tv CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta CNN January 2, 2022 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
>> they did that thing because they are the it couple, the it musical couple. the all-new cnn film "carole king & james taylor: just call out my name" premieres tonight only on cnn. and thank you for joining me today. happy new year. i'm fredricka whitfield. "cnn newsroom" continues with paula reid right now. ♪ you're live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm paula reid in washington. jim acosta is off today. now, today as the nation prepares to mark one year since a deadly attack on the u.s. capitol, we are getting stunning new details from the january 6th committee whose members say they now have firsthand testimony about what donald trump was doing as those rioters stormed the building. he was just sitting there watching it on tv. >> the committee has first-hand
testimony now that he was sitting in the dining room next to the oval office watching the attack on television as the assault on the capitol occurred. members of his staff were pleading with his to go on television, to tell people to stop, we know leader mccarthy was pleading with him to do that. we know members of his family, we know his daughter, we have first-hand testimony that his daughter ivanka went in at least twice to ask him to please stop this violence. >> that is a major development because it means someone who was in the room with trump that day was talking on the record. and it is the record of that day that will be the spotlight as congress holds a moment of silence on thursday and a prayer vigil on the steps of the capitol. but on that same day, former president trump is planning his own press conference about the riot he sparked. i want to get right to cnn's melanie zanona who joins us from capitol hill. we both covered the january 6th
investigation. this is big. it means someone very close to trump has now given the committee a first-hand account of what has happened. what else are you learning? >> reporter: yeah, this is a significant development. because someone close to trump is clearly talking to the committee, and they're offering up pretty specific details about his actions that day, not just who he was talking to but even physically where he was seated as the riots unfolded. this person could also provide crucial insights about trump's mindset that day. i think what's also clear to me from those liz cheney interviews is that investigators are zeroing in on those 187 minutes when trump was publicly silent as rioters stormed the building. they are trying to look into whether there was any criminal culpability for the former president or whether it was just a dereliction of duty. we'll take a look at what else the committee is looking into.
>> we have significant testimony that leads us to believe that the white house had been told to do something. >> have you seen any evidence? or do you have any indication that maybe members of congress assisted any of the rioters on that day? >> yes. we have a lot of information about communication with individuals who came -- assisted means different things. some took pictures with people who came to the stop the steal rally. some, you know, allowed them to come and associate in their offices and other things during that whole rally week. so there is some participation. >> now, as bennie thompson hinted there, this investigation plans to enter a much more public phase in the new year. that includes a number of public
hearings as well as an interim report in the summer with a final report expected in the fall. but the clock is ticking because, paula, as you know, the midterms are sort of the unofficial deadline to complete the committee's work here. >> melanie, thank you so much for your reporting. i want to bring in cnn's senior legal analyst and former federal and state prosecutor elie honig. he joins us now. all right, elie, we know that they've been talking to hundreds of witnesses, but so much of their work happens behind closed doors. where is this going, what are they learning? and this seems incredibly significant. we're learning that someone, maybe multiple people in trump's inner circle, gave the committee firsthand information about what he was doing during those 187 minutes. what is your take on this? >> yeah, paula. that phrase first-hand testimony is so important. it's so telling because what it tells us is this is not just somebody who's learning about what happened afterward, who was briefed on it, who maybe read a memo or read a readout. this is coming from inside the room, and the people in that room were inner, inner sanctum.
now who is the person? we don't know. could it be ivanka trump? possibly. you know that presidents are rarely alone, especially at important moment when's they're making important decisions. so, somebody inside that room is giving the committee first-hand testimony. that is the most powerful kind of testimony for any prosecutor or any investigator. >> and, elie, there's also the revelation that ivanka trump asked her father twice to intervene. now looking at all this new evidence that we have gotten today, so often with trump we see him do things that may be shocking, may be disappointing, inappropriate. but do you see legal liability in what we know so far? >> i do, paula. first of all, the failure to act during those 187 minutes, those three plus hours, that is crucial. i think it's really damning and i think it's really telling as to donald trump's intent. if he saw what was happening and it was not what he wanted to happen, it was not what he intended to happen, he could have and would've very easily taken action.
