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First Move with Julia Chatterley
Americans Prepare For Pardons, The TV Address And An Inauguration Like No Other; Janet Yellen, Biden's Treasury Pick To Tell Congress To Act Big; Passing The Weapon Codes In A Troubled Transition. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired January 19, 2021 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Live from New York, I'm Julia Chatterley. This is FIRST MOVE and here's what you need to know.
Trump's time is up. Americans prepare for pardons, the TV address and an Inauguration like no other.
Yellen about stimulus. Biden's Treasury pick will tell Congress to act big.
And a nuclear option. Passing the weapon codes in a troubled transition.
It's Tuesday. Let's make a move.
Welcome to all our First Movers across the globe. It's Inauguration Eve here in the United States. We will take you to D.C. for the final planning
even if we can't bring you the pomp and pageantry of previous years.
I'll tell you what, though, no time for pageantry in U.S. Congress either. The first confirmation hearings for Biden's Cabinet nominees are underway
today. Treasury Secretary nominee, Janet Yellen, of course is going to be the main event for markets. Her message as I mentioned, there will be act
big to prevent a more drawn-out recovery.
Just how much pushback she gets from cautious senators could provide clues on whether Joe Biden's near $2 trillion aid bill can actually pass through
Congress in its current form. Yellen of course is going to argue that record low borrowing costs will allow this additional spending and
So watch bond markets today. Yields have been pushing higher since the New Year in anticipation of more spending. At some point though, that's going
to be a worry for stocks as we've discussed on the show, ultra-low rates remember have helped underpin much of the ongoing stock bull market.
Not today though. U.S. futures are higher after the long weekend that follows gains as you can see in Europe and across much of Asia, too. In
Europe, the brand new ZEW Survey showing German economic expectations on the rise this month despite the current lockdowns with the outlook for
exports, improving significantly. Vaccine vigor feeding in there, I think.
In the meantime, the bank earnings bonanza continues in the United States with Bank of America and Goldman Sachs posting results premarket. Goldman
shares certainly have glitter after some blow up numbers. We've got all the details coming up. But it's all about the economic outlook from a lot of
these bank names. And much of that depends on the actions of the next administration and the legacy of course of the current one.
Let's get to the drivers. President Trump's last full day in office expected to be filled with pardons and a prerecorded address to the nation.
One thing we won't see is a face-to-face meeting with Joe Biden who is preparing to become the 46th President.
Jeremy Diamond is at the White House. Jeremy, a TV address, but prerecorded, I believe from the President.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. President Trump, according to our sources taped a farewell message touting his four
years in office just yesterday in the Blue Room of the White House. We expect that video to be released at some point today.
Now typically, departing Presidents record, or actually don't record, but do a live address to the nation as they mark the end of their time in
office. But much of that has been complicated, first of all, by the President's lack of interest in the pageantry of the presidency in his
final weeks in office, but more importantly by his actions that led to that mob storming Capitol Hill on January 6, making aids much more wary of
having the President deliver live remarks that might step on some of the more scripted remarks we've heard from the President in the wake of those
events on January 6.
But aside from this farewell message, what you are witnessing right now, what we will witness over the next 24 hours will be anything but a typical
transition of power. President Trump will become the first President in 152 years of American history not to attend his successor's inauguration, and
the President also won't be greeting the incoming President Joe Biden, at the White House tomorrow.
Instead, President Trump is spending the final hours of his presidency on Air Force One flying out of Washington back to his Palm Beach resort at
Mar-a-Lago, and the President is expecting a flashy goodbye though tomorrow at Joint Base Andrews where we expect the President will get some kind of a
military sendoff, and they've also sent out invitations to current and former White House officials, allowing them to bring five guests so that
there is a big crowd to send off the President.
CHATTERLEY: Relatively big crowd, let's be clear, but before we get that and he jets off to Palm Beach, we have some pardons pending. I've got an
interesting chart showing just how many pardons President Trump has carried out relative to some of his predecessors.
It looks like he's actually very unforgiving on a relative basis though. I have to say not lacking in controversy if we compare on a relative basis,
in many cases, a number of these are not even arguing that they were wrongfully convicted.
Jeremy, what can we expect and just talk us through that comparison?
DIAMOND: Yes, President Trump has been far more willing to engage in controversial pardons, doling out pardons as favors to political allies and
rewarding those who have stood by him during four years of controversy.
