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Don Lemon Tonight

President Joe Biden Honors Police Officers Who Defended the Capitol on January 6; The GOP is Pushing Back Against Any Attempt of the Biden Administration to Control the Spread of the Virus; New Details Reveal Extent of Trump's Push to Overturn Election; Governor Cuomo Impeachment Investigation is Moving Ahead. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired August 05, 2021 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: The rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant now pushing the number of new COVID cases to over 100,000 per day. But some unvaccinated Americans clearly getting the message. More than 860,000 doses administered on Wednesday, the highest number in a single day in more than a month.

Also tonight, the investigation into embattled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's conduct is expanding. At least six county district attorneys are requesting investigative material from the state's attorney general to determine if the allegations of sexual misconduct lodged by multiple women amount to two potential crimes.

And President Joe Biden is honoring heroism of police officers who defended the Capitol on January 6, signing a bill awarding the congressional gold medal to Capitol police and D.C. police forces.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The tragedy of that day deserves the truth above all else. We cannot allow history to be rewritten. We cannot allow the heroism of these officers to be forgotten. We have to understand what happened, the honest and unvarnished truth. We have to face it.


LEMON: I want to bring in now CNN White House correspondent John Harwood. John, good evening. Thank you so much. Powerful words from President Biden while honoring the officers who defended our Capitol on January 6. We cannot allow history to be rewritten. It's one thing to make sure that January 6 isn't whitewashed away, but could they be doing more to make sure it doesn't happen again?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, sure, he could be doing more. He could have appointed a commission himself, as president, when the bipartisan commission was turned down on the Hill. He could be talking about the issue more. I know there are some Democrats who think given the stakes of the situation, the threat to American democracy, some people would like him to drop everything else and do a full-court press on voting rights and have his Justice Department do a full court investigation of what's going on.

Joe Biden has different priorities right now. He has -- his Justice Department has indicated they're not going to invoke executive privilege to get the testimony of some of these Justice Department officials that's come out. So there's investigative stuff that is proceeding on the Hill, in the oversight committee, as well as the select committee. The Justice Department is looking at things.

But Joe Biden also wants to pass the infrastructure bill, both of them, the one piece that's on the floor now and the other one that's coming, that would deliver huge material benefits to the country.

And I think he believes that, while he does that, as some of this information is developed by various investigators, that that will make the case stronger later, to take stronger action, and if he can't ultimately force through voting rights legislation, take it to voters in the 2022 elections.

LEMON: Look, with this coronavirus, these cases spiking because of this delta variant, President Biden is taking on Republican governors who refuse to get serious about the virus. Take a listen to this, John.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): DeSantis who was using your words about "don't be in the way" and he said "I am in the way to block too much interference from the federal government," your response, Mr. President?

BIDEN: Governor who?

UNKNOWN (voice-over): DeSantis.



LEMON: What's this Biden/DeSantis war of words all about?

HARWOOD: What it is about is that the research into the coronavirus threatens every single thing that Joe Biden wants to do: economically, in terms of public health, politically.

And so, this is a crisis for the administration and that is causing a change in tone. It's causing a change in approach to mandates from the CDC.


HARWOOD: It's causing a change in approach to vaccinations. He's requiring the federal government workers to be vaccinated or face testing protocols. He's going to do that for the military. He's done it for the VA.

We -- Kaitlan Collins and I have a story out tonight about the administration considering -- this was first reported by "The Washington Post" -- steps to use the leverage of government to force institutions that get federal funding like nursing homes to vaccinate their employees.

They've got to get this done. And people like Ron DeSantis, who are playing politics and standing in the way of public health efforts, he's decided it is worth it, given the gravity of the threat, to take him on directly, and that's what he was doing.

LEMON: Thank you very much, John Harwood. I appreciate that. I want to turn now to CNN political commentators Amanda Carpenter and Bakari Sellers. Hi, Amanda. Hi, Bakari. Good evening to both of you.

