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tv   CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  January 8, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PST

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good friday morning to you. it is a busy news morning. i'm jim sciutto, poppy harlow is off today. democrats are eyeing a quick impeachment vote of this president after the deadly riot on capitol hill and the president's comments encouraging it. we're learning that judiciary aides are working on impeachment articles paving the way for a possible vote in the coming days. hours from now house democrats are holding talks about those steps some republican sources telling cnn they would consider a second trump impeachment. one of those sources saying, we experienced the attack, we don't need long hearings on what happened. in the white house, the president is desperately trying to salvage the last days of his
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imploding presidency, perhaps insulate himself from legal trouble. aides pressuring him to release a scripted video in which he finally said he lost the election and will be leaving in 12 days. it's too late, though, five people are now dead as a result of the riots, including capitol police officer brian sicknick. we begin with pamela brown with breaking news this morning on the president's legal team. what are you learning, pamela? >> reporter: i'm learning from sources, jim, that the white house council, pat cipollone is considering resigning. i'm told he has considered this multiple times since the election but many people around him have encouraged him to stay on. i'm told from sources that, you know, as we've been reporting, jim, pat cipollone had been
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vocal and on the forefront of telling the president the legal boundaries following the election and the reality he did lose the election and as you know, jim, there have been suggestions from michael flynn and others to use executive orders to seize voting machines, pat cipollone was vocal about this, that that couldn't be done. that was the beginning of this. and now following the mayhem on wednesday his consideration continues to resign. but at this point he is staying on. i'm told that he is staying on out of a sense of duty. one source close to pat cipollone told me he is a, quote, true public servant dedicated to the rule of law and his country. it appears he's staying on at this point because he is concerned about the country and continuity of government and what would happen if he left a couple weeks out from the president leaving office. he's been instrumental behind
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the scenes in the last couple of days, first to facilitate the national guard coming to the capitol building, they were late to arrive as you know, but pat cipollone was i'm told from sources key making sure they got there and speeding things up. as you know, as we've been reporting he's been talking to the president as well as of yesterday with mark meadows, the chief of staff, telling the president that these calls for him to resign are serious and he needs to be more vocal and serious in his rhetoric about condemning what we saw on wednesday at the capitol building. and then, as you know, the video came out. he released the video. this is significant that the white house council, pat cipollone, is considering resigning. and, of course, he hasn't yet but it's certainly a possibility and we've seen other high profile people in the president's cabinet resign. so we'll have to wait and see.
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it's worth noting, jim, as the impeachment talk is up, all of this raises questions of who would defend the president if it did come to that. >> just to be clear, he's still considering it or he's decided to stay for now out of a sense of duty? >> reporter: i'm told he is still considering it, but as of right now he's staying out of a sense of duty but it's still under consideration. >> okay. we know you'll stay on top of it, pamela brown, thanks very much. lots of headlines to keep up with. here's the other one. how's this. more on an impeachment conversation, a second impeachment, on this president, the discussion coming in a couple of hours within the democratic leadership. manu raju is on capitol hill this morning. we had the deputy speaker earlier on cnn today say a vote could come as soon as next week. i know this conversation is going to happen in a couple of hours so there's a lot we don't know yet, but what's the latest
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you're hearing from your sources on the hill about one, whether this vote is definite on impeachment, and, two, how quickly could it come? >> momentum is building from all corners of the house democratic caucus. nancy pelosi is full steam ahead i'm told from multiple sources who engaged in conversations with her. she believes the president needs to be held accountable for what happened on wednesday. and she is not taking no for an answer at the moment. she is first pushing vice president mike pence to invoke the 25th amendment process that would push the president out of office. but with no indication that's going to happen. democrats plan to take matters into their own hand even if they're unable to get the president out of office before he leaves on january 20th. i'm told in a matter of days they are likely to bring to the floor, under a very expedited manner, articles of impeachment against the president, the language is still being drafted,
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versions are moving, going around house democratic circles, members who serve on the house judiciary committee. one thing they're looking at is inciting an insurrection. we're hearing potentially early next week, mid next week, maybe moves up after the conversation from today. but then will there be enough time to get it done in the united states senate, another big question. but there are some republican senators who are sounding open to the idea of voting to remove the president from office, including ben sasse of nebraska who said this this morning. >> the house, if they come together and have a process, i will definitely consider whatever articles they might move, because as i've told you, i believe the president has disregarded his oath of office. he swore an oath to the american people to preserve, protect and depend the constitution. he acted against that.
