Return to Transcripts main page
New Day Saturday
Biden Leaves Impeachment Details To Congress And Focuses On Agenda; Biden Administration To Overhaul U.S. Approach To Domestic Extremism; Homeland Security Pauses Some Deportations For 100 Days; States Struggle As Demand For Vaccine Outpaces Supply; QAnon Believers Look For What's Next; Protests In Support Of Jailed Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny Sweep Across Russia. Aired 7-8a ET
Aired January 23, 2021 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announcing the trial will begin the week of February.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody wants an impeachment at the start of a new administration where you're hoping to turn over a new leaf.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are millions of Americans out there who believe that the election was stolen, and they believe it because Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans told them that. So, now they've got this Frankenstein monster that is raging in the village and they don't know what to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: January is now the second deadliest month for Coronavirus. So far, more than 64,000 deaths recorded more than 8300 in just the previous two days underscoring the need to improve vaccine distribution.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our biggest limiting factor right now is vaccine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the lack of candor, to the lack of facts in some cases over the last year cost lives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, it very likely did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND, with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Hope the sun is coming up wherever you happen to be this morning. Good morning to you. Former President Trump is going on trial for a historic second time. And we know now it is happening on February 9th, Monday, though, House Democrats are going to walk over the single charge of incitement of insurrection to the Senate. Now, the trial will begin Two weeks later, that's after Senate leaders reached a deal to delay it. VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Let's talk about President Biden he's attempting to push ahead with his agenda, taking some executive action to address the pandemic and the economic crisis, expanding food aid and raising the minimum wage for federal workers. Getting closer to that saying that we need to act like we're in a national emergency.
Another urgent matter of fixing this vaccine rollout. A new study finds about six in 10 Americans don't know when, they don't know where to get a shot. And governors say, they need help sorting out the vaccine distribution mess.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SPENCER COX (R-UT): Look, we shouldn't this shouldn't be the Hunger Games like it was with PPE.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Let's start with CNN Congressional Reporter Daniella Diaz on Capitol Hill. So, the article of impeachment we know is set to be delivered on Monday to the Senate kind of talk us through how this will happen.
DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Totally right, Victor. We have a date. We know that the article judgment will be walked over Monday night, and then the trial will actually take place two weeks after. Now, McConnell wanted a trial mid to late February. Schumer compromised, did the second week of February.
February 9th is when the first trial, the day of the first trial is going to begin. Now, this gives Trump's lawyers time to build a defense, to defend him in court. Impeachment managers will also have time to prepare their case. This is why this is important, Victor.
PAUL: Daniella Diaz, thank you very much. So, while the Senate is moving closer to an impeachment trial, the Biden administration is trying to keep the focus on the President's agenda.
BLACKWELL: Yes, CNN White House Reporter Jasmine Wright is with us now. The Biden administration pushing aggressively for COVID relief package. Of course, you've got the cabinet confirmations. That impeachment trial, if it were to have started on Tuesday, really could have slowed those plans down.
JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Listen, Victor, it could have slowed it down. But Joe Biden, President Joe Biden was given more time, and that's more time to consider those nominees, those Cabinet nominees and eventually get some confirmed possibly.
That's also more time for those discussions to take place with bipartisan members of the Senate and the hill on that $1.9 trillion Coronavirus package that Biden and his administration are intent on passing in those first few weeks. Now, Biden was asked about this potential delay before the decision was made yesterday in the White House. Take a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you support Mitch McConnell's timeline for a February impeachment trial?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I haven't heard the detail of it. But I do think having some time to get our demonstration up and running, the more time we have to get up and running and meet these crises, the better.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WRIGHT: Now, Biden and his team have been focused on getting first hit those national security as well as those Treasury nominees confirmed. And so far, Biden has only had two out of 23 of his cabinet nominees confirmed. He entered his tenure as president on Wednesday with none of his cabinet confirmed. That is unusual. Now, as well as it gives those time is because we as -- as well as that delay gives time for those nominees to confirm it also gives delay for that legislative action that I spoke about earlier. And that will create time for him to have those bipartisan conversations.
