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Australian Officials Dispute Djokovic's Claims; Trump Allies Pressure Election Officials; More Americans concerned about Election Violence; Record 4.5 Million Americans Quit their Jobs. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired January 07, 2022 - 06:30   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Say why he should be stuck, one, in a tension center. And everyone has their own freedom of choice, vaccinated or not.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Serbian government is demanding he be moved to a nicer hotel. While his parents say their son is being treated like a prisoner and held captive for his beliefs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Djokovic is not being held captive in Australia. He is free to leave at any time that he chooses to do so, and border force will actually facilitate that.

COREN: But Novak Djokovic is not the only resident of the Park Hotel. Previously used as a quarantining hotel for returning Australians, for the past year it's been a detention facility for more than 30 refugees and asylum seekers, languishing inside, waiting for their cases to be heard.

MEHDI: This is where I live.

COREN: After spending years in offshore detention centers for attempting to enter Australia by boat.

Like, Mehdi, who belongs to a persecuted religious minority from Iran, turning 24 years old today.

MEHDI: We are suffering. We are exhausted and we are tired. We've been in detention more than eight years.

CRAIG FOSTER (ph): Good morning, everyone. I'm Craig Foster.

COREN: Famous Australian footballer turned activist Craig Foster says the country's treatment of refugees is a national embarrassment and hopes Djokovic will use this ordeal to become a voice for the voiceless.

FOSTER: Those refugees are trying to reach out to Novak. And, you know, as an athlete with incredible privilege and status and fame, perhaps he can bring some visibility, he can grow or develop some understanding about the way Australia is treating these people and bring that story to the world.

COREN: Whether Djokovic decides to fight for those forgotten refugees and restore his public image remains to be seen. But for the majority of Australians, there is little sympathy for him.

CROWD: Free, free, the refugees.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Djokovic is a millionaire scum bag who has rightly incurred really the anger of a lot of people in Australia.

COREN: This is a country that has endured some of the toughest quarantine and border restrictions in the world. The city of Melbourne, hosting the Australian Open, locked down for a total of 256 days in its battle against Covid. As a result, 92 percent of Australians over the age of 16 are now fully vaccinated. And they have little tolerance for a privileged sports star expecting special treatment.


COREN: Now, John, we've heard from Rafael Nadal, who is in Melbourne. He's preparing for the Australian Open. He said that he feels sorry for Djokovic, but he knew the conditions. He knew the rules. He knew that he had to get vaccinated to play.

And, interestingly, we've heard from the ATP, the global body from men's tennis, they said that the vaccination rate for the top 100 players is above 95 percent, while the Women's Tennis Association says that their rate stands at about 85 percent. So, it's fair to say that the unvaccinated, Novak Djokovic is certainly in the minority among his peers, John.

BERMAN: Look, he knew the rules going in. The quickest way out of this, of course, is the vaccine.

Anna Coren, thank you so much.

So, a scary number of Americans think violence against the government is justified. What else do they think?

Plus, Senator Ted Cruz, groveling, begging for forgiveness from Tucker Carlson. An all-points bulletin out this morning for Ted Cruz and his spine.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead, for all the cat and dog couples around the world who opt not to have children, Pope Francis is coming for you. Why he thinks having only furbabies is selfish.



BERMAN: So, this morning, the all-out effort, not just to undermine faith in elections, but to get in a position to maybe influence the results next time around.

CNN's Sara Murray has been following this and joins us with the very latest.

Sarah, you've done some terrific reporting on this. What have you learned?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, thank you. I mean we've learned that there are still a lot of folks out there who really believe that the election was stolen. And, look, some of those should know better, but some of them really believe this in their hearts and they want something done about it.


RON HANKS (R), COLORADO STATE REPRESENTATIVE: I'm Ron Hanks, and I approve this message.

MURRAY (voice over): U.S. Senate hopeful Ron Hanks is shooting at fake Dominion Voting machines and calling for an audit in Colorado, a state Joe Biden won in 2020 by more than 13 points.

In liberal Washington state, a local Republican Party is knocking on doors, trying to uncover voter fraud.

BILL BRUCH, SKAGIT COUNTY, WASHINGTON, REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN: We're canvassing now in about a dozen counties.

