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House January 6th Committee to Hold Primetime Hearing on 187 Minutes when President Trump Did Not Act to Stop Rioters in Capitol; Former Trump Aides to Testify during Primetime January 6th Committee Hearing; Pennsylvania Voters Express Frustration Ahead of Biden Visit; Why Black Voters Are Frustrated with Biden. Aired 8-8:30a ET
Aired July 21, 2022 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TOBY FABER, AUTHOR, "FABERGE'S EGGS, THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THE MASTERPIECES THAT OUTLIVED AN EMPIRE": -- slightly to much for it, so he wasn't able to make a return on his investment, and went online, googled "egg" and "clock." It was a clock made by a Swiss clockmaker Philip Vasheronside (ph) and immediately got thrown until all this research where Faberge enthusiasts knew this egg was missing and likely to be found. So that is the last one that turned up, and he's rumored to have turned his $13,000 into something well north of $30 million, I think, although we don't exactly know what he sold it for. So they do occasionally turn up.
But generally, there is some reason why we know they must be likely to turn up, like that one people were expecting. If it's one of these seven that haven't turned up yet, then it's going to have a very good -- have to have a very good story for where it has been for the last 100 years because the truth is, of course, it's worth a fortune, these things now.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And a huge question will be what does the Justice Department with that, now that they have seized it? Obviously, we would all like to see a picture of it. So if Attorney General Merrick Garland is watching, we will let him know, Toby, that we would all like to see a photo of this Faberge Egg. Tony Faber, thank you for joining us to talk about what is certainly one of the most extraordinary stories of the morning.
FABER: Thank you very much.
COLLINS: And NEW DAY continues right now.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So this is the date the January 6th committee has circled on its calendar, tonight, in primetime. I'm John Berman. Brianna is off. Chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins is here. It is the morning before this primetime hearing.
COLLINS: And committee members have said there will be more hearings potentially, one or two down the road, but nothing immediate. So it is kind of seen as the closing arguments that they're going to be making. I think people will be watching to see how effectively the committee does tonight. BERMAN: And they clearly want people to be watching tonight, which is
why they're putting it in primetime. The committee's focus will be, we are told, on the 187 minutes from the end of former president Trump's speech on the ellipse on January 6th, when he sent people to the Capitol, to his video asking the rioters to go home, those 187 minutes. They will say that his action or inaction during this time period points to a dereliction of duty. He was, they say, resisting pleas from aides, close allies, and his family to call off the violent mob.
COLLINS: Tonight, the committee is also going to show some never- before-seen outtakes of this moment, where Trump, the day after the Capitol attack, reluctantly condemned what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I would like to begin by addressing the heinous attack on the United States Capitol. Like all Americans, I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness, and mayhem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: We're told one of the only reasons Trump actually made that video was aides warned him about the fact that his own cabinet might be preparing to use the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. Tonight, we will hear from some of his former aides, at least two of them, Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews who quit in the immediate aftermath of January 6th.
Joining us now is CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider and CNN senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Elie Honig, and David Chalian, CNN political director and host of the "CNN Political Briefing" podcast. We've got a lot to talk about this morning.
BERMAN: David, since Kaitlan seemed particularly excited introducing you --
BERMAN: Look, this is a hearing the committee has been building up to. This was circled on the calendar as the final primetime hearing. We understand they may have more, but for now, at least, this is the one. Why do you think this argument about the 187 minutes is so important to them that they want to put it in primetime for everyone to see?
DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, because I think, in a nutshell, this is their proof point, the committee believes, of the president's dereliction of duty, that the inaction in that time, what he wasn't doing, more perhaps than what he was doing, they believe is their proof point that he is ultimately responsible for what occurred on the 6th.
And John, we should just note, throughout this entire series of hearings, yes, this is for history, yes, we are getting lots of information from Election Day all the way through to the sixth. But they have been supremely focused on Donald Trump. And in telling the story about Donald Trump's culpability here, they have utilized Donald Trump's loyalists, his aides, consistently throughout their narrative of the series of hearings, and that will continue tonight with the witnesses in Pottinger and Sarah Matthews as well. These are people who were dedicated to Donald Trump who left in disgust, and that adds to this moment of crescendo, I think, that the committee is trying to build here.
