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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  December 14, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PST

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follow me on twitter @smerconish. here's some of the social media reaction to tonight's program. will anyone in trump's orbit, even trump himself face any consequence for these revelations? how about finally a special prosecutor for all this crap. jail time, enough is enough. i said earlier that i think that the real high stakes for mark meadows and those in the whole trump orbit, not what comes from the congress but justice department surely they're following these events and listening to what liz cheney said. she was telegraphing to them tonight she thinks there is a violation to the federal code here. and laid it at the doorstep of president trump.
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keep an eye on justice and see what investigations springs ultimately from doj. what else came in? from my point of view on the left democracy is in jeopardy and autocracy is on the rise. you ask people on the right and they have the same perspective but for different reasons. very odd. i was making the point earlier that where 60% of republicans think the last election was stolen, i made crystal clear i don't believe the election was stolen. the evidence doesn't suggest that the election was stolen. but the reality is, 60% of republicans believe it was. so when we put that map up of the country where it's being made more difficult to vote or they would say ballot security is being enhanced, if you give them the benefit of the doubt, they think they're doing god's work, acting to protect ballot integrity and ballot security. and that's part of the problem. we can't reach them because they're siloed in media outlets where these things don't get discussed.
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that's a subject we talked about last night. what else came in? you know i don't see these in advance, right? that's part of the fun. you're probably saying yeah, we know you don't see them in advance because you have ridiculous things to say about them. ask any american to name three proposals in what's left of build back better. that result alone tells you what you need to know. stewart, i know progressives say it's the media's fault all you do is focus on the number. but where the negotiation has been so much about is it where did it start out? 3.8 or 9 trillion and now it's down to 1.75 or 1.8. it's hard not to get caught up in the numbers as opposed to the contents. jayapal thinks it will get done soon. we'll see. thank you for watching. i'll be back here tomorrow night. "don lemon tonight" starts right now. hey, don. >> when you talk about the number -- good evening to you, sir. when you talk about the number of people believe they're doing god's work. i used to question it, did they
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really believe it or want to believe it? i'm not sure that matters if they want to believe it or do believe it. they believe it in some sense, right? >> they're taking action on it. some would say michael, don't be so ridiculous, they know it's bogus, they're trying to make it more difficult for people not part of their constituency to cast a ballot. 60% think it was stolen. it gives them the power to go out in a state like pennsylvania and say that secretary of state position, let's make it an elected gig. instead of an appointed job. >> you talked about this before on your radio show and weekend show here on cnn about and i've often wondered if it's -- are people being co-opted, they're being exploited by right wing media or is it that they want to be? is it naive? is it a combination of all three of all? >> the balkanization of the airwaves may be a subject for a
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different way. don, i watch you. i watch everything. i'm constantly using that clicker and listening to all perspectives. too many among us, they're just listening to one particular outlet and getting just one take. that's not healthy. >> yeah, so we'll watch you and then watch me and then after they watch me, they'll click over to something else. i got to run. see you tomorrow. nice show. this is "don lemon tonight." thanks for joining us. we have breaking news now. i want to take you live to the house floor. that's where the vote is set to happen at any minute now. any minute on whether -- look at that. on whether to refer mark meadows to the doj, the department of justice for contempt of congress. this is unprecedented. i can't believe this is all happening on our watch. this is the time in our history that people write about as we have been saying and this is a time in our history that really shapes the future of where we go and what we consider a working and normal democracy in this country.
