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Don Lemon Tonight

New Jan. 6 Video Shows Rioters Attacking Police Officers; Democracy In Peril: Americans Losing Faith In Our Institutions; New Poll: Biden's Job Approval At 41 Percent, Down Three Points From September; Neil Young's Ultimatum To Spotify: "They Can Have Rogan Or Young, Not Both"; Los Angeles D.A. Is Under Fire For Criminal Justice Reforms. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired January 25, 2022 - 23:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN HOST (on camera): Disturbing new video on the siege at the Capitol coming out tonight showing rioters attacking police officers, violently throwing one officer to the floor after breaking into the Capitol.

Also, ahead this hour, democracy in peril.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER (on camera): You don't trust the election officials?


O'SULLIVAN (on camera): You don't trust the FBI?


O'SULLIVAN (on camera): You don't trust the courts?



LEMON (on camera): The former president's relentless lies leading some Americans to lose faith in our elections and institutions.




LEMON (on camera): Wow, what a great song. Rock and roll icon legend Neil Young laying down an ultimatum, telling Spotify they've got to choose between his music or vaccine-denying podcast host Joe Rogan. And out of control crime in Los Angeles.


UNKNOWN: What the hell is going on? Looked like a third-world country.


LEMON (on camera): The L.A. district attorney under fire for a criminal justice reform that critics call an absolute disaster.

Let's talk about the news of the day now. I want to bring in CNN's White House correspondent Mr. John Harwood and CNN's senior legal analyst Laura Coates. She is the author of the new book "Just Pursuit: A Black Prosecutor's Fight for Fairness." Good evening to both of you.

John, this new video is astounding. It's stunning. We shouldn't be surprised. We've seen so much of it. Every time I see one, another video coming out. It is even worse than the last. It shows a rioter slamming a police officer to the ground. Difficult to watch.

Trump can claim rioters were hugging and kissing police all he wants, but this video really shows the truth here. And also, why it is so important that the Select Committee gets to the bottom of what happened on January 6th? It's accountability.

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It's critically important. Look, we have a situation here where you had not only (INAUDIBLE) with people who assaulted police officers but property, crashed through the barriers of the Capitol (INAUDIBLE) but you had an assault on our democracy.

That is the fact that people (INAUDIBLE) the peaceful transfer of power. That is what made the United States a model for the world for a couple centuries, and they have to figure out exactly who made this happen, how deep the planning of it went, and if it in fact involved people (INAUDIBLE).

LEMON (on camera): Yeah. Hey, John, I may need you to get a little bit closer to the microphone. I'm going to let the producers work with you. I want to talk to Laura for a minute until we get your audio straightened out.

So, Laura, we're also getting a look at rioters both inside and outside the Capitol breaking open the eastern rotunda doors. I mean, you can see a man with a green backpack. He is helping those rioters in the building to get into the building. Prosecutors say he is an active-duty marine.

I mean, there have been hundreds of arrests of rioters, but what about the planners? The number -- here is the number two at the Justice Department and what he said about it today. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LISA MONACO, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: We are going to follow the facts and the law wherever they lead to address conduct of any kind and at any level that is part of an assault on our democracy.


LEMON (on camera): I should say what she said. That was Lisa Monaco. So, what does the DOJ do next? What is the next move here?

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It really echoes what you heard from the attorney general, Merrick Garland, a few weeks ago, who is saying that there would be essentially -- I'm paraphrasing here -- no stone left unturned at all different levels.

Why this is important, of course, is because frankly, as you know, human nature at times is to follow, when you can easily replace foot soldiers, somebody willing to take on the role or somebody to carry out the directives of another person, a higher up. You see that in drug trafficking cases, for example, right? You've got the foot soldiers, you know, the persons who are the ring leaders.

It is important to target those who are the ring leaders, though, and actually delegate responsibility because it essentially cuts it off at the neck, to be able to say, listen, we're going to prevent somebody from being in a position again to try to direct somebody else to engage in criminal behavior.

And the deterrent aspect is what is so important here. Naturally, if you have prosecutions against those who carry out or who are following out perceived orders, carrying through on those, that is important to be a deterrent to future people.

But also, it serves as deterrent to those who may be organized, organizing, financing, and facilitating actions like this. That's how you really prevent future occurrences as well.


