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Senator Romney Slams Representative Santos; Joe Rogan Is In Hot Water; NFL Players Union Doctor: Damar Hamlin Will Play Pro Football Again; What An Officer Charged With Murder In The Death Of Tyre Nichols Is Claiming; NFL Player To Go On Four-Day "Darkness Retreat." Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired February 08, 2023 - 23:00   ET



ASHLEY ALLISON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I'm not a huge fan of Mitt Romney, but I do understand that he tries to hold a level of decorum and definitely during the chamber for the state of the union.

But George Santos, I mean, he was elected, but he actually was -- we don't even know who he truly is. So, it is telling that a Mitt Romney would take a time to say, what are you doing, dude? Like, get away.


ALLISON: Santos needs to go.

CAMEROTA: What did you think as you watch it, George?

GEORGE CONWAY, CONSERVATIVE LAWYER AND ACTIVIST: Santos, for him to play the victim --

CAMEROTA: Oh, yeah.

CONWAY: -- is just -- it's just so absurd. Oh, it is Mitt Romney's privileged background. It's not about that. It's about the fact that you are a pathological liar. You know, Mitt Romney, yes, he did work in an investment form, you're in a Ponzi scheme. He is also --

CAMEROTA: Also, does he have millions or is he a pauper?

CONWAY: Is he a pauper? Right. You know, did he really equal all those $199 and 99 cent dinners at that restaurant? That was -- they were on his expense account there for his -- for his campaign? I mean, come on, come on, it's just absurd.

CAMEROTA: Impossible to know. Here's something interesting, John, that I think is in your wheelhouse. Eva McKend, one of our great correspondents, did an interview with a specialist in pathological liars. And so, here is what that psychologist has to say.


CHRISTIAN HART, PSYCHOLOGIST FOR HUMAN DECEPTION LABORATORY AT TEXAS WOMAN'S UNIVERSITY: When we see people telling egregious lies like that and there appears to be a lifelong pattern associated with it, I'll say certainly, he seems to be the type of person who is engaging in pathological lying.

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: There was this moment at the state of the union address where Senator Romney approached him, and he didn't seem apologetic at all.

HART: We see this pattern a lot in people with psychopathic tendencies or people with antisocial personality disorders. And in those cases, what we find is that those people are extremely comfortable manipulating, using and exploiting people, and they do so with very little guilt or shame and tend not to have remorse.


CAMEROTA: Fascinating, I mean, with your background and criminology.

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, he breaks the model, you know. I've done a lot of training both for my investigators and my analysts in how to detect signs of deception and noncustodial interrogation situations. You know, there's a lot of tells.

The problem here is you've got to reverse the model, which is you really got a mind for when is he telling the truth because lying is difficult. You have to keep track of them, you have to categorize them, you have to make sure that you maintain them in these complex stories, whether, you know, you're cheating on a lover or doing a Ponzi scheme, you know, like Madoff.

But, when you just assume lie is tell the truth about something simple and the lie stacked up and they don't make sense, it really comes to a couple things, which is shame on us. The fact that he got elected and then we found out all of this shows a failure of the political process, a failure of the media, the press. And in a situation where -- look, if he was a governor of California, you can recall him. You can't do that in Congress. It is constitutionally banned.

CAMEROTA: I also think that one of the reasons that we report so much on George Santos is because there is something fascinating about someone who looks you right in the eye and says a boldface lie over and over. We don't need these characters that often.

Usually, there is some level of shame or somebody gets busted lying and they kind of have to -- you know, they look flummoxed. He isn't like that. So, he is -- this character that you just don't stumble across that often because, as you say, you have to keep track of the lies, no, he doesn't. He gets caught all the time.

ALLISON: Right, yeah.

CAMEROTA: And then he just pivots to something else.

ALLISON: And to George's point, then he plays victim.

MILLER: Right.

ALLISON: There was a clip a couple weeks ago where reporters were following up on the Capitol, and I think a camerawoman bumped into George. He is like, easy guys, that's assault. It's like what? Again --

CONWAY: This is -- this is a specific personality type and we see more of it in politics today. I mean, the psychologist interviewed there, he talked about psychopathy, talked about antisocial personality disorder.

The DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, talks about sociopathy. All you have to show is, like, somebody is a serial liar, somebody uses aliases, for example, they have no remorse, they have trouble obeying the law. Where we've seen that before? We saw it for four years. And we see it -- it is -- what the problem is we haven't been able to call it out for what it is. And now, it is perpetuating.