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someone who is a member of that body to be able to defy and all of a sudden now that is not a member of the body to say it doesn't matter what that body does. it's complete hypocrisy because when they remember the body, they want the people to follow the rules. we'll bring that. keep a close eye. you won't miss anything, as soon as that happens. that as we get so many new revelations tonight. they keep coming in one after another. and the more we learn, the more we see the whole thing, the big lie, then president's attempt to overturn the free and fair election, we see it in a new disturbing light. there is no other way to put it. no matter if you're a staunch trumper, never trumper, completely left leaning democrat, there is no other way to see it or put it unless you want to be. i don't know, misled. liz cheney revealing today that a sitting member of congress was working with jeffrey clark, the doj official that helped the
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then president to come up with a plot to oust the acting attorney general, give himself the job. get the doj to intervene in you guessed it, georgia. to flip the state for trump. >> as mr. meadows' non-privileged text reveal, he was communicating multiple times with a member of congress currently serving colleague of ours who was working with mr. clark. mr. meadows has no basis to refuse to testify regarding those communications. he is in contempt. >> it is outrageous. adam schiff reading out a text, we don't know who it's from. a text praising clark and saying he'll make a lot of so-called patriots happy. >> one of the texts to meadows on january 3rd came from an
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unknown caller and referred to efforts to replace the leadership efforts. and said the following -- i heard jeff clark is getting put in on monday. that's amazing. it will make a lot of patriots happy and i'm personally so proud that you are at the tip of the spear and i could call you a friend. >> as i said, unless you just want to look the other way. and then there is a text from an unnamed lawmaker the day after the election, the very next day as a matter of fact putting forth a quote aggressive strategy to overturn the election. >> on november 4th, a member of this body wrote to meadows here is an aggressive strategy, one day after the election. why can't the states of georgia, north carolina, pennsylvania and other republican controlled
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state houses declare this as b.s. where conflicts and election not called that night and just send their own electors to vote. and have it go to the scotus. >> that's the new stuff we're learning tonight. everything that we are learning tonight is on top of what we learned about how the fox propaganda networks laura ingram, brian kilmeade, sean hannity begged mark meadows to get the then president to put a stop to the violence. even his own name sake don junior, they knew the truth. they all knee exactly what they were seeing with their own eyes, even though now they're acting like nothing happened. no big towel. tourists. the fraud was everywhere. they were watching live. everyone knew it was wrong.
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those hosts knew, the trump supporting law mangers knew it. trump's own family knew it. so now what? >> we're watching what you are what is unfolding on the house side, and it will be interesting to reveal all the participants who were involved. >> interesting. it sure will be interesting to find out exactly who said what to whom on january 6th. >> did you speak with president trump on january 6th? >> yeah, i mean, spoke with the president last week. i speak with the president all the time. i spoke with him on january 6th. i talked with president trump all the time and that's -- i don't think that's unusual. i would expect members of congress to talk with the president of the united states when they're trying to get done the things they told the voters in their district to do. i'm actually kind of amazed sometimes people keep asking
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this question. i talk with the president all the time. i talked with him last week. >> on january 6th, did you speak with him before, during, or after the capitol was attacked. >> i spoke with him that day after -- i think after. i don't know if i spoke with him in the morning or not. i'd have to go back. i don't know when those conversations happened but what i know is i spoke with him all the time. >> what had happened was, uh. [ laughter ] okay. so look, that day i saw what was happening on tv. i called my producers like are you guys watching cnn right now? are you watching air? and then i called my mom and said are you watching cnn? right? not even the president of the united states. but i remember because it sticks out in your mind. i remember what i did for 9/11. i remember getting called into
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work. can you make it to new york? i don't know. traffic is -- who knows. on days like that, things stick out. and the president of the united states, darn, he just can't remember when he spoke to the president of the united states the day the capitol was attacked by rioters? is the brooklyn bridge still for sale? if you believe that. come on, people. the more we learn about january 6th, the closer we get to the truth about the gop's cult leader and echo chamber personalities. >> for a party such as the republican party, my parents were members of, for them to turn the whole apparatus over to one person means you no longer are a part of what you're now
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a cult, and that's what is happening. and it's time for the right thinking people in this country to step away from cult worship. >> never forget what this is about. this is about an attempted coup, an attempt to overturn the results of our free and fair election. an assault on our democracy itself. we know more now tonight than we ever did before and we're bound to learn a lot more. so now what happens? cnn's ryan nobles is on capitol hill for us. matter of fact, i remember when i was staying in a hotel because we would be working late because they would be working late to certify the election. i remember pretty much everything about that day. were they going to get it certified? going back and forth with the producers. but he can't remember what happened. if he talked with the president of the united states on that day. come on, really. so let's talk about why you're there, ryan. good evening. the house is set to vote any minute to hold mark meadows in
