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Don Lemon Tonight

House Select Committee Issued Subpoena For House GOP; Second Russian Ship On Fire; Roe v. Wade Failed In The Senate; Finland Poised To Join NATO; GOP Candidate Gaining Momentum In Pennsylvania Primary; Rare Image Seen From The Galaxy. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired May 12, 2022 - 22:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Thank you for watching. DON LEMON TONIGHT starts of course with Don Lemon right now. Hey, Don.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: So, hey, Laura. To you, I just want to say, look, this is -- it's unprecedented I think having subpoenaed the January 6th committee. It's been five Republican congressman. I had the perfect person to talk about it tonight. Another legal mind like you and that's the former attorney general, Eric Holder.

So, it's going to be interesting to hear what he has to say.

COATES: I cannot wait to watch that, particularly, because he himself was subject to a contempt proceeding -- he did not abide by it. So, I'm curious to think how he feels about the way it's being treated now and the gravitas around that issue. I cannot wait for that interview.

LEMON: That's one of my questions. Thank you. Thank you, Laura.

COATES: Of course. Because you're Don Lemon.

LEMON: Thank you, Laura Coates. I'll see you tomorrow.

COATES: Thank you.

LEMON: Have a good night.


So, the big headlines right now, coming from the committee investigating the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, they are raising the stakes, really, sending unprecedented subpoenas to their own fellow lawmakers who refused to voluntarily tell the committee what they know.

Kevin McCarthy and four other big names. Big Republican names in the committee site. Mo Brooks, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, Scott Perry. So far, nobody is saying whether they're going to comply, but the committee is running out of time to get answers from them and their first public hearings in less than a month away. The chairman, Bennie Thompson saying that they were forced to resort

to subpoenas when the lawmakers wouldn't cooperate voluntarily. Committee member Pete Aguilar saying that they want to get Kevin McCarthy on the record.


REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): With respect to Kevin McCarthy, you know, we are not sure which version of the story to believe. So, I think he's come down a couple of times in a couple of different places on this, so I think he has an obligation to come forward and to share.


LEMON: So, facts, right? This is a fact. We've already heard from Kevin McCarthy. In that audio obtained by two New York times reporters, just days after a bloodthirsty mob stormed the United States Capitol.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: But let me very clear to all of you, and I've been very clear to the president. He bears responsibility for his words and actions. No ifs, ands, or buts. I asked him personally today, does he hold responsibility for what happened? Does he feel bad about what happened? He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened, and he need to acknowledge that.


LEMON: So, the question is, how did -- how did he go from back to this? The committee wants to know. We are going to dig into all of that.

Plus, here tonight, Obama Attorney General Eric Holder he's already said that he thinks former President Trump should be indicted. I'm going to ask him what he thinks of today's news, and what's sounds like another setback for Vladimir Putin's forces in his unprovoked invasion.

Ukraine is saying that another Russian naval ship is on fire in the Black Sea. Now you remember the Russian flagship the Moskva which sank after Ukraine successfully targeted it last month? Well, that is a ship that demanded Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island to surrender at the beginning of the war. And those soldiers responding Russian warship, go f-yourself. Except they said the word.

Now a second ship is burning and being towed from the area around Snake Island. Ukraine hasn't said why the ship caught fire. We're going to get into all of that tonight. So, stay tuned. There's a lot ahead.

But I'm going to begin with those new subpoenas from the January 6th committee. Here to discuss, CNN's Jamie Gangel, Dana Bash, and Preet Bharara. Thank you all for joining. I really appreciate it.

Jamie, I'm going to go to you for the reporting now. That the committee, the January 6th committee subpoenaing GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and four other Republicans. It is a very bold move, why are they taking this action and do you think any of them will comply?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Look, I think it's beyond a bold move. I think it was a political tsunami. And I don't -- I think the chances of anyone complying or slim to none. I don't think that's why the committee did it. I think the committee decided they know the hearings are happening in less than a month.

