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Don Lemon Tonight

The January 6 Committee Holds Its Fourth Public Heating; Uvalde Mayor Speaks Out; Goldman Sachs Warns Of Rising Risk Of Recession. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired June 21, 2022 - 23:00   ET




MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Biggs ignored CNN's questions about it. Bowers said Giuliani never provided evidence of their conspiracy theories, even admitting there was none.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): What exactly did he say and how did it come up?

RUSTY BOWERS, SPEAKER AND MEMBER, ARIZONA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: My recollection, he said, we've got lots of theories, we just don't have the evidence. And I don't know if that was a gaff or maybe he didn't think through what he said. And afterwards, we kind of laughed about it. But I do not take this current situation in a light manner, a fearful manner or a vengeful manner. I do not want to be a winner by cheating.

RAJU (voice-over): Trump's lawyer John Eastman allegedly told Bowers to just replace the electors even if he did not have the authority.

BOWERS: He said, just do it and let the courts sort it out. And I said, you're asking me to do something that's never been done in history, the history of the United States, and I'm going to put my state through that without sufficient proof?

RAJU (voice-over): But Trump pressed on, and the committee revealing his involvement in the Trump campaign effort to send a fake set of electors on January 6th to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden's victory.

UNKNOWN: What did the president say when he called you?

RONNA MCDANIEL, CHAIR, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Essentially he turned the call over to Mr. Eastman, who then proceeded to talk about the importance of the RNC helping the campaign gather these contingent electors in case any of the legal challenges that were ongoing changed the result of any of the states.

RAJU (voice-over): Newly revealed text messages from the morning of January 6th showed the apparent involvement of GOP Senator Ron Johnson. An exchange between staffers for Johnson and Vice President Pence shows Johnson wanted to give Pence an alternate slate of electors from Michigan and Wisconsin. Pence's staffers responded, do not give that to him.

The pressure campaign extended to Georgia where Trump's chief of staff texted or called Brad Raffensperger 18 times to set up a phone call where he pressed the GOP election official to find the votes needed to overturn the election.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (voice-over): But why wouldn't you want to find the right answer, Brad, instead of keep saying that the numbers are right? The real truth is I won by 400,000 votes, at least.

BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: Every single allegation we checked. We ran down the rabbit trail to make sure that our numbers were accurate.

RAJU (voice-over): Raffensperger described the threats against him and his family after he disputed Trump's fraud claims.

RAFFENSPERGER: Eventually, my wife started getting the texts and hers typically came in a sexualize texts which were disgusting. Some people broke into my daughter-in-law's home. And my son has passed, and she is a widow and has two kids. And so, we're very concerned about her safety also.

RAJU (voice-over): Former Georgia election official Wandrea Shaye Moss testifying about the threats she, her mother, and her son received because of Donald Trump's persistent lies.

WANDRE SHAYE MOSS, FORMER GEORGIA ELECTION OFFICIAL: Like be glad it's 2020 and not 1920. I just felt like it was my fault for putting my family in this situation.

RAJU (voice-over): Her mother saying her life was in danger.

RUBY FREEMAN, FORMER GEORGIA ELECTION OFFICIAL: The FBI informed me that I needed to leave my home for safety. I felt homeless. I felt -- you know, I can't believe -- I can't believe this person has caused this much damage to me and my family.

RAJU (on camera): I caught up with Senator Ron Johnson in the aftermath of that revelation from the committee, that one of his aides had reached out to Mike Pence's office on the morning of January 6th and offered an alternate set of electors from the states of Michigan and Wisconsin, something that the Pence aide flatly rejected.

Now, Johnson revealed that he was, in fact, aware on that morning of January 6th that that asked had been made, saying someone had asked them to deliver something to Mike Pence's office. Now, he said he did not know who was behind this. He said he had -- quote -- "no idea" in the identity of the individual pushing those fake electors. And he also dismissed the whole thing entirely, calling it a nonstory and saying he had no involvement in this effort to overturn the election. Don?


