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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Former Gov. Asa Hutchinson On State Of GOP; Biden Expected To Attack Trump At Fundraiser Tonight: "More Damaging Is The All-Out Assault Donald Trump Is Making On The American System Of Justice"; Jury Seated In Hunter Biden's Federal Gun Trial, Opening Statements Tomorrow; Biden Expected To Attack Trump At Fundraiser Tonight Over His Felony Conviction; Trump Warns Of Public "Breaking Point" If He's Jailed; GOP Chair Forces Rep. Greene To Refer To Fauci As A Doctor; Congressman's 6-Year-Old Son Steals The Spotlight. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired June 03, 2024 - 20:00   ET



CHRISTO GROZEV, LEAD RUSSIAN INVESTIGATOR FOR BELLINGCAT: Who is going through a redemption, somebody who is part of the Novichok creation and upgrading and research and development system of Russia. And then suddenly he gets a conscience and he realizes that these weapons that he's - these chemical weapons he's helping design are not really used for terrorists that he was led to believe are against terrorists. They're actually used against his compatriots and people who are just speaking up and he decided to speak up to us and we help him escape Russia. That was how the film started and then as we followed his fate, his destiny, then one of the victims of the poisoning with Novichok went back to Russia and was arrested. That was Vladimir Kara- Murza who has been in jail since the war started. And we focused on him as well and then suddenly in the middle of filming these destinies (ph) ...


GROZEV: ... something happened that showed us that I'm also a victim and then the director pivoted to me.

BURNETT: To you. Well, it is an incredible film. I hope everyone will watch it. It premieres this week.

And thanks so much to all of you for joining us tonight. AC360 starts now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Tonight on 360, Republican lawmakers attack the criminal justice system. One threatens to defund the government over the former president's criminal conviction even as Trump issues a thinly veiled warning about civil unrest if he gets jail time. We're keeping them honest tonight.

Also, day one of Hunter Biden federal trial. The jury has been selected. We look ahead to opening statements tomorrow. And later, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the grilling House Republicans gave him over the COVID pandemic and what he gave them back in return.

Good evening. Thanks for joining us.

We begin tonight, keeping them honest, with what looks to be the shape of things to come as the leader of the Republican Party, the self- proclaimed rule of law party faces a July sentencing date for 34 felony convictions. Increasingly, that means Republicans are attacking a criminal justice system they've long claimed to support, threatening to investigate and defund it, even threatening to defund the entire federal government, all because a jury of 12 Americans did what juries are entrusted to do, listen to evidence and reach a verdict.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): We are in a serious country anymore. We're literally a banana republic. So what does it matter funding the government? The American people don't give a shit.


COOPER: That's Georgia Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene talking to CNN's Manu Raju.

Separately in a new letter CNN obtained today, House Judiciary Chairman, Jim Jordan, is proposing to defund federal and state prosecutions targeting what he called, quote, "political opponents." And as we reported last week, some of the former president's Senate allies are vowing to bottle up any legislation at all in response to the New York verdict.

Now let's remember, this was a state trial, not a federal one. And there's no evidence the federal Justice Department had any role or whatsoever in it, let alone the attorney general, let alone President Biden. Yet from the beginning, the former president has, in almost a literal sense, tried to make a federal case out of it, a notion his supporters now fully embrace.

Now, Speaker Mike Johnson, for one, last week he said the Supreme Court should get involved. Now he's saying Congress should with all its got.


REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA): Listen, we are the rule of law party. Chaos is not a conservative value and we have to fight back and we will with everything in our arsenal. But we do that within the confines of the rule of law. So what we'll do with our tools that we have in Congress, in the House, is we'll use our oversight responsibility. And we're going to look at Special Counsel Jack Smith, who we believe is abusing his authority as well. We have the funding streams. We have mechanisms to try to get control of that.


COOPER: Jack Smith, for the record, has managed to persuade a duly appointed judge to sign off on a search warrant that has yielded troves of highly classified documents with the former president squirreled away at Mar-a-Lago and attempted, according to prosecutors, to move those documents around to avoid detection.

Smith has persuaded grand juries to indict Trump for that and also bring charges connected with January 6, all while being legitimately opposed in the courts up to and including the Supreme Court by the former president's legal team. None of that suggests a lack of due process, let alone evidence of wrongful prosecution. It's the contrary.

Yet here is what Republican governor and vice presidential hopeful, Doug Burgum, is now saying.


GOV. DOUG BURGUM (R) NORTH DAKOTA: Well, I think what's sad for America is the whole weaponization of the system and what we're going to see more of this.


COOPER: He provided no evidence nor did another man desperately vying to become vice president, Sen. Tim Scott.


SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): There's no doubt that this verdict has actually brought - unifying our party. Without any question, what we've seen is never Trumpers calling me and saying, Tim, I'm on the bandwagon now. I've seen this two-tiered justice system working against the president of the United States. It could work against me, too.


COOPER: He also provided no evidence of that. As for the system being weaponized against Republicans, not sure what Democratic senator, Bob Menendez, feels about that or for that matter, Hunter Biden. That's the President's son there arriving today at a federal courthouse in Delaware for day one of his trial on gun related charges.

And here's Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin today.



REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Democrats are not out there saying that Hunter Biden's trial is a farce. It's a fraud. It's rigged. We're not attacking the justice system. They do that because of the extraordinary cognitive dissonance that a party which claims to be representing religious piety has wrapped itself around in an adjudicated sexual assailant and fraudster who just got convicted by a jury of his peers for paying one hundred and thirty thousand dollars in hush money to a porn star right after his fifth child was born. That's where their party is.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Well, where could the Republican Party may be and we'll talk about it a short later. The leader of it is not gaslighting the public denying his own very public, very early, very loud foray into politicizing and, yes, weaponizing the criminal justice system.


WILL CAIN, FOX NEWS: You famously said, regarding Hillary Clinton, "Lock her up." You declined to do that as president.

TRUMP: I beat her. It's easier when you win. And they always said "lock her up," and I felt - and I could have done it, but I felt it would have been a terrible thing. And then this happened to me. And so I may feel differently about it. I can't tell you. I can - I'm not sure I can answer the question. Hillary Clinton - I didn't say "lock her up," but the people said "lock her up, lock her up." Okay.


COOPER: He said he didn't say it, that the people say it. Well, keeping him honest, he said it a lot.


TRUMP: Tell you what, for what she's done, they should lock her up. She's disgraceful. It's disgraceful. Honestly, it's disgraceful.

Lock her up is right.

You should lock them up. Lock up the Bidens. Lock up Hillary.


COOPER: So, of course, he's denying he said all of that. He ran on that and in the same interviewed issued another veiled threat about what might happen if he's sentenced to jail time or home confinement for the 34 felonies the jury convicted him of.


TRUMP: I don't know that the public would stand it, you know? I don't - I'm not sure the public would stand for it. With a ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) try house arrest or ...

TRUMP: I think it will be tough for the public to take. You know, at a certain point, there's a breaking point.


COOPER: Joining us now is former Arkansas governor and former Republican presidential candidate, Asa Hutchinson.

Governor, I appreciate you being with us.

What does it say, as far as the Republican Party's concerned being a convicted felon is no longer considered a disqualification for the presidency? And you were a former prosecutor yourself, do you believe the federal government is weaponized against the GOP?

ASA HUTCHINSON (R) FOMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I have a high regard for the justice system in America. It is a hallmark of our democracy and the strength of America. I don't like to see it undermined by anyone. And whenever you look at the Republican Party right now, they're in a bind. And the bind is that you've got a presumptive nominee that's going to get the nomination of the party, that's going to the fall election and he's been convicted of 34 felonies. That's a problem for the Republican Party.

And their answer to it is to say they're bogus, that the charges and the convictions are not legitimate. That's a hard case to make to the American public. Even though they might see the start of that case in New York as partisan, they have confidence in what the jury determined. And that varies by party, of course. But the polls show that a slim majority of Americans have confidence in what the jury found.

And so they're going to sort this through. And we've had mistakes in prosecutions before. Our system has made the corrections that are needed, either through the jury system or through the appeal system. So let it work. Let's don't undermine what is so great about America in this justice system. But the Republicans are in a bind because we have a nominee that's facing felony convictions and an unknown future with the sentencing that's coming up.

COOPER: You knew what happened when former Maryland governor and the current GOP Senate candidate, Larry Hogan, he tweeted last week in response to this. He said, I urge all Americans to respect the verdict and the legal process. That was basically blasphemy, according to Trump's campaign strategist, who said that Hogan ended his campaign with that remark.

And Lara Trump, who was installed by her father-in-law to run the RNC, said Hogan doesn't deserve the respect of anybody in America. I mean, as a rational Republican like yourself, that's got to be, I mean, just sad.

HUTCHINSON: Well, as someone who was trained as an officer of the court to respect the decision of the jury, what Larry Hogan is saying is right. We should respect it. And these jurors, 12 of them citizens, not one of them found Donald Trump innocent. In fact, Donald Trump is batting zero and 24 with jurors lately.


In the sexual abuse case, it was 12 to zip that he committed that. Whenever you look at the criminal case, it was 12 to zero. So juries speak loudly. They should have respect.

And the most important thing is that Larry Hogan is necessary for the Republicans to win the majority of the United States Senate. We need Larry Hogan. Donald Trump, if he's elected president, will need Larry Hogan in the Senate. And so it's very short-sighted to attack him. It just illustrates that they're trying to use the discipline that they have, the whip to keep people in line and not to counter what the message Donald Trump has given.