We've already seen several former Republican Members of Congress who pleaded guilty to corruption and other similar charges just in the last few
The President also doling out pardons to his former campaign aides like Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, who also pleaded guilty to different charges
or were convicted of quite serious charges, including lying to Federal investigators.
And so President Trump is going out with that very similar message, as our sources have told us that the President is expected to issue about a
hundred pardons today, and I've been told that the President will issue pardons and commutations both to white collar criminals to political
But you will also see a few at least, criminal justice reform minded pardons which we have seen the President engaged in at times during his
presidency. But again, the scope of this specifically on the criminal justice front isn't close to what we've seen former Presidents do, most
notably President Obama in his final weeks in office issued, I believe it was more than a thousand commutations and pardons to people who were
serving long prison sentences for minor drug offenses and other similar crime.
So again, as you said, the scope isn't quite the same as previous Presidents, but the controversy is certainly doubling what other Presidents
CHATTERLEY: I was going to something about the presidency itself there, but I'll refrain. Jeremy Diamond, thank you so much for that analysis there of
those pending pardons as we await those.
Now as President Trump prepares his final acts in office, future members of the Biden Cabinet are gearing up for confirmation hearings. Among them, Mr.
Biden's pick for Treasury Secretary which is of course, Janet Yellen.
She is expected to urge lawmakers to act big on relief spending when her hearing begins in just over an hour's time. Christine Romans joins me now.
Christine, we know how she feels. We feel I think exactly the same. It's going to be interesting to watch not only what she says, and we've got the
speech already, but just how much pushback and what line of questioning she gets on why so much money should be spent at this moment.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And what a resume she has, right, but she really is entering this new unique role
where she is going to be there selling the President-elect's new stimulus idea and his ideas for repairing and rescuing the economy to Congress.
So really, an interesting role for her, a different kind of role for someone who is a seasoned, battle tested crisis fighter in Janet Yellen.
It's interesting in her remarks, you see that she talks about the K-shaped economy even before the first person was infected with coronavirus.
She is making the case that the American economy wasn't fair, people with money and resources would build on that and regular working families were
falling behind. And so she's building the case here for fighting the virus, fighting the crisis at hand but also addressing just the inherent
inequality in the American economy. I think that's going to be a really interesting place for her to be.
Now, there are going to be some I'm sure moderate Democrats and some Republicans who are not going to agree with everything that's on the Joe
Biden wish list here like $15.00 minimum wage, expansion of paid and family leave, you know, medical and family leave here during the crisis. So you
will probably hear her question about things like that.
She would be questioned, I'm sure about the size of this, $1.9 trillion after $4 trillion was already spent. But she will make a plea here that
this is not the time be worried about debt and deficits. And I'm sure you will start to hear Republicans raising this concern, even though they
passed huge tax cuts in good times and add to the deficit under the Trump administration, you'll probably hear some deficit questions. And she will
say with interest rates so low with the crisis at hand and so dangerous for American families, this is not the time to be worried about deficits and
CHATTERLEY: Yes, record low borrowing rates. It's quite frankly, now or never, and there's never been a better time to spend. We'll worry about
what comes afterwards. I picked out that K-shaped recovery point as well.
Wealth was built on wealth; while working families fall further and further behind. Yeah, especially to for families of color, too. I couldn't agree
more on that point.
Christine, also, I think she will also be tackled on her relationship with Wall Street, perhaps, too. What has she been doing in her time since she
was Chief of the Federal Reserve? Speeches? Who she had been consulting for? Questions likely to come up, but I don't see any problems.
ROMANS: I mean, but that's just the nature of the beast, right? When you have someone with the resume and the experience of Janet Yellen when she
leaves her role at the Federal Reserve, she was the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, she went and spoke to some of the big banks and she raised -- she
earned money you know, in the American capitalist society.
You know, do they think that that has somehow tainted her as the Treasury Secretary? As a political appointee? Maybe you'll get some of that here
today. But boy, that's a lot of pot calling the kettle black in Washington if they're going to focus on that.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, there's a lot of that. Christine Romans, no shortage. Thank you so much for that though.
All right, join CNN for live coverage of the Inauguration of President Joe Biden, special live coverage all day tomorrow. That's on CNN.