COLLINS: And Matthew Pottinger was quite a big figure in the Trump White House. He was the deputy national security adviser. He was there all four years. And so that will be interesting to see what he has to say. We know he has testified behind closed doors, but now this will be public.
And Elie, I wonder when it comes to these outtakes that the committee is going to be showing, these are the video that Trump actually did put out on January 7th, what does that -- I think people want to see that, they want to see what he saying privately because he was reluctant to talk about this, and he did not want to condemn the rioters, what is that -- how does the committee use that to make their argument and to make it more effective?
ELIE HONIG, SENIOR CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So I think it's going to be fascinating to see these outtakes. We're all going to be drawn to them, because it will be interesting. We get to see what was really on his mind. And I think that's the point they're driving at. I think those outtakes could be revealing as to Donald Trump's true intent, what was in his mind, what was in his heart of hearts, because if, as has been theorized by the committee members, he was actually delighted by what had happened at the Capitol the day before, that will be reflected perhaps in the outtakes. If he was truly dismayed and outraged, then maybe we'll see that in the outtakes. I don't think so. So I think the argument is going to be, look, he was actually quite pleased because they had done exactly what he hoped and intended.
BERMAN: Does that have a legal implication?
HONIG: It could, yes, because you have to prove intent in court. If you're going to charge someone with the crime, right, and if the theory here is this was all a big conspiracy and ultimately this is what he wanted to happen, you say, look, look how happy he is. That shows they did exactly what was in his mind. You have to show that for a conspiracy.
BERMAN: And Jessica, David Chalian used the word "culpability" there, which I think has moral implications, but it also has legal implications now, potentially, which is Merrick Garland, what Merrick Garland has been faced with again and again and again publicly and behind the scenes, pressure from Congress. And he was pressed by reporters again about this, will you be looking into charges for president Trump, how will you be approaching this? And listen to him here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: No person is above the law in this country. Nothing stops us --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even a former president.
GARLAND: No -- I don't know how -- I'll say that again. No person is above the law in this country. I can't it any more clearly than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Jessica, you helped cover the Justice Department. I'm not sure I've seen Merrick Garland quite like that before. What did you see in that answer?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: John, he usually stays very calm and steady, and for the most part he still did there. But you're right, it's kind of the most emotion we have seen from him when it comes to being pressed on that question. But the point is, he remains steadfast, and it's the same message he's been giving consistently for just about a year-and-a half now. He's refusing to show his hand. He's refusing to wade into politics most importantly. And he has maintained this line that the Justice Department is working through this very methodically.
He stressed again yesterday, this is the biggest investigation the DOJ has ever undertaken, it's the most important as well. And we're seeing it. They are working their way up. They have already prosecuted hundreds of rioters, so that was really the first step and continues to go on here. And we also know that they have subpoenaed and they're investigating this whole fake elector plot. So they are methodically moving their way up. Who knows if it will ever reach the president? And we for sure won't get any indication from the attorney general here. But this is such a wide-ranging investigation, there's no doubt that it is being looked into. But it is going to be a while before we hear a lot more, and the attorney general is not giving any indication and refuses to, only sticking with that message that they are following the facts and the law, and that in particular, as we saw yesterday, no one is above the law, including the former president.
COLLINS: And, David, so much of what is at the center at the heart of all of this is Americans' faith in the election and elections going forward and what that looks like. And I know we have new CNN polling this morning that it doesn't have a great forecast for whether or not they feel confident in elections being accurate, not being overturned, what the future of this is going to look like.
CHALIAN: Yes, I think these new numbers in our new CNN poll, Kaitlan, show what the damage that can be done to the confidence of the American people that elections will indeed represent the will of the people, damage done by Donald Trump's continued lie about the 2020 election results. And then I think also the American people are learning through this committee just how close it was to be upended.
So take a look when we asked, are you confident that U.S. elections reflect the will of the people? Sixteen percent, only 16 percent of voters in this poll say very confident, 26 percent say somewhat confident, a little confident, 25 percent. Not at all confident, 33 percent. And we are seeing this confidence level drop over time.
Here you see the partisan split as well. Most of the movement, most of the movement away from being confident in election results is coming from Democrats. Back in January of 21, 90 percent of Democrats said they were confident that the U.S. elections reflected the will of the people. Now that's down to 57 percent. You see some downward movement among independents, and Republicans have stayed roughly in the same range on this question.
