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New Day Saturday

Newspapers Worldwide React To Riot And Its Aftermath; D.C. Fortifies Security As FBI Warns Of Potential Armed Protests; Biden Pushes $1.9T Plan To Tackle Pandemic Rescue Economy; WAPO: Trump Likely Exceeded 25,000 False Claims In Four Years; Officers Beaten By Capitol Rioters Describe Fighting The Mob. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired January 16, 2021 - 07:00   ET



CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Listen, it was a shocking moment. I don't know where you were. When you were watching what was happening at the Capitol. It wasn't just jolting to all of us who are watching, it was jolting to the world and newspapers worldwide are an indication of that.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, let's look at a few of them. This is from New Zealand. They spoke with some rioters there, and the quote, huge there in red, "You did not win."

PAUL: Democracy under siege is what is on the front page of Britain's Daily Telegraph showing now the infamous standoff in the House of Representatives there.

BLACKWELL: And is from the West Australian which read last days of Trump.

PAUL: The next hour of NEW DAY starts now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The American capital, now a fortress unprecedented scene, as Washington and the country brace for more violence.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The American people can be confident we're going to ensure that we have a safe inauguration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are seeing an extensive amount of concerning online chatter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a guy ripping my mask off. He was practically foaming at the mouth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than 2 million people have now died from coronavirus.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: The vaccine rollout in the United States has been a dismal failure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were a bit too rigid. We were not getting the vaccine doses out in the most efficient manner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New warning from the CDC says there's a new more contagious coronavirus variant that could become the dominant strain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're seeing viruses do what viruses do, you know they mutate.


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

BLACKWELL: Capitol Hill, 25,000 National Guard troops around that region. We will of course go into that area with our reporters in just a moment because law enforcement officials say that there are, they're tracking dozens of people who may be headed to Washington, the U.S. Capitol bracing for more protests, may be more than protests ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. And the Department of Homeland Security along with other agencies say that domestic extremists pose the most likely threat to that event on Wednesday.

PAUL: And we are learning more about that attempted coup on January 6th. There's an internal report that details major security and intelligence failures now. CNN Pete Muntean is following the latest from Washington D.C. We know that several states and D.C. are ramping up security in anticipation of these armed, armed protests leading up to the inauguration, Pete. But talk to us about what you're seeing there near the Capitol right now.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is layer after layer of security here Christi. In fact, we just learned from the Secret Service that we need to leave where we are blocks away from the Capitol so they can do his Secret Service security suite. We're not exactly close, and we are separated from the Capitol Complex by this giant eight-foot fence.

On the other side of this, 7000-Members of the National Guard according to the Major General William Walker, the D.C. Guard, he says that 25,000 members of the guard may be here by Inauguration Day. They are armed with M-4s, he says they are ready for this challenge, but they may be here for at least another week. Here's what he said.


MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM WALKER, D.C. GUARD: So, the guardsmen on the ground right here right now, they understand that they'll be here until the end of the inaugural period, which is 24th January. Now, if conditions change, they'll stay here longer. So, the bottom line is the National Guard will be here as long as we're required to be here, as long as we're needed.


MUNTEAN: Major General William Walker talking to me in his dress blues after speaking to House leadership, trying to reassure them that the guards' presence here will make this a peaceful transition of power. The flip side of this is that this will be a very quiet transition of power. Almost nobody here right now near the Capitol, a place that would typically be filled with people. And you can see it off in the distance there, and we are not exactly close here. This is going to be an inauguration like no other.

BLACKWELL: Indeed, hey, Pete, before we let you go, we've seen the pictures of the rioters, a couple of them with zip ties; we have seen the video of them chanting "hang Mike Pence," but feds have kind of rolled back or walked back the claim that riders intended to capture and assassinate elected officials. Do you know why?

MUNTEAN: It's a pretty big shift in the narrative, Victor, but it does not get at this security presence. Not necessarily that for the armed insurrection last week, the threats keep coming in according to the FBI and the Secret Service and the Pentagon about more possible armed protests here in Washington. All of this is about the potential of what is to come.

BLACKWELL: Pete Muntean in Washington. Thank you.


