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New Day

Future Elections for Republicans at Risk; Michael Lindsay Hogg is Interviewed about the Beatles; Cities Step Up Security Against Smash and Grab Attacks. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 30, 2021 - 08:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: The effort by former President Trump and his allies to place loyalists and those who continue to push the big lie in key posts across the country is raising red flags, setting the stage for future election challenges.

Joining me now, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold and the former chair of the Michigan Republican Party and senior adviser of the Lincoln Project Jeff Timmer.

Jeff, I want to start with you.

You're the one who's used the red flag imagery here. You say there are bright red warning lights flashing everywhere about what's going on. What do you mean?

JEFF TIMMER, FORMER CHAIR, MICHIGAN REPUBLICAN PARTY: Well, what Donald Trump is doing, you know, he's not much for strategy. Usually if you sit him in front of a chess board, he'll just eat the pieces. But right now what he's doing in states like Michigan is showing incredible discipline and attention to detail by endorsing candidates in these very obscure races for state legislature and for offices like secretary of state and attorney general so that he'll have people in place after the 2024 election to do what he wasn't able to do after the 2020 election. And that should scare everybody.

BERMAN: So, Secretary Griswold, if you look at the roster of people who are running right now.

In Texas you have Louie Gohmert running for attorney general. In Michigan, Matthew Maddock running for speaker of the house, Kristina Karamo for secretary of state, Matthew DePerno for Michigan attorney general. In Georgia, Congressman Jody Hice is running for secretary of state to throw out Brad Raffensperger. All of those people in certain degrees or other are big lie supporters right there.

What would happen if you got rid of the people who were there before and replaced them with those who buy into the big lie?

SECRETARY JENA GRISWOLD (D), COLORADO SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, good morning. And it is incredibly alarming. In fact, in every swing state where we have a secretary of state race, there is someone who has either spread the big lie or was at the insurrection running to oversee elections. And I think it was put best by "The Washington Post" over the weekend, it's like having someone who's an arsonist oversee the fire department. We need election administrators who believe in the will of the people, who believe in democracy, and, if not, you could see secretaries of state or election officials facilitate insider threats, that's what we just saw in Colorado earlier in the year, in western Colorado. You could see the chief election administrator pushing out this information.

And, in fact, you know, what I think the worst case scenario is, if there is another January 6th, if there is another attempt by a president or bad actors to take these positions of elected office, no matter the outcome, while we definitely want secretaries of state and election officials to stand on the right side, and that's with fact and the will of the voters.

BERMAN: So, Secretary, I wonder if you can talk a little bit about some of the stuff that's happened in Colorado where you've seen what you call an attempted infiltration of not elected election posts around the state. What do you mean? What's going on?

GRISWOLD: Yes, we picked up chatter that election deniers were actually encouraging extremists to take over positions, apply to positions within my office. And, unfortunately, we've seen that in at least one other state. So these extremists, they know how important an election administration is. And that's why they're encouraging their supporters to apply for these positions.

We've also seen very publicly operatives like Steve Bannon encourage folks to sign up to be poll watchers, to sign up for these positions. And, ultimately, we need election administrators who believe in free and fair elections. That's why this is so troubling and why we really need the nation to be paying attention and ultimately the Senate to act.

BERMAN: So, Jeff, what do you do about all this?

TIMMER: Well, you need to show up and vote because there are more of us, when I say us, I mean pro-democracy Americans, than there are Republicans who are trying to subvert elections and make sure your votes don't count. So we need to show up in this 2022 election because, if we don't, the outcome of the 2024 election might become a foregone conclusion.

BERMAN: Well, here's the thing, Jeff, and I say this to you as a Republican and secretary who was a Democrat. I mean, right now, if you had to bet what's going to happen in the midterms, just structurally, the out power of party tends to gain seats, so the Republicans will take over. They may not even need to overthrow the election structure to win, Jeff.

