tv CNN Tonight with Don Lemon CNN December 9, 2020 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
"cnn tonight," big show, big star, d. lemon. my brother we're living through the darkest of days. >> we really are, in so many ways. it's so important right now we call come together, i know it sounds like cumbaya but this is when it's really important. i hear you and john kasich talking. i hung up with him a couple of minutes ago. considering what happened at the white house. we've been talking about this, how do you reach out, how do you
come together when there is not even two sets of reality but one reality and one not? how do you -- how do you have that conversation? is it even possible? i don't know. i don't know if it is right now. and now is most important time. we have all these people dying, becoming sick, that we all come together and stop listening to the bullshit, i don't know, i don't know. >> it's hard to know. right now. because what has worked in the past, common enemy, that is what in recent memory what brought this country together. and pockets crisis. people hurting in one part of the country, hearts open up, we flood. there but for the grace. 9/11, common enemy. info is bad, doesn't matter. they did it to us, we're going to get them, they're not us. was there flaws in that?
yeah. was that something that created a lot of pain in this country for people who are brown, muslim, looked muslim? sikhs, indians putting signs up, not a muslim, i love america. those were scary, dark days also because of how anger takes aim. but coming together out of division spawned by politics, i've never seen it. >> i was going to say but you stopped me, chris, quaint, so five years ago, before the escalator ride. it's all different now. everyone is so -- it's when you cannot get people to even -- when someone tells you they won an election they lost, that's going to a whole other level. then you have people believing in you because they trusted in you and thought they were doing something noble, they thought they were standing up for the
right thing when they really weren't, you were leading them astray. and the common enemy is not us, not the media. maybe someone else, it's not me, it's not you. to the best of my ability i tell you the truth every night. if i screw it up, i apologize and correct it. but these people are being lied to, and have been lied to for at least the past five years. and now we happen to be coming out of an election that was very contentious and he actually lost and he's trying to change the reality on that. we're in the middle of a pandemic that he didn't handle well, and he is trying to change the narrative and rewrite history on that. and -- and i don't know how to reach people who -- i don't think you're ever going to get the diehards. but people who right now are
saying, okay, maybe it's time to get on board because -- whether you believe joe biden won the election or not, he did. at this point he's going to be your leader, he's your only hope. donald trump is not your hope, he's going to be gone from pennsylvania avenue. >> there's a different play going on, assuming that is right. i hope it is right. trump is out, he lost, he should be gone. if there's outcome other than that, would be chaos. >> he's not out yet. >> transition is a thing. lame duck exists for reason. they're playing by letter of law they don't want to follow. but that's where my darkness comes in. >> i hear you. >> my theory is we are knitted together by the rules. that's our national religion, the rules, faith in justice and pursuit of justice, right? they said pursuit of justice for a reason.
why? hard to attain especially in heterogenous society as we've seen time and again. but once you decide the rules don't work, brother, don't work equally, don't work for me, don't work for people who look like you. why should they work on this level just because you want then to? once you reach this breaking point that trump has taken us to. didn't start the fire but something going on a long time. 9 in 10 of the republicans in congress, retrumplicans. 9 in 10. >> i blame him. >> you can. >> he's throwing in accelerant every single day. he's still leader of the free
world and if he wasn't wouldn't be paying attention to him right now. what he does and says has consequence, all of it. >> but that party didn't have to capitulate, give their head to this guy. didn't have to do that. >> they did. that's why it irks me so much. not all of those people believe in that. >> 9 out of 10. >> 9 out of 10. they're leading the flock so to speak astray. those people should be leading and setting the precedent for people of america and they're not doing that. they're misleading them as well. i got to go. we need to talk about this. >> all we're going to be talking about rest of our lives. this is the story of our present and our future. >> i hope it's reachable. >> if we don't figure this out, we will never get to a better place than we are today. >> see you soon. >> it all starts with this.
