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tv   CNN Tonight  CNN  December 13, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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we want to thank the people of mayfield, kentucky for having us in his community. the pastor met so many extraordinary people today, and they are really bonding together, reaching out to each other. thank them for telling their stories here as well as other places around the state and other parts of the region where people are suffering tonight. our thoughts are with them. if you want to help go to cnn.com/impact. the news continues. let's hand it over to michael smerconish on "cnn tonight." >> anderson, thank you. i am michael smerconish. welcome to "cnn tonight." something astonishing happened. the committee investigating donald trump held him in contempt of congress. and moreover for the first time, we heard that not only were
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republican members of congress privately testing the chief of staff, seeking help in stopping the siege, but so, too, were some of the president's favorite mouthpieces who, since january 6, are the least willing to talk about the reality of that day. in fact, i couldn't help but notice that their network didn't even carry live the events that i'm now showing you. >> this witness must testify like 300 other witnesses before him have done, either voluntarily and proudly as a patriotic citizen, or at least under compulsion of subpoena by the congress of the united states. but he has no right anywhere in our constitutional system to defy a subpoena from the house of representatives. >> what we saw tonight was a committee making clear that even some of the biggest names in trump world knew what we all were watching unfold on january 6 was not just a protest. and many of the president's most public supporters were privately
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urging the white house to get the president to call off the attack. >> members of congress, the press and others wrote to mark meadows as the attack was underway. one text mr. meadows received said, quote, we are under siege here at the capitol. another, quote, they have breached the capitol. in a third, mark, protesters are literally storming the capitol, breaking windows on doors rushing in. is trump going to say something? this is hurting all of us. he is destroying his legacy, laura ingram wrote. please get him on tv. destroying everything you have accomplished, ryan kilme texted. quote, can he make a statement, ask people to leave the capitol,
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sean hannity urged. as the violence continued, one of the president's sons texted mr. meadows. quote, he's got to condemn this shit asap. the capitol police tweet is not enough, donald trump jr. texted. >> the nine members of the bipartisan committee unanimously voted tonight to hold meadows in contempt for refusing to answer their questions. but it's clear even in the absence of his testimony, the committee has amassed a tremendous amount of evidence. cnn congressional correspondent ryan nobles joins me now from capitol hill. ryan, i said at the outset, it was really a stunning evening. i don't know what surprised me more, to hear the names called out of fox news personalities who frankly don't talk about the events of january 6 and yet they were urging mark meadows to get the president to shut it down or the references made to republican members of congress who were doing likewise except they weren't named tonight.
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>> i think you're absolutely right, michael, and i think that is the big question that now lingers over this committee. who are those members of congress that were in contact with mark meadows, not only on january 6, the members of congress that were pleading with him to try and get the president to do something to call off his supporters and quell the violence here on capitol hill, but also those lawmakers that were in conversation and communication with mark meadows in the days and weeks leading up to january 6 after the november election that were aiding and abetting this attempt to stymie the democratic process, to try to stop the event of electoral votes. what we saw tonight was an outline of texts that did both of those things, right, a group of texts that showed people in communication with mark meadows trying to undermine the election results, and then a second set of text messages trying to prevent something terrible from
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happening here on january 6, which was already happening at the time. for instance, there was a lawmaker that texted to meadows that said -- suggesting this to meadows. on january 6, 2021, vice president mike pence, as president of the senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all. this is buying into this questionable legal theory that somehow the vice president on that day really had a ceremonial role could not accept the duly elected electors and certify them and announce joe biden as the next president of the united states. the texts received on january 6, one of them saying, the president needs to stop this asap. keep in mind this is a lawmaker that is essentially under attack here on january 6 on that day, pleading with the president to do something, and at this point he's not really doing anything.
