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Don Lemon Tonight
JFK's Nephew Getting Slammed Over Holocaust Comments; Newt Gingrich Wants To See January 6th Committee Behind Bars; Pentagon Alerts U.S. Troops; Russia Plans Its Moves In Ukraine; Stock Markets Rattled By Mixed Uncertainties. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired January 24, 2022 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): That's it for us tonight. Join us tomorrow as we look at America's growing distrust in civic institutions and how it puts democracy in peril. DON LEMON TONIGHT starts right now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: As someone, good evening by the way, as someone who witnessed the unraveling of our democracy, had a front row seat, you, is it better, worse, can we turn this around in your estimation? You were the White House correspondent for the entire Trump reign.
ACOSTA: Yes. I've got the marks on my back to prove it, Don. Yes. You know, I think we are in worse shape than we were to some extent during the early days, I guess during most of the Trump administration in part because of what we've been talking about for the last hour.
You know, we are facing a crisis in this country. If we have a situation come November where you have elections all over our country thrown into chaos because everybody wants to act like Donald Trump and not accept the fact that they lost an election I think, yes, we could have a serious breakdown in our democracy.
You know, to some extent things are better. I mean, today we had the President of the United States refer to a reporter as an SOB. You know, Don, you and I got called a lot worse back in the day. We never got an apology. I don't remember that from the commander-in-chief.
ACOSTA: So, maybe things are a little better to some extent.
LEMON: Not at all. If you don't believe just check social media and you can go back and just look. Things were worse. Listen, it was unfortunate the president shouldn't have said it. There is an update on it. We'll talk about it.
But Jim Acosta, thank you very much. We look forward to democracy in peril. We'll see you tomorrow night.
ACOSTA: We'll see you, Don.
LEMON: Have a good evening.
ACOSTA: Be well.
LEMON: This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. Thank you so much for joining us.
And the president, speaking of, Joe Biden facing four huge challenges right now. Four huge challenges right now. Here at home and thousands of miles away quite frankly. There was a showdown with Vladimir Putin at Ukraine's border. As many as 8,500 U.S.-based troops on high alert tonight preparing for a possible deployment to eastern Europe. That's serious.
The pentagon says no final decision to employ the U.S. troops has been made. But there are more and more Russian troops on the border every single day. Pay close attention to that. The White House telling American citizens inside Ukraine to get out now. As the State Department orders families of embassy personnel to leave.
And with that crisis in eastern Europe, there is another huge challenge on the president's plate tonight. Quite frankly, that's someone closer to home that more people are probably concerned about. It affects everyone. That's the economy. The Dow. Did you see it today? On a wild ride. Finishing up after a plunge of more than a thousand points. Finished up after a plunge of more than a thousand points.
The S&P on track for its worst January ever. Shaken by everything from the crisis in Ukraine to inflation. I know it sounds like -- I am so tired of bringing you this bad news every single night. I wish there was a way I could sugar coat it. I try to figure out every day to try to make you smile. I work on that. Sorry. I feel it too.
That is happening as more and more Americans are sick of COVID. Sick from COVID and sick of COVID. We're beginning our third year of the pandemic. Dr. Fauci says we're not out of the woods yet. More bad news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The best-case scenario is that in a matter of several weeks to a month or so we'll continue to come down and down, and then with all the things that we have, all the tools, vaccine, booster, testing, masking, we'll be able to keep it down there. That is the best-case scenario.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Yes. So, look. It's not good. Like I said, I try to make you smile but I can't. So, some comedians are trying but it is actually not funny. We're all tired of COVID. I mean, every single person is tired of COVID. It's gone on way longer than any of us expected when this whole thing started. But you have to listen to what journalist and author Barry Weiss says on HBO's Bill Maher show. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARI WEISS, AUTHOR & JOURNALIST: I'm done with COVID. I'm done.
BILL MAHER, HOST, HBO: I see. Yes.
WEISS: It's like, I went so hard on COVID.
MAHER: Yes, I remember
WEISS: I sprayed the Pringles cans that I bought at the grocery store, stripped my clothes off because I thought COVID would be on my clothes. Like I did it all. And then we were told, you get the vaccine. You get the vaccine and you get back to normal. And we haven't gotten back to normal. And it's ridiculous at this point. People are killing themselves. They are anxious. They are depressed. They are lonely.