PAUL: Let's go to CNN White House Reporter now Sarah Westwood. So, Sarah, we know the president, obviously making his plans to exit but we know that there is somebody who visited him recently who is hoping that he is still going to have a second term. What can you tell us?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Christi, that would be Mike Lindell. Sandel, the CEO of My Pillow, who is someone who's pretty close to President Trump. And he was photographed heading into the White House yesterday with notes about suggestions that he gave President Trump behind closed doors in a meeting. Among what Lindell said he told the President was evidence of voter fraud. That's what Lindell claimed, of course, there's been no evidence of widespread voter fraud presented since election day.

But nonetheless, it gives you some insight into what Trump is discussing as he waits in the White House for the last four days of his presidency to tick by. Vice President Mike Pence has been filling a lot of the public facing duties at this time and, frankly, is acting more presidential than Trump at this moment. Pence for example, on Thursday called his soon-to-be-successor, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, wishing her congratulations offering his assistance.

He also attended a briefing this week at FEMA headquarters on inauguration security and spoke publicly about the importance of keeping the nation's capital safe on Inauguration Day. That's something that we haven't heard a lot from Trump about. CNN has reported that Pence was upset by the way that Trump handled the events on January 6th, and there's clearly still discomfort among administration officials about that day.

Health Secretary Alex Azar submitted his resignation letter this week, and in it he criticized the way Trump handled that insurrection. I want to read you part of that letter: "Unfortunately, the actions and rhetoric following the election, especially during this past week, threatened to tarnish these and other historic legacies of this administration.

And then it goes on to say the attacks on the Capitol were an assault on our democracy and on the tradition of peaceful transitions of power that the United States of America first brought to the world."

Is our will be staying on through the 20th Biden's Inauguration Day. That's not the case though for everyone. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnaney has completed her last day in her job, her Deputy Brian Morgenstern has also left so the White House press shop, very empty heading into these last few days of Trump's presidency as he prepares to leave office, Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right. Thank you, Sarah Westwood at the White House for us.

PAUL: There is still no timeline as to when President Trump's Second Impeachment trial might start. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to send that loan impeachment articles to the Senate next week. She has declined to specify exactly when that's going to happen. But let's talk to Constitutional Attorney Page Pate here. Page, good to see you this morning. You have said, you told our producer the timing of the impeachment trial becomes a major issue after the inauguration, how so?

PAGE PATE, CONSTITUTIONAL ATTORNEY: Well, Christi, I think, clearly, it's going to be up to the Senate as to when they decide to start the trial. The trial has to happen. But the Constitution does not set any specific date or time limit. It's really up to the Senate. And with the Senate changing hands and we're going to have a new majority leader, I know there's going to be some tension within the Senate leadership to want President-elect Biden's agenda to be fully addressed before they get completely distracted by an impeachment trial.

So, there's going to be a lot of back and forth. Perhaps they're going to bifurcate the Senate and have part of them listening to the trial and then part of them working on the agenda. It's going to be one of the most important issues that the new senate will face this year.

PAUL: Well, President Trump's former attorney Alan Dershowitz has claimed it's unconstitutional for a person to be impeached once they leave office. How much credence does that argument hold? And is there truth to that? Or is there a gray area here?

PATE: There is a gray area, Christi, and it's not just Dershowitz. There are some former federal judges who think he's right. The Constitution clearly sets up impeachment as a way to remove someone like the president from office. So, the arguments pretty simple. If the president is already gone, if this term has already ended, then you can impeach him. He's gone.

But really, we have seen impeachment used in the past in our history for people who have already left office. We've already had president impeached by the House of Representatives. So, the only thing that's remaining is the trial. And so, I think the better argument and one that's supported by history is that you can have an impeachment trial even after the President has left off.

PAUL: Based on, on precedent. So, an ABC News/Washington Post poll find more than half of America, about 56 percent of Americans who are polled do feel that Congress needs to remove Trump from office and disqualify him from holding elected office in the future. The intention here at this point now with only four days, four and a half days to go before he's before Inauguration Day, and President-elect Biden comes in anyway, it seems like the intention is to make sure that he cannot run for office, again. Is impeachment the only avenue by which Congress has to try to make that to try to solidify that?


