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Erin Burnett Outfront
As U.S. Faces Grave Security Threat, Trump Meets With MyPillow CEO, Who had Notes About "Martial Law"; Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) Discusses About Her Take on How the Democrats Will Present their case During the Senate Trial; Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) Talks About Members of Congress Provided Tours of the Capitol to People Who are Part of the Riot; Sources: FBI & DHS Failed to Issue Threat Assessment About Potential Violence Ahead of Deadly Riot in D.C.; HHS Secretary Admits There is No Reserve Stockpile of Vaccines; Interview with Governor Jared Polis of Colorado. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired January 15, 2021 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: They died just five days apart. May they rest in peace and may their memories be a blessing.
Thanks very much for watching. I'll be back tomorrow for a special four-hour edition to THE SITUATION ROOM starting at 3 pm Eastern.
Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the nation under siege, the Capitol a fortress and the President of the United States tonight meeting with the CEO of MyPillow. And we have a picture of the CEO's notes, including references to election fraud and martial law.
And investigators now looking at whether members of Congress gave tours to people who took part in the riot. The Speaker calling for any congressional accomplices to be prosecuted.
Plus, 'we were lied to'. Governors' outrage after revelations that vaccine reserves promised by the Trump administration don't seem to exist. Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, the nation under siege. At this moment, the nation's Capitol turning into a fortress as more governors activate the National Guard in their states. Tonight, that number at 14 and it's growing. And it comes ahead of warnings of armed protests starting as early as this weekend.
So what did the President of the United States, the leader of the country do at this moment of need? He hung out with MyPillow guy. Remember Mike Lindell, known for pillows, known for telling the American public to take a plant extract that would end and cure coronavirus. Well, that's who he met with.
And look what Lindell had on his notes as he met with Trump. A Washington Post photographer captured it. So we'll hold it up here for a second. The document includes the words martial law (inaudible) the Constitution, dangerous and fringe ideas still making their way inside the White House.
So now because we saw Mike Lindell and we saw the paper, we all now know what the President's public schedule actually meant in practice. It read, "President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings."
Well, we know of one meeting with the pillow guy who came equipped with notes about martial law. Now, this sort of thing, of course, is disturbing, and it's embarrassing for us citizens. It also exposes painfully for everyone to see around the world that Trump, who is the current President of the United States is not working. He's not doing the job of President.
Now, the person who is doing the job is Vice President Mike Pence, a man who refuse to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would have formerly removed from Trump from the job. Essentially, Pence is just doing the job anyway.
This as The Washington Post reports that if that mob had arrived just seconds earlier to an area by the Senate floor, seconds earlier than when they got there, they would have actually seen the Vice President. His life could have been in serious danger. I mean, just listen to them. This is what they said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we came this far, what do you say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drag 'em out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got job to do. That's why we're going to kill these people, 'cause we got a job to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: According to an affidavit, one of the men charged was heard on a YouTube video saying, "Once we found out Pence turned on us and that they had stolen the election, like, officially, the crowd went crazy. I mean, it became a mob."
Now, we should notice, obviously, note that they officially found that out that Pence was going to go ahead and do his constitutional duty as Trump was speaking to them in Washington. Of course, that's when they officially found that out. But turned on us, the us being the attackers and Trump against Pence. And now team Trump is trying a new line to save his political future and his business.
So let me start by saying federal law enforcement officials say they have uncovered some evidence, which suggests the attack on the Capitol was a planned attack, not just a protest that spiraled out of control, although of course, there were parts of it that were that. So instead of facing the dark reality that a pre-planned attack would mean Trump's words and lies over months caused the planning to overthrow the election, Pence and members of Congress, Trump's son Donald Trump, Jr. tweets, "If these federal law enforcement agencies had prior knowledge that this was a planned attack, then POTUS didn't incite anything."
OK. Before I put the facts out there, we want to make sure everyone is aware that Trump's argument, that argument, is now being echoed by his diehard supporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. SCOTT PERRY (R-PA): How does the President incite an attack that was pre-planned and already underway before his speech concluded?
REP. LEE ZELDIN (R-NY): We know that this was pre-planned and it started while the President was speaking.
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: This was a pre-planned attack on the Capitol, which would have happened rally or no rally or irrespective of anything set at the rally.
JOHN SOLOMON, FOX NEWS POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If this was a planned attack, you can't be the President of the United States being accused of inciting a spontaneous attack when it was planned days before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: OK. The people you just heard there are not stupid. They're simply trying to put up smoke flares to confuse the truth. First of all, you heard that one person involved saying, well, once we heard at that moment Mike Pence was involved, we went and stormed. So there was an element of immediacy to it.
But pre-planned is not a relevant defense. Because Trump for months and months has been stirring up the very people who attacked the Capitol into a frenzy. He built up the lie and the violence even before the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's only one reason to fight it: they cheat.
We're going to fight for the survival of our nation and civilization itself.
