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Don Lemon Tonight

Senate Votes To Extent Debt Ceiling Through Early December, Averting Economic Disaster For Now; Washington Post: Trump Lawyer Tells Loyalists Not To Comply With Subpoenas From January 6 Committee; Brian Laundrie Was Under Surveillance Before He Disappeared; FL Board Of Education Sanctions Eight School Districts Over Mask Mandates; Biden: Vaccine Mandates Are 'Game-Changing' For Our Country; CNN Original Series, "Diana," Premieres On Sunday At CNN. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired October 07, 2021 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST: So here is the breaking news. The Senate voting late tonight to extend the nation's debt limit through early December, averting economic disaster for now, after breaking the republican filibuster meant to scuttle the deal reached between Democratic and GOP leaders.

Also tonight, a lawyer for the former president is telling four Trump loyalists to ignore subpoenas from the January 6th Select Committee. That is according to "The Washington Post." The deadline to comply with the subpoenas? Tonight.

And more breaking news in the search for Brian Laundrie. Police in Florida is now saying that he was under surveillance before he vanished more than three weeks ago.

I want to bring in now CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein and CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor. Good to see both of you. Thanks for joining.

So Ron, the Senate voted to extend the debt limit until early December, avoiding an economic disaster for now. It was dicey there for a bit. I mean, that's pretty good example of just how dysfunctional our politics are right now. I mean, don't you think -- now want? It's just sort of kicking the can down the road?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: And with no prospect that there will be a better resolution on the horizon in December. Look, the important point at the start that everyone needs to understand is what a radical escalation in political conflict and what a reckless escalation of political conflict it is for Republicans to have filibuster the increase in the debt ceiling.

Yes, it is true, the Democrats have voted in the past against raising the debt ceiling when Republicans held unified control of government, but they did not filibuster. They said it was the majority party's obligation to raise it and they let them do it after casting basically a symbolic vote of opposition.

Today, McConnell struggled to find even 10 Republicans who are willing to kind of step aside and let Democrats do this on their own when we know in the behind door number two is potential catastrophe in the global economy.

This is just a reminder, you know, to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who are arguing that the filibuster promotes compromise. If it is this difficult to get 10 Republicans to just step out of the way and let Democrats do this on their own, what are the odds of getting 10 Republicans to vote to do almost anything else that, you know, President Biden and the democratic majority want to do?

LEMON: Elie, I want to bring you in, and I want to talk about this "Washington Post" report, that a Trump lawyer told his former advisers, Mark Meadows, Kash Patel, Dan Scavino, Steve Bannon, not to comply with subpoenas from the January 6th committee. What sort of legal action can the committee take if any? Is this obstruction of Congress?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Hey, Don. This is going to come down to a matter of political will. How much political will does Congress and the committee have? And will DOJ show some backbone here?

Look, it is 11 o'clock. These documents are due in an hour, at midnight. I don't think Mark Meadows is going to be walking his documents into the Capitol.

So, what does the committee do? Now, if it feels like we've been here before, we have, because Donald Trump told us two years ago he was going to -- quote -- "fight all the subpoenas," and as a result, he has managed to push off all sorts of congressional oversight.

Well, here we are again. Is Congress going to learn lessons? Are they going to get into court, and I mean tomorrow, to try to compel this from a judge? Are they going to send it over to the DOJ? And if and when they send it to DOJ, what is Merrick Garland going to do?

It is going to be his decision. It is a federal crime to commit contempt of Congress. It hasn't been charged in many, many years, but we are also in unprecedented times right now.

LEMON: Elie, there is the Senate judiciary report where we learned that Trump directly asked Justice Department officials, nine times, to undermine the election results. I mean, the guy was relentless. Does any of this add up to a crime? What is to stop something like this from ever happening again?

HONIG: Well, I'm on record, and I will say it again. I do think there were crimes here. I think the president -- look, trying to steal an election, broadly speaking, is a federal crime. Election interference is a crime. Fraud is a crime. Conspiracy is a crime. I don't just mean the former president. I mean Jeffrey Clark. I mean other enablers.