A new political era is beginning in Washington, a new earnings season underway meanwhile, on Wall Street. The major U.S. banks are telling us how
well they've been holding up during this time of great economic uncertainty. Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, just the latest banks to
Paul La Monica joins me now, a tale of two halves, I think. Let's start, please with Bank of America, I believe four consecutive quarters of revenue
falls for Bank of America coming into this and we've just added a fifth.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, exactly. I mean, I think Bank of America, the good news is that they were able to release some of their
loan reserves, the worst case fears of consumers being hit even harder and falling behind on loans due to the COVID-19 pandemic have really not come
to pass. But the problem is that Bank of America's trading revenues, while up weren't as strong as some of their rivals that have big Wall Street
And then back on the consumer side of things, when you look at how low interest rates are right now, it's making it difficult for a bank like Bank
of America to really make a profit on these loans that they are generating, because, you know, the money that they are, you know, getting in from
consumers for deposits are these entirely tiny, low interest rates that aren't going to be going up anytime soon.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and it's that divergence I think that's so clear, when you look at the difference between what Bank of America said this morning, and
what Goldman Sachs said, if you're a corporate in America or if you're trading, if you're investing, then you're doing great; if you're a small
business, you're having a really tough time. All that glitters is gold this morning for Goldman Sachs.
LA MONICA: Exactly. All that glitters is Goldman, clearly, I mean, what we have is a bank and I expect we'll get similar results from Morgan Stanley
tomorrow that is benefiting from that surge back in the stock market activity, which has led to a boom in mergers as well as this IPO bonanza as
So Goldman Sachs generating a lot of good underwriting and merger advisory fees, obviously trading revenue as well increasing. So yes, Goldman Sachs
is doing extremely well right now. But it's interesting, because at the same time, they are making a bigger bet on the consumer for whenever the
consumer is able to rebound with Marcus by Goldman Sachs. They have, you know, their big partnership with Apple on the Apple card.
They just announced a partnership with GM and MasterCard. So definitely Goldman Sachs wants to be a bigger player with the consumer. But it's, you
know, Wall Street, you know, is obviously benefiting from Corporate America's largest while the consumer is still struggling.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, diversification doesn't hurt as long as you manage it properly. Paul La Monica, thank you so much for that.
All right. Let me bring you up to speed now as some of the other stories making headlines around the world. China defending its response to the
initial COVID-19 outbreak after being criticized by an international panel of experts. The panel said Beijing could have acted more forcefully to
contain the virus. It also criticized the World Health Organization for not declaring an international emergency sooner.
In South Africa, coronavirus cases are skyrocketing, driven in part by new variants spreading across the country. And health officials say this wave
of infections is far worse than before. Researchers are worried that the new variant might be better at evading antibodies and have greater
resistance to vaccines.
CNN's David McKenzie has more now on the second wave that's putting such a massive strain on South Africa's hospitals.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A new year, a new level of sadness, a new level of fatigue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is time that we never thought we'd ever experience in our life. And it's here, it's a reality.
MCKENZIE (voice over): A second wave of COVID-19 is devastating South Africa, Salim Kazi's organization was once averaging two COVID-19 funerals
per day, now, it is 12, sometimes 14.
SALIM KAZI, CHAIRMAN, ISLAMIC BURIAL COUNCIL: People have to take lessons from this. It's -- I don't know, God is testing everybody.
MCKENZIE (voice over): A country that defied the odds in fighting against COVID-19 most of last year, finds itself being tested like never before by
what was discovered in this very lab, a troubling new variant of the virus that is much more contagious than the original strain.
For Tulio de Oliveira the first clue where the panicked calls from the doctors whose hospitals were overrun, using samples from newly infected
COVID patients across South Africa, it was his team's sequencing that revealed the variant's exact mutations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we can actually see what's going on. These cells actually are quite happy and they grow and divide.
MCKENZIE (voice over): COVID-19 targets those cells.
ALEX SIGAL, AFRICAN HEALTH RESEARCH INSTITUTE: The same thing as it as if he would actually mug someone.
MCKENZIE (voice over): The South African variant has three mutations at key sites of the virus uses to bind to human receptors, meaning it targets
those cells more efficiently.
SIGAL: So it has to close distance. It has to get in. And it has to get out before the cell dies, because the virus has no life of its own.
MCKENZIE (voice over): Thanks to de Oliveira sounding the alarm. But these scientists discovered a separate variant sharing one of the same key
TULIO DE OLIVEIRA, DIRECTOR, KRISP, NELSON MANDELA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: What's not normal, it's when variants dominated across a very large
geographic region, and that's associated with a fast increase of cases. That's exactly what we saw in South Africa and the U.K.
MCKENZIE (on camera): This is a level three biosafety lab because Sandili Trele (ph) is growing live versions of this traveling COVID-19 variant
discovered here in South Africa.