MURRAY: In Crow Wing, Minnesota, a bright red county in a state that's gone blue since 1976, residents are pressing the board of commissioners for an audit based on false and misleading pretenses.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That log will tell us if that thing went onto the Internet and switched any votes.

MURRAY: And in Alabama, which former President Trump carried by 25 points, Republican Secretary of State John Merrill is still batting back unfounded claims of fraud.

JOHN MERRILL (R), ALABAMA SECRETARY OF STATE: I think a lot of that is people listening to people who have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. It's almost as if they will claim that a murder was committed and yet they cannot prove that the person ever lived, let along the body (INAUDIBLE).

MURRAY: In the year since rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, convinced the 2020 election was stolen, many Republicans are still lapping up Trump's election lies. They're pressuring local officials to revisit 2020. Some are even running for higher office. Others are passing legislation making it easier to medal in election administrations.

JESS MARSDEN, COUNSEL, PROTECT DEMOCRACY: Thirty-two of those bills have become law in 17 states, which is a really unprecedented amount of legislative interest in the mechanics of election administration.

MURRAY: Efforts to undermine confidence in election results began in hotly contested battleground states.

[06:40:02] CROWD: Stop the steal.

MURRAY: But have since ballooned into a nationwide crusade.

In Colorado, election officials like Justin Grantham are aware of Hank's ad.

JUSTIN GRANTHAM, CLERK OF RECORDER, FREMONT COUNTY, COLORADO: With his copy machine that he blew up with a rifle, yes, I have seen that.

MURRAY: But State Representative Hanks rebuffed offers to learn about the voting systems firsthand.

GRANTHAM: I extended multiple offers for him to come into my office and talk to me about the election. And he's not responded and not committed.

MURRAY: Hanks told CNN he appreciates the offers, but he did his own research.

HANKS: I didn't really need it. I was at other locations. And so that made it rather redundant.

MURRAY: Asked why he's still spreading debunked conspiracies, Hanks says nothing has been debunked.

HANKS: I think that is a false argument. We have found evidence. And we -- it is compounded daily.

MURRAY: Back in Alabama, when Merrill met with election deniers, including My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell --

MIKE LINDELL, CEO, MY PILLOW: The whole technology was attacked.

MURRAY: He easily debunked their claims.

MERRILL: And the information that they had been sharing with us could have been cleared up by doing a simple Google search of addresses.

MURRAY: Other officials, though, are aiming to appease their constituents.

When CNN asked a Crow Wing commissioner, who previously said he's confident in the country's election for an interview --

PAUL KOERING, CROW WING COUNTY, MINNESOTA, COMMISSIONER: I got an email last night. I'm going to read it.

MURRAY: He declined, instead reading our interview request to audit supporters in a county meeting.

KOERING: Sara Murray, CNN News.

MURRAY: This week, he and other board members voted to ask Minnesota's secretary of state to launch an audit.



MURRAY: Now, democracy advocates are already warning that this kind of misinformation is the sort of thing that could lead to violence around future elections. You know, Dominion says the kind of ads, like the one Ron Hanks is running in Colorado, are the kinds of things that could endanger their employees, as well their customers.


BERMAN: Sara, you know you're doing it right when you're getting name- checked there.

MURRAY: Thanks.

BERMAN: Terrific reporting. Thank you.

So what is the impact of all this? Here with me this morning, CNN's senior data reporter Harry Enten.

Harry, you look at this and then you see the effect it has in people in the polls here. And this alarming number of people who say that violence against the government is justified.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: Yes, it's truly scary. I mean I think that's the only word. You know, is violent action against the government ever justified, look at that, 34 percent say yes. That's higher among Trump voters, 43 percent, gets lower among Biden voters, 21. But I will still argue, 21 is a fairly large percentage and that 34 overall, a decade ago back in 2011, it was just 16 percent. So it was an increasing percentage of Americans who say that violent action against the government is, in fact, sometimes justified

BERMAN: You know, one of the interesting things you can do in polling is ask people what they think the other side is going to do, right, or what do they think will happen if. And there is some questions out there about what do you think will happen for the losing side in an election. What's happened there?