COOPER: You know, Tim Scott was on - we played a clip of him earlier saying that - claiming he's been getting calls from what he described as never Trumpers who said, you know, they could be coming for me next. I'm now voting for Trump. Do you think that this verdict does bring new voters to Trump or do you think it just - I mean, it certainly angers supporters of - many supporters of the former president, but do you think it adds voters to his roles?

HUTCHINSON: Well, I mean, it varies, but what you've got to look at is it's clearly strengthened his position with Republican base. They're standing with him. They see this as unfair. And so you do have that element. But you've got to look at the six key swing states and how is this going to impact independent voters and the ones that you have to get on the margin.

And so this over the long term can't be healthy for Donald Trump. To me, he's demonstrating that he's has a fragile candidacy with these felony convictions, with more court proceedings. And the question is, can Joe Biden take advantage of that?

And his weakness is difficult for the people to make a choice. If they see Joe Biden as a weak president, what's the choice you have a convicted felon or somebody they see as weak and we don't know how that's going to play out between now and November. But that is the challenge that the voters face.

COOPER: Gov. Hutchinson, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.

HUTCHINSON: Thank you. Good to be with you, Anderson.

COOPER: We just learned that President Biden tonight will have some especially blunt talk about his predecessor's conviction. His prepared remarks for a private fundraiser tonight, including words like unhinged, as well as the President's assessment that his opponent is making a, quote, "all out assault on the American justice system." The President, we understand, is also expected to say, quote, "My God, what kind of man is this?"

Joining us now is Democratic strategist James Carville. So, James, apparently these prepared remarks released by the Biden campaign. The president's going to say tonight, folks, the campaign entered uncharted territory last week for the first time in American history. A former president that is a convicted felon is now seeking the office of the presidency.

Do you - I mean, this is something behind closed doors, not going to be televised. Do you see him making this a regular part of his stump speech? Do you see him, I mean, running with this out front as a shield or is that not a wise idea?

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I hope he doesn't. I mean, a hundred percent of the people know that Trump was convicted. The story is right. And if he says something, he wants to be on record, says something at a fundraiser, releases his remarks, that's fine.

But he has a pretty clear open field now to talk about what he wants to do in his second term, which I think this poll has been pretty devoid of any of the campaign so far. So I think he has a big advantage here. And anybody that has any respect for the jury system, of which I think most people do, I know I do, I've always been taught that juries were the most integral part of our criminal justice system.

So I'm not too big on President Biden. I mean, certainly he can say something. He wants to say something at a fundraiser. I allude to it every now and then. But everybody knows about this. We're going to know about the sentencing. We're going to know about all the appeals and all the stuff coming up. But this story has got a lot of fuel on its own, I think. That's my view.

COOPER: It does seem - I mean, to your point, if he's talking issues of actually what he wants to do, you know, pocketbook issues, you don't really hear that from the former president. I mean, he's talking about grievances. He's talking about himself. He's talking about - I mean, all the stuff he just normally talks about.

CARVILLE: Well, he's talking about getting back at people. And I think President Biden can talk about trying to get people ahead. The things he's built and how he wants to build on his record, the things that he wants to do to help families going forward, I think he's got a golden opportunity. And he's not trying to get back at anybody. He's just trying to get American families, American people back ahead.


I mean, the speech writes itself. This is not rocket science here. You've got a big opening. Just drive through it, man. Just go. No one gets this kind of opportunity in politics that he's got now.

COOPER: You know, Anthony Scaramucci was on the program a couple of days ago saying - and he's expressed publicly and others who - Republicans who are - don't like Trump are - have expressed concern that the Biden campaign, you know, hasn't really done an outreach to anti-Trump Republicans. Is that a mistake?

CARVILLE: I think Anthony is right. I mean, they could do outreach. And I think there's a lot of loosely aligned people who traditionally vote Republican who were not comfortable voting Democratic. We ought to have an outreach. Maybe some of them will vote for Biden, some will stay at home. But as I see this unfold, you know, Nikki Haley is getting 22 percent in closed primaries in states like Nebraska and Indiana. That's a lot of people in your own party that are coming out to vote against you for somebody who's not even running anymore.

And I think he's right, I - and, you know, President Biden, there are a lot of Republicans out there that are very uncomfortable with this. And we need to seize the moment and warp our way. The election we win in 2022, a lot of these specials, we win in them as much or more with independent or loosely aligned voters than we win in them with a Democratic base. I mean, hopefully we get a better numbers among under 30 and black.

But right now we're doing much better with over 65 and loosely aligned voters and we're going to need these people to win. And I think he makes a good point. I really do.

COOPER: James Carville, thank you. Good to talk to you always.