PATE: Yes, it is. And so, I think impeachment is important to disqualify Trump from holding federal office again. And it's also important, I think, to send the message that Congress and the American people will not tolerate the kind of actions that President Trump has been taking recently and really in the past, and needs to send the message because if impeachment is going to mean anything, then Congress has to be able to move forward, courageously move forward, and impeach a president who has broken the law. So, I think it's important for the disqualification, but also for the principal involved.

PAUL: OK, I want to ask you, before I let you go about the potential of self-pardons here. President still has four days to make this happen. I get this picture in my head of the President, just go into the Oval Office and signing it and going up. All right, it's done. That's it. I'm wondering what constitutional parameters are there, that are in place to guide the validity or the lack thereof of this happening?

PATE: Nothing. I mean, that's the short answer. Nobody can stop President Trump from pardoning himself. The question becomes, will that pardon be enforceable? And that's going to be a tough call, not just legally, but politically. Will a Biden administration want to take the politically dangerous step of trying to prosecute a former President Trump?

I don't think they're going to do that, because given the distractions and the uncertainty, but I do believe that Trump pardons himself that will make it more likely he's prosecuted, not less, because then I think the Biden administration will feel the necessity to challenge the idea that a president can pardon himself and make him above the law. So, I think if he tries a self-pardon, he's more likely to get prosecuted, not less.

PAUL: All right, and set a precedent any way it goes. Page Pate, we appreciate you so much. Thank you.

PATE: Thank you, Christi.

PAUL: Good to see you this morning. And tonight, be sure to join CNN's Anderson Cooper for a special report on the capital insurrection. He's going to take this in depth look at the people who pulled it off. Who are they, where are they now? The faces of the Trump insurrection, it airs tonight at 10:00.

BLACKWELL: Hey, remember when the Trump administration said that releasing reserved vaccine doses could help boost the slow rollout? Yes. Turns out, the stockpile no longer exists. And now, we're hearing from the governors who were waiting for those vials.



BLACKWELL: There's a new projection from the team at the University of Washington. That's the one that creates the coronavirus models that that are used by the White House. Nearly 567,000 people dead because of COVID-19 by May 1st, that's their number. They expect that the pandemic to peak in February, but they say that more rapid vaccination efforts can bring that number down.

PAUL: Despite more than 31 million doses that have been distributed thus far, actual shots in arms, only number 12 million and now we're learning those reserve shots that we heard so much about that so many people had hoped could be released to boost that rate, well, they don't exist and governors are really upset about it.


GOV. TIM WALZ (D-MN): It is not debatable that the United States did this more poorly than any nation on Earth. They were lying. They don't have any doses held back.

GOV. KATE BROWN (D-OR): Let me be very clear. This is deception, on a national scale.

GOV. JARED POLIS (D-CO): What we really need is a new administration. We need President Biden, Secretary Becerra, to restore some competence and sanity to this, to figure out what the hell's going on. And if they have extra doses to get them out.


PAUL: And adding to the urgency here's this warning from the CDC now that new COVID-19 variants, including the one first detected in the U.K., threatened to accelerate viral spread in the U.S. by March. Now, E.R. Physician Dr. Rob Davidson says he's optimistic in President- elect Biden's goal of 100 million shots in his first 100 days and he has this wish list for the incoming administration's COVID response team.


DR. ROB DAVIDSON, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: The system of testing is still broken in the states that there are far too many cases happening to be able to test and trace that we have health departments that have been disinvested for decades that can't keep up with the need to vaccinate and test. We need a doubling of the efforts to fund those state and local health departments. And frankly, I just need them to speak with one voice, an entire

government voice telling people to wear masks, to stay home. I understand people are going to resist, but I think if we have one message coming out that is going to at least get those folks who are, who are listening, who are receptive to, to do the right things and to protect people.


BLACKWELL: Well, the reality of the pandemic in California is especially grim. Los Angeles County alone is getting close to one million total Coronavirus cases, hospitals and morgues are at capacity. And this is a startling statistic, one person dies every six minutes.

