tv The Inauguration of Joe Biden CNN January 19, 2021 11:00pm-2:00am PST
>> and i'm jim sciutto. inauguration day in america, just hours from no, presidential transfer of power with yes deep divisions in this country, but also high hopes. the nation's capitol is on lockdown as joe biden is set to be sworn in as the 46th president of the united states. kamala harris will write her own page in the u.s. history books becoming the first woman, the first woman of color to be sworn in as vice president. >> a new beginning and a new administration facing enormous challenges. the nation reeling after the deadly siege on the u.s. capitol, a surging pandemic that has now taken the lives of more than 400,000 americans, and in his final hours as president, donald trump just granted a number of pardons including pardon for former chief strategist steve bannon,
the rational, politics. full stop. more on that in a moment and on the president's plans before he leaves office. let's begin with jessica dean on soon-to-be president biden's agenda this morning. >> we're getting new details actually about exactly what he's going to do and if we read between the lines of the details on his schedule you start to see the contrast between what a president biden administration will look like versus president trump and his administration. let me walk you through it. it's going to start with a church service late this morning, as i reported late yesterday he invited senate majority leader mitch mcconnell to join him as well as congressional leadership showing a bipartisan unity going into this very important day in american history and more than ever for us to see members of different parties coming together. they will attend that church
service together and then you will have the oath of office and inauguration for kamala harris and joe biden. we know he's still working on that speech. he will be talking about unity, a theme he's come back to again and again and you'll be hearing it in that message tomorrow. then he will go to arlington cemetery with former president bush, obama and clinton, again, another show of unity with former united states presidents coming together. notably absent tomorrow president trump who will be in florida by the time joe biden takes his oath in office. then he will sign a number of executive orders from the oval office telegraphing the visual of by-then president biden getting to work and starting to make good on some of the promises he promised on the campaign trail. all of that will be followed by more light hearted fun festivities in the evening,
inauguration special with celebrities and performances and all that sort of thing. poppy and jim it was startling to see how they started the festivities here in washington. yesterday at 2:00 a.m., president-elect biden and vice president-elect harris was at the lincoln memorial reflecting pool to honor of the hundreds of thousands of americans who died from covid. listen to what the president-elect had to say. >> to heal, we must remember. it's hard sometimes to remember. but that's how we heal. it's important to do that as a nation. >> some powerful words from the president-elect, again, expect more messages like that throughout today. jim and poppy, important to note on that schedule also, a 7:00 p.m. press briefing by incoming press secretary jim sock y they
will return to daily press briefings. another contrast to president trump administration. >> amen to that for the american people who deserve that from the white house. thank you for the reporting. president trump has just granted clemency or pardon to 143 people, including his former chief strategist steve bannon, the outgoing president awarded bannon a full pardon. this is one of his final official acts as president. bannon faced federal fraud charges of cheating donors, many of them trump supporters out of money as part of a campaign to support trump's border wall. >> notable not on the list, i trump himself or members of his family also rudy guiliani not on the list. >> right. >> joining us now to discuss the list and what it means, a professor of law at loyola law school and host of "passing
judgment" podcast. good to have you on. the biggest headline would be steve bannon, the president's chief strategyist and his crime that he was indiected for is defrauding trump supporters, raising money for the wall, money wasn't actually going to the wall, tell us legally what this message sends. >> interesting, this has gained the most headlines and legally the message it sends is, you could view it perhaps politically president trump sending the message that he's not really that concerned with defrauding his supporters. legally, what it says is president trump isn't that concerned with the crimes that are alleged here. this is the one where i think you might call into question whether or not the senate would convict president trump. i think this particular pardon is really going to anger some senate republicans. i don't think it's a done deal
that they would convict the president, not by a long shot, but i think this is the one people are saying, there's a number of senate republicans who will look and say now you haven't given yourself cover. >> that's a really good point and one echoed by conservative bill crystal tonight as well. i do want to make clear for folks though, maybe you can explain much better than i, this does not protect steve bannon from state charges and it's easily you know, possible, that one of the state costs pick up one of these wire fraud charges and make it a state issue. >> absolutely. couple things to remember in the constitution the president's pardon power is really broad but it only includes federal crimes. the president can't reach into a state to pardon anyone for a state crime, only the governor can do that. another thing to remember, with the pardon comes the inability to assert 5th amendment right against self-incrimination.
one point in your introduction you commented president trump and his family are not on the list. yet. so it is possible the president has issued some pardons that are secret. and if he didn't comply with federal public records act, which i can imagine he might not, that might not become public right away or until someone tries to use it as a defense in a federal case. >> ah. >> it's a fair point there. c n n is reporting the reason he did not pardon himself like many things was self interest, the idea he was advised it would expose him further perhaps to conviction in the senate. and that, is it not, is a consistent factor across a lot of these things because cnn's reporting on bannon is he calculated he might need steve bannon politically as many others in the party are abandoning me. . >> i think a lot of the
calculus in the final days didn't come to does he have the power because he unquestionably has the power with the exception of the self-pardon where we're just not sure because surprisingly no president has ever tried. a lot of it has come down to the calculation of the looming senate impeachment trial, how this would affect him and frankly, i think a lot of these were thank-you notes to people who had directly supported him, indirectly supported him. a number of pardons of people engaged in white collar, fraud, and non-violent offenders, low-level drug offenders. >> also not on the list, folks who stormed the capitol and also the possibility of republican lawmakers who might have some exposure there. the president calculating, again, c n n is reporting it might expose him to further
chances of being convicted in the senate. thank you for being on. for more now on president trump's hours in the white house. now to our white house colleague, do we know last moves what might come from the president before he leaves office? >> yeah we know just a little bit. what we know is, let's start at the beginning tonight. the president is in the white house. joe biden is just about 100 yards away in blair house right across the street. they're not expected to meet. but around 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, the president's schedule says he and the first lady will depart the white house. doesn't say anything more. we do know that they have planned what they think is going to be a big send off out at joint base andrews in the maryland suburbs. now it's anybody's guess who is going to show up. we here at the white house unit at cnn have been talking to people in the administration and others who have been invited and
a lot of people say they're not going to show up, in part, because of disappointment in concluding disappointment about the big riot at the capitol on january 6th. one other person who is not going to be there, we're told, is the vice president, mike pence. he apparently has opted to go to the inauguration of joe biden instead of attend that event out at joint base andrews. now, what they're saying is this is simply a logistical question. it's very difficult to be in those two places at -- not quite at the same time but thereabouts, and he's going to go on to the capitol. but there's also that question of the hard feelings between the pence folks and the trump folks as a result of what happened up on capitol hill on january 6th. a lot of people over on the pence side have been very upset about the fact that the
president of the united states apparently did not even check in on mike pence when all of that was happening and he was there. back to you. >> we now know how close the rioters and insurrectionists got to mike pence on the floor, whisked out of there just moments before they got in. joe johns, thanks so much for joining us in the early morning hour. still to come this hour, day one of soon-to-be president and vice president-elect biden and kamala harris. the immediate challenges facing their administration what they plan to do about it all, that's next. >> 12 national guard members have been removed from inauguration security for quote questionable behavior. the challenges of keeping the capitol and incoming president and vice president safe on this historic day. and where are we as a country four years after president trump took office. we'll take a look back where it started an where'd we are now. stay with us. and buying a car . now we've created a brand-new
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get a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to stamps.com/tv and never go to the post office again. in hours president-elect biden will become president biden before that happens president trump is expected to leave town, not attend the inauguration and head to mar-a-lago. >> now to our washington bureau chief, jackie, thanks for staying up with us, nice to have you on, it's a remarkable day to
witness. biden is planning to hit the ground running with these executive orders but also an ambitious legislative agenda. with the executive orders he plans to over turn some of the most controversial decisions of the trump administration, the muslim travel ban, leaving the climate accord. it's going to change very quickly here. tell us the impact of those moves. >> a lot of this is going to reverse what the trump administration did. there are executive orders, everything from covid to climate change, immigration, you mentioned the muslim ban, really stretching a very broad, broad swath of issues that they're looking to quickly over turn to start a new path. that said, things get complicated when you start talking basket legislative agenda. as you mentioned they are talking about a very large covid relief bill is that will need to get through the house and senate, now is made slightly
easier because democrats have control, very slight control of the house and the senate. even then that will require getting all democrats on the same page which isn't a gu guarantee. so once he does take the oath of office and he and his team take over, actually, i should mention, his team isn't even in place, none of his cabinet secretaries have been confirmed at this point. but once everybody is in place it's up to them to execute. that's going to be the hard part. >> you know, jessica dean, having covering biden's run and will now be covering the white house, i also want to know what a day and what a sight it's going to be to see kamala harris take the oath of office with her hand on a bible held by justice mior her choosing first latino supreme court justice.
