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Jan 6 Cmte.: Trump Refused To Act For 187 Minutes As Mob Attacked Capitol; Bannon Verdict Watch; Jury Takes Case After Contentious Closing Arguments; Biden's Doctor: President's COVID Symptoms Have Improved. Aired 12-12:30p ET

Aired July 22, 2022 - 12:00   ET




JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Hello everybody and welcome to Inside politics. I'm John King in Washington. Thank you for sharing your day with us. He did nothing. Primetime witnesses lay out in full, awful detail the depths of Donald Trump's Insurrection day depravity. Trump loyalists describe a president content to watch TV and ignore pleas to help while the Capitol American democracy, the House speaker and his own Vice President came under attack from the mob.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hold, they've entered the building. Hold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Harden the door up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we're moving, we need to move on.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we lose any more time, we may have - we may lose the ability to leave. So if we're going to leave, we need to do it now.


KING: Plus, the jury just moments ago takes the Steve Bannon case after a wild, wild final day of Court arguments. And the White House physician says Joe Biden is doing better after the President did run a slight fever last night, one day into fighting off Coronavirus. We begin the hour though with Donald Trump and the new details in the January 6 committee's second by second reconstruction of his Insurrection day negligence.

The panel wrapped up its first round of public hearings last night with a promise to reappear in September after spending this past month laying out the factual record. Its Republican Vice Chair says, "the dam has begun to break" and that the committee is now assembling missing pieces of its Insurrection puzzle.

Last night, the panel had more than enough from a legion of Trump insiders to establish this. Then President Trump did not try to move any arm of his government to stop the Capitol attack. No calls to the Military, no calls to Homeland Security or the FBI, no calls to DC officials, no calls to check in on his Vice President.

Instead, he calls Rudy Giuliani and he called senators trying to stall certifying the election as an even after the rioters invaded. Former Trump aides, Trump White House aides Matthew Pottinger, Sarah Matthews provided the live testimony. Former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone narrated much of the day in a recorded interview.

The witnesses drew a damning sketch of a president captive to the White House dining room TV, reluctant to tell the criminals to go home because they were, "his people." We also for the first time I saw images of congressional leadership and the Vice President trying to do what the President would not, get help and stop the assault.

Trump, the panel showed was fine to watch the Capitol burn, his alleged last words leaving the West Wing after an attack that left Police officers dead and our democracy bloodied, "Mike Pence let me down."

Let's get straight up to Capitol Hill and CNN's Manu Raju. Manu, tell us more.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is a culmination after a series of hearings that initially showed the run up to January 6, everything that Donald Trump tried to do, despite being told it was against the law, whether it was pressuring state officials to overturn the election, pressuring Mike Pence has some of disregard electoral results on January 6, trying to use his Justice Department to move ahead, urging his supporters to come on here on January 6, trying to go to the Capitol himself after that fiery speech he delivered to the rally.

But this hearing last night demonstrating not that he just didn't just act but the committee showed evidence that his actions even inflamed supporters of his own when he tweeted incendiary tweets about Mike Pence, leading to efforts to try to go after Mike Pence by the mob, why they're on the Capitol, even concerns from Mike Pence's security detail that their lives could be in danger.

Now what both Democrats and Republicans on this committee say of going forward is that they are going to assemble this evidence, they're going to look at what holes there are to try to plug in the month ahead. And what Adam Kinzinger, who helped lead the questioning was - suggested to me last night was at the Donald Trump has criminal exposure going forward.

And today this morning, he also indicated that they have laid out a case for the DOJ - for DOJ, the Justice Department to pursue going forward.


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): We have proven not basically just in this hearing, we've proven different components of a criminal case against Donald Trump or people around him in every hearing. And I think taken in totality, this represents the greatest effort to overturn the will of the people, to conspire against the will of the people and to conspire against American democracy that we've ever had, frankly, since the Civil War.

So yes, I think we've proven that. It's up to justice now to make a decision.


RAJU: Now, committee members last night told me they had not made a decision yet about exactly what those September hearings would look like. But John, they plan to spend the August recess when Congress has gone, continue to interview more witnesses, assembling the record, and then more hearings to come and September, and that even may not be it as the committee tries to finalize this report as well. John.

KING: Manu Raju, live for us up on Capitol Hill to kick us off. Manu, thank you. With me in studio now to share their reporting and their insights, three of CNN"s finest; Dana Bash, Jeff Zeleny and Audie Cornish.


