tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN July 28, 2022 12:00am-1:00am PDT
tonight, the development and investigations into the january 6th insurrection. both did the department of justice and the general six committee engaging key witnesses and seeking new testimony, including a possible committee deposition of trump's secretary of state, mike pompeo , as soon as this week. cnn's ryan nobles has all the details from washington. >> reporter: the department of justice investigation into the events that led to january 6th is expanding at a rapid click. >> i'm aware of other white house officials who have been reached out to by doj and are planning to cooperate. >> reporter: alyssa farah is telling cnn that doj has reached out to more former officials in the trunk white house, beyond mark short and greg jacob, two top aides to mike pence. cnn is learning that cassidy hutchinson, a former top aide to trump's chief of staff is the latest official from the latin ministration to start cooperating with the doj's criminal investigators.
>> i think the doj is keeping an eye on who is coming before january 6th, and who may have helpful information. >> reporter: federal investigators have asked questions specifically about donald trump's action, suggesting the probe is getting closer to the former president, himself. all while a separate state- level investigation is looking at trump and election interference in georgia. >> reporter: you see a movement on donald trump. perhaps this will be the occasion he cannot dodge criminal liability. >> the public posture of the doj is welcome news to members of the general six select committee who have been publicly pleading with federal prosecutors who take action. >> that encourages me, or solidifies the understanding i've always operated with, which is that the department of justice is a vast personal resource at their disposal. these are extremely confident and effective lawyers.
>> reporter: however, there is no question the political calendar, and impending presidential announcement by trump, come look at the plans. trump continues to show no sign he is backing down. >> now, we have a january 6th on select committee of political hacks and thugs. >> reporter: merrick garland pledged that nothing, including clinical pressure, will impede their investigation. >> we will hold accountable anyone who is criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer, legitimate and lawful transfer, from one initiation to the next. >> don, there is no doubt that the department of justice is expanding the investigation. we should take that to mean that the january 6 select committee is wrapping things up. in fact, they are moving full speed ahead. i've been told that they are engaging with mike pompeo, that he could sit for a closed-door deposition as soon as this week. it comes as the committee is increasingly interested in members of donald trump's
cabinet. in particular, the conversation related to the 25th amendment, in the wake of the january 6th capital riot. it is expected, in addition to people mike pompeo, there will be more cabinet officials that the committee call before then. don? >> ryan, thank you. we want to talk more about that with cnn's senior analyst ellie hahn again. liz cheney said that the committee wanted to engage with former cabinet officials. look, they may speak to pompeo as soon as this week. they want to know about conversation surrounding the 25th amendment. why is it important, you think? >> well, obviously if the president's cabinet was having conversations of that serious, you know, the nature of which were that serious -- the idea that the president could discharge his duties -- also they would've had a mission information and, in theory. i'm not surprised they want to
talk about it. it was always hard for me to tell, at the time. you know, was his rumormongering ? how serious were the conversations about the 20th amendment? i guess that is one thing we will learn, here. how deeply these talks went and how close it came to happening. >> the conversations happened after the sixth, and could speak to the ex-president state of mind in that time, in those days. what you want to know? >> it could speak to the cabinets perception of donald trump state of mind. i don't think it tells us much about what was actually in donald trump's mind. but, yeah, the 20th amendment is remarkably drastic. scott hit the nail on the head, how far do these conversations go? was it chatter out there in the ether? was it something where there was more of a concentrated focus conversation? let's remember, cassidy hutchinson testified, as far as she knew, then secretary pompeo
had talked with mark meadows, the chief of staff. hutchison's boss. about rallying up cabinet members. pompeo has denied this. it will be interesting to see where this goes. but, the 20th amendment is designed to remove, temporarily remove power from a president who was incapacitated. that is how dramatic that particular amendment is. >> we have jacob, mark short, and cassidy hutchison. compare that with the ross washington post, oscars and asking specific question about trump. the tape anything about the direction of this investigation? >> i think those are, in a sense, one in the same development. if you're going to? short, or cassidy hutchison, you're naturally going to be asking them about donald trump and mark meadows. yes, i think there has been a sea change in what we know about doj's investigation. if you think back a month ago, all that we knew was that they
had done search warrants on john eastman and jeffrey clark. we knew they serve subpoenas on the electors, but there was nobody inside the white house. there were no state staffers or deputies. now, we know of three. it would surprise me to see some of the other folks who testified the january 6 committee start popping up in the grand jury in the next two days, as well. >> scott, as you know, griffin, who is now a standing contributor, work in the white house. she had resigned before then. she and the other trump officials have reached out. does not generate six committee. using the former trump officials will be more likely to engage with investigators and spill everything of what they know? >> when a federal investigator calls you and you get dry before a grand jury, you better tell the truth. that is number one.