CAMEROTA: Except that we are calling George Santos out. Everybody is saying -- even his constituents are calling it out but he doesn't change what he is doing.

CONWAY: No, it doesn't. But we're not calling it out for -- you know, he's a sociopath, he's a psychopath.


Trump was a psychopath and a sociopath, too. He did exactly the same things. He -- Donald Trump famously pretended to be a P.R. agent named John Barron. Also used the name John Miller, by the way. And he would call --

MILLER: It certainly affected my Google searches.

CONWAY: Yes! People think you're, you know were good (ph).

MILLER: Oh, yeah.

CONWAY: And he would call up reporters and tell them great stories about how he was, you know --


CONWAY: Yeah, exactly.

MILLER: You know, the best part about that is --

CONWAY: It is just completely insane.

MILLER: -- when Donald Trump assumed the John Miller personality, the reporter said, well, what happened to the old, you know, P.R. firm? He said, well, you know, Donald trust me with the more important stuff, he has a lot of con -- I'm, like, oh, my God, even his alter ego has an ego.



CAMEROTA: That is amazing.

MILLER: He went on for five minutes about why Donald likes him.

CONWAY: Yes, because he is so great. I mean, you know, again, that is the narcissist aspect of these narcissistic sociopaths. You know, they play the victim and they try to tell everybody how great they are even if it is not true. How they won an election --


CONWAY: -- millions of votes, but they didn't win.

ALLISON: But I think to your point, if you look a little bit deeper about what the state says about the state of politics, it is -- let us look at last night. You had one side of the House screaming "liar' and the other House saying, no, you are not being truthful about what you would do with certain policies.

And I think, you know, George Santos is a system of or a symptom of a political system right now that is really unstable and Americans are frustrated with it. And so, we are at a moment where truth and honesty need to be the leading factor regardless of what party you are at.

CAMEROTA: We are so far from that.

ALLISON: We are so far from that.

CAMEROTA: I see you point.

ALLISON: Can we bring it back?

CAMEROTA: I don't know the answer.

CONWAY: As a former Republican here, I am going to (INAUDIBLE). This is actually not -- I wouldn't both sides this in that way. I mean, I don't mean you are both (INAUDIBLE) it, but, I mean, this is becoming a very specific republican problem because Donald Trump created --


CONWAY: -- a permission structure for anybody to say anything about anyone. And, I mean, Donald Trump used to accuse an MSNBC anchor of murder.

ALLISON: I agree.

CONWAY: It's, like, completely baseless, you know. And he got away with that. He -- it's --

CAMEROTA: He got away with it.

ALLISON: You say Donald Trump -- CONWAY: No, no, no, I mean --

CAMEROTA: There was shamelessness, obviously, for a long time before.

CONWAY: Right.


CAMEROTA: But you're saying that he is the one.

CONWAY: He gave the -- he created a permission structure where people said, hey, I can do that, too.

ALLISON: And went unchecked by his party when he did it.

CONWAY: Right. And it is also deterring good people from running for office. I mean, we don't have many Mitt Romneys left precisely because who wants to play in this dirty playground?


MILLER: I did like Santos's "come clean" interview where he said, I'm really sorry about all the lies, and he said, I'm never going to lie again, and he closed with, and, you know, most of what I said before was true. I'm like --


ALLISON: Which was a lie.




MILLER: He can't do it.

CAMEROTA: He's scared.

MILLER: He's so scared.

CAMEROTA: No, he can't. I mean, again, to your point about the shamelessness which played into what we saw last night, you know, at one time, in 2009, as we know, when Joe Wilson yelled "liar," he was censured and it was a shocking moment then. And last night, it was like, you know, Marjorie Taylor Greene was like in bachelorette party. She was just, you know, yelling freely --


CAMEROTA: -- whenever she wanted.


ALLISON: Yeah. CONWAY: There was a fur.

ALLISON: She was out of order, but she has been out of order from the beginning. You know, her behavior --

CONWAY: Her brain has been out of order for --

MILLER: I mean, this was the -- this was the state of the union, though. I mean, finally --

ALLISON: It is the state of -- yeah.

CONWAY: Oh, there she is.

MILLER: We took the one single thing that we carried forward with more dignity than the Brits and, you know, lost it.

