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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

January 6 Committee Details 187 Minutes of Trump Refusing to Act; President Biden Isolating at White House with "Mild Symptoms"; Record Heatwave, Drought Fueling Fires Across Europe. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 22, 2022 - 05:00   ET



KRISTIN FISHER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. And happy Friday, everyone. It is July 22nd. I'm Kristin Fisher, in for Christine Romans.

The primetime finale for the January 6 committee lived up to its billing. The committee presenting what may be its most damning evidence to date, highlighting the 187 minutes between President Trump telling his supporters to march to the Capitol and when he finally told them to go home.

Trump spent much of that time at the White House watching the violent assault unfold on TV and refusing to publicly condemn it or call off the mob. The committee really driving home the point that he not only failed to act but chose not to.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever hear the vice president or, excuse me, the president ask for the National Guard?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ask him ask for law enforcement response?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So as somebody who works in the national security space, or with the National Security Council, if there were going to be troops present or called up for a rally in Washington, D.C. for example, is that something that you would have been aware of?

KELLOGG: Yeah, I would.


FISHER: We also learned during the committee's eighth hearing that there will be a season two so to speak.

Ryan Nobles has more on last night's revelations from the Capitol.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristin, there is no doubt that the January 6 Select Committee had been building toward that hearing on Thursday night. They viewed it as their most important hearing to date. And one of the reasons that they moved it to primetime and completely focused on that 187 minutes where Donald Trump in their mind did not do enough to stop the violence that took place here on Capitol Hill. And among the most revealing things that the committee showed on Thursday night for the first time were phone calls and radio transmissions between members of the Secret Service that were protecting the Vice President Mike Pence on that day.

REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): As rioters were entering the building, the Secret Service held vice president pence in his office right off the Senate chamber for 13 minutes as they worked clear a safe path to a secure location. Now listen to some of that radio traffic and see what they were seeing as the protestors got just feet away from where the vice president was holding.

NOBLES: Those radio transmissions coupled with the video from inside the Capitol showed just how close the mob came to the vice president at that time and how in danger he was of being penned in an office at the capitol just outside the Senate chambers.

And the committee also outlining how members were phoning their family concerned that they may not make it out of what happened alive. Now, among the many things the committee revealed, well, they are not done with their work, teasing ahead to Senate hearings that could take place in September.

And part of the reason that is happening is because there is still information as part of the investigation, they had thought that by this stage things would be pretty much wrapped up, but this week, a ton of new information related to the secret service, the committee hinting in the hearing Thursday night that Secret Service members that they are specifically focused on, Tony Ornato, Bobby Engel, and driver of limousine Donald Trump was in have all retained private counsel, an indication that this investigation is expanding beyond just a set of deleted texts and could be a big part of what we see from this committee coming up in September -- Kristin.


FISHER: Yes, and so now we wait until September. Ryan Nobles, thank you.

Let's bring in Michael Zeldin, he is a former federal prosecutor and host of the "That Said with Michael Zeldin" podcast.

Good morning, Michael. Thanks for getting up early with us.


FISHER: So from the Trump video outtakes to the Secret Service recordings that we just heard in Ryan Nobles' piece to the testimony from Sarah Matthews and Matthew Pottinger, how effective do you think the committee was last night in making its closing argument so to speak?

ZELDIN: Well, I think that they did a very nice job of bringing together all that they set out do from day one. If day one was here is our opening statement that we'll prove there is a seven part conspiracy, tonight, this night, the seventh part was and the president having done all these things, stood by and watched like the director of an opening night of a play to see how the parts fit together unwilling to do anything to prevent it because he didn't want to prevent it.


FISHER: Yeah, one of the most striking revelations as you say was that Trump made zero effort apparently to get in touch with the secretary of defense, the secretary of homeland security, or any kind of law enforcement.

Listen to this.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Are you aware of any phone call by the president of the United States to the secretary of defense that day?


CHENEY: Are you aware of any phone call by the president of the United States to the attorney general of the United States that day?


CHENEY: Are you aware of any phone call by the president of the United States to secretary of homeland security that day?

CIPOLLONE: I'm not aware of that, no.


FISHER: So, does that amount to a dereliction of duty?

ZELDIN: Absolutely, it does. And were he still president, I think that he would have been convicted in the Senate based on that testimony.

