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Don Lemon Tonight
Companies Like Google And Facebook Requiring Vaccines For All Office Employees; Rep. Raskin's Heated Exchange With Rep. Clyde Over Clyde Calling Capitol Rioters Tourists; The Price Of Telling the Truth; Sixty-seven Senate Lawmakers Voted Biden's Infrastructure Bill. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired July 28, 2021 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST (on camera): Thanks for watching. "DON LEMON TONIGHT" with its big star, D. Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: How is it going, sir?
LEMON: I still am flummoxed by the misinformation over the vaccine, people refusing to get vaccinated and also refusing to wear masks. Every day seems like it gets worse. And I don't mean that, I'm talking about the people who are dying, who are actually coming down with it especially the children if you saw Martin Savidge's report.
LEMON: Just, I mean, heart breaking.
CUOMO: People who we're seeing with significant cases and hospitalizations are getting younger. Part of the metric here is ignorance but part of it is also arrogance, this misplaces sense of righteous indignation and resistance that they believe is a false manifestation of freedom.
This is not an issue of freedom. Of course, you have freedom to make choices about your own body. Let's put to the side the irony that so many of these people don't want to afford that freedom to women. But what we're saying is does it mean it's the right choice?
And these suggestions I think the vaccine is safe, but you have the freedom not to take it, but I don't know that the science lines up, but I don't know why they're changing the guidance. These suggestions fuel resistance. And I think it's a mistake.
LEMON: You know what we don't talk about? Maybe you've talked about it on your radio show or maybe you've talked about it on your show before. I don't get to see every second because I'm actually trying to get in, you know, in the seat and get ready for mine. But just the effect it has, the toll that it takes on hospitals,
taking up space in hospitals, people who are coming in now, the cost, the medical bills that people are getting, much of it going unpaid, the uninsured putting -- taking a toll on the medical system.
There are lots of things that we don't talk about or people that -- people don't consider when they are vaccine resistant or vaccine hesitant, when they just don't get the vaccine. There are lots of factors more than just it's my body, and it's my freedom, I can do what I want.
CUOMO: Well, look, and again, I think my body my freedom, OK. But I think that what we're seeing here is a little bit, first of all you're right. All right? In terms of the strain on the system it's very real. And that's why so many leaders right now are freaking out and trying to get resources into hospitals before we go through the same cycle of being overwhelmed that they did before, but you also have vaccine gaps within medical staff.
You know, people -- the unvaccinated aren't just, you know, outside the medical world. They are in the medical world.
LEMON: They are. They are.
CUOMO: Because a lot of them have political feelings as well. And that's my concern. That's why I'm having members of the right on to be reasonable, and tell your people there is no advantage in resisting as some show of defiance.
If you don't want to take it because fill in the blank your doctor, your family, your history, whatever, but as, you know, as going like this to the government or giving the bird to people in power, you don't get to control me, that's a problem. And I think it's being fed by people on the right, and that's a problem.
LEMON: yes. Well, you know, a problem we're going to deal with and our time is going to be short is the treatment some of these guys are getting, all of them really after their testimony. I have this gentleman right here, this hero who's going to join me in just seconds. There he is, Officer Harry Dunn.
CUOMO: Officer Dunn.
LEMON: Yes, to talk about his experience testifying and his experience since -- first interview since yesterday.
CUOMO: I want to tell you something, and let -- I don't know if the officer can hear me, he really got through to my kids, generationally. He broke through multiple generations of my family, my mom, me, and the wife, but my kids in terms of the pain of how he was approached and how he was spoken to and that the uniform had already been insulation from that kind of animus, but not on that day.
LEMON: Not on that day.
CUOMO: And what that meant to a big -- listen, Dunn checks -- I don't know if he can me -- but the checks every box of tough that there is that we have. Right?
LEMON: You should see -- you should see the picture of him standing next -- he's a big dude. And he's a tough guy.
CUOMO: And, but look, and what does it take, what does it take to talk about pain and vulnerability and sensitivity?
CUOMO: So, God bless him for the message that he gave.
LEMON: Yes, you want to respond?