CAMEROTA: You know bad lip reading? I feel we should just play some bad lip reading, although it is not even necessarily as good as what they really said, but Mitt Romney actually said to George Santos, which is the bad lip reading of the night.


SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): You ought to be embarrassed.

REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-NY): Yeah, sure.

ROMNEY: You ought to be embarrassed.

SANTOS: I'm, well, thank you. How are you?

ROMNEY: You ought to be embarrassed, son. You got me?


CAMEROTA: I mean, it was basically exactly what they said. That bad lip reading, you know, are imitating life. Thank you, guys.

Okay, meanwhile, Joe Rogan is in hot water tonight for repeating an antisemitic trope while defending Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. What are we to do with Joe Rogan? He is the most popular podcaster in the country. Does it matter what he says? Why isn't he doing more research before he talks? All of that, next.




CAMEROTA: Okay. So, Joe Rogan is facing blowback tonight after saying on his show that Jewish people are, and I quote -- "into money."


JOE ROGAN, PODCASTER: Ilhan Omar, she is apologizing for talking about it is "all about the Benjamins" --

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Yeah.

ROGAN: -- which is about money. She is talking about money.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): She should have apologized.

ROGAN: It's not an antisemitic statement. I think that is about -- Benjamins are money. You know, the idea that Jews people are not into money is ridiculous.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Listen --

ROGAN: That's like saying Italians are into pizza.


CAMEROTA: Rogan used the trove in defending Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's tweet from 2019 that implied Republican support of Israel is fueled by money. Omar apologized for the tweet. Joe Rogan has not. Spotify, his podcast platform, has said nothing.

Back with me now, we have John Miller. Also, Emma Goldberg is here and Elie Honig. So, you know who's really into money? Joe Rogan.


CAMEROTA: Joe Rogan is really into money.


CAMEROTA: I mean, I don't know what to do anymore about Joe Rogan because he's not elected allowed to representative, he's not a journalist, he's not a pillar of society, he's a guy who is paid, Elie, to a lot, a lot, million and millions a year, to entertain people with sort of scandalous -- whatever pops into his mind. It can be scandalous, it can be, you know, body, whatever. And that is what he is paid to do.

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah. So, two big thoughts on that. First of all, you cannot make antisemitic comments, racist comments, sexist comments and then defend them by saying, but it's true. Right? That is A, it is not a defense to be. Let's start with that. However, Joe Rogan has built his own empire. He is an entertainer. He is a product of our capitalist society and of our First Amendment.

I don't begrudge him as much as -- you know, I reserve the right to be offended as a Jewish person or any kind of person, but he can say what he wants to say and we often say that the best solution for bad speech is more speech in good speech.

Now, I expect him to take on other point of view. He prides himself on being open minded. I don't see that here. But I also hold Joe Rogan in a different -- to different standards than Ilhan Omar. Joe Rogan is a podcaster. Ilhan Omar is a member of Congress. So, I save stronger, much stronger condemnation for Representative Omar although she did apologize for that.

CAMEROTA: I do, too. Emma, how do you see it?

EMMA GOLDBERG, BUSINESS REPORTER, NEW YORK TIMES: Yeah, I mean, if you listen to Joe Rogan, he has this line where he is always, like, I've done the research so that you don't have to. Let's look at the research for a second. I mean, the history behind this whole trope is that in the middle ages, Jews have to be money handlers because they weren't allowed into any other profession. So, it is echoing this centuries-old hatred.

And on top of that, this isn't Rogan's first radio, right? He has been called it for racist remarks, for spreading COVID misinformation, and this is a man with a heavy load of responsibility on his shoulders because 11 million people are listening to him. He is their primary source of news.

So, if anyone should be doing the research, it is him. He should be really making sure that what he is saying is accurate and isn't inflated with hatred and violent history.

CAMEROTA: You're blowing my mind right now because I didn't know that he claimed to do research. I thought that he became (ph) famous, like, I blather. You know? Like, hey, I'm not a journalist, I can say whatever I want. So, the fact that he claims to do research does, I think, actually make this more offensive. I thought he was, like, I am just having a conversation with my pals here.

You guys are just listening in. But he claims to do research. I mean, he has peddled so much misinformation. That is amusing or alarming.