it's not just the failure to act. it's the fact that he set this all in motion in the first place over the weeks and hours leading up to january 6th. i've said before i see potential federal crimes here. election interference is a federal crime. trying to obstruct congress from counting the electoral votes is a federal crime. we don't even have to get into the tricky first amendment issue of whether donald trump incited this riot or not. to me there is much more clear-cut crimes that could be applicable to donald trump and others in his power circle here. >> but if we take that a few steps further, you analyze and report extensively on merrick garland. you know how hard it is to prove things beyond a reasonable doubt. do you think based on what we know now that this is likely the kind of case that they would pursue? >> i see no indication right now from this attorney general merrick garland that he is meaningfully investigating donald trump or other power players for their role in january 6th. we've seen no evidence of any subpoenas, we've seen no evidence of any grand jury, of any voluntary witness
interviews. we've seen no charges. i don't want to be too glib about this. it's easy to sit here and say this is a crime, someone should be charged. but we're not even seeing any evidence of an investigation. and officer hodges appeared on our air a couple weeks ago. he was one of the people who defended the capitol. and he said, look, i will respect wherever doj comes out on this. but i can not live with them even meaningfully investigating it. and i think that's right october>> the committee we know is now pursuing evidence from other members of congress. scott perry and jim jordan have defied the committee's request to cooperate. so what do you think happens next? as i'm sure you heard, bennie thompson said he's not even sure they have the power to subpoena their colleagues. >> of course they do. unless he is talking about some kind of internal unspoken principal of comity of sort of doing favors for one another. but there's no legal reason they can't subpoena their own members. the committee has gotten a lot
of really important and interesting information. but they have had a soft touch when it comes to their fellow colleagues in congress. it took until two weeks ago before they even approached scott perry and jim jordan, people who obviously have information, and, by the word, still not a word from kevin mccarthy who we know had communication with donald trump on january 6th. and if they defy the subpoenas, then the committee will do the same thing it did with steve bannon and mark meadows and hold them in contempt. let's see if the committee's playing on equal footing here when it comes to their own colleagues. >> look, it's going to be a while before anything enters a criminal courtroom. but with public opinion, we are expecting public hearings. >> they need to get witnesses who can make this come to life for the american people. yes, we all sat there a year ago and watched it on videotape. nothing could be more powerful than that. but there was a lot happening
behind closed doors, not at the capitol itself, that needs to be brought to life. so they need to find witnesses and it seems like they had witnesses who had access to important information, who are credible and honest, who don't have any political allegiance that's going to shade the truth and who can explain this in a way that makes it really hit home just how important this is. >> elie honig, thank you so much for joining us. >> thanks, paula. staggering new numbers on the nationwide search in covid cases. the u.s. seven-day average of new cases now up to nearly 400,000. and health experts say those numbers will climb even higher as the impact of holiday gathering sets in. the healthcare workforce is already stretched thin. yet, they must prepare for the worst yet again. >> the only difficulty is that when you have so many, many cases, even if the rate of hospitalization is lower with omicron than it is with delta, there's still the danger that you're going to have a surging
of hospitalizations that might stress the healthcare system. >> and even if you're not among the infected, chances are you're feeling the impact in your everyday life. for example, at least five metro atlanta school systems joined countless others in moving, once again, to virtual learning after the holiday break. staffing shortages due to covid are upending multiple industries. and it's turned the busiest travel season of the year into a giant mess. travelers are stranded as covid and severe weather forced u.s. carriers to cancel more than 2,200 flights so far today, and more than 14,000 since christmas eve. so let's go to ryan young who's at atlanta's hartsfield-jackson airport, the nation's busiest airport. ryan, is there any relief in sight for these travelers who likely just want to get home? >> reporter: that is the big question. happy new year, paula. planes, trains, and automobiles, whichever way you try to get home, right now you can see
delays in parts of the country where bad weather is moving in. we've been talking to several people who had their flights canceled. i had one woman tell me she didn't have the app on her phone so she didn't realize her flight was canceled until arriving here. you do see a spattering of cancelations on the big board. but the real story is people who have been stuck here for days because as their flight got canceled, the rebooking process is quite hard. if you look at this video that we shot, there is such a long line for people to talk to the airlines to get rebooked, you can understand, they're not starting the new year in the right way. in fact, listen to this one traveler who had a large family with them trying to get home. >> yesterday in the night going here, so checking my flight, the lady told me, yeah, they canceled the flight. so what happened, why?