Now Biden is looking to pass this $1.9 trillion coronavirus package. But in the interim in the fact that he doesn't have those votes just yet doesn't have that package just yet, he is leading really by executive action. So far, he has passed 30 executive actions from the White House and those are centered on things like coronavirus at the economy as well as equity, including passing, excuse me, invoking the defense production act that speeds up creating the supplies to get those vaccines into people's arms to get those shots into people's arms, something that the Biden administration says that they are concerned about and wanting to do.
So, again, this is Biden getting more time to make sure that he can get those folks in place and get those initial conversations and to start his administration off on the right foot. Victor, Christi.
BLACKWELL: Two weeks. Jasmine Wright there for us in Washington. Thank you.
PAUL: Thank you, Jasmine. So, Thomas Kaplan, National Political Reporter for The New York Times is with us now. Thomas, good to see you. I want to focus on a headline that is in New York Times since that is, of course your territory. Headline this morning is that President Trump, former President Trump, and DOJ Attorney Jeffrey Clark allegedly formulated some plan to oust the acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, put Clark in that position, and then use the DOJ power to try to influence the Georgia, the Georgia election, actually forcing lawmakers in that state to overturn the numbers that came in. What do you know?
THOMAS KAPLAN, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: It's really a shocking story, a great scoop by my colleague, Katie Benner, and it just is a reminder that even though President Trump is out of office now, there's much more we're going to learn in the coming days and weeks and months ahead about this period between the election and President Biden's inauguration.
And as much as this was such a tumultuous period, this is just another episode, you can think about how much worse that tumble could have been. I mean, had there been essentially mass resignations at the Justice Department, just think of the chaos that would have brought what was already quite a chaotic process.
PAUL: So, I want to talk about the timeline for this impeachment, we know that the articles are going to be taken to the Senate or the one article on, on Monday. Tuesday, there's the swearing in of Senators, the issuance of summons. And then this two-week break for the legal briefs. There are two notable things here, I think for a majority leader Schumer at this point. First of all, there were some Republicans who have complained that this impeachment was being expedited.
That gives them a chance now to get, to get the legal briefs in order at the end of the day, they can get the chance to reveal any witnesses that they might have. It gives President Trump a chance to assemble his defense team. And it affords the Senate some time to make some of these confirmations of his cabinet secretaries. How solid a win is this for Majority Leader Schumer?
KAPLAN: Well, it certainly undercuts the Republican argument that this this is being rushed quickly that it's a political stunt. And that's important, because we saw that argument already from some Republicans, and that would have been problematic. for Democrats. It's also very helpful for President Biden in that it gives some space to confirm more Cabinet nominees, this is still a tricky situation for Biden, because once the trial begins, I think it's really doubtful you're going to see the Senate making much progress on anything else.
But at least, it provides a window to build out his team to get a few more cabinet officials in place, and that's certainly important as he takes office and tries to hit the ground running.
PAUL: I wanted to ask you about what happened there to his agenda on February 9th. Let's listen together to Senator Lindsey Graham, something that he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): If you want to impeach the president, we're going to do it like we've always done it. We're not going to we're not going to split the day, at least that would, unless as the business of the Senate, once we go into it, they are chosen to do this, they're choosing to do this. We're going to do it the way we've always done it. We've never split the day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: All right, so talk to me about what that means for Biden's agenda. Does it just essentially stall as of February 9th?
KAPLAN: I mean, that's what we might be looking at. I mean, granted this, this could be a fairly brief trial, this probably won't drag on for many weeks. That being said, if you think about how difficult it was to pass the last stimulus package, I mean, that went on for months and months and months. This is the big thing Biden wants to do. He wants to pass another stimulus package, and that's not the kind of thing that you're going to be able to make serious progress on as a trial is going on.