HARRY DUNN, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER: Thank you. Thank you, Chris. I appreciate those words. Thank you. That's all I git. I appreciate you.
CUOMO: Don't thank me. Thank you for keeping our Capitol safe. Thank you for protecting people, and thank you for showing restraint --
DUNN: It's my job.
CUOMO: -- towards the people who were coming after you.
LEMON: That's so funny --
CUOMO: A lawmaker last night who said, hey, I think if I had a gun, I would've done pretty well against them.
CUOMO: I don't know what the rules of engagement were. That's stupid thinking. That's why that guy doesn't wear the uniform. You showed restraint and you showed mercy toward people who weren't showing it towards you and that's why you're the best of the worst of us.
LEMON: We had a conversation earlier. I actually had a dinner with him and I was talking about restraint. Because he wants to respond to everyone and I told him take the high road, don't even read it, don't respond to that. He's better than that. So, I'm glad you're giving -- you're saying the same thing to him.
Thank you --
CUOMO: One second, one second. One second.
CUOMO: Who picked up the check? Put Dunn back on.
CUOMO: Who picked up the check?
LEMON: Tell him.
DUNN: Not him.
CUOMO: There he is. There it is.
LEMON: Tell the truth. Who picked up the check?
DUNN: Of course, he did. Of course, he did.
CUOMO: Nope. I can't hear you. I can't hear you.
DUNN: Of course, he did.
LEMON: Actually, the boss picked up the check.
CUOMO: I love you, D. Lemon.
LEMON: Thank you. I love you, too. I'll see you later.
CUOMO: I can't hear you.
LEMON: Thank you very much.
DUNN: Thank you.
LEMON: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT.
And we'll have that interview in just a moment. So, stick around. America seems to be backsliding on this pandemic, cases up 65 percent since last week, 65 percent. And across the country more and more people -- more and more people just plain sick of a belligerent minority who won't follow the rules ruining all the hard-won games for the rest of us. Why?
The CDC wants everyone in schools to wear masks even if they are fully vaccinated, yet anti-mask protests are spreading like this one. This is outside a school board meeting in Broward County. Take a look at your screen. I don't consent, no more masks. This is where they set masks on fire.
Anger spreading to Capitol Hill where the resident doctor ordered the House to re-mask to prevent the spread of COVID among members and staff. Kevin McCarthy tweeting masks are not based on science and making the ridiculous claim that government officials want to live in a perpetual pandemic. I want you to listen to the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and what she has to say about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: Leader McCarthy -- Leader McCarthy says it's against the science.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), UNITED STATES SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: He's such a moron.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): That as on the House floor Republican Lauren Boebert reportedly threw a mask back at a floor staffer as she was offered one as she walked out maskless. She then sat on the House floor, the only member refusing to wear a mask today.
And that's what this is all about. It's because so many people refuse to save their own lives. Well, the rubber is about to hit the road, OK? Because President Biden about to announce a requirement that all federal workers be vaccinated or submit to mandatory testing. I think you should just have to do it, but, OK.
Companies like Google and Facebook requiring vaccines for all office employees. One of the largest real estate developers in New York City telling employees they will be fired if they're not vaccinated by Labor Day. Yes.
Some people are angry about putting masks back on just when they were getting used to going without them. Some people are even angrier, frankly, about the spread of the Delta variant and counting on masks to protect them and their unvaccinated kids from the people who just don't seem to care.
And speaking of not caring to follow the rules, there is Republican Andrew Clyde who according to one of the GOP colleagues, his GOP colleagues has been evading thousands of dollars in fines for refusing to wear a mask. You may remember him from calling Capitol rioters tourists, which is weird because look how he welcomed those tourists on January 6th right there.
He also got into a heated exchange with Jamie Raskin late last night over his insurrection denial comments comparing the attack at the Capitol on January 6th to what he called, quote, "a normal tourist visit." Now Congressman Raskin getting him to admit that he still stands by that even after four hero police officers testified under oath calling the rioters at the Capitol terrorists. Here's how it went down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): I want to ask you this. They were asked a question by several of our colleagues including Ms. Cheney about statements that you made saying that the January 6th violent insurrection against Congress was akin to a normal tourist visit. And those officers said they weren't tourists, they were terrorists. Do you stand by your statement that they were tourists?
