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Manhunt Ongoing For 250 Insurrection Suspects One Year Later; Children Of Insurrectionists Detail How Parents Were Brainwashed; Will Mike Pence Directly Cooperate With January 6th Panel? Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired January 05, 2022 - 07:30   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Three hundred sixty-four days after the January sixth insurrection and the FBI is still looking for scores of people who attacked police officers on that day, as well as the person who planted those pipe bombs on Capitol Hill. That person is still at- large

CNN's Evan Perez talked with an FBI official about this investigation. He is with us live. You know, Evan, I think we see so many of these prosecutions -- hundreds of them -- it's easy to forget there are a lot of outstanding ones.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Right, exactly, Brianna. And certainly, the top -- one of the top priorities for the FBI is finding that person who left behind the bombs at the RNC and DNC buildings near the Capitol. Those were found just hours before the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

And Steven D'Antuono, who is the assistant director in charge of the Washington Field Office, talked about that case and the search for about 250 people who they believe assaulted police officers.


STEVEN D'ANTUONO, FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR IN CHARGE, WASHINGTON FIELD OFFICE: We have done over 900 interviews in this investigation alone -- this 39,000 videos that has been hours reviewing just on this -- just on the pipe bomb investigation we're talking about. And over 400 leads -- tips that the public have given to us. We follow it all. That's what we're doing on this investigation because it is a top priority for us.

PEREZ (on camera): So we've seen the videos -- you know, the hooded sweatshirt, the face mask, the backpack, the Nike shoes. Are you surprised that none of this has yielded the tip that brought this forward?

D'ANTUONO: In prior COVID times, in any neighborhood, I think in the country, if you saw an individual hooded, masked, glasses, gloves on, it would have been a red flag for any individual walking around that day. In this case, it wasn't because of the environment that we're living in during COVID times.

PEREZ (on camera): One of the things we wonder is why the bombs didn't go off.

D'ANTUONO: The bombs could have gone off; they just did not go off. In this area where the bombs were placed, if they did go off they could have caused some serious harm or death.

PEREZ (on camera): One of the focuses for the FBI has been on the assaults of the police officers that day. Is there a special group of agents focused on that?

D'ANTUONO: Over 100 police officers were assaulted that day multiple times, not just once. We're not just talking about one assault; multiple assaults, and by multiple people. We're still looking for about 250 people --individuals that assaulted police officers that day.


And a lot of those videos and photographs of those individuals are on our website, so we have a lot of people that are still out there that we're trying to identify and we need the public's help.

PEREZ (on camera): When you see the videos of some of the brutality depicted in those videos, what comes to mind?

D'ANTUONO: It's difficult to watch. It really is.

There's one, in particular. It's a gentleman that has a cane. It looks like a -- looks like a prod at the end -- an electric prod. As you're watching the video you can hear as the individual is reaching into the line of police officers. You can hear the sound -- the crackling. And he's trying to hit one of the police officers, but then does and backs away.

PEREZ (on camera): How long do you think this will take?

D'ANTUONO: I'd be speculating --

PEREZ (on camera): Yes.

D'ANTUONO: -- but it's taken a year. We still have a lot to still do.

PEREZ (on camera): Right.

D'ANTUONO: Like I said, there's still a lot of video out there -- still a lot of people to identify -- and we're going to be at this as long as it takes until we bring the people to justice.


PEREZ: And Brianna, we are talking to U.S. officials at the Justice Department. They say that this is an investigation that's going to stretch years.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, Evan, that was a really interesting discussion you had just there.

I do want to know -- the attorney general, Merrick Garland, is giving some kind of remarks today -- a speech -- and a lot of people are looking at this thinking what's he going to say? Because he's received a lot of criticism, mostly from Democrats, because there's been no visible indication at all that the Justice Department is investigating some of the higher-level Trump allies or Trump, itself, for what many basically see as a coup here.

So, is Garland a) aware of this criticism, and b) do you expect him to address it today?

PEREZ: Look, I think he is very well aware of that criticism. But, you know, he thinks that he's doing the right thing to try to restore the Justice Department after four years of very unusual times under the -- under the Trump administration.

So, what you're going to hear from him today is perhaps a little bit of a defensive -- a defense of the way the Justice Department is running this investigation. He's going to talk about the efforts to defend democracy and to defend threats against the American people, including, obviously, members of the -- people at the Capitol.