This is not a man who was a deer in the headlights who couldn't rise to the occasion when the troops needed him. But rather this was a person as I said who stood back and purposefully watched what was going on. From a strict legal perspective, we have to understand that inaction generally speaking does not give rise to criminal conduct. And so the prosecutors that are looking at this evidence still have a difficult sort of path ahead of them to prove seditious conspiracy based on what we've seen so far.

FISHER: Yeah, so that brings me to my final question. We've had these eight hearings. We now know that we are going to get likely another hearing in September. But that is still a few months away. But now after eight hearings, do you think that the former president is any closer to facing criminal charges for what happened on January 6?

ZELDIN: So I think finally I've come to the conclusion that, yes, he has. And what I think he has exposure to is the charge of criminal incitement. And that derives from his text at 2:24 p.m. where he says to the crowd, who is really just coming to a ferment that it is time now to really act because Mike Pence didn't do what we wanted him to do.

And I think that tweet in combination with his inactivity and the big lie can be the basis for bringing some form of incitement charge and we'll see whether or not the prosecutors agree with me.

FISHER: Yeah. And now, all eyes really on the attorney general, Merrick Garland, as we see what his Justice Department decides do.

Michael Zeldin, thank you so much.

ZELDIN: Thank you.

FISHER: So, right now, President Biden is isolating with COVID. More on what this means for him and how he is coming.

Plus, a congressman stump speech interrupted when an attacker takes the stage. Watch that.

And a breakthrough deal about to be signed between Russia and Ukraine. Potentially.



FISHER: Some surprising new comments about January 6 from the former First Lady Melania Trump, as the assault on the U.S. Capitol was happening. She says at the time, she was busy taking pictures. Quote: It was my obligation to record the contents of the historic rooms including taking photographs of all the renovations.

Trump also pushed back on claims by former chief of staff Stephanie Grisham that she refused to condemn the violence when asked to. Mrs. Trump said Grisham didn't fully inform her about it, but remember the former first lady waited until five days after the riot to condemn the violence on Twitter.

Closing arguments followed by jury deliberations are scheduled today in Steve Bannon's trial. The former Trump adviser is facing contempt of Congress charges for ignoring subpoenas from the January 6 committee.

The junk dismissed the jury Thursday shortly after the defense rested without calling any witnesses and without Bannon testifying.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lawyer tells you executive privilege has been invoked, you may not comply with that subpoena. Not you have a choice, not think about it.

His view was he's caught in the middle, his hands are tied and that was the view of his lawyer. It's not his privilege to waive.

STEVE BANNON, FORMER TRUMP AIDE: By the way, one last thing. I stand with Trump and the Constitution. Thank you very much.


FISHER: Before being dismissed, jurors were told not to, quote, consume media ahead of the January 6 hearing on Capitol Hill last night.

Well, President Biden isolating this morning after testing positive for COVID while the White House works on all that contact tracing for anyone close to the president over the last week.

CNN's Jasmine Wright joining us live in Washington.

Yesterday, the White House said that the president was experiencing only mild symptoms. Any update on the president's condition this morning?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN REPORTER: Well, Kristin, we are certainly waiting to hear an update from the White House this morning. It will be day one of the president's positive diagnosis. Yesterday was day zero.

But I think one thing that we can take away from it, their media strategy. After they announced that the president did test positive for COVID-19, that he was experiencing mild symptoms, some fatigue, no fever, and was prescribed that antiviral Paxlovid treatment.

We really saw that messaging strategy get under way, first post a photo to twitter of the president sitting at a desk in a sport coat. You see it on the screen here, saying that he is working, in good spirits from the residence there. And then we saw a video just not long after that of him on the Truman balcony really speaking directly to the American people, there you can see, saying that he is okay, that he's working, and really to keep the faith, really trying again to talk directly to the American people.


White House chief of staff Ron Klain who also ahs been identified as a close contact to the president said on MSNBC yesterday that he hopes the president's positive diagnosis is a teachable moment. Take a listen.


RON KLAIN, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: He is doing very well. He has a sniffling nose but he is busy at work doing the nation's business. He has been on the phone with members of the House and Senate, as we talk about. He is continuing to hold internal meetings, getting updated on the situation in Ukraine and other key priorities of this administration. He is busy at work feeling very well and doing his job.


WRIGHT: So, the White House says that if you get boosted and vaccinated as they really put forth those resources that you can also live with COVID and really get to work if you are experiencing bad symptoms.

Now, of course that was a rosy disposition from Klain there, but the reality is that the White House has been bracing for the potential for the president to contract COVID especially as his officials including the vice president all have really tested positive in the last few months.

