Return to Transcripts main page
Don Lemon Tonight
President Trump Called for Calm; Trump's Actions Crossed the Line; John Kelly Wants Trump to be Impeached; Cabinet Officials Resigns from Their Post; D.C. Police Officer Shot; FBI Looking to Charge More People; U.S. Capitol Police Chief Resigns. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired January 07, 2021 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: We'll again have to pay the price. We're going to face consequences for it, including the President of the United States, especially the president.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: No. It won't happen. And I think that's part of the problem. You can already -- I think people are going to get charged. I think they're going to get identified. I think they're going to be punished. I think they're going to be shocked at the level of criminality.
And people will say what about -- and I think you shut it down right there. Let's focus on this one. You know when you go into the U.S. Capitol you're asking for trouble. It's a federal crime and it's of heightened significance because of the demarcation of the place. But now Trump, do you prosecute him?
CUOMO: How? He's got the insulation of the presidency.
LEMON: For now.
CUOMO: Do you really want to expose this country --
CUOMO: -- to more Trump drama?
LEMON: Yes. I used to say no until yesterday happened. I used to say it would never happen and that we need to come together, and we shouldn't be divisive and, you know, and Joe Biden doesn't have the appetite for it and it wouldn't happen in the next administration. But considering what happened yesterday and his obvious -- he obviously incited the violence.
CUOMO: Yes, yes, yes.
LEMON: I say yes. I say yes. We have to, because if you don't, then the next person will be able to do it. You have to set a marker, or the same thing could happen again. You could get the same sort of unprincipled person, unscrupulous person in the White House again, and if you don't set a marker, if you don't show an example, set an example, then what does that mean?
That's not a democracy. People have to face consequences for their actions, including the President of the United States. And he is not above the law. He should not be above the law, or she should not be above the law.
CUOMO: Agreed on all of it. However, there are practicalities at play. And what happens if you go after him again and you don't get him again and he plays the victim again and he shows everybody that he's too good and that he beat them again, you may make him stronger.
LEMON: Well, I think that is -- you have to take -- I think we should take our chances on that. I really do think we have to take our chances on that because, again, we have to stand up for democracy in this country. And we can't allow people to attack a democracy and then get away with it.
CUOMO: I agree.
And then we're going to keep the focus on that on this program tonight.
LEMON: The consequence of --
CUOMO: But don't be just focused on him. Don't be focused just on him.
CUOMO: We didn't do this alone.
LEMON: No. You know my stance on him. You know my stance on him is like, I'm tired of talking about him. I think most people pay too much attention on him. I told you last night overnight I think he is the wizard behind the curtain that has been exposed like "The Wizard of Oz." If he goes down to a ruby red state with two incumbent Republican senators and he can't get them over the finish line, that should show Republicans proof he has no power and he is an albatross around their necks.
And if they can't see it, then I don't know what's going to make them see it. But I think in this particular instance, because of his actions, we have to pay attention to him. We have to keep the focus on him. We have to keep the pressure on him and those around him. And we have to expose them for their complicity in all of this because it's not just him. It's the sycophants and it's the apologists and it's the people who are complicit around him.
LEMON: They're all complicit and that's where the focus should be, including the people who went in the capitol yesterday.
CUOMO: well, start with them.
LEMON: And committed treason.
CUOMO: Start with them.
LEMON: That's where I'm going to start.
CUOMO: Start with them.
CUOMO: Because that is criminality and they became everything that they say they oppose --
CUOMO: -- and there must be punishment and it will be relatively easy because they were brazen enough -- for some reason they thought this was OK.
CUOMO: And we know what that reason was, because the President of the United States told him -- told them basically that this was righteous.
LEMON: Yes. Well, yes, and because it's not that they became everything they opposed, they already were. It was already in them. It was just projection. So, I've got to run. That's where I'm going to keep the focus. I'll see you tomorrow night.
CUOMO: "Wizard of Oz" was actually a nice guy, only thing I don't like about your comparison.
LEMON: Thank you, sir.
CUOMO: I love you, Don Lemon.
LEMON: I love you too. I'll see you later.
This is CNN Tonight. I am Don Lemon.