That's good. That's a really heavy lift to especially if you try to do it in a bipartisan way as he wants to. So, I think you have to sort of assume you have two weeks now, confirm more cabinet nominees try to make progress on the stimulus on COVID, and then essentially things shut down for a trial, in large part. And then after the trial, is when Biden would be able to get back to legislating.
PAUL: So, what about where does his economic plan stand at this point?
KAPLAN: Well, I mean, first, we've seen some resistance from Republicans purely on the size of the package. The big question, I think, now, first off, is Biden ran on bipartisanship, bringing the parties together. He certainly wants to pass something in a bipartisan way. But that won't be easy, and whether he'll be able to get the 60 votes you need, if you're going to pass things in a bipartisan way.
Now, there's another approach, he could take a go it alone, Democrats only approach, and we'll see if he moves on to that track. But this is not going to be a fast thing. This is a really ambitious undertaking. We've seen how difficult it's been in the past to get these big packages through Congress. So, it's going to take some time. But as the President has said, he wants urgent action given the state of the virus. So, it's certainly a tough political situation he's in at the outset.
PAUL: But President Biden signed about 30 executive orders in a matter of 48 hours. Is that a signal of do you think of his aspirations of what he wants to do? Or is that his way of wiping the slate clean of everything President Trump left for him?
KAPLAN: I think it's both of those things. Certainly, wiping the slate clean, or at least trying to chip away at the Trump legacy in the ways that he can, using executive authority. It's also trying to do what he can with his own power without Congress, just as the challenge sort of awaits to pass a big package through Congress, and you really need to do that to do a lot of the far-reaching things he wants to do.
There are some smaller but meaningful things he can do on his own, and he's trying to project action right out of the gate. I think with this flurry of executive actions over the past few days, he has done that, but there are limits to what you can do purely through his own power.
PAUL: Yes. And we'll have to see how the power in the senate works out as well as they go through this sharing of good power sharing agreement. Thomas Kaplan, good to have you with us, sir. Thank you.
KAPLAN: Thank you. BLACKWELL: We're going to talk a bit more about that about how the White House is now reversing some of President Trump's policies. We're talking immigration, climate crisis, also national security, we're going to talk about the approach.
PAUL: Also, there's a new poll showing more people do want to get vaccinated. There's a new study suggesting however 60 percent of the population -- people don't know where to go or how to get it.
BLACKWELL: President Biden is pushing for a bipartisan path forward on his $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal despite already some Republican objections.
PAUL: CNN Senior White House Correspondent Phil Mattingly walks us through the talks.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
BIDEN: We need more action, and we need to move fast.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Joe Biden in his second full day in office zeroing in on the second major crisis facing his administration, a teetering economy.
BRIAN DEESE, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: Now is a moment not to undershoot or to wait and see now's a moment to act.
MATTINGLY: With new weekly unemployment claims still hovering just shy of one million, Biden unveiling a pair of executive orders. One, that would expand food assistance speed up, distribution of stimulus checks, and expand eligibility for unemployment benefits for workers who refuse jobs due to unsafe working conditions.
BIDEN: We're in a national emergency. We need to act like we're in a national emergency. So, we've got to move with everything we've got, and we got to do it together.
MATTINGLY: And one that lays the groundwork for a $15.00 minimum wage for federal workers. The executive orders capping a week of more than two dozen actions to try and ramp up or completely reverse his predecessor's efforts to deal with the same issues.
But it's the White House grapples with a cascade of economic and public health crises, concern that it's sweeping $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has already run into partisan roadblocks with conservatives and moderate Republicans alike blanching at the price tag.
The White House despite its flurry of executive actions, remains unbound in its push.
DEESE: We're at a precarious moment for the virus and the economy. Without decisive action, we risk falling into a very serious economic hole, even more serious than the crisis we find ourselves in.
