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Jan. 6 Cmte: Trump Run Won't Change Investigation; Vulnerable Dems Sound The Alarm Over Inflation; Ukrainian Officials Suspended Over Staffer's Suspected Treason. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired July 18, 2022 - 12:30   ET



ABBY PHILLIP, CNN HOST: Fill in the blanks and reveal the extent to which then President Donald Trump did nothing as insurrectionists overran the Capitol.


REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA), JANUARY 6TH COMMITTEE: He was doing nothing to actually stop the riot will go through pretty much minute by minute during that timeframe from the time he left, the stage at the ellipse came back to the White House and really sat in the White House.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL), JANUARY 6TH COMMITTEE: The President didn't do very much but gleefully watched television during this timeframe. I know I would have been going ballistic to try to save the Capitol. He did quite the opposite.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The President didn't do anything?

KINZINGER: The President didn't do anything.


PHILLIP: We're back with our panel. Manu, these 187 minutes loomed large over everything that Committee has done. How specific are they going to get on person?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it'll get pretty specific. I mean, we will call we have seen parts of this already come out to the course of this here -- these hearing processes from Cassidy Hutchinson. She testified that Pat Cipollone wanted to have a meeting with Donald Trump. Meadows were saying, well, Donald Trump doesn't want to do anything that was before Cipollone spoke to the Committee. Now we'll see what he actually revealed in those interactions with Donald Trump on January 6th, and whether in fact, Trump said they didn't want to do anything or whether he provides any more details about that.

So they'll get specific on that. But this will be the culmination of what we've seen this build of Donald Trump first pressuring the state officials to try to change the election results, pressuring Mike Pence to do that, pressuring the Justice Department, ignoring the fact that this was illegal what he was doing, and now the ultimate impact January 6th, and what did he do, and what did he not do?

PHILLIP: This has been shrouded in so much mystery. I mean, I know reporters who cover the White House have been digging on this for the entire time since January 6th happen. So the idea that this Committee might be able to get inside the White House would be very significant.

MJ LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And the members have said, as we just saw there that there is going to be basically a minute by minute recreation of exactly what Donald Trump was doing. And I think more importantly, what he was not doing. And as you said, we already have a pretty good idea that he refused for many, many minutes as violence was unfolding on Capitol Hill, to call out to his supporters to say cut it out. But I think what the Committee has demonstrated throughout the course of these hearings, is the ability to sort of vividly paint a picture, whether it is through videos that we might not have seen before, through testimony, of course, that were conducted via video, to really clear -- clearly present a vivid picture of exactly what was going on. And that has the potential to be really powerful, even though again, we do have a great sense already that President Trump was not willing to do anything to stop the violence.

PHILLIP: And potentially very damaging politically to Trump as he is, as we speak, considering an early announcement to run for the presidency. Listen to Elaine Luria, who you just heard earlier talking about how that may or may not affect the Committee's ongoing work.


LURIA: It will not change how we're conducting this investigation. The purpose of this investigation is to lay out the facts of everything that led up to January 6th, the events that happened that day and prevent something like this from happening in the future. The bottom line is that no one is above the law, whether he's a president, a former president, or a potential future presidential candidate.

PHILLIP: But realistically, I mean, do you think that the Committee's work is also affecting Trump's political calculations as well?

MARIO PARKER, NATIONAL POLITICS TEAM LEADER, BLOOMBERG: Oh, there's no question about it at all. Previously, we've heard these ebbs and flows as to when the former president wanted to announce whether he would announced as well, all of those things. It wasn't until the January 6th Committee revelations that we were for certain the president, former President Donald Trump is going to run again, he's signaling that in various interviews, the folks we talked to are signaling that he's chomping at the bit as well. And so this has forced his hand politically.

PHILLIP: Shan, I want to talk to you about this idea of Trump investigation. DOJ is working in a parallel fashion. But POLITICO says this about how a Trump investigation might affect some of these other defendants who are currently in litigation with them. If the Department of Justice starts assertively mounting a criminal investigation of Trump, it could create delays and other January 6th related trials because defense attorneys for hundreds of defendants could demand access to much of the evidence against Trump as part of their discovery process. What are you seeing in terms of what the DOJ is doing on both of those fronts?

SHAN WU, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: DOJ is moving at such a glacial pace that I don't think that matters very much more power to them if they're wrapping this up. There could be some Fifth Amendment privilege problems for defendants that get charged or targeted if they were going to testify before January 6th, but honestly, at this point, DOJ can move forward and it's not going to gum up anything with the January 6th Committee. On the flip side, the Committee continues to produce evidence that would make any good prosecutor salivate at getting that evidence. So it's really them helping DOJ.

