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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  August 4, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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breaking news. all active duty military personnel could soon be mandated to get the vaccine. they are working to roll out this new man date. an attemptive coup. the justice department pushes false claims of a stolen election and nearly drove one top official to quit while an
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insider reportedly wanted officials to investigate trump's big lie. the leader of the state democratic party is now joining the chorus of people calling on him to resign as the manhattan d.a. begins investigating potential sex crimes by the governor. welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." we begin with the worsening covid crisis in the united states and increasingly urgent efforts by the biden administration to get the current surge fueled by the aggressive delta variant under control. let's go to our chief correspondent, kaitlan collins. the numbers are not good and the they could get much, much worse in the coming weeks.
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>> that's exactly what the hecdc is worried about. they are expected to seek authorization for mandating coronavirus vaccines for all active duty troops. that is not the case now, but it is something we're expecting in the coming days, and we'll see how much time the secretary wants to give to those troops to have them get vaccinated, given only about 60% of them right now are. wolf, this comes as there is a larger fight playing out across the united states on whether or not vaccines should be mandated. the u.s. map is turning deep red tonight as coronavirus cases skyrocket to their highest point since february. despite an abundant supply of vaccines, the u.s. is now averaging over 90,000 new cases per day, a 40% increase over last week's 7-day average and the highest they've been in
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months. the nation's top health officials are warning it will get worse before it gets better. >> we are going to be between 100,000 and 200,000 cases before this thing starts to turn around. >> last week i laid out what we need to do to beat the covid-19 virus. >> dr. fauci is sending out a blunt message of what he says are hampering vaccination efforts and standing in the way of mask requirements. >> if you're not going to help, at least get out of the way. >> reporter: ron desantis widely seen as a possible potential presidential candidate in 2024 fired back at president biden. >> what is it he said about florida? his solution is he wants to have the government force kindergartners to wear masks in school. i can tell you in florida, the parents are going to be the ones in charge of that decision. >> reporter: but even some former trump officials are breaking about the florida governor, arguing that governor governors shouldn't implement restrictions on public health measures. >> i do support a lot what
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governor desantis and governor abbott do, but i don't align with them on this. >> reporter: arkansas's republican governor now says he regrets signing a law banning mask mandates. >> i signed that for a reason, that our cases were at a low point. everything has changed now. yes, in hindsight i wish that thc hadn't become law. >> reporter: the biden administration announced a temporary ban on evictions in the u.s. the supreme court recently said congress would have to extend a freeze on evictions, not the president. but white house officials said they're confident in biden's legal authority. >> the president would not have supported moving forward with any action where he wasn't -- didn't feel there was legal standing and legal support. >> reporter: but the president himself acknowledged that it may not be constitutional, baffling progressives in his party. >> you can rest assured that
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every litigator now about to challenge this new moratorium will cite directly to the president's words. >> reporter: wolf, we're also learning tonight that the biden administration is developing a plan that would require all four nationals coming into the united states to be vaccinated with some limited exceptions. of course, this is not a plan that has gone into effect yet. it is not expected to go into effect any time soon since the administration recently affirmed they are keeping those travel restrictions in place for now, citing the highly contagious delta variant. but it is notable that they are making plans for reopenings to happen, for travel restrictions to be lifted and part of that plan includes requiring from every single country those foreigners coming into the united states to be vaccinated with very few exceptions, wolf. >> kaitlan, thank you very much. kaitlan collins with breaking news from the white house. the battle over masks is rising in florida with viruses
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hitting a record high. >> reporter: we are just days away from the start of the school year here in duval county. the school board has voted that if a child doesn't want to wear a mask, the parent must opt out. that will require time and additional paperwork. the school board voted that for the first two weeks of school, students will have to wear masks, and there are some opt-out options there as well. in orange county, the school district has said that employees have to wear masks in the school. so as covid-19 cases and hospitalizations rise, schools are trying to find a way to stop the spread in the legal way that they can, given the executive order that governor ron desantis signed, threatening to take away schools' state funding if any school implements masks. wolf? >> leyla, thank you. leyla santiago in jacksonville. meanwhile, a new mask mandate as hospitals overflow