MATTINGLY: But it's an immediate and potentially seismic challenge for a president who has made clear that bipartisanship is his preferred route. Still, a signal that some of the log jam is starting to break on at least one issue -- the president's cabinet. Retired General Lloyd Austin confirmed as Defense Secretary, the first Black leader of the Pentagon in U.S. history. With Democrats saying Janet Yellen and Antony Blinken, Biden's picks for Treasury in the State Department will follow in short order, a team coming together, and the stakes only get higher by the day.
BIDEN: We have the tools to get through this. We have the tools to get this virus under control, and our economy back on track. We have the tools to help people. So, let's use the tools. All of them, use them now.
MATTINGLY: And the urgency of the moment whether on the public health side or on the economic side is underscored by what the Biden administration is trying to do on the legislative front, making very clear the President on down that they want a bipartisan legislative package, might not be the $1.9 trillion they've proposed, but they want something some Democrats on Capitol Hill don't believe there will be Republican support for anything. They want to go their own way but make no mistake about it.
President Biden made clear during the campaign, he wants to be somebody who makes bipartisan deals he believes his experience and why he was elected is because he can make bipartisan deals. So, at this point in time behind the scenes, officials throughout the administration are working with lawmakers working with staff trying to create some type of space some type of path forward to a COVID relief deal, whether that actually happens?
Well, we'll have to wait and see at least for now, they've got some time and some space before an impeachment trial, whether that ends up in a final deal, only time will tell. Phil Mattingly, CNN, the White House.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
BLACKWELL: And President Biden is also moving swiftly to dismantle the previous president's policies on national security, foreign policy, climate crisis, immigration, and national security, domestic terrorism will be a significant focus in the aftermath of the Capitol Hill riots. Let's bring in now CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen.
And, Peter, good morning to you. Let's start there, because you told one of my producers, that you're seeing some elements that maybe most people would not recognize. We heard that the President is asking the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to, to assess the threat of domestic violent extremism. But there's some other moves happening that show how seriously this administration is taking domestic terrorism. What do you see? PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Good morning, Victor. Um, well, I think it's important that the White House is creating a couple of new jobs, pretty senior levels, to really look at the question of far-right extremism. They have brought on Russ travers, who is the former head of the National Counterterrorism Center and spent a long time in counterterrorism and also Josh Kelser, who is a Senior Former Top Counterterrorism Official. And they're going to be at the White House on the National Security Council. And yes, that's really the first time we've seen that.
So, much more of an emphasis. And the emphasis is warranted. If you look at the actual number of lethal terrorist attacks carried out by far-right extremists, they are the most lethal threat to the United States, followed by Jihadist terrorists, and then way down below that is at you know, basically Antifa-inspired terrorism, which is really a really very minor problem, compared to the right-wing problem, and the jihadist terrorism remains a problem. But Victor, we're seeing the lowest number of jihadist terrorism cases in more than a decade last year. So, the focus is rightly on right wing extremist terrorism, because that's where the threat is coming from.
BLACKWELL: You support the President's called for domestic terror statute. He wrote as much for CNN.com. But I want to read this to you from the head of the ACLU's National Security Project, it calls that a misguided response. So, let's put it up on the screen that Congress created a federal definition of domestic terrorism in the Patriot Act that has been used to disproportionately and unjustly targeted Black and Brown people for surveillance, investigation and prosecution.
The Trump administration use these same authorities to monitor people protesting police brutality and protesting the administration's separation of immigrant families. What's your take on, on the application of such a statute and the concern that it could be used to go after minority communities?
BERGEN: Well, I mean, I think it's a very legitimate concern. And there's all sorts of First Amendment problems also with the federal terrorism statute, because you know, it's illegal for me to support ISIS in any shape or form. But it's not necessarily legal for me to support any kind of extremist kind of ideology in the United States that isn't a foreign terrorist organization. So, you have to be very careful about the free speech issues.
But that said, you know, I think in some cases, it would be useful for prosecutors to have federal domestic terrorism statute. You know, just think about any number of right-wing extremists or other kinds of extremists. You've carried out science in the United States. Usually, they end up getting charged with murder or attempted murder or manslaughter. But you know, it would get prosecuted something else in that toolkit if it was a federal terrorism statute, domestically, which there is not right now.