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contempt. what's the latest, sir from capitol hill? >> that's right, don. this vote has slipped late into the evening because of some procedural hurdles and other bills that have come up on the floor of the house tonight. right now in fact, they are dealing with a couple of procedural votes before they'll pass the bill that will raise the debt ceiling, which of course was a bit of a concern a couple weeks ago but the senate passed their version of that after some debate and now the house will pass it as well so they will avoid the debt ceiling crash and that calamity that could come with it. after they're done with the debt ceiling, which is about two procedural votes before they get to that point, they'll vote on this criminal contempt referral for mark meadows. they passed a rule to deal with this and had a full debate on it and we expect it will pass largely along partisan lines. there will probably be two republicans that vote yes and
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that on course will be adam kinzinger and liz cheney members of the january 6th committee. every other republican will probably vote no. the republican leadership is encouraging members to vote no. republican haves largely stuck together when it comes to this. there are enough democratic votes to get this over the finish line. from there it goes to the department of justice will decide whether or not to prosecute but, you know, don, i don't think we can really put enough significance on the fact that not only was mark meadows a former white house chief of staff as high as you can get in american government in a non-elected capacity, but he was also a member of this body, a member of congress. it is remarkable that this congress which he was a former member of will take this step of holding him in criminal contempt. it's something they don't do
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often and rarely if ever do to one of their own, don? >> let's talk about some of the evidence that they are presenting. lawmakers revealing new text messages today sent to mark meadows. what did we learn, ryan nobles? >> yeah, it seems like every day we're getting new bits of information out of this trove of documents that meadows shared with the committee voluntarily. he handed these over and said they weren't privileged pieces of information. that's part of what the committee wants to ask about. there were two that stood out to me today during the presentation on the house floor. the first and i think you've played it but i want to read it again. i heard jeff clark is getting put in on monday. this is a text from an unknown person to mark meadows on january 3rd. that's amazing and will make patriots happy and i'm proud you're at the tip of a spear and i can call you a friend. he's a former department of justice official who is currently under subpoena and has actually already been referred for criminal contempt by the select committee because he too is defiant but he's considered to be one of the key architects
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inside the department of justice who is attempting to convince the leadership of the department of that time to look into these false claims of fraud in the election results and mark meadows, the fact that he would have been in contact with someone that thought this was a good idea and we know from our reporting he was in direct contact with jeff clark is significant and it shows exactly where the committee is going in terms of their investigation. the other one that's important and it was a small one. it was short but very significant is from a member of congress to meadows where all they said was please check your signal. so if you're familiar with signal, that is a messaging app that is encrypted and the messages often disappear. so keep in mind this is a member of congress in communication with the sitting white house chief of staff and they were basically saying we'll have a
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conversation here that won't be recorded in history. mark meadows was a member of the administration. his communication especially with another member of congress, another member of the federal government, that is something that is of the public record that should be stored in the national archives. we had a debate over hillary clinton's emails and the committee is concerned there are many communications mark meadows may have had that have gone to history because he deleted them or used encrypted acts and there is a lot of information they won't get from that. it's part of why they want to talk to him, don. they want to get him in a room and ask these questions to learn more about the role he played on not only on january 6th but in the days and weeks leading up to what happened here on that day. >> ryan, you'll be there until it happens right? we'll come back to you. you'll be covering it. >> that's right, don. here for you. not going anywhere. >> you're here for the viewers. here for me but here for the viewers. we'll check in if you get new information. let us know we'll get you back on. that's ryan nobles. the lawmakers know that day will
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stick in their memory. okay? look, i'm sure like you there are days i don't remember, what did i eat for dinner? don't remember where i went. on days like that when there is an insurrection and something happens like 9/11 or a giant tornado that hits the south and midwest, you remember things. it sticks in your mind. they remember. we all do. because we saw it playing out with our eyes and we couldn't believe it and now we are learning more and more about what happened on january 6th but think about this, we didn't know how bad watergate was, right? another thing that sticks out in your mind until woodward and bernstein pieced it together. what does bob woodward think about all this? he is here and he is next. our sleigh is now ready, let's get on our way. a mountain of toys to fulfill many wishes. must be carried across all roads and all bridges. and when everyone is smiling and having their fun
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...for 100% whiter teeth. its highly active peroxide droplets... ...swipe on in seconds. better. faster. 100% whiter teeth. shop crestwhitesmile.com. breaking news, the vote is set to happen any minute on the capitol floor, on the house floor. you're looking at live pictures now. that vote will be whether to refer meadows to the contempt. -- refer mark meadows to the doj for contempt of congress. meadows has already turned over 9,000 documents to the january 6 committee but refused to show up to answer questions. so joining me now is bob woodward, the co-author of the book "peril," the best selling book. bob, thank you for joining.