The work that he is doing and the team is doing is critical to understanding where this pandemic goes next.
MCKENZIE (voice over): The team's final results expected later today will help answer will the COVID-19 vaccines hold up against the variant and its
three mutations? Preliminary results suggest that antibodies from the first wave of infections are less effective against the new variant.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As somebody with a family and parents, I was very concerned, but for us, this is our job, right? We're here only for one
thing, and that's to do the research.
MCKENZIE (voice over): Research done at a record pace because the consequence of not knowing is all too clear, and the costs of the pandemic
are already too high.
David McKenzie, CNN, Durban, South Africa.
CHATTERLEY: OK, let's move on. The Kremlin says it will ignore pleas by U.S. and European officials to release Russian opposition leader, Alexei
Navalny calling it an internal matter.
On Monday, a court ordered Navalny to remain in jail for 30 days. He returned to Moscow one day earlier after he spent five months recovering
from Novichok poisoning he blamed on the Russian government. The Kremlin repeatedly denied any involvement.
Still to come here on FIRST MOVE, a new CNN poll says two thirds of Americans approve of how Joe Biden has handled the transition. Can he hold
on to that level of popularity in office? We'll discuss with a man known as President Obama's Mr. Fix-it.
And control the code, the CEO of Cloud communications, Twilio says the best way to regulate social media is to monitor the algorithms that drive it.
He's up later this hour.
Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. Inauguration Eve here in the United States and the last full day in office for President Trump, also the start
of a new trading week on Wall Street.
The major averages remain on track for a higher open. As you can see, a bounce from last week when stocks fell amid signs of a weakening U.S.
economy, a fact that will help Treasury Secretary nominee, Janet Yellen selling the President-elect's near $2 trillion aid plan to help boost
growth when she speaks ahead of the Senate hearings today.
Don't be surprised to hear cost conscious senators throw around this staggering number, $27.8 trillion, the amount of the U.S. national debt. It
has risen by almost $8 trillion in fact, during the Trump years.
Yellen, as we've already discussed, will argue that it's worth adding to that debt burden to help the millions of struggling Americans hurt during
Meanwhile, two thirds of Americans approve of how Joe Biden is handling the presidential transition period. That's according to a new CNN poll
conducted by SSRS. The public, less positive about President Trump's 70 percent say they disapprove of his combative handling at the same period.
The President-elect's approval rating has climbed since the election to almost 60 percent.
All right, plenty to discuss. Joining us now is Jim Messina. He's the former White House Deputy Chief of Staff and Campaign Manager for President
Obama. Jim, great to have you on the show. There's been nothing usual about this transition period or anything else, quite frankly. But how concerned
are you about what we see over the next 24 hours, if not in Washington, D.C., perhaps elsewhere?
JIM MESSINA, CEO, MESSINA GROUP: Well, you saw the F.B.I. warn last week that there's potential violence in almost every state capital, and I think
that's what we will all be watching tomorrow. I think in Washington, they have a good plan. They're not going to make the same mistakes they made at
the Capitol, and so I'm less worried about Washington.
But I think the fear in the U.S. is violence in some of these state capitals, with pro-Trump forces clashing with police.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I mean, even before we get there, we've got, we believe a presidential TV address. We've got potential presidential pardons that
we've been discussing for the last two days. Does any of this matter, Jim, over the next 24 hours, assuming the President doesn't pardon himself or
members of his own family?
MESSINA: Well, I think it's a terrible precedent and pardoning 150 different people, which is the rumor, and if he does pardon himself or the
family that would be beyond the bounds.
But I think people have come to expect the worst out of the President in the past four years. And so we're likely to get some ugliness in the next
day. But come tomorrow at 12:01 Eastern Time, the country is going to turn a page and go on to what we hope is a much better future.
CHATTERLEY: What the President could do in this address, though, is say to people, please don't protest this. There needs to be a peaceful transition
of power now. How likely is that?
MESSINA: Zero. The President has shown no willingness to go out on a high note. He continues to do things that are pulling people apart. As you know,
last week, he once again defended the rioters at the Capitol, which is, you know, your own polling shows that almost no one supports them.
Trump again, defended them and said they were not as bad as the peaceful protests of last summer, which is crazy. It is very unlikely he is going to
do anything to calm the temperatures in the next 24 hours.