BERMAN: It is interesting to see, especially that movement among the Democrats. I think it's possible Democrats and Republicans are looking at different things when they're thinking about this. But look, the committee, one of the things they're trying to do is restore that confidence with these hearings, but in doing so, they're having to pull off a lot of band-aids and exposing things that went wrong.
Elie, I'm curious, we have the live witnesses tonight, Matt Pottinger and Sarah Matthews, but sometimes the biggest revelations have been on videotape. In a way, it's a set piece, right. They can plan more for exactly what is going to be in the videotape, they just have to press play. Pat Cipollone, we only saw part of his videotaped deposition. What do you think we're going to hear from Pat Cipollone tonight?
HONIG: Let's remember, Pat Cipollone testified for eight hours about two weeks ago to the committee. That's a huge amount of testimony. We saw a couple small snippets last week. So there is a lot left there. The question I have, though, is did Pat Cipollone carve out his conversations with Donald Trump? Because there was reporting that during the deposition, there was an agreement we're not going to get into potential executive privilege areas. If that's carved out, we're not going to have that.
But if Pat Cipollone answered those questions, what were you advising Donald Trump, what were you telling him, what was your legal advice to him during the key times, that's going to be fascinating. Let's remember, Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Pat Cipollone said to her in the heat of all this, we're going to get charged with every crime in the book. I would want to know, who else did you say that to? Did you say that to Mark Meadows, Donald Trump, et cetera?
COLLINS: Yes, and two things I've heard from Trump world is, one, did Pat Cipollone corroborate what Cassidy Hutchinson? How would he back that up? It seems like the committee might be saving that. And Jessica, I think most people do agree that Pat Cipollone testified for several hours behind closed doors, there is likely more he has to say. And I think it is just notable given he was the attorney at the center of all of this, he was there for those very controversial meetings where Trump was bringing in these fringe figures to help him, because they were basically boosting what he wanted them to say about overturning the election.
SCHNEIDER: Yes, and what stuck out to me at the last hearing, we saw about 14 clips from Pat Cipollone. It was Cipollone's exasperation when he was asked why was it a bad idea to let Sidney Powell and Michael Flynn and the Overstock CEO talk to Trump about overturning the election, and Pat Cipollone was like, why do I even have to describe this? Of course, it's a terrible idea. So we'll hear more from him.
But it is going to be really interesting to get that live testimony from Matthew Pottinger, Sarah Matthews. They have followed very parallel tracks here. They resigned, what, a day or two after January 6th, they pinned it to Trump's inaction. And they also point to that Trump tweet at about 2:24 p.m. on January 6th, where he said that Mike Pence lacked the courage to do what he needed to do. Matthew Pottinger in particular called that a red line for him. He said he knew exactly then that he would resign. Sarah Matthews also talked about it, saying it was really adding fuel to the fire when Trump tweeted that because the attack was already happening. So it's going to be fascinating to hear the two of them live tonight.
BERMAN: It really will. And the way that the committee approaches them and interplays their live testimony with the videotape, all of it. Jessica Schneider, David Chalian, Elie Honig, thank you all.
And again, our coverage begins tonight at 7:00 p.m., the special live coverage of the primetime hearing, as we have been saying, the January 6th committee turns to the 187 minutes President Trump, the former president's conduct during the Capitol attack.
So CNN speaks with voters in Pennsylvania about President Biden's performance just before his trip there today. And Van Jones is going to be here with a new op-ed on frustration that black voters have with the president and what he thinks can be done. Right now, Elie is in his chair, but Van is still coming up.
COLLINS: And the family of one of the youngest victims in the Uvalde school shooting has confronted the gunman's mother.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have no right to judge my son. No, you don't, no, you don't. No, you don't, no. May God forgive you all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So, this morning, President Biden struggling in the polls as more Americans than ever before tell us they disapprove of the job he has done. Today, he heads to Pennsylvania, where there is frustration.
CNN's Jeff Zeleny live in Philadelphia.
And, Jeff, you've been talking to people. What are you hearing?
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: John, good morning. Those feelings of frustration come alive in conversations with so many Americans. Those who voted for President Biden and those who did not. The economy, inflation, of course, at the root of much of this unease that is causing alarming signs for the president and his party.
COURTNEY RABI, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: I think we're in a bad spot right now. I feel like we keep looking for a glimmer of hope and things kind of keep going on a downturn.
