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CNN Live Event/Special

New President on Board the White House; All Talk No Action Accomplishes Nothing; There's Time for Victory and Vengeance; CNN's Coverage Of The Inauguration Of Joe Biden; President Biden Saying Democracy Has Prevailed; Taps Played To Honor The America's Fallen. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired January 21, 2021 - 03:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST (on camera): It is a new day in America. We have a new president. Joseph R. Biden, 46th President of these United States, commander in chief taking the Oval Office on the steps of the capitol in a truly tumultuous time.

Just two weeks ago, it was violence where he stood. It was an insurrection. Our democracy's future was in doubt and now we say welcome because we are in the middle of CNN's continuing live coverage of the Biden inauguration. Chris Cuomo, the OAO, D. Lemon.


CUOMO: One and only.

LEMON: I know that. I'm just --

CUOMO: You didn't know.


CUOMO: Go ahead.

LEMON: My gosh, it's early or late for us but I'm happy to be here with you honestly.


CUOMO: The pleasure is mine.

LEMON: We have the best conversations of anyone, in any network on these overnight shows that we do together. The realist, as they say, conversation.

CUOMO: Absolute. The resell.

LEMON: The resell. President Biden telling the nation democracy has prevailed while calling for an end to America's uncivil war. We also witnessed history. Kamala Harris becoming the first woman, the first black woman, first American of Asian descent, South Asian descent to be sworn in as vice president. So much to talk about.

CUOMO: Absolutely. And look, the challenges are so great that it was helpful for the country to have the table set the way it was today, we needed to believe in the positivity of our promise because we haven't heard it in too long, we haven't felt it in too long be honest. And this isn't about left and right, it's being reasonable in the moment.

We're in the middle of a pandemic it's time for your leader to talk about, not hide from it, and for us to test the resolve of our leaders to do something other than keep themselves apart. And the president spoke that today very well as a man built for this moment.

LEMON: But look, before we get to that, just really quickly, because I think it's going to help us with this conversation but think about this. We started the three Wednesdays. I saw someone put it on social media. The first Wednesday, this insurrection. The next Wednesday, impeachment. And then you get the next Wednesday, an inauguration.


LEMON: Three Wednesday in January, can you believe?

CUOMO: I can, because we lived it and I think covered all three together but I think pace is something we lose sight of. Everything is going like this, you know, we have an expression here, nothing survives a week. You can make -- as long as there's not a criminal process attached, you can survive anything if you can just suck it up for a week.


CUOMO: And just think about it. We just went through a campaign where Biden never used the fact that the sitting president had been impeached as part of his campaign.

LEMON: Right.

CUOMO: He didn't even bring it up.

LEMON: He didn't really have to.

CUOMO: Everything happened so fast.

LEMON (on camera): But I think everything changed two Wednesdays ago, I really do, or three Wednesdays ago when that violent insurrection happened on the capitol. The president in his acceptance speech talked about that and I think that will help our conversation. Why don't we play it, and then you can I can discuss. Here it is.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy and to drive us from the sacred ground. It did not happen and it will never happen not today not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever.



LEMON (on camera): I said --

CUOMO: Never say never.

LEMON: I should've said inaugural address. But you say never say never.

CUOMO: Never say never.


CUOMO: Listen, this is fragile, brother. This is fragile what we have here. And I'll tell you what hit me watching this today because I was in a state of anxiety the first few hours. Right? Not just because I was medicated but because, you know, there were real threats here. I mean, they just ran over the capitol. The threats are not gone. Those people haven't ameliorated that condition, they are still real.

The Star-Spangled Banner is written off of the defense of Fort McHenry, OK, in Baltimore during the war of 1812. The last time that the capitol had people in it that weren't supposed to be there was 1812. And to me, as Don just said, and rightly so, it was a seminal moment. It was proof positive of things being pushed too far. And I think it was a moment where left and right could be reasonable.