DON LEMON, CNN HOST: All right. Manu Raju, thank you so much. I appreciate that.

I want to bring in now CNN's chief legal analyst Mr. Jeffrey Toobin, political commentator Scott Jennings, and senior political analysts Kirsten Powers and John Avlon. Good evening. Good to have all of you on this evening.

John, I want to ask you, we've now had four hearings. Today was Trump's intimidation of state officials. Before that, we learned Trump knew that there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud, but he pushed the big lie anyway. Attorney General Barr said that Trump was detached from reality. There was Trump's pressure on Pence and putting his V.P. in danger. Add all of these up. What have we learned and where are these hearings going, do you think?


JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think what we've learned is that Donald Trump pushed what he knew to be a lie, what he was told was illegal and unconstitutional. What we learned today was that even his legal team, the people arguing loudest in court and on T.V., the court of public opinion, Rudy Giuliani in particular, said, we got lots of theories, we've got no evidence.

They had nothing. They gaslit the country, divided our democracy, duped their supporters, tried to intimidate fellow Republicans to overturn our elections based on nothing.

LEMON: Yeah. Before we get to the others, you were sitting here and we were talking about Rudy Giuliani --

AVLON: Yeah.

LEMON: -- and something that he said you just found to be insidious.

AVLON: Yeah. You know, as you know, I worked for Rudy when he was mayor, and I was proud to do it. This is a very different person.

But when he was lying about what he saw as evidence of voter fraud in the tapes, you know, a USB was passed to manipulate votes, he said, he used language, he said, these well-known vote hustler, passing this around like crack cocaine and heroin, that's subliminal. He is drawing on sort of 80 prosecutor stuff, only semiconsciously but completely racist in its tone, vote hustler, passing drugs.

You know what got me about her comments today? This is the humanity that we lose sight of when people buy into these conspiracies. What was it? It was ginger mints.

LEMON: Yeah.

AVLON: They were passing ginger mints.

LEMON: Yeah. There you go. Thank you for that.

So Jeff, the hearing today about Trump's direct role in the fake elector scheme. That is according to a Republican witness, including RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. How does this fit into the larger election conspiracy, you think?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's all one conspiracy and it's every effort being made, whether it is putting forward these fake electors -- and by the way, I just think, you know, we use the term "fake electors," it is worth just pausing to focus on the audacity of this.

I mean, you know, being an elector is a government official job. You can't appoint yourself an elector. You know, it's like appointing yourself a United States senator. I mean, the idea that they created these slates as if they had any legal significance at all just shows the arrogance of -- with the way they operated.

But, you know, it was the electors. It was trying to change the vote totals. And the thing that came home today for me was the violence, the violence that was so much a part of the effort to overturn the election.

You know, we've talked a lot, of course, about the 800 people who have been arrested for being inside the Capitol, but think how much other violence there has been. You know the violence against these election officials in Georgia, the threats against the people in Arizona. Everywhere the Trump forces went, violence went with them. And that's something to think about, you know, as we think about the political legacy of Donald Trump. Violence is a central part of it.

LEMON: I mean this in all seriousness, Jeffery, because we want to be precise in our language, right? We are the first draft of history, as they say. Fake, is that -- should we be using a stronger term? Is it fraudulent electors?

TOOBIN: I -- you know, I think that's -- you know, that may be just semantics. I mean, I think fake is good enough. Fraudulent perhaps is even better. But I just think it's worth pausing about the mind -- to think about the mindset --

LEMON: Uh-hmm.

TOOBIN: -- of people who would appoint themselves government officials because that is what electors are. And the idea that you could simply decide that you are an elector is just so breathtaking to me.

LEMON: Scott, the Republicans who testified today like the Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, he voted for Donald Trump twice. But when he was asked, you know, to break the law, he wouldn't do it. And what happened to them? They were thrown to the wolves. The same thing happened to Pence. How can Republicans still be enabling Trump and his lie knowing all that?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, a couple things. Number one, thank goodness these people did their duty. I mean, I think as you watch these hearings, you see these people who stood up and understood what their public responsibilities were and they didn't shirk from that, they didn't run away from it, they stood up to it knowing full well what was going to happen to them because of the president's anger. So, thank you to the people who did that. It is number one.