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what he did was when i ciked. >> mitch mcconnell would have to schedule an impeachment trial, the senate is not coming back until january 19th. january 20th is when the majority switches to the democrats taking control of the u.s. senate. mcconnell is not saying what he will do. unlikely it'll get to that point but pressure is building and some of republicans want to hold the president accountable. >> they did confirm a supreme court justice in a week, we should note that. so things have been fast tracked before. manu raju on the hill. thanks so much. with us is republican congressman french hill of arkansas. thank you for taking the time this morning. >> happy new year. >> democratic leadership appear to be moving forward with a vote at least some time next week on impeachment. will you consider a vote to impeach the president? >> i'd like to see what the thought process is, jim.
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i don't know that we need more brinkmanship here in the final 12 days of the trump administration. i think we need more leadership. irl i agree with some of your reporting about where joe biden, the president-elect is, which is shouldn't we be putting the attention on the future and having a safe, sound, and appropriate transfer of power at noon on january 20th instead of calling all the attention to the passions of the house over this next 12 days to pursue another impeachment. i don't know that that's the wisest council that the speaker received. >> you yourself said publicly the president bears responsibility for this riot that stormed the capitol here. if that is true, why should he remain in office 12 more days and why should americans be confident he will protect them, protect the congress, protect the constitution during those 12 days? >> his final video yesterday,
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which was way over a month late, in my view, it should have been delivered on december 14th, when the electoral college certified the votes, indicates that he's willing to work to that peaceful transfer of power. and in my view that would be the best outcome for the american people, not to increase the passion, the victory we have across the country, but as leaders in the house and the senate come together with the president, vice president, president-elect, and vice president-elect and have the proper transfer of power at noon on the 20th. >> let me ask you this. as you know, after that violent insurrection, which i should note you were in the building too and were at risk as these folks broke into the capitol building. if the president bears responsibility, as you believe, in inciting that, the two-thirds of your gop colleagues who went back into that building hours later and still voted to
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overturn the results of americans' votes certified in the states, they still voted then to do that, do you believe those colleagues bear responsibility for inciting this? for feeding this feeling that the election was stolen? >> my colleagues on both sides of the aisle take responsibility for their own votes. my analysis was the 12th amendment of the constitution was clear, we had a responsibility to count the votes properly certified by the governors and the legislatures in the state, and that's what we did. and that's why i voted the way i did. but anyone that enkourcouraged rhetoric to people that suggested we were going to overturn the outcome should not
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do that, whether in the house, senate or white house. >> so those members of congress contributed to that feeling after the insurrection though. that's the amazing thing. not just before but after the rioters invaded the building they cast their votes on the floor of the congress to say this was a lie. i'm asking if you think they bear responsibility for this? >> i don't think they do. they have a right to represent their constituents and many were disturbed by what they saw in voting irregularities in many of the states, including pennsylvania and arizona that were disputed. the courts didn't say there was, attorney general barr didn't say they were, but they were trying to represent the views of their constituents on the house floor that they were concerned about election integrity. which is why i support, along with senator cotton and others, into investigations of irregularities to bring
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confidence to people that if the states need to change their laws let's give them best practices to do that. >> should the president lead this party after he leaves office or do you want new leadership for the republican party going forward? >> i want all our republican leaders to remember the republican platform and talk about limited government, more opportunities for people at all income levels in our country, equal justice under the law, a robust national security, leadership in the world, our traditional republican values are sound and they will be on january 21st, 2021. we have the obligation to those who vote for the republican platform and we'll work to earn their trust in the future. >> congressman french hill, thank you for joining the broadcast this morning. >> thank you, jim. federal prosecutors say they plan to open a murder investigation into the death of a capitol hill police officer
