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Don Lemon Tonight

Testimony Details 187 Minutes of Trump's Inaction During Riot; Biden Tests Positive for COVID; January 6 Panel To Detail Trump's Inaction Over 187 Minutes As Rioters Attacked The Capitol. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired July 22, 2022 - 01:00   ET




DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: The January 6 Select Committee laying out damning new evidence and testimony detailing how the then-president refused to do anything for more than three hours as armed rioters attacked our capitol.

I want to bring in our CNN political commentator Scott Jennings, national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem. Legal analysts with an S, Elliot Williams and Jennifer Rodgers. Good evening. We need you guys tonight.

We need you guys more than anything to lay this out for us. We need you guys as well. Sorry. I know.

Juliette looked at me like wait a minute, wait a minute. Good evening. I'm so glad that you guys are all here. Appreciate it.

Scott, one of the most shocking moments from tonight's hearing was when the Secret Service radio that secret service radio, but it talks about Pence's detail as they scrambled to get him into a secure location. Listen to them, then we'll talk.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold, they've entered the building.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Harden that door up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we're moving we need to move now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we lose any more time, we may have -- we may lose the ability to leave. So, if we're going to leave, we need to do it now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They've gained access to the second floor. And I've got public about five feet from me down here below.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Copy. They are on the second floor. Moving in now. We may want to consider getting out and leaving now. Copy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will we encounter the people, once we make our way.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Encounter any individual if we made our way to the --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's six officers between us and the people that are five to 10 feet away from me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand by, I am going down to evaluate.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a clear shot if we move quickly. We got smoke downstairs. Stand by. Unknown smoke downstairs. By the protesters?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that route compromised?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have the -- is secure. However, we will bypass some protesters that are being contained. There is smoke. Unknown, what kind of smoke it is. Copy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clear, we'er coming out now. All right, make a way.


LEMON: I mean, we saw that video. Remember the vice president, you know, them taking them out? You know the video that has been shown since the beginning that though, several former Trump White House staffers said that they were shocked, shocked listening to that. What's your reaction? He was seconds from danger.

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I was shocked. I mean, I think we had heard before about how many feet away he was from --

LEMON: I think about within like 40 feet or something like that.

JENNINGS: Yes. And that was a shocking number. And then you see this video tonight. And then you also hear that the people on the Vice President's detail were calling back asking to have their family notified that they may not make it out. I mean, gives you a sense of just how in danger they were, the danger they thought they were in.

And you go back to the beginning of this, when a lot of people were arguing, well, this was just a bunch of random tourists who wandered into the Capitol. It wasn't as bad as they made it out. Listen to these radio transmissions, listen to the agents and you tell me does this sound like random wandering tourists to you? Of course it wasn't. And so it's -- it is shocking is the right word. LEMON: As you were listening to the radio transmission, right? You heard some of the people saying this is what we trained for, and so on and so forth. And you've been saying this all along, this wasn't just a random.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: No, this is, I mean, first, I thought it was important that we fight -- we heard the fear. I don't think I had heard fear before how scared --

LEMON: Right.

KAYYEM: -- the Secret Service agents were. And while we have a lot to complain about the Secret Service right now, obviously, I do want to remind people what horrible position they were in in that moment.

They know that the mob is affiliated with the -- is supportive of the Commander in Chief of the president of the United States. They are paid. They are -- this is their job is to protect the vice president. So the idea that they could in some ways take on the mob or try to break through the mob or whatever, they are sitting there with almost no power to fight back.

And I think people have to remember that that no one ever thought the Secret Service would be put in this position. Are you choosing the President or the Vice President but that's exactly what the President put them through.

LEMON: That's right.


LEMON: Make a choice.

KAYYEM: Yes. And they can't. They're not authorized to do it. No one's, you know, no one's that's -- that's not in the rulebook, let's say and it shouldn't be.

LEMON: She brought it up. So Jennifer, let's talk about it because when you hear those that this audio really hammers home, how important these text messages from the Secret Service are, like you need these text messages to sort of to get to the bottom of what happened.