That is why we need to end it more than any inconvenience that it's been to the rest of us. I think --
WEISS: It's a pandemic. It's like at this point, it's a pandemic of bureaucracy. It's a pandemic of bureaucracy. It's not -- it's not real anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Look, I know Bari Weiss not well. She's been on the show. I actually like her. Bari, that was messed up. And Bill Maher. Because, look. We were all sick of cancer when my dad died of it. But that didn't change the fact that he suffered from it and died.
I was sick of COVID when my friend -- dear friend Robby Brown died of it. He did not die of it because I was sick of it. That is so irresponsible. Maybe you're trying to say -- I don't know what you're trying to say. I can't make excuses for you. I heard what I heard. Everybody heard what they heard to her and Bill. Just because you're tired of it. Tired of sitting at home.
A lot of people are tired of sitting at home. A lot of people are tired of going to work every day and having to deal with sick people because people won't get vaccinated. Maybe you guys did. I think Bari said she did. Bill did. But just because you did doesn't mean that everybody else did it. And that's why the thing continues to go on because everybody else is not doing it because of irresponsible talk like that.
And I know, look, Bill, you're a comedian. I give comedians a lot of leeway. But this was not funny. Not real anymore? Bari? I'm sick of it? I'm over it? Have you been -- I don't know -- have you been to the COVID wars? I have. Tell that to the overwhelmed hospital and health care workers all across the country. They're not done with COVID. I'm sure they are over it. Don't you think? Because they have to deal with it every single day in a way you don't have to deal with it like face to face, up close and personal face to face. Every day.
Tell that to the families of the 10,000 Americans who died last week. Most of those totally preventable deaths because they were unvaccinated. These are facts. Listen, I know it's not -- I know you're sick of it. But these are facts. All those people are not done with COVID.
Now look, kids who lost so much time in school. They paid a very serious price. And now we have learned that kids, many times, not every single time, but many times are better off in school because the protocols are better because they're actually getting food. Sometimes it's the only place that kids can eat. OK.
So, people who have lost their jobs, right? People who are suffering from depression and anxiety. It's not over. For them, they have lost so much. Here is the problem. Too many people are making this about politics, even libertarians. Right? I think Bill is a libertarian. I'm not sure. Bill a libertarian.
It's great to have, you know, government out of your life. But there are certain things that you have to do in order to be a good citizen, to help take care of yourself and the other -- your fellow citizens. And sometimes it goes on for a long time.
Too many people have made this about politics, about bogus claims of freedom. When what's it's really about is a virus that has killed more than 860,000 Americans. Again, those are the facts. I can't go to a concert. I can't do -- 860,000 people. We've got an epidemic of extreme politics.
What else can you call it when the son of Robert F. Kennedy no less, the nephew of JFK, makes a reprehensible speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial? I know him as well. I was shocked that he would do something like this. Comparing lifesaving vaccine policies to the actions of a totalitarian state even sinking so low as suggesting that Anne Frank was in a better situation when she hid from the Nazis in a cramped attic in the Netherlands until she was discovered and killed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR., ROBERT F. KENNEDY'S SON: It's been the ambition of every totalitarian state from the beginning of mankind to control every aspect of behavior of conduct of thought, and to obliterate dissent.
None of them have been able to do it. They didn't have the technological capacity. Even in Hitler's Germany you could -- you could cross the alps into Switzerland. You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON (on camera): Come on. Come on. What are we doing? This isn't
about -- people have the right to feel the way they feel. You have a right to have an opinion. You have a right to have an opinion. But it's just not -- opinion is different than doing things that help each other. That's different.
Look, do I want to, like have to get a vaccine? Like do -- no. I don't want to. But I do it because I'm a good citizen. Right? Do I really want to? No. I had this conversation with my sister. I don't know if I want to put all this stuff and I talk to her about it and I talk to her about it, then we have a discussion.
You have an opinion about it, but then you, most people will do the right thing because it helps you and it helps others. That's what society is about. But, I mean, that -- the Auschwitz Museum, like that is not -- that's beyond opinion. This is crazy. This is cuckoo.