Number two, I hope people are paying close attention to the absolute brazenness of this because you could be next. I mean, if Donald Trump runs for president again and is going to choose a running mate, you know what the first and only question in that interview is going to be. And so, I think people need to internalize what your interactions with him are going to be like in the future.


The final thing about this, Don, is the -- what I -- I keep asking myself, what did they think was going to happen? Let's just pretend for a minute that somebody said yes to this. Did they really think that the country was just going to accept new electors or, hey, I know you got more votes, but the other guy got more votes, you're going to remain -- did they really think this was going to be accepted by the country?

LEMON: Yeah, pretty crazy.

TOOBIN: Can I answer that?

LEMON: Go ahead. Go ahead.

TOOBIN: Yes. They thought they were going to win the presidency.

LEMON: Scott --

TOOBIN: They thought they could steamroll the process. I mean, Scott, why is that surprising to you at all? You know, create confusion and then just jam through a victory. That is exactly what they thought they were going to do.

JENNINGS: But the thing is there was no confusion. I mean -- I mean, you look at these states, yes, some of them were close, but the reality is he didn't get more votes than the other guy. So I just -- the idea that you would say, we got fewer votes but a couple guys called us and said, ah, we're going to give you the electors.

I mean the country would have been in a complete and total meltdown, and they didn't -- I mean, the idea that they thought that was going to something they could manage over time, I find that incredible.

LEMON: But let's keep in mind that Eastman testified -- Eastman testified that -- there was testimony that Eastman was willing to let violence happen because violence had happened before in the history of this country. But Scott, I got to hold -- I got to hold you to account because my question was, how can Republicans still be enabling Trump and his lie, the big lie, knowing all of this? That was the question.

JENNINGS: Look -- yeah, look, the bottom line is they have -- they have caused more than half, you know, I'd say of the rank and file Republican Party to believe that everything we're seeing on our television, everything we saw on our television didn't actually happen. I mean, they have -- they have convinced people that this is a concoction and that this has been conjured up by the people who have always been trying to destroy Donald Trump.

And the reality is it all happened live on our television. It is all happening live on our television today. So, my advice to people is we've got to move -- we've to move on from this. You have to accept the reality of what happened and the reality of what could happen should we re-nominate this guy.

LEMON: Kirsten, maybe you'll answer it.


JENNINGS: I'm answering it. What do you want me to say? We should not enable this.

LEMON: Okay.

JENNINGS: We should not enable this for our future.

LEMON: All right.

JENNINGS: It is a wrong thing.

LEMON: All right, good. That is a clearer answer. Thank you.

So, listen, Kirsten, Trump today attacked Rusty Bowers and said that Bowers told him in November 2020 conversation that the Arizona vote was -- quote -- "rigged" and that he won Arizona. This is Rusty Bowers's response today.


BOWERS: Anywhere, any one, any time has said that I said the election was rigged, that would not be true.


LEMON: So, what is he describing there? I mean, we heard the same thing last week from Pence's counsel, Greg Jacob. He said that it was categorically untrue. When Trump put out a press release saying that Trump and Pence were in total agreement on January 6th, on the January 6th plan, it was another lie.

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah. I mean, that's what Trump does, right? I mean, there is nothing unusual about that and doesn't mean we should accept it or normalize it, but he just creates alternative reality and asks everybody to sort of come along with it.

And I think that, you know, what we're seeing here is actually something that we've seen in every Trump investigation. Actually, we are reminded of regular people who -- who are not famous people or people in the public eye but just regular Americans who are just doing their jobs, you know, and who are -- who actually are honest and believe in the Constitution and believe in the oaths that they take for their office and will do it even when they're being bullied literally by the president of the United States. And the people who are the outlier behavior, the people who are abhorrent are the Donald Trumps and the Rudy Giulianis and the people running around and helping Donald Trump with this. And it is such extreme behavior and such dangerous behavior. And, you know, we're again reminded also of just what a bully Donald Trump is and how he just delights in just bullying people and destroying their lives.