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who died from injuries sustained in the attack on the hill. we'll have a live update just ahead. when the chapstick goes on. it's on. get yours on at chapstick.com
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some top aides issued a bluntd warning to president trump, denounce the riots he incited on capitol hill or risk being removed from office. john harwood joined me now. i'm curious, john, what and who moved the president here? was it fear about legal jeopardy? >> reporter: i think, jim, there's fear of all kinds for donald trump. he's facing pressure like he's never felt before. yes, there is the fear of legal jeopardy, although he may try to
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pardon himself or -- as well as pardon other people involved in this, but there's also the tremendous blowback he's gotten from members of his own party in the senate, in the house. we heard from ben sasse this morning that he might support conviction in the senate if the house impeaches. i don't think it's likely he'll be removed from office ahead of time. but he's feeling the pressure and he got pressure from people like ivanka trump, white house counsel, pat cipollone, who's considering resigning, chief of staff mark meadows that he had to come out and say something he hadn't said before, which is acknowledge he's not going to be president after january 20th. he did it last night in that video. that's something his supporters needed to hear, they did hear it from him. everything donald trump only matters in the moment it happens. a few minutes ago he tweeted out
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a message saying the 75 million people who voted for me will have a giant message going forward but he recognizes his voice has been diminished. his legacy, obviously, has been trashed as a result of this episode and he is reacting to that pressure. >> clearly, john harwood at the white house, thank you. joining me is elliott williams, form former deputy assistant attorney general. thank you for ginning me. >> good to see you. >> let's talk about the president's legality here. micha michael surewin, appointed by bill barr, said nothing off that all actors will be investigated for their role. he was asked specifically about the president when he gave that answer here. what's the standard for incitement, if that's the right word, of a riot like this.
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>> i want tod say the words i always want to say, let me read you the riot act. when you have a public disturbance involving groups of more than three people with violence. inciting that is in itself a crime. did the president's statement incite a riot -- this was a riot, let's set that aside and put it to bed. did the president's statements prior to that incite it. the president's statements were stand back, stand by. be there, be wild. remember this day forever. great patriots. it comes close but is it incitement under the legal definition? he's definitely encouraging protests. but the question is can you criminally charge it. you can investigate it. the u.s. attorney has a right to investigate it but it's hard to see whether the president could be convicted of it.
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>> he did say march to the capitol and they did. the next question is a political one would a biden department of justice pursue that? do you believe politically they would? if the evidence supports. >> there's certainly a political cost to prosecuting a former president and the biden justice department's whose sole responsibility is to restore credibility to the justice department is going to have a hard question whether to do so. he shouldn't be president right now in the first place, congress failed a year ago to remove the person from the office. now we're quibbling about was he inciting murder and violence and riots when we could have avoided all of this if congress had done its duty and voted to remove him from office but led by republicans and many allies in the office failed to do so a year ago, that's why we're still here. >> self-pardon, it's remarkable that's a thing, the president is
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going to pardon himself. that was before wednesday. now it's cnn's reporting the president more serious about it. talking to aides about it. you have an interesting point of view here. that might be a self-destructive move to the president. tell us why you believe that. >> here's the thing, in order for -- we're asking the this question, can a president pardon himself. yes, he can, all you have to do is sign the president. i can say today i'm the king of jamaica. and maybe it's legally valid, maybe it's not. it's not. the point is, nothing stops me from saying it. the way you test the validity of the pardon is getting charged with a crime. imagine he issues that self-pardon he's inviting the future justice department to charge him with a crime so he can go into court and say i've been pardoned already, i pardoned myself.