i love you d. lemon. >> i love you more. let's continue to talk. this is "cnn tonight," i'm don lemon. we're going to talk about the news but i really want to say this to you. you have to figure this out but you've got to be living in reality, people. you cannot go around saying the president won. donald trump won. he didn't win. that's not reality. and i'm not preaching to you, i'm just telling you the truth. and if you want people to come together, if you want to help the entire country, the first step is to live in reality. and then we'll go from there. if there are some issues with the election that need to be taken care of, some, you know, inaccuracies, we can take care of that, but not this crazy conspiracy theory way. it's not helpful. it's not helpful.
so -- and this is proof -- this is -- encapsulates everything i'm saying right now. let's help each other out. breaking news, this current president is falsely telling a crowd at tonight's hanukkah party that he still thinks he will win the election. the election he already lost. >> all i ask for is people with wisdom and courage. that's all. certain very important people, if they have wisdom and if they have courage, we're going to win this election in oa landslide. >> four more years, four more years, four more years, four more years! >> that's a con.
that's not true. it's not going to happen. it's just not. and someone really respected you and had your best interests at heart, they don't lie to you, give you false hope. they tell you the truth. so to the point that chris and i just said, what are republicans saying about his doomed fight? well, absolutely outrageous, the most insane thing yet. simply madness. i frankly struggle to understand the legal theory of it. so all of those quotes are quotes from republicans. republicans. blasting the current president's latest doomed battle and war on the election, on our democracy, asking the supreme court to throw out millions of votes from
battleground states that voted for president-elect joe biden. so there's that. also more breaking news tonight. this president wants senator ted cruz to argue the case for him if it reaches the supreme court. it is -- this is not even bordering on looney tunes madness. are the inmates really running the asylum right now? the cur president is still living in his alternate reality. his unreality. i don't know how many different ways i can say this. running out of words to describe how dangerous this president's behavior is. how to break through, how to talk on this show to all americans. seriously, every night i sit with my producers and how do you
talk about this? producers, am i lying? maria, every night, how do we talk to all americans? don't want to offend people because -- you know, we don't want to speak down to people, don't want to let people off the hook. want to give them reality. all kinds of thingss, we talk about what is best way to do it, reach the most people, be the most effective. every day i come to both sides, everyone involved has to be living in a shared sense of what reality is. and if the group -- there's one group that's not, it is impossible. you cannot. 1 plus 1 equals 2 and someone says no, equals 4.
i can't trust you if you don't live in reality, or what happened, how you got there. i don't know if in the future you're going to revert to the same behavior. that's all real stuff, right? whether you voted for biden, trump or whatever. the time to take a stand is right now, before it is too late, because the democracy is hanging by a thread, where we have electors in certain states and attorneys general and so on really holding our democracy, and it can break at any moment if people don't follow the law, if they become too partisan. take a stand for democracy, people. show me that america is about the will of the people, not the grievances of sore losers. if you don't want to take it from me, take it from lifelong
republicans calling this outrageous, insane, and madness. and i will add crazy and delusional. out of touch, out of control. this president has been getting more and more desperate ever since he lost the election. i mean even lying tonight we're going to win. the election is over. the votes and electors have been certified, the supreme court has thrown out -- case after case has been thrown out, the process has played out. he lost to joe biden by more than 7 million votes and now that all 50 states, plus d.c., district of columbia, have certified their results and electoral college set to meet in just five days and end of the line is in sight, he's taking it to the next level.
