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At Least 80 Million Americans Under Winter Storm and Ice Warnings; All Hostages Safe After 11-Hour Standoff at Texas Synagogue; Synagogue Hostage Taker Motivated by Convicted Prisoner Aafia Siddiqui; Money Talks, Truth Walks in Land of Trump; Trump Recycles Same Lines and Lines at First MAGA Rally of 2022; Novak Djokovic Leaves Australia After Losing Visa Challenge; Prince Harry Seeks Fight to Pay for U.K. Police Protection When in Britain. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired January 16, 2022 - 16:00   ET



JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington, and we begin with 80 million Americans under winter weather alerts right now as a powerful storm pummels the southeast with freezing rain, ice, snow, and wind. Power has been knocked out for nearly 300,000 customers in states including Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia, which have all declared a state of emergency.

Weather delays are also unfolding on the roads and in the skies. More than 2800 flights are canceled today. And there's plenty more snow still on the way as the storm shifts up the East Coast.

For the very latest on its path, meteorologist Tom Sater is in the CNN Weather Center.

Tom, it's coming down big time in D.C. right now. I was just looking out the window here in the D.C. bureau. It is just really -- there is the Capitol right there. You can't even see it. That's how much it's snowing here in Washington, but things are tough all over, as we know.

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. And you know, where you are, Jim, I forecasted in D.C. for years. That I-95 corridor is a really tricky area to forecast because you're right on the rain-snow line. And even areas points to the north up I-95 and south may start to snow but generally it should change over to rain. Now it's west of I-95. That's just going to be a big nightmare.

Let's explain the watches and the warnings right now. What a storm, pushed out of the Dakotas over a foot of snow, 14 in Des Moines, it came down at nine inches in Mississippi. Tupelo could see a little bit more. These warnings do not include Boston, New York City. Philly is going to be a little interesting, but again even down toward D.C. with the advisory.

But I do want to show you the radar, and I included Florida here because we had a rare January tornado, and there were injuries. More on that in a moment. But you'll see this comma shaped storm and we are getting some good news. It looks like it's coming to an end soon in the Nashville area. East of there it was really significant icing.

Still a bit of icing problem in some areas where the temperatures are trying to drop low enough that it's all snow in the south. But even in Atlanta, I mean, they're getting more south of Atlanta than we are in areas of Atlanta northward. But again, everything is going to refreeze overnight tonight.

Some good news for Raleigh. Their temperatures are rising so their snow has changed to rain which means that the peak has probably passed. But where you see the rain moving northward pushing that snow north there's areas of concern in the Piedmont and the Carolinas into Virginia, a good chunk of Virginia that will just ice over and will lose power probably for millions in the next 24 hours.

Here's the storm moving up. Coastal flooding a concern. Coastal jersey up into Connecticut and Rhode Island, Long Island as well, significant snowfall not just in the Appalachians. But if you look at this snow in areas inland, the concern really eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, really getting into this. Buffalo as well. Widespread power outages.

But the ice, Jim, I'm really concerned about. Quickly for you, I do want to take you down to Florida because at 7:35 a tornado developed. The line has already moved through, the threat is over right near areas of Fort Myers. This was an ef-2 declared by the National Weather Service, that means maximum winds at 118 miles per hour.

It's 7:35 in the morning, it only lasted five minutes. 108 homes damaged, 30 of them completely destroyed, some of them even off their foundations. So again, that concern has at least come to an end and we'll continue to focus on all of our warnings as the winds pick up with blizzard conditions in the north.

ACOSTA: Wow, that is a powerful storm. All right, Tom, a busy night for you.


ACOSTA: Thanks so much for that. We appreciate it.

Turning now to Saturday's terrifying hostage situation at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Officials say four people including a rabbi who were held hostage are now safe after an 11-hour ordeal that ended with the hostage taker dead. That suspect has been identified as a British citizen. Police say he was armed with a gun when he entered the synagogue. The tense moments captured on the synagogue's livestream.

