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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  January 22, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PST

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on his first full day in office, president biden tackling the pandemic head on. he's saying help is on the way. today marks one year since the first covid patient was identified. the pandemic claiming almost 410,000 lives. biden saying the u.s. death toll will likely top 500,000. they're seeking to delay president trump's impeachment until february. joining me is john harwood and dr. jonathan reiner. gentlemen, hello to both of you. john, a pandemic killing
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thousands of americans a day, economic catastrophe, deep division and the list goes on. our country faces problems. it's all squarely in his lap. >> he's trying to generate a sense of momentum, both through his rhetoric, through some crisp action by his staff through some executive orders that he's signing on covid in particular. he's creating the pandemic testing board, signed that order today. that's something he's talked about for some time. also says he will use the defense production act to ramp up manufacture of vaccines and get that program going. he's going to impose a mask mandate on federal lands. that's not going to have a dramatic effect, but it can have some incremental effect. the president is racing against time because the things he needs
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to do to really move the ball forward to make progress on this vaccine distribution are, one, to get the covid relief package that he's got through the congress. he's got to figure out whether he can get republican votes for that and moving through normal legislative channels or whether he's going to do it with democrats only through reconciliation. and he'll take time with the defense production act to generate the increase in vaccine production that he needs. getting the vaccine -- the pandemic under control is critical to everything this president wants to do, including getting the economy going again as well. >> dr. reiner, let's talk about the cdc updating the covid vaccine guidelines. they can mix and match, you know, the kinds of doses they get or the kind of medication, which company they get it from in exceptional situations. will people be skeptical of this
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when the vaccines are running out and the guidance is different than before? >> i'm skeptical of it. there's no data that supports it. changing the guidelines now are basically potentially anticipating some shortages going forward. i'm not that really worried about vaccine availability going forward unless we're really surprised sometime in the next couple of weeks, johnson & johnson is going to apply for an emergency use authorization for their one dose medicine and that will be a big boost. it requires refrigeration, one shot. we'll have the vaccine. i'm more concerned about our sort of last-mile infrastructure and being able to get the shots into arms, changing vaccines into vaccinations and that's what we really need to do. i think the biden administration
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needs to be more ambitious. we're almost giving 1 million shots a day now. we need to give 2 million shots a day. if you want to get back to normal by summer, you want the economy to improve, you want to take a bite out of this enormous death toll, we need to do that. look, things are getting better in the country. case rates are dropping dramatically. they are unequivocally on the way down. hospitalizations are dropping. there's a sweet spot now. there are more contagious variants in the country. we need to get vaccines in the arms before those become dominant. now is the time to do it. >> thank you for saying that. i want to get your reaction to dr. anthony fauci. i was surprised by his reaction, that he said it out loud. >> i take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of
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contradicting the president so it was really something that you didn't feel that you could actually say something and there wouldn't be any repercussions about it. the idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, what the evidence -- what the science is and know that's it. let the science speak. it is somewhat of a liberating feeling. >> look, that is an extraordinary statement at the first covid briefing in over two months. there's so much work to be done, but is the medical community feeling more optimistic after seeing the experts back front and center? >> first of all, it's refreshing to hear dr. fauci just say it the way it is. to hear him brief the public and just -- the public can handle the truth unlike the last administration's feeling that the public couldn't handle the truth. the public can handle the truth, but what dr. fauci and his colleagues learned is that if you said something that veered away from the party line, you
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could get side lined. at the end of february just as the pandemic was starting, only 14 cases in the united states at the time, dr. nancy masonia told a briefing that disruptions were likely and that community spread was going to happen. you never heard from her again. and we saw that play out over and over again. we saw dr. redfield walk back after he veered from party line. this is a breath of fresh air. >> gentlemen, thank you. i'll see you soon. appreciate it. i want to turn now to former nixon white house counsel john dean. good to see you. mitch mcconnell wants to start the delay of the trial until february. democrats aren't dismissing the idea. who does this benefit the most? >> i actually think it benefits the democrats. as time passes, more information is coming out.