Amanda, the GOP's Trump wing is pushing back against any attempt to get this virus under control. They're trying to pretend that January 6 wasn't a threat while still pushing Trump's big lie that the election was stolen. I mean --


LEMON: -- you wrote the book on gaslighting. Is this the great big gaslight right now?

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, I mean, it is really incredible how the January 6 denialism and the COVID denialism sort of go together, right? I mean, there's all this stuff happening, and it really clearly emanates from Trump's leadership over the last year. Even though he's not in office, there's this lingering denial of reality.

And Joe Biden has to punch through it. I mean, we can talk about trump all day long, and yes, he's a source of this, but Joe Biden is the president now.

LEMON: Mm-hmm.

CARPENTER: In order for him to be successful, he has to win the pandemic.

LEMON: Right on.

CARPENTER: He really has to get a hold of this thing right now. I understand, you know, the frustration with the people who don't want to believe the science, don't want to get vaccinated. If Joe Biden and the science can't convince them, they have to do a very good job explaining to the public in a clear and direct way the reality of what's happening.

I mean, even there are some GOP governors picking up on the messaging that this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, they shouldn't shy away from saying so. You know, I don't know how many more carrots they can offer.

LEMON: Yeah.

CARPENTER: They're going to have to get out the sticks.

LEMON: So, Bakari, at some point, do you just have to move on and say, look, all right, so you don't want to get vaccinated, then you can't do this, you can't do that, you can't do that. Hey, look, you don't want to get vaccinated, your child doesn't want to get vaccinated, they can't go to school.

You don't want to do this -- I mean are we going to get to that point? I'm not saying that that should happen, but are we going to get to that point? Are we at that point now where you cannot convince people and you have to start protecting the people who are actually doing the right thing and following the rules?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So, Don, there's a couple of things. I'll push back on you slightly. But this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. And you know how sensitive I am to this issue because I have an immune-compromised daughter.

And what these selfish individuals don't realize is that by not getting vaccinated, it's not about themselves, it's that their young people, their children under 12 years old, every single day that we're supposed to protect, that we're not doing a good job of protecting them.

So that's first and he foremost. It's very selfish not to get vaccinated. But from a macro view, from a view of the president of the United States, as Amanda said, he literally has to do everything he can. And so listen to me when I say this because this is going to throw you aback just slightly.


SELLERS: I would actually ask Joe Biden to make an overture to the ego of the 45th president of the United States. And I want Donald Trump to make a plea with Joe Biden to all of those individuals --

LEMON: Bakari, it ain't ever going to happen.


LEMON: It's never going to happen. And it doesn't make sense. It makes absolutely no sense. But go on.

SELLERS: Yeah. I mean, you asked me what would happen. I mean, look, the fact is you have individuals right now who are treating the vaccine as a political football, right?


SELLERS: And it should not be. People are literally dying. And the crazy part about it is the individuals who don't want to take the vaccine are white Republican men. We've talked about the Tuskegee experiment. We've talked about --

LEMON: The majority of them. There are Black folks and there are -- there are other people as well. But yes, you're right, the majority.

SELLERS: The overwhelming majority of individuals who are not taking the vaccine are white Republican men.

LEMON: Right.

SELLERS: And I'm just simply saying that we have to do a better job or we should do everything we can, even if we have to swallow our pride, to get Donald Trump to say something.

LEMON: He's never -- he is out there still saying -- he is out there still spreading misinformation. Bakari, he is never, ever going to change. As I told Frank Luntz earlier, that is a pipe dream. I think you guys have to get off that. It is never, ever, ever going to happen.

SELLERS: Don, I am simply --

LEMON: But then why waste your breath, Bakari? I don't want to argue with you.


LEMON: I understand what you're saying. I get it. I understand what you're saying. But it's not going to happen. That's never, ever going to happen.

SELLERS: Let me tell you who is not the right messenger to these folks. The folks who are out here protesting, the anti-vaxxers, the people who want to just die, it ain't me, you and Amanda. So we need to go find somebody. I don't care if it's Lindsey Graham. I don't care if it's Tim Scott, Ron DeSantis, whoever it is.