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good to see you. >> thank you. >> let's talk about your reporting with carl bernstein exposed the watergate scandal. how would you assess what is happening now with mark meadows, former president trump and january 6th? >> i think these are all very significant pieces of the puzzle. and to understand the importance of meadows and his pieces where nixon was the driving spirit and chief of staff was the operator and i remember it was very significant development when we discovered watergate was a holderman operation. he had to do the dirty working the imp henation and turned out he wrote a book after he left office, after he left jail and really turned on nixon. he kept a diary, also, in the case of him. i don't think he kept a diary but you're dealing with the person meadows has his book out
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now called "the chief's chief." that's an accurate description. i haven't read the book but the guy that has that job, it's 24/7 you have a president who has ideas who is breathing down your neck fix this, find this, do that and of course we're at the moment on january 6th, very important this this was donald trump taking the position that
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the election was stolen, that it was fraudulent and as we know, there is no evidence to support that claim. >> what an ego. there is no way i can lose. you did lose. he's lying. the text messages, bob, other documents turned over by mark meadows paint a very damming picture. if that is what he voluntarily shared, what do you think he doesn't want the committee to see? >> wow, that's -- you really need somebody to testify nothing but the truth. i don't know whether meadows is inclined to do that turning over this much information voluntarily as we know in this process, somebody can always obstruct, delay, refuse to cooperate at least there is partial cooperation and as the text messages show, there is
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communication with members of congress, presumably republicans. they're working together, they're thinking together, and this idea of the fraudulent, stolen election. robert costa and i spent months looking at this. if we find evidence there was fraud and something was stolen, we would have an obligation to publish it and we looked and looked and discovered that some of trump's biggest supporters, lindsey graham and mike lee of utah investigated these claims. they're on trump's side, and came up with absolutely zero evidence so you know we're still waiting to see that. normally when a politician, a president makes a claim, there
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is some basis. this case no basis that i have seen at all. >> none. none. you reported extensively for your book "peril," you reported in that book about the people in president trump's ear leading up to the riots like john eastman, steve bannon. was meadows in the loop on the efforts to overturn the election? >> well, he was there. we didn't have much, we didn't have the kind of detail that has surfaced on this. but, again, that is -- he's the one a few days before january 6 that called a meeting in his office, the chief of staff's office down the hall from the oval office with senator lindsey graham and some others and said okay, what have we got here?
