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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

January 6 Committee Details Ties Between Trump World, Extremists; Cipollone Says No Evidence Of Widespread Election Fraud; Interview With Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA); Ex-Oath Keepers Spokesperson Calls The Group A "Dangerous Militia"; Uvalde School Shooting Surveillance Video Published. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 12, 2022 - 20:00   ET


RACHEL CRANE, CNN BUSINESS INNOVATIONS AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Webb transforms the invisible infrared light of the cosmos into something the human eye can see, study, and investigate.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is going to be revolutionary. These are incredible capabilities that we've never had before.

CRANE (voice over): Rachel Crane, CNN, New York.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And thanks so much for joining us.

AC 360 starts now.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening, I'm Anderson Cooper in New York along with Jake Tapper in Washington, DC.

Tonight, a hearing of the house January 6 Committee aimed at connecting the former President to extremist elements who stormed the Capitol and making a case that he deliberately used them in his attempt to overturn the election.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Someone, Anderson who knew what he was doing, and according to Committee Vice Chair, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, had every reason to know what he was doing was wrong.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Now, the argument seems to be that President

Trump was manipulated by others outside the administration, that he was persuaded to ignore his closest advisers, and that he was incapable of telling right from wrong. This, of course, is nonsense.

President Trump is a 76-year-old man. He is not an impressionable child.


COOPER: Well, today, the first time the public was shown testimony from Pat Cipollone, the former White House counsel who spoke to the panel last Friday.


QUESTION: I start by asking you if you agree, Mr. Cipollone, with the conclusions of Matt Morgan, Bill Barr, all of these individuals who evaluate these claim that there is no evidence of election fraud sufficient to undermine the outcome of the election.


QUESTION: Did you believe, in Mr. Cipollone, that the President should concede, once you made a determination based on investigations that you credited DOJ did and the campaign did? Did you in your mind form the belief that the President should concede the election loss at certain point after the election?

CIPOLLONE: Well, again, I was the White House Counsel. Some of those decisions are political. So, to the extent that -- but if your question is did I believe he should concede the election at one time, yes, I did.

I believe Leader McConnell went onto the floor of the Senate, I believe in mid-December and basically said in the process, that that would be in line with my thinking on these things.


COOPER: The McConnell speech that Pat Cipollone referred to was on December 15th, the day after the Electoral College ratified President Biden's victory. Now three days later, Cipollone would take part in a meeting that one witness at the time, Cassidy Hutchinson described as, "unhinged."

At the gathering were attorney Sidney Powell, retired General and pardoned felon, Michael Flynn, the former CEO of and Rudy Giuliani. On the agenda, a Flynn proposal for declaring Martial Law, the possibility of seizing voting machines, and a plan to make Powell a Special Counsel.


CIPOLLONE: I walked, I saw General Flynn. I saw Sidney Powell sitting there. I was not happy to see the people in the Oval Office. QUESTION: Explain why.

CIPOLLONE: Well, again, I don't think they were providing -- well, first of all, the Overstock person, I've never met, I never knew who this guy was. Actually the first thing I did, I walked in, I looked at him, and I said, "Who are you?" And he told me.

I don't think -- I don't think any of these people were providing the President with good advice, and so I didn't understand how they had gotten in.

QUESTION: In the short period of time that you had with the President, did he seem receptive to the presentation that you were making?

SIDNEY POWELL, ATTORNEY: He was very interested in hearing, particularly about the CISA finding and the terms of 13848 that apparently nobody else had bothered to inform him of.

Cipollone and Herschmann and whoever the other guy was, showed nothing but contempt and disdain of the President.

CIPOLLONE: The three of them were really sort of forcefully attacking me verbally. Eric, Derek, and we are pushing back we're asking one simple question as a general matter: Where is the evidence?


POWELL: I mean, if it had been me sitting in his chair, I would have fired all of them that night and had them escorted out of the building.

ERIC HERSCHMANN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ATTORNEY: I think that it got to the point where the screaming was completely -- completely out there. I mean, you got people walking in, it was late at night. It had been a long day and what they were proposing, I thought was nuts.

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: I'm going to categorically describe it as you guys are not tough enough. Or maybe, I put it another way, you're a bunch of pussies. Excuse the expression, but that -- I am almost certain the word with you.

HERSCHMANN: Flynn screamed at me that I was a quitter, and I was incapable of standing up and turning around and screaming at me. And then at a certain point, I had it with him. So -- and I yelled back, "Either come over or sit your effing ass back down."


TAPPER: That swig of Dr. Pepper was just the French kiss of that testimony, as surreal is all of that was, the Committee presentation made clear that this wasn't a moment when the former President suddenly realized it was time to pack it in; instead, almost immediately after that meeting ended, in the wee hours of the morning, Donald Trump sent out that tweet, calling on his millions of followers to come to Washington DC on January 6th, "It will be wild," he said. And in exhibits and testimony today, the Committee showed that his

call on the 6th for all those people to march on the Capitol had been planned well in advance and then a number of extremist groups and members of those groups had gotten the message quite clearly.


REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-FL): The President's own documents suggest that the President had decided to call on his supporters to go to the Capitol on January 6th, but that he chose not to widely announce it until his speech on Ellipse that morning.

The Committee has obtained this draft updated -- undated tweet from the National Archives. It includes a stamp stating "President has seen." The draft tweet reads: "I will be making a big speech at 10:00 AM on January 6th at the Ellipse, south of the White House. Please arrive early. Massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the Steal."

Although this tweet was never sent, rally organizers were discussing and preparing for the march to the Capitol in the days leading up to January 6th.


TAPPER: Now one of the marchers who stormed the Capitol testified today expressing regret for what he did, saying he did it thinking that he was doing it at Donald Trump's behest, and he left after Donald Trump, hours later told him and the other followers to go home.

COOPER: The Committee also presented more evidence, and this has been really a constant throughout the hearings, the people close to the former President knew what was happening or knew what was happening was wrong, but kept it largely to themselves. Trump's former campaign manager Brad Parscale for one.


MURPHY: President Trump's former campaign manager, Brad Parscale recognized the impact of the speech immediately, and this is what he said on January 6th in excerpts from text messages to Katrina Pierson.

Mr. Parscale said, "This is about Trump pushing for uncertainty in our country, a sitting President asking for Civil War." And then when he said, "This week, I feel guilty for helping him win," Katrina Pierson responded, "You did what you felt right at the time and therefore it was right."

Mr. Parscale added, "Yes, but a woman is dead. And yes, if I was Trump, and I knew my rhetoric killed someone." When Miss Pierson replied, "It wasn't the rhetoric." Mr. Pascal said, "Katrina, yes, it was."


COOPER: Now the, Committee as we've come to expect closed with a surprise, Vice Chair Liz Cheney saying the former President had tried to call a prospective witness and that the Justice Department had been notified of that attempt.

So, it's on nights like these, there is certainly a lot to cover. We have two hours ahead.

First, Committee member and California Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, I spoke to him just a few minutes before airtime.


COOPER: Congressman Schiff, what is your biggest takeaway from today's hearing?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Well, my biggest takeaway is on December 18th, the President meets with these outside, I don't know what to call them, advisers/allies, and they want to seize voting machines. They want the appointment of some kind of Special Counsel, and when that proposal is essentially rejected by the President's own people, hours later, in the early morning hours, the following day is when Trump summons the mob.

Sends out that tweet saying "It's going to be wild." It's clear that after these other efforts to overturn the election failed, his last ditch effort was going to be to summon the mob.


COOPER: What do you think was the most valuable part of Pat Cipollone's testimony, at least from the clips that were played today? Does he connect dots that no one else had been able to?

SCHIFF: I think that he certainly underscores and corroborates much of the testimony we had about the fact the President's own lawyers, knew he lost the election basically told him he lost the election, understood that the claims of fraud were bogus, that there was no evidence for them, understood the election was over when the Electoral College took their vote in mid-December, and basically tried to ward off a lot of what followed.

And so I think he confirms a lot of that, and it is important that it comes directly from the White House Counsel. These are people representing the office of the presidency, and it just corroborates how the President was told over and over again, by his Justice Department, by his own White House lawyers that these claims of fraud were completely bogus and it goes directly to the President's knowledge and intent.

He knew the claims he was making to the public were false. He continued to make them. He knew the crowd was angry on January 5th, as he was listening from the Oval Office, and he knew on January 6th, if not before, they were also armed, angry, an armed mob, and he urged them to march on the Capitol and that's pretty powerful evidence.

COOPER: I know you won't get into specifics. Can you characterize what people can expect to hear from Cipollone at the next hearing? SCHIFF: Well, I can't characterize his testimony, but I can tell you

that we will be focused on what the President was doing and importantly, what he wasn't doing. That supreme dereliction of duty while the Capitol was being attacked.

And as you heard today, when the President was finally prevailed upon to say something, it did have the effect of getting some of those people to turn around and leave the Capitol. But the fact that he couldn't or wouldn't, rather, deliver that message earlier, that he was, you know, watching this attack unfold, wasn't doing anything to stop it, even while his own Vice President was trying to stop it, I think we'll go into that in much greater detail.

COOPER: The focus today on the so-called Proud Boys and Oath Keepers starting with the former President's tweet on December 19th, of 2020, claiming January 6, "Will be wild." Why do you think they saw that as a call to arms? And do you see them and their allegiance to the former President as an ongoing threat?