The Auschwitz Museum, which preserves the site of the concentration camp where more than a million people were murdered by the Nazis were replying in it and I quote here, the quote is, is that "exploiting of the tragedy of people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured, and murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany including children like Anne Frank in a debate about vaccines and limitations during global pandemic is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decay."
Put that quote back up. Perfect. Auschwitz Museum. Read that, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Read that. It is disgraceful. What would his father think? Exploiting of the tragedy of people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured, and murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany, including children like Anne Frank, in a debate about vaccines and limitations during global pandemic is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decay. Perfect. Thank you, Auschwitz Museum. You said it better than any of us.
What would his father think? What happened to the kinds of politics that calls us to a higher purpose instead of pitting us against each other with lies? Now we have people like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. disgracing the memory of his father with anti-vaccine lies and, quite frankly, conspiracy theories.
And then there is this fresh outrage, this is from none other than Newt Gingrich who I remind you was Speaker of the House back in the '90s. Now he says, and when and if Republicans take the House, that the members of the January 6th committee who are investigating the attack on the capitol by blood thirsty, Trump supporting rioters, should go to jail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER U.S. SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I think when you have a Republican Congress this is all going to come crashing down and the wolves are going to find out that they're now sheep and they're the ones who in fact I think are going to face a real risk of jail for the kind of laws they're breaking.
(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON (on camera): That is a former speaker of the house. So, yes.
You know, it's bad now but didn't just start right there. It was a slow progression from Newt Gingrich on and on and on specially with this party.
Former speaker of the house a man who worked in the capitol for years. And he thinks lawmakers should face jail? What about the rioters who hunted for them in the halls of Congress? What about those guys?
The committee vice chair Liz Cheney, a Republican, tweeting this. This is what it looks like when the rule of law unravels. And she's right. Is this what the so-called party of Lincoln, hasn't been that for a long time quite frankly, but is this what it's become? The party of revenge? The party of using power to destroy your perceived political enemies? Is this the new face of the GOP?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Do you know what? Newt is right. We are going to take power. And when we do, it's not going to be the days of Paul Ryan and Trey Gowdy where the Republicans go limp wristed, where they lose their back bone, and fail to send a single subpoena. No.
It's going to be the days of Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene and you know what? We're going to get answers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Grift. That's all it is. Are you going to be -- are you it is? Are you going to be -- are you bamboozled by the grift? Grift. Whatever you can to hold on to power and to make money. Grift. And then there was this moment at the White House today. Reporters shouting questions to the president. President Joe Biden after his remarks on efforts to bring prices down.
I want you to listen to what happens, this is when Fox's Peter Doocy asks about inflation and the midterms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Will you take questions on inflation then?
UNKNOWN: Let's go. Thank you. Thank you all.
DOOCY: Do you think inflation is a political liability around the midterms?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: That's a great asset. More inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): So, look. I see social media some people, this is funny. It's great. It's not a good look. It really isn't. Nobody is perfect. Right? I saw that and I said, he's going to call him and apologize, right? That's what I said. So, here's the thing. Asking questions is a reporter's job.
Peter Doocy asks a lot of questions that maybe you don't like. Not always maybe in good faith. But that comes with the territory. A source telling CNN the president called Doocy to apologize for his remarks. I knew he was going to do it the moment I heard it.
Doocy telling Fox News tonight, quote, "within about an hour of the exchange, he called my cell phone and said, hey, it's nothing personal, pal." Going on to say, he declared -- excuse me -- he cleared the air and I appreciated it. We had a nice call. So that is, that is very Joe Biden. But again, not making excuses. Listen, he shouldn't have done that.
OK. So, there's lots of talk about it. Let's bring in now our Pentagon correspondent Oren Liebermann with the latest on Ukraine and thousands of U.S. troops on heightened alert for possible deployment to Eastern Europe.
Oren, good to see you. Thank you for joining us this evening. This crisis, along Ukraine's border intensifying, and the U.S. is taking actions that are making this look more serious by the hour. Are there any signs of de-escalation at this point?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Not at all. The Pentagon has made it clear that Russia continues to send forces around Ukraine not only on Ukraine or near Ukraine's eastern border in Russia but also along the northern border in Belarus. You just saw them not there. And that's why not only U.S. but NATO allies are responding as well.
