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New Day Saturday

House Dems Plan To Introduce Impeachment Resolution Monday, Accusing "Trump Of Incitement Of Insurrection"; Fifty Passengers, 12 Crew Members Onboard Missing Plane In Indonesia; Biden: Trump Unfit To Serve, Second Impeachment Up To Congress; World Leaders Condemn "Horrifying" Riot At U.S. Capitol Building; More Than 3,400 COVID Deaths Reported Friday As Virus Surges. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired January 09, 2021 - 08:00   ET





UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This White House has been in crisis management mode. They have been reaching out to outside lawyers about the potential for impeachment--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: --minimum it sets the historical record straight. It's accountability.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a historic moment where Twitter has stepped in and said no, that world leader - the United States President is too dangerous to use our platform.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Executives in Silicon Valley might have woken up on Thursday morning and maybe they realized that they were culpable that allowing conspiracy theories and hateful speech to fester on their platforms for years had a role to play.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The nation's top infectious disease experts said the government is actively monitoring new variants, including one from the U.K.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Right now the data indicate that the U.K. mutant is still quite sensitive to the antibodies that are induced by the vaccine.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good Saturday morning to you. More members of Congress now say that 11 days is too long to wait for President Trump to leave office. CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: There is now a bipartisan call for his resignation or for the 25th Amendment to be invoked, and both are seen as unlikely. But House Democrats plan to introduce the Impeachment Resolution on Monday.

BLACKWELL: A draft obtained by CNN includes one article of impeachment for incitement of insurrection. And Twitter says the risk of further incitement of violence is why they have kicked the president off their platform permanently.

PAUL: His final tweet announced he would not attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and that's something only three other outgoing presidents have done. Now, the president could soon be the first in American history to be impeached twice.

BLACKWELL: Let's start this morning with CNN Sarah Westwood at the White House. So, the President trying to hold on to power in the last few days, trying to hold on to his cabinet members, how's the West Wing reacting?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Victor, the White House is already criticizing this move from House Democrats as partisan politics.

The top aides to the president sat him down on Thursday and warned him that there was this serious possibility that he could be removed from office before the end of his term, either through impeachment or through the 25th Amendment that was discussed among cabinet members, two of whom resigned this week in the wake of the president's incitement of violence at the U.S. Capitol.

All of that pressure led the president to release the more conciliatory tone of the video that he posted. That came after the video that he posted in his initial response to the violence in which he said he loved the rioters.

And as you guys mentioned, his final tweet, before his account was suspended was announcing that he would not be attending the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20th - the first time that has been done since 1869. That's the last time a sitting president skipped the inauguration of his successor.

Now, the president's focus is turning towards what he might do after his presidency and how he might spend these last 11 days, a lot of uncertainty is surrounding that. Sources tell CNN that the plan at the moment is for the president to go down to Mar-a-Lago on January 19th. But, of course, as with everything with Trump that is fluid, because he's facing the looming impeachment in the House that has gained a lot of momentum since Wednesday's events.

And I want to read you the statement the White House released yesterday in response. "As President Trump said yesterday, this is the time for healing and unity as one nation. A politically motivated impeachment against a president with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country." Now, even though talk of the 25th Amendment is starting to die down among the cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence is pointedly not in favor of that. There's still a lot of concern among aides about the fallout among Republicans and the allies of the president that are coming out and denouncing him with few friends left for this 11 days in office, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right, Sarah Westwood. Appreciate the update. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Let's go now to Capitol Hill. CNN has obtained articles of impeachment drafted by House Democrats. The CNN National Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux is there live. Suzanne, not much time to get this done?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not at all. I mean, it's on a fast track. And Victor, we do have a copy of that article of impeachment, essentially saying, "Impeaching Donald John Trump, President of United States for high crimes and misdemeanors." What we're going to see in the days ahead on Monday, the House Rules Committee will meet. They will set up the terms of debate and there will be a privilege resolution that is offered. That means this is on the fast track.


That they could debate this within two days or so and then it would take a simple majority in the House - the Democrats have that majority - to impeach the President, and that is something that is the sole duty of the House of Representatives.