That they had to call out a group of Republican members of Congress who have refused to voluntarily testify. And they lay down the marker. They said January 6th rises to a level where we are going to do something that's really unprecedented, Don.

LEMON: Dana Bash, I want you to look at Kevin McCarthy. He went from telling the House GOP this on January 10th.


MCCARTHY: The only discussion I would have with him is that I think this will pass. And it would be my recommendation that he should resign.



LEMON: To posing with Trump down at Mar-a-Lago later on that month. And we now know the aftermath of the insurrection McCarthy and the others directly connected to the insurrection and knew what Trump did was wrong. So, what would it mean politically for them to testify?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It would mean political -- Jamie used the word tsunami, I will use another one from mother nature. An earthquake. Because, you know, in any other era, the notion of any sitting member of Congress, never mind somebody who is the Republican leader, getting a subpoena from a committee of his colleagues, would have been so unbelievable that, well, it wouldn't even have happened, because he would have likely testified or at least talk to his colleagues on the committee before him.

But the reason why he is being so intransigent why the other four members on the subpoena list are being so intransigent, is because it is the political -- politically expedient thing for them to do in today's Republican Party, in Donald Trump's Republican Party.

That is the explanation for the shift in Kevin McCarthy's stance from what he said that we now know through that tape you just played, and his actions since then, which is why as Jamie said, it is quite unimaginable that Kevin McCarthy would actually comply with this subpoena.

And then the question is, what is the committee going to do when and if that happens?

LEMON: Right.

BASH: They do have options at their fingertips.

LEMON: Yes. And those options are, Preet?

PREET BHARARA, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You can just defy it. You know, this is going to go to court. What's interesting to me about the issuing of the subpoenas is, you know, in some ways given the timing and some people have said, it probably is not going to lead to the compulsion of testimony.

And I think a little bit the committee is playing to prosperity and playing to history. Because the likelihood they're going to get this resolved and be able to get those particular members of Congress including the Republican leader before their members, it's slim to none. And they're trying to make a significant point here.

What I think is also interesting is, notwithstanding what other folks on the panel have said, about how it's very, very unlikely for Kevin McCarthy just to come forward would be a political tsunami, like as we orient this a little bit.

Kevin McCarthy and the others who have been subpoenaed said and maintained that they did nothing wrong. That nothing they did was untoward. Nothing they did was illegal, that they act in the best interest of the country and the capitol at all times.

If that is so, and I understand the argument, I understand maybe the principle on which they don't want to comply with the subpoena from their colleagues. But if what they have been saying so far is true, why not respond to the voluntary request to testify and tell the public and the country with a no, especially since many other members of Trump's circle, including his family members, have come and testify. I think it's important to keep an eye on that particular focus.

LEMON: Yes. You're saying --


BASH: Don, can I just add one quick thing?

LEMON: Yes. Sure, Dana. Go on.

BASH: Just so what Preet said. Because Preet talked about potentially finding them in contempt, and maybe this would be a criminal suit, maybe even a civil suit. But the other thing to remember is that because these are sitting members of Congress, there are other tools, mechanisms, that can be used against them, like the House ethics committee, or maybe the House could vote to withhold funding for these members administratively.

So, there are tools that the House has four sitting members that they don't have four other civilians. LEMON: But if they run out the clock, Dana, you know, I mean, you

know, pretty soon the Senate and the Congress can change over and then they would -- I mean, all of this will just -- will be meaningless, because you know they're not going to investigate January 6th. Am I correct?

BASH: Well, this is beyond January 6th.


BHARARA: I don't know if you're asking --

BASH: This would be a question of -- well, just real quick, this would be a question of their -- if they don't comply, but whether they -- whether they don't comply and why they don't comply and what the ramifications would be which would be separate and apart from the broader January 6th investigation.

LEMON: Yes, I understand that, but I mean, we have just a few more months until the midterm elections, and so if they don't get funding for a short amount of time, pretty soon after that, everything will be back to normal, at least for them, because you know, they may have taken over Congress and taken over the Senate.