The committee also revealed some agents have gotten lawyers. They've lawyered up. So how does this play for you? What do you think?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, we may never see those text messages because they may have been permanently deleted. I mean, what we're waiting for now is an investigation that's happening at the DHS Inspector General's Office. And what's interesting about that is the DHS Inspector General, is a Trump appointee, and had actually done some things fairly recently that, you know, we're looking like he was a little pro Trump and maybe not as independent as we want inspectors general to be. And yet here, he is now battling with the Secret Service. So, you know, finally doing his independent job here trying to find out what happened to these text messages, because we need them for this really important, critical, critical investigation that's going on. So you know, we'll have to see about that.

But you know, if they're gone, they're gone. I mean, we may never see those communications. And that's a real wholeness, just like the White House call logs, the lack of photographs, I mean, all of the records that are missing from that day, that's a real gap in what we know.

LEMON: Well, that's interesting. If they're gone, they're gone. Is there any accountability? Because it's like, oh, well, the bank, we didn't see that you stole the money. But we know that you did. And if the money's gone, it's just gone.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: There isn't accountability. And look, there's a couple of things going on. Number one, if anybody's destroying or letting evidence -- concealing evidence now, of course, that's a crime. And you have to investigate that as a crime, right?

But the bigger problem is that there's a failure of government that happened at the Secret Service, right? Because they're not securing their data properly, like many law enforcement agencies, they just don't have a good data and information retention policy, as we're seeing here, which invited a problem like --

LEMON: Should have be accountability?

WILLIAMS: It's accountability. And you know what it is? It's Congress. It's not even the January 6 Committee. Congress needs there's like probably four congressional committees that can conduct oversight hearings.

LEMON: Elliot, another committee. I mean --

WILLIAMS: Yes, yes. Yes.

LEMON: OK. But what does do? What does that get? What does that get us?

WILLIAMS: That's the way to do it. It's because well, the like I said, you can charge people with crimes if they tampered with or destroyed evidence. If there's a bigger problem, you got to rework the Secret Service. And the body that does that is Congress. They get --

KAYYEM: You get a new appointee.


KAYYEM: This is ridiculous. So I don't understand why the White House is not putting an independent person in and just saying we're done. I mean, that's, I mean, I get the Congressional investigation over the text. But we've got a -- we've got VIPs to protect right now. The President, the Vice President, I'm not getting why there's this like, oh, it's the Secret Service, like we're going to have our hands off, like, no, there are agents do they work for us? LEMON: Norm Eisen and Nick Ackerman said the same thing.


LEMON: I think it was Nick who said that last night. And you know, Nick was involved in Watergate interview.


LEMON: And so he says that there should be a special counsel and should do it soon before Trump, you know, declares otherwise, it's going to be seen as political.

KAYYEM: Yes. Yes. That would be true to in terms of an investigation of him or, but in terms of the Secret Service, like let's, there -- there's going to be the text message --

LEMON: Wouldn't -- I'm saying wouldn't all be part of the Secret Service central (ph)? Yes, so go on.

KAYYEM: Yes. Yes. Again, in terms of -- yes.

LEMON: If there's special -- yes.

KAYYEM: There's a special it's going on, right? But let's just get why don't we just get an appointee into the Secret Service, who's not from this gang of people who are who essentially, you know, be honest here, deleting their text, like, this story is not making sense to me get our -- get someone in there who's snot from the Secret Service, and protect the present President and Vice President and all the others that they protect.

WILLIAMS: And to be clear, I'm not talking about boring hearings with guys from think tanks coming telling how we fix our Secret Service apparatus. But the way the government works is that when you have a problem in a law enforcement agency, you got to go in and fix it. And the way you fix it is passing a law to give you a different one, a better one, or put new leaders.

LEMON: OK. I'm going to channel the officers who were involved in, you know, who protected our Capitol --


LEMON: -- who said, and Michael Fanone, who will -- who said earlier on air, and I'll talk to him later, who says I want accountability, that means somebody goes to jail.

WILLIAMS: Go to jail.

LEMON: So the former head of the Secret Service --


LEMON: -- or someone who was in charge of the Secret Service, or the people who -- whose job it was to retain the information. WILLIAMS: Right.

LEMON: There was -- nothing is going to happen to them. That's what accountability would be.

WILLIAMS: My brother, the first step right now was if people broke the law, they got to go to jail, and they should, and they ought to go to jail. But both things can and should happen. You know, I worked in both Congress and the Justice Department for a long time, 15 years total across both them so I kind of, you know, sort of see it from both angles. And you have to have that criminal accountability, but also fix the agency if there's a systemic problem.