You saw it on all levels, even what you would watch. There was a shift to watching us, because left and right I think got a little bit of a shock there. And obviously the blame is on side. There's no question about it.

I don't care what the reaction formation was, Trump fomented this. He had enablers that echoed it. They ignored it and thereby empowered it, they knew what he did was elicit and they made them complicit. It must be right because it rhymes.

But the bigger point was, it is fragile, it happened. People saw it coming, they still couldn't stop it. And it could happen again. And Biden is operating in that environment, and the one thing he has working for him, Don, is the pandemic perversely.


CUOMO: Because he should be able to get both sides to focus on it.

LEMON: Well, I agree with you. I think that -- I think that that happened at the capitol shook a lot of people, it shook them and woke them up to see what was happening. And that means, I really do think a lot of Republicans, a lot of enablers and supporters of the former president, I think that that moment shook people and it made this moment that you are looking at right now, all the more poignant.

And it made more people, I think, be open to this presidency, and open to listening to what Joe Biden has to say, and what he's going to do.

So, I think -- from the racist violent insurrection there -- there is something positive I think that can come out of that. And that is, as you say, we realized that our republic sometimes can -- was hanging by a thread, that our democracy is very fragile, that we have to realize that there are elements in the society that we need to deal with. And that we cannot coddle that.

We have to be honest with people to wake them up. And you know, you and I we talk about how we talk about these things. I believe in the cold, naked truth. Right? And I think that we cannot make any kind of excuses for what happened with that. There is no both sides to what happened at the capitol. It is what it is. And we've got to own every single bit of that.

And I hope, I hope, that a President Joe Biden, who has been saying all the right things about unity and working with people on what he wants to do and talking about white supremacy and racism in our society, I really hope that he can get people to understand, that we've got to work this all out together or we're going to fall apart and we're going to get back to the, as you said, in the beginning of this, you're not so sure that it's a one-off. Right?


LEMON: We have to get back to -- we've got to work on that before it happens again.

CUOMO: And now here is one of those perspectives that you can get at 3.56 Eastern, which is this. Different dynamics can take place at the same time. And yes, Joe Biden is doing what I believe he does best, having known him and watched him for a long, long time, which is, he can have you believe that it is authentic in his head in his heart, that he wants to put best efforts towards what he believe is right. And you can judge it as right or wrong yourself, but you know that he believes it, and he believe it for good reason.

At the same time, we cannot let people that enabled that, that stood up after the insurrection, OK? It's one thing if you did it before the insurrection because you just didn't believe that it was more than politics, but once you knew it was poison and you stood up and voted to endorse a lie that you know is a lie.


LEMON: Amen.

CUOMO: Ted Cruz, the best among you, the debate genius, the Ivy Leaguer, he cited polls as his proof. LEMON: Yes. Keep naming him, brother. go on.

CUOMO: You have to. And they will say, look, they don't want unity. First of all, I don't want anything. I'm not in the business of asking or dictating for things in society. I'm not elected, I'm not asking for office. I'm doing a job of being people's advocate for accountability of power.

And you don't get to go back to norms when you just abuse them for profit. So, when you want to say, I question Biden using this language, great. Great. But tell me why you didn't when I was done in vulgar and grotesque form on your president's watch from your party and said nothing. We're going to do that again? Don't you want to move forward? No, I do not sir, or madam.

I do not want to move forward because there is no progress without understanding the poison. And it is going to be hard for us, Don.


CUOMO: But people are going to get fatigue --


CUOMO: -- and it will tell us to be quiet.

LEMON: Yes. But I said it, I said it earlier. Now you want unity? Now you want to talk about what the other side should be saying and doing? What about when you were enabling a vulgar, racist, president and -- here's the thing that gets me so angry right now.

When people say, stop calling them insurrectionist, you got to be careful with your language. Stop calling them racists. You got to be careful with your language. Stop calling them seditionist. You got to be careful with your language.

Do you remember when people said that Barack Obama should call terrorism what it is. You have to say Islamic terrorism or you can't do it. Now you don't want to call people what it is? These are domestic terrorists. These are right wing domestic terrorists.

