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Don Lemon Tonight
Meadows Handed Over 6,000 Pages Of Documents Without Claiming Executive Privilege; The Trump White House Lied And Lied About President's COVID Case; House Passes Bill To Enable Senate To Increase Debt Limit With Simple Majority; Biden Confronts Two International Rivals; Here At Home, Gas And Home Heating Costs Are Falling; Biden Warns Putin Of Strong Sanctions If Russia Invades Ukraine; Omicron Variant Raises New Concerns About Global Economy; Former Chief Of Staff Reveals How Bad Trump's COVID Case Really Was; I.G. Report U.S. Capitol Police Fail To Implement Changes After Capitol Insurrection. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired December 07, 2021 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST (on camera): That doesn't seem to be fair for the athletes. Figure out another avenue to get that done. Thank you so much for watching. I'll be back here tomorrow night. DON LEMON TONIGHT starts right now. Hi, Don.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST (on camera): That is the most exposure I've had to social media in like two years.
SMERCONISH: You're probably healthier as a result.
LEMON: I do. I cut my consumption of social media and I'm happy and no knee jerk reactions to people, you know, criticism. But you take it very well. I just can't deal with it anymore because I get the trolls.
SMERCONISH: Well, tonight we're kind. We'll see what tomorrow night brings.
LEMON: You never know. I'm sure you get some of that, too.
SMERCONISH: Oh my god.
LEMON: Can I talk to you about something though? We were talking about foreign policy, right? Because you're talking about China and Ukraine. But I want -- kitchen table stuff that I'm very happy about that we are going to cover in the show and that is very happy about the price of gasoline for the car, home heating oil down and unemployment. Those are things that Americans really care about in this moment that affect them at this moment and for this holiday season it appears that they're going in the right direction, Michael.
SMERCONISH: Well, I don't want to sort of talk against my own a block because I focused heavily, as you know, on the situation with Russia and Ukraine and I think that's really important stuff. LEMON: It is important. I'm going to talk about it, yes.
SMERCONISH: But to your point, Don, what really matters most is, you know, at Christmas is your son going to get the G.I. Joe with the kung-fu grip.
LEMON: This is not the 1960s and '70s where we had that or the bionic man with the eyeball. This is PS 5 territory, Michael.
SMERCONISH: No, no, no, da, da, da.
Have a good show.
LEMON: Thank you, sir. I'll see you later. Have a good one.
This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. Breaking news, we want to talk about because the House has passed legislation to start the process for the Senate to increase the debt limit with a simple majority instead of 60 votes. You know, what that means, it means 10 Republicans would have to get on board.
Congress has until next Wednesday to address the debt limit. That as Joe Biden taking on Vladimir Putin as we just talked about here, and as Michael talked about a lot his show. Thousands of Russian troops mass on the border with Ukraine.
The president's message here to Putin, just barely, veiled threat, saying things that we do not do in 2014 we are prepared to do now. A warning that Russia could face a world of hurt economically if Putin decides to invade Ukraine.
Now, compare that to the disgraceful performance from the former president, Former President who cozied up next to Putin, standing next to him in Helsinki and taking his word over our own Intelligence Committee saying he didn't see any reason to believe that Russia was behind the interference in our 2016 election. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others and said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: And while President Biden is locked in a faceoff with Russia, China is already mad about his diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing over China's human rights violations. But as the president confronts two international rivals here at home, Americans are finally getting some relief. Finally. Right?
Good news, people. We talk so much about bad news, my gosh. This is good news. Gas prices are heading south. Down. The government forecast says that they could drop below $3 a gallon. And the outlook for heating costs this winter getting better, too.
That as there is news from the committee investigating the attack on the Capitol on January 6. They says that Mark Meadows has one last chance to cooperate or they are going to hold him in criminal contempt. The former president's chief of staff says that he won't cooperate any more.
But he's already handed over more than 6,000 pages of documents including texts, emails and calls during the riot at the Capitol. He handed overall that without a peep about executive privilege. But now all of a sudden, he is saying no? Why is that? Kind of makes you wonder what is he trying to hide?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK MEADOWS, FMR. CHIEF OF STAFF TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: What we found over the last couple of days honestly was that the committee was fully intending to continue to press forward asking about executive privilege items, things that are protected by that.