kamala harris doubt of immigrants. and an administration that said they will build a cabinet that looks like america. it's just so different from the trump administration and such a reflection of the country and what's to come. >> yeah it is such a stark contrast. that was very much in the forefront of joe biden's message on the campaign trail than during the transition and now as he's about to become president. we heard him say it over and over again, i want to build a cabinet that looks like america. that was their pledge. he always said, when we were covering him that that started with choosing kamala harris. that bringing her in as vice president was very important to him for a host of reasons but also because of what she brings in terms of diversity, that she will be the first woman of color to be the vice president of the united states. and that's important it biden. we heard him talk earlier today when he was departing delaware. he talked about wait on the
train platform to come to the inauguration to be barack obama's vice president. and now he said he's waiting to go to washington, d.c. to see kamala harris become vice president. and i think he really sees himself as part of, really a changing of the guard in american history, and playing a role in that, that's important to him. and if you look at the people that they've picked, not just in their cabinet, secretaries, but also in their personnel that they're filling the offices with. they have really made an effort to make it as diverse as possible. >> you know, jackie, i remember watching trump's inaugural speech four years ago and the phrase that stuck out at the time and has been the most lasting was the line about american carnage, right. of course we see where the country stands today. tell us about messaging from joe biden today. what does he need to say? what do you expect him to say to
be, you know, the sort of core message of his inauguration and going forward. >> so i think the word of the day for the biden campaign, we've heard it over and over again already is unity. that's something that biden stressed on the campaign trail and is something that's going to course through this speech. it's not an easy task, particularly with what happened at the capitol just a few weeks ago. so his message of trying to bring the country together at a part where it does seem that there are ---ir reconcilable differences between not just the parties but average americans there's a divide out there and he's going to try to bridge the gap. whether or not he's able to do that, only time will tell. but that's certainly the message that the transition is putting out there and that biden himself, also, healing, which we
heard at the reflecting pool last night. these are core biden messages normally but will be particularly poignant as he goes forward today. >> we'll be listening and watching, thanks so much to both of you. >> thank you. well, it's a sad fact, you walk the streets of washington today, tonight, our nation's capitol, it looks and feels like a fortress ahead of inauguration. there are tens of thousands of national guardsmen, men and women, law enforcement officers, check points massive fencing perimeter, closure of key roads and bridges in and out of the nation's capitol. we'll have a live update next.
aware of what this city has become in these hours and days. right now several roads and bridges shut down entirely. nearly 25,000 national guard troops on the ground, five times as many today in iraq and afghanistan combined. you got fencing everywhere. you have dump trucks to block traffic. military vehicles. check points. we are out there following the latest in washington. tony, i felt walking down the streets tonight almost like a scene out of "i am legend" the city as a result of this, the downtown area at least, is desserted. it's an amazing scene but security officials believe necessary. >> yeah. jim, it's a surreal scene here, like something outside of a zombie movie, as you mentioned. there are 25,000 national guard troops in this city tonight. and you can see actually busses
behind us now moving these troops across the city all night. as well there you can see miles and miles and miles of beara kades and barriers and fence and brbed wire. not what people think of when they think of peaceful trans ig of power yet this is what president trump has left us with as he prepares to leave the city in few hours, the result of a presidency steeped in conspiracy theories. >> yeah. >> tony, conspiracy theories. many of which did not need to get out of control the way that they did. i mean, social media, as you've been covering so importantly, really is the reason so much of this is believed by so many and the president's words. since august facebook said it has removed about 18,000 profile
and 27,000 instagram accounts for violating its policies, many with these qanon conspiracy theories. a lot of this is still out it will. >> absolutely and it's been two two weeks since the insurrection at the capitol behind me all of which was based on the conspiracy theories that trump didn't lose the election. as we are going into the dieing hours of the trump presidency there are more conspiracy theories spreading like wildfire. one at the pentagon we're told, platforms like facebook and twitter are kicking off a lot of these conspiracy theorists, finally and a lot of far-right extremists are moving to new platforms, one of those is telegram and there's an account
up there tonight and earlier today had more than 200,000 followers it gained 234 in just under 24 hours it's posing as the vice chairman of joint chiefs of staff and is promising that trump has something up his sleeve, partially he will declare martial law, all of course is baseless but still spreading tonight. that raises all sorts of concerns, what will happen tomorrow when trump is back in florida and biden is president and possibly millions of americans who believe this qanon conspiracy theory realize it was all a lie. >> well they'll move on to the next lie. we've seen it many times. people willing to fool themselves or be fooled. great to have you on. joining me now to talk about the straight of the threat, cn n national security analyst and
former security secretary at department of homeland security. gaulz to have you on. >> thank you. good to see you. >> listen, d.c., i've never seen security like this. >> yeah. >> it's amazing to me. the streets, the nation guardsmen in uniform, five times the military presence in washington as in afghanistan and iraq. i just wonder, as you watch this, knowing the threat, does the show of force match the threat? what does it tell us about the degree of danger not just to the inauguration but beyond. >> i would say more specifically the show of force matches the consequences, if anything were to go wrong. in other words, i don't think, at this stage, we've always had zero tolerance for something happening amount inauguration but show of force is to say two things, one is, however
nerve-racking it must be to be there right now basically they regained the hill. you know, in other words, they're basically saying this hill is ours and therefore the new presidents and transfer of power. the second reason is consistent with these very public a restaurants you're seeing with these very public arrests around the country, fbi is going after these people, is that it's preventative. people laughed their way on to capitol hill, people died, you were mocking the senate, the joke is, whatever you thought you were doing, the joke -- the joke is over. i think that's really important however nerve wracking it is for all of you there. >> okay. let's talk though beyond that. >> yeah. >> about the seriousness of the threat going forward. i've been told by folks in the incoming biden administration that they plan to make domestic terrorism a real focus of the national security council going forward because of their genuine
concern about these group that's we've known about for years and the fbi as you know has been sounding the alarm about these groups for a number of years. where's that threat stand today? according to the fbi it's more severe than internati internationalsterorism for the homeland. >> absolutely. because the government inignored it. the other side is it's been nurtured by the white house. another thing as we reflect on the last four years is trump is accused of both sides. after charlotte he wasn't both sides, he was one side, he was nurturing the white supremacy movement and racism you see. i think a large part of it will go away only because that element is probably not violent. some of it like the qanon is sort of freaky, unhelpful and
unhealthy conspiracy theories, i describe like clockwork orange, kneelism is that we have to reeducate community members and family members and part of it has already turned against him. part of the core which is the scariest core views trump now as he is moving out you will see on the website that's they think he gave up. so it's different elements. the white supremacy element is the largest of what we're seeing and that needs to be fought just as we fought al qaeda and islamic terrorism after 9/11. >> let's hope we're up for it because so many are still sharing this disinformation deliberately despite what we saw on january 6th. let's keep up the conversation. we have a lot to talk about. >> i'm with you for 36 hours. you be safe. >> bye. >> bye. >> well, as president trump's
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well, president trump promised a country that would get tired of winning at the end of what he called -- and end what he called american carnage that is so memorable from his inaugural address. and he promised made great again. four years later where are we now? >> you can look at streets of d.c. as a measure. >> yeah. >> now, what the outgoing president tried to project and reality he's leaving behind. >> in the beginning, the new president declared him the s
savior of the forgotten. >> this american carnage stops right here, and stops right now. >> four years later, american carnage right there. at the capitol. a peaceful transfer of power denied. a nation suffering through a pandemic, on edge, divided, over a twice-impeached president. and all because donald trump lied and lied about an election he lost. >> we will never give up. we will never concede. >> addicted to adulation, clinging to center stage. >> if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country any more. >> reporter: and so the trump presidency born out of conspiracy theories was finally torn down by one. but the chaotic final chapter is far more extreme than anyone could have predicted.