number two, there is no reason not to cooperate. after the lawyers. unless they have done something wrong, i'm sure their lawyers are telling them that. ellie would be more qualified to comment on that than me. one thing about this knowledge, we know this investigation is real. we know a grand jury is looking at it. we know they are looking at trump. if he does not get indicted, and i have heard a lot of prosecutors say they don't expect them to come or is a stretch. if he does not get indicted, we know that he was looked at and he's going to claim exoneration. for all the people out there still hoping that donald trump gets charged with a crime, if it doesn't happen, you know how he is going to use this. this is going to boomerang and he is going to use it in the run-up to the campaign. that is something i am looking at. i don't know how long this is going to take. >> is going to use it, either way. they do or if they don't. he's going to say they didn't have enough, they try to get me and they couldn't.
if they do and they don't, he will say that they didn't have enough, they try to get me and they couldn't. i think you and you spin it, either way. i don't think that matters. they have enough anything to prosecute them, then they should do it. there is a saying that, but i will say it here. it is get off the pot. let's dig into the importance of john eastman. you talk about in a moment ago, he was a key player in the fay collector plot. there was his testimony about rnc chairman, ronnie daniel. >> would president say what he called you? >> essentially, he turn the call over to mr. eastman, who then proceeded to talk about the importance of the rnc. helping the campaign gather these contingent electors in case any of the legal challenges changed the results. more, helping them reach out and assemble them. my understanding is that the campaign to lead and we weren't helping them, in that role.
>> ellie, does the doj have to determine if the scheme was at trump's direction? or, that eastman is operating on his own? >> john eastman, first of all, is one of the crucial drivers. he is the attorney who has good credentials on paper. however, he came up with this absurd legal theory that penske throw out whatever votes he wanted to. seemingly, it was the only sentient lawyer who seem to think that was a reasonable legal theory. there is testimony that eastman admitted that he knew that they would lose 9-0, and the supreme court, and would never fly. the question that i think you're getting at, how much they have to show about donald trump knowledge about that? that piece of testimony we saw from ronnie mcdaniel, i think that is the one and best piece of testimony. it is not a slamdunk that donald trump was made directly aware of this plot. prosecutors are going to be focused on that piece of testimony. if you are prosecuting or investigating,
you're looking for more. is there other evidence that frump was aware of this plot, and aware of the illegality? >> there is nothing to do with calling georgia, and all the other things -- you don't think that goes hand in glove with this? >> yeah, i think that matters. what we have here is not one unified conspiracy. the way prosecutors ought to approach this is some of the way in january 6 committee presented it. you have a bunch of separate but overlapping ancillary motivated conspiracies to pressure mike pence. to try to pressure legislators and take over the doj. the proof of donald trump is stronger than some of those. on the other side of it, his involvement with the eastman piece that we just heard is on the thinner side of evidence. >> 11,000 780 million. something like that.
>> we have heard liz cheney standing up for the truth of the generate six hearings. but, their party seems determined to turn a blind eye to everything we have seen. are they maga? no matter what, we go on. biofreeze. i'm jonathan lawson here to tell you about life insurance through the colonial penn program. if you're age 50 to 85, and looking to buy life insurance on a fixed budget, remember the three ps. what are the three ps? the three ps of life insurance on a fixed budget are price, price, and price. a price you can afford, a price that can't increase, and a price that fits your budget. i'm 54, what's my price? you can get coverage for $9.95 a month. i'm 65 and take medications.
