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Apple Becomes World's First $3 Trillion Company; Trump Supporters Blame Insurrection On Everyone But Trump; Top NASA Scientist: Yes, We Can "Terraform" Mars. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired January 04, 2022 - 07:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Apple just hit a major milestone. For a time, it was worth more than $3 trillion.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans joins us now. Romans, $3 trillion, which I'm told is a lot of money.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, "EARLY START": Yes, it's the most valuable company in the -- private company -- public company, rather, in the history of the world. Three billion dollars -- how about them apples, John? It's such a big deal I even pulled out an apple pun for you.

It's the world's first $3 trillion company -- bigger than Walmart, bigger than Disney, McDonald's, Ford, Coke, ExxonMobil, and the eight other giant companies you see there, combined. Apple is still worth more.

Imagine if Apple were a country, it would be the fifth-biggest. Only the U.S., China, Japan, and Germany have GDPs larger than Apple's value as a company. OK, GDP and market cap -- that's comparing apples and oranges, I know, but you get the idea.

Apple shares up nearly 35 percent last year. Apple, John, is making a fortune on the new iPhone 13 and all of those services -- Apple T.V, Apple Music, iCloud, the app store. On Monday, the stock briefly hit that all-time high and later pulled back, closing at $2.99 trillion in value.

Still, that figure is even more astounding considering how fast Apple got there. It took 42 years from its launch in a Bay Area garage for Apple to reach its first trillion dollars in value. Then, just two years to hit $2 trillion, and just 16 1/2 months to hit the big $3T. It's a value unheard of even a few years ago.

And now, it may have some company in that $3 trillion club, John. Microsoft is worth about $2.5 trillion, and Google owner Alphabet is right around $2 trillion.

BERMAN: The $3T club.


BERMAN: I bet there's some secret handshake for that one.

ROMANS: (Laughing).

BERMAN: GM, though -- on the subject of companies moving in sort of a different direction. What's going on there?


ROMANS: Yes, we're going to get U.S. auto sales today and it looks like Toyota will retake GM in auto sales in the U.S. for the year, and that would be the first time in 100 years.

John, it shows a couple of things. It shows that the American automakers have been dethroned, really, as the leaders in the U.S. auto market. It also shows that chip shortage has really affected production. I think GM and Toyota sales are both going to fall pretty substantially in the fourth quarter. That's because they couldn't get the chips to make the cars they needed. They needed to idle some production, so that's part of it here.

There are some who would think that GM could retake Toyota maybe next year, but it is a very big shift. The first time in 100 years.

BERMAN: Christine Romans, thank you very much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

BERMAN: New York's new mayor starting the year in a standoff over schools. Mayor Eric Adams will join us live.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And next, disturbing denials about the insurrection one year after it happened.


LISA, TRUMP SUPPORTER: It was the Democrats were behind it all. They're the ones that caused it all.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Do you really believe that?

LISA: I know it.




KEILAR: Nearly one year after the violent and well-documented attack on the U.S. Capitol, some people are still deflecting blame from Donald Trump and his supporters. And instead, they're embracing conspiracy theories. They are pointing fingers at Democrats and the FBI.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan is joining us now from Washington. Donie, it's pretty astounding what people believe.

SULLIVAN: Yes, Brianna. Ever since the Capitol attack there has been an effort -- a campaign to alter -- to warp Americans' understandings of what really happened here in Washington on that day. And in many ways, that disinformation campaign is working. Take a look.


LISA: The January sixth attack was not the Republicans nor Trump. It was the Democrats were behind it all. They're the ones that caused it all.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Do you really believe that?

LISA: I know it. And there is no way that a Republican would act that way, and there is no way that Trump had anything to do with what happened on January sixth.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): But what about all the Trump voters that have been charged and indicted?

LISA: Because it's all Democratic judges and people that were on the take from the Democrats.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): It's been a year since the attack on the U.S. Capitol --

RIOTER: This is our Capitol.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): -- and because of disinformation, denial, and diversion, Americans don't have a shared history -- a shared understanding of what happened here on that day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the whole reporting of it is a giant hoax.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are very peaceful people. So, it was a total set-up to me. It was the FBI had set it up. I don't believe that they were Trump supporters that did that.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): You said the whole thing's a set-up. You don't really believe that, do you?

JEANIE JOHNSON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I do. I do because Trump won the election. They've proven it over and over again.

LARRY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I really don't think Trump had much to do with it than people that were supporters for him. Some were involved but I think they were enticed by the FBI and by undercover agents.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): When I spoke to Trump supporters here in Washington on January sixth, most were in denial about the results of the 2020 election.

Do you accept that Biden won the election?

LUCIA, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Absolutely not. Biden did not win this election.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): On January sixth, we walked with Trump supporters who marched from the White House where Trump was doing his speech, here to the U.S. Capitol. And as we arrived here, that is when the first security barrier was breached.

At the time, some Trump supporters told me they were happy with what happened here at the Capitol.

Are you proud of what happened here today?

PENNY ALLISON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Absolutely. I think we should have gone on in and yanked the -- our senators out by the hair of the head and drug them out and said no more.

