tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN January 7, 2022 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
no more mr. nice guy, president biden's scathing attack may be a hint he's ready to rumble with republicans to get big ticket issues on voting rights and who is really wearing the pants in the gop? that is the question after senator ted cruz gravels to a host on the fox propaganda network. >> the way i phrased things yesterday, it was sloppy and frankly dumb -- >> i don't buy that, whoa, whoa, i've known you a long time since before you went to the senate. >> oh, boy, what is really going on with cruz? a former aide who spoke with him this afternoon joins me just ahead to talk about it.
also coming up this hour, a measure of justice for ahmaud arbery. the three georgia men convicted of his murder sentenced to life behind bars. i want to get to white house correspondent januarohn harwood stevens, the senior advisor to the lincoln project. good evening to both overyou. john harwood, we thought we might get a ruling tonight but expected to come very soon. the supreme court appears poised to block president biep den's vaccine and testing rules to large businesses. how big of a role would this play in the attempt to stop covid? >> it would certainly be a blow. i don't know how big of a blow. there are many difficulties in front of the biden administration as they try to get the country vaccinated and the biggest one is hard vaccine resistance from a few tens of millions of americans, you know, just about 30% of the country of adults in the country who are
simply not willing to get vaccin vaccinated. the mandate helps to force some people do it but that's really not the core of the issue. there are a lot of people that don't want to get it so they have to keep pushing. it's unclear how much ultimate headway they will be able to get because even with a mandate, you'll get some people resisting. so it would take one tool out of their tool box but they've got more than one. >> you know, stewart, this is yet another example of how elections have consequences and while the congress and the country may be divided politically, the court is now firmly leaning to the right. >> yeah, elections do have consequences. you know, what i find astounding about this, it goes back to the politicalization of a disease. how did we let this happen? it just shows this incredible lack of caring and putting the country first by the trump
administration. that's where all this started. when it became like a democrat and a republican issue when you look at the states with republican governors and resistance to this. more people are dying. how much does it take to be against death and try to lead the country and your party to be against death? it's extraordinary. >> just think stewart what is happening with january 6th. npr is reporting they are considering asking the former vice president mike pence to voluntarily appeal. if pence cooperates with the investigation in some limited fashion, do you think the changes that that will change the game in any way? would it give cover to republicans to finally step up for our democracy? >> no, i don't. i mean, i think you saw it yesterday when there were two republicans on the house side, the cheneys. the party is lost.
those -- i have a lot of friends still that think you can save this republican party. it doesn't want to be saved. it like someone drowning if you go to swim, they will try to attack you. the republican party is what it wants to be and we keep trying to think it's going to revert to something. no, it's not. this is what they want to be. >> hey, stewart -- >> no desire to change. >> you said something to me that i think was very important. you said this isn't about donald trump. what donald trump did, this is more about the republican party. donald trump gave them cover to be what they wanted to be, right? to make this pivot. they wanted this. it wasn't -- explain what you meant by that and how you said it. >> i think their republican party was revealed by donald trump, not changed. just as i think fox didn't create the republican party, the republican party created fox.
if there wasn't a market for fox, it wouldn't exist. it would be a restaurant, you open an italian restaurant, they come and eat it. the republican party has had these two strands. you know, i go back and talk to eisenhower and mccarthy's strand and the mccarthy strand emerged dominant and we have a party that iscrat party in america. >> don, if i could ask to what stewart is saying -- >> wait, just complete your last -- i'll let you jump in john but complete your last words. i couldn't hear what you said. >> i said we have to stop thinking they're going to change on their own. they're not. >> go ahead, john. >> i would just say the irony, don, is at a time when the republican party has suffered a moral and intellectual collapse, their political prospects are
really good right now. they have a very strong chance of taking over the congress this fall. joe biden for all the forceful speech that he gave yesterday, he's going to continue to go after donald trump on issues of democracy. he went very hard at republicans on economic miblissues today tag about republican obstruction is to make people poor rather than reduce the cost of things that burden them like child care for example that he wants to deal with and build back better. but he is -- his rankings are low. he is in a fairly weak political position at the moment so as weak as republicans are in terms of what they're saying, the honesty of what they're saying and conduct, they have a good chance to win the election and that makes the stakes of 2022 and 2024 so high. >> let's talk about his tone a
little bit more, john, because he is set to deliver a speech on voting rights in atlanta on tuesday on the heels of his january 6th address. what kind of a speech are you expecting? do you think he'll strike the stronger tone we heard this week? it seems to be what democrats want. there is at least a little glimmer in democrats' eyes saying maybe joe biden gets it he has to be a fighter and this whole kumbaya bipartisan is going to work as it didn't work with president obama when he was in a similar position. >> yes, i think you're going to see biden be very forward leaning on pushing for voting rights but remember what the key to action is here. he has to get two democratic senators to move on issues related to the filibuster, a carveout or some sort of change in filibuster rules to let them get to a vote on voting rights. there is no persuading republicans to go along with him.