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hearings, the gop is still the party of trump. take a look, 44% of republicans and republican leaning voters want him at the top of the ticket, in 2024. with me senior political analyst noah john avlon. he is making faces as i'm reading this. hi peter, good evening. >> first of all, is in order to be on with peter. look, that number, what struck me is that is down to 44%. you have to put it in perspective. i know it seems bunkers to folks who have been paying close attention to the hearings, but he has gone from a super majority in the republican party to 44%, to be the next nominee. if support is eroding. that is the news.
>> do agree with that, peter? >> yeah, i do. >> i think this is a snapshot in time. the closer he gets to something happening, like the midterms -- or if he declares -- i think that number will go up. do you agree? >> yeah, i do. it is a snapshot. there is a trend in the last month or two, that shows his strength with the party is weakening. he has a focus groups with people who had been completely pro trump and since the january 6 committee, and the findings, there have been weakening. what i would say is that trouble starting from a strong point with the republican party. he has the ability to lose support and still win the nomination. a lot can unfold, but he is the dominant figure in the republican party. from my perspective, it is not his trumpet was the threat. the party, itself, has been completely trumped. magnified, if you will. there are a lot of many trump's
running around and they are dangerous, too. >> right on, peter. during the 16 hearings, we saw two republicans, configure and cheney, stand up and hit trump hard. the truth is, they are the fringe of their own party, right? we keep talking about the fringes, they are the fringes. >> they are the honorable outliers. >> yes, i don't mean that in a negative way. they are an outlier. that is the best way to put it. >> the trump crew is the establishment. as crazy as that may seem. look, we have seen a lot of times in politics where one man with courage can make the majority, over time. there are outliers, right now, but they're putting their credibility and conscious on telling the truth and defending democracy. over time, that will be the winning that. in the short run, they are taking political heat and real losses. that, highlights it. >> there are people who don't want to believe that this is where the party is going. that the establishment and the
party, the many trump's running around -- every time you say something about the party is critical, they say, what about liz cheney? it is almost like but hurt email mentality. they are a small minority. >> are what about muscle has been used in recent years. people like liz cheney and adam kinsinger. genuine conservative and christian people who are not conservative populists, embracing nationalism. donald trump and the whole know nothing impulse. where you can deny we have seen. those folks are on the outside, right now. look, the key part about any extremist group is that they have to hunt for heretics. they call out the people who have the courage to break with the pack. those people represent the
greatest threat to their group cohesion. that is the dynamic we are seeing. >> peter, i have your new york times op-ed that you wrote. it shows where the gop wants to be. someone who worked with george w. bush -- if i can get my mouth to work -- but, she made the switch to a proud maga republican. she is not looking back. she is the future of the gop. that kinsinger or cheney. >> she is in the short term. no doubt about it. she replaced liz as the number three republican. she is on the shortlist, i imagine, for trump vp. that is a tragedy for the republican party. but, she embodies it. john kennedy said that profiles emerge with a slim volume. there aren't many people to stand up for courage if there is a cost. i don't know what liz is doing and what adam is doing, if it is going to win in the short to
medium, or long-term. in the end, we can be faithful to what we believe is right and true and good. you can't make your actions condition on success. you can only do what you think is the right thing to do. doing the right thing, history will bear them out. they should be praised for that. >> they are doing the right thing. >> one thing, there is a cynical career behind all of this stuff. people who felt the wind blowing and abandoned all of their alleged police at one point because he thought it was the best way to get ahead. it is how corrupting the pipe or parts of the company is. >> listen, we are seeing -- i don't know if it is weird or brilliant. it is weird. the democratic party is funding mega republicans in the hopes that they will win the primary. they are thinking that they will have an easier time beating maga republicans. is it a smart move? >> here is a guy who is an army
veteran, rising star of the party, represents gerald ford's old district. somebody voted to impeach donald trump and certify the election. somebody voted for the gun reform bill. somebody voted to protect same- sex marriages. these are the folks, one week out, that they are going to take a $12,000 ad by against. come on. >> peter, last word? >> i agree with john. it may work in some races, it may not. if you let a maga trump republican when , that is that for the country. it is cynical. there is enough cynicism going on in politics, now. the only people to add to it. politics can be a noble profession. when you get people in there
acting this way, in the way that the maga republicans are, it looks like it is grace. that is not good for a country. politics matters. >> fascinating. i would encourage you to read peter's piece in the new york times. what in the world happened? if things were going on. thank you, i appreciate it. >> a cnn exclusive. a prisoner swap, all the details from russia, next. my dad's been wondering about his childhood address for 70 years... and i found it in five minutes. ...that little leaf helped me learn all the names from the old neighborhood... it felt like a treasure hunt. the 1950 census adds vivid new detail to your family story. and it's available now on ancestry.