ZELENY (voice-over): Courtney Rabi is a schoolteacher, mother of two and a frustrated American, unsettled by the direction of the country.
RABI: We need a change overall. We keep getting slapped with disappointing decisions and disappointing news and I think we need something to turn the morale of, you know, everyone around, countrywide.
ZELENY: It is a long hot summer of American discontent. A point that comes alive in conversations with people here in Pennsylvania. The sour mood is also reflected in a new CNN poll, that finds nearly eight in ten Americans believe things are going either pretty or very badly.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My top economic priority, fighting inflation.
ZELENY: President Biden is at the center of the storm, facing dangerously low approval ratings amid feelings of exhaustion over the nation's deep divisions.
CORINNE POWELL, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: People with different opinions not being willing to listen to each other, to come to a compromise, you know, their own pride, their own ego, their own platform getting in the way, just making a reasonable decision.
ZELENY: Politically, it's a precarious position for the president, and Democrats. Less than four months before the midterm elections determine whether the party will keep its narrow majority in Congress, or if voters and Republicans control the House, Senate or both.
For 23 years, Mario Ulizzi has owned this shoe repair shop in Sewickley, just outside Pittsburgh. He feels a double economic pinch, fewer customers and higher prices.
MARIO ULIZZI, OWNER, SEWICKLEY SHOE REPAIR: There is no meat on the bone. There's -- our disposable income is nil.
We're getting crushed. I'm raising a family, I got three kids.
ZELENY: He's fed up with Democratic control in Washington and wants change.
ULIZZI: Wrong direction. There is no -- forget D and R, there's just no leadership. There's no one speaking out for us.
ZELENY: Even as gas prices have slowly fallen over the last month, inflation remains at overwhelming concern.
The latest CNN poll found 74 percent of Americans disapprove of how Biden is handling it.
JOAN DRISCOLL, PENNYSLVANIA VOTER: All of our investments are going down. It is not a happy time. We're really unhappy with Biden.
ZELENY: It is an alarming sentiment for the president as he visits Pennsylvania again today. Closely watched Senate race here will help determine the balance of power in Congress for the second half of this first term.
The president's approval rating, which now stands at 38 percent, is a worrisome sign for many Democrats. Even those who believe he's being unfairly saddled with criticism.
RONNA HARRIS-ASKIN, PENNSYLVANIA VOTER: I think President Biden is doing the best he can under the circumstances. His approval rating is low, probably because he's not charismatic. He's just there, and he's doing his work his work and that's not enough.
ZELENY (on camera): So, talking to so many voters, I think the overriding sense is exhaustion, exhaustion with inaction in Washington, and just frustration overall at the mood and the direction of the country.
Progressives, of course, think the president has not done enough. Some conservatives think that Democrats have done too much. Of course, all of this is the backdrop for the midterm elections now, just a little more than three months away. That is why President Biden coming here again to Pennsylvania today to talk about crime and a new spending initiative he has, trying to show he's in command of the country -- John.
BERMAN: Jeff Zeleny, really interesting discussions you had with all of those voters. Thank you very much.
COLLINS: Joining us now to talk about those discussions is CNN political commentator Van Jones. He has a new op-ed on CNN.com that everybody should read, "Why Black voters are frustrated with Biden and what he can do about it."
Van, thank you for getting up with us this morning.
You heard those voters, what they told Jeff Zeleny. What do you make of all that?
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's very accurate reflection of what's going on. I think for African American voters in particular, there is a special heart break because, first of all, the pain is more intense. The rising gas prices, food prices, really walloped the black community in a particular way.
But the hopes were so much higher. And so you have a community that came out in huge numbers in 2018, huge numbers in 2020, and expecting things to get a lot better and instead economically at least it didn't come true, it got worse. And so you're going through a summer of heart break with black voters, polls show that. And I think Biden has to take it seriously.
JONES: Well, a couple of things, first of all, I don't think they're doing a good job or even trying to communicate some of the stuff that has been done for the Black community. For instance, billions of dollars for Black colleges, nobody knows that.
The Department of Justice has Kristen Clark in place now, they're actually now going after police departments and fixing police departments in a way that hadn't happened under Trump. They backed off the department of justice under Trump, charging people way too much and backing off of that.
