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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Biden Speech To Focus On Trump's Responsibility For Capitol Riot; Horrific Philadelphia Fire Leaves 12 Dead, Including 8 Children; World View: Is The U.S. Still A Model For Democracy That Works? Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired January 06, 2022 - 05:30   ET




LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. This is EARLY START. I'm Laura Jarrett.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Christine Romans. It is 30 minutes past the hour this Thursday morning -- time for our top stories to keep an eye on today.

Today, the nation marks one year since the attack on the Capitol. A series of events organized by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will take place, including a moment of silence on the House floor and testimonials from lawmakers about the harrowing riots. President Biden will also speak. New details on what he'll say in a moment.

JARRETT: Prosecutors want a federal judge to bring back a juror from the Ghislaine Maxwell trial over comments that he made after Maxwell was convicted of helping Jeffrey Epstein abuse teenage girls. This juror told several news outlets that he shared his experience as a child sex abuse victim during those deliberations; something he didn't mention during jury questioning. Maxwell's lawyers say this could be grounds for a new trial.

ROMANS: Investigators working the aftermath of last week's wildfire in Colorado say they have found partial human remains near where the fire started. Authorities have been looking for two people missing since the fire destroyed nearly 1,000 homes in the Boulder area.

JARRETT: U.S. Space Command says a four-ton Russian rocket part made an uncontrolled re-entry to the earth's atmosphere somewhere over the South Pacific. It was supposed to stay in orbit but failed to relight after launch. Exactly where it landed is unclear.

ROMANS: NASCAR has slammed the brakes on driver Brandon Brown's sponsorship deal with a cryptocurrency meme LGB coin. The LGB standing for "Let's Go Brandon" which, of course, is code for a crude slur about President Biden. NASCAR will not allow that tacky gimmick to be on Brown's race car.

JARRETT: And at least two people are waking up as new multimillionaires this morning in California and Wisconsin. Two Powerball tickets sold in those states -- had the winning numbers. They will split the $632 million jackpot. It's the seventh-biggest payout in Powerball history.

ROMANS: The Capitol insurrection, one year ago today, has loomed large over Joe Biden since the very first day of his presidency. Many Trump supporters are still questioning what happened despite myriad court cases that have been tossed out, state election audits that repeatedly show no mass voter fraud, and countless debunked conspiracy claims.

Today, President Biden will challenge all of this head-on. He will observe the first anniversary of the failed coup with a speech focused on Trump's singular responsibility for the Capitol assault.

JARRETT: Yes, and just in to CNN, a first excerpt from President Biden's speech today. He will say this:

"At this moment we must decide what kind of nation we are going to be. Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a norm? Are we going to be a nation where we allow partisan election officials to overturn the legally expressed will of the people? Are we going to be a nation that lives not by the light of the truth but in the shadow of lies?

We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation. The way forward is to recognize the truth and to live by it."

ROMANS: You know, one year ago today, then-President-elect Biden was set to give a speech in Delaware on the economy until the images started flashing on T.V. screens across the country -- images that changed the course of history and the trajectory of President Biden's presidency before it even began.

Today, he will speak from Statuary Hall, which rioters overran exactly a year ago.

And Laura, it's so interesting because when you talk about an anniversary, it's something that happened that's in the past. But if you look at the front page of America's newspapers today, this is an ongoing threat to American democracy. The "Daily News" in New York calls it "America's Open Wound."

This is something that is still happening to us -- that is still happening to what is the freest and fairest democracy on the planet.

JARRETT: Because there hasn't been a reckoning. Because the lies continue to be perpetuated.

So let's bring in CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem who can help us make sense of it all one year later. Juliette, nice to see you this morning.


JARRETT: From a security posture -- something you're an expert in -- it seems impossible --


JARRETT: -- for something like this to happen again. It seems like, sort of, there have been lessons learned from all of those failures.


But in terms of the root causes -- the motivating beliefs of those who went there that day, that part doesn't seem to have changed. If anything, those views seem to be more entrenched.

KAYYEM: They do, and they've changed since a year ago today. So, you know, we focus on a place and a time because that's what the former president, Donald Trump, did. He wanted people to meet on the morning on January sixth a year ago. He wanted them to go up to the Capitol.

So he was essentially directing them -- the legal terminology we can debate -- but they basically had a place and a time.

That has changed over the course of the year. It's more diffused. It's much more localized. So what we've seen over the year in terms of radicalization is they went dark for a period of time after January sixth, then they reignite online but in local radicalization efforts. So, against school districts, against secretaries of state. The attacks of threats against elected officials have gone through the roof in terms of violence being a means of political expression.

And that's essentially where we are with much of this movement. It's not all of the GOP but it is definitely nurtured by the failure of the GOP leadership to condemn Trump and what he's doing.