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kylie atwood broke the story for us, she joined us, now. kylie, hello to you. what are you learning about this offer? >> reporter: it is significant that we are learning that this convicted arms dealer is part of the proposal that the vitamin ministration is put forward to try to secure the release of paul whalen and brittney griner. he is an infamous guy. he has carried out a number of really significant crimes. he is known around the world. for decades, he was smiling arms into countries that are active war zones. places like afghanistan and south america. the middle east. this is someone the russian has had their eye on. the kremlin has made it clear, the russian state media, they want him back. it is significant that the biden administration is willing, and has put him on the table. but, we are told that the department of justice officials were opposed to putting in
force. he was president biden who supported putting them on the table. it eventually overrode the objections. the secretary of state said that there was a significant offer. that the biden administration would fourth, but he did not give the details. we are told by a senior administration official that the russians haven't engaged in any substantial way, on this offer. that could be one of the reasons the biden administration is coming out and publicly saying that they have put forth this offer. secretary of state is planning to speak with the russian foreign minister about this, in the coming days. that will be the first phone call between these top diplomat since russia invaded ukraine, earlier this year. >> this news is coming on the same day that brittney griner had a hearing in russia. how does a trial play into this potential deal? if at all? >> u.s. officials are watching that closely. they're not watching it for what the sentencing is. russia's judicial system has a
99% conviction rate. they expect a conviction. they are watching for wednesday conviction comes. u.s. officials have told me they don't expect russia to carry out any prisoner swap before there is sentencing in the brittney griner case. we have learned some harrowing details in the the testimony, today. about the significant situations running her arrest in the moscow airport. she talked about the fact that she wasn't ready rights. she was confused and signing documents that she didn't know she was signing. she had to use google translate to understand the situation she was in. >> kylie, thank you. i appreciate it. let's bring in jonathan franks. he was a consultant on the case of trevor reed, who was
released from russia and a prisoner swap, earlier this year. he helped to free michael white and a mere hud money, for my run. we appreciate you giving perspective. do you think food will agree to this tray? >> i think he will. ever since weather officials came over here in 2016, this is been a highly public priority. >> these negotiations are usually done behind the scenes. is it a smart strategy for the biden administration to be telling the public that they made an offer? >> i don't know if it is smart. for the life of me, i have no idea why they did this. i feel like i have to cheer it because for years, i have been campaigning for them to be more bold in public. it seems that the president put mr. boot on the table. that is what i have been campaigning for. even though i don't understand, i feel like i should support it. >> your former client, trevor reed, spoke to mike colleague
jake tapper. here's what he said. >> i'm extremely optimistic about it. i think that is a good possibility. i think that, you know, if the russians are not stupid that they will take the offer. you know, i am hoping they are not stupid. but, we will see. >> do you think trevor reads prisoner exchange help push the biden administration to make this offer? >> no question, don. i think that trevor's parents protesting in dallas, then again in front of the white house -- in fact, protesting into the oval office, had a lot to do with it. we have been campaigning for this trade since last fall. i think we saw, from the ground under its -- the way i see it, we are getting far more time off of our visitors and the russians are getting off for theirs. we have to send mr. boot back
in 2028, whether we like it or not. we may as well get something in the deal. >> brittney griner was in court, today. you say she is a character in a perverse play that putin is orchestrating. tell me about that. what is he trying to accomplish? >> it is hard to say. he has a history of thinking lgbtq people should be fought at. we know he is a misogynist. i don't know where he stands on issues of race. it seems that he is parading her. you're showing the video, now. their first day in court, they had seven guards at a police dog. i don't understand why that was necessary to get brittney griner in. i think they were parading her. it is absolutely outrageous. >> in the past, jonathan, the u.s. government has claimed prisoner swaps only incentivize
countries to detain americans. we have seen multiple trades within the past two years. what do you think is changed? >> people smarter than me have said, doing these trades is not incentivizing more hostagetaking. there is no correlation. what incentivizes hostagetaking is our stubborn unwillingness to impose any consequences on the hostage takers. in order to fix the problem, we need to cause pain for these people. >> thank you, jonathan. i appreciate it. >> thanks, don. >> cnn exclusively speaking with the principle of rob elementary and you volte texas. the school, where 19 children and two teachers were shot to death by a gunman. what she tells us, next.