In addition, we found that in spite of our cooperation and sharing documents with them they had issued unbeknownst to us without a courtesy call, issued a subpoena to a third party carrier trying to get information.
And so at this point, we feel like its best that we just continue to honor the executive privilege and it looks like the courts are going to have to weigh in on this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. So take note of this, because when his former boss realizes that Meadows voluntarily handed over so many of his records without once claiming privilege, he's going to be mad. Furious.
Meanwhile, the committee has already sent out more than 100 requests for phone records and gotten a substantial number back including from surprise, one Mark Meadows. And that may tell you a whole lot about who was talking to whom before, during and after the January 6th riot.
It also might explain why Meadows seems to be trying to get back on the former guy's good side. In the face of all that, in the face of everything we know about the former guy and his lies, it is still shocking that not only did he test positive for COVID days before his first debate with Joe Biden, we're now learning that he was sicker than we knew.
His blood oxygen level dipped so low after he admitted he had the virus, couldn't even carry his own briefcase from the helicopter that took him to Walter Reed, basically medevacking him to the hospital.
That coming from, you guess it, Mark Meadows in his own new book. The book the former president no surprise is furious about. It was so much worse than what they told you, the public. Now look, we all know the former president is a liar. We know he lies.
Lies on top of lies. Big lies, little lies and everything in between. More than 30,000 false or misleading claims during his four years in office, 30,000.
But the story of the Trump era isn't that he is a liar, isn't that amazing? More than 30,000 lies or false or misleading claims but the story is he's not a liar is bigger than that. It's how he manages to suck everything and everyone else into the void. In light of what we know right now, I want you to listen to what then president's doctors said on the steps of Walter Reed (inaudible) on. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: (Inaudible) or anything?
UNKNOWN: To disclose that the president had been administered oxygen.
SEAN CONLEY, WHITE HOUSE PHYSICIAN: Good question. So I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, his course of illness he's had. I didn't want to give any information that might steer the course of the illness in another direction. And in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something. It wasn't necessarily true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: My gosh, I mean can you -- do you remember that? Right? I forgot about that, it seems like a lifetime ago. But that was what? Last year? All the white coats standing, it was like a sci-fi movie. It wasn't necessarily true they were trying to hide something. How many American lives could have been saved though, if the former president had told the public how sick he was, how dangerous COVID is?
He put his own life at risk, he put American's lives at risk instead of telling people to take COVID seriously, he hid the truth. COVID, foreign policy, the economy, our democracy, we need to take these issues seriously. We need serious people. But instead, this is what we have.
Who are the voices with the power in the halls of Congress? Anybody from the QAnon Congresswoman to Matt Gaetz trying to blame the FBI demanding answers to what he calls the bureau's involvement in January 6th and predicting the GOP will take power.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MATT GAETZ, (R-FL): We are going to take power after this next election and when we do, it's not going to be the days of Paul Ryan and Trey Gowdy and no real oversight, and no real subpoenas. It's going to be the days of Jim Jordan, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Dr. Gosar, and myself doing everything to get the answers to these questions.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Woo, woo, woo. The list of names. But guess what? What he
predicts could very welcome to pass, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, they made it very, very clear where they stand on a number of issues including our democracy.
They stand for vile and violent videos that appeared to show the killing of a colleague and attack on the president of the United States. They stand for bogus conspiracy theories about Jewish space lasers. They stand for obsequious devotion to a disgraced twice impeached, one term, former insurrection inspiring president.
Let's bring in now our correspondents, reporters, Jamie Gangel, and also legal analyst, Elliott Williams. Jamie is ready to go. Jamie, you have an exclusive every night. And I love you for it. Thank you and I love you for coming on, Elliott too. Bring us some exclusives please. We would love it, just for the show.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): All I can say, Don, if you think Donald Trump was furious about Mark Meadow's book, get ready. According to the committee, we have learned that among more than 6,000 pages of documents that Meadows voluntarily handed over to the committee are messages sent and received during the riot. Text. Emails. Calls. While the events of the erection -- excuse me. After 40 years I can't believe I did that on TV.
Insurrection was happening. Committee member, Zoe Lofgren told us the records include, quote, "Volumes of material including real-time communication as the riot unfolded." Look, Don, we don't have the details of who Meadows was communicating with that day yet.