You know why? Because they're putting all of us at risk. And so, listen, if I have to swallow my pride and say, Donald Trump, you created the vaccine --

LEMON: Yeah.

SELLERS: -- thank God that you okay until the sun rises.

LEMON: Okay. I get it.

SELLERS: Do whatever you have to do. Go talk to your folks.

LEMON: Amanda, doesn't that go back to what I said, that you have to start protecting the people who are following the rules? So, if you keep going, all right, well, here is the carrot, here is the carrot, here is the carrot, well, if you aren't allowed to do certain things that you want to do like go to a ball game, go to a bar, go to a restaurant, go to work, get on a plane, that might be some incentive to you. But to think that Donald Trump is ever going to come around and somehow put out a message with Joe Biden is just -- it's not going to happen. I'm sorry.

CARPENTER: Yeah, I don't think we should wait for Donald Trump to do the right thing because he's never done it. I mean, he could have taken credit for the vaccine when he was in office. And let's be real. Let's get real about this.

LEMON: Yeah.

CARPENTER: Donald Trump has no interest in helping Joe Biden succeed.


CARPENTER: They don't. That's why this has become a political football, because there are political actors who do not want Joe Biden to succeed. It was real easy for people like Ron DeSantis to go and say we're going to open up Florida because it looks like the vaccines were going to work and cases were going down. He made a gamble on that. I think that's blowing up in his face right now.

But this idea that, you know, after 600,000 deaths, being locked down for a year and a half, we're going to have some magical messenger that comes over and convinces them? I just -- I don't believe it. I'm ready to move on. I'm ready to protect the people who want to be protected --

LEMON: Yeah.

CARPENTER: -- and beat this pandemic.

SELLERS: But there are -- listen, let me just say, I know we're probably about to go somewhere else, but let me just say this. There are people who cannot protect themselves, right?

CARPENTER: I know. I know.

LEMON: And that's who we need to protect, though, Bakari.


SELLERS: I know and I hear you. And so yeah, I'm all about whatever the vaccine passport or lock this down or lock that down.

LEMON: I'm not talking about a vaccine passport. That's not what I'm talking about. I just think after a while, you've got to stop trying to convince people who are not convincible. And at some point, they'll get it. And if they don't, then too bad, but those people -- there are people who are just not convincible.

SELLERS: It's not too bad, though. That's my point. I cannot give up on too bad, because there are too many young people out here who need them to listen, do something. So I am going to exhaust every ounce of everything that I have.

LEMON: Good for you. I think that we should. But I think it's -- I know it's not going to happen.

SELLERS: You're so jaded, Don.

LEMON: I'm not jaded, Bakari.


LEMON: Let me tell you something. Hold on, Amanda. Bakari, I have sat here for five years or six, trying to tell people about what the lies are --

SELLERS: I know.

LEMON: -- and what reality is, and they don't believe it. I have sat here for almost two years in January, trying to tell people about this virus, how detrimental it is, the dangers of this virus. I've sat here for months and months and months, since we've had a vaccine, to tell people, it's not true, it's never going to happen. Donald Trump has not changed his tune. He wouldn't even get vaccinated in public. And so --

SELLERS: I am hopeful. I mean, you're not --

LEMON: What I'm saying is that what you're doing is not going to help the greatest number of people. What you're doing is trying to convince a minority of people who aren't going to change. What you should be doing is trying to convince the majority of the people in this country who are doing the right thing to continue to do the right thing. And those who won't do the right thing --

SELLERS: Those two things are not mutually exclusive. I want them to do the right thing. But I also need for people to help us. So I'm trying to build a bridge to allow more people -- I don't know what else to do, Don. Like, listen, white men who voted for Donald Trump, go get your vaccine. What else do I have to say? I love you, Don.

LEMON: I know. Listen, I love you, too. But do you understand -- it ain't going to happen, Bakari. It's not going to happen.

SELLERS: I believe in it. I need it.