ROMANS: You know, Juliette, I'm reading something from former President Jimmy Carter, who writes --


ROMANS: -- and who has spent much of his life, right, projecting --


ROMANS: -- America's beliefs around the world in terms of free and fair elections.

He says, "I now fear what we have fought so hard to achieve globally -- the right to free, fair elections, unhindered by strongman politicians who seek nothing more than to grow their own power -- has become dangerously fragile at home."

KAYYEM: Right.

ROMANS: Part of that is because of misinformation. It spreads too easily. It radicalizes people.

How do you deal with these types of threats when a defined set of facts is hard -- KAYYEM: Yes.

ROMANS: -- to find, or when it is there it is ignored?

KAYYEM: Right. So, the most important thing about the Jimmy Carter editorial as well is Carter tends to remain quiet on issues of the day. He has essentially created his own life. So he's coming out now, I think very concerned because of his global work. And what he's seeing, and what we're all seeing is the connection between what has happened in other countries and what is happening here.

So, let me -- you know, let's get then through the noise. OK, so the good news. About 75 percent of Americans -- forget their political party -- believe that January sixth a year ago was an attack on democracy and support the January 6 Committee. So, my philosophy is focus on the 75 percent.

That 25 percent is unmovable at this stage. They will believe what they want until that narrative is not out there anymore. In other words, if you treat them like a radicalized group, what radicalization feeds off of is a sense of the win, right? A sense that they are part of a winning team.

And if Trump continues to be de-platformed, if the party or if the vast majority of Americans continue to condemn this kind of violence or threats of violence, as well as the January 6 Commission and potentially, other criminal charges continue to come out, then you're sort of going to get an isolation of that 25 percent.

But, you know, it's a little bit like the vaccination anti-vax movement. There is going to be a group of people you can't move so you focus on those that you can. And I think that should be the strategy in the years to come.

JARRETT: Juliette, the attorney general says that this investigation is far from over. He gave a speech yesterday -


JARRETT: -- I think largely, at least at some points, aimed at, sort of, the blue checkmarks on Twitter who have come after him --


JARRETT: -- saying what in the world --


JARRETT: -- is the Justice Department doing --


JARRETT: -- on this investigation? What's taking so long?

What are you looking for as it goes on? KAYYEM: So, I tend to think about the post-January sixth protection of democracy in terms of a variety of different platforms rather than just one. So, everyone looks to Merrick Garland as if he's the answer, right? Getting Trump in jail is the answer.

I actually think that we should look at all these different efforts and say well, the totality of movement is pretty good here. You have over 600 cases against those who were on Capitol Hill who were trespassers or violent trespassers. You have an independent commission. You have movement in terms of trying to protect democracy and the right to vote.

And you also have a very aggressive deradicalization effort. We can't see it but people are responding to the radicalization, whether it's getting -- social media platforms getting the stuff off of their platforms.

And so, I don't -- I wouldn't put all my eggs in Merrick Garland's basket. But also, I would be patient at this stage. If he is doing what people want him to do -- which is the people who generated this kind of violence -- the people who incited it who may not have been there, because that's what he said yesterday -- you didn't have to be there to be criminally liable -- you need that case to be tight.


And previous terrorism cases or counterterrorism cases, to use as an analogy -- often, you have no idea what's going on until the indictment --


KAYYEM: -- releases. That happened -- that's what happened with Oklahoma City. No one had any idea what was going on and then all of a sudden, there is death penalty charges against the perpetrators.

JARRETT: Which is how it should be. Which is what --


JARRETT: -- everyone said they wanted Merrick Garland for, right?

KAYYEM: I know. I --

JARRETT: They wanted the apolitical guy, they got him, and now they're mad.

KAYYEM: I know. I have the same -- I have the same reaction. We spent four years of people criticizing a politicized Justice Department --


KAYYEM: -- and then people wanting him to get out.

So, I don't know if people will be satisfied but I also don't think that you should look to what criminal charges are coming -- JARRETT: Yes.

KAYYEM: -- against Trump.

He has been -- let me just remind people. Donald Trump may make a lot of noise. He cannot fill a room anymore. I mean, he is going out to these rallies. People are not buying tickets.

So, in some ways, if you think of him as leading a radicalized movement, his platform has been severely debilitated. Meanwhile, we have to now go to the -- to his adherents and make sure that they don't use violence for political gain, which is essentially what they're doing.

ROMANS: Yes. He had -- he had an appearance scheduled for today that was canceled and pushed --


ROMANS: -- further forward, so --

All right, Juliette Kayyem, CNN national security analyst. Thank you so much.

JARRETT: Thanks.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, now to this horrific story out of Philadelphia. Twelve people, including eight children, died after a fire tore through a three-story row house. Firefighters faced heavy smoke, heat, and limited visibility on all floors when they entered that building. They rescued one child who did not survive.