But we do know that a lot of people had Mark Meadow's cell phones. Let's just think about it. White House officials, rally organizers, Trump loyalists, members of Congress, so Don, everyone should be aware if they were communicating with Mark Meadows, texting, calling, emailing on January 6th, the committee may already have those documents.
LEMON: Oh, wow. Wow. Wow. So you're right, if he is angry about that, he's really going to be mad about this and all this not while even claiming executive privilege. So, Elliott, chime in here because committee member Pete Aguilar is telling CNN tonight that some records on Meadows turned come from a personal device.
And get this that Meadows was in communication with individuals involved in the planning of the January 6th rally. There is no doubt the committee has some follow-up questions, correct, Mr. Attorney?
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST (on camera): Correct, Mr. Host. And moreover, you don't need that person to come in and testify once you've got the records. What they can do is ask other people whose phone information is appearing in the records that they have.
So this is -- I think people get in their heads that you have to have always the big fish, the Kingpin, the President, the Vice President, the Chief of Staff, whomever it is when you are running an investigation when often it is far more valuable to speak to the people around them, providing testimony about what you have hard evidence about in the form of phone records.
And so, these phone records are incredibly valuable and moreover, look at the fact that just yesterday Mike Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short word of his cooperation came up.
WILLIAMS: That's an individual who can fill a lot of this information in. So yes, it would be incredibly valuable to have Mark Meadows testify but it's not fatal to the investigation if he doesn't.
LEMON: Elliott, another question. Anyone who communicated with Meadows on January 6th or the days around, they got to be nervous tonight about what they said and what the committee may eventually learn. Do you think it's going to prompt others to come forward?
WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think it does and I think it also the fear of what happens if the committee does come trying to speak with you and they don't comply. You know, the committee made very clear that they will attempt to hold people in contempt. Mark Meadows might be a more challenging figure to hold in contempt, to conduct number one because of the fact he's already provided all these documents.
And number two, he's going to have had conversations with the president that are going to be more protected. But the committee can still go after any of these individuals, right. And so, they have far more of an incentive to comply right now.
So, it's not just people that spoke to Mark Meadows but people around them. And so there is a growing web of individuals who could potentially be targets of the committee. And so yes, they have every reason to want or have an incentive to commit.
LEMON: So Jamie Gangel, you also have exclusive reporting on new subpoena send off by the committee, what are they looking for?
GANGEL: So what we've learned is that the committee sent out more than 100 requests for call detail records and they've already received a substantial number back. So just let's talk a little bit about what these call detail records are.
They do not include the content, there is not a recording or a text but they give details about who was calling or texting, whom when they placed the call, for how long the calls lasted.
Don, this gives the committee potentially the ability, just as how it does to draw a web of communications about what was going on before, during and after that January 6th riot.
Look, the other point here is the committee believes it may be able to learn what was actually in, let's say, those texts or phone calls from individuals who are already cooperating with the investigation. So, if someone like Mark Meadows is not going to cooperate, maybe someone like Marc Short, former vice president chief of staff, maybe they were texting. Maybe Marc Short has that text exchange. And my sense is it's likely they're already seeing some of these text exchanges.
LEMON: Interesting. So what can that committee piece together from these phone records, Elliott?
WILLIAMS: So here is -- just put it in concrete terms, Don. Under normal circumstances you might ask somebody hey, you know, what were you doing on January 3rd at around maybe 2 o'clock p.m.? And have the person say I don't remember, you know, maybe I was eating lunch or something like that. That's a very different question than on January 3rd at 2:14 p.m. You had an 11-minute phone conversation with Don Lemon. What did you talk about at that time? Right?
And that's incredibly valuable and think about that across the, you know, every communication that person might have had over a series of days with a series of people and so on. It allows investigators to very specifically target the information they're looking for rather than use their -- because remember it's quite limited the time you have with the witness. You know, you're only going to get a couple hours with them.
Now they can target and pinpoint every conversation, every recipient, every third party that might have been spoken to and it makes for a far more productive investigation.
LEMON: Look, Meadows about face on cooperating came, you know, after he learned about these subpoenas that --
WILLIAMS: Yeah, and let me take it a step further. This is an individual who was used to be the ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight, which is the committee that just subpoenas people all the time.
LEMON: So he knows?
