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January 6 Panel Subpoenas Trump Speechwriter, Don Jr. Aides. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired January 12, 2022 - 08:00   ET



RENNAE STUBBS, ESPN TENNIS ANALYST: Because a lot of people are saying, wait, if you are over COVID, why would you do an interview? And there's just so many questions now that he's going to have to answer over the next couple of days whether or not he says in the country or not.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And look, doing the interview after he tested positive, I'm not sure that has the direct impact on whether or not Australia lets him stay. It just means he was irresponsible. The false travel documents, whether or not it was his agent or whoever filled it in, that's a dishonest legal document there.

STUBBS: Yes, and that's where I think over the last couple of days the Australian government is probably trying to probe into those particular documents, just to see if there is any discrepancies in them. And obviously filling out the wrong form and saying he didn't go to Spain, for example, before he came to Australia, that's a no-no. So that is really an offense that can get you deported either way. So, again, he's filled out the incorrect form, he sort of lied about that he didn't stay in Serbia, that he went to Spain, so he didn't put the right stuff on the document. And there's so many questions now that he's going to have to answer to. And it's a nightmare. It's really quite extraordinary what we have seen over the last few days.

BERMAN: In the true spirit of a tennis match going back and forth and back and forth here, at first it seemed like Djokovic wasn't going to be able to play, wasn't going to be able to stay. Then after the judge ruled, it seemed like he's going to be able to stay and play. Now I wonder if everyone turns their head the other direction and starting to say, it's not looking good for Djokovic right now because of his own actions.

STUBBS: Yes, 100 percent. And going into the first original court case, about 90 percent plus Australians felt that they wanted him out of the country. Then after the court case, apparently there was a big swing from the public just saying, OK, well, the court case is done now. They have adjudicated he can stay in the country. So people sort of thought, OK, let's just let him play. And now this has come out over the last 24 hours, and now so I suspect that the polls may tell the government that maybe it is time to kick him out of the country.

But again, as we've said, this is in the hands now of the government. It has nothing to do with the Australian Open. It has nothing to do with the Victorian government. This has everything to do with the federal government now and the decision that they will make in the next 24 to 48 hours.

BERMAN: I got to let you run because it's the wee hours of God knows what morning, I'm not good with the time difference. But do you believe Novak Djokovic?

STUBBS: That's a tough question. Look, it looks very suspicious, doesn't it, over the last 24 hours. It was very convenient for somebody who is not into vaccination to all of a sudden get COVID positive at a very convenient time, and then now the suspicion behind those documents. And why would somebody who really does care about children and says that he cares about people, obviously, put somebody in that kind of a situation of being COVID positive and doing an interview.

So look, there is too many questions really for me and it's too much of an unknown for us to guess. But it's not looking good for Novak. If he plays, boy is he going to get a rousing, a few boos when he walks on to the court here in Melbourne.

BERMAN: Rennae Stubbs, it's an honor to speak with you, longtime fan. Thanks so much for speaking to us this morning.

STUBBS: Thanks very much, guys.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: A blunt warning from the acting commissioner of the FDA this morning -- most people are going to get COVID. Dr. Janet Woodcock made the comet during a hearing yesterday why lawmakers were grilling top Biden officials on the state of the pandemic, of course, amid the Omicron surge.


DR. JANEY WOODCOCK, ACTING FDA COMMISSIONER: Most people are going to get COVID, all right. And what we need to do is make sure the hospitals can still function.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER: Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody. Unfortunately, those who are still unvaccinated are going to get the brunt of the severe aspect of this.


COLLINS: Joining me now is the chair of U.C. San Francisco's Department of Medicine, Dr. Robert Wachter. Dr. Wachter, thanks so much for joining us this morning. And those comments from Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting commissioner of the FDA, it seems like that's what a lot of people have been saying since the Omicron surge around Thanksgiving, when we first learned about this new variant. But to hear a top federal health official put it so plainly was really striking.

DR. ROBERT WACHTER, CHAIR, U.C. SAN FRANCISCO'S DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE: Yes, I'm struck by that too. It is clear it's spreading like wildfire, and all of us know friends and family who have it. Whether all of us are going to get it or virtually all of us, that seems a little hyperbolic to me. The numbers say about one percent of people a day are getting it. So a lot of people are going to get it. But I still am not of the attitude that it is inevitable you're going to get it.

And the signs are that it is going to peak relatively quickly and come down quickly. So to me, the right call is to be careful for the next few weeks until this hurricane passes.