But Jamie, listen, Jim Jordan, Congressman Jim Jordan, he's one of the people subpoenaed. We know that he talked to the president on January 6th. Watch this.


UNKNOWN: On January 6th, did you speak with him before, during or after the capitol's attack?


REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): I'd have to go -- I spoke with him that day after. I think after. I don't know if I spoke with him in the morning or not. I just don't know. I have to go back -- I mean, I don't -- I don't know that when those conversations happen, but all I know is I spoke to him all the time.


GANGEL: OK. Can we just remind him we now have records from the White House phone logs, he did speak to the president at least once that day. It was first thing in the morning. And it lasted 10 minutes. I don't know about you, but I would have remembered if I had spoken to the president.

LEMON: Right on. You know, Preet, it's not just conversations with the president. The committee also wants to get more information about Jordan's communications with Trump allies at the Willard Hotel in that room. What are they looking to find out?

BHARARA: Well, to answer in short form, they're looking to find out everything possible that they can. Remember, they're not contemplating the drafting of an indictment with the bringing of charges. They're trying to bring transparency to everything that happened with respect to the big lie, and the days leading up to the insurrection, and even the days after the insurrection, because they shed light on things that happened on January 6th.

So, they're going to want to know the involvement of him with respect to people who were dealing with fake electors, they're going to want to know the kinds of things they discussed, that they would discuss with Donald Trump on top of the things that they actually discussed with Donald Trump on January 6th, and on other dates.

And what I think is important to see here is that this committee is being very, very thorough, and very complete. Even though it knows in some of these instances they are not going to get the information they seek.

And further to what Dana was saying earlier, I think the likelihood that in a timely fashion, they can get the Justice Department to bring contempt of Congress charges against these five members of Congress.

They said they are being low. You know, we have one indictment by the Department of Justice against Steve Bannon. And three others that are pending. And it's been a number of months. And we already at May 12. And I just think the likelihood of that being done is low.

And what they are trying to do is, through every avenue possible and every witness possible, they present the fullest picture that they can to the American people, in particular in advance of the public hearings that are going to happen starting in June of what happened, and who is responsible.

LEMON: Jamie, do you think there are going to be more subpoenas?

GANGEL: You know, I actually think there will be. Zoe Lofgren, a member of the committee said on CNN today, she would not rule that out. And I know from multiple sources they are still collecting evidence.

I will tell you, a lot of people today said that they were not surprised by the subpoenas. I've been talking to members of the committee for months now about it. I was surprised. I did not know or think that they would necessarily go here, because of the political ramifications. But I think between now and when the hearing starts, we are going to see more of this, Don.

LEMON: All right. Thank you, Preet. Thank you, Dana and Jamie.

GANGEL: Thank you.

LEMON: I appreciate it.

BASH: Thanks, Don.

LEMON: And so, by the way, make sure you check out Dana's interview with House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi on CNN's State of the Union, that's Sunday morning at 9. The Supreme Court justices meeting today behind closed doors for the

first time since the bombshell leak of that draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Could there still be changes? I'm so happy to have the former Attorney General Eric Holder here to find out what he thinks. There he is. He is next after the break.



LEMON: With so many developments on the January 6th investigation, the former President Trump's handling of classified information on the attack on voting rights, I am thrilled to be joined by former Attorney General, Eric Holder. He is the author of the book, "Our Unfinished March: The Violent Past Imperiled Future of the Vote."

Thank you, Mr. Attorney General, for joining us. How are you doing?

ERIC HOLDER, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: I am fine. Good to be with you. How you doing, Don?

LEMON: I'm doing very well. So, let's talk about this. Five Republican congressmen subpoenaed. These are sitting members of Congress and firsthand witnesses to the insurrection everything leading up to it. If they refuse to comply, if they refuse to comply, should they be indicted? And would you expect the DOJ to act quickly because time is running out?