[ inaudible ] >> yeah, paula, when you think about this, you're talking about 2,300 flights canceled so far today. that number's going up. 2,700 plus yesterday. and more than 14,000 over the last ten days. and when you think about this, every year when we cover holiday travel, we always tell people to pack their patience. you add in the fact that it seems like some of these airlines are not helping some of the people who are stuck here. there are folks who are sleeping on the floor inside that airport trying to get home. we talked to one couple that's trying to get back to california. there has been no flights to even get them close to the west coast at all. and they're trying to get back to work on a monday. so you know how people budget their flights and their work and their schedules. there will probably be a lot of bosses getting calls in the morning about delayed flights or cancelations. hopefully that streamlines itself out. but then when you add covid on
top of all of this and the impact that it's having on air travel, you can understand the ripple effect seems to be growing by each hour. paula? >> absolutely ripple effects indeed. ryan young, thank you so much for your reporting. and, coming up, why twitter just permanently suspended one of marjorie taylor greene's verified twitter accounts. that's next. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." and get back to your rhythm. ♪ the relief you need. the cash you want. have you checked singlecare? i think you can get a cheaper price on this. cheaper meds with singlecare. stop! i should spread the word. but how? i wanna be remembered for the savings, with singlecare.
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matching your job description. visit indeed.com/hire if you go to congresswoman's marjorie taylor greene personal twitter account today, this is what you will see, twitter permanently suspending one of her accounts over what it said were repeated violations of its covid-19 misinformation policy. now, it should be noted taylor-greene's official congressional twitter account is up and running. i want to discuss this with cnn's chief media correspondent brian stelter. thanks for joining me. we now have new information about the tweet that apparently became the last straw for twitter. >> she was posting commentary -- that's actually the wrong word, paula -- she was posting lies about vaccines, she was posting claims that actually the covid vaccines that have saved millions of people, she claims have killed lots of people. this is totally preposterous, it
comes from a debunked conspiracy theory involving a government database where anybody can report any adverse effect from any vaccine ever. and that database is sometimes misused and abused by conspiracy theorists who want to spread antivaccine disinformation. so that's what's happened in this case. marjorie taylor greene was using this database. she was misusing it in a way that claimed that lots and lots and lots of people have died from covid vaccines and that the media is suppressing the truth. come on, like, obviously that's not true because we would see it with our own eyes. but she has engaged in that kind of antivaccine propaganda many times. and according to twitter, this was her fifth strike. you cannot just have three strikes on twitter before you're out, you have five. and this was her fifth strike and that's why she was banned. >> yeah, i don't know a lot about sports, but i'm pretty sure it's three strikes. but her congressional account is still online.