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the principle of robb elementary in uvalde, texas, speaking out exquisitely to cnn in the aftermath of the shooting that killed 19 children and two of the teachers. mandy gutierrez, who has been put on paid leave , pending investigation, says that she stands by her actions on that fateful day. that she follow her training. she also says that accusations that she was lax about school security are unfair and inaccurate. more tonight, from cnn's rosa flores. >> when i was calling the chief
, i heard three shots. an initial three shots. >> reporter: the principle of robb elementary in uvalde, texas, breaking her silence and answering questions about allegations of lack security at the school. >> i believe that i did my job to the best of my abilities. >> reporter: law enforcement's handling of the ill-fated day has seen the most scrutiny, up to now, the families of the victims -- >> they don't give a about our children, or us. >> -- turning to the administration. last school year was her first year as principal. >> every -- starting at that school -- all the school board needs to be gone. >> i believe they are entitled to their opinion. i followed the training i was provided, to the best of my
abilities. >> reporter: the texas house investigative committee report revealed that robb elementary had a culture of noncompliance with safety policies. requiring doors to be kept locked. that turned out to be fatal. gutierrez, responding to the criticism.'s was there a culture of noncompliance? >> absolutely not. anytime an alert when out, every single teacher on the campus to get to mean that it could be a potential escalating situation. so, everybody follows protocol. >> reporter: you disagree with the findings of the texas house investigative report? >> i disagree. >> reporter: according to the texas house investigative report, a coach somewhere on school property saw the gunman jumped this fence. she used her radio to report it. the principal heard the call and tried to initiate a lockdown a software
application. the wi-fi was bad and she did not use the school intercom. >> a good magnify a situation. >> reporter: that is the door the gunman used to enter the school. according to the report, the door was unlocked. had the door been locked, as the policy required, it would have slowed down the gunman. >> reporter: instead, surveillance video showed the gunmen walked into the building through an unlocked door. why was the door unlocked? >> i'm not sure. >> so, that there was normally locked during the day? >> always locked. >> reporter: always? >> yes. >> reporter: then, walk into a classroom that was, likely, unlocked. the report also states that the principal, teachers, and many fourth grade students widely knew of the problem with the lock to room 111. nobody placed a work order to repair the lock. not the principal or anyone else. gutierrez disputes the account. >> what i know for a fact is that the door to room 111 did,
in fact, lock. >> it did. >> the teacher had to use the key to enter. >> reporter: somehow, the report says that it was likely unlocked. so, somehow, it could have been unlocked? >> it is possible. >> reporter: some of the families of the victims say that any safety lapses were inexcusable. >> what did you tell her? >> you failed our children. >> i am close to my staff. and my students. and many other families. it is an unimaginable pain to know. to know that we don't have those individuals with us anymore. that there are families missing their loved ones, every day. >> reporter: the texas house investigative committee is standing by their report that it is based on testimony from
multiple individuals, from multiple agencies. as for the school district, a spokesperson did respond to a request for comment. they said, they are too swamped to answer questions. don? >> rosa, thank you very much. up next, w kamal bell, taking on a different issue in this week's episode of united shades of america. i love saying it that way. he is talking about climate crisis. there he is. we will talk after the break .