LEMON: John, hold on.

POWERS: He is incredibly dangerous on so many levels.

LEMON: Not only don't you feel -- I mean, it is -- how many groundhog days have we lived? Like 7,858. From the very beginning, we would say, well, no, Trump is lying and he is making his own reality about just little things. And then we'd be on the next night doing the same thing and the next night the same thing.

And here we are six, seven years later about the biggest lie, and we would always say, boy -- I would say every night. If you lie about something big -- if you lie about something small, you'll lie about something big.

AVLON: Yeah.

LEMON: And guess what he did?


He lied about something really big. We're saying oh, well, of course, he lies. When does this -- when does this end? When do we stop sitting here talking about the lies that Donald Trump lied about, that he lied about, and people saying, oh, well, you know, it's not true, you're just lying because you hate him. No, we are telling you he's lying because he's lying.

AVLON: Yeah. It is not a partisan to call out lies. There are not two sides to this story. We know from the testimony of Republicans over the course of this hearing that Donald Trump lied about the election and tried to destroy our democracy.

LEMON: He lied, he encouraged lies, he is a bigot, he encouraged bigots, he is a racist, he encouraged racists.

AVLON: And he turned even on his own vice president who is the most loyal guy in the world. When is this going to stop, Don? It is going to stop when the vast majority of Republicans, including specially elected officials in the Senate, House and governors, stand up to Donald Trump. And remember that lying is unacceptable. That destroying our democracy is disqualifying.

We need more Rusty Bowers, people with real character and courage. He is a conservative guy. What I love is this democracy coalition is being created with people who are very conservative, transcending partisan lines because they are trying to remind us of what is right.

LEMON: Is that Jeffrey? TOOBIN: Can I make a suggestion --

LEMON: Yeah.

TOOBIN: -- that the lying, the authoritarianism, the racism, maybe that's why he's popular with a lot of people. Maybe this is a feature, not a bug, that --

LEMON: It is.

TOOBIN: -- there is an authoritarian streak in a lot of Americans. And, you know, it's the same DNA that brought us, you know, the plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan, the mass shootings in Buffalo and El Paso and Pittsburgh. I mean, this is not something --

LEMON: And that insurrection, Jeffrey. Don't forget that insurrection thing that we are talking about here.

AVLON: But I think what is important is --

TOOBIN: That's what I'm saying. It's all part of the same idea.

AVLON: -- not to mistake the streak that Jeffrey is talking about with partisan divides. What is important about Rusty Bowers, what is important about the larger things we're seeing is, yes, there are people who will back an authoritarian, may be motivated by all sorts of things, that is a strain in our society, but if we see time and again that there are good Republicans who have the courage to stand up to Donald Trump, still not enough in the party, but we need to celebrate those folks.

LEMON: But it is not enough. It is not enough because if it's the few when you get the Liz Cheneys of the world and the Adam Kinzingers, they are driven out of power. And the people, once they are out of power, finally they have the courage to stand up and say, well, you know, all along -- why didn't you do it when you were in power? Why didn't you stand up then?

AVLON: We need to be lifting up those people in power who are making the difficult things to stand up to that.

JENNINGS: I know Scott wants to get in. Go ahead, Scott.

JENNINGS: Look, there's nothing for the average Republican to do today. I mean, the reality is there is nothing for them to do today. They are to watch it, to consume this information, to understand the truth about what happened.

The real question is going to be, when this nomination process starts for president in 2024, are we going down this road again? I'll remind everyone that in 2016, Donald Trump got 45% of the republican primary vote. We're going to have another fragmented presidential primary.

And so, to me, this is the one and only question today, are we going to plunge ourselves into this chaos once more? We're going to have people, many people who fit the bill, who could win, who want to do all the same conservative stuff that we all want to do, but wouldn't plunge the country --

LEMON: Scott --

JENNINGS: -- into chaos again. That is the choice.