HONIG: And Don, you open the show tonight talking about next time. What happens next time? Well, I'll tell you something. If there are no real consequences, there will be a next time. And the consequences thus far for trying to overthrow an election and overthrow democracy have been a bunch of papers, some findings, a report today, very important in normal times, but that kind of consequence doesn't resonate whatsoever with Donald Trump and his most loyal followers.

LEMON: Ron, Republicans issuing a rebuttal report dismissing the idea that Trump was attempting a coup, saying, ultimately, the DOJ never took action. So they are saying, oh, yeah, you know, well, he tried, but he didn't actually succeed.

It really speaks volumes that there even is a GOP rebuttal report and that their point of the coup is that, well, you know, it's no big deal because it failed.

BROWNSTEIN: In some way, this is as significant as the revelations in the majority report because it shows how deeply the Republican Party is normalizing it, and not only normalizing it, but kind of intensifying and trying to advance Trump's assault on democracy in the aftermath of the Election.

I mean, the fact that Republicans are basically saying that there was nothing wrong here is of appease with Republicans in red states using the big lie as the justification for, you know, this raft of voter suppression bills and legislation that would increase political control over the counting of results and make it easier to envision subversion of the results in 2024.

I mean, all of this is happening together. And, you know, you talked about Merrick Garland, you talked about the Justice Department, it feels like every institution in society is having trouble grappling with the magnitude of the threat to American democracy that is developing from so many fronts, all springing from the same source of Trump's willingness to undermine democracy. That's what it takes to get in power.

By the way, Don, today, Joe Manchin, who ultimately is the one who will have to decide whether to circumvent the filibuster, to fight back against this with federal voting legislation, said to Manu Raju, the filibuster is the only threat we have in America to keep democracy alive and well at a time when all of this is going on.

That is like right from the upside down and it's a measure of again institutions and individuals having trouble responding to the magnitude of the threat that's developing.

LEMON: So, listen. If they won't comply, if there is a filibuster that is a political part of it, Elie, then does this have to be settled in court -- in a court of law?

HONIG: Yeah. Look, I don't think there is any way this gets settled outside of court because our system, as Ron was saying, relies to some extent on good faith actors. It's very rare historically that these kinds of disputes have had to go to court.

But unless Donald Trump or Dan Scavino or Mark Meadows, and you know they are taking their orders from Trump, suddenly comes to the table and say, let's get rational here, let's work something out, yeah, Congress is going to have to go to the court, they're going to have to get a civil order from a judge, and they're going to have to bank on DOJ doing its part on the criminal side, yeah.

LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.

I want to bring in now Fiona Hill, the former senior director for European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council. She is the author of "There Is Nothing For You Here: Finding Opportunity in the 21st Century." Fiona, thank you so much. It's good to see you again. I appreciate it. Good luck on the book. Congratulations on the book.

Let's talk about this because you warned in this book about the dangers to democracy. So, I just want your reaction to this Senate judiciary report on Trump's pressure campaign to overturn the 2020 election. If it weren't just for a handful of people that stood their ground, where would this country be right now?

FIONA HILL, FORMER SENIOR DIRECTOR FOR EUROPE AND RUSSIA, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: Well, we are already in big trouble. This is a full blown constitutional crisis. And, you know, I think that what is happening here is people just can't quite believe it.

Even the people who are not basically coming forward to answer these subpoenas are telling themselves, look, there's nothing wrong, this is all just politics, and this is all just a game. For them, it's not going to have these dire consequences. But it is. Already from the outside, people were looking in at the United States. They are recognizing all of the hallmarks of a country in deep trouble.

The idea that a coup wasn't a coup or wasn't a coup attempt because it didn't succeed, that is preposterous. It was an attempted coup and we are still in the middle of it because there is still attempt here to subvert the course of the inquiry, to -- basically as we've been pointing out here, you're pointing out -- to completely and utterly (ph) remove congressional oversight, to not follow through with the letter of the law.

And if fact, the perpetration, as we've already been discussing, you've been discussing again, of this great big lie that Trump had won the 2020 election.

LEMON: Yeah.


HILL: So, we are still in the midst of a crisis that we have seen unfolding for now best parts of two years.