Let's go to CNN's Ed Lavandera. He is on the scene for us in Colleyville, Texas.

Glad this worked out, you know, peacefully for those hostages. We were just following it all day yesterday. We're just worried sick about that. But we now have audio from inside that building.

Ed, what more are we learning? ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Jim. Well, you

know, we reported extensively on this yesterday of what it was like for congregation members of the Beth Israel synagogue here in Colleyville, Texas, to watch the beginnings of this hostage situation unfold on the livestream of the Sabbath services. For more than an hour several congregation members told us they were listening to the suspects screaming frantically on there, vacillating emotionally between being almost somewhat apologetic and then angry.

Members of the synagogue, this is what -- this is a sampling of what some of those synagogue members were listening to.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). I've got these four guys with me, yes. So I don't want to hurt them, yes. OK, are you listening? I don't want you to cry. Listen. I'm going to release these four guys once (INAUDIBLE). But then I'm going to go in the yard, yes. (INAUDIBLE) and they're going to take me, all right? I'm going to die at the end of this, all right? Are you listening? I am going to die. OK. So don't cry over me. OK? Don't cry, we cannot (INAUDIBLE).


LAVANDERA: You know, you can make out some of that -- how some of it is incoherent. There's a reference to his sister. That is not his biological sister, but it is someone who authorities have told us is Aafi Siddiqui who is this jihadist who was imprisoned here in the north Texas area, and that that was the reason he had come to the synagogue to get this person freed.

We're also hearing this afternoon, Jim, a new statement from the Rabbi Charlie Citron-Walker here of Beth Israel. And in this statement it does offer some new details of how the end of this hostage situation unfolded. I'm going to read that statement to you now. He says, "Over the years my congregation and I have participated in multiple security courses from the Colleyville Police Department, the FBI, the Antidefamation League, and secure community network. We are alive today because of that education. I encourage all Jewish congregations, religious groups, schools and others to participate in active shooter security courses."

And this is where the rabbi offers new details. "In the last hour of our hostage crisis, the gunman became increasingly belligerent and threatening. Without the instruction we received we would not have been prepared to act and flee when the situation presented itself. There is no question that this was a traumatic experience. We appreciate all the love, prayers and support from our local community and throughout the world. We are grateful for the outcome, we are resilient, and we will recover."

So the rabbi there alluding to how all of this unfolded at the very end that it had become much more belligerent. Remember, the hostage rescue team that was flown in from Virginia for the FBI had just arrived just a few hours before all of this ended -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, Ed Lavandera, just some dramatic details there. Thank you very much.

And this just in, the brother of the suspect has put out a statement on Facebook saying, quote, and we can show this to you, "We are absolutely devastated as a family. We as a family do not condone any of his actions and would like to sincerely apologize wholeheartedly to all the victims involved in the unfortunate incident. My brother was suffering from mental health issues."

And sources tell CNN the suspect was inspired by his desire to free a federal prisoner named Aafia Siddiqui. She is currently serving an 80- year sentence in Texas after being arrested in Afghanistan in 2018. Siddiqui's attorney released a statement Saturday condemning the hostage taking, saying she had absolutely no involvement with it. And while most Americans have never heard her name before, experts say she is an icon among Islamic terrorists.

Joining me now is the person who led the prosecution against Aafia Siddiqui, CNN senior legal analyst Preet Bharara.

Preet, give us the background. Great to see you. Give us the background on Siddiqui's case and why the quest to free her has become something of a rallying point for extremists. I'm guessing, Preet, when you heard what happened yesterday, we got the information about how this was motivated by, you know, some sort of devotion to Siddiqui that maybe you weren't too surprised about this.

PREET BHARARA, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I was surprised that something was going on now. She's been in prison for over 12 years. Her trial was 12 years ago almost to the week. You know, her case began when she was a person who was suspected of having terrorist ties. She was radicalized after 9/11. She's a highly educated, extremely smart person who became a neuroscientist, educated at MIT, got her PhD at Brandeis University. But there came a time in the mid- 2000s when she was being looked for by authorities.