WILLIAMS: What could he have possibly have thought was going to happen when he start talking to this committee? Of course, they were going to subpoena his phone records and records of everybody else. So the idea that my gosh it came out of nowhere that this committee issued a subpoena for my phone records makes no sense, who knows what is driving the behavior here and the personality.
But given the work that he did for his entire time in Congress is mind boggling that he seemed to be so shocked once he got hit with the subpoena and saw that they were looking for other information. It just makes very little sense.
LEMON: Elliott always --
WILLIAMS: Like most of this does.
LEMON: Yeah. Always a pleasure, Elliott. Jamie, thank you for the exclusive reporting. Great job. Thank you. GANGEL: Thank you.
LEMON: I'll see you guys soon. So, President Joe Biden going toe to toe with Vladimir Putin over Russian troops on border with Ukraine but did he do enough to get Putin to back down?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I'll look you in the eye and tell you as President Biden looked President Putin in the eye and told him today, that things we did not do in 2014 we are prepared to do now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The President of the United States Joe Biden giving a warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin telling him the U.S. will retaliate with strong economic measures if Russia invades Ukraine. The two leaders speaking for about two hours with a focus on Russia's military buildup along the Ukraine border.
CNN learning tonight that the call turned tense at times. So joining me now, former Defense Secretary William Cohen. Good to see you, Secretary. Thanks for joining us. The stakes are incredibly high here. This is a head-to-head with Biden and Putin. Do you think the president did enough to get Putin to back off?
WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (on camera): Well, I think he did enough to make clear what the response of the United States would be should president Putin decide to use military force. From a purely military point of view, President Putin holds a lot of cards. He's got 170,000-180,000 or more that he could put in very quickly and move military. It would be a lot of bloodshed but nonetheless, I think the military outcome would be pretty convincing on his part.
The consequences of it I think he has to take into account he's looking at us. We are divided from within. We can't make a decision on masks, on COVID, we can't make a decision on our defense authorization bill. We are suffering from war fatigue and we've alienated many of our European allies that we are trying to make amends now with President Biden.
So, from his point of view things are looking pretty good. But I think President Biden did a good job in outlining what the consequences would be long term. And long term I think President Putin has to then calculate what would that do to unite all of the NATO countries against him? Those countries that are neutral toward Russia at this point, what would they do?
So, I think he's got a lot to think about but if we're expecting that President Putin is going to quote, "back down," it's sort of like you talking to me? Is a guy who has, you know, iron grip control over Russia with a strong military, with nuclear weapons and so the notion that he's simply going to back away, I think is unrealistic.
What I think needs to be done is that we need to send our Secretary of Defense to all the NATO countries. We need to send our Treasury Secretary to meet with all of the NATO countries and western countries and say look, if it comes to this will you be with us?
And I don't think we can say that at this point, given the kind of fractures that we see as a result of the former president and the fact that we had the agreement that really undermined the French sail of submarines to Australia.
LEMON: We need to understand they have our back. We need to make sure that our allies have our back on this one.
COHEN: And we have to do it I think not on a telephone call. We have to do it in person. We have the resources and our guys there and get that done.
LEMON: So the National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, is saying that the U.S. would respond with harsh economic measures if Russia invades Ukraine, and he also said this. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SULLIVAN: As President Biden looked President Putin in the eye and told him today that things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: OK. Things we didn't do in 2014, we're prepared to do now. What things exactly, secretary?
COHEN: Well, the economic sanctions for sure. Looking at how we could interrupt their economy in terms of their banking system, whether or not they would be able to convert (inaudible) into dollars in terms of oil deals, et cetera. So, it could be a penalty upon Russia to be sure. But there are NATO allies that also would be hurt by this if we for example we are to say, we are going to impose sanctions on the Nordstrom Two pipeline. Well, who does that hurt? It hurts Russia, it also hurts Germany. It also hurts other European countries.
And so that's why I say we need to send our secretary of treasury and others over to allies saying look, if we do this, if we impose these sanctions and don't wave them, this is going to hurt you as well as Russia and we're going to have the following measures to help you out from our energy supplies, for economic help if necessary. But we're in this together because this is not the United States against Russia. This is Russia versus NATO and the western world so to speak in terms of whether or not a country can have an autonomous sovereign nation that is free.