The U.S. as you just pointed out putting as many as 8,500 troops on heightened alert, prepare to deploy orders, essentially get ready to go. You may get the call up and be sent over there pretty quickly here. Now the Pentagon has emphasized they are not deploying yet and there is no order to deploy yet.
Some other NATO countries however sending fighter jets to Eastern Europe, as well as ships to Eastern Europe, so the build up there continues. The Pentagon, however, and the U.S. government making it clear it is still a diplomacy first. That is still what the U.S. and what NATO would like to see here.
The problem is, Don, if you look at the map, look at where forces are placed and if you look at the rhetoric, I don't know that anybody here believes that de-escalation is coming imminently here even if diplomacy is still on the table.
There are some discussions between NATO allies and Russia later this week. U.S. and NATO allies in constant communication. But it's not a situation here where the U.S. Thinks that it is time to pull forces back. Quite the opposite at the moment.
LEMON: A situation very volatile. And we will be paying attention. Oren Liebermann, thank you very much. I appreciate that.
As many as 8,500 U.S. troops on heightened alert for possible deployment to Eastern Europe. How is Vladimir Putin going to react to that? That is the question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: This is really just about telling these units be ready because if you get called we're going to need you to be able to deploy in a shorter period of time than what you probably are right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): So tonight, the Pentagon putting 8500 U.S. troops on heightened alert preparing to possibly deploy them to eastern Europe as Russia builds up its troops along its border with Ukraine. Now the Pentagon saying that troops could bolster NATO forces in the region or be used in other capacities as well.
Lots to discuss with former Defense Secretary William Cohen. We're always happy to have him. Good evening, sir. So, secretary, you know, President Biden is turning up the pressure on Vladimir Putin with these 8500 U.S. troops on heightened alert. What does that mean in terms of how serious this is?
WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Well, I think it sends a serious signal that we are serious about sending a signal. Eighty-five troops is not going to serve as a deterrent to Vladimir Putin. He will see that as one of the cards that we may play if he in fact goes into Ukraine. But I don't think it is going to be a deterrent.
I think he's already calculated all of this out. There is a reason why the Russians are known for being good at chess. Putin has taken the first move and he believes he has put us in a position where we have to respond. We have to respond in a way that gives him, quote, "an off ramp or allows him to save face." Where he gets something out of it in terms of a pledge, either open or covert that we somehow would never allow a free, independent nation to come into NATO.
So, he's already calculated what we are likely to do. I think what we have to do is then say what is in Putin's mind? What are his calculations? He has already figured out what we are likely to do in terms of putting more forces in NATO countries, something he would not want to see. But I think he's calculated that.
He's already calculated that we're going to impose pretty heavy financial consequences, economic consequences. I think he's already calculated that as well. We're going to impose sanctions on his banking community. Well, he is going to turn to China and see if they can develop another kind of banking system that cuts us out, it is still possible.
So, I think they've already calculated all of these moves and right now he is sitting not on a cat bird seat but he is making us respond to him. So those 8,500 will be a symbol of something to come in the future. There might be many more in all of the NATO countries beefing up our capabilities throughout the NATO countries. Something he wouldn't want to see but I don't think he is stunned by the reaction he is seeing from us now.
LEMON: Let me follow on something you said about the severe consequences. Because President Biden implied last week that there might be less severe consequences for a minor incursion but Biden has since has made, made it clear that Russia will pay, and this is a quote, pay a heavy price for an invasion. What is that heavy, what could that heavy price be? Is that some sort of combat? Is it sanctions? What is that?
COHEN: Well, I think -- well, first of all, we don't want to put ourselves in a position nor do the Russians to go to war with Russia. No one would win. The world would lose should that be the case the minute you start talking about face to face with the Russians that can go up the escalatory ladder very quickly.
So, we take a move and put combat troops in. He then puts his combat troops facing and firing at us and then all of a sudden it becomes sub conventional to conventional to possibly nuclear. So, we have to be careful as to how we are calibrating our response and what he is doing. But we have to give diplomacy a chance. I'm rather pessimistic about it because I think he already has made his move to say I want to be able to control what Ukraine does in the future. I don't want them part of NATO.