from the very first day in his presidency palpable lies. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. >> a focus on himself. even at a hallowed space where the c ia had fallen. >> trust me i'm like a smart person. >> the new president came into office not so much humbled but rather reading from the same script he used for years in business. >> he's the first person to become president without ever having led any kind of organization that was devoted to any purpose other than himself. >> what trump loved was the ruffle and flourishes of the job. not governing. >> i will shut down the government. >> that's enough. >> chaos and division became his calling card. >> also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. >> these are not acts of peaceful protests. these are acts of domestic
terror. >> the norms of the office shattered. >> this is based on a perfect phone call. did anybody read the transcript. >> it's a witch hunt. this is a hoax. >> his barometer of success was the stock market and wall with his name on it. trump's world was divided it into those who would pay homage to him and those who would not at home firing those he diems insufficiently loyal. abroad the same, a bullies to alleys but strange for strong men who flatter him. >> he wrote me beautiful letters. we fell in love. he said it's not russia, i don't see any reason it would be. >> mortifying even to those once in his administration. >> i don't think he's fit for office. >> the president's truest fans remain stead fast convinced he was always on their side even as trump himself became the architect of his own demise not
only in the last few weeks but the last ten months as covid swept through the nation and the president insisted on sweeping it under the rug. >> we're doing a great job with it. it will go away. just stay calm. >> after his own brush with covid and hundreds of thousands dead, trump, jr. dead, trump still down played mask wearing and science, offering this advice to americans, millions now without jobs and none with presidential health care. >> don't let it dominate your lives, get out there, be careful. >> reporter: the vaccine came but the disease trump couldn't threaten did not beow. nor did the courts or the state officials who uniformally said no to over turning the election. >> it 45s to stop. >> and the congress and his own vice president stood with the constitution. while most elected republicans don't want to alienate trump's
74 million voters, the last two weeks left the party untethered, wondering about it's identity without a trump presidency and with washington in full democratic control. >> i ask my colleague do we weigh our own political fortunes more heavily than we weigh the strength of sour republic strength of our democracy and freedom. >> it's unprecedented tragedy that has traumatized the country in a way that will require generations of work to recover from. >> reporter: and now joe biden begins, inheriting a new american carnage, the one that is donald trump's legacy. >> and what biden faces, a crater economy, civil unrest, a pandemic, is more than anyone could have imagined. poppy and jim? >> to that point, the economy
truly, truly challenge ravaged by the pandemic. so many americans suffering now as a result of all this. >> that's right and the biden team has to figure out what to do about it and how to get agreement in congress what to do about it, yellen, secretary nominee picked to lead the nation out of the down turn began the process yesterday, urging congress to act big on another covid relief package. i thought it was interesting that algorithm form al gore former vice president said that he believes what the biden administration is inheriting in terms of an economic calamity is greater than the great recession. you remember they failed to pass tarp the first time and stock market plunged and political bickering made that recovery worse. is this hill even greater to
climb? >> poppy, there's no way to sugar coat it, biden is inheriting a debacle on so many levels, first the political divide, and this pandemic that's killed now more than 400,000 americans and biden is inheriting an economy that is very shaky at best, inequality problem that's been made worse by the pandemic. as you are alluding to poppy, joe biden was there and he knows what happens when the federal government doesn't respond aggressively enough to a crisis. congress in 2009 passed a $800 million stimulus package and obama economists said the recovery from the great recession was lower because the stimulus wasn't big enough. and janet yellen signalled that joe biden is determined not to repeat that mistake with the approach of go big or go home,
proposing $1.9 trillion rescue plan calling for stimulus check $350 billion in state and local aid. billions more in unemployment benefits and what's really important for the first time during this health crisis they want to spend a lot of money on the pandemic itself proposing $400 billion on vaccines and testing. listen, we know biden won't get everything he wants, but let's hope he gets enough to defeat the pandemic and get the economy through this period. >> clearly needs help to get the vaccine out, money, you know, support, et cetera. because it just ain't going to plan. let me ask you this, you know, with this next proposed stimulus, have we learned what actually works? which money is most effective, right. one of the lessons of the first stimulus -- pandemic stimulus plans, right, was get money into
people's pockets was really, not only to help people but also had the most economic impact. where should this money be spent? >> that's definitely part of the debate here. i think the most important thing from when i talk to economists on the left and right is get the money to the people who need it the most. we're talking about large parts of the economy that is still really in a state of disrepair because of the pandemic. think about airlines, movie theaters, cruises, broadway shows. all of these parts of the economy people are really hurting and we don't know when or if they'll ever go back to normal. it's so important that the unemployment benefits, that the stimulus checks, that all of that money goes to people who need it most. janet yellen talk about how inequality is such a big problem in the united states and want the money to address that problem before it leads to more political instability. >> thank you for monitoring
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her for the majority of her career. and i just wonder, did you think along the way at some point yes, this is someone headed for the white house? >> well, so many amazing politicians have come through sacramento. jerry brown being the main one. but kamala harris is a very charismatic person, a terrific politician. but it doesn't really matter what i thought. the republicans thought, nationally thought that she was somebody to contend with when she ran for attorney general in 2010, republican super pacs spent over a million dollars on a really brutal ad trying to block her election. they knew that if she became attorney general she would rise beyond. and they were right. her opponent, steve cooley, was
the district attorney down in los angeles. he told me in the course of researching this book that his campaign strategist told him, you know, steve, this campaign is not really about attorney general, it's about who the vice president is going to be. so cooley dismissed it. probably dismissed her at his peril. she's not a person to be underestimated. >> you know, what was important about the relationship that former president obama had with then vice president biden was that biden was the last one in the room and the last one that obama would seek advice on on big things. and it sounds like this relationship is going to be the same. harris and biden don't agree on everything. we saw that on the debate stage. we saw that on issues of criminal justice or injustice in the past. and the '94 crime bill. i just wonder, i guess you would expect her to make her opinions heard even if she disagrees with
biden, right? when he comes to her for her take. >> if you're joe biden, you do not select kamala harris to shove her off in a corner like a potted plant. she's a very strong person. she's very intelligent. she knows what she thinks. she knows what she thinks is right. and she -- of course she will express her opinion forcefully, i would imagine, with president biden behind closed doors. i'd be really surprised if we see any evidence of disagreement between them in public. i just can't imagine. >> one thing that i think is very interesting and important and i haven't seen covered a lot until "the new york times" a few days ago did a really interesting profile is on her blended family. and i don't just mean race. i mean all aspects of it. here's one line from the piece,
"ms. harris, the daughter of indian and jamaican immigrants, was raised with both christian and hindu practices while her husband, who is white, grew up at a jewish summer camp." not only do you have the racial background, the mixed marriage, the religious differences, and then the fact she's stepmom to two children, they call her mamala. and i say this because it's actually so reflective of so many american families. and that's unique going into the white house. >> yeah. when i think of kamala harris, sort of thinking about the book throughout, and i kept thinking about transition. she's a transitional person, transitional figure. certainly in california as california was transitioning from what, you know, not all that long ago was a purple state to a deep blue state. she's a transitional figure
nationally. this is going to be somebody who -- well, she is i think the face of the new democratic party. certainly the face of it in california. and probably nationally as well. but it's more than symbolism. this is a woman who's substantial. she's got -- she's got core values. she thinks things through. she's deliberate. she's a strategic thinker. she's impressive. she's -- you know, she's flawed. she has in some ways a work in progress. but she's somebody that can contend with. consequential. >> dan, thank you very much again. here's the book, "kamala's way." i'm sure a lot of people will be reading it. thanks for your time. >> well, thank you very much. >> we'll be right back.
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very good early wednesday morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. a little bit of news today. >> yeah, it's a really big day in america. we're so glad you're with us. even if it is the middle of the night. i'm poppy harlow. it is officially inauguration day in america. joe biden's big moment hours from now. he will do something that his predecessor tried to prevent, something millions of trump voters, dozens of republican lawmakers, and then thousands of rioters on the capitol tried to stop. joe biden will officially be sworn in as the 46th president of the united states. his incoming vice president kamala harris making history herself in a major way as the first woman, the first black
woman, the first south asian woman to step into that role, and all of it will happen at the center of sadly a city on lockdown. with the incoming administration facing challenges ahead that no new president has seen in our lifetime. >> you would not believe what this capitol looks and feels like today. >> yeah. >> and of course for millions of americans an economy on the edge, a pandemic at its very worst point. and a nation so divided it can hardly come together to agree on how to climb out of it or just what the reality of today is. but joe biden says he knows how to heal. >> to heal we must remember. but it's hard sometimes to remember. but that's how we heal. it's important to do that as a nation. >> well, the man, the leader who did so much to feed the nation's
divisions, will soon within hours walk out of the white house. and when he leaves washington, he will be the first living president since reconstruction 150 years ago to skip the inauguration of his successor. but before that happens, he's continuing the controversy with a string of pardons and executive orders. one of them for his former campaign strategist steve bannon, the man who is accused of defrauding trump's own supporters in a build the wall scheme. let's begin with cnn's jessica dean. and jessica, you've been covering biden for months now. this is quite a moment for him, for the country. i wonder, for folks watching now, preparing to witness the inauguration, what do you think the primary message is going to be? >> well, we're certainly going to hear about unity, jim. that is a theme that we've heard from him again and again. healing. you talked about that as well. but here we are, it's 3:00 in the morning on the east coast. when president-elect joe biden wakes up today and becomes the
46th president of the united states, that is going to be a dream coming true for him that he has had now for decades. it's been decades in the making. and he thought that his chance at this was over. but for somebody that really believes in fate the way joe biden does, and we've heard him talk about it on the campaign trail a lot, he met the moment and the moment really seemed to meet him. he sees a nation facing so many crises that is broken, that is grieving, and he is really positioning himself as a president that is also going to facilitate healing. and so we're getting more details about what it's going to look like on this the first day of the biden presidency. and notable this morning, it will begin with a church service that will have bipartisan congressional leadership there with him. we are told that he invited republican congressional leaders including senate majority leader mitch mcconnell to join him for that church service. of course we have the inauguration itself where you will hear from him that message
of unity. we also expect to see him signing executive orders this afternoon, later today, in the oval office, really giving off that message, telegraphing to the american people from the oval office, the center of power in the white house, that he is going to work and that he understands the crises that are facing the nation and he wants to make good on them. also of note, poppy and jim, vice president-elect harris, who will then be vice president harris, is expected to swear in jon ossoff, raphael warnock, and her replacement, alex padilla, later today as well. that will get the senate to 50-50 with harris as the tie-breaking vote. jim and poppy. >> that the other big headline here. very few people expected both those races to go blue, and that has enormous consequences for the incoming president. jessica dean, thanks very much. well no, one was sure it would happen until he finally put presidential pen to paper, but president trump has indeed tonight pardoned steve bannon as
one of his final acts in office. >> raises a lot of intriguing questions. joining us now to discuss this pardon process, what could come next, cnn legal analyst elie hoenig. he's a former u.s. assistant attorney for the southern district of new york. first of all, thanks for being with us here this morning, elie. always good to have you on. i want to ask about the legal questions this pardon particularly of elie hoenig -- you're not getting pardoned yet. particularly of steve bannon but of others here because there's self-interest involved. steve bannon is a potential witness in ongoing cases, possible investigations that trump is a party to. for instance, he was speaking with trump, we know, in and around this insurrection. you know, what were they talking about? still some remaining questions going back even to the mueller investigation, which steve bannon has information on. what does the law say? what does the constitution say about issuing pardons to folks
that it's in your interest to do so? as the president. >> so there's no legal prohibition on issuing pardons to friends and people who might be in position to incriminate you. unless there's some exchange there. which could be bribery. but putting that aside, the steve bannon pardon, there's so much wrong with it. first of all, it's a favor to a crony. the other thing, as you note, this is really self-dealing by donald trump because let's remember, steve bannon was under federal indictment by my old office, the southern district of new york, on a major theft case. essentially, he was ripping off donors to this we build the wall campaign. right? now, if steve bannon decided he wanted to try to reduce his sentence, he could cooperate. that happens all the time at the southern district of new york. i cooperated, i don't know, hundreds of people. and if that happened steve bannon might anybody position to incriminate donald strup. the other thing that really jumps out at me about the steve boone case, he's one of four defendants charged in that indictment. the other three didn't get pardons. only steve bannon did. and you have to ask why.