And so, Klain told staffers that President Biden would be working the phones and by video phone while isolating. As I said, yesterday was day zero, today is day one, as they try to reduce the footprint at the White House, trying to slow any additional spread.

Now, we know -- excuse me, we don't know just yet where the president contracted COVID. The White House says contract tracing is under way, but that, of course, is something that we'll be looking for as the president is expected to isolate until at least Tuesday -- Kristin.

FISHER: So, and the president, of course, just getting back from that foreign trip. He really could have caught it anywhere.

But jasmine, we'll wait and see what the White House says about the president's condition this morning. Hopefully his symptoms are still mild and that he continues to improve. Jasmine, thanks.

So Republicans crossing the aisle to support marriage equality. What makes this bill different, just ahead.

But first, a frightening attack on a congressman delivering a speech.



FISHER: A scary moment for Congressman Lee Zeldin at a New York campaign event. Watch what happened when someone interrupted his speech.


REP. LEE ZELDIN (R-NY): There is only -- there is only one option.


FISHER: What is the guy doing? Was he pulling his arm, trying to pull him off the stage? Zeldin was not hurt. He's running for governor and he actually

returned to the stage to finish his remarks after that happened. As for the suspect, that person was charged with attempted assault.

Well, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but get ready for more high temperatures and potentially dangerous heat across the country today and through much of the weekend.

Let's bring in meteorologist Derek Van Dam.

Good morning, Derek. Wow, I mean, that map says it all. It's just a giant shade of red.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, not what we want to see. I mean, it is the middle of summer, but you've been the bearer of bad news, we'll have to take it. Over 85 percent of our population, we're talking 275 million Americans will experience temperatures of 90 degrees or above over the next week and bet there will be some records shattered.

And I want to show you this because many of the plots are along the eastern seaboard as to New York, Philadelphia, Boston, you have the potential to see some of those records broken. Excessive heat alerts for over 80 million Americans, as we speak, excessive heat warnings for the southwest and particularly along the East Coast. These are just been hoisted by the National Weather Service. The heat index could be over 100 degrees in the Big Apple.

If this temperature forecast verifies through the weekend, this could potentially be the longest streak of 90-plus degree weather in New York City since July of 2013 and it looks highly likely as temperatures will easily break the 90 degree mark through the weekend.

Look at this, triple digit heat, St. Louis to Memphis, more of the same across the deep south into Texas, putting the strain on the energy grid and then across the southwest of course a drier heat, but still very oppressive. Temperatures should be about 105 in Las Vegas, you will top 113, and the extended forecast not looking that much more promising either. Summer holds strong along the East Coast and then really picks up in intensity across the Pacific Northwest.

So, Kristin, a lot of red on this map, means summer is in full swing.

FISHER: Yeah. And you know what? This is the perfect weekend to go to the pool or go to the beach. Anything to --

VAN DAM: I vote the beach.

FISHER: I'd rather go to the beach too, but I live in D.C. and beaches aren't that close.

Derek, meteorologist, thank you so much.

VAN DAM: Appreciate it.

FISHER: So, while from the U.S. to Europe, it too continues to bake in these record-setting temperatures. This heat wave has fueled wildfires across the continent. Fires are still raging in Spain, Italy and Greece.

Let's bring in Elinda Labropoulou. She is live in Parga, Greece.

Good morning.


Well, (AUDIO GAP) across Europe as well. But overall, things are looking a little better than they did days ago which is not really surprising because the heatwave in Europe has been going for well over a week by now.


So, it seems that the heatwave is now moving east, in countries like where I am in Greece, where temperatures are over 40 degrees Celsius forecast for the weekend, along with strong winds. So, at the moment, in Greece, most of the big fires have been put out, there is one area of great concern because it involves a very densely forested area in northern Greece where there is also a nature reserve there. So that is where the focus is in my part of the world.

But at the same time, people are being advised to stay home when they have to, try to avoid forested areas and generally be very cautious about the heat, and very similar situation all across Europe particularly the Mediterranean.

As you said, Spain, Italy, large fires have been raging in these countries. And the way this is now being approached in Europe, we've had heatwaves before. Now, it is how do we all come together and take action to make sure that we can prevent it happening in future.

FISHER: All right. Elinda, thank you so much.

Sometimes, less is more. Coming up, a key reason why so many Republicans just backed marriage equality.

And later, what some college students could learn by studying Harry Styles.