So, we must keep the focus here. And this is lives were lost. Four people are dead. And we all know who is responsible for inciting this mob, this riot, this domestic terrorist insurrection and authorities like the FBI, like the D.C. police looking for help to identify the members of the mob and bring them to justice.
Look at your screen. But the main man responsible for all of this, we know his identity. Will he face justice or any consequences at all?
That's what this show will be about tonight, a big night of breaking news as the walls are closing in on a disgraced president in the final days of his chaotic term, one term, by the way.
Talk about the 25th amendment. And if not that, impeachment. And if not that, impeachment. That is the Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the assistant secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services both submitting their resignations.
That, as the president tweets out scripted video calling for calm, one day after inciting a violent riot on Capitol Hill, one that killed four people. A video an adviser says that he only recorded because of the threat of looming resignations and potential impeachment, meaning, as always, same as it ever was, it's all about him. It is too little, too late. Acknowledging reality, his term is ending.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Too little, too late. Too late for the four people who died because he incited a riot. Too late for the elected representatives, many of them members of his own party, forced to hide from those violent rioters, rioters encouraged by this president. Too late for the American people who watched in horror as the seat of our government was attacked by domestic terrorists.
CNN is learning tonight that federal and local officials say they did not have intelligence suggesting any violent mob was preparing to attack the capitol, even though the rioters were publicly saying on social media that they were not planning a typical protest.
Here's what the Wall Street Journal editorial board is calling on the president to do, that is to resign. Writing, and I quote, "he has betrayed his loyal supporters by lying to them about the election and the ability of Congress and Mr. Pence to overturn it. It is best for everyone, himself included if he goes away quietly."
President-elect Joe Biden doesn't seem to want to go that route though. But there's no doubt what he does want to see.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: The past four years we've had a president who's made his content for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law is clear in everything he has done. He unleashed an all-out assault on our institutions of our democracy from the outset. And yesterday was the culmination of that unrelenting attack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: While the president's former chief of staff John Kelly is so disgusted by the behavior of his former boss, he's tell -- he tells our Jake Tapper that he would vote to invoke the amendment and remove the president.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
JOHN KELLY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I think, Jake, that the cabinet should meet and have a discussion. I don't think it'll happen, but I think the cabinet should meet and discuss this because the behavior yesterday and the weeks and months before that have just been outrageous from the president. And what happened on Capitol Hill yesterday is a direct result of his poisoning the minds of people with the lies and the frauds.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: If you were in the cabinet right now, would you vote to remove him from office?
KELLY: Yes, I would.
(END VOICE CLIP)
LEMON: And in comments that are sure to enrage the president, Kelly goes on to call him a laughingstock who is lashing out.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
KELLY: When the guardrails were off, it is very predictable that he'll be doing the kinds of things he's been doing. And of course, he's enraged because he's lost an election. He's a laughingstock now. And he's striking out. But again, someone -- someone needs to help, you know, manage him. And I don't think those people took up the -- took up the task when I left.
(END VOICE CLIP)
LEMON: Look, we like facts first on this show. We like to keep it real. And I'm honestly glad that he said it. But truthfully, he has been a big enabler himself, and we're going to talk about that tonight too, OK?
And while the president is still refusing to take responsibility for his own disgraceful actions, he sends out one of the remaining members of his White House, the ever-acquiescent press secretary Kayleigh McEnany to make a less than two-minute statement. Look at her. And then comparing violent pro-Trump rioters to Black Lives Matter protests just one day after the president said that this was about those pro-Trump riot -- he said this about pro-Trump rioters.
TRUMP: Go home. We love you. You're very special.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: We love you. You're very special. We love you. You're very special even though you ripped the capitol apart. Four people dead.
The president can't sweep his incitement involvement and culpability under the rug, not when Americans and people around the world watched in horror as a mob attacked the capitol because of this president's lies. One of those watching in horror, a Pennsylvania lawyer who represented the Trump campaign in one of its early election challenges, Jerome Marcus, is asking to withdraw from the case and telling CNN this.
I refer specifically to his urging people to come to Washington for a wild protest. I want absolutely no part of that. Therefore, I have asked the court to allow me to withdraw as counsel.