LEMON: Laura, also tonight, we are learning that DOJ is looking into the Trump supporters behind those fake 2020 election certificates that would have declared Trump the winner in states that he actually lost. There it is up on your screen right there. Do you think there is enough evidence here to file criminal charges?

COATES: It is shocking to think that people were so prepared to try to undermine certification process and undermine the will of the people. It wasn't just the hypothetical scenario reduced to a memo. There were actually people in position to provide fake, false electors in lieu of those who were actual electors to overturn it.

This is all part of the overall strategic plan, as we know, about trying to advise the vice president then, Mike Pence, on what to do next. And so, we had very clear rules in this country about not interfering with elections. It is criminal to try to conduct fraud in elections. Of course, it is curious here, right? Fraud is a pretext for why you have the clawing back of so many voting rights in this country because of perceptions of fraud. Well, if that's the guardrail that needs to be put up, some say, then what about the guardrails in terms of accountability for those who endeavor to commit an act of fraud? It has got to be dealt with.

And of course, it just reminds people over and over again, Don, just how close we were as a nation to having a very different scenario had Vice President Mike Pence followed that advice, followed that directive. And the person who orchestrated in part of this is John Eastman, who has been told by a court that he's got to comply. And also, his own lawyer is saying, I was acting in my representation of then President Donald Trump.

This is extraordinary. That is happening right now in the country and it cannot be taken lightly. And accountability must result.

LEMON: Amen. So, John, there were these fake slate -- fake alternate slates of electors, the draft executive order to seize voting machines. John Eastman, as Laura just mentioned, his six-step plan for Pence to overturn the election, the pressure campaign at the state level, all part of a much deeper plot to overturn the 2020 election. When is there going to be some accountability here?

HARWOOD: Well, there's multiple forums for trying to achieve accountability. You have the January 6 Committee and the Justice Department obviously. This started at election time when President Trump on election night declared fraud, began to challenge the results and never accepted the results, a series of legal challenges, an entire range of activities that culminated in January 6th. That was not the start.

LEMON (on camera): All right. Thank you very much, John, Laura. Appreciate it.

I'll turn now to President Biden saying that U.S. troops may be on the way to Eastern Europe soon. Here's what he said earlier today.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): We are doing it not to --

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Some of those troops in the near term. This would be the largest, if you were to move in with all those forces, it would be the largest invasion since World War II. It would change the world.


LEMON (on camera): So, joining me now, former NATO supreme allied commander, General Wesley Clark. He is now a CNN military analyst. We are so glad to have you on this evening. Thank you so much, general.

This video shows more U.S. weapons arriving in Ukraine, including about 300 Javelin anti-tank missiles. There it is up on your screen, everyone. President Biden says that he may be moving troops soon. Is that a risky strategy?

WESLEY CLARK, CNN MILITARY ANALYST, FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: No, I think it is an absolutely essential strategy, because you have to change the risk calculus of Vladimir Putin. He's considering going into Ukraine. We don't know if he made a decision. We are in the early stages of this still where he is juggling and duking and feinting and punching for political advantage. Maybe he can make Ukraine collapse. Maybe he can make NATO come apart.

But at the bottom of it, there is some hard military calculations. If we can increase Ukraine's ability to defend itself, we can cause doubt in the minds of the Russian commanders and maybe Putin will find a way out. It is all easy.

He's calculating what he's got. He is figuring out what it takes to do what he wants. Some of us like me believe he actually does want to use force. He is not looking for diplomatic settlement. But if he could get it, and it gave him what he wanted, he'd declare himself a winner without using the troops.

In the meantime, everything we can do to strengthen Ukraine will help us hold off that military threat as long as possible. If it comes, as President Biden said, it could be the largest military action in Europe since World War II, and it is a real threat to this global stability and the rules-based international environment. It would be a permanent change in Europe. We don't want this to happen.

LEMON: A lot of people, general, want to know why the U.S. and NATO are getting involved. Ukraine is not a NATO country. As a former supreme allied commander of NATO, what is your response to that?


CLARK: Well, first of all, NATO in large because the nations in Eastern Europe were afraid of Russia. And Ukraine has tried to join NATO at least since the time that I was the NATO commander in Europe. I went to Ukraine in 2000. The minister of defense said, we'd like to be in NATO. Yes, because they knew that Russia would someday come back. Russia would be strong. Russia wants to dominate other nations nearby.

