Return to Transcripts main page

Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

New Book Reveals Trump Staff Found Flushed Papers Clogging Toilet in White House; January 6 Committee Find Significant Gaps in Trump Call Logs During Riot; Autopsy Confirms Bob Saget Died From Blunt Head Trauma; Big Jump In Inflation Rate Compounds Democrats' Election Problems; Protests Expand To Third Border crossing; DHS Warns Of Similar Disruptions In Major U.S. Cities. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired February 10, 2022 - 20:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: This, as statewide mask mandates are disappearing in states run by Democrats. As for schools, the President still supports masks. He suggests there will be fewer masks requirements as the COVID-19 vaccine is approved for more age groups. It is of course, already approved for all children in kindergarten and older.

Thanks for joining us. Anderson starts now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. There's a lot to get to tonight. But I wanted to start off with some good news, which also happens to be very personal news.

In April 2020, in the early dark days of the pandemic, you may recall I announced the birth of my son, Wyatt. These are the pictures I showed of Wyatt then, taken just days after he was born.

Well, this is Wyatt today. He is nearly 22 months old, and he is sweet and funny and the greatest joy in my life. If he looks particularly happy in this picture, it's because he now has a baby brother. His name is Sebastian, and I would like you to meet him.

This is Sebastian Luke Maisani-Cooper. He was 6.8 pounds at birth and he is healthy and happy. Even his occasional hiccups are to me adorable.


COOPER: He mostly just sleeps and eats and he certainly poops, but he already seems like a wise and thoughtful little chap.

Wyatt and now, Sebastian, are being raised by me and my best friend and former partner, Benjamin Maisani, we're co-parents. Wyatt calls me daddy and Benjamin is papa. We're a family.

Benjamin is also in the process of adopting, Wyatt. So Wyatt's last name will be changed soon to Maisani-Cooper as well.

Wyatt helped us put together Sebastian's crib and calls his little brother by his middle name, Luke. Sebastian is a mouthful for a 22- month-old.

We want to thank the amazing doctors and nurses who helped bring Sebastian into the world, and most of all, I thank the surrogate who carried Sebastian and gave birth to him. The sacrifices she and her family -- her entire family made -- and the love that they gave Sebastian this past year has been extraordinary.

We'll never forget the kindness and all of her and her family and all surrogates who helped bring new life and new love into the world.

When I announced Wyatt's birth, I said that I like to imagine my mom and dad and brother, all of whom are no longer alive, with their arms around each other, smiling and joyful at his birth.

Well, these past 22 months, I felt them watching over us, very strongly. And I already feel their love for Sebastian. The family I was born into may be gone, but I feel them alive in the family that we've created, new love and new life.

Before he died, my dad wrote "Life itself is brief, and yet each life encloses all eternity. We are all of us, separately and together engaged on the same tough journey. Each of us alike, taste of its joys and sorrows. Each of us gets by as best he can. And we must whenever possible, reach out to each other, tentatively to touch with our hands, with our eyes and with our hearts."

"We must wish for each other love and laughter, good thoughts and happy days. We must go rejoicing in the blessings of this world, chief of which is the mystery, the magic, the majesty and the miracle of life."

I'm going to be taking off the rest of this week and the next week as well and frankly, the rest of the show to be with my kids, but I'll be back after that.

I wish you all love and laughter good thoughts and happy days.

I'm going to turn things over to John Berman, father of two, for the rest of the day's news -- John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: I don't know how you got through that. I didn't get through that. That was so lovely. He is beautiful, Anderson.

COOPER: Thanks.

BERMAN: He is perfect. Congratulations.

COOPER: Thank you.

BERMAN: To all of you. What a wonderful blessing.

COOPER: I appreciate it. Thank you. Yes, you have two boys that are teenagers. Any suggestions? Any recommendations?

BERMAN: I was going to ask you, I have twins. So, I screwed everything all up at once, like every step of the way. Is it easier this time around?

COOPER: I mean, he's just arrived. So, I really have no idea. Definitely more -- yes, I'm definitely calmer than I was the first time and yes, he's doing great and he is just so adorable and he's got a lot more hair than Wyatt had when he was born. And yes, he's just incredible.