TODD POSSETT, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I absolutely stand behind, 100 percent, what happened here today -- 1,000 percent. And it's terrible how this election was stolen.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Federal prosecutors have tried more than 700 people in connection with the Capitol riots and repeatedly documented the rioters' support for President Trump.

But some people in right-wing media have pushed the dangerous idea that it was all an FBI plot.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST, "TUCKER CARLSON TONIGHT": FBI operatives were organizing the attack on the Capitol.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that this was some kind of false flag event staged by the Democrats or the FBI.

What would you say to people who say January sixth was the biggest attack on American democracy since the Civil War?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolute rubbish.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): But amid all the denial and deflection, I met one Trump supporter who said it was important to be real about what happened on that day.

What do you think of the Trump supporters that stormed the Capitol?

ROZ LESSER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Oh, God (ph), you talk about misfound feelings. Seeing the folks from my side of the state that were there and they're not the part of the campaign that we would like to have.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Do you think some Trump supporters that say it's Antifa, it's Black Lives Matter -- that they know that that's bullshit but they just don't want to admit it? It's easier to blame someone else?

LESSER: Everyone is afraid to, you know, take the blame. It's that simple.



O'SULLIVAN: And, you know, I think this failure to learn from or even acknowledge what happened on January sixth, along with what we're seeing now -- this sort of campaign to get election deniers to be -- make them election officials -- it really doesn't bode well for the upcoming midterms and for future elections in this country, Brianna.

KEILAR: No, it certainly doesn't. It's an alternative reality that we see you unveiling there. Thank you so much, Donie.


BERMAN: All right, joining us is now Mark Bowden, contributing writer for The Atlantic, and Matthew Teague. They are the co-authors of the new book "The Steal: The Attempt to Overturn the 2020 Election and the People Who Stopped It." Gentlemen, thanks so much for being with us.

Mark, first, I don't know if you had a chance to hear that piece there from Donie O'Sullivan and the certitude from some Trump supporters there. The belief -- the utter belief in things that are just lies. I wonder what your reaction is to that?


I think that for many people, the core belief has nothing to do with facts. They have been led to the point where they distrust information from media, from experts. So there's really no way to argue with folks like that. You know, they have their belief that you're not going to change their mind.

BERMAN: And it's interesting one of the continuing themes throughout your book is that distrust -- the effort to create it, to foment it, and in some ways -- again, just to make stuff up.

And you have a bunch of different examples here, Matthew, and I just want to start with Ruby Freeman, who was a Georgia election worker who -- people just started spreading these lies about here.

And you write, "It did matter that the confession" -- this is things she allegedly did -- "was cartoonish or the evidence clearly concocted. Or even that the accompanying mug shot featured a different woman altogether. It confirmed the preferred reality for many Trumpists, and they passed it along."

That seems to be what Donie just heard on the street there, too.

MATTHEW TEAGUE, CO-AUTHOR, "THE STEAL: THE ATTEMPT TO OVERTURN THE 2020 ELECTION AND THE PEOPLE WHO STOPPED IT": Yes, I think that's right. I mean, all Ruby Freeman did was volunteer her time to work on elections in Georgia. And just because of the nature of the way technology is moving right now and politics are moving, she became a lightning rod where things that she would do sort of innocently in her work were able to be pulled apart, dissected, and disseminated around the world in a moment. And people sort of held her up as an example that she didn't deserve.

BERMAN: Mark, you talk about the efforts to overturn the election, and not just the riot itself on January sixth but the longer, more concerted effort there. You say what the president and his cronies did there was a blunderbuss strategy. Can you explain what you mean by that?

BOWDEN: Yes. I mean, like a blunderbuss, which should say everything you load into it. The strategy didn't matter much what specific allegations were, only that there were a lot of them. It was never really about the truth. It was about creating a cloud of suspicion, which undermined American belief in the -- in the voting system.

BERMAN: Yes, and you really saw that. It didn't matter what they said. And it created a dilemma, right, because you're opposed to this. Do you have to fact-check everything, or if in the act of fact- checking it, are you actually playing into their hands by giving voice to the absolutely absurd claims that were being made there.

Matthew, there were heroes here and you talk about this. And the people who stood up to these efforts -- it wasn't just Democrats.

TEAGUE: No, that's right. Most of the heroes in our book were Republicans, actually, and even Trump supporters. And that gave me some hope as I came away after doing the reporting that I went into this expecting it to be red versus blue -- things like that. But in truth, it was -- it was honesty versus lies, and that's sort of a line that cuts through every human heart. You can stand up and say there was no fraud. That's not true.

BERMAN: Will that still be there in 2022 and 2024?

TEAGUE: If human nature doesn't change.

BERMAN: Well, listen, Mark Bowden, Matthew Teague, the book is "Steal." It really is terrific. Some really good stories -- specifics that people can read and learn, I think, a lot about. Thank you so much.

BOWDEN: You're welcome.