And that's the issue right now. Now President Putin came back and sort of like the civil war, he said no, this is a case of northern aggression. This isn't a civil war. It's Northern aggression. It's NATO aggression. But the fact is that what has happening is that Putin now has 175,000 troops or will have on the border. He's threatening to invade, he could militarily do it pretty soon.
And so I think he's laid out his case. He has some issues that have some merit. We ought to listen to those and then find a way to say how do we really calm this down? Because the last thing we want is a military confrontation.
LEMON: Well, I want to get this in because, look, these things just don't happen in a vacuum, right? They are not just singular incidents. This standoff with the Russia is happening as China is lashing out after the White House announced a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics, saying that the U.S. will pay the price. That's what they're saying. Beijing often talks tough but they have to be closely watching what happens if Ukraine because they have their eye on Taiwan.
COHEN: Well, Beijing may talk tough. They're in a position to act tough. They have really revolutionized their military the last 40 years. They are nearly a pure competitor on a military basis. And so the notion is somehow we can take on Beijing as well as Russia simultaneously is really kind of farfetched.
But I think they're watching it. They're raising their voice saying this is unfair because they don't believe in universal human rights and their position is anything that happens inside of China is our business and not yours or anybody else. We take issue with that. That's the reason why we raised human rights issues.
But as something that's very sensitive to them and they're watching closely what we do and they're also, I think, I don't think they want to attack Taiwan, they have the capacity to do it if not successfully now, within a reasonably short period of time.
So what we have to do is get back to diplomacy and say how do we reach accommodations with these two powers? Beijing is more powerful certainly in terms of economic but its growing military power and Russia is a military power. So how do we accommodate their interest without selling out our values and our interests? And that's diplomacy and that's why Joe Biden is sitting in that office.
LEMON: And because of everything you just said, that's why we love having you here to hear your wisdom. Thank you very much Secretary Cohen, we appreciate it. Thank you.
Gas prices dropping, dropping after the October boom. Woo, how long will the relief last? Let's hope it's a long time. Stay with us.
LEMON: A big economic relief for millions of Americans who have been dealing with soaring energy prices. Cost at the pump, finally easing up. With the national average for a gallon of regular falling to $3.35. The lowest since October. Just look at that, ahhhhh. The government is forecasting gas will drop to $3.01 by January.
National gas prices also taking a big dive, they are down by more than 40 percent since the October peak, alleviating concerns that heating bills -- natural I should say, not national -- could have doubled this winter.
So joining me now, the former chairman of the Council Of Economic Advisors, Austin Goolsbee. Austin --
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FORMER CHIEF ECONOMIST AND ECONOMIC PROFESSOR AT CHICAGO'S BOOTH SCHOOLS OF BUSINESS (on camera): Good to see you again, Don.
LEMON: -- can we celebrate -- good to see you. Can we just celebrate this some good news just for a minute? I'll take it where I can get it.
GOOLSBEE: Yeah, I'm kicking myself because I filled my tank just a few days ago, 64 bucks, when I filled up my tank and I should have waited.
LEMON: Yeah, look, this is definitely welcome news for people who had been hit really hard by energy costs. Why do you think these prices dropping and do you think they are going to last?
GOOLSBEE: Well, there's a couple of reasons they are dropping. I mean the first -- the biggest reason is the price of oil is dropping, and the price of oil has dropped more than gas prices have dropped so it's probably going to keep going in the short run.
Some of that may be due to the announcements about the strategic petroleum reserve. A lot of that is due to OPEC and the other oil producing countries kind of backing off. They were trying to restrict output and that sort of fell apart a bit and they announced that in January they're going to increase production.
I think all of those factors are feed into this but gas prices are highly variable. They go up. They go down. By next summer they will probably be up again. But, you know, let's take it while we got it.
LEMON: That's exactly what I'm saying. Because -- listen, I've been on this earth long enough to see really high gas prices and really low gas prices and gas lines and so on and so forth. And so you're right. They fluctuate a lot.
But this is what I'm wondering if, you know, because we're still in a pandemic, right? Coming out of it but still in it. The big question is if this drop in energy prices will apply to other parts of the economy being hit by inflation, now thing like electronics and food, we know they're way up. So what is the reality right now about inflation, sir?
GOOLSBEE: Well, the reality, we are going to get a number on Friday and that number is probably going to be pretty big because it's going to include this. It's going to be looking back over the last month. So we're probably still going to have several months of high readings of inflation.
