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Erin Burnett Outfront

Trump's Impeachment Trial Delayed Until February; McConnell Privately Says He Wants Trump Gone; Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) Discusses About Sen. Schumer's Decision to Delay Trump's Impeachment Trial in the Senate; Biden on Economy: "We're in a National Emergency"; Biden's Econ Chief Urges Action on Relief Bill: Without Action "We Risk Falling into a Very Serious Economic Hole"; Biden COVID Adviser: White House Did Not Inherit a National Vaccine Plan; Hank Aaron: A Great Ballplayer, A Greater Man. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired January 22, 2021 - 19:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Hank Aaron was 86 years old. Our deepest, deepest condolences to his family and his friends. May he rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing.

Thanks very much for watching.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next breaking news, Trump's impeachment trial now officially delayed as one Republican member of Congress tells CNN McConnell wants Trump gone. Will he vote to convict?

Plus, so much for unity. Republicans already dismissing Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package, which includes a $15 national minimum wage in $2,000 stimulus checks. One of the President's top economic advisors is OUTFRONT.

And Dr. Deborah Birx breaks her silence. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news, the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer delaying Donald Trump's impeachment trial. It now is going to start the week of February 8th, which is roughly the timeline Mitch McConnell wanted and McConnell wants Trump gone.

Our Jamie Gangel and Michael Warren reporting dozens of influential Republicans are lobbying McConnell to vote to convict Trump. A member of Congress telling CNN, "Mitch said to me he wants Trump gone. It is in his political interest to have him gone. It is in the GOP interest to have him gone. The question is, how do we get there?"

Well, it's not going to be easy. McConnell has to get 17 Republicans onboard to convict Trump and bury him for his actions against the United States and there are very loud voices in the Republican Party who are still standing firmly behind the former president. Josh Hawley, first and foremost, remember that photograph Hawley's

triumphant fist in the air as he greeted pro Trumpers outside the Capitol as they marched on that day of the daily insurrection. Hawley telling CNN today he has no regrets for answering Trump's call to try to overturn the election. Listen to his exchange with our Manu Raju.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you regret objecting given what we saw in January 5th?

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): No, listen, I was representing my constituents, I did exactly what I said I was going to do. And I gave voice to my constituents.


BURNETT: OK. This has to be exposed for what it is, which is complete bunk. Because first of all, Hawley says he was 'giving voice to his constituents'. One of his constituents and a longtime mentor, the former Republican Senator John Danforth of Missouri says backing Holly was 'the worst decision I've ever made in my life'.

An editorial in The Kansas City Star reads, "Assault on democracy: Sen. Josh Hawley has blood on his hands and Capitol coup attempt." And to the extent that Hawley's constituents did want him to support a violent mob and support overturning the results of the election, they only thought that because and that that was right because of what Trump and Hawley told them.

Days after the election, Sen. Hawley started sowing doubt. He said, "Federal law should guarantee transparency of how vote is counted." The following month, December 30th, weeks after Attorney General Bill Barr said that there was no widespread voter fraud and nothing that in any way shape or form impacted the outcome of the election, Hawley releases a statement saying, "I cannot vote to certify the Electoral College results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws." Needless to say he's not from Pennsylvania.

And later that same day on Fox News he said this.


HAWLEY: My view is this, that this is my opportunity to stand up and say something. To stand up and point out that there were irregularities in this election. That there was fraud.


BURNETT: There was not. And when rioters stormed the Capitol, all of those things that Hawley said, they mattered. They had listened.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a good one. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hawley Cruz. I think Cruz would want us to do this.


BURNETT: Hawley Cruz would want us to do this. The two Republicans who led the charge in questioning the election results. Two Republicans who helped Trump pour gasoline on the fire. And tonight one person who is not at all enthusiastic about the impeachment trial is actually weighing in, the current president.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you support Mitch McConnell's timeline for a February impeachment trial?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I haven't heard the detail of it, but I do think that having some time to get our administration up and running, the more time we have to get up and running to meet these crises the better.


BURNETT: Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT live near the White House tonight. Manu Raju is OUTFRONT on Capitol Hill.

Manu, let me start with you. Obviously, you've been talking to all the players here. The unrepentant Josh Hawley and a trial that was scheduled to go next week. That was the deal. Pelosi was sending it over. Senate be damned. Now, there's a delay. Why did Schumer agree to delay the trial?


RAJU: Well, the article will still be sent over on Monday. But you're right, there will be a delay when the actual arguments will take place. In fact, there was bipartisan support to delay the trial for some time because of what we're seeing in the Senate, which is gridlock.