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then another text to a lawmaker, yesterday was a terrible day. we tried everything we could in our objection to the six states. i'm sorry nothing works. you see the dichotomy here, right? it wasn't just about people being concerned for their lives, which is what you read in some of these texts but it was also about this disappointment that they were unable to prevent the democratic process from moving forward. >> right, so if i were now taking the deposition of mark meadows, if they get to that point, i would say, mr. meadows, you received these texts on january 6, what did you do with them? did you bring them to the attention of the president? what was the president's response? essentially it's the howard baker question. many years later, what did the president know and when did he know it? ryan nobles, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you. the committee's argument against mark meadows tonight is about building a case based on evidence, and as ryan just said, that includes the former chief
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of staff's own text messages. >> one text mr. meadows received said, quote, we are under siege here at the capitol. another, quote, they have breached the capitol. in a third, mark, protesters are literally storming the capitol, breaking windows on doors, rushing in. is trump going to say something? a fourth, there is an armed standoff at the house chamber door. and another from someone inside the capitol. we are all helpless. dozens of texts, including from trump administration officials urged immediate action by the president. quote, potus has to come out firmly and tell the protesters to dissipate. someone is going to get killed. >> mark meadows was flooded with
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texts like these that day. among those sending him urgent messages, my first guest tonight. alyssa farrow was trump's director. starting tonight she is also a cnn commentator. her texts with mark meadows are central to this investigation. alyssa, thank you for being here. let's begin there so people can appreciate what you are about to say. what's the nature and length of the professional relationship that you had with mark meadows? when did it begin and what was the context? >> well, michael, it's great to join you. listen, i've known mark meadows for the better portion of a decade. i worked with him in the house as a personal spokesperson, as the spokesperson for the house freedom caucus, continued to work with him when i was with the vice president and then came back to the white house when he was chief of staff. let me say this. the mark meadows that i knew was a man who cared about the constitution, he cared about the congressional role in oversight,
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and that all seemed to be thrown out the window in this current proceeding. that's what's kind of astonishing to me. he's a man who knew the co-equal branches of government and the fact that congress obviously has the right to issue these subpoenas and get to the bottom of the horrifying events on january 6. i'm stunned that he's not cooperating. it's never too late to do the right thing and i hope that he would consider doing it, but all signs point to he's not going to be cooperate, but luckily the committee has a ton of evidence to build this case. >> let's talk about some of that evidence. you stayed at the white house through the election. you were there through december 4. you left why? >> well, listen, we have lost the election. there were a lot of kind of rumors running around the administration about folks not wanting to leave because there was pressure to stay because we weren't going to acknowledge the results of the election. honestly, it was important for me to set an example for staff and those around me. we did lose. that is a fact. joe biden was the duly elected
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president of the united states and it was just time to move on. >> for a while, though, you bought into some of the statements about the election, right? i'm a pennsylvanian. i heard you say they put the votes on the scale. >> that was prior to the polls being closed and it was talking about a state official who was discussing certain precincts ahead of votes even being cast. i thought that showed some sort of bias. i never will buy into the notion that the election was stolen or there was wide enough fraud that it could have turned the results the other way. joe biden is the president. republicans didn't win because donald trump simply did not get the votes. >> it's january 6. where are you as you're watching? >> so i was down in florida. i was advising the georgia senate runoffs. i was horrified. i spent years working in the capitol. i spent a lot of time in the capitol when i worked for vice
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president pence who, of course, is the president of the senate. knowing he was there having his threats made against his life as well as speaker pelosi, other members of congress, and knowing they were in imminent danger was horrifying. we all remember that day very well. you know, as you mentioned in your lead-up, i was one of the people who sent a text message to mark meadows, and i very clearly stated, if president trump won't go out and condemn this, you should. and i fundamentally believe that. every person in the white house or around him who had a platform and a voice to speak out had an obligation to speak out on january 6, even if they could just marginally pull -- >> i think i can put on the screen a text you may lay claim to, so let's take a look at it together. i don't know if you have a screen that you can see this. one former white house employee reportedly contacted mr. meadows several times and told him, you guys have to say something even if the president is not willing to put out a statement, you should go, flipping to the next
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part, to the cameras and say, we condemn this, please stand down. if you don't, people are going to die. is that your text? >> that is my text, and michael, what's so horrifying in retrospect and hearing you read that back, that was about an hour before ashley bobbitt died and about four hours before we heard mark sicknik died. >> you sent that where and how? was take personal phone? >> i left the white house. i only had a personal phone and i sent it to his personal phone. >> i'm replaying hillary in my mind now and all the debate over private servers and so forth, and i'm questioning the pro pr propriety of him receiving messages like this on his private phone.