You remember that tweet, you know, big protest in D.C. on January 6th, be there, will be wild. There it is. Will be wild. The president told us what to expect on January 6th over and over and over, quoting, "never give up," see everyone in D.C. on January 6th, promoting his big show on January 6th like an episode of a demented reality show.
And on the night before it all went down, Washington is being inundated with people who don't want to see an election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Democrats. Our country has had enough. They won't take it anymore. We hear you and love you from the Oval Office. Make America great again. You should read it like make America great again because that's what it sounds like. That is fading.
Make America great again. It's just going to fade and fade and fade. Trust me. But it's going to be tumultuous. I warned you from the beginning, right after the president-elect, which was certified by the way overnight and I'm so glad I got to cover it, that everything was going to be fine but it was going to be rocky for a few weeks, even a few months. And that is true.
But make America great again is going to be, make America great again. Trump's hand-picked attorney general, Bill Barr, who was one of his chief defenders, until he resigned last month blasting the president's conduct saying orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable. The president's conduct yesterday it was a betrayal of his officers and supporters.
Can you believe that was Bill Barr? Bill Barr said something like that. The man who totally misconstrued the Mueller report so that it could look like the president and the folks around him did nothing, totally shaped it in favor of the president instead of what it actually said.
That Bill Barr, who carried his water, can you believe he's saying that? And you know what, those supporters could end up behind bars for 10 years if they're charged under the president's executive order protecting American monuments like the capitol.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You hurt our monuments, you hurt our heroes you go to jail for 10 years and everything stopped. You notice that? It stopped.
TRUMP: It all stopped. You know, it's like I brought an old law into existence when I saw
them going around all over the country knocking down statues, right, and monuments. And we signed, brought it in, updated it, signed it, 10 years in prison.
And you know, I signed a law that you take down any of our statues, any of our monuments, you go to jail for 10 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Talk about the irony of all that poetic justice, right? The same -- the same order that he put into place that they could go to jail for 10 years. Trump and his enablers own this. They own the violence. They own the destruction. They could have spoken out and just stopped this. They didn't though. They let this president incite a riot.
And speaking out now is like, you know, I said before, it's too little and it's too late. Senator Ted Cruz who just yesterday supported the president's delusional election claims, voting just hours after a Trump-supporting mob rampaged the capitol now is telling CNN this.
I think we're 13 days out and he is going to leave at noon on January 20th. I do think the president's rhetoric and his language has been over the line. I think it was irresponsible. I think it was reckless, and I think he needs to recognize it. Ted. Or as the president has called you, and I'm quoting, "lying Ted. Lying Ted. No.
You don't get to do that, Ted, Senator. You don't get to mount empty platitudes about the president's language being over the line, not when you did his bidding. Remember you said that you would argue the Texas election lawsuit before the Supreme Court for him? The one that the court threw out, that one.
You were willing to take his lies all the way to the highest court in the land, and you voted to object to election results, free and fair election. Even after the mob the president stirred up rioted on Capitol Hill. All you, lying Ted. Mirror.
And then there's Senator Josh Hawley, the first senator to object to Joe Biden's win with lies and conspiracies, who raised a fist to Trump supporters. Was that a terrorist fist raises like the Obama terrorist fist bump? What was that? Was that a domestic terrorist fist raise? Who, even after the riot, after seeing the consequences of the president's lies objected to Pennsylvania's result? By the way, he's Missouri.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): This is the place where those objections are to be heard and dealt with, debated and finally resolved. In this lawful means, peacefully, without violence, without attacks, without bullets. So, Mr. President, let me just say now briefly in lieu of speaking about it later, a word about Pennsylvania. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Empty platitudes. Former Senator John Danforth of Missouri who served in the Senate for nearly 20 years says that -- says this about his protege, Senator Hawley, supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the Senate was the worst mistake I ever made in my life. Wow.
Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, you'll never live this down. And then there's Lindsey Graham. Lindsey, Lindsey, Lindsey. The president's ride or die who allegedly called Georgia's secretary of state to discuss how absentee ballots could be thrown out. Now after all we have seen, now he says that the president went too far.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): As to yesterday, it breaks my heart that my friend, a president of a consequence, would allow yesterday to happen. And it will be a major part of his presidency. It was a self- inflicted wound. It was going too far.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, here's what I have to say. Here's what I have to say to Lindsey Graham, to Bill Barr, to John Kelly, all the others speaking out or resigning now.