REP. ANDREW CLYDE (R-GA): I would like you to quote my exact statement. Not your interpretation of my statement.
RASKIN: OK. Watching the TV --
CLYDE: For the record.
RASKIN: -- footage of those who walked through the Capitol and those who walked through statuary halls showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures. You know, if you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January 6th you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit. Those are your words.
CLYDE: And stand by that exact statement as I said it.
RASKIN: OK. Do you agree or disagree with the officers who spent four or five hours battling that medieval mob that had baseball bats and led pipes and so on, do you stand by the statement that the people that they were fighting were tourists, or do you agree with them they were terrorists?
CLYDE: That statement did not say that those people were tourists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): OK. The fact is the statement said you would actually think it was a normal tourist day. Dude, what does that mean? If it's a normal tourist visit, rather, a normal tourist visit -- you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit. That means you thought they looked like tourists. What kind of logic -- OK, whatever. Officer Daniel Hodges said this to the select committee yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RASKIN: Why do you call the attackers terrorists, and what do you think about our colleagues who think we should call them tourists?
DANIEL HODGES, POLICE OFFICER, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, if that's what American tourists are like I can see why foreign countries don't like American tourists. But I can see why someone would take issue with the title of terrorist. It's gained a lot of notoriety in our vocabulary in the past few decades, and we like to believe that, no, that couldn't happen here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Yes, we might like to believe it couldn't happen. Maybe we should call them tourists or just terrorists. Maybe we'd like to believe that it couldn't happen here, but those four officers who fought nearly to death, they know the truth. They know the price of freedom, real freedom not just the performative fake but, freedom, freedom, liberty, democracy.
They know the real price of freedom of democracy and they know the price they paid, the physical and emotional wounds, physical and emotional price they're still paying to this day. So, it's really disgusting some people are calling their bravery into question, mocking them for a perceived lack of toughness, right?
People can sit, you know, protected by the TV studio or keyboard warriors or, you know, security guards and all that. Over on the Fox propaganda network people like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham who love to tell you just how patriotic they are, performative, fake. How they support law and order, performative, fake, transactional.
Well, it seems they have just forgotten all about that when it comes to those four police officers who risked their lives to defend our democracy from the attacks by bloodthirsty Trump supporting rioters, terrorists on January 6th, insurrectionists not tourists. Just listen to Tucker Carlson mocking Sergeant Aquilino Gonell. He's an Iraq war veteran, by the way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS: Watch as Gonell compares what happened on January 6th to the Iraq war.
AQUILINO GONELL, UNITED STATES CAPITOL POLICE: And we were not letting them in. They tried to convert us. They tried to persuade us to let them in. My time compared to Iraq, totally different. This is our own citizens, people who we swore an oath to protect but here they are attacking us with the same flag that they claim to represent. It was bad.
CARLSON: Actually, what happened on January 6th according to the video we do have does not look a lot like Iraq. It's not Fallujah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): This from someone who has never served a day in uniform, someone who will never know the kind of bravery it takes to put your life on the line for democracy.
And how about I show you another piece of video? How about you take a look at what it was really like for the police who fought to stop the mob of rioters who stormed the Capitol, the mob that hunted lawmakers and the vice president in the halls.
And I want you to listen to this guy, this guy scoffing at Mike Fanone for being brave enough to talk about the trauma that he is still suffering nearly seven months after that horrible day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Watch Fanone cite the psychological trauma he endured as an excuse for ditching our bill of rights.
MICHAEL FANONE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICER: I've been left with the psychological trauma and the emotional anxiety of having survived such a horrific event.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Trauma. And as I said I want to show you -- I thought we're going to this one. I want to show you another piece of video. Laura Ingraham mocking those hero officers with a disrespectful gag award show, and I do mean gag.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, FOX NEWS: The award for blatant use of partisan politics when facts fail, the angle award goes to Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn.