She was found in Afghanistan in 2008. And on her person or in a bag on her person were found, among other things, two pounds of sodium cyanide, bombmaking plans, what looked like an apparent list of targets including Grand Central Station, the Statue of Liberty, and she was taken to be questioned in a building in a small town in Afghanistan. And while she was on the second floor, members of the 101st Airborne of the United States Military showed up to join in the questioning.

And in the moment of -- that was unexpected by the folks who were doing the questioning, she took a firearm, an M-4 from one of the people who was in the room, one of the military people in the room, and she began firing at everyone in the room.


Luckily it didn't hit anyone. And while she was firing, she was stating anti-American sentiment, "I want to kill as many effing Americans as I can." She was taken into custody after being shot and taken care of and then sent to New York after for prosecution. All of that happened before I took office in August of 2009. But the trial took place in January of 2010. During that trial, by the way, for parts of the trial, and this is highly unusual, because of outbursts that she engaged in, including things that bordered on anti-Semitism or were straight out anti-Semitism, and also disruptive of the trial, she had to watch from her prison cell much of her own trial by live feed, camera feed.

And so she got a very significant sentence after being convicted because of the nature of the crime, because of the terrorism enhancement, because of I believe also the hate crimes enhancement, the discharge of the weapon. And so some people who are anti-American and who are jihadists think that she is a martyr for them because she got sentenced to 86 years in prison, and for a lot of people because she is a woman in that position and a highly educated person, they think that her case was unfair and they use it in ways extreme and, like we saw over the weekend, quite extreme acts of violence to show solidarity with her and try to get her released.

And it's sad and unfortunate that that happened and I want to add my voice to all those who were saying that the FBI did good work here. And local authorities did good work here in making sure that all the hostages were released and unharmed.

ACOSTA: But people who are obsessed with Siddiqui's case and Siddiqui's story, I mean, do those kinds of messages show up on social media? Do they enter into sort of a threat stream analysis that law enforcement looks at? Is that something that law enforcement should be looking at moving forward? I mean, if people are making statements that they are going to act out on her behalf, I suppose that is something law enforcement is going to have to keep an eye out for.

BHARARA: Yes, no, absolutely. And you know, she's not the only one. There are other people who have been imprisoned in connection with terrorist acts.

ACOSTA: Right.

BHARARA: The first World Trade Center bombing. And there are people all the time all over the place who are under surveillance either electronically or, you know, human intelligence gathering to make sure that an eye is being kept on those folks. And look, she was one of those people in the first place. The reason she came into custody in the first place in 2008 because she was doing and saying and interacting with people, things that caused concern to military officials and intelligence officials, and law enforcement officials in the United States of America.

So you can't catch everything in advance. I don't know yet. I haven't seen the reporting or the investigation as to what this person who engaged in the hostage taking, what signals he might've given and how persuasive they were and how much it looked like he would really do something. But there's a lot of this that goes on. You have thousands of people in the American government who pay attention to this every day obviously. ACOSTA: Fascinating. All right, Preet Bharara, thank you very much for

that important insight.


ACOSTA: We appreciate it very much.

Coming up, call it the origin story of the man accused of planning a massively bloody revolution of Joe Biden took office, the leader of what appears to be the military wing of the war against democracy in this country gave little reason to believe he would ever be rushing to the aid of Donald Trump when I first spoke with him in 2009.


STEWART RHODES, FOUNDER, THE OATH KEEPERS: Our role is not to be obedient to whoever happens to be the leader. Our role is to defend the Constitution and the republic.

ACOSTA: Is the Oath Keepers a militia group?

RHODES: No. We don't need to be. We're the military and police.