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it's hard to see how any responsible court we've seen the last couple weeks even conservative courts are ruling against the president. it's hard to see how they would look at that, a pardon, where one acts as his own judge, jury and executioner and does it himself. it would be fascinating to see it. >> when you're king of jamaica let me know, i want to go to the coronation. i will bow down to elliott williams. >> the food and dancing will be lit. jim sciutto, you're high on the list. >> we need it. elliott williams, thank you very much. >> take care. a federal murder investigation will be opened following the death of a capitol hill police officer from injuries sustained in the attack on the capitol. cnn has the latest on that investigation next.
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federal prosecutors will soon open a murder investigation after a u.s. capitol police officer died due to injuries he suffered during wednesday's chaos at the capitol building. cnn justice correspondent jessica snyder joins me now. what more do we know about this investigation? do prosecutors have suspects in the death of the capitol hill police officer? >> we're learning more details. this is a big deal because this
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is a federal murder investigation, it could lead to live imprisonment and even the death penalty. we're waiting to hear more from investigators as to how the capitol police officer died we know he died as a result of injuries sustained in the riot but no details on who they may be seeking. but we're seeing an array of criminal charges in many facets and will be more in the hours ahead. prosecutors are looking at every avenue, angle, person involved in the riot wednesday. that includes the president. the acting u.s. attorney here in washington telling reporters yesterday when he was asked if his team was looking into the role the president played in inciting the crowd we're told they were looking at all actors, that includes the president and rudy giuliani who were making calls to go into combat and fight. we've seen four men that have
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already been federally charged for their role in the riot, ranging from illegally entering the capitol grounds to a destructive device. we're told there's more in the hours and days to come here. >> the fbi has been releasing photos showing the faces of people who participated asking for the public's help here -- i'll tweet this out. we have a picture. i wonder, four so far. they have the pictures. some of the folks were live streaming these events on their own social media accounts. is this moving slowly from your perspective? you've covered the justice department for some time or do they have a handle on this? >> that's the big question because all the people were at the capitol, in arm's reach of the officers now they're looking
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for these people. these people have spoken out to their local newspapers, news outlets. so the question is why aren't they being apprehended, questioned more quickly. we heard from the d.c. police yesterday, the acting u.s. attorney. they say at this point they're scouring social media, asking for the public's help, looking for the hotels these people may have stayed at. there's questions why things aren't moving more quickly, why these people aren't being apprehended more quickly. but their pictures are out there and some cases their names are out there, and investigators are trying to do what they can, because obviously thousands of people involved. >> the arrests were swifter as the vice president said and the data shows after the protests in june. they were immediate. it's a question. i know they're doing their best but i know you'll stay on top of that question as well. thank you very much.
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"the washington journal" editorial board, the paper owned by trump supporter rupert murdoch said trump should resign as at least two republicans say they would consider voting to impeach the president -- rather vote to convict him. we'll have more next. listerine® cleans virtually 100%. helping to prevent gum disease and bad breath. never settle for 25%. always go for 100. bring out the bold™
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right now, at least two republicans are signaling they would consider impeaching and removing president trump.
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talks of a second impeachment amazingly growing among leaders in washington, this as "the washington journal" editorial board, conservative leaning newspaper, long time supporter of this president, owned by rupert murdoch is denouncing his actions on wednesday. writing this goes beyond refusing to concede defeat in our view it crosses a constitutional line that mr. trump has not previously crossed. it is impeachable. that's "the washington journal." joining me now to discuss this david gergen, he served just a handful of presidents. and commentator mike rogers who shared the house committee. david gergen, you've watched, you've been in office in positions when impeachment was pursued. is impeachment of the president, in your view, justified here? >> absolutely.