I'm glad you did it, but doing the right thing one time one day after the worst president ever does -- after he does one of the worst things a president has ever done doesn't absolve you from having done the wrong thing all the other days. That's the truth.
Resignations, calls to invoke the 25th amendment, talk of a second impeachment. Will the president pay the price for his disgraceful incitement to riot?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): The president cost us. The president is unfit, and the president is unwell. And the president must now relinquish control of the executive branch voluntarily or involuntarily.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, tonight here's what the Wall Street Journal is doing, they're calling on President Trump to resign after he incited a riot. And a White House adviser saying that Trump is only now admitting that he is leaving office because most of his senior staff, that they're threatening to resign. The aide saying that message should have come on election night, not after people died. So, I want to bring in now CNN's chief political correspondent Dana
Bash, and CNN's White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins. I like to call them the A-team. Good evening to both of you.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Don.
LEMON: Kaitlan, I'm going to start with you. Because you have some breaking news about another top resignation, one of the president's closest allies. What do you know?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this time it's Betsy DeVos, the education secretary who has stood closely by the president over the last several years. But she has written a lengthy resignation letter saying that she's leaving and she's talking in this letter about the accomplishments that she believed they've had over the last several years.
But she specifically references what happened yesterday and says it was the president's rhetoric that contributed to that and she says that is the reason she's resigning from her job, two weeks before of course she is supposed to.
And Don, that just makes the second cabinet secretary to do so today after the transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, who also happened to be married to the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell resigned yesterday as well which we found out about this morning.
So, now two cabinet secretaries have resigned. That's over half a dozen people have resigned in total and we've heard more could be coming in the few days -- in the next few days.
LEMON: Dana, listen, another loyal cabinet member who says that this was the breaking point for them, but is there some self-preservation involved here, maybe avoiding dealing with the 25th amendment, maybe trying to save their reputations or salvage them in some way?
BASH: It's more than some. That's what's going on here. I mean, yes, they're trying to make a point maybe about the president, but it is also very much about them. And I think self-preservation in some of these cases, that ship sailed a very long time ago. But in these particular cases, you have people who are very entrenched in the Republican Party, certainly with Elaine Chao but even with Betsy DeVos. And you know, Elaine Chao has had a very different role as transportation secretary. She hasn't been in the center of very controversial policy issues. Betsy DeVos sure has.
I mean, we could spend a whole hour talking about some of the things that she has done very much in the name of conservatism up until recently. But then, you know, when you're talking about COVID, in the name of toeing the Trump line and trying to get kids back to school over the summer before there was a plan to do that.
That is the reality of the legacy that she is going to have during the Trump administration. This is something that she wants to have added to her legacy, and maybe it'll be there but it won't be high on the list.
LEMON: Yes. Kaitlan, I remember the first hostage video from this president, which was the Access Hollywood apology, and now there is another hostage video, this new one, of the president. It only comes now that just about everyone is saying that he should be removed from office, impeached or resign, including tonight the Wall Street Journal and he's lying about his role in this, including his role in what happened with the National Guard.
COLLINS: Yes, if you watch that video, it's completely the opposite of what we were being told by nearly everyone who had spoken to him or who was around him yesterday. But you're right. It does -- it does kind of remind me of the Access Hollywood saga, also Charlottesville where it takes the president several days to finally get to where his advisers want him to be.
And this was the fifth statement on what happened yesterday, his fifth time commenting on it. And this is the one where he says he's against the violence and the lawlessness that happened yesterday. He says that he deployed the National Guard immediately. That's not true. Our reporting shows that he actually was pretty resistant to it and, you know, was delighted to see these crowds descending upon the capitol because it meant it was disrupting that certification process for Joe Biden.
But look at what's happened over the last 24 hours. I mean, there -- his presidency is being plunged into chaos in his last several days in office where Democrats are openly talking about removing him from office, finding a way to do so, calling on his cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment. Even some Republicans are joining those calls. And then you're seeing a wave of resignations.