You also have more Black women put on the federal courts of appeals than ever has been done by any president, even in those eight years, he's done it in less than two. He's doing stuff, they're not communicating.
I think if I were Democratic Party right now, the Black community is a firewall. They need to be spending a lot of money on Black radio, a lot of money on Black media to point out the fact that Joe Biden is there for the Black community and is doing stuff. Right now that particular pain is not being addressed aggressively enough.
COLLINS: And one thing I think is a struggle for any White House, which is once voters have an idea of something, an analysis of something, it is often a pretty entrenched feeling. What you're talking about is backed up in poll numbers, CNN's poll, it comes to Black Americans' approval of Biden. Fifty-seven percent today approve, but 43 percent say they disapprove.
JONES: It is a big number for a Democratic president. And there is a way to overcome it.
I think the other thing that people don't always track is that the African American community pays very close attention to politics. We're probably the most politically engaged group in the country. So when you see stuff happen for other groups, whether it is the Ukrainians getting billions of dollars or the Asian-Americans getting hate crimes bill done very quickly, you say where is our voting rights bill, where is our police reform bill, where are the bills that help us, there is lots of good reasons people understand that paper thin majority, but then you're left with that sense of heart break.
BERMAN: You also say that the White House should capitalize on Republican and Supreme Court overreach. What do you mean?
JONES: Well, what I'm saying is on that point is very simple. The Republicans are likely to get the House at least, if not the House and the Senate. We only got to get four or five votes to pick up the House. Once that happens, you do have a pent-up momentum in the Republican Party that I think can be very scary for a lot of people.
And so if you start seeing the Republican Party putting up bills that are against affirmative action, putting up bills that might hurt immigrants, putting up bills that might go back to mass incarceration, that should shock black voters and you say hold on, you may be disappointed in this guy, but we're scared of those guys and that lets him begin to reset a narrative.
Also, if you have divided government, some of the stuff Biden might want to do, he considers himself a big deal cutter, maybe he can get a few more things done. But what I would say, if I were in the White House right now, you can't lose this constituency. And I'm waiting to see what is a response to these poll numbers to the Black community, you got to message better, more aggressively in Black media and put up some more victories for black voters before the midterms.
COLLINS: And not a lot of time before those midterms.
JONES: Not a lot of time.
COLLINS: One interesting pattern we're seeing playing out and I'm wondering what your view of this is, is Democrats spending money to help Republicans, help boost them. We're seeing this in certain states. We were talking about this yesterday, where Democrats are basically spending money on the most MAGA of the candidates in Republican primaries to boost them because their strategy and their hope is that that person then runs against a Democratic candidate and they believe it will help the Democrat win.
But it has a risk of backfiring and you actually elected, help elect a very MAGA election denier or someone who is echoing Trump's claims.
JONES: Be careful what you wish for. Be careful what you wish for.
I remember when people were saying that Donald Trump would be a great person to put up against Hillary Clinton because Hillary Clinton was going to run over him like a lawn mower. I thought that was very ill- considered then. I think it is ill-considered now.
BERMAN: Let's talk about climate change, Van, because again, we talk about the work you've done and this is an area where you spend a lot of time focused on this, but you think we might be in a new moment.
JONES: Listen, you have -- when you have the whole world baking, when you have runways melting, planes can't take off because a runway is melting, you could be at a George Floyd moment for a climate. In other words, a moment where people who never thought about the issue before suddenly take it very seriously.
And I think, you know, what I would be saying to Republicans now is you got a bunch of red states that are baking. Florida could be under water.
You got a bunch of farmers and ranchers in red counties, they can't bring the crops in. You got farm workers, can't go out and get the crops. You have a big, big problem in red America.
Now is the time, I think, for a bipartisan conversation on climate solutions and where the middle ground is, I think, is on innovation, R&D, supporting new industries and you had everybody from George Schultz to Luntz, a lot of Republicans now starting to say, the real divide is not left versus right, it is young versus old.
And young people take this very seriously. And if the Republican Party doesn't recognize, you got a lot of young, even libertarians saying we may not want the AOC green new deal, but we want something. And so there is an opportunity here, I think, for something to get done. I think Republicans long-term will be punished if they don't move now.
COLLINS: And the whole climate will be, the planet will be punished.
JONES: And there's that.
BERMAN: Van, it's great to see you this morning. Thanks for coming in.
COLLINS: Thank you so much.
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