PAUL: The state's governor is pointing out their signs of and I'm quoting here, light at the end of the tunnel. Here's CNN's Paul Vercammen.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, finally, some good news in COVID-19 ravaged Southern California two mega-COVID-19 vaccination sites now open. One at Disneyland. One here at Dodger Stadium. Now they open just as Southern California is feeling the ravages of holiday get together, and a subsequent outbreak to signs of this on the mortuary grounds, a freezer truck filled with bodies because there's not enough room inside the funeral home.

And at a hospital, they're treating patients the hospital's overwhelmed inside a gift shop. But here at Dodger Stadium, they began the vaccinations. Health care workers driving through they started with an estimate of vaccinating 2000 people on the first day, they ramped that up to 4,000. It was going so well. And so, this is a reason for optimism for the organizers.

ANN LEE, CEO, COMMUNITY ORGANIZED RELIEF EFFORT: But at the same time, it's when we see the folk actually getting those vaccines out into their arms. It's, it's all, it's all those things kind of fade away.

VERCAMMEN: The goal here at Dodger Stadium is vaccinate 12,000 people a day. They say they have enough of the vaccine to last themselves until Wednesday. They're not sure if the supply will continue. And they've heard the reports about the supply shrinking fast. But they say they're going to dig in and keep putting needles in the arms here at Dodger Stadium. Reporting from Los Angeles, I'm Paul Vercammen. Now back to you, Christi and Victor.


BLACKWELL: Paul, thank you so much.

PAUL: So, more than 10 million people here in the U.S. have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Among the latest is one living legend of American music. Country King, Willie Nelson, looking to marry got a shot at a drive thru facility in Texas this week. He's 87-years-old, he shared the news on social media with a simple message: "get your shot take care of yourselves," he says. Nelson's among the more than a million people in Texas who've received their first dose of the vaccination at this point.


BLACKWELL: Good for Willie. So, the President has kept the fact checkers busy over the past four years for Mexico paying for the wall, you know the election claims. Coming up, we've got the number of false or misleading claims from the president -- that's right, the gumballs are back.



BLACKWELL: Here's one of them. Now, if you watch our show regularly, then you know why I have this, a jar of gumballs. If you don't, let's get you caught up. You remember this party game. It's a kid's birthdays and baby showers. There's a big jar of candy. Everyone tries to guess how many pieces there in the jar. I'd stare and try to estimate based on size and shape. But at the end, it really was just a guess and the person who guesses correctly or gets closest wins the jar.

According to the fact-checker blog of the Washington Post, President Trump has made 1950 false and misleading statements since January 20, 2017, Inauguration Day. Now, that's stunning, but also hard to grasp. So, I thought, how do I make something conceptual like a false statement, concrete, tangible? And then, I remember that game I hated as a kid -- the jar of gumballs. 1,950, I know, because I put them there, 3001 false claim, 6,420 gumballs, 7,546, 9,014, 15,413. We're now up to 28 jars.

So, the team at the Washington Post is still working through the latest torrent of false claims. But just before the election, they found that in 2017, Trump's first year as president, he averaged six false or misleading claims a day that jumps to 16 in 2018; 22 in 2019, and at that point in 2020, the president averaged 27 false or misleading claims a day. At that pace, the President would have surely exceeded, they said, 25,000 claims before Election day.

And here's what that looks like. 25,000 false and misleading claims in 67 jars. Now, we had to switch up the jars because the original jar was discontinued. But this is it, 25,000. I know because I counted everyone myself. And yes, it's sure. This is easy to smirk at because it candies, I get it. But the point is to show the mass of the deception and the lies that this President, the President of the United States has just flung at you for four years.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We had the biggest audience in the history of inaugural speeches.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels.

TRUMP: They come in and buy a lottery. They give us their worst people. They put them in a bin, but in his hand when he's picking them is the really the worst of the worst. Congratulations, you're going to the United States, OK.

Because you just got one of the biggest pays raises you've ever received. You haven't gotten one or more than 10 years.

If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75 percent in value. And they say, the noise causes cancer.

We're taking in billions and billions of dollars in tariffs from China.

Anybody that needs a test, gets a test.

It's a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for and we'll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.


Veteran's choice and veteran's accountability. And they've been trying to get that passed for decades and decades and decades and no president's ever been able to do it and we got it done.