TIMMER: Well, but they're not necessarily going to defeat incumbents in a state like Michigan, where there are Democrats in the offices of secretary of state and attorney general. That's what they're trying to do because they lacked having people in those positions in the last election. But they're paying attention to those races. We need to pay attention to those races because if we take it for granted, the American experiment could in -- and that sounds hyperbolic, but if we -- if -- if winning an election depend on who counts the votes, we're all in trouble.


BERMAN: And, Secretary, if you can just close here for a second and talk to me about what you're hearing among your fellow secretaries of state about the push to politicize this office.

GRISWOLD: We're incredibly concerned. When you have people who do not believe in democracy running to be chief election officers, that should be a flashing red warning sign for the nation. And I definitely agree with Jeff, we have a big opportunity. We can't just sit back and watch the erosion of democracy. And there's two things that really need to happen. First and foremost, the Senate needs to recognize the urgency of the times we're in and push to protect the right to vote and fund states so that we can make sure election administration remains the best that it can be.

And, second, for all your viewers, for all good Americans, regardless of party, we really need to be paying attention to who is running to oversee elections. We are seeing the takeover or attempted takeover of many of these positions. And, ultimately, democracy will be in the hands of the American people in 2022. Democracy will be on the ballot.

BERMAN: Secretary Jena Griswold, Jeff Timmer, thank you both for being with us this morning.

GRISWOLD: Thank you so much.

TIMMER: Thank you.

BERMAN: So, this morning, how police are responding to a slew of new smash and grab attacks across the country.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And joining us next, the man who captured this incredible, rarely seen footage of The Beatles.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE, THE BEATLES (singing): Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman, but she was another man. All the girls around her say she's got it coming but she gets it while she can.

Oh, get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged. Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged. Get back, Loretta.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: I can't get enough. If you're like me, you've been spending much of the last few days watching and rewatching the new Peter Jackson documentary "Get Back" about The Beatles.

Now, all this footage that is part of this documentary was originally captured in 1969 by Michael Lindsay Hogg for his documentary "Let It Be." Fifty-six hours of footage of The Beatles rehearsing and writing what would become their final album. It's been restored and recut into the eight-hour epic by Peter Jackson.

We're lucky enough to have the man behind the filming of it all originally, Michael Lindsay Hogg joins us.

It is an honor to meet you. You are a legend. You're all over the Peter Jackson documentary. You haven't aged a minute. So, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

MICHAEL LINDSAY HOGG, DIRECTED ORIGINAL "LET IT BE" BEATLES 1970 DOCUMENTARY: Oh, John, thank you, especially that thing about aging a minute. I've aged two minutes.

BERMAN: Really, I mean, it is remarkable. You were probably 11 years old in 1969 when that was filmed.

HOGG: Got it.

BERMAN: Listen, you sat with these 56 hours of footage 50 years ago. All of us now are getting our first look at it. What's it like for you to see it again?

HOGG: Well, first of all, I love what Peter's done with it. And a lot of what Peter's put into "Get Back" in various forms it had been in "Let It Be" originally. But for a variety of reasons, I had to cut about like a half an hour out of "Let It Be" and certain things that I'd wanted to show in "Let It Be," which I'll say politically I'll use the words again for various reasons, we didn't have in "Let It Be." And Peter, fortunately, has got it in his picture.

I remember all the stuff like we shot it yesterday. I remember the clothes they were wearing. What I was wearing. Ringo eating my tie. All those things.

BERMAN: I don't have to be politically correct for various reasons. It was because the guys in the band or the people with them largely didn't want some of the stuff in "Let It Be" originally, yes?

HOGG: Well, yes, no, yes. It was originally going to be a television special and the Beatles hadn't performed live since 1966. And when we did the promo video for "Hey Jude," they played -- we had an audience for "Hey Jude," 200 people. And after -- and there were breaks in between each take. And they started to play for the audience and they thought, wow, this isn't so bad.

So then they had the idea -- the Beatles had the idea that they'd do -- do a performance. And then they called me over and said, you want to direct this. And not being an idiot I said sure. And so then the original idea was we're going to do a performance. But then George Harrison, for reasons of his own, quit the group and then it turned into a documentary.