And even for those people who aren't resigning, people are keeping their distance from the president. He's very isolated. People who are also going to work don't want to be around him all that much. They are considering resigning from their own positions several of them. And so, I think that is what led the president to come out and issue the statement, not that he had a change of heart or change to the way he viewed what happened yesterday.
LEMON: Dana, let's talk --
BASH: Can I say --
LEMON: Sure, go ahead, Dana. Go ahead.
BASH: I just want to add one thing on the National Guard thing because the whole notion of him coming out and saying I've really worked hard to quickly deploy the National Guard, and Kaitlan talked about in her excellent reporting about what the president was really saying real time.
Meanwhile, in the United States capitol, vice president who had to go to a secure location was whisked off the Senate floor because of the rioters who in an unprecedented way came on to the floor of the Senate. He had to take calls from the leadership, Republican and Democratic leadership in Congress, saying where is the National Guard? He had to step in and call the Pentagon to try to make it happen. That is the reality of the events that took place, not what we heard from the president in that video.
LEMON: Yes. Listen, I was wrong when I introduced you. I said A-team. Not that you aren't. I meant dream team. Pardon me.
COLLINS: We'll take both.
LEMON: So, thank you. You guys have worked really hard. You've done some great work over the last couple of days. Keep it up and thank you for joining. I'll see you soon.
BASH: Thanks, Don.
COLLINS: You too, Don.
LEMON: Thank you. A former defense secretary told me Monday that we were standing on the abyss of destruction of our democracy. Well, what does he say now? William Cohen weighs in on the terror on Capitol Hill.
LEMON: So, resignations in the Trump administration mounting over the pro-Trump mob that stormed the capitol. The education secretary, Betsy DeVos, the second cabinet member to add her name to the list after transportation secretary Elaine Chao quit earlier today.
Former Trump Pentagon officials also lambasting the riot. Former defense secretary James Mattis placing the blame squarely on President Trump. All four former living presidents are also speaking out, including Barack Obama rebuking President Trump for spreading lies over his election loss, Bill Clinton saying the match was lit my Trump and his enablers.
So, joining me now is former defense secretary, William Cohen. Thank you for joining us, secretary. I appreciate it. Good to see you.
It was only Monday when you told me you were standing on the abyss of the -- we were standing on the abyss of destruction of our democracy. Where are we standing right now after the events of the last 24 hours have unfolded?
WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Well, I think the rocks are crumbling under our feet given what has taken place. You know, Don, I've listened to a lot of commentary about what has happened, and many people say this is not who we are. But it is a good part of who we are and who we have been. These with the same people that used to be the night riders.
[22:35:02] And I know this from my like experience that having fall to the floor and put out lanterns when the night riders came up on the porch on her uncle on their horses. These the same people who are the Jim Crows. These are the same people that are segregationists. These are the same people who are white supremacists.
So, this has been a part of our history. So, when we say it's not who we are, it's part of who we are, and who we have been and what we hope we won't be going forward. But this is an indigenous part of the United States and we have added to the myth that we're different, we're exceptional, this is not who we are, these kind of incendiary bomb throwers and arsonists, anarchists.
Yes, they've been with us since the founding of this country. And what we have to do is to take them on on the basis of law and order and to authorize our FBI, our homeland security, all of those in law enforcement to go after these individuals, to prosecute them, to put them in jail and send the signal that the good times are over as far as having a president who is coddling you and encouraging you to commit this kind of sedition in front of the world.
And when the Wall Street Journal says he's embarrassed, I think it was betrayed his supporters.
LEMON: And should resign. Go away quietly they're saying.
COHEN: No. He betrayed our country.
COHEN: People all over the world are looking at this saying, this is America?
LEMON: Well, secretary --
COHEN: And they allowed this to take place?
LEMON: Listen, speaking of the consequences, right, and before -- as this was going on, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan today describing how hard it was to get the Maryland National Guard into D.C. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R-MD): I was actually on the phone with Leader Hoyer, who was pleading with us to send the guard. He was yelling across the room to Schumer, who -- and they were back and forth saying, we do have the authorization. And I'm saying, I'm telling you we do not have the authorization.