Joe Biden has had only two Cabinet nominees confirmed so far. There'll be a third on Monday, Janet Yellen, the Treasury Department and that is much different than we've seen in the pace of the past predecessors. And Democrats in particular are pushing to try to get some more of these nominees confirmed. So they were open to the idea of pushing back the timeframe here. As you heard Joe Biden also signals some support.

Now, this also comes at a time as Republican support for convicting Trump is waning. There's hardly any Republicans who are in that camp right now. I surveyed Republicans up and down today and in the last several days and it's very clear the consensus is growing that they're just simply will not be 67 senators to convict Donald Trump. They would need to be 17 Republicans who would break ranks only a handful at the moment look likely that they might break ranks according to multiple Republican senators that I talked to like Sen. Lindsey Graham. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told me the chances are virtually nil that

there will be actually 17 Republicans breaking ranks. And part of it has to do with some are still very close Trump allies and loyalists, others contend that this is unconstitutional to go after a former president. This has never been done before, but there's a disagreement about the constitutionality. Democrats and legal scholars would argue that there is actually precedent in the Senate to go after a former federal official.


RAJU: But all of that, Erin, will play out in the trial which will start on the week of February 8th, after the impeachment articles delivered next week. But mid-February will be the key time when the senators will cast their vote. But at the moment, the chances of convicting Donald Trump very slim, Erin.

BURNETT: And, of course, that raises all sorts of questions as to what the impact that will have on the Biden presidency, something Biden foresaw by the way. We all know he was lukewarm at best, Democrats were honest about that on impeachment to begin with.

So let's go to Phil Mattingly near the White House. Phil, we knew Biden wasn't hot on this to start with and now here we are and it's going to have to have a Senate trial and could fail. It doesn't sound like Biden wants much to do with the impeachment trial. Do you have any word yet from the White House on this agreement to a delay?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Erin, officially the White House is not commenting tonight. But, obviously, you saw what the President and played what the President said earlier today. And I think the reality is this, this is an administration that obviously acknowledges what happened on January 6th and his White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has repeatedly said as she's kind of walked a very fine line on this one is the President obviously viewed President Trump is unfit for office. He ran against him and beat him.

But they also know what an impeachment trial means and they also know that what it means in large part would be shutting down their agenda, not just their nominees, which they want to move forward as quickly as possible to get the President's team in place, but also the momentum created by a series of days that have already been planned out into next week on executive actions. In large part reversing a lot of policies from the Trump administration or ramping up their own policies as it pertains to the pandemic, as it pertains to the economic crisis, but also their legislative agenda.

The $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal that they've put out there, they know there is a ton of work that needs to be done to try and wrangle Republican support for that, to try and reshape that proposal in a way that can pass both the House and the Senate. That work can't be done if a trial is ongoing in the Senate. This will give them some space, but it also underscores the Biden team wanted some room to run. Now, they at least have a couple weeks, Erin.

BURNETT: Right. A couple of weeks. But, of course, you got this giant, whatever you would like to call it, hanging around your neck waiting for it. You can't get it in the rearview mirror.

All right. Phil, thank you very much.

So OUTFRONT now, one of the impeachment managers for House Democrats, Congressman Eris Swalwell from California. So Congressman, what is your reaction to the Senate Majority Leader Schumer's decision? He just announced that the second impeachment trial for Trump is now delayed until February 9th.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): We're ready, Erin. Good evening. We're ready. We could be in trial tonight. We can be in trial in two weeks. It's really up to the Senate. But we have a case to make and whether it's tonight or it's in two weeks, the evidence won't change. The President incited our citizens to attack our Capitol and once that happened, did nothing to stop it.

BURNETT: So, of course, the facts are the facts and we've all laid them out. The question is what the Republicans in the Senate will do. I mean, do you have any concerns, Congressman, that you're going to lose momentum and lose support to convict Trump the longer this process goes on? And I suppose I should caveat that by saying the support is not there right now, so I guess you would only have time to gain it. I mean, how does this delay work for you?

SWALWELL: Well, the Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted a delay out of a sense of fairness for the President and that's fine. We're not opposed to that. We don't want to rush this and if the President needs time to put together his team over the next two weeks, that's fine. As I said, we will be ready. We want this to be fair more than anything and the evidence isn't going to change.


And we're looking at this as every vote is up for grabs. Every senator ran for their life. Every senator sent the same text message I sent to my wife or loved one about my personal safety being threatened. So they know what happened. The senators aren't only jurors, they're victims.

BURNETT: So our Jamie Gangel and Michael Warren are reporting that a member of Congress said, "Mitch McConnell said to me he wants Trump gone. It's in the GOP interest to have him gone." But what that means is they don't want them coming back. There's different ways they could think they could achieve that. They may think that convicting him helps or doesn't help in terms of their play with the Trump base.