COLLINS: Is there a concern hearing comments like that from Dr. Woodcock that maybe it will encourage people to not follow the guidance as much, to not mask up as much, to not hesitate from doing as many public or group activities as they had been given, if you have this mentality of I'm going to get it anyway, it's inevitable, how does that affect people's behavior, do you think?


WACHTER: Yes, that would be my concern. My concern is that it is very infectious. There is a decent chance if you're out and about you are going to get it. But it seems likelier than not that you would need to be careful for probably the next month. It is already peaking in New York. It's peaking in Washington, D.C. There is some evidence that it's peaking in Boston. And the rest of the country likely will peak in a couple weeks and come down over the next few weeks after that.

And so I'm still in be careful, this is a time where don't take unnecessary risks, and because, in part because I think when we get to February, we'll probably be in a pretty good place. So many people are going to get it, that even the unvaccinated, virtually all of them will have some measure of immunity they should have gotten from the vaccine, but now they'll get it from the virus assuming they don't succumb to it. And I think we will find ourselves in a good place. And I don't think the right call is just to say it's inevitable and to throw your hands up at this point.

COLLINS: Yes. And Dr. Fauci seemed to draw more of a distinction, saying everyone could at least be exposed to it. Of course, that's not the same as actually getting infected. But I do wonder what you also made about the testing plan from the administration, of course. This has been a nationwide shortage of rapid tests. It is very difficult to easily get your hands on one. But there is this plan from the White House to distribute half-a-billion for free to people who sign up on a website. But of course, that website is not yet available. And we heard health officials saying yesterday they have secured about 50 million of the tests. They're still working on getting the rest of them, and they think it could be about over the next 60 days that you actually see those tests distributed. So I'm wondering what you make of that timeline.

WACHTER: Yes, Kaitlan, it's good. We need the tests. People are using the tests to try to figure out whether they're infected and to figure out when they can come out of isolation. But it's a little bit too late. I think the likeliest thing is that all of a sudden, we're going to have a lot of tests around, about two, three, four weeks after we really needed them. We need them now. I found my son got COVID about five days ago, and I went around San Francisco and tried to find a test, went to three pharmacies, couldn't find anything. Tried to sign up for a PCR, that was five days away, it's not useful. And so we need it now. We will need it later too, so that's good. But they should have been working on this months ago.

COLLINS: And so what is your advice to people who are in that situation? Because I've heard the same thing, it is hard to get a rapid test, you can't find one. You try to schedule one, it's several days before you can actually get an appointment. And so what should people be doing if they're worried they are infected in that period?

WACHTER: Yes, you're in a sticky situation. If you have symptoms that can be COVID, and the problem is they are pretty -- almost everything, a fever, a sore throat, a cough, any of those things, at this point the disease is so prevalent, so many people have it, that I think the right assumption is that you have it until you can get tested. And once you make that assumption, what you should do is isolate yourself and stay home, don't come in contact with other people, and wait until you can get a test to confirm that.

And so, it is a tough situation, but I don't think there is any way to be sure whether you have COVID if you have compatible symptoms and when it is as prevalent as it is. The best estimates even here in San Francisco, which is a highly vaccinated city, is right now about one in 10 people walking around the street have it. And our test positivity rate for people that have symptoms is about 40 percent. So there is a pretty good chance you have it if you have any compatible symptoms. You have to act as if you do.

COLLINS: Good advice, Dr. Robert Wachter, hopefully this testing situation will be resolved soon. Thank you so much for joining us this morning.

WACHTER: My pleasure.

BERMAN: President Biden launching a major public push for voting rights, speaking from the battleground of the fight yesterday in Atlanta. The president and vice president urged Congress to pass two federal voting rights bills that are currently being blocked by Republicans.


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've been having these quiet conversations with members of Congress for the last two months. I'm tired of being quiet!


BIDEN: Even Strom Thurmond came to support voting rights. But Republicans today can't and won't. Not a single Republican has displayed the courage to stand up to a defeated president to protect America's right to vote. Not one. Not one.


BERMAN: Joining us, CNN senior political correspondent and anchor of INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY Abby Phillip. Abby, wonderful to have you back. Welcome back.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN ANCHOR, INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY: Hey, John. Hey, Kaitlan. Good to be here.




BERMAN: So besides you being back, look, the president laid a lot on the line yesterday. My question for you, is what's different this morning?

PHILLIP: I don't think there is really anything different this morning, frankly. The facts of the situation are pretty much the same. Democrats are talking to each other. They're trying to convince the holdouts on filibuster reform to come over.