BERMAN: So how is Wyatt doing with it? What was his reaction?

COOPER: He is thrilled. I mean, you know, he's almost 22 months old, so he calls him Luke, and he helped build the crib and he loves to wheel him around in a little stroller around my house. That's Wyatt helping out with the crib there.

You know, but beyond that, he sort of does his own thing. So, it's the best response I could possibly have hoped for.

BERMAN: So sleep? Because, this, I've resented you for this. I mean Wyatt sleeps like 12 hours a night.

COOPER: He does, yes.

BERMAN: Right? It was three years before we had a full night's sleep here. What's Sebastian's sleep --


COOPER: So far, he is sleeping all the time. So, you know, it's hard for me to get a sense of what it is going to be like, but you know, he wakes up every three hours and we feed him. And yes, I can't even tell really what color his eyes are, you know, they seem dark, but they also kind of seem blue.

And yes, he's just -- he's really sweet. He's just adorable.

BERMAN: You know, honestly, it would be unfair to every parent out there if you didn't have a kid who woke up every few hours for at least a year.

COOPER: Yes, it's pretty amazing. I can't believe it.

BERMAN: I have to say, there is nothing better than being the parent of brothers. I love every minute of it.

COOPER: Yes, well, I also just wanted to say last, when I announced Wyatt's birth, I got a tremendous outpouring of cards and letters, which I really appreciate, I wasn't able to respond to all of them. I tried to respond to them when I could.

I also got a lot of gifts of books and clothes and handmade blankets and beautiful things, and all of which I appreciate and all of which, you know, I've either kept or given away to kids who don't have as much and I would just -- I would -- you know, anybody who's thinking about sending something for Sebastian, I really appreciate it, but we have tons of books and I would hope that anybody who wants to send something, they would send something to a local organization that helps parents who don't have as much when their kids arrive.

But yes, thank you for all your well wishes.

BERMAN: And I'm just -- I can't take my eyes off him. He's perfect. Go run, run home. Get back to him as quickly as you can.

COOPER: Yes. Thanks so much.

BERMAN: All right, thanks so much, Anderson. Congratulations.

There's some more 360 ahead. We'll be right back.



BERMAN: Hard to top that last segment, but we do a breaking news tonight on official documents the former President improperly took to Mar-a-Lago.

"The Washington Post" citing two people familiar with the matter is reporting that some were clearly marked "classified," including the sources say at the "top secret" level. What's more, quoting, "The Post" here, "... some more markings that the information was extremely sensitive and would be limited to a small group of officials with authority to view such highly classified information."

This comes on top of other reporting today that when the former President wasn't squirreling away documents or tearing them up, he might have also been clogging a White House toilet with them.

That's not hyperbole. That's literally the reporting of what happened.

That story reported by CNN political analyst, Maggie Haberman for her upcoming book "Confidence Man" has certainly launched plenty of bad jokes, but to the extent that it is part of the pattern and a series of related stories, this takes a darker tone.

In addition to the breaking news, there is reporting from Maggie and her colleagues at "The New York Times" as well as CNN's Jamie Gangel, both of whom are joining us tonight on potential gaps in White House call records from January 6th.

Couple that with everything else we already know about the way the former President operates, and well, there is nothing amusing about any of this or normal, whether it's criminal remains to be seen.

At a minimum, it's all pretty rich coming from a man who once said this about Hillary Clinton.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People who have nothing to hide don't smash phones with hammers, they don't.

Thirty three thousand e-mails disappeared.

She also and her staff destroyed some of her 13 different phones. But this time with a hammer.

If I got a subpoena for e-mails, if I deleted one e-mail, like a love note to Melania, it's the electric chair for Trump.

People who have nothing to hide, don't bleach. Nobody has ever heard of it. Don't bleach their e-mails or destroy evidence to keep it from being publicly archived, as required under Federal law.


BERMAN: Spoken like a man who would never habitually rip up official documents, one step ahead of staffers frantically trying to scotch tape them back together, or for that matter, flush them.

But come to think of it, he has never been on good terms with modern toilets.


TRUMP: We have a situation where we're looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms.