So how many Republicans do you really think are up for grabs right now?

SWALWELL: Again, we're looking at this not as Republicans or Democrats, but just Americans who were attacked. And Erin, I hope they vote to convict because they want to hold the person who incited this attack accountable. I hope they vote to convict because they want to deter a president in the future from doing this again. Because the only time you try and pull off a coup would be in the very last days of your presidency. So we have to show to deter future presidents we'll hold you

accountable all the way up to the last second. And yes, the penalty would be disqualification from office, which seems appropriate for someone who has such a disdain for our democracy and public safety.

BURNETT: And again, I just want to make it always clear to viewers that if you do not convict him in the Senate, then they cannot prevent him from ever running from office again. First they have to convict by two-thirds majority.

SWALWELL: That's right.

BURNETT: And then he ban him with the majority. So, Congressman, we learned yesterday that President Trump has picked Butch Bowers, he's an attorney from South Carolina, to be part of his defense team. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that the guy who set this up is going to be a juror in the trial, Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator who is essentially Trump's a consigliere on a lot of this stuff.

So do you see a problem with that? Can Sen. Graham be a juror when he's helping Trump with his defense?

SWALWELL: Erin, I'm not worried about that. The President is entitled to a lawyer, just like any American accused of a crime or in any proceeding is entitled to a lawyer. And I just hope Sen. Graham can be objective about what Donald Trump did in the weeks leading up to this with the big lies that he told how he radicalized the terrorists who came to the Capitol and how he did nothing once he inside of them to attack it. So I'm not passing any judgment on Sen. Graham at this point on that.

BURNETT: All right. Well, Congressman, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

SWALWELL: My pleasure. Thank you.

BURNETT: All right. And I want to go now to Gloria Borger, our Chief Political Analyst and the Republican former Governor of Ohio, John Kasich, also a former U.S. Congressman.

So Gloria, Schumer has agreed to what McConnell wants to delay the trial. Obviously, he thought that was the best chance they had. I mean, obviously, if you're going to go ahead with this next week, when Pelosi sends them over, it would appear to be doomed to failure from our reporting, diminishing support at this time.

But does that delay help? I mean, I guess if you were going to fail now, a delay is better than nothing. But I mean, what's the strategy here?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look, I think everybody got a little bit of what they wanted. It's clear that Joe Biden really didn't want this thing to proceed that quickly, because he wants to get his confirmations through. McConnell asked for some more time. Schumer said, no, we'll give you a little less time. But I think they each got what they wanted here. And so I think it proceeds as the newly elected president really

wants. He wants confirmations. He wants to get some stuff done, potentially, on his COVID relief bill. So I think it works for everyone.

BURNETT: All right. So Governor, let's say that it does, but let's say that it goes the way it would right now if there were a vote from our reporting and things can change. Things can change as they delayed it. But right now, that would mean the President isn't convicted. He is not banned from future office.

If that's the outcome, how much does that hurt President Biden and his agenda and the way the American people see him? By the way, he didn't want this whole thing partly probably because of that. But how much could it hurt?

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, first of all, I don't think we know where this is going. There is a report also today that Sen. McConnell is kind of open to this.


KASICH: If Sen. McConnell decides that he's going to convict, that's going to change some things over there with Republicans in the Senate. I was talking to some folks tonight about this and they think they can see a way that they could get to maybe 10 votes, which would leave them seven votes short.

But as this is delayed, is there more information that's going to come out? And we're spending a lot of time talking about the politics of this and that. But I think what we can't forget is we saw something that we would have watched with the French Revolution. These people think about what they did.

See, I was there. I served in that place. And imagine them coming in there and five people dying and running around saying where's Nancy like they're going to get her. The only thing that was missing there from the French Revolution is I don't think they had a guillotine outside.


So what this gets down to is where people are in the heart of their hearts. McConnell is a key to this. The balance against McConnell are the state parties, because the state parties are still supporting Trump. So if Trump is not convicted, what happens and how does that hurt Biden? I think you'll hear more from Trump.

But at the end, it's up to Biden to figure out how he can have an agenda that can co-op some of the Republicans in the United States Senate. So I don't think this depends on what happens with Trump.

BURNETT: So Gloria, what about what the governor saying about Mitch McConnell? He is known for having control of his caucus and he makes sure that he knows what's happening before he does anything. Is he waiting to kind of figure out where the winds are blowing? Does he already know what he's going to do? I mean, it is very hard to read the tea leaves here on McConnell.

BORGER: Well, that's what McConnell likes. He doesn't want you to read into what he's thinking. But we do know that he came out and he said that this was a mob that was provoked by the President.

BURNETT: That's right.