HOLDER: It's hard to say. I mean, the House can refer them to the United States Department of Justice for criminal contempt. We have seen the department act. It will be quickly. In one instance, it's taken an extended period of time with regard to, I think a few others.

And I think that might now, I don't think that's because the justices is disinterested or distracted. I think it probably has something to do with the underlying investigation inquiry that the Justice Department is conducting.

So, it's hard to say exactly what the result will be once this is referred to the Justice Department. I expect it will be because I don't expect them to comply with the subpoena.

LEMON: Well, as you know, the House voted to hold you in contempt, this was back in 2012 for failing to turn over documents related to the fast and furious scandal, why would this be any different for -- for these members?

HOLDER: Well, fast and furious is fundamentally different. We turned over 7,000 documents. I testified, I think on eight or nine occasions with regard to fast and furious. The only thing that we had to dispute about was some things that we said were protected by executive privilege, which ultimately were turned over by my successor, Jeff Sessions, which proved that the things that we were holding back were only -- only executive privilege. It had nothing to do with the underlying matter. Here we know that these congressmen have information that is relevant

to the ongoing inquiry, things that they have said in public, things that have been released, e-mails, other things, that show their knowledge or interaction with people on the day at the event.

And so, we are talking about apples and oranges here. We are talking about turning -- not turning over things that were not related to the underlying investigation and people who are prime witnesses in that, in an investigation.


LEMON: They are claiming executive privilege over information that there is no executive privilege, is that you are saying the difference here?

HOLDER: Yes. I mean, they are not even saying executive privilege because they can't. They are claiming, I'm not sure exactly what it is they are claiming as to why they should not comply with the subpoena.

And here is the thing. You know, --


LEMON: They haven't claimed anything yet, but we've heard in the past saying, we've heard in these, you know, them calling to be witnesses, or being called to be witnesses, I can't speak because of executive privilege. Yet, they have said things either in books or publicly that was, you know, they didn't have anything to do with executive privilege. But go on. Sorry for cutting you off.

HOLDER: Well, one of the -- one of the things I think that the America people generally and the constituents of these congressmen specifically need to ask, what are they hiding? I mean, if you claim not to have been involved, and you were appalled by what happened, why would you not share that information with the committee? Why would you not share that information with the public?

The conclusion that I draw is that there is something that they want to hide. There is something that for some reason, they do not want to share. And for that, they should be held accountable, if not in a court of law, I think their constituents certainly should be asking those questions between now and the elections in November.

LEMON: CNN is learning tonight that investigators issued a subpoena to the National Archives for access to classified documents that Trump took to Mar-a-Lago. I mean, this is one of multiple investigations into the former president. Could this do you think lead to a prosecution of a former president?

HOLDER: You know, who knows. I mean, there are so many things that happening now that we have never faced before as a nation. I mean, the notion of a Justice Department investigating an outgoing president who took with him classified information, that's unheard of.

And yes, so there could be a technical violation of that law. It will depend on what documents he took, what we can find out as to why he took them, what was his motive in taking them. But I think the possibility is at least possible. I'm not sure I'd say it's likely, but it is certainly possible.

And the fact that the Justice Department has empaneled a grand jury, meaning that they are taking this matter very seriously.

LEMON: I want to talk to you, Mr. Attorney General, about the Supreme Court. The nine justices met privately today for the first time since the astonishing leak draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. I mean, we don't know what they discussed, but do you think that we could see changes to this draft before it becomes an official decision?

HOLDER: Yes. I would actually expect that you will see changes to the opinion itself, the language in the opinion. The language of Justice Alito it seems to me was overwrought, it was caustic, it was unnecessary.

And I don't think appropriate for, parts of it were appropriate for a Supreme Court opinion. I don't -- I'm not at all certain that the judgment of the court will be different, that Roe versus Wade is certainly a precedent, it looks like it's going to be overruled.