>> guys, on january 5th, on his podcast called "war room," by the way, steve bannon said all hell is going to break loose tomorrow. and it did, elie. just the politics of it. you wonder, this can't help the president's chances in the senate trial over impeachment. that aside, it doesn't like totally get steve bannon off the hook, at least for state charges. >> right. important to remember, we all know presidential pardons only cover federal crimes, not state crimes. some of the people who were pardoned tonight committed crimes -- they were federal crimes, but it's hard to sort of translate them over into state crimes. not steve bannon. that's a theft. theft is a federal crime. it's a crime in every state including new york state. so if state prosecutors want to pick that case up and they should, they can just walk right over to the sdny. it's a block away. and ask for that file. they should do that because it's
competely unjust that steve bannon gets a walk. >> elie, thank you. 3:00 in the morning. you must really like us. >> big day. >> well, vice president mike pence is planning to be at the inauguration to represent the outgoing administration of course in a way president trump himself will not. >> that's right. let's get a little bit more on what the outgoing president is going to do in his final hours in office. our senior washington correspondent joe johns is live with us. do we know, joe? >> well, you know what? not since richard nixon left this town has a president left washington, d.c., left the job, with so many bad vibes and broken traditions. president trump is sleeping tonight just about 100 yards from joe biden but not likely to meet with joe biden before the president leaves the office and leaves the white house for good. and the president is not going to the inaugural as well. but what he is doing according
to his schedule, leaving the white house around 8:00 in the morning. he's going to chopper over to joint base andrews, where his send-off is expected to occur that's going to be partly a military send-off. they sent out a bunch of invitations to people, especially people who used to work in the administration or in the administration now. not clear how many people are going to show up because in part of hard feelings. one of the people not expected to show up is the person who is number two in charge in the administration. that of course vice president mike pence. his staff put out the word that the reason why he's not going to the event at jba is simply because it's a matter of logistics, but we all know it's a very short drive from joint base andrews to the capital'll. he could get there if he wanted to. again, hard feelings. back to you. >> clearly, breaking out in the open it seems, joe johns. thanks very much. >> thank you, joe.
let's bring in former republican congressman of pennsylvania, now cnn contributor charlie dent. it's good to have you, congressman. thanks for staying up very late with us. i want to step back for a moment and talk about the future of your party because it is the promise of joe biden that he will unite the country. and that means getting republicans on board not only with policy and legislation but just getting along. right? and i wonder what you think. listen to this from republican senator lindsey graham. >> what we need right now is for senator mcconnell to unequivocally say that the second impeachment of donald trump after he leaves office is not only unconstitutional, it is bad for the country and stand up and fight back. to my republican colleagues in the senate, we have to rise to the occasion. if we don't we're going to destroy the party. >> is he right? what is worse for the party, trump convicted by the senate in
this trial or trump still dominating the party, being a force running again? >> well, i would first with all due respect to senator graham that i think there must be a trial for the president. what happened almost two weeks ago now with the assault on the capitol must be addressed and the penalty must be held to account. so i think they must do that. now, i also think there should be a clean break from the president. i think senator mcconnell and liz cheney and others are probably in that camp and there are a number of people within the party who probably think what we've been through has been a great experience, which i don't think it has been. i think it's been terrible for the country and terrible for the party. and the fact that so many in the party have decided that loyalty to a man is more important than fidelity to any set of guiding principles or values i think is something we're going to have to wrestle with over the next few years. >> here's the difference at least right now between liz cheney and mitch mcconnell on
paper, and that is liz cheney has voted to impeach the president and we have no idea what mitch mcconnell is going to do in terms of conviction. but the fact that mcconnell said today that it was the president -- that the riot on the capitol was, quote, provoked by the president and then he said the mob was fed lies, it's one thing to say something but it's actually in your actions, right? do you take that as an indication that he will actually vote to convict the president? >> i think there's a real possibility that senator mcconnell will vote to convict the president, and i would also say that it seems that in the u.s. senate, at least among the senate republicans, they are seething, they are furious with this president not only because of the assault on the capitol but because he cost them the majority in georgia with his very divisive rhetoric, his carrying on particularly since the election. so i think in the u.s. senate republicans are in a little bit of a different place than many house republicans are. i think there's genuine anger. i could probably count on one hand right now the number of people i think who will vote to
convict. we have a pretty good idea. mcconnell, he seems to be signaling to his members that it's okay to vote for conviction. so that could push those numbers up. i'm not saying they'll get to -- but you never know. >> you bring up a really important point and that is the difference right now between the house republicans and senate republicans in large part. and you've called this a moment, the moment of reckoning for the party has arrived. but you've got a number of house conservatives now who are pushing at least to have a petition, to have a meeting about knocking liz cheney out of that number 3 position in the house. she said i'm not going anywhere. but listen to this from freshman republican congresswoman nancy mace. i thought this was very telling z . >> and the irony in all of this, chuck, is that the same people that were complaining and screaming about the president being silenced on twitter want to silence a dissenting voice within our own party. so i find that very hypocritical
and very disappointing. >> how does this end? >> well, the congresswoman is absolutely right. for some members to suggest that after this hideous assault on the capitol that the person who should be held accountable is liz cheney for calling it out? i mean, seriously? i mean, how can anybody possibly think that? i believe that liz cheney is in a much stronger position within the house republican congress than people give her credit for. she is widely admired and respected. i would think that most women in the conference would be appalled that they would try to take out the one woman in leadership. that they would also be appalled by the fact that not only that but she has a lot of friends on the armed services committees and there are people who voted against impeachment and against certification who will not do anything to harm liz cheney because i think many of them wish they had voted the way she did. >> former republican congressman charlie dent, thank you. always good to have you. >> thanks, poppy. great to be with you. still to come, we have a lot ahead this hour as we get a live
look at the complete lockdown that is in place for today's inauguration. new charges and arrests are being announced connected to the deadly riot. plus, multiple states are warning that they may not have enough vaccine doses just to get through this week. the incredible challenge awaiting the biden administration on day one.
welcome back. there are new charges in the capitol hill riot. a 20-year-old man who allegedly beat police with a bat, he has been taken into custody. also two virginia police officers who posted pictures of themselves at the riot, they will soon face a judge. and take a look at this. this woman who allegedly stole that laptop from house speaker nancy pelosi's office may soon face more charges including obstruction. >> the fbi's moved quickly, definitively here to make these arrests. right now, though, the security in the capitol just incredible.
d.c. on lockdown. 25,000 national guardsmen and women there. five times the number of u.s. military now deployed to iraq and afghanistan combined. doany sullivan is out on the streets tonight watching this presence here. tell folks if you can, describe folks what you're seeing there, just the extent of this. because it really is remarkable. >> reporter: absolutely, jim. it's surreal. you know, just to see the sight of troops on every street corner here in our nation's capital this morning. 25,000. the only actually activity we're really seeing around here in the early hours ahead of the inauguration is the movement of troops. busloads of troops being moved from one part of the city to the next. hotels here which would normally be full of inauguration goers in regular times full of those
thousands of national guard troops. and of course we're seeing across the city walls and fences and barbed wire and barricades erected. of course two weeks after the insurrection we saw on capitol hill. and why is that we are seeing what we're seeing right now, is the violence from two weeks ago. much of it of course based on a conspiracy theory. many of the people who stormed the capitol believing in the false conspiracy theory that was being pushed by the president that he had not actually lost the election. so it's a quite sad sight to see here, but obviously the atmosphere in the city has been eerily quiet but also quite tense as we approach the inauguration. everybody hoping of course that it remains peaceful. >> the question is where do the conspiracy theories go, the conspiracy theorists after tomorrow in donie o'sullivan, we
the first priority for incoming president joe biden is to tackle the widening pandemic. we've now crossed the threshold, 400,000 americans have died from coronavirus. >> and the latest cdc figures show 31 million vaccine doses have been distributed but only half that have actually gone into people's arms. let's bring in two experts rngs dr. esther chu, a professor of emergency medicine at oregon health and science university. and dr. jorge rodriguez, an internal medicine and viral
specialist. thank you both for being here. it's the worst news that we've crossed that 400,000 threshold. and the cdc thinks by mid february we will hit 500,000 deaths from covid. dr. chu, you are optimistic, though, in your words, that we will see a sea change as soon as the biden administration takes hold. can you explain what that will actually mean for people who are desperately waiting for a vaccine? >> yeah, thanks for having me on and for that question. i mean, i think there will be some things with the biden administration that plays out over the first 100 days. things like mobilizing congress to send money, unprecedented amounts of money to states to coordinate a vaccine program, to develop a public health workforce, to do things like vaccine outreach, administration, and also increase testing hand in hand with vaccines. but i think there are many things that will actually change on day one, things we have not seen in this pandemic yet.