LEMON: Scott, where is the republican road show going around the country telling people, hey, look, we've got to stop this? Where is that group of people who can go around the country, who can go to town halls, who are respected members of the Republican Party and say, Donald Trump is lying to you, you have been co-opted by a liar and a bigot and someone who is not good for your party and not good for democracy? Where are those people?

JENNINGS: You're asking for a campaign. You are literally asking for a campaign. And Lucky for you we have one every two years in this country and we're going to have a presidential campaign.

LEMON: No, I'm not asking for an election -- I'm not asking for an election or campaign. I'm asking for a truth brigade, is what I'm asking for. I'm asking for a come to Jesus, a reality. Go ahead, Kirsten.

POWERS: It wouldn't make any difference. I mean, this is, you know, I understand if you're a Republican -- you know, I understand why, Scott, you want to believe that the Republican Party is different than this, but it's not. I mean, Republicans supported Donald Trump. It's not just the base.

You know, when you look at polls, there are a lot of Republicans who supported him when he was in office, and then he has this core base that follows him around no matter what he does. And even Republicans who condemn him, even, you know, his former attorney general who has said all these things about how he was full of it and, you know, was making things up basically, he said he would vote for him again, you know.


So, I don't think there is a road show that can --

LEMON: And there it is.

POWERS: -- happen that can go out to these people that are going to suddenly make them change their minds and support another Republican. I mean, in the polls, Trump -- unless something changes from this, which I'll be surprised if it changes that dramatically, he is the one that is leading the polls for the primary.

LEMON: I want to hear Scott. Go, Scott.

JENNINGS: Well, I agree with you, he is leading the polls. My point is, you know, there is nothing that -- a road show? Where would you go? What would you do? What you are asking for is for the Republican Party to consider whether he should be the leader of the Republican Party, and the next moment where we choose the leader of our party is in a presidential primary nominating contest. He is obviously going to run, Pence is going to run. All these other -- they are all going to have to present essentially the message that you just did, which is -- which is --

TOOBIN: But --

JENNINGS: -- that hey, we don't have to do all the crazy stuff to get the policy stuff that we want. That is going to be the campaign and the party will have to choose.

TOOBIN: But, Scott, there are -- we are having primaries all over the country now for other offices.

JENNINGS: Not for president, Jeffrey. Not for president. Not for president. Donald Trump will not be the central issue in a campaign until 2024.

TOOBIN: Anyone who doesn't support Donald Trump is getting wiped out in these primaries. A very conservative congressman --

LEMON: Generally.

TOOBIN: -- in South Carolina was voted out of office in a republican primary and he got 25% of the vote, an incumbent. This is who is winning these primaries.

JENNINGS: And right next door, Nancy Mace defied him and she won her primary. So, it is not -- it is not uniform. But the reality is Trump is not the central issue in these congressional primaries.

LEMON: Nancy Mace is standing in front of Trump Tower. It is a wink and a nod.

AVLON: Brad Raffensperger won.


LEMON: Okay.

AVLON: But --

JENNINGS: Obviously, in Georgia, the election --

LEMON: I got to run.

JENNINGS: the issue will be settled in '24, not this year.

LEMON: Thank you all. I appreciate it.

Witness after witness today talking about the threats they faced for refusing to knuckle under to the then president. Next, we are going to talk to a man who knows what it is like to face that kind of threat, former D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone.



LEMON: Multiple witnesses testifying today about a widespread fake elector scheme and the violent threats that they have endured just because they told the truth and did their jobs.

Joining me now is one of the officers who risked their lives defending our Capitol on January 6th, former D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone, now a CNN law enforcement analyst.

Michael, thank you for joining us. Today, I'm sure -- I'm sure all these hearings must be tough for you in a way to watch these. We heard multiple people describe the threats that they faced for refusing to go along with Trump's election lies. Listen to this and then we'll talk.


FREEMAN: Now, I won't even introduce myself by my name anymore. I get nervous when I bump into someone I know in the grocery store who says my name. I'm worried about who is listening.