It's one of the things we talk about in my book, you know, "An Unfinished March," about the need for reform at the Supreme Court. A need for the expansion of the Supreme Court, given the fact that two of the justices will be in that majority will put on the court as a result of skullduggery by Republicans in denying Merrick Garland a hearing and then putting Amy Coney Barrett on the court, while people were still -- were already in the process of voting.

So there is some need for reform on the court. And I think the court is going to will come front and center to the attention of the American people, if they do what appears is they are likely to do, which is to overturn an almost 50-year precedent in Roe versus Wade.

LEMON: You said that Alito's language was unnecessary and overwrought, you think the uproar about this will lead to him, that will lead to him changing the language?

HOLDER: You know, my guess would be that other justices who want to sign on to the opinion would probably suggest language that would be less caustic, less heeded, you know, come up with other ways that can get to their desired result.

On the other hand, it could be that the language and the opinion that he wrote will simply be adopted by those who sign on to the opinion. That would say an awful lot about how radical these people are. And again, emphasize as I indicated in, you know, in "Unfinished March," how necessary Supreme Court reform actually is.

The last poll I saw indicated that only 40 percent of people in this country have faith in the Supreme Court or believe that the court is acting in a non-political way. That's a very dangerous thing for our system of government. LEMON: You talk a lot about the subject that we have you on in your

book "Unfinished March." Before we get specifically to the book, I want to ask you just quickly about the Supreme Court justices security has been beefed up since that leak.

We have seen protesters gathering outside the homes of several conservative justices, but there is a federal law against that. What is the intent of a law prohibiting these protests written for, you know, circumstances like this?


HOLDER: Well, you know, whether it's against the law or not, I certainly think that what the attorney general did today make sense to somehow help increase protection for people for the justices so that there is no danger to them.

I personally am not a fan of having people protests in front of the homes of public officials. You know, I think we should have demonstrations in lots of different places that can be effective, but in front of the homes of public officials, that's something that I think I would shy away from.

And it actually gives the, in this instance, it gives Republican something to talk about other than what I think we should be focused on is the possible disappearance of the precedent that is contained in Roe v. Wade.

They are talking about the leak. They are talking about, you know, demonstrators in front of justices' houses. And what America needs to be focused on is the attack on the right to privacy that is contained in that draft opinion.

LEMON: So, your book, look, it talks about everything that we talked about, but now, specifically, your book, "Our Unfinished March," focuses on gerrymandering. I mean, just yesterday, a judge appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis ruled that the new Florida map championed by Governor DeSantis is unconstitutional.

It is a win for Democrats, but talk about the damage to democracy. Is there any incentive from politicians to compromise if all they had to do to win is to just redraw district lines?

HOLDER: Yes. I mean, gerrymandering, as again, we indicate in the book, has had a really pernicious effect on our democracy. If you are in a gerrymandered seat, you don't worry about the general election. You are only worried about getting primary. And if that's your concern, you can do a whole host of things that are inconsistent with the desires of your constituents and not suffer any electoral consequences.

And let's bring it back to the Roe, potential overruling of Roe versus Wade ruling. You have all these heartbeat bills, these anti-abortion bills that are not generally supported by the people in the states from which they come. And yet, state legislators can vote for them, catering to the special

interests and not have to worry that they will be voted out of office for doing something that's inconsistent with the desires of their constituents around the issue of reproductive rights. And that's the kind, that's a very concrete example of how gerrymandering has a negative impact on our democracy.

LEMON: I want to ask you what the motivation behind them writing books. I have written a book. I wonder if the dismantling of democracy if, you know, the rolling back of voting rights if, you know, the possibility of Roe v. Wade going away. Was that, Roe v. Wade I'm sure may not have been one of the reasons, but was that an inspiration? Or were those inspirations for you writing this book?