he has 98% of the party behind him on voting rights but has a very specific problem with a couple of people and so what they've got to figure out is what are the things that are going to move those two people? if they do that, they can pass the bill. so there is an outside issue of rallying democrats and getting them inspired by the fact that you're fighting for this, the practical problem in trying to get results and establish a national floor of standards for voter registration and voting procedures and election administration in the bill that's before or that's potentially before the senate, the issue is joe manchin and kyrsten sinema. what is going to get them? we don't know yet but there is a very strong push being made within the party from outside the party, president obama, oprah winfrey contacted joe manchin to try to make the case, as well. a lot of people are putting question on whether he'll respond to it. >> biden has long been under
pressure over voting rights. i pressed him on it during our town hall in july. watch this. >> this is important for people who look like me. my grandmother would sit around when i was a kid. fifth grade at a fifth grade education. i learned she couldn't read when i was doing my homework. she would tell me stories about people asking her to count the number of jelly beans in the jar or the soap -- and -- so why is protecting the filibuster more important than protecting voting rights for people who fought and died for that? >> no. [ applause ] >> it's not. i want to see the united states congress, the united states senate pass s 1 and s 4 the john lewis act and get it on my desk to sign it but here is the deal, what i also want to do, i want to make sure we bring along not just all the democrats, we bring along republicans who i know
know better. >> stewart, do you think he's still going to try to work with republicans on voting rights since his attempts to reach out have been reviewed? >> first, that was a hell of a question you asked. you ought to think of doing this for a living. that really summed it up. look, i hope they have given up on that. i mean, it's a fantasy. it's not going to happen. i mean, it's just not. so history is going to hate this moment if we lose this democracy because we defended the filibuster rather than defending voting rights. that's going to be a dark moment and it could be a very decisive moment and i believe that the biden, president biden and biden administration ultimately realize that. >> thank you, gentlemenme. appreciate it. >> remember, it's not joe biden defending the filibuster but joe
manchin and kiryrsten sinema. >> appreciate it. >> ted cruz went on the fox propaganda network after getting caught doing something that seems to be a cardinal sin in today's gop, telling the truth. >> wait, wait, wait, can i ask -- hold on. you work -- i guess i just don't believe you and i mean that with respect because i have such respect for your queuety and precision. urance with liberty mutual, so we only pay for what we need. -hey tex, -wooo. can someone else get a turn? yeah, hang on, i'm about to break my own record. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ national university has been focused on the future of higher education for over 50 years. we believe the future is accessible, so we offer four-week classes, online options, and over 75 career-focused programs. and we believe the future is affordable, so we offer scholarship opportunities that help make earning your degree possible.