LEMON: All right. I believe in you, too. Amanda, I believe in you, too. Amanda --


LEMON: -- call Bakari and talk to him after the segment. Thank you very much. I appreciate both of you.

So I want to turn now to disturbing new information showing just how far the former president was willing to go to overturn his election loss. A top Justice Department official was ready to resign over what he said were Trump's direct instructions to use the department to push his big lie.

[23:14:58] LEMON: Trump also told the acting attorney general, and I quote here, to "Just say that the election was corrupt, plus leave the rest to me and the R," meaning the Republican congressmen. That is according to a handwritten note shared with House investigators.

So joining me now is CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams. He is a former deputy assistant attorney general under President Barack Obama. Try to follow that.





LEMON: Good evening to you. Good to see you, Elliot.

WILLIAMS: Of course.

LEMON: These details are really alarming, even for the Trump administration. How close did we actually get to a coup?

WILLIAMS: It's pretty bad. Now, look, Don, you know, when we talk about people who almost resigned, to some extent, I have a hard time feeling really sorry for these folks, who knew what they were getting into from the beginning.

This is exactly what you said in that amazing segment before this, which is that for five years you were talking about the presidency of Donald Trump and what it brought. These folks that joined the administration knew what they were getting into. So, this whole narrative of a senior Justice Department official almost resigning is a little bit hard to feel that sorry for.

Now, that said, these are very serious allegations happening at the Justice Department. And it's even senior political appointees that pushed back on it. You know, the folks who took issue with it were also loyalists of the president. So it was really, really bad for the state of the department.

LEMON: When you look at everything that Trump did leading up to January 6, the insurrection, all of the pressure he put on government officials to back his lie, do you see evidence of a crime, Elliot?

WILLIAMS: It's hard to say that there's evidence of a crime, Don. Here's the thing. I know a lot of people around the country really want to see accountability here. But not all conduct that is disgraceful or shameful or unbecoming of a president or a senior official is criminal behavior.

Now, look, this is why Congress is investigating, the Justice Department's independent inspector general is investigating, to find out where the rot was in the Justice Department and expose it. If there are current employees there, find out who they are and have sanctions for them. And, of course, there are career sanctions for people's bar licenses, for these attorneys.

But right now, it's hard to see where there might be criminal liability. And I know that's an unsatisfying answer for many people. That's just what the law says.

LEMON: Yeah. Why is it Attorney General Garland and the Justice Department doing more to investigate this assault on our democracy?

WILLIAMS: Again, the body that should be doing the investigating is the inspector general within the Justice Department, because what that role is to do is to find out where there's fraud or abuse or corruption within the department, number one.

Number two, Congress is really the body that can issue the subpoenas, that can call people up to testify, can make referrals to the Justice Department, if in fact there is criminal wrongdoing.

So, I'm not so quick to point the finger at the Garland Justice Department. And moreover, they've already -- the Justice Department has already said that these former Justice Department officials from the Trump administration can come in and testify. And that itself was a big step, because what they've done is given a license to these former officials to come in and talk, which the Trump administration just didn't do.

LEMON: I appreciate the energy. I heard you had a cold brew before the show, so you're going to be up to like 4:00 in the morning.


WILLIAMS: Anything for you, Don Lemon. I will stay up all night just to talk to you.

LEMON: Thank you. I appreciate it, Elliot. Elliot Williams, everyone. Thank you, sir.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo defiant, digging in his heels and resisting growing calls to resign in spite of the state attorney general's bombshell report on sexual harassment allegations by 11 women. The impeachment investigation moving quickly, with the governor asked to submit any evidence no later than August 13.


MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: People are hurting right now and they need leaders who can focus and not be in the middle of defending themselves against endless charges against them.




(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: So New York Governor Andrew Cuomo remaining defiant and refusing to resign as a state impeachment investigation into multiple sexual harassment allegations is nearing completion. The New York State Assembly giving Governor Cuomo until August 13 to provide additional evidence.