HOLDER: Well, this book was completed months ago. And so, we didn't have the ability to anticipate the possibility of Roe versus Wade being overturned, but the book, and the reason I wrote the book, is to try to tell the history of the vote and how we have struggled with who gets to vote, how easy people get to vote, since the beginning of the republic. How the first people to try to get the vote were white men who didn't have property.

Then I talk about what our situation looks like now and how dire it is. But then we offer a really concrete suggestion in the last part of the book about how it is that we can get back to a better place and also remind people that other Americans faced with similar kinds of concerns about our democracy, but who face far greater dangerous.

People gave their lives, people sacrificed in order to move our democracy along. And they did so. We don't face necessarily those kinds of consequences, and so it's up to us as present-day Americans to honor their sacrifices by fighting for our democracy now.

And we can do this if we will commit ourselves if we are prepared to fight against the special interests that are trying to seize control of our system of government.

LEMON: Mr. Attorney General, thank you. The book is called "Our Unfinished March," by Eric Holder. We appreciate it. Best of luck. Thanks for appearing.

HOLDER: All right. Thanks, Don.

LEMON: Russia vowing to retaliate after Finland made a big move toward joining NATO. Does it strengthen the alliance or heightened the tension? That's next.



LEMON: Bad news for Vladimir Putin today. Finland's president and prime minister announcing that they support joining NATO. NATO secretary general saying that they will quote, "warmly, be warmly welcomed if they apply." So, joining me now CNN military analyst and former NATO supreme allied commander, General Wesley Clark. The perfect person to talk to about this. General, welcome. Thanks for joining.

So, Finland's president --


LEMON: -- saying NATO membership wouldn't be a threat to Russia, but that's, I mean, that's Russia's fault that they want to join, right? I mean, is Putin inadvertently strengthening NATO, even though he wants to weaken it?

CLARK: Look, Finland is cooperating with NATO for a long time. We've always done joint exercises. We had visits. We had many other things. But they also have been very conscious of the arrangements that ended World War II for Finland, there was combat back and forth, and ultimately, Finland lost that war at (Inaudible) seek territory and other things.


So, they've always been very cautious about the Soviet Union and now Russia. And so, this is a big step for Finland. It's a good thing for NATO. It shows that NATO is pulling together in the face of Russian aggression. And obviously, I don't think Russia is going to attack Finland, although they promise retaliation.

Maybe they'll move some forces towards the Finnish border, or maybe they'll try to clamp down on visas or exchanges or trade in some way, but it's not a threat to Russia directly. It's only a political signal to Russia that it has lost its intimidation over Finland.

LEMON: Since you mentioned the Polish border, let's put up this map now, because Finland shares an 800-mile border with Russia. NATO would be required to come to Finland's defense if it were attacked. Is there a bigger risk of a wider conflict in Finland if Finland is in NATO?

CLARK: Well, this is always the question that's asked. And yes, if Finland were attacked, NATO would come to its defense. There's no doubt about it. But it's also going to be very hard for Russia to do much to Finland. Their forces are 80 percent committed or more in Ukraine. Those forces retreated. They need more forces in Ukraine.

It's hard to see what they could do to Finland that couldn't be pretty easily defended. Do we need to put NATO air in there? Yes, that could be done, but Finland has a brigadier defense and a brigadier air force.

And if Sweden comes in, then it just tightens everything up. The real problem NATO has is the defense of the Baltic states. That's Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. And if Finland and Sweden joined NATO, it provides additional security to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. It gives them depth. It gives NATO depth in the Baltic Sea.

LEMON: The Azov (Ph) battalion which has been fighting Russian forces in Mariupol posting videos of fighting from the inside of Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. The exact date of this video though is unclear. But we can assume that it was -- it isn't recent, because Russian forces have largely withdrawn from the area. But here it is and then we'll talk.

I mean, general, it is rare that we see video of actual fighting on the ground. Usually we see, you know, overhead drone footage and new aerial images like these. We're just getting in tonight. You see the one up on your screen now. But is the reality that this kind of violent close combat is happening all over the front line?