CARVILLE: Okay. Always, thank you.

COOPER: Coming up next, more breaking news, details from the court on Hunter Biden's trial now that a jury has been selected and opening statements begin tomorrow.

And later, an outbreak of politics, some of it vicious, as Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies before Congress about COVID, that and what the facts he actually say ahead on 360.



COOPER: Hunter Biden's trial got underway this morning. Jury selection wrapped up late today. Opening statements are tomorrow. CNN's Paula Reid has it all.

(Begin VT)

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): First Lady Jill Biden arriving at court to show support for her stepson.


JILL BIDEN, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I love Hunter and I'll support him and I - in any way I can.


REID (voiceover): Even in the middle of a close presidential race, President Biden has been unwavering in his support for his only living son.




REID (voiceover): The two seen at a state dinner last month, at church together last week and riding bicycles in Rehoboth Beach over the weekend. In a statement today, he said, "I am the president, but I am also a dad. Jill and I love our son and we are so proud of the man he is today."

Hunter has been charged in part with lying on this ATF form when he purchased a firearm. Prosecutors allege he failed to reveal he was a drug addict and using at the time. He has entered a plea of not guilty, although he has been open about his struggles with addiction in both his 2021 memoir, "Beautiful Things," and in interviews.


HUNTER BIDEN, PRESIDENT BIDEN'S SON: I went one time for 13 days without sleeping, and smoking crack and drinking vodka exclusively throughout that entire time.


REID (voiceover): The case was initiated by Special Counsel David Weiss, the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney in Delaware. Hunter was expected to resolve his gun charges as part of a plea deal, but that fell apart last year.


ABBE LOWELL, HUNTER BIDEN'S ATTORNEY: Hunter owned an unloaded gun for 11 days. There will never have been a charge like this brought in the United States.


REID (voiceover): Prosecutors plan to call Hunter's ex-wife and his late brother's widow, whom Hunter later dated, to testify about his drug use during the time he purchased the gun in 2018. They are also likely to use Hunter's infamous laptop, which contains embarrassing e- mails and photos to bolster their claims.

Hunter's attorneys have previously said the files were manipulated and sued the computer repair shop owner who helped make the materials public.


H BIDEN: I've made mistakes in my life and wasted opportunities and privileges I was afforded. For that, I'm responsible.


REID (voiceover): As he fights two criminal cases, he has also taken a more aggressive strategy towards dealing with Republican-led investigations on Capitol Hill.


REP. NANCY MACE (R-SC): Hunter Biden should be arrested right here, right now, and go straight to jail.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Excuse me, Hunter. Apparently, you're afraid of my words.


REID (voiceover): His second criminal trial on tax charges is scheduled to begin in September in Los Angeles.


COOPER: Paula Reid joins us now.

So what do we know about the makeup of the jury?

REID (on camera): So we've learned that the jury is comprised of six men and six women. The majority of the jury is black. And today's jury selection process really highlighted, in many ways, America's drug addiction epidemic, as many potential jurors talked about how people close to them have struggled with addiction. At least two of those folks made it onto the jury. They have testified or talked about in court how people close to them have struggled with addiction in various ways.

There's also several gun owners on the jury, including one juror who says, even if you've smoked marijuana, you still have the right to a firearm.

COOPER: All right. Paula Reid, thanks very much.

Perspective now from someone close to the Biden White House and family, CNN Political Commentator Kate Bedingfield, who recently served as White House Communications Director and with me here, best- selling author and former federal prosecutor, Jeffrey Toobin.


So, Jeff, on the legal merits, what does this case look like?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: It's a very unusual case. I mean, when you see this charge of, you know, unlawful purchase of a weapon, it's almost always in connection with the case where the gun is used in some crime. A standalone case based on, you know, just being a drug addict, drug user, buying a gun is almost never brought.

Hunter Biden's problem is it's still a crime and this is the case that was brought, and he's going to have to figure out a way to defend himself.

COOPER: And the fact that sort of the tortured history of this, the fact that they had a deal and then they didn't, will that be brought into the trial?

TOOBIN: Not at all. That is completely off limits. Plea negotiations are never allowed to be brought before a jury, but is indicative of the fact that this is a case that usually, I mean, to the extent you can say it usually about anything involving a case that started in 2018, this investigation has been going on for six years.

This kind of crime is almost always resolved in a plea bargain.

COOPER: Kate, should people be surprised that the First Lady was attending court?

KATE BEDINGFIELD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Not at all. I can tell you, so I worked for Joe Biden for nearly eight years, and they are an incredibly close-knit family. I sat in countless meetings where Joe Biden took - stopped and took a call from one of his kids, from one of his grandkids, from one of his siblings. He is somebody who puts family first, has been very clear that he loves his son and that he's going to support him.