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with covid patients. nadia in that mack na mar macna story for us. >> reporter: at our lady of the lakes hospital in louisiana, they said they are full with no more beds. the governor said the only way he knows to combat the nightmare is for people to get vaccinated and follow a mask mandate, officially starting today. you have to wear a mask in all public places, and that includes if you're going to school or colleges or universities. he told all his students and staff members that they will be required to wear a mask when they're indoors. they also have to prove they're fully vaccinated or take a monthly covid-19 test. wolf? >> nadia, thank you. nadia romero reporting. in georgia, mixed mask requirements are sparking lots of confusion and protest. cnn's nick valencia is in
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atlanta for us. nick? >> reporter: wolf, more georgia schools opreopened this week, b many had a question of how to do that safely as concerns grow of the highly contagious delta variant. last week a group of parents gathered to protest news of a mask policy, holding what they called an unmask our children event. some chatted that they want the decision as to whether or not students should wear masks. in rural georgia, students and teachers would have that choice. berry county opened this week without masks. they said they want it to be a personal decision. their 14-year-old daughter wants the freedom to express themselves, even if that risk comes at the cost of getting herself or other people sick. the former cdc director, dr. tom frieden. dr. frieden, thank you so much
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for joining us. we just heard that lloyd austin is seeking to make vaccinations necessary for all active duty military as soon as next week. is that what we need to see if we want to get through this pandemic? >> i think the attitudes are turning. people are seeing that covid is not over, delta is doubly dangerous. it's driving big increases. those increases are going to get worse before they get better. fortunately for our seniors, 80% are fully vaccinated, but mandates both of vaccines and of indoor masking, are going to be coming back in, and that's important. because that's the way to get the uptake higher. i think it's a no-brainer to get the military vaccinated. we want the folks who defend us not just to be safe and healthy
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to do that, but also because of the close quarters in the military, there are lots of outbreaks that can be prevented with vaccination. >> yeah, this is a really significant development. we are now approaching 100,000 new coronavirus cases each day here in the united states. just six weeks ago, that number was down to around 11,000 cases a day. dr. fauci is actually warning that daily cases could soon double from 100,000 to 200,000. dr. frieden, just how bad is the situation right now? >> well, i predicted a week or two ago that we would get to 200,000 by early september. unfortunately, if we follow the pattern that the united kingdom has, and in fact, they have a higher vaccination rate than we do. so i think we are going to see a lot more cases, especially in places with low vaccination rates, but not only in the places with low vaccination rates. because even other places have lots of unvaccinated folks, and
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while they won't have as explosive outbreaks, they will have an increase. the good news is the vaccines are holding against delta, especially when it comes to severe illness and death. so we'll see a much lower increase in the death rate but not a low increase. we've already seen a big spike in hospitalizations here. interestingly, wolf, much bigger than happened in the united kingdom, because they have that higher vaccination rate. vaccination saves lives and curtails the pandemic and masks are really important as a double protection with widespread transmission like this. but lots of people, i think, as they see the more severe illness, as there are more mandates will begin to get vaccinated, will increasingly use masks when they have to. >> the bad news is the delta virus is very highly tr
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transmissible. dr. fauci says he is highly approving of manthe coronavirus vaccine. do you think this would make more people get the shot but still refusing to do so? >> it will certainly help. it will also give institutions like businesses who were hesitant to mandate the confidence to do so, but i don't think, wolf, there is any one thing that is going to magically make people get vaccinated or explain to people that they need to. seeing people dying, seeing people hospitalized happens to many, even young people. if you want to go to a restaurant or your workplace, that's going to make a big difference and the fda approval will help as well. >> we just learned that the new york city auto show, which is a big deal, is once again canceled
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out of concern for the coronavirus. is cancelling of large events of this type something we should be seeing more of right now with this delta virus on the move? >> i hope we can avoid that, and i think we can if we increase the pace of vaccination and mask up indoors. so like what new york city has planned, that you need to be vaccinated with proof of vaccination to dine indoors, that makes a lot of sense. it's good for business. it allows us to keep our economy humming. getting vaccinated and wearing a mask, these are small things to do to get our economy moving, get our jobs back, open and keep our schools open, and most importantly, wolf, save a lot of lives. >> they will save. just get a shot. it will save a life. the former cdc director, dr. tom frieden, thank you so much for joining us. just ahead, there is new evidence of an attempted coup. new details of how president
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trump pressured the u.s. justice department to back his big lie about a stolen election. plus another top ally of governor andrew cuomo is now calling for him to resign over the very damning official report on sexual assault by the new yorker. and along the ride, you'll have many questions. challenges. and a few surprises. but wherever you are on your journey. your dell technologies advisor is here for you - with the right tech solutions. so you can stop at nothing for your customers. at philadelphia, we know what makes the perfect schmear of cream cheese. you need only the freshest milk and cream. that one! and the world's best, and possibly only, schmelier. philadelphia. schmear perfection.