We've got to end it. We've got to end the fight. We've got to put them down.
If we fight, we fight to win.
CROWD: U.S.A. U.S.A.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: We fight to win. We fight. We fight. Put them down. Fight for the survival of our nation and civilization itself. All of that was before the election even happened and then he lost. And so he turned up the volume.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We will never give up and we will never back down.
We're fighting. We're going to fight like you never saw before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Going to fight like you never saw before. Well, we had never seen a mob of Americans attack the Capitol and threatened to kill the Vice President before for the act of encouragement to the President of the United States. And then Trump turned on his own party for upholding the results of a fair election, putting Republicans who wouldn't go along with his lies on notice.
So on December 18th, Trump goes on Twitter and he says, "Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Republican senators have to get tougher or you won't have a Republican Party anymore." We won the Presidential election by a lot. FIGHT FOR IT. Don't let them take it away."
And then he kept pouring lighter fuel on the fire, nearly every single day on Twitter, every single day and his people heard from rallies to riot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: Stop the steal. Stop the steal. Stop the steal.
Stop the steal. Stop the steal. Stop the steal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: And the mobs' echoes of Trump are everywhere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The Democrats are trying to steal the White House. You cannot let that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't get to steal it from us.
TRUMP: We're bringing our country back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want our country back.
TRUMP: This is our country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is our House. This is our country. This is our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So the video, the tweet record, the echoes, they all prove the case. But if you want to hear it from someone involved, listen to Jacob Chansley's defense. He is now facing six charges, including entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority, violent entry, disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Prosecutors claiming that after standing at the desk where pence had been earlier that morning, that Chansley wrote a note saying, "It's only a matter of time, Justice is coming."
And Chansley's defense completely contradicts what Trump sycophants are now claiming, which is that Trump's hands are clean.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALBERT WATKINS, ATTORNEY FOR CAPITOL RIOT SUSPECT JACOB CHANSLEY: He loved Trump, every word. He listened to him. He felt like he was answering the call of our President.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Answering the call of our President, a call that we all heard loudly, clearly, consistently, repeatedly for months, giving the attackers time to plan.
Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT at the White House tonight. Kaitlan, what is Trump doing?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE House CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far the only meeting that we've actually confirmed the President has had today is with the CEO of MyPillow, Michael Lindell, who of course is a longtime ally of the President's and a Republican donor. Someone that we've seen pretty often either the White House or at the President's rallies.
But, of course, today adds a new twist to it because the President has been largely invisible this entire week. We've only really seen him in those videos that the White House produced that came as we reported after much pressure from advisors saying that the President needed to strongly condemn violence. And so we now do know that he met with Mike Lindell, but it's those notes that Mike Lindell was seeing caring that are raising so many eyebrows about what was happening during this meeting.
Because while the President said he was committing to a peaceful and orderly transition of power, he still has not actually called Joe Biden. He's not going to his inauguration next week. He's actually going to be leaving town beforehand. And if you look at these notes, they mentioned things like martial law, they referenced Sidney Powell, that pro-Trump attorney who appeared at that press conference with Rudy Giuliani and has spread a lot of lies about the election.
They talk about moving officials over to the CIA that would have to mean firing the CIA director. It's not clear what these notes mean, whether they were given to the President. We have confirmed that they actually met one-on-one today. But no other details have been offered by the White House or by Lindell's side, other than that, Erin.
So I really think it does speak to where the President's mindset is and it's what we've reported that he has not privately changed his opinion or his view of what's going on when it comes to this election, despite that siege that we saw on Capitol Hill. And this comes at a time when the President is increasingly isolated in the White House.
You're seeing a lot of his top aides depart this week, including Larry Kudlow left earlier this week. He's now criticizing the President in an outgoing interview. The Press Secretary is expected to leave today and go to Florida this weekend and not come back to the office. Several other top officials as well. And so you see who the President is surrounding himself with in his final days in office, Erin.
BURNETT: Kaitlan, thank you.
OUTFRONT now, John Dean, who served as President Nixon's White House Counsel and John Avlon, our Senior Political Analyst and author of Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America.
So John Dean, multiple members of the cabinet have resigned, the others have left, the Acting Secretary of Defense said yesterday that he 'cannot wait to leave the job'. There's not even a press secretary. Meanwhile, the President of the United States is meeting with the MyPillow guy who's talking about martial law, firing the head of the CIA and, I mean, that's who got with Trump one-on-one today. That was the person.
JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Very striking, but very typical Trump who has been unorthodox and untutored in the presidency since he arrived. He's learned very little since he's been there. He is as chaotic at the end as he is in the beginning.
Most presidents, the President I worked for work right up to the last minute until he was removed. All the Presidents I've looked at and I've looked at most of them, work right up to the end and some of them have to be pried away to - because they want to keep doing things even though it's over. So this is very unusual, but very Trumpian.