It comes on the heels of Tuesday's report from the New York State's attorney general which found that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women.

Joining me now is CNN political commentator Errol Louis. Errol, good to have you on. Errol knows all things politics, especially in New York City and New York State.

So Errol, the impeachment investigation is speeding along. The assembly is asking Governor Cuomo to submit additional evidence by next Friday. And Cuomo says that he'll cooperate. That's not a lot of time for the governor's side to respond. Is this simply aware of the optics if this drags on and looks like it is helping the governor? Is that what they're trying to avoid?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Dragging things out is exactly what the governor has done and would probably like to continue doing. You know, he has had a lot of time to organize a response. In fact, shortly after the report came out this week, let's keep in mind, a 14- minute prepared video was rolled out, a more than 100-page document prepared by his lawyer was issued.

So, you can't do that level of response and then say, oh, I need a little extra time. So, I think the assembly deadline will probably be met and the process will go forward. However, make no mistake about it, time is what the governor is most in need of and it's what he is searching for and trying to get.



LEMON: So Errol, listen, the governor, his lawyers, attacking the attorney general's report, saying that the investigators acted as the prosecutor, judge, and jury, but they spoke to 179 people, reviewed 74,000 thousands of pieces of evidence. I mean, it was incredibly thorough. There are 11 accusers. I mean, how is the governor going to refute all of that?

LOUIS: Yeah. Well, I mean, they are rolling out a counterattack that includes the use of buzzwords like due process, as if he hasn't had due process.

Keep in mind, it's not just that they talked to 179 people, over 40 of them under oath, it's not just that they looked at tens of thousands of documents, Don, this was an investigation that was formally requested by the governor himself.

So, we don't get any more due process than this. The taxpayers spent millions of dollars to make this happen, at his request. People testified under oath, including the governor. We've got a complete record of it. And the assembly is going to now go through its due process pursuant to the New York State constitution. We are following due process.

LEMON: This is actually -- this is due process in action, right, because they laid out the investigation. Everyone says what is an investigation if nothing happens? But clearly, something is going to happen because now the assembly is taking it to the next step. Am I correct?

LOUIS: That is correct. And I will also remind you that there are prosecutors in four counties in New York that have also asked for materials from this investigation. They're going to launch their own sort of review and figure out whether or not there are criminal charges that they might want to pursue again in four different counties across the state.

So, the governor is going to get all the due process he can handle. He better talk with his lawyers about just how much due process he's prepared to engage in.

LEMON: Honestly, he's lost really a huge amount of support, powerful Democrats from New York to Washington, right, including the president, urging him to step down. He's still refusing to do so. Do you see him pursuing every single avenue possible before making any decisions like resigning? You said they're mounting a very thorough defense. Didn't you say that?

LOUIS: Yes, that's exactly right. And look, he's going to go to each of the bases of his political power. He's already been kind of turned down -- you and I talked about this yesterday -- by the party apparatus, the key part of his power.

He's had others turn their backs on him. And organized labor, many, many of the unions that have backed him, they've said, look, this is -- at its heart, it's a workplace issue, we have to stand up for the dignity and integrity of workers on the job. So, we can't be with you anymore, governor.

The editorial boards have turned against him. I think at least 12 newspapers, including "The New York Times," are calling for him to step down, on and on and on.

So, where else can he go? Well, there are the people. And this is what the governor has always signalled that he would do, is go to the millions of voters who have voted for him over the years and see if he can convince them to try to come to his rescue.

LEMON: And the chances of that?

LOUIS: You know, the chances are the chances, you know?


LOUIS: We've only seen one poll so far and it looked like most New Yorkers want him to resign. LEMON: Yeah.

LOUIS: But this is where playing for time comes in. This is where you do sort of slowly turn the tide comes in. It's what he's tried for the last five months. If he gets any more time, I think that's what he's going to try and do.

The thing that will run smack into that strategy, however, is the assembly moving forward with an impeachment. And again, if the assembly does vote for impeachment, he immediately is at least temporarily removed from power until the state senate can hold a trial.