KING: I don't think we learned anything new about the big story arc last night, the basic pillars of the story about Trump doing nothing. But what we learned was some fascinating granular detail, the moment by moment, including - including the security official at the White House, who was unnamed, because he's worried about retribution, detailing the radio traffic back and forth, the traffic back and forth with the Vice President security detail. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, that last entry on this page is service at the Capitol does not sound good right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does that mean?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The members of the VP detail at this time were starting to fear for their own lives. There were a lot of - there was a lot of yelling, a lot of very personal calls over the radio. So it was disturbing. I don't like talking about it, but - but they were called to say goodbye to family members, so on and so forth. It was getting - for whatever reason was on the ground, the VP detail thought that this was about to get very ugly.


KING: One of the many new behind the curtain moments, if you will, that just remind you of the horror, the fear, the stakes of that day.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And how remarkable it is, given what happened, that it wasn't worse, not just with the Vice President or members of Congress, but any other humans in the building. We obviously know that the horrors of what happened to members of the Capitol Police force.

But what I was told when - when that was played afterwards, I was texting with somebody in Pence world, who said that they didn't know about those feelings at the time among the Secret Service. Not surprising, those of us who have been around members of the Secret Service. They wouldn't share that with the - with people they were sworn to protect.

But what was happening, and it was another window into this, was that they were so close to the rioters, to the insurrectionists. And they were so unsure of where to go and how far - how close they were going to get to the VP, they were worried about a shootout. They were worried about something getting so out of hand that they might not make it out of there.

KING: It's a stunning detail. And as that was playing out at the White House, what we heard from Sarah Matthews and Matthew Pottinger, and also from Pat Cipollone, the former White House counsel was that the president was essentially a man all by himself, that everybody from his daughter, from Mike Pence's National Security Adviser to junior press aides to senior officials, including the White House Counsel, were saying, Mr. President, please do something.

Listen as Pat Cipollone goes through just some of the people who said Mr. President, you have to do something and were ignored.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you continue, Mr. Cipollone, throughout the period of time, up until 4/17 continue, you and others to push for a stronger statement?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you joined in that effort by Ivanka Trump?







KING: You made a point that I thought was critical last night in that these conversations are understandably still very Trump centric, because he was the President of the United States who was trying to abuse his power, trying to cheat and trying to steal American democracy. And yet the threat is bigger in the sense that you were talking about, you know, how are the levers of government? How is it that we got so close? Why aren't there more safeguards in place so that one man cannot do that?

AUDIE CORNISH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, first, I would say there were some revelations yesterday, because any of us who watched this unfold on television on January 6, were like, where's the National Guard? Where's the president? Where's the Vice President? We're - like, where are these people? We got some answers last night, we know what they were up to.

But to your greater point, consider this a massive stress test, right? There are several points of the system when it comes to transition of power that can be manipulated, if it just is one different person, one hyper partisan, one you know, co-conspirator. We won't know the answers to all of this for the next couple of months in terms of what the ramifications will be for the people involved.

But we do know for ourselves that the system needs a little more support and a little more shoring up.

KING: And it's striking again recounted as by an aide that the President's last words after watching all of this play out, all of this play out, his Vice President could have been killed, the Speaker of the House could have been killed, the institution of government, a monument to American democracy, the Capitol was defaced and defiled and his last words, as he left for the residence were Mike Pence, let me down.

That was the night of January 6. We know the next day he tried to tape a video message, and they showed some of the outtakes from it, including this.


DONALD J. TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't want to say the election's over. I just want to say Congress has certified the results without saying the elections over. OK?


KING: In some ways again, not news because Donald Trump still says, still says the election was stolen from him and it absolutely was not.


But just there were so many snapshots of the - just the corrupt, I don't know what the mindset is of a guy who just refused to accept fact and refuse to put the country ahead of himself.

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Without question. I think those outtakes really offer the best window into the former presidents mindset, then still the president, he would not say the election is over. But at that point, he knew his presidency was over. He knew that the - that Congress had certified the vote, you could almost hear the wheels turning there about his strategy for you know, the months and years ahead, which we have now seen play out. But no one at the time could have imagined what would happen that, you know, most of the Republican Party would, you know, basically, switch gears and start supporting him. So then he, you know, he's just working in real time there. But we've reported that he took nearly an hour to film those three minutes video, and this is someone who is been in television for a very long time, when he wants to do something quick, he can do it. He couldn't quite figure out what to say. But I thought also the interesting thing were the outtakes from his Rose Garden speech. He did not follow the script as his aides had written for him.

And he essentially was making it up on the, you know, as he was going. So I thought last night was the most interesting thing. We knew that he didn't do anything. But he actively did nothing, and went in fact, the other way and started planting the seeds in real time of what we've seen.