Sinks, right, showers, and what goes with a sink and a shower?

People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once.

I hate to say the three things. It's the shower. It's the sink, and you know, the third element in the bathroom. But I don't say it because every time I say it, they only talk about that one.

Ten times, right? Ten times. Wow. Not me. Of course, not me. But you, him.

We won't talk about toilets. But you know, that's true. Ten, 15 -- but we don't talk about that.

Because it's sort of gross to talk about, right? So I won't talk about the fact that people have to flush their toilet 15 times. I will not talk about it.

Because I've said this three or four times, the only subject they ever talk about is toilet. So I don't mention it.

I'll only talk about showers, okay, but there are three things.


BERMAN: Again, it's easy to play this for yucks, or icks for that matter, but we're talking about someone who, in addition to fixations like that has always shunned the transparency and is now going all out to stymie investigations of his conduct in office. It's a bit disappointing, though.

In Watergate, we had the plumbers to talk about, Richard Nixon's henchmen. Tonight, we are just stuck with the plumbing. Again, Maggie Haberman's book is titled "Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America." She joins us now.


Maggie, you've had quite a day. We laid out some of your reporting there, but can you just explain in more detail what was going on at the White House with these papers getting flushed?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure, John. So, what was happening was that staff in the White House residence where the President lived were discovering that the toilets were clogged and when engineers went in to go see what was happening, there were clumped up wads of paper, apparently, notes or documents. It is not clear exactly what it was. It's not clear why it was happening, but they believed that the former President was putting stuff in the toilet. My understanding is it was not an isolated incident.

This is an issue on a number of fronts for staff. One is certainly, this is going to sound minor. One is that the White House is not a very modern building, plumbing is an issue. But the other is, obviously, the question of what the material was.

I don't want to suggest that I have been told what it was, the staff who are familiar with this did not know specifically what the material was. There was obviously a lot of speculation. But regardless, it's going to add to questions about how material was handled, while the former President was in office.

BERMAN: So the former President is not surprisingly, denying this, but you say not an isolated incident. Is it clear how often and was it during the entire length of the presidency?

HABERMAN: The way it was described to me was periodically, it was -- I don't know if it was the entire length of the presidency, it was certainly more than once. Some staff said that this happened on at least one foreign trip.

But again, I don't -- there may have been additional incidents, those are the ones that I'm aware of. I'm aware that the former President has issued a statement denying it, I stand by the reporting.

BERMAN: So Maggie, one of the things your book, first of all looks at the entire range of Donald Trump's career, not just the presidency and I do understand there was a tendency to destroy documents in various ways.

I don't know if flushing was one of them before he was President, during or after, but certainly when he was President, he ripped stuff up. He rarely sent e-mails. You know, texts for that matter.

I guess, what I'm asking is, what are the chances that if there is any evidence or there might not be any evidence left behind of things that he was doing?

HABERMAN: I mean, look, John, there's clearly -- you know, there is some documentation, even some of the ripped up material was taped back together, although that has, I think posed other challenges for archivists. So that is certainly a question.

This is not someone, as you said, who was known to use e-mail. He did not really respond on texts. I know he did receive texts from people. I've never heard of him responding to one.

You know, we had some reporting today at "The Times" that the White House call logs from January 6, for instance, appear to have gaps from when the investigators believe that he was on the phone with a number of people. It raises questions about what happened. There is no evidence as we understand it, to suggest they were tampered with. But it is a reminder that this former President often did not use the White House switchboard. He used other aides' phones.

And so, I think all of this has always been a challenge for people who are at minimum, trying to preserve a record of a presidency. It has obviously come into sharper focus with the January 6 Commission.

BERMAN: I want to talk much more about those call logs and the absence of calls in a moment, Maggie. What do you make this new reporting from "The Washington Post" that some of Trumps records were taken to Mar-a-Lago, that they were clearly marked as classified, including documents at the top secret level?

HABERMAN: So I saw that report. We reported at "The Times" last night that there is at least one document that was believed to be classified. That was part of this trove of material that was returned to the archives.