LEMON: You call Trump a "would be autocrat." Now, we are also learning Trump's lawyer telling his former aides not to even cooperate with the January 6 committee. What happens if this investigation is thwarted, Fiona?

HILL: Well, it's quite a lot of evidence to the fact that our institutions are falling apart here, because they're only as good as the people who are in them, and the people who want to live by the letter of the law.

In other countries where we see these things happening, the rule of law has never really taken shape. It has never really taken hold. But this is a country, is a republic that was set up on the basis of the rule of law with the Constitution, with a clear legislative parameters for the business of politics. And what we are seeing is people not just chipping away but taking huge chunks of it.

LEMON: Mm-hmm.

HILL: If congressional oversight no longer functions, then what is the purpose of Congress in this context?

LEMON: This is what you write. You said that -- how the government's ineffectual response to the insurrection has made it more likely the next populist will succeed where Trump failed. Explain.

HILL: We have seen this time and time again historically and also in contemporary politics elsewhere in the world. Russia, for example, I spent some time making a comparison in the book.

Boris Yeltsin, who preceded Vladimir Putin, he got into a spat with his parliament over a new constitution that gave him even more powers than he had before. He resolved it by firing on parliament, ordering the army out, to shell parliament, including his own vice president and the speaker of the parliament. That way, he rammed through this constitution.

The thing was he didn't take advantage of it, full advantage of it. The person who did, who came along later, who had a very different sensibility about ruling the country, Vladimir Putin, he took full use of that constitution.

And everyone talks about how incompetent Trump was. But he is pushing through all of these practices, all of these procedures now. He is upending all of the legislative (INAUDIBLE) that we have. So the next person who comes along may be much more competent and much more capable of putting all of that into action. And there we are. We have an autocrat.

LEMON: Let's talk about something else you're talking about. You say President Biden's infrastructure plan is only a start, Fiona.

HILL: That's right. Look, we have to do things at the top. We also have to do things at the bottom and in the middle as well. I am just hoping that a lot more Americans are waking up to what is happening here and realizing that if they don't stand up, speak the truth, call out for action, then it is going to be too late.

At the top, what we are missing is not the public policy approach. We know what we need to do. The infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill are filled with all of the elements that are really needed to close the opportunity gap in the United States. They're going to fix the way that our politics and our economy are working.

But it is the physical world that is missing, the collective action. So, people have to agitate for it from elsewhere in the system, state and local government mayors, people who are community organizers. This is the time for people to stand up and say, look, we need to do something here. We can't just wait for members of Congress to get their act together. That is where the problem.

We have all of these revelations from Facebook recently about the algorithms being messed up. Well, our political algorithm is messed up. We just basically, in this highly polarized, highly partisan situation, got to find a way of bursting through it.

LEMON: We are really in a post-truth era. We have to figure out how to get back to the truth. Fiona, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

HILL: That's right.

LEMON: The book again is --

HILL: Thanks so much, Don.

LEMON: -- "There Is Nothing For You Here: Finding Opportunity in the 21st Century." You are quite welcome, Fiona. Thanks again.

We've got news on the Gabby Petito case. Police telling CNN they were surveilling her fiance, Brian Laundrie, before he disappeared. And we've got a lot more on that to come and on why Brian Laundrie's father was out with police in that Florida reserve today.




LEMON: More breaking news tonight. Police in North Port, Florida telling CNN that Brian Laundrie was under surveillance before he vanished more than three weeks ago. They're also saying that they never spoke with him even though they were watching him as best as they legally could.

Let's discuss now with Stuart Kaplan, a former FBI special agent, and Mark NeJame, a criminal defense attorney. Good evening to both of you. Long time, Mark. Good to have you on. I want to start with Stuart because -- Stuart, what -- they were watching them but then they let him -- what? What happened?


LEMON: Stuart, Stuart, Stuart.

STUART KAPLAN, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Don, it's interesting. For several years in my New York assignment to the New York field office to the FBI, I was a team leader with the Special Operation Division where we did surveillances. The reality, coming to a quiet neighborhood and setting up on a target is nearly impossible.

That is because you're an outsider and neighborhoods are walking their doors and they identify cars that they normally don't see and they see people sitting in them and they generally become nosy and interfere with your attempt to go undetected.