It is not about Russian security the way we think of security, it's about Russia's sense of entitlement that these are their nations. They want these nations. Of course, when they get them, they run roughshod over them. They set up their own businesses. They coopt people, they blackmail, they put people in jail. This is what they did in Eastern Europe.

That's why the Warsaw Pact collapsed. That's why the nations broke away from Russia. And they're looking to the ideals of the west. This is what they want. If Russia goes after Ukraine, it is really not just about Ukraine, it's about showing the world that Russian military power doesn't respect the rules that were set up to keep the peace after World War II. If they go after Ukraine, who's next? What's next? We've seen this movie before. This was Hitler's movie in 1938.

LEMON: If the U.S. doesn't make the right moves here with Russia, what message will it send to other U.S. adversaries like North Korea and even China?

CLARK: Well, first of all, I'll tell you the U.S. is making the right move. So -- and by ratcheting up Ukraine's defensive capacities, that is the right move.

Now, I'd like to see us do a little more. I'd like to see us put in a couple sanctions now that could be rolled back if and when Putin does de-escalate and pull those troops back. I'd like to see us take him to the United Nations and say, what you're doing is against international law, you're going to become a war criminal, and Russia is going to be branded a rogue state.

I think those moves are probably in process. But right now, we're on course. We're holding NATO together. We're ratcheting up our deterrence, our -- we are demonstrating a live resolve. So, all looks good. It's up to Mr. Putin whether he wants to become a war criminal or not. If he attacks, he will become one.

And so, if we stand firm, we know the Ukrainians will fight. We know they'll fight hard. Maybe they would even keep Russia out or out of part of Ukraine. But if Russia goes in, then we're going to take another set of actions, providing assistance to Ukraine, building up forces.

Look, we are standing firm. The Biden administration is doing that. I think North Korea and China are watching. And I think they should respect the United States and our leadership.

LEMON: General Wesley Clark, thank you so much. I appreciate it, sir. Be well.

CLARK: Thank you very much, Don.

LEMON: The fact is damage done to our democracy didn't end on January 6th. Far too many Americans refuse to believe the former president lost in 2020. What will they think about the next election?


O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Will you trust the next election?

UNKNOWN: Probably not.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): But that is a terrible thing, right?

UNKNOWN: Yeah, it's a terrible thing.





LEMON: The former president has been pushing his big lie for so long it has become ingrained in his supporters. So, will they ever trust an election? What does that mean for our country?

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan has the story.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Former President Donald Trump's relentless attacks on the truth has eroded faith in American democracy and its institutions.

(On camera): You don't trust election officials?


O'SULLIVAN (on camera): You don't trust the FBI?


O'SULLIVAN (on camera): You don't trust the courts?


O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Who do you trust?

UNKNOWN: Trump and his supporters and anybody that has -- that when I listen to them talk, they don't turn my stomach with the disingenuousness.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): You have trust and faith now in American democracy and American elections?

JEANIE JOHNSON, FLORIDA: No. I mean, I think whoever wins, wins. I'm all about that. He will win if he runs again. But the people that know that we were cheated are almost at the point of saying, I don't want to vote because it will happen again.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): What is your reaction to hearing from an American like that?

BARBARA WALTER, AUTHOR AND PROFESSOR: Well, 10 years ago, it would have been shock and disbelief. And I would have thought, well, she is an outlier and she's not representative of anything larger than a fringe movement maybe. But, of course, that is not the case anymore.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Barbara Walter is a professor at the University of California in San Diego. She has studied civil conflict for years from Yugoslavia to Northern Ireland.

WALTER: Experts who study civil wars and know the warning signs, we've been talking about them, but nobody wanted to believe it. And January 6th made it impossible to deny and ignore that there really was this cancer growing in our own country. There was a threat that was mobilizing.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): She warns the constant barrage of lies undermining American elections from right-wing media, on social media, and from Trump himself has put the United States on a perilous path.


WALTER: Citizens do believe what they are hearing. If they hear it long enough and consistently enough, and if that is all they hear, they absolutely don't think it's a lie, they think it's the truth.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Will you trust the next election?

UNKNOWN: Probably not.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): But that is a terrible thing, right?

UNKNOWN: Oh, yeah, it's a terrible thing.

UNKNOWN: I don't think you can trust our government anymore. It's sad, but I really don't think you can.