LEMON: Look, New York politics, strange, strange, strange thing, and no one knows it like Errol Louis. Errol, thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us. We'll see you soon.

LOUIS: All right. Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Thank you. I started my show tonight with a man begging with people from his hospital bed to get the vaccine. Some 90 million Americans still haven't. Dr. Reiner is here. He's going to weigh in, next.




LEMON: This delta variant is continuing to spread throughout the United States, causing real pain in unvaccinated communities across the country.

Joining me now is CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner. He is the director of the Cardiac Catheterization Program at George Washington University Hospital. Time for a house call, doctor. Thank you.

So last hour, I spoke to a hospitalized Virginia man who had not gotten the vaccine and is now urging others to get their shots. Here is part of it.


TRAVIS CAMPBELL, CONTRACTED COVID AFTER NOT GETTING VACCINATED: Please. Please don't wait. Don't procrastinate. The delta variant is stronger and faster. And it attacks those who are not vaccinated, or have more medical conditions. A person who is not vaccinated will be attacked ten times faster and harder. It's not worth it.


CAMPBELL: (INAUDIBLE) if you prefer not to take the vaccination or your friends will carry your body for your wife.


LEMON: Hmm. What do you think about what he said, doctor?

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST, DIRECTOR OF CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION PROGRAM AT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: It's very painful to hear. And we've been trying to get the message out for the last eight months, to get people to listen to science. We've tried to keep this apolitical and focus on the benefits of vaccines and what we know these vaccines can do. But yet somehow they've become politicized and it's really painful to hear somebody in such distress.

Air hunger, what somebody with a viral pneumonia has, someone struggling to breathe, is really an agonizing way to be. So, I think more and more people throughout the south are starting to get it, because more and more people are starting to know folks who are hospitalized or sick or who have died from the virus. It's really starting to hit home.

Hospitals are filling up. Your elective knee replacement is cancelled because the operating room is serving as an ICU or the recovery room is serving as an ICU or they are taking operating room personnel to care for people with COVID. It's starting to hit home to a lot of people.

This is why vaccine rates are starting to rise dramatically in the United States. It's not the way I wanted to see vaccine utilization go up but I'm grateful that people are starting to get the message.

LEMON: Will FDA approval help, do you think, at all, or is it just a talking point or -- what do you think?

REINER: Polls show that there is a -- at least a significant proportion of folks who have been sort of waiting and seeing for a very prolonged time who consider the vaccine experimental, who will and can be swayed to get vaccinated when the FDA provides full approval. But I think a lot of people end up getting vaccinated if their employer mandates it --

LEMON: Mm-hmm.

REINER: -- or if there are things that are important in their community that they can no longer do if they're not vaccinated. And I think business and, you know, government will start to get the message. I think it will be a big step when the United States military mandates vaccines. And people understand that if our sailors and soldiers and airmen can get behind this and everyone get vaccinated, that the rest of the country can do the same.

LEMON: Yeah. Dr. Reiner, our time is short. Thank you so much. I'll see you soon.

REINER: My pleasure, Don.

LEMON: So you know this guy, right? Yeah, that guy, MyPillow CEO. The friend of Trump who he keeps pushing these conspiracies and lies, well, he's sitting down with CNN. That's next.




LEMON: One of the president's -- former president's staunchest allies in pushing the big lie of election fraud is Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, insisting Chinese hackers broke into election systems around the U.S. and switched Trump votes to Biden.

Lindell is now facing a $1.3 billion defamation suit from the voting machine company Dominion, which he has falsely accused of being involved in voter fraud.

More tonight from CNN's senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin.


UNKNOWN: The MyPillow guy.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Mike Lindell, yes, the MyPillow guy, is convinced China hacked the election, Donald Trump really won, and Lindell has the absolute proof.

MIKE LINDELL, CEO, MY PILLOW: They did it in all the states.

GRIFFIN: They changed the votes?

LINDELL: Every single state.