BORGER: Those are his words, provoked by the President. Privately the reporting is that he's telling people he thinks the President deserves to be impeached. But he's also told his members, this is a vote of conscience. I'm not going to lobby you one way or another. I'm not going to tell you what you want to do. We know how McConnell feels in his heart. But we have to wait and see how he's going to vote.

There are a lot of people who are raising constitutional issues. They're saying you can't do this to a former President of the United States. They don't like the process, all kinds of things.

People will vote their conscience. I think at this point, I'd have to say you're not going to get many more than the 10 that Gov. Kasich is talking about. If that, people will vote his conscience, but we do know McConnell doesn't want Trump to overhang the future of the Republican Party. He feels that very strongly. So where this will lead him personally, we have to wait and see, but he's not going to lobby anyone on it.

BURNETT: A final word, Gov. Kasich.

KASICH: Well, I just think that we don't know what's going to happen in the future. You've got a lot of investigations, a lot of arrests, a lot of information that's going to come out. That could change some things, but we just have to watch.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both so very much.

And next, Biden, trying to move forward on his economic plan. But again, this crucial question, who can he get onboard.

Plus, the Biden administration pointing the finger when it comes to a pandemic that they now own? A six in 10 Americans say that they don't know when they'll get a vaccine or where.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not inheriting a national plan or an infrastructure.


BURNETT: And Kamala Harris ever present at Biden side. What does it say about her power in the West Wing?


[19:21:35] BURNETT: Tonight, President Biden signing two executive orders as part

of his broader COVID economic recovery plan. A key part of the President's plan is a $1.2 trillion COVID relief package, which includes stimulus checks totaling $2,000, more unemployment aid, rent assistance, money for vaccines and testing and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

So, obviously, that plan would be bigger than just coronavirus. And Biden's plan may be way too big for Republicans and way too small for some left-wing Democrats. Take the President's move to extend the freeze on student loan payments. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez tweeting, "OK, now let's cancel them."

OUTFRONT now, Jared Bernstein, a member of President Biden's Council of Economic Advisers. So Jared, thanks so much for being with me. And let me just start right there, student loan is just one part of a large economic vision that the President's been laying out. But it reflects some of the challenges that you're going to be facing. Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive wants the Biden administration to say forget temporarily suspending those loan payments, just get rid of the debt altogether and do it, boom. That is highly controversial, not just among Republicans, but among many moderates. I mean, are you going to do it or are you going to move to cancel all student debt or are you going to hold the line?

JARED BERNSTEIN, MEMBER, COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: Well, first of all, she's obviously such an important and impassioned voice among progressives. So, of course, we hear her and want to hear. But there are lots of other voices in this issue and lots of other ways to do this.

You've heard the President talk about working with Congress to cancel $10,000 worth of student debt and that's just part of the agenda. It's not a one-time thing or you'll just be back where we are, again, with students, again, accumulating unsustainable levels of debt that disrupt their lives and hurt the overall economy. So this has to be part of a broader plan. It's one we're working on. It's one that's going to be more a part of the recovery package, but you've already seen some of that in the rescue package and even in the executive orders today, in terms of extending moratoria on student debt. It's so important for people to get through this crisis.

BURNETT: OK. So let me talk about another part of the President's relief plan, I'm sorry, Jared and I misspoke I said $1.2 trillion, I believe, I meant $1.9 trillion for the overall plan.


BURNETT: So my apologies there.

BERNSTEIN: Seven hundred billion just gone there, yes.

BURNETT: So funny how that happens when the numbers get so big. OK. Well, raising the $600 stimulus checks already approved by Congress to $2,000, will be part of what you have on the table. The former, someone you knew well, Larry Summers, Clinton's former Treasury Secretary and the Head of Obama's National Economic Council, he came out against that idea. And here's what he said when it first came up last month, the $2,000 checks.


LAWRENCE SUMMERS, FORMER U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: I'm not even sure that I'm so enthusiastic about the $600 checks and I think taking them to $2,000 would actually be a pretty serious mistake that would risk a temporary overheat.


BURNETT: What do you say to Larry Summers?

BERNSTEIN: Yes. I think we have to distinguish between heat and overheat. So by overheating, Larry is talking about the possibility of inflation really taking off. Well, we have an unemployment rate that is almost twice what it was before this crisis. And if you look at the unemployment rate for blacks, if you look at the unemployment rate for Latinx persons, it's in double digits or close to it.


So we have a lot of unused capacity as the passionless economics term and put more, I think, in human terms, we've got poverty out there, we've got hunger out there, we've got people facing evictions and homelessness. These checks are critical to get to them for relief purposes. And with inflation running well below 2%, which is the Federal Reserve's target for almost a decade now. Again, we need to generate heat that's not going to be overheat.

By the way, let me say something else about these checks.