DUNN: I'm a law enforcement officer and I do my best to keep politics out of my job, but in this circumstance, I responded, well, I voted for Joe Biden. Does my vote not count? Am I nobody?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): That is some twisted you know what. And that is what her audience obviously wants to see. You know what she left out of Officer Dunn's testimony? You know what happened next, right? You know I know -- you know, I know you remember. Officer Harry Dunn was subjected to an onslaught of vile, racist abuse. And if you think this is tough to hear, if you are offended by this racist language, well, you should be.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DUNN: One woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled, you hear that guys, this Nigger voted for Joe Biden and then the crowd perhaps around 20 people joined in screaming, boo, fucking Nigger. No one had ever, ever called me a Nigger while wearing the uniform of a Capitol police officer.
In the days following the attempted insurrection other black officers shared with me their own stories of racial abuse on January 6th. One officer told me he had never in his entire 40 years of life been called a Nigger to his face, and that streak ended on January 6th. Yet another black officer later told me he had been confronted by insurrectionists in the Capitol who told him, put your gun down and we'll show you what kind of Nigger you really are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Hey, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, cowards. Officer Harry Dunn is an American hero, and I'm proud to say that he is here with me now in his first interview since that hearing. He's going to tell all next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON (on camera): Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn speaking out about the racist attacks he endured while defending the Capitol on January 6th. And I'm honored to talk to Officer Dunn tonight about his powerful, emotional testimony before the select committee.
Thank you for joining us.
DUNN: Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you. It's good to see you --
LEMON: -- and to spend time with you in person. I wanted to spend time with you in person and stay here so that I get to interview you in person instead of -- to interview you in person instead of by satellite.
Hearing you describe what happened, 20 rioters calling you the n-word on January 6th, it was a powerful moment and it shows that obviously there's a clear racial aspect to this insurrection, and you wanted to get that across yesterday.
DUNN: I can't believe that -- you know what hurts more than or just as much as what happened on January 6th? The attacks, the attacks on our credibility and that we're lying and that we don't love our country and we're fake police officers and we're not real cop -- like, just the stuff you were playing there, the Laura Ingraham's and the Tucker Carlson's.
An act? That was an act? Wow. It's frustrating. It's more than frustrating. It makes you so angry. But unwaivered (Ph), and I'm still going to go do my job tomorrow just like I'll do for the last 13 years.
LEMON: You were speechless when I played that, and you said to me during the commercial break I wish I had worn my USA shirt today. Why?
DUNN: We're not Americans because we don't agree with their political views? Everybody is allowed to have a different political view. That's what makes America, America. That's what makes America a democracy.
What are they doing to preserve democracy? I know what I'm doing. I know what I did to preserve democracy. I protected Republicans, Democrats and independents for the last 13 years of my life. And I'm going to do it for 13 more God willing. This is my country, too. I'm allowed to have a political opinion. That's what makes America great, makes America great, right? That sounds familiar.
LEMON: Yes. When they say -- you know, you've heard that you've become, you know, prefer right wing media you've really become a punching bag. People say well, you're not like everyone else, basically saying you're not a real police officer, or it's like almost you're not a real American.
DUNN: I'm not a street cop. I'm not going to pretend to be. These -- the officers in Portland and Minnesota and Seattle and across the country that went through hell, my heart goes out to them. They didn't deserve any of the stuff that they went through. And a lot of people want to say what about those guys? They are freaking heroes, too. They deserve credit. They deserve honor. They deserve respect.
Every single cop this summer that was met against antifa and the vicious rioters this summer, they absolutely deserve the credit and respect, those officers do. They don't deserve it. Just like on January 6th -- it seems like it can't be this and this. It has to be this or that. It's both of them. Why can't both things exist? Both things are true.
LEMON: You think they're shifting the blame or shifting at least trying to shift the focus from what happened? Listen, there -- we can deal with many things in this country at the same time, and if something happens it doesn't mean that you go what about this, what about that? Can't we focus on what happened on January 6th where our democracy was in jeopardy?
DUNN: We should be.
LEMON: This weren't just people who were -- who were exercising -- some of them were exercising their right to protest. Others went way too far. That's a different story than trying to undermine democracy and stop an election.