PHILLIP: Yes, it seems the DOJ has been following the January 6th Committee. Manu, this is the last hearing that we know of on Thursday. It sounds like if you hear Adam Kinzinger it's an open -- it's just an open door and they feel like they can continue if they need to.


RAJU: Yes. And look, I think what they're going to see is that they're going to have a report. We'll see is an interim report or final report, they'll put it out. It's probably going to come up before the midterm elections. And at that point, they can have -- may have a couple of hearings, one or two hearings to spotlight their findings in this report. But the question is, are they going to be done with it? They've -- they're still have -- they've interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, they have tens of thousands of pages of documents. They have more information requests out there, and they're suggesting they want to continue on but as we know, November comes and the House Republicans could very well and could take control of the House and shut it down, and they're going to shut this whole thing down so they don't have much time to operate it.

PHILLIP: Yes, even if they want it to continue, they may not be able to.

Up next for us, on Thursday, the January 6th Committee is turning to President Trump's conduct as we were just discussing during the Capitol attack what happened at the White House during those 187 minutes. Tune in to our special live coverage of the January 6th hearings Thursday 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

And up next for us, the Democrats are venting their fury at Senator Joe Manchin and as he deals another blow to the Biden administration's big policy ambitions.



PHILLIP: So Senator Bernie Sanders is publicly slamming Joe Biden after the West Virginia Democrat torpedoed President Biden's -- Joe Manchin and after he torpedoed President Biden's climate and tax agenda, take a listen.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): You have people like Manchin, Sinema to a lesser degree who are intentionally sabotaging the President's agenda, what the American people want, what a majority of us in the Democratic caucus want nothing new about this. And the problem was that we continue to talk to manchin, like he was serious, he was not.


PHILLIP: But over at the White House, the rhetoric is noticeably less fiery.


BRIAN DEESE, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Look, I'm not going to get into the truth, the truth and frozen the back and forth, but I'll say is this is that the President for some time has been laying out what we need to do on clean energy that if Congress and the Senate is not going to act on that front, then he is going to take the powers that he has with executive authority and take steps on that front.


PHILLIP: Our panel is back to discuss this. So Manu, obviously, people are furious. Although some people would be like, well, Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat, but he's speaking for the progressive wing of the party right now.

RAJU: Yes, and look, he may not like it. But Bernie Sanders has to deal with the reality that they are in a 50-50 Senate and they're trying to pass Joe Biden's agenda through a budget process that requires them to do it along straight party lines. And they can do it across straight party lines, which is what they are trying to do. So that means they need Manchin support. And that's why they've been frustrated for over the past year of trying to get a deal.

Remember where they started. I mean, they started in talking about a $3.5 trillion, massive expansion of the social safety net. Manchin was open to it, he was talking about it, he suggested something much less than that $1.5 trillion. They went back and forth all year about that. And now they're not even getting anywhere close to that. But there is could be some significant policy changes. He is open to allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. He's also willing to extend expiring subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

So there could be some policy provoked -- provisions that get into law, but there's still not going to be enough for what the left want.

PHILLIP: And for those who are paying attention that is of the things that they started with. They're down to two of the items. And the White House is, as you heard there from Brian Deese, really not taking this as an opportunity to slam Manchin because they think that they need to get to a deal with him. POLITICO writes this. Unlike Sanders, Schumer and the White House are not attacking Manchin. They want to move past -- they want to move past him and emphasize the victory achieved rather than what was lost. A reconciliation bill that lowers prescription drug prices, and extends subsidies to millions of Americans who rely on the ACA will be one of the largest health care bills passed in a long time. In other words, take the win.

LEE: Yes, and expect to hear more of that from the White House and President Biden's allies in the coming days and weeks, where essentially the message is, look, we're focused on what we can get. We're focused on not what's already happened, but what actually is pretty is still salvageable. But the reality is that as Manu just said, there's real frustration. There's real frustration at Joe Manchin, although the White House has long sort of stopped reading out any activities, communications between the White House and Senator Manchin.

I think that there's growing frustration that you hear from the base from Democrats who feel like well, we know we have a Democratic president in the White House. We know that Democrats control Congress, so why isn't more getting done? Of course, the political reality is what you just pointed out, it is a 50-50 evenly divided Senate. They can't get anything done unless Joe Manchin gets behind and every member of the party gets behind.

PHILLIP: We are quickly approaching the midterms as well. And these frontline Democrats are sounding the alarm. Mark Kelly in Arizona says the Biden administration needs to quote be looking for more opportunities. Raphael Warnock in Georgia, we can do something and we ought to. Elissa Slotkin in Michigan, who has been very vocal saying, what I need is a plan. I am not looking for messaging help. And the reason is because inflation is very bad and Joe Biden's approval rating is bad and getting worse it seems. So the stakes are very high for something to get done.