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like that so watch what happened when senator cruz went on t tucker's show to clear things up. a master class flip-flopping. >> the way i phrased things yesterday, it was sloppy and it was frankly dumb. >> i don't buy that, whoa, whoa, i've known you a long time since before you went to the senate. >> i wasn't saying that the thousands of peaceful protesters supporting donald trump are somehow terrorists. i wasn't saying the millions of patriots across the country supporting president trump are terrorists and that's what a lot of people misunderstood -- >> hold on. what you just said doesn't make sense. >> i was talking about people who commit violence against cops and you and i both agree if you commit violence against cops, you should go to jail. >> yeah, but you're not a terrorist. you know? you're not. you're a guy who assaulted a cop. okay, so there is a legal difference as you well know. >> i've used that word for
people that violently assault cops. i use that word all in 2020 for the antifa and blm terrorists that assaulted cops and fire bombed cop cars. i agree, it was a mistake to use yesterday. >> joining me now cnn political commentator. bakari, bakari, this is important. the author of a new children's book "who are your people?" i'm going to talk to you about that in a minute. that's what my dad did every time we brought someone over, he would say and who are your people? chances are, he knew the people's people. i digress. i understand you have news for us. you spoke to senator cruz about the disaster of an interview. what did you learn about this deb debacle? >> first off, don, i expressed to him that he should have just
left well enough said. what he said initially in his comments before the hearing thanking the capitol police for their work was the right thing to say. that attacking a police officer is wrong and it is an act of domestic terrorism and violence is wrong and peaceful protest is right. that comment and those comments should have stayed and going on with tucker carlson i think took a lot of what he did say out of context. what he said and the way he explained to me was what he explained to tucker carlson was reiterating what he said is that violence against police officers are wrong. and when he went on to say that he stumbled and didn't say things the right way and very unted cruz-like he said it sloppy was by not being able to exactly say that all of the people at the capitol were not terrorists, just the people that were attacking police officers.
and his mistake and what he was trying to clarify on tucker's show was he was not referring to everyone at the capitol, just the people that were going after police officers and that's a big distinction and something that should have just been said and left said at the hearing but going on to tucker exacerbating a situation i think made some very correct and positive statements, i guess, you can say about january 6th -- >> i got you. i feel you. >> took it too far. >> i know you're dying to jump in here, bakari. cruz actually asked alice to go on tucker's show to clear things up. look at the words tucker put up directly under the senator's face. cruising for a bruising. you know, he had to have known that this was going to happen. i mean, you wouldn't -- >> i would not have.
he anticipated this kind of feedback from tucker and i reached out to tucker today, as well and see if he had any additional thoughts and he said there is no additional context other than what we saw on the air. so clearly, tucker made his point to clarify his concern about what ted cruz said and i think ted certainly didn't make the situation any better for himself. >> okay. bakari, do you want to respond to any of this sm. >> i reached out to tucker and cruz and i think i have the wrong number. it kept ringing busy. i don't know. i got to check that out. i think they gave me the wrong number at the bar when i saw them. you have to look at the full context who ted cruz is now. the ted cruz who we see now is not the principle conservative ted cruz we know solicitor general and someone being considered for the supreme court, knew although you may disagree with his conservative out
outlook, he was at least principled. that's a totally different person than today. ted cruz got bullied on national tv and i actually felt bad for him. because tucker carlson literally just bullied him. it was down right, i mean, you know, it was like an anti bullying campaign that could have been the commercial but you have to actually look at the full context of who ted cruz has become. we remember -- we cannot forget, we have to remember how donald trump talked about this man's wife like a dog. >> and his dad. >> what did he do? >> and his dad with these myth kill fantasies and he ran back to donald trump and said please, please take me in. donald trump laughed and took him in. we remember this whole escapade so watching this now, the only thing that's apreppropriate thi to say is ted cruz doesn't have what it takes to stand up for
people bullying him which doesn't put him in a good position going forward. >> wow. [ laughter ] >> what? >> this is always something about ted cruz. i remember, you know, cancun and i remember him like donald trump -- >> but ted cruz -- >> his wife -- >> for these people watching that want to go into politics. me and alice may disagree where we land on ted cruz. we can agree on the fact you have to be principled in politics because if you don't have principles, then you can get beat and bullied into positions and look somewhat like a fence sitter and you don't stand for anything. no one knows what ted cruz stands for when it comes to january 6th now because he's not consistently on message and goes where the wind goes. >> go ahead. >> he has been consistent with regard to attacks on police officers being terrorists and certainly acts of domestic terrorism. i think it really important while there is a lot of
headlines and conversation about this interview between tucker and ted last night, their feelings are not reflective of rational republicans across the country. rational republicans do look at what happened on january 6th as an insurrection at the capitol and oppose the challenging of the certification of the election and believe joe biden is the duly elected president. they supported a peaceful transfer of power -- >> alice, alice, alice. >> and want answers regarding january 6th. that's what many are feeling. >> i don't know if that's true. the reason i say that is because most republicans who are in office and represent those people voted against the certification of the election, have not said what you are saying on television. so they must somehow believe that that's what their c constituents wanted them to do and say because they're not voting the people out that didn't vote to certify the election.