BERNSTEIN: Really important executive order today that President Biden signed, there are 8 million people who are entitled to these checks, but they did not get them. And here's where Joe Biden implementer in chief comes into play. He knows that it's one thing to sign a bill and it's another thing to make sure that it's implemented. And I worked with him during the recovery act on these issues.


BERNSTEIN: We're going to make sure that those 8 million people who are overlooked get their fair share, their fair shake of this check.

BURNETT: OK. So how are your conversations happening? I know that the President is urging Democrats to be patient and as we discussed, you have a flank of your own party that wants one thing versus your moderate wing of your party that wants another never mind the Republicans that you need onboard in the Senate to get anything done. So you got a lot of a lot of things you're balancing here. How are your conversations going so far, Jared, with some - I mean, I guess, with the two groups, with Republicans and with those progressive Democrats, are you making progress? BERNSTEIN: Yes. These conversations are going - I could say remarkably

well, but it doesn't seem that remarkable to me for the following reason, Erin. Look, I don't care if you're in a red state or a blue state, I don't care if you're a D or an R, I don't care who you voted for. You want this virus under control, you want this vaccine produced and distributed, you want schools to open, you want there to be testing and tracing, you want there to be the equipment necessary, you want families, you want businesses to get the relief they need and that is what we're talking about.

You want schools to reopen, that is what we finally have a set of viable deep plans to accomplish. And in the conversations I'm having, it's just not nearly as divisive as you'd expect or as you've come to think about watching it for so long in no small part, because there is tremendous untapped demand to accomplish these goals, especially to finally put this virus in the rearview mirror and President Biden has a plan to do that.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, Jared. I appreciate it. Jared Bernstein.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. And next, the doctor who led Trump's task force for coronavirus speaking out about whether she wanted to quit.


DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: Always. I mean, why would you want to yourself through that every day.


BURNETT: Plus, new details tonight about why National Guardsmen were kicked out of the Capitol and sent to a parking garage.



BURNETT: Tonight, the White House, again, placing the blame on the Trump administration for the chaotic vaccine rollout in the United States, saying there was no plan.


ANDY SLAVITT, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISER FOR COVID RESPONSE: We have an emergency effort to carry out and we're not inheriting a national plan or an infrastructure.


BURNETT: That claim comes as a new survey shows about six in ten Americans don't know where or when to get a vaccine. Of course, it's been more than five weeks since the vaccine started rolling out.

Rosa Flores is OUTFRONT.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Diagnosed with cancer during the pandemic, Joyce Fish is fighting for her life, isolated with her husband Jack in their home in Palm Beach County.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My years are numbered. You know, I'm 82 years old. And I feel like I've lost a year.

FLORES: She has yet to get her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. It's been a year without embracing her family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see you baby girl. Yes, I do.

FLORES: She hasn't met their 7-month-old great granddaughter. Dillon

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: The vaccines are going to be targeted where the risk is the greatest and that is in our elderly population.

FLORES: Do you feel you are given a false hope?



FLORES: She thought vulnerable seniors like her would be first to get the vaccine in Florida. Instead, she and her daughter Sharon have been in a hunger games of sorts, using five devices to try to get an appointment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything says filled, filled, filled, filled. Sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very emotional. I cry every single day about this. I legitimately cry, it breaks my heart. And, you know, I feel like, I'm helpless.

FLORES: In Florida so far, more than 1 million people, mostly seniors, have received the first dose. Just yesterday, the state put in place a residency requirement but not before nearly 40,000 nonresidents got the shot.

One woman who documented her travels from Argentina on social media took to the airways to say she got the vaccine for free. Instead when she received it, residency was not required.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That really angers me.

FLORES: Wendy Walsh says, that after weeks and hundreds of calls to get her 92 year old mom the vaccine, she drove her 55 minutes to another county, near Tampa, to get her the shot.

Other Floridians are having similar struggles due to jammed websites and phone lines and supply shortages. This was the case one vaccination site in The Villages, where 7,500 appointments were canceled.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we're just left high and dry.

FLORES: This just after Governor DeSantis had announced the site was opening.

DESANTIS: I mean, obviously, a site like this is great for The Villages because a lot of people live here.

FLORES: The company that runs it says they didn't get doses from the state.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Getting ready to come to Florida.

FLORES: CNN started following her journey to get the vaccine two weeks ago.

Last time you used the word frustrated. Now what word would you use?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm extremely frustrated. I tried everything out there and nothing is working.


FLORES (on camera): Now, I have some good news to share. Tonight, I talked to Sharon, Joyce's daughter and she was able to get an appointment for her mom. That's set for tomorrow.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has maintained, he said this at multiple press conferences that he stands behind the roll out of the vaccine in his state. It's important note, however, Erin, that we have heard similar frustrations from people in states across the country -- Erin.