And so, we had multiple times the general was -- we run it up the flagpole. We're ready. Don't have authorization. Don't have authorization. And then I get a call an hour and a half later out of the blue, not from the secretary of defense, not through what would be normal channels, you know, I got a number I don't recognize on my phone. I pick it up anyway. Larry Hogan. And it's like, this is Ryan McCarthy, secretary of the army, governor, you know, can you come as soon as possible?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Wow. The capitol was under siege, secretary, officials pleading for help and it took that long for the administration to act?
COHEN: Can I raise a point of personal privilege? Excuse me.
COHEN: Larry Hogan, I served with Governor Hogan's son, Larry Hogan on the House judiciary and Larry Hogan, one of the Republicans (Inaudible) who were saying that Richard Nixon had committed (Inaudible).
So, Larry Hogan -- Governor Hogan, he's been accused by President Trump of being a PINO, I want to say (Inaudible). The president had name (Inaudible) he is not somebody dedicated to bringing us (Inaudible). He's dedicated to dividing us on racial, ethnic, indigenous, cultural, economic lives. And so, he can call Republicans who don't support him, Republicans name only, but he's never been a president. Not the day he was elected and certainly not this day.
LEMON: There was a little bit of issue with your audio, but you called him a PINO, a p-i-n-o, right, president in name only.
COHEN: Exactly. We expect presidents to heal the country and seek to bring us together on crucial issues affecting our safety. And what has he done? He's walked away from COVID-19, left people on the battlefield wounded and dying. He's been playing golf all of his time.
And at the last moment, he tried to get the secretary of state of Georgia -- he sounded like the good fellas, he sounded like Joe Pesci. Can you give me 11,780? Can you do a little bit more for me to change the votes so I win? This is not democracy. That is exact -- it's criminal. It's corrupt. And he has corrupted our system.
LEMON: Secretary, thank you. I appreciate it. Be well.
COHEN: My pleasure.
LEMON: Thousands of people descending on the nation's capital, hours of chaos, hours of damage and terror. CNN looks into the catastrophic security failure. That's next.
LEMON: So, I want you to take a good look at these images, OK? Look at these faces. These are some of the alleged domestic terrorists who stormed the capitol building. Law enforcement looking for them right now, and others. And they want your help.
Fellow prosecutors have already charged 15 criminal cases connected to yesterday's violence. And the FBI director Christopher Wray saying today his agency is working with state and local officials to find those involved in the capitol siege and hold them accountable.
Joining me now to discuss is CNN's senior justice correspondent Evan Perez, and CNN's senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin. Good evening, gents. Even, let's see. Let's start with you, Evan. And let's talk about capitol police chief Steven Sund resigning earlier today after the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others called for his resignation. What are we learning about this security failure that unfolded yesterday?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It is a huge embarrassing security failure. And in addition to the resignation of the capitol police chief, we also know that the top security officials in the House and the Senate, the sergeant at arms for both bodies, they're both stepping down as a result of what happened yesterday, Don.
And what we're told is that simply put, you know, there were all these meetings in the weeks planning before the president's rally, and there were plenty of warnings that there were people who believed who were possibly going to be violent and the capitol police kept telling the other agencies, the FBI, the Secret Service, the U.S. Attorney's office that they had it in hand, that they were ready because frankly there are two more weeks before inauguration day, they said that they already had the security in place to be able to protect the building.
And it turns out none of that was true. You can see from the pictures there that the police was -- certainly the presence of the police was not enough to thwart these people. And once people got in on the east side of the building, everything sort of collapsed, and then it became more about saving lives, protecting the lives of the lawmakers and the staff in that building. And the police retreated.
So, that's the scene that unfolded as a result of what was a catastrophic failure. And I've heard you talk about it tonight. It was clear, some of these people made clear on social media what their intent was. The FBI was monitoring some of that. They were passing along that intelligence. They knew they were watching some of the hotels where some of these people were staying so there's plenty of information to go around.
LEMON: It's amazing. I was sitting there as you were speaking watching them scale the wall, I mean, maybe the Trump administration is trying to build a wall for the wrong are people. These people are on camera not wearing masks. Who are the kinds of folks that have been identified already?
PEREZ: Well we know --
(CROSSTALK) LEMON: This is Drew.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: QAnon conspiracy theorists were all over the place. Hate groups, various right-wing conservatives, even a couple of Republican lawmakers from across the country. We just -- I mean, we could spend hours talking about who was there because they basically are outing themselves.