Look, again, I think it is going to raise questions. A President has a right to declassify material. We just don't know that he actually did that, number one. And number two, there are questions about how this material was packed up, who had access to it? Did they have clearances? And so there's just a whole range of issues?

You know, I understand that there's a lot of focus on did the former President destroy potentially a document that related to January 6th? I know that the Committee has questions about that. I think that what we have seen over time, and what we've been told by people who have worked for this former President over many decades is that it wasn't necessarily about hiding something. It was mostly just about not caring one way or the other. Not mostly, but sometimes it was about not caring one way or the other.

I just don't know that we're ever going to know what the full answer is. I reiterate that I don't know that we're ever going to have a complete paper picture of what this presidency looked like.

BERMAN: Finally, in your book, you also report that Trump is apparently staying in touch with Kim Jong-un. What more details do you have about that?

HABERMAN: No, I wrote that he says that he has done that, John.

BERMAN: That's fair. Okay.

HABERMAN: I don't know that he actually is still in touch with Kim Jong-un, but he has told several people that he is in touch with him.

I was reminded by somebody who worked in the White House earlier today that Trump would often let on to people while he was President that he had had some kind of conversations one-on-one with KJU that Cabinet officials just simply couldn't track down and did not believe were taking place. So, I don't know this to be true.


It is interesting that he is saying it.

BERMAN: Fair enough. An important distinction. Maggie Haberman, terrific reporting. Thanks so much for being with us tonight.

HABERMAN: Thank you.

BERMAN: Now more on the related question, which we touched on briefly of what the House Select Committee is and isn't receiving to help them determine who the former President was talking to on January 6th, three sources familiar with the investigation tells CNN that the White House call records they have received leave them with gaps on that day.

CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangel has that story and joins us now.

Jamie, tell us about the gaps in these phone records.

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So John, just to be clear, as Maggie just mentioned, there is no evidence. No one is suggesting that someone tampered with these logs. When they talk about gaps, what they are saying is, there is a distinct period of time during the day on January 6th, during the riot, those three plus hours where Trump is back at the White House watching -- the reporting is transfixed -- watching the television.

That's where the logs are odd. It is notable, it is significant that during this period of time, the White House logs do not appear to show that he made any calls out or any calls came in. These are people he actually would have spoken to.

Now, what does this mean? As Maggie mentioned, Trump, we've always known, first of all, he likes to use his own personal cell phone. So that would not be in the logs. He very often uses the cell phone of a staffer, maybe Dan Scavino, who is with him all day, maybe his personal aide.

The other possibility is that the archives do not have all the paperwork yet, we can't rule that out. But I think that the Committee finds this very curious and this is going to be something they're really looking into, because they want to know not just what Trump was doing and not doing during the riot, but who he was talking to and what he was saying -- John.

BERMAN: They want to know that, the question is, how will they find out? Do they have an appetite to try to get the former President's phone records?

GANGEL: So this has been an issue. I think it is fair to say the Committee has been reticent to subpoena those records. But when you see a gap like this come up, that is so significant at such a notable period of time, I think it is likely that they are going to re-visit that question.

There is however, a real question about political will. Do they want to go after a former president like this? It is a very high bar without something very incriminating, more of a smoking gun.

BERMAN: All right. Jamie, stick around with us right now. I want to bring in former Federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. Renato, you hear Jamie's reporting about these gaps in the call logs, so many unknowns still. What questions would you want to see answered on this?

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I think you'd want to know, first of all, what phones was President Trump using on that day, who he was in contact with? I think once they have either of those questions answered, the Committee can then subpoena the phone records of those entities or those people and then use that to work backwards to try to create a log of what the former President was doing.

You'd also want to know, of course, were those -- was it willful? Was it knowing that the President was using -- former President Trump was using other phones to try to evade having a record of those phone calls made?

BERMAN: Jamie, What about the idea of working backwards there? Is that something that the Committee is actively trying to do?

GANGEL: They happen and it has not been going very well. So as we know, there are two people who were in the room with him firsthand, fact witnesses that day His aide, Dan Scavino, his former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

The Committee has gotten some documents from Mark Meadows that he handed over voluntarily, but both Scavino and Meadows have countersued in effect. They have filed a lawsuit to prevent the Committee, the Committee did subpoena. They're called detail records and they are fighting it and that's as we know, a question of timing. There is just so much time they have to do this lawsuit.

