tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN February 8, 2022 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
the gop deeply divided. top republican leaders in congress at odds over the rnc's censuring two republican house members and calling the january 6th insurrection legitimate political discourse. >> we were all here. we saw what happened. it was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately
certified election. >> wow. that's a shocker, right? also major international crossing block. canadian truckers protesting covid restrictions blocking the busiest bridge linking the u.s. and canada adding to supply chain disruptions. also ahead this hour american athletes competing for china at the beijing olympics including star skier eileen goo, who is dodging questions about her citizenship and brushing off critics. >> if people don't believe me or like me, then that's their loss. they're never going to win the olympics. >> i'm going to bring in cnn's senior political analyst and the press secretary, was the press secretary for hillary clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. gentlemen, good evening. good to see both of you. ron, i'll start with you. top republicans are divided over this rnc censure calling january 6th legitimate political discourse. mcconnell is slamming it. mccarthy is embracing it.
will this hurt them in an election forcing republicans to choose either the truth or trump and all of his grievances? >> well, look. first of all, you know, it's valuable mcconnell said what he did but let's keep in mind that in practice he led the filibuster to kill an independent commission to study january 6 and has also led the filibusters to kill the democratic efforts to respond to what republicans are doing in the states growing out of the big lie to restrict voting access. so his actions kind of betray a different set of priorities than his words. but look, there is no question the rnc has drawn a very clear line in the party. and it has said that any effort to unearth the truth and to publicize the truth about what happened is in effect disloyalty to a donald trump era gop. that i think puts the onus on a
lot of traditionally republican leaning voters. are they comfortable being part of a coalition sending that message? >> mr. fallon, we have been hearing the democrats could lose big in the midterms with history working against them, party in fighting, biden's bad poll numbers. but with all this republican infighting and the focus on 2020 do democrats have an opportunity to hold on to the house and senate? >> i think so. it's going to be a hard road but i think the republicans are making it easier and i think that is what is going on with mitch mcconnell's attempt to distance himself at least from the censure resolution. kevin mccarthy the top republican in the house, the rnc, they've been given over to the trump marjorie taylor greene wing of the republican party. mcconnell for his part would like everybody on the republican side to just shut up the next ten months and let the midterm elections be a referendum on joe
biden, his approval ratings. they think his opportunities with the lingering covid situation, with questions about rising crime, they just want this to be an up or down question on are you happy with things as they stand right now. when he is asked questions, asked the other day what is the agenda republicans want to implement if returned to power he wouldn't answer the question. he doesn't want to introduce any variables. he doesn't want to provide a viable alternative. he just wants to make it a referendum on biden and this donald trump injecting himself into the primary races mitch mcconnell is overseeing is complicating his life and these efforts by the rnc and kevin mccarthy are further complicating his life because they are making it more of a choice between a sane, rational joe biden led democrat party and a return to the crazy under donald trump and kevin mccarthy. >> i also want to get to the former white house officials telling cnn that they saw trump rip up documents as president. we're also learning the national
archives retrieved 15 boxes from mar-a-lago last month containing documents, memos, like the so-called love letters from king jong un according to "the washington post." the sharpy map remember that one that trump drew tracing the wrong path of the hurricane dorian, that is according to the "new york times." so those things don't belong to trump. what does this say about his disdain for the rules? they're in boxes at mar-a-lago? what? >> this is really like a miniature of the larger problem that is still i think going on and still unresolved, how it is going to turn out, which is that many of the constraints we thought inhibited a president from violating traditional norms and trampling over the constitution turned out to be much filmsier than anybody expected. trump showed on everything from firing inspectors general to
this, defying the records act, that he was willing to openly defy what seemed to be impenetrable barriers before. to the extent that he is able to get away with that, you are basically inviting more of it in the future. so on all of these fronts whether it is the question of whether the justice department is truly investigating his role in january 6th to these open and repeated and flagrant violations of the records act, the core question is, is there going to be any accountability, any consequences because if not, you will see even more of the barriers that seemingly were there in the past just simply melt away in the future. >> but destroying official documents is against the law and something trump accused your former boss of doing during the 2016 campaign. remember this? >> 33,000 e-mails disappeared.