BURNETT: Yeah, absolutely.

All right. Rosa, thank you so much.

I want to bring in now, Professor Michael Osterholm. He is the director of the infectious disease research and policy center at the University in Minnesota, and had recently served on the Biden coronavirus advisory board here.

So, Professor, you know, obviously, you heard the frustration as Rosa said. This is coast to coast. People who can't get the vaccine.

People are trying to understand here, the vaccine providers laid out their map of what they were going produce. Is this a supply issue or is this an issue with states not able to get it out. I mean, what is the problem here? Do you know?

MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, BIDEN COVID-19 ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER: Well, let me just start out by saying I'm eligible in Minnesota to get the vaccination also and I can't find one. So, I want to share that frustration loud and clear. It's a combination of problems. First of all, Operation Warp Speed was

an amazing process to bring us these new vaccines from research and development through evaluation for safety and how effective they were, to approval and then in manufacturing. But that's where it ended.

And, unfortunately, they didn't think about the last mile and the last inch. How do you get vaccine out in way people know it's coming, how much is coming, where will it be and then how do you help people who are at this point eligible for the vaccine but not sure if they want to get it. How do they do that?

So, what's happening is it's falling back on the States. And I can tell you right now, the states problem, they're often associated with, I don't know how much vaccine is coming, and I know that the new Biden administration is going to make this a high priority, transparency. You should know a week in advance at least how many doses will be in your state so that you can allocate them and people know. And then they also know when it's their turn.

Right now, they don't. And that's what we have to also help them understand. When is it their turn.

BURNETT: Well, look, you've always been a straight shooter on this. You know, you give credit to Operation Warp Speed tonight. You have in multiple interviews with me. You always have called it like you see it.

So, let me ask you because I know you saw a lot of information as a member of the Biden Coronavirus Advisory Board. A source with direct knowledge of the Biden White House COVID related work said this week they were inheriting a nonexistent vaccine distribution plan. So, the quote is, quote, there's nothing for us to rework. We're going to have to build everything from scratch when it comes to the distribution of the vaccine.

So, then, of course, once they said that, Dr. Fauci was asked about it. He disputed it. Here is what he said.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We're certainly not starting from scratch because there's activity going on in the distribution.


BURNETT: So, what's the truth?

OSTERHOLM: Well, it's a little bit in middle. First of all, when we talk about distribution, that's the word you can interpret, they are, in fact, distributing the vaccine from the manufacturer as part of Operation Warp Speed. We have no clue how much is coming and when. So, that makes it very difficult to plan for these clinics.

And then once it's out here, basically, that is up to states. We had limited support financially to hire additional people, to develop the kind of electronic record systems that can make it so that people aren't being frustrated by software programs not working and telephone lines not working.

So, I can say having been part of the -- of the team, that we never saw plan that was written in one page of plan that came from the Trump administration about this. You know, that's not a partisan comment. That's just the truth.

BURNETT: All right. So, let me ask you one other thing. Now, you mentioned the former president's advisory board. Dr. Deborah Birx was the coordinator for it, and she is now saying she considered quitting well on that role, which, you know, we heard, you know, obviously, extensive reporting about, but now, she's talking about it. Here is what she said.


DR. DEBORAH BIRX, FORMER COORDINATOR, TRUMP ADMINISTRATION CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: Always. I mean, why would you want to put yourself through that every day? I had to ask myself every morning, is there something that I think I can do that would be helpful if responding to this pandemic and it's something I ask myself every night.


BURNETT: Do you think the White House is missing out by not having kept Dr. Birx on or not?

OSTERHOLM: You know, I can't comment on why they did or didn't decide to keep Dr. Birx. I do know that they are setting up an incredibly comprehensive effort to address the issue of making sure we have vaccine that's distributed fairly and quickly.

I did an outtake earlier in this segment in which you had Andy Slavitt who was commenting about not having a plan from the Trump administration.


OSTERHOLM: Some may remember Andy was the one that literally saved back in the Obama era when there was a problem rolling that out. That's the kind of quality of people they brought in to make the system work. So, I'm excited by it and I think it will work.


BURNETT: All right. Dr. Osterholm, thanks very much. I always appreciate your time.

OSTERHOLM: Thank you.

BURNETT: And next, Kamala Harris breaking barriers. Of course, you know, we all know the obvious ones, first female vice president, the entire list of things but also now when it comes to the major role that she is playing in this administration. Plus, Capitol Hill political police investigating lawmakers who was

stopped from bringing a concealed gun onto the house floor, a concealed gun. Some members of Congress now say they fear for their safety.