CUOMO: Right. And say that it was wrong.

LEMON: That's what it is, and say it.

CUOMO: And I know that that hurts and I know the media is going to --


LEMON: But it's the truth.

CUOMO: -- play got you with you. I know we use negativity as a proxy for insight. Everybody has to try to adjust the calibrations because we've seen where these different habits get us. And look, I've lived it. So even though I'm not an elected office, OK, when he started with the

fake news there, I came out of the box saying, let me tell you, what they called me as an Italian American? What they call me as a journalist, I said wrongly at the time, and this is one of the rules in media. You don't say this. Don't admit you made a mistake. Don't go back.

You have to because you got to show you learn. I said it, it is the n- word for journalists. It's the n-word for Italians. No, it isn't. No, it isn't. We were never enslaved. I should have never said it. I was angry and I was wrong. And Don told me right away.

And I went on and I said, you know what, I should've said that I was wrong. That word carries a legacy of hate and abuse and slavery that no other invective comes close to. I shouldn't have said it. I was angry and I was wrong, I'll never do it again. And I never have and I never would.

That's all you have to do. Yes, I took a beating. So what? It's called accountability. They won't do it. And if they don't, I'm telling you, Don, we will wind up in the same place. They will start hunting Biden, because they will say, well, you hunted us? They will start playing word games --

LEMON: Already doing it.

CUOMO: And you can't do it's. We're not strong enough.

LEMON: They are already --


CUOMO: We're not strong enough.

LEMON: They are already doing it. They are already back to Hunter Biden and laptop and --

CUOMO: Hawley says, I'm not going anywhere, I wave to people all the time.

LEMON: Yes. Yes.

CUOMO: You got an angry crowd that have signs that say we are coming for you. You stole the election.


CUOMO: You wave to them? Come on.

LEMON: They're already -- they're already back at it and talking about how you, you know, you're trying to silence this group and what about unity? And Biden was, you know, trying to --


CUOMO: They don't want unity. They want passed. They want passed. LEMON: The thing that Biden was trying to insinuate in his inaugural

address, that all white people were somehow white supremacists or whatever. I didn't get that it all. I did not get a partisan vibe from Biden's address.

CUOMO: No, he was all and today, no or.


CUOMO: He was, we are white and black, and this, and that. No or.

LEMON: Stop it. Stop it.

CUOMO: Trump was an or. They wanted to be or, he's an and. And we'll see where we go with it.


CUOMO: Look at us all fired up 3.13. Give me some knuckles.


LEMON: We got to --

CUOMO: We can do, it's all right. There you go. There you go.

LEMON: I'm just afraid it's going to be like --


CUOMO: He didn't like it because his hands are --

LEMON: No, no, no. I thought was going to be like, you know, super friends unite and things might explode.

CUOMO: Shazam (Ph).

LEMON: Or something.

CUOMO: You are a shazam (Ph) guy with the underoos wearing --

LEMON: No. I was a --

CUOMO: He was ashamed.

LEMON: What was her name?

CUOMO: That's --


LEMON: No, no. What was her name? (Inaudible) Winds which blow on high, lift me now so I can fly, almighty ISIS. I'm just kidding. That was -- I love you. You guys remember that?

CUOMO: Nobody remembers that. LEMON: Do you remember -- do you remember one woman --


CUOMO: Let's go to break.

LEMON: I always wanted to be superman.

CUOMO: I don't know what he just said. I wonder who is Zephyr, by the way.

LEMON: I want to be Batman. Because Batman was black.

CUOMO: I'll take it.

We'll be right back. Look, you got to left because we've been on the verge of tears --

LEMON: Amen.

CUOMO: -- for too long and for good reason.

LEMON: And it's three in the morning.

CUOMO: Now we have good reason to do better. Will be? We're going to talk about how they celebrated Biden as a celebration of us, next.