is there a different standard for that account in terms of her personal account in terms of what it takes to get suspended? >> in practice actually political accounts are given pretty favorable treatment. i would argue that there's been cases where politicians have been on twitter abusing the platform in ways that regular folks would never be able to. but, in theory, the rules are the same. and usually she's used her congressional account for official business, for platitudes, very basic messaging. and then her personal account for the incendiary lies that she likes to spread. now the question is will she use her congressional account in some new way? i think in reality is she'll go off to these far-right twitter alternatives, none of which are very popular but do exist. remember donald trump said he was going to launch one in 2022. there's no sign of that actually happening. but maybe he will and maybe that's where she'll go. >> in june she was temporarily restricted and now with the permanent shutdown of her personal account, she's responding, she released a
statement that says, in part, social media platforms can't stop the truth from being spread far and wide. big tech can't stop the truth. communist democrats can't stop the truth. i stand with the truth and the people, we will overcome. it sounds like this ban, in a way, she's trying to spin it into her narrative as the outsider who works for those who feel like they're being ignored by washington. >> that's certainly the attempt. but what researchers have found who study twitter and other platforms, they've studied this notion of deplatforming, they're removed from the site, there's a moment where, yes, the person gets lots of attention for being removed. but then their voice does fade away a little bit. think about how many statements donald trump releases that are barely heard by anyone except his biggest fans. from an effectiveness standpoint, whether you think it's a good or bad thing, deplatforming seems to work. maybe she knows that and that's why she is lashing out. some of her republican
colleagues in the congress have come to her defense today. a few of her kind of maga colleagues have come to her defense. but i thought matt iglesia made a great point on twitter. deplatforming actually does a favor for republicans. if you're not seeing the nonsense that she is spreading on twitter, it's not in your face not being covered by the media, maybe it actually does a favor to republicans by not showing the extremism that's out there in the ranks. i do think ultimately, paula, this is another example of right-wing radicalization and extremism. in this case it was about anti-vaxx propaganda, it was about the covid vaccines. but we have seen her promote time and time again radical points of view that are not even in step with where her constituents are. so we will see, i suppose, at the end of this year how her constituents do feel by her posts or now by her lack of ability to post on twitter. >> brian, fascinating analogy, thanks so much. with me now is professor of
medicine at george washington university and also a cnn medical analyst. first, i want to start on what i was just talking about with brian, congresswoman marjorie taylor greene's personal twitter account getting suspended for misinformation, reporting to show deaths related to vaccines. what's your reaction? >> well, she's been a purveyor of misinformation, you know, for the last year basically. we lost about a quarter of a million americans since vaccines were widely available to every adult in april. and for those folks, almost every one of those deaths was in somebody who was unvaccinated. and since vaccines were widely available, that was a personal choice. and those choices have largely been fueled by a relatively small number of people who have widely distributed false information about the safety of
vaccines and the efficacy of vaccines and the danger of the virus. and congresswoman marjorie taylor greene has been one of those people. in addition to her misinformation yesterday about deaths from the vaccines, she also slandered the entire medical community when she said that physicians are refusing to care for people with covid now. that's an outrageous lie, deeply offensive, and deeply ungrateful for the sacrifices that have been made all over this country by my colleagues, people i admire deeply who have continuously put their own lives at risk to care for people who have chosen not to get vaccinated. so i'm glad twitter made that decision. her voice was destructive. >> speaking of destructive, the u.s. is averaging almost 400,000 new cases a day. and we just ended a holiday period where lots of folks were
getting together. hospitalizations of course tend to lag case counts. we're already seeing hospitalizations rising again, now averaging at levels not seen since the end of september. are you worried about whether the nation's healthcare system can handle this over the next few weeks? >> oh, absolutely. and we're going to see maybe greatest stress test of our hospitals since the beginning of this pandemic. so, mind you, before omicron, parts of this country were stressed to begin with. parts of the midwest, places like michigan were almost in crisis mode then. and then this tremendously contagious variant took over in the united states. and that has just compounded the problem. so if you look at parts of the northeast, places like rhode island, new york is starting to approach this. in maryland where i live, hospitals are having to start to think about canceling elective
