tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN January 26, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PST
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hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. you are watching "cnn newsroom," and i'm rosemary church. just ahead, joe biden weighs in on donald trump's impeachment trial. the new president says it must happen even though the senate could be mired in the proceedings for most of february. a massive tornado rips through alabama, destroiing buildings and trees. the latest on the damage and the regional warnings. and yet another new worrying variant of covid-19 appears in
leading the trial against trump when the senate trial kicks off in two weeks. >> donald john trump engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by inciting violence against the government of the united states. president trump's conduct on january 6th, 2021, followed his prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election. donald john trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the united states. >> and cnn's ryan nobles has more on the timeline of the trial and how donald trump is preparing for it. >> reporter: the clock is now ticking and they have the articles of impeachment and are pay thing for a trial.
they have about two weeks to get their legal affairs in order. the senators will serve as jurors and will swear in as the presiding judge overseeing this trial. this all pushing towards february 9th. that's the date the trial will begin in earnest. we're not 100% sure how the trial will take place, whether or not witnesses, for instance, will be called. both republicans and democrats have said they're open to that idea. there's even the possibility senators will be called themselves because they were part of the insurrection. meanwhile, the former president attempting to put together a legal team. did he hire people. he's trying to put together another team. jeff zeleny saying some of them don't want to be associated with the impeachment trial. they're worried president trump may not pay. that's where the president finds himself. his close ally on capitol hill
said that he spoke to president trump over the weekend and the president echoed what many americans are feeling about the situation, that he would just like to see this impeachment trial behind him. ryan nobles, cnn on capitol hill. >> you just heard ryan mention trump ally lindsey graham. here's the republican senator with a message for president trump and those calling for unity. >> you talk about unifying the country. if you do not stand up against the impeachment of president trump after he leaves office, you are an incredibly weak figure in american history. >> well, many republicans aren't explicitly defending trump. instead, they are attacking the process claiming it's unconstitutional to impeach a former president. david cicilini disagrees and
laid out the evidence they are planning to lay out. >> we will present overwhelming evidence that the former president of the united states incited a violent attack on the capitol, bloody attack that involved efforts to hang the vice president, murder the speaker of the house, hunt down members of congress but most importantly stop the sacred ritual which represents the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next. the president of the united states incited that violence to stop that from happening so he could remain in office. it would be a very dangerous precedent to depart from 200 years of history because you don't want to invite a president or federal official to wait until the near end of their term and commit the most serious misconduct. a president is responsible from the first day in office to the last day in office for their conduct. >> meanwhile, president biden
and his administration are pushing ahead with an historic first. later today the first female vice president, kamala harris, will swear in america's first female treasury secretary janet yellen. lawmakers confirmed yellen as treasury secretary on monday. also today, president biden will deliver remarks outlining his racial equity agenda. this comes as he looks to tackle the covid-19 pandemic head on and looks to raise the bar on vaccinations. cnn's kaitlyn collins has more on that. >> reporter: president joe biden now predicting every american who wants a vaccine can get one by this spring. >> i think we'll be able to do that this spring and it's going to be a logistical challenge that exceeds anything we've ever tried. >> reporter: that comes after they make a prediction.
in his first press conference, biden raised his goal of 1 million covid vaccinations per day after experts said that threshold was reached last week. >> i think with the dpras of god and the goodwill of the neighbor and the crick not rising we may be able to get that to 1.5 million a day rather than 1 million a day. >> reporter: biden estimated it could take weeks to get a coronavirus bill and he's willing to negotiate. >> no one wants to give up on their position until there's no other alternative. >> reporter: while the white house hammers out details, his first days have been filled with efforts to undo president trump's actions. after trump tried to terminate covid-19 travel restrictions, biden reinstated them.