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>> i think there were certainly things that were jermaine to act -- germane that should have been sent on a white house phone. >> they are searching for information that might be available to this committee. did he respond? >> he did not. he did not respond and i also called the white house trying to reach the president that day. i was unable to reach him. but it goes back to this. the committee is doing incredibly important work, and i think it's been smart that they've kept their heads down. they've not made this a big flashy show where they're having cable-driven news hearings. they wait until they have something ask nd they lead withe facts. some of these fox news hosts are speaking out of both sides of their mouth on this. they knew how bad this was the day off and even a few days afterwards. most of the party did, but then they completely changed their tone now. that, i think, is really revealing to americans who are watching this and realize they're basically being lied to by a lot of people in power
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where the media leads. >> i appreciate the fact they were all reaching out for the president that day. it's something that those of us with no access would have liked to have done. the problem, as you point out, is the lack of conversation thereafter, t thereafter. that they wanted it to stop is great, but ever since january 6, treating it as inconsequential is appalling.i alyssa far -- thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪
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the central question of january 6 is how far up the executive branch this went. the committee has laid out the evidence that points all the way to the white house chief of staff. and much of that evidence was first uncovered in the book "bet "betrayal: the final act of the
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trump show." the book is cited in the resolution for contempt. joining he am now, chief washington correspondent jonathan carr. jonathan, thank you so much for being here. what surprised you about tonight's events? >> i think that the e-mail from donald trump jr., the pleading e-mail to mark meadows saying, get my father on television, get my father in the oval office speaking to the country, calling on those people to stop, it's gone too far. that's pretty dramatic when the president's own son, when the president's namesake is unable to get through to his own father and is reaching out and pleading with the chief of staff to do something. i mean, that was really what the rest of the country was doing at that time. where was donald trump? that ultimately is the question. where was he during those hours? why was he refusing to do anything to deal with a crisis that was unfolding right before our eyes?
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>> to your point, why would donald trump jr. have to go through mark meadows to reach his father unless his father was completely siloed in in the oval o office or in the anteroom? >> i detail what was going on during the riot in the oval office and in the west wing of the office. what i found was mark meld adow was the person with trump the entire period. he was going back and forth. trump spent time in a little dining room adjacent to the oval office which worked as a second office for him. it had television screens. meadows was taking phone calls. you heard alyssa go through some of them, but there were many
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others. as i approached meadows in the outside hallway was the deputy security manager, mike pottinger, who was so horrified by what he saw went to meadows and said, why can't we get something done here? why aren't we trying to stop the riot? meadows went to pottinger and went back to his office and wrote his letter of resignation right there at that moment. meadows really is the key to all of this. >> what is going on here insofar as as meadows produces documents, writes a book, initially is cooperating and now draws a line in the sand. explain that to me. >> i think he's trying to manage his relationship with donald trump which at this point is all he has. i'm absolutely confident that meadows, when he wrote the book,
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told trump he was writing the book. obviously trump's quote is on the front page of the book. trump put out a statement praising it as the truth. meadows, you know, wasn't going to put anything in that book without first running it by donald trump, but when trump saw how it played, the idea that trump had a positive covid test before the debate, it's in the book. when trump saw how it played, he got furious. he got angry. and now meadows needs to make a show of support for trump and needs to pick a fight with an enemy of trump, which is this committee. i think that that's what's going on. he's just trying to get back in good graces with a very angry former president. >> final question, big picture. i want to run something past you. initially i thought the president speaks on january 6, chaos ensues without any plan, without any malice aforethought. then i read your book and i read
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acosta and woodward's book, and i put together some circumstances. the ennis memo you brought to life, the challenges on states, the leaning on trump saying, hey, play ball with us, the leaning on pence with the foot soldiers. it really was a coordinated plan of attack, right? >> yeah, and i would also add leaning on the department of defense to investigate these crazy conspiracy theories and maybe do more, leaning on the director of national intelligence, the top intelligence official in the country. meadows was doing all of this. the president was doing all of this. and i think that that is -- that's what i put forward in my book "betrayal." this is not a one-off event. this is not the president who decided spontaneously to go and attack the capitol. this wasn't even just a riot at the capitol. that's the petty crime.