But we're focusing a lot on Senator Manchin, we're focusing a lot on Senator Sinema, but there are others. There is a very steep hill to climb to get folks to say we're willing to take a lower threshold for voting rights. And I don't see much of an opening from any of these senators on that point.

And there is really no hope. I think we can pretty much say that now. Republicans are not going to come over on this issue of voting, and so it is really all about whether Democrats can all get on the same page. And there has been very little movement on that front.

COLLINS: Yes, that dose of realism from Senator Schumer last night saying I don't want to delude people into thinking this is actually happening because so far they don't have Senator Manchin on board. They don't have Senator Sinema on board. Those are crucial votes, as well as a few others.

And Abby, I want to ask you about something else that we have been talking about this morning, which is what former president Trump is now saying when it I comes to getting a booster shot, because he's now saying that if you won't publicly admit that you've gotten one, that you are, quote, gutless.


BERMAN: We have that soundbite.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I've taken it. I've had the booster. Many politicians, I watched a couple of politicians be interviewed, and one of the questions was did you get the booster, because they had the vaccine. And they oh -- they're answering it, like, in other words, the answer is yes, but they don't want to say it because they're gutless. You got to say it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you gotten the booster?

GOV. RON DESANTIS, (R) FLORIDA: So, I've done whatever I did the normal shot, and that at the end of the day is people's individual decisions about what they want to do.


COLLINS: Abby, I wonder who the former president could be talking about.


PHILLIP: Look, I'm going to say it, Trump is right. You should say whether you've been vaccinated and boosted. Vaccines do save lives. If he wants to take credit for it and if that's the reason, he's speaking out, that's great.

I do think it's interesting, like you said, Governor DeSantis is trying to position himself somewhere between Trump and Trump, which is amazing. He wants to be so in line with Trump, and yet at the same time blaze his own path to 2024. And I think Trump sees that and is trying to create a distinction on the issue of vaccines to some extent, although I think we should be clear, former president Trump is also very much opposed to vaccine mandates. He's very much opposed to this idea of forcing people to be vaccinated in any sort of sphere. So he's trying to kind of have it both ways a little bit on the issue of vaccines.

BERMAN: Go ahead.

COLLINS: Yes, I think there is no denying, John, that clearly the former president here, it is not just because he believes everyone should be completely up front about being vaccinated and getting a booster, given the former president quietly got vaccinated initially and it wasn't publicly revealed. It wasn't on camera or anything like that. He got a booster shot as well. I think it also is driven by the fact that DeSantis is seen as a potential 2024 presidential frontrunner.

BERMAN: To me, the interesting part about this has nothing to do with the vaccines. It has everything to do with the fact that Ron DeSantis is clearly getting under Donald Trump's skin, and Trump now is trying to do some pretty overt things about it. Also getting under Trump's skin, the truth. Listen and watch, and hanging up on NPR's Steve Inskeep.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: People have no idea how big this issue is, and they don't want it to happen again. It shouldn't be allowed to happen, and they don't want it to happen again. The only way it is not going to happen again is you have to solve the problem of the presidential rigged election of 2020. So, Steve, thank you very much. STEVE INSKEEP, JOURNALIST: Whoa, whoa, one more question. I want to

ask about a court hearing yesterday on January 6th, Judge Amit Mehta -- he's gone. OK.


BERMAN: Basically, Trump hung up when Steve pressed him, Abby, on his lies about the past election.

PHILLIP: You know what this all reminds me of, winter, 2015, spring, 2016, it is not a surprise that the president is popping up suddenly, providing interviews that he had previously denied to have, because this is his currency, this is how he gets himself back in the game for 2024.

And honestly, I listen to that, and I hear Trump spewing lies about the last election, and then hanging up to have the last word on that front without -- Steve Inskeep, I know him, he's a great journalist, but didn't even have the opportunity to push back. And it just shows the perils of give a platform to those kinds of lies because, you know, he wants to use these opportunities as ways to continue to spread the big lie and then hang up when there's pushback.


And I think that's a real red flag, frankly, for journalists as we go into this new season as Trump tries to re-establish himself politically for the next presidential election.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: That's an interesting point.

Abby Philip, again, great to see you. Congratulations.

PHILLIP: Great to see you guys too.


PHILLIP: Thanks.

COLLINS: Breaking, moments ago, Downing Street.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was hosting a boozy party in downing street.


COLLINS: Boris Johnson being eviscerated by members of parliament for partying while the country was under strict lockdown. He has apologized and we'll show you that next.