LEMON: A national security official who worked in the Trump White House testified with his identity conceal was concerned about, you know, being concerned for his safety testify that the White House knew there were weapons in the crowd the morning of January 6, as a former homeland security official, this is for you, Juliette. What did you make of that moment?

KAYYEM: I thought it was powerful in the sense of the vulnerabilities that were existing across the board.


I think on that day, once again, this goes back to the fear factor. I think we have sort of folks so focused on the law side or the political side of the of January 6, that we're sort of forgetting, like this was really scary for a lot of people and what it saying to them in terms of security and national security aspect.

I think the other thing that was interesting about having Pottinger testified today, and I mean, he comes from central casting in terms of working for the Trump White House. I thought he was perfect, he does finally says, I believe in Trump, I believe in our policies. And now, but this was too much.

And I thought what was important is his reflections on what this was saying to the world. Right. In other words, this was not just about Trump and a domestic politics. This was about how the world is perceiving us. We had a violent transfer of power in the United States of America, and people still aren't getting their heads around it, it feels like.

LEMON: You're shaking your head in agreement that this hit home for you?

JENNINGS: The rest of the world depends on the United States as an example --


JENNINGS: -- for how this is supposed to work in a, you know, Western civilization, and we looked like a banana republic on that day. I've been vibratingly angry about it since it happened, because that we're supposed to be setting the example for everyone else. This is what we do for the world. We show people how it's done. And we did not do it on that day.

Now, there were individuals who did Mike Pence again, you know, deserves praise for doing his job. You saw the video of Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer saying we've got to get back in here as quickly as we can and do the business of the people. That's how it's supposed to work, the agents who were and the cops who were doing their best to protect from this mob.

But it's clear that some people believed maybe Donald Trump, certainly people around him believed that if you could whip up a big enough mob it would have the impact of changing the minds of people in another branch of government, intimidating another branch of government into bending to your will. That's not what we do. It's not what we do.

And so what makes me angry about it is the idea that the rest of the world now thinks maybe, well, in America, they say, they say they're the shining example of democracy in a republic. But look, look what they really.

LEMON: This is what --

WILLIAMS: And that -- I'm sorry. (INAUDIBLE) made that point --


WILLIAMS: -- which is that this kind of event happening in the United States actually emboldened our adversaries, and bad for national security.

JENNINGS: Yes. It weakens our moral ability on the world stage to tell everybody else what we --

LEMON: This is a don't embarrass me in front of company moment, right? For parents, right? And we got embarrassed in front of the whole world.

JENNINGS: I mean, we live in America to lecture others about human rights and democratic processes. And we have been, since World War II, we have been the stability of the world when it comes to instituting and setting an example for democratic processes.


JENNINGS: I mean that's what we are. And so when you weaken that, it changes who we are as America, as Americans, and that's why this was such a terrible day.

LEMON: Yes. Notice something that you said. You said, and maybe Donald Trump, after everything that we've heard, why do say maybe Donald Trump?

JENNINGS: Well, I mean, look, as was pointed out, there's a big gap in the record about what he, you know, no photo -- photographer allowed in there. We don't know exactly what he was doing while he was watching TV. I mean, look, I will say, based on what I've seen, it appears to me that he believed this crowd would have the impact of changing or intimidating Mike Pence into breaking and causing enough members of Congress into hesitating that it would put off what was going to happen that day, which was certifying the election.

So, that's what I think the evidence shows --


JENNINGS: -- which I also think is a direct violation of his oath of office. We don't have a record of him saying that out loud. But it's pretty clear he didn't have any interest in the people stopping because, I mean, you could infer that he thought it was going to work --


JENNINGS: -- that it was going to work.

LEMON: Yes. I think Pottinger said it proves to the world with I think that we're crumbling democracy or decaying democracy.

WILLIAMS: In fact I think emboldens.

LEMON: Yes. So listen, multiple firsthand witnesses testify that Trump made no calls to law enforcement, as you were saying, or military leaders or armed riots while there was storming the Capitol. Take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So are you aware of any phone call by the President of the United States to the Secretary of Defense that day?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you aware of any phone call by the president of the United States to the Attorney General of the United States that day?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any phone call by the President of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security that day?