BERMAN: So, Renato, I want to shift to the story about the toilet in the residence there, the clogged toilet with papers, not toilet paper. The staff telling Maggie Haberman, I assume, they were some kind of documents.

You tweeted in part, "Flushing important evidence down the toilet is something low and drug dealers do." End quote. Have you ever heard of like, politicians, pretty high level politicians doing it?


MARIOTTI: No, I actually never even heard of white collar criminals doing it. Usually, there are electronic records. People nowadays aren't using typewriters to generate documents. They're using computers.

And so the criminals that I used to investigate were folks that understood that there was electronic records and the fight would be over the destruction of electronic records, not flushing evidence down the toilet, which is always a problem when you're investigating drug cases

BERMAN: But I guess, Renato, it requires -- you know, we talk about intent. When you flush something down a toilet, it requires intent. Yes? You don't accidentally flush documents down a toilet?

MARIOTTI: It is so vivid, that it is the sort of thing that would be very compelling to a jury if you knew exactly what those documents are. In other words, if there's some evidence that President Trump was trying to hide something very damning about himself by flushing it down the toilet, I can't think of more vivid evidence that will demonstrate a consciousness of guilt to a potential juror.

BERMAN: So Renato, one more thing. Now, "The Washington Post" is reporting the presence of documents that were classified, maybe even at a top secret level, found at Mar-a-Lago. Would something like this be on par with say, Hillary Clinton's classified e-mails or use of private e-mail for classified matters?

MARIOTTI: It certainly seems so. I have to say I thought that that investigation was misguided and I have the same view here. In other words, that ultimately, I mean, perhaps it can be investigated, but at the end of the day, generally. Mr. Comey was correct that the Federal government does not usually prosecute people, for unwittingly, you know, removing classified information.

The irony here is, it may have been more willful here in this circumstance, and I guess the facts are going to bear out whether or not there was a willful removal of classified information from a secure location.

If that was the case. There, of course, is a criminal statute that directly applies to this situation.

BERMAN: Jamie, is the Committee in on this or they have enough on their hands already?

GANGEL: The Committee says their job is putting it all out there for history that this is up to the Justice Department. But just to go back to those papers being flushed down the toilet. It sure does look guilty.

I mean, whether it's a drug dealer or you catch your kids doing something, he certainly had a pattern of circumventing and as this one former White House official who worked for Trump said to me, he never -- he always felt the rules did not apply to him. BERMAN: Jamie Gangel, Renato Mariotti, thank you so much for being

with us tonight.

GANGEL: Thank you.

MARIOTTI: Thank you.

BERMAN: Next, we have breaking news on the death of beloved comedian, Bob Saget. The autopsy report has come out.



BERMAN: Breaking news out of Florida confirming the sad reporting we first brought last night on the death of actor and comedian Bob Saget. According to the Orange County Medical Examiner he died of blunt head trauma most probably from a fall but there's a lot more detail we're seeing for the first time.

Our Randi Kaye has more on the autopsy report and joins us now. Randi, can you just take us through some of the details in there?

RANDI KAYE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure, John. This is from the Orange County Medical Examiner that's who did the autopsy and the coroner lists quite a few conditions and injuries that Bob Saget had at the time of his death. He did say as you said that he died from blunt head trauma. More specifically, the coroner says that Saget likely suffered an unwitnessed fall backward and struck the posterior aspect of his head. But he said that the manner of death the coroner ruled the manner of death was an accident.

But it does seem that Saget suffered quite a blow to his head. This wasn't just a bump. And here's what's really interesting, John, and I hope that Sanjay when he comes up here next can talk a little bit about this, because the autopsy lists several skull fractures. And one of those is in the bilateral frontal bone which would be in the front of the head where the forehead is. So, there's -- we have this massive trauma to the back of the head as the coroner said he likely fell backward that then -- but then there's this also this trauma at the front of the head. So, I'm hoping that Sanjay can sort of help us make sense of that how that can happen if he did indeed fall backward as the coroner is suggesting.