procedures, taking staff, moving them into places to care for critically ill patients. this is going to spread throughout the united states over the next several weeks. i'm hopeful that the parts that are hit hardest now, places like new york and, again, massachusetts, rhode island, michigan, will start to crest within the next two weeks. but we're going to see this wave travel out across the country and down through the south. and it's going to go to places where the vaccination rates are much lower than they are in the northeast and places like that, mid-atlantic. and for that reason hospitals are likely to see a lot of sick people because many more people are unvaccinated there. so it's going to be a very rough four to six weeks across the country now. people need to really prepare for that. >> i think you certainly see more people when you're out and about wearing masks, but a lot of folks wearing cloth masks. so with the omicron variant being more transmissible, do
cloth masks still cut it? >> no. the only way they cut it is if it's on top of another mask or on top of a surgical or an n95 mask, that's not an unreasonable strategy. but we have much better masks at filtering out viral particles. n95s, kn95s, k-f94 masks, they are available online. it's amazing to me that the federal government over the last year hasn't made these even more widely available. the coronavirus is an airborne pathogen. and we have simple technologies that can reduce your exposure if you're in a crowd. if i go into a store, i'm wearing an n95 mask and that's what i advocate for my patients, for my family and for my friends. we have the ability to reduce your likelihood of being infected. why not use that? cloth masks do not cut it anymore. and cdc should simply say that. >> important point.
i want to take a listen to what former fda commissioner scott gottlieb said earlier today about the omicron variant. let's take a listen. >> it appears to be more of an upper airway disease than a lower airway disease. that's good for most americans. the one group that that may be a problem for is very young children, toddlers who have trouble with upper airway infections. >> this comes as the u.s. is seeing a record level of hospitalizations among children. so how should we respond to this in the u.s. amid this ongoing surge? how can you protect children? >> right. so, our kids, particularly kids under 5, are our most vulnerable population now because they are completely unvaccinated. fortunately, kids typically do okay if infected. but a small percentage of kids need to be admitted to hospitals about 300 kids per day are being admitted to american hospitals with covid-19.
and the best way to protect them is to protect the rest of the family. we haven't vaccinated nearly enough kids between 5 and 11 or 12 and 17. we need to do much better than that. if you want to protect little children, you need to vaccinate older children, all the parents need to be vaccinated. those kids need to have a mask when they go out. and if they're in school, schools should be using rapid tests widely to, you know, identify kids who are infected, have them stay home, keep the rest of the kids in school. we have a bunch of strategies that we know work. hopefully within the next few months we'll be able to vaccinate kids under 5. we have to wait several weeks unless that data is available from pfizer. that's going to come, but until then we need to protect them with the mitigation strategies that we know are proven and work. >> dr. jonathan reiner, thank you so much. >> thank you, paula.
still to come, millions of children will head back to school in the coming days as covid surges and child hospitalizations are at an all-time high. how school districts across the country are handling the unprecedented challenge, next. you're live in the "cnn newsroom." most of the info is totally outdated. orrrr... you could use slack. and edit your message after it's sent. [sigh of relief.] slack. where the future works. ♪ i see trees of green ♪ ♪ red roses too ♪ ♪ i see them bloom for me and you ♪ (music) ♪ so i think to myself ♪ ♪ oh what a wonderful world ♪
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pandemic-era records. cnn's polo sandoval joins us now. how are schools adjusting to stop the spread of this virus? >> reporter: well, paula, there are some school districts across the country that are just choosing to go straight up remote learning, which is really not what the federal government wanted to do here. they believe there are several measures that could be implemented to try to make the return to school as safe as possible. consider the nation's largest school district, for example, here in new york city. rather than going remote for an entire classroom if they're exposed to covid, they're instead going to send those in their classroom home with take-home rapid tests, those that are asymptomatic and are negative, are allowed to return to class. it's an effort to try to limit disruptions to daily life, which you're seeing more and more every day are becoming more and more common. fresh off the holiday break, teachers, parents, and students are trying to make sense of the latest covid surge. monday's return of school for