ACOSTA: So I had this segment laid out where I was going to call out all of the people who were prolonging this pandemic with phony COVID cures and antivaccine garbage. I was going to talk about ex-football player and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Georgia, Herschel Walker, who raved about what he calls a dry mist that can kill COVID in an interview in 2020.


HERSCHEL WALKER (R), GEORGIA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Do you know right now I have something that can bring you into a building that will clean you from COVID as you walk through this dry mist. As you walk through the door it will kill any COVID on your body, EPA, FDA approved. When you leave, it will kill the virus. As you leave (INAUDIBLE). Then I have something, you can go and spray this product. Do you know? They don't want to talk about that.


ACOSTA: Maybe because it doesn't work. Now I was going to point out that Walker was talking to right-wing personality Glenn Beck who says he's unvaccinated and announced this past week that he has caught the virus for a second time.


GLENN BECK, RIGHT-WING PERSONALITY: It's now starting to go into my lungs today, and it's a little disturbing. But I'm on, you know, I'm on all the medication and treatment and everything else. The monoclonal doesn't seem to be working for the new strain. And you can't but I'm on Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, what is it, fluvoxamine. I'm on a bunch of different things. And my doctors are hitting it really hard.


ACOSTA: I was going to say, Glenn, the "I did my own research crowd" has already moved on to Viagra. The ED medicine, which was made by Pfizer, also produces one of the COVID vaccines. Way to stick it to big pharma, I was going to say. And, hey, why not mention the guy in Alabama telling people to drink their own urine to cure COVID?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The antidote that we've seen now, and we have tons and tons of research, is urine therapy. OK? And I know a lot of you, to a lot of you this sounds crazy. But God's given us everything we need.


ACOSTA: Please don't do that either. All of this to reiterate the point there are people out there trying to make a buck or find fame on the internet or do what we hear in Washington so often, people fundraising for their political campaigns, a point raised by Dr. Anthony Fauci in his fiery exchange with Republican Senator Rand Paul last week.



DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: What happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue is that all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there, and I have life -- threats upon my life, harassments of my family and my children with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me.

So I ask myself, why would senator want to do this? So go to Rand Paul Web site, and you see "Fire Dr. Fauci" with a little box that says, contribute here. You can do $5, $10, $20, $100. So you are making a catastrophic epidemic for your political gain.


ACOSTA: And all of that fundraising may be great for your re-election, but it won't save lives. The vaccine will. But the war on science and our scientists and on the truth it's killing us. I was going to get into all of that, and I suppose I just did. But something happened last Thursday afternoon that changed everything and served as a reminder of this ongoing war on our democracy, which is still in peril today.

Thursday afternoon was when the Justice Department announced that the leader of the far-right group the Oath Keepers and 10 others had been charged with seditious conspiracy for their alleged actions on January 6th. The charging documents said the group's leader Stewart Rhodes told his followers to prepare for a bloody and desperate fight. Another defendant is accused of going on a recon mission to Washington just after the election.

Federal investigators say some of those charged stockpiled weapons at a Virginia hotel and had a quick reaction force on standby with an arsenal in case the Oath Keepers needed backup at the Capitol. The group's goal, according to the Justice Department was to stop the transfer of power to President Biden.

Now I've actually interviewed Rhodes before, back in 2019. I did a profile on the Oath Keepers, and at the time Rhodes said this about his organization.


RHODES: Our role is not to be obedient to whoever happens to be the leader, our role is to defend the Constitution and the republic.

ACOSTA: Is the Oath Keepers a militia group?

RHODES: No. We don't need to be. We're the military and police.


ACOSTA: Defend the Constitution and the republic, he once told me. Doesn't look like that in the video from January 6th. Not a lot of oath keeping going on there.

Now Rhodes has been charged with seditious conspiracy. He has pleaded not guilty. But these new charges run counter to what Murdoch family court jester Tucker Carlson has been saying that this wasn't an insurrection. Where are the sedition charges, he has asked.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX HOST: Oh, it was an insurrection. So how many of the participants in that insurrection have been charged with insurrecting, with sedition, with treason? Zero, by the Biden Justice Department, said they've been charged with effectively trespassing.