I mean, remember, it's also important to remember that he lost his daughter and his wife - his first wife, in a car crash, weeks after he was elected to the Senate. So for his entire time in public life, he has grappled with and struggled with challenges, you know, within his family alongside dealing with the responsibilities of public service. So this is not unfamiliar territory to him, but he is somebody who loves his family, who - you know, his family is the beating heart of Joe Biden.

So no, people should not be surprised at all to see the Bidens closely supporting their son.

COOPER: And Jeff - you know, Jeff, it's interesting because the judges overseeing Hunter Biden's two cases are both Trump appointees, and yet you don't hear President Biden attacking them as conflicted, going after the court, going after witnesses and - yes.

TOOBIN: It's - you know, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are very different people. That's a big news scoop. I mean, the fact is, it's a completely different approach. Biden is saying, I respect the process. I expect if Hunter is convicted. He will say the same thing. He's showing his love for his son, but he is not attacking the process or the people involved.

And everything we've seen about how Biden has behaved is that it's completely different from how Trump is handling his own legal troubles.

COOPER: Kate, I mean, false equivalency is notwithstanding, how damaging or do you think it would be damaging a conviction in his son's case to Biden's campaign?

BEDINGFIELD: I don't. And there are a couple of reasons for that.

Firstly, obviously, Hunter Biden is not the president. He is not an office holder. He is not involved. He's not a paid staffer on his father's campaign. He's not involved in any way.

And secondly, we know, and I can tell you, as somebody who was helping run the Biden campaign in 2020, one of the most significant moments in the debates, one of the moments that really got the most traction, was the moment when, you know, Joe Biden stood up to Donald Trump, who's trying to make Hunter Biden a line of attack and said, you know, I love my son like many people in this country who have dealt with addiction. You know, I think families across the country can understand what we've been through.

And the president was very direct about being completely unflinching, about allowing, you know, Donald Trump to come at Hunter Biden in that way. So, no, I think what we've seen politically is that people admire that Joe Biden stands by his son. They relate to it. Everybody has got someone in their family, has either struggled with addiction or mental illness. I mean, this is an incredibly relatable thing for people all across the country. And I think seeing Joe Biden's humanity is a good thing for him politically, to be quite crass.

So, no, I don't think that a conviction is going to have a political impact here.

COOPER: What - Jeff, what do you think is expected the defense strategy to be? Because, I mean, there is a document he signed, which, you know, said he wasn't taking drugs, and he clearly was, according to his writing.

TOOBIN: It's a tough situation. And the judge yesterday ruled that an addiction specialist could not testify as an expert. I assume what Abbe Lowell is going to try to do is meticulously go through when the form was signed and whether at that precise moment Hunter Biden was abusing drugs. Because it is true, like a lot of addicts, sometimes he was, sometimes he wasn't.


And whether the timing matches up is something the prosecution is going to have to prove, you know, and Abbe Lowell is certainly going to make them, you know, is going to challenge that at every point.

But, you know, it's also worth remembering the vast majority of people charged in federal court wind up being convicted. So he's in a lot of trouble.

COOPER: Jeff Toobin, thank you. Kate Bedingfield as well.

Coming up, former president now convicted felon, a sitting president's son in court. Wondered is there any historical precedent for what we are in the middle of, one of the greatest historians today? Doris Kearns Goodwin, one of my favorite guests joins me here next.


COOPER: We want to return to our breaking news this evening that President Biden is expected to attack the former president tonight for what he's calling an all-out assault on the U.S. judicial system. Specifically want to explore a divided nation a little bit more around the context of something the former president said this weekend.

One of my favorite guests, historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin is here to talk about it with me. We played what the former president said earlier in the program, but I just want to play it again. Here he is talking about the possibility of going to jail after his felony convictions.



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know that the public would stand it, you know. I don't -- I'm not sure the public would stand for it with a --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say it with house arrest or?

TRUMP: I think it would be tough for the public to take. You know, at a certain point, there's a breaking point.


COOPER: Joining me now, Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. She's the author of a number of bestsellers. Her latest is fantastic, "An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s," and I highly recommend it.

You know, we've talked about the divisions in this country. I mean, with the Civil War, obviously was a time of just horrific divisions. The 1970s, there were a lot of 60s and 70s, and which there's -- you cover so much in your book and your newest book, but was the country more divided then or do you think it's more divided now?

DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I think it's more divided now than any time in my lifetime, really since the Civil War. We were divided over issues, maybe the Vietnam War, isolationism, interventionism, race, civil rights. But this is like identity.

People who are in one party and the other feel like that's their life. It's a different thing than we've seen before.

COOPER: It wasn't that way before?

GOODWIN: I don't think so. I mean, I just saw an incredible statistic that people were asked in 1958. Do you care whether your daughter marries a Republican or a Democrat? And a small percentage cared, but 72 percent said they didn't care. Either way was OK.