millions of kids across the u.s., but many will not be heading back to the classroom as many children are hospitalized for covid-19, some school districts will start with online learning including in atlanta, which announced on saturday the first week back from the holidays will be virtual. it'sed third largest school district in the atlanta metropolitan area to make that move. there is absolutely no way to keep omicron out of the schools, no way. it's more transmissible. it passes through and looks just like a cold. and we're going to be relying on testing in addition to the standard practices of masking, social distancing and hand hygiene. but the testing we're using, these antigen tests at home are not sensitive enough to keep omicron out of our schools. even if they're picking up 80, 85% of the cases, and that's with parents doing their absolute best to test correctly,
read it correctly or even have the willingness to do so. some cases are still going to slip through. >> reporter: a vast majority of the country seen in dark red is struggling can covid surges, in some place 50% or more. the nation broke records at least five times this week for its seven-day average of new daily covid-19 cases, reporting an all-time high of more than 394,000 new daily infections on saturday. that's according to latest data from johns hopkins university. >> i'm worried about our hospitals. we're going to continue to see millions and millions of cases in the united states. and even with a lower virulence apparently for this variant, still about 2% of folks who contract the virus need to be hospitalized. and it's going to be a race. it's going to be a race between waiting for the surge to crest and hoping that we don't run out of hospital capacity. >> reporter: just re-emphasizing what we just heard there from dr. reiner. the staggering numbers are only
going to continue to climb. and the question with so many cases, paula, will the nation's healthcare system be able to actually handle a surge in patients that we're expected to see? >> and that's the big question, polo sandoval, thank you so much. and coming up, a judge delivers a major blow to prince andrew's attempt to get a sexual assault lawsuit thrown out before a hearing tomorrow.
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a sexual assault lawsuit against britain's prince andrew is moving forward. a manhattan judge says the prince must turn over key legal documents in the suit brought by virginia giuffre, a woman who says she was forced to have sex with the prince when she was just 17 after being trafficked by convicted sex offender jeffrey epstein. now, lawyers for prince andrew have tried to argue that giuffre had lived in australia for 19 years and cannot legally sue him in the u.s. but the judge
disagreed, and oral arguments are set to begin in the coming days. now, prince andrew, who is featured in a photograph with giuffre, has strongly denied the claims against him, telling the bbc in a 2019 interview he has no memory of ever meeting her. >> the world has now seen the photo that virginia roberts provided taken by epstein, we understand, in ghislaine maxwell's house. >> well, here's the problem. i've never seen epstein with a camera in my life. >> i think it was virginia roberts' camera, a little kodak one that she lent to epstein, he took a photo and your arm is around her waist. >> i don't remember that photograph ever being taken. i don't remember going upstairs in the house because that photograph is taken upstairs. and i'm not entirely convinced that -- i mean, that is what i would describe as me in that
picture. but we can't be certain as to whether or not that's my hand on her whatever it is, left side. >> i want to bring in cnn royal correspondent max foster. max, clearly this is not the way the royal family wanted to start the new year, but here's the possibility for an alleged victim with a sexual assault to get her day in court. what will you be watching in the days and months ahead? >> as you say, none of this is good for the royal family. but they can't be seen to be intervening in the legal process. they're very much leaving it to prince andrew's lawyers. and, as you describe, they're making various attempts to get the case dismissed. so you have this recent case which was rejected, which is arguing that the u.s. court doesn't have jurisdiction because giuffre was living or has been living in australia. that's been rejected. so their next attempt will come