So what you try to do is you set up on what is called choke points. And when you set up on choke points, meaning that Brian Laundrie would anticipate passing through some street and you would hope to pick him up outside the neighborhood.

Losing a subject is part of doing surveillance. And so the fact that local law enforcement was attempting to surveil him and they obviously missed him at some choke point, is part of the game.


KAPLAN: I think your guest on the other side is going to say the rules of engagement while someone is just a person of interest requires even that much more, you know, not to be in his face so to speak.

LEMON: Okay. So Mark, let's talk about that because the North Port Police are saying that they were doing what they were legally allowed to do. There was no crime yet and there were limitations. Were the police stymied about what they can do at the time?

NEJAME: Not to that extent. They could have easily gone up and start to question him. He had every right not talk to them. But they had every right to go up and inquire, which would seem to be as -- of course, it (INAUDIBLE) be far more reliable (ph) than simply surveilling somebody who they thought was going to be leaving then they sort of (INAUDIBLE) at least one crime that they could establish (INAUDIBLE) ultimately brought charges for. Why they did not talk to him didn't make sense to me.

LEMON: Yeah. Stuart, CNN also confirmed that authorities don't have in their possession Brian or Gabby's phone that they had with them on their trip. Neither phone was found in the van. I mean, these phones could be anywhere. I mean, they could be incredibly valuable to investigators.

KAPLAN: Yeah, and so from the FBI's perspective, clearly, they have gone back and tried to pick up on the last possible digital footprint, that being the pinging of the cell phones to the last tower. They're after obviously the phones were turned off or they were discarded.

I think part of the efforts that we have seen over the past couple weeks with respect to really trying to get into the Carlton Reserve with respect to at least initiating divers in the water is the likelihood or the assumption that maybe these phones were discarded in the swampy mess out there and their attempt to try to retrieve them, see what if any evidentiary value they may have. But keep in mind also they obviously through the grand jury process had been able to retrieve the phone records. And so the phone records will tell a lot about the use of those phones.

LEMON: Yeah. Stuart, also today, Brian Laundrie's father, Chris Laundrie, was seen entering the Carlton Reserve. That is the nature reserve there. He was assisting law enforcement in the search for his son. Why do you Brian Laundrie's parents are suddenly cooperating now three weeks into the search? What does that mean?

KAPLAN: Clear indication that they are now formally cooperating with law enforcement. Clearly, at the time, at the very early onset, there was an assumption by law enforcement that the parents either assisted or hindered with respect to the ongoing investigation.

I think there is a big difference between law enforcement having an assumption and then being able to prove it in a court of law. I think once the evidence was established that they could potentially charge the mom or dad or together with respect to hindering an investigation. They now put the full court press on the mom and dad through their lawyer.

I think they realized their exposure and they finally realized they need to come on board and cooperate fully. And so now you have mom and dad fully cooperating and trying to assist them in the apprehension of their son.

LEMON: Mark, I want you to weigh in on this because this is -- the new cooperation from the Laundries indicates that they may have struck some kind of a deal? What could that entail? What do you see here?

NEJAME: Just going out for search would not suggest that they have given all the information, what happened when he arrived back at home, in the van, when he spoke to them, where he want, what they did, did he get out of town money, opening up bank accounts, and whatever call records, phone records they have. So there is a lot more to cooperate than merely just going out and searching in the woods and suggesting they are maybe looking for him.

To me, there is a concern from the onset. They are not acting like someone who has a child who is either dead or missing. That is at least from what we see on the outside. There is a concern to me that they do have potential charges. But this might be something that they are (INAUDIBLE). But I'm not seeing any great value (INAUDIBLE) all the other things are turned over which have been missing since Gabby became missing.

LEMON: What do you mean you don't think they're acting like someone whose child is missing or dead?

NEJAME: Well, as you know, we were involved back in the day in the Casey Anthony case. I always thought that the mother was very guilty because if you lose a child, if your child is missing, you're balled up in a fetal position gasping for your next breath. That is not what we have seen outwardly which would suggest that they don't believe that he is dead and that he is arguably in a safe place. Of course, that is speculation but that is all we are all doing at this point.