BURNETT: John Avlon the MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, I'm sorry, has confirmed to our own Jim Acosta that he did meet with President Trump for about five minutes and that he tried to hand the President what he described as evidence of voter fraud. OK, so Jim did confirm that from Mike Lindell who repeated some of the conspiracy theories that Trump has sprouted since the election, all of which are untrue.
Lindell said Trump told him to turn over the material to lawyers working at a White House, what do you say, John?
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's pathetic. It's surreal. But it's all too predictable. I remained surprised that people who are surprised that it's ended this way. When you rule by lies and you live by lies, you die by lies, and the President's obsession with strength was always to mask his own weakness and now he's alone. He's betrayed everybody.
And on his final days in the White House, he's spending time talking about martial law and conspiracy theories with the MyPillow guy. It's perfect in a way if it weren't so perfectly tragic and sad in terms of reflection on our country as this man is still our president for a few more days.
BURNETT: So John Dean, the argument that Donald Trump, Jr. is making, by the way, I was surprised it took him a few days to think of it. But the whole idea that pre planning would mean Trump didn't incite it that day. First of all, you have people there who were incited that day, some of them are saying so. But pre planning itself would be completely beside the point, because I think we just made the case very clear for what Trump did over months and months and months. So do you think that this will hold up during the trial?
DEAN: Erin, incitement isn't a single act, it is a process. It can extend over a long period of time. In fact, it can be months he's at work inciting this. And what I think one of these - and I'm not upset that the trial is not immediately being held in the Senate to test the impeachment, the bill of impeachment, is it gives the managers time to gather evidence. And I think there is much more evidence that Trump was deeply involved in the planning and aware of it.
As former White House Counsel, I can tell you, I was informed of every major demonstration in the United States and particularly in the District of Columbia. Fifty years ago, we had sources, intelligence that infiltrated or I don't know how all they got the information, got information from the CIA, the FBI. There was no Director of National Intelligence as there is today, so they're even getting more.
So I can tell you with assurance that the White House knew exactly what was going to go down and why it was going to go down and the implications of it. So I think when that comes out, it's going to make Trump even more vulnerable to conviction in the Senate.
BURNETT: Interesting, an argument for that time may not necessarily hurt. John Avlon, you hear the protesters, hang Mike Pence, kill these people and you take into account what the President been saying in the days prior about Mike Pence and then what he said on that day is to that crowd.
That he's turned on us, going the wrong way. We all know what happened here, the question is whether the Republicans in the Senate will acknowledge what happened, right?
AVLON: Right. I mean, I think one of the reasons the fever began to break with this is they finally experience the fury that has been stirred by President Trump for no reason other than his own ego satisfaction attempt to hold on to political power. Personally, it came home. And I think that's why there remains an enormous amount of anger at those senators who persisted and tried to overturn an election after they were all attacked. But this is not about one incident, this is about a constant drumbeat
in an environment that's been created and encouraged by Trump and his supporters and his chief enablers online and elsewhere that created an atmosphere of sort of making these people believe that they had to kill people in order to save the Republic. It's a conspiracy theory gone wildly wrong, because the President has pushed it.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. I appreciate your time.
And out front now I want to go to one of the House impeachment managers, Democratic Congresswoman, Diana DeGette. Our understanding, I really appreciate your time, and it's our understanding that the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is going to send the impeachment article to the Senate next week. So obviously, Mitch McConnell wasn't going to reconvene the Senate prior to Joe Biden's inauguration, but then immediately thereafter, they're going to go ahead and do it. Is that your understanding as well?
REP. DIANA DEGETTE (D-CO): I don't think it has been decided from my perspective, Erin. I heard that rumor today. But I know that the Speaker has been talking to Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer and I don't know when it will be. But whenever it is, the impeachment managers intend to be ready to present our case.
BURNETT: So what can you tell us about how Democrats will present their case during the Senate trial?
DEGETTE: Well, we're still working on that. Obviously, the crime was just, what, nine days ago. But I just heard what you were talking about the this latest defense that they seem to be throwing up as, well, it was planned in advance. Well, it was planned in advance because the President told them to come. The President helped him plan it.
He said come to Washington, come to the White House, we're going to stop this count. Then they all went to the White House and he said go up to Capitol Hill and stop the count. And then they all went up and had a big riot, putting everybody in that chamber, including the Vice President at risk.
Early in my career, I was a public defender and sometimes you have tough cases like this and you come up with crazy defenses like this, because it's all you've got. It just seems, well, weak to me.
BURNETT: So the impeachment article mentions the Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger. So he's obviously a potential witness. Obviously, Trump called him and Raffensperger put that call out there and Trump said, repeated all of the baseless conspiracy theories and asked him to find one more vote than the margin of victory of Joe Biden in Georgia.