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rudy giuliani, trump's lawyer was there and turned over these incredible documents, which we have published and shared with people where they say tens of thousands of young people voted when they weren't eligible. you as lindsey graham said, it hard to get 18-year-olds to vote. how could you get 10,000 people and again, you look at the names, they submitted names. it does not hold up. it's just not there and when something is not there, then you dig and of course, that's what the committee is doing and i think it's one of the more important investigations congress has conducted ever. >> yeah, agreed. so i've got to ask you about some of the new texts from lawmakers, bob, like the one that talks about and i quote
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here an aggressive strategy to overturn the election. it wasn't just trump or white house officials or his allies at the doj. it was also members of congress. how does the scope of this compare to watergate? in watergate you have the president and a few people but how does the scope of this one compare to that? >> it's much larger. i think the central mystery and it still is a mystery, who were the operational cord -- coordinators? in this case on january 6th when is the law and constitution designating that is the day and 1:00 is the time when they will certify who won the presidency. so they found that moment a thousand people, how did -- who got 1,000 people together?
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certainly not donald trump and i would like to know and lots of people. there are names out there we don't know because to do this and execute it is horrifying as it is, it's natha marvel of organization. it just didn't happen and so you need all these communication links and what meadows provided is very significant and they're saying january 6th committee has lots of people cooperating, lots of people to talk to, knock on doors and invite them to come tell their story and if they've been charged unfairly, clear their name. >> yeah, i got a long quote i want to read for you here about general kellogg testifying today
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that he was a national security advisor to the former vice president mike pence. you reported on his interactions on trump on january 6th. this is a quote from the book about what happened when he went to see trump in the oval office to tell him about what was happening and that pence was safe. okay? mr. president, he added, you should do a tweet. on capitol hill nobody is carrying a tv on their shoulder. you need to get a tweet out real quick. help control the crowd up there. this is out of control. they're not going to be able to control this, sir. they're not prepared for it. once a mob starts turning like that, you've lost it he said. so yeah, trump said, trump blinked and kept watching television. >> yes, and here general kellogg a true trump loyalist, somebody who is national security advisor to pence and you know, what is pence doing now?
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is he cooperating? people around him seem to be doing what kellogg has done here. i think very significant that somebody in this position would be telling what happened and our reporting from participants and witnesses shows what you're quoting. here is a retired general literally begging in a nice way the president of the united states, wake up! it's what laura ingram said in the text that emerged, it was a version of, you are going to destroy your legacy. >> bob, always a pleasure, sir. thank you very much. thank you. congresswoman liz cheney repeatedly pointing to efforts to block the process of counting electoral votes. is she laying out the
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for free on the xfinity app. our thanks. your rewards. so here is our breaking news tonight. the house set to vote any minute on mark meadows for defying the -- on voting whether to refer mark meadows to the doj for defying a subpoena. kim is a professor of law at the baltimore school of law and author of "how to read the constitution and why." good evening. so happy to have you on. liz cheney spoke on the house floor. i want to play some of what she said and then we'll talk. >> all of these texts are non-privileged, they are texts that mr. meadows has turned over and they are evidence of
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president trump's supreme dereliction of duty for 187 minutes and mr. meadows testimony will bear on another fundamental question before this committee and that is whether donald j. trump through action or inaction, corruptly sought to obstruct or impede congress' official proceeding to count electoral votes. >> what she's saying there corruptly sought to obstruct or impede an official proceeding, she's now repeated that a few times. she's referencing a criminal statute. >> 19 usc, section 1512, don, yes. this is a statute that the justice department has used or attempted to use with a number of the actual insurrectionists. it tends to be historically used for witness tampering type things. we've never had an attempt to
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stop certification of the electoral college votes. we never had this kind of violence in the capitol. so doj is using this statute and recently a trump appointee in the district court in washington d.c. held that it can be used for january 6th and defendants across the country have been saying listen, it's improper. this isn't supposed to be used for counting of electoral votes and this judge said no, it's an official proceeding, a, and b, you don't actually have to be damaging evidence or tampering with witnesses or destroying documents so long as you corruptly attempt to impede those votes. that's enough to get past a motion to dismiss the indictment. so that's the question. i think for donald trump, it will come down to whether the concept of corruptly typical donald trump can apply to him or will he say listen, i thought that mike pence had this power,