ACOSTA: I guess Tucker forgot about the previous court documents entered in the Oath Keepers' case showing what appears to be gun cases being moved around that hotel in Virginia. For tourists, it was a lot of luggage.

Now it should also be noted that the Oath Keepers were spotted hanging with Trump adviser Roger Stone outside the Willard Hotel on January 6th. That's the same Roger Stone, yes, who received a full pardon from Trump in December of 2020. Stone, who has denied any wrongdoing, told reporters last month he pleaded the Fifth to the January 6th Committee.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROGER STONE, TRUMP ASSOCIATE: In fulfillment of a federal subpoena, I did my civic duty, and I responded as required by law. I did invoke my Fifth Amendment rights to every question.


ACOSTA: We're talking about the same Willard Hotel where Trump allies like John Eastman, Rudy Giuliani, and others, according to the January 6th Committee were working on a plan to have then Vice President Mike Pence toss out the official electors that would make Biden president in favor of a different slate of electors that would have given Trump a second term.

All of which brings me to one of the more stunning revelations that's come up. This one by American oversight involving Trump allies who sent phony documents -- there they are -- to the National Archives, declaring that Trump won a bunch of key battleground states instead of Biden. Yes, that happened.

The bogus documents appear to have been sent from local GOP operatives posing as electors in places like Pennsylvania and Arizona. To be clear these documents are fake. Reporters in Arizona caught up with one of that state's GOP lawmakers Jake Hoffman who signed these documents posing as an alternate elector for Trump. We've also reached out to him for comment, have not heard back, but here's how he explains it.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What authority did you find yourself as an elector?

JAKE HOFFMAN (R), ARIZONA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: So in unprecedented times, unprecedented action, there is no case law, there is no precedent that exists as to whether or not an election that is currently being litigated in the courts has due standing, which is why we felt it appropriate to provide Congress and the vice president with dueling opinions.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did you have direction from anybody in doing this? Was it you letting yourself doing this or did someone give you advice on the manner in which you can do it?

HOFFMAN: So I'm simply -- I was one of the electors.


HOFFMAN: I'm not in charge of the elector so you --

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How did you hear about it? How did you hear about it?

HOFFMAN: You would need to ask the party chairman.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How did you hear about it? How did you hear about the plan? Were you just told to be somewhere?

HOFFMAN: You would need to ask the party chair that.


ACOSTA: Phony electors, a fake cure for Trump's real election loss, kind of like the Ivermectin of our democracy.

Back in December of 2020 White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told FOX the Trump team was serious about this idea of alternate electors.


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The only metro areas where Joe Biden beat Hillary Clinton ironically in those states there has been an alternate slate of electors voted upon that Congress will decide in January.


ACOSTA: All of this raises a crucial question that's at the heart of everything, what exactly was Trump doing during the insurrection? He was letting it play out on TV, we know. One former White House official recently told me that. But Trump was also talking to people like GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy who at the time was urging Trump to call off the mob.

McCarthy who's made the choice to serve as Trump's lackey these days announced he will not voluntarily cooperate with the January 6th Committee. He high-tailed it out of a news conference this past week after being pressed on how he once said he would cooperate. He just couldn't handle the questions, just like Trump, who could not defend the big lie on national public radio.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: How come when he went to speak in different locations, nobody came to watch but all of a sudden he got 80 million votes? Nobody believes that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you'll forgive me, maybe because the election was about you. And if I can just move on to ask, are you telling Republicans in 2022 that they must press your case on the past election in order to get your endorsement? Is that an absolute?