I put in in, in "Let It Be," originally, George leaving the group, but then he came back. And so one of the Beatles said to me, Paul probably, well, look, he didn't -- he left, he came back, so it's still the same as it was before, let's maybe not put George leaving in "Let It Be."

BERMAN: I will tell you, "Let It Be" came out, look, a month -- was it a month after the Beatles broke up? So, it was seen for decades as the breakup documentary, unfairly. It wasn't your fault in the documentary they broke up, it was just the timing of the release.

But what's remarkable for me to see, as someone who was born right after this all happened but has been a fan all my life is this footage in "Get Back" of them getting along, of them working together, of them collaborating for hours and hours on end and just the interaction of them as artists.

HOGG: Yes. Peter Jackson did a really good interview with your colleague Anderson Cooper a week or so ago and he explained very generously what had happened with "Let It Be." We shot "Let It Be" in January of '69. We edited it through 1969. It was going to be their next film release.


It was a documentary. It wasn't a TV special anymore.

But then things began to implode at Apple with the Beatles, first of all, due with money reasons, they hadn't had anybody look after the business, as Brian Epstein died. And then as can happen with money, then other things came up as fissures from the ground that they really weren't getting on.

And so "Let It Be" was kind of dumped in a way one month after they'd officially broken up. So a lot of people were looking at it as the breakup picture. They didn't know if it had been shot a week before, a month before or a year before. And, in fact, except for George leaving and coming back, which can happen in a lot of groups, they were together when we made it, they hadn't broken up, they were together when we were editing it, they hadn't broken up. And so to see it all again reminds me a great deal of those times which were mainly good times. They had occasional disagreements. They were artists. They were having a disagreement about how to play a song like an actor might have a disagreement about how to say a line with another actor. Yet they were brothers. They loved each other.

BERMAN: One of the moment that's getting a lot of press from the Peter Jackson documentary is when Paul is sitting there with Ringo and George, just strumming on his guitar. At first it's just chords. He's just playing chords. Then out of the blue, as you are watching the documentary, he basically begins to write "Get Back," an iconic song which he ultimately played on the rooftop, which was your vision, which I'll ask you about in a second. But it's stunning, I think, for the lay people like us to watch that

and see, my God, he just wrote a hit out of thin air in two seconds. What was it like to see that happen in person?

HOGG: Well, that wasn't the only one he wrote. Like "Long and Winding Road" I think he wrote in about four seconds.

What's very funny to look at again is the way, if they didn't have the lyric, they'd have the melody, they'd have the tune, they'd have some of the lyric, and it's like putting together a jigsaw. And so then at a certain point, like John suggested to George that he didn't have the lyric for one of his beautiful songs. And so John said, well, why didn't you just say cauliflower because it scans (ph). And in the same way we remember when Paul wrote "Yesterday," the original title was "Scrambled Eggs." And so they'd get as far as they could in a song, one of the others would chip in, and they would complete the song, sometimes it would be completed in half a day, sometimes in four days. But once they -- they were like truffle hounds. Once they started to get the scent in their nose, they would follow it right down to the roots of the tree and come up with "Let It Be" or "Long and Winding Road" and any of those things. Well, any of those things are pretty good.

BERMAN: More than pretty good.

Listen, Michael Lindsay Hogg, and we should note, you were among the people who got them on the roof to play that concert because you needed an ending to "Let It Be." And we're so grateful that you did. We're grateful for the work that you put into it and I'm so glad I can see it now.

Michael Lindsay Hogg, an honor to meet you.

HOGG: John, thank you very much for this and I think Peter did a really good job with "Get Back."

BERMAN: All right.

Other news this morning, smash and grab incidents spiking across the country. Why one Democratic mayor is blaming the defund the police movement.

KEILAR: And taking the stand, the man who flew Jeffrey Epstein's private jet, what he saw go on between the deceased criminal sex offender and his companion Ghislaine Maxwell.



KEILAR: Just as holiday shopping shifts into high gear, a smash and grab crime wave is sweeping the nation. The brazen thieves often targeting high-end retailers like Nordstrom or Louis Vuitton. And this has police in major U.S. cities like Chicago on high alert.

