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Trump Supporters Applaud Senator Sinema's Stance on Filibuster; Interview with Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs on Voting Rights Fight; Beijing Reports New COVID Cases Ahead of Winter Olympics; France Reports Largest Jump in COVID Hospitalizations Since 2020; Canadian Woman Takes Selfie as Car Sinks into Icy River. Aired 10:30- 11a ET

Aired January 18, 2022 - 10:30   ET




DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That stance music to the ears of some Trump supporters this weekend on hand at a really for Trump in Sinema's home state.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: God bless Kyrsten Sinema and what she's doing, you know?

ROBBIE KIMSEY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Kyrsten Sinema, good for her, you know? She's our representative. She represents the state. She's not along party lines. She's what's good for the country.

O'SULLIVAN: Do you like Kyrsten Sinema?



LEWIS: Absolutely. And Manchin. In fact, I have sent e-mails to them encouraging them to stand up and do what's right for the people at Arizona.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Those supporters in line for Trump's rally Saturday, also in attendance a hodgepodge of election deniers like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Congressman Paul Gosar, and even Ali Alexander, one of the main organizers of Stop the Steal, who went into hiding after the insurrection and was recently called in front of the January 6th House Select Committee.

O'SULLIVAN: Hey, Ali, are you worried that you might get indicted?


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: Thank you, Arizona. Thank you.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Trump here giving his support to two election deniers who were running to control elections in the state. Kari Lake is running for governor. KARI LAKE (R), TRUMP-SUPPORTED CANDIDATE FOR ARIZONA GOVERNOR: There's

a few other people I'd like to send right down to the prison down here in Florence. Anybody who was involved in that corrupt, shady, shoddy election of 2020. Lock them up.

O'SULLIVAN: And Mark Finchem who previously said he was an Oath Keeper and is now running for secretary of state.


O'SULLIVAN:: Finchem has echoed QAnon-type conspiracy theories about elected officials.

FINCHEM: There's lot of people involved in a pedophile network, in the distribution of children, and unfortunately there's a whole lot of elected officials that are involved in that.

O'SULLIVAN: And he continues to falsely attack the legitimacy of the 2020 election here in Arizona.

FINCHEM: I look forward to the day that we set aside an irredeemably flawed election. That's the election of 2020. With all the evidence we have, the Arizona election should be decertified by the -- with cause by the legislature.

O'SULLIVAN: That's part of a national trend. A "Washington Post" tally finding 163 Republicans who have embraced Trump's false claims are running for statewide positions that would give them authority over the administration of elections. Arizona's current secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, now running for governor.

KATIE HOBBS (D), SECRETARY OF STATE, RUNNING FOR ARIZONA GOVERNOR: I think we are really at a defining moment. I mean, in 2020, democracy prevailed and in 2020 and after 2020 democracy prevailed because people on both sides of the aisle did their jobs. And what we're seeing now is this just multipronged attack. And one of those prongs is Trump trying to instill his loyalists into key positions that have some level of determination over how elections are certified and conducted, and that's pretty scary.

O'SULLIVAN: And on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, his 13- year-old granddaughter following in her grandfather's footsteps with a warning for today.

YOLANDA RENEE KING, MARTIN LUTHER KING JUNIOR'S GRANDDAUGHTER: I think it's so important to vote and it's so important to have the right to vote because right now our country is at stake.


O'SULLIVAN (on camera): And there you have both sides of this issue of voting rights. The people at the march with the King family hear echoes of Jim Crow in some of the restrictions being brought in by Republican officials at the state level today. On the other side of this, fear that is motivated by the big lie and conspiracy theories. But, I mean, Jim and Bianna, I mean, taking a step back and looking at

those people who are running to be election officials, head of elections in Arizona that Trump has endorsed, they're out there. They are essentially threatening election workers, volunteers, with prison and buying into this big lie. It's quite a stark prospect.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, they're threatening our next guest as well.

Donie O'Sullivan, thanks so much.

I'm joined now by the current Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Thanks so much for taking the time this morning.

HOBBS: Yes. Thanks for having me.

SCIUTTO: So I do want to get to the threat that's -- because you're included in Kari Lake's threat in terms of imprisonment if she were to be elected. But what you have here, you have election deniers, supporters and spreaders of the big lie running for the most senior offices in the state, for governor, for secretary of State, someone who has enormous power over elections.

What does that choice then mean for state of Arizona? If they win these elections, can Arizona have a fair election?

HOBBS: Well, I think what's clear from all this is that democracy is on the ballot in 2022 whether it's folks like myself who have stood up for the integrity of our elections and defended the processes that we conducted according to the letter of the law, and the most secure election in our state's history versus these folks who have said with no basis in reality that it was flawed and there was fraud and continued to spread this lie.


And that is alarming for many reasons. Arizona has emerged as an important battleground state that can have an important role in determining future presidential elections, and that's exactly what they're looking to try to do by getting folks in key decision-making positions across the country.