LEMON (on camera): And we're back. President Biden vowing to work across the aisle to get things done. But how is that supposed to work when Congress can't even approve his cabinet picks? Avril Haines, the new Director of National Intelligence is the only Biden nominee to be confirmed by the Senate.

So, joining me now three CNN political commentators, the best in the business. Angela Rye, Hilary Rosen, and Amanda Carpenter. Good evening. Good morning, thank you all for joining. I appreciate it.

Let's talk about working together in bipartisanship. Angela, we saw, you know, former presidents join the new president to forge this bipartisanship. How much do you think that that helped? Do you think that this, the optics helped here and where do we need to go from here, Ms. Rye?


ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, we are two weeks removed from a terrorist attack on the United States Capitol and it was one that was stoked by many members of the Republican Party. I will -- I recall when Harry Reid said that Donald Trump was the Republican Party's Frankenstein and I thoroughly believe that.

And so, what I think about, Don, as we sit here on, you know, reflecting on today's inauguration is Maya Angelou when she delivered the poem she delivered at Bill Clinton's inauguration, when she said good morning, and good morning was an invitation for us.

Good morning was an invitation for us to take that extra leap. That extra leap, that extra step of faith into hope, into the promise what America could and should be, and of course it starts right there at the capitol. And what that requires is not just a blindly been to, OK, it's time for us to all kiss and make up and to reconcile.

What it requires is a real reckoning with the truth. You can't legislate policy in division. You just can't. And that is what we are living in right now. There is a very divided nation, it is a very divided Congress and as a result, people really have to reckon with the truth.

And before we get to reconciliation, we've got to reckon with the truth and I think it's a spiritual journey frankly that this Congress has to be on in order for us to get to the other side. But you know what? There are people dying, 406,000 so far and counting, so that reconciliation, that reckoning before that reconciliation has to happen really quickly.

LEMON: Hilary, let's talk about reconciliation. I think Angela brings up a very good point when you think about where we are in the country, where the Congress is, the Senate, and the White House. Biden almost became the first president since at least Jimmy Carter not to win confirmation of a cabinet nominee during his first hours in office. What does that say about reconciliation, where we are, and the GOP agenda?

HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it says that we have to be skeptical, and I agree with Angela but I also think that, you know, I mean, I'm listening to a 22-year-old today who said we're not here to form a perfect union, we're here to form a union with purpose. That means we have to act.

And Joe Biden started that today, I think, with 15 executive orders and 2 agency directives and I think that, you know, the -- when the guilt and shame for some Republicans of two weeks ago wears off, I do believe they're going to go back and try and be, you know, obstructionists and push back aggressively. And that means that Joe Biden and the Democrats are going to have to be strong.

Because actually, what we stand for, minimum wage increase, fixing health care, addressing COVID, moving, you know, infrastructure spending, like actually the majority of American people want that. So, I think we have to watch out for two things. Like, we have to try and be bipartisan but the first time that they blocked these initiatives, you know, we have to be prepared to be tough.

We have to -- we have to get rid of the filibuster, we have to move legislation with our slim majority. With Kamala Harris sitting in that vice president's president of Senate seat and we have to not worry because acting is the best thing on behalf of the American people to bring people together. LEMON: Listen, it takes a lot of people, Amanda, to make this work.

We remember, in 2009, we're going to make him a one-term president, you know what I'm talking about. It's a key part of Biden's success will revolve around McConnell and whether the new Senate minority leader, he is, if he's willing to play ball.

We cannot forget McConnell's approach to Obama. We can't forget how long it took McConnell to come around to admit what happened at the capitol, to admit that Biden had legitimately won the election. It's going to take more than Joe Biden just saying we got unity, we have to reach out, we got to reach out. There has to be cooperation on the other side and a commitment to living in reality, am I wrong?

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I mean, the reality is Joe Biden has two things that landed on his desk the first day that had the utmost priority. COVID and the attempted coup. I think the Biden administration can unilaterally do a lot of good through the executive branch just doing good government practice and helping the country contain and overcome coronavirus.