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what we don't know are the connections between trump and the conspiracy and where they planned to take over the capitol. i think with time they'll find there was a much more direct tie between information trump had and it's just out there speaking rather generically about rallying the troops and getting them to march down pennsylvania avenue. it's going to become more incriminating, in other words. >> interesting. the violent mob storm in our capitol now fresh in anyone's minds. if the trial is delads too long, do you think the outrage is going to fade? >> i don't. the witnesses are going to be sitting right in the senate. they remember what they went through and they're the only people that count in a trial are the jury right there in the senate. they are judges and jury in this instance. they know what happened. it's how the case is built as it becomes more damaging for trump,
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the stronger the case is going to become. there's a question of whether there's some key witnesses that might be involved. don, there's also the possibility that this trial could be done before it goes to the full senate before a special impeachment committee. this has been done with judges. we have a former president. there's no reason he has to have a full senate trial. so there is room in the rules to do this in a pre-trial committee. >> trump has hired butch bowers, a lawyer from south carolina, hired him for his defense. he'll likely have to deal with more and more videos like this one emerging daily. i'm going to play it. i have to warn you, there's profanity. here it is. >> we're outnumbered. there's a fucking million of us out there. >> we were invited by the
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president of the united states! >> so, john, to your point, there's more evidence coming out and then there are more people being arrested and we start learning about more of the suspects and what have you. is this going to complicate trump's defense you believe, right? >> it could. i'm not sure he has the right lawyer. one of the mistakes nixon made is he brought in an outsider who didn't know anything about washington. from what i can dig out about mr. bowers, he doesn't have any washington experience. he was connected back in 2007, 2008 in the civil rights division for some voting matter, but he doesn't really know his way around washington and that's going to hurt the president. >> john dean, thank you. so it seems like mitch mcconnell is telling democrats i'll block you now unless you promise to let me block you later. is he holding the senate hostage? it's neutrogena®. rapid wrinkle repair®
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so tonight democrats are technically the majority party in the senate and new york's chuck schumer is the majority leader but dems don't have control yet thanks to the maneuverings of senator mitch mcconnell who is technically minority leader but still wielding a lot of power. one major sticking point, an agreement on the use of the filibuster. let's discuss with our senior political analysts, plural. john avlon and ron brownstein.
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john, democrats can't take full control of the senate until they reach an agreement with republicans over how things operate. minority leader mitch mcconnell is insisting schumer reaffirm the filibuster. senate democrats are refusing to buckle to the demands. is mcconnell holding the senate hostage? what is this? >> in terms of things going forward he sure is. look, democrats don't want to give away that option if republicans are going to be as obstructionist as they have in the past. the senate is not a simple majority. the issue is whether you're going to take it off the table or our issue is to go back and not make a firm commitment on
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this issue. it's been blown up for judges in the past. they need to reason together. democrats say why would we give away this to mitch mcconnell when he's in the minority. >> mcconnell is going to block control for the dems until they agree to promise to uphold the rule that would allow him and the republicans to block anything else that they want to block? do i have that right? >> yeah, you do. that's a very good way of putting it. first of all, as i understand it, there is not a precedent for filibustering the organizing resolution of the senate the way mcconnell is threatening here, basically blocking the majority from organizing and holding everything up that way. second, even if the democrats somehow agreed to this, there's no way that it can be binding as mcconnell knows. they could later come back and change it. why is he doing it? he's doing it to make a statement here to kind of show his power and to kind of force democrats to back down.
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i was there in 2009 when he said to major garrett that his principle goal, mcconnell's, legislative goal, was to make barack obama a one-term president. if you look at this maneuvering plus his speech today criticizing biden's initial actions, it kind of gives you the sense he may be heading down that same road again. >> he hasn't said he would change the filibuster rule but he doesn't want to rule it out. do you think democrats are thinking back to the days when republicans, as you mentioned, obstructed obama at every step? and do they really have any recourse other than just to stick to their guns right now? >> no. no. certainly they have no resource. there's no way they're going to let mitch mcconnell decide the rules under which the senate operates but the issue of filibuster cannot be put off for two years.
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it's going to come to a head initially on biden's goal as i wrote today, the white house goal on the initial rescue plan is to do it through a regular order. if they can't, they have the option on something that's called reconciliation where they can do it by what's called majority rule. the problem is everything else doesn't have that. where this is going to come to a head is on the racial equity agenda. new voting rights act. police reform. hr 1. immigration reform. all of the issues likely to pass the house and stack up in the senate if the filibuster is maintained. i think the pressure with the democratic coalition allowing mitch mcconnell to use a jim crow relic. i don't know how they go back,
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they say, sorry, guys, we did the best we could. we have to elect ten more democrats. >> i heard what ron said, can they wait it out? do you think that they have options here? >> look, i mean, this is as narrow as it gets. this is a 50-50 split and it's the tiebreaker through vice president kamala harris. >> you have a president with the most experience since linden johnson. it's going to take republicans and democrats showing they can reason together. if republicans are going to do the insingttive obstruction, democrats are going to throw that out first thing they get. the best thing they can do now, especially given you have moems
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don't want to give up the filibuster, let's try to work together. hold it in reserve if they revert to the obstructionist ways. it was never supposed to be done. more nominees were blocked by mitch mcconnell and co than had been blocked in history. we have an abuse. >> devious. >> remember what obama said once the filibuster was only used to block people that look like me. >> wow. that is some sinister stuff. okay. thank you both. i'll see you soon. president biden wants to unite the country but not everyone understand what that means. the newly elected person weighs in. >> if people did aid and abet,
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there will be more than comments from the colleagues, there will be prosecution if they aided and abetted an insur rekt vun which people died.