and i think that simply things like clear science-based messaging, a deep bench of scientific experts including health equity experts and operations experts, virologists, people who are so closely connected to the science, and i think just actual plans, communication. these are not exciting things. and yet, you know, this administration has been characterized by this kind of make it up as we go along response to the pandemic. and so i think the striking difference from tomorrow in the way that this administration handles this with logic and science, plans, clear communication, and actually a lot of listening to what people on the ground and in states need to respond to the pandemic effectively, we're going to feel that right away. >> not just making it up as they go along but making up facts, right? deliberately lying or
misinforming about it. dr. rodriguez, part of the biden approach with vaccines will be to get the federal government involved in distribution, something that the trump administration did not do. i just wonder, given the politics of all this and how that's affected the pandemic response, are sfats going to accept that help across the board? are they going to continue to push back? what will the cooperation be like between states and the federal government under biden? >> well, i'm hoping that the federal government will take much more of a leadership role which is something that i think -- and i've said for a long time, this virus knows no state boundaries. part of the confusion is the fact that every state, heck, every health area, every county has different criteria, has different levels of expertise and money. and let me just say that i don't think things are going to start on day one. i think things started today.
just by the -- of the people who have died. the scientific part needs to be there, but we're not going to succeed unless the american people's hearts are changed and they realize how deadly this is. this is an invisible disease. it's not like cancer where families suffer along with the victims and can testify as to its horror. all we see are the survivors. and we are going to be -- now exactly who's affected. and until america embraces the fact that this is deadly, we can have all the scientific information, but the american people need to be in 110% on the solution. >> how close are we, doctor, to the other vaccines being approved for emergency use? johnson & johnson, et cetera. because the more that we have the more that will come on the market quicker, right? >> i'm be sure which doctor -- >> i mean, it seems like they
are progressing. i haven't seen a terrific timeline for them. and i think the emphasis really has been and should continue to be on increasing supply of the moderna and the pfizer vaccines since we already have approval of those, it seems that they've really boosted their estimated supplies to us. and so through the foreseeable future, the next three months, i think focus on those existing vaccines is the right path. >> yeah, i think the best vaccine to take is the one closest to your arm. >> yeah, for sure. and i imagine a lot of americans will take the closest vaccine to their arm. before we go, listen, the deaths are just mounting. right? and accelerating almost every day. another 100,000 expected to die by next month. how soon -- since we are vaccinating slower than hoped but the country is vaccinating, do you expect that to be reflected in those numbers there that we see, to see that death
rate come down and the infection rate come down? >> i don't think we're going to see that for a couple of months yet. all projections that i've seen show that we're not going to be seeing that for a couple of months, which is why we cannot just rely on the vaccines. the tempering measures of distancing, masks, we cannot repeat it enough, are crucial. but listen, all hands on deck. we need to do everything because i think some very bad variants are on their way in here to the united states. >> doctors, thank you both very much for being with us. i wish it was on better news. but your expertise helps a lot. thank you. >> thank you. >> thanks so much. up next, americans aren't the only ones watching this inauguration. of course the world is watching. what our allies hope to see president-elect biden do first and say.
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the president of the european commission just a short time ago said, "once again after four long years europe has a friend in the white house." anthony blinken, biden's pick to be the secretary of state, had this to say about rebuilding those relationships worldwide. >> american leadership still matters.
the reality is the world still does not recognize itself. when we're not engaged, when we're not leading, one of two things is likely to happen. either some other country tries to take our place but not in a way that's likely to advance our interests and values. or, maybe just as bad, no one does and then you have chaos. >> joining me now, cnn's chief international correspondent, clarissa ward and columnist and editorial board member for bloomberg bobby ghosh. eager to get a sense of how the world is seeing this. bobby, i wonder if i could begin with you because you hear anthony blinken there commit to restoring diplomacy, alliances. you know, so many things that donald trump undermined via words and actions. i just wonder how much is rec recoverable because is the message to the world that these positions are part of a political cycle here in the u.s.? under one party goes one way,
under the next another way. as opposed to bedrock bipartisan principles. >> well, that's up to now biden and his team to establish or re-establish those principles. for a long time american foreign policy as the cliche goes, the differences in american policy end at the water's edge. that's changed in the last two presidencies or three i would say. but now the world is reassured by a few things. first of all, a return of decency and diplomacy from the white house. which is not a small factor considering all that has gone in the last four years. but also they'll be reassured by the fact that in president biden you have a man steeped in foreign policy experience. i can't think of in my lifetime another president who had so much exposure with foreign policy throughout his political career. when biden says he knows personally many of the world leaders, many of the major
players in international affairs, he's not making it up. it is absolutely true. he knows these people. they know him. and diplomacy oftentimes, not always but oftentimes, is about predictability, about being able to anticipate what america will say, what america will do, and then comport yourself accordingly. >> you know, clarissa, from europe's perspective this moment not entirely different from 2008, right? because europe did not particularly like george w. bush. certainly sharper now because trump is in his own category. but what happened in europe soon after, obama, was some disappointment. there was a lot of high hopes and there was the nobel prize and all that kind of thing, all the crowds that showed up for obama in europe. i just wonder what will real change will europe need to see to be convinced that biden will turn this around? >> it's such an interesting question, jim.
and i think you've hit on something really crucial here. because the mood in europe right now is not as some people might expect jubilation or celebration. it's relief. it's a palpable sense of relief that the international world order has survived just about intact the last four years. but there's also a sense there's huge work to be done going forward and that president biden will need to demonstrate that america can still fulfill the role that it traditionally has certainly over the last few decades, which really underpins the kind of world order and global stability. and you heard from blinken there this idea that what happens when america steps back is one of two things, either chaos or other people step in to fill the void. i just wanted to show you a few of the headlines that we're seeing here in the uk that i think illustrate that mood of kind of beleaguered approach that people are feeling.
if you look at london's "metro" newspaper, the headline there, "at last it's the back of donald trump." the "daily star," which is a sort of -- one of these tabloids, more colorful and over the top says, "well, that was a weird dream," depicting president trump in a straitjacket there. and the "independent," which is a well-respected broad sheet, says simply "it's over." the relief is palpable here in europe. that is not a sentiment shared across the world, but there is a very real sense now that the hard work begins. >> you know, bobby, there are things that will change. certainly the relationship with u.s. allies. but there are things that will not, right? or at least not dramatically. for instance, the u.s. relationship with china. the biden administration not signaling it's suddenly going to get all warm and fuzzy with china, right? the u.s. is not going to significantly if at all increase its military presence in the
middle east. that's another sxwbipartisan position. tell me what you see as the biggest change under a biden administration from trump policywise. >> well, there will be a big change in tone of course. but hopefully there will be a sense of some applied mind behind policies with china, with russia, with other regimes that are hostile toward the u.s., toward the western order in general. with the trump administration even there has been confrontation with china or russia it has been very scattershot. there's always been a sense that trump makes things up as he goes along, that he wakes up in the morning and he takes to twitter and he comes up with policies without thinking them through. even if biden maintains the pressure on china as i think he will or pressure on russia, pressure on other hostile
regimes, north korea, but he will do so with some actual policy thinking and some predictability and be able to communicate why he's doing this in a way that the rest of the world understands without -- >> and it's not just an impression he makes it up as he goes along, i've spoken to several people in his administration that say it's exactly how it works. clarissa, quickly before we go, because you've done so much great reporting in russia, arguably the biggest change under biden will be a change in the way the leaders of russia and the u.s. deal with each other. trump cozied up to him. biden will not. >> i would expect to see a very different approach to russia. we've already seen an article written by victoria newland who's going to have a senior role in the state department, indicating that it will be a much tougher approach. what i think a lot of people would like to see is some serious response to the poisoning and imprisonment of russia's opposition leader aleksei navalny. the trump administration has really not stepped up to the plate on that one.
>> no question. no question at all. clarissa ward, bobby ghosh, thanks so much. good to have you on this morning. >> thanks for having me. still ahead, a reality check on the economy that is soon to be president joe biden's economy. when we started our business we were paying an arm and a leg for postage. i remember setting up shipstation. one or two clicks and everything was up and running. i was printing out labels and saving money. shipstation saves us so much time. it makes it really easy and seamless. pick an order, print everything you need, slap the label onto the box, and it's ready to go. our costs for shipping were cut in half. just like that. shipstation. the #1 choice of online sellers. go to shipstation.com/tv and get 2 months free.