UNKNOWN: That's what Trump is all about, making the elections in the future fair, so we can believe when you vote for somebody, that person is going to get your vote.

WALTER: You know, they're good people. They're trying to do what they think is right. It is the leadership that's cynical, it's leadership that knows better, who is feeding them lies consistently.

TRUMP: They always talk about the big lie. They're the big lie.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): While just 30 percent of Americans think there is solid evidence that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election, 62 percent of Republicans say so. Looking ahead to the 2022 midterm elections, only 42 percent of Republicans say they are somewhat or very confident the results will be counted accurately.

WALTER: They are priming their supporters to believe that democracy isn't worth defending because they don't want democracy anymore.


LEMON (on camera): And Donie O'Sullivan joins me now. Donie, hello to you. The thing is that Trump is never going to admit he or anyone he backs actually lost. He'll say they were cheated. So, what does it all mean for the midterms?

SULLIVAN: Don, as you saw in that piece, you know, some people that we have spoken to, we've spoken to hundreds of Trump supporters now over the past year all across the U.S., some know that this is a lie, that it is a conspiracy theory that the election was stolen. But some, as I think you can see in that piece, you know, they are people who really, really believe this and they're quite upset because they are in a position where they believe American democracy has been stolen, that it's a joke.

Look, I think for the midterms, what that is going to mean is that they are going to be very easily convinced that because their candidate or candidates don't win, that therefore it must be rigged.

But I think really what we're seeing here and from traveling the country, seeing candidates endorsed by Trump who are running for positions that would give them authority over elections, they are running this year, this is all really, I think, building up to 2024, and I really, really -- I don't think it bodes well for the future of elections in this country.

LEMON: Yeah. Donie O'Sullivan, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

O'SULLIVAN: Thank you, sir.

LEMON: President Biden's approval ratings down after a string of setbacks. Should the White House consider changing up key posts?

Plus, a crime spike in L.A. leading to this. Mounds of trash. We'll tell you who's taking the heat.




LEMON: President Biden is beginning his second year in office amid sagging poll numbers. Successes on the COVID relief bill and infrastructure over shadowed by rising inflation, spiking prices for gas and groceries, and COVID fatigue. And critics are wondering, really, is it time for him to replace some senior aides?

Joining me now is Chris Whipple. He is the author of "The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency." Chris, good to see you. Thanks for coming on.

There is a new Pew poll out and it is more bad news for Joe Biden, quite frankly, President Joe Biden. His approval is at 41 percent, down from 44 percent in September. He is even sliding among Democrats down seven points. Along with this trouble comes renewed attention on Biden's chief of staff, Ron Klain. Is this just typical blame the chief of staff chatter or is the finger pointing warranted here?

CHRIS WHIPPLE, AUTHOR: Well, for openers, let's just say the Ron Klain has his work cut out for him and maybe the first thing he should do is buy a really good bottle of wine and go visit Joe Manchin on his house boat to get Build Back Better going again. But these reports of claims, imminent demise are not only exaggerated but they're part of this almost annual obligatory exercise in blaming the chief. That is part of the job.

One reason we're talking about a shakeup here is because, you know, the former guy, as Joe Biden used to call him or likes to call him, went through White House chiefs like bell hop in a Trump hotel. But chiefs are used to being blamed. It goes with the territory.

James Baker, III used to say he walked around with a target on his front, not his back, to which Rahm Emanuel added, those aren't the only parts. And Jimmy Carter's Jack Watson compared the job to being a javelin catcher.

So, the job is to catch the spears and take the bullets for the old man, and that's just the way it goes.

LEMON: Chris, you know, you point out Bill Clinton brought in Leon Panetta as a new chief of staff a year and a half into his presidency. You say the White House, unlike Clinton's, this White House unlike Clinton's, is not broken.

WHIPPLE: You know, sometimes, there are really compelling reasons to change things up. When Bill Clinton was one and a half years into his presidency, he was dead in the water. The White House was disorganized. He couldn't get anything done.


Leon Panetta came and turned the White House around, set the stage for his re-election. But this White House, unlike Clinton's, really isn't broken. Ron Klain runs a tight ship. He manages up and down well. There's been -- there have been almost no leaks, no warfare. You can argue with a lot of decisions he and Biden have made from Afghanistan to Build Back Better to voting rights. But he runs a smooth White House. There is no sign that Biden has lost faith in him.