We're still looking through a bunch of supply chain issues that have nothing to do with oil, you know, the ports and computer chips and all of that type of thing. There is definitely the possibility though that if we can get control of the virus and get control of the supply chain problems, that is, people can go back to spending their money on services, not all trying to buy physical goods all at the same time.
That we could have big drops in the unemployment rate, the GDP economic growth rate kick way up, 5 percent, 6 percent, even 7 percent at an annual rate and prices -- inflation starting to ease, you would think people would be feeling a lot better than they have been the last couple months if that happens.
LEMON: OK. Well, let let's hope. The reality is a lot -- a lot of this is really beyond the president's control. We say that every time but still they do get the blame, right, for good and bad. If inflation remains stubborn, what options does the administration have?
GOOLSBEE: Not great options in the immediate term. They can do things like the strategic petroleum reserve but that's really just a temporary kind of fix. I think they've got to get control of the virus and on that side it's not that promising. I mean, this omicron variant, looks like its spreading very rapidly in different places. So that could send us back into a whole another round of this. Let's hope that doesn't happen.
I think anything they can do to shift what American consumers are spending their money on, away from physical goods which were at these unprecedented levels of spending money on physical goods, everybody trying to do that at the same time, of course, the supply chain can't handle that.
If we could go back to spending money on services by getting control of the virus and I really think that would go a long way to easing the pressure on inflation.
LEMON: Listen, I'm heading against a wall here. But I just want to ask you. So what is like, the markets are all over the place, gas prices are coming down, oil, all that. What is the health of the economy? It's kind of confusing for people, the actual health of the economy right now?
GOOLSBEE: Yeah, look, I think that's -- it's confusing. What you said is exactly right, it's confusing. The job market is very strong. Wages are up. You've seen the unemployment rate is now down to a very low level. So, if, for people that want to work and want to find a job, this is a great moment to do that.
There is still a lot of reluctance especially in sectors where there is exposure to the disease or where people are not vaccinated. So I think we're going to have to work our way through that labor scarcity.
Economic growth clearly slowed in the summer but if we can get a handle on this, the forecast at least are for pretty robust rebound in terms of growth and we just got to manage the inflation side. But it could be quite strong more like what it was at the beginning of 2021 where we felt like yes, we're taking the roof off. We're --
-- a convertible out in the sun.
LEMON: Yeah. Thank you, Austin Goolsbee. Always a pleasure.
GOOLSBEE: Great to see you again, Don.
LEMON: Thank you. So he was sicker than we knew. Details coming out on just how bad the former president's COVID case really was. We've got those, next.
LEMON: So here is what we're learning tonight, the former president's blood oxygen level dipped down to a dangerously low level hours after he announced that he tested positive for COVID-19, and details coming from a new book from his Former Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows. Another revelation from Mark Meadows.
It wasn't previously shared by the White House or Trump's doctors. Let discuss now with CNN's chief political correspondent, Dana Bash here. Dana, another one for Mark Meadow's book and he writes, recalling on October 2nd of last year, "That morning Dr. Conley pulled me aside and delivered some bad news, although the president's conditions had improved slightly overnight, his oxygen levels had dipped down -- had dip down to about 86 percent and could be trending lower, a dangerously low level for someone his age."
Now compare that to what we heard from Trump's physician.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN CONLEY, WHITE HOUSE PHYSICIAN: This morning the president is doing very well. He's not on oxygen right now, that's right.
UNKNOWN: He's not received any at all?
CONLEY: He's not needed any this morning today at all. That's right.
I'm not going to get into all the testing going back but he -- and all the staff routinely are tested.
UNKNOWN: Could we ask if his oxygen level ever dipped below 90?
CONLEY: We don't have any recordings here of that. That's right.
UNKNOWN: Yeah, what about here?
UNKNOWN: At the White House or here, or anything below 90, just to follow up on her question? CONLEY: No, it was below 94 percent. It wasn't down into the low 80s
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Oh, OK. Dana. Good evening by the way. I mean, that was a dance. Was it a cover-up on health? What was going on here?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Sure, it certainly seems as though it was a cover-up and it was a pretty messy one. I mean, it was a pretty inadequate one because if you remember Don, at the time while that doctor was saying what appears to be many things that were just not true about the then president's health.