do you really want to go down this crazy path? this nut path? not just tossing around ludicrous and totally bogus claims of voter fraud, claims his own hand-picked attorney general debunked, but actually calling for the election, the stated will of the people, to be overturned. that's madness. who goes along with that? yes, the president of the united states wants the election overturned immediately because he lost. and incredibly, he goes on to ask how can a country be run like this. he's running the country! a lot of people are asking that. duh! how can -- turn it back to you mr. president, how can a country be run like this? how can a country be run like this with a president who has
zero respect for our free and fair election, for democracy itself? how can a country be run like this? you are the president, you tell me how. a president who threatens to burn it all down just to get what he wants. power. why don't we just overturn the election, that's kind of thing you hear from a crazed dictator, not the president of the united states, people. but he is seemingly -- he's never met a dictator he didn't like and/or admire, from vladimir putin to kim jong un. >> i have a tremendous relationship with president xi, i get along with president putin, with mohammed from saudi arabia. president erdogan, he's tough but i get along with him. >> no accident that dictators
were at top of the list when president refused to meet world leaders when wearing a mask. >> i think wearing a face mask as i greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, i don't know, somehow i don't see it for myself. >> in his own words. nobody's going to overturn our election, by the way, not even the current president. which is why it is so crazy he just keeps trying. now he's getting personally involved in a desperate hail mary, a lawsuit by the attorney general of texas, trying to get the supreme court to invalidate election results in georgia, michigan, pennsylvania and wisconsin, blocking the votes of millions of americans. shows you just how desperate he really is. ignoring the pandemic that just today killed a record 3,034
americans. and over 100,000 in the hospital. fighting a doomed battle trying to steal our election while americans are dying. and just to be really clear about who is behind all of this, attorney representing the current president -- this is what i'm talking about, reality. recently pushed a racist conspiracy theory falsely claiming that vice president-elect kamala harris was not eligible because her parents were immigrants. we know that's false. vice president-elect is a natural born u.s. citizen. birtherism 2.0. didn't work on former president barack obama, didn't work on the vice president-elect, kamala harris.
but that is the kind of thing the current president and his enablers resort to. when you don't have the truth on your side, you just lie. you just make things up, try to make up your own reality. you would think that the president's republican enablers would be ashamed, but no. house republican leader kevin mccarthy says he won't accept joe biden as president-elect. on monday, quote, why would i do that? i'll wait until it's all over to find out. every legal vote has to be counted. every recount has to be finished, and every legal challenge has to be heard. hmm. lot of recounts keep losing over and over, kevin mccarthy. why would he do that? why wouldn't he accept the fact that joe biden is president-elect? maybe because that's how
democracy works. why should he accept it? and then sjohnson saying won't rule out challenging when congress votes. compare with incoming administration, doing the work of governing, appointing members of the cabinet, professionals. announcing choice for defense secretary, retired general lloyd austin. >> he's loved by the men and women of the armed forces, feared by our adversaries, known and respected by our allies and shares my deeply held belief in the values of america's alliances. >> also saw the partnership of the president-elect and vice president-elect, two grown-ups in the room, taking on the
challenges facing this country and taking them seriously. contrast that with the fawning of current vice president mike pence. >> to know president trump is to -- is to know someone whose word is his bond. that's why president trump was so right. greatest privilege of my life is to serve as vice president to a president who is keeping his word to the american people. >> reminds me of the song. ♪ to know, know, know him is to love ♪ it's like a ballad. pence has been awol in the middle of the president's attempts to steal the election. there's another comparison there. then vice president joe biden priding over joint congress, when members officially tallied the votes to put donald trump in the white house.