GOLDBERG: His episodes go so long that, you know, by the time you are in an hour and a half, you are like -- you kind of lost the plot. But he brings in this kind of crackpot experts sometimes, too.

MILLER: I mean, when you look at the -- first of all, Joe Rogan is a great experiment in the First Amendment. I mean, any democracy can go around protecting popular speech. You know, the great democracies are the ones that protect unpopular speech. So, I can disagree with everything the guy says.

And I have heard the foreign owners of the company that refused to take him off talk about why, when he was saying the things about COVID, he was saying they were demonstrably untrue then and totally untrue now, they left him on because they felt it was important for that kind of free speech to go on.

CAMEROTA: And because they like that he says successful.

MILLER: And there is that, too. But I go back to Elie's point, which is Joe Rogan is saying things to get a reaction and being outrageous for a purpose, probably. He is not an elected member of Congress. And for Congresswoman Omar to say something like she said and then tweet it, it brings up a number of questions, which is A, if that is what she is saying in public, what is she saying in private about those things?

CAMEROTA: She apologized.

MILLER: B, if she knew not to -- if she knew to delete the tweet right away, why did she say it in the first place? But moreover, when you get to that particular wing of the party, of the discussion, everything is an offense, everything is an aggression, and some things are microaggressions. Everything is highly sensitive, the kind of arrogance to think that none of that applies to you is stunning.

CAMEROTA: But, wait a minute.

MILLER: An apology is great --

CAMEROTA: Sorry. So, you are talking now about Congresswoman Omar and you're saying --

MILLER: Saying it is all about the Benjamins.

CAMEROTA: Yeah, but you're saying that you find that the squad or whatever that wing, they are too sensitive about things that are being said?

MILLER: Right. And I mean, the fact that, you know, her defender probably the last person on earth that she would want to be associated with just takes this in a circle. It shows how ridiculous the political conversation has gotten.

HONIG: This is sort of why -- look, I'm going to focus on Representative Omar here because she's the one who is voting in Congress about matters in the state. Why it's so offensive? And I think Emma really hit the nail on the head when she said this is a trope, meaning, it's not just about saying Jews love money, a ridiculous statement, but he says -- he says, Italian love pizza. This is silly stuff.


HONIG: But the notion -- this notion that Jews, a small cabal of Jews control finance, media, entertainment, the banks, goes back as old as the Jewish people themselves. It was used in Nazi propaganda as an excuse for why we need to ramp people up. I'm not saying we are there, but I'm saying this is why it goes beyond just the surface of the words that are used and this is why I have such a problem, in particular, with Representative Omar.

I also should say this about Representative Omar. This is not a one- time slip of the tongue. She has a history of doing this, going back a decade or so, several times over, and it sort of follows the same dance every time where she sorts of apologizes, sort of walks it back, tries to cast herself as the victim sort of invariably.

So, she's the one I'm looking at here. Joe Rogan, again, we can like him, we cannot like him, we can listen to him, we cannot listen to him. It will be nice if he was open to alternative viewpoints. Remember, he had Dr. Gupta on. He had Sanjay Gupta on --

CAMEROTA: He did. He did.

HONIG: -- which I thought was interesting.

CAMEROTA: He is open to other viewpoints. I just question his research.

HONIG: Yeah, the show.

CAMEROTA: Everything that you both have just said tonight is more illuminating than anything that he has said on the top of it. Here is what the ADL CEO, Jonathan Greenblat, has said about this yesterday.

He said, disturbing that at a time of rising anti-Jewish violence, when growing numbers of Americans believe in antisemitic conspiracy theories, Joe Rogan would use his immense platform to spew antisemitic tropes about Jews and money. For centuries, people have used these longstanding tropes to spread vicious lies about the Jewish people. Comedian or not, Rogan's comments are no joke.

That is, to your point, he has -- he does have a responsibility because he is so popular with millions of listeners. You just have -- you should have a higher moral responsibility.

MILLER: Why is this dangerous? We were talking about this just the other night, which is this kind of conversation, from a widely popular podcaster or an elected member of Congress or some of our other politicians, has bled into this discussion going on in the darkest corners of the internet about antisemitism, anti-Jewish violence, Nazi theories, kind of mainstream thinking in ways that we haven't seen or heard in this country in years, and it is increasingly attached to physical acts of violence and attacks and mass murders and active shooters. But words matter.