LEMON: All right. Mark, Stuart, thank you very much.


LEMON: We appreciate it.

KAPLAN: My pleasure.

LEMON: Florida's Board of Education voting to sanction eight school districts that have mask mandates with no opt out. What do these districts plan to do next? A superintendent from one of them joins me.


LEMON: The Florida State Board of Education voting to sanction eight school districts for instituting mask mandates without the ability to opt out.


LEMON (on camera): So the board is saying that they are directly violating Governor Ron DeSantis's Florida Department of Health emergency rule. But the superintendents of the eight school districts are arguing that they were in compliance, citing raising case rates as a reason to implement mask mandates. The fight over masks mandates has been playing out for weeks and we have seen it in school boards all across the country.


UNKNOWN: Lord, stop the left-wing harmful, evil spirits that are taking over some of our board members.

UNKNOWN: Let me go back to what masks really are. They are a sexual fetish for all of you all that are in tune with pedophilia. That's what is mask is about.

UNKNOWN: I'm in Afghanistan right now. I have no choice. I have to wear this. Are they going to come and kill me? But in the United States, we have a choice and the choice is we can wear a mask or we don't have to wear a mask.


LEMON (on camera): All of that is real. That is not a "SNL" sketch. Real. Joining me now is Carlee Simon, the superintendent of Alachua Public Schools, one of the eight school districts set to be sanctioned.

I mean, Carlee, good evening to you. Wow, wow, wow. Okay. So, you say that you're going defy the Florida Board of Education and maintain current masking protocols. The Board of Ed members, they say that they can be docked school pay. Funding might be held back. I mean, that's a big risk. Are you willing to take that?

CARLEE SIMON, SUPERINTENDENT, ALACHUA PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Well, we actually, along with Broward County, are already experiencing this. We have been having deductions from the state now. I believe we are starting our third month. And so this really is kind of where we have been. The new addition to the sanctions is that they are trying to deduct the additional funding that we received when we got the Project Safe Grant from the U.S. Department of Education to make us whole from the state deductions.

It's interesting because we'll see how that plays out. We did find out that the U.S. DOE did write to the Commission of Education and pointed out that this could perhaps be violation of federal law.

LEMON: Yeah. One of the districts being sanctioned said 10 employees died after the second week of school opening. And in another, there were more than 3,200 COVID cases after schools opened. Are you worried what can happen if you lift these mandates in your district?

SIMON: So we are seeing the improvement in our COVID cases and we are having the opportunity to not have to quarantine as many students. We are still worried because 11 and under, the age group, they do not have access to the vaccine yet, and we don't want to risk it. We are almost in the end of this, as our doctors have pointed out. We're in the fourth quarter. This is not the time for us to quit. We need to finish the game.

And so we're pushing forward. Our board members have added an additional four weeks to our masking for our children in middle school and elementary school, and we are allowing a parent option for our high school students. So we are slowly transitioning out, but we don't want to stop before we are finish. We want to make sure we have that vaccine time so we can cover as many children as possible.

LEMON: Carlee, Florida is pushing back against the U.S. Department of Education for paying grants to your district to try to offset the penalties, and the Biden administration is saying today that withholding more funding raises legal concerns. Do you want the Biden administration to do more to fight this?

SIMON: Well, we definitely appreciate the Biden administration and the support that they can offer us. I think what we are looking for is we would like this level of support from our state. It's clear that we are not getting that.

In fact, just yesterday, the commissioner, Corcoran, he just finally applied four months delayed for federal funding that would also help us with recovery from COVID. It seems as though we are getting the support we need from the federal government, and we're hoping the state decides to stop this nonsense of fighting us and help us out because we have a lot of work to do to recover from COVID.

LEMON: All these masks, these fights over masks and vaccine mandates, all of that has to affect the kids who are seeing these battles play out in public. How is it impacting their learning?

SIMON: I think in the school buildings, the learning is happening, the students are happy, and they are enjoying time with their friends and their teachers.