DUNN: And that's kind of what bothers me a little bit even just the footage that they just played and you just showed from the Fox News clip. Laura Ingraham showed footage and Tucker Carlson showed footage of the individuals walking through the stanchions, but they didn't show the footage out of the outside, the tens of thousands of hours of footage of the brutal combat that officers faced.
I am so fortunate. I am so fortunate that I was not physically assaulted. I didn't get my ass whooped, and I'm so thankful. But you know who did? So many of my coworkers, so many of the MPD guys, those guys that re still out of work because they got their ass whooped physically.
If I came in here with my arm in a sling or a bandage around my head, would that give me a little more credibility? Sorry, I can't put a Band-Aid on my emotions or my brain, my psychological, my mind-set. I can't put a Band-Aid on it. All I've got is my words.
LEMON: This is the new Republican talking point when I talked to Officer Fanone tonight, is that it was, you know, it was only 100 violent people at the Capitol, you know, that they're still downplaying it. But we all saw it and we live with it. What difference does it make if it was 100, or 200 or 300 or 1,000?
It was still people doing what they did beating up police officers with blue lives matter flags and American flags, bear spraying officers, pepper spraying them. It still happened, so what does -- what do you think of that new talking point, it was just a couple hundred or a hundred people?
DUNN: One, 100, 1,000, like you said, it doesn't matter. It was -- their goal was to disrupt democracy. How many -- how many terroristic acts are carried out by one person that defined the way going forward for countries, the way they operate? One person can change the whole direction of countries. A hundred? Their goal was -- think about this, think about this.
LEMON: It doesn't look like 100 people right there.
DUNN: Think about this. What if they succeeded, though? That's the thing. Everybody said, well, it wasn't that bad? OK, what if they did get to Mike Pence and Pelosi and the congressional, the votes, the Electoral College votes? What if they got to those?
Were they just going to say, yes, we did it? See, look, guys. This is a warning. We could have done it but we didn't. Shouldn't that be taken seriously? At what point does it become -- all right, guys. I don't know. I just - I don't even know what to say, man. It's infuriating.
LEMON: You know -- you know what I noticed about spending -- listen, I thought it was important to come to D.C. during the hearings and to meet you guys because I'd never met you in person. I'd met you on television and to actually spend time with you guys.
And the more I've spent time with you guys, I realize that this is -- this is 24 hours a day for you. You're constantly getting on your social media messages from people, hate. People are finding your phone numbers. People are reaching out to you in ways.
People are saying things to you. This is -- it's not over for you. This is 24 hours a day, and you're not used to that sort of attention. You asked me -- you said, Don, how do you handle all this criticism and hateful messages? You're not used to that.
LEMON: This is -- this is 24 hours for you.
DUNN: You asked me at dinner, are you hungry? Because I literally started picking up my phone and started scrolling through the hate messages, the apps, the mentions that I'm a traitor, I'm a coward. I had to turn it off. Like, I'm not -- it sucks man.
LEMON: Do you -- go on.
DUNN: It sucks, but Mike said something great that once -- I think he said it this morning about once they're at their end and they have nothing else left --
LEMON: He said it tonight.
DUNN: Was it tonight? Yes. LEMON: He said that people were -- and I believe the same thing -- is that they are fighting tooth and nail because it's a dying breed. It's basically a dying breed.
DUNN: And we can't give up now. We got to keep fighting for democracy, justice for everybody, everybody, right wing people, left wing people. And everybody is allowed to have their own opinion. Nobody should be criticized or called less Americans because you have a different political belief. That's not democracy, right?
LEMON: Yes. And he was talking about the racists and the bigots, saying that they are fighting tooth and nail right now because they realize that their time is up soon. And I've said the same thing, but it was very profound that he even recognized that.
I want to play this for you, and then I'm going to ask you about it after we come back from break. Let's play it. We'll go to break, and then I'm going to ask Officer Harry Dunn about this moment in his testimony.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DUNN: If a hit man is hired and he kills somebody, the hit man goes to jail. But not only does the hit man go to jail but the person who hired them does. There was an attack carried out on January 6th, and a hit man sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Back now with Officer Harry Dunn who defended the U.S. Capitol on January 6th and testified about it before the select committee yesterday.