And I know a lot of my Democratic friends would like to get going on the progressive agenda, but it is imperative for the country to deal with the reckoning that Angela talked about and get some reconciliation because what I fear is that both parties will be content to sweep this under the rug.


The Democrats will say listen, he is impeached twice. What more do we need? He's been removed, we want to get going on these other things. And the Republicans can take that as a victory. Donald Trump is exonerated yet again. And I truly fear that the Republican Party will come a fully authoritarian party because I don't know what else you can call it if Donald Trump and his enablers are not fully rebuked for their role in stoking that insurrection.

But I can already see people just wanting to move on from it. It's going to be painful, right? But the Democrats cannot let Mitch McConnell get away with this without at least extracting some kind of political price.


CARPENTER: I don't know if Donald Trump will be convicted disqualified. I truly believe he needs to be disqualified from running for office again but there has to be a price. And I'm sorry the Democrats -- will need to spend political capital on that, but nothing could be more necessary.

LEMON: Angela, did you want to respond?

ROSEN: I agree with that, though.

LEMON: It was Hilary, go ahead.

ROSEN: Let me just say, I don't think -- you know, there's this can the Senate walk and chew gum at the same time? I think they can. What I'm saying is that the American people come together when we work on their behalf, when their interests are met. That doesn't preclude a reckoning with what we've experienced. That doesn't preclude punishing Donald Trump. I think you can do both.

LEMON: All right.

CARPENTER: Yes. I think the Senate --


RYE: You have to do both.

CARPENTER: I saw a tweet from John Cornyn, I will just raise, he was responding a reporting from Phil Mattingly about balancing that act. And Phil Mattingly was reporting that someone was saying we can multitask. And John Cornyn who is number two in Senate leadership had a one-word response. No. They want you to believe they can't do everything and they'll grind it to a halt if the Democrats proceed with impeachment.

LEMON: Angela, we're going to continue to talk throughout the hour but I know you want to respond to this quickly, if you will.

RYE: Yes, I just think it's so important. Amanda, again I know the last time we were on together I was singing your praises and I'll do it again. Maybe the reckoning starts here.


RYE: The fact that you're willing to tell the truth in this way again, we haven't always agreed. I just think it's so important because this isn't about partisanship, it is about what's right and wrong morally. And I think that we cannot get to a place in this country where we really are whole until we reckon with the whole history.

This is not just Donald Trump. This is 400 years in the making, right? And so, this is a part of it. This is the latest iteration of that. This is the worst of America's demons, the worst of its chickens coming home to roost, but now it's time for us to deal with them, so I do appreciate what you said.

LEMON: All right. We're going to continue to talk with you guys. We'll come back in this hour and beyond. So, we'll talk in just a moment.

Coming up, a highlight from the star-studded inauguration.



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST (on camera): During his inaugural address, Joe Biden calling for unity and healing in a divided country. J. Lo expanding on that theme in a song that she sang in his honor. A song about the gorgeous American mosaic. Want to listen? Good.



JENNIFER LOPEZ, SINGER, ACTRESS: This land is your land this land is my land from California to the New York Island from the Redwood forest to the gulf stream waters this land was made for you and me. As I went walking down that ribbon of highway, I saw above me that endless skyway. I saw below me that golden valley this land was made for you and me. Oh this on land oh, this land, this land was made for you and me. Oh, this land, oh, this land, this land was made for you and me. You and me.

America, America God shed his grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.


Let's get loud, cause this land was made for you and me.





CUOMO (on camera): J. Lo there breaking into some Spanish, saying that we're all one nation, justice for all. President Biden, vowing to be a president for all as he begins to lead a divided nation. We're all hurting. We're all suffering to different degrees and that should be something that Biden should be consumed with in these early days. Let's discuss our live CNN breaking coverage continues next.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation.