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departing from yet another precedent and leaving the nation's capital before his successor president-elect joe biden takes office. in fact, without recognizing him as the next president, meeting him, saying a word about him. cnn's boris sanchez has more on what's ahead for trump after all this. >> jim and poppy, as with so much of his presidency, donald trump's departure from the white house will be breaking with tradition. president trump will be departing washington, d.c. well before joe biden is sworn in as the 46th president, and trump is expected to land at palm beach international airport roughly at around 11:00 a.m., meaning that he'll likely spend his final moments as president at his estate in mar-a-lago. now, despite repeated claims from the president that there was widespread voter fraud and his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, he and aides have been preparing for his post-white house life at mar-a-lago for some time. and that includes a number of
renovations to the estate. we should point out when he was here during the december holiday sources indicate that the president was extremely displeased with many of those renovations and made his feelings clear to those closest to him. it's uncertain at this point if those renovations have been altered. but cameras did capture a number of moving trucks and moving boxes at the estate in recent days. still, the big open question, how much power donald trump will hold after the white house and after being ostracized from much of social media. what will his grip over the republican party look like in local, state, and federal races? and of course how will senate republicans ultimately handle his looming impeachment trial? a lot of questions still to be answered after four of the most controversial years in american history. jim and poppy. >> for sure. boris sanchez, thanks for that repo
reporting. well, president-elect joe biden will work to begin turning the page on the last four years from the very start in his inaugural address today, just a few hours from now. but he is inheriting an economy ravaged by a pandemic that has now claimed more than 400,000 lives, and that number going up. >> our chief business correspondent christine romans has more now on the challenges that await the biden administration. christine. >> poppy and jim, biden's plan to rescue the economy, contain the pandemic and create jobs. here's what biden inherits, more than 20 million jobs gone in the early months of the pandemic, several million people went back to work over the summer, but the surging virus has slammed the brakes on the jobs recovery. the economy is still down 9.8 million jobs in this pandemic. now, the recovery has been knocked back by waves of coronavirus infections. it's why a national vaccine strategy is central to biden's
$1.9 trillion rescue plan. there's also money in that plan for schools to reopen safely and funds for state and local governments to keep frontline workers safe and on the job. there are $1,400 checks for citizens and emergency money for small business. janet yellen is biden's pick for treasury secretary. she's telling congress to, quote, act big. it's not the time, she says, to worry about big deficits. a healthy recovery depends on more spending. stimulus will help many businesses but it won't save all of them from going out of business. that's why the near term here is really rough. the optimism comes sometime later this year when widespread vaccine use helps americans go out to restaurants and movies, plan vacations, get kids back in school and parents back to work. until then uncertainty is the enemy of business. jobs will come back once businesses feel confident enough in the future to hire again. the hope is that starts happening later this year. but the economy will need help until then. jim, poppy? >> a lot will depend on the pace
of vaccinations. christine romans, thanks very much. there is much more of cnn's special coverage of inauguration day. it's arrived. just ahead. want to brain better? unlike ordinary memory supplements— neuriva has clinically proven ingredients that fuel 5 indicators of brain performance. memory, focus, accuracy, learning, and concentration. try our new gummies for 30 days and see the difference. robinhood believes now is the time to do money. without the commission fees so you can start investing today, wherever you are — even hanging with your dog. so, what are you waiting for? download now and get your first stock on us. robinhood.
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as the 46th president of the united states. he will lead a nation divided like never before in modern times facing the worst health crisis in 100 years, and yet hope for change and different approach. president-elect biden's first gesture upon arriving in washington was to pay tribute to the nation's 400,000 coronavirus victims. quite a moment. you see it there. a somber ceremony at the link reflecting pool, a respectful one calling on the nation with an important message to heal. >> yes. >> to heal, we must remember, it's hard, sometimes, to remember, but that's how we heal. it's important to do that as a nation. >> today stand for power is unprecedented. washington, d.c. is on lockdown this morning.
25,000 members of the national guards, on all of those streets. fencing is up, bridges are totally closed. two weeks after president trump incited the mob of supporters that stormed the capitol, the president has now decided to snub the bidens. he has to plans to come to the inauguration or meet the incoming president or welcome them to the white house, the way he was welcomed by the obamas. his final move in the oval office is to grant a number of pardons and commutations overnight. more on the president's final plans. but let's bring with our colleague on what's about to happen. >> reporter: well, good morning to both of you, listen, if you talk to biden aides, they're ready to get in there and get to get to work, president-elect biden and vice president-elect kamala harris the same. we're getting details that
illuminate the key differences that we're going to see on day one between a biden administration and a trump administration. president-elect biden starting this morning off attending a church service. he will be accompanied by bipartisan congressional leadership. he reached out and invited everyone there to attend, including senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, so that will be interesting to see them in this show of unity. of course, we have the inauguration itself. he's going to be signing those executive orders we've been talking about, from the oval office, later today. and he will also take part in inauguration celebration later today. and interesting to note, jim and poppy, they are bringing back the daily briefing. press secretary jen psaki is promising to hold a daily briefing later today and every weekday going forward. all of this a lot of change from what we've seen with the trump administration. and the president-elect talked early before he departed his
home state of delaware, before he taking the oath of office about being part of this change, about breaking barriers. take a listen. >> 12 years ago, i was waiting at the train station in wilmington for a black man to pick me up on our way to washington where we were sworn in as president and vice president of the united states of america. and here we are today, my family and si, about to return to washington, to meet a black woman of south asian descent to be sworn in as president and vice president of the united states. >> reporter: and all of this so important to president-elect biden. he's talked a lot about how important he believes it is for his cabinet to look like america, is how he put it, jim and poppy. and it was notable, too, to see him today in delaware, as he left his beloved home state. we hear him talk about pennsylvania and growing up in
scranton, of course. but delaware is where he became a senator. it has been his home for decades and decades. he grew emotional as he prepared to come back to washington, d.c., a place where he spent so many years of his life but never like this, never, of course, as president of the united states. jim and poppy. >> yeah, jessica dean, thanks so much for the great reporting. let's go to the editor of the "washington post" and margaret talev managing editor at axios. guys, thanks for getting up so early on such an important day. margaret, what we just heard from biden talking about meeting obama to be the vice president. and then meeting senator harris, soon to be the vice president, and the history that both of those moments made. today, kamala harris will be sworn in as vice president by the first latina justice of the supreme court, justice sonia sotomayor and her hand will be placed on thurgood marshall's
bible. it's just a sharp contrast in the last three years and what is ahead, is it not? >> i think that's right. i covered both terms of president obama and his campaign and inauguration day as well. i remember that and i think anyone who has spent five minutes with joe biden assumed if he ever became president, he would take his own amtrak ride in. we have a different kind of morning here. but i do think both with joe biden and with kamala harris, this represents its own kind of history. for biden, it's half a century of slow incremental sort of movement towards this moment. for harris, a rocketship of a ride politically, but she embodies that determination of barack obama's dream. i live in southwest washington. my condo is attached to thurgood marshall's former church. so it's really great being sort of part of that moment. i'm going to walk out the door,
it looks different than the thurgood marshall church, but it's his church active in the community here. a real moment in history from what you're going to see today. because it has to be so muted because of covid. and also events of january 6th, it's for biden and harris much more austere. it's more of emotional than a victory lap. that is to say, it's not what that's about right now. it's about beginning to bring the warring factions together. >> there's going to be a lot of that in the ceremony today, going out in the country, right? not just so much about the man as we saw in the trump presidency. david, a moment for hope here. because margaret, of course, mentioned thurgood marshall's church. first thing that joe biden is
going to do on the day of his inauguration is go to church. he's going to mass, s st. margaret's cathedral. talk about the significance of that moment and what it may hopefully foreshadow in coming weeks and months? >> good morning, jim, i want to follow margaret and say the other thing about vice president harris, the fact that we've never had a woman as president. but that's a major milestone. in terms of president-elect biden going to church. he's a religious person. he comes from a time in the u.s. senate where members from the two parties have closer relationships. even if they fought on issues, they were friends. they socialized together. they played cards together off hours. and that senate has gone away.
but biden still wants to resurrect those relationships. i expect him to try and be a uniter in his speech tomorrow, because that's his nature. the question is my colleague s.e. cupp made this point earlier in the evening, whether it's a country wants to be united. that's the challenge. >> and the political reality is such that there is no political incentive, right, to actually do something with the symbols of coming together. david swerdlick, margaret talev, thanks so much for both of you. stay with us because we've got more questions for you. joe johns is at the white house for more in the final hours of president trump's presidency. we saw a wave of unleashed pardons earlier. what else in the trump presidency? >> reporter: well, you know, he's not doing a lot of stuff. he's not meeting with joe biden
who's right across the street. he is not going to the inauguration. but what he is doing, is he's going off to joint base andrews for his big sendoff. not sure how many people are going to show up there. they sent a bunch of invitations. and a lot of people have told cnn they're not going partly because of hard feelings, including the vice president, of course, he's not going as well. now, about those pardons, we do have 143 total, which includes pardons and commutations. something like 73 commutations which means a reduction of sentence. and 70 full pardons which are essentially complete absolution, if you will, for this crime. who's on the list. steve bannon, that, of course, is a big name from the administration at the very beginning. a top aide over at the white house. he was charged and faces trial
if he doesn't get this pardon on the grounds of defrauding people who thought they were giving money to help pay for the president's border wall. a couple of others, elliott broidy, an unregistered agent, he was charged with that, and paul erickson, also a republican operative, if you will. back to you. >> joe, thank you for the reporting very much. i know you've been up all night like most of us. thanks for being here. david is back. margaret is back. margaret, did the president just make his chances in the senate trial over impeachment less strong now among republicans because he pardoned bannon who said the day before the insurrection all hell is going to break lose tomorrow? >> poppy, you know, i think it's a good question. bannon is a major thorn in mitch mcconnell's side. >> yeah. >> we've seen the outgoing
senate majority leader but the republican leader in the senate, we have seen him increasingly speak out critically about trump and trump's role in inciting the insurrection at the capitol. i think part of mitch mcconnell's play, in terms of how he's dealt with the impeachment coming over to the senate has been able to leave himself the option, rallying republicans to join for a conviction with the president, without committing to it. and that's what of what we'll see in the closing days. the more and more we find out about the planning or any, you know, steps, any coordination ahead of that insurrection i think is also going to play a role. so, i don't know that's going to happen. i don't think steve bannon particularly enamored mitch mcconnell and the fact that mike pence is going to skip the president's sendoff to be part of the joe biden's inauguration
shows the potential, i want to caveat, the potential, for a bit of a reset towards, you know, some kind of working together. >> right. >> and rather than outright partisan warfare that we're seeing every day. >> david, because this president so rarely bothered with the effort of legislation, except with the exception of the tax cuts. a lot of his measures were executive orders and changes, regulations, which biden can reverse very quickly. the muslim ban, that's going away. a lot of these regulatory changes, particularly environmental one. a lot of things trump promised to do doesn't happen. for instance, the wall. just tiny sections of that actually built. what then is the most lasting legacy in terms of, you know, not just the lies, et cetera, but actually actual legislation, actual policy moves? >> so, jim, you know, i think
that even though president trump is going to go down as an ineffective president, he did follow through on promises in a weird way. he pushed the tax cut. he tried to get the wall, but failed. he promised xenophobia and anger and overturning the apple cart. he did that. that's not legislation, but that's what a lot of his supporters liked about him. you can go on down the list. i think if you look at a biden administration, they are going to be able to take those couple of initial steps rejoining the paris climate accord, rescinding the muslim ban. trying to stop the pain of the economic effects on the pandemic. and i do think they'll get some traction early on with this almost $2 trillion stimulus package that they have said they're going to try to push. after that with a 50/50 with vice president harris as the tiebreak, but not guaranteeing that every vote will be party line.