I wonder as to your thoughts on the strategy here, we laid out in audio and video and tweet Trump's role in what happened on Wednesday. The Brad Raffensperger part of this is almost a separate point, although obviously about election fraud. Are you concerned that they could confuse the issue to merge these things together? DEGETTE: Well, we're still talking about our trial strategy and how
we're going to present it and any good lawyer is not going to divulge their strategy in advance. But we're obviously looking at all of the pieces of the article of impeachment and planning to present a robust case and really, it strikes me, we were talking today, every person that was in the Capitol Complex as a victim, including the senators who are going to be hearing this case, so the jurors and the victims.
BURNETT: So you heard the argument Don Jr. is making and I know you were talking about it, but basically it took them a few days to get to this but saying if these federal law enforcement agencies say that this was a planned attack, then POTUS didn't incite anything. Obviously, that's completely bogus. But you can hear his supporters: Rudy Giuliani, others in Congress, the loyal few remaining echoing it, how do you respond to it?
DEGETTE: Well, I will say one thing about the Trump people, they're very good at echoing a message. We've seen that for four years. But it's a ludicrous message, because what they're forgetting is that Donald Trump was part of the planning. He's the one in many different - you played some of that right before this in tweets and other venues, he said come to Washington and help me stop this.
And then when they got here, then he said, now, we're all going to march up to the Capitol and we're going to stop this. So that's really a pretty weak defense.
BURNETT: Congresswoman DeGette, I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much.
DEGETTE: Thanks, Erin. Great being with you.
BURNETT: And next breaking news, rioters came dangerously close reportedly within 100 feet of Vice President Mike Pence during their Siege of the Capitol as they were chanting hang Mike Pence. We have the shocking new video here in tonight.
Plus, is it possible that members of Congress gave rioters tours of the Capitol just 24 hours before the insurrection? Investigators want answers now.
BURNETT: And a bombshell about second doses of the coronavirus vaccine. The Trump administration said that they had stored back reserves, so everyone who got one there was a reserve shot waiting for you. But tonight we have learned that that is not the case.
BURNETT: Breaking news, The Washington Post reporting that rioters came dangerously close to Vice President Mike Pence, only a hundred feet from where he hid with his wife and daughter. Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROWD: We want Pence. We want Pence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT(voice over): As the mob chanted hang Mike Pence and a makeshift gallows went up, the Vice President's wife and daughter were just seconds away from being spotted according to The Washington Post. At one point they were hiding less than a hundred from the violent crime, attacking police officers, journalists and others.
The timeline tells how it happened. Just before one o'clock President Trump demands Pence toss the election results.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Mike Pence, I hope you're going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country. And if you're not, I'm going to be very disappointed in you. I will tell you right now. I'm not hearing good stories.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Senate will now retire to its chamber.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN(voice over): Pence has no legal power to reject the vote. But a little more than an hour as he leads Congress in certifying the vote for Joe Biden, the Trump crowd is hammering through Capitol barricades. Inside ...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We have been told by Capitol Police that the Capitol is in lockdown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN(voice over): Outside, by 2:11 the mob smashes into the building. Moments later The Post says Pence is hustled out of the chamber.
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): The Senate will stand in recess until the call of the chair.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The protesters are in the building.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. BURNETT: 2:14, Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman is single
handedly slowing the surge of rioters some shouting, "Where's Mike Pence?" Based on the post reporting, the few seconds Goodman buys keeps the mob from seeing Pence and his family being hurried into hiding in an office. Goodman lowers the crowd toward other officers likely getting other lawmakers time to escape too.
Soon after the violent mob seizes, the Senate floor anyway, taking the very seat the Vice President occupied minutes earlier. And President Trump during all of this, he was watching events unfold on TV. According to many witnesses taking no action for hours to stop the attack and tweeting to 2:24, "Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done." It was later deleted.
FOREMAN(on camera): Pence did have the courage to come back and do his job later that day, of course, declaring the Joe Biden was the fair winner of the election. The Secret Service says Pence was always secure throughout this process, but that security as you can tell now, Erin, was a lot more shaky than we've thought all along.
BURNETT: Absolutely. Tom Foreman, thank you.
And also breaking tonight, we are learning that investigators are looking into the possibility that some members of Congress provided tours of the Capitol to people who are part of the riot. OUTFRONT now one of the lawmakers who saw these tours, Democratic Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania. So Congresswoman, obviously, we're here in the time of a pandemic, tours, my understanding is are not happening at the Capitol. So tell me what did you notice about these tours?
REP. MARY GAY SCANLON (D-PA): Well, that was exactly it. We haven't had tours of the Capitol since March because of the pandemic. There are very few people there other than members and some staff. So on either Monday or Tuesday between our Sunday swearing in and then Wednesday, which was the day of the electoral vote count, I noticed a tour going through the tunnels underneath the office buildings to the Capitol.
And I remarked upon it because it was unusual. I hadn't seen a tour since March. I was somewhat annoyed by the tour because many of the members on the tour were not wearing their masks properly or not wearing them over their face, that's the whole point of not having tours and asking people to protect themselves and protect others. So I did notice it.