this week, on a all you episode of united shades of america, w. kamau bell visits northern california to figure out why these catastrophic fires are happening . what, if anything, we can do to prevent them. here's a preview. >> they found the economic impact of the health effects of the lower air quality was just as high as all of the destruction of structures. literally, things burning down. >> my perception, and the time that i have been here, is that the wildfires are affecting bigger swaths of california. >> yeah, basically 10 times more per year, now, then there was in the 70s or 80s. >> why is that? >> there are two things, the climate change issue -- that is a global problem. it is going to continue to get warmer. in the west, that means dryer,
more conducive to fire. also, we have huge buildup of fuels because of a fire suppression. >> joining us, the host of united shades of america, w. kamau bell. he is the director of the emmy nominated series, we need to talk about cosby . and, the new new york times best-selling co- author of "do the work!" good evening, sir. welcome to the club. >> happy to be part of the club. >> hey, listen -- you know i love your show. i love you. this climate crisis is a huge thing. we did a report in the 10:00 hour on cattle farmers and what they are facing, when it comes to the clinic crisis. this issue, california is one of the places experiencing the worst of it. what made you want to take on this issue on your show?
>> this was a home game. i live in northern california. luckily, my family has never been threatened by the wildfire. we are threatened by the toxic air coming off of the wildfire. i was here in the september 2020 red sky day that only people in northern california can understand how crazy it was. it felt like a way to learn more about my state, and where i live, and how we continue to live here, under the circumstances. >> we know that climate change is a factor in making wildfires worth worse. what else is contribute in, do you think? >> i talked a lot about what is contributing the problem? land management issues. it is about the federal government doing a better job of land management. some of it is about corporate greed. pg&e has been responsible for more than one devastating wildfire in california because they have faulty equipment.
some of it is about the fact that, smokey the bear did two good of a job of telling people to put out fires. we have to understand that wildfires are part of california. fires are part of california. it is about how we prepare to make sure that the whole landscape doesn't burn up when a fire breaks out. >> you spoke with firefighters and wildfire victims. what did they tell you about the impact of these fires? >> it is one thing when your house burns down, and another thing to try to get the insurance money. it is about, can you afford to rebuild? i heard about paradise california. people were waiting for the insurance payments to come in, but they were told they could not live on trailers in their land because it looked bad. so, you could live on the land with your home because it looked bad. it is also about the money that people make off of the wildfires to clean up the towns. none of that money goes back into the towns. it is all extracted. >> there is an old saying that says, fight fire with fire. you found out that that is one of the best ways to try to prevent major wildfires.
>> yeah, i got to light fires. that is something my mom always told me not to do when i was home by myself. i got to go out into the forest. it was private land, let me be clear. i got to set some fires to burn the brush back so that if a fire does happen, there isn't as much loose brush. >> what you think of other changes needed to make -- that we need to make to prevent the wildfires -- that have been on the rise? >> we spent a lot of time talking to native folks and native firefighters. two talk about how native folks in the land knew how to deal with the fire. and how to treat the fire and control the fire. a lot of this is about letting the people who had this land share their knowledge with us, and listening to them. >> listen, i remember taking the trip and going into towns, into northern california. some of the towns were shut
down. some of the roads were blocked. there had been fires recently. unless you live there, you don't really understand it because you don't experience it. thank you, w. congratulations on the book and the show. good to see you. >> all right, good to be seen. >> thank you, sir. be sure to tune into the all new episode of "united shades of america". 10:00, sunday. you for watching, everyone. our coverage continues.
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hello and a warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the united states and all around the world. i'm christina macfarlane in for max foster here in london. just ahead -- >> the president and his team are willing to take extraordinary steps to bring our people home. >> russians have not constructively engaged with this offer that the biden administration has put on the table. >> there are others at the white house who are also coming into talk to prosecutors. >> i think doj is keeping an eye on who is coming