So, Officer Dunn, I just want to play that important moment again from your testimony yesterday and then get your response. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DUNN: If a hit man is hired and he kills somebody, the hit man goes to jail, but not only does the hit man go to jail but the person who hired them does. There was an attack carried out on January 6th, and a hit man sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): The hit man and the person who hired them, who sent them there do you think?
DUNN: I'm not one to speculate so I like to stick to facts. There was literally a rally at the White House saying to go down to the Capitol, fight like hell. That's not my words. And that's what they did.
LEMON: Are you confident that this committee is going to get to the bottom of the answers that you're looking for?
DUNN: Call me crazy, but I kind of believe in government in the long- run being successful, being able to -- even if I disagree with the outcome, like, if this committee investigates it and they say you know what we -- everybody did -- the people who attacked we're prosecuting them, the people who may have agitated them and it's not enough to -- OK, I can accept that. But I can't accept the brushing off of it and nothing happens.
Look at it -- and I've been painted as this left-wing activist or whatever. That's what Tucker Carlson said. If their talking point is Nancy Pelosi was responsible for Capitol police and the failures. OK, OK, say that she is, investigate it. And if she was wrong, accountability needs to be held by any and everybody not just the left, not just the right. Any and everybody who had anything to do with the failures of January 6th needs to be held accountable.
LEMON: Do you -- do you want the committee subpoena Trump and his allies on Capitol Hill?
DUNN: I don't know. I don't even know how that works. I don't know how to subpoena -- that's their -- that's their -- I've got nothing. I can talk about what I know and what happened to me. I just hope that they -- they know what they're doing. That's why they're on the committee.
LEMON: You know, we were talking about whether, you know, folks were armed or not, right, and there's been this whole thing about people weren't armed with firearms, right, but they were armed as you guys said with other weapons besides firearms.
There was this Virginia police officer who was fired after storming the Capitol, and he was jailed today because he ordered a large stockpile of guns and ammunition after his January arrest and posted support for future political violence. And you spoke yesterday about all the people who still believe the lies that led to January 6th. How much danger do you think that we are still in now?
DUNN: I said this and I continue to stand by it, that as long as people are emboldened by people in power, then they're still a threat for things to happen. That's why we need to make sure we're prepared and we continue to shoot down all rhetoric that could possibly lead to violence.
Like I say, it's OK to have different opinions. But don't fight like hell or march down to the Capitol -- first amendment protest is what this country is about, first amendment, the Constitution. That's the democracy of it. But once you start attacking people, attacking things, then that's wrong.
And that -- you know what? That goes to the riots this summer. They were wrong. If you peacefully protest, then sure. But the riots and the violence and the damage this summer, they were wrong. They were wrong. And that's the exact same thing that happened at the Capitol. But their goal was to overthrow democracy, which is a bigger threat to America.
LEMON: The Department of Homeland Security is warning about the possibility of more violence in the next few weeks because as you know there's this right-wing conspiracy theory out there saying, Trump is going to be reinstated in August. Do you think that we are prepared after January 6th of this year?
DUNN: I'm no security analyst. I'm not. I'm not going to even pretend to be.
LEMON: But you work there.
DUNN: Correct. I can speak to this. The officers that I work with, the Capitol police officers, specifically the first responder's unit, those guys will be ready to come at -- to face whatever is thrown at them. That's a brave, heroic bunch of guys and I'm so proud to work with those guys. And we will be out there ready to serve and protect democracy and take, fulfill our oath that we took.
LEMON: Yes, I want to play something for you because we talked a bit about that at dinner but Officer Michael Fanone last night talked to me who also testified yesterday, that he felt he wasn't being protected or supported by the Fraternal Order of Police. My colleague Jake Tapper spoke with the national president, Patrick Yoes, earlier today. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: MAGA -- media, MAGA politicians are smearing police officers who are members of your union. They're smearing Harry Dunn, the Capitol police officer. Do you feel that you cannot be as supportive of the Capitol police officers, of the Metropolitan Police Department officers as you would want to be because Trump supporters make up most of your union?