2020, same question. 79 percent of people are married to people in the same party.


GOODWIN: So somehow parties become who we are. One of the things that, Good old George Washington warned against in his farewell address, he said he was afraid of the baneful effects of party and he warned people against that because it could produce divisions.

And he actually every year, they read in the Senate this farewell address. It's 7, 000 words. If only they'd adhere to it, they just read it and then they go back and become divided parties again. Teddy warned against -- Teddy -- and I shouldn't say Teddy, Teddy Roosevelt, my guy, warned against.

He said if people begin to think of each other as the other rather than a common American citizens when they're divided by party or region or section, then we're going to be losing our democracy. Then democracy is in peril. And somehow that's happened.

COOPER: That is something we see in repressive regimes around the world or regimes where there is civil war or it's -- the othering of opponents, the othering of fellow citizens.

GOODWIN: And not even believing they're human as sometimes we've heard from the former president. I mean, that really then makes it impossible to make any kind of connections or compromises if they're the other. I mean, even when race was a huge division country in the 1960s, 22 Republicans joined the 44 Democrats to break the filibuster and bring the Civil Rights Act. We can't imagine that today.

COOPER: Did -- the sort of apocalyptic worldview or pronouncements from the president, the threats of, you know, potential civil unrest. Does that work? I mean, it gins up a lot of fear, it gins up supporters, it brings people to the barricades, I guess, if that's what you want them to be. Does it work to get elected?

GOODWIN: I don't know. I mean, we're going to see what happens. It seems to me that the more extreme that the former president becomes in terms of ginning up his people to say, we are now a fascist country. This is not America anymore. This is not a country. This is a banana republic. I don't think the ordinary person feels that way about our country.

And never in our country's history really has somebody who talks so pessimistically about this country. One in election. I mean, think about what happened in Hoover versus FDR. Hoover is saying that the government can't really help the depression and don't worry, it's getting a little bit better.

FDR comes along and says, it's in terrible shape now and it's not your fault, you people. It's the leadership that have failed and I'm going to act and he wins by a landslide. Look at the difference between Carter saying that the problem in the country is the malaise of the people that somehow they've lost crisis of confidence.

And then Reagan comes along saying, it's optimistic. It's a morning in America. We're going to make this work.

COOPER: Optimism -- in elections, optimism usually prevails in --


COOPER: -- terms of who people want to so -- to lead them.

GOODWIN: And you want to feel like you're going towards something in the future. I mean, one of the problems about the trial right now is that it's all the past grievances that are going to be -- he said, retribution will come, grievances.

And I think about Lincoln in the second inaugural, with malice toward none and charity for all, let us bind up our nation's wounds. That's just the opposite about saying, if I get to be president again, I'm going to get back at the people who've hurt me.

COOPER: Is there a lesson from that history teaches about how things get better? I mean, how do divisions heal? I mean, we -- the country was so divided in the Civil War. I mean, there were still many divisions for generations afterward, but how does one heal? How does a country heal?

GOODWIN: Well, you need a leader who helps to bring about that healing, and that's what Abraham Lincoln did. I mean, it could have been after the Civil War, even after the North won the war, that those divisions might've been even more exacerbated if he had gone after the -- they wanted him to go after the Southern leaders, put them in jail, execute them. He said, I'm not going to do that.


So you needed a leader who brings about that healing, but it also depends upon the people. Maybe they'll just get exhausted by this. At some point, I keep thinking, although I was an historian, I haven't been right. I thought January 4th had changed it. That would break the fever.

I thought the hearings that summer would change it. And now I think maybe this trial will change things. We're hearing people say on the independent side and even moderate republic side that the rule of law has prevailed and that they may not be able to vote for a candidate who performed as he did.

COOPER: It's interesting though, like when you're in it, it feels very hard to imagine going back to, you know, the GOP of Ronald Reagan or the, a time when, you know, people were disagreeing or, when, you know, moderation or compromise was not a dirty word.

GOODWIN: But, you know, that's what always happens. We're living in a time, we don't know the ending of our story. You know, the people in the Civil War couldn't have imagined that it would end with emancipation secured and the union restored.

Even in the early days of World War II, people couldn't have imagined the allies would win the war and democracy would prevail. They didn't know the end of their story. We don't know it. But somehow we've gotten through these dire times before, I still keep coming back to history.

History will help us by giving us perspective.

COOPER: I believe that. Because it feels like --

GOODWIN: We have to believe it, right?

COOPER: -- we forget -- we've all been through this before. Like, there have been -- these are cycles that repeat, we've all been here before, we've all been through this before. Whether us or people who were here before us, we just need to remember that we've been through this before.

GOODWIN: And we have to remember that somehow we're not a different people somehow. Something's happened to our political system, and I think it is the political system that's causing a lot of -- something's happening to our social media.