ENTEN: Yes. This, again, just really scary. In future presidential elections, do you expect that the losing side will concede peacefully or will it leave -- or will there be violence over losing? Sixty-two percent, the clear majority, believe that there will be violence over losing.

And, guess what, Biden and Trump voters both agree on this, 64 percent of Biden voters, 65 percent of Trump supporters. I mean they look at 2020, they look at January 6th, and I can understand why they say 62 percent say, yes, they expect some violence over losing in future presidential elections.

BERMAN: And, Harry, this is having an effect on how people feel about the country and democracy.

ENTEN: Yes, not really surprising, you know, when you see things like January 6th, you see the poll numbers like we just showed. Look at this, proud about the way you feel democracy works in America, now just 54 percent say that they are, in fact, proud. That's down significantly from just five years ago, in 2017, when it was 63 percent. And it's down so much from, you know, after 9/11, when we all had that rally around the flag event, when it was at 90 percent. We're at almost less than half that at this particular point. It's really just sad numbers to be honest with you.

BERMAN: So you see that number dropping and dropping and dropping.

And connected to that, maybe not exactly correlated to it, though, Harry, is people's satisfaction with things this morning.

ENTEN: Yes. Yes, I mean, look, are you satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S.? It's not really surprising you see numbers like that. You see the coronavirus. You see inflation numbers. That -- just 21 percent of Americans now are satisfied with the way things are going.

You know, we had met earlier when we were able to be in person at the magic wall and we were saying, oh, look it's up. You know, back in the middle of the year it was up to 36 percent back in May of 2021. Really a rebound after January 6th in 2021 was just 11 percent. But we are now just at 21 percent. That's way down from where we were, say, before the coronavirus hit when it was 45 percent. So people are just really sad about the way things are going right now.

BERMAN: And I want to note, that's happening with inflation -- sorry, with economic growth that is incredibly high, with unemployment numbers that are very low. We're going to get new jobs numbers out in an hour or two that may reflect that we added more jobs last year than ever, yet still people aren't satisfied.

What about what people think about going forward?

ENTEN: Yes, essentially, you know, are you optimistic about, you know, the next year.


It's now just 49 percent are optimistic heading into 2022. That's the lowest number over the last few years. And, you know, I think a lot of people were really optimistic heading into 2021 with the vaccines and the changing the leaf (ph) with Joe Biden coming into the presidency. But a lot of folks are just clearly disappointed, that 47 percent pessimistic, the highest that Marist has ever measured, at least going back over the last decade.

BERMAN: Well, Harry Enten, I'm bullish on you. I think you're going to have a great year.

ENTEN: Thank you. I think you're going to have a great year, too. I'm going to go build a snowman outside. Now, that will make me happy.

BERMAN: Fantastic.

Harry Enten, thank you very much.

ENTEN: Thank you, sir.

BERMAN: So call it air infection. A plane party filled with maskless people dancing, drinking. They were headed for Cancun. Now they're stuck there.

Plus, do you recognize this human, the one on the right? If you can't, you're not alone. It's former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. What's behind the dramatic weight loss?



KEILAR: Partying air travelers who sparked outrage in Canada are stranded in Mexico this morning after their return flight to Canada was canceled and other airlines refused to fly them home. The group was seen dancing, drinking and vaping, all while maskless, aboard a charter flight to Cancun from Montreal last week. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the incident as extremely frustrating.


JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: And it's a slap in the face to see people putting themselves, putting their fellow citizens, putting airline workers at risk by being completely irresponsible.


KEILAR: Air Canada and Air Transat have both declined to fly the partying passengers home, citing the safety of other passengers and crew.

BERMAN: I have a lot of thoughts about that. But, number one is, I don't think you're following safety protocols by that kind of dancing in the air, whether you have coronavirus or not, right? I mean what if you hit turbulence?

KEILAR: You don't dance like that on a plane with a mask on?

BERMAN: I dance like that, you know, quietly, behind -- you know, inside I'm dancing like that. I just think --

KEILAR: I'm a terrible dancer.


KEILAR: I will spare you forever from my dancing.

BERMAN: I've seen some pictures and I'm not going to argue with you, but we'll get into that later.

KEILAR: I can sing all right. I can sing.

BERMAN: Not right now.

KEILAR: Not right now.