MOSS: I don't go to the grocery store at all. I haven't been anywhere at all. This has affected my life in a major way, in every way.

JOCELYN BENSON, MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE (voice-over): We started to hear the noises outside my home. And that's when my stomach sunk. That was the scariest moment, just not knowing what was going to happen.


LEMON: Mike, unfortunately, you understand what this is like all too well.

MICHAEL FANONE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST, FORMER D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICER: Yeah, I do. I mean, the testimony today really did resonate with me, having been on the receiving end of death threats and a lot of hateful, angry emails, phone calls, speech. I know how life changing it can be.

LEMON: Adam Kinzinger and his family received death threats because he's part of the January 6 Select Committee. He shared a threatening letter his wife received mentioning their five-month-old son by name. You spoke to the congressman about this. What can you tell us about it?

FANONE: Yeah, I talked to Adam soon after he and his wife received the letter. I mean, unfortunately, the content of the letter is disgusting, but it doesn't shock me. It's just what those of us who have spoken out against Trump's lies and against the violent insurrection on January 6th have come to expect in our lives.

LEMON: Sadly, that's what you've come to expect. Look, it doesn't seem like, Mike, that the violence is going anywhere, and we saw how Congressman Dan Crenshaw was harassed by right-wing protesters. And in Missouri, we've got Eric Greitens putting out a campaign ad showing him holding what appears to be a long gun while he talks about hunting RINOS or Republicans In Name Only. What do you think law enforcement should be doing about the threat of violence hanging over our politics right now?

FANONE: I mean, I don't know what law enforcement can do in these circumstances. I mean, I report threats that are made to me and, unfortunately, you have a lot of people, politicians now who are abiding by this Trump playbook, which is like douse everything in gasoline and hand out matches to all your supporters.


And if something violent happens, just hide behind the idea that it was hyperbole or political rhetoric.

There was a time in the not so distant past, Don, when our politicians punted to media personalities would adhere to this standard of conduct. And if you deviated from that standard, you were ostracized and alienated. Today, you are rewarded. We've got politicians who engage in violent, hateful rhetoric. And even those who participated in the insurrection, against the government, who win elections, media personalities who received higher ratings, you know, I don't know what there is.

Unfortunately, I think there are a lot of people in this country in elected positions -- I'm talking about the president and Merrick Garland who come from this mindset -- that, you know, many of our leaders abide by, that if you model good behavior, people are going to behave well, kind of like an honor code. That's just not working. It doesn't work with violent criminals who shoot up our streets and it's not going to work for a president who couldn't care less about his oath to the Constitution.

We definitely need some type of accountability but, you know, unfortunately -- I would have said, maybe 10 years ago, in my cynical law enforcement speak that is going to take something awful to happen before somebody does something, but awful should happens every single day in this country and nobody is doing anything about it.

LEMON: Right on. Michael Fanone, thank you, sir. I appreciate it. We'll be right back.

FANONE: Thank you.




LEMON: The Uvalde mayor delivering a blistering speech tonight, saying he has yet to receive a briefing on the shooting that killed 19 children and two of their teachers last month, and going on -- going after, I should say, the Texas Department of Public Safety. The DPS director is testifying earlier in the day that police failed to properly respond to the shooting.


STEVEN MCCRAW, DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: And while they waited, the RNC commander waited for radio and rifles. Then he waited for shields. And then he waited for SWAT. Lastly, he waited for a key that was never needed. The post Columbine (ph) doctrine is clear and compelling, and ambiguous. Stop the killing. Stop the dying.


LEMON: Shimon Prokupecz is in Texas for us this evening. Shimon, good evening to you. The mayor of Uvalde said that he would be throwing people under the bus tonight, and he came out swinging against the Texas Department of Public Safety. What happened tonight?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, this was something, Don, certainly, that this was a city council hearing where people in the community were there. The mayor, just from the beginning, is saying that he was fed up with what he was hearing from state officials putting all the blame on the Uvalde police, on the chief there, the Arredondo -- Chief Arredondo of the school police, and he is just fed up.