When trees fall down, after a short period of time, about 18 months, they've become very dry. They've become, really, like a matchstick. And they get up, you know, there's no more water pouring through, and they become very, very -- well, they just explode.


BLACKWELL (on camera): With me now is Glenn Kessler, editor and chief writer at the Washington Post Fact Checker. Glenn, good morning to you.

I thought of starting with how does President Trump compare, but I think that answers itself. Let me start here with what does it take to fact check this president and all the tweets and the speeches and the interviews when there's so much?

GLENN KESSLER, EDITOR AND CHIEF WRITER, WASHINGTON POST FACT CHECKER: Well, it's taken lots of long nights and weekends. The torrent of false claims just before the election was astonishing. You know, he's now over 30,000. And it took him just five months to go from 20,000 to 30,000. So, it was truly quite of a task for me and my staff to get to the final point where we are right now.

BLACKWELL: You know, and he didn't tell these alone. I think the clearest example is what we're seeing now with this, this claim that he won the election and the Democrats stole it and the more than 120 members of Congress who backed the Texas lawsuit and those in the Senate who backed the objections. What do you expect the residue of this period, this strategy of just outright deception will be? Spin is not new, but just flat out lies. What do you expect that will mean for Washington and for the country?

KESSLER: Well, it's interesting. I mean, you know, ultimately, Trump lost re-election. So, you know, politicians did want to try to replicate this level of line. Mike looked at it and say, you know, I didn't work for him in the end.

We found that he started to make more false or misleading statements when he felt cornered or when he felt in trouble. Like just before the 2018 election, when the Republicans lost the House, just before this election when he lost reelection.

But, you know, certainly, what you've seen in the last couple -- few months is virtually, all he talked about was this alleged election fraud. 75 percent of his false or misleading claims since the election have only been about the election. And he certainly convinced a fair number of Republicans that he was telling the truth. And that's pretty disturbing because he lost every -- just about every case in courts, judges, you know, ridiculed and said none of this makes any sense.

So, and now, when you see the consequences of it where a group of people raid at the Capitol because they believe what the president said.

BLACKWELL: We've talked a few times over the years and we've talked about the distinction that you make in The Post makes about calling these false and misleading statements instead of lies.

The last time we spoke there was just one lie that you identified and that was that he did not know the source of the money to pay Stormy Daniels. Are there others that are now identified as lies?

KESSLER: Well, we are certainly calling the election claims lies. I mean, the issue always with lie is, you know, you have to get into someone's head and determine whether or not they actually believe what they are saying. And we did create a category called bottomless Pinocchio, where he -- we identified times where he said things over and over, scores of times, even though it had been fact-checked as false. That's about as close as we got to a lie. There were about 56 of those right now.

But certainly, in the case of the election, I mean, he may have convinced himself that he really won. It's really hard to tell with him. He lives it often in his own alternative reality and we just found the word lie was a bit of a conversation stopper.

But, you know, clearly that the -- when people, you know, raid the Capitol based on something that is totally and completely false as affirmed by judges across the country, you can call that a lie.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Let me ask you about the president-elect. He made a lot of pretty dramatic claims in his speech on Thursday, Thursday evening. I understand that your team reached out to him and just compare and contrast the reaction and response you got from the incoming administration to what you've gotten over the last several years.

KESSLER: Well, in the case of the Biden-Harris transition team, we asked -- we identified five factual statements he made. You know, interesting claims that we wanted to know if they -- what was the basis for this. Within 15 minutes, we received citations to those factual statements and they all checked out.


KESSLER: Generally, the Trump White House almost never responded to our queries, because, of course, a lot of what the president said could not be defended or explained in terms of where he got these so- called facts.

I assume the Biden -- you know, I did five years of Obama, and I assume the Biden presidency will be a lot like the Obama presidency, and that they will be responsive, and will be able to quickly back up what they're saying. And occasionally, the president will go off- kilter, particularly when he's, you know, speaking extemporaneously and not following something that previously -- has previously been fact-checked.

BLACKWELL: 30,000 false or misleading claims in four years. Glenn Kessler, thank you so much for what you and your team there at The Post do and have done over the last -- not just four years, but years beyond that. And thank you for your time this morning.

KESSLER: You're welcome.