SCIUTTO: We had last hour Bishop Reginald Jackson on the air who had some criticism for Democrats in their role in this fight. I want to play that and get your reaction. Have a listen.


BISHOP REGINALD T. JACKSON, PRESIDING PRELATE OF SIXTH EPISCOPAL DISTRICT, AME CHURCH: Now I believe if she does not vote to support voting rights, I believe she's going to put herself in a very difficult position in Arizona. The same goes for every one of these senators.

Let's understand, this is a fight. Voting rights is a fight. Republicans, when they show up, they show up with an axe. Democrats show up with a butter knife.


SCIUTTO: Do you agree with that, that Republicans just fight this battle better and Democrats, including with the failure to pass, the imminent failure to pass voting rights in the Senate, just aren't up to it?

HOBBS: Well, we are at a defining moment in our democracy. And if we don't have the voting rights, I don't know that we have a democracy. And so I've been really clear that every member of the Senate needs to take every action they can to make sure that these two really critical bills pass, including our senators here in Arizona. But we can't let the Republicans off the hook.

In 2006, the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act was passed unanimously. And it is astounding to me that we're at this place where it is now a partisan issue when it is really the core of our democracy we're talking about.

SCIUTTO: You're of course running as we noted for governor here. And as I noted earlier, Kari Lake, your opponent, has said you should go to jail, you and others should go for jail if she were to be elected. What's your response to that?

HOBBS: I mean, it's just an utterly ridiculous claim. Obviously, it's popular with the base and she knows how to play to that. There's absolutely nothing that -- to arrest me for. And, you know, she's going to continue to say that because it's working for her in this race.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Sounds like the "lock her up" chants. But I do want to ask you this, state legislators in Arizona, Republicans, introduced three bills in 2021 that would have directly empowered partisans, partisan officials to reject or overturn election results. Those were put on a shelf a bit, but as you noted to me in the break, there's another session of the statehouse coming up. Could those pass?

HOBBS: Certainly if they're reintroduced. We've seen close to 70 election-related bills already introduced just in this first week of the session. Bills that would l eliminate secure ballot drop boxes, proposals to really cut back on early voting, increased voter I.D. requirements, which are already pretty strong here in the state.

So we're seeing a lot of attempts at overreach to make it harder for some people to vote. And we're going to continue to fight that.

SCIUTTO: Katie Hobbs, Arizona secretary of state, thanks so much for joining us this morning.

HOBBS: Thank you.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: And still ahead, China identifies more COVID cases linked to the first Omicron case in Beijing. The intense precautions in place as the country prepares for the Winter Olympics in just a little more than two weeks. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


SCIUTTO: Parts of Beijing are now under lockdown after at least, according to China's numbers, four symptomatic cases of COVID-19 have been found, including the first reported Omicron cases in the country, again, according to the Chinese government.

GOLODRYGA: Right. And CNN international correspondent Selina Wang is following all of these developments.

Selina, authorities in Beijing are going to drastic measures trying to prevent the spread of COVID ahead of the Winter Olympics. Is it working? Are they able to do what most other countries have not been able to do?

SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bianna, the reported case count numbers are significantly lower than other parts of the world, but its strategy comes at a steep cost and fears are growing that it may not be sustainable.

In response to just one or a handful of cases, that triggers mass testing, lockdowns. Right now across China, some 20 million people are sealed off in their homes. And even with these extreme precautions, drastic, as you say, Omicron has still breached Beijing, which was supposed to be a fortress without any COVID cases ahead of the Olympics.

In response in Beijing, they have locked down the neighborhoods where the positive cases live. They have done mass testing and they have found as a result two more cases linked to that original Omicron case. Now Omicron is in at least nine cities cross China, so these Winter Olympics are going to be taking place as parts of the country are in war-time mode to try and stamp out the virus.


But organizers are still betting that they can pull this off successfully by keeping Olympic participants completely separate from the rest of the population and under extreme COVID rules. Now, meanwhile, in Hong Kong, they are also doubling down on its zero COVID strategy. The city says it is going to euthanize some 2,000 small animals and ban imports of small animals. They are asking all pet shops, they are required, these pet shots selling hamsters, to hand over the hamsters for them to be killed.

Now these are extreme measures in response to what? They're in response to a worker at a shop testing positive for the Delta variant and around a dozen hamsters testing positive as well. Now this is also important to mention here. Health authorities say that the risk of transmission from animals to humans is low. But what all this highlights is that while much of the world is moving on, trying to live with the virus, Hong Kong, mainland China, still trying to stamp out any trace of COVID.


SCIUTTO: Yes. There's such a variety of the way countries react to this.

Selina Wang, thanks so much.

France recording a striking number of new COVID-19 infections. Yesterday the country recorded its largest one-day increase in coronavirus related hospitalizations since November 2020.

GOLODRYGA: CNN's Melissa Bell has more from Paris -- Melissa.