CIPOLLONE: I'm not aware of that. No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever get a vice president or excuse me, the President --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- asked for the National Guard?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever hear the president ask for law enforcement response?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So as somebody who worked in the national security space and with the National Security Council, if there were going to be troops president are called up for a rally in Washington DC, for example, is that something that you wouldn't have been aware?

KELLOGG: Yes, I would.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know if you asked anybody to reach out to any of those that we just listed off National Guard, DoD, FBI, Homeland, Security Secret Service, Mayor Bowser, the Capitol Police about the situation in the Capitol?

NICHOLAS LUNA, FORMER ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: I'm not aware of any of those requests. No, sir.


LEMON: Jennifer Rodgers, he knew the risk. He did nothing other than he didn't call law enforcement. But he called Rudy Giuliani of is this the dereliction of duty of which everyone has been speaking?

RODGERS: Well, it's the whole day, right? It's the -- and I think the committee did a very good job of establishing this, right? It's that he knew what they were there to do. He sent them there to do it. He knew what was happening at the time in real time. he was urged by maybe a dozen or so people at least to do something about it. And he decided not to do anything about it. So they made that point effectively.

And instead, as you say, he's calling Rudy Giuliani, who's in turn, calling senators to say, hey, you know, when this all gets back rolling, we still need your help, you know, you got to delay this for us. So they still have their eyes on the prize.

JENNINGS: That's the point I was making is they thought it was going to work. I mean, they thought you have the crowd. And then you have the calls. I mean, they thought it was going to work.

RODGERS: One track, I mean, the plan was still an actual --

LEMON: Well, maybe that's probably why he wanted to go to the Capitol because everyone was telling him this was going to work --

KAYYEM: It's going to work, right.

LEMON: And he was going to look like the big hero.

KAYYEM: Yes, I mean, that's one way to think about dereliction that it's OK. He did not actively protect Congress. But what -- what I thought they were effective in doing today was showing how the silence that three hours was interpreted by the crowd. They have that little snippet where the guy is saying, well, he didn't say don't kill congressman, he just said don't kill police. Right? And they're the -- his followers, this is how radicalization works. They're hearing the silence, the silence is inciting them. He goes into hiding. We have no pictures, no evidence of what he said or he'd been trumped. And that's when they realize he's not telling us no.

LEMON: He doesn't want to stop.

KAYYEM: He does not tell. And that is the incitement as well.

LEMON: Next, one of the hero officers who defended the United States Capitol as a mob of Trump supporters ran wild, Mike Fanone weighs in on what he heard tonight.


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL) JANUARY 6 SELECT COMMITTEE: President Trump did not fail to act during the 187 minutes between leaving the Ellipse and telling the mob to go home. He chose not to act.




LEMON: Back now with our special coverage of tonight's Primetime January 6 Committee Hearing. The committee says that former President Trump did not call any military or law enforcement officials while the Capitol was under attack. Joining me now CNN law enforcement analyst Michael Fanone. He was serving in the Metropolitan Police Department in January 6, he was attacked, beaten and tased by the mob at the Capitol.

Mike, thanks for joining us. President Trump knew within 15 minutes after leaving the Ellipse that rioters have breached that Capitol. He didn't call law enforcement officials to help stop it. You all were left defend for yourselves. What's your reaction to that?

MICHALE FANONE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I mean, I think tonight's hearing, although I've heard that there may be some additional hearings coming up in September. I thought it was, you know, kind of the icing on the cake. Those of us in the industry, you know, we used to say that when you're building a criminal case, you're baking a cake. And, you know, the Select Committee has baked quite a cake for Donald Trump.

I mean, yes, it's important to hear about his thoughts or lack thereof during those 187 minutes that he didn't do a damn thing while hundreds of police officers were fighting for their lives at the Capitol against violent insurrectionists that he assembled and then sent to the Capitol that night. But I think that what the committee has done an excellent job of showing us is that Donald Trump is a plague on our democracy.

LEMON: And Liz Cheney said as much saying that he should not -- he should never be allowed to run this country again. Mark -- Sergeant -- go on.

FANONE: Yes. So, I understand that and I get the fact that, you know, this committee is made up of members of Congress, and you know, they have a legislative agenda, but they are also looking at a political accountability for Donald Trump.