SCHIFF: You know, I think that they look for messages continually from the President and where the President earlier, much earlier had said that the Proud Boys during that presidential debate, "Stand back and standby," they took that as meaning something. It helped them recruit people.

As we heard in today's testimony, these groups wanted to form a kind of an armed militia around the President, his own personal armed militia.

You know, this is something that, you know, comes out of the Germany in the 30s, not something we would expect to see here in this country.

And, so I think that if there was one thing that Donald Trump understood better than probably anyone else, it is the psychology of crowds and of mobs. You know, he derives such energy from the crowds at his rallies. There is always concern about the size of his crowds.

He knew how to direct that mob at the Capitol, and he did. And, of course, you know, people around the President understood also the participation of these dangerous people as he ultimately did.

COOPER: The Vice Chair, Liz Cheney ended the hearing today alleging the former President called a witness -- called a witness that the public had not yet heard, but that the witness didn't answer the phone and instead alerted their attorney who informed the Committee, you're a former federal prosecutor, is there any possible legal exposure there?

SCHIFF: Well, it is possible. You know, I think it would have to be in combination with other things, but I think the clear intent was to influence the witnesses to potential testimony or testimony, and so I think it's quite obvious what the President was trying to do.

And you know, whether this is actionable by the Justice Department will probably depend on a lot of other actions of the former President, as it affects these witnesses. But we thought it was important to get that information out to the

public, to put people on notice. We hope that if other witnesses are put in the same position by the former President that they will also alert us to that.

COOPER: Congressman Adam Schiff, thanks for your time.

SCHIFF: Thank you.



TAPPER: And with me here in Washington, CNN special correspondent, Jamie Gangel; CNN senior political correspondent and "Inside Politics" Sunday anchor, Abby Phillip, and CNN legal analyst Norm Eisen, who served as Special House counsel to -- I'm sorry, special counsel to House Democrats in the first Trump impeachment.

Jamie, let me ask you. What stood out the most as most important today to you?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: So to me, once again, it was that the Committee has brought in Trump loyalists, insiders, Republicans to really take Trump down. And in this case, I just thought what was extraordinary was, we call it a mash up, but the portion of video where you hear about this December 18th, 19th, and do I have the date, right -- where there's this --


GANGEL: December 18th, where there's this extraordinary fight that goes on between the White House Counsel who come running down to see Team Crazy, these people who've gotten into the White House -- Flynn, Sidney Powell -- I shouldn't say gotten in, Donald Trump wanted them there.

TAPPER: Right.

GANGEL: And I just think -- I mean, better late than never, but these folks knew this was going on and it took a long time and some subpoenas to get them to talk about it.

TAPPER: But let -- I just want to play and get your reaction to this, Abby. It's one of the things that came out of that meeting was this idea, and we've seen reports about it, but this idea that Donald Trump actually appointed Sidney Powell to be a special counsel. She thought it was a done deal. It had already happened -- to investigate this voter fraud. Let's play that clip.


POWELL: He asked Pat Cipollone if he had the authority to name a special counsel, and he said, yes. And then he asked him if he had the authority to give me whatever security clearance I needed and Pat Cipollone said yes. And then the President said, okay, you know, I'm naming her that and

I'm giving her a security clearance. And then shortly before we left and it totally blew up, was when Cipollone and/or Herschmann and whoever the other young man was said, "You can name her whatever you want to name her and no one is going to pay any attention to it."

QUESTION: How did he respond? How did the President respond to that?

POWELL: Something like, you see what I deal with? I deal with this all the time.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean, the other thing that's striking to me is that, just as Jamie said, all of these people knew what was going on. They also knew they were working for a President who was looking for the crazy, ushering them into the White House, surrounding himself with this kind of thing.

And then, this idea of defying Trump to his face, his aides, basically saying, like you can do whatever you want, but we're just not going to listen. That's classic Trump administration stuff that had been going on since the beginning of the administration and continued on into this really perilous moment for the country in which the subject at hand wasn't just, you know, some issue of policy that they just didn't agree with, it was a question of whether or not he was going to carry out an attempt to overthrow the results of a free and fair election.

It's extraordinary that all of these people who knew that this was insane, and said so at the time, continued to work for Trump. Many of them based on their testimony to the Committee don't even acknowledge that Trump himself is responsible for it.

As Liz Cheney said, many of those people still want it to be, you know, just the story of John Eastman and Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani and all the crazy folks and not the guy who brought them into the White House.

TAPPER: And Norm, what did you think was most important today, as a legal matter in terms of what the Justice Department may ultimately charge any of these individuals with?

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Jake, we heard from Cassidy Hutchinson, at the last hearing about Trump's violent intent -- intent is so important in criminal cases. His violent intent on January 6th. They built a bridge today, from December 14, when, as we heard from Pat Cipollone, we see now why they wanted him and so many others, the legal avenues were exhausted.