And so, he started this meeting by telling people who were there and the media that he was going to be throwing people under the bus tonight. He certainly did that. Take a listen to some of what he said at the meeting.


DON MCLAUGHLIN, MAYOR OF UVALDE: Since that day, Colonel McCraw has continued -- what you want to call it, a lie, leak -- excuse me. You know, lie, leak, mislead or mistake the information in order to distance his own troopers and rangers from the -- from the response. Not one report, not one thing up there in the state today did you hear about what his DPS officers were doing in that hallway or in that building. Not one.

All you heard about was the local police department and the school district police department, but not -- not the other -- not the other eight agencies that were there.


PROKUPECZ: And Don, he's complaining that all the blame is being placed on the Uvalde police, on the school chief, and he feels that that is something that's unfair. He's also complaining because he feels that he's not getting any information. He claims he's frustrated by the D.A., by state officials, by even the governor, who all promised that they were going to help you get information on this investigation.

He says that it's enough. They're not providing him any information, they told him not to speak about this, and he's just had it. But Don, keep in mind, this is a mayor who sat at the table with the governor and the police chief and the head of the DPS just days after the shooting, sitting there at the table with them, really getting these briefings and talking to the media. Now, all of a sudden, he has turned on all of them.

LEMON: Shimon, this is coming after the Department of Public Safety laid out a new timeline for the shooting, saying that officers were on hand just three minutes after the shooter entered the building. What did we learn? I mean, just three minutes after, and it took him that long? Go on.

PROKUPECZ: But, look, Don, I mean, the point today for the head of DPS who is running this investigation, to finally come out after weeks and weeks of not getting any updates, saying that there was enough firepower there, there was enough -- there were enough police officers to storm through that classroom to neutralize the gunman, he said that they were there within three minutes and that was enough time.


You know, also, the other thing, Don, that we've heard so much about was this door. Was it locked? Was it open? Could police have broken the door down? What we learned today is that no one even went to the door to see if it was locked. No one checked the doorknob, turned it to see if they could open the door. Had they simply done that? What the head of DPS said was that they would've been able to open the door. It wasn't locked.

So, this whole notion that the door was locked just isn't true. They also had tools that they needed to break the door down. So, we're starting to get more and more information about, certainly, the failures by the police there.

LEMON: Shimon Prokupecz in Texas. Shimon, thank you very much. Appreciate that.

A top warning, the risk of recession is on the rise. What does economist Paul Krugman think? He joins me next.




LEMON: A stark warning tonight about the nation's economy. Goldman Sachs saying the risk of a recession in the U.S. is rising. They now see a 30% probability that we are going to see a recession, internal recession, over the next year. But President Biden says a recession is not inevitable.

Lots to discuss with "The New York Times" columnist Paul Krugman. Paul, good evening. Thanks so much for joining. We appreciate it. Let's talk about what Goldman Sachs is pointing to. Inflation, energy prices, more aggressive fed for the reason behind the rising recession risk. The treasury secretary and president both say recession is not inevitable. What do you think? PAUL KRUGMAN, COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: It is not inevitable. It

is a pretty good chance that we will have some kind of recession. But, you know, the recession is recession. A mild recession is a fairly likely thing. Basically, the economy needs to be cooled down and this is not high precision, this is not science.

So, can the fed cool it down a little bit too fast so that we get a couple of quarters of economic shrinkage and, you know, it is called a recession? That might happen. It is really not a serious issue. The important -- the chances of a really bad recession -- 2008 recession and 1981 recession are really pretty small. But some kind of recession is definitely possible.

LEMON: What happens, Paul, when the country is worried and fearful about the economy? Does belief in a looming recession actually will it into existence? Is that -- is that a real thing?

KRUGMAN: So far, not much sign of that. Mostly, it is not the consumer. Mostly, what is happening is that people are expecting, markets are expecting the fed to keep on hiking interest rates it controls, which is being reflected really strongly in the interest rates that actually matter for real decisions, mortgage rates are way up. So, housing is clearly taking a tumble, business spending is hurting.