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♪ ♪ introducing the first ever at4 lineup. premium and capable. that's professional grade from gmc. new details emerging today of how former president trump actually pressured the u.s. justice department to back his effort to overturn last year's presidential election. our senior justice correspondent, evan perez, has details. you're learning new information from your sources. update our viewers. >> wolf, this is emerging from an investigation now being done by house investigators of the house oversight committee, and
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this is a letter that was sent or that was prepared by patrick hova kenyon, who was chief of staff to the then-acting attorney general jeffrey rosen. it happens on january 3rd at a time when he thought jeffrey rosen was about to be fired by president trump at the time because the justice department was refusing to go along with the president's claim that the election was fraudulent. i'll read you just a part of the letter to give you a sense over what was happening. he said the acting attorney general, jeff rosen, over the course of the last week repeatedly refused the president's direct instructions to utilize the department of justice law enforcement powers to improper ends. again, this is a letter that was prepared. it was drafted but it was never sent. what was happening on that day, on january 3rd, was the president convened a meeting between rosen, who was the acting attorney general, and jeffrey clark, who was another official in the justice department essentially having them vie for the job of attorney
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general. the president was pushing for the justice department to say that there was fraud in the election. the justice department said, look, mr. president, we've investigated this. we did not find any merit to that, and essentially this was all false and the president was still pushing for that to happen. >> on top of this, abc news is reporting that this other justice department official, jeffrey clark, was actually with then-president trump trying to foment this kind of overturn of the election. >> that's right. so clark, through his backchannels, had let the president know that if he wanted to replace rosen with clark that, you know, he could have his wish from the justice department. to show his efforts, clark had written a letter that he was prepared to send to georgia officials to press them essentially to say that they were looking into these allegations of fraud. i'll read you just a part of what clark wrote. he said in an e-mail, to jeff
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rosen and rich donahue, who was the general attorney at the time. he said, i think we should get it out as as soon as possible. personally, i see no valid downsides to sends out this letter. richard donaghue said, there is no chance that i would sign this letter or anything reprmotely le this. and rosen said, i confirmed again today that i am not prepared to sign such a letter. clark ended up not getting the job, rosen remained on the job until president biden was inaugurated on january 20th. but, wolf, it really just goes to show you the efforts beyond what we know the president was doing and his lawyers were doing, some of these extraordinary crazy claims that they were making inside the
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justice department. these officials, who were basically standing tall, were trying to prevent chaiyasombat -- chaos from ensuing. >> i'm glad they did. evan perez with excellent, excellent reporting. david axelrod is with us, cnn legal and national security analyst. carrie cordero is with us also. what do you think about laying this groundwork for a coup? >> to the extent there is anyone out there who doesn't think former president trump was actually trying to undermine and overturn the election, this is the latest piece of evidence demonstrating that, in fact, that is what he was doing. so in this case, there now is more information in terms of these memos and other communications, notes, that the former justice department
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officials took contemporaneously with the pressure that was being placed directly by president trump onto acting attorney general rosen to try to undermine confidence in the election, say that it was corrupt and that it wasn't conducted properly, and that's because he was trying to overturn the election. in this case, thankfully, these officials did not go along with that. but this is a long time after the fact for us to be learning these particular facts, particularly because there was actually an impeachment proceeding that took place regarding these events. but this is not disconnected from the events of january 6. this was all part of an actual effort not to have a transfer of power. >> and, david, we can now see for ourselves in black and white just how serious this attempt was to overturn the results of a free and fair democratic election here in the united states. david, how dangerous was this
