved in any 25th Amendment issues. So, as we get closer to the inauguration, and he continues to run out of options, we have to be prepared, I hope nothing happens. But the possibility is there and we saw that yesterday. He incited those people, he is those people.

COOPER: You know, he there are some who have suggested maybe he could just resign, you know, go play golf for a while. Resign. Mike Pence would take over for the last, you know, week or two. I don't see that as being something he would actually do. But I mean, do you have a thought on that?

TRUMP: I think it's extraordinarily unlikely he resigned. I think it's much more likely he tried to pardon himself. And, you know, the other thing we need to keep in mind is that it despite his actually having people stormed the Capitol on his behalf he failed in his efforts to have Senate and House Republicans overturn the results of the election.


So, he's also running out of allies. And I think he's going to come to the conclusion that the only way out of this is a self pardon, which, you know, creates a whole other set of issues, which could be completely avoided and obviated if he has impeached and removed as he should be, because he has committed sedition against his own country.

COOPER: And it's so interesting, because, you know, that he raised obviously a lot of money off this latest grift over the election fraud graph to, you know, quarter million dollars at last, I paid attention to it. A lot of that money he can use for his own purposes, however he wants, because of the kind of pack that it's actually dedicated to. But do you think that he, I mean, the political capital that he would have enjoyed a lot of that now is gone because of this attack. And I think it's just going to be fascinating to see how the Republican Party I mean, already, you know, we've seen people distancing, Lindsey Graham has suddenly now, you know, been born again and, you know, is now kind of shocked by Trump's behavior, and it says he's out. You know, Mitch McConnell is clearly voiced his disdain. Do you think he can regain that sway over the Republican Party?

TRUMP: I don't, for a couple of reasons. And first of all, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, is responsible for all of this as Donald is. So, we cannot ever forget that. A couple of things are going to be happening, after he no longer has the power and the protection of the Oval Office, he's looking at serious state level charges. He's looking at very serious lawsuits. And he's looking at this distinct probability that banks are going to start calling in his loans. So, he's going to be very busy giving depositions and crafting a defense against all of these things. So, he may not have that much time but to continue to stoke division.

And I think as importantly, as you said, people are, you know, the rats are flying the ship, he's going down, and most people have finally figured out that it's a bad thing for them to be associated with it. And they've been making the wrong cat calculation all along. Not sure why Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz haven't figured that out, but I think most people have.

COOPER: Ivanka Trump tweeted and then deleted this tweet yesterday saying American patriots any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately. Please be peaceful.

You know, this idea of being American patriots. The complicity of her husband, Donald Trump, Jr. who again, address this crowd tried to get them all riled up. Eric Trump and Larry Trump who also addressed this crowd trying to get them all riled up. There's a lot of blame to go around.

TRUMP: There is, which is why I hope that if Donald does try to pardon them, which I'm pretty sure he will, he's not allowed to it would be a corrupt pardon. And if for whatever reason, they're allowed to get away with that this increases the urgency that state level charges be filed against them for the various financial crimes they've allegedly committed over the years. These people are as complicit in this act of insurrection yesterday as anybody else. And if we can hold them accountable the way they should be, through the Department of Justice, we have to find other ways to do it.

COOPER: What do you think? I mean, knowing what you know about him, his life will be like, you know, he's now I guess, eventually going to be a resident at Mar-a-Lago. You know, he'll still have places in New York, obviously, I you know, I assume part of it is for tax purposes that he's down in Florida, and, you know, is going to evade lawsuits and stuff like that. What do you think his life will be like?

TRUMP: I think it's going to be pretty grim. I yesterday was a bridge too far for people who for whatever reasons, haven't have stuck with him until then. And it increases the likelihood that on August 20th, Donald loses relevance precipitously as he should. And it's, he's not going to adapt well to that because I think other than money, the thing that's most important to him is power. And he's also with this ridiculous video that he put out this evening betrayed the people who put it all on the line for him yesterday. So, he's not going to have an easy time of it.


COOPER: And he's not going to turn on the television and hear his name all the time and see his picture, which will be, perhaps, you know, the saddest thing to him of all.

Mary Trump, I really appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you so much, Anderson.