LEMON: So, then when is a staff shift warranted then? I mean, even necessary and what can't it fix?

WHIPPLE: Well, you know, this is, in many ways, a tale of two presidencies, the first six months when this White House was firing on every cylinder, in my opinion, and then it started to go south with Afghanistan, and then with the emergence of the Delta variant followed by inflation and the supply chain crisis.

A lot of those are things that a White House chief can't do very much about nor can the president, quite frankly. You know, inflation and the Delta variant just were going to take time to solve. As I say, they've got their work cut out for them. But, you know, there is no evidence here that some other chief could swoop in and suddenly fix these problems. That are just going to take really hard work on Klain's part and Biden to fix.

LEMON: You are saying, you know, you mentioned earlier about Ron Klain buying a bottle of wine and going to visit Joe Manchin on his house boat, but Senator Manchin has complained publicly about the White House staff, and according to "The Washington Post", those frustrations largely focus on Ron Klain.

This is what the report said. Manchin has told allies that he believes Klain has pushed Biden to embrace a more liberal policy agenda, adding that Klain must repair the relationship with him if the chief of staff is to be involved in future negotiations. I mean, not everyone agrees with Manchin that Klain has pushed Biden to the left. And Biden will tell you, this is me, I'm not being pushed to the left. But Manchin is the linchpin really for so many negotiations. Is this a problem?

WHIPPLE: Well, you know, they put out a statement that angered Manchin when talks broke down last time. Joe Manchin is a big boy. He'll get over it. Klain, I think, can repair that damage. I think he's been accused, Klain has, of being a prime minister, you know, shaking his head in meetings with Republican senators, pushing his own progressive agenda.

I can tell you, because I am working on a book on the Biden White House, it'll be out in the fall and I've talked to all the principles in this White House, and this is not Ron Klain's agenda, it's Joe Biden's agenda.

And they have a great relationship. It is like an old marriage. They've been together 35 years. They have their differences, rough patches. But it works for them. I don't think there is any evidence that changing chiefs at this point would help him.

LEMON: The president, Joe Biden, is traveling to Pittsburgh on Friday to talk about supply chain issues and promote his infrastructure bill as well. It seems like Biden thinks he is, you know, if he is out of the White House more, he even said it, that is going to help. He believes he is in Washington too much. He needs to get out among the people. Do you think that'll be enough?

WHIPPLE: I think it's going to help. You know, I found really one of the most revealing things that Biden said during his endless press conference last week, whenever that was, when he said, you know, people don't want me to be president of the Senate -- I don't know if I'm quoting him exactly -- they want me to be president.

It was almost as though that was a conversation he had with his senior staff and not something he planned to share with the whole world. But I think he's right. I think that he needs to get out and, you know, to use that tired phrase, they need to let Biden be Biden. He has that empathetic touch and he needs to be out there in union halls and gymnasiums and reestablishing that kind of trust.

LEMON: Thank you, Chris. I appreciate it.

WHIPPLE: My pleasure.

LEMON: Neil Young putting his foot down over the spread of the vaccine misinformation on Spotify. The rock and roll icon telling the company it's either him or Joe Rogan.







LEMON: So, Neil Young delivering an ultimatum to streaming giant Spotify saying -- quote -- "They can have Joe Rogan or Young, not both." Young writing a letter to his management citing rampant COVID misinformation on Rogan's podcast. That is according to "Rolling Stone." That letter since has been deleted and CNN has reached out for comment.


Spotify, too, has yet to comment. But they recently signed a deal with Joe Rogan for a reported $100 million. So, we'll just have to wait and see.

Joining me now, CNN's senior media reporter Oliver Darcy and Ethan Millman, the staff writer at "Rolling Stone." Wow! Okay. This ratcheted up, got a lot of people interested. Good evening, gentlemen. Ethan, I'm going to start with you. "The Joe Rogan Experience" was Spotify's most popular podcast globally in 2021. He has millions of listeners per episode. How do you think that they're going to respond to Neil Young's call to drop Rogan? Not a chance or they're thinking about it?

ETHAN MILLMAN, STAFF WRITER, ROLLING STONE: I mean, to be completely honest, I don't know for certain. I think it's possible, you know, if this ends up with even more conversations, they'd have to take it on. Neil Young obviously causes a lot more discourse on the issue.