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absolutely. this president -- anybody who incites a mob to violence sends people up to capitol hill, doesn't protect the people who work on capitol hill, members of congress, does not provide the kind of protection they deserve, he now has blood on his hands. five people died. five people died because this president went over the constitutional line. i do think he ought to be held accountable. my personal preference is he should no longer be president. as someone who did work with the president, president ford, who was working on these issues, i'm also very sympathetic with joe biden. that is, cnn reported last night that he has very little appetite for an impeachment. i think we ought to give the president-elect some latitude on this. all of us are very, very concerned about what happens to donald trump before january 20th. joe biden has to worry about what happens to the country after january 20th.
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and towards that end he needs to build a bipartisan base for going after trump. so it's not just a partisan issue and we're unable to heal the country. >> that's the essential conflict, holding the president accountable for reprehensible behavior versus the politics. there are republicans, we should note, who have said the president should be impeached, what's your view? >> i'm -- you know, i'm kind of where biden is. does this serve the interests of the country on january 21st. i'm going to argue, probably likely not. it was criminal, it was disgraceful, a discouragement to every man and woman who served the country, gave their life for the country, it gets my blood pressure up thinking about this. but i think we need a little less self-service on capitol hill and more public service, a little more statesmanship.
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i think beside iden is trying ta signal, we're angry, upset, worried about what crazy decisions he may make given he looks more like a corn erred dog than a president but is it right to go through a quick impeachment process in the last 12 days of office to prove a point? i agree, i am more worried about january 21st going forward than i am the next 12 days. i think everyone set the guardrails sent a clear message like a 16-year-old with a new car, and the dad says, i don't care if your grade goes down a notch, you're going to lose the keys to the car. i think he got that message and it's almost the way you have to talk to him in the last 12 days. but impeachment, i don't think it serves the interest of the united states in the long run. >> we aren't talking about the keys to the car. we're talking about the nuclear codes. i do get your point.
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i wonder, to both of you, this is a remarkable question to not but it's not just coming out of my imagination because members of his administration have raised the question he could do more damage now. mick mulvaney, who resigned as special envoy to northern ireland said the reason many people are staying is because they're worried he'd do worse. that's a remarkable reality. should people watching be concerned even though it's 12 days that this president might endanger more americans between now and then? >> i think it's absolutely possible. we just turned around a carrier to the gulf headed toward iran. we don't know what that -- we don't know how close that is to potential conflict. i think we ought to be very concerned about it. we had the carrier coming this way, now it's gone back. so it's out there. if i could ask mike rogers a
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question, jim, i'm curious. one option which could be on the table, which i would not prefer, i think it's too weak, but could you if you had a vote of cens e censure, could you get the republicans on board for that? could you have a bipartisan vote for censure? that's what they did to mcarthur in 1954, it and helped get him out of there? >> i think absolutely, david. i said this yesterday, i think it's important. if i were the vice president i would convene a meeting, you don't have to have a vote on the 25th amendment, to send a signal there are guardrails that mr. president you don't get to do anything you want. it also sends a signal to our professional national security infrastructure that everybody hold your powder here, don't do anything crazy the next 125 dayday -- 12 days. it's a terrible way to run a country, but we crossed that threshold. a little deference to biden on
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this because people are angry, upset, want their pound of flesh, i'm angry, upset, but if you put this guardrail on, i like the idea of a censure. you look at the incitement language, when you look at the rally language of people who are i mean, using words like fight and combat and go wild, it's hard to argue you didn't incite that. and that's why every member of congress should have to sit through the police officer's funeral in the rotunda and take account of their actions because they do have consequences. as a matter of fact, the president should have to sit there as well, and i'd put him in the back row. >> it's a great point there, right, about that language. mike rogers, he served in the fbi, he knows a thing or two about the law. david gergen, mike rogers thanks to both of you. i'm sure we'll have more to