people who have nothing to hide don't smash phones with hammers. they don't. people who have nothing to hide don't bleach. nobody has ever heard of it. don't bleach their e-mails or destroy evidence to keep it from being publicly archived as required under the federal law. she also, and her staff, destroyed some of her 13 different phones but this time with a hammer. >> it's got to be galling for you to listen to that. >> you've brought so many fond memories back for me, don. thank you. to ron's point, one of the reasons why that e-mail matter became such a dark cloud over hillary clinton's head through 2016, unfairly i believe, is because federal law enforcement officials at that time saw fit to launch a true, deep federal
investigation into that e-mail set up that she had and not only that they decided to disclose it publicly, which was a rather extreme step. they made a calculation that in order to preserve confidence in the rule of law we have to visibly throw the book at hillary clinton and keep the public in suspense for a year about whether we might bring charges about her when any serious, credible law enforcement official behind the scenes was telling you they knew there was never going to be any charges brought against her. yet you are seeing the opposite approach with donald trump who called the secretary of state of georgia trying to change election results in that state and has openly incited an insurrection at the capitol on january 6th. here federal law enforcement officials in donald trump's case are giving no hint that he is facing any consequences, any investigation. there's been no whisper of any interview he or senior trump family members are being brought in to be questioned by federal law enforcement officials. a number of observers have said it is quite strange a year in we aren't hearing any peep of any
grand jury that seems to have trump as a target. am i surprised he is feeling fine to flout the presidential records act? of course not. he is getting away with trying to have an insurrection and overturn the results of an election. we need to see a stepped up response from merrick garland or else we'll see continued reckless behavior from donald trump if he runs again in 2024 >> i remember the conservative media. the bleach bit and the hammers and the shredder and the scissors. where are those stories about donald trump? >> might that all have been in bad faith, don? hard to believe. >> thank you both. be well. i want to turn to the supreme court ruling that will have a major impact on the right to vote if alabama. in a 5-4 decision the justices are allowing a redistricting map drawn by state republicans to stay in place even though a lower court ruled that it likely violated the voting rights act. here to discuss now former federal prosecutor elliott williams and cnn's chief legal
analyst mr. jeffrey toobin. good to see you both. elliott, i am going to start with you. what does the ruling mean for black voters in alabama? the republican map includes only one district where black voters can elect a candidate of their choice. >> these questions of discrimination are sometimes hard to pin down or prove because they are nebulous. what is discrimination? just look at the numbers. blacks make about 27% of alabama's population. but only 14% of the congressional districts. about one-third of blacks in alabama live in a majority black district. 92% of whites do. now you can say that somehow these were drawn and it so happened to be the case that the numbers were so skewed. but the simple fact is when you look at the data it is abundantly clear that the votes of blacks in alabama have been diluted and the law as it is written now very clearly allows consideration of race, not above all other factors but at least
consideration of it to ensure that voters have the ability to vote for the leaders of their choosing. that is just not the case in alabama right now. >> jeffrey, justice kagan wrote in her dissent that by allowing this map that the court does a disservice to black alabamans who under that precedent have had their electoral power diminished in violation of the law this court once knew to buttress all of american democracy. is this another blow to the 1965 voting rights act? what is your take? >> the voting rights act is, you know, the most important civil rights law ever passed in the united states. before 1965, african americans particularly in the south effectively were unrepresented in congress, in the state houses, in governorships. and this was really changed by the voting rights act. over the past ten years, the
voting rights act has become increasingly a dead letter that basically what the supreme court is doing is saying to these republican dominated states, look. you can do whatever you want to make sure that republicans stay in charge. and that african americans have less representatives in the house of representatives, in the state houses, than they would as elliott pointed out based on their percentages of the population. what i think is really striking about today's decision or last night's decision is that chief justice john roberts who was the leader of the fight to limit the scope of the voting rights act, even he was appalled and had to dissent by what was done by the five more conservative justices on the supreme court. you know, the supreme court is changing before our eyes, and
even john roberts, a serious conservative, is saying, look. things are getting really out of control here. >> jeffrey, you know, you wrote the book called "the nine" about the supreme courts. i've been wanting to ask you since we had the whole controversy regarding the black women, you know, last week when we were talking about gop uproar over black female justice, talking about some, what some black plit kos, excuse me, some white politicos were doing calling it affirmative action and all that and a senator from louisiana made remarks about from a j. crewe catalog. regardless, he also said, you know, he spoke about being woke in regards to the possibility of a black woman. what is going on with all of these republicans who are making this about race or about affirmative action?