SIMON: I think when their parents are having these levels of arguments with school board members at board meetings, some parents bring their children, I'm sure that there is a level of watching adults really losing their cool and saying things that in many cases are inappropriate in public settings. I think it does have -- it dampens the type of relationship that you want children to see with adults, and it is unfortunate our adults are not always behaving well.

LEMON: Yeah. Carlee, thank you so much. Best of luck, okay?

SIMON: Thank you for having me.

LEMON: Thank you.

President Biden defending his vaccine mandates as a country looks like it may be turning a corner. But what does it mean for the millions who are still refusing to get vaccinated?




LEMON: U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy is telling CNN tonight that he is cautiously optimistic about the future of COVID in the U.S. Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths all down.

Joining me now is Michael Osterholm. He is the former Biden coronavirus advisor and the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. Thank you for joining us. I appreciate it, Michael.


LEMON: So a lot of experts have been suggesting that we are turning a corner in this pandemic. Is this how you see it or people -- you know, are they still refusing to get vaccinated? Is that going to be a real threat with this variant coming up, another surge possibly?

OSTERHOLM: First of all, the number of cases has dropped substantially and that is great news. Think of the surge kind of like up a hill and down a hill, and we're on the downhill side.

Unfortunately, if you live in a place like Minnesota or North Dakota or Northern Michigan or Vermont or New Hampshire or Maine, right now, we're still seeing the main hit of this pandemic that was earlier seen the southern states. We just have fewer populations here so you don't hear about the larger numbers.

But in general, over the course of the next, I think, three to five weeks, you're going to see the case numbers drop precipitously. But that is just for now. There will be more surges. They will return. New York and L.A., for example, were not hit with the most recent surge. They are still due. And on top of it all, we still have 65 million Americans who have not yet been vaccinated who could be right now.

LEMON (on camera): I want you to listen to what the president said today about vaccine mandates. Here it is.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Look, I know that vaccination requirements are tough medicine, unpopular with some, politics for others. But they are lifesaving. They are game-changing for our country.


LEMON: Is he right? Are vaccine mandates why hospitalizations and cases are down now?

OSTERHOLM: I think it's clear that they can surely contribute. But we have to be honest and say that this virus and the surges that it causes actually have been occurring since the beginning of the pandemic where they go up for anywhere from six to eight weeks.

You will see increased cases in the areas where the surges are and then they drop. They did that once before in a big way last summer long before we had vaccines, I should say a year ago last summer. And so vaccines are surely playing an important role, but we don't understand why this virus goes up and down as it does.

LEMON: Yeah. Pfizer has officially asked the FDA to authorize their COVID vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. But polling shows a lot of parents are hesitant about that. Do you have a message for them?

OSTERHOLM: Well, first of all, there are 28 million kids right now who are vulnerable to this virus and it's really the only tool we have to help protect them. So as a grandfather of four of the kids who fit in that category, I can't wait for the vaccines to arrive. But I also understand why parents might be hesitant, and this is where we really have to do a lot of work, education.

Why it's so important to vaccinate these kids and turn a vaccine into a vaccination? So I think the Pfizer approval and likely the approval of the other vaccines shortly after that is very important. But again, we've got to work hard to get vaccines into vaccinations.

LEMON: There has been a lot of debate about boosters and whether the data justifies widespread booster shots to prevent breakthrough infection and slow the spread. Do you think they're necessary?

OSTERHOLM: I do think they're necessary. I think that what we're seeing right now is a snapshot in time of people who are vaccinated six to eight months ago, and now they're seeing the waning immunity.

As we get further and further out from more and more people who had two doses of vaccine for the MRNA vaccine and the one for the J&J, we will see even more breakthroughs. We will see them in younger ages. And we are beginning to see that in a number of places where younger people who are -- who had two vaccines are actually now becoming seriously ill.

So I think that this particular approach to the vaccines was something that probably should have thought about as a three dose all along or a two dose for the J&J, and not just as we -- this is an initial vaccine and now we're given a boost. So I think it's very important and I think time will actually bear that out.

LEMON: I want to talk about these new surveys from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. It found only 44% of Americans plan to get a flu shot this year. I got mine already, by the way, just so you know. Are you worried about the combination of flu season and COVID?