GRIFFIN: And you have the proof --

LINDELL: Yes. I have --

GRIFFIN: -- that will show the actual exchange of votes?

LINDELL: Yup. Yup. Hundred percent. One hundred percent.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): It is, of course, complete nonsense. Despite every piece of so-called "evidence" Lindell has presented so far, three videos, a lawsuit, screenshots he sent to CNN, there's still no proof that the election was hacked, and that's according to two dozen cyber experts and election officials contacted by CNN.

UNKNOWN: A hundred percent evidence.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): When Lindell released his so-called "evidence" in videos like this, the fact-checkers quickly found out it was evidence of nothing. These images are just publicly available voter data, scrolling across the screen, not proof of election hacking.

So, Lindell changed his story, saying now the real evidence will be revealed at Cyber Symposium, streamed live with MyPillow discounts available throughout. And as further proof, he sent CNN a preview, six different screenshots.

GRIFFIN: You sent us this on Friday.

LINDELL (voice-over): Yeah.

GRIFFIN: What is this?

LINDELL: That's just one piece, 1.2 billion lines of data from the election, okay? Within that will be timestamps, when it happened. There will be flips in there.

GRIFFIN: So we sent this to our own expert.

LINDELL: Mm-hmm.

GRIFFIN: He said that it doesn't show any specific actions of any kind, election-related or not, and it is proof of nothing.

LINDELL: Okay. So, he said that's nothing, huh?


LINDELL: Well, he's wrong. Then you could hire cyber expert.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): We didn't consult just one cyber expert. We consulted nine top election security experts who told us Lindell's screenshots were "extremely rudimentary metadata" and "completely ridiculous."

We also reached all 15 officials from the 15 counties where Lindell says, without any proof votes were hacked and switched. Lindell mentioned some of the counties in his videos and lists them out in his counter-lawsuit against Dominion voting. They are counties that use paper ballots, counted by systems not connected to the internet. Every one of them told CNN there is no evidence they were hacked by anyone.

GRIFFIN: You identified 15 counties where the votes were switched. We contacted all 15 counties.

LINDELL: Good for you.

GRIFFIN: Red and blue. Red and blue.

LINDELL: That doesn't matter.

GRIFFIN: And we couldn't find a single person who said this is even possible. They say you're mistaken.

LINDELL (voice-over): Right.

GRIFFIN: They think you're wrong. The bottom line is they have paper ballot backups that prove that they were not --

LINDELL: So you guys win. They let you do a full audit at CNN? You guys did a full audit on 15 counties, huh?

GRIFFIN (voice-over): We did what Lindell did not do. We went to Delta County, Michigan to see how the election was carried out. Trump won here, nearly two to one.

LINDELL: The state, Michigan, entry point or Delta County.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): In his videos and his lawsuit, Lindell claims someone in China hacked the election system here and stole away precisely 3,215 Trump votes and turned them into Biden votes. The republican county clerk, Nancy Przewrocki, finds the allegation laughable for one main reason.

NANCY PRZEWROCKI, CLERK, DELTA COUNTY, MICHIGAN: It is never connected to the internet.


PRZEWROCKI: Never connected to the internet at all, whatsoever.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Not only are they not connected to the internet, the votes are cast by hand on paper. Voters scan their ballots into this Dominion scanning machine where two digital storage cards keep a tally. The paper ballot goes right into this bin under lock and seal.

PRZEWROCKI: And that container is sealed.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): And just to check that everything went okay, they conduct audits, comparing the paper ballots to the results on the computer. And in 2020, it was an exact match.

PRZEWROCKI: We audited three different precincts and they matched exactly. So --

GRIFFIN: What would you say to somebody who made a documentary that among many counties, accused your county of being the victim of a Chinese hack that changed the vote counts?

PRZEWROCKI: I would say that didn't happen in Delta County.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): A republican-led Michigan State Senate investigation found out it didn't happen anywhere. No evidence of widespread or systematic fraud.

(On camera): I don't think you really understand how votes are cast, collected, and tabulated in this country.