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effort? >> i mean, we've never seen anything like it in our lifetimes. you're just a kid, but i'm old enough to remember the saturday night massacre during watergate when one after another justice department officials resigned rather than allow -- rather than follow the orders of richard nixon to fire a special prosecutor who was looking into the watergate break-in and was pursuing subpoenas against the white house. and that ultimately led to the unraveling of richard nixon. richard nixon was a choir boy compared to this. this was an attempt to essentially steal an american election, an election for the presidency using the justice department as a front to do it. it's the most appalling, disturbing thing you can imagine, and the only thing that disturbs me more is that the
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architect of that is currently the frontrunner for the nomination of his party to run again. imagine if donald trump got this power in his hands again. you know, he was frustrated that he couldn't get justice department officials to heed to his wishes on . i don't think he'd make that mistake again, and that's a very disturbing prospect for this country. >> very disturbing, indeed. carrie, house investigators now have a lot of evidence, documents and interviews, but they're about to get a ton more if this special committee pursues this january 6 insurrection investigation. where do you think all of this will lead? >> my hope, wolf, is that it will lead to the most authoritative account of january 6th that we can get. they will take steps not to interfere in the criminal prosecutions of those individuals who participated in the actual attack on the
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capitol. but i think their first hearing with the four officers who defended the capitol demonstrated that the committee is working with the seriousness of purpose, it's working in a bipartisan way, and it is uncovering and it is communicating to the american public what actually transpired on that day. >> as much as we know now, we're about to learn a whole lot more in the coming weeks and months. guys, thank you very, very much. coming up, i'll speak live with a key witness from former president trump's first impeachment, retired lieutenant colonel alexander vinman. also ahead, the growing calls for governor andrew cuomo to accept down and the criminal charges he may face. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." they wanted it fixed fast. they drove to safelite autoglass for a guaranteed, same-day, in-shop repair.
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new trouble on multiple fronts tonight for the embattled new york governor andrew cuomo in the wake of the very damning official report saying he sexually harassed multiple women. our national correspondent erica hill is joining us right now. erica, governor cuomo has lost another top ally and he's facing more investigations. >> that he has, jay jacobs, who is the chair of the democratic party here in new york state had supported the governor for a long time. in fact, in a statement today he said he called the governor, he let him know he would be putting out this statement after efforts to convince him to resign failed. j.j. calls the investigation damning and said the governor has lost his ability to govern practically and morally.
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as you know, wolf, he is not the only person tonight calling for the governor to resign. >> governor cuomo has got to go! >> doing the right thing, state lawmakers dialing up the pressure. >> the governor is not fit to do his job. >> i believe there is sufficient evidence to proceed with an impeachment proceeding. >> the time for him to resign is right now. >> reporter: at least four district attorneys have asked the new york attorney general for investigative materials to determine if any of the conduct in this report is criminal. two of those requests citing what trooper number 1, a former member of the governor's security detail, told investigators. >> in an elevator while standing behind the trooper, he ran his finger from her neck down her spine and said, hey, you. another time she was standing holding the door open for the governor. as he passed, he took his open hand and ran it across her
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stomach. she told us that she felt completely violated. >> touching women that don't consent in those places could be the basis for sexual assault claims. >> reporter: cuomo denies ever touching anyone inappropriately, a statement finding little support among his accusers. >> when there are two women, there are more than two. we know from experience that it's not just one person, and that's why we need to believe every woman who makes these allegations. >> reporter: among the groups voicing their support for the accusers, the new york state troopers union, dismayed and disturbed at the report's findings, its president outraged and disgusted. the state's largest public employee union noting safety and security must be the standard of every workplace, calling on the governor to resign. >> his resigning would be such a healing move for the state, for women, for his victims and for other victims who have been triggered and retraumatized. >> the governor laying low on
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wednesday releasing a covid update but no further comments on the report. meanwhile the impeachment inquiry shifting into high gear. with a judiciary meeting scheduled for monday in albany, a majority of the senate's members tell cnn they would vote to impeach the governor. 13 democratic state senators have also expressed support for impeachment. >> at this point, you know, i don't expect the best out of this governor. that's why i'm calling on all of us to use that power and actually get this man out of office. >> reporter: now, in terms of a timeline, articles of impeachment could be referred to the new york state assembly by the judiciary committee as early as next week. the judiciary committee saying they are moving forward with impeachment unless the governor resigns. wolf. >> erica hill, thank you. joining us now, democratic new york congressman kathleen rice. kathleen, thank you for joining
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us. what's your reaction to the news that governor cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, 11 to be exact, a report finding all of these women to be credible in their allegations of unwanted touching, kissing and groping? >> as you read the report, which i'm sure and i hope most new yorkers are, it is beyond disgusting. the allegations that were founded in this report showed and established that the governor of the state of new york is a serial sexual harasser. there is no question that that was one of the findings. the other finding is that the governor created and was able to perpetuate an incredibly toxic work environment with the help of those closest to him in state government. that is a terribly disturbing finding as well. the women -- the 11 women who are brave enough to come forward
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in very difficult circumstances against a very powerful and vindictive governor, they will have whatever actions they have either civilly or we'll see what the individual d.a.'s offices do, but that fact alone, wolf, that this report established an incredibly toxic and hostile work environment, if i were part of the state of new york, i would worry about. the governor says thehe can put aside and do his job. he can't still do his job. i think it's laughable he thinks he can still do his job, but that toxic work environment still exists and that could lead to legal action against the legislature, the governor, the state if that kind of behavior continues, and there is no reason to believe that it wouldn't. so i hope that the legislature moves as quickly as they can. >> because if the governor decides not to resign, you clearly want him to be
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impeached. it does appear that the assembly will be ready to move forward with impeachment. you need a majority vote in the assembly for impeachment, and then conviction and two-thirds vote in the new york state senate. >> if you read the report, there is no one more worthy of impeachment than governor cuomo. the things that he said yesterday were such an affront, not just to the victims in this case but to every single new yorker. to blame his mother and father, and to victim-blame and to basically continue to gaslight every single new yorker and every american, to be quite blunt, it was just par for the course for this governor. i think he is finally being exposed for the tyrranical and vindictive governor he has been almost his entire time as governor. as polls show, and i think that number is going to grow, people
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want him to go. we are trying to get out of covid and hopefully get our economy back and get our kids back to school. what we don't need now is a chief executive of this state who is a serial sexual assaulter or, i should say, harasser. he has no credibility at this point, and i think -- i hope -- i hope for someone who says he loves this state and is committed to it, he will do the right thing and step down. >> congresswoman kathleen rice, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. just ahead, officer michael fanone is standing by. here he is live to react to death by suicide of some of his fellow officers who responded to the january 6 attack. also coming up, i'll speak live with retired colonel alexander vindman who played an important role in president trump's impeachment.