Political accountability is not enough for me. And it's not enough for many Americans. It's certainly not enough for the police officers that fought to defend the Capitol that day. I'm looking for criminal accountability. It's very clear to those, you know, rational minded Americans that Donald Trump broke laws, that members of his, what's the word I'm looking on.

LEMON: Administration.

FANONE: Administration broke laws. There should be a grand jury convened. They should be investigated. And if they're indicted, they should be tried, and they should suffer the consequences of their actions.

LEMON: Do you think Donald Trump should face criminal consequences? Is that -- I just want to be clear.

FANONE: Absolutely. That's the only type of accountability that I'm looking for. He broke the law. He should suffer the consequences of breaking the law.

LEMON: Do you think even members of Congress who you are protecting that day elected officials, do you put them in that same category?

FANONE: Absolutely. I mean, it's clear to me that there were members of Congress who were aiding and abetting in this seditious conspiracy.

LEMON: Mike, I want to ask you about Sergeant Mark Robinson, a retired member of the DC Metropolitan Police Department who you know testified to the committee that Trump was adamant about going to the Capitol. He was part of Trump's motorcade that day. What did you think of his testimony?


FANONE: I thought it was compelling. I knew Mark. He was actually my class officer way back when, before he was promoted to sergeant, but I've always known him to be good police. I've served with him from time to time when he was assigned to the first district before he went over to Special Operations Division.

LEMON: Unnamed officer told the committee that GOP senator Josh Hawley fist pump outside the Capitol riled up the crowd outside that day, listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As you can see in this photo, he raised his fist in solidarity with the protesters already amassing at the security gates. We spoke with a Capitol police officer who was out there at the time. She told us that Senator Hawley jester riled up the crowd. And it bothered her greatly because he was doing it in a safe space, protected by the officers and the barriers. Later that day, Senator Hawley fled after those protesters, he helped to rile up stormed the Capitol. See for yourself.


LEMON: So he's running away, right. He's out there fist bumping, and then you're running inside the Capitol to try to protect the people inside of that Capitol. After he does this fist pump like he is so brave and so strong. Would you think of that?

FANONE: I thought he ran like a coward. But like many people in Trump world, he performs when he's in front of a camera, and he acts very differently when he is not.

LEMON: Don't you think that is a lot of people who did similar, who voted not to certify the election, who are still denying that it was an insurrection or that there was -- that the election was, you know, fair? Do you have that same sentiment about them? Because they did similar things.

FANONE: Oh, absolutely. Yes, I draw this parallel some times when I talked about Donald Trump and his relationship to Vince McMahon, who if you're not familiar with the wonderful world of wrestling, which I am from my youth, Donald Trump kind of brought the Vince McMahon playbook into his world of politics.

And that, you know, you have these individuals like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Josh Hawley that play a character and behave a certain way in front of the camera. Because they know it draws attention, and they know that there are a lot of Americans out there that react to that, unfortunately, in a positive way.

LEMON: Yes. Well, as we call it down south, all hat no cattle are all style and no substance. Michael, thank you. And again, thank you. We appreciate what you did for us and what you're doing for us here on CNN as well. Thank you.

FANONE: Thank you.

LEMON: The January 6 committee promising more hearings in September saying they are still getting an overwhelming amount of evidence. More on that next.



DON LEMON, CNN HOST: We are back now. Scott Jennings, Juliette Kayyem, Elliot Williams, and Jennifer Rodgers. So, Scott, I want to look at this. We have heard how Trump was in the dining room the whole time. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): At 1:25, President Trump went to the private dining room off the Oval Office. From 1:25 until 4:00, the president stayed in his dining room.

Just to give you a sense of where the dining room is situated and the West Wing, let's take a look at this floor plan. The dining room is connected to the Oval Office by short hallway. Witnesses told us that on January 6th President Trump sat in his usual spot, at the head of the table facing a television hanging on the wall.

We know from the employees that the TV was tuned to Fox News all afternoon. Here you can see Fox News on the TV showing coverage of the joint session that was airing that day at 1:25.

Other witnesses confirmed that President Trump was in the dining room with the TV on for more than two and a half hours. There is no official record of what President Trump did while in the dining room.


LEMON: And Cipollone talked about how easy it would have been Scott, for Trump to just walk over to the press briefing room. It would have taken him 60 seconds according to Sarah Matthews to do it. He could've made an address to the American people. He did not do it. Why didn't he do it?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean -- well, there's a gap in the record here, but you could infer from his inaction that he thought his plan was working, or that it might work. That the mob might actually break Mike Pence, or break the U.S. Congress.