BLACKWELL: We -- we've learned in the days since January 6th, that about a dozen of those, at least those arrested thus far have some military service in their background or military veterans. You've suggested that there should be a strategy like going after the Jihadists after 9/11. How do you do that with members of the military? Is it vetting? Is it clearances as some members of the Congress have suggested tying any involvement to a loss and veterans' benefits, what's your take?
BERGEN: Again, yes, this is a tricky one. I mean, the fact that there are quite a number of military veterans in the people who've been charged with insurrection at the Capitol, you know, it's pretty disturbing. On the other hand, you know, there are two million people in the armed forces. So, you know, it's, it's a large group of people. And this is a, you know, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny minority.
You know, how do you deal with that going forward? You know, I think that's up to unit commanders to some degree to be cognizant of who's in that unit. And then obviously, if they're retired, you know, that's a whole other issue. But the FBI does have a lot of tools in the toolkit to look at people who are radicalizing. It's not, by the way, of course, illegal in this country to be radical, what is illegal is to carry out acts of violence.
And so, you know, the FBI certainly is always concerned about people who are kind of going down the pathway to some kind of violent activity. And there are a number of things that people typically do when they do that, which is, you know, they start casing places or they start acquiring weapons, or they, they make actual concrete steps along that pathway to violence. And that's something that the FBI has a whole kind of behavioral unit that looks at these kinds of actions.
BLACKWELL: Before we wrap let's talk immigration, because the previous administration put immigration policy at the center of National Security policy. I mean, you know, it's, it was job number one for Kirsten Nielsen. Let me ask you, what's the significance of the decision to stop down on construction of this border wall beyond the cost from a national security perspective?
BERGEN: Well, he was done victory, as you know, under the kind of aegis, that we have a national emergency and that we should therefore divert $10 billion from the Defense Department to build this wall. Well, we don't have a national emergency.
The one we have is COVID. It's not, you know, kind of illegal immigration, suddenly, that's, you know, it's an issue that we know everybody, you know, the Biden administration has a plan to, to bring in the so-called, you know, the DREAMERS, the DACA people who have been in this country have since they were children, and there's a path to citizenship, it will take eight years.
But the national emergency is clearly not building this wall. And, you know, I think, you know, many of the people who stay in this country are overstaying visas and they arrived here not by crossing the border at the wall, but by overstaying, you know, legitimate visa. So, you know, the Biden administration's putting a pause on this, I think for three months, it seems like a very reasonable pose a lot of questions about the legality of diverting money from a Defense Department to build this wall, which is one of the things I think they're going to be looking at.
BLACKWELL: All right. Peter Bergen, always good to have you, sir.
BERGEN: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Thank you.
PAUL: Still ahead. We know there's a vaccine a lot of people are saying but how do I get it? There's a new survey revealing this real information gap for people who want that protection.
PAUL (on camera): I'm wondering if you're in this camp. The Kaiser Family Foundation says six in 10 people here in the U.S. don't know when or where they can get the COVID vaccine.
BLACKWELL: Yes, but as the country struggles to get Americans vaccinated, we're learning that more doses could soon be available because Johnson & Johnson says they could submit clinical trial data to the FDA within a few weeks. And the FDA has approved a new syringe that can extract an additional dose from each Pfizer vaccine vial. CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Ashley Bennett never got to hold her 10th child in her arms. The South Carolina mother died due to COVID-19 after her entire family tested positive for the virus, and one week after delivering her baby by emergency C- section.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COURTNEY BUCKNAM: SISTER DIED DUE TO COVID-19: If we can learn anything from this, you know, the COVID is so serious and we need to, you know, truly take precautions because she was only 36. She had no underlying conditions and she was gone basically in 10 days.