CRAIG MURPHY, PHILADELPHIA DEPUTY FIRE COMMISSIONER: There was nothing slowing that fire down from moving. That fire was moving. It's feeding on contents, it's feeding oxygen, and it's feeding on fire.

It was terrible. I've been around for 35 years now and this is probably one of the worst fires I've ever been to.

MAYOR JIM KENNEY (D), PHILADELPHIA: Please keep all these folks and, especially, these children in your prayers. Losing so many kids is just devastating. Keep these babies in your prayers.


JARRETT: That's just awful.

A procession of law enforcement vehicles escorted the bodies away from the fire, seen Wednesday night.

And questions this morning about whether smoke detectors were working, as the investigation continues, will be top of mind. We'll be right back.



ROMANS: The attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol one year ago was just that -- attempted, not successful. Since last January we've seen four successful coup attempts in countries around the world. None of them are like the U.S. with hundreds of years of bedrock democracy.

CNN's Nic Robertson, our international diplomatic editor, joins us live from Moscow. Nic, does the world still view the U.S. as a reliable partner for democracy, or is this stain indelible, at least for now?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The stain's indelible. There's so much to say on this subject.

Look at the German foreign minister, who visited Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday. She said for Germans, this was a shock to see the events of January sixth play out. That it was a shock and a reminder for German politicians of the importance of democracy, the importance of having people who can stand up for democratic values, the importance of strong government institutions.

It goes way beyond that. You know, I cover the world and I see a lot of countries that aspire to having democracies. The fundamental for democracy is trust, and that's what a lot of countries see breaking down politically in the United States. That there is no longer this core value of democracy, which is trust. That you trust the other side to do the right thing when they get in power and stand aside when they lose an election.

How it plays out in Europe? President Trump, when he was President Trump, really rattled Europeans. They were concerned about his style of leadership. January the sixth crystalized that.

But what's happened in the year subsequently is that it's become clear to Europeans and others that Donald Trump hasn't gone away. He remains a political force and that means there's an uncertain future when you deal with the United States. So it undermines the United States.

And where I stand here today in Russia and I look at the T.V. screens, I'm looking on Russian state television at the protests in Kazakhstan yesterday where protesters are storming government buildings. And I'm looking at other video on-air today that's showing the January sixth protests from last year.

Russian authorities would say that this -- you know, the protests in the United States undermine the United States when it stands up and tries to, as they would say, lecture the world about the values of democracy.

So in the context of Ukraine and the talks that are coming up about that next week, Russia would have -- you know, would have their say and say the United States no longer has the moral high ground. The European partners that would sit with the United States in these talks next week are worried and concerned about where the United States will stand and be politically democratically just a few years from now.

So, is that stain indelible? Undoubtedly so. Can it be -- its memory be erased? Of course -- of course, an indelible stain can't go away but, of course, countries can learn to live with those bumps in the road if there's a real course correction --


ROBERTSON: -- and a taking to grip the issue that came so badly to light January sixth.

ROMANS: So -- and it's such an irony that the people who stormed the Capitol who called themselves patriots actually giving America's enemies comfort, quite frankly, watching American democratic ideals kind of strain here and fray in the U.S.

Nic, so nice to see you. Thank you for your perspective -- Laura.

JARRETT: Well, it took 125 years but Homer Plessy has finally been pardoned posthumously on Wednesday. In 1896, he was charged for boarding a whites-only train car. Plessy pleaded guilty and paid a fine, but the Supreme Court's decision in his infamous case, Plessy versus Ferguson, kept black and white people segregated in transportation, schools, housing, theaters, and more, for decades.


KEITH PLESSY, DESCENDANT OF HOMER PLESSY: I'm trying to hold back my years, y'all. This is truly a blessed day for the ancestors and elders, for our generation today, for our children, and for generations that have yet to be born. I feel like my feet are not touching the ground today because the ancestors are carrying me.



JARRETT: It wasn't until 1954 in Brown versus Board of Education that the high court ruled that the doctrine of separate but equal was unconstitutional.

ROMANS: All right, let's get a check on CNN Business this Thursday morning. Looking at markets around the world, you can see Asian shares -- Tokyo down sharply here, following the U.S. lead. Hong Kong, though, up a little bit. London also opening lower here this morning.

And on Wall Street, stock index futures -- they've wobbled this morning. They're mixed right now.

It was a tough day on Wall Street Wednesday, mostly for tech. A realization, really, that higher interest rates are coming, folks. The Nasdaq dropped 3.3 percent -- worst day in almost a year. The Dow and the S&P fell more than one percent. Minutes from the Fed's December meeting confirm the Fed is quickly

applying the stimulus brakes and interest rate hikes are coming this year.

And a big jobs gain in ADP's employment report. The private sector adding 803 (sic) private-sector jobs in December; more than double the number expected. This could bode well for Friday's government jobs report.