What he is being charged with is the impeachment - incitement of insurrection for his role in inciting the violence that occurred on Wednesday against the U.S. Capitol and interfering with the U.S. election. Now, Speaker Pelosi says they have many options on the table. They will use all of those options. The one thing they will not do is just stand by and do nothing. That this president must be held accountable, she made that very clear on 60 minutes.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Sadly, the person that's running the executive branch is a deranged, unhinged, dangerous president of the United States and we're only a number of days until we can be protected from him. But he has done something so serious that there should be prosecution against him.


MALVEAUX: So the president had already been impeached in December of 2019. I covered that. And there were no Republicans on the House side who voted for it. There was a lone senator Mitt Romney who voted for the president to be removed from office.

We are seeing a different kind of landscape this go round, at least some Republicans offering the option of the president to resign or have the 25th Amendment invoked. Representative Adam Kinzinger being one of them, Senator Ben Sasse, as well as Senator Lisa Murkowski this saying that, "He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don't think he's capable of doing a good thing."

A lot of people are asking, well, if he's impeached, why would the next Senate - the Senate that requires two thirds and Republicans to get on board, still go forward with trying to remove him from office if he's already out of office? Well, if they vote to remove him, that means he would never be eligible for holding a federal office again. If it fails in the Senate, it means that he still makes history as the president who's been impeached twice.

BLACKWELL: Suzanne Malveaux for us there on Capitol Hill. Thank you so much. Let's bring in our Democratic Congresswoman Haley Stevens. She represents Michigan's 11th District, which flipped from Trump to Biden, and she's now joining the push to impeach President Trump after calling the Capitol attack a result of failed leadership. Congresswoman, good morning to you.

REP. HALEY STEVENS (D-MI): Good morning, Victor, thank you so much for having me today.

BLACKWELL: So let's start here. Adam Kinzinger, Republican Congressman, who believes the president should go, that the 25th should be invoked, says that he should resign. He says that impeachment would maybe make him look like a victim again, just would - gives him fuel to see him in that light from his supporters. Why is impeachment the right strategy here?

STEVENS: Well, certainly, I'm not concerned with making this president look like a victim or a hero. He has proven himself to be a threat and a danger to our republic and our national security, and he must be removed. One thing that also occurred late into the night on Wednesday was a cabinet meeting to consider invoking the 25th Amendment.

We are in a moment of national crisis - national security crisis, and we need to use the tools in our toolbox to exercise our Constitution and to bring some calm. We are certainly in an unprecedented in time, Victor, and we need to take this seriously.

BLACKWELL: You were one of the final holdout to the Michigan delegation, at least from the Democrats, of course, to support impeachment in 2019. This time you support his removal hours after the riot on Capitol Hill. This is what you said back in 2019.

It was October then about the impeachment inquiry then. You told a Michigan news outlet. "His actions certainly speak to impeachable offenses, and I'm taking them very seriously. But I'm also a big believer in the process." This time, this will not be going to committees of jurisdiction, because the committee's haven't really been formed yet. We don't expect that there will be many witnesses. What about the process now to get this done over 11 days?

STEVENS: This is a new moment. And let me be clear, Victor, anyone who cannot join the American people in denouncing the violence or the things that incite this violence is a traitor to this nation. This is a catalytic moment in which we need to act quickly and expeditiously. We were all hoping that this 25th Amendment meeting would work. That when fellow Republicans, which by the way, we we're seeing an incredible eruption in the Republican Party. A fracturing, like we've never seen in a modern day political party. That we need individuals came to the president and said it's time that he would resign. That hasn't met - that hasn't happened. It has been days, it is time to act, and I am not going to sit quietly and stand by in my responsibility and duty to the American people.

BLACKWELL: Your comment this morning about the traitor to this nation echo what you tweeted yesterday. Let's put this up. "If you're an elected member of Congress or any office, and encouraging or excusing an insurrection in the U.S. Capitol, then you're a traitor to this nation, and the oath that you took. And if you are trying to overturn the election, you are as well."


I want you to listen to the remarks of one of your House colleagues. This is Alabama Republican Mo Brooks at the start of his remarks on Wednesday and a few minutes later. Here's what he said.


REP. MO BROOKS (R-AL): I've got a message that I need you to take to your heart and take back home and along the way stop at the Capitol. Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.