I did not have the same reaction that my colleague, Mikie Sherrill, did. She's the one who's led the letter and has military training, so she put a spin on it that she thought people were on some kind of reconnaissance. I can't say that I did, because I'm concentrating on the fact that (inaudible) ...
BURNETT: That they were there. But can I just understand, Congresswoman, there were, you said, multiple. So you saw multiple members doing this. Are you able to share who they were?
SCANLON: No, no, no, let me be clear. I saw a tour. I saw one tour and I can't say that it was a member leaving it. I thought it was a congressional staffer leading it.
SCANLON: I mean, you can't even get into that area unless you're with a staffer, so there had to be some sort of license to get in there.
BURNETT: OK. And obviously you say Mikie Sherrill, she does have military experience. She did say that what she saw made her feel that people were doing reconnaissance or casing and then obviously we saw some of these members of the mob, the insurrectionists with maps of the tunnel and knowing where things were. But let me just ask you this question, because the House Speaker says if members of Congress were accomplices, she uses that word, they may have to be prosecuted.
These tours could have been provided without the person providing the member or the staffer knowing what they were really being used for. Do you think it's possible that any of your colleagues knowingly helped these rioters?
SCANLON: Well, they did knowingly help people who were planning to break into capital and terrorize the staff and the members and the vice president, then absolutely they have to be prosecuted.
But, I think, you know, it's early days. I don't think we should jump to conclusions but it's certainly concerning enough that I'm pleased to hear today that the Capitol Police has initiated that investigation.
BURNETT: I want to ask you about the report that rioters came within seconds of spotting Vice President Mike Pence, about 100 feet away from where he was sheltering, right, and hiding with his wife and daughter. You know, they were looking for him and chanting "hang Mike Pence" outside.
What has it been like for you to grapple with just how dangerous the situation was because as we have learned after, there was a lot more dangerous than you knew then?
SCANLON: That's one of the things I have tried to convey when talking about it, and I tried to convey on the floor the other night when I had the opportunity to speak because, you know, this was billed as some kind of peaceful protest. It was far from peaceful. People did come there with intent, clearly, they're calling "hang Mike Pence", they were talking about kidnapping the speaker of the House.
We have a family friend who was one of the police officers who was really seriously hurt. He was tased. He had been speaking out publicly now.
I mean, there was a lot of injury done. These were people who came intending to commit crimes, and egged on and at the invitation of the president of the United States.
So you are talking about this being part of a pattern of conduct, I think both the invitation, and the failure to do anything about it for hours afterwards, both add to the element of incitement and intent.
BURNETT: It's a significant point. Thank you very much, Congresswoman.
And, of course, to her point, yeah, the president's reaction after it took him seven days to actually condemn it. Seven days. And we have learned that he only did so in fear of legal action.
I want to go now to former FBI special agent Tim Clemente.
So, Tim, you watched the riot unfold, and you have a lot of tactical experience, so what struck you is how it appears people affiliated with QAnon were able to organize?
TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, Erin, it really surprised me that some of these characters, and it really was a cast of characters that were kind of leading this onslaught on the Capitol, the buffalo horn fur hat wearing shaman from QAnon, that character who's since been charged, we see, and in his charging documents, it says that he should be held because he's a danger. He was carrying a spear into the capitol with a flag on it.
It seemed like the QAnon crazies had been able to muster an army around them which I find surprise because I do belief as the congresswoman just said, it started out as a peaceful protest, it should have been a peaceful protest, it never should have progressed to what it was, and to see the level of violence against the police, and to see the level of destruction and the anarchy that was taking place in the capitol, I can understand why one of the protesters were shot by the Capitol police, because if they were in that near of proximity to one of their primary protectees, the vice president of the United States, deadly force is authorized in that situation, and it's a sad state of affairs and was considered and needed.
BURNETT: Yeah. So, we spoke to some of the officers, you're talking about the police officers who were brutally attacked. One of them was killed. Their stories are shocking. Listen to this, Tim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL FANONE, DC METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICER: Some guy started getting ahold of my gun, and they were screaming out, you know, kill him with his own gun.
DANIEL HODGES, DC METROPOLITAN POLICE OFFICER: There was a guy ripping my mask off, and he was able to rip away my baton, beat me with it, and he was practically foaming at the mouth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: It's just awful and disturbing. What does this tell you, Tim, about the people that took part in this attack? CLEMENTE: It tells me that they're not supporters of any legitimate
cause. There were hundreds of thousands of people at the rally there that supported the president of the United States, that were mostly Republicans. There were a lot of QAnon people there in that crowd, and there were a lot of people that were there purely to instigate this incident. They were there for the purpose of this violence.
I don't believe that, you know, there's the theory of mob situations where people get caught up in mob behavior and start doing things they otherwise wouldn't do. I do not believe an ordinary person there to peacefully protest, some people were singing and praying at that rally could then become a person who wants to take a police officer's gun and assassinate them with their own gun.
My next door neighbor is a Capitol police officer. He was there on the Capitol. He was there with Brian Sicknick, a short while before he was unfortunately killed in this incident, a tragic incident, and those officers had never faced anything like this, and should never have faced it.
We can't say that this was just a protest that went wrong because I believe the instigation at the Capitol was completely planned.
It was an event that people went there for that sole purpose. They wanted to take over that building, and those that are chanting kill Mike Pence or hang Mike Pence, clearly had that purpose in mind.
BURNETT: Yeah, Tim, thank you very much.
CLEMENTE: Thank you, Erin.
BURNETT: And next, breaking news, CNN just learning the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security failed to distribute a report about the threat of potential violence ahead of the deadly riot at the Capitol. This is according to a source. So why?
And governors across the country say a major Trump administration promise about vaccine availability has been broken, going for the second doses. And the stockpile is empty?
BURNETT: Breaking news, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security failed to issue threat assessments about potential violence ahead of last week's deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to a source familiar with the matter and a senior DHS official. It comes as the pentagon is authorizing up to 25,000 National Guard members in Washington for inauguration day amid the heightened security concerns.
Evan Perez is OUTFRONT.
So, Evan, from your reporting, what more can you tell us about this failure, which could end up being absolutely crucial in that it happened and why it happened to distribute intelligence before last week's insurrection?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right, if you look at the contrast between the sharing of these types of reports before the election for instance or even during the summer, during the Black Lives Matter protests, Erin, it is stark to see what didn't happen this time.
And you talk to Homeland Security officials, my colleagues, Geneva Sands and Zachary Cohen talked to DHS officials and they say, look, they couldn't discern between the aspirational and people who had intentional -- had the intent to attack the Capitol, and that's one reason why these -- they didn't distribute a more formal report, and they say that they could not anticipate that these protests were going to turn violent, despite all of the chatter that was out there.
I will note that now that this has happened, you can see a distinct difference in the way intelligence is being shared. One of the things I'm told today is that they're tracking dozens of people who they're concerned about who could pose a threat of violence to the events in the coming days, including the inauguration. There is a surveillance net looking and tracking these people because they want to make sure they know where they are.
And one of the big concerns, Erin, and that's one reason why you see the National Guard manning these stations with 12-foot fences is there's a particular concern about vehicles being used to try to get into secure areas.
Again, one reason why, you know, everything from my neighborhood is completely covered with National Guard. You go one block from my house, and that's where you begin seeing the security cordon.
BURNETT: All right. Evan, thank you very much.
So, Evan's talking about what we're seeing in Washington, right, a fortress. One of the most amazing things about Washington when you travel there is the lack of visible security, that you are able to go everywhere. To see a fortress like this like other places in the world is tragic.
It's not just Washington, Michigan is mobilizing a quote significant amount of national guard numbers as state police officials expect a, quote, unknown number of protesters at the state capitol this weekend.
OUTFRONT now, the mayor of Lansing Michigan, Mayor Andy Schor, Democratic mayor. And Lansing, of course, is the site of this weekend's expected protests.
So, Mayor, I appreciate your time. So, you got government buildings fenced in boarded up, armed militia members say they are planning to protest in your city, and yet, we're told it's an unknown number. Tell me what you're anticipating?
MAYOR ANDY SCHOR (D), LANSING, MICHIGAN: Well, it is an unknown number, but we're preparing for the worst. You know, you prepare for violence, you prepare for when you hear, you know, there are people who want to come in and create chaos in your city. So, yeah, the state is putting fencing around the Capitol. We're seeing some boards to go up on some state buildings and city hall. We're putting boards and fences going up. We're seeing businesses that are doing it.
People are nervous and, you know, it's not just D.C. I know that we're going to have the same protections that you all are in D.C., but we're taking protections, we're taking -- we have to make sure that our city is ready for what might happen. We still hope that it's going to be a peaceful, nonviolent protest. But after we saw what happened in D.C., we're prepared.
BURNETT: So we know Washington is prepared with their security build up but obviously that's, you know, in response to what we already saw. The states, though, are on the front lines this weekend, right? I know your state obviously doesn't border wash and a lot of those states have had to send their own National Guard to support the Capitol. Do you feel you have enough resources?
SCHOR: I do now. With Lansing police, our police department, with our county sheriff, with our state police, and with the governor agreeing to call up the National Guard, I feel that we do have enough to handle whatever situation might come.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Mayor. I appreciate your time.
SCHOR: Thank you.
BURNETT: And we have more breaking news. The head of the CDC saying tonight, the U.S. is quote about to be in the worst months of the crisis, even after a week of the U.S. reporting daily deaths nearing 4,000, or topping that on multiple days.
And also tonight, an unbelievable and very bizarre revelation. The U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar admits the U.S. does not have a reserve stockpile of vaccines.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX AZAR, HHS SECRETARY: No, there's not a reserve stockpile. We now have enough confidence that our ongoing production will be quality and available to provide the second dose for people, so we're not sitting on a reserve anymore. We've made that available to the states to order.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Colorado Governor Jared Polis joins me now.