what is this issue? >> you know, i think in fairness to senator kennedy, it is true he has often said in his folksy way, look. we want people who know the law. not just politicos of one kind or another. that's true. but i think what's going on in a more broadway in the republican party is they are using the president's promise to put the first black woman on the supreme court as an excuse to rile up people who are angry about affirmative action, who are angry about african americans having power that they have been denied for the entirety of american history. so there is no doubt that republicans generally are trying to turn this into a forum for white resentment even if what senator kennedy said was, you
know, pretty common and fair for what he said in the past. >> why would you call, why would think a black woman would be woke? >> just, this is such an exhausting debate to have. let's look at the credentials of ketanji brown jackson one of the people on the short list who went to harvard university twice, graduated magna cum laude from harvard, a federal judge nine years, both in practice in private and government. i don't think there is a sitting supreme court justice right now who has those qualifications. regardless of what the president said, look at the data, the numbers, look at these people's resumes. they are literally flawless. you cannot find lawyers in america with cleaner resumes. yes, maybe, you know, it is a powerful talking point from certain political sectors here but just look at these people's
resumes. that should end the debate. >> well stated. >> let's just talk a little bit about diversity. we always talk about diversity in terms of race and gender. judge jackson was a criminal defense lawyer. we have not had criminal defense lawyers on the supreme court for a long time, people who have devoted serious chunks of their life to it. and that is diversity that the court needs especially when you consider how many criminal cases they take. yes racial diversity is important. yes gender diversity is important. but also diversity of experience within the law. >> so you're saying to me that these women would know a law book from a j. crewe catalog >> i am saying that with great confidence. >> thank you, gentlemen. protests by canadian truckers threatening the u.s. supply chain. protesters blocking the busiest international crossing in north america. we'll talk to windsor, ontario's mayor, next.
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protesters in canada vowing not to give up until the government removes covid-19 restrictions. the ongoing protests even having an impact in the u.s. as truckers block the bridge connecting canada to detroit. the business evident international crossing in north america. many canadians are saying they have covid fatigue and enough is enough. here is cnn's paula newton. >> reporter: freedom. it's the mantra here. in what has become an eye sore of a parking lot, right in front of canada's parliament. it stretches for blocks. it's gone on for days. the message the same. we're done with covid and we're staying until the government is, too. >> till the end till everything is over, till problems get
solved. >> reporter: for doran behind this rig for 17 years the vaccine is the problem. he says he is vaccinated but feels he was forced into it. he wants the freedom to choose. as a father he admits he is stressed losing hundreds of dollars every day he is out here. >> there is something more important in this life than the money. if you don't make any changes now we'll lose all freedom. >> reporter: here's the thing. it's not just truckers, not just about the vaccine mandates. these canadians drove five hours and are here to have their say because the truckers tapped into a pandemic fatigue they say they can no longer endure. and they say they're vaccinated. 100%. >> yep. double dose. got my qr code. >> i even made and sold masks at the beginning of this. but you know what? when you keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result that is the definition of insanity. we are insane right now.