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when you earn a degree with university of phoenix, we support you with career coaching for life, including personal branding, resume building and more. that's our promise to you. that's career services for life. learn more at tonight cnn has learned of
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new evidence for former president trump's efforts instigate some sort of coup to investigate election fraud, forcing one employee to form a resignation letter. michael fanone is in to talk about the siege on the capitol. michael, thank you for all the work you've done for the service to our country. i don't want to talk about politics right now. i want to talk about what's going on. we know that four police officers who did serve on january 6th have now committed suicide. what will it take for local, state, federal officials to do the job and try to prevent this down the road? >> well, i think the first thing that needs to happen, especially within the law enforcement community, is normalizing the conversation about trauma. you know, being able to talk about that not just amongst our
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peers but to actually go and seek out help. we're just starting to address these. our department just hired a wellness director. that's something brand new in our department's history, but having the resources there and feeling able to access those resources are two different conversations. but it's not just a conversation to have within the law enforcement community, it's really something we need to purge american call toulture th people who grapple with trauma and the medical issues that come along with it are somehow weak or, you know, not -- you know, not tough individuals. >> you knew one of these police officers, police officer hasheed. how hard is it for you and your
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fellow police officers to hear this kind of news four times over? >> any time we experience a line of duty death, it's incredibly difficult. and then when you -- if you have the unfortunate occurrence to have someone, you know, who you knew personally, it's even more devastating. i knew officer hashida very well. i worked with him for almost two decades. as i said, before he was the most professional, dedicated officer that i had the privilege of working with. it's been devastating, not just to me, not just to the mpd community, but also to the first district and the officers that he worked so closely with, and then obviously his family. >> is there a problem for the police officers here in the metropolitan police force of washington, d.c. to access the proper counseling, to get the
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mental health sfervices that yo really do need from time to time? >> the resource is there. we have a wonderful program. dr. beverly anderson is the most dedicated mental health official i've ever worked with. she's been with our department for over three decades. she cares deeply. ever since january 6, we've had an unprecedented amount of officers seeking help in dealing with the trauma, not just that they sustained from the 6th, but what's really been culminating for years of, you know, villainization of law enforcement and, you know, the struggles that those officers, you know, deal with in their daily tasks and their personal lives and then coupled with the idea that, you know, our society no longer supports that. >> what impact does it have when you hear the former president and his supporters, or some of his supporters mock you, and your colleagues who testified before congress and say you guys
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are simply making all this up? >> i mean, that's -- it's unbelievable. when i first started speaking out, my sole purpose here was to advocate for members of my department and their recognition for the performance. you know, the selfless acts of courage and bravery on january 6th. then somehow i found myself, you know, just simply having to advocate for the fact that january 6th happened. it's like being in bizarro land, man. i don't even know how to reconcile that in my mind. >> how are you doing? how are you holding up? >> i mean, i'm doing much better than i was several months ago, but then again, i've had access to, you know, the best that there is as far as mental health
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services. i'm concerned about, you know, my fellow officers, many of whom continue to suffer in silence and have not sought help and are struggling with the effects of the trauma that they experienced on january 6th and in the years -- months and years preceding january 6th. >> it's been now almost exactly seven months since january 6th. and a lot has developed. we're learning a lot more about what happened before. there is a special committee now investigating. tell us a little bit more not just about you, but your fellow officers, how you're dealing with all of this, and i'm sure many of them are suffering from post-traumatic stress. >> yeah. again, like i said, it's not just the events of january 6, it's really the months leading up to january 6 culminating in that day. i mean, we had unprecedented
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unrest in our city over the summer. these officers were fatigued. they were exhausted. they were working 12, 18-hour shifts often with no days off, and by the time january 6th rolled around, these guys were tired. then january 6th happened. many officers were working extended shifts beyond that some months out from january 6th. i mean, they are -- they're spent. >> they certainly are. i know many of your colleagues and your friends. do you feel sort of hopeful that the conversation about mental health, especially within law enforcement, is changing right now, is getting better and that there are greater opportunities for help out there? >> i mean, certainly within my department. i mean, chief conte, i think, introduction of a wellness
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director in our department is a huge step in the right direction. he's always been one to care about his officers' well-being. that's one of the reasons why he's so respected as our chief. but, you know, there is still a long way to go. it doesn't help when people that do speak out and talk about the struggles that they've had, whether it's with regards to january an olympian, you know, struggling with mental health issues, as well and people, you know, disparage them, insult them because of their courage to come forward and talk about these struggles openly. to me, that's, you know, that's the most courageous thing that an individual can do. >> yeah. i totally agree with you. michael fanone, thank you so
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much for all that you are doing. we are greatful to you for your service here in washington d.c. and we will, of ybviously, want stay in touch. >> like wise. >> anything we can do to help, let us know. >> appreciate it. >> to our viewers, help is always available to anyone contemc contemplating suicide. 800-273-8255 or text home to 741741. coming up, i'll speak live one on one with retired lieutenant colonel alexander vinman, a key figure in president trump's first impeachment. we'll discuss when we come back.