SANDOVAL: Bennett's case added to a national death rate that remains alarmingly high. California reported its deadliest day on Friday. There is, however, a glimpse of hope with new data showing a downward trend in hospitalizations nationwide. The seven-day average for new cases has also reached its lowest point since early December, and the average for the national test positivity rate fell below 10 percent the second consecutive day in weeks. One of President Biden's coronavirus advisors worries any respite may be temporary.
CELINE GOUNDER, FORMER MEMBER, BIDEN-HARRIS TRANSITION COVID ADVISORY BOARD: You're going to see people traveling again, probably, for spring break in March and April. And that is exactly when we expect that these variants, in particular, the U.K. variant to really have taken hold in the U.S.
SANDOVAL: Some are concerned that new variants could cause new surges faster than vaccines are being distributed. Lines are long even for those lucky enough to register to get a shot.
ELIZABETH DURHAM, WAITED HOURS TO GET VACCINATED: I was very disheartened when I did get to the door and they took us in to get our shots with that many people sitting out -- standing outside. They had five people administering the shots.
SANDOVAL: Houston health officials report 1,600 appointment slots to get first vaccine doses booked in about five minutes. Extremely limited vaccine supplies are also being reported elsewhere across the country.
GOV. PHIL MURPHY (D-NJ): So, we've got 275 distribution points already in the state up and running. Six mega sites. Our problem right now is dose supply. If the FEMA sites were set up with supply, that would make a huge difference.
SANDOVAL: Walmart, the nation's largest retailer expanding COVID-19 vaccinations to seven more states. Chicago and Puerto Rico possibly helping accelerate distribution.
The man nominated to serve as the nation's next surgeon general hopes authorization of other vaccine candidates can provide a desperately needed boost to production.
DR. VIVEK MURTHY, UNITED STATES SURGEON GENERAL NOMINEE: The supply will increase over the coming months as they bring more and more production online for the Pfizer and for the Moderna vaccine.
MURTHY: It is possible that another vaccine may come into the mix. If the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the AstraZeneca vaccine come through with strong data, and they're authorized by the FDA, then, we could see more vaccine from them on the market.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL (on camera): And here at New York State's largest vaccination site, they are anxiously awaiting for their next allotment of vaccines.
Now, here's a key number to watch to, Victor and Christi, the number of confirmed cases in that U.K. variant, the CDC reporting that number so far a little under 200. But they are confident that it's likely much higher with many cases still not confirmed.
The top three states seen the highest numbers: California, Florida, and here in New York.
PAUL: Polo Sandoval, stay safe there. Be well.
BLACKWELL: The QAnon conspiracy theory fizzled when President Biden took the oath of office. And a lot of people were confused, then angry, they thought the storm was coming. Well, experts say that makes them prime targets for other extremist groups looking to add to their ranks. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PAUL: Well, the pro-Trump conspiracy group, QAnon has splintered in the days following President Biden's inauguration.
BLACKWELL: There's some followers are questioning what they believed, but others are now refusing to bow to reality.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JITARTH JADEJA, FORMER QANON FOLLOWER: It's like any kind of doomsday cult in the sense that when the doomsday never arrives, in this case, the storm, it just keeps getting pushed back and pushed back and pushed back.
For QAnon, specifically, while they want martial law, at the -- at this moment they think it will happen automatically, but they might think that they are the storm, and start acting in a way that brings about martial law. That's the real danger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: With us now to take a closer look at what's been happening with QAnon believers in the days since the inauguration is Jared Holt. He's a visiting fellow at the Atlantic Council's digital forensics research lab, a lab analyzes disinformation and misinformation on the web.
Jared, thanks for being with us. You know, I read some of the reporting and saw some of the posts as the afternoon grew into the evening on the 20th. The people who just were befuddled that the storm didn't occur, where are they now? Are they pushing back the line? Are they kicking it down the road or are they leaving this conspiracy all together?
JARED HOLT, VISITING RESEARCH FELLOW, ATLANTIC COUNCIL: Well, it's a bit of a mix. You know, you've got the sort of core group of QAnon believers that are likely to keep thinking that Q is real to the grave. But you've got a fairly significant portion, and in all of my years covering QAnon, probably, the largest portion I've seen before really kind of questioning the belief system.