BASH: Can I just quickly add that person who connected the two points that Audie and Jeff just made was Adam Kinzinger, last night. His final statement, Liz Cheney's as well, but on this particular point, the most powerful part of his final statement was effectively, I'm paraphrasing here, you can write laws all you want, but they are very tenuous, if there is a person, a powerful person who is not willing to follow at least the spirit of them, never mind the letter of them, and that is the stress test that you talked about.

And the person who put is continuing to put that stress, on that we saw in real time with that video, and obviously, up until January 6, and today is Donald Trump.

KING: And we'll come back to this a bit later in the program but to your point Donald Trump and the sycophants who continue to support him even despite everything we have heard, not from members of the Deep State, not from Democrats and not from people on a witch hunt, but by people who worked for Donald Trump to the very end, just explaining his actions. We'll be back with that. Also, we'll be back with Steve Bannon verdict. Watch right now in the Steve Bannon trial. CNN live at the courthouse, next.




KING: The jury right now has the Steve Bannon case, they began deliberating just about 40 minutes ago. That after a climactic final day of arguments prosecutors closing out their case by arguing Bannon chose defiance and law breaking when he no-showed a congressional subpoena. Bannon's defense injecting politics throughout its closing arguments. Let's get to the courthouse and CNN's Sara Murray. Sara, tell us more.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, the jury is deliberating and it comes after the prosecution laid out what was a pretty simple closing. They said this is the guy who did not show up. He chose his allegiance over Donald Trump, over the law. He defied the subpoena. He doesn't believe the rules apply to him.

They compared it to a parking ticket, which is a pretty relevant analogy for Washington DC, jury saying you can either pay or you can appeal and if the government rejects the your excuse for not paying it, you have to pay it. You don't just get to snub it and walk away. It was a rockier closing for the defense.

Obviously, a lot of arguments have been foreclosed on them from the judge. It was objection after objection. But they basically argued that, you know, sometimes people try to silence their political critics and that politics should not be a part of that, once again, arguing that Steve Bannon is innocent.

Of course, we will see how all of this sits with the jury. It just went to them right around lunchtime. If Bannon is convicted, he faces 30 days behind bars. But of course, as you might expect, it already appears like his lawyers are working toward an appeal, even as we're still waiting for the verdict.

KING: Waiting for the verdict. Sara Murray outside the courthouse will bring us any new information if it comes this hour. Sara, thank you for joining our conversation. Now the CNN legal analyst, the former federal prosecutor, Elliot Williams. Elliot, it was a very quick trial, the prosecution saying this is simple. As Sara said, he got a subpoena. He tried to appeal it. He was told no. And then he still defied it.

Do you see any - any wiggle room here from the jury? Or is this clear cut?

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's clear cut in how simple it is, John. It's not racketeering. It's not a big criminal conspiracy. It's - you're basically proving three things. Was there a subpoena? Did he know there was a subpoena? And did he - did he violate it knowingly? Like - and again, as Sara had said, there's a path to objecting to a subpoena, you bring it to the court. So it's very straightforward.

Now look, every prosecutor in history has had their heart broken by a jury that you thought where something seemed obvious and straightforward, but the crime itself here is very straightforward and simple.

KING: Let me get your take on last night, a lot of the conversation among the committee members so you know, the committee members believe they have laid out a case for the Justice Department against former President Donald Trump as well as the other people but including the former president.

You're a bit tad more skeptical there. I just want to get your perspective last night in the sense that they did make clear that you'd have to prove Donald Trump knew certain things. They did make clear last night, that within 10 or 15 minutes of getting back at the White House from the Ellipse, he was told, he knew he could see on television and people came to him that there was violence at the Capitol. We know that he knew from watching that his tweets carried power, that people in the crowd were reading his tweets and looking at his tweets as he went. And we got this from the top Military official in the United States of America. General Mark Milley says the Vice President called - people on Capitol Hill called - not Donald Trump listen.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFs OF STAFF: You know you're the Commander in Chief. You've got an assault going on, on the Capitol of the United States of America. And nothing? No call? Nothing, zero.


KING: It's a glimpse at the character of Donald Trump and you can only shake your head at it. The president of United States watching happily apparently as an attack on his government unfolded but you don't see at least from last night any new wow pieces of criminal evidence?


WILLIAMS: Yes. Any new wow pieces of criminal evidence, that's not to say that they weren't there before. Look, I think we have a pretty clear path to obstructing Congress, obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy against the United States. It's a tougher path to things like inciting the crowd based on the information you have.

Look, you have a lot of evidence that the ProudBoys were conspiring with each other and with the OathKeepers, to engage in acts of violence that day. You have a tougher path to the President. Now the kinds of things you were talking about John, him watching at 1:39pm and Fox News indicating that Donald Trump had a specific hold over these people.