He had a turning point on December 18th in this meeting. He chose the road of Team Crazy and then December 19th, "Will be wild," that shows intent of the violence that we ultimately got on January 6th. We got a lot of premeditation, all of the planning.

So I think they added to the quantum of evidence. They're moving towards proof beyond a reasonable doubt of crime in these hearings.

TAPPER: Yes, I have to say, though, and Jamie, I'm interested in what you think, I don't doubt that there were shenanigans with the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers and I see tenuous connections, but I have not seen enough evidence to know that, you know, that that was -- that part of it was criminal intent, that Trump knew that these far-right militia groups were coming because of what he said. And you know what I mean? Like, there's a lot of circumstantial evidence about it.


GANGEL: I completely agree. We know that was that the Proud Boys were acting as security guards --

TAPPER: Oath Keepers.

GANGEL: Oath Keepers for Roger Stone. But I would say that, in general, the Committee has under promised and over delivered.

This was the one hearing where they said there was going to be a link with Trump orbit. I didn't see it.

TAPPER: See you all again, shortly.

Now, the former President's reaction to all this, especially the Cipollone testimony. For that, let's turn to CNN chief White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins, who is in Jerusalem tonight covering President Biden's trip there.

Kaitlan, what are you hearing about Donald Trump's reaction to today's testimony, particularly what Pat Cipollone had to say to the Committee that we saw excerpts from?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, the former President has been clamoring for more people to come out and defend him at these hearings as they have gone on.

He certainly did not get that with Pat Cipollone today in his testimony that was just from last week, when it was recorded. The clips that they played of Cipollone describing those final days in the White House, including that mid-December meeting that went off the rails even by Trump White House standards where there was a lot of shouting at times in the halls of the West Wing.

This was -- you saw Cipollone and other White House attorneys talking about just how loud it was and how insane the meeting was and how it stretched on for hours. And Cipollone also saying that he had pushed President Trump to concede the election, saying that it was clear that he had lost and that there was no widespread fraud that had taken place.

But I think there are certain moments of these hearings that have gone on, Jake, that have really bothered the former President.

For example, when they played that clip of Ivanka Trump saying that she believed Attorney General Bill Barr when he said there was no widespread fraud in the election. I think that moment from today's hearing, whereas Cipollone unprompted, as if you could say a word about Vice President Mike Pence and his actions that day.

Jake, he went on to call him courageous. He said that he did the right thing that day. And he said that he believed because of the brave actions of Pence that he even deserved the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

That is a moment that you are going to see played time and time again of the top White House lawyer for Trump, who is at the center of so many of these critical meetings, praising someone, praising Pence's actions that Trump completely disagrees with. Everything that Cipollone said, Trump basically believes the opposite based on our reporting.

And so that is certainly a moment today that Trump is not going to be pleased with. Of course, Jake, we should note that our reporting also shows Trump has been asking people when these hearings are going to come to an end. He has been quizzing people about that. They thought it was potentially going to be this week. Now, we know the Committee is expected to hold a hearing next week with more testimony from more people who worked in the Trump White House -- Jake.

TAPPER: Yes, it is actually more pointed than that, isn't it? It's Pat Cipollone thinking that Vice President Pence deserves a Presidential Medal of Freedom, specifically for ignoring Donald Trump. It's not just for doing something Donald Trump didn't think it was right.

What Pence did that deserved the medal was the ignoring of Trump, but I want to ask you because Liz Cheney, the Vice Chair, the Committee ended the hearing today with an allegation that a witness that we haven't seen, received a phone call from Donald Trump that this witness he or she did not accept.

And the allegation, the suggestion by Cheney was that this was obstruct -- potential obstruction of justice or witness tampering. Do we have any idea who this witness is?

COLLINS: No, but Trump World is guessing just as much as we are trying to figure out who this could be. Of course, there's only a certain amount of people that the former President has called since that hearing came to an end, but the Committee has interviewed over a thousand witnesses. So there are a lot of possibilities here, Jake, because we've seen a lot of testimony but not that much.

I will say Trump World is criticizing Cheney for coming out, obviously they've been criticizing her for coming out and not naming this person saying that she is implying there was witness tampering here when maybe Trump didn't know they were a witness or he was just calling this person.

Of course this person for their -- whoever it is, Jake -- did not answer the phone and felt so uncomfortable that they felt the need to call the Committee and tell them that Trump was calling them. Of course, it still remains to be seen who exactly that person is -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Kaitlan Collins in Jerusalem. Thank you so much,

COOPER: Jake, I'm here with CNN political director, David Chalian; CNN senior legal analyst, Laura Coates, CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borgia and Maggie Haberman, Washington correspondent for "The New York Times" and also a CNN political analyst.

Gloria, you heard Kaitlan's reporting. What does it tell you about the extent to which these hearings, Cipollone's testimony are specifically are getting under the President's skin?