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discuss in the coming days. >> thanks, jim. this just in to cnn, president-elect joe biden will aim to release every available dose of coronavirus vaccine when he takes office in 12 days, that's a break in the trump administration strategy of holding back half of u.s. vaccine production to ensure that second doses are available. this gets to the urgency of the problem right now. kristen holmes joins us now. this has been raised before. the idea get some immunity now with the first dose, perhaps 50% as opposed to the 90% as a way to stem the bleeding here, right? so this is an important potential move. >> reporter: jim, this would be a complete shift in the distribution strategy as we know it. a transition official telling our colleague, sarah murray, that essentially the president-elect believes they should stop holding back any single doses so they could get more shots in the arms of americans now. what does this mean and why is
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it important? as you said, the trump administration is sitting on millions of doses because they say it is necessary to ensure that the americans who get the first dose get the second dose of this two-dose vaccine. but this is a very big gamble on the part of the incoming administration. there is a reason that the trump administration has held them back. you would be relying very heavily on moderna and pfizer to ensure that they are producing at a rate that actually meets this. because, remember, there's only a small window here in which you can get both the vaccines and there's no data that shows that only one dose is actually effective in terms of the vaccine. now one thing i will point out here is that we have spoken to numerous health officials and we heard dr. fauci say it as well. they believe the production will be ramped up this month and next month, but there is something we've talked about, heard before, so it's going to have to be something we wait and see but
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clearly they're putting the priority of getting those first doses into people's arms immediately. >> how urgent is it? 4,000 people are dying a day. if they were vaccinated, they wouldn't be dead. thank you for staying on top of it. up next, georgia republican secretary of state calls out members of his own party for refusing to stand up to president trump. this comes after a wild week after president trump urged him to find votes to overturn the election results. >> it's also a shame that many people, elected political leaders in the republican party, didn't have the courage to stand and say, mr. president, here's what the real numbers are. and i believe the real numbers. g while keeping your business growing has you swamped. (♪ ) you need to hire i need indeed indeed you do.
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breaking news just in to cnn. president trump has tweeted that he will not attend joe biden's inauguration on january 20th, as presidents have done for generations in this country, to acknowledge a peaceful transfer of power. the president will not attend. jeremy diamond is at the white house now. there's a talk of a change in tone from the president or the statement yesterday indicating he supports a peaceful transition. but, in fact, if he's not attending the inauguration, how is he supporting a peaceful transition? >> reporter: he's not sending the signal to the country that he offered. yesterday in the message he talked about healing and reconciliation, a time to bring back calm.
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that was in the script the president was reading. this is the real donald trump you're seeing here as we often do on twitter. the president saying he will not go to the inauguration on january 20th becoming the 4th president in history not to attend the inauguration. and the first since 1869. so certainly the first president in modern american history, recent american history not to attend his successor's inauguration and only the 4th ever. it comes just days after we saw the insurrection on capitol hill where the president incited a mob of supporters to go to capitol hill and storm the halls of congress but also in the wake of that we have seen a number of republicans -- a growing number of republicans encouraging the president to strike a more amicable tone and bring about the peace and reconciliation. even laura ingram last night was
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urging president trump to attend joe biden's inauguration. so i think this also likely rules out the possibility that president trump will be inviting president-elect biden to the white house for the traditional visit that typically happens days after inauguration. president obama invited president trump i think one or two days after his election to the white house in 2016. >> and gave briefings and a knowledged the victory, et cetera. a thousand different steps. >> david gergen, the president already had as a parting shot an alleged incitement to a deadly riot and now he will add one more 12 days from now by denying that step that presidents have done since the mid 19th century attending the inauguration. tell us about the significance of his legacy, what remains of it. >> he's a sore loser.