His knowledge that he could get to them if he wanted, that's what you would need to establish to get to an incitement charge. But that's just a tougher charge to prove. All I'm saying here is that the evidence that came out yesterday didn't add anything new. That's not to say that there wasn't plenty of evidence in the record in the six or however many hearings there was - there were prior to last night.

KING: Right. There's the potential criminal case and then there's the character case if you will.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely.

KING: We do get a lot of new information on that one, Elliot Williams grateful for the important insights. Up next for us, the latest on President Biden's COVID fight. The White House counts today as day one in his isolation, and they say the president symptoms remain quite mild.


[12:25:00] KING: We have a new update from the White House as President Biden - from President Biden's physician as he battles COVID-19. President's symptoms have improved and the Commander-in-Chief, his doctor says is "tolerating treatment well."

Dr. Kevin O'Connor says Biden's temperature did hit 99.4 degrees last night. But he says it has been normal since then. And the President will continue to be monitored and of course remain in isolation. Let's get to CNN's Jeremy Diamond at the White House for more. Jeremy, what do we know?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, as you said, Dr. Kevin O'Connor here just saying that President Biden's symptoms have improved. He completed his first full day of that antiviral Paxlovid treatment, but at the same time, the President's temperature did rise to 99.4 which most doctors do not consider a fever and yet Dr. O'Connor still prescribed the president, Tylenol and that the President's temperature did get low - go down from there. The president is also still experiencing that runny nose, fatigue and his cough is now being described as a nonproductive and loose rather than the dry cough that we were - that was described for us yesterday.

The President also now taking Tylenol, taking - using an inhaler as needed. But beyond that Dr. O'Connor says that the President is improving and he expects him to respond favorably to this Paxlovid treatment. At the same time, the White House making every effort to show that President Biden despite being in isolation in the White House residence is continuing to carry out the duties of President.

They showed - they just tweeted out a picture of the president on the phone with his national security team. He did receive his daily intelligence briefing virtually. You can see the president there wearing a mask, notably which was not the case from the first picture that the White House had released of the president indoors yesterday.

The President has other virtual meetings planned for later today. He is expected to meet with his economic team to discuss gas prices and also meeting with senior advisors on legislation advancing through Congress. And finally, John, we are expecting another briefing from the White House Press Secretary as well as Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House's Coronavirus coordinator this afternoon. John.

KING: Jeremy Diamond with the latest from the White House. Jeremy, thank you. Let's get some important perspective now from Dr. Carlos Del Rio. He's the Executive Associate Dean at the Emory School of Medicine at Grady Health System. Dr. Del Rio, it's great to see you. You just heard Jeremy Diamond lay this out. We have the memo from the President's physician, Dr. O'Connor, says his temperature did hit 99.4, responded favorably to Tylenol, temperature remained normal since, was a dry cough yesterday. Now they say it's a "loose cough."

You understand this better than most? Is that normal, if you will, for a COVID patient?

DR.CARLOS DEL RIO, EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE DEAN AT THE EMORY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT GRADY HEALTH SYSTEM: Yes, that's normal John, for what you would expect for somebody who is vaccinated and double boosted and who's also receiving Paxlovid. The President is having what I would call a very mild case of COVID at this point in time, I think he's being managed appropriately.

And I think he's - he's doing just fine. And he's going to continue to do just fine. We need to think about him as having basically having, you know, the flu.

KING: If we think about him basically having the flu. He's a 79-year old man. So that does put him in a high risk group. He also happens to be the President of United States, so he's going to get more attention than most COVID patients. What would you look for on day two here? Yesterday was the first day in isolation. What are you looking for to make sure you're right?

That everything is going as you expected, that the antivirals are working as you expected, that because he's double vaccinated, double boosted, he should have a relatively mild case? What's your checklist to just triple check that?

DEL RIO: I think there are a couple of things, you know, the symptoms, as we talked about the oxygenation, what's the percentage? What's the, the oxygen saturation of his blood? Hopefully should be above 95 percent. How fast he's breathing and, and how he's feeling basically, you know, he's not going to feel, you know, he's going to feel pretty bad for two to three days, and then he's going to start feeling better.

I think the issue John is going to be after he finished Paxlovid, which is going to be five days. He should be to clear - he should clear his virus by then. But there is a possibility, you know, about 10 percent of people who get Paxlovid, like Dr. Fauci did develop what we call Paxlovid rebound. So he's going to have to be watched for a possible rebound.

KING: As we keep an eye on that, the White House says the president will keep in isolation until he tests negative. Well, that's not required by CDC guidelines. The CDC guidelines say you end isolation after five full days if you are fever free for 24 hours, without the use of any fever reducing medications and your symptoms are improving. Does it make sense?