BORGER: Well, we have reporting which says that he is obsessed by these hearings, that he's watching them all the time and it's clear when at the end of the hearing Liz Cheney announced that he had made phone call to somebody whom we have not yet heard testify that the President is watching this and is obsessed by it.


BORGER: He is used to being defended by people, like politicians who go out there and say, "Donald Trump is wonderful." And you haven't heard that in these hearings. And of course, these are all his former people.

Now, he will say, they are hacks, and I never liked Cipollone, and what kind of a White House Counsel is it who testifies against me, et cetera, et cetera? But it's clearly driving him crazy.

COOPER: Maggie, I mean, the President knows a lot about hacks. You had this meeting in December 18 in the Oval Office of this clown car of Sidney Powell, Giuliani, the what is it -- the --


COOPER: Former CEO -- I mean, so many details have emerged about what was happening in the run up to January 6th including the text messages are from Brad Parscale.

How does it line up with the reporting you've done with what's come out thus far?

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we've reported on that meeting, I broke the meeting with my colleague, Zolan Kanno- Youngs that next day on December 19th, and most of the reporting was pretty accurate.

You know, we learned a lot more in a more in-depth story that Jonathan Swan did at AXIOS just about some of the specifics of what was being said, but the basics, which were that Trump wanted to appoint Sidney Powell, that there was a discussion about using the apparatus of government in this election. And in this case, it turned out to be the Defense Department and seizing voting machines.

That these cast of characters were all in there, the people were shouting, and this meeting went on forever. We knew this in real time. And in fact, it was covered extensively on this network.

COOPER: You tweeted, actually, today, the testimony actually underplayed just how crazy that meeting was.

HABERMAN: Look to be clear, I think that the participants in that meeting who we heard from themselves, which we had not before, and that was pretty striking, right? Hearing them all just describe on the record how nuts they found this, but there was, you know, something lost in some of the details. Right?

I mean, you know, there was obviously exchanges that Eric Herschmann described with Mike Flynn, and I thought that was very dramatic. But there were other things going back and forth and Trump was, you know, in and out, and Trump was almost a non-factor in their descriptions of that meeting and that is really a problem because Trump was a factor.

He was asking a lot of questions. He was making a lot of points.

COOPER: You had said in the past, that people were in tears after the meeting.

HABERMAN: People -- at least one person was in tears of frustration, because of all the screaming and yelling, and they were frankly, exhausted. That meeting, as you heard earlier today, went on for over six hours, and it was all over the place --

COOPER: This wasn't Sidney Powell.

HABERMAN: I do not believe it was Sidney Powell, somebody else.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Just remember, for context for everyone, when that meeting took place it was four days after the Electoral College had met in the 50 State Capitals. It was a done deal. The election was over. Mitch McConnell comes out.

One of the last sort of establishment Republicans has come out. He was giving Trump as much time as possible for these lawsuits, waits for the Electoral College meeting on the 14th. And then says, "Congratulations, Joe Biden, President-Elect."

You heard Pat Cipollone today in this deposition that was recorded last week saying that was the timeline he felt.

So when Pat Cipollone is running down the hall to see what's going on in this meeting, he has already had come to the conclusion that this was a completely done election. And yet, the President of the United States was still consumed by this one thing of trying to find some way to hang on to this office, totally subverting the Constitution while doing so if he were to be successful, when in fact, he had lost it.

BORGER: I want to know who moved the meeting upstairs to a different --

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, they don't get into the residence without the President -- I mean, it just doesn't happen.

BORGER: That's right to a different location. I mean, it is --

COATES: Well, the fact that the meeting happened at all is ridiculous. I mean, the timing of -- you're right. The next day, he still sends out that tweet about "It will be wild." This isn't somebody who didn't know reasonably that he had not lost this election. He knew that he lost the election.

He was looking for, yes-men, and he found a mob to do so. The problem I have with this hearing, unlike the other prior six, is that for a prosecutor to go into Court and say, "Here's my evidence and proof of conspiracy." I've got to have a lot more than you inspired people in some way.

I have to have instruction or I have to have a meeting of the mind. Somebody to actually say, here is, you know, one plus one equals two, these statements.

So far what we had today, morally culpable behavior, certainly problematic. But enough to have a criminal prosecution? Not yet.

COOPER: Thanks, everyone.

Next, one of the witnesses today, a former spokesman of the so-called Oath Keepers, we will talk about his testimony today and his warning about the future if the former President was elected again.

And later, a stunning and utterly devastating development in the Uvalde tragedy. Leaked surveillance video of the shooting at Robb Elementary, what it shows about the police response and what the sudden appearance of it is doing to parents.

We will see it ahead.