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president biden making it clear addressing racial inequality is a priority. he revoked the trump executive order that limited diversity and inclusion training in federal agencies. biden also directly addressing the threat of white supremacy in his inaugural address, a threat he says must be eliminated. joining me is democratic national committee chair jamie harrison. congratulations on your chairmanship of the dnc. we're seeing history made this week as you know as i'm talking to you. history was made. kamala harris sworn in as vp. two democratic senators from georgia sworn in.
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black man and jewish man. we've seen there is a huge problem with racism and division. what do you think is needed next? >> yeah. well, i think we need joe biden. joe biden, i was talking with somebody the other day. they asked do you think joe biden is going to be a good president? joe biden didn't win the presidency for a few times but my grandma always taught me, don, that sometimes we have a plan as individuals and the lord has a plan for us and that sometimes those plans aren't the same but we need to follow his plan. i think that this is the moment for joe biden. he was made for this moment because we need someone who's people they the particular. we need someone who has gone through ehll and gone back but we need someone who also understands the power of joy and bringing folks together. joe biden knows that. he understands that and that's why he is the president for this moment. >> but he's got to reach the
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other side who has not been to this point willing to even accept that he is the actual president of the united states. that's a tall order, jason. >> well, it is a tall order. >> >> but look at the speech he gave yesterday. he didn't talk about himself, he didn't talk o about donald trump, he talked about america and bringing it altogether. he has been consistent. like a broken record. when he came here joe biden is saying the same old thing about unity and folks coming together. he has been like a broken record time and time again talking about this issue of bringing this country together and healing us. some people don't want. that's okay. you take the time you need but eventually you'll have somebody with open arms saying let's move forward together. >> i want you to help me understand this. you mentioned his speech and what he talked about.
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i'm not sure how people got this out of his speech but he was condemning white supremacy in that inaugural address but some republicans are twisting his rebuke into an attack against the entire gop. this is senator rand paul. >> if you read his speech and listen to it carefully, much of it is thinly veiled innuendo calling us white supremacists, calling us racists, calling us every name in the book, calling us people who don't tell the truth. >> i did not hear joe biden say that. what i heard was him condemning white supremacy. if republicans like rand paul can't see that, number one, that's a problem and not a personal attack, what does that say about him? >> listen, i think rand paul needs to listen to what joe biden is talking about. i would hope every single senator in the united states senate, every single congressman in the u.s. house could all
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condemn white supremacy because that is not who we are as a nation. this is about the greatest asset that we have as a country is our diversity. we all need to feel like we are a part of this american experiment that is taking place. joe biden is about bringing us together, but at the same time he's very clear that if you believe -- if you are a white supremacist, you have no place in this america. i agree with him. i would hope that all of our leaders could agree with him as well. >> excuse me, but do you think that's a coordinated effort? i've heard that from others not just rand paul but other gop leaders and coming from conservative media as well. do you think they got that together as a talking point so they could win over some of the actual people who went and stormed the capitol or some of the trump voters who may believe that way? >> it could be a talking point, but this is the thing, don.
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hopefully they have learned us. another lesson from my grandma, you play with fire, you get burned. so stop fanning the flames of the hatred and division in this country. find ways to bring people together. you know and these people know joe biden. they know what's in his heart and what he is trying to do as a nation and what they should all be trying do as well, bringing us altogether so that we can move forward and address the challenges that people are really dealing with right now. covid. unemployment. how this economy is created. those are the things that people in these states, in these small towns, in these rural communities are really struggling with. i would hope our senators would stop thinking about running for the next presidential election and start focusing on the people that they took an oath to protect and defend and actually serve. that's what joe biden is trying to do, focus on the people, not politics. >> jamie, you're a black man.