When Joe Biden was sworn in as president, the time on the clock which they kept pushing back and pushing back for this storm to take effect effectively ran out.
PAUL: So, I want to read something that was in your article because it was really interesting. You wrote that in one Telegram channel with more than 18,400 members, QAnon believers were split between those still urging others to "trust the plan" and those saying they felt betrayed. "It's obvious now we've been had. No plan, no Q, nothing," wrote one user.
And you mentioned that you've never seen this level of disillusionment from QAnon members. Talk to us more not just about their reactions, but what are they talking about doing next?
HOLT: You know, you've got some individuals who are trying to look outside of QAnon. Currently, there is talk about trying to get even more involved than the movement already was in different electoral politics or conservative organizing.
You've got some people leaving, and then you've also got other extremist groups, you know, some of the more hardcore stuff like the neo-Nazi groups, the white supremacist groups trying to, you know, pull QAnon towards their direction too.
So, it's kind of a big mess right now. And in that big mess, you know, there's also -- there is as many chances are there for de- radicalization. There's also a lot of threats that some of the individuals who believe this conspiracy theory could get a lot more serious and a lot more dangerous.
BLACKWELL: Jared, is there a financial arm of all of this? I mean, I've been wondering who is making the money, because more than flags and t-shirts, this could be a financial boon for someone or something. Do you know what that is?
HOLT: You know, something I've talked about in the past is that it's hard to exactly quantify how many people believe in this conspiracy theory. But something I usually talk about a lot is that QAnon is big enough it's -- there's a micro-industry built around it. There's all kinds of different media personalities, different vendors selling things like t-shirts, different web sites that serve to make money from the traffic.
So, a lot of people are making money off of leading masses of people into this, you know, alternative reality, this false construct of what the government is, and what's happening within it.
PAUL: So, when you mention that they're looking at the potential of solidifying the movement, even more, when you've got people saying there was no plan, there was no Q, there was nothing. What is the movement and who is the leader?
HOLT: Well, QAnon has always been a decentralized movement. There's, you know, aside from the Q postings online themselves that sort of inform and guide the way others talk about it, there's not one central figure that stands to gain.
HOLT: That figure in the past was Trump because he was the protagonist of it all. He was, you know, what the conspiracy was working to serve. But in the future, I think we're going to see it split up into more despondent isolated groups.
QAnon's in an umbrella, it contains a bunch of different conspiracy theories within its range, you know, with topics from everything, from 5G cell phone towers to vaccines, to you know, UFOs in some cases.
So, I think all of those different conspiracy theories are likely to kind of form within themselves and push forward in different directions.
PAUL: It is something. All right, well, Jared Holt, we appreciate you sharing your insight with us and what you've -- what you've read what you've seen. Thank you so much.
HOLT: Thanks for having me.
BLACKWELL: There are thousands of people on the streets of Moscow in support of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. We're going to take you there in just a moment as they demand his release.
BLACKWELL: There are protests and rallies happening in support of detained Kremlin opposition leader Alexei Navalny all across Russia this morning. They are in defiance of authorities and freezing temperatures.
Navalny went back to Russia after recovering the -- from being poisoned by a nerve agent, an attack likely ordered by the Kremlin.
PAUL: Yes, and we are learning this morning the coordinator of Navalny's Moscow office has also been detained by police ahead of the -- a protest in Russia's capital.
Take a look at that there. Estimated about 4,000 people at that rally for him.
The affairs minister has -- foreign affairs minister has accused the U.S. of encouraging the protests, after the American embassy in Russia posted an alert on its web site, advising U.S. citizens to avoid the demonstrations.
BLACKWELL: And President Biden has made his first calls to world leaders to the north and the South of the U.S.
PAUL: Yes, yesterday, he spoke with the president of Mexico and the Canadian prime minister, talking about a range of topics from immigration and trade to the pandemic.