PATRICK YOES, NATIONAL PRESIDENT, FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE: I don't recognize -- I don't or accept that characterization. I can tell you and I can provide documentation if you'd like of just how involved that the labor committees and the national has been involved.
I don't think there's been a week that has gone by since January 6th that we've not been engaged in meaningful discussion and actions on behalf of that incident on that day. So, to suggest that somehow, we're ignoring it is not true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): There was -- Jake went on to ask him -- I wish we had played that part. Jake went on to say but you're not doing it publicly. You issue statements all the time, which Michael Fanone said, on behalf of police officers who are -- you know, who may be getting unfair treatment in the media. But you haven't really done that when it comes to these police officers. And you guys have been vilified in the media. Do you think you're getting the support that you need?
DUNN: No. And I don't say that to be an ass or nothing, but like you said people make statements all the time about we support -- I mean, let's be frank. In 2016 to 2020 the FOP put their support behind a presidential candidate. So, they interjected themselves in politics.
So, you don't want to mix police or political pawns now, well, yes, we injected ourselves -- and I say we, because I'm a member of the FOP. I'm a dues paying member of the FOP, so I say we, we injected ourselves into politics. And you can't have it one way or another. Keep it consistent. If something is wrong, come out and support people that you're supposed to support.
LEMON: You're supporting the wrong people?
DUNN: We're not supporting anybody. Silence is -- your silence speaks volumes or something. By them not saying anything we're forced to make our own assumptions.
LEMON: And that assumption is?
DUNN: We're not being supported.
LEMON: Anything else you want to say? You're going --
DUNN: I did a three, four hours of testimony. I said all I had to say.
LEMON: You're a good dude.
DUNN: Thanks, man.
LEMON: I really -- it's really an honor to meet you and to spend time with you. Thank you so much. Thank you for what you've done for the country. Thank you for the person you are. Thank you for serving. Thank you for just -- thank you.
DUNN: Thank you.
LEMON: All right.
DUNN: I appreciate you having me on.
LEMON: I appreciate it.
LEMON: Officer Dunn and his fellow officers all demanding an investigation into what happened on January 6th and who was behind it. What does this investigation say about the state of this democracy? We'll talk about that.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON (on camera): So, there's an infrastructure deal in the Senate. You heard that right, the vote 67 to 32 to move forward with debate on President Biden's $1 trillion infrastructure bill, 17 Republicans voting with all 50 Democrats. Is it a sign of things to come in Washington?
A lot to discuss now. Matthew Dowd is here, the former chief strategist for former President George W. Bush. Thank you, sir. Good to see you.
Before we talk about the infrastructure and all that, I have to get your reaction to Officer Dunn who made it crystal clear in his testimony that what happened to him and other officers of color on January 6th was a racist attack, the abuse that he is receiving after sharing his story, racist. The big lie is racist. All the restrictive voting laws targeting cities with large minority populations, racist. Where does this end, Matthew?
MATTHEW DOWD, FORMER CHIEF STRATEGIST FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, I don't think it ends -- first, great interview with Officer Dunn, and I -- for him just standing up speaking truth to power is phenomenal. This is what we need in this country.
I don't think it ends until we till the soil and get the poison out of the soil of America because this has been something as great as America has been and as a wonderful experiment in democracy as it's been with our U.S. Constitution, in our soil of our country has been racism.
And until we remove that, scrape the soil and remove that poison from our soil, we're going to be dealing with this. We fought a civil war over this where more than a million people died. We've had past amendments on this. We've had civil rights on this. We've given women the right to vote.
And every step of the way as the country has become more diverse -- and it doesn't only have to do with race, Don, it has to do with a 1try becoming more diverse in every way from sex to sexuality, to race, to belief in different religions. As it becomes more diverse there's a backlash, and we're seeing it again.
LEMON: Yes. This is what you said, because I saw something that you said recently, that there's always been a significant portion of America that has resisted full democracy, and freedom and equality. Can you elaborate to my audience on that, is that what you were saying before or does this go beyond what you were just saying?