into focus tomorrow. so, prince andrew's lawyers believe there's an agreement between giuffre and epstein that exists, where giuffre agreed not to pursue cases like this one against prince andrew. that agreement is sealed, it's going to be unsealed tomorrow. we'll wait to see what's in that. and then the judge will have a hearing on tuesday considering all of these claims for dismissal of the case. and they will be weighing that up in the court. so that's the next thing we're looking at. and if the case does continue, we get to the point where they start taking depositions, so prince andrew will be asked to depose, but possibly also sarah ferguson, possibly the duchess of sussex meghan markle will be asked. and that's when it gets very, very difficult for everyone involved really. but, as you say, giuffre firmly believes she has a case here. she wants her day in court, this is her opportunity. and so far prince andrew's team are failing in their attempts to
get the case thrown out. >> interesting. now, of course, the details of these allegations are pretty sorid. so can you remind people who aren't familiar with the story what exactly happened here and why she is asking prince andrew specifically to turn over proof that he can't sweat. >> yeah. so on one of the occasions where giuffre claims to have sex with prince andrew was at ghislaine maxwell's house in london. and earlier in the evening they claimed that she and prince andrew were at a night club, prince andrew was sweating profusely. prince andrew said he never went to that night club in a bbc interview in 2019. he says he couldn't have been there and he wasn't sweating. take a listen. >> she was very specific about that night. she described dancing with you, and you profusely sweating and that she went on to have -- >> there's a slight problem with
the sweating because i have a peculiar medical condition which is that i don't sweat or i didn't sweat at the time. yes, i didn't sweat at the time because i had suffered what i would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the falklands war when i was shot at. and it was almost impossible for me to sweat. and it's only because i have done a number of things in the recent past that i am starting to be able to do that again. so i'm afraid to say that i have a medical condition that says i didn't do it. so therefore. >> giuffre's team have asked for documents to back up claims of that medical condition. andrew's team haven't delivered that. and they say they can't, they say it's private information immaterial to the case and he doesn't have any documents in his possession which really
prove that. they're going to pursue that, we'll wait to see how it goes. >> max foster, thank you so much for your reporting. and the tampa bay buccaneers wide receiver antonio brown is now out of a job, according to the team. this after brown left in the middle of the jets/buccaneers game this afternoon, according to the broadcast, brown appeared to be upset on the sidelines. he then removed his jersey and pads as his teammates pleaded with him to stay. brown threw his jersey into the stands and ran off the field waving a peace sign. here's how the bucs' head coach reacted. >> he is no longer a buc. end of the story. let's talk about the guy who's went out there and won the game. >> they beat the jets 28-24. and coming up, can president biden help avert a russian invasion of ukraine? what we're learning about his call today with the ukrainian president.
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president biden is holding a phone call today with the president of ukraine amid an unremitting military crisis on ukraine's border. the call between the two leaders comes just days after biden warned russian president vladimir putin there'd be a heavy price to pay if russia were to invade ukraine. cnn's nic robertson is live for us in moscow. but let's begin with eva mcken at the white house. what can you tell us about this call today with president biden and the ukrainian president? >> reporter: well, the primary purpose of this call is for president biden to reaffirm america's support for ukraine's
sovereignty. this is another major test for president biden on the world stage testing his credibility and his ability to negotiate. it's also important for these two leaders, biden and ukrainian president volodymyr zelensky, to essentially be on the same page as these negotiations continue between the u.s. and russia, ultimately america is looking for a diplomatic solution, de-escalation for russia not to invade ukraine. while russia is looking for what many describe as an impossible demand. they want an assurance that ukraine can't be able to join nato. paula? >> and, nic, these test talks come just days before the u.s. and russian officials are set to meet in person in geneva. what else are you learning? >> reporter: well, we've heard from the russian foreign minister in the past couple of days who said that russia will not let these talks drag on. this comes in the face of
president biden really laying out even more clearly than he has in the past that not only will there be very tough economic sanctions on russia if russia invades ukraine, but there will be a military price to pay, and that is that nato would increase its forces on europe's eastern border. this is exactly the opposite of what president putin is trying to achieve. no doubt the ukrainian president zelensky will want to hear, you know, how president biden is going to achieve some form of negotiation and some form of progress with the russians in their conversations in a week's time that's not going to give away any element of ukraine's sovereignty. because that's exactly what russia is asking for, you know, to deny ukraine the possibility of joining nato. so, at the moment, it's very clear, both sides are a long way apart. the red lines become clearer, but that only makes the