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Jim and Bianna, COVID-19 figures here in France continuing to cause concern with Monday seeing the highest level of hospitalizations since November of 2020. This as French authorities seek to crack down on the unvaccinated, the French parliament has just approved a bill that will introduce a vaccine pass. Until now you could take a PCR test rather than a vaccine to use the health certificate that allows you to get into places like bars, restaurants, cafe, cinemas and theaters from January 21st.

Assuming this bill is approved by the highest court in the land, you're going to have to be vaccinated to get into any of those places. Now, that could mean bad news for Novak Djokovic. We know that he's facing the Madrid Open in April. The Spanish prime minister confirming that the rules that apply to people coming in will also apply to him, although he will have the choices of a PCR test rather than a vaccination.

It is, though, the French Open that will be in doubt unless he changes his mind since the French Sports Ministry has confirmed to CNN that he will be needing to get vaccinated, a PCR test won't do, in line with French regulations, something for him to think about between now and May -- Jim and Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: And our thanks to Melissa Bell.

Well, it must be all about the social media for this one. I don't understand the story for the life of me. She stops to take a selfie as her car is sinking into icy water. There you see her on top of her car holding her phone up. We'll show you how it all turned up coming up next. Don't do this at home, folks.



GOLODRYGA: Well, in times of good, the rich get richer. And apparently when times are bad, the rich get richer. The pandemic no exception here. A new report from Oxfam finds that billionaires have added $5 trillion, that's trillion with a T, to their fortunes since March of 2020. That's bigger jump than in the previous 14 years combined -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: A trillion is a thousand billion. The wealth of the world's 10 richest men more than doubled climbing a collective $1.3 billion a day. Central banks pumped trillions of dollars into financial markets to save economy. That set off a stock market boom, a continuing one really. Good news for billionaires. Oxfam says it is not by chance, it's by choice. Government should tax those gains, and use that money to fund health care, vaccines, and to address the climate crisis.

GOLODRYGA: It's an argument we have heard before. But it's not always. Let's move to this other story, Jim, because it's not always the right time to take a selfie. I have yet to take a good selfie. But one woman apparently thinks she can even when she's stuck on the roof of her car and it's sinking into an icy river.

SCIUTTO: That did not stop one Canadian woman from doing just that. Here's that story.


DAVE CHARBONNEAU, CTV NEWS REPORTER: A dangerous situation after a bizarre scene. Around 4:30 Sunday afternoon, a driver was seen speeding across the frozen Rideau River in Manotick then forced to stand on top of her car after it broke through the ice.

ZACHARY KING, HELPED RESCUE STRANDED DRIVER: Like I've been around water long enough to know that if things go bad, it can get worse quickly.

CHARBONNEAU: Zachary King was there when it happened and with one of his neighbors jumped into action to help rescue the driver.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's on top of the car. She's going in.

Z. KING: And so luckily, one of my other neighbors Rob Crober had a rope that he got and so he ran back to his place to grab one of his kayaks off his kayak rack, and I was untangling the rope, he got back, we tied the rope to the kayak and then just got it out to her.

CHARBONNEAU: The driver saved just in time.

Z. KING: It's like everything worked out perfectly. Like it got her on the kayak, pulled her in, and as soon as we pulled her in, the car went under fully.

CHARBONNEAU: What hasn't been explain explained, this image. The driver appears to be taking a selfie on the car just before it's fully submerged and before she's out of danger.

Z. KING: Then when we pull her out and we're like, what the hell are you doing? And she was like, oh, just having fun. And I was, like, what? And she was, like, yes, I'd totally do that again. Like, word for word that's what she said.

KRISTOPHER SMITH, WITNESS: We looked out there, so just a lady just down here on a car. Somebody drove a car in the river.

CHARBONNEAU: Other people witnessing the rescue couldn't believe what they were seeing.

SMITH: From where it is, there's all these pylons so it's like the weakest spot in the lake.


CHARBONNEAU: 24 hours later, the car is almost fully submerged.

SMITH: She came from, like, a long way down the lake. She was driving for a while.

SACHA GERA, WITNESS: You don't expect your kids to have to watch out for a car zipping down on a frozen river.

CHARBONNEAU: This security camera footage from Sacha Gera's backyard shows the car speeding down the river at what witnesses say was about 60 kilometers per hour.

GERA: Essentially the kids were just playing on the backyard hockey rink and while they were skating they kind of just saw this yellow Subaru kind of zipping down the river. They were caught a bit by surprise.

CHARBONNEAU: Police say the driver has been charged with one count of dangerous driving.

(On-camera) Definitely a wild day in the quiet village of Manotick?

Z. KING: That's for sure.

CHARBONNEAU: Dave Charbonneau, CTV News.


SCIUTTO: I mean, in a couple of words, not smart, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Yes, that man speaks for all of us when he said what the hell were you doing?


GOLODRYGA: Right? Incredible.

SCIUTTO: Well, good that folks got into action to save her.

Thanks so much to all of you for joining us today. I'm Jim Sciutto.

GOLODRYGA: And I'm Bianna Golodryga. "AT THIS HOUR" with Kate Bolduan starts after a quick break.