CLARK: Well, I think what you are seeing there is a scene that has been set off. There is communication still with the people in Mariupol. Obviously, they can get video out and they want to demonstrate the fact they're still holding their defensive position.

And Don, it is a remarkable stand that that battalion has made. A thousand men, maybe 2,000 to start with. Three to 500 wounded in there. They took care of the surveillance. They have evacuated all, or almost all the surveillance. They still got hundreds of wounded men, and they're still fighting. They've got ammunition, and the Ukrainians are still doing everything they can to support them.

And what all that is and how it's working, I'm not at liberty to say everything that I know about it, but I can tell you, those are some really tough soldiers and they're holding on.

General Wesley Clark, thank you, sir, I appreciate it. We'll see you soon.

CLARK: Thank you, Don.

LEMON: And then there were three. A little-known candidate. A little- known candidate is blowing out what was a two-men battle in the Republican Senate race in Pennsylvania. And that is creating a big rift in the MAGA wing of the party. Next.



LEMON: The race for the Republican Senate nomination in Pennsylvania taking a big term with less than a week to go before the primary election. A little-known candidate, her name is Kathy Barnette, she is surging in polls.

She is now with her main opponents, including Dr. Mehmet Oz, the TV star who has the backing of former President Trump. A source telling CNN Trump is really nervous that Barnette may win. And so today he put out a statement attacking her. But Kathy Barnette has her own baggage.

More tonight from CNN's Jeff Zeleny.



months, Kathy Barnette campaign across Pennsylvania, drawing attention, yet remaining largely an afterthought in the Republican Senate race. From the outside, the race played out as a vicious two- men brawl.


UNKNOWN: Mehmet has flip-flopped on every major issue. Dishonest day added again.

ZELENY: Fueled by big money and big names of TV celebrity, Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick, former head of the world's largest hedge fund. But less than a week before the primary election Barnette slate surges sending shockwaves across the GOP and provoked this dire warning from former President Donald Trump, who's endorsed Oz. Kathy Barnette would never be able to win the general election against the radical left.

Tonight, she gently disagreed.

BARNETTE: I look forward to working with the president. So, thank you so much.

ZELENY: It's a sign that you're on the rise, though, would you agree?

BARNETTE: I would agree.


ZELENY: In one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country, which Democrats believe offers the best chance to pick up a seat to help hold their majority, a messy family feud deep inside the MAGA movement is spilling out for all to see.

BARNETTE: MAGA does not belong to President Trump. MAGA, although he coined the word, MAGA is actually -- it belongs to the people. Our values never, never shifted to President Trump's values.

ZELENY: A compelling personal story sparked interest in her candidacy.

BARNETTE: I am a little Black girl from a pig farm in southern Alabama, who grew up in a home with no running water, no insulation, an outhouse in the back and a well on the side.

ZELENY: And her campaign word to life as she pushed utterly false claims that 2020 election was stolen.


ZELENY: She's linked her candidacy to Doug Mastriano, the front runner in the GOP governor's race here. Suddenly, it's full show a three-way contest entering a final stretch. Rival Republicans are in a mad scramble to scrutinize Barnette's background in hopes of slowing her surprising rise. MEHMET OZ (R), PENNSYLVANIA SENATE CANDIDATE: She is a mystery

person. We don't know much about her. We have to be able to learn. And she is not willing to share.

ZELENY: An outside group backing Oz also weighed in.

UNKNOWN: Meet crazy Kathy Barnette, Pennsylvania's wackiest Senate candidate.

ZELENY: A CNN review found Barnette has a history of making anti- Muslim and anti-gay statements.

BARNETTE: All the --

ZELENY: In many tweets, she also spread the false conspiracy theory, former President Barack Obama is a Muslim. It's an open question whether the torrent of criticism will animate or turn off the vibrant grassroot supporters in the party's base.

The conservative club for growth has her back, booking $2 million in ads to promote her candidacy.