But to date, so far, you think of other instances that happened, whether a couple weeks ago, we broke the news about a bunch of doctors signing a letter essentially asking for Spotify to take more action against any misinformation about COVID, whether it's from, you know, it is just from Joe Rogan or otherwise, but they didn't really do much. Before then, they hadn't done much.

But if more and more artists are to come forward, then it definitely puts them in the spot where they have to actually say something and address a very much growing question.

LEMON (on camera): Considering the popularity of Joe Rogan, I think it is highly unlikely that this will happen, but we'll see. I don't know. Oliver, you may disagree. I just want to say, Joe Rogan is an explicitly anti-vaccine. He has advocated for vaccine in people who are at high risks. But he has said that younger people don't need it. Listen to this.


JOE ROGAN, COMMENTATOR: If you are like 21 years old and you say to me, should I get vaccinated? I go no. Are you healthy? Are you a healthy person? Look, don't do anything stupid, but you should take care of yourself. If you're a healthy person and you're exercising all the time and you're young and you're eating well, I don't think you need to worry about this.


LEMON (on camera): So, in fairness, he later apologized for those comments. But he still has guests on the show who cast doubt on vaccines. Is Spotify responsible for the airing of this misinformation, Oliver?

OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Yeah, Don, a lot of times, I think, during these controversies, a lot of the public outrage is directed at the media personality who is directly spreading or responsible for the misinformation. In this case, Joe Rogan.

I do think people should keep in mind that there are companies, there are executives behind the scenes who are responsible for what their talent says. The buck ultimately stops with Spotify executives and the company.

And so, whether it is someone like Rupert Murdoch over at Fox who is allowing his star, Tucker Carlson, to spread misinformation on vaccines or whether it is Spotify and their executives allowing their star, Joe Rogan, to spread misinformation about vaccines on his show, the buck ultimately stops with these executives. They are responsible, particularly when their talent is irresponsible with their platform.

And so, I think it is really interesting actually about Neil Young here. He is making this conversation a little bit bigger than Joe Rogan. He is not necessarily talking specifically about Joe Rogan, but about Spotify's misinformation policies. Whether that affects -- whether Spotify comments or anything, you know, they may just ignore it, but it is still noteworthy.

LEMON: Oliver, I got to ask you, what about the argument? You hear it all the time. These people are trying to cancel him. This is free speech. People are free to disagree with Neil Young's positions on things or themes in his songs just like they may disagree with Joe Rogan.

DARCY: Yeah, I mean, it is an interesting position for Spotify to be in. They ultimately are the ones paying him quite a bit of money to host the show. And so again, with COVID-19 in particular, when people's health is at stake, when their lives are at stake, they are responsible if their star talent is spreading misinformation about vaccines on their platform.

And so, I think they're going to have to ultimately answer for this because people are going to want answers. And when someone like Neil Young is calling them out, it is going to raise -- create more headlines and controversy for the company here.

LEMON (on camera): You know, it is really interesting, Ethan, because the letter from those doctors and scientists specifically calls on the appearance of Dr. Robert Malone, a vaccine scientist who was recently banned from Twitter over COVID misinformation. Take a look at this clip.


ROBERT MALONE, VIROLOGIST AND IMMUNOLOGIST: Our government is out of control on this. And they are lawless. They completely disregard bioethics. They completely disregard the federal common rule. They have broken all the rules that I know of, that I've been trained on for years and years and years.


These mandates of an experimental vaccine are explicitly illegal. They are flat out illegal and they don't care.


LEMON (on camera): This is the importance of having standards and practices, especially in legacy media to not put disinformation or give people like that a platform. Of course, none of that is true. This doctor also accused public health officials of basically hypnotizing the public about vaccines and COVID. Has Spotify responded to any of this criticism, Ethan?

MILLMAN: Very little. You know, a couple of times, you can see with earlier episodes of Joe Rogan, just in general they would have not -- they didn't keep all of the episodes on from like the earliest days when they first signed him over. But as far as actually addressing some of the misinformation from COVID specifically, it's been small.

LEMON: Oliver, quick response?

DARCY: Yeah, they're not addressing this. You know, I've been reaching out to them over the past few weeks, asking them about the misinformation on his program, and sending messages to Joe Rogan or to Spotify is really like sending a message into a black hole, Don. It elicits no response.