Not only was he sitting there but we also know from the record that many people were texting in to people around him, saying you've got to get him to stop --

LEMON: You think he was actually sitting there and saying when Mike Pence does this and then I'm going to go -- wait, Mike, what are you doing? What are you doing? That's not the plan.

JENNINGS: I mean look, I don't know -- how else would you interpret this? I mean there is a mob of people going to the Capitol, and they weren't going up there, you know, just to make their voices heard.

There was a desired outcome. The outcome was interruption of what the Congress had to do that night or that day, and I mean while it was unfolding, there was a reasonable chance that they might not have been able to go back --

LEMON: It's like a bad movie we're watching.



JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: No. He just needed time, that is what -- I mean in other words -- what Trump needed, and what he did not get was enough time to make enough confusion so that people go to bed on the night of January 6th without certification --


LEMON: That is what I was saying. And he's sitting there saying Mike Pence you are screwing it up. He called him a coward.


JENNINGS: Remember, he tweeted --

KAYYEM: Right. After that it doesn't matter what happened -- in other words for Trump, the confusion that he wanted on January 7th, he had it from there, right? And he's got Fox News to support him and then he gets every -- all of the congresspeople fold and everything, and then he just has time on his side.

He goes back to Georgia, he gets the electorate to switch. All he needed was to make sure one thing did not happen, the rest o, it, it's chaos to him, right. He does not care.

LEMON: Ok. But what I'm saying, what was the monkey wrench -- wasn't that Mike Pence?


JENNINGS: Yes. And this is why it was so vital, and I'm glad the committee showed this video that the congressional leaders said we have got to go back in tonight --



JENNINGS: We have got to do the people's business tonight. Because had they gone to bed unfinished --

KAYYEM: You lose that January 6.

JENNING: And so to me, that was the important video that was shown and I think Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer -- you know, the leadership of the Congress, knowing they had to get back as soon as possible to finish it, vital moment.

And so as much as Pence did his job, I think the congressional leaders deserve credit for doing theirs.

LEMON: Jennifer Rodgers, listen to what we heard from the people closest to Trump. Watch.


JARED KUSHNER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: So I heard my phone ringing, turned the shower off, I saw it was Leader McCarthy who I had a good relationship with. He told me it was getting really ugly over at the Capitol and said please, you know, anything you can do to help I would appreciate it.

I don't recall specific asks, just anything you could do. Again, I got the sense that, you know, they were -- they were, you know, they were scared.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They meaning Leader McCarthy and people on the Hill because of the violence?

KUSHNER: He was scared, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you can see, Don Jr. first texted Mr. Meadows at 2:53. He wrote, "He has got to condemn this shit ASAP. The Capitol police tweet is not enough."

Mr. Meadows replied, "I'm pushing it hard, I agree."

Don Jr. responded, "This is on you go to the mattresses on, they will try to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) his entire legacy if this -- on this if it gets worse."

Here's what Don Jr. told us he meant by go to the mattresses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is 2:58 when you say that Mr. Meadows needs to go to the mattresses on this issue. When you say go to the mattresses, what does that mean?

DONALD TRUMP JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: Just a reference for going all in. It is a Godfather reference.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But this election is now over. Congress has certified the results. I don't want to say the election is over. I just want to say Congress has certified the results. So that said, the election is over. Ok?


TRUMP: Yes. Right. I didn't say over. So let me see.


LEMON: What does it say when you watch that? But what does it also say that no one could get through to him?

JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think to Scott's point, he is not reachable on purpose, because he has one play left, and it is to see if his plan works, right. if you can get the stopped, then he has a chance. Otherwise he's done.

But you know, I think what the committee did here and it's done effectively throughout these hearings is really hammer home the point that the people closest to him -- his close allies are the ones who are now testifying against him, right?

They're not using Democrats, they're not using Independents. They're using Republicans conservative Republicans and his own family.

Everybody wanted him to stop the rioters, except him. And that's the point.

LEMON: And so, I mean, after while don't you just say, ok, gig's up. I mean it is so weird. It is just so bizarre to me.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Look, if it were rational behavior now look, to be clear -- and you know, we talk about dereliction of duty a little bit earlier, and that is actually not a crime.