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you ran a competitive race in the deep south. my question is, what did you learn? what will make democrats more competitive in red states and rural states? >> the thing i learned, we all learned, you've got to organize, organize, and organize. i mean, we were able to make history in this last election and this past january a few weeks ago when we democrats were able to win not one but two special elections in georgia. we now have an african-american and jewish american senator both representing georgia and they won convincingly. that is because of stacey abrams, tasha brown and so many grassroots organizations, the georgia democratic party and they organized. they went into communities and they didn't just parachute in two months before the election, they stayed in those communities addressing the issues people care about. the success from the democratic party is we have do transform ourselves from a political
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organization and we have to become a community organization embedded in these communities helping people address the issues they're dealing with right now. >> i'm glad you mentioned natasha brown. she often doesn't get the credit she should for organizing and registering a ton of people to vote and getting them out to the polls to vote. thank you, jamie. good to see you. congratulations, my friend. >> thank you, my friend. you heard jamie harrison. still a lot of work to be done to combat racism and hatred. i wrote this is the fire, what i say to my friends about racism. it is full of honest, fearless conversations that i have with my own friends and family. preorder it wherever you can get books and check it out. next, more arrests in the capitol riots including a leader of a group trump famously told to stand back and stand by. we're going to bring you the latest and get back to your rhythm.
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. as of tonight, more than 120 defendants have been charged with federal crimes in the deadly insurrection at the capitol two weeks ago. and as the investigation heats up, hundreds more expected to be charged. let's discuss with john scott railton from the citizen lab at the university of toronto and phillip mudd. gentleman, good to see you.
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120 defendants all facing criminal charges over this capitol riot. are investigators strategically going after those with the most serious crimes or those who were leaders within the mob? can you hear me, phil? >> yeah, i've got you clear. >> okay. >> yeah, a couple of things i would be thinking about here. first, there's a ton of digital media out there that is stuff from the capitol, stuff the fbi has picked up from cameras on the capitol, stuff people have sent in, everything from ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends to stuff picked up by people's facebook pages. the first thing they'll go after is stuff they can prosecute. they want to take those people off the streets. >> let me ask you because i wasn't sure if you could hear me. are they just going after
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everybody that they see on video? does it matter the status of what they did, whoever they can get to first? >> i think they go after the people who it's easiest to make a case against first and who they can find. the tougher thing, don, and the most interesting thing is the people they're going to eventually go after who are not charged now but people who they will charge in the future for conspiracy for a couple of reasons. it's tough, don, to make a conspiracy case. it's a lot tougher than looking at a video and saying you went into the capitol, you trespassed, that's a misdemeanor violation. making a conspiracy, proving people went in with the intent to do what they did is a much different case. that's a big deal. the last thing i would say, the most interesting thing i think is going after these groups because down the road are they going after them before they do
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something and say we see that you're planning, we see there's a conspiracy in the state or against the federal government. we're going to make a conspiracy charge before you actually breach the territory in a place like the u.s. capitol. i think that's interesting. i'm not sure that would have happened three weeks ago. >> john, in florida the proud boys leader joseph biggs being charged. he's telling his friends on parler to blend in. the fbi believes he wore an earpiece and had a walkie-talkie device. what do you know about him? >> you see that discussion of the walk can i talk kiss and the earpiece throughout that affidavit. he's interesting. he does a group picture and then later he makes an entrance. that shows up in the affidavit
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too. he's not wearing the traditional proud boys colors but he has a walkie-talkie. he looks at the camera and said this is awesome. now he told a british tabloid recently he was just there to visit the restroom but i think we'll see about that. it's pretty clear the fbi is looking at the fact that the proud boys who were there were wearing earpieces and communications gear as a way to show they were probably in communication. that's not something you do for a normal protest or walk in the park. >> phil, he said he was there to use the restroom or maybe he was sort of ushered in or pushed in with the crowd. if you hear him giving orders or he has an earpiece, does that show premeditation or does that matter? >> it matters. here's the difference. if i were a defense attorney, if i were them i'd say, look, you went to a demonstration. the commander in chief, the
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president of the united states organized. he wanted to talk to his friends. they're sort of wanna be u.s. mar marines. as a citizen that would tell me to say we need a way to communicate. that's different than telling them that's proof they planned in advance. i think that's what they did. i would use it as evidence. i'm not sure that's going to hold up in court, don. >> real quickly, you talked about the system they used to communicate. the sophistication of this, are you worried that they have the ability to carry out another attack like this without being detected? >> yeah, i'm worried not about the system they used there but about encoded, that is encrypted communications that are available off the web. the ability of people being able
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to communicate without being watched, once you say you want to commit an act including breaching the security at the capitol, i want to watch you. don, the past 15 years i can't and that makes me nervous as a former investigator. >> quickly, what's next with all of this? >> well, this is a really good question. i want to respond to the encryption thing. evidence there was an issue here was long before. it wasn't in encrypted channels. all over the internet. what i'm worried about is we're going to bring back an encryption debate before we figure out what the problems were. what we're going forward, what we're seeing from the fbi, the focus on trying to understand the groups and organizations that were present. what worries me if you look at the oath keepers, they're putting out messages, go to ground, get off the x, prepare to bug out. who knows if anybody is doing that.