CAMEROTA: Yeah. I hope Joe Rogan is watching tonight, and I'm sure he is. thank you, guys.

Okay, now, a prediction today about Damar Hamlin's future in the NFL just weeks after he suffered cardiac arrest on the field. Could we see him play again? Doctor Sanjay Gupta here, next.




CAMEROTA: A prediction today about Damar Hamlin's future. It was just six weeks ago that the Buffalo Bills safety went into cardiac arrest during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. No official diagnosis has been made about what caused his heart to stop, but the medical director of the NFL Players Association says Hamlin will be back on the field.


THOM MAYER, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, NLF PLAYERS ASSOCIATION (voice-over): I guarantee you, Veronica, that Damar Hamlin will play professional football again.


CAMEROTA: Hamlin was honored today with the 2023 NFL Players Association Award for dedication to the community. His charity, Toy Drive, raising more than $9 million.

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is with me now. So, Sanjay, hearing that, of course, is wonderful, good news. It is a miracle to hear Dr. Mayer --


CAMEROTA: -- say that he will play football again after what he went through. But medically speaking, is it wise for him to play football again?

GUPTA: Well, you know, when you hear something like this from a doctor, he was not equivocal about this at all, Alisyn, right, he said, definitely going to play football again, I think it means a lot of things. I mean, I don't think that he would say that lightly.

And even though there is unofficial diagnosis yet, what he's basically saying is that Damar Hamlin has made a full recovery, and I think more importantly, that he has gone through a series of tests.

We can sort of get an idea of the type of testing that would've been performed on his heart to try and figure out two things. A, what exactly happened to him? Again, there's no official diagnosis yet, but I think that they probably are zeroing in on it. But also, you know, what kind of shape is his heart in now? Those are the types of test. You see there on the screen. Electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, heart MRI or CT scan, stress test. Basically, after doing all these tests, they didn't find that there was a persistent problem.

One of the things, Alisyn, they were probably trying to figure out is was there some sort of underlying issue here that may have caused this. We did dig into this a little bit deeper after hearing Dr. Mayer's comments and the American Heart Association, as rare as commotio cordis is, they do have the statement about players with commotion cordis.

I will read this to you, specifically. It says, if no underlying cardiac abnormality is identified, then individuals can safely resume training and competition after resuscitation from commotion cordis.

So, this is rare. So, there's not a lot of data, Alisyn, in the past. I've talked about medical issues. Sometimes, we are talking about data based on thousands, tens of thousands of people. Two dozen or so people may have this every year. But based on what they know, it sounds like, I think, he is good to go.

CAMEROTA: And yet, there is some information about commotion cordis that I want to bring up because I was interested to see who it happens to.


CAMEROTA: Ninety-five percent of the cases, as you well know, Sanjay, are adolescent boys. Men, the mean age is 14 years old. And a risk factor is impact from hard spherical object. So, why does it mostly happen to adolescent boys?

GUPTA: They're not sure. I mean, there's also speculation about this. And again, I'll keep reiterating that this is rare. The reason I keep saying that is because it's very hard to draw sort of these broad conclusions when something happens so infrequently.

But they think, you know, typically, it has to do with this blow to the chest and someone who is younger. Obviously, Damar Hamlin is older, but when someone is younger, they have thinner chest wall. And that thinner chest wall may actually be something that makes them more vulnerable to having a blow to the chest that actually stuns the heart, essentially.

As the heart is starting to sort of relax for its next beat, it is stunned by this blow to the chest. The thinner chest may cause that or a very significant blow.

You don't hear about this in football. Hardly ever. You hear about it in sports that have an object that is being hurdle to the air at high speed, baseball, lacrosse ball, hockey, things like that, but that is probably why you're seeing it more in that particular age group.

CAMEROTA: Well, when this first happened to him and everyone was so shocked and so concerned when he collapsed on the field, I believe you are on the air and you said, I don't know, but it looks like commotio cordis to you, from what you just watched.

GUPTA: Right.

CAMEROTA: So, why haven't they've been able to come up with a cause after all this time?

GUPTA: One of the things that they call this type of diagnosis, Alisyn, is something known as diagnosis of exclusion. There's not a specific blood test or scan that says, aha, this is definitely commotio cordis.

The way the diagnosis is made is that you rule out all these other things, that he had some sort of cardiomyopathy, some sort of underlying problem of the heart. Could he have an electrical problem of the heart? There are some electrical problems that can predispose people to cardiac arrest.

