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GOP Predicted Trump & Violence, Then Ignored Their Own Advice; Concerns Grow over More Rallies, Violence Ahead of Inauguration; Biden Gets 2nd Dose of COVID Vaccine; Biden Speaks as House Begins Trump's 2nd Impeachment; FBI Asking for Help Identifying Man Carrying Confederate Flag in Capitol. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired January 11, 2021 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: A president who built his political brand on intimidation, lies and hate is now spending his final days in office in the aftermath of a deadly siege on the United States capitol.
There are people who warned over and over that electing Donald Trump would be bad for America. There are even people who predicted this moment in American history that we now find ourselves in. These people are Republicans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, (R), FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR & FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK. That is not a part of our party.
HALEY: That's not who we want as president. We will not allow that in our country!
SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): I'm thinking, how did we get the race for the most important office in the free world to sink to such depths. And how could anyone in my party think that this clown is fit to be president?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): He's a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.
You know how you make America great against? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, TRUMP CRITIC BEFORE BECOMING WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Donald Trump has shown himself to be a showman. I don't think he's a serious candidate.
SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): You, sir, are a distraction. Your conduct, sir, is the distraction, Mr. Trump. But I respectfully ask you, with all due respect, to step aside. Step down. Allow someone else to carry the banner of these principles.
HALEY: During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices.
JASON CHAFFETZ, (R), FORMER UTAH CONGRESSMAN: I'm out. I can no longer endorse Donald Trump for president.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): He doesn't know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): We're on the verge of having someone take over the conservative movement and the represent can party who is a con artist.
GRAHAM: I just really believe the Republican Party has been kind here. And this guy is not a reliable conservative Republican.
This is a defining moment for the Republican Party.
HALEY: That is not who our Republican Party is. That's not who America is.
RICK PERRY, (R), FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: Donald Trump's candidacy is a cancer on conservatism and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: All of those Republicans went on to broadly support or to work for President Trump's administration, ignoring his nods to extremists, acting like they didn't see his tweets, playing what-aboutism with liberals instead of acknowledging the uniquely troubling nature of President Trump.
And all of that emboldened him to fulfill the predictions of these very Republicans who sounded the alarm on Donald Trump and then pretended for years that it wasn't going off.
Senator Rand Paul knew what would happen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL (voice-over): If no one stands up to a bully, a bully will just keep doing what they're doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: But he didn't stand up. He stood back and stood by.
Of all the Republican predictions, Marco Rubio's may have been the most prescient of all of them. The warnings that he gave before he drank the Kool-Aid, at times sipping petulantly with a scrunched-up face to protest the taste as if that would make the difference.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: There's only one presidential candidate who had had violence at their events.
Leadership is not about going to angry and frustrated people and say, you should be even angrier and more frustrated.
RUBIO: That is not leadership.
RUBIO: You know what that is? That's called demagoguery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Rubio also warned, quote, "You mark my words. These are people that, whether it's now or five years from now or two years from now or six months from now, are going to be explaining for a long time how they fell into this."
He said, quote, "If we're going to be the party of fear, we're going to spend some time in the wilderness. If we're a party of fear with a candidate, who basically is trying to prey upon people's fears to get them to vote for him, I think we're going to pay a big price in November and beyond."
He said, "I don't know how this is all going to end. This is uncharted territory."
Senator Rubio knew that. His Republican colleagues knew that. And yet, only one Republican Senator has consistently stood up to Trump before and after this election, and it's Mitt Romney.
This was Romney in March of 2016.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Mitt Romney was the lone Republican who voted to convict Trump in his impeachment trial. And he has been living on an island all by himself, standing up to the president. No one visits, not even for a long weekend.
Some say they might, like Senator Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Ben Sasse. But they don't really mean it and they don't.
Romney predicted disruption and worse with Trump supporters gathering in Washington.
And as Senators were being evacuated from the capitol, he summoned a reporter from "The New York Times" over and he told them, quote, "This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection."
The day before the siege on the capitol, Romney was heckled at the airport as he traveled to Washington to vote to certify Joe Biden's Electoral College win.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Traitor! Traitor! Traitor! Traitor! Traitor!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: A lot of Republicans decided they didn't want to live with that. But now they will have to live with themselves, knowing that, before they were sycophants, they were psychics.
Just in, anonymous callers are leaving threatening voice mails for one of the Democrats who is drafting impeachment articles. We're going to play you the sound.
Plus, new concerns about more violent riots planned across the country leading up to the inauguration.