What is important to know, is that this should be disqualifying for anyone who holds high office. And when he was impeached the second time, he should have been either removed from office, or barred from holding future office again.

Now look, there are crimes that you could maybe investigate and charge here, when you're talk about getting Mike Pence or obstructing congress or obstructing a congressional proceeding. Yes, you could charge a crime there but this should be, you know, I think we are getting so caught up in this question of where the crime is, and so on.

You just ought to step back and say, this is just horrible and a train wreck inside of a dumpster fire. It should never happen in the United States.

LEMON: It is horrible, but Elliot, I mean think about I said this at the beginning of our coverage on this (INAUDIBLE) New York. You know, we think about what the president was doing, this is all about the 187 minutes, we think about what was happening in those 187 minutes, right.


LEMON: There were people -- some have lost their lives because they were trying to reach (ph) out. Police officers, one of them -- a police officer died later -- the next day. The officers were being attacked.

Michael Fanone who now works here is no longer law enforcement because of the issues that he's dealing with.

There were people who defecated in the Capitol, smeared it on the walls. I mean it sounds disgusting, but that is the truth. Urinating in the Capitol. They were using flagpoles, Trump flags, American flags to beat police officers. They were breaking windows, they were stealing people -- selling things out of people's offices in those 187 minutes.

To me it sounds so clinical when you say 187 minutes, you didn't do anything. Just think about what was happening in those minutes.

WILLIAMS: Bear spray, literal bear spray used on police.

LEMON: That is not criminal?

WILLIAMS: Well, for the people who are using the bear spray absolutely it's criminal. The question is, can you tie that to the guy sitting in the White House, giddily watching it on television? And you may not be able to tie that specific act.

Now, again, you've got the obstruction of Congress, and obstruction of government proceedings. There are other things you might be able to charge him with but absolutely it is criminal, and that is why 800 or however many people have already been charged with --


LEMON: Does this -- does this weaken him.


LEMON: Does this give an off ramp to people?

WILLIAMS: We talked a couple of weeks ago about this and you were -- because I told you, I thought I was sensing some weakening, and there's been some polling that has come out in the last couple of weeks, of course it has weakened him. And --

LEMON: Enough to make him a non-player?

WILLIAMS: Well, we don't know -- no, he's not going to be a non- player. I think he's going to run

LEMON: I just meant -- you think he's going to run?

WILLIAMS: I think he's going to run. LEMON: I don't think he's going to run, but go on.

WILLIAMS: Oh really. Interesting. Well, I think he will. And I think that you know, today he would be the odds-on favorite. However, it is quite clear -- you know, if we're to analyze the Republican Party over the last several years as Trump Republicans and never Trumpers which is kind of morphed into never Republican.

But there is an emerging third group of people who voted for the guy twice, gave him money, knocked on doors, wanted him to succeed who I think no we cannot put the country through this again, I want all the fight and spunk and whatever you get out of Trump, but I don't want to re-litigate 2020, and I don't want to put the country through this again.

That group is growing, right now they like DeSantis, I don't know if he's going to be the main guy. But they like DeSantis right now. That group is growing, whether it is enough to upend him I do not know, but I'm telling you it exists.

JENNINGS: But what about the group that's sort of emboldened by this? It just seems like --


KAYYEM: I think it is actually the opposite --

(CROSSTALK) KAYYEM: So politically, we don't know yet. If you look at it from a counter-terrorism, counter insurgency, counter radicalization, these have been brilliant, the committee, you know because they have isolated Trump, they have put him with the crazies and the violent people.

And they have made it clear that respectable Republicans -- all the people testifying against him have turned on him. That his own people have turned on him.

And so I thought it was interesting that Cheney's first line at the beginning was the dam has begun to break. You don't -- you know, you're not going to be the first one off but you don't want to be the last one off. And I thought --

LEMON: We are the MAGA movement. We are bigger than the White House. They are trying to get me, blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. And that will be his excuse. Because he only has to save face with that 30 some percent and the die-hards. And he does not care about the other folks.

JENNINGS: And that is how our primary works. The Republican primary is a winner take all system. You get into a state with a candidate plus 12 others and you know he's going to win with what's --

LEMON: We are bigger and better than being in the White House and our movement is stronger and we can actually help to shape policy.