PARKER: Yes. Absolutely, President Biden I mean he spent four decades almost in Washington before. So he wants to have something deliverable for his members to go back home with. But MJ makes a great point, just as level of frustration from the base, right. The base for the previous four years in the previous administration saw all of the deliverables that went toward the former President Trump's base, right. They wanted the same thing out of President Biden to keep his party in line and on track and unified as well. And then when Manchin goes astray, that kind of adds to the frustration with both him but also President Biden's ability to unite his party.

RAJU: And what is the Democrats message running into the midterms and they really don't have one that's they're now running. They recognize full well, that inflation also will be the dominant issue ahead of the midterms. And how do you deal with that they all have a whole bunch of ideas, none of them, which will probably become law, like a gas tax holiday or would have much of an impact on gas prices or anything else. But that is the real fear here. The economy, of course, is going to be a big factor here and people are feeling it and will potentially take it out against the party in power.

PHILLIP: And meanwhile, a major infrastructure bill that did get done seems to be in the rear view mirror. Well, coming up ahead for us, Ukraine's President suspends two top officials amid allegations of treason from within his own government.



PHILLIP: And now to the war in Ukraine where President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suspended two of his officials after an investigation found that dozens of their staffers were helping Russia. The ousted officials are Ukraine's Prosecutor General and intelligence chief. And Zelenskyy says that more than 60 employees in their departments are suspected of treason. CNN's Ivan Watson joins us live from southeastern Ukraine. Ivan, these are two key security positions. What is going on here and what happens next?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in Zelenskyy's words, there was a kind of fifth column operating within these branches of kind of the security forces in law enforcement. So he says that there are at least 651 criminal cases of treason that are being investigated, that involve employees in the prosecutor's office and in the intelligence agency, and that some 60 plus employees of these agencies, in fact, have stayed in Russian occupied territory since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24th, and that they're actively collaborating with Ukraine's enemy, Russia.

And that is part of the grounds for suspending the Prosecutor General and the head of the Security Bureau, who is in fact a childhood friend of President Zelenskyys' a landscape and a political -- close political ally of his. So there seems to be some kind of internal cleanup underway. Not all of this is very clear. Some of this is opaque because it has to do with the security forces in this raging war.

By the way that does continue to go on. We have fighting of course in the east of the country and in the south to the south of where I am right now. The Ukrainians claim that they carried out several long range strikes in the province directly to the south of here, against what they say was a gathering of military vehicles and fuel depots for the Russian forces.

And meanwhile, amid all this fighting, civilians continue to flee. I've been visiting shelters today, and welcoming points. There about 4 to 500 people arriving every day just to the city that I'm in right now, which has already housing more than 60,000 internally displaced people, part of the millions of Ukrainians who've been forced to flee their homes by this devastating war. Back to you.

PHILLIP: Ivan Watson, thank you so much for that report.


And coming up ahead for us, a prominent voice in the fight against COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci is talking about retiring.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PHILLIP: And topping our Political Radar, Dr. Anthony Fauci is planning to retire by the end of President Biden's first term. He spent more than five decades in public service advising seven presidents. Fauci who was 81 says he is not basing his decision to leave on whether COVID-19 is finally contained.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER: I'm not exactly sure when but I don't see myself being in this job to the point where I can't do anything else after that. So that's the reason. It has nothing to do with pressures, nothing to do with all the other nonsense that you hear about all the barbs and the slings and the arrows that has no influence on me.


PHILLIP: And it's Mike Pence versus Donald Trump and Arizona. Pence is endorsing Arizona Republican Karrin Taylor Robson for governor. Trump is backing the other candidate in the race, former T.V. news anchor Kari Lake. Now Lake is an election denier and Arizona's current governor is no fan.


GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R-AZ): This is all an act. She's been putting on a show for some time now. And we'll see if the voters of Arizona buy it. Kari Lake is misleading voters with no evidence.


PHILLIP: Red meat or serious legal argument. On his podcast, Senator Ted Cruz argues for a conservative legal challenge to the right for same sex couples to marry.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): In Obergefell, the court said no, we know better than you guys do. And now every state must sanction and permit gay marriage. I think that decision was clearly wrong when it was decided. It was the court overreaching.


PHILLIP: Though House plans to vote this week on the Respect for Marriage Act which would enshrine same sex marriage as federal law.


Thank you for joining Inside Politics with us today. Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage on CNN right now.