Governor, thanks very much for your time.
So we all want to understand exactly what's happening here, so tell me what happened in Colorado, you were told there were reserves, but now we're learning that there aren't reserves, that they have already been released into the system last week. So are you shocked by this? Does this affect your ability to vaccinate people?
GOV. JARED POLIS (D), COLORADO: I am just, you know, devastated by these flip-flops on life or death items, and the way that Secretary Azar misled the entire country. There had been this debate over a week or two of whether the reserve, which we were told was a mere dose for every dose, meaning one is administered, there's one that waits three weeks or four weeks later to go out to the same person.
A policy that may or may not be prudent. Could be debated on the merits. But the whole debate to send those out or reduce the reserve was predicated on there being a reserve. And finally, today, shockingly, Secretary Azar tells us there is, in fact, no reserve dosage.
Now, that might have been the right policy from the get-go, but we all have been led to believe there's a reserve that was going to be released in our state, that would have been 200,000 to 300,000 doses next week that now are not going to be available.
BURNETT: Well, right. I mean, this is the reality, if you didn't know it, the math is the math here, it obviously would mean you're going to have to stop vaccinating new people because you've got to have the vaccines for the second dose of people who already had them, right? It's just going to affect --
POLIS: It doesn't stop vaccinating new people but slows it significantly. Of course, you have to do the second dose, no question, and then whatever you have available on top of that is for the first dose of new people, so significantly less doses for the first dose.
What people should understand is if you did get the first dose a month ago, your second dose will be there, it's there, the numbers are there. But we have thought and the rest of the country thought that would be available for new people.
BURNETT: That's right. Well, what it means is you're going to have to give the second dose, because you got to get that done. It's new people coming in for the first dose, they're going to have to -- some of them are going to have to wait.
So, let me ask you, Governor, Pfizer says in a statement to us tonight, they say, quote, Operation Warp Speed has asked us to stop shipping second doses recently. As a result, we have on hand all the second doses of the prior shipments to the U.S., we are working around the clock to produce millions more each day.
I guess when you look at the math of what you need, are they producing enough for you to make up for this gap that has now occurred, is now there?
POLIS: Well, there's a statement in there, because you're reading it to me for the first time where it sounds like Pfizer is saying they have some of the second doses. What we really need is a new administration, we need President Biden
and Secretary Becerra to restore some confidence and sanity to this, to figure out what the hell is going on, and if they have extra doses to get them out.
BURNETT: Right. So what happened here? I mean, Alex Azar is defending the administration, right? He was asked to respond to governors like you being angry, right, and you know, you didn't use the word deception but, you know, you're saying they said one thing, and they didn't do it, right? They didn't do it at all.
Here's his defense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX AZAR, HHS SECRETARY: When we sit and spend an hour and a half with the nation's governors, with the vice president, walking through the data, talking about available supplies, that's just -- that's just willfulness and wanting to score a political point. Every piece of data about this is completely transparent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Every piece of data is completely transparent.
POLIS: Spending time with the governors is just political for them?
I mean, we're the ones on the ground implementing the vaccination strategy. Nobody needs to know more about the quantity than the governors in all 50 states and the territories.
We are planning to get this into people's arms to protect their lives. The fact that the administration viewed this as an afterthought is incredibly offensive and disrupts the ability of governors to get it done.
BURNETT: Quickly, final question, if you had all the doses that you would need for people who live in Colorado, would you actually be able to get them into people's arms with the infrastructure distribution that you have now?
POLIS: We were ready to do two to 300,000 doses next week. Now, the amount we'll get will be about 70,000. We could easily do three, four, five times at the level that we're currently doing if we simply had the vaccines to do it.
BURNETT: Governor Polis, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.
POLIS: Thank you.
BURNETT: That's a huge, huge drop in vaccine.
Next, Senator James Lankford, he sowed down about election security, and now, he's telling black voters he's sorry. We'll see his explanation.
BURNETT: Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma who challenged the election results is issuing a letter, apologizing to his black constituents.
Lankford writing in a letter, quote: my action of asking for more election information caused a firestorm of suspicion among many of my friends, particularly in black communities around the state. I was completely blindsided but I also found a blind spot.
What I did not realize was all the national conversation about states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan was casting down out of the predominantly black communities like Atlanta, Philadelphia and Detroit. I should have recognized what I said and what I did could be interpreted by many of you. I deeply regret my blindness to that perception and for that, I am sorry.
He didn't realize what he was doing. I mean, it's hard to imagine that. How could that be? It wasn't a secret, right?
"USA Today", Trump election lawsuits targeted areas with large black Latino populations and NAACP sues Trump, GOP over alleged disenfranchisement of black voters.