they're not voting people out who don't speak up what happened on january 6th. so look, i think rational republicans would like to believe that but i don't know if that's necessarily true that most republicans across the country feel that way. i would like to think that they do but i don't. i got to go because i got to get to bakari's book or we'll run out of time and we'll continue this conversation. thank you, alice, appreciate that. bakari, stick around because i want to take a moment to talk about this, right? "who are your people "? >> yes. >> it looks like it was inspired by you and your family. i'm not kidding. whatever we brought someone new over, my sisters brought over a guy they were dating or whatever, they'd be like -- my dad would be like who are your people? they would say well, the jones from plaquemines parish, is that
what this is inspired by? >> yes, who are your people and where are you from. that's how you got to know people and where they're from. whether or not they were good. having these twins, by the way, today is their birthday. saidy and stockley. i hope when young children of color read it, they're able to feel some sense of pride when white children and other children read it, they're able to get some sense of empathy. it has powerful imagery in it and hopefully, it teaches us some lessons and brings us together. i'm excited to be in the children's book realm and have post positive discussions. >> the images are beautiful by reggie brown and makes you look hand some. i don't know how that happened but your kids look gorgeous as they are. i want to say happy birthday to your kids. let put them up on the screen.
so -- >> look at that. >> what do you tell them? >> i tell them -- >> when you ask -- when they ask you who are your people, what do you tell them? >> i tell them your people were strong. i tell them you're people are heroes. i tell them you stand on the shoulders of individuals who dreamed big dreams and i tell saidy she can be president and i tell stockley he can be president. i tell them they can change the world so it's up to you and me, don, to ensure they inherit a better country than the one we have today. >> saidy and stockley and ky, you're a bonus dad and brittany, she made this world a better place and will always be missed. r.b. that's who it's dedicated to. so beautiful. congratulations. >> thank you, brother. >> the book question is "who are your people" but mr. bakari
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. tonight ahmaud arbery's mother saying her prayers were answered after the three men convicted of murdering her son was sentenced to life in prison. before the sentences were handed down wanda cooper jones asked the judge to impose the maximum. let's discuss now michael morris here. a former u.s. attorney for the middle district of georgia and senior senior legal analyst laura coates, a former federal prosecutor and author of "just pursuit." i spoke to wanda cooper jones in the last hour that aired on this program. she said today was a huge win for the family. the judge really set the tone for the trial of these three men. today was no different. he was unsparing talking about the mcmichaels, don't you think?
>> absolutely. and i want to point out the interview with her was riveting as was of course and heartbreaking her victim pact statement earlier today where she pointed out aspects of the trial, the idea of the horrible statements that were made by at least one defense counsel by the appearance and the comment of look, they were fully committed to their crimes, they should be fully committed to the consequence, as well. the judge put that out there to talk about the lack of remorse to talk about wishing or thinking the worst in your neighbors and the worst in yourself and having pauses throughout to emphasize and under score the point that the life sentence without parole for at least two was more than appropriate and with parole as an option for the third based on cooperation but still, really having very poin ygnant moments where the judge threw the book
at them. >> william bryan life with the possibility of parole. why didn't they say they would apologize dpto the family? >> i'm glad to be with you both. i think it was a day justice was served. i think it was a mistake by the defense lawyers not to let the giants say something. they claim they chose not to do that because they had the pending federal trial but i think there would have been a time you can say look, i'm sorry i never wanted somebody to die or something to make you look human. and they certainly weren't afraid to get on the stand and tell their story during the trial and i think there was a way to do that and protect what is upcoming in the federal trial. so i think it would have gone a long way and i think, you know, whether the judge had his mind made up, we always wait and see
after herriaring if a judge wile moved. he came out and one of the first things he said was talking about remorse and had there been remorse? i think that would have gone a long way, it certainly would have been important, maybe important later when we start talking about parole and those things years and years down the road, decades down the road but i really think it would have been to their ben fit to say something. >> did you want to say something, laura? >> i want to drive that out a little more on the idea of remorse. the judge made an important statement how remorse is more than just what you say. it had to be demonstrated and i think if they spoke toat the sentencing, the judge pointed to moments after the killing of ahmaud arbery. the use of an expletive by the father and turning of the back and thinking about one's self and his own son and these men walked for free.