>> i believe the travel ban will be important in a addition to having a situation where anybody coming into the country is required to have a negative test before they get on the plane. >> reporter: in the oval office with his new defense secretary on his side, biden reversed trump's ban on trans gender ban. >> i'm allowing all qualified americans to serve. >> reporter: trump did it by tweet. >> i think i'm doing a lot of people a favor by coming out and just saying it. as you know, it's been a very complicated issue for the military. it's been a very confusing issue for the military. >> reporter: meanwhile, the justice department watchdog said he'll investigate whether any current or former officials improperly used the department to alter the outcome of the 2020
presidential election. that comes after the new york sometimes first reported that a little known justice department official, jeffrey clark, secretly plotted with president trump about ousting the acting attorney general and using the department to pressure georgia lawmakers to overturn the state's results. while it was another stunning sign of how far trump tried to go to change the election, he never followed through fearing mass resignations. >> reporter: cnn spoke exclusively with president biden and asked about the impeachment trial and he said it could affect his agenda but he said if they don't it could be worse. he views this as something that, quote, has to happen. if he was asked if he thought 17 republicans would vote, he said no. he said it's changed a lot but it hasn't changed that much.
he thinks if president trump had six months left in his term, some kind of period he wasn't out of office like what we're about to see with this trial, something u.s. history has never seen before with a former president going to trial, president biden said if he was in office then maybe that would lead to the republicans to convict him but right now he doesn't think that's on the horizon. kaitlyn collins, cnn, the white house. we are getting the new images of a destructive tornado that touched down in the u.s. state of alabama. the national weather service says this happened north of birm birmingham. search and rescue efforts are underway. in this video you can see the entire side of a building ripped off. roads are impassible because of fallen trees. tornado watches are in effect for parts of the region. let's turn now to cnn meteorologist pedram javaheri.
this was particularly destructive. people have been trapped. talk to us about what you're learning. surely this is particularly early, is it not? >> reporter: it is. this is among the quietest time of year. we're talking december, january, february february. it is very early. very quiet. talk about an overnight tornado just before 11 p.m. 20 miles north of the birmingham area. incredible degree signature and debris into the atmosphere. when it comes to nighttime tornadoes they're twice as likely to be fatal as during the daytime for obvious reasons. you'll notice into the early
morning hours tornado warnings prompted into georgia and the metro atlanta area as well. this is what i was talking about, january, february quietest time of the year and you work your way into the spring season, summer season and you see tornado counts increase up to 300 per month. more than 34,000 reports of lightning strikes along the portions of the southeast alone. look at the broader picture. 129 americans across 29 states dealing with winter weather alerts where we've seen snow across the phoenix metro area. >> unbelievable. we thank you for keeping a close eye on all of it for us. pedram javaheri, thank you. appreciate it. still to come. another covid variant shows up in the u.s.
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identified in brazil has been discovered in the u.s. state of minnesota. top infectious disease expert dr. anthony fauci says health officials need to stay on top of these new variants as they evolve. >> so the good news is the vaccines as they exist now still would be effective against the mutants. the sobering news is what i think you were eluding to, that as you get more and more replications, you can get more and more evolution of mutants which means you've always got to be a step ahead of it. the best way you prevent the evolution of mutants is to suppress the amount of virus that's circulating in the population and the best way to do that is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as you possibly can. >> and over the past week vaccinations have increased in the u.s. and the average number of new infections has been declining in nearly every state.
but the death toll remains high. january is on track to be the deadliest month in the u.s. yet. cnn's erica hill explains. >> reporter: the virus variant first discovered in the u.k. is not just more transmissible. scientists say it may be more deadly. >> they became convinced that it is, in fact, a bit more virulent, namely making it more difficult when you get to the point of serious disease and even death. so i believe their data. >> reporter: as the variant spreads here in the u.s., the push is is on to boost the pace of vaccinations. moderna expects it will to some degree protect against the variant. there's one problem -- >> i can't tell you how much vaccine we have, i can't tell it to you i can't tell it to the governors. >> reporter: that's the new cdc director. >> new york city does not have