But what you're not going to hear is any details of specific cases and that's one of the things that I think the public wants to know. They want to know whether there is actually an investigation of the efforts to overturn the election. And I don't think Merrick Garland is ready to go there just yet.

BERMAN: Maybe no details but you think he'll give any even hint that these investigations might even be taking place?

PEREZ: No, I don't think you're going to hear -- he's not going to go that far. But I think what he wants to do, John -- I think he wants to try to portray that they're going to go as far as the facts show or allow them to, and that may end up being not the place that a lot of critics want him to go. But that's going to take some time, obviously.

BERMAN: It will be very interesting to watch. And everyone, I think, will be watching that, parsing nearly --

PEREZ: Right.

BERMAN: -- every word of forensic analysis of each syllable that he speaks out loud.


BERMAN: I know you'll be covering it, Evan. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

So, a new report is giving us a unique glimpse of what life is like for the children of the rioters who stormed the Capitol last year. Even though it's been a year since the national events, families are still dealing with the fallout at a deeply personal level. Joining is "Teen Vogue" contributor Fortesa Latifi. And Fortesa,

you've written a really insightful article where you interview children of insurrectionists and tell their stories.

And I just want to kick off this discussion reading this tweet from one of the women you speak with. A young woman, Helena Duke, who writes, "Hi, mom" -- this is when she was watching the insurrection on T.V. "Hi, mom. Remember the time you told me I shouldn't go to BLM protests because they could get violent...this you?" And that was written by a young woman as she saw pictures of her mother at the insurrection.

FORTESA LATIFI, TEEN VOGUE CONTRIBUTOR (via Webex by Cisco): Yes. So, that -- she saw that video. A video had gone viral of her mother kind of goading a Capitol Police officer and her mother ends up getting punched in the face by the officer. The video goes viral, Helena sees it, and she tweets her own message, which also goes viral.

BERMAN: Yes. And then, there's Jackson, a 19-year-old young man who actually called the FBI before the insurrection because he was worried what his father would do. What went on there?

LATIFI: Yes. So, Jackson was in a really difficult position. He was only 18 at the time and he was hearing these messages from his dad that was kind of saying like something really big is coming, something really big is coming. And so, Jackson started worrying about what exactly his father meant by that.

And he was especially worried because his father had ties to the Three Percenters, which is a white supremacist militia group and definitely no stranger to violence. And so, when Jackson was hearing his dad saying something big is coming and knew his dad was in a militia, he started to feel that something violent could happen and he kind of did what we're all told to do, which is if you see something, say something.


BERMAN: Yes, except it was his father, which makes it all the more difficult.

And Jackson reflects --


BERMAN: -- on his relationship in his discussion with you. This is what he writes -- or you write.

"For Jackson, it's bizarre to look back at his childhood through the lens of what his father has become. 'He used to be one of the best dads ever, he said. He made me the man I am today. He taught me to be honest, not to steal -- all that cliche stuff. I believe he brought me up to do what I did.'"

He believes that his father brought him up to be the young man who called the FBI on the father. It's -- that's tough to read. LATIFI: Yes, that's exactly right. And it's really painful for Jackson because he says -- and this is something that Helena also said -- that they love their parents. That Helena even says that she idolized her mother. That her mother was always the fun mother.

And Jackson says, you know, my dad was this great dad who taught me all these great things and taught me to do the right thing. And then, all of a sudden, Jackson has to use that knowledge that his dad gave him on doing the right thing and use it to turn his dad into the FBI. And at only 18 years old, that's a huge decision to make.

BERMAN: And you also delve into the psychological impact this has and how it's really flipped the script. Because generally speaking, it's parents who worry about their wayward children, but because so many people at the insurrection were older, it's children now worried about their wayward parents. That's psychologically traumatic.

LATIFI: Yes, it's very interesting because of just the power balance between parents and children because of that just innate power imbalance that children have with their parents. They can't tell their parents the same thing that parents can tell their children.

And so, when I talked to Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss, who studies radicalization at American University, she said in all of my past work it was parents coming to me and saying, like, how do I keep my kids from getting radicalized on Reddit or on 4chan, or whatever? And now, it's kids saying how do I keep my parents from getting radicalized on Facebook?