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>> thank you, gentlemen. confused and fate in disarray. stay with us .
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when they're sick, they get comfortable anywhere and spread germs everywhere. nothing kills more viruses, including the covid-19 virus, on more surfaces than lysol disinfectant spray. lysol. what it takes to protect. so president biden taking the oath of office dealt a major blow to qanon, conspiracy theory. believers where they were waiting for president trump to enact a plan where members of a so called satanic and pedophilia
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ring would be rounded up, prosecuted and executed. that obviously did not happen causing some to wonder whether they had been duped. let me read some comments that poured into a q board? >> anyone else being felt let down. this is pure hell. it feels like we were sold out by trump. i feel robbed filled with grief and anger. in the time we needed trump and q the most, they both shut up and left. joining me is cnn business reporter done o'sullivan. it's amazing to hear and watch. done, joe biden is president, the storm never came. now there's a reckoning that's happening. what are you learning? >> reporter: it was incredible. even up to right before biden
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was inaugurated a lot of qanon followers believed trump was going to implement martial law, use the military to stop biden from being sworn in. in the early hours of inauguration morning we were out doing overnight coverage and we met a trump supporter streaming live on youtube. he believed that conspiracy theory. we caught up with him yesterday afternoon after biden became president. have a listen. do you feel like you've been duped, that you've been tricked, fooled in some way? >> no. the way i felt, i was waiting until the minute. i was thinking, my life's about to completely change because i've been saying i'm either a conspiracy theorist or a prophet. >> do you think with joe biden
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being sworn in, you might be wrong. >> no, i'm convinced the election was a fraud. >> that's the issue there, don. he can see he was duped by one conspiracy theory but he insists believing the stop the steal, and also he believes it wasn't trump supporters who were responsible for the violent insurrection. >> he was going to say either he's a conspiracy theorist or prophet. i'm not sure which conclusion he came to. did he ever tell you? >> reporter: he was very confused yesterday. >> i'm sure. >> chloe, is this an opportunity to bring people back into the light when the truth may be dawning on snem how do you do that if possible? >> we can only hope there is an opportunity. as done mentioned, it's a pretty
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confusing reaction. inside the group that is confused, disappointed, angry you have to watch for two different reactions. one is people maybe have a way to exit from the conspiracy theory movement. that will require a lot of work from friends and family having long conversations, non-judgmental conversations. part of the problem is these kind of movements aren't just ideology, they become the social group of these people. by moving out or exiting, it can be a different process. the other problem is the angry people return even more extreme. we see active recruitment in
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white supremacist channels to try and target maga types and qanon types and they're now in spaces that are much more connected. >> let me ask you, some of these followers still are refusing to see that they have been even conned. they're posting things like this, i'm going to quote here, what would be the point in giving up right now? i agree in keeping the faith. stop crying into your popcorn. some even threatening violence. the only fighting is done with a gun. what happens to these people? can they resort to violence, chloe? >> sadly, i think that is a real chance. we need research, policy and law enforcement.
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qanon is fragile and doubtful. it's not hard to say that's an exact match. we have to reach out to potentially disillusioned qanon groups, the proud boys accelerationist groups that are seeking to do violence against governments or millions. >> done, let's talk about ron watkins. he wrote this. we need to keep our chins up and go back to our lives as best as we are able. we have a president sworn in and it is our responsibility as citizens to respect the constitution regardless of whether or not we agree with the specifics or details. go back to their lives, respect the constitution. what has the reaction been, done? these are the people who believed the wildest things. these are the true believers. >> that's a lot of gas lighting
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from ron watkins, the guy who has been pushing absolute nonsense, especially since election day about the election being rigged. president trump has left the town but a lot of things have not changed. a lot of people want to -- there's a cesspool of misinformation. there's the whole right wing of ecosystem of supporting media. we may have a new administration but this problem is going to stay. i fear the few qanon supporters, followers who realize they have been duped and might see the light, they may be just the minority. >> wow. done, chloe, always fascinating to talk to both of you. thank you so much. >> thanks for watching, everyone. our coverage continues.
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biden gets down to business. the new president signals a war time effort to fight coronavirus as he signs a slew of executive orders. meanwhile, donald trump awaits his second impeachment trial, but might that trial be delayed? republicans are floating the idea. and coronavirus has canceled many events for a second year in a row, but japan's prime minister says he's determined to host the tokyo games this year. live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, welcome to all of you watching here in the united


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