KEILAR: Calls for new protests in our nation's capital and across the country have law enforcement bracing for more possible violence ahead of President-Elect Joe Biden's inauguration.
There has been chatter on and off Twitter about plans for future armed protests, including a secondary attack on the capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17th.
Joining me now is CNN's crime and justice correspondent, Shimon Prokupecz.
This was one of the questions Was this a one-time thing or was this a signal of more to come? What do we know about these possible protests, Shimon?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Certainly, the FBI is concerned there could be more to come. And that's why we're seeing this large-scale effort across the country to arrest a lot of these people and also to gain more information, try and get inside some of these groups that are planning these attacks.
A lot of what the FBI knows and is learning is certainly coming from social media. Some of it is coming from intelligence that they are gathering on their own. There are warnings now to almost every state to be on the lookout for
something as we approach the inauguration. Also concern over possible impeachment hearings. That is something that the government is very concerned about.
So they've alerted local police and state police. Specific concerns with state capitols, government buildings, courthouses, things we've seen targeted before.
So the government, certainly the FBI and local police now on high alert as we approach the days of the inauguration.
KEILAR: Shimon, thank you so much. And we know that you'll be tracking this. This is going to be potentially a big story here in the coming days.
And just in, House Democrats are moving to censure one of their colleagues for his role in the riot. Republican Congressman Mo Brooks, among other things, told supporters that January 6th was the day to start taking names and kicking ass.
This comes as Republican Senators face similar criticism from their colleagues. One of the Democrats who is sponsoring this move will join us live.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: (INAUDIBLE)
Thank you. Appreciate it.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: President-Elect, do you feel confident in your COVID team that they'll be able to vaccinate 50 million Americans in your first 100 days?
BIDEN: I do.
Let me make a couple of statements.
My number-one priority is getting the vaccine into people's arms as, we just did today, as rapidly as we can. And we're working on that program now. I'll be meeting on a Zoom call with my team a little later this afternoon.
And I've put together, which I'll be announcing on Thursday, laying out a plan and cost of how I want to proceed, the cost, what we have to do to be able to get the entire COVID operation up and running.
Having 3,000 to 4,000 people a day dying is beyond pale. It's just wrong. And we can do a lot to change it, number one.
It's going to be hard. It's not going to be easy but we can get it done. Secondly, wearing this mask, socially distancing, and making sure
people are washing their hands on a regular basis is critically important.
I was appalled when I saw -- as a matter of fact, it was a distinguished Congresswoman from the state of Delaware that showed the folks -- that were in hiding, in effect, from the mob. She was going on trying to hand out masks to everybody, and a Republican colleague wouldn't take the mask.
I think it's irresponsible. And so we all have to make sure -- it's not a political issue. It's an issue on public safety. And it's going to get worse before it gets better. And so that's -- I'm confident we can get done what we have to get done.
I've been speaking with some of my Republican colleagues about being able to move on a second package sooner than later but I'll be making a presentation further Thursday on exactly how much I'm looking for and the process by which we'll go.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sir, are you at all afraid of taking your oath outside?
BIDEN: No. No, I am not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, thank you.
BIDEN: Wait, wait. Because I haven't seen these guys in a long time.
I'm not afraid of taking the oath outside. And we've been getting briefed.
But I am -- I think it's critically important that there be a real, serious focus on holding those folks, who engage in sedition and threaten people's lives, debase public property, caused great damage, that they be held accountable.
And I think that's a view held by the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans in the Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sir, are you saying impeachment could potentially delay trying to pass the stimulus bill you're about to propose?
BIDEN: Look, my priority is to get, first and foremost, a stimulus bill passed. And, secondly, begin to rebuild the economy, in a way that I'll be laying out on Thursday.
I had a discussion today with some of the folks in the House and the Senate, and the question is whether or not, for example, if the House moves forward, which obviously they are, with impeachment being sent over to the Senate, whether or not we have to check with the -- (TECHNICAL PROBLEM) -- and bifurcate this.
Go a half day with dealing with the impeachment and a half day getting my people nominated and confirmed in the Senate, as well as moving on the package. That's my hope and expectations.
BIDEN: I don't know. I haven't gotten an answer from --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's go. Come on. Line back up where you came from.
Thank you, guys.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, guys.
KEILAR: All right. There you see the president-elect, Joe Biden, having just gotten his vaccine there. His -- that's certainly very important as he's trying to model behavior for people getting vaccinated, of course, in the middle of what has been a challenging, to say the least, vaccine rollout situation.