BLACKWELL: All right. Christi?

PAUL (on camera): So, the U.S. Capitol is being fortified ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, trying to make sure what happened 10 days ago can't happen again.

Another way to prevent another riot, of course, is prosecuting the people who are responsible. And investigators are working really hard right now to find out how security went so wrong that day. Here is CNN's Ryan Nobles.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still dealing with the fallout from the riots that took place on Capitol Hill on January 6th. Then, she announced this week that she is going to ask Russell Honore, the general who came in to help with Katrina recovery when things were falling apart in New Orleans to oversee looking into questions as to exactly what went wrong on the Capitol as it relates to security on that day.

The Speaker being asked by a number of her members to appoint an independent commission to look into it. And a variety of other things, this is the first step that the Speaker plans to take.

Now, this comes against the backdrop of the impeachment proceedings that just took place this week. House Democrats along with a handful of Republicans impeaching President Trump for the second time. The question is when will the Senate take up those articles of impeachment? Pelosi indicating that she plans to send those articles to the Senate sometime next week. It seems likely that they won't be in the Senate until after the Senate majority is in the hands of Democrats. The question though remains, will there be enough Republicans that will join with Democrats to ultimately convict President Trump?

The current Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who won't be the majority leader for much longer could hold the keys to whether or not that becomes a reality. It's something we may not get the answer to until after the inauguration, is in the rearview mirror.

Ryan Nobles, CNN, Washington.

BLACKWELL: We'll now hearing from some of the officers who were attacked by the mob at the Capitol, a couple of weeks back.


MICHAEL FANONE, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA METROPOLITAN POLICE: And I was just, you know, trying to fight as best I could. I remember like guys were stripping me in my gear, these rioters pulling my badge off my chest. They ripped my radio off of -- off my vest, started pulling like ammunition magazines from their holder on my belt.

And then, some guys started getting a hold of my gun and they were screaming out, you know, killing with his own gun.

It was just like the sheer number of rioters. I mean, the force that was coming from, you know, from that side, it was difficult to offer any resistance when you're only about 30 guys going up against 15,000.

A lot of people have asked me, you know, my thoughts on the individuals in the crowd that, you know, that help me or try to offer some assistance. And I think, kind of the conclusion I've come to is like, you know, thank you, but -- you for being there.


PAUL: Officer Fanone says he tried to appeal to the mob's humanity by yelling that look, I've got kids. And when he did that, he says a smaller group of people formed a circle around him and protected him. He also reports seeing rioters use weapons such as batons and tear gas which he believes they took from police officers.

And we, of course, have more for you on what's happening at the Capitol in the aftermath as we follow that. And even before becoming vice president-elect as we look ahead to the inauguration, Kamala Harris's journey from California to Washington was a historic one.


PAUL: We're taking a closer look at her. Some things maybe you didn't know. Stay close.


BLACKWELL: America's biggest gun lobby group, the NRA has filed for bankruptcy. The group has more than 5 million members. It recently faced leadership shake-ups and allegations of financial mismanagement.

A New York's attorney general filed a lawsuit last August, accusing the NRA's senior leadership of using millions of dollars for personal expenses and tax fraud.

PAUL: Now, the NRA says it plans to reincorporate in Texas and it will do so as a non-profit. The group says it's still in a strong financial position and calls the move, "a pathway to opportunity, growth, and progress."

Listen, in just four days, Kamala Harris is making history as the first woman, the first African-American, and the first South Asian American to be elected vice president.


BLACKWELL: And tomorrow night, CNN senior political correspondent Abby Phillip will host an hour-long special to report on her groundbreaking journey. Here's a look at her career before becoming a senator.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): After a historic run-off with her mother standing by her side, Harris became the first Black and Southeast Asian woman D.A. in San Francisco.

Former advisor Debbie Mesloh remembers Harris was not going to cherish the victory sitting down because she couldn't.

DEBBIE MESLOH, FORMER ADVISOR: No desk, no chair, no filing cabinets, nothing. It was just very Kamala, just to grab a chair from the reception and just start working.

PHILLIP: The work would get serious, fast.

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I got the call that a police officer had been killed in the line of duty.

PHILLIP: 29-year-old Isaac Espinoza was gunned down in the gang-ridden neighborhood of Bayview.

MESLOH: Isaac was an amazing cop. He is the type of person that you would hope would be out there protecting your community.

PHILLIP: An arrest was made the next day, but the sting of Espinoza's death got worse when Harris made an unexpected announcement only three days after the shooting.

HARRIS: In San Francisco, it is the will, I believe, of the majority of people that the most severe crimes being met with the most severe consequences. And that life without possibility of parole is a severe consequence. PHILLIP: In an op-ed published, a week after the funeral, Harris said in part, "The district attorney is charged with seeking justice, not vengeance. I am bound by oath and law to make decisions about what charges to bring -- not based on emotion, anger, or politics, within 48 hours of a suspect's arrest."


BLACKWELL: Be sure to watch CNN tomorrow night for an in-depth look at Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her historic journey. CNN's Abby Phillip host the CNN SPECIAL REPORT, Sunday, at 10:00 p.m.

PAUL: I know, with all of the news lately and this whole past year 2020, it's easy to lose hope after a year of living with this. My next guest says it's the lack of hope though that will destroy us.

My conversation, very candid with bestselling author and pastor Max Lucado is just ahead. Stay close.



PAUL: I know a lot of us feel like we are just a bundle of raw nerves, aren't we, after nearly a year of stay-at-home measures and quarantines.


MAX LUCADO, PASTOR, OAK HILLS CHURCH: It seems to me that the -- that the whole of our community is just standing on the edge, ready to jump, and to make decisions that we're going to regret.


PAUL: Can you relate to that? Well, the coronavirus taught us all something certainly. And I've been asking people about what I call the reset. What have you learned about yourself and your priorities? What have you learned about your life? And for some, it's been a struggle with faith.

Viewers have said to me, why does God let this happen? Well, I asked, pastor and New York Times bestselling author Max Lucado about that.


LUCADO: Faith is trusting in someone we've never seen and that is so very, very difficult to do. And I would apologize on behalf of the faith community, to those who struggle with faith and say, well, you always sound like you have it all together? The truth is we don't. We don't.

And we're all doing our very best to trust. God never did promise the absence of struggle, but he always promised to use our struggles, our tribulations to bring about good things. And the scripture says that God will comfort us in our afflictions so that someday we can comfort others.

And so, pay careful attention to what you're going through, because you're really you're enrolled in, in a boot camp of sorts. And God is preparing you for a way that he's going to use you in the future.


PAUL: And this is something he addresses in his new book, Begin Again. It speaks to this notion that God's developing us through these struggles. Now, I pointed out to him patience to push through is so hard, particularly, depending on what you've been through. Here is what he said about how patience serves us.


LUCADO: We forget that before Moses was a great leader, he spent 40 years in the wilderness. Before Joseph was the prime minister of Egypt, he spent at least two years in prison, not knowing if he would ever be released in 10 years as a slave in Egypt.

We forget that these great stories in the bible were often preceded by extended periods of waiting.


PAUL: And Max says holding out a hope may feel impossible right now, but it is the key to healing.


LUCADO: First of all, we realize that plan-b is disastrous. The lack of a hope will destroy us. Don't assume that the -- that the presence of problems suggests the absence of God. The big news of the bible is that God never gives up on us. We, we turn away from Him, but he never gives up on us.


PAUL: So, tell me how the coronavirus and quarantine has changed you. I'd love to hear your stories, your approach to life. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I'd love to hear about your reset.

BLACKWELL: All right, after the break, we are going live to the Capitol where thousands -- tens of thousands of National Guard troops are already on patrol there. And the city prepares for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president.


BLACKWELL: What's being done to guarantee peace on Wednesday? That's next.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The American Capitol now a fortress. Unprecedented scenes as Washington and the country brace for more violence.

PENCE: The American people can be confident we're going to ensure that we have a safe inauguration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are seeing an extensive amount of concerning online chatter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a guy ripping my mask off. No, he was practically foaming at the mouth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More than 2 million people have now died from coronavirus.

BIDEN: The vaccine roll out in the United States has been a dismal failure.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We were a bit too rigid. We were not getting the vaccine doses out in the most efficient manner.