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's best moments. call 1-800-aspendental or book online today.
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there is new evidence of former president trump's attempt to try to over throw last year's presidential election here in the united states. a former u.s. justice department official planned to resign over and i'm quoting direct instructions from trump to back his big lie. joining me now is alexander vindman that testified about his deep concerns over the former president's pressure on ukraine to investigate his political rival joe biden. lieutenant colonel's new book is "here right matters an american story." thank you for joining us. thank you for writing this book. it's a testament to who you are and what you went through. i want to get to the book in a little while. we're learning the former president's efforts to try for
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all practical purposes in the final days in office to overturn the election for all practical purposes to have a coup. >> it seemed like a continuing enterprise as far back as my involvement in the scandal and reporting it from that point forward, the president was laser focused on whatever it took to seize -- to hold power. to hold on to power. he failed. he was inspmpeached the first t around and continued to pursue the enterprise even after the election. >> you worked in the white house national security counsel. how worried are you that there are still supporters or enablers out there for the former president who are still trying to suggest that the whole election was fraudulent? >> that's right, wolf. this isn't the first time in that situation room. >> you were in a different situation room down the road a little. >> but i'm not really worried about folks in government.
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government is filled with terrific lifelong public servants trying to do their job. i'm worried about a notable series of enablers that perpetuated the big lie by the president in office and continued to perpetuate the big lie and that lie is not just about the president, president trump being voted out of office. it's also about covid and die vis sieve issues tearing this country apart. >> you wrote how important it is to take a stand for what is right. when you see enablers doing the opposite, what goes through your mind? you came with a son of immigrants with great expectations and served with great distinction. what goes through your mind? >> if we want right to matter, we need to make it matter meaning holding folks acc accountable for actions. if folks were acting against the
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interest of the united states, those folks need to be exposed for the corrupt officials they are. same for the misdeeds of the trump administration. without accountability, we have an open sore, an open wound that will not heal until we address the fundamental issues. >> what goes through your mind when you see these and studied these authoritarian regimes in other countries, when you see what is going on in the country now, how worried, are you worried or confident we'll get through this? >> we have a respite to measure where we are but things won't move forward on their own. to come together in unity. because there are people seeing divided. so unless we actually are proactive in dealing with the issues, we'll have the next trump, next want to be dictator
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and we might be -- >> so how do we guard to protect the democracy? >> the first thing we need to do is have our current administration maybe cast aside thinking of unity and bring people back together organically. it's wishful thinking. i think there is an effort that needs to be taken to expose the misdeeds of the previous administration and let the cards fall where they may. that's simply the right thing to do. >> you faced a lot of retaliation from the trump administration and supporters. how are you doing? >> i'm doing okay. i think i've landed on my feet and pursuing interesting things. in a lot of ways, i feel like i'm doing the same things i did in uniform out of uniform. continue to contribute to the conversation, values based
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leadership and now with this book out, i'm able to speak to the american people ex and prov how to navigate really difficult affairs and merge on the other side after some trying challenges but be in a position to be okay and contribute. >> how difficult was it? >> it's much like michael. not the fact i was attacked by the white house but the lack of support i received from my department, army and department of defense that affected me and when i realized my military career was done, i had to do serious soul searching to figure out what to do next. i don't have all the answers. i'm still thinking through it. those are the issues i faced then and now. >> let's give a shoutout to johns hopkins school of advanced international studies. you're getting a phd. i was a student. i got a master's degree. it's an excellent school.
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hope they're treating you well? >> they are. >> appreciate it. >> appreciate it "right right matters an american story." important book and insightful look what is going on in the country. to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, biden versus desantis, biden slamming him saying he doesn't want to hear a blip about covid from him after he told governors like desantis to get out of the way. a war of words escalating tonight and the ohio congressional race that split the democratic party. shawntell brown is "outfront". and an update tonight on the mother of three who is facing eviction. tonight dasha kelly and her response to the number of you that came to


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