But Saget also had subdural hematoma, which is a buildup of blood on the surface of the brain according to the autopsy, he had hemorrhaging or bleeding in between the skull and the scalp, also in the space that surrounds the brain. The autopsy said he had posterior scalp abrasions, and discoloration in the upper and lower eyelids due to that skull fracture. And remember, John that his wife had said that Saget likely just hit his head. He didn't think much of it and just likely went to bed that night. So again, really curious what Sanjay will have to say about these findings now that we know them from the autopsy.

BERMAN: So other than those injuries, Randi, did Bob Saget appear healthy?

KAYE: Well, he did test positive for COVID. So when he died, he was positive, and he did have COVID in December. So it's unclear if this was a new infection, or if it was just showing up in that test. Also, the autopsy showed he had an enlarged heart and that one of the key arteries was 95% blocked, John.

BERMAN: All right, authorities had previously said there are no drugs or foul play any update on that report.

KAYE: John, to be clear, I want to make this very clear. There was no indication in this autopsy at all or any suggestion of foul play whatsoever, but the autopsy does list several drugs that were found in his system, not recreational drugs, but they did find clonazepam or Klonopin, which is for seizures, panic disorders and anxiety. Also, they found Trazodone which is often used as a sleep aid. But again Saget's wife in her statement said that there were no drugs or alcohol involved and certainly no, no recreational drugs were found in his system, but the coroner does list those prescription drugs found in his system, John, not at very high levels, but they were there.

BERMAN: All right, Randi Kaye, thank you so much.

Let's get some answers to those questions that Randi later out there CNN chief medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta here with that.


So Sanjay What about those questions in the extent above Saget's injuries?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, when we look at these types of injuries, I mean, you want to figure out if there is a mechanism of injury that you can really identify, and also the energy of the force of the injury. So, you know, mechanisms in a car accidents, falls, things like that are what we typically think of. But then also like, how significant if it was a car accident, how fast was the car going, if someone fell, how far do they fall? These are the sorts of things that we, you know, still don't know the answers to.

But when you look at these findings, as Randi pointed out, these were these were significant, this wasn't sort of a cat -- is sort of more isolated, or more casual bump of the head. This was something that involves several different fractures. And it takes a lot of force to actually cause these sorts of fractures so we can show you graphics who put this together, John, to just give you an idea of the different bones that were overall fractured. In this graphic, it was the back of the head, I'll show you on the skull model here. It was the back over here, the fracture, and then it sort of extended into the right side over here. There was an abrasion on the back of the head, so that kind of fits with that. But as Randi pointed out, there was also skull fractures over here as well in the front of the forehead. But there weren't abrasions here, there was some bruising over here. I talked to a lot of colleagues today and I've been doing trauma neurosurgery for some time. If I knew nothing else about the story, I would say is this someone who was unrestrained in a car accident, or fell down a flight of stairs because it does appear that there are several different sort of blows to the head, whatever it was, it was a significant blow. I think there was a lot of discussion yesterday, you know, how common is this is someone hits their head developing this sort of bleeding. This was not again, a small blow to that, it was significant to cause that degree not only a fractures in these different places on the skull, but also the amount of bleeding as well.

BERMAN: And again, in more than one place apparently are the actual impacts in more than one place to. Sanjay, thank you very much.

GUPTA: Yes, thank you.

BERMAN: Just ahead, midterms for the Democrats just got a lot tougher. Bad poll numbers for the President and a big spike in the rate of inflation. James Carville joins us to discuss what they need to do to salvage and uphill fight.



BERMAN: New data today shows that inflation jumped to a 40-year high and that could spell trouble for Democrats leading up to the midterms. Prices rose seven and a half percent year over year that was bigger than expected. It means a lot of things got more expensive. And despite a big boost in job growth reported last week, the inflation junk comes as COVID and a stalled domestic agenda has put the Biden administration on the ropes. President Biden's approval rating a mirror of his party's problems according to a new CNN poll, it's at 41%. That's an 11 point drop from September.

President Biden spoke about the big jump in inflation during an interview with NBC News that is to air in full before the Super Bowl.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When can Americans expect some relief from this soaring inflation?

JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: According to Nobel laureates, 14 that contacted me and a number of corporate leaders, it's odd to be able to start to taper off as we go through this year. In the meantime, I'm going to do everything in my power to do with the big points that are impacting most people in their homes.


BERMAN: I'm joined now by veteran Democratic strategist James Carville, who also hosts the Politics War Room podcast. James inflation's at a level not seen since 1982. How do Democrats deal with that heading into the midterms? JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Act, act like you know what you're doing. So it's going to come down with policies in place. And if it comes down, you'll have a pretty good year, if it's still seven and a half percent, you're going to lose no matter what. But bet on the comp that 14 of LRS (ph) I'm talking about them that I have policies in place we do that we feel confident will bring this down. And if it comes down, you look great. If it doesn't come down, well, you're never bad November.

BERMAN: It basically --


BERMAN: You say the only choice they have is to run as if it's going to come down because if it doesn't come down, they're in trouble?

CARVILLE: Exactly. Precisely. You just surmise exactly what my thinking is. So just go out act like a winner, act like you know what you're doing, act like it's going to work. And if and by the way, 14 Nobel laureates think it's going to come down well, that on him, but you got it, you got to act like you know what you're doing. And you go from there, but you got to exude confidence.

BERMAN: What about COVID? Is this is the same thing with COVID?

CARVILLE: Well, COVIDs dropping, I mean, I bought -- like anybody else, I've tracked the numbers every day. It's like this huge drop here in the last few weeks. And I don't know, I'm not a public health person. But public health people's like, this is going to continue and COVID It's a drag. I mean, we thought we were doing better in December, this hit us. And that has an effect on a lot of things, presidential approval being one of them. But it looks like a lot of smart people think it's going to get better, I hope smart people, right.

BERMAN: So (INAUDIBLE) these Democratic governors racing to lift mask mandates. Do you think there's a political calculation there?

CARVILLE: Look, if you look at the infection rates in the decliners down, I don't know someone's looking state by state 65, 70%. Well, yes, you're going to lift mandates if you go from that test positivity rate of 20%, test positivity rate of 3%. That means different behavior. It's not some kind of conspiracy, all you got to do is look at the chart and see the direction it's going.

BERMAN: All right, if you were advising Democrats running in the midterms, what would you tell them to do with Donald Trump? Is that something they should focus on? How much of a deal do you think the January 6 select committee will be?

CARVILLE: Well, you got to wait and see when the committee comes out. I suspect their findings are going to be intriguing and devastating. But people don't nobody (ph). People want an election about their lives. They don't want election about a former president, they don't want to election about any of this and if you shown substantial policies that improve people's lives and you run on that, like we did in 2018, you will be successful.


You know, I don't know what's going to happen to Donald Trump, but the 1/6 committee but Manhattan DA to Fulton County DA, the archives, I have no idea. But what you can do is do the best you can to talk about how you prove in America and win elections, you know, like growth there, if anyone from Dr. New Deal to Dr. Win The War? Well, I want to be Dr. Win The Election. And that's got to be our entire focus between now and November.

BERMAN: And does that mean, you know, not necessarily pinning it all on Trump?

CARVILLE: People have an opinion on Trump. And that opinion is going to change over a period of time when the events unfold over a year. But you have a set amount of time that you can talk to a voter and the voter wants to hear what you do and talk about their family and their community and their city. All right, I'm sitting in on right now. I'm worried about fighting the crime rate. I'm not -- Donald Trump is not foremost on my mind.


CARVILLE: So I don't think -- I think we let the January 6 Commission do their job, let the authorities that didn't find their job, and let's see what it takes us. But in the meantime, let them do their work and lets us focus on American people's lives (INAUDIBLE).

BERMAN: You brought up crime, crimes an interesting subject. So what are Democrats need to do in addressing crime? Or how do they need to be talking about crime heading into the midterms?

CARVILLE: Right. They need to get it they're starting to do that the President's in increasing funding both police. All right, there are all kinds of things that was operation ceasefire that they did out in Oakland, it was very, very successful. You know, we can do things with 1994 with passed some crime bill, the crime went down staggered in between '94 and 2020, the Democrats have a much better record on fighting crime than a Republican show, yet the biggest spike in crime in the third year of a Republican presidency, we need to remind people of that.