enough doses. >> reporter: plans for mass vaccination sites. new york's citi field was supposed to open today paused. the biden administration once again shifting its message. >> i think we may be able to get that to 150 -- 1.5 million a day rather than 1 million a day. >> reporter: the week began with over half of the distributed doses in arms. 2,000 shots administered sunday. amazon helping out with logistics. average new cases down in nearly every state over the past week. not a single red state on this now familiar map. >> there is now clear evidence that the peak has passed and cases are dropping rapidly. >> reporter: covid hospitalizations also declining. california lifting regional stay at home orders for 90% of the state as icu availability increases. massachusetts ending its curfew
today but not ohio. >> unfortunately it's going to have to stay. >> reporter: deaths still far too high. nearly 420,000 including this ohio couple. childhood sweet hearts who died within minutes of one another holding hands. >> they taught us all really what love is. >> reporter: citi field behind me home of new york mets was slated to open monday as a mass vaccination site for new york city. ultimately they said they could process 7,000 doses, shots one day but all of that is on hold because there aren't that number of doses in new york city. if they could get enough supply he believes the city could administer half a million doses every week. in new york, i'm erica hill, cnn. you heard about the u.k. variant of the coronavirus at the beginning of erica's report. brittain is still struggling to
contain the rising cases there. now prime minister boris johnson says they're looking into the possibility of quarantine hotels for those arriving in the country. selma abdelaziz joins us now. what is the latest? >> reporter: well, rosemary, hotel quarantines are the top of the government's agenda today. prime minister boris johnson is set to be meeting with foreign ministers. there is an announcement expected on this matter. there is some debate, controversy on how this will be held out. the first is what countries and travelers would be subject to the hotel quarantine. there's a debate whether you should target south africa, brazil, or whether it should be a widespread ban on everyone? that's a matter of debate. who pays to interest? how's it done? this is an escalation of already oaksisting travel restrictions in place. already tough rules that
required you to show a negative test and to quarantine. it shows how concerned authorities are here about new variants. no country has been burned as badly by one of these mutations of covid-19 as the u.k. has. this was the first country to be hit hard by one of these variants and it's been terrible. it's been horrible. authorities are trying to avoid the nightmare they are still in the middle of here in the u.k. by keeping any other variants out of the country. rosemary. >> it has been particularly tough. selma, many thanks. the emergence of these new variants is worrying health officials in the united states. earlier i spoke with epidemiologist dr. larry brilliant about president biden's hope to achieve 1.5 million vaccinations a day and i asked him is that a realistic goal? >> it sounds achievable to me. he said everyone who wants one
can get one and, you know, we have only about 50% of people who say they're eager to get the vaccine. 25% are uncertain and 25% have said absolutely not. i hope that middle number will change dramatically. because they're using fema and opening up as many as 100 mass vaccination centers, i believe this is a very reasonable goal. >> that sounds very promising. you mentioned fema. the pentagon is weighing options to deploy thousands of troops to help president biden with vaccine deployment. how big a difference could this make and how soon do they need to make this a reality? >> it will make a huge difference. it's not uncommon in pan dem mix to have the troops come and lend a hand and vaccinate. we want firemen, policemen, everybody else who can come. it's critical because we're in a bit of a foot race between how rapidly we can vaccinate people
and these mutants, these variants that are occurring. the faster we vaccinate more people less likely it is we will get more variants. >> i want to talk to you about that. hospitalizations and daily cases are falling right now but what impact might those new variants have on that trajectory and how careful do we all need to be at this time? >> what we're seeing now in the dropping is the seasonality. as we leave the winter and head towards spring, the holiday push is over. we're just getting a little bit of that left in the death rate, but we have to double down on how careful we are and the things we're able to stop variants or wild form of the virus. we know what to do. a good mask or two masks, socially distance, good hygiene. do not go into indoor congregate places where you know you're going to be exposed more. right now at just this moment
when we think the vaccine is coming, we have some treatments, be double careful. >> good advice there. epidemiologist dr. larry brilliant speaking to me earlier. coming up next, words and actions have consequences and dominion voting system says rudy giuliani owes the company big time for his big lie. back with that in a moment. re... far from glamorous. that means expensing nothing but pizza. your expenses look good, and your books are set for the month! ...going up against this guy... and pitching your idea 100 times. no, no, no! no. i like it. -he likes it! ...and you definitely love that. intuit quickbooks helps small businesses be more successful with payments, payroll, banking and live bookkeeping. 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.