Again, it sounds like, especially given Dr. Mayer's comments which we are just hearing today, that they've ruled all that out. So, my guess is they probably do have their diagnosis. They just haven't officially said it yet. But I think that's the process typically, this diagnosis of exclusion process.

CAMEROTA: Okay, really helpful. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, great to see you. Thanks so much. GUPTA: You got it. Any time. Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Just ahead, well, one of the police officers charged in the beating death of Tyre Nichols is now claiming.




CAMEROTA: For the first time, we are hearing from one of the five Memphis police officers charged with murder in the beating of Tyre Nichols.

Former Officer Justin Smith explaining in a newly-obtained sworn affidavit that he called for medical help before arriving on the scene that night. CNN has not been able to independently verify that he made that call. Smith, who has an EMT certification, also suggested he attempted to help Nichols by propping him up against the police car so he could breathe better.

Back with me, we have John Miller, Ashley Allison, and Elie Honig. I don't understand. Let me just start with you. I mean, this is the first time that we are hearing from him, John. But he called for help. We don't know if that is true. He has an EMT certification. Propping up Tyre Nichols is the most he can do? How about CPR? How about anything else?

MILLER: Well, I mean, propping him up was the right thing to do because you want even someone in handcuffs sitting upright so they don't aspirate and all that.

But then where was the rest, which is as a certified EMT, you know, he should have been checking for vital signs and other things while they were waiting for the Fire Department EMTs to get there. But we know from the story that the Fire Department EMTs got there and didn't check anything for a long time.

So, from every standpoint, this was a massive show of failure to render aid, which is a sworn obligation.

CAMEROTA: And so, but that -- if he did make that phone call, that would help him at trial, I assume?

HONIG: To an extent. So, first of all, if he claims in his sworn affidavit that he made that call, he better had made that call. Right? And presumably, he knows enough to know that any call he would make from the scene in his official duties would be reported somehow or other. We don't know exactly how he claims he made the call, whether it was over police radio. Sometimes, cops use their own phone, text, who knows? There better be a record of that.

Now, if he did that, this will help him on some of the lower charges on the indictment, the official omission, official misconduct, the failure to render aid, but it does not do anything for him on the top charge, on the murder in the second-degree charge, on the aggravated assault charge.

The other thing I just want to highlight is going to be really important decision in this case. How are these five defendants going to be split up for trial, the technical legal or the severance. I guarantee you the prosecutors will have all five of them together because the prosecutor will also say to the jury that all five of these men worked together, they're all complicit, they're all part of it. But each one of them is going to want their own separate trial.

CAMEROTA: Who decides?

HONIG: The judge decides that. It is a crucial decision.

CAMEROTA: Ashley, there is also another development and that is that one of the officers now charged named Demetrius Haley took a picture of Tyre Nichols after he was beaten and apparently texted it around.

I don't even know what -- I mean, I don't know what to make of that. I don't know what -- that shows a different level of voyeurism or cruelty.

ALLISON: Yeah, you had time to take a photo and text your friends but not call for help or stop beating a man. It is disgusting to me. I think it speaks to the culture of that department, the culture of that squad.


ALLISON: And I know after many police incidents, particularly this one, there are calls for additional training, but I would beg to say that the training is not going to tell you to beat someone to a bloody pulp and then take a photo.

Training doesn't stop an incident like this from happening, actually. This is why you have to get to the culture of the police department and really talk about how violence and going out with this warrior mentality that so many officers do sometimes show up in can be problematic and lead to these deadly situations like in the Nichols case.

CAMEROTA: Yes. Don't we want our police officers to have a warrior mentality? They are going out to fight, obviously, dangerous criminals. You know a lot about culture. What can they do in this police department since it is clearly rotten?

MILLER: Well, first of all, I would hesitate to paint with a wide brush and say every cop in Memphis is bad or every cop anywhere is bad. We have five bad cops here. That could only exist in a culture that allowed that kind of moral corruption to exist.

So, there is a problem there. I'm sure there are many good police officers in Memphis. These specialized units in a city that is beset with crime, like Memphis, but many cities are, can be highly effective if properly run. Properly run means careful selection process. That clearly did not happen here. Close supervision. One sergeant for every four or five operators out there. Clearly not the case. One lieutenant shows up six minutes after this is all over. It has very little effect.