I do want to bring in CNN's senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen. And I want to also bring in our senior Washington correspondent, Jeff Zeleny, to talk with us. He's there in Wilmington.
To you first, Jeff.
We heard the same things he said before about holding people engaged in the capitol siege accountable. But he was also asked about impeachment and whether that was going to delay his efforts for economic stimulus.
What did you think about what he was saying? He said he had meetings today. Clearly, this is something he's talking with congressional Democrats about.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, he is. I mean, President-Elect Joe Biden is deeply engaged in this conversation about what should happen over the next nine days with the president and what should happen from his agenda going forward.
He's been walking a fine line for the last -- really since last Thursday, at not supporting the idea of impeachment, but also not standing in its way.
Reality is, there's nothing he can do to block this. I was told by one adviser earlier that you cannot stop a moving train here. They do believe that something does need to happen. The president does
need to be held accountable. You heard Joe Biden saying that again right there.
But, no, they're not thrilled about the idea of impeachment. No, not happy about the idea of this potentially blocking their agenda at the beginning.
But he said on Thursday he would be releasing a broader plan about his economic plan that he would like the Congress to vote on right away. That's an economic relief package as soon as next week.
But he is having private conversations behind the scenes trying to sort of guide this process, if you will.
But this is nothing he can stop and he's not trying to stop it.
Interestingly, Brianna, he was also asked about his safety concerns, about taking the oath of office on the west front of the capitol. And he said, he is not concerned about taking his oath of office. And he said before that the Secret Service will protect him.
And he'll have a whole different layer of security next week than, of course, we saw last week on that siege on the capitol.
KEILAR: Yes, indeed.
And, Elizabeth, the whole point of this event where we saw the president-elect was for him to get his second dose of the vaccine, and to be someone who is visibly doing that.
Obviously, he's in a high-risk category. That's also pretty essential for older Americans as well.
What exactly does this second dose do for the person who's getting it?
DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, any parent knows some vaccines, you get one dose and that's it. Other vaccines have to be given in a series.
Because when they study the vaccines, they saw after just one dose, you didn't get enough of an immune response. You get some, maybe quite a bit, but not nearly as much as you would with two doses. That's why they're doing two doses.
Believe me, as I followed this last summer as they developed the vaccines, everybody wanted one dose. Much better. It's easier. It's less expensive.
But this vaccine is one of many where you need two doses to get that complete immune response. The prize is pretty big, right? And 95 percent protection after two doses is quite amazing.
KEILAR: It is quite amazing.
We will continue to see public figures getting this done. It's so important, obviously, even as there are some challenges for getting the vaccine out there to people.
Elizabeth, Jeff, thank you so much to both of you.
It's one of the most striking images that has come out of last week's insurrection. Now the FBI is hoping you can help identify this man who carried a Confederate flag inside the U.S. capitol.
Never before had a Confederate flag been marched through the hallowed halls of the capitol, not even during the Civil War, from 1861 through 1865, when the flag was created.
And 156 years later, here in the year 2021, that banner of the Confederacy was thrust into a building that symbolizes American democracy.
A photographer captured this image of a pro-Trump supporter parading the flag on the second floor of the capitol, not far from the Senate floor.
Before last Wednesday, the closest that anyone carrying the Confederate flag ever got to the U.S. capitol was about six miles during the fight of Fort Stevens in July of 1864.
But if you look closely at this image, you'll see two other figures. One, an abolitionist, the other defender of slavery.
Let's begin with the abolitionist. Charles Sumner. You see his portrait there to the man's right. Sumner was a Republican Senator from Massachusetts who spoke out against the evils of slavery and he was savagely beaten for it.
He was actually attacked in the old Senate chamber with a cane on May 22, 1856 by a Democratic member of Congress from South Carolina. He slowly recovered and he went on to serve 18 more years in the Senate.
Let's turn now to the portrait on the left. It is of John Calhoun, the seventh vice president of the United States and a staunch defender of slavery.
Both men represent the divide that has existed in the nation for hundreds of years along racial and ideological lines.
A divide that the current occupant of the White House loves to tap into for his own political gains.
It's a divide that, even to this day, has Americans carrying a flag representing those who fought a war against their own country and lost.
Let's not forget the version of the Confederate flag that we see today didn't emerge as a political symbol until the late 1940s and the early 1950s, when segregationists started using it as a sign of resistance to integration and civil rights for black Americans.
But once again, 156 years after the Civil War ended, this evil is still in America's bloodstream.