>> i object to the certificate from the state of georgia on the grounds that electoral votes -- >> there's no debate, if not signed by senator, cannot be entertained. >> mr. president, the objection is signed by house but not yet by the senate. >> it is over. >> interesting. it is over. voting to certify the opposite party's win. when will the current president finally bow to that reality? when will the current president finally show that much class and that much decency? that is the question. bring in cnn white house correspondent caitlkaitlan coll. texas attorney general ken
paxton will be at white house tomorrow. >> reporter: this is for a private lunch with the president not open to reporters. told it was already on the schedule, lunch with group of attorneys general for president trump, but notable that texas is going to be there, given his lawsuit the president has been trumpeting over last several hours and other republican attorneys general have signed on, the president has been pushing that. two things to remember, ken paxton is being investigated by the fbi for allegations from his own staff he misused the power of his office to benefit a political donor. keep that in mind. also the lawsuit has been widely dismissed by legal experts. hearing a lot about it from the president and campaign and white house officials, we're hearing from law experts they don't think the supreme court is going to take it up. >> i appreciate that. shocking truth is this president
doesn't care about anything other than his attempts to overthrow our election. doesn't care about deaths of more than 3,000 americans today. highest total since the pandemic began, just doesn't care. leaves local officials all across the country to fight for what is right. ♪ experience the power of sanctuary at the lincoln wish list sales event. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with zero down, zero due at signing, and a complimentary first month's payment. with zero down, zero due at signing, when you're camping with friends and you get the biggest spot, and you swam in the river all day in the warm afternoon sun... that's pure gold.
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president trump is getting increasingly desperate in his attempts to overturn the election results. tonight telling a crowd at white house at hanukkah party, he still thinks he will win the election. the election is over, he lost in fact, keeps losing over and over and over again. he's trying to fight reality. bring in jon ab lon and jim messina, good to have you both on. john, the president says he's fighting because the election system is under assault. but the truth is it's under siege by him and more final his loss becomes, harder he fights to stay in power. >> yeah, donald trump is all about projection. he says the election system is under siege, it's under seethe from him and his legal team. problem is his delusion is
itself a virus that seems to be catching within the republican party and i don't really blame the rank and file but i do blame the 17 attorney generals who signed on this bogus no-show suit because they ought to know better. this is more than just a clown car coup, they're making a mockery of their oath to the constitution. >> why are they doing it? >> hyperpartisanship is a powerful drug and they're letting it overpower claim to be patriot or defender of the constitution. they're afraid of the base and the president and surrendering their judgment at the door. >> i don't think it's too much to say this is disaster. is biden administration being enough? >> they're doing what they should do, governing. we're in middle of a disaster
and one president is on the stage right now, joe biden. i'm not as forgiving as your other guest on the rank and file. 88% of members of congress refusing to acknowledge joe biden is president-elect. 17 attorney generals led by texas who is under fbi investigation himself and should worry about his own problems. when they're putting party before country, when do we stop calling them patriots or giving them benefit of the doubt. there's theory in washington they're playing base politics and all going to be okay. it's not okay. chunk of the country thinks they're being screwed and this is real and president is being honest with them. if you're biden, you have to walk in and bring this together. it's herculean challenge,
getting harder by the day and republican party is complicit and no one is calling them out. >> we're calling them out. jim fundamentally misunderstood the point i'm making, rank and file, i don't mean members of the congress, attorney generals or elected officials. but trump supporters believing the lies he's spewing because they're echoed on hyperpartisan media. joe biden has to reach out to those folks, assert reality. officials who ought to know better are directly implicit in this attempt to overthrow our election, full stop. >> did you want to say something else before another question? >> i'm with you. >> hope you heard the top of the show about every night what my challenge is, and what i -- i'm flummoxed every night, how do i