But we created these problems as leaders have said, we can solve the problems we've created. I don't know the answer yet, but I just have a feeling that somehow, why are we going to be, as a democracy, unable to solve this one when we solved other ones, which were even more dire than this one, even though it's hard to realize that.

COOPER: Yes. Doris Kearns Goodwin, thank you so much.

GOODWIN: We've got to believe it anyway.

COOPER: You make me believe it. Thank you.

GOODWIN: Thank you.

COOPER: Just ahead, our Divided America on display during testimony today on Capitol Hill, boy. Dr. Anthony Fauci stepped out on retirement to testify about our preparedness for the next pandemic, which there will be one someday.

And it look -- it took a lot of personal attacks from Republicans in the process, including this one.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R), GEORGIA: Do the American people deserve to be abused like that, Mr. Fauci? Because you're not doctor, you're Mr. Fauci.




COOPER: Dr. Anthony Fauci covered the origins of the COVID virus as well as overall U.S. preparedness for any next pandemic during congressional testimony today. He also spoke about threats he and his family have received, including credible death threats. Republicans on the House subcommittee lobbed a number of personal attacks at him, which Democrats defended.


GREENE: Mr. Fauci, you also represent the type of science that you -- where you confess that you made up the COVID rules, including, I didn't hear what you said.


GREENE: -- 6 feet social distancing and masking of children.

FAUCI: I never said I made anything up.

GREENE: You admitted that you made up. You made it up as you went.

FAUCI: I didn't say I made it up.

GREENE: So are you saying this is fake news, Mr. Fauci?

FAUCI: I didn't say I made anything up.

GREENE: What did you say?

FAUCI: I said that it is not based in science and it just appeared.

GREENE: But this is science.

FAUCI: What does dogs have to do with anything that we're talking about today?

GREENE: These are scientific experiments. This is what you signed off on. Do you think that's appropriate? Do the American people deserve to be abused like that, Mr. Fauci? Because you're not doctor. You're Mr. Fauci in my few minutes.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D), MARYLAND: Mr. Chairman of order. Just in terms of the rules of decorum, are we allowed to deny that a doctor is a doctor just because we don't want him to be a doctor?

GREENE: Yes, because in my time, that man does not deserve to have a license. As a matter of fact, it should be revoked and he belongs in prison.

REP. BRAD WENSTRUP (R), OHIO: Gentlelady was suspend. The gentlelady should recognize the doctor as a doctor.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: Do you agree that there was a push to downplay the lab leak theory?

FAUCI: Not on my part.

JORDAN: Really?

FAUCI: Really.




COOPER: I'm joined now by CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner. So when your House Republicans go after Dr. Fauci like they did today, Congresswoman Greene refusing to call him a doctor, what goes through your mind?

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: That it's a circus and it's not a serious attempt to understand what happened to us during COVID. When we were attacked on 9/11 and 3,000 Americans were killed, a commission was instituted to do a 360 degree comprehensive, bipartisan review of where our failings were, and it generated a 700-page report and substantive changes to, you know, America's intelligence sharing apparatus came out of that.

COOPER: And there's been nothing like that for this pandemic.

REINER: And there's been nothing like that for this pandemic. We lost 1.2 million people and we were not prepared. We couldn't create tests. It took us a long time to create tests. And when we created tests, we couldn't manufacture them. They were contaminated.

We understood that the virus was airborne, but we had to tell the people in this country not to try and wear masks because we didn't have masks. Our stockpiles had been depleted.


REINER: The public was deceived over and over again. We couldn't do the testing we needed. We've relied on other countries for critical data. And despite that now, you know, all these years out, four and a half years out, we still have not had a substantive bipartisan look at why --

COOPER: And --

REINER: -- the country that -- that in the year before the pandemic started, the U.S. was rated to be the number one prepared country in the world. How we could have gotten it so bad.

COOPER: Right. I mean you think back to those pictures, you know, nurses and doctors wearing or I think it was nurses wearing, you know, plastic bags because there wasn't PPE --


REINER: They're wearing garbage bags.

COOPER: Yes, garbage bags. It is -- I mean it is inevitable that there will be another pandemic. I mean, it's just -- whether it's, you know, a year from now or 20 years from now or 30 years from now, unless we learn the lessons, and lots of mistakes were made, there's no doubt about it, unless we learn the lessons of it, there's no reason to think, you know, we would be as ill-prepared the next time.

REINER: Right. Look, there is, you know, H5N1 influenza circulating widely around the world in birds. And now we're starting to see cattles infected with it. We have -- and we've seen a few humans who have had prolonged contact with infected animals get it, but we haven't seen the virus jump into humans yet.