COOPER: The second half of today's hearing featured a rare opportunity to hear from someone who was once a member of one of the extremist groups who heated the former president's call to march in the capital Jason Van Tatenhove, a former spokesman and subscribe propagandists for the Oath Keepers spoke about the group hope to achieve that day. And the dangers these kinds of organizations in the former president may still pose.


REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): What did the Oath Keepers see in President Trump?

JASON VAN TATENHOVE, FMR OATH KEEPERS SPOKESPERSON: They saw a path forward that would have legitimacy. They saw opportunity, I think, in my opinion, to become a paramilitary force.

I think we've gotten exceedingly lucky that more bloodshed did not happen because the potentials been there from the start. And we got very lucky given that the loss of life was as tragic as it is that we saw on January 6, the potential was so much more.


Again, all we have to look at as the iconic images of that day with the Gallo setup for Mike Pence for the Vice President of the United States. You know. And I do fear for this next election cycle, because who knows what that might bring if, if a president that's willing to try to instill and encourage you to whip up a civil war amongst his followers using lies and deceit and snake oil. And regardless of the human impact, what else is he going to do if he gets elected again, all bets are off at that point.


COOPER: I'm joined now by Jason Van Tatenhove. Mr. Tatenhove, thanks for being with us. What did you exactly mean by all bets are off? I mean, if the former president is elected again, are you seeing he would somehow like be likely to incite more violence?

TATENHOVE: I think that's absolutely a possibility, Anderson. You know, we have we don't know what would happen with pardons. We don't know if we gain any accountability through these hearings, and through the DOJ actions, you know, what's to say, he's not going to just erase that.

COOPER: I'm not -- I haven't been sure what to make of the Oath Keepers. I mean, on the one hand, they seem like a bunch of weekend warriors who the, if this was the biggest event of their lives, and all they can mount was like a stack walking through a crowd up to the Capitol. They don't seem like they amount to much. That being said, there was someone who planted pipe bombs has never been discovered, and who knows what else they're capable of. Are they still a risk?

TATENHOVE: I think so. I think so. I was guilty myself of under estimating them, you know, I broke away around 2016, 2017. And, and, you know, I didn't think you know, there's there was a certain amount of ineptness that that I saw, but at the same time, they did storm the Capitol, there were explosives that were found there. I mean, I was guilty of under estimating them. And I think we're just at a point in time in history, where we cannot do that anymore.

COOPER: Do you think this --I mean, the what has happened to them legally, the charges have been brought against so many of them. Do you think they will reconstitute whether it's the same name, a different name, but will the same characters kind of reconstitute?

TATENHOVE: Possibly, but I mean, if they don't, and then in the best case scenario, we then have to wonder what's going to rise up in that power vacuum, you know, who else is going to take on the mantle of this type of movement? And will they be more squared away than a steward roads? Will they be more competent? Will they be able to, to really mount something that that is more effective? I mean, again, we've been so lucky with this, but luck is no strategy that we should be depending on in the times that we are, in right now.

COOPER: What was the appeal of the group to you and also to a lot of the people that you met in it? I mean, you had a family, a lot of people had families, people were taking time away from their families to go hang out with, you know, go to Ferguson and intimidate people to hang out with the Bundy ranch. You know, what were you doing?

TATENHOVE: Well, I was originally there as an independent journalist. I got embedded with Stewart Rhodes, I had these grand notions of writing my version of Hunter S. Thompson's Hells Angels. But I got caught up. Now, to be clear, I was never a member, I wasn't employee but that that's almost worse. But I think the appeal really is they're targeting disenfranchised individuals that don't feel like they've, they've got much going on in their lives. They may be veterans who, who you know, is yearning for brotherhood and you know, they're keying in on these emotional issues, and really providing a sense of purpose. They've really kind of weaponized the messaging and social media.

And, you know, it seems like they're working off the same playbook, whether it's saying Alex Jones, or to President Trump or it's a Stewart Rhodes. They're all kind of cut from the same cloth and, you know, using the same tactics.

COOPER: I've interviewed two former QAnon people, one of whom actually direct messaged me telling me I was going to be executed in Washington D.C. on a certain date. And I was curious to just try to see who this person is. And do they actually believe what they are saying, or is this something they just throw out. In the people you met, I mean, did they have coherent philosophies of what they wanted America to be? Or was this just, you know, this gave them an identity and they latched on to it.


TATENHOVE: I think it's the latter there with the giving them an identity and latching on to it. You know, so much of this the wellsprings or the conspiracy theory of the day, when it was back when say Bundy ranch for sort of the Oath Keepers kind of first launched off of the momentum of the Tea Party after President Obama was elected. You know, the going conspiracy theory then was the Jade Helm. So you saw the messaging and the kind of mission statement catered around that conspiracy theory.

But, you know, as part of my job as associate editor and national media director, we would look at, you know, the news aggregates, see what were the big stories, especially if there was something hot within the conspiracy realm, and see how we could spin that and plug the Oath Keepers name and message into it.