And it's -- there -- the research isn't there yet and obviously, they're working on it. But it's just so interesting because it's entirely flipped what people who study radicalization and extremism work on.

BERMAN: The article is in "Teen Vogue." Fortesa Latifi, thank you so much for being with us. I appreciate it.

LATIFI: Yes, thanks for having me.

So, a Bernie Sanders ally vowing that President Biden will get a progressive challenger for 2024, primarying the president. Our political director David Chalian joins us next.

KEILAR: And later, dogged determination. The real-life Lassie who may have saved her owner's life during a brutal car accident.




REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): I would hope that he would do the right thing and come forward and voluntarily talk to the committee.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BERMAN: So, that's the chair, Bennie Thompson, of the January 6 Select Committee revealing to CNN that he would like to speak directly with former Vice President Mike Pence. He says he wants Mike Pence to volunteer to come and he's not going to ask him. He's not going to say hey, Mike Pence, come in and talk. But he would like --

KEILAR: If you want to come over, you can.

BERMAN: If you want to in, the door is --

KEILAR: The door is open.

BERMAN: Yes, it's not unlocked. But you can come in and talk to us whenever you want.

Obviously, he wants to hear from Mike Pence here. What Mike Pence has to say about January sixth and what led up to it. What he knew about what the president was doing during that time as Pence's life was being threatened there.

Joining us now, CNN political director and host of the CNN Political Briefing podcast, David Chalian.

David, Mike Pence has a really interesting relationship with January sixth and a seemingly difficult time in talking about it. So, what do you think is going to happen here?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR, HOST, CNN POLITICAL BRIEFING PODCAST: Yes, he's been sort of all over the map when talking about it throughout the last year -- everything from stating publicly that his former boss, President Trump, and he will never see this day and these events eye-to-eye. But as recently as this fall, John, you'll remember he sort of cast it aside as just one day in January that the media are obsessed with. So, he hasn't landed in a place that seems he's sold on his narrative.

Now, at the end of the day, we all know Mike Pence did the right thing. He did not go forward with Donald Trump's desired coup and he explained that he did not see anything in the law that allowed him to do so.

But it is a clear political minefield for him. Look at where the Republican Party is right now on all things January sixth. Mike Pence very much would like to run for president and he has to navigate how he can stick to that truth that he did the right thing and try to get some credit for it without further alienating the activist Trump base of the party he would need should he go forward.

I mean, Donald Trump just recently totally dismissed his chances in a presidential primary in the Republican Party because of his position on January sixth.

KEILAR: Let's talk about something that so many liberals -- or really, a lot of Democrats want -- which is filibuster rules to be changed. And this really hangs on Sen. Joe Manchin and also Kyrsten Sinema. Also, maybe some other Democrats who we don't talk about as much.

But Manchin, David, suggested that he's open to some modest changes to filibuster rules. He's not, though, in favor of the Democrats invoking the nuclear option to do it.

Tell us about that. And also, tell us what we should make of what Sen. Thune has said about election reform and where he is.

CHALIAN: Brianna, isn't this classic Joe Manchin?



CHALIAN: I mean, like just doing his thing where he says I'm open. I want to talk about this. I want the conversations to go. But let me make clear I'm actually not at all interested in doing that thing that all the Democrats would like me to do.

And so, Chuck Schumer is going to try to find a path here. It's unclear exactly what that path would be because the math kind of blocks the path in terms of Joe Manchin's made clear he does not want to change the filibuster rules -- really gut the filibuster -- without Republicans on board with that. We know no Republicans are interested in doing that.

So it kind of leaves the Democrats where they find themselves so many times, which is sort of waiting on Joe Manchin to make a move. They could be waiting quite a while when it comes to voting rights.

But you noted John Thune, the Republican, Brianna, and I think this is really interesting.

There is this sort of conservative think tank world where you've seen a lot of op-eds recently discussing the notion that maybe Republicans and Democrats could get behind a consensus reform just dealing with the Electoral Count Act of 1887. What we saw on January sixth -- all those rules of the presiding over the certification of a presidential election -- that law dictates what that looks like.

Obviously, it wasn't very clear because Donald Trump and his allies thought they could drive a Mack truck through it and get Mike Pence to overturn the election. They couldn't.