i do think bigger legislative initiatives are going to be tough as we get into the next congress. >> yeah, big question, infrastructure, right? they talk about it, and there's been bipartisan support but in fact, that's more money. >> the administration is going to rise and fail on how they deal with vaccines and pandemic, not so much big legislation. >> for sure. at least early on. david, margaret, thanks so much for you. still to come this hour, there's a lot happening today, president trump may be leaving the white house, but that does not mean he gets to leave his legal troubles behind. far from it. will senate republicans break with the president and vote to convict? also in washington, d.c. this morning, tens of thousands of streets, bridges shut down, a look at the huge security operation under way just ahead of inauguration today. plus, chilling text messages and instructions on how to make bombs. authorities dish out a new round
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the inauguration as a new senate is sworn in as well, members will be waiting for impeachment articles from the house to make it over from the senate. with that in mind, listen how the house leader mitch mcconnell characterized the capitol riot and more importantly the president's role in it. >> the mob has shed lies. they were provoked by the president and other powerful people. and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the federal branch of the federal government. >> sounds a lot like the speech of someone who might vote to convict. joining me now cnn election law professor friendita tolson. glad to have you. the republican leader saying the
president provoked the insurrection. the riots. based on the house, they accused him of fomenting an insu insurrection. high crimes and demeanors. if the president provoked it, that's the case there, is it not? >> i will say that was the most statement i've head against president trump i was quite shocked, quite honestly. and it kind of signals that he's willing to convict. in any case, he's signalling to his caucus that they will convict. it also signals someone form w familiar with a constitutional crime, references it as grounds for disenfranchise individuals -- not the president, but other individuals who fall for the confederacy and
engage ininsurrection, and if y look at that, in some ways mitch mcconnell is a political statement but it's also consistent with the constitution. >> so, you have a lot of republicans saying now, the whole question of a trial now, convicting the president is unconstitutional. so it's going to happen. there's going to be a senate trial. >> yes. >> second question will be, one, you'll have a vote to convict or not convict on the side of impeachment. the second question will be, should he be banned from seeking federal office again, running again in 2024. is the law settled on that? the way it's written, right, you just need a simple majority vote, but can that be challenged? is it settled 100%? >> so, there is precedent here that suggests this would be a caution that the court would not even take up. there's a case involving another nixon, not president nixon, but
judge nixon that determined that the impeachment process is a purely political process. and judge nixon was argues that he's entitled to a full trial in the senate in order to be consistent with the constitutional trial that he can be tried and the court said they wouldn't touch it. >> interesting. final question, as expected the president with a whole host of pardons out this evening, in the final hours of his presidency, i just wonder, when you look at some of these, you know, the president has a direct interest in these cases here. steve bannon, for instance, is someone who might testify against him, were he not pardoned, although i suppose it's still an open question there. but on the question of pardons, if the president, if, you know, by their nature, protect him in some way from prosecution, is that settled? or could those pardons be challenged as well? >> so, the pardon power is
typically this point, but it's not without constraints. impeachment is the penalty for abuse of a part of power. you can imagine a situation where the house of representatives introduces another article of impeachment if the house feels like the president hasn't used his pardon power. and also the more outrageous the pardon. unless they trump pardons himself between now and noon tomorrow, the senate can vote to convict. it's a political process and the problem is it's a president that's already been impeached. to make one last point, i think this reveals more about who trump is as opposed to anybody being on this list. in many ways, with trump, it's political and cultural. it's not really legal. if you elect someone in office who has no moral compass, he will break it. you know. so the fact that we're having this conversation about impeachment being the remedy of
the abuse of the pardon power and he's already impeached says a lot about where we are, legally. and that's a problem. >> it sure does. i mean, we've seen the system stretched, you know, sometimes, it's helped. sometimes, it's broken. franita tolson, great to have you on as always. >> thank you, take care. all right. well, coming up, we are just hours away from joe biden being sworn into office as the 46th president. in an inauguration unlike any other, in a city that is on lockdown this morning, we're going to take a look at how officials are securing the nation's capitol, and what they're doing to target right-wing extremists.
well, there are thousands more u.s. troops deployed to washington, d.c. right now than in ulf iraq and afghanistan combined. right, jim? something as five times as many? >> yeah, about that 5,000 in both iraq and afghanistan, they have 25,000 in d.c. it's insane. >> it is. it is. >> joining us now with the latest on that effort and why, cnn reporter doni o'sullivan. it's incredible to see in person. but security officials believe is necessary. >> reporter: that's right, jim, yeah, 25,000 national guard troops here in washington, d.c. this morning. we see trucks on the streets. we see gates and fencing and barbed wire. miles of it, all across the city. i mean, this isn't what peaceful transitions of power are supposed to look like.
and of course, it's all here because of the conspiracy theorys that helps flame that insurrection we saw just two weeks ago in the capitol behind us. all of that, of course, encouraged by president trump and amplified through social media platforms like facebook. >> donie, federal prosecutors, we've learned, are giving new details now on three members of a far right militant group. they're accused of conspireing to storm the capitol earlier this month. what can you tell us and is there a connection to what happened on the 6th of january? >> reporter: yes. some really, really chilling stuff that we're learning about the insurrection on january 6th. as you mentioned three members of the oath keepers which is a militia, militant group. those charges include alleged -- having alleged ininstructions on how to make explosives, as well
as evidence that the three members were receiving text messages and exchanging facebook messages and text messages about locations of where lawmakers were in the capitol during the insurrection. so, you know, we had heard from federal officials here that, you know, the details, as they emerge more, about what happened on the 6th would be scary. and certainly, that is what we are -- as we learn more details, that certainly seems to be the case. so, just i guess it highlights how close things came to be even worse than what we saw two weeks ago. >> yeah. they were talking about making, quote/unquote citizens' arrests of lawmakers, not unlike the plot in michigan, right, to kidnap the governor there. alarming stuff. donie o'sullivan, thank you. >> our legal analyst, asha
rangappa. good morning, aisha, the people and the beliefs of people don't go away after the president is out of office. and maybe they're more emboldened. what is fbi job number one? >> you know, we do what we did after 9/11. we make this a priority. there are challenges for the fbi when it comes to investigating domestic terrorism. when you're facing externally, you know, foreign threat, you know, you have, first of all, additional agencies that can help, for example, cia, nsa, they can collect abroad. and you have screening mechanisms for people, you know, coming into the country. and then you have legal tools in the united states, things like the fisa, the foreign
information surveillance act. those things are not available when dealing with a terrorist attack. so the challenge is you should do you act preemptively when you're still in the planning stages -- because obviously if you reacted or waited until the event has occurred you're too late. but that's going to be the challenge for the fbi. >> you know, when you look at the scale of the domestic terror threat, that's what it is, it's terrorism. what they have that international terrorists in this country never have -- i mean, just in terms of numbers, there are more of them, right? endless supply of weapons, highly armed in this country. but they also have defenders, right? they have defenders. i mean, imagine, you know, pro-terror rhetoric, you know, with islamist terrorism that you have from certain media outlets in this country. sitting lawmakers, et cetera. i mean, that's part of the issue here, right? in many ways a bigger challenge
than that faced with international terrorism. >> absolutely, jim. they now have a cause. i mean, you know, they kind of -- they've had a cause for a while. but this latest election lie. this lie that trump won the election, kind of helps wrap it up in a bow. and what's really insidious about it, jim, is that had allows a lot of the nefarious moments, the bigotry, the defense of government, is to hide behind democracy. and this is what allows it to be defended by members of congress. you know, under the guise that they are, you know, in fact, somehow upholding virtue. you're right. it's dangerous, we basically have a domestic terrorist group that has representation in congress and that makes it doubly hard to investigate. because then the fbi is seen potentially as investigating political activity or being
politically biased and won't go down that road. >> well, i'm just speechless hearing you put it that way, but you're absolutely right. what was -- like, what is the key thing, asha, that was missed that can't be missed again. jim's expertise here, he's been saying this for years, you've got to watch out for these folks. and what was missed that we shouldn't miss again, so it doesn't happen again. >> yeah, i think that there's going to have to be political will. this is a very tricky area. because you can imagine, let's say the fbi had been, you know, really surveilling all of these people coming to the rally. and then nothing happened. and then it came out that they were doing that, just imagine the fallout that would have happened. you know, jim jordan would have had a field day in congress, right? you know, it has to be a political will that this is
okay. and then i do think we need certain tools that allow for some kind of -- you know, we do have the criminal laws. but some way for law enforcement to step in at a slightly earlier stage. and that gets really into a balancing of national security and civil liberty. so you have to be careful. >> yeah. >> yeah, i mean, intelligence-gathering, domestically, that idea, too. asha rangappa, so good to have you on. i'm sure you'll be back soon. >> thank you. coming up confirmation hearings for some of the president-elect biden's key rabbit picks, particularly on national security, how will their new policies impact the u.s. on the world stage?