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it's serious, obviously, but the real crime is what it was intended to do, and that is to stop the transition of power, to disrupt, basically, the fundamental tenet of american democracy, that after an election, the loser leaves, the winner is sworn in. they tried to disrupt that. michael, if i could just say one final thing on all of this, as we focus on meadows' role, you mentioned eastland, ellis, there is a whole question on who did what with the national guard, don't lose sight of the big picture, and that is trump himself. trump himself is the one who refused to admit defeat and vowed to do anything he could to overturn the results of the election. trump is the one who saw what was happening on january 6, saw his own supporters go into the capitol building and refuse to -- even after the pleadings of his son refused to come out and call on them to stop until
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the riot was almost over. he's the one who did not pick up the phone to say, where is the national guard? i want the national guard up there immediately. he didn't do any of it. so, yes, there is a lot to talk about, the people around the president, and i think meadows is front and center on all of that. but the actions of the former president himself are really a key factor to all of this. >> i have to say this quickly. there is a missing piece that i want to know the answer to. i want to know what went down at the willard hotel the night before. but for all of these machinations and for all of these moving parts, i want to know what was the level of communication to those foot soldiers? because i think about the guy with the horns, and i think about those who actually broke into the capitol. when they got there, they didn't seem to have a clue, they didn't seem to have a plan. they wandered around. they weren't even squatters which would have precluded
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tallying the vote. i can't believe it was left to chance to stoke this whole thing and sit back and see what happens. there is a missing piece here and we need to know the answer to it. anyway, thank you so much. i appreciate you being here. >> thank you. >> jonathan carl is the author of "betrayal: the final act of the trump show." we appreciate him being here. what do we got? you cannot conduct a coup of a government you are the leader of. start there, mikey, then we can discuss. i'm not quite sure what to make of that observation. all right, i'll take you at face value. put that back on the screen for one second. i want to see what this guy's -- okay. so the point you're making is it can't be a coup because you're running the government? you're running the government but you're going to be out in 14 days, right? so, yeah, it's a coup to make sure you stay in power.
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you get my last point to jonathan carl, right? all of these things were taking place. all these things. we initially thought it was very haphazard. he gives a speech, he stokes up the crowd, they go down pennsylvania avenue, some of them break into the capitol. it was much, much more than that. it was much more sophisticated and there are all different aspects of it that you have to pull back and look at the big picture. but what was the guy with the horns supposed to do, because i don't believe it was left to chance. one more if we have time, and i believe we do. meadows wasn't dialed in. once you get on trump's bad side, there's no going back. look at a guy like bannon. you're never completely out of trump world. that's the funny thing about it. he tolerates people fighting him, coming back. look at rudy. what was the rest of that tweet.
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once you get on trump's bad side, you're not coming back. he might as well cooperate with the investigation because trump will destroy him first chance he gets. what i don't understand is how does he produce meadows 900 pages of documents, write his own book, cooperate with the committee and suddenly reach a point where he's put all this information in the public domain and now say, well, executive privilege, i've had enough. that makes no sense. there is more going on there. anyway, what does it say that many a president of donald trump's allies on fox news practically begged meadows to get the president to say something to end the capitol rampage. the giant of journalism is here for what it means to face this scrutiny. frank is next. it's another day. and anything could happen.
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- san francisco can have
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criminal justice reform and public safety. but district attorney chesa boudin is failing on both. - the safety of san francisco is dependent upon chesa being recalled as soon as possible. - i didn't support the newsom recall but this is different. - chesa takes a very radical perspective and approach to criminal justice reform, which is having a negative impact on communities of color. - i never in a million years thought that my son, let alone any six-year-old, would be gunned down in the streets of san francisco and not get any justice. - chesa's failure has resulted in increase in crime against asian americans. - the da's office is in complete turmoil at this point. - for chesa boudin to intervene in so many cases is both bad management and dangerous for the city of san francisco. - we are for criminal justice reform. chesa's not it. recall chesa boudin now.
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quote, mark, the president needs to tell people in the capitol to go home. this is hurting all of us. he is destroying his legacy. >> i have never seen trump rally attendees wearing helmets, black helmets, brown helmets, black backpacks, the uniforms that you saw in some of these crowd shots. have you ever seen them wearing, as chris said, those knee pads and all the pads on their
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elbows? i mean, i've been to a lot of these rallies. i know you both have covered them. i've never seen that before, ever. >> can't have did both ways. that's laura ingram on january 6 laid bare tonight, privately texting mark meadows that president trump needed to do something to end the insurrection, and then hours later, on her own program suggesting they weren't really trump supporters. let's discuss with the director of the school of media and public affairs at george washington university, frank sezno. he's also a former cnn washington bureau chief. frank, what do you make of tonight's events? there's been so much that's come forth. >> i think we're going through an enormous documentation about how deep this went, how people close to the president were alarmed, panicked over this and pleading with the president to do something. i was really struck by jonathan carl's comments a few moments ago that what this shows is the great swirl around the
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president, fundamentally that he tuned out to his son or anyone, for him to speak out and push back. it shows that this was deeper and far more dangerous than most people realized and so many on the right continue to believe, or at least portray as reality. >> well, he shouldn't have needed to be told to do something to try and quell what was going on. >> it was live, michael. we were watching it. i was watching it thinking, is this building going to burn down? there was no ambiguity here. >> the president had a tv and should have done something about it. frank, my purpose here is not to jo jolly stomp all over fox news. but i have to say the hypocrisy on the 6th of saying, we have a real insurrection on our hands,
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i'm paraphrasing, do something about it and treat it ever thereafter as though it were no big deal. that's got to get called out. >> it's got to get called out. what media companies need to do and anybody giving remotely close to the world journalism is they hold people in power to account, whichever side they're on. people in the audience are going to push back and say, well, cnn doesn't hold one side as accountable as the rest and they'll argue about that. but you call out the inconsistency, a lie, a hypocrisy when you see it. if there was ever something to see, it was on january 6. as you point out, fox did it initially. so did many in the republican party, by the way. so fox's parallels drift away from the reality and the concern and the panic of that moment into something that is not revisionist history, it is propaganda, which is what we're seeing now.
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it is a lie. >> so tonight i was preparing for this program and i was in an office here at the cnn headquarters, and there were monitors where i could keep an eye not only on our live feed but also fox and mbcsn and other channel, i forget what it was. i couldn't help but note that fox wasn't taking note of any of the hearing, that their audience won't even be aware because you know how siloed people in on their favorite media outlet. they won't even be aware that their folks got called out in this committee hearing. >> maybe they'll be aware when their hosts are called to testify, or they're held by others in a public forum. this is the great concern i've had about fox. we should have multiple voices covering the news. we should have conservative-leading news organizations. but that's a very different thing than truth-defined media companies. that's unfortunately what this has become. it pains me to say this, but
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it's painfully obvious and it's very dangerous. >> i can't help but say that chris wallace probably would have talked about it, you know, on a sunday if he were still on the air there. and maybe that's the reason why he's not. >> well, i'm a big fan of chris'. i have been for a long time. i worked side by side with him way back when in the reagan white house at nbc and i was a young reporter at cnn. chris is tough, he's ferocious, he calls it and he asks it as he sees it. i think he's done serious questions. he was interviewing liz cheney last month, and he said, look, we've always had differences over policy and we've always debated policy. but, he said , with some alarm, now we're debating facts with truth. that goes to the core of his disassociation with fox news and why he left. >> they used to be able to say,
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well, we have chuck smith and we have chris wallace, and we have brett baer. do you think they fill that void or do they just quadruple down now on what is a successful business model? >> good question. i'm not sure it matters at this point. then there was one bret baer had left. they are drowned out by what you and i talked about a moment ago. that's very hard to say, look who we've got here and how legitimate we are, when on the other hand you're tracking all this other stuff that is, in so many cases, virtual fabrications. tucker carlson's patriot urge is one of the things that got chris wallace and bret baer so exercised that they talked to management about it, that this
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was highly irresponsible stuff that's feeding conspiracy theories with no justification for a news person, for someone who bases their career around demonstrable facts, things you can see and prove. it's beyond insulting. it's death-defying. >> right. tucker carlson is behind a documentary about events that were so alarming that when they played out in realtime, fox hosts were trying to reach out for the president of the united states. there it is in a nutshell. >> and it was the same fox hosts who had really unprecedented access to the white house, to the oval office. they were virtual advisors to the president. that's something else we're not supposed to do in media and certainly not without disclosing it. now, some of it was very obvious because sean hannity was on stage with the president of the united states and people can make their judgments. this is not a country where we're supposed to have state-run
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television, and that's what it's looked like. >> frank, thank you so much. frank sezno. >> a pleasure. we're keeping track of america's crime epidemic. now an important player in the conversation suddenly changing his tune. he's come to a realization that more of our nation needs to embrace as well. that's next. ♪ i had a dream that someday ♪ ♪ i would just fly, fly away ♪ hi susan! honey? yeah? i respect that. but that cough looks pretty bad... try this robitussin honey. the real honey you love... plus the powerful cough relief you need. mind if i root through your trash? now get powerful relief with robitussin elderberry. >> man: what's my safelite story? my truck...is my livelihood.
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an emotional apology from the philadelphia district attorney amid the city's rising gun violence. >> i know that those words were the wrong ones. i chose them, they came out of my mouth, this is on me. i accept responsibility for that, i own that, because i failed in not acknowledging that pain and that suffering, a pain that disproportionately affects people of color. and poor people. so for that, i am truly sorry.
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>> larry crazner is talking about what he said last week at another press conference. that's where he said there is no cause for lawlessness, crime and violence, and the year is not yet over. those comments drew swift criticism, especially from mayor mike nutter who didn't hold back when i asked about crazner's comments being inarticulate. >> i don't think they were inar particu inarticulate, they were just inconsiderate. it was a full-on statement filled with his level of rhetoric and inability to accept responsibility for his role.
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>> we asked crazner to come on the program last week and again tonight. it's telling that while the apology seems to have progressed, the conversation hasn't really moved. today's press conference was supposed to be about crime in the center city neighborhood, but speaker after speaker seemed more concerned about crazner's choice of words. there was noticeably little talk about what to do in a city where four people were murdered just since my interview with the former mayor. up next the pictures we're seeing of deadly tornadoes that ripped across eight states are almost unbelievable. so, too, was the response of one lawmaker who is asking for help in his home state, but only after years of saying no when others pleaded for the same compassion. reality check with jon avalon is next. right, girl? >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪ - [narrator] every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft condition.
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dozens remain missing. at least 74 dead in kentucky alone and hundreds more out of their homes. that has rand paul pushing for federal aid but in careers past he's opposed disaster relief from the feds. john avalon is here with a reality check. >> that's right. hours after a devastating december tornado tore through kentucky causing more than 200 miles of destruction, senator land paul was asking president joe biden for aid from the fed federal government. this is pretty standard stuff except for the fact it came from rand paul because the kentucky senator who hails from the first family of american libertarians has a long record of opposing federal aid for disaster victims except apparently, when it impacts his constituents. suddenly all that reflects of attacks on socialist government spending don't seem to apply but after super storm sandy got in a
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spot with chris christie accusing aide advocates of being greedy then opposed for maria and harvey saying this on the senate floor. >> people here will say they have great compassion and want to help the people of puerto rico and the people of texas and the people of florida but notice they have great compassion with someone else's money. >> that's not all. he tried to block the extension of the 9/11 victims' compensation fund and bolster fema's disaster relief fund and blocked louisiana senator john kennedy as attempt to pass the 1.1 billion gulf coast aid act by unanimous consent but kentuckiens are in dire need, land paul is singing a different tune. gone are demands for delay and he wants it as fast as possible. joining him the ideological
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flip-flop is thomas massy of kentucky known for his gun toting family christmas card. this is worse than simple hypocrisy. exit poses the core callusness of calling government aide a socialist scheme because it all seems to be socialism for me, not for thee. case in point a rockefeller institute found kentucky got billions more in federal aide than it sent from 2015 to 2018, far more than the blue states in the northeast that needed help after sandy. if he was really trying to be a profile encouraged, now would be the time for rand paul to insist that kentuckiens rely on local charity or reallocation of funds rather than immediately asking president biden for help but of course, that would be an insult to his suffering constituents just like it is when senators from other states ask for help after devastating natural disasters getting worse due to the climate crisis so many in the gop deny.
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the city complicated folks, it's common sense. government exists in large part to help each other in times of great need and this isn't a left wing vision. listen to kentucky born abraham lincoln that believed the legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all or cannot do so well for themselves in their separate and individual capacities. that's exactly the situation kentucky is in right now with people reeling from the deadliest tornado in the state's history. they need help and that's what they'll get because it's consistent with our character as a country. we come together in times of crisis helping our fellow citizens recover and rebuild without playing red state v blue state political games. that's why we call it the united states of america. and that's your reality check. >> john avalon, thank you for that report. we'll be right back with reaction to tonight's program.
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here is some of the social media reaction to tonight's program. what do we have? smerconish you said something tonight that caught my attention about the insurrection that people were lost but not all of them. but they were still wrong for entering the capitol building. well, the point i was trying to make is this, that this was a very complex effort on january the 6th. not what i initially took it for. i took it for the president spoke, fired up the crowd, some of those people then marched down pennsylvania avenue. some of them stormed into the capitol. but there were many moving parts before we ever got to january 6th. a couple of legal memos that i discussed with jonathan karl providing a justification for that which was taking place convincing the president and people in the white house that they had a legal basis to do this. they were leaning on mike pence
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and the justice department. you had efforts taking place in the states. i mean, it was very comprehensive but a missing piece, what were the foot soldiers told they should do? i want to know. the answer probably lies in the war room at the willard hotel the night before. so file that away and we'll see what tranchtranspireds. thank you for watching. don lemon is in the on deck circle. >> we have one reaction to your show but that was a good one don't you remember watching? we weren't sure what was happening that day. we weren't sure what was happening was actually happening. the reality there was an insurrection happening at our nation's capitol in front of our eyes. >> sort of like what they said about september 11. it defied imagimagination. not something you expect to see in the united states. good to see you, great show. see you tomorrow.

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