CUOMO: In his inaugural address President Biden recognizing the deep political divisions in the country, hard to miss, right? So what is the sad? What is his cue, he says, look, all I can tell you is that I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as those who did. Can he pull that off? There are a lot of different tensions. It is good to say. What's the reality?

CNN political analyst Ron Brownstein and Laura Barron Lopez and John Avlon. Laura, I got to say it. You got to say it for everybody. Everybody says it, when they win, right? You voted for me, you voted against me, I'm with you. What is different about the mandate this time and what do you think we know about this man that might make it different this time?

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, POLITOCO (on camera): What's so different, Chris, is what we saw unfold, just in this month that you and Don were talking about earlier, which is the insurrection on January 6th, another impeachment and now Biden's inauguration.

And so, he's taking over a country that is very divided. We all know that. That there are a lot of Republican voters, the majority of Republican voters. The people who voted for Trump. You know, more than 70 million who don't consider him their president and a lot of them -- they don't consider his win legitimate.

And so, in Biden's inaugural address yesterday, he was very different than Trump. He contrasted himself with him by saying that look, this isn't about me. This is not a country for just one individual. There isn't just one person who can make everything right. This country is not just for a faction of individuals, it's for everyone. And so that's one of the key differences that he's trying to strike throughout the beginning of his presidency.

CUOMO: All right. And a couple should he's. John Avlon, should he, President Biden, stay narrow. Stay on the pandemic. Because it is not only the exigency, but it is the best opportunity for him to expose politicians on the right who are just looking to oppose because so many of the needs are so obvious.

JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (on camera): On a legislative level, yes. You know, because everything flows through the pandemic, it's the most urgent crisis the country faces. E's already set a high bar for the first 100 days, 100 million vaccines and it's also the vehicle through which he can get a major economic bill pass in the form of relief that has a downstream effect that can really push forward his broader agenda.

So, I think by marrying some of these issues to that, that should be his focus legislatively. Everything else can be done, you know, through executive orders as we saw yesterday at the outset.

CUOMO: Professor Brownstein, should he take a page from Trump and hit the hustings and go to places like Kentucky. Go to places that he didn't win and say, how would you guys feel about a $1,900 check? Could you use it? You should tell McConnell. You should tell your guys. Instead of going to those places and talking about himself, the way Trump did, go there and talk about them. Hit the hustings and rally for the cause and angle back to Washington and say, all your people want it, what's your reason for no again?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST, AND SENIOR EDITOR OF THE ATLANTIC (on camera): Well, look. I think he will, you know, try to in a more conventional ways build support. We'll see how much he travels with the pandemic. You know, I was really struck, Chris. I mean, it wasn't to me hugely surprising that he talked about being the president for all people and emphasized unity. That's what he did during the campaign.

What did surprise me today is how forcefully he called out the threat to democracy that Trump had unleashed. And it suggested to me, he is drawing a new political dividing line that could give him more leverage among Republicans.

He's basically saying, you are either part of the American Democratic tradition or you are a threat to it. And those who are threat to it are kind of outside, you know, kind of the line here. And I think a lot of the Republicans are going to be looking for ways to show they're not on that side of the line.

But can I just add one thing about, it gives a sense of the magnitude of the challenge that he's facing. I think John Avlon will like this.


At one point he said disagreement must not lead to disunion. Now I was struck by that word. University of California, Santa Barbara has a database you can use to search this, he was the first president to use that word disunion since Abraham Lincoln in 1861 in an inaugural address. (Inaudible). No president since have thought the threat was material enough that he felt the need to discuss it and yet there it was in Biden's first remarks as president.

CUOMO: Why do you think?

BROWNSTEIN: Because I think the magnitude of the threat. I mean, you know, I read a piece on this week quoting historians as saying, this is probably the greatest threat to America's fundamental cohesion since the civil war, not because we haven't been divided before but because the forces of kind of separation. The forces that's would undermine the kind of the constitutional order now have such a hold on one of the political parties.