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i didn't mean to do what people think i meant to do. it wasn't my fault. i didn't know. and that's really been an argument that has done well for him in a civil litigation realm before he took the white house and then also with the various investigations that went on including the impeachments while he was president. >> what has happened that the truth doesn't matter, the law doesn't matter, it doesn't apply to me because i'm not getting what i want. i will continue to defy the law. look, what is -- have you ever seen anything like this in your -- the years you have been doing what you do? it just seems -- it's crazy to me. >> well, you know what? you know, don, as i tell my law students, if -- a speed limit doesn't actually make people slow down. it's the consequences for
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speeding, right? so if there is something hiding in the bushes a machine that will put the ticket in the mail the next time you drive down that street you slow down. the question under the trump years is, somewhat are the consequences for blowing through all these stop signs and red lights we call the united states constitution? and there haven't been any. people have become emboldened. it started in the white house and the u.s. congress and it's leaked into the courts and this was the problem with the 60 lawsuits from a law professor standpoint, from a lawyer's standpoint. these lawyers time and again flouted the basics of civil procedure by filing bogus lawsuits. then you have people publicly, members of congress and others claiming and politicians and, you know, trump loyalists claiming that these are legitimate, claiming for example that mark meadows can raise executive privilege. we can have a half an hour conversation about how bogus that argument is as a legal matter but when regular people hear it over and over again, it
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sounds like there is a there there. there isn't. >> there is nothing there. what donald trump has injected into society is just -- it's yet to be seen. the magnitude of the dishonesty and litigation and on and on and on corruption that he is -- that he has injected into society. i don't know if we'll ever go back to normalcy or if we'll ever get over it. >> well, no, and it's also the enablers and the problem is and i think liz cheney understands this very well, the problem is we might see the end of democracy in the coming years. january 6th was no joke. and it could happen again successfully and that's why all of this voting legislation is so important and that's why the midterms are absolutely vital because if the u.s. congress goes to the republicans, this process, the january 6th commission will probably stop and if we have another january 6th with the republican congress and a democrat who wins the
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electoral college, we could see a successful overthrow of the voters. not politicians, the voters and that is the end of american democracy when votes are cancelled, ignored, thrown out. then we're no longer, we, the people. it's we the powerful. >> i love having these conversations with you, we'll have you back and continue on because there is a lot more to talk about. thank you so much. appreciate it. >> thank you, don. more than 800,000 people, 800,000 people, 800,000 people dead from coronavirus in the united states. now, there are concerns growing over the omicron variant as an explosion of cases hits cornell university. is it a sign of what's to come? with directv stream i can get live tv and on demand anywhere.
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so breaking news as we told you it would happen. the house has begun voting on the resolution to hold mark meadows in contempt of congress. we're going to bring you the
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latest as it happens. it will take awhile for them to count the votes and go through the process but again, they're voting now to hold mark meadows in contempt of congress. we said it was going to happen so there we go. we're going to talk about everything that is happening. we have breaking news about the united states reporting more sadly than 800,000 deaths from covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. that grim statistic, as dr. anthony fauci says, omicron is on its way to becoming the dominant coronavirus variant in this country. cornell university shutting down the campus after reporting more than 900 cases of covid in students. imagine that. more than 900 cases of covid during the past week. a lot to discuss with dr. peter hotez, professor and dean of tropical medicine at baylor. doctor, thank you. wow. more than 800,000 people and now we have cornell university more than 900 students that tested
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positive this week. these students were fully vaccinated. school says most of the cases are the omicron variant. how contagious is this variant and how effective are the vaccines against it, sir? >> some tough news today. first of all, that 800,000 number is not slowing. we're headed for a million american deaths by the first quarter of next year of 2022 tragically because of so many people refusing vaccinations. so park that one and then now we have the fact the omicron variant is rising faster than many of us expected. the reason i say that, don, when you look at the alpha variant that came in from the uk, or the delta variant, we had a four-to-six-week lag before things started picking up here. i had thought this wouldn't be accelerating like this until january, but it's already starting.