COOPER: We have new reporting just in on efforts to remove the President under the 25th Amendment. Our Jim Acosta is back this time by phone late details. Jim, what are you learning?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And I can tell you, some of what we were talking about earlier this evening, which is the Vice President Mike Pence, at this point is highly unlikely to pursue the option of the 25th Amendment to force the President from power. At the same time, though there are some other discussions underway. My colleagues are reporting that that a couple of cabinet secretaries have begun to have discussions about whether or not to confront the President about his behavior and demand some sort of public address to the nation. So he can, you know, further account for his actions and what took place at the Capitol yesterday.

Obviously, all of this sound like it's at a preliminary stage. But it is an indication as to how seriously this has been taken by some members of the Cabinet. You and I were talking earlier this evening about well, you know, should administration officials be all that surprised by Trump's behavior and what happens because of his behavior, but those discussions are happening. They're underway right now as a result of what took place at the Capitol yesterday. In addition to these conversations that are taking place, regarding the 25th Amendment that we should point out at this point, we're getting some indications from the Vice President's team, that he's not likely to pursue that option at this point, Anderson.

COOPER: Fascinating. Jim Acosta, appreciate the reporting to you and all the others at CNN.

(voice-over): Up next, the effort to track down some of the attackers who invaded the Capitol. CNN knows who some of them are by looking photos taken during the mayhem.


COOPER: Got more breaking news both federal and local authorities are casting a wide net in an effort to locate the rioters who took part in the Capitol insurrection. CNN senior investigative correspondent Rick Griffin identified some of them all clearly visible in photos taken during the riot. The man dressed in what looks like buffalo horns and shirtless is a guy named Jake Angeli from Arizona. He has referred to himself as a QAnon shaman, he's a QAnon conspiracy theorists. They're conspiracy theorists. He not only broke into the Senate, he just posed and stood on the senate desk. Then broken to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office is Richard Barnett, a gun rights supporter from Arkansas, who has at one point referred to himself as a white nationalist. We mentioned him at the top of the program. Tim Gionet is a far-right activist live streamed video of himself inside the building for more than 25 minutes and Nick Ochs is a member of the Proud Boys far-right group in Hawaii. Then there's another man an elected state representative from West Virginia, a Republican named Derek Evans. He can be heard shouting we're in, we're in baby while moving among a crowd of rioters through the Capitol doorway. Evans attorney released a statement late today saying his client is also an independent activist and journalist who did nothing wrong and was merely filming a, quote, historic and dynamic event.


CNN's Shimon Prokupecz joins us now with more in the effort to identify the attackers. So, what are authorities saying about how they plan to prosecute those responsible?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's pretty serious Anderson, we're talking about sedition. That's what the U.S. attorney here in Washington DC, in Washington, D.C. is saying this is a sedition conspiracy. Far ranging, wide ranging investigation involving the FBI and other authorities. So, this is about as serious as it gets. And what they're going to try and do is they're going to try and figure out how many of these people were working together, exactly what groups they were part of and use that evidence as part of their investigation and to potentially bring charges.

All those people that you mentioned, those are the people that authorities are looking for. Many of them do not live here. They have all since what we're told of Austin's fled, Washington, D.C. So, the local police here, the Washington police here, they've put out photos of them to outside police agency to be on the lookout for that. So, they are actively looking for them. But this is about as serious of an investigation. Certainly, listening to the D.C. U.S. attorney today talk about how serious of an investigation this is and the resources that they're putting behind this. We could see so many of these people up to about 30 people and all that they're looking for be charged in this sedition conspiracy.

COOPER: I mean, one of the men that I'd read an article about the guy who put his feet up on Pelosi's desk, I mean, he should be well known to law enforcement. He's actually raised money for local law enforcement, I guess in his town, according to one article I read.

Top federal prosecutor for Washington, D.C. said the office is looking at anyone involved in the insurrection for possible charges. Did he say anything specifically about the president or, you know, Rudy Giuliani or Donald Trump Jr.