And first on CNN, Bank of America giving its employees an incentive to get a booster. It will donate 100 bucks toward hunger relief for every employee who shows proof of a booster shot. Bank of America doesn't have a company vaccine mandate but has urged workers to get their shots. Company officials say this effort could raise an extra $10 million to fight hunger in the U.S.

JARRETT: Unvaccinated NBA star Kyrie Irving makes his return to the court in his season debut with the Nets.

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's Bleacher Report. So, Andy --


JARRETT: -- he gets to play, but not everywhere.

SCHOLES: That's true, yes. You know, due to being unvaccinated he can't play in New York because of local regulations. And the Nets originally benched Kyrie because they didn't want him to be a part- time player. But they changed that stance in December and he was back on the court last night taking on the Pacers.

And the Nets were down by as many as 19 points in this game before having a big rally in the second half. If we could take a look at those highlights of Kyrie playing once again.

Again, they were down big in this game but Kyrie helped to bring them back. At the end of the third, he knocks down the jumper at the buzzer. Then, under four minutes to go, off the steal, Kyrie's going to run the break and he's going to hang in the air on this one and make a basket.

Kyrie scored 22 points as the Nets come back to beat the Pacers 129- 121.

Kyrie said he's had a lot of debuts but nothing comes close to this one. And he was also asked after the game if he considered changing his stance on getting vaccinated to play home games.


KYRIE IRVING, BROOKLYN NETS GUARD: I know what the consequences were. I still know what they are. But right now, I'm just going to take it one day at a time, like I said, and just enjoy this time that I get to play with my guys. And, you know, however it looks later in the season, then we'll address it then.


SCHOLES: All right. In Dallas, Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki watched his number 41 jersey official retire during an emotional ceremony at last night's game. The 14-time all-star led the team to its only championship in 2011. He played his entire 21-year career in Dallas.

And Mavs owner Mark Cuban also unveiling the model of a statue that's going to honor Nowitzki. It's eventually going to stand outside the arena.

And the seven-footer from Germany reflecting on his amazing career.


DIRK NOWITZKI, 2011 NBA FINALS MVP: But what I appreciated most was this pillar supported me during the tough, tough playoff times and playoff losses. So, you know what? That pillar is you and it's the fans. It is.


SCHOLES: Yes. The Mavs beat the Warriors last night 99-82.

All right. Antonio Brown, meanwhile, is accusing the Buccaneers of covering up the true reason for his shocking midgame exit on Sunday. In a lengthy statement released through his lawyer, Brown said head coach Bruce Arians told him he was done after he had told him he couldn't reenter the game against the Jets due to an ankle injury that the team fully knew about.

Now, Brown says he had an MRI on that ankle that shows broken bone fragments, a ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss that's going to require surgery.

Now, Arians said, after the game, Brown didn't say anything about being injured before leaving.

Now, Brown also said the team characterizing this as a mental health issue is wrong, saying, "I have stress. I have things I need to work on.

But the worst part of this has been the Bucs' repeated effort to portray this as a random outburst. They are telling people that first, I walked off; then, I was cut. No. No. No. I was cut first and then I went home."

Now, the Bucs have yet to officially release Brown after Arians said he was no longer a member of the team after the game on Sunday. Now, the team has not commented on Brown's statement.

All right, the NFL, meanwhile, is exploring contingency plans for the upcoming Super Bowl because of the COVID surge and subsequent tightening of COVID restrictions. The league says it still expects the game to go on as scheduled on February 13th in Inglewood, California.

[05:55:00] But an NFL spokesman says several teams have been contacted about stadium availability in case of unforeseen circumstances. According to reports, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas is one of the sites that's been contacted.

And you know, guys, years of planning go into Super Bowls. So, I mean, if they're going to change the sites you'd think they'd have to do it pretty soon.


SCHOLES: It's almost a month away.

JARRETT: Yes, better have a plan.

ROMANS: Running out of time.

All right, Andy Scholes. Thanks, Andy.


ROMANS: The oldest-known surviving American World War II veteran died Wednesday at the age of 112. Lawrence Brooks was drafted into the Army at age 31 in a mostly African-American 91st Engineer Battalion station in New Guinea in the Philippines. After the war, he was a forklift operator for 40 years. He is survived by five children, 13 grandchildren, and 32 great-grandchildren.

And Laura, when asked what his key was to a long life, he said serving God and being nice to people. Thank God for people like him, right?

JARRETT: A different generation.

ROMANS: The best to his family today.

Thanks for joining us, everybody. I'm Christine Romans.

JARRETT: I'm Laura Jarrett. An important day of remembrance ahead. "NEW DAY" is next.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. It is Thursday, January sixth. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar. We are live this morning from Capitol Hill for our special coverage of the January sixth anniversary.

One year ago today the world watched madness --