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you contrast what he said last night and proves how false those words were last night in the video. a friend told me it looked like a hostage video, he was forced to make those statements and sent out tweets today to make it clear he didn't really believe what he was saying. i think for him not to come is an ultimate insult. there are a lot of people glad he's not there because he would distract a lot of attention. it would be a lot about the biden/trump dynamic on stage. and we'll be spared that at least. but nonetheless, this is wrong. and if we're going to heal the country, we have to -- trump has to play a part in that in bringing his base around to say we're going to be part of the normal politics and when we lose, we lose but we'll try to take it back next time. it would be so much better for the country. he's just so insulting in so many ways. and such a cry baby. it's just disgusting. >> let me ask you about the real
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security implications here. i've been speaking to folks in law enforcement and national security, following wednesday, they are deeply concerned about a repeat on inauguration day, that many of the same violent people will return and that's one of the reasons we're seeing the deployment of national guardsman by a factory of six yesterday. they've lined the capitol building with higher fencing, similar to the white house right now. by not attending is the president further fuelling folks like that not just to not accept his loss but to protest on that day? >> it's an interesting question. i'm not sure about that. my hope would be -- of course, hoping anything trump to do that's decent usually is in vain -- but my hope would be he would tell his followers to stay home. he's not going to be there, they
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shouldn't be there. and i think that would be -- i think it would be -- it would lessen these concerns. we'll be in a period for months to m come when higher security alerts are going to be prevailing all over washington. don't you feel that? it's in the air here. i've heard a couple stories the last couple days about the security. security concerns were skyrocketing. >> it's not just a feel, david, i will tell you that risk has been mentioned to me because these groups have not disappeared. and by the way, hundreds of them who were in the building are still out and free. i saw some of them wandering around the hill yesterday when i was up there. these groups have not disappeared, the threat has not disappeared in the eyes of u.s. law enforcement. so jeremy diamond, here's one last petty, insecure parting
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shot, and a damaging and dangerous one for the president. do we know what else his plans are for the next 12 days? >> that's what they're going to contemplate at the white house. aides to the president have tried to not only get him to give up the attempts for the transfer of power, but also looking at the days of his post presidency. so that is beginning at this moment. the question is how soon the president will actually leave washington. but ultimately, jim, this comes down to the fact that, you know, while the president is under no obligation to attend joe biden's inauguration, what a symbol it would send to the country if he did, if he did and he clapped as president obama clapped when president trump was inaugurated and if he showed that sign to his supporters, his 74 million voters as he likes to talk about, that joe biden was
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legitimately elected president and it's time to move on and heal the country. as the president said in the scripted message, that clearly he did not mean, just yesterday. >> he's not going to do that. has shown no inclination to do that and this is proof. david gergen you have the prospect of an impeachment vote in the coming days, looks like a clear majority at least to impeach question is whether you get to a trial in the senate. tell us the significance of that in the coming week prior to his refusal to attend the inauguration. >> well, i think i might add, jim, before going to that, also next week we may well have -- or there's been reports in the last 24 hours, that on the day before, january 19th, the day before joe biden takes the office, that trump will issue the pardons we've been expecting. they'll be massive, cover the family and possibly cover him,
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too. so that's going to be a big deal before this is over. nonetheless, i think an impeachment without a conviction sends a message to historians. i think it sends a message to politicians. there are limits. and you're going to destroy your career and you'll destroy your reputation when you go over the lines as the president has. "the washington journal" editorial was pertinent to that, there's a constitutional line and he went over it, he's gone over it repeatedly is my judgment. i think if you have to ask, i have a friend of mine, a scholar in the field, well known historian. i asked him, where will trump wind up among presidents on the rankings? he said he'd been in conversations about this, having a hard time deciding whether andrew johnson or donald trump would be regarded as the worst president in american history. trump is already in a party of
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five or less of terrible presidents. >> the trouble is, though, in a different information bubble, with still the vast majority of republicans based on public polling he's a great president despite the facts. that's the alarming reality. david gergen, jeremy diamond, much to discuss in the coming days. thank you for joining us now. the headline there, the president has said he will not attend the inauguration of his duly elected successor, joe biden on january 20th. thank you for joining me today, i'm jim sciutto. "newsroom" with kate bolduan will start right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. hello everyone, i'm kate bolduan thank you for joining us. things are moving very fast this morning. just moments ago, president trump announced that he made -- announced that his plans for the inauguration

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