BERMAN: All right, so, having trouble recognizing the man on your screen? Not me, I'm John Berman. But, wait, let's put the man up and see if you can recognize him. That's still John Berman right there. Can you recognize John Berman.

KEILAR: Who are you? As I always say, who are you, John Berman?

BERMAN: Who is that? All right, I don't think we have the video, so this isn't going to work.

KEILAR: Wait, we need it.

BERMAN: This isn't going to work.

KEILAR: What's going on?

BERMAN: Want me to describe Mike Pompeo? Does anyone remember -- oh, there he is!


BERMAN: That's his face. So, Mike Pompeo's face looks largely the same.

KEILAR: He looks Pompeo-ish there.

BERMAN: But if you look more closely perhaps at a shot of him beyond just his face, Mike Pompeo has lost 90 pounds in six months. Ninety pounds. In an interview with "The New York Post," the former CIA director and secretary of state said it all started when he stepped back on the scale in June and saw that he wasn't far from 300 pounds.

So, the very next day, he took action. Pompeo says he started exercising nearly every day and eating right, and the weight just started to come off. He said there were no fad diets, expensive personal training or intense workouts regimens.

Pompeo says losing weight has been a lifetime struggle. It became especially difficult after he was elected in Congress. He says to finally get healthy, he had to be in the right frame of mind.

That's the picture where you can really tell.

KEILAR: There you go.

BERMAN: There you go.

KEILAR: Yes, I was going to say, you're getting punked, John Berman, when you have the story about how it doesn't look like Mike Pompeo.

BERMAN: I know. I know.

KEILAR: We find the pictures where it looks like Mike Pompeo. BERMAN: Take my word for it. Take my word for it.

Look, first of all, you know, good on him. If he -- if he wants to get healthy, good on him.


BERMAN: I will say, for a politician, when a politician does something like this, you do begin to think basically, oh, he's running? You know, you often wonder, there's health, but I also think it's possible there's a political motivation.

KEILAR: Both things can be true.

BERMAN: Indeed.

All right, coming up --


IFEOMA EZIMAKO, QUIT HER JOB: People say it's a resignation. To me, it's not a resignation, it's a revolution. We're finally realizing our worth.


BERMAN: All right, quitting is just half the story. The other half, next.

KEILAR: Plus, Fox propaganda TV is mad that Kamala Harris linked January 6th with Pearl Harbor. We'll roll the tape.



BERMAN: This morning, the sort of unicorn state of the U.S. economy. More than 10 million open positions in part because of the mass exodus from lower paying jobs. And this may just be the start of something new.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich joins us with some great reporting on what's being called, what, the great resignation.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. And we've seen a record number of Americans leaving their jobs month after month now. But when you dig into those numbers, you see that they're leaving low paying jobs.

We spoke to one hospitality worker who says, yes, it's the great resignation, but it's also so much more than that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) IFEOMA EZIMAKO, QUIT HER JOB: People say it's a resignation. To me, it's not a resignation, it's a revolution. We're finally realizing our worth.

YURKEVICH (voice over): A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November, mainly from low page positions. For months now, workers have been resigning en masse. Twenty-three-year-old barback Ifeoma Ezimako, who quit her job this summer, says it's a labor market revolution.

EZIMAKO: I've done it since I was 15. I love the customer service, hospitality industry. I love putting a smile on people's faces. But it got to a point where I felt like I was giving a little bit too much of myself.

YURKEVICH: As a barback in Washington, D.C., she's guaranteed a $5.05 tipped minimum wage. But with fewer customers coming in, that meant fewer tips, with more responsibility.

EZIMAKO: Every day I had to enforce certain things where I'm like, this is not in my job description. And now I'm being paid less.

YURKEVICH: More than 1 million people quit their leisure and hospitality jobs in November, with hundreds of thousands more quitting low wage retail and health care jobs. There are still 10.6 million unfilled positions.

MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: People feel empowered, and they should because the job market is really, really tight. They have an opportunity, if they're not happy with what they're doing, they're going to take another one. So I think quit rates are going to be high for a long time to come.


YURKEVICH: And as omicron sweeps the country, this, silence, is what many restaurant owners are facing. Michael Dorf, CEO.