ZELENY: What drew you to her candidacy.

DAILE: She's an authentic person.

ZELENY: You asked about Trump's endorsement of Oz, and his blistering words for Barnette, Kristen Daile had this to say.

DAILE: President Trump gets to be wrong and he has this one wrong.


LEMON: Jeff Zeleny joins me now. Jeff, interesting report. What's going on there in Pennsylvania. Talking to Republican voters. What are they saying about her appeal as a candidate?

ZELENY: Well, Don, you heard the word authentic said really again and again, people like what they see. They like, you know, the ad she's run, but really, she's been running a shoestring campaign compared to Mehmet Oz and David McCormick who spent more than $13 million apiece of their own money in this race, not to mention the outside groups, so they view her as someone who is of the people.

When we talked to a lot of voters through this, they said they see her as a true conservative. Of course, embedded in that is that they are not convinced at all of Dr. Oz's conservatism and they find David McCormick, some of them at least as simply not one of them.

So, they do absolutely like her, you know, sense of originality. Authentic again, came up again and again. And the question now as she faces scrutiny here in the final days, will that hold up?

LEMON: Yes, and on that note, I mean, you said authentic conservative. I mean, if she wins how is she going to the broader base since she has run before and lost by a huge margin?

ZELENY: She lost by a huge margin, almost 20 percentage points. And that is exactly what is sounding the alarm really across the Republican Party. It is -- it's very rare to see Republicans unite from the Trump wing of the party to the establishment corner of the party. But that is exactly what happened among many Republicans today, really criticizing her, saying she simply cannot win a general election.

We heard the former president really come out with a blistering statement, unlike he usually does, saying that she may be a nice person, but said she has not been vetted. She cannot win a general election.

So, in the next few days or so, really four more days are left before the primary, a lot of questions will be raised about her past. The question is, though, do base voters here care about that?

In many ways she is singing their song book, singing their anthem about election lies. So really hanging over all of this, Don, is fascinating. Can President Trump control the movement that he created, these are MAGA supporters who are supporting her, and many of the people we talked tonight said yes, they respect him, but they're not going to follow his lead and support Dr. Oz.

LEMON: All right. Yes, and we thought Dr. Oz was the interesting thing injected into the Pennsylvania race. And now we have this. So, it's going to be quite something to watch.

Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate it.

So, I'm going to take a break from politics to look at something massive and mysterious that binds together our own Milky Way galaxy. A black hole that can hold a key to space and time. Want to peek into the unfathomable? We'll show you.



LEMON: So tonight, something extremely cool for the first time ever, we have an image of the super massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, which is our galaxy.

CNN's Tom Foreman shows it to us. Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Don, this is a very exciting news. For the first time ever, scientists have managed to capture an image of what they call the beating heart of our galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy. Take a look.

This is the super massive black hole called that they call Sagittarius a. The black hole is the dark part in the middle there. All that light around it that's light being bent by the enormous gravity of this black hole. Getting this image was really a huge challenge. It involved aid of the

most advanced telescopes on Earth, with more than 80 different institutions and hundreds of scientists. And they collected these images overtime, trying to shoot through these gases and things swirling around this black hole.


Basically, what they did then was composite them together to create this stunning image here. It really is a remarkable thing to accomplish. Some scientists said this is the equivalent of using a telescope to take a picture of a donut sitting on the surface of the moon.

And of course, if there were donuts on the moon, that would even be a bigger headline. But really, an amazing accomplishment here that gives us more insight into the degree to which the enormous gravitational pull of this is affecting everything in the galaxy.

And by the way, this has a mass roughly four million times that of our sun. So, you have an idea of how much gravity might be at work there. But, no worry about it for our sake, it's roughly 27,000 light-years away, so if you want to go visit, Don, pack a lunch.

LEMON: Thank you, Tom. I better get to it.

The January 6th committee playing hardball and issuing subpoenas to five House Republicans. What it means for the investigation into the insurrection, that's next.