CHATTERLEY: We showed a poll yesterday that CNN had conducted amongst Republicans and just 18 percent of them believed that Joe Biden had been
elected fairly That's the backdrop -- my apologies 19 percent -- that's the backdrop for President-elect Joe Biden as he makes his inaugural speech
How does he say to these people, look, I'm your President, whether you voted for me or not, and I'm going to work for you. How does you bridge
MESSINA: Julia, I think he should say exactly what you just said. I mean, you should be his speechwriter. That's exactly what he should say. He
should say, I'm going to be everyone's President and then he has to show them that he means it.
The entire rationale of Biden's candidacy was he could bring the country together. He was the one person who had been there, who could fix the
government that is broken in the middle of a coronavirus and economic crisis.
And so tomorrow, those are the stakes he is going to have to lay out. We are as badly divided as we have been since the Civil War in the 1850s, and
need a leader who can say to both sides, we all have to move forward together.
And it's just, you know, your question about Trump's behavior makes it even harder and whenever, you decided, you know, is down 15 points in the last
two weeks, more Republicans now believe that the election was stolen, even though 61 courts have looked at it. They've seen absolutely no evidence of
it. There is no truth to it. But it's what people believe.
And it's why Vice President Biden's job is so difficult, but the way he has to do which is by governing from the center, continuing to bring everyone
together and showing the country that we can once again be united.
CHATTERLEY: We're going to get through this inauguration and very quickly, we could see a Senate impeachment trial. How is that going to play into
this for both parties at this moment, whether it's the Democrats and Joe Biden trying to lead from the center, and that perhaps putting him in
conflict with the likes of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, and also for the Republicans, you have to decide whether they take out Trump and the
prospect of Trump ever holding power in this country, in at any point in the future, or -- and/or risk losing the voters that still support him?
MESSINA: Yes, both sides have an absolute major challenge. So Republicans who desperately want Trump to just go away and never run again, but they
look at the same polling you do and they look at Trump's approval with the Republican base. And if they can find a way to permanently stop him from
running for re-election and most people believe he absolutely intends to do that. They should take that opportunity.
The Democrats have to walk and chew gum at the same time. They have to confirm all of these Cabinet officials that Joe Biden desperately needs to
start running the government while they're running an impeachment trial. Typically, in D.C., we can only do one big thing at once.
Well, they're going to have to figure out how to do two in the middle of this and it's just another challenge that Biden walks into, but it's an
unavoidable challenge and both parties have real reasons to want to get it done with.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, not to mention fighting the COVID crisis, agreeing the latest stimulus bill, repairing international relations. They need to
multitask and multitask well.
Jim, great to chat with you as always, Jim Messina, CEO of the Messina Group and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff and campaign manager for
The market opens next. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. U.S. stocks are up and running on the first trading day of this Holiday shortened week and we're in the
Fresh stimulus talk on Capitol Hill and stronger than expected results from banking giant Goldman Sachs helping lift spirits so far this morning.
Goldman's Q4 profits more than doubled, thanks in part to a 40 percent rise in equity trading revenues. Its shares up more than one percent in early
trading so far.
In the meantime, an extraordinary endorsement today for Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen, all living Treasury Secretaries are calling on the
Senate to quickly confirm Yellen saying a delay will create unnecessary risk at a critical time. They say Yellen is quote "uniquely qualified" for
the role, battle ready. I think that's what we'll call her.
Welcome news for President-elect Joe Biden, who will attend a sendoff event in Delaware later today before heading to Washington for Wednesday's
M.J. Lee joins us live from Wilmington, Delaware. M.J., great to have you with us. What can we expect from the President-elect today? And of course,
we were just counting down and talking about what might be in his Inauguration speech. Can you preview that for us, too?
M.J. LEE, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: We can. Well, first of all, this is Joe Biden's final day here in Wilmington, Delaware before he heads to
Washington D.C., so there is going to be a farewell event of sorts, where we expect him to speak briefly. And then he heads down to Washington, D.C.
You might remember, initially, he had hoped to take the Amtrak train down to the nation's capital as he has done so many times throughout his career.
But because of heightened security concerns, he will no longer be doing that.
When he gets to Washington, D.C. tonight, he is going to participate along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, a memorial service of sorts at the
Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool to honor the many lives that have been lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, just such a stark reminder of what he is
inheriting on the first day that he takes office tomorrow.
Now, in terms of the Inauguration speech, there's no question that this is the most important and consequential speech that the President-elect has
given in his long career in Washington. We know that he is going to hit on themes of national unity and of healing, which is a theme that we have
heard over and over again throughout his campaign during the transition.