Plus, we'll ask a member of the January 6th committee what exactly did they plan to ask Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

BERMAN: And a cockpit breach, just before takeoff, this shocking case of a passenger behaving badly, very badly. This is just amazing video. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: New this morning, the January 6th committee is issuing a new round of subpoenas.


The panel is demanding records and testimony from three individuals including a former White House official who helped draft the former president's January 6th rally speech, and two advisers to Donald Trump Jr., who the panel says were communicating with Don Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle regarding the rally at the ellipse.

Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Pete Aguilar of California. He's on the January 6th House Select Committee.

Congressman, thank you for being with us.

What do you want to learn from these three individuals?

REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): Thanks for having me, John.

I think what the committee announced last evening was that these three individuals have information that is helpful to our investigation. As you indicated, two of them were coordinating with Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle and other rally organizers, leading up to the event on the ellipse. And then the third is someone who was involved with the president's speech, who might be able to shed some light on those 187 minutes that we have talked about, where the president's inaction in stopping the Capitol insurrection was a key point in time that we want to continue to have clarity on.

BERMAN: That's interesting, because I was going to ask you about the speechwriter. I was going to say, look, we heard the words out loud. So what do you want to learn from the person who helped write them? But it's not about the before. It's about the after?

AGUILAR: Well, it can be about both. This is why we feel it is important to have a conversation with someone, how many drafts were undertaken, what was the president's posture, the former president's posture, leading up to that. Those are some of the important questions that we feel need to be addressed.

BERMAN: CNN is reporting this morning about the discussions and the considerations taking place inside the committee about how to get testimony or how to get conversations with Republican members of Congress. Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, who you want to talk to because of their obvious connections to the president that day.

What are the considerations for how to get them to talk? What are some of the possibilities?

AGUILAR: Well, we're going to continue to appeal to them, to come before us. They took the same oath that we did, to protect and uphold the Constitution. It's unfortunate that as of now they have not come before the committee or voluntarily given us testimony. These are people who had conversations with the president, the former president about the conspiracy theories that he continued and those two specifically helped fan those flames.

But they have key information on what the president was thinking and is in the case of my colleague Mr. Jordan, he admitted he talked to the president on January 6th, which is important.

BERMAN: So why not issue a subpoena?

AGUILAR: Well, we respect the prerogatives of the House. Chairman Thompson has said that no door is closed. We're going to continue to do our work.

But I would just reiterate, John, there are hundreds of people who we have talked to and interviewed. So, while I know it is important to focus and ask questions about individuals who have not come before us, we continue every day, including yesterday and including today to get meaningful interviews that will help our investigation.

BERMAN: You mentioned conspiracy theories. Adam Kinzinger, Republican congressman on the committee, your colleague, put out a tweet thread last night that dealt with one of the conspiracy theories that continues to be spewed by Senators Ted Cruz and others, that there was this one person -- and I'm not going to name the person, I don't want to make this guy's life more difficult than it even is -- who Republicans are saying, ah, he was an FBI informant or agent and he was the one who fomented the entire insurrection.

And Kinzinger last night put out a tweet and said, no, we actually talked to the guy and he's not.

What is that story there and why is it important to address these conspiracies?

AGUILAR: I think you'd have to address that to Senator Cruz and an entire network who continues to give oxygen to these dangerous conspiracy theories.

Senator Cruz knows that this is not true. But he is aided by Tucker Carlson and other folks who continue to fan this flame. It's dangerous, dangerous rhetoric. And it's unfortunate that they continue to fan those flames and support those conspiracy theories that we debunked.

BERMAN: All right. Congressman Pete Aguilar, I know it's a big few weeks with the committee. We look forward to speaking with you again when there are some new developments. Appreciate it.

AGUILAR: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: All right. Breaking moments ago, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologizing for partying at 10 Downing Street when the country was on lockdown. One British leader calls him a pathetic spectacle of a man. They got a way with words there.

[08:25:02] COLLINS: And Tom Brady is helping his teammate cash in on a million dollar incentive.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got a million?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I got a million! Where are we going?




COLLINS: Breaking moments ago, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now apologizing and admitting that he attended a garden party at ten downing street while the rest of the country was being told not to meet more than a single person outside their households.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I want to apologize. I know the rage they feel with me and with the government I lead when they think in Downing Street itself, the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules. And though I cannot anticipate the conclusions of the current inquiry, I have learned enough to know that there were things we simply did not get right. And I must take responsibility.