"Washington Post," Trump is trying to disenfranchise black voters, the GOP isn't stopping him.
But, OK, maybe Lankford missed these and many other headlines about Trump's efforts to overturn the election and missed all the lawsuits were focused on these communities. But, surely, a senator would not sign on to challenging a presidential election before he knew what he was objecting to, right? After Lankford last year said, quote, we've coming along but on the issue of race in America but we clearly have a long way to go.
He actually sits on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, one of the most deadly, deadly race massacres in the country. A white mob terrorized black residents' homes and businesses. Historians now believe it could left up to 300 people dead. He's on the commission.
But Lankford says he did not know, and instead, he repeatedly went on TV and helped President Trump and his allies tried to undermine the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): I mean, everything from sharpies on ballots in Arizona, to suitcases of ballots under tables in Georgia, to laws that were changed, to individuals that were dead or that moved, or were from out of state, that voted. All of those things demand to be able to take a look at it.
It's very difficult to be able to police absentee ballots. Once a ballot leaves out there, and try to be able to manage it, is this a person who actually voted.
There were some people that voted that -- registered and voted that were dead.
They have people that were gathering up ballots from homeless people and just saying, I'm going to fill it up for you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Of course, remember in Georgia, the president said 5,000 dead people that voted and it was two, right? There's a lot of fact- checking that didn't happen here apparently by the senator. The question, though, is did he know what he was objecting to, when he made a speech on the Senate floor challenging the results of the election, just as the Senate was evacuated when the pro-Trump mob attacked?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LANKFORD: We have proposed a constitutional solution. Pause the count. Get more facts to the states before January the 20th. My challenge today is not about the good people of Arizona.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll stand in recess until the call of the chair.
LANKFORD: We'll pause. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: One thing worth noting, Lankford did withdraw his challenge when the Senate returned the nights and Congress needed to come together. But he did it because of the riot. And maybe that awakened him to the reality of what he was doing.
But we should be clear here. He's not saying he's sorry now for challenging the election. He saying that he's sorry about how his decision to challenge the election was perceived.
OUTFRONT now, Derrick Johnson. He's the president of the NAACP.
First, what is your reaction to Senator Lankford, who has spoken out about race relations, on the commission, saying he was not aware of the issue?
DERRICK JOHNSON, PRESIDENT, NAACP: Is he prepared now to go to convict the president with this impeachment proceeding now that he recognized the president and others misled him? Is he prepared to make amends to the residents of African descent in Oklahoma with a bill to address race riot in Tulsa?
I think that what is clear here is the fact that individuals committed treason, a coup d'etat, he was a part of it with the messaging that he put out there to concessions in others. And now, he's trying to make demands for his actions. The only way he can make amends in our opinion is if he stands up in
the moment in convicts the president with the impeachment process. It's a toxic culture that's been created by actions from individuals like him and others that's something that's going to cause African- Americans in the nation to deal with it for years to come.
BURNETT: So, President Johnson, let me read a part, read a little bit of what Lankford says in his letter. He says, I should have recognized how would I said and what I did could be interpreted by many of you. I deeply regret my blindness to that perception, and for that I am sorry.
So, obviously, he's not apologizing for his election challenge only how it was perceived. What do you make of that? And what do you make of it, if someone's going to stand up and challenge election, not realize all the lawsuits were indeed targeting very specifically at these black communities in Atlanta, Detroit and Philadelphia?
JOHNSON: You know, for a United States senator to say he was not aware before he took such an aggressive posture is unfortunate for the citizens he represents. Is there something he always approach his vote, for debate uninformed? No, that's like saying I did not realize I'd kick you with my left foot I really meant to kick you with my right foot. I'm sorry you perceived it was the wrong foot. It's still a kick.
We have a problem with politicians such as him that use dog whistle politics. But in this case, the loud siren of racism, the loud siren of white supremacy, as a mechanism to try to drive an agenda that's not consistent with our democracy.
BURNETT: So he does ask for a second chance. He continues in the letter. He says, I am asking my friends in North Tulsa for grace and an opportunity for us to show the state wet reconciliation looks like in moments of disagreement.
So does it really, do you, in terms of his genuine meaning of it, come down to his vote on convicting the president?
JOHNSON: Well, words and the backdrop of a failed coup to undermine democracy falls short. What is he going to do? Not have a conversation. Not seek healing. What is he going to do?
We had a person still in the White House who have created some of the most negative atmosphere we've seen since the civil war. Now, what are you going to do since you are a part to this? Are you going to vote to convict the president? Are you going to take a course of action through your legislature responsibilities to build democracy?
Are you going to leave a party that has left the notion that they should serve and protect both foreign and domestic? What are you going to do? Not what are you going to say.
BURNETT: All right. President Johnson, I appreciate time. Thank you very much.
I hope Senator Lankford will come on and talk about this, and his plans, and his thoughts, and we invited him tonight and he declined.
Thanks so much to all of you for joining us.
Anderson starts now.