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across the capitol delivering their article of impeachment to the senate on monday. the house charged trump with incitement of insurrection following the attack on the u.s. capitol on january 6th and now in less than two weeks arguments in the trial will begin. senators who witnessed the capitol attack will take part in the trial. last hour i asked cnn legal analyst ellie honig about that unique aspect of the case. >> really bizarre situation. as a prosecutor if you ever had anyone to do anything with the case you would be out. this is not a strictly legal trial process. if i was prosecuting this case or presenting this case on behalf of the house impeachment managers, i would keep it clean and concise. they need to get this thing in quickly. last year's impeachment trial took 21 days. i think if they spend anymore than a week, maybe a week and a half max then they're going to
lose their attention and focus. you would raise a good question. the main witness is donald trump. play the clips of him exhorting the crowd. show his tweets. put them on the big screen where he says things like we'll be wild. show his tweets after the fact. remember on the day of the attack, january 6th, a couple hours of the attack afterward he tweeted positively. remember this day. he called them great patriots. keep your case nice and clean and concise. you have to keep the attention of not just the senate but the american public. >> let's face it, democrats are really doing this because they want to prevent trump from ever holding federal office again. so if 17 republican senators refuse to convict him, as seems to be the case, how do democrats achieve that goal of blocking trump's run for president in the future? >> i think there's two goals here. the big picture goal is set a marker, set a precedent for history that whatever the outcome, i think democrats have been saying we can't let this stand. we can't do nothing about this.
as a practical matter, when it comes to removal, if they do not get the 67 votes to predict there are a couple long shot possibilities. some believe the senate can vote to disqualify if they get 50 senators. i don't buy that. you have to have a conviction before you have punishment. we've had various officials who have been acquitted and nobody voted to disqualify them. there's the issue of the 14th amendment that says very broadly if anyone commits insurrection or sedition, cannot hold office. it doesn't tell us how we get to that end point. i think even in the unlikely event democrats go to that route, i don't think it survives legally. >> many thanks to ellie honig who spoke to me earlier. an election tech company at the heart of baseless conspiracy theories by donald trump and his allies is suing trump's lawyer,
rudy giuliani, for defamation seeking more than a billion dollars in damages. dominion voting system says giuliani has pushed a big lie about its machines being part of widespread voter fraud and that the company's reputation has suffered irreparable harm. >> the actual calculation of the $1.3 billion is a legal calculation and we will play that out in court. but if i could trade our reputation back from november 1st and go back before these false accusations were lobbed against us and our employees, i would do that in a heartbeat. >> and giuliani isn't the only one facing possible legal action. cnn's tom foreman has more from washington. >> this dominion company is a radical left company. one of the people there is a big supporter of antifa. >> reporter: the case against
rudy giuliani comes from his own mouth. >> the company is owned by two venezuelans who were allies of chavez. >> reporter: through dozens of falsehoods on television, radio and the internet. >> it is not made up. >> reporter: former president donald trump's lawyer blatantly pushed lies about the company. >> one of the experts that has examined these crooked dominion machines has absolutely what he believes is conclusive proof that in the last 10%, 15% of the vote counted, the votes were deliberately changed. >> reporter: dominion's $1.3 billion lawsuit against giuliani follows a similar suit against attorney sidney powell who also promoted trump's false claim the vote was rigged. >> people believed this lie. people believed the statements that were made by giuliani. they were motivated to take action in the real world.
>> reporter: dominion says the deception spurred deep mistrust of the voting system could cost the company a fortune and triggered threats against its employees. giuliani said the massive suit is quite obviously intended to frighten people of feint heart. it is another act of intimidation to wipe out and censor the exercise of free speech. >> dominion. nobody even knows who owns it. these machines are controlling our country. so it was a rigged election. it was really a sham and a shame. >> reporter: still trump and his supporters enjoyed a great deal of free speech when they were trashing dominion, again, without a shred of proof to back their false claims. >> the biggest fraud is the dominion machines. >> reporter: so dominion attorneys are looking hard at fox news, oam, news max, sean hannity, maria bartiromo, rush
limbaugh and more as they contemplate their next legal moves. they're hoping to learn more in the process of the discovery whether the attacks were coordinated and at what level. that could open up more targets for lawsuits and potentially make all that free speech a lot more costly. tom foreman, cnn, washington. now for a developing story out of portland, oregon. police say they have a driver in custody after a vehicle hit at least six people killing one of them. they're asking for the public's help as they comb a crime scene that spans the roads and sidewalks of more than 12 city blocks. after the car crashed police say witnesses corralled the suspect until police took him into custody. well, also in portland the mayor reported to the city's police bureau that he pepper sprayed someone. ted wheeler said he feared for his safety as a man followed him out of a restaurant to his car
berating him about mask mandates and filming him. the man's statements said he gave a verbal warning and sprayed the man in the eyes. supporters of jailed kremlin critic alexey navalny are planning a new round of protests defying authorities. why these masked demonstrations are different than the ones in the past and why the kremlin may be worried.
the biden white house says the u.s. will approach china with strategic patience after the chinese president called for increased global cooperation on monday. the white house says beijing has engaged in conduct that hurts american workers and the u.s. needs to hold china accountable, especially in the field of technology.