LEMON: All right. So, you are pessimistic about that, about diplomacy. So then, what happens? What are the options? Is there an alternative for us, or for meaning, the U.S.?
COHEN: I think the options are very limited for us. I think in this particular case he is there, he has 120,000, 130,000 troops there. It is under his, you know, aegis as such, the neighbors, he can invade pretty quickly. So, I think then the question becomes what is the price he is going to pay on the ground? Would the Ukrainians fight? Would there be bloodletting on the part of the Russian forces? Would they be sending them home in coffins, et cetera?
So that is one element where the Ukrainian fighters would fight. Then there would possibly insurgency against the Russian personnel and then he's got to contend with will we in fact put more and more troops into the NATO countries near him? And then what is his response going to be? Is he going to, as he has been suggesting put some troops in Cuba or Venezuela? And then at what point do we count to that.
So, this is something we have to be very careful about and I actually praise the president for taking measured responses. I know that he is being pushed to do much more. But there is one thing I wish he would do. I wish two things. Go to the U.N. Security Council and ask for an immediate meeting. The Russians will veto anything that we put on the table. That will expose them for really who they are.
Secondly, he's got to bring the leadership of Congress down to the White House. This is one of those cases where we don't want to have Republicans or Democrats fighting who lost Ukraine. There is an opportunity to save Ukraine, to save NATO because what Putin wants to do is divide us from NATO. He's already tried and been somewhat successful dividing Americans from Americans.
So, his policy is to divide and conquer. He is doing it here at home. He's been into our political system. We fear he has been into our political infrastructure system. So, we have to go on the offense with that as well. We keep reacting that he's got all of this power. Well, we have some pretty capable cyber powers of our own.
So, what we have to do is persuade him we're serious. We are not getting out of NATO, we're not pulling back from Europe. The NATO alliance is solid on this and I've got congressional support from the American people. That's the job he has to do right now.
LEMON: All right. Secretary Cohen, I appreciate it, sir. Thank you so much.
COHEN: Always -- thanks for having me.
LEMON: Newt Gingrich who isn't in office but sure is advising Republicans who are, says that members of the committee investigating January 6 should be jailed. Stay with us.
LEMON (on camera): In a stunning statement the former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich thinks that members of the January 6 committee should be threatened with jail time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINGRICH: I think when you have a Republican Congress this is all going to come crashing down and the wolves are going to find out that they're now sheep and they're the ones who in fact are going to I think face a real risk of jail for the kind of laws they're breaking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Let's discuss now with the former adviser to George W. Bush, President George W. Bush, is Peter Wehner and professor of history at NYU, Ruth Ben-Ghiat. She is the author of "Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present."
I'm so glad to have both of you on. So, Peter, let's see. Let's start with you. It's really shocking to hear that from a former speaker of the house. He is talking about lawmakers on duly appointed congressional investigations, on a duly appointed congressional investigation. Give me your reaction to this kind of threat.
PETER WEHNER, FORMER ADVISER TO GEORGE W. BUSH: Yes, thanks for having me on, Don. I'd say it's shocking and it's not shocking. You are right in the sense that a former speaker of the house would say that.
It is not shocking because it's Newt Gingrich. You know, Newt Gingrich has been a malicious and malignant force in American politics almost since he got on the stage back in the 1970s and in some ways, he developed the playbook that Donald Trump perfected.
But look, American politics right now is in a ditch and it's in that ditch because it was dug in part by people like Gingrich and he is pushing us into it. And it's making everything worse. The other thing he said is, well, a couple things. One is that the January 6 commission, the people on it were breaking the law.
He of course wasn't able to identify any law that they're breaking. It is in fact the opposite. They're the lawmakers who were trying to hold to account people who were behind an insurrection. This is like the arsonist blaming the fire brigade. And then he referred to them as a lynch mob.
So, this is just, you know, this is unfortunately the norm for a guy like Gingrich. And in the current politics and current Republican politics, this is the coin of the realm.