COOPER: Jason, I don't know you, but I give you a lot of credit for, for speaking, and for taking a step back and seeing this and getting you and your family out of that. And it certainly speaks well.

To Jason Van Tatenhove, thanks so much.

TATENHOVE: Thank you.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Back with our panel, and joining us, Juliette Kayyem, CNN national security analyst and former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security. You were reacting to the interview there because you certainly do take the Oath Keepers quite seriously.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Oh, yes, absolutely. And, and I think this is just really interesting what's happening now with the committee, there's the legal side, did they make a case right against Trump. And then there's the side that people like me look at, which is the counter insurgency narrative, right. This is a campaign to expose what was happening, and to provide viewers and Oath Keepers and others and off ramp. And that's what I think was really interesting in terms of having these two witnesses.

The former Oath Keeper, he had a line that I thought was just sort of the line of the day, he says, we need to quit mincing words and just talk about truce. Right? Because we are looking at all the nitty gritty details and he takes a step back. And I think that's what Representative Raskin was doing at the end in terms of look, Trump called they answered, right, call answer, call answer, call answer hours, I mean, hours of describing this, this dance between the two and here's, and we're going to provide all of you who think Trump has a future with an off ramp. Trump is over. I mean, it's basically what they want for us to understand that he's peaked, and that this effort has now been exposed.

TAPPER: That's their hope (INAUDIBLE) --

KAYYEM: No -- but -- well but -- what I think the only --

TAPPER: He still calls it his knee, still, the number one choice of Republican voters.

KAYYEM: But the only way or not, I mean, in terms of autocracies, the only way an autocratic movement ends. It's not because a bunch of liberals say we don't like autocrats. It's because moderates and former members of this autocracies come forward and say, enough. And I think what was really important was, they are sort of embracing that even Raskin who's quite liberal, as we know and saying, we're not going to do this alone, a bunch of us, you know, Democrats saying, oh, Trump is bad. Well, you've been hearing that for eight years. It is literally the formers coming forward and saying, here's a path out of this very scary future for the United States.

TAPPER: And -- go ahead.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I mean, that is the theme that I think Liz Cheney has been trying to do not just for the former members of this kind of extremist ideology, but just regular Republicans who were willing to cast a ballot for Trump, not once, but probably twice, and might do it again, if they're given an opportunity just to say to these people, hey, it's time for you to really, to really step away from this. I mean, frankly, kind of freak show that has been unfolded by the committee.

I'm also struck, though, and Juliette, I think you have such a good insight into this. The idea that this kind of extremism was sort of downplayed and ignored and not really taken seriously is, I think, a reckoning moment for this country. It was all there, and they did nothing about it. And then you had a sitting president, you know, maybe one degree of separation away from violent extremist groups. And only now is this something that the country is (INAUDIBLE).

TAPPER: And just to be clear about this, from the moment Donald Trump refused to in 2016, in an interview with me, condemned the endorsement of David Duke, the former Klan leader all the way through the both sides of the Charlottesville extremists all the way through Olivia Troy, the former White House official was saying earlier, that when she went to tell Vice President Pence about Cesar Sayoc, the Trump superfan who sent pipe bombs to Democratic politicians and CNN reporters and others, all the way through the Tree of Life Synagogue murders all the way through the El Paso murders. This is not new.

PHILLIP: Stand back and standby. And he set it on a debate stage. And so yes, we to be clear. It has been -- we've been talking about this since even before Charlottesville, but what I'm concerned about is the national security apparatus, the lack of preparedness it seems to take these kinds of extremist kinds of extremism serious.


JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Can I just add one other thing, and that is what was chilling was the reminder once again, as Liz Cheney has said, this is a clear and present danger. It is ongoing. I'm going to paraphrase Jason from the Oath, he said, we got lucky with the violence, the potential could have been so much more. I do fear for this next election cycle with the president who is trying to institute a civil war. What else is he going to do if he gets in all bets are off?

TAPPER: Yes. And not only that, you know, who else referred to Donald Trump is trying to start a civil war? Brad Parscale, his former campaign manager in a private text message with another Trump campaign official.

NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: And it's because Parscale and the others on the inside understand the conduits. This wasn't just about the Oath Keepers the ones who renounced the ones who are still in, this is about Roger Stone. It's about Meadows and Steve Bannon, we heard about those contacts. We know those ties are there.

TAPPER: All right, thanks to everyone.

Coming up next, stunning newly leaked video from inside the Uvalde School massacre. What the surveillance cameras shows us about the law enforcement response, as the killer carried out his hideous rampage and officers waited 77 minutes before moving in on him.