OSTERHOLM: Well, you know, we have to be honest. I admit with great humility, we don't know. We just saw last winter very little activity of flu after it was predicted that there potentially would be a twindemic. We just watched the southern hemisphere goes through their winter during our summer months. We saw no flu activity.

So my estimate is that somewhere between, we don't see any and we could have a major outbreak, which I know is not helpful. But so that is why you should still get your flu shot because you don't want to try to play catch up should we have a big outbreak. But I think we have to be careful in saying we know for certain that that will happen.

LEMON: Listen, I usually get the flu or something close to it, and because of the social distancing, the hand washing, the sanitizing, and the masks, nothing the past two years. So, there you go.

OSTERHOLM: That's good.

LEMON: Yeah, that is good. Good news. Thank you. I appreciate it. I'll see you soon.

OSTERHOLM: Thank you very much, Don.

LEMON: We'll be right back.




LEMON (on camera): Fashion idol, trailblazing activist, outspoken. Princess Diana attracted an unprecedented media spectacle everywhere she went. But did the world really understand who she was? The all-new CNN Original Series, "Diana," seeks to answer that question. Here's a preview.


UNKNOWN: Diana's own mother, in a very unhappy marriage, left for very good reasons and was shunned in society.

UNKNOWN: Ruth Lady Fermoy (ph), who is Diana's grandmother, who was a terrible snob, was appalled that her daughter should have left her (INAUDIBLE). And as a result, she gave evidence in the custody proceedings against her own daughter. She called her a bad mother. Custody did go to Johnny (ph). So Frances (ph), having planned to keep all four of her children and to remove them from this abusive household, had lost them.

UNKNOWN: Because of what happened to Diana at such a young age and watching her own mother lose her children, this fear of losing children would have played on Diana until her death.


LEMON (on camera): Looks absolutely fascinating. Let's talk to royal commentator playwright and broadcaster Bonnie Greer. Bonnie, I'm so glad you can join me to talk about this. Hello to you.


LEMON: Diana got a lot of attention after joining the royal family. But there is so much we still don't know about her. What do you think the most surprising thing people will learn when they watch this series?

GREER: I think -- great to be on your show again. Thank you. I think it's to see how candid she is. I mean, I was really surprised about that, and that's not an easy thing to do, because of the class she came from. English upper class aristocracy, actually, and they don't do that. So, the fact that she did it and she said what she felt and she said what she was thinking makes her really, really, really fascinating.

I have to tell you one thing really quickly, Don. She really touched me when I lost a lot of friends to aids. I lived in New York in the '80s and a lot of my friends died. When she shook hands with the man in the aids clinic in London, it really brought me to her side. That was an amazing gesture. And I think that was a big turnaround for her in the public as well.

LEMON: Yeah. The first episode looks at -- back at Diana's childhood, how it influenced her early relationship with Prince Charles and the entry into the royal family. What do you know about that? What can you share?

GREER: Well, you know, it's important for American audiences to know that her family is -- their aristocracy. They were actually more aristocratic than the royal family. They were much more English than the royal family. And she was born on one of the royal estates, the one the queen goes to in the winter. And her grandmother was a courtier, her father was a courtier. They were around the royal family for hundreds of years. So, she knew them very much and they knew her. And so to realize suddenly that she didn't actually know these people as she thought she did, as we thought she did, brings kind of the drama begins in her life because actually, who is she in relation to them, who are they?

And the second part of it is, you know, Don, we're watching somebody grow up in public. Most people grow up in private. And we're watching a human being become who she is. And that's always a really fascinating thing to watch.

LEMON: Yeah. Well, I can't wait to see it. Bonnie, we're so grateful to have your perspective. Thank you for joining us. I appreciate it.

GREER: Pleasure.

LEMON: And be sure to tune in, the all-new CNN Original Series, "Diana," premieres Sunday, 9:00 p.m., only on CNN.

And thank you for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. Tonight, we've learned that the former president is making new efforts to subvert justice and stymie the investigation into his attempt to stay in office by subverting democracy. He's reportedly doing it by invoking executive privilege in the House investigation of the attack on the Capitol, which he incited.

We'll talk to former White House counsel John Dean if he can actually do that.