LEMON: And we should, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. But you're right. This is -- yes, I think I said -- I know exactly paraphrasing myself here -- but it started long before the Trump administration. Newt Gingrich helped to build the Republican Party the way that it is.
So, Ruth, let's talk about this. Congresswoman Liz Cheney who is a Republican tweeting that this is what it looks like when the rule of law unravels. Are statements like Gingrich's a sign of, is it fair to say creeping authoritarianism?
RUTH BEN-GHIAT, AUTHOR, STRONGMEN, MUSSOLINI TO THE PRESENT: Totally. That's straight up repressive talk. Authoritarianism is actually about making government safe harbor for criminals and getting away with it is the mantra of authoritarians.
If you look at somebody like Trump who has been getting away with things his whole life, escaping prosecution, now he and the GOP are involved in this criminal enterprise of January 6th and it failed and so they're getting desperate. The investigation is proceeding. And subpoenas are being issued so they send out Gingrich as the attack dog and, you know, what does he do? He talks about silencing and jailing people. Because the only way that authoritarians who are criminals feel safe is to put people in jail, to lock them up.
LEMON: Yes. We remember, Ruth, lock her up. Where does that appetite --
LEMON: -- that appetite come from?
BEN-GHIAT: So, when you have a democracy and a democratic political culture with a small d, you have these ethos of mutual tolerance that you agree to disagree. And what Trump did that was one of the many taboos he broke and it's true Gingrich prepared this, is that he considered his political opponent Hillary Clinton as a political enemy. And so, started talking about locking her up just because she was running for office against him. And that's how we started and over it's like five years ago, and look where we are now.
LEMON: Peter, you heard Congressman Matt Gaetz. I played the sound bite earlier. He's backing up what Gingrich said promising to pursue Democrats with subpoenas and he along with the likes of Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, will be in power if the GOP wins back the House. Is this going to be a governing based mainly on revenge and grift and conspiracy theories and lies?
WEHNER: Yes, I'm afraid it is. I mean, that is really the impulse, that's what's driving an awful lot of Republicans. It's the dominant mindset, the dominant ethos, if you will, in the Republican Party today. It's just a party of, you know, seething resentments and grievances and lawlessness.
And I say that as somebody who has been a lifelong Republican up until the Trump era began. But it is what it is and I think that the people are responsible, particularly I'm going to say people who are authentic conservatives need to speak out against this.
I think what we're seeing in my estimation is not conservativism. It is a sort of authoritarianism and an angry populism. But, look, if the Republicans gain power in their current frame of mind, this is going to make things worse. And just one other thing I want to say. I don't have a lot of friends who are Republicans who hoped that when Trump would lose the Republican Party would snap back and become a normal and sane party again.
I think what they never fully understood or even barely understood is that indulging in the lies and conspiracy theories and the brutal politics of Donald Trump for four and five years deformed the base of the party. And the entire party, itself.
And so, it is not really a cult of personality, because when the cult of personality the cult leader leaves or dies the cult dies, but I'm afraid what has happened is many people, not all but many people in the Republican Party have internalized the Trump approach to politics and it can now survive independent of him.
LEMON: Yes. Thank you both and thanks to the pup whoever that is. I have three of them. I understand. Thank you both. I appreciate it. Stocks are down after a huge rally. Right? Job numbers are good.
Inflation concerns are high. How are we supposed to make sense of the economy? I'm going to ask a former Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers, next.
LEMON (on camera): No other way to put it. It was a wild day on Wall Street. It really was. Stocks ending the day higher in a stunning reversal just before trading close. At the lowest point today, the Dow was down more than a thousand points before ending the day 99 points higher.
Now the stocks opened red -- red with investors worried about the Federal Reserve's plans to raise interest rates. Tensions in Ukraine and of course inflation. So, what is today's rollercoaster mean for the economy? What does all this mean, right?
Joining me now to discuss, Larry Summers, he was the Treasury Secretary for President Bill Clinton and the director of the National Economic Council under President Obama.
We are thrilled to have you on, Mr. Summer. Thank you so much.
So, there is a lot of fear out there over inflation, over interest rates, over Ukraine. In your view what do people need to be preparing for now?
LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: Look, we are in a very complex time. We've clearly got inflation of a kind we haven't seen in 40 years. The Federal Reserve is rightly determined to keep inflation under control, to achieve its target of inflation in the 2 percent range. History suggests that that's not an easy thing to do and that once inflation has been allowed as it has been, to get to reasonably high levels, it is hard to bring it back without meaningful economic instability.
We all want to see the fed succeed and we've got very capable people at the fed, but this is a period of significant uncertainty. It's also a period of significant geopolitical uncertainty with our vexed relationship with China and the current set of threats in Ukraine. And it's also, given the degree of division in our country, given the toxic legacy of the previous administration and its overhang in the Republican Party, it is a very complicated moment politically, not made easier by the fact that in many respects there is polarization in the president's party as well.
So, with all of that uncertainty, I don't think it would be surprising if we have market volatility for some time to come. I don't think bringing inflation fully under control is going to be easy given where we are but I applaud the Federal Reserve's movements in that direction.
LEMON: OK. So, let's -- a couple things I want to talk about because you, hold that about the Federal Reserve. OK? Hold that thought. Because listen, people don't really know and I'm not sure, you know, how to read the economy right now. I'm wondering if because of COVID do we even have the right metrics to figure out what is going on with the economy?
Because, you know, you look at the job numbers and they're good or they're bad. People generally don't know. You know, I was read -- there was an article in the New York Times about, you know, everybody is quitting their job. How do you, what's the proper way of quitting? So, what is the answer? Are things generally better than they appear? Are they worse than they appear? Do we have the right metrics after COVID to -- is this a new economy that we need to sort of recalibrate and figure out what going on? What's happening here, Larry?
SUMMERS: There's a lot of -- a lot of things that are hard to figure out but here's what is clear. We've got an unprecedently red hot labor market that showing itself in the fact that we've got more vacancies per unemployed person than ever before. That workers know that if they quit, they have more opportunities than ever before and that wage inflation is accelerating. And that's all a good thing.
But we have to make sure that this high is a sustainable high. And not a prelude to some kind of crash landing. And that's why inflation is such a concern and that's why the Federal Reserve has a very delicate balancing act to tap the brakes appropriately.
But let's be clear. Something very positive has happened and it's created opportunities for millions of people. People are not quitting because they hate their jobs. People are quitting because there are extraordinary opportunities open --
SUMMERS: -- because there are all those unfilled jobs and that's a positive thing. But what we've got to be focused on is keeping the good times going.
LEMON: You answered my -- the question I had before. You said the fed is doing a good thing. Need to tap the brakes on inflation. That was -- you answered the question I have next.
Thank you, Larry Summer, Secretary Summers. Hope to have you back. I appreciate it.
SUMMERS: Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you.
So, I want you to watch this. The officer seen here getting Senator Mitt Romney out of harm's way as rioters mobbed the capitol that day, right? Is, take this, he's speaking out for the first time. You want to hear from him.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON (on camera): So, take this. Tonight, an American hero who
protected our capitol on January 6th breaking his silence. I'm talking about capitol police officer Eugene Goodman. He is the officer seen here directing Senator Mitt Romney away from the rioters before he came face to face with the mob himself.
Officer Goodman was able to hold off the rioters by drawing their attention towards him, luring them to chase him upstairs and away from lawmakers. Here's what he said about that harrowing moment on the three brothers no sense podcast.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
EUGENE GOODMAN, OFFICER, CAPITOL POLICE: So, when I got down there, moment on the three, down the stairs, and got confronted by all of them, I was back peddling back to where I had last seen help. And they looked to be coming my way but I wasn't sure so, and by the time I got upstairs they were there. I was like, hell, they're actually in the building. I didn't, I honestly didn't know they were that far in the building, so, and then they lock eyes on me right away and then just like that I was in it. In and any situation like that, you want to de- escalate but at the same time, you want to survive first, you know what I mean?
(END VOICE CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): So, by risking his own life that day, Officer Goodman saved the lives of so many others who were hunkered down just yards away. If it wasn't for his quick thinking and bravery, who knows what might have happened that day?
Next, a member of the former president's cabinet speaking to the committee investigating January 6th. What did Bill Barr tell them?