BURNETT: Vice Presidents Kamala Harris taking a prominent role in the Biden administration and it's very visible. You see her there today with President Biden as he announced major executive actions. And just moments ago, she wrapped up a meeting with small business owners to discuss their struggles during the pandemic.

OUTFRONT now, Kate Andersen Brower, our contributor, and author of "First in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents and the Pursuit of Power," and John Avlon, CNN senior political analyst, and author.

Ok, thanks to both.

So, Kate, Biden said he wants to base his Harris's role in the close relationship he had with President Obama. But, you know, in this age when everything is virtual, right, we only see them through the screen. She does seem to be more visible.

KATE ANDERSEN BROWER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, absolutely. I mean, she is by his side for most of his major announcements. I think we will be seeing a lot of her over the next four years.


And, you know, she was a senator, attorney general. She's broken through a very difficult glass ceiling. And so, I think she's going to make the most of it. I mean, we have only just begun to see Kamala Harris in the spotlight. So, I think it will be exciting.

We haven't ever had a female chief of staff in the White House. Now we have a female vice president. And she's appointed three women to be her top aides in her office, which has also never been done as vice president. So, she's already made a lot of groundbreaking positions.

BURNETT: So, John, you know, when we talk about how visible she is, we show all of these pictures, but, you know, during his briefings as president-elect, when President Biden was there, look at her. She was there every single time, right? It was very clear this was a team. She was doing this from Wilmington, Delaware, she was there.

One message is this administration trying to send, right? They wanted the whole country to see her there every time.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think that her appointment was essential to the success of his campaign. It added energy, and vigor, and diversity, and a sense of generational balance which would have been missing.

And, look, let's face it, Joe Biden respects, and understands, the vice presidency more than most presidents to put it mildly. And he took great pride in being a full partner with Barack Obama. That is a relatively recent change in American history. But what's significant is that Biden was sort of ballast to Obama's rising star. He had decades of experience in the Senate.

In this case, Biden has got the experience, but Kamala Harris is almost seen as a president in training. She doesn't have the experience, but she does have the star power. As her portfolio expands, expected to play at least as powerful role as Joe Biden did when he was in that role.

BURNETT: And then, Kate, of course, you have, you know, the controversies that come, by virtue of being the first woman in this role, "Vogue Magazine" now printing both covers that they shot of Kamala Harris, right? They faced backlash because they were initially only printing the more formal photo, the one where she wear sneakers. Her team was blindsided, they asked to go with the more formal photo.

"Vogue" defended its decision at the time, saying they felt the casual look reflected the moment. By the way, as I looked at both of them, I have come around to that point of view. Both of them capture her. But the casual moment does capture a lot of her strengths.

But what do you make of this, this controversy and how she saw it?

BOWER: Well, I mean, this is an incredible moment for women, and women of color, right? I think the more formal cover doesn't make sense. And, you know, she is a president in training right now. We have 15 vice presidents have become president, but only six of them were elected.

And so, the next four years, her fate depends on the success of this administration. It is very closely tied to what happens in the Biden administration, the pandemic maybe getting under control. And so, I think the majesty of the moment is captured in the more formal photograph versus the one with sneakers.

BURNETT: Yeah. All right. So, John, let me ask you, we are learning that the impeachment trial now has been delayed, right? Schumer and McConnell have reached this deal, so it's now going to be February 9th.

Obviously, with the situation in the Senate, some legal experts suggest that Harris could be tangled up in preside, which is actually an open question because Chief Justice John Roberts, you know, is -- would preside over the trial of a sitting president. This isn't a sitting president. You know, he may not want to be there. So, it could be Harris, who is president of the Senate.

How does she navigate this? I would be shocked if this is anything she wants to be near?

AVLON: Absolutely not. But, I mean, we're so deep in unprecedented territory here, I mean, it's almost conjectural. We've never had an impeachment that didn't have a chief justice presiding over it. But as the president of the Senate, this is one of the roles she's called on to play. But I could also see people objecting, because she obviously has a

partisan point of view that she's made clear. She's not an impartial juror. It would be a Senate pro tempore.

Look, we are so in an unprecedented territory, and this is a new vice president. But she wants to be focusing on building her portfolio, and building her credibility, and not simply providing over the detritus, and destruction, of this last chapter in American history.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you so much, John, and Kate.

And next, safety concerns in the capitol, why multiple Democrats are telling CNN they don't feel safe now around their gun-toting colleagues.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Why does a member of Congress need to sneak a gun on to the House floor?


BURNETT: And we remember baseball legend, and civil rights activist, Hank Aaron.