TRUMP: They're going to do whatever they want to do. People have no idea how big this issue is, and they don't want it to happen again. It shouldn't be allowed to happen and they don't want it to happen again. And the only way it's not going to happen again is you have to solve the problem of the presidential rigged election of 2020.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, if I --

TRUMP: So, Steve, thank you very much. I appreciate it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa, whoa, I have one more question. I want to ask

about a court hearing yesterday on January 6th. Judge Emit Meta -- he's gone. OK.


ACOSTA: Yes, he hung up. He hung up. That's because all of the lies are catching up with the lord of the lies. Trump, his advisers, his allies in Congress and on conservative media, they are all drowning in Trump's swamp of lies. And that swamp is not draining. But there is a cure for what ails them and us and our democracy. It's called the truth. And while you're at it, get the courage booster. I hear that works, too.

We'll be right back.



ACOSTA: It was the same old lines and same old lies at Donald Trump's first rally of 2022. Spoiler, he's still doing the sad Elvis bit, ranting and raving about the last election. Behold Grievance Groundhog Day take number 439.


TRUMP: Last year we had a rigged election, and the proof is all over the place. We have a lot of proof and they know it's proof. They always talk about the big lie. They're the big lie. They continue to refuse to talk about it. They say, well, it's unsubstantiated and the big lie, the big lie, the big lie is a lot of bullshit. That's what it is.


ACOSTA: If you look at the background there, you can see the people looking at their phones and not paying attention to him. But anyway, joining me now is Olivia Troye, a former homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to Vice President Pence.

Olivia, great to see you. Thanks so much for being with us. You know, let me start with this. You and other former Trump staffers were recently having a meeting about ways to stop Trump, and more broadly Trumpism. Is there any insight you can give us into what was discussed? Is the group growing? Any names that are coming into the fold that, I guess, give you some hope that this is gaining momentum?

OLIVIA TROYE, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY AND COUNTERTERRORISM ADVISER TO VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: Well, Jim, thanks for having me. Yes, look, it was a preliminary discussion. It's the first time we've all come together as a group. This is a group of people that have worked across the Trump administration at varying levels, whether it be National Security or more on the political side of the house, and in different departments. And, you know, I did find it encouraging that it was a much larger number of people who participated in this meeting than I actually expected it to be.

And it was very clear that there is grave concern amongst these circles about what is happening, about the fact that Trump continues to play such a significant role in influencing our U.S. politics, and also what it means for this movement that continues to follow him and the movement that he continues to enable.

ACOSTA: And I want to ask you about this op-ed written by former vice president Mike Pence. It includes his most public comments yet about what actually transpired on January 6th. I mean, there's this one interesting part he acknowledges, quote, "On January 6th an angry mob ransacked the Capitol largely to try to get Congress and me as president of the Senate to use federal authority to overturn results of the presidential election that had been certified by all 50 states."


So he does admit that this was a violent effort to interfere with Joe Biden becoming president and it wasn't a tourist visit and so on. What's your reaction to that? And, you know, there are parts of the op-ed that make you think that he's still sort of giving credence to Trump's, you know, lies.

TROYE: Well, he is. He certainly is. I mean, I read that op-ed, and while I was, like, OK, finally, you're actually publicly acknowledging that this was an angry mob and it was a dangerous situation that day. But then he doubles back on the claims of election integrity, which is basically code for the big lie. And so when he does that, he's by de facto enabling it. I mean, that's what he's doing. You're enabling the big lie that almost led to your death.

And I think he's doing that because he really has no other choice. He is right now scrambling to figure out where his political home is in the Republican Party. And, look, it's a party of Trumpism right now. And the sooner Mike Pence realizes this and comes to the conclusion that 2024 is an extreme long shot for him, the better it will be.

But, you know, secondary on that op-ed, my concern is when I read that op-ed, I thought to myself, what does this mean for Pence's cooperation with the January 6th Committee? Because, in that, it's sort of a hidden message the way he sort of attacks Democrats and he says, you know, Biden is pushing January 6th as this narrative under the guise of protecting voting rights.

You know, I find that really disturbing. And so I hope that this isn't him messaging to them saying I'm not going to actually come forward and work with you on this.