And that that's good policies, we can put it fine. But, you know, hopefully but is the COVID goes away some of the spike in crime get alleviated. I don't know that but that criminologists that think that has something to do with.

BERMAN: James Carville, a pleasure to speak with you tonight. Thanks so much for being with us.

CARVILLE: Well, thank you, enjoyed it, but just talk about people and talk about their lives and let the other stuff will take care of itself.

BERMAN: Thank you very much. CARVILLE: Yes, sir.

BERMAN: The protests involving truckers in Canada have expanded a live update from the nation's capital and the latest on whether large U.S. cities could see something similar in the days and weeks to come.



BERMAN: The protests in Canada over vaccine mandates and other issues have expanded to a third border crossing with worries those style of demonstrations, some of which involve truckers could come to the United States. Canada's government says it is sending in more police across the country to deal with the protests and the mayor of one effect in city Windsor, which lies opposite of Detroit, suggested to CNN today the police may have to physically remove some protesters.

The effect of these protests has reached auto production lines here in the United States. And the Department of Homeland Security is told law enforcement about online discussions of similar protests to disrupt traffic around the Super Bowl on Sunday in Los Angeles, and possibly create issues and other U.S. cities, including maybe Washington D.C. next month in time for the State of the Union.

Paula Newton is in the Canadian capital of Ottawa tonight with the latest. Paula, this is day what 14 of the protests there. What have you been seeing?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What I've been seeing is more of the same. And what does that mean, John means people are camped out in here to say let me give you the lay of the land. So this is basically Canada's national parliament. You can see it there that's the Peace Tower. Right in front of it, you have these large trucks, these rigs and yes, John, those are portable toilets, you're looking at. What does it mean? It means it looks more like a tailgate party.

And they continue to say that they look they have the food and all the other supplies including crucially fuel in order to stay here. What do they want? They want all those COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted. And believe me, John, they're not compromising on which ones, they want life to go back to pre pandemic levels.

John, I was just a few blocks away from here. Police are trying to siphon off the fuel here and I saw police drive right by people bringing in extra fuel to this protest. It is really just a one small look see into how difficult this has been to police. And this is just now one protest in Canada have quite a few.

BERMAN: What are local police saying about it? Are they asking for any extra help?

NEWTON: Not only are they saying they need extra help, John, let's be clear. Take a look at what you're seeing here. You replicate that in several locations now at least a half dozen. Police in this city are saying they need 1,800. In terms of active duty officers, that's almost triple what they normally have out on the streets. Have those reinforcements arrived yet? No. The issue here is that police have tried to take a softer approach. City officials and almost everyone else in the city want them to take a harder approach.

The protesters here say look, we are here expressing our views since people wouldn't listen to us before we now are going to do this to get attention and quite frankly, they again are saying they do not want to compromise on who they speak to or how long they stay out here.

BERMAN: What about now in three border crossings I understand it been cut off what's being done to address that.


NEWTON: Yes, John, to be honest that's likely the more serious situation right now, we are at three at times four major crossings, two of them are critical arteries in the supply chain. And that's the reason that this is going to get the Biden administration's attention for not just the days to come the hours to come, John, and those hours are ticking by every time that happens that threatens the economy, not just here in Canada, but in the United States.

And as we have seen, people are fearful. This is almost like a contagion that is spreading, and people are fearful that it will spread to other cities and towns. There is a lot of chatter about that. And of course, the Department of Homeland Security is already spoken to officials here in Canada about it, as has the FBI. John.

BERMAN: It's a mess. Paula Newton, thank you so much. Appreciate your reporting.

And up next, one more look in a few words about the newest addition to Anderson's family.



BERMAN: We want to finish the broadcast where we began to congratulate again Anderson and Benjamin and now big brother Wyatt and welcome Sebastian Luke Maisani-Cooper to the world. What a bright line and the best way to say goodnight. Look at that face.

The news continues. So let's hand it over to Laura coats in "CNN TONIGHT."