But it is very important to point out that the reason those themes are all the more important coming tomorrow is because of the insurrection and the
violence that we saw on Capitol Hill two weeks ago.
So just a somber mood even though normally, an inauguration for a new President is filled with a lot of celebratory things. This is going to be
an unusual and different inauguration for sure -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: And none of the usual pomp and ceremony, but none of the usual communication connection between an outgoing President, the First Lady and
the incoming President and First Lady, too, of course, because as we've discussed earlier on the show, President Trump will have already left.
LEE: That's right. It is extremely unusual and quite strange, really and remarkable that President Trump is not doing the things that is typically
done by the outgoing President, welcoming the incoming President to the White House for example, for there to be communication.
This is a part of the tradition in American history for the outgoing President to show that kind of deference and respect to the next President
that is coming into the White House. President Trump is simply refusing to do that.
LEE: I think it's worth mentioning that tomorrow morning, Joe Biden is going to be attending church services in downtown Washington, D.C. and he
has invited some congressional leaders. And among those that will be joining him at church is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Of course,
he is a Republican. He is on the other side of the aisle. But he is participating in that activity, again, showing a sign of deference and
respect, something that President Trump has not showed the incoming President-elect Joe Biden -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, we will watch it all tomorrow. M.J. Lee, great to have you with us. Thank you so much for that.
And in Washington, more National Guard troops arriving ahead of tomorrow's Inauguration, the acting U.S. Defense Secretary saying there is no
indication of an insider threat. But an F.B.I. Intelligence report warns that far right extremists have discussed posing as National Guard members,
according to "The Washington Post."
Pete Muntean is live in Washington for us. Pete, I read this morning, that The Pentagon is authorized 25,000 troops, we've been talking about this for
a number of days now. They simply are taking no risks.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. You know, things here in Washington get more and more lockdown all the time, Julia. Police are
actually in the process of closing the bridges between neighboring Virginia and Washington, D.C. This is one of those checkpoints staffed by members of
the National Guard and the F.B.I. is telling "The Washington Post" that it is worried that domestic terrorists could pose as members of the Guard.
We've just learned the 25,000 members of the Guard are on the ground here in Washington, but now the big question is how long all of this protection
will have to last? The head of the D.C. Department of Homeland Security says it could be some time. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTOPHER RODRIGUEZ, DIRECTOR, WASHINGTON, D.C. HOMELAND SECURITY: Right wing extremism is not going anywhere. And I think we can definitively say
that. And so, one of the things that we want to do is see what does the new normal look like?
And certainly, you know, this domestic terrorism, this right-wing extremism is going to be with us for some time in the months and years ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MUNTEAN: I just want to put the location of where we are in the context for you, Julia. We're not exactly close to the Capitol, it is blocks away. And
this is about as close as one can get on foot for most members of the general public.
You can see more buildings being boarded up here in Washington, that's happening more and more all the time. This is about to be an Inauguration
Day like no other. Typically, D.C. very secure for Inauguration Days past, but nothing like this before.
CHATTERLEY: Pete, that's such a great point, actually. Because when we look at some of these images, and we see the barriers going up, when we see the
boards going up, it gives you this sort of visual representation of what Washington, D.C. in its entirety may look like, and clearly that's not the
What kind of area are we talking about that's got this extreme military and police presence and we're seeing the boards going up versus actually when
you get out of that area normal life resumes.
MUNTEAN: It's hard to put it all into context if you don't know Washington, D.C. very well. But the area that's the most secure is the area around the
Capitol, and the National Mall, the Nation's Museum essentially going all the way down to the Washington Monument. That's where most of the
But the National Mall also traverses a very central portion of Washington, meaning that it's very much an imposition for anybody who lives here. So
really, when you think about the entire square mileage of Washington, D.C., this is only a very small part that's very, very secure. But it's a big
imposition on anybody trying to cross town.
I mentioned earlier those bridges being shut down, the airspace being more restricted. Public transit stations are closing down. This is an
Inauguration Day like no other.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, maybe I've watched too much "West Wing," Pete, a real sense of that National Mall and the crowd. Great to have you with us. Pete
Muntean, stay safe.
All right after the break, we are going back to basics with social media under scrutiny. Has a time come for the government to think about
regulating the algorithms, which decide what we see and read every day? Has the time passed? Quite frankly, they need to act.
Twilio CEO says, yes and thinks so. He is next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to the show. Scrutiny of social media tech firms and their role in the spread of disinformation has accelerated following
the violence in Washington, D.C. last week. Our next guest says government should consider regulating the algorithms that help drive news. That of
course places far more responsibility on the firm's themselves, and the developers behind them.