we keep doing the same things over and over again. nothing is changing. >> reporter: to get change they say they're staying put. no one has brokered a way out of this. these kinds of blockades can pop up anywhere, right across the country, at a moment's notice. the latest effectively paralyzing one of the most important supply chains across any border in the world, the ambassador bridge between windsor and detroit. police officials say it may seem easy to resolve but confrontation and violence is a real risk. what's at stake couldn't be clearer for both canada and the u.s. a movement of truckers that can stand their ground it seems anywhere and so chaos. it is for that reason that auto industry executives are joining other high profile canadians in warning american supporters of this protest to back off. >> let's see if ted cruz or the attorney general in texas or any other number of american
personalities are going to stand up for the manufacturers in michigan who can't get their products exported or the petro chemical companies in texas that rely on parts suppliers turning those chemicals into plastic parts and sending them north of the border. >> reporter: that support from the u.s. isn't just rhetorical or just words. police here in this city say that on an organizational level and with money that those supporting the protests here remind people is actually supporting unlawful behavior. don? >> thank you very much. we'll be right back.
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as you heard before paula newton reporting, protests in canada over covid-19 rules now threatening one of the biggest continental crossings into the united states. participants in the so-called freedom convoy stopped traffic on the ambassador bridge which connects windsor, ontario to detroit. over 40,000 commuters, tourists, and truck drivers cross that bridge every single day. joining me now windsor, ontario mayor drew dilkens. thank you very much. this morning the michigan department of transportation shut down canadian bound traffic on the bridge. over $300 million in goods cross the bridge every day. talk to us how this is impacting your city. >> well, this is a big deal.
it's a big deal for the united states and for canada. it is the busiest border crossing between our two countries and we are each other's respective largest trading partner. when the border crossing of this magnitude almost one-third of all traffic between our two countries crosses here and closes down it has an immediate and material impact on the economies of both nations. >> you said it was one of the busiest. it is one of the most important crossings between the u.s. and canada. they already had huge supply chain issues due to the pandemic. how concerned are you about this making things even worse? >> well, it does make things worse. windsor, ontario where i live is the automotive capital of canada and detroit is the automotive capital of the u.s. on the other side. there have been supply chain challenges, chip shortages because of the pandemic and so you are dealing with an auto industry that deals in just in time delivery. it is often said that the parts
that go into a vehicle that rolls off the finish lierngs the assembly line at a plant actually cross the border on average six times before they actually get put into the final assembly. that speaks to the tightness and the tight integration of the supply chain on the business side but also on the human capital side. don't forget there are about 1200 people that live in my community that cross to work to work in health care institutions in michigan each and every day. so when the borders close it has an impact on those facilities as well. >> you said 12,000. i understand 40,000 people travel across the bridge every day. is that correct? >> yeah. >> does that protest create a threat for public safety then? >> well, i think it creates an economic threat for both of our countries. there is no doubt it will have a material impact. the impact is felt almost immediately. when the protesters first shut down the bridge just a day ago it was less than an hour before folks were on the phone with us saying what's going on? and so, you know, we have to
find a resolve here. windsor police are working to negotiate to find a resolution that allows the protests to happen. we are a democratic society so protesting is okay. but blocking off the busiest border crossing between our two nations is not okay. how do we get at least a lane of traffic open in each direction to allow trucks to continue to flow to get goods to market in the u.s. and u.s. companies to get goods to market in canada. >> u.s. politicians from the former president to florida governor ron desantis are throwing their support behind the freedom convoy and the fox network is following suit. listen to this. >> if you could do us a favor since you're able to shut down the northern border can you head down maybe to texas and shut that border down? we could use your help down south. >> this is a class issue going on right now. they just don't like the working class. you know, what's his face, the bozo who is -- trudeau. just an elite cupcake. >> i support these truckers. this is about people saying
we're going to join together. we're fed up with you and your nonsense and your make believe this and that and everything changes. >> do you have anything to say to american supporters of these protests? >> i think it is really worth noting that this protest, this movement, this truck convoy started as a result of our country implementing mandatory vaccine requirement for truckers, canadian truckers returning to canada. just a week later the united states government had given at least three months' notice, had implemented the same restrictions. even if the folks who started this get what they wanted from our prime minister, they still can't cross the border into the united states because of rules that are in place federally with the u.s. government or by the u.s. government. so this has become in some ways folks will remember about a decade ago the occupy wall street movement that was somewhat leaderless and it wasn't quite clear what the objectives were that is what is