REINER: That's doesn't -- and we are not prepared. We are not prepared. And we need -- I'm sorry, we need a serious look at how we failed, you know, in COVID so that we don't repeat these errors.

COOPER: And Dr. Fauci, I mean, his history is really remarkable during HIV AIDS crisis. He was an editor of the medical books, I understand you studied in med school. What does it mean to you to see his career dragged through the mud like this? REINER: It's not just me. It's every medical student for the last 40 years, basically, has studied the textbook of internal medicine, of which he has been, you know, one of the principal authors. He came to run the NI -- I the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in 1984. That's just as AIDS was burning through this country.

And the fact now that people with HIV in the United States can lead completely normal lives with undetectable virus loads is a -- is entirely due to the work that Tony Fauci and the lab he created, NIH, the work that they achieved. And I would say that he should get the presidential Medal of Freedom, but he's already gotten in a very deserved way, the presidential medical -- medal of freedom.

And he's basically become the scapegoat --


REINER: -- and it's really disturbing.

COOPER: Dr. Jonathan Reiner, thanks for being with us.

Coming up next, something a little lighter. It feels like we all need about now. An adorable little boy who stole the show on Capitol Hill.



COOPER: There's another moment from Capitol Hill earlier today, we want to share with you. This one will likely have you smiling and has gone viral on social media. This afternoon, Republican Congressman John Rose of Tennessee was giving a five-minute speech condemning the felony conviction of the former president when his six-year-old son sitting behind him stole the spotlight.

Take a look.


REP. JOHN ROSE (R), TENNESSEE: Regardless of one's opinion of the current Republican nominee, we'd be well served to remember the long and cherished tradition we have in this country of settling our political differences at the ballot box.

For nearly two and a half centuries, our nation's elected leaders have properly resisted the temptation to oppose their political rivals through the weaponization of our justice system. Equal justice for all. And an overall trust in our justice system is fundamental to who we are as Americans.


COOPER: That was Guy Rose behind his dad. He just finished kindergarten. Afterward, Congressman Rose wrote on social media, "This is what I get for telling my son, Guy, to smile at the camera for his little brother." Well, we're glad he did. Our Harry Enten joins us now. What more do you know?

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: And what more do I know I know that today is in fact a very special day.

COOPER: I knew you were out here for some mishigas.

ENTEN: You knew I was here for some mishigas. Last year, I sung you happy birthday. There were a lot of complaints.

COOPER: You did? I --

ENTEN: Yes. You may not remember. It was an important moment for me. And you're an important person in my life, and I wanted to get you a gift for your birthday, someone who actually knows how to sing. So guys, if we can play this tape that was recorded earlier today.


NEIL SEDAKA, AMERICAN SINGER: Surprise, surprise. It's Neil Sedaka.




SEDAKA: Happy birthday, Anderson Cooper. I remember you being friends with my son Mark --




SEDAKA: -- at Dalton, coming over to the house when you were just 16 years old. So in your honor, in your birthday, here's a song for you.

Tra, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, happy birthday, Anderson Cooper. Tonight's the night you waited for you because you're not a baby anymore. You turned into the handsomest guy we've ever seen. Happy birthday, Anderson Cooper.

If we should smile with sweet surprise, it's just that you've grown up before our very eyes. You turned into the handsomest guy we've ever seen. Happy birthday, Sweet Sixteen. Just another few years. Happy Birthday, Anderson


COOPER: Wow. Neil, thank you. That's amazing. Neil Sedaka. Incredible.

ENTEN: That's of course, my uncle, Neil Sedaka.

COOPER: Yes. And we -- I -- which I learned only a few months ago that you were -- Neil Sedaka was your uncle. I went to school with his son, Mark.

ENTEN: You absolutely did.

COOPER: And Neil Sedaka is huge. I mean, he's had an incredible, incredible career.

ENTEN: Three number one hits --


ENTEN: -- that he sung and wrote, I believe, a fourth level --

COOPER: And like when I was growing up, he was the guy who was like on the -- he would show up everywhere in variety shows, on the, you know, on the Muppets.

ENTEN: Let me tell you, he is one of the best performers I have ever seen live. I gave him a few instructions for this video. I thought of it last Friday. I just thought, what is the thing that can make Anderson's Cooper smile the smile that he loves to smile? Giggle the giggle that he loves to go.

COOPER: Yes. I love it. Thank you.

ENTEN: I think that we did pretty gosh darn good.

COOPER: You did.

ENTEN: So I just want to thank you, Uncle Neil. What a wonderful --

COOPER: Neil Sedaka.

ENTEN: Honestly.

COOPER: Thank you, Neil Sedaka. Amazing.

ENTEN: Happy birthday, my friend.

COOPER: Thank you very much, Harry. Thank you everyone. Appreciate it.

The news continues, thankfully. The Source with Kaitlan Collins starts now. See you tomorrow.