Here is CNN's Paula Newton with details.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): President Joe Biden returned the United States really to something of normalcy. He made his first foreign call to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Apparently, it was a warm, friendly call but also substantive.
The leaders agreed that fighting the pandemic would be their shared top priority. They also discussed trade issues and that's sure to be an irritant with many allies coming up in the next few weeks and months.
Joe Biden is committed to a Buy America program, and he's certainly going to be much more protectionist perhaps than in other administrations. Having said that, Joe Biden apparently in this call went out of his way to say that look, America was back in terms of having that goal of multilateralism that it would continue to work with allies on things like climate change. And that it was definitely going to be a new approach and that he hoped it would be a productive one.
Interesting here as well as the two leaders agreed to meet next month. Now, of course, that meeting might be virtual. But they didn't rule out the fact that they might have an in-person meeting. Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.
PAUL: Paula, thank you so much.
You know, from the unique challenges facing the Biden administration today to the legacy of Donald Trump, how will history view this unprecedented and unprecedented time that we are living in together here?
Tune in for the new CNN special report, "LIVING HISTORY" with Anderson Cooper, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Ken Burns. That is tonight at 11:00 p.m.
BLACKWELL: Winter weather alerts have been issued in parts of the Midwest this morning.
PAUL: Yes, we're talking about multiple storms expected to move through the region over the next couple of days. CNN's Allison Chinchar has been tracking the weather system. What's it look like, Allison?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it looks like January but that's OK, it should. Yes, good morning, guys.
So, let's take a look. We've got snow a couple of different systems here that are going to bring snow essentially from California all the way over to Michigan. Now, some of it's going to be light, the heavier locations where you're likely going to see several inches of accumulation, those are highlighted here with all these winter weather alerts that you see in pink and purple.
And that's not just for today, but also tomorrow and even in some places through Monday, because again, multiple systems making their way through. Today, the main focus is going to be across portions of the Midwest with this first system, and then, at second system that's making its way in through the West Coast.
By tomorrow, that system that was in the west coast now begins to focus on the central U.S., bringing some heavy snow and even some rain there. By the time we get to Monday, look at a lot of the heavy rain that really starts to surge into portions of the southeast and the mid-Atlantic. But just on the northern fringe of that, that's where you have the potential for some snowfall.
Again, out to the west, most of these areas likely to pick up about two to four inches. Obviously, when you get higher in elevation, you could see as much as a foot of snow come down.
Farther to the east, that area basically including Omaha, maybe over towards Peoria, Illinois, that's where you're really going to see the bulls' eye in terms of snow the next few days.
But other areas even like Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis also likely to get several inches of snow. And on the south side, we are talking about rain. Here is the thing, some cities in the south have actually had more snow this year than cities in the north.
Take, for example, Amarillo Texas has had 15 inches of snow so far this year. That's more than Chicago, more than Cincinnati, more than St. Louis have had. Even Shreveport, Louisiana picking up three inches is more than Washington, D.C. has had this time of year which is zero.
Now, here is the other concern and this is going to be ice. We do have that narrow swath of ice stretching from portions of Nebraska, all the way over through -- towards Philadelphia.
Hopefully, most of this will in turn come down as either snow or rain, but you will have to be careful of some of that ice, especially, when dealing with the roads. No one likes to see ice on the roads.
A place where we do usually like to see ice, however, is on the Great Lakes but it's actually missing from there. We're talking record low numbers of ice on the Great Lakes. We are currently looking at ice coverage of only three percent, Victor and Christi. Three percent. That's a record daily low. This time last year, we were at 10 percent. The year before that, we were at 26 percent.
BLACKWELL: Wow. All right, Allison Chinchar, thank you.
PAUL: Stay close. Next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, announcing the trial will begin the week of February 8th.
REP. JIM HIMES (D-CT): Nobody wants an impeachment at the start of a new administration where you're hoping a turnover a new leaf.