happening here. people aren't quite sure what the objective, the end game is with this particular group. it has gathered a head of steam, yes, with folks who are feeling upset about vaccine restrictions or mandates, having to wear a mask but also a gathering point and rallying cry for many who are just angry with government in general. so it is unclear how this ends and what would make everyone happy so that they go away and stop protesting. we're not sure. >> we'll be watching. if there are any updates we'll have you back. we appreciate it. >> thanks, don. it was an attack both horrifying and deadly. 13 u.s. service members and at least 170 afghans killed last august in the kabul airport. now a cnn investigation raises questions about that attack. can be transformational. daddddy! for the best audio entertainment
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last august at the height of the chaotic u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan the deadly terror attack at kabul airport killed 13 u.s. service members and at least 170 afghan civilians. a pentagon investigation into the attack released last friday said everyone died as a result of the blast. the work of a lone suicide bomber as a matter of fact. a four-month cnn investigation
into the attack raises serious questions about whether that has been investigated fully. here is cnn's nick payton walsh. i have to warn you this report contains graphic images that may be disturbing. >> reporter: the blast tore into the dense crowd. >> the very high bomb blast sound and then i saw a lot of hands, legs without their bodies. >> at least 170 afghans and 13 u.s. troops died after an isis suicide bomber struck outside kabul airport. the pentagon investigation of the attack released friday said everyone died in the blast. >> the single explosive device killed at least 170 afghan civilians and 13 u.s. service members. by explosively directing ball bearings through a packed crowd. >> reporter: a review unearthed this brief glimpse of the bomber. cnn spent four months investigating the incident
reviewing medical records and analyzing video, photos, and audio of the scene and speaking to over 70 witnesses or families of the dead, doctors, hospitals staff and survivors who insist some of the dead and wounded were shot. the analysis and testimonies raise hard questions as to whether the bomb can explain all deaths. >> you mean the soldier came directly and they started firing. i laid down when they start firing like this. >> cnn spoke to doctors and medical staff at five hospitals who spoke of seeing or treating what they say were gunshot wounds. an italian run emergency hospital told cnn in a statement about that evening their doctors assessed, quote, gunshot wounds on nine victims who arrived dead in the hour after the blast. seven were shot in the head they said. but there was no autopsy done so they assessed the appearance of the wounds.
at an afghan military hospital a doctor recorded two other victims, quote, dead due to gunshot injuries and blast injuries from the airport attack. then there are the survivors. one afghan survivor was treated in the u.s. military's own walter reed hospital outside washington. he showed us his medical records asking to be anonymous for his safety. they recorded a gunshot wound to the left chest and blast injuries, too. another survivor had a bullet injury to the left side of her face say her records from the italian hospital in kabul. >> i realize blood was coming from my face. i was hit by a bullet in my right face and jaw and the blood extracted from this part of my throat. >> we spoke to a doctor who treated patients at one of the biggest hospitals in kabul. he said he pulled bullets out of four injured patients from the airport that night.
he said he found gunshot wounds on many other dead bodies he examined suggesting the number of people shot may be much higher. he asked we hide his identity for his safety. >> there was two kinds of injuries. people burned from the blast with lots of holes in their bodies. but with a gunshot you can see just one or two holes in the mouth and the head and the eye and the chest. i removed bullets from four or five injured. >> u.s. military investigators insist that was not the case. >> there were absolutely no gunshot wounds. we found no evidence that post blast u.s. service members killed other u.s. service members or afghans. >> investigators admit they did not talk to any afghan civilians. >> during the course of our investigation we did not have an opportunity to speak with afghans on the ground. >> yes dozens of afghans assert there was deadly gunfire after the bomb hit here at abby gate.
we built a 3d model of the scene. here is the canal outside the gate 45 minutes before the blast. and then just before the device detonated, it packed, marines are bunched up. the u.s. military said the device was sophisticated and could be reasonably expected to have killed all the people. the u.s. military told cnn doctors might have mistaken wounds made by these ball bearings for bullet wounds adding they were too similar to tell apart without study of the internal wounds and the finding of the projectile that caused it which the afghan hospitals could not do in a mass casualty event. the doctor who said he pulled bullets out of four patients disagreed. >> according to my 15 years of surgery in gnt, bomb and bullet injuries are very different. when a ball bearing enters the body it makes a big hole.