So, you know, this is all fairly standard stuff. This is like a 2001 or a 1991 type of recession where some tightening is, by the fed, is translating into a slowdown, which may or may not be a steep slowdown to be called a recession.

You are hearing a lot of panic out there and that does not appear to be justified by any of the numbers that I can see.

LEMON: You talked about the fed and the housing. So, let's talk more about housing now. During the pandemic, home prices shot up nearly nationwide. Do you expect things to cool down as these mortgage rates climb?

KRUGMAN: Oh, sure. This is actually -- this is where -- what the fed mostly does. Where does the rubber meet the road? Where -- what Jay Powell does affect the real economy. The main point of contact is housing. That policy affects very short-term interest rates which then go through chain of events and ends up determining mortgage rates which does affect the demand for housing.

And while there is probably some underlying -- more are working from home, people want bigger spaces, there's some underlying reason for housing demand to be up.

It is also true that money has been very cheap. It is not going to be quite as cheap over the next year or two. So, we are going to be seeing at least a slowdown and probably some fall at housing prices.

LEMON: How high do you expect interest rates to actually get and for how long, Paul?

KRUGMAN: I think it's -- I'm thinking more like the 3% or thereabouts. It looks to me like the fed -- people's expectations of what the fed is going to do are starting to look like overkill.

LEMON: Uh-hmm.

KRUGMAN: I mean, they did need to tap on the brakes, but it looks like they are tapping on the brakes harder than is probably going to be necessary. There are already hints that even though the headline inflation numbers are up, retailers are now sitting on lots of unsold inventory, discounts are starting to appear.

So, I think we are going to be seeing -- yeah, interest rates are going to go up, but nothing that is going to look by historical standards like high interest rates, and then they will probably come back down again.

LEMON: Okay. So, then, what -- how -- back down again, but how long? Is there any way to predict that?

KRUGMAN: Well, this is one of those -- you know, I would say a year and a half, plus or minus two years.


So, you know, this is really, really not an exact science because there are so many slipping points in the analysis.

LEMON: Well, listen, I was thinking five years or so. I mean, if you look at what happened, you know, with the housing market in 2007 and so, it took that long. You don't think it's going to be that long? Okay, good, good, good.

KRUGMAN: If you are thinking 2007, as a lot of people are, if you are thinking 1980 as some people are, those are terrible precedents. We are not nearly in the kind of trouble we were in either case.

LEMON: Great, great. Let's talk about gas prices, Paul, before you get out of here. President Biden is thinking about implementing the federal gas tax holiday. I mean, that temporarily suspends the 18.3- cent per gallon tax on gas. Do you think that would actually help or is it more of a stunt?

KRUGMAN: It's -- look, I mean, I'm very sympathetic to the administration wanting to be seen doing something. But it is pretty much a stunt. I mean, at this point, first of all, gas prices are mainly determined by world markets over which we have no control. Price of oil is -- Vladimir Putin has a lot more influence on that than Joe Biden does.

And secondly, we actually -- we have limited refinery capacity. If you cut the tax on gas and people try to buy more gas, we don't actually have the refineries to produce that extra gas.

So, this is -- I was -- I was kind of sympathetic to the idea of a gas tax cut temporarily early this year, but not in the summer, not when the refineries are running flat out.

So, it's -- but, you know, I -- I suspect that the main purpose here is just to be seen doing something and maybe force Republicans to go on the record voting against it.

LEMON: Yeah. Paul, thank you. I appreciate you joining.

KRUGMAN: Sure, take care.

LEMON: We'll be right back.




LEMON: We are looking ahead to the next hearing of the January 6 Committee with three high-ranking DOJ officials who refused to support the then-president's baseless claims of voter fraud. Jeffrey Rosen, the former acting attorney general, Richard Donoghue, the former acting deputy attorney general, and Steven Engel, former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel. The hearing starts at 3:00 p.m. That is Thursday.

Thanks for watching. Our coverage continues.