negotiations ahead much tougher. >> it does seem like a very difficult negotiation. nic, how do you see this playing out over the next few weeks and months? >> reporter: so, you have the talks on january 10th with the united states and russia. two days later you have talks between russia and nato. after that the day after, you have talks between russia and the organization for security and cooperation in europe. that actually will have ukraine at the table. i think what we're going to hear more from russia about in coming days and weeks will be they want the united states to push ukraine to fully implement what's known as the minsk agreement. this was the agreement back in 2014, they had a second agreement in 2015 that was supposed to bring stability and a settlement to ukraine's east where there are separatist
regions backed by russia. russia is going to push to have ukraine give them greater autonomy. that's not something the ukrainian government wants to see. and it's not clear if president putin is going to be satisfied with just that as an outcome or if he's going to want achievement on the nato issue as well. but that's, i think, the direction that we can expect these very bumpy and perhaps very talks to go. >> thank you so much to both of you. and coming up, why the airplane bathroom became the safest seat for a woman on a long flight. that's next. you're live on the "cnn newsroom." ♪ ♪ do your eyes bother you? because after all these emails, my eyes feel like a combo of stressed, dry and sandpaper.
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perhaps one of the best stories of 2022 already vancouver canucks equipment manager brian hamilton was able to meet the woman who saved his life yesterday. in october a seattle kraken fan was holding up her phone towards hamilton with the message "the mole on the back of your neck is cancer." after checking with docs he learned he had stage 2 skin cancer with maybe five years left to live. after a monumental effort to try to track the fan down, hamilton was able to meet his guardian angel, 22-year-old nadia papavici. >> she needs to know she is the story, she is the person that did this. she saved i life. she doesn't know. like, she needs to know her efforts were valid and bang on, and i'm happy that story's there but not for me but for her.
because the world needs to know that she's, this woman exists, she's a hero, and we need to celebrate her and people like her that take the time to do things like this and save lives. >> nadia is about to start medical school, and the canucks are giving her $10,000 to help her get started on her journey. well, what happens if you're on a plane and you test positive for covid mid-flight? well, in the case of a chicago woman, the plane's bathroom became her seat. cnn's lynda kinkade has the story. >> reporter: covid-19 flushed one woman's holiday plans down the toilet. she spent around three hours quarantining in the plane's bathroom after she took a covid test mid-flight. >> we boarded our flight and then probably an hour to an hour
and a half in, i just all of a sudden, this severe sore throat came on. i thought, okay, i'm just going to take a test, it's going to make me feel better and immediately it came back as positive. >> she is vaccinated and boosted and traveling with family, she immediately told a flight attendant who tried to find a place where she would be least at risk of spreading the infection, and eventually they found one. >> it was a full flight so she was going to look for ways to move people around so i could have a designated area just to quarantine by myself during the remainder of the flight. and after a while she couldn't move people. there were too many people on the plane. they had to get the meals out, they had to get the drinks out. so she asked if i would be okay sitting in the bathroom and i opted to stay in the bathroom. i'm sure if i had said no, can i please go back to my seat, i'm sure she would have said yes. but there were so many people on
the flight. my dad is 70 and he was on the flight. >> she made a tiktok video of her experience, which has been viewed more than 4 million times. when she landed in iceland, she quarantined for ten days in a hotel room. this time the same flight attendant who helped her on the flight sent her some christmas gifts to pass the time. she says she hopes to spend the remaining few days of her holiday with her family. lynda kinkade, cnn. ♪ you are live in the "cnn newsroom." i'm paula reid in washington. jim acosta is off today. we begin with breaking news in the january 6th investigation. today congresswoman liz cheney, a republican, on the select committee, reviewing they have first-hand knowledge about former president trump's actions or lack thereof during the attack. >> the c