LEMON: Thank you, gentlemen. Appreciate it.

Train tracks in Los Angeles littered with thousands of empty boxes stolen from freight trains. Why some are blaming the city's district attorney. That's next.




LEMON (on camera): The Los Angeles district attorney under fire for a set of reforms he has instituted for his prosecutors amid a spike in the murder rate. The D.A. says his goal is to bring more fairness to the criminal justice system. But critics are blasting the reforms as failing to do anything to stop crime, and they say criminals appear to have the run of the streets.

More tonight from CNN's Nick Watt.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Downtown Los Angles, packages are being stolen from trains. That trash is the aftermath.

UNKNOWN: What the hell is going on? Looked like a third-world country.

WATT (voice-over): What the hell is going on? Well, Union Pacific blames in large part L.A.'s newish woke-ish (ph) district attorney, elected in the wake of George Floyd's murder, and flanked for his one- year anniversary presser by progressive DAs from around the country.

GEORGE GASCON, LOS ANGELES DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We have set a path for ourselves to turn around the criminal legal system in this country.

WATT (voice-over): Gascon has ordered his deputy D.A. no under 18s charged as adults, no more three strikes. And in many cases, do not even prosecute most misdemeanors like trespassing and don't seek more prison time if guns or gangs are involved. All he says to make the system --

GASCON: More humane, more equitable.

WATT (voice-over): But Union Pacific is now actually asking the D.A. to rethink his reforms because of this. They claim more than 100 arrests have been made, but apparently not one prosecution.

GASCON: They did not present 100 cases to us. That's misleading.

WATT (voice-over): Gascon also taking heat after a spate of smash and grab robberies before Christmas.

UNKNOWN: Whether it's fair or not to point the finger at him, the finger is being pointed.

WATT (voice-over): Also, for some headline-making murders, a well- loved Beverly Hills philanthropist shot dead in her home, a 70-year- old nurse murdered at a bus stop, a young clerk stabbed to death in a furniture store.

UNKNOWN: You really got to wake up to what's happening all over Los Angeles.

WATT (voice-over): The D.A. easily survived one recall attempt last year, but now faces another.

DESIREE ANDRADE, MOTHER OF MURDER VICTIM: He has abandoned all of us victims in favor of criminals.

WATT (voice-over): The union that represents Gascon's own deputy D.A. is suing him.


WATT (voice-over): Claiming the directives are not merely radical, but plainly unlawful.

SIDDAL: He has created this environment where there is no accountability. Criminals are arrested and within 24 hours, they're back on the street committing crime.

WATT (voice-over): Latest stats from the sheriff show robbery, burglary and arson have actually fallen since Gascon took office. Unclear why. It could be COVID. But like many places, murder is way up.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Most crime is down except for homicides.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): That's a pretty big exception.


UNKNOWN (voice-over): People are scared out there.


WATT (voice-over): The sheriff calls Gascon's tenure god awful and --

UNKNOWN: All I can say it's been an absolute disaster.

WATT (voice-over): Gascon's comeback?

GASCON: My dad used to say that when you wrestle with a pig, you both get muddy and the pig likes it.

WATT (on camera): What is going on with you and Sheriff Villanueva?

GASCON: He is running for election. He has got very strong opponents.

WATT (voice-over): For now, Gascon's reforms roll on.

GASCON: If at some point the voters decide that this is not the direction that they want to go and they want to go in a different direction, that's what democracy is all about.

WATT (voice-over): By the way, he just wrote back to Union Pacific about all those stolen packages, passing the buck back to them. UP does little to secure or lock trains, he wrote.

(On camera): So, the D.A. wants most misdemeanors handled like this.


(on camera): If it's a nonviolent offense and if the perp is suffering from mental health issues or substance abuse, he wants that person -- quote -- "redirected" towards rehabilitation rather than punished and thrown behind bars, which the D.A. says can just end in an endless cycle of recidivism.

But as that deputy D.A. told me, he said, listen, these are social experiments not grounded in reality. Union Pacific itself, well, they are now considering, they say, rerouting their trains to just avoid Los Angeles County. Don?


LEMON (on camera): And thank you for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Tonight, all the latest on what is perhaps the most serious confrontation with Russia since the end of the Cold War.