But there's a movement on the right that says hey, we'll get on board with some kind of election reform. It could reform this law. Of course, that will be totally insufficient to Democrats who are looking for actual fortifying and securing of voting rights in the country.

BERMAN: I will say that law is written so poorly and convolutedly --

CHALIAN: Oh, yes.

BERMAN: -- that any reform would be welcome there. It's like CDC mask guidelines. I mean, it's like really makes -- it makes no sense at all. Finally, David, this was really interesting to me. Jeff Weaver who, of course, is Bernie Sanders' guy -- his former campaign manager, then- campaign chair -- did an interview with Politico, and this is what Weaver said.

He was asked about Joe Biden running for reelection and Weaver was asked, "Will there be a progressive challenger? Yes," John (sic) Weaver said -- Jeff Weaver says. That's pretty interesting if Weaver thinks that someone is going to primary the sitting president.

CHALIAN: Yes. I mean, as you know, John, is it somebody who actually has a chance at making a real dent into Joe Biden should he choose to run for reelection, or is it sort of a complete sort of fringe left- wing kind of candidate that just can't get any traction?

Not all primaries are equal, except we know this. Presidents running for reelection who face a primary challenge from their party tend not to do so well in modern political history. Look at Jimmy Carter when Ted Kennedy primaried him. Look at George H.W. Bush who fended off a primary challenge from Pat Buchanan. They ended up being one-term presidents. So, no incumbent president wants a primary challenge from his own party.

I would just note if you look at where Democratic Party primaries have gone in the last couple of years, it's not with the left. So, this would be a challenge to sort of make a stand. I mean, Sanders versus Clinton. Joe Biden defeated a whole slew of candidates to his left. Even Eric Adams or Terry McAuliffe, this year in Virginia -- they were the more moderate candidates.

So, the Democratic primary electorate is not necessarily a progressive, dominant electorate just yet. Their numbers are growing. So I'm not sure that Joe Biden would fear for his job but it would complicate the fact that he would have to spend a lot of time dealing with the left of his party instead of focused on a general election reelection challenge.

KEILAR: I will say I listen to Jeff Weaver because at the time when he introduced or really was at the helm of Bernie Sanders' campaign there were so many people initially who were like what the heck. This isn't going to go anywhere. And look what happened, right?


KEILAR: So we listen to Jeff Weaver.

David Chalian, thank you.


KEILAR: Just ahead, the secret Sean Hannity texts to Trump that tell a different story than the one that he told his viewers on T.V.

BERMAN: And Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon forced to cancel shows as COVID disrupts late-night T.V.



KEILAR: All right. COVID infecting NBC late-night. Seth Meyers says he tested positive and will be canceling shows for the rest of the week. On Monday, Jimmy Fallon, the host of "THE TONIGHT SHOW," announced that he had recently tested positive as well. This, just weeks after "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" canceled its live audience for the Christmas show.

CNN's Chloe Melas joining us live. You know, I think we're seeing this all around us -- people coming down with COVID. And late-night hosts don't escape it, Chloe.

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER (via Webex by Cisco): Good morning, Brianna.

Well, look, I'm here in New York working from home, and this is a perfect example. Things in New York are tough right now and a lot of these late-night shows -- they're taped here in New York.

So, like you said, Seth Meyers tweeting, "The bad news is I tested positive for COVID. Thanks, 2022. The good news is I feel fine. Thanks, vaccines and booster."

So, he's canceling the rest of his shows this week. He says tune in next Monday to see where I'm going to be. Remember, during the pandemic he made like a makeshift studio out of his attack.

And like you said, Jimmy Fallon also had recently tested positive over the holidays.

But it's not just late-night; it's also daytime television. "THE VIEW," which tapes on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Whoopie Goldberg is out this week because of COVID.

Sara Haines recently said that her husband had COVID during the holiday break and that they had to quarantine separately.

And, you know, this is something that's affecting New York, but everywhere across the country. But everyone is saying that having their vaccine and their booster made it a little bit easier to bear with, Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes, as I'm coughing through your live shot, Chloe, which says something.

Chloe, thank you so much for that report.

MELAS: Thank you.

BERMAN: So, a number of Republican senators remain maskless on Capitol Hill despite rising cases. More than a dozen lawmakers have announced breakthrough cases in recent weeks. But unlike the House, the Senate has not imposed mask mandates.