BLACKWELL: And then that group turned around, walked to the Capitol, and many of them broke in and we saw, of course, what happened there? Should he face consequences? And if so, what should they be?

STEVENS: Mo Brooks needs to take accountability for his language and his words against the American people. This rally certainly got out of hand. I would hope that he would participate in the investigation in identifying the hundreds of people who stormed our Capitol, vandalized our Capitol, stole federal equipment and materials that belonged to the number three person in our government - the Speaker of the House.

We have to have sanctity for the temple that is the dome of our democracy. This is what our Capitol is, as well as the roles that fulfill our governance. And so whether you're going to vote for Nancy Pelosi or not, if you're on the other side of the aisle, and we certainly seen a lot of Republicans and I want to give them credit denouncing this violence, that's where I take hope and consideration.

But history is looking down on this moment. And I'm not going to sit by and litigate what's the most expeditious way. We got these tools, we need to remove this president. It's time to also get back to work. We saw the National Association of Manufacturers, Victor, calling for the 25th. Our private sector, corporate America, Twitter banning our President, we got to keep moving forward here, we got a virus to defeat. BLACKWELL: Congresswoman, let me play this for you. This is President- elect last month after he crossed the threshold of the electoral votes.


JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: In this battle for the sole of American democracy prevailed. We the people voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact. And now it's time to turn the page as you've done throughout our history to unite, to heal.


BLACKWELL: He went on to say that we need to work together to give each other a chance to lower the temperature. Is that something you consider the goals of this incoming president as potentially his term will start with an impeachment trial in the Senate, when he's trying to get through his cabinet appointees? How do you balance those two?

STEVENS: Well, what we see in President-elect Joe Biden is a compassionate, focused and dedicated expert leader who's going to know exactly what to do right when he takes those first steps into the Oval Office in terms of rebuilding our economy, getting people back to work and making sure that the American public are vaccinated. And we want to give him the framework for the best government possible.

And I know, Victor, I was there I saw how much oxygen impeachment took up. But we are asking ourselves a question of integrity right now, about what type of nation we are going to be and what type of leadership we are going to allow in our country. And certainly where we are seeing a place of unity is around the disavowing a violence in the words that incite violence, particularly political violence that can never lead to a means to an end in this country.

BLACKWELL: Congresswoman Haley Stevens of Michigan 11th thanks so much for being with us.

STEVENS: Thank you.

PAUL: Well, I'll tell you what we're learning now about this breaking news out of Indonesia. Rescue crews may have found debris in waters, north of the City of Jakarta, that's where the plane is believed to have disappeared. Now, this was a Boeing 737-500 plane. It disappeared shortly after takeoff, just before 3:00 o'clock local time there.

According to Global Flight Tracking Service, Flightradar24, the plane dropped 10,000 feet in less than a minute before disappearing from the radar. Now, authorities say there were 50 passengers and 12 crew members on board. 43 of those passengers were adults, seven were children.

Ships and boats from Indonesia, search and rescue body are in that area. Now they're helping with a search operation that's going on. So CNN did reach out to Boeing, and they said in their statement, they're aware of the reports from Jakarta and are closely monitoring the situation. We'll keep you posted as we learn more.

BLACKWELL: You heard the Congresswoman mention there COVID. Well, President-elect Joe Biden has a new strategy to boost vaccination numbers. We're going to tell you how it's different from what we're currently going through and how soon it could lead to more shots in arms.


PAUL: Also, a decision by the RNC may signal that the Republican Party isn't ready to break all ties with President Trump just yet.

BLACKWELL: And U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has had some harsh words for President Trump


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I unreservedly condemn encouraging people to behave in the disgraceful way that they did in the Capitol.

BLACKWELL: Well, other world leaders are condemning Wednesday's riots. We've got a live report from London ahead.



BLACKWELL: 11 days until his inauguration, President-elect Joe Biden says he's focused on taking office and leaving it up to Congress whether to impeach President Trump.

PAUL: CNN Jasmine Wright is with us now. Jasmine, we know that the President-elect wants to unite the country. Has he mentioned any concerns about potential impeachment that may thwart that for a while?


JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN VIDEO PRODUCER: Good morning, Christi and Victor. And that's right, President-elect Joe Biden really built himself as the candidate uniquely qualified to unite the country. But yesterday in Wilmington, he did not hold back his harsh criticism of President Donald Trump, saying that he was an embarrassment, and that he was unworthy to hold the office.

And like you said, he did not really weigh in on that question of impeachment, kicking it to Congress, saying it's up to them to decide. Biden said that he was focused on those three things, the vaccine, the virus and economic recovery.

He also added that, if it were six months ago, and Democrats would have done everything that they could to get Trump out of office. But now the fastest thing that the country can do to remove Trump is to inaugurate him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in 11 days.

But one thing that he did weigh in on is that question of Donald Trump not attending the inauguration, Biden really changed his tune. Take a listen.


BIDEN: I was told that on the way up here - a way over here that he indicated he wasn't going to show up at the inauguration. One of the few things he and I have ever agreed on. It's a good thing, him not showing up.


WRIGHT: Again, that is a President-elect Joe Biden not shying away from expressing his anger at President Trump and his actions that helped incite that violent mob that breached the Capitol on Wednesday.

However, Biden did say that Vice President Mike Pence was welcome to come. Aides have told CNN that that is a possibility to expect him there. And if he does come, he would join the ranks of former presidents also in attendance, like Biden's former boss, President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, and President Bush, Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: Jasmine Wright for us there in Wilmington, thank you so much.

PAUL: So the Republican Party, reeling to some degree after what some have said might have been really disastrous three months for the party. They lost control of the White House and the Senate, and now they're trying to figure out what to do in the wake of the pro-Trump rioters that stormed the Capitol. So let's have this conversation.

Scott Jennings is with us today, former Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, and a CNN Political Commentator; and Anne Applebaum, she's a historian and a Staff Writer for "The Atlantic" as well. Thank you both for being with us. We appreciate it.

Anne, I'm going to start with you, because you wrote about - you wrote this latest piece, "History Will Judge The Complicit," calling President Trump, saying, he's governing in defiance.

And said, "After all the early incidents were so trivial" of President Trump, you were referring to. "They overlooked the lie about the inauguration, because it was silly. They ignored Trump's appointment of the wealthiest cabinet in history and his decision to stuff his administration with former lobbyists, because that's business as usual. They made excuses for Ivanka Trump's use of a private e-mail account and for Jared Kushner's conflicts of interest, because that's just family stuff."

Most would agree the events of the last year, COVID, the false election fraud claims, now the Capitol, they're far from trivial, obviously, where does this leave the Republican Party in your opinion?

ANNE APPLEBAUM, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: So yes, I think as I as I wrote in that piece that was published last summer, I think the signs of what Trump was going to become where there from the very beginning, really from the moment of his inaugural address, when he actually attacked the American political system.

He wasn't attacking Democrats. He was attacking Washington, he was attacking the Capitol. He was attacking this system as a whole, and that's been part of his language and part of his style from the beginning.

And this, of course, leaves a dilemma now for the Republican Party. Do they continue to go down that path and become an anti-democratic authoritarian party that wants to overthrow the system and change all the rules?

Or do they revert - not to what they were, that's impossible now. Or - but do they become a party that accepts the rules of democracy, that seeks compromises with opponents, and that operates using something other than just demonization and disinformation to motivate their followers. And the party is clearly split on that, and I think it's - we'll find out over the next six months, which path its leaders choose.

PAUL: So Scott, I want to talk about the sudden shift in tone and even potential targets for the Republicans since the attack on the Capitol on Wednesday. I talked with Marianne Williamson yesterday. She, of course, is an author and former candidate for the Democratic nomination for president. Here's what she said about the Republicans who are now seeming to distance themselves from the president.



MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, (D) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To all of a sudden, because this time, they were in the line of fire. Because this time the consequences of the president's actions might have personally, literally, physically harmed them, all of a sudden, they're outraged. And I think all of a sudden, they've realize the wind is moving in the other direction now, because every American can see what's going on here.

So let's not take too seriously, there's no moral authority there in the fact that they have awakened to the fact that we have a deranged mentality exercising power.