PROKUPECZ: Well, certainly, anyone who was part of this or incited this their comments, that is what the U.S. attorney said, including the President, because he was specifically asked, and he said that he's going to be looking at everything, to see how that played a role in this conspiracy and whether or not that incited. I mean, it's obvious that he did, but this is something in order they're going to have to try to prove, and they are going to use some of the words from the President. What we can wind up seeing here eventually, Anderson is that a criminal complaint and indictment the words from the President the words from Rudy Giuliani and other people who took the stage here yesterday and even in the days leading up to this all be included in court documents used to show that these words helped incite what went on here yesterday.

COOPER: Shimon Prokupecz, appreciate it.

One thing that may aid law enforcement is how vocal the attackers were, how willing they were to broadcast events as they were happening. CNN's Elle Reeve has the story.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are we supposed to do? OK, Supreme Court's not helping us. No one's helping us. Only us can help us. Only we can do it.

ELLE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A mass group of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to stop the certification of what they believe was a fraudulent election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unquestionable that our votes were stolen. It's unquestionable, there are so there's so much proof.


STEVE JORGENSEN, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Our representatives to do the right thing and decertified like the seven swing states.


REEVE (voice-over): The rally started peacefully as tens of thousands gathered outside the White House. They cheered Donald Trump and his allies as they continued to buy that the election was stolen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's have trial by combat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just said trial by combat. I'm ready. I'm ready. REEVE (voice-over): People marched down to avenues to the Capitol. And once they got their son broke through barricades. Once a few rioters broke into the building, the mob followed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was actually here well this guy started breaking in with a with a cane obviously there's a power struggle, there's a peaceful guys that were like, no, no, we don't want to do that. Then there was that guy, you know, he just said well, oh, well. I'm breaking it in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He broke down the barriers and we rushed him. We charged them. We got all the way to the steps and a made a line. So we stood there and we tried to push them back a little bit until finally they started getting rough with us. So, we kind of push them back. So that's what we did, we pushed them back. We tried to get up the steps, they wouldn't let us up. So then they started pepper spray and Mace everybody.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a milk in your eyes.

ELIZABETH: They mace me. They pushed me out and they mace me.

REEVE (voice-over): We spoke to some people who broke into the Capitol.

(on-camera): What happened in there? Tell us what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we went in there. And then I walked in, and there's just a whole bunch of people lining up in some Oregon room. I don't know if it's an orange just for tons of Oregon paintings, but they were smoking a bunch of weed in there. And they moved it down. So many statues, cops are very cool. They're like, hey, guys, have a good night. And we'll summon them. It's just crazy. It's really weird. You can see that some of them are on our site.

REEVE (voice-over): We've reached out to the Capitol Hill police for comment but have not yet heard back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) for a long time now. Long time.

JOSIAH, TRUMP SUPPORTER: A huge group of us stormed inside. And as they surge, we were basically shouting like cops. You know, there were people arguing to some time together and on our side basically.

REEVE (voice-over): Clashes with police happens sporadically throughout the day, and waves of tear gas wafted over the crowd. They said they felt like they were doing something good.

(CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, there's a bunch of really, really pissed off, regular folks. I got a job. This is Wednesday, I was supposed to be at work. Yes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what we're doing, fighting back.

REEVE (on-camera): And what's the point? What's in game?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the point?

REEVE (on-camera): Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're losing our freedom, what do you mean what's the point.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Taking our freedoms, locking us down and turning this country --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- into a blasted (ph) socialist republic and that is not right. That's what I'm doing here.

REEVE (voice-over): Elle Reeve, CNN, Washington, D.C.


COOPER (voice-over): Thank you Elle Reeve for that reporting.

Well firsthand look at the assault at the heart of American democracy. As you heard many of those who stormed the Capitol didn't so motivated by all kinds of false beliefs, including conspiracy theories, yet another challenge facing America in the days and weeks and years ahead.

Up next, one of the most reliable allies of President Trump the Republican Party breaks with him and calls for him to resign. We'll tell you who that is, when we return.


COOPER: At the conservative editorial board of the Wall Street Journal to those now making the case for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, tonight they published this editorial Donald Trump's final days. In it they lay out the case for Trump's ouster. Writing about yesterday events they say quote, this was an assault on the constitutional process of transferring power after an election. It was also an assault on the legislature from an executive sworn to uphold the laws of the United States. This goes beyond merely refusing to concede defeat in our view across is a constitutional line that Mr. Trump hasn't previously crossed. It is impeachable, unquote.