walked freely for weeks after this murder and even told by the prosecutor at the time they were protected by the citizen's arrest law and they did not demonstrate remorse over that period of time in actually their own words expressed at the scene of the crime, what they thought. so i think there is an important moment for remorse to be expressed at sentencing but in this case the judge given the wholistic content saw that as too little too late given what happened in the direct aftermath. >> you were surprised, michael, the family declined the plea deal to put them in prison for an additional 30 years, why? >> in federal prison there is no parole so you would have talked about a life sentence for any one of these individuals. so let's take the men that are in there their 6 0s, at 90 years old, the chances they're alive at that time is slim to none in cus custody. so it would have amounted to a life sentence and also would have removed the possibility of any appeal.
and you would know that there was closure in that these men would spend the rest of their natural lives behind bars so you wouldn't have the uncertainty of an appeal or trial and you wouldn't have those things to prove in a hate crime trial would have been difficult but would have give an chance to have certainly a bird in the hand as opposed to going through a trial with a sentence, which is significant. it's a huge deal when you talk about putting somebody in jail for the rest of their natural lives. >> that's got to be the last word. thank you both. appreciate it. >> glad to be with you. more than 340,000 kids out of the close room as chicago's public school system fights with the teachers union and the figure skating champions now out of the competition aftert testig positive for covid. they will join me from quarantine.
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chicago officials and city's teacher union plan to negotiate to finalize a plan to get public school children back into the classroom. they hope by monday. the deadlock over covid-19 protocols has kept more than 340,000 children out of school for the past three days. more tonight from cnn's omar jimenez. >> reporter: back to school hangs in the balance for the
country's third largest school district as negotiations between chicago public schools and the teachers' union remain dea deadlocked over returning to in person learning. >> we want to be at work and we want people to understand this idea is to go remote, no the to stop working. >> reporter: melanie lopez is a high schoolteacher and union member. the a teachers union that argued the city of chicago hasn't provided adequate resources to be in person safely. did you feel like you had what you needed in the close room for -- classroom for it to run safely. >> yes, because i bought it. what we were given was not great so a lot of us had to buy better quality ppe equipment than provided. we're running through masks pretty quickly. things like in theory sound great on paper until it's in practice until you actually see it being implemented and see where the holes in the situation are happening. >> reporter: the city however has argued through masking,
vaccinations, testing and more that school is still safer than being at home with record numbers of cases among students, staff and across chicago in recent weeks. >> the difference between now and a year ago was obviously we have vaccines for huge swath of our school based population. i think that the issues that are on the table as i understand them, we can narrow the divide and get a deal done. schools are safe. there's been no question about that. >> reporter: the union disagrees and one of the major sticking points in the on going negotiations with the city is testing. the governor's office confirmed friday it had been in touch with the white house in recent days asking for more tests. the white house confirmed those conversations with the governor and mayor lori lightfoot. all the while, student haves been out of close and parents have been frustrated. lopez is also a parent to two 7-year-old twins and trying to
find a balance as she remembers what remote learning was like last year. you walked that line. >> right. trying to juggle watching them and making sure they're engaged in their activities and trying to make sure i'm teaching my classes is almost like playing a game of russian roulette it feels like. as a parent i think what could be done better next time, let's get the parent voices in there. let's get solutions provided that if this is something that may happen in the future, we already have alternatives in place so parents feel like they're supported. >> reporter: now a spokesperson for chicago public schools say they plan to continue negotiations through the weekend and in a joint statement with the head of public schools, mayor lori lightfoot said their bargaining negotiations went into the evening today but that the so far productive sessions must conclude this weekend while parents, teachers and more than 340,000 students will be waiting to see if that actually happens. don? >> omar, thank you very much.