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we heard pretty startling news from the cdc director this morning that new york and new jersey at 13%, 1-3 of the virus are the omicron variant. that was shocking. so this is going to be upon us before or around the time of christmas. time of christm one, we saw a lot of -- that's one of the things i'm looking for. i'm worried about our children's hospitals, that we're going to see a lot of pediatric cases, maybe more so than what we've seen previously. so that's one piece. the other, don, is even though we're hearing if you get three doses of the vaccine, you get a big bump in your protective immunity against symptomatic illness, 70% to 75%. that's what's coming out of the uk. that's not as high as 95%.
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that means we're going to see a lot of breakthrough symptomatic covid infections. the additional concerning news is germany is showing the virus neutralizing antibodies after that third dose decline pretty quickly. that could mean that 70% to 75% is the high point and that it could come down accordingly. so the reason i bring that up is because i think we're going to -- we could see a lot of health care workers in our hospitals who actually have symptomatic covid and not so much that they're going to get very sick and go to the hospital, but it's going to knock them out of the workforce. that could create a very destabilizing situation where you have a lot of people going into the hospital but not enough people taking care of them. so that's -- so there's a lot of moving parts to this very, very fast-moving epidemic here in the united states, and i think we have to take it very seriously, especially our health care administrators, our hospital administrators need to get ready
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for a very concerning surge over the next few weeks. >> it is very concerning. listen, so concerning there's much more to speak with you about. doctor, stick around. i want to get back with you after the break again. we're coming up on 800,000 people. the doctor says it's going to -- he predicts 1 million people are going to die because of covid-19. we have these 900 students testing positive at cornell university, and we also heard from the cdc director, rochelle walensky, today. we're going to hear about that on the other side of the break. i want to tell you that vote has begun. mark meadows, former president's chief of staff, they're voting tonight, the house is, whether to hold him in contempt of congress, criminal contempt of congress. that vote is happening now. we'll have the results soon. don't go anywhere. lots to cover. uh carl, are there different planning options in here? options? plans we can build on our own, or with help from a financial consultant? like schwab does. uhhh...
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so as we watch that vote on the house floor, we're going to continue to talk with dr. hotez because we have this developing news regarding the omicron variant. so as i said, we're going to talk about what the cdc director said. she said the science is evolving, saying today that the omicron variant is doubling every two days or so, meaning it may become the dominant variant in the united states sooner rather than later. it may ultimately prove to have less severe symptoms, but the rapid speed means a lot more people could get it. so what does that mean for our population and our hospital system? you were saying before the break that it's going to take a toll, correct? >> yeah. i think that's the weak link that not enough people are talking about because if you have a lot of health care providers, don, who are getting sick with covid, even though they've gotten a third dose, if they have breakthrough infections, even if they're
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mild, it's enough to knock them out of the workforce. so the question is, you know, what's going to fill the gap? and i think we don't really have adequate planning or really thought enough about the potential risk for that kind of surge on our hospitals in light of a partially incapacitated workforce. that's how aggressive this omicron variant is. so even though there are reports that it's milder illness -- and it's hard to really count on that because we've had reports early on with the alpha and delta variant that didn't turn out to be true. and we also are seeing a lot of children get hospitalized. so i'm particularly worried about some of our children's hospitals as well. i think we need some really careful planning at this point. the other possibility to think about, don, is if vaccine immunity against the omicron variant is declining quickly, even after a third dose, should we think in order to stabilize the health care workforce and
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keep them in the workforce, whether they should be considered for a fourth immunization. >> oh, boy. >> i think that's something that has to be put on the table as well just to keep them going. >> it's hard enough to get people to get one or two. now we're -- >> i know. >> thank you, doctor. we've got to get to our breaking news. i'll see you soon. our breaking news tonight, the house voting on whether to refer mark meadows to the justice department for criminal contempt of congress. we'll be right back. service i . right, girl? >> singers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪ most bladder leak pads were similar. until always discreet invented a pad that protects differently.
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