BURNETT: Tonight, prosecutors focusing on rioters who assaulted police officers during the insurrection on the capitol. A man in New Jersey, arrested for allegedly shoving and punching a police officer on the steps of the capitol, and a federal judge today also ruling the 20- year-old man on the far-right of that photo you see right there, on the far-right, who allegedly attacked police officers with a metal bat will remain in jail all the way until trial.

It comes as security concerns persist on Capitol Hill, some now apparently coming from lawmakers themselves.

Sunlen Serfaty is OUTFRONT.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a brazen move, some Republican members of Congress are defiantly dismissing Capitol Hill security meant to keep the U.S. Capitol safe.

Capitol Hill police are now investigating Republican Congressman Andy Harris after the congressman tried to carry a concealed gun with him on to the house floor on Thursday, setting off the metal detectors, and afterwards, trying to pass his gun to another congressman to hold it for him.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Why does a member of Congress need to sneak a gun on to the House floor? SERFATY: And also on Thursday, according to a tweet from a "Huffington

Post" reporter, Congressman Don Young had a switchblade on him, passing it to his wife before he went on to the House floor.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: We still don't yet feel safe around other members of Congress.

SERFATY: Multiple house Democrats tell CNN, they feel unsafe around some Republican members. One House Democrat, telling CNN, the increasing tensions with certain incoming freshman has been building for months.

This is just the latest example of Republicans not only breaching security protocols, but oftentimes, bragging about it.

Freshman Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert releasing this provocative video on her first day in Congress, declaring she will be bringing her 9 mm Glock to the halls of Congress, and the streets of D.C.

REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): It's our job in Congress to defend your right, including your Second Amendment. And that's exactly what I'm here to do.

SERFATY: And the freshman Congressman Madison Cawthorn saying, fortunately, he was armed when the mobs storm the capitol earlier this month.

Members are permitted to keep guns in their offices, and carry guns on the Capitol grounds, but not in either legislative chamber.

Following the insurrection on Capitol Hill, metal detectors were quickly installed, just off of the House floor, requiring members, for the first time, to walk through them to get on to the floor.

The move was met with an immediate uproar from many Republicans. A handful who, outright, refused to go through them, ignored Capitol Hill police, and just walked right on to the floor without being screened.


Congressman Mullin yelling at Capitol Hill police, it's my constitutional right to walk through, and they cannot stop me. Congressman Andy Biggs calling the metal detectors crap, the stupidest thing. And others just blatantly mocking the new security.

BOEBERT: I can tell you, none of us are looking to one another saying, gosh, I hope there was more metal detectors outside.


SERFATY (on camera): And Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, she has proposed a rule change that would find members who refused to go through the mag's. $5,000 to be deducted from their paycheck on the first offense, Erin, $10,000 for the second, and Pelosi's office tells me, that will likely be voted on in the next two weeks when they return.

BURNETT: Well, and, of course, the Democrat majority.

So, Sunlen, First lady Jill Biden greeted National Guard members who remained at the Capitol today. You know, this came after thousands of those guardsmen were removed from the rest areas inside of the capitol, and put in a parking garage. What are you learning about this, Sunlen?

SERFATY: Those images were so heartbreaking, Erin. These are guardsmen who've been protecting this building night and day for many, many days, and certainly, those images set off a lot of lawmakers here on Capitol Hill. At this moment, certainly, there is a lot of finger pointing, but very little answers.

It is still very unclear who made the initial order for those troops that were taking their rest, and sleeping in the capitol to be removed from the Capitol and put in a parking garage, certainly potentially a cold parking garage. There is a joint statement from the National Guard and the Capitol Hill police saying that now has been remedied. Of course, still, so many questions to -- that need to be answered.

BURNETT: So many questions, right, on something that should have been seamless.

Sunlen, thank you very much.

And next, a nation remembers Hank Aaron.


BURNETT: Hank Aaron has died, a giant among baseball players and all people. He is the man who broke Babe Ruth's home run record, and perhaps is the greatest baseball player of all-time.

But, of course, he was so much more than that. Aaron was a pioneer for racial and social justice. As a child in the segregated South, he hid under his bed from the Ku Klux Klan. As an adult, he faced jeers and rose above it all. He turned the other cheek when threatened and harassed simply because he was black, and about to eclipse the achievement of a white man.

Now, the country has come a long way since that day. In the last days of Aaron's life, a black woman became vice president of the United States. And on the day he died, another barrier was broken, a black man, General Lloyd Austin, sworn into head the Pentagon.

Former President Barack Obama, among the many saluting Aaron, calling him an unassuming man and a towering example.

Aaron, of course, once famously said that people could look at him and say, quote, he was a great baseball player, but he was an even greater human being. That's what he wanted people to think. And that they do.

Henry Aaron died peacefully in his sleep, he was 86 years old.

Thanks for joining us.

It's time for Anderson.