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nashville. on wednesday the reigning pairs champions alexa and brandon frasier withdrawing from competition after frasier started showing symptoms and tested positive for covid, and they are not alone. tonight u.s. silver medalist amber glen and two time u.s. champion alysa liu had to withdraw after a positive test. alexa and also brandon join me now. brandon joins us from the team hotel where he is in isolation still. thank you both for joining. i'm so sorry that this happened to you. brandon, we know that earlier this week you were experiencing some pretty bad covid symptoms. how are you feeling tonight? >> i'm definitely on the pathway to recovery. i -- my symptoms -- i also struggle with asthma so that was kicking in as well. so that was making it more
challenging when i was battling the symptoms. now i am starting to with all the meds i've been taking and everything and rest, i can feel myself coming out of the worst of it. but still being isolated and taking every precaution to take the very best care of myself. >> and alexa, have you had any symptoms? how are you doing? >> i'm doing fine. i'm just having a little bit of heartache for brandon knowing that he's isolated and on his own. and health wise i'm fine, luckily. >> well, alexa, you both should be competing this week. and you've been training for years even practicing this week before testing -- before he tested positive. it has to be devastating for you. >> yeah, a lot of tears were shed behind the scenes, but, you know, these moments make you stronger. and it's never the end.
when you don't throw in a towel you don't give up. so i'm holding onto a lot of hope for the future, and my focus is hoping that brandon will become healthy and back on his feet really soon. >> brandon, decisions about who will be on the u.s. skating team in the olympics are being made this weekend. it's rare for skaters who don't compete in nationals to get a spot on the team, but you're petitioning the committee to take your whole body of work into account. are you worried this will cause you the chance -- you and your partner the chance to represent the u.s. in beijing? >> i mean, nothing is guaranteed, of course. you know, it's just -- we're trying to make the best of this awful situation. but, you know, alexa and i have done everything we possibly could to show up at every event and be as ready in training and as competitive on the national circuit for the u.s.
the committee will select who they believe is going to do the best for them at the olympic games, and at this point my job is just to focus on getting healthy and get back to training as soon as possible. and whatever the committee decides of course alex and i will respect, but not having the ability to go out and defend our u.s. title and compete at one of the biggest competitions of the year is absolutely devastating. so having to dijust all that it's definitely been an emotional week. >> brandon, cnn's christine brennen i should say reported earlier this week the hotel where skaters including you were skating was full of unmasked people, not taking the same precautions as athletes and press. were you concerned not enough steps were taken to protect athletes this week? >> not at all. to be honest u.s. figure skating has been holding for almost two years now safe events during covid. i felt as safe as i have in the
previous events. you know, especially last year back in october when the surge was at an all-time high at that time. so i felt everyone was doing exactly what they needed to do to be safe. it's just a spike right now, covid times and people are getting sick. and i just really wish everyone can do everything they can to help each other out. >> alexa, you have a positive attitude. do you think that this strategy is going to work? >> yes. i have always felt safe and protected by our federation. and coming to this event i felt the same way. this demon of a virus is so contagious that, i mean, it's nearly impossible to stay away from even if we were to be in a different type of condition as far as a bubble or something different. i still think -- >> i was referring to the body of taking your whole body of
work. so i hope that works for you as well. but you're definitely right about the virus. it's unrelenting. thank you both. best of luck. feel better and be safe. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you so much. >> and thank you for watching, everyone. our coverage continues. which to his bladder, feels like a mile. yet he stands strong, dry, keeping the leaks only to his eyes. depend. the only thing stronger than us, is you. some of my best memories growing up, were cooking with mom. she always said, “food is love.” so when she moved in with us, a new kitchen became part of our financial plan. ♪ i want to make the most of every meal we have together. ♪
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good evening. we begin tonight with what might seem like a contradiction even as covid cases are climbing to levels not seen before and more than 1,300 people a day are still dying, there is talk in and around the biden administration about planning for a time when covid is no longer a pandemic but still a fact of life. listen to the president when asked today