Those are the basics of running a high-end plain clothes unit that's going to be engaging people in possible violent crimes and scenarios. And the chief admitted herself, she said, I don't have enough supervisors to put out there.

CAMEROTA: Is she, at all, responsible for this culture? I know that she's a new -- relatively new police chief there. But how much responsibility does she have?

MILLER: She is caught in the terrible perfect storm. She's a very well- regarded chief. She has very good reviews from where she came from, in Durham. But when she gets there, she has a police department that is hemorrhaging people, losing staff, and a city that is overrun with crime, one of the most dangerous metropolitan areas in the country, and a mayor, a press, and a city council who are demanding to act on those violent crimes. So, no any way it was going to come out. It was going to be a challenge for CJ Davis.

ALLISON: Yeah. I mean, I think you have to -- she has to have some accountability because at the end of the day, those officers were a part of her department. But I actually think you hit a really important. The decision on how to bring crime down in the community, all of it was put on the backs of the police officers. We know that crime and crime intervention can happen in many different ways.

And so, rather than the mayor, rather than the city council thinking about alternative methods than just having an aggressive scorpion union with warrior mentality, studies have shown that when officers show up with that warrior mentality, increase incidences of violence in civilians is likely.

So, I think that it should have been a broader holistic approach. That's what people are talking about when they talk about police reform. It's not just giving more funding to the police department. It is actually providing funding to social services and communities to do earlier interventions on violence and not -- the police officers not be the backstop to prevent crime in community.

CAMEROTA: For sure. One last thing about the pursuit syndrome. When you pull somebody over for whatever, bus or taillight, if there is impact, not just a pretense, and they run, who cares? Why are you chasing? Why are so many police officers chasing them? They're not armed. I mean, you know.

MILLER: One of the key problems with this story --


MILLER: -- is nobody can really tell you --

CAMEROTA: The predicate for pulling him over, I know.

MILLER: The predicate for pulling him over or what the charge was going to be --

CAMEROTA: Yeah. Yes. Right.

MILLER: It is a story that lacks a beginning.

CAMEROTA: That is a great point. Ten seconds.

HONIG: It is all about culture and policing. I was told early, when I was in charge of a lot of police officers, I would ride out all these policies, we have to do things this way, this way, it wasn't working. Someone said to me, culture eats policy for lunch when it comes to policing. I always remember that. It is all about the culture within the department.

CAMEROTA: Thank you all for this conversation. Meanwhile, what would be like to sit in pitch black darkness for four days and four nights? Well, one NFL is about to do exactly that. We'll tell you who and why, next.




CAMEROTA: One of the NFL's most decorated quarterbacks plans to sit in the dark for four days and four nights. MVP Aaron Rodgers is with the Green Bay Packers for the moment and he is trying to figure out if he's going to play next year or retire. Here is how he is going to do it.


AARON RODGERS, NFL PLAYER: It is four nights of complete darkness. You can leave if you can't do it. You can just walk out the door. It is a darkness retreat.


CAMEROTA: I wonder what that would be like. Sitting in the darkness. A darkest retreat like that. Just kidding. I said just kidding.


CAMEROTA: Okay, let's bring in Ben Court, executive editor of Men's Health who has interviewed Aaron Rodgers about his unique health journey. We also have with us John Miller, Ashley Allison and Elie Honig. Okay, so, Ben, why does -- do you have any idea why Aaron Rodgers wants to do this?


BEN COURT, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, MEN'S HEALTH: I think, you know, he is the kind of person who wants to understand himself really well. In the past, he has kind of made that journey to his self, taking psychedelic and that kind of thing.

I think this is kind of a melt -- this is a way to do to have that kind sort of inner quest without drugs and kind of, you know, spend a serious amount of time, really kind of depriving your senses so you can kind of get to your kind of core beliefs. So, I feel like he is a very curious, deliberate person. And this is a big decision, so he is kind of taking it seriously, for sure.

CAMEROTA: It is fascinating. It sounds a lot better than some other things he has tried. First of all, I mean, the Ayahuasca trips sound like the best. That seems like the best option for my money. That was in 2020 and 2022, he did Ayahuasca trips. Then in 2022, he did a 12- day ghee, like, clarified butter and laxative cleanse. That one sounds like the least appealing. And now, he wants to do this four-day darkness retreat.