do this, how do i not stand at edge of the pacific ocean or atlantic and just go ahhhhh! yelling at ocean every night. this is part of we have to live in reality part. president-elect biden is banking that the fever will break so he can work with republicans once he takes office. is that realistic though? >> i mean for america i hope it is. there's a whole lot of people on both sides who have sat back last four years and not done much. and actually want to get some things done. and you see slivers -- i'm going to be optimist, and by the way, you've been amazing. and brendan lang just texted me, don lemon is the only one out there screaming. you've been great. look at problem solvers' caucus, both sides said to leadership
we're going to try to cut our own deal to move things forward. lot of people have got elected both sides and haven't gotten much done, saying let's try to make the country better. country delivered a mixed verdict. unseated only the third president in 100 years yet put the republicans in charge of the senate. they're trying to say we want everyone to work together. both sides have to do that. i think that's the leadership biden is offering. if you're the republicans, can you deny there's election up until january 20th, then all of a sudden say let's work together? that's the question at hand, not joe biden. >> yeah. say it one more time for people in the back, jim, please, please, please. because -- hold on. this is a total referendum, a rebuke on donald trump and can't accept the fact, to him it's not possible i could lose but all the other republicans on the
ticket could win. what were they saying? they don't like you the way you govern, your antics, any of this. but do like the conservative or moderate message of the people on the bottom of the ticket. that's what they're saying. he can't wrap his head around the fact they don't like him, but they still want to be republicans. sorry. go on. >> no, that's moral impossibility for a megalom megalomaniac. that is what needs to be done but you cannot harness hate for political gain and hope all of a sudden the fever will break when new president comes in. normally takes a crisis to unite us. we've had over 3,000 deaths today, third deadliest day in
american history after the galveston hurricane and battle of antietam, what is it going to take? >> keeps becoming the most deadly day in american history. thank you both, gentlemen. they didn't like you, that's the message. they liked the other republicans. to the rank and file, might like you but not this guy, so why are you going along with everything he says? he should be more afraid of you you're not going to back and support him. that's the truth. now get with it. we'll be back. see you. (vo) (sigh...) dear 2020, you had your time.
senator ted cruz has agreed to be on the lawsuit if it reaches the supreme court. and senator johnson saying won't rule out challenging the election results january 6th. former defense secretary william cohen, you were fired up about this and gop has become increasingly complicit, some outright advocating steps to overthrow democracy. what is happening with your party? >> well, it's not a party. as your previous guest said, it's a cult. not a philosophy, it's not a platform, it's simply the worship of donald trump and everything he represents. and people who support him support him because he hates people they hate. hatred is part of the concoction
he's put together. but i want to talk a little bit about optimism. i saw lloyd austin be introduced today. >> that was my next question, but go on. >> my heart skipped a beat there. saw a man, a big man, with a big brain and a big heart, who comes to the position of 40-plus, 41 years of service to this country and nominated now to be secretary of defense, and i felt -- you're out now seeing a government taking place. joe biden and kamala harris putting together a team to lift us up out of the quicksand the president keeps sinking us into. the president is putting a knee on the neck of the american people, the democracy, trying to squeeze the life out of it. i see joe biden and his team saying we're going to restore confidence in our ability to
govern ourselves, and i would like to just posture lloyd austin standing next to president trump, you tell me who the leader of this country would be. tell me why this secretary of defense wouldn't send a signal to the people all over the world to have people of talent, and yes of color, people denied that opportunity over the years. i took great heart today. i looked at lloyd austin and said there's somebody who's going to contribute to the welfare of this country, give us leadership, help the president of the united states really restore and renew confidence in our ability to govern, renew our relationships and alliances and give hope to the american people we can govern. as opposed to the current president who seems only committed to dividing us along racial, ethnic and religious lines.
earlier there was question raised is there going to be a czar for racial justice. there should be and i have a recommendation. mitch landrieu, it's not moved mountains but taken down monuments, standing symbols of dark period in our history. i would like white people to talk about racial justice. always black people having to come on television and talk about racial inequity and disparities and what is happening, their son shot down and killed in color for everybody to see. i want white people to start talking about racial justice and mitch landrieu would be perfect to initiate that and bring people together. my wife and i know him and worked with him. another part of the diversity that should be in the administration. white czar for racial justice in this country.