DOWD: Sure. I think we have to look at our history. That's what I'm talking about the history in this well of history. Keep in mind that during the revolutionary war, a third of the country wanted to support the monarchy against the revolution. During the Civil War, a third of the country wanted to keep slavery as it was and fought the Civil War and try to break up the union. During women's -- the push for women to get the right to vote, a third
of the country was opposed to it. During civil rights, a third of the country was opposed. During -- as we've expressed and try to give equality for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, a third of the country was vehemently opposed from any expansion of rights for those folks.
So, we've had in our history a third of the country that's pushed back against what that, what is not them which is usually white, Anglo- Saxon, Protestant, heterosexual. And that is something that is again where we're again facing now. Until we remove that and sort of establish once and for all that all men and women are created equal, we're going to be fighting this battle over and over and over again.
LEMON: Matthew, Politico has a report detailing how, quote, "America is not racist." It's becoming the mantra for GOP politics going into 2024. What do you think of the GOP capitalizing on the slogan and do you think it's going to help them win?
DOWD: I'm a book person that believes countries aren't racist, but people are racist. And there's parts of groups of people in a country that are racist. There's no way they can deny that has existed in our country, and there has been systemic problems of racism in our country.
This is just another one of these things to feed the sort of their base, just raw meat to their base in the midst of this. I don't think it's going to work in this. Most Americans are open-minded, want to accept want the broad values and rights of America to apply to everybody. But it does help feed the base of the Republican Party in this time.
And I think to easily, to easily counter this is. It's funny they don't want to deal with the fact that whatever the number of people in this country that are racist, pick a number, 20 percent, 25 percent, 30 percent, but they want to deal with less than 1 percent of the country that commits violent crime.
So, they don't want to deal with 30 percent of the people that are racist and they are trying to keep the institutions selected for a certain people to do it. But they constantly talk about the 1 percent of the country that are involved in violent crimes. So, I don't think it works politically, but it helps them with their base.
LEMON: Also, something that may be helping them with their base, maybe not, we shall see. But I want to talk about what's going on with COVID in this country, the variant and the rising numbers of people who are getting sick and entering hospitals, including young people, when we come right back, Matt.
DOWD: OK, great.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON (on camera): We're back now with Matthew Dowd. And as promised, Matthew, I want to talk to you about the COVID frustration really boiling over right now. Almost everybody is upset about the guidance that we're going on mask, we're going to have to mask up again for different reasons.
The people who never wanted masks are losing it, some even burning them. And the vaccinated folks who wanted to get back to normal are angry that it didn't help. So where do we -- what is going on here? Where do we -- we're divided on everything, even mask wearing.
DOWD: Well, I think all of these things are related. What's happening on voting rights, what's happening on democracy, what's happened -- what happened on January 6th, and what is happening in our public health.
And it has to do with this, Don. Democracy is supported by two pillars, the common good, the ability to get to common good and a common set of facts. And we're in the midst of this pandemic. And we can't get people to agree on a common set of facts, mainly the Republicans, to agree to a common set of facts and what statistics show and does medical science say, and the inability to go to the common good.
They believe that individual liberty is more important than the common good. I would tell them to read the first few words of the Constitution which says, we the people, in order to form a more perfect union, and then provide for the general welfare. They put emphasis on the I and we need to put emphasis on the we when we're talking about health.
But until we come together and establish something that is related to the common good, and we agree on a common set of facts, we're going to be constantly be having this battle.
LEMON: Listen, there's always a first, right, where you see things start to bubble up. There are companies that are saying, get vaccinated or don't come back. What do you think of that?
DOWD: Well, I think companies have a perfect right to say that. I mean, not only do they want to protect the community that they're in and they can obligation to customers but they a definite obligation to their employer -- to their employees. And so, I think all companies should consider than and go towards that.
Again, we're not going to beat this pandemic until we all agree that the common good of public health requires us to do certain things. And whether that means get vaccinated, if you don't want to get vaccinated, wear a mask, and follow certain protocols. But until we get people off the I and more on the we, we're going to be in the midst of this fight all the time.
LEMON: Matthew Dowd, always a pleasure. Thank you, sir.
DOWD: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: The Senate voting tonight to advance President Biden's bipartisan infrastructure bill.