Jeff Lawson is the CEO of Twilio, a Cloud communications platform that connects firms to customers via things like online chat, messaging, and
calls. Its big brand clients range from banking to charities.
Jeff is also a serial entrepreneur and an author. His new book is called "Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and
Win the 21st Century." Jeff joins us now.
Jeff, great to have you on the show. The book couldn't have come out at a better time, quite frankly, in light of, of what we've seen for many
reasons. And I have so many questions about what we've seen: the role of social media, the ability of tech CEOs, just to be able to switch off the
voice of a U.S. President irrespective of what he is saying. As a big tech CEO, where do you stand?
JEFF LAWSON, CEO, TWILIO: Well, look, I think that in a society, the words we use matter, our actions matter. Like society has a pact for hundreds of
millions of people to work together, to build together and to not kill each other. And so in that society where words matter, and actions matter, there
And companies express those norms as Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policies and basically say you can only use our products if they fall
within what we deem acceptable. And so what you've seen over the past several weeks is company's enforcing their terms of service.
And by the way, this is entirely normal. This isn't new. Think about the offline world. You can't run into a movie theater and yell fire. You can't
walk into an ice cream shop and start yelling racist epithets, and expect to continue to be a customer of those establishments, you'd be kicked out
Well, the same thing is happening with online businesses. Their norms, when they are violated, customers can not expect to continue to be customers.
CHATTERLEY: So we had the Chief Regulator for European Digital on the show yesterday, and we sort of agreed that what's illegal offline should also be
illegal online and vice versa. And that's kind of exactly what you're saying. That's where regulators need to go.
LAWSON: Well, you know, for some reason, there's this expectation that when you're online, community norms get thrown out the window just because
you're hiding behind the keyboard and a username and I think that's a fairly silly idea. The norms that we have online should really express the
norms of our society and expectations of how we interact with each other.
CHATTERLEY: You know, your book, and the premise of your book is bring it back to the developers, they need to be part of the C-suite in a world
where we're seeing a dramatic shift towards greater digitization as a result of COVID. But also, in this specific sphere that we're talking about
now, with social media companies. Let's bring it back to the underlying software, the algorithms that are driving the news, a lot of it comes back
to these foundations.
LAWSON: Absolutely, and you think about the algorithms, they are really deciding what we get to see and what we don't see when we log into our
social media accounts. And so there is a lot of power on how those are designed. And that can be a great thing, it could also have some downsides.
And I think that it's up to government to really understand how those algorithms work. You know, when I watch the congressional testimony of, you
know, tech people in front of Congress, it becomes very clear that our elected leaders, our policymakers, our legislators, don't really understand
the technology that's at work.
Now, I get it, maybe a senator has better things to do than deeply understand algorithms, but they have staff, they have lots of people who
should be learning this stuff, and should be advising our leaders really wisely.
And so I think it's important that regulators and our legislators, our elected officials, that they are surrounded by people who do understand how
to -- how these algorithms are shaping society and advise them on crafting wise policy, or in short, they should ask their developers.
CHATTERLEY: I actually think you're being incredibly polite, I think they showed a devastating lack of understanding about how these platforms work.
And actually, the last week and a half proved that there's no greater responsibility than tackling this now, given that it's interfering with our
democracy and civil society, peace in society. Jeff, how confident are you that they act and recognize the threat?
LAWSON: Well, I think they recognize the threat and I think they actually perceive the threats in different ways, depending on which party they are,
however, how confident am I that they're going to act? Well, I'm not sure and I'm not sure that they are surrounded by people who actually understand
the implications, and how best to intersect the public good with obviously, there's our digital future is dependent upon many kinds of algorithms and
many kinds of businesses.
And they could install great use cases for this technology, in policies that are not well designed, or they could shut off many of the public
benefits that we get from social media and these types of services.
And so really, crafting this policy in a wise way is incredibly important and they need technical advisers at the table with them.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. And they also, again, to bring it back to the book, they need to be talking to the developers, the businesses themselves need to
take the onus on themselves to adapt.
Talk to me about the book, because I did love it. There was a whole section talking about recruitment of software developers, something that I hear is
a struggle. And you make this great point that look, they're not quants, they're creative, and you have to treat them accordingly.
Just explain the importance of developers, cultivating that talent, and what it means to a business adapting for 21st Century digitization today.