Mark Meadows who wrote this book was quietly at first saying on background, meaning not for attribution that the president was in really bad shape and then it came out it was him and he had to kind of fess up to it and the former president got really mad at him.
So this is now being put in a book where the former chief of staff hopes to make some money off of revelations about what really want on in those days but what it is reminding us is how little we really knew about what was going on in general, but especially when it came to the very dire situation of the leader of the free world's health.
LEMON: Yeah, and just how serious COVID could be and was. We know the former president is a habitual liar and to your point, I'll let you go on. This is an example of how people around him and really the whole -- all of us, we got all swept up, right, in this culture of deception because we didn't participate in it. I mean, the people on the outside, they did. But we had to live with it. Go on, sorry.
BASH: Yeah, no, that's exactly right and you were making this point, Don, that it's very, very crucial for him to be making these -- putting everything behind a very thick curtain at that time because remember, it was a month before the election where he was already in complete denial mode about COVID.
And the last thing that he and the people around him wanted to do was admit that everything that he was projecting about COVID, that it wasn't as bad as it was, that you didn't need a mask, so on and so on, and so on, it was just not true.
And he knew it wasn't true because he was suffering and it took a very long time for them to convince him to even go to Walter Reed even though he clearly needed it because his case of COVID was so bad. Never mind the other revelation that we got, I believe it was last week about the fact that he had an initial positive test.
LEMON: And then went to the --
BASH: Before he went to the debate and that was a moment we saw that things went off the rails.
LEMON: Crazy. Dana, I got to get to the top of the next hour. But he's got, I mean, Mark Meadows, this book, I mean, W - you know what. Like, what is going on here? He's got to be really miffed -- pissed. Let's just say it.
BASH: Well, you know who is miffed, it's the former president.
LEMON: That's what I'm saying. Yeah, the former guy has to be really ticked off. Dana Bash, always a pleasure. Thank you.
BASH: Nice to see you, Don.
LEMON: You, as well.
So moral lows, upheaval highs and not enough changes. Capitol police losing here. Take this, 130 officers since the January 6 insurrection. More after this.
LEMON: So take this, a damming report on the lack of changes put in place by the U.S. Capitol Police Department, almost a year after the January 6th insurrection left nearly 140 Capitol police and D.C. Metropolitan police officers injured. The department's inspector general telling the Senate Committee that officials have only implemented a handful of recommended policy changes including programs to boost morale and provide additional training.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL BOLTON, INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: Departments still lacks an overall training infrastructure to meet the needs of the department. The level of intelligence gathering and expertise needed and an overall cultural change needed to move the department into a protective agency as opposed to a traditional police department.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So on this show, we are going to continue to report extensively on the needs of the Capitol police and D.C. officers who were beaten by rioters and who had the courage to come forward to describe the horrors they experienced like Officer Michael Fanone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL FANONE, CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER: At some point during the fighting, I was dragged from the line of officers and into the crowd. I heard someone scream. I got one. As I was swarmed by a violent mob they ripped off my badge.
They grabbed and stripped me of my radio. They seized ammunition that was secured to my body. They began to beat me with their fists and with what felt like hard metal objects.
At one point I came face-to-face with an attacker who repeatedly lunged for me in attempt to remove my firearm. I heard chanting from some in the crowd, get his gun and kill him with his own gun. (END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Officer Daniel Hodges, describing how he was nearly crushed to death, trapped inside a doorway by people he calls terrorists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL HODGES, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICER: I remember him foaming at the mouth. He also put his cell phone in his mouth so he had both hands free to assault me. Eventually he succeeded in stripping away my gas mask and a new rush of exposure to CS and OC spray hit me. A mob of terrorists were coordinating their efforts now, shouting heave--ho, as they synchronize pushing their way forward, crushing me further against the middle door frame.
The man in front of me grabbed my baton that I still hold in my hands and in my current state, I was unable to retain my weapon. He bashed me in the head and face with it, rupturing my lip and adding additional injury to my skull.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Officer Hodges, lucky to be alive after that horrific ordeal. Capitol police say 130 officers had left the force this year. It's really past time to put all measures in place to protect these officers.
Up next, more than 100 subpoenas. We are going to tell you who and what the committee investigating January 6 is targeting now.