LINDELL: Okay. You know what? I do. What you don't understand is after they're tabulated, they can get hacked after the fact which they were, because Donald Trump was going to win anyway.

GRIFFIN: The paper ballots were cast.

LINDELL: Donald Trump was going to win anyway.

GRIFFIN: The paper ballots were cast.

LINDELL: You didn't do an audit to match them up, though.

GRIFFIN: They were audited against the machine count --

LINDELL: No, they weren't.

GRIFFIN: -- in these counties. They were, Mike.

LINDELL: No, they weren't. No, they weren't. Who told you that?

GRIFFIN: The county officials.

LINDELL: Oh, did they tell you that? Well, they're going to have some answering to do.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): No matter who says there was no widespread fraud in the election, whether it's local election officials, secretaries of state, judges, or even Donald Trump's own attorney general, Mike Lindell's conclusion is the same: They are all wrong.

(On camera): All these county officials are lying?

LINDELL: I don't know. They might be misconstruing -- we'll say misconstrued because they don't realize what happened.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Lindell says his information comes from multiple sources, all of them super secret. He claims he spent millions on the project and also claims he will give $5 million to anyone who proves him wrong.

(On camera): Mike, you can make up anything.

LINDELL: No, you can't.

GRIFFIN: You are just going to have a demonstration in a room.

LINDELL: No, no, no. This is where you're wrong. We're giving it to the cyber people that show up. We're going to give them each state. Here's a state, Georgia, they can take it apart.

GRIFFIN: You could possibly be the victim of a scam here.

LINDELL: Then why don't you come to the symposium and make $5 million? Are you worried about me? We should give a hug. You're worried about old Mike. Oh, God bless you.

GRIFFIN: Here's what we're worried about. We're worried that what you are doing is mistakenly or deliberately destroying the confidence in the legitimate elected president of the United States and fostering what could be real damage to this country.

LINDELL: You know what: I never said anything bad about Biden or the Democrats ever. Never. Wrong.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): You have through this investigation --

LINDELL: No, I have not. You pulled it out. You're lying now. You're lying. I said --

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Listen to what I said. LINDELL: No, you're lying.

GRIFFIN: You're saying that Joe Biden was illegitimately elected.


LINDELL: I'm saying that China did an attack on our country and that the election --

GRIFFIN (voice-over): And that the wrong person won.

LINDELL: That's right.

GRIFFIN: The people who have watched your video believe what you say.

LINDELL: Hundred percent.

GRIFFIN: If you're wrong, isn't that very dangerous?

LINDELL: I -- yes, but I'm not wrong. I checked it out. I spent millions. You need to trust me.

GRIFFIN: Don, well, Lindell maintains that his sources are super secret. There is very good reason to believe that all of this is linked to old recycled conspiracy theories from the past that have been completely discredited.

Lindell insists this is new material. He says he spent millions checking it out, as he said, validating it. But as you can see, so far, it just does not add up. Don?


LEMON: Thank you, Drew. No words. No words. Those are the people you're trying to convince the vaccine is -- that you should get vaccinated and there was no election fraud. Good luck with that.

An officer who defended the Capitol is making the cover of "Time" magazine. Stay with us.




LEMON: President Joe Biden is surrounded by lawmakers, members of law enforcement, and their families, signing a law to award congressional gold medals to brave police officers who risked their lives to defend the Capitol from those blood-thirsty rioters.

Among those at the bill signing at the Rose Garden today, several hero officers you have seen on this show: Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, Officer Harry Dunn, and Officer Mike Fanone, who I've gotten to know very well. He's on the cover of the new issue of "Time" magazine, pulling no punches. He never does. And I quote here. "There's people on both sides of the political aisle that are like, listen, January 6 happened, it was bad, we need to move on as a country. What an arrogant effing thing for someone to say that wasn't there that day. What needs to happen is there needs to be a reckoning.

He's right. There needs to be a reckoning if we're going to protect our democracy. Congratulations, Mike.

And thank you for watching. Our coverage continues.