PAUL: What is your reaction there to in her assessment of this shift?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I think that Republicans who are assessing what happened this week correctly are doing the right thing. And I've seen Marianne and a lot of other people come out and make similar statements.

I mean, is this what you would consider to be helpful, when we had an insurrection against the U.S. Capitol. And right now, we need everybody to realize that's exactly what happened. We need everybody to watch the videos of the police officers being crushed in the doors. We need everybody as Americans living under the Constitution to say, for just this moment there's two parties, there's the constitutionalists and there's the insurrectionists.

And so for those of us who want to live, as Anne said, under the under the democratic norms of our Constitution that we've all been sort of broadly accepting for the last couple of 100 years. For those of us who want to live under that, I think we all need to stick together. And so I think the people like Marianne, frankly, who are coming out to take pot shots, or whatever her crystals told her to say, are not helpful.

I think that Republicans are broadly understanding what Donald Trump has done. I think Republicans are broadly understanding the wages of this lie about not accepting the election results. And I think if somebody steps forward and says, this is wrong, you ought to just say, "You're right. I agree with you."

PAUL: In heard (ph) events, I asked her, just so you know. But I do want to then ask you, and if we're talking about the framing of the Republican Party from this point forward, they just reinstated reelected Ronna McDaniel is Chair of the RNC, and she is a staunch supporter of President Trump. And here's some of the things she said the last couple of days.

She said she was very mad about the election results. She said, we are going - we are not going to feed our country to the Far Left. She mentioned socialism. And she said Democrats get ready, buckle your seatbelts because we're coming. How do you, if this is your chosen leader - that would indicate what it not that President Trump is still alive and well in the party and accepted by the party?

APPLEBAUM: So, the--

JENNINGS: I don't necessarily agree with that. Look, I think the Republican - oh, sorry Anne, I didn't mean to interrupt.

PAUL: Yes, actually - that's OK. Anne, go ahead, then I will let you come into that one, Scott, certainly. Anne go ahead.

APPLEBAUM: So, I believe that accepting the results of the election is a kind of litmus test for every politician and everybody who wants to be involved in politics. Do you accept reality? Do you accept facts? Or do you prefer to live in an alternate reality where other things that you've made up or some somebody on the internet has made up is true?

And as I said, and already, we don't know yet which way the leadership of the Republican Party is going. And there are some disturbing indications that some of its members and some of its propagandists still want to go down that road of falsehood, of alternative reality, of cult like behavior. That's really the essence of Trumpism.

It wasn't populism. It wasn't foreign policy. It wasn't to do with any of the things he said it was to do with. It was to do with this encouragement of an alternate reality of false facts. And, yes, I mean, there are clearly some Republicans who want to continue down that road, and the party will - it's the obligation of the other members of the party to stop them. PAUL: OK, Scott, I'm sorry, go right ahead.

JENNINGS: Yes, look, with all due respect to Chairwoman McDaniel, it's not her job necessarily to do anything other than operate the political party for the purpose of winning future elections. And so, if the party - and I didn't hear them saying this - but if the party is going to want to continue forever, to relitigate the 2020 election, and forever and ever claim that it was stolen, that's just not right. They cannot be.

The broad acceptance of our democratic norms starts with winners and losers. You have to accept that some people win, some people lose, and parties exist to win elections. And so if you're going to stop accepting the idea that elections will occasionally have losers, and that will be you, then you're not really operating on a political spectrum that I recognize.

I think for the Republican Party leaders - elected leaders, there's really two good rules that they should be thinking about this morning to define the party. One, mobs are bad. Two, Constitution is good. And if we can start there, then I think I think we can begin to rebuild out of this horrific wreckage that we saw this week.


PAUL: Got Jennings and Applebaum, really grateful to have both of you here with us today. Thank you.

JENNINGS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So the attack on the Capitol this week was seen around the world. So what does this do to America's global image? Is it still the shining city on a hill as Reagan described it? We'll examine that next.


PAUL: So there has been shock, there has been worry, there has been regret. That's what America's allies around the world are feeling in the wake of this week's attack on the Capitol.