CNN security correspondent Josh Campbell joining us now on this story. Josh.


You know, the good news first, Brianna, is that overnight we didn't see any new major large scale robbery, and it's possible because of all of the attention that has been paid to this. You know, the last thing a criminal wants is for people around the potential target to have their guard up, to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior. But that's exactly what law enforcement has been asking the public to do, to be vigilant.

We also know that police around the country have also stepped up patrols around these high end retail locations to serve as a deterrent, to also be on site to help disrupt if they actually see an additional style robbery like we've seen with these mobs coming in, just smashing and grabbing.

Now that's what we can see with our eyes, the police presence behind the scenes. They continue their methodical work, trying to get to the bottom of all of these incidents. I can tell you, having spent a career disrupting criminal enterprises, it's very hard work. It's labor intensive. We know that there are many questions law enforcement is trying to answer, who is leading these groups, how are they organized, what happens to the merchandise after it leaves the store, answering those questions will help them try to find and arrest those who are responsible.

Now, as far as the question of why this is happening, we know this is the holiday season. Store shelves are full. We also know that there remains a very lucrative market for black market items. But this is also taking on a political angle as well. Our colleague Kate Bolduan spoke last night with the Democratic mayor of the city of Oakland who said that, in her view, this wave of smash and grabs, as well as the surge in violent crime in that city, is partly due to a lack of police funding.

Take a listen.


MAYOR LIBBY SHAAF (D), OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: But let me be clear, Oakland needs more police. We have been impacted by staffing reductions. Covid interrupted our recruitment and training processes. And the defund rhetoric is challenging our ability to attract and retain recruits.


CAMPBELL: Now, the mayor also went on to say that in order to help stop this wave of smash and grabs, she wants to see better coordination between local law enforcement, as well as state and federal law enforcement. I spoke with an official yesterday at the FBI who said that they are closely monitoring this wave of smash and grabs.


They're in close contact with police agencies around the country. This official telling me that the FBI stands ready to take a more active role in the event that they uncover a federal nexus in any of these crimes.


KEILAR: All right. Yes, we're just seeing a spate of these. It's really incredible to watch.

Josh, thank you.


BERMAN: Moments from now, Tiger Woods will hold his press conference since his devastating car crash.

KEILAR: And Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell about to testify before Congress on the economic threat posed by the omicron variant. We're going to take you there live.


KEILAR: In this season of giving, we want to show you how you can help our 2021 Top Ten CNN Heroes continue their important work and have your donations matched dollar for dollar. Here's Anderson.



Each of this year's Top Ten CNN Heroes proves that one person really can make a difference. And, again, this year we're making it easy for you to support their great work. Just go to, click donate beneath any 2021 top ten CNN Hero to make a direct contribution to that hero's fundraiser on Go Fund Me. You'll receive an email confirming your donation, which is tax deductible in the United States. No matter the amount, you can make a big difference in helping our heroes continue their life changing work.

And, right now, through January 3rd, your donations will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $500,000. CNN is proud to offer you this simple way to support each cause and celebrate all these everyday people changing the world. You can donate from your laptop, your tablet or your phone. Just go to Your donation in any amount will help them help others.

Thank you.


KEILAR: And, of course, all of our top ten CNN Heroes will be honored at the 15th annual "CNN Heroes: All-Star Tribute" hosted by our very own Anderson Cooper, with special guest co-host Kelly Ripa live Sunday, December 12th. Tune in to be very inspired by that. BERMAN: That will be fantastic. Very much looking forward to that.

You know, it is Giving Tuesday, Brianna, and I know you got an organization, a lot of veterans organizations, that you work with very closely. Want to make a pitch?

KEILAR: Yes, I will be donating -- actually, I donate monthly, but I will also donate today to Blue Star Families, which I am -- full disclosure, I'm on the board of, but they are the organization that is just the one that does all of the research and outreach to military families. It's essential work they do and I love it.

BERMAN: It is very important work you are doing.


Thank you for that. Thank you for --


BERMAN: Me? I got a number.