JENNINGS: You are saying that is the argument for not running?

LEMON: That's the argument for not running. That's what I think.


LEMON: Thank you.

Missing records in a congressional investigation -- no, I'm not talking about Watergate, but you know what -- what they say, right. History may not repeat itself but it's often around.



LEMON: All right. And we're back everyone.

The January 6 committee using their last July hearing to show how the then-president refused for more than three hours to do anything to stop the violence at the Capitol.

With so much information coming out, how do these hearings compare to the last time the president faced hearings this important.

I want to bring in CNN presidential historian and former director of the Nixon Presidential Library Tim Naftali. Timothy Naftali -- thank you.

it's been a while since we've seen each other in person.


LEMON: Good to see you. Thank you so much for joining us.

All right. So just like the Watergate investigation and you know, I talked to John Dean about this and others. You had the missing tapes, this investigation has missing White House call logs, diary entries on the 6th. The committee filled in some of that, but the gaps themselves, are they indicative of anything?

NAFTALI: Well, first thing is, these hearings are very different from the Watergate hearings. These are 21st -- these are -- this is a 21st century hearing. The narrative is clear.

The chair and the vice chair and the other members are driving home a series of points. They are using interviews, clips, like footnotes. They already know the topics since, they know the narrative.

When I was a kid, I remembered the Senate Watergate hearings, they were so confusing. And you know what's? It was a series of revelations, one after the other, but nobody knew how to pull them together.

Senator Urban, Howard Baker -- the chair and vice chair, they didn't know where this thing is going to lead.

LEMON: I know what you're saying. I'm just talking about there are similarities in the tapes and there are parts of the missing tapes, I get what you're saying.

NAFTALI: Here's the cool thing, though, about being in the 21st century. I think it's a little bit harder to hide. For example, the Secret Service communications. I can't believe that they're all unrecoverable. I just can't believe that.


NAFTALI: The one difference, of course, is that Donald Trump did not tape his Oval Office conversations. So he didn't have those to erase. But tonight --

LEMON: (INAUDIBLE) you think that's really why he wasn't in Oval Office and he sat in the dining room?

NAFTALI: Well, I wish there were tapes. But think about the outtakes of his January 7th speech.


NAFTALI: That showed a lot about Trump's inner self that he didn't want us to see.

LEMON: Well, let me ask you something because if you look at the testimony from Hutchinson to Cipollone and the witnesses we heard from tonight, does any of this rise to the level of the sort of John Dean famous testimony during the --

NAFTALI: Absolutely. Cassidy Hutchinson. Oh my God. Cassidy Hutchinson was a game-changer.

LEMON: She should've been in primetime.

NAFTALI: Yes, I think so. But here's the deal. What we didn't know when we had the second impeachment, when we all watched the second impeachment of the trial, is what was going on inside the White House. She brought us not only into the White House, but she put pressure on people like Cipollone and others to talk.

Cipollone had to talk, he didn't say as much as he could have, but he had to talk, because the impression she gave of what was going on in the White House was a massive culpability.

These were folks who knew that violence was happening. They were well aware of what was going on, on Capitol Hill and nothing was happening.

So a lot of folks are now trying to defend themselves. That would not have happened had it not been for Cassidy Hutchinson's real courage I think in speaking out.

So she was a game-changer. I think she's been very important to the direction this whole thing has taken recently.

LEMON: You think it changed when she testified.


LEMON: Thank you, Timothy -- I appreciate -- or Tim. Thank you so much.

President Biden testing positive for COVID today. What you need to know, next.



LEMON: President Biden testing positive for COVID today. He is 79 years old. He's double boosted and currently taking the antiviral Paxlovid.

Now, the White House saying that the president is experiencing mild symptoms -- runny nose, occasional dry cough and some fatigue. And his oxygen levels were normal this morning.

In order to begin his five-day course of Paxlovid, Biden had to get off of a few medications, his statin and the blood thinner for his heart condition.

The president releasing a video message earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This morning, I tested positive for COVID. But I've been double vaccinated, double boosted. Symptoms are mild. And I really appreciate your concerns.

But I'm doing well, getting a lot of work done, going to continue to get it done. And in the meantime, thanks for your concern. And keep the faith. It's going to be ok.


LEMON: And of course, we all wish the president a speedy recovery.

Thanks for watching everyone. Our coverage continues.