BLACKWELL: Well, for America's enemies, there's been excitement. Let's go to CNN's Nic Robertson live in London. We watched in the U.S., but the world watched as the Capitol was attacked on Wednesday. Talk us through some of the reaction around the world

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, you've had direct condemnation of President Trump from the Prime Ministers of Sweden, of Norway, who said he is absolutely responsible. In fact, members of - some members of Congress are responsible as well, is what's been said by those Prime Ministers.

Boris Johnson, who formerly you would think of as being sort of relatively strong ally of President Trump, he said he unequivocally condemns what President Trump did by essentially calling on people to go to Capitol Hill and instigate violence.

Angela Merkel, I think, from Germany, who's sort of the moral compass, if you will, of Europe, framed it this way. She said, "Look, the loser here and all of this is democracy. If President Trump," which he said she regrets, "if President Trump doesn't accept that he lost. That's how democracy works, winners and losers."

No doubt the United States enemies are taking advantage of this. President Erdogan called it a disgrace. The Russian politicians are saying that this is, in essence, United States can no longer be sort of - can no longer just cast itself as a leader of global democracy. This is fundamentally undermining to U.S. international interests.

BLACKWELL: Nic Robertson, thanks so much. Let's bring it now Presidential Historian Tim Naftali. Tim, I want to start here with what you told one of our producers that the insurrection, of course, not only made history, but that it changed American politics. Explain how.

TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, the insurrection. The fact that a mob ransacked the Capitol and controlled it for a number of hours was the culmination of a process of radicalization led by the President of the United States. I'm not suggesting that some of these folks weren't extremists before Donald Trump came onto the political scene, but the executive branch of our government systematically radicalized them.

And so, what the challenge for the Republican Party is to de radicalize these folks, to reintegrate them into the American political community. And that is going to be a huge challenge. It's a challenge. It's - and I'm not saying that that elected Republicans can all do this. I'm not sure all of them want to do it. Most of them do.

But it's going to be a challenge at the local level where local Republicans have got to begin a dialogue with these folks, because at the moment they are driven by a poisonous conspiratorial worldview fomented by a man who's about to leave office. So that's one element of this huge change in American politics that needs to happen, because the President may go away, but this anger and extremism won't.

PAUL: Well, not only that, but the House Democrats we know are planning to introduce an impeachment resolution on Monday. Talk to us about the historical significance of a president who could potentially be impeached twice.

NAFTALI: Well, it would be the first time in our history that a president is impeached twice. And the machinery of impeachment was actually revved up three times for Andrew Johnson. Only in the last - in the last instance was he impeached by the House and then there was a trial, which he was acquitted in that trial in the Senate. So it would be the first time a president is impeached twice.

But let me lay out what I think are the reasons why this will happen in next week. I think it's very important for the House, at least, to record its condemnation of the attack on the Capitol. And I think it's absolutely important as part of the deradicalization of the Trump Republican Party that at least 40 Republicans join with Democrats. That this not be a partisan vote, that this not be like the impeachment process of 2019.

Because it's a way of sending a signal that there are limits to the - to appropriate dissent in America and that violence is never acceptable. Whatever your views, when you cross the line, and commit violence, you are no longer part of the American political community. That's what I think the impeachment could possibly do, which is to make the national dialogue about acceptable political dissent.


I don't expect the Senate to take it up. The signal so far from Mitch McConnell is that he would not take up a trial during the rest of President Trump's term. But if you could get a bipartisan vote in the House, I think that would begin the process of appealing and deradicalizing Trump supporters.

BLACKWELL: Let's stick with the Senate, because overnight, "The Houston Chronicle," the editorial board, says that it's time for Senator Cruz - Ted Cruz to resign. He's now trying to separate himself.

It says, "Cruz knew exactly what he was doing, what he was risking, and who he was inciting as he stood on the Senate floor Wednesday, and passionately fed the farce of election fraud, even as a seething crowd of believers was whipped up by President Trump a short distance away."

What now the Republican lawmakers who embrace this, we saw, Lindsey Graham being shouted down in the airport after he said enough is enough after the riot. But for years leading up to it he was as close to President Trump as one can be. I'll leave it there. What about what the leaders of this party in the Senate now have to do to resurrect their images to get closer to Republican orthodoxy even?