ACOSTA: That's interesting. And from a national security perspective, how important was it that the Justice Department filed these sedition charges in connection with January 6th against those 11 members of the Oath Keepers, do you think? We were just talking about the Oath Keepers in a previous segment, you know, a right-wing talking point has been where are the sedition charges. Now we have them. TROYE: Right, now we have them in plain view. And I think those are

very serious charges. I think that it's important that if they feel that the evidence is there, they need to pursue this because these groups are continuing to recruit. They're continuing to recruit across military ranks and former military ranks. And they are out there recruiting still today. And so I think it's important to hold these people accountable.

They were there that day, it was a coordinated effort, and even more frightening the level of coordination that, you know, those charges show that was happening amongst the Oath Keepers.

ACOSTA: And as a former staffer on the White House COVID task force, Olivia, I've got to ask you about your take on Trump going after politicians who won't reveal if they got the COVID booster. He's been taking little veiled jabs at Ron DeSantis and so on. Let's play a little bit of this.


TRUMP: I watched a couple of politicians be interviewed. And one of the questions was, did you get the booster? Because they had the vaccine. And, oh, oh, they're answering it like -- another was the answer is yes, but they don't want to say it. Because they're gutless, you got to say it whether you had it or not, say it.


ACOSTA: I mean, it's nice that he said that, but it would've been nice if he had gotten the COVID shot in person on camera in front of the world in the way that other world leaders have, including the current president, Joe Biden.

TROYE: Right. And it's pretty ironic to see Donald Trump do that. And well, you know, good, good on him for finally calling out the effectiveness of the vaccine and calling people out on it. But it's just using it as a political narrative, and it's a convenient narrative for him right now to attack others when he feels like Ron DeSantis is gaining some traction, and he's, you know, he's probably feeling threatened, that's what Donald Trump loves.

He lashes out when he feels his political gravitas threatened him. So I think that's why he's doing that. Now look, during the rally speech last night he talked about COVID in a very real way. He actually acknowledged that it's real even though he used it to push completely divisive rhetoric about white people not being able to get treatment and being put at the back of the line. Those are lies. Complete falsities.

ACOSTA: They were sick.

TROYE: Complete lies.

ACOSTA: Yes. Olivia, I mean, do you think sometimes -- is there something wrong with Trump? I mean, do you ever just think about that? You know, when he says things like this, it just seems like there's something wrong with him, very wrong with him.

TROYE: Look, this is a deranged individual who has no connection to actual reality. Look, I'll say this. One of the things that really stood out to me in his speech, and I'm really just trying not to watch him, but he talks about supply change, right, which he meant supply chain, but -- and he talks about Tiffany's.

I mean, how disconnected are you from probably the people attending that rally talking about supply chain issues at Tiffany's? Really? When people are actually trying to feed their families and put food on the table. You're not even talking about grocery stores. Right?


You're talking about Tiffany's, a jewelry store. That is where your head is? I mean, the disconnect is so palpable.


TROYE: But yet these people continue to be loyal to him and follow him when he really just doesn't actually care about them, which is why it's so infuriating to watch. He is the official master con man.

ACOSTA: All right. We'll leave it there. Olivia Troye, thanks, as always, we appreciate it. Great talking to you. See you soon.

TROYE: Thank you.

ACOSTA: Thanks.

Coming up, tennis super star Novak Djokovic loses a last-ditch appeal and he gets deported right before the Australian Open. How he reacted to the judge's ruling, next.



ACOSTA: It's official. Novak Djokovic won't be defending his Australian Open title. The tennis star was deported from Australia after a federal court rejected his last-ditch attempt to stay in the country, despite being unvaccinated.

CNN's Phil Black joins me now from Melbourne, Australia.