And again, I think that very extremism does offer an opportunity to Biden. Because as Laura noted, three-quarters of Republicans say the election was stolen. That is a very scary number from the point of view of domestic extremism.

But about one fifth to one quarter of Republican are saying, they agree that Biden won, they are unhappy with the way the party has responded since November and they are uneasy with Trump's (inaudible), disgusted by Trump's action since November and that made -- give Biden a point of leverage from which to try to pressure some of the Republican in Congress to say, alright, I am not part of that, I'm part of the solution.

CUOMO: John I'm coming to you in a second, but let me go to Laura first with this. Let me borrow from Walt Frasier. I never like to take people's words without a footnote. If to Ron Brownstein you got to play with cohesion if you're Biden in terms of trying to bring people together. What do you think of the idea, Laura that the media needs to play on adhesion? Because the idea of accountability coming through Congress, I think is pretty slim. I don't think you see anything happening to any of the lawmakers other

than maybe Trump, but I think that's a long shot. How much of it is on the media to do something will get boring is such a rapid media cycle which is to stay on people who chose Trump over party and country, that now when they want to be about things that are about virtue and integrity and about (inaudible) and they didn't do it during Trump. How much of that is on us?

BARRON-LOPEZ: Well, it's on us a lot, Chris, I mean, that's our job, right, which is it to tell the viewers the truth, which is to provide the correct context.

And so that necessary context is to tell our readers and our viewers that this Republican voted with more than 100 others to overturn the will of the electorate, to overturn Biden's rightful legitimate win.

That this Republican during Democratic years, you know, insert Republican that they were fiscal hawks but now -- but during the Trump years forgot about that and decided to spend a lot of money and now again, because a Democrat is in power there's fiscal hawks again. So that is exactly what we need to be doing in the years ahead.

CUOMO: Avlon.

AVLON: Couple of things. First of all context is key. We need to impose perspective on our politics and that means accountability for the 147 members of this sedition caucus inside the Republican Party. That votes needs (inaudible) them around. But in general, media needs to get better covering governing.

Donald Trump exploited the fact, we've got a conflict bias in our business and exploited it very well to distract us as a nation. So we all collectively need to get better at covering governing and finding the (inaudible) in that.

On the divisions in the country and the Capitol. First of all, it's not a given to politicians, try to unite the country. It may had been in the past, but we saw in this election that that is actually a very different approach that Donald Trump and Joe Biden took.

From campaigning in places that Trump won, like Joe Biden did, to the speech he gave yesterday, his core message has been about unity. And yes he can work with a fifth of the Republican Party and that will be key to anything resembling a bipartisan governing majority. But he shouldn't be naive about the other forces. These are old forces we are confronting. He didn't only mentioned this union, as Ron mentioned. He also mentioned white supremacy. First president to do it.

And so these are historic forces we are dealing with. The insurrectionists and separatist and successions has all from the same ilk and that lockdown was because of threats to the president and threats to the Republic.

And that's the kind of force that our country is fighting right now. And Joe Biden has got the ability and I think the moral authority to reach across the aisle with Senators hose he's known for decades to say, come, let's reason together again, because we cannot be consumed by these divisions.

CUOMO (on camera): John, Laura, Ron, thank you very much. The inauguration is over, but this phase is just beginning. Washington is a city on alert. The threat of more domestic terror is fresh. But first, another remarkable site from inauguration day. The new commander-in-chief taking time to honor America's fallen.






DON LEMON, CNN HOST (on camera): So one of the key themes in president Biden's inaugural address unifying the nation and vowing to be president for all Americans.


BIDEN: To all those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That's democracy. That's America. The right to dissent peaceably within the guardrails of our republic is perhaps this nation's greatest strength. You hear me clearly, disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you. I will be a president for all Americans. All Americans.


And I promise you I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.


LEMON (on camera): So, there's a new administration. Running the country right now. A new day dawning in America now that Joseph R. Biden has been inaugurated the 46th President of the United States. A lot more of our continuing coverage live on this historic day.