COOPER: Tonight, exactly seven weeks since the Uvalde school shooting rampage, the world has seen the clearest view yet of what happened with the law enforcement response. The Austin American-Statesman published leaked video comes from surveillance cameras including one inside the hall of Robb Elementary School then. Now the newspaper says it took steps to edit the video like removing the sound of children's screams. CNN is airing a portion of that leaked video as well. The details have been shrouded in sequences, we have been lied to, parents more importantly had been lied to. They have had the runaround there has been an ongoing cover up among some officials and police. The police response during the shooting and after has been nothing short of pathetic.

Before we aired the video we shouldn't know there's obviously no amount of editing that can change the fact that it's difficult to watch knowing what we know. But the 21 lives that were being taken that were being murdered that kids, the teachers were being murdered while this video was taken.

CNN Shimon Prokupecz is with us. So, talk to me about this video, Shimon.

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, disturbing to know that what's on the other side of the wall where these officers are standing in the hallways, literally standing around, doing nothing Andersen. For more than an hour trying to figure out what they're going to do. And they wind up standing around for so long. They do nothing. It is a very disturbing portrayal of what was going on in the hallway. The families certainly are extremely upset Andersen over how this came out the leak. They were expecting this to come out at some point that they were going to be able to view this in an organized fashion.

But I think off the top it's important to know how upset the family members are over this video. And what it shows is certainly so disturbing, because you see the officers in the hallway, you see them run towards the gunfire, but then do everything against their training. They retreat. They move back away from the gunman and then we know Anderson what happens after that. Take a look at some of that video.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE). Get down. Get in your room! Get in your room!





COOPER: I just want to -- yes, I want to bring in CNN senior law enforcement analyst and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.

Andrew, what is your reaction to seeing this video not the full surveillance video, which went on for 77 minutes, it does show the officers just waiting, you see ballistic shields being laid on the ground, you see heavily armed officers, amassing and waiting. And when the finally they do go forward, the ballistic shields are not in the front there. Apparently they weren't all that important after all. I mean, what do you what do you see in this video?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know, Anderson, there's just -- there's almost too many failures to catalog here on the brief time that we have, of the initial responding officers, only about half of them actually go down to the door, you see guys walking around talking to each other using hand sanitizer, which is I can't even understand that. So, there's just failure upon failure.

But more broadly, what you see here, Anderson, is a complete failure to live up to the sacred trust, the bargain that every law enforcement officer makes when they hold up their hand and are sworn into their job, and that is that you will lay down your life to protect other people. When I was deputy director in the FBI, the FBI Academy began a program where with each class of new agents, one of their first nights at the Academy, we would bring them in as a class and we would show them the bullet written blood stained tactical vest of Sam Hicks the vest he was he was wearing when he died in 2008, executing a search warrant in Philadelphia. And the purpose was to show those new agents, this is how this could end for you. And if you're not down for this, now is the time to leave.

And the solemnity of that, of that, that commitment is what you see violated by a bunch of poorly led officers who wander around and half of whom are surprised when the entry is finally made. You see the officers at the back of the hall they are shocked that somebody's actually going in the room. It's inexplicable. And it's kind of I have to say it's kind of sickening to see that in the law enforcement community that I love that I know my colleagues treasure, this is really hard to watch.

COOPER: And to know what we're not seeing in this and what we're not hearing are the screams of children. And the go on and on. And the cries of children and the police officer crying to calling out to a child that who identifies herself who then according to the parent that Shimon talked to yesterday, the gunman that goes over and shoots that child dead.

Shimon, you've spoken with several family members of the victims, what are (INAUDIBLE)?

PROKUPECZ: Well, they've kind of gone dark now Anderson, I think they feel betrayed, you know, they were expecting this video to come out on Sunday, they were expecting it to be in an organized fashion, they wanted to be together, when they got to see this video. They're going through a lot, the emotions are very high, they were going to have clergy present around them some therapist.

You know, when you know, every night that we come on, Anderson, you and I talk, it's just another thing, another thing, another thing, you know, they don't trust anyone anymore. They've been lied to. They've been not, they haven't been told anything. And the only way sometimes they learn anything is through leaks and public, the information that's released, and it comes to them last. And again, here we are tonight, the same thing happens. I don't know what's going to happen in the next few days for these families, but they are really, really upset. And because they really wanted to view this video together, you know, they're upset about some of the audio that came out.

So, it's going to be really difficult days for them, certainly the next few days and then come this weekend when they're going to have to listen to officials describe the report that the legislators here put together and now they're going to have to sit through this video and they certainly were not expecting it to come out this way. And it's just so hard to listen to them, and just to hear their emotions and sort of replay all of this again in their minds, and they're going to have to do this again.


PROKUPECZ: So they're extremely upset tonight, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes, Andrew just says as what happened to you or what do you show to FBI agents and I think police academies around the country for a long time to come, they're going to show them this video and as to what not to do.