Phil, they say in tennis, love means nothing, and I guess that's the case for the Djokovic.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Jim. In the end, Djokovic was surprisingly gracious about his failure to -- or the failure of his ability to stay in the country. Surprising, I think, when you consider all the lengths he'd gone to, the determination some would say, the stubbornness that he'd shown to try and get here to the Australian Open and play without being vaccinated.

In the end, all the uncertainty, the legal battles, the time he'd spent in immigration detention, it was all for nothing because a full bench of Australia's federal court dismissed his lawyers' arguments to try to achieve the overturning of his -- the cancelation of his visa. At that point Novak Djokovic ran out of options.

And a short time later he released a statement in which he said, in part, "I'm extremely disappointed with the court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the minister's decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open. I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me, and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love."

A few hours after that statement Sunday night, Melbourne time, Djokovic was escorted to the airport and he boarded a flight to Dubai. Novak Djokovic has left Australia. If he wants to return in the next few years he's going to have to ask for a special permission because his visa cancelation comes automatically with a three-year ban on entering the country. It all means the Australian Open can begin here today, and as Djokovic says, hopefully, the focus will be on the tennis -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right. Phil Black, thank you very much for that report. We appreciate it. We'll see what happens to the tennis star here in the coming days. Thanks so much for that.

And still to come, inside Prince Harry's new legal fight to be able to pay for police protection for his family when he's inside the U.K.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: Prince Harry says he's ready to go to court to protect his family. The prince, who stepped down from royal duties two years ago and has been living in the United States, says he wants to bring his young children to the U.K. for a visit, but he says it's too dangerous unless the government overturns a decision that prevents him from personally paying for police protection.

CNN royal correspondent Max Foster joins me now.

Max, you know, it's just another sign of, my goodness, the relations between Prince Harry and the rest of the royal family. It's just -- it's really on ice right now.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: It does. I mean, this actually goes back to a summit that the family had, the Queen was there, Prince William and Prince Charles, where they decided the departure conditions of the Sussexes from their royal roles. And it was first discussed this police issue back then, still hasn't been involved. And effectively what Prince Harry is saying is he doesn't feel it's safe enough to bring his family over to the U.K. without police support.

He does have a private security team. He says that's OK and it works in the U.S., but in the U.K. he needs state support. He says that's because of the nature of the threat. So in the last summer he came over, felt his security was compromised when photographers chased his car. But more to the point here is since he and the duchess left their royal roles, there's been a greater threat from extremists and from fixated individuals.

And that's what he's concerned about. And he doesn't expect, he says, the British taxpayer to pay for this additional police support. He says he'll pay for it privately, but he's not being allowed to. So that's what we're talking about here, a judicial review to appeal to the Home Office, the department in the government relevant here, for the right to pay for police support when he comes over.

Slightly complex, but it shows how concerned he is about the feeling against the Sussexes really in this country, which I think is more negative than where you are.

ACOSTA: Absolutely. Well, it's disappointing to hear that. It's unfortunate to hear that. All right, Max Foster, I hope they work that one out. Thanks so much for that report. We appreciate it.

And you know her face, but do you know her whole story? Discover the life and legacy of the true Marilyn Monroe in a new CNN Original Series. Here is a preview.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marilyn Monroe knew that she was more than just a pretty face.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She wanted control of her own destiny.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's frustrating that people can't think about her in terms of her intellect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Marilyn challenges what it means to have agency as a woman.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To see a woman that is so in charge of her sexuality is extremely empowering.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This woman is so comfortable in her skin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was rolling the dice with her career in very real terms.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marilyn would've been the biggest influencer of all time. Created her own production company, getting films made.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marilyn Monroe is a mirror for people's ideas about women's sexuality and women's power.

MARILYN MONROE, ACTRESS: It's hard to know where to start if you don't start with the truth.




ACOSTA: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington. And we begin with the powerful winter storm bringing freezing rain, ice, snow, and wind up and down the southeast right now. More than 80 million Americans are under winter weather alerts. The power is out for nearly 300,000 customers in states including Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia --