Return to Transcripts main page
At This Hour
America Marks Anniversary of Deadly Capitol Insurrection; Explosive Growth of Omicron, Hospitalizations Near All-Time High; Nation Stops to Mark Violent Attack on U.S. Government. Aired 11:30- 12p ET
Aired January 06, 2022 - 11:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN AT THIS HOUR: Yes. I mean, look, and, Gloria, in some ways, this is less about what Biden says today, more about what Republican leaders do and say today and tomorrow, because Republican leaders are largely intent on avoiding this today. Just take Mitch McConnell's statement that he put out earlier, called January 6th a disgraceful scene but he also went forward to trash Democrats, saying, it's been stunning to see some Washington Democrats try to exploit this anniversary to advance partisan policy goals.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, and this is from the man who went to the Senate floor after January 6th and said that the president had provoked it. And I believe -- in fact, I believe he did that during impeachment. And then now, you know, he said, well, if Donald Trump were the nominee, he would support him.
So, look, these are Republicans now who are still afraid of Donald Trump. Donald Trump is still puppeteer in the Republican Party. He is handpicking candidates that he wants to win in primaries. The litmus test is the 2020 election still for him. Do you believe that it was rigged and stolen from Donald Trump? Well, if you believe that, then you're in his good graces and maybe he'll support you. And that support will bring you money, and that support will bring you voters. And so he's still running things a year later.
It looked in the immediate aftermath, when Lindsey Graham went on the floor and said enough is enough, it looked like, well, maybe things would shift. But they haven't shifted. In fact, Donald Trump has consolidated his support among fervent Republicans, and he runs the party a year later, and that is another reason that I think Joe Biden felt that he had to come out and give this direct speech, challenging the belief that the election was stolen.
BOLDUAN: Gloria, David Chalian, Susan Glasser, Tim Naftali, thank you all very much.
Be sure to join Jake Tapper, Anderson Cooper for an unprecedented gathering of police, lawmakers and leaders on this anniversary of the attack. Live from the Capitol, January 6th, One Year Later, it begins tonight, 8:00 P.M. Eastern here on CNN tonight. Coming up for us, one of the most remarkable things about this attack was how many video cameras recorded what happened, how much of the reality is viewable, how many angles we can now see of the reality of how violent it was. We're going to take you through the timeline of the images burned into our collective memory, images like a D.C. Police Officer Daniel Hodges being crushed by a mob.
BOLDUAN: America's democracy was attacked one year ago as a violent mob breached the Capitol and beat dozens of police officers. The image of the deadly insurrection were shocking then and they remain shocking now.
CNN's Alex Marquardt was on the scene that day. Here is his report on how it all unfolded. And a warning for you, some of the images and the language that you're about to see and hear are graphic.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For weeks, President Donald Trump hyped the rally on January 6th, be there, he tweeted, will be wild. That day, his family and allies whipped up the crowd.
DONALD TRUMP JR., FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SON: Have some backbone, show some fight.
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FORMER PERSONAL LAWYER: Let's have trial by combat.
MARQUARDT: Then Trump proceeded to call out his own vice president.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: And Mike Pence is going to have to come through us. And if he doesn't, that will be a sad day for our country.
MARQUARDT: He lied about the election and urged his followers to march on the Capitol.
TRUMP: And we fight, we fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore.
MARQUARDT: A year on from the January insurrection, we've learned much more about how the day unfolded, who the players were, how they organized, communicated and attacked the Capitol. More video has come out revealing how dangerous it truly was.
As Trump spoke on The Ellipse, the first clashes between protesters and police while Vice President Mike Pence made clear he would follow the law and Congress started to certify the Electoral College vote. It wasn't long before the scene quickly unraveled.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We have been told by Capitol police that the Capitol is in lockdown.
MARQUARDT: Pence was rushed off the Senate floor. Certification was halted.
I can see half a dozen protesters scaling, literally climbing the walls of the Capitol to get up to where their fellow protesters are.
Rioters smashed windows, broke down doors and rushed into the hallways.
Officer Eugene Goodman led the mob away from the Senate chamber where Pence was located as they shouted his name.
Lawmakers, like Senator Mitt Romney, ran from the advancing crowd. Others inside the House chamber took cover, the doors barricaded, police officers' guns drawn. The day's first fatality came when insurrectionists tried to break through the speaker's lobby. Rioter Ashli Babbitt was shot by an officer and died from her wounds.
Outside, our CNN team was moving to the north side of the Capitol when we were attacked.
We tried to get out as quickly as possible.
We were physically unharmed, others not as lucky. When rioters poured into a tunnel blocked by police, they sprayed officers with pepper spray before dragging out a D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone, tasing him and beating him with a flagpole.
MICHAEL FANONE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: They were screaming out, kill him with his own gun. I just remember yelling out that I have kids.
MARQUARDT: Officer Daniel Hodges was pinned down from a crush of bodies, wedged in a doorway, his mouth bleeding.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a guy ripping my mask off. And he was able to rip away my baton and beat me with it.
And he was practically foaming at the mouth.
MARQUARDT: We now know that as the rampage spiraled out of control, Trump sat for hours watching it all on T.V. before issuing a tepid message to his followers.
TRUMP: Go home. We love you. You're very special. But go home and go home in peace.
MARQUARDT: A curfew will go into effect around an hour's time. There is no indication right now that these protesters have any inclination of going anywhere. There's no indication that they had heard the message from the president to go home.
They weren't done yet, descending on a press area, destroying equipment, and talking about killing journalists.
With night falling and a curfew approaching, reinforcements finally arrived to flush out the rioters.
Wolf, we are on the western side of the Capitol. You can hear there is a flashbang presumably from this police force that has just moved in. Wolf, what you're looking at now is Metropolitan Police from Washington, D.C., who, just before this 6:00 P.M. curfew, have moved in here to push out the rioters. They have been shouting, move back, at this crowd of hundreds, if not, more Trump supporters on the western side of the Capitol building.
MARQUARDT: Many felt victorious, their message heard. Several dozen were arrested, but hundreds more slipped into the night, away from the police, a relatively quiet end to one of the most dramatic and dark days in American history.
MARQUARDT (on camera): And, Kate, in the days that followed the insurrection, the FBI launched what would become its biggest investigation ever. To date, according to the Department of Justice, more than 725 people involved in the insurrection have been arrested or charged -- and charged, I should say, and the select committee up here on Capitol Hill for January 6th has issued 52 subpoenas. Of course, some of those subpoenas have been defied, most notably by the former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and Steve Bannon, former chief strategist at the White House. Bannon has been indicted on criminal contempt of Congress, and Mark Meadows has been referred to the DOJ. Kate?
BOLDUAN: Alex Marquardt, thank you so much, Alex.
Members of Congress are all witnesses to those historic crimes of the insurrection, many of them forced to take cover, put on gas masks as the House chamber was under attack by fellow Americans that day. My next guest was one of those lawmakers in the House gallery and writing recently that she will never forget the sound of the pounding on the House chamber doors.
She then became a House impeachment manager who made the case that Donald Trump incited, fueled and did nothing to stop that attack.
Joining me now is Democratic Congresswoman Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania. Thank you for being here, Congresswoman.
You said recently, I'm going to read this for everyone, a year ago, I believed the attack on the cathedral of our democracy would expose the dangers of anti-democratic lies of a stolen election, as well as the precious fragility of a republic. I hoped it would pull us together as a people. I was wrong. What do you do knowing that democracy is at greater risk today than it was one year ago?
REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): Well, thank you for having me, Kate. And I'm here because I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I want to make sure that we remember this day, we reflect upon this day, and that we recommit ourselves to our democracy because of the very lies that stormed the Capitol literally one year ago today still threaten our democracy.
That's why I was particularly pleased to hear the powerful speech of President Biden with clarity, calling out the danger to our democracy through lies, even quoted the bible to say, the truth shall set us free. So, I think we have to commit ourselves, every single one of us, not just elected officials but people in the media, every single citizen has to commit ourselves to the protection and the lifting up of our precious democracy.
BOLDUAN: I want to play for you something that former D.C. Metro Police Officer Mike Fanone said just today. He, of course, is one of the officers who was brutally attacked during the insurrection, tased so many times that he suffered a heart attack in the midst of it. Let me play this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FANONE: A year out and I'm just angry. I mean, I went through the whole rolodex of emotions. Now I'm just angry. And I would ask anybody who doubts the reality of January 6th to question your own motivations behind that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLDUAN: You say, we need to recommit ourselves to stand up against this violence. But we know 40 percent in a new poll believe now that political violence -- 40 percent of Republicans in a new poll believe that political violence is acceptable and justified.
What do you do with that?
DEAN: I happen to know Officer Fanone, and he's an extraordinary hero among heroes. That's what I want to do today, is to remember all the Capitol police and the Metropolitan police, the custodians, the architects and the courage and the duty that they felt.
What we do with that is mark this day historically. I'm with Officer Fanone. I share that sentiment of anger. What in God's name are we doing to move our country forward, to protect it for the next generation and for generations after that? I was thinking of Justice Brennan, who said we have to defend our Constitution if it is to endure. We have to have the fidelity to live by it.
So, I'm calling upon every citizen right alongside Officer Fanone to have the fidelity, the faithfulness to the Constitution, not faithfulness to pursuit of power, not faithfulness to a single failed president, but a faithfulness to this experiment in democracy, because we learned the hardest way, as one of your guests said, a near-death experience for our democracy, we learned the very hardest way one year ago that our democracy is not guaranteed to us. It is not like this stone pillar. It's precious. It's fragile. It's up to us. BOLDUAN: According to a tally by The Washington Post, at least 163 Republicans who have embraced Donald Trump's election lie that incited the insurrection, they are running -- 163 of them are running for statewide positions that would give them authority over how elections are run. This is candidates for governor, Senate, even secretaries of state. What does that mean to you in the face of all of this, and what does that mean for the future of elections very viscerally?
DEAN: Oh, it's very cynical. It's very corrupt. But I believe the American public and those who vote are smarter than that. I ask the American citizenry to turn away such politicians who are more faithful to a litmus test of a big lie, a big lie that literally tore away at our democracy, that literally took lives and wounded many people, traumatized thousands of others. I call upon the citizens to educate ourselves to the truth because only by voting based on the truth will we put in power elected officials who have their precious right to vote in their hands.
I'm reminded of a movie that I love, and in that movie, the president says that America is tough, America is advanced citizenship. We are in a moment of advanced citizenship. It is upon every single one of us to reject the sea of lies that the former president set out on this Capitol and set out across this nation.
BOLDUAN: Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, thank you for your time.
DEAN: Thank you very much.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, the House is going to be holding a moment of silence to mark the one-year anniversary, one year since the deadly insurrection. We're going to bring that to you live when it happens.
But, first, amidst the violence, there were so many acts of heroism, like Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, whose bravery in the face of rioters became one of the most enduring images. He stood his ground, he directed Senator Mitt Romney away from the mob, rioters who breached the Capitol. We again salute him and all the officers who defended the Capitol on this day.
We'll be right back.
BOLDUAN: Now, to the surging pandemic. The United States is now averaging nearly 575,000 new cases a day, an increase of 370-plus percent in the last month. Nearly 120,000 Americans are now sick enough of COVID to need hospital care, double when it was last month. That number is nearing meeting an all-time high of the entire pandemic.
This also comes at a moment that the CDC is facing a credibility crisis over how it has handled their very important public messaging of the evolving guidelines on how to safely live and work. Joining me now is CNN Chief Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta for more on this. Sanjay, first, on the CDC's messaging problem, you called them out today for missing the mark in a new essay. Talk to me through what you see. What are the biggest missteps?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, keep in mind, this is against the backdrop of a very rapidly growing case numbers in the country and more hospitalizations than everything that we have been talking about for some time. So, we're in the middle of this viral storm, trying to really bring the numbers down.
There were three things. The big question is there are hundreds of thousands of people who are going to be in isolation and quarantine as a result of what we are seeing right now, the numbers you just showed on the screen. What are they to do is the question. Let's say they feel fine. When can they come out of isolation, when will they not be a risk to others.
So, five days was a number that was picked by the CDC in terms of when it might be safe to come out of isolation. I can show you, Kate, if we have the graphic, if you look from day ten to day zero, for example, the question is, how likely are you still to be contagious at day five, it's about a third of people will still be contagious at day five. So, that's the first thing. Why day five? A third of people may be contagious. Second of all, no tests required at that point. So, they may still be contagious in and not know it as a result. And then the third thing is the CDC still is relying on three-ply cloth masks, which may have been effective earlier in the pandemic, but this omicron variant so easily transmits, that you really need the higher filtration quality masks, like the N-95 or KN-95 masks. They should be promoting that. So, it's really those three things.
And, again, I think the numbers will come down eventually but it's just a question of how quickly we can bring them down, and those strategies need to be employed.
BOLDUAN: Are you concerned that this new CDC guidance, saying you can take a test or not, you know, after five days, that it will effectively just discourage Americans from testing?
GUPTA: Yes. I do. I think it will sort of create the lines that we have already seen. People who are really serious about this and have been, you know, very careful throughout, they're likely to test, they're likely to look at the results of the tests and follow the guidance then, which is to stay in isolation if you have a positive test. But if it's optional, and people don't even want to stay in isolation, I think it's going to really minimize the value of the tests.
Quickly, Kate, let me just reiterate, and this is something you and I have talk about, but two different types of tests. PCR tests, the gold standard, that will find virus, that will find remnants of virus. You could still be positive long after you are no longer contagious. The rapid antigen tests that we talk about, people often take at home, those are the ones that are more likely to answer the questions people are really asking, am I still contagious? That's the answer that a lot of people are wanting. They feel fine but they want to know if they're still contagious. The CDC should be promoting those types of tests. They've talked about 500 million of these tests going out. We need them. More than that, ultimately, but that would be a start.
BOLDUAN: What is the latest that you know, what's the best understanding right now about how good these tests are when you are talking about PCRs and antigen tests, how good they are at detecting the omicron variant?
GUPTA: Yes. This is a fundamental point. I think, first of all, omicron may be a little different, so the sensitivity of these tests may go down a bit. But regardless, you know, is it possible someone could test positive on a PCR test and negative on an antigen test? Yes. The reason being that the antigen test is more likely to go positive when you have enough virus in your nose and mouth to actually be contagious.
Does that make this a less effective test? It sort of depends on the question you are asking. If the question is, do I have a virus at all in my body? PCR test is the one for you. If the question is, am I contagious? Then the antigen test. So, it's a little bit nuanced point, Kate, but I think it's really important for people to understand that.
BOLDUAN: Nuanced, but it's like everything is in the nuance at this point for everyone. It's good to see you, Sanjay, thank you so much.
All right, I want to turn to this. For the second day in a row, the nation's third largest public school district has canceled classes altogether, leaving hundreds of thousands of Chicago students and parents in limbo. It comes after the district and the teachers union failed to reach an agreement yet again on Wednesday. The union has refused to show up for in-person work amid the omicron surge even though district leaders insist that it is safe for teachers and students in schools.
There is also this I want to bring to you. Tennis Champ Novak Djokovic remains in immigration detention right now, as his legal team appeals Australia's decision to deny his visa. Djokovic, as you know, is the number one men's tennis player in the world and he's been hoping to defend his 2021 Australian Open title. But the Australian government won't let him enter, saying that he doesn't have a valid medical exemption to the COVID vaccine requirement, though he thought he did, at least he said.
The prime minister there tweeted this, in part, let me read this, rules are rules especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules. Djokovic has not publicly revealed his vaccination status but he has said that he -- the he's put it is that he's personally opposed to vaccination and has slammed vaccine mandates.
We're going to track to all of those headlines, all of those COVID headlines and also a continued special focus today on the one-year anniversary of the violent and deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol. CNN special coverage continues right now on Inside Politics with John King.
JOHN KING, CNN INSIDE POLITICS: Hello, everybody, and welcome to a special edition of Inside Politics. I'm John King live from the U.S. Capitol.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is about to gavel Congress into session and to lead a national moment of silence. That pause, of course, to remember one year ago, to remember the violent attack on America's government by Trump supporters determined to deny the will of the people.
It was at this hour one year ago the former president lit the fuse. Folks, fight like hell Trump told his supporters just down the street, quote, we will never concede. An hour later the perimeter of the Capitol was overrun. Police were beaten and battered trying to stop the siege, lawmakers sheltering in the House gallery, an awful deliberate silence from the then president of the United States.
Today, it is important to speak clearly, there is no disputing what happened that day. Our country was attacked by its own citizens with the blessing of the president. We witnessed amazing heroism from outnumbered police officers who tried to hold the line. And as we pay tribute to those heroes today, we must also call out the continued lies and the continued cowardice of those who want you to forget or minimize or whitewash what you saw with your own eyes.
Now, most Republicans are not in Washington today, choosing to hide from history. Donald Trump remains their leader, which speaks volumes. This morning, President Biden says how we choose to remember the insurrection will reveal who we really are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: And so at this moment, we must decide what kind of nation are we going to be. Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a norm or are we going to be a nation that lives not by the light of the truth but in the shadow of lies? We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation. The way forward is to recognize the truth and to live by it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Powerful words from the president as we wait to hear from the speaker in a moment of silence. I am joined by our Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash and our Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju.
Manu, to you first. You were inside the building on that horrific day.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We didn't realize how much danger we were in. And I will also never forget the moment after the insurrection happened, when the insurrectionists were pushed out of the Capitol. And all the senators marched back from where were evacuated, back to the Capitol building itself, they came out a moment of unity. They were in disbelief, aghast about what happened. The surprising thing to me is how quickly that moment of unity essentially vanished.
KING: You were just saying, as you sat down, about saying hello to the police officers. When you come up here, you see the Capitol police officers, they tried, valiantly, desperately, with the help of Metropolitan police officers, to hold the line that day.