And Ben, let me just read to you what the -- a darkness retreat owner describes it as. The Dark Retreat is nothing else than a room that's hermetically locked and therefore there is no light source able to come inside and therefore the eyes, open or close, will never adjust. And that's something we have never experienced except when we were in the womb of our mothers. So, it's this returning or coming home to that place of nourishment, that place of deep healing and deep love.

And so, do you think that he is going there to decide his future?

COURT: I don't think he's going to come out with the decision, but I feel like -- in our interview, he talked a lot about surrendering, just the kind of -- he felt he had to surrender in some ways one of those Ayahuasca journeys to kind of get to some inner core understanding of himself.

And so, I think he's hoping that he will -- this experience will somehow help him make a better decision. And it's interesting. I heard him talk about this kind of thing, too. It's almost being like a cocoon kind of experience. We think of darkness as being negative. But in some ways, obviously, he's hoping it is going to illuminate something for him, for sure.

CAMEROTA: Poetic. That is fascinating. Okay, panel, how many of you, guys, wanted to do a four-day darkness retreat?

HONIG: I'm intensely jealous. It sounds great.

CAMEROTA: Are you kidding?

HONIG: I mean, I will probably bail out after four hours. But the idea of the peacefulness that must happen -- I have some questions. How do you eat? How does the bathroom work?

CAMEROTA: I can tell you how. I don't know how the bathroom works, but I can tell you, they put your food through a slot in the door like in jail.

HONIG: Okay.

CAMEROTA: They slip it through. But I don't know how you eat when you're in the dark.

ALLISON: Your body can adjust quickly when it has to. I mean, I will say, call me the hippie on the panel --

CAMEROTA: Yeah, go.

ALLISON: -- but a lot of these practices are indigenous practices that our ancestors used. The minds go in sweat lodges that are completely black and they are called (INAUDIBLE). I've done one. And you go in and you do your -- your anxiety, but it forces you to really let go of the outside world, let go of these --

CAMEROTA: How long were you in there for?

ALLISON: Four hours.

CAMEROTA: Four hours in darkness and sweating?

ALLISON: And sweating. And it was a lot.

CAMEROTA: I'm sweating right now.

ALLISON: But it was a beautiful experience. And people sit in these experiences for a very long time. And our ancestors did them to get clarity of mind.

And so, this darkness retreat, people go inside quiet retreats where they don't talk for 12 days, and it is not because they aren't people, but it is about discipline and really clearing your mind.

So, I'm not like on Aaron Rodgers bandwagon, but I do understand some of the benefits of these.

CAMEROTA: I like that perspective a lot. Again, I just go back to the Ayahuasca. It seems easier. John, how does this appeal to you?

MILLER: So, it has a certain appeal. I mean, when you live, the way we live, minute to minute, on the phone, text message, the news desk is calling, there is a problem over here, there is an emergency, it is in the middle of the night, and you're trying to think thoughts, the idea of completely clearing your mind, completely clearing your thoughts, having visions and epiphanies and sensory deprivation which becomes a sensory awakening, actually, it has some appeal.

My question is -- I mean, he's got a decision to make. If he comes out of four days of darkness and throws open the door and sees a shadow and then goes back inside --


MILLER: -- do we have six more weeks of winter, which is going to affect more people than the Packers?


CAMEROTA: Those are all excellent questions. Listen, you've opened my mind to it. But I don't know that I need four days of it. I might just need four hours.

HONIG: I think I will do it. I'm out of the silence retreat. Forge it. I can't do that. This kind of makes me respect Aaron Rodgers. Why? I know he has become a little bit of a heel in the NFL but -- for lack of a better term -- it's cool to me that he is willing to try this unusual thing, especially in the NFL which tends to be very conformist and challenge himself and push himself.


HONIG: So, God bless.

CAMEROTA: I hear you. Ben Court, thank you very much for all the information and for sharing your reporting with us. Thank you very much, guys. Great to be with you tonight. But we do have news that is just in. Senator John Fetterman was admitted to a D.C. hospital today after feeling lightheaded. This is according to a spokesperson. There is no evidence of a new stroke, but he is being kept overnight for observation and more tests. We obviously will stay on that and bring you anything that develops.

Thanks so much for watching tonight. Our coverage continues.



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. If President Biden picked a fight with Republicans at the state of the union last night, he showed today that it is a fight he is happy to have.