different from a shot bullet. when a bullet enters it makes a small hole with a specific border. when it leaves it makes a big hole. >> of the staff at his hospital told cnn they, too, had seen bullet wounds. there was no dispute there was some shooting. some in this video. three minutes after the blast you can hear three gunshots but not see who is shooting. there is chaos and fear. u.s. marines are likely tending to injured near the gate. children are being carried away. some crouched for cover. u.s. military investigators released drone video they say started just after this. it is patchy but they said their analysis of the footage showed nobody running away and panic from gun fire or any evidence of shooting. the u.s. and uk militaries said there were three bursts of gun fire both at some point just
after the blast. u.s. troops noticed a suspicious military aged male across the canal soon after the blast. u.s. investigators said they fired four warning shots. a uk official told cnn five warning shots were fired at the same time to prevent crowd surge. the u.s. said rounds were fired over the crowd from two positions. another marine team fired again this time at a male on a roof armed they said with an ak-47. investigators couldn't say how many rounds they shot. the u.s. and british military say all the shots were fired over the crowd at canal but did not hit anyone. it is important to remember that none of the dozens of eyewitnesses we've spoken to have recalled seeing any other gunman be it isis or taliban in that scene in the aftermath. doubt over the pentagon's story also emerged from afghan
survivors. they also recalled troops opening fire but say civilians were hit. she was there with her sister three meters from the blast she said >> i was falling to my hands. i just put it on the other dead people. >> reporter: you saw the soldiers on the wall of the trench shooting down into the trench? >> yes. they shoot in the trench. >> reporter: when the shooting started did she see it or did she hear it? >> translator: yes, i saw the soldiers exactly. some came to save their own colleagues. others stood there and fired directly toward people. >> reporter: his uncle said he was also in the trench and hit in the head and tried to flee with his cousin. >> i told my cousin, run. we run together. i tried to go climb out from the canal. i succeeded but i think my
cousin escaped. the soldier came directly and they started firing. >> reporter: when did you find out he was dead? >> in the morning time. when i called my family. is he okay? they said, he is murdered. >> how was his body? whoa what were the injuries on his body? >> just shooting two bullets, head, this side and taken out from this side. another one on shoulder. >> reporter: a total of 19 survivors cnn has interviewed said they saw people shot or were shot themselves. the u.s. military said the witnesses we spoke to had, quote, jumbled memories from a concussive event and are doing their best to piece together what their brain is unlikely to remember clearly. the volume of testimony from
survivors does present questions as to how witnesses can make such claims to see what the scene could tell us about the bomb. >> the concrete area has been damaged significantly by a big blast. i do not believe that bomb was big enough to kill 180 people at all. >> reporter: other experts disagreed, saying the bomb could have killed all those people, but there are enduring questions here from survivors of the blast. for them, the pentagon's narrative is disputed by memories that haunt them. nick paton walsh, cnn, kabul. >> an update to the shooting death of amir locke, who was killed by minneapolis police carrying out a no-knock warrant. police arresting the person they were originally looking for, his cousin. get decision tech. for insightsts on when to buy and sell. and proactctive alerts on market events.
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an update tonight on the shooting death of amir locke, the 22-year-old black man who was killed by minneapolis police with a no knock search warrant. turns out they are looking for kn locke's cousin who is now charged with murder. body video shows him holding a gun which family says is legal. police say he wasn't even listed on any search warrant. locke's parents and others now demanding an end to the use of
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so the party that once compared itself to a big tent now looks more like the big top with members divided over what should be in the center ring and what belongs in the sideshow. john berman here in for anderson. today in a very stark statement, the senate's leading republican criticized his party's decision to censure congresswoman liz cheney and congressman adam kinzinger for serving on the january 6th select committee. he also made how he sees january 6th abundantly and unambiguously clear. >> is it appropria