NAFTALI: Well, I think there are two challenges. One of them is the problem of riding a tiger. Usually you get eaten. And a number of these lawmakers have been riding this tiger, they've been feeding it. And now the tiger is eating them.

And Lindsey Graham being shouted down, he's being shouted down by people - up to a couple of days ago, that they were the victims of a stolen election. So I think part of the problem is that the chickens have come home to roost for these particular lawmakers. So they're going to have to figure out how to deradicalize their supporters.

And those like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley who were at the - who really stirred up with the precedent, the anger in the crowd, they have to face the consequences at home, because their states that will determine what happens to them, and nationally, they should be shamed. We should bring back social sanction. We had a shameless president or we still do for the next few days, we should bring back the importance of shaming. They should be shamed, and we'll leave it to Texas and Missouri decide if they have political futures.

BLACKWELL: Tim Naftali, thanks so much. We will of course reach back out to you over the next 11 days as this impeachment is likely to begin on Monday. Thanks so much.

PAUL: Thanks, Tim.

NAFTALI: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So on the coronavirus pandemic, it continues, of course, to rage across this country, the number of people dying tragically high every day. And now states are asking for help from the federal government to speed up the vaccine distribution, which goes much slower every day than expected.



BLACKWELL: President-elect Joe Biden says that he will release nearly every available dose of the coronavirus vaccine when he takes office. That's a break from the Trump's administration strategy which reserves half of the vaccine production to ensure that second dose for later. And you know right now the surge of deaths is just jaw dropping, 3,400 deaths on Friday.

PAUL: CNN's Polo Sandoval is live for us in New York with the very latest. Help us understand what's going on, Polo, with the speed of this vaccine rollout and what the status is across the country?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So let's start with the numbers right now, Victor and Christi. At least the latest showing another 283,000 new confirmed cases added to the millions of confirmed coronavirus infections that we've already seen here in the United States starting last year. And as that happens, we're slowly getting closer to that 369,000 deaths. As you pointed out, they certainly are jaw dropping.

These are obviously human beings, fathers and mothers, sisters, brothers. You're looking at just this week alone, we hit that grim 4,000 death milestone in just one day that's been on Thursday. As we've heard from health officials, it's going to get worse. And by all accounts and by all measures, it seems like we're at least getting there at this point.

When you look at the vaccination numbers, you look at the roughly 22 million that have already been distributed across the country. But, unfortunately, only about 6.6 have actually gone into people's arms. And we've heard already for the last several weeks that that is a very real concern for many states.

In fact, according to the CDC, at least 17 of them haven't even administered close to 25 percent, or at least have administered below 25 percent of their allotted amounts here. And that's why as you mentioned a little while ago, Victor, Joe Biden announcing that as soon as he takes that oath, he would like to essentially release all available doses.

Of course, that would expand the availability of these vaccines, but it could potentially, according to multiple health experts, also be a risky move. As we've heard from Moderna, we've heard from Pfizer, both manufacturers of the vaccine, that in order to ensure maximum protection, then those two doses have to be administered during a certain period of time.


Here in New York, we can tell you that we are expecting to see vaccination efforts actually expand on Monday to include multiple people, including city workers, seniors, and of course health care officials and health care workers outside of hospitals. Victor and Christi?

BLACKWELL: Polo Sandoval for us in New York, thanks so much.

All right, breaking news, a plane with more than 50 people on board has now lost contact with officials in Indonesia. We've got details for you next.


PAUL: Update you on the story we've been following this morning out of Indonesia. Officials now say the plane that disappeared north of Jakarta had some sort of accident shortly after takeoff.


BLACKWELL: So, we're getting this from the flight tracking service Flightradar24 that this Boeing 737-500 dropped 10,000 feet in less than a minute before disappearing from radar. Authorities say that there were 50 passengers, 12 crew members on board. 43 of the passengers were adults, seven were children.

We've got ships and boats from Indonesia, search and rescue body are in the area now helping with the search operation. CNN reached out to Boeing and they said in a statement that they are aware of the reports from Jakarta and are closely watching the situation.

"SMERCONISH" is up next.

PAUL: Yes, we'll see you tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m. early, and you go make good memories today.


MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: Alas, he did shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, but he might not get away with it. I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia