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Committee To Label Trump As "Clear And Present Danger" Today; Scaling Back Football Practice May Reduce Chronic Brain Issues; U.S. Falls In World University Rankings As China Rises. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired October 13, 2022 - 07:30   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Here in just a few hours, the House January 6 Committee will hold what is likely the last public hearing before the midterm elections. There will be no live witnesses but we're told there will be new evidence and new testimony.

The focus will be squarely on former President Trump, with the committee planning to label him a clear and present danger to American democracy. One of their earlier witnesses, a former Trump White House aide, agrees.


SARAH MATTHEWS, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE AIDE: He failed to act that day. He had every opportunity to call off the mob and condemn the violence. But furthermore, than just January 6, he's continued to push the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him with zero evidence of that, and I think that does pose a threat to our democracy.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Today's hearing follows months of investigation and testimony. What has the impact been?

John Avlon here with a reality check.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Today we'll see the final January 6 Committee hearing before the midterms and it's easy to forget how many facts they've brought forward, which would have otherwise been buried in a blizzard of lies. Because it was their compelling testimony from Republicans under oath, as well as the release of videos and communication, that exposed team Trump's attempts to rewrite history and downplay this full-frontal assault on our democracy.

That's why I think it's worthwhile to take a step back and look at some of the biggest gaslighting around January 6 that has been demolished by facts, courtesy of the committee.

Now, the foundational lie, of course, is that the election was stolen, which ex-President Trump still spews out to his followers. But thanks to the Jan. 6 committee we heard senior members of his administration testify that virtually no one inside the White House or the campaign believed that lie, as Trump was repeatedly told to his face well before January 6.


WILLIAM BARR, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: I made it clear I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff, which I told the president was bullshit.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP: I respect Attorney General Barr, so I accepted what he said -- was saying.

JASON MILLER, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP: And I remember he delivered to the president in pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose.


AVLON: Then there was the gaslighting that tried to recast the violence at the Capitol as a largely peaceful, unarmed protest. This wasn't only from congressional lackeys like Georgia's Andrew Clyde, who infamously compared the rioters to tourists.


REP. ANDREW CLYDE (R-GA): You know, if you didn't know the T.V. footage was a video from January the sixth, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.


AVLON: Yes, that claim was kind of undercut by the photos that showed the congressman desperately trying to barricade a door on the sixth.

But variations on this alternate reality have also been pushed by the ex-president. Thanks to the January 6 commission, we heard testimony that Trump knew some in the crowd were armed and he didn't care, because he said they weren't there to hurt him.


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE AIDE: I overheard the president say something to the effect of, you know, I don't -- I don't effing care that they have weapons. They're not here to hurt me.

Take the effing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the effing mags away.


AVLON: Speaking of violence, remember this claim from one of Trump's second impeachment lawyers?

[07:35:03] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL VAN DER VEEN, TRUMP IMPEACHMENT LAWYER: At no point was the president informed the vice president was in any danger.


AVLON: Yes. Well, we know now that Trump understood the risk to Mike Pence's life. And from the timeline presented by the committee, we see that his tweets incited the crowd. Not only that, we've heard testimony that Trump actually expressed support for the mob, which was hellbent on hanging his own vice president.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): And aware of the rioters' chants to hang Mike Pence. The president responded with this sentiment. Quote, "Maybe our supporters have the right idea." Mike Pence, quote, "deserves it."


AVLON: But perhaps the biggest gaslighting was team Trump's denials about any effort to overturn the election.


VAN DER VEEN: Instead of expressing a desire that the joint session be prevented from conducting its business, the entire premise of his remarks was that the democratic process would and should play out according to the letter of the law.


AVLON: Not only do we now know about Trump's desire to march to the Capitol, testimony to the committee laid bare the mechanics of this multipronged plot to stay in power by any means necessary.

We see it in the 'how to turn the over election' memos written by the president by lawyer John Eastman and others, which they desperately tried to hide from the Jan. 6 committee and the American people.

We see it in the text messages written between chief of staff Mark Meadows and lawmakers about efforts to pursue a plot of fake electors, as well as texts with at least one operative about unsuccessful schemes to seize voting machines.

And then there's the right-wing congressmen who wanted pardons for their role in trying to overturn the elections despite some denying it.

Now, all this gaslighting might have worked if the January 6 Committee hadn't stepped in and set the record straight with testimony from Republicans. It's telling that Trump loyalists still peddling his election lies are the ones who refused to testify under oath.

Like, yes, we've got a long way to go before the facts are widely accepted as a matter of historic record, but they will be. Truth will out. And despite the political costs to many of its members and whatever else happens on the road to accountability, the January 6 Committee has fought the good fight of truth against lies while defending the peaceful transfer of power.

And that's your reality check.

BERMAN: John Avlon, thank you very much for that.

And, of course, join CNN for special live coverage as the January 6 hearings resume with new witnesses and new evidence. Our special coverage begins at 12:00 p.m. eastern.

KEILAR: The NFL changing its concussion protocols after recent head injuries in the league, but new research out this morning is examining how teams can reduce impacts on the brain for high school players as well.

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is joining us now on this. Sanjay, what can you tell us about this new research?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I -- this is really interesting. What they decided to do here was in 2021, they looked at three teams -- high school teams -- 74 players -- and really tried to dissect out a season. So not just the games where a lot of people pay attention to, but the practices as well, and trying not to just look for concussions but also these sub-concussive hits or just any kind of head impact.

So they had 74 players. They had mouthguard sensors to really measure these impacts. And they look at all these different types of plays or drills that players go through trying to understand which of these was the most significant in terms of overall impacts to the brain and what could be done about it.

Now, what was interesting -- and there's a bunch of images there on the screen. These are different types of drills that football players go through. There's air drills, there's bag drills, there's thud drills. There's things like that.

But what they found was that it varied pretty significantly in terms of the number of head impacts that people would have during these different drills. And again, they were trying to look at the cumulative amount of overall impact to the brain.

And they found -- probably no surprise -- that air drills had the fewest head impacts. But as you went further and further over to thud drills and live drills, for example, it went up significantly. And if you did the math on that you found that for far fewer hours, you were getting far more head impacts in certain types of drills than others.

That was really the headline here was that, first of all, a lot of head impacts are occurring during practice, not just the games. A really important point. When we talk about concussion protocols you've really got to pay attention to practice. And it's not just concussions; it is these sub-concussive or just head impacts of any sort. They accumulate over time and they're getting a better idea of which types of drills cause that accumulation more rapidly.


BERMAN: It's really instructive and it could change the way teams practice and maybe benefit them if they want to continue to play these sports in the future.

Any difference, Sanjay, in the different positions that the players play?

GUPTA: Yes. There was actually a pretty significant difference. And this probably won't surprise you but linemen -- people who are lining up -- offensive and defensive linemen -- they had the highest risk. Their heads are constantly hitting into other things, either other heads or other parts of other players. But also after that tight ends, and then running backs. Quarterbacks after that. Receivers were the least likely to have these head impacts overall.

But the numbers kind of astounded me. So, 74 players a season they looked at -- 7,300 head impacts. So it's close to 100 impacts per player on average. Again, some players more than others, but that's a lot of head impacts on these high school football players.

We know more than ever that some of these chronic changes, some of these most concerning changes in the brain can start early. And again, they accumulate over time. So it's -- I think this is why there's so much attention being focused on high school, not just college and the pros because these processes started so early.

KEILAR: Yes. By the time you get to the pros that cumulative impact is huge.


KEILAR: Sanjay, so helpful to have you go through this. Thank you.

GUPTA: You got it. Thank you.

KEILAR: ACT test scores sinking to their lowest level in 30 years just as American universities are losing ground in the global ranks. So what is causing the drop?

BERMAN: New CNN polling this morning on the midterm elections. Those numbers, ahead.



BERMAN: U.S. universities are losing ground on the global ranking stage while China is rising. This is according to new data from World University Rankings.

Here with the numbers, CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans. What's this data show, Romans? CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, "EARLY START": You know, it's really fascinating here. The U.S. still dominates higher ed rankings, of course, but has lost ground over the past five years.

Let's look at the top 100 universities globally. Next year, the U.S. is projected to have 34 in the top 100. That is a respectable number, yes, but it's down from 43 just four years ago. And the number of Chinese universities on the list rose from just two to seven.

These rankings are collected by a British education ranker called Times Higher Education, and it finds a shift in the global knowledge economy away from the traditionally dominant West. The group says the data show that America no longer can take for granted its dominance in higher ed and research and that China is leading this challenge.

Federal dollars toward American research and development is at a 7- decade low as a percentage of the federal budget, but China has been on an R&D spending spree over the past decade.

Let's look at that list, John.

The U.K. and U.S. still, obviously, dominate the rankings. Oxford University holds the top spot again for the seventh straight year with American universities holding seven of the top 10. No Chinese universities make the top of the list. The first Chinese university comes in at 16. But it's the number of schools that are coming into the top 100 that people are watching here.

BERMAN: Or as we like to say, Oxford-Schmoxford.

At the same time, Romans, ACTs -- we're learning that they're the lowest ACT test scores --


BERMAN: -- in 30 years?


BERMAN: What's going on there?

ROMANS: Can you imagine that?

It's -- the average ACT score fell below 20 for the first time since 1991. That's out of a possible 36. Trending lower now five years in a row.

The ACT, of course, is that standardized test used for college admissions. About 1.2-1.3 million students take that test every year.

Also troubling, John, in these numbers, the growing share of test- takers who met none of the college readiness benchmarks -- English, reading, math, or science -- none. Forty-two percent of test-takers not ready for college-level material. ACT's chief executive blames learning disruptions from the pandemic and systemic barriers in education and learning that have been a problem for some time.

John, only 22 percent of test-takers -- only 22 percent met all four of the benchmarks. And what's interesting is the people taking the test -- these are kids who intend to go to college. So they're taking this test with the intention of going to college and many of them are not ready.

BERMAN: Wow. Well, hopefully, that can get turned around.


BERMAN: Christine Romans, thank you so much for that.

ROMANS: It's a warning -- yes.

BERMAN: A new show about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is now the second-biggest series on Netflix -- I believe English language series ever. But critics say true crime has gone too far.

KEILAR: Plus, as the Supreme Court takes up a copyright case involving Prince, one justice makes a big revelation.


PRINCE, SINGER-SONGWRITER: Singing "Raspberry Beret."





PRINCE: Singing "Little Red Corvette."


KEILAR: The late music legend Prince -- well, it turns out he has a big fan on the Supreme Court.


JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS, U.S. SUPREME COURT: Let's say that I'm both a Prince fan, which I was in the '80s, and --



THOMAS: Well, only on Thursday nights.


KEILAR: What's with Thursdays? All right, so Justice Clarence Thomas there. Apparently, he likes to occasionally don a metaphorical raspberry beret when the forecast calls for some purple rain -- only, though, as you heard, if it's on Thursday.

The case at hand centers on a photograph of Prince, which artist Andy Warhol used to create stylized portraits that later ran in Vanity Fair. The original photographer is suing for compensation. And this is a case that could have major implications for copyright law.

But this is not the first time that music has taken center stage at the Supreme Court. Back in 1994, 2 Live Crew released a parody of the Roy Orbison classic "Pretty Woman" with a silly twist. Here it is.


2 LIVE CREW, HIP HOP GROUP: Singing parody of "Pretty Woman."


KEILAR: The song's publisher sued the band all the way to the Supreme Court, which cleared 2 Live Crew of any wrongdoing. The court ruling the parody is protected speech.


BERMAN: And in another really interesting case, after John Fogerty split with Creedence Clearwater Revival, the band sued him in 1985 for kind of sounding too much like John Fogerty. CCR argued that his solo release, "The Old Man Down the Road," had essentially the same music but different lyrics as CCR's "Run Through the Jungle," a song that Fogerty wrote himself 15 years earlier.

Listen to the older song --


CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL, ROCK BAND: Instrumental of "The Old Man Down the Road."


BERMAN: Now listen to Fogerty's solo effort.


JOHN FOGERTY, SINGER-SONGWRITER: Instrumental of "The Old Man Down the Road."


BERMAN: Fogerty famously brought his guitar into a federal district court in San Francisco to show how the compositions differ. He won that case but he didn't recoup all of his legal fees until his countersuit made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

KEILAR: It sounded different to me. Like, it had more syncopation in the second version.

BERMAN: I feel like both could have benefitted from jazz flute. That's all I was thinking as I was listening to both.

KEILAR: Anything does.

BERMAN: All right, now this.




BERMAN: What a beautiful voice.

"AMERICAN IDOL" season 19 runner-up Willie Spence has died at the age of 23.

So, his music first went viral as a teen with his cover of Rihanna's song "Diamonds," which he later performed for his "AMERICAN IDOL" audition in 2021.

Spence was driving an SUV Tuesday in Tennessee when he went off the road and crashed into a car that was stopped on the shoulder. That's according to the accident report.

Just hours before his death, he shared this rendition of a gospel song.


SPENCE: Singing "You Are My Hiding Place."


BERMAN: Again, what a voice.

"AMERICAN IDOL" released this statement. Quote, "Willie Spence was a true talent who lit up every room he entered and will be deeply missed. We send our condolences to his loved ones."

KEILAR: Yes, what a loss of such a gifted young man. I hope that beautiful song that he recorded -- just really moments -- not long before he died -- gives his family some comfort.

BERMAN: Yes, our thoughts are with his family.

NEW DAY continues right now.

New evidence and new testimony. The January 6 Committee holds its final hearings before the midterms. I'm John Berman with Brianna Keilar. There have been dramatic moments in the hearings before today.

Testimony that Donald Trump was told that people were armed at his speech on the Ellipse on January 6.

Former attorney general Bill Barr calling claims over voter fraud B.S., and he didn't use initials.

The committee says it has new information since its last hearing in the summer. We will soon see what that is.

KEILAR: There is also new reporting this morning in the Mar-a-Lago documents case. A source telling CNN that Donald Trump personally directed an employee to move boxes at Mar-a-Lago after Trump received a subpoena for classified documents. It's a revelation that raises more questions about possible obstruction.

BERMAN: Let's go right to CNN's Sara Murray on Capitol Hill. The hearing today -- the final one before the midterms, Sara -- what is expected?

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, this is an opportunity for this committee to sort of drive home the point that they still believe that Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to democracy.

You know, they're not going to have live witnesses -- we're not expecting that at this hearing -- but we know that they have new video. We know that we may see witness testimony either from previous witnesses, but new clips or some testimony from new witnesses.

And, of course, there's just no shortage of examples of the former president still pushing the lie that the 2020 election was stolen and supporting election deniers for office. You know, this is really the message that they want to leave voters with as they are heading into the midterms, John.

BERMAN: And what are we expecting in terms of what the most compelling moments today could be?

MURRAY: Well, look, this is something that they want to keep centered on the former president. So we are going to be looking for whether they include snippets of interviews from people who were in the former president's cabinet. People like Steve Mnuchin, Mike Pompeo, Elaine Chao who resigned after January 6.