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house without a single confirmed member of his cabinet, one day before his inauguration for the top picks face the senate for the start of their confirmation process. and they each promise a turnaround from the trump administration approach on the world stage. just how big of an impact can they have if confirmed? joining me to discuss cnn political analyst, josh rogin. josh, thanks for getting up so early on a big day. the line that i saw yesterday on the senate confirmation hearings that were held is a promise from each of the nominees, we will depoliticize what has been politicized over the last four years. that's so important, isn't it? >> well, yes, poppy, you're exactly right. what we've seen over the last four years with the trump administration determined and largely successful effort, to take all of these national security agencies and really corrupt them towards the
political agenda of the trump administration and president trump himself. and that had effects both negative and troubling in many ways. and it will be a very tough job for the biden team to go into the agencies and redirect them towards the actual mission of protecting our national security. and what we can see from the list of nominees is that they're qualified to do that. these are techniqcrats. they have left less influence around the world in the eroding trump administration. >> also, we heard from the top intelligence, avril haines with the dni, for the government's release of -- what the u.s. government believes is the responsible for the murder of jamal khashoggi. i say that because it's even
bigger than this murder, that everyone deserves to know the truth about. it's about transparency, and what the trump administration knows right now that they promised to release it. and that speaks to that as well? >> of course. this is actually personal for us at the "washington post." >> of course. >> because jamal khashoggi was a contributing member who was brutally murdered inside of istanbul. and the government helped the saudi government cover it up. so if the biden administration brings light to that, that will bring comfort and justice to the family of jamal khashoggi. but in a larger sense it will end an era where the u.s. association was actually aiding and abetting the murder of a u.s. journalist for short-term, political and arms sales gains. and that would be a new day, although it won't be sufficient to reverse all of the damage
done. >> that's true. but it will be a new day for sure. josh, you wrote about in your column yesterday i think it's really important and it was undercovered given the other events going on. and that is the declaration right here at the state department at the end of the trump administration calling what china is doing to the uighur muslim population crimes against humanity and genocide. and the question now becomes -- you've got tony blinken and the trump administration agreeing on that. the question is somewhat does the biden administration do with that now? >> exactly. on the one hand it seems like a not of continuity on the biden policy because both the biden and trump administration have now acknowledged that the chinese government is perpetrating a genocide against millions of people, their own people. and the challenge is to fix the trump administration's very
flawed china policy, and that is a tough thing to do even without a genocide. how will joe biden, in the middle of a pandemic, considering all of the diplomatic struggle for the united states, be able to work with china, while they're committing a genocide. that is no easy task. the first step is admitting that the genocide is happening. the second step is doing something about it. >> josh rogin, good to have you. thank you so much for all of that. jim. >> the president of the european commission said that president-elect joe biden's inauguration marks a new dawn in america. and that the european parliament has a friend in the white house after four long years. cnn's reporters are covering the reactions of leaders around the world. >> reporter: i'm fred pleitgen in moscow as the kremlin fears that the u.s. could take a tougher line towards russia, under the incoming biden administration. and while vladimir putin in the past has said that he's willing to work together with any u.s.
president, it took him weeks to congratulate joe biden after his election victory, even after most other international leaders had already done so. now, there's also some politicians here in russia who have called the pro-trump rioters who stormed the capitol and were subsequently arrested political prisoners in the united states. >> reporter: i'm melissa bell in paris. never will an american presidential inauguration have been as closely watches from european shores as will wednesday's. not only because the incoming biden administration is made up of a source of experienced people that many senior diplomatic leaders here in europe know and respect and believe they can work with on so many of the global issues, climate change, to name just one, but also because more profoundly for europe, wednesday will mark the return of an ally of a partner in multilateralism. and a champion of a rule-based liberal order that goes to the heart of what europe is.
>> reporter: i'm ben wedeman in beirut. vice president mike pence recently rightly pointed out that the trump administration didn't start any new wars, although it came dangerously close to war with iran, just a year ago. starting with the muslim ban, president trump pursued a regional policy often broadcast via twitter that careened all over the map, coddling dictators. downplaying human rights and slapping sanctions, willy-nilly. with a few exceptions, the end the trump era is being greeted with relief. in the middle east. >> reporter: i'm in havana where the cubans are anxiously awaits to see if they will return to it, with the toughest sanctions in cuba in years but now cuba
officials say they're cautiously optimistic that the six decades' old embargo on the island can finally be lifted. our thanks to the reporters around the world. coming up while the president has been out of the eye in the final days in office, vice president pence steps in. as some move to purchage the political party, what will it mean for pence's political future?
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well, this morning, sources tell cnn that vice president pence is not expected to attend president trump's farewell ceremony at joint base andrews saying it would be difficult, logistically for pence to be there and to attend joe biden's inauguration. >> actions speak louder than words. joining us now is julianne tullster, thank you for waking up with us, julian. >> thank you. >> i think that says a lot, right? he's not going to his own president's farewell and he's going to biden's inaugural. what do you think? >> well, it does. i think vice president pence has shown how shaken he is from the
last three weeks. he was literally under threat as a result of the insurrection. and the last few days, he's taken many steps to try to separate himself from the president and not sharing what is often a celebration of outgoing president as well. >> you have the senate majority leader attending church with president-elect biden, rather than going to the celebration as well. i wonder, you know, you're a historian, you're a professor. what is the lasting damage of the absence of that peaceful transition, right? that has so mattered in this country, but that this country has preached to the world to respect for decades as well. it's not happening. the president won't even say biden's name. won't even say it. what's the damage from that? >> there's been an immense amount of damage done as a result of the last month. there's the practical damage that the transition hasn't been
as smooth as it should be. we're certain that the biden administration doesn't have all of the resources, ordinarily, it would have at this moment right before the inauguration. and in the long term, it's undermined the strength of our institution. it's exposed the weaknesses in our institutions. and it has lowered the bar as to what an outgoing president can do. so there's a lot of rebuilding that has to be done after everything. the campaign to overturn the election, the insurrection and more. >> can you give us a historical comparison to the division, i mean, we've been in horrible places as a republic, and we have come through them -- taken civil wars, we've come through them. so, how does this measure up. >> sure. it joins the worse list. obviously, the civil war period
is the worst division we've had as the republic literally broke apart into war. the 1960s is another period where the decade ends with americans in deep divisions over the war in vietnam, over race divisions. and today we're in a similar place. i would say that division extends into almost everything in 2021, and that's what makes it so difficult. it's not even about one issue or another, it's about the way we view the world. so there's a lot of institution rebuilding that has to take place, not just good leadership, if we're ever going to have a more united nation. >> well, we should note, the country rejected it, right? he lost, he loss by a sizable margin of his own party. ten -- not a huge number, but there are are senators who will vote to convict him. with a look at biden what is the
word or phrase, or i psuppose, that you want to hear from him that would make a difference in turning a page on all of this? >> governance. i think what we need from a new president is not even a bold vision, it's not necessarily a new deal. it's the ability to return to a white house that caring about governing, that cares about working through the processes that we have. this has been biden's promise in addition to unity. and he's even put together a cabinet team with experience to emphasize that value. if we can do that in the next four years, if we can have some kind of normalization to presidency, it will be a huge step forward. >> julian zelizer,perspective. we appreciate it. coming up the nation's capitol on lockdown, a country uniquely divided.
and remarkable trend just hours away, how will joe biden move ahead as he takes office. that's all ahead. thank you for being with us this bright and early this morning. i'm poppy harlow. >> thank you for kicking off so much more to witness. i'm jim sciutto. john berman and alisyn camerota will kick off the coverage right after a short break. ♪ ♪
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♪ here we are, today, my family and i, to meet a black woman of south asian descent to be sworn in as president and vice president of the united states. >> we have concerns of insider threat, security remains tight. >> he's going to go to mass with the four congressional leaders. >> he is the right man for the right time to heal this country. >> i'm glad we're going to have a fresh start and move away from violations of norm. >> my biden prayer is that we emerge from this ordeal with a new wisdom. and to open our hearts just a little bit more to one another. this is a special edition of "new day" with alisyn camerota and john berman. welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world.