But let me just show a few. Nick Ochs. This guy is a founder of Proud Boys Hawaii. He was there smoking a cigarette saying hello from the capitol LOL. He actually told us in an interview, we didn't have to break in. We just walked in. There were thousands of people in there. They had no control of the situation.
This is the guy who ran unsuccessfully for state legislature in Hawaii with Roger Stone's endorsement, even recorded a video with Roger Stone which I think we have and are showing you now. Another person, this guy made himself famous by breaking into Speaker Pelosi's office, kicking his feet up on the desk and stealing an envelope. This guy is Richard Barnett, gun rights activist from Arkansas. Police is very interested in talking to him. He'll talk to just about anybody, as he did to one of our affiliates. Take a listen to him explaining why he kicked his feet up on that desk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD BARNETT, ACTIVIST: I set my flag down. I sat down there at my desk, I'm a taxpayer, I'm a patriot. That is not her desk. We loaned her that desk, and she is not appreciating the desk so I thought I'd sit down and appreciate the desk. I threw my feet up on the desk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: Belligerent, right, Don?
LEMON: Yes, this is my desk. OK. Go on.
GRIFFIN: Right, right. So, not antifa, OK? This guy also was not antifa. This guy's name is Derrick Evans. Just elected to the West Virginia House of delegates. Facebook live storming the capitol saying come on, let's go, we're in, we're rolling. Now through his attorney saying it's his first amendment right to be there. Derrick Evans, West Virginia House of delegates. He was part of the mob as well. Don.
LEMON: Interesting. Evan, listen, there has we've got to talk about this, some conflicting information about another death connected to the riot. What do you know about that? Can you explain this, please?
PEREZ: Well that's right, Don. Earlier tonight CNN reported that a Capitol Hill police officer died from the events stemming from Wednesday's riot at the capitol. We were citing three stories for that story. But now we're told by capitol police that no officer has died. The police union president who earlier had told a local radio station that the officer had passed away now tells CNN that there was some misinformation and that the officer is in fact still on life support. We regret the confusion caused by the reporting.
LEMON: Yes. Well, we made a call and then we corrected and that's what we do. That's good journalism.
PEREZ: That's right.
LEMON: Thank you very much. I appreciate both of you.
The Republican Party is divided, some standing up blaming the president for what happened, condemning him. But there are still plenty spreading conspiracies and lies. Will Trump's grip on the GOP hold? We'll talk about that.
LEMON: So, President Trump finally acknowledging tonight that his presidency is ending on January 20th after his election lies incited a riot on Capitol Hill, putting lawmakers in danger, even his own vice president.
So, I'm going to discuss now with CNN's political commentator Scott Jennings, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush. Scott, good to see you again. I hope you got some sleep after our late night this week.
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, it was late, yes.
LEMON: Yes. So, I know you're incensed. You blame Trump for the insurrection. I guess the question is, how much of the rest of your party, are they with you, or what?
JENNINGS: I heard from a lot of people other the last day that feel the same way I do. They're shamed, they're simultaneously ashamed, enraged, embarrassed, and they all seem to understand exactly what happened here.
Donald Trump made a terrible mistake. He caused this insurrection. And not just that but he was aided and abetted by some people in the U.S. Capitol. I mean, it's obvious that Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, in my opinion, bear quite a bit of the blame here as well.
And to me, the line of demarcation, Don, was after insurrection was over and the capitol was reopened, they had the chance to go to the Senate floor and say sorry, you know, to the American people and to their colleagues and to withdraw their objections. And yet, they plowed forward. And I think that should never be forgotten because that was a shameful thing to have done.
LEMON: Well, you got it all in, in one question -- in one answer. So, I'm going to let you go get some sleep. Thank you, Scott. It's a short segment. I got to run.
JENNINGS: That's it?
LEMON: That's it. We're done here. You said everything. Thank you, Scott. I appreciate it.
JENNINGS: I drove in the snow to get here. OK.
LEMON: Thanks a lot.
LEMON: Democrats, Republicans, former officials, former Trump staffers, calling for Trump's removal from office and the list keeps growing.