>> and you've seen all the work he's done around the monuments, out front and center before anyone else, and documenting it as matter of fact. not going to get pushback for me, considering he's my homeboy, louisiana. and i think a lot of folks can talk about race but mitch landrieu is right up there, right on with that. let's see if that happens. always appreciate having you on. and before you go, joe biden's cabinet and how diverse it looks. there it is. that's what america looks like, right there on your screen. now back. >> that's what talent and ethical people look like. real patriots dedicated to making this country not only great but good again. >> this is what america looks like as well, you and i on the screen talking about this. thank you, always a pleasure, see you soon. be safe. u.s. reporting highest single day death toll tonight
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four hundred dollars on this silverado. get the chevy employee discount for everyone today. this is breaking news and reality that we're in and why we need to all come together. more than 3,000 u.s. deaths reported today from coronavirus. that is a new one-day record. and tonight a record number of people also hospitalized. almost 107,000. meanwhile hours from pivotable moment in u.s. war against the coronavirus pandemic. key fda committee scheduled to meet tomorrow morning to make recommendation on pfizer's vaccine with authorization possibly arriving as early as tomorrow. joining me now, doctor, good to see you. thanks so much. talk about the fda committee. going to have daylong meeting
tomorrow. once they issue a recommendation, cdc will make a final decision. how soon after this authorization will we see americans getting vaccinated? >> it's possible by this weekend. it's exciting time. without a national covid-19 strategy, we've put all our eggs in the biotechnology basket. all we have really is vaccinations, so we urgently need vaccines and hope this will be first of several rolling out over the next few months. >> yeah. doctor, i have to take a quick break, we'll come back on the other side, don't go anyplace, we'll be back to talk about this. thanks! splitsies? ♪ oooh...you meant the food, didn't you?
we're back now with dr. peter hotez. dr., thank you so much. i'm long winded and a motor mouth sometimes. i went a long winded into the break. if the fda says the vaccine is safe, the american people should trust them. listen to him. >> if the united states food and drug administration says that a vaccine is safe and effective, i can promise you that i will take that vaccine myself. and i will recommend that my family does that. so, i think the authority should be the united states food and drug administration. >> an access poll finding 53% of americans said they would get a first generation vaccine. how do we get more people on board, doctor? >> we really need to do that. i echo dr. fauci's comments. i'm ready to get that vaccine as
well. the food and drug administration has the most extraordinary track record of vaccine safety the world has ever seen, a robust system of approval and also post-licensure or post-release monitoring as well. we've got a few things we have to do. first of all, i think once the vaccine is rolled out and we don't see untoward reactions and the efficacy becomes apparent, more people will sign up for it. we're hoping those numbers will start to diminish. that's potentially good news. the not so good news is we really don't have a good communication strategy coming out of operation warp speed. it's been a fantastic program in terms of scientific rigor and integrity of the clinical trials, but we've left it mostly to the pharma ceos to do the communication, and they've bungled it quite a bit quite honestly. so, we're going to have to put in place a robust system of communication. and not just public service
announcements as being proposed but have government scientists speaking to the american people on a frequent and regular basis because the other piece to this, where america is somewhat unique, is we have one of the most aggressive antivaccine lobbies out there and they target specific groups. >> that's what i want to ask you. let me get this next question in really quickly because i want you to weigh in a little bit more because there's a flood of misinformation about vaccines out there. and people are exploiting that mistrust. so, how do we combat these conspiracy theories? is it what you're saying, having more experts? i think it may have to be more aggressive than that, doctor. >> yeah, and i tend to be somewhat of an outlier here. in addition to fine tuning the message and shaping the message, one of the things i say, that's only going to get us about 30% to 40% of the way there. those messages are messages in bottles floating in the atlantic ocean. the internet is inundated with deliberate disinformation coming from focused antivaccine groups all amplified on social media
groups. facebook, if you go to the vaccination group on facebook, it's fake and conspiracy books. on top of the home grown groups in texas and oklahoma, national groups, we have the russia bots and trolls, recent information coming out of u.s. and british intelligence shows us how russia is flooding our internet with information designed to sow discord. so, we have our work cut out for us if we're going to do it. it's an inner government agency where we're going to have to take this on. >> i've had a number of people i respect very much sending me things saying is this true and it was all false. i appreciate your time. we'll have you back. be safe. >> thank you so much.
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