BERMAN: And you can join Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper for an unprecedented gathering inside the Capitol with police, lawmakers, and leaders. "LIVE FROM THE CAPITOL JANUARY 6: ONE YEAR LATER" begins Thursday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

And, join Fareed Zakaria as he investigates "THE FIGHT TO SAVE AMERICAN DEMOCRACY." This new special begins Sunday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.


So, Dr. Anthony Fauci teased more changes to CDC guidance on how long you should stay isolated. So, what are those changes? The U.S. surgeon general joins us live.

KEILAR: And next, one giant leap for mankind on Mars, maybe? A key NASA scientist says we can make it more like earth.


KEILAR: Life as we know, right now, impossible on Mars. But what if Mars were more like Earth?

The now-former chief scientist at NASA, James Green, says it could be possible to terraform Mars, meaning make it livable for people -- which, of course, conjures up scenes from "The Martian" when Matt Damon's character, a botanist, gets stuck on Mars and has to figure out how to survive.


MATT DAMON, ACTOR, "THE MARTIAN": So, I've got to make water and grow food on a planet where nothing grows. I am the greatest botanist on this planet.



KEILAR: Joining us now to discuss is astrophysicist who -- an astrophysicist who worked with Green, Hakeem Oluseyi.

To be clear, Hakeem, what James Green is talking about here is using a magnetic shield so that it isn't so difficult for Matt Damon/astronaut Mark Watney to grow potatoes on Mars. Explain how this would work.

HAKEEM OLUSEYI, ASTROPHYSICIST (via Skype): Yes. So, what Jim is doing here is solving a few of the problems associated with Mars.

So, one thing about planetary atmospheres, whether you're talking about Mars or the earth, there is a balance in the atmosphere's mass. They lose mass typically due to erosion from sunlight. But the atmospheres also gain mass. On Earth, it's from the volcanoes, but it basically comes out of the ground. So, you have a system where air is leaving and air is coming in.

So what Jim proposes to do is to cut off the source of erosion. So what you can do is between Mars and the sun -- between any planet and the sun, there is a low point in the gravitational field that you can orbit that's directly in the line between them.

So if you put a spacecraft there and you have a big magnetic field, then it can deflect that solar wind away from the planet, and that way you stop the erosion. So once you stop the erosion, the atmosphere begins to gain mass. And when the pressure of the gas increases, it becomes hotter.

So, he solves the problem of Mars being too cold and he also solves the problem of getting rid of a lot of the radiation that reaches the surface. BERMAN: So, Professor, I'm a dreamer. I'm a dreamer. I want to believe everything is possible. But what you're describing here is like a giant space shield? Like a space visor? Like -- what -- what kind of car --

OLUSEYI: Pretty much.

BERMAN: How big does a car have to be to have a visor that will block the sun from shining on Mars?

OLUSEYI: Well, the devil's in the details because --


OLUSEYI: -- what you're looking at is what we call the angular size. And so, that means that as you move something farther away, the angular size becomes smaller.

So, here, there's a very specific location where this spacecraft has to be between Mars and the sun. So, you have to do the calculation based on that location to determine how much deflection you're actually going to get. But it's like an umbrella for a planet.

KEILAR: Like an umbrella for a -- well, that is one big umbrella.

So, your --


KEILAR: Jim, as you call him -- he says that --


KEILAR: -- he's putting together a paper, right? He's putting together a paper --


KEILAR: -- to talk about how a magnetic shield would work. He says there's several scenarios for that.

He also said, though, it's not going to be well-received.


KEILAR: Why is that?

OLUSEYI: Well, because it's a -- in some ways, it's a zero-sum game. It really isn't. But in science, you have communities of scientists that get behind particular ideas. They determine where the funding is going to go years in advance. So we call these things a decadal survey.

So you come up with your decadal survey and say oh, here's what we should do for the next decade -- here's our big priorities -- and that determines where money goes. That determines how careers are developed because there are competing ideas.

So now, he's going to throw his idea into that competition. And it doesn't really fit well anywhere and it's a really new idea. It's something that hasn't been done before and one of the things that we do judge on is technical feasibility.

So, it doesn't matter what your new idea is when you're a scientist. Typically, when you propose it, your fellow scientists say nah, it's not going to work. You suck.


KEILAR: Your umbrella sucks is what they're going to say, I think.

OLUSEYI: Yes. Jim is -- Jim is a proven fact but, you know, the default setting among scientists is skepticism, right, there? And so, you have to prove yourself to everyone.


OLUSEYI: And even when you do prove yourself they still don't admit you're right. So, you know, it's a -- it's a tough sell.

BERMAN: Professor, this is delightful. I had no idea that terraforming was so controversial, nor did I have any idea what terraforming was, but that's a separate issue.

Professor, thank you so much for being with us.

OLUSEYI: Thank you for having me.

BERMAN: NEW DAY continues right now.

Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. It is Tuesday. It's January fourth. It says December on my screen --

KEILAR: It does say December.

BERMAN: -- but I caught it. It's January --

KEILAR: Good job.

BERMAN: -- fourth. It's 2022. And I'm John Berman and that's Brianna Keilar.


BERMAN: This morning, record highs in the number of coronavirus cases. The U.S. seven-day rolling average of cases is now standing at a record 400,000.