LAWSON: Well, it's hard not to notice that the companies in our digital economy who are winning are the ones who can build great software and great
digital experiences. And really, though, behind that statement, that's obvious to everybody when you use Google or you use Amazon, right, but
what's behind that statement is it's the people who are building those digital experiences, the software developers really matter.
And so the companies who unlock developer talent are the ones who are winning in the digital economy. But the thing that I've noticed is for so
many businesses, and so many executives, they have a hard time doing that. They don't really know how developers work.
Well, I'm a CEO of a public company and I'm also a software developer. So I'm in a unique position to help explain how developers work, how software
gets built and what's important to those people.
And so I wrote the book to help bridge the gap between software developers and the executives who really need to undertake digital transformation in
order to win in this digital economy.
CHATTERLEY: So what's the secret? Because you seem pretty sparkly, quite frankly. So the idea that you're a coder that needs to be left in a back
room and not part of the C-suite is clearly nonsense. What do you want people to take away from the book? How do you crack that code and bridge
LAWSON: Developers are more like creative professionals than they are like Math geeks. And so what you need to do is to share problems with those
developers, not solutions.
Take your biggest business problems and the biggest customer problems that your company needs to solve and go to your technical teams and say, hey, we
need to solve this big problem as opposed to assuming that there's business people who go figure out the solutions, and then just hand the
specification to a software developer.
Bring your technical talent in, build a culture of experimentation, tolerate failure, and learn to iterate your way and unleash that talent to
go build things for your customers and for your business. And when you bring technical people into the problem solving of building a business, you
will find that your company will be able to build better software faster that solves your customer problems better. And what business leader doesn't
want those things.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, as a business leader, don't assume you have all the answers, but your people might. If you pose those problems to them in the
same way that you do with customers, when they tell you your problems, you fix those, too.
Jeff, great to have you on the show. Thank you so much. Jeff Lawson, cofounder, CEO and Chairman of Twilio. And I just want to mention that the
profits of this book go to charity, too, which I wanted to mention, which is also an awesome thing too to galvanize young people to be facilitated in
coding and help for the future.
Jeff, great to have you with us. Thank you.
All right. The U.S. transfer of power usually involves a highly secretive handoff of the most important briefcase in the world. But President Trump's
refusal to attend the inauguration, forcing a change of plans. The details, next.
CHATTERLEY: Installing a new President means a strategic handover of the nuclear weapon codes. But with President Trump's skipping Joe Biden's
swearing in, the military had to prepare two so-called nuclear footballs this year as Barbara Starr reports.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The most important briefcase in the world carried by the military and never far from the
President of the United States. It's often called the nuclear football. The case holds the highly classified equipment and authorities needed for a
President to order the military to launch a nuclear weapon.
On this Inauguration Day, with President Trump planning to depart Washington early and not attend the swearing in of Joe Biden, there will be
two nuclear footballs and the challenge of ensuring it goes smoothly. One for Joe Biden in Washington D.C., the minute he becomes President. One that
will accompany President Trump to Florida until he no longer has power and his nuclear authorities are deactivated.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi question whether Trump should still have the authority to launch a war.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): I have sought information from those who are in a position to know that there are protections against this dangerous
President initiating any military hostilities or something worse than that.
STARR (voice over): Pelosi recently said she spoke to General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about the safeguards in place for
ordering a nuclear strike.
Senior Military officials say while the President has sole authority to launch nuclear weapons, he cannot do it alone.
STARR (voice over): If an adversary were to launch a missile at the U.S., the President would immediately be on a classified communication network
receiving minute by minute Intelligence and recommendations on how to proceed.
There are safeguards against illegal attack orders whether it's nuclear or conventional. To be legal, orders must have a legitimate target, a clear
military objective and use proportional force.
The General who recently commanded strategic weapons and is now number two at The Pentagon is adamant the military will not follow illegal orders from
GEN. JOHN HYTEN, COMMANDER, U.S. STRATEGIC COMMAND: If it is illegal. Guess what's going to happen?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you say no?
HYTEN: I'm going to say, Mr. President, that's illegal. And guess what he's going to do? He's going to say what would be legal? And we'll come up with
options, have a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that's the way it works.
It's not that complicated.
STARR (voice over): Barbara Starr, CNN, The Pentagon.
CHATTERLEY: And the Inauguration kicks off tomorrow. Sorry, I couldn't help myself. That's it for the show. You've been watching FIRST MOVE.
I'm Julia Chatterley. Stay safe. "CONNECT The WORLD" with Becky Anderson is up next.