>> china's been willing to do whatever it takes to gain a technological advantage, stealing technological information and our view, the president's view is we need to play a better defense which must include holding china accountable and making sure american technologies aren't facilitating china's military buildup. he's firmly committed to make sure chinese companies cannot miss appropriate u.s. data and we need a comprehensive strategy. >> cnn's steven young is joining us from beijing with this story. what's the latest on all of this? >> reporter: rosemary, the chinese government has responded to the remarks from the white house saying china hopes to see the biden white house learn its lessons from mistakes made by the trump administration and also urging the new u.s. government not to politicize or
weaponize the science. if they are expecting to see the biden white house change trump's policies, they may be in for disappointment. as much as biden may want a clean start, china may be the lone exception. biden said there is a need to get tough on china and now that sentiment is being echoed by the cabinet secretaries and nominees. tony blinken told u.s. senators during his confirmation hearing that he agreed on mr. trump's tough on china principal. what he did not agree or rejected was his approach. you're seeing this sense emerging in washington with how to deal with an increasingly strong china. mr. biden's team is expected to carry on mr. trump's policies but with finesse. they're expected to rally
partners and allies to form this united front against china unlike mr. trump preferring to go it alone. >> the latest from beijing. many things. russia's president is condemning large weekend protests held in support of kremlin critic alexey navalny. police detained nearly 4,000 people and used force to break up rallies across the country saturday as protestors demanded navalny be freed from jail. the u.s. and the european union are speaking out against navalny's detention but have yet to take any new action. president putin called the demonstrations illegal and counter productive. >> translator: all people have the right to express their point of view within the framework of the law. everything that goes beyond the framework of the law is not only counter productive but also
dangerous. all of these events about which i just spoke, no one should use them trying to reach their ambitious goals and objectives, especially in the field of politics. this is not how politics is done, at least not a responsible politics. >> and cnn's matthew chance joins me now live from moscow. good to see you, matthew. how concerned is the kremlin and the president about these demonstrations in support of navalny? >> reporter: rosemary, i think they must be very concerned because for the first time in years there seems to have been an orchestrated series of protests that have taken place around the country. tens of thousands of people uniting in the streets across russia to demand the release of alexey navalny who has emerged from this sort of alleged poisoning with the novichok
nerve agent, he recovered in the berlin clinic and returned to face arrest in russia which has galvanized his support. you heard what vladimir putin had to say, slamging the protests and making an oblique hit at navalny. it's the first time he's spoken on the wave of protests that, you know, have swept russia, as i say, throughout the weekend and promise to continue week after week until there's some concession made or until the opposition are weighed down. this is how putin's russia has suddenly changed. across this vast country supporters of a jailed opposition leader have come out in their tens of thousands. some clashing with police. losing all fear.
even as protest organizers were quickly detained. there's no need to be afraid. they're scared of their own people, says this opposition campaigner before she's pulled3. this is what has jolted so many russians into action, not just the horrific nerve agent poisoning of alexey navalny in siberia last year but also the arrest of the kremlin critic when recovered. he flew back to moscow earlier this month. the brave farewell to his wife at the airport seems to have struck a chord. as does his latest anti-corruption expose detailing extravagant palace in russia
said to be built for putin. i haven't seen the whole film putin admitted but nothing what is listed there is my property, has ever belonged to me or my close relatives, he said. still more than 87 million people have now viewed the investigation online, a sign of how broad the appeal of alexey navalny and his anti-corruption campaigning has become. and that's a terrifying challenge to the kremlin. they say this protester draped in a u.s. flag was planted to reinforce the idea of a conspiracy before they objected him. russian officials accused the u.s. embassy in moscow by actively encouraging them, by listing them nationwide. >> they even used such a term as
march on kremlin before the protests started, so on friday was that instructional? was that a motivation? who knows, but -- >> reporter: or was it a warning because the embassy put that statement out to warn american citizens not to go. >> no, no, no because those who organized the protests never mentioned the march on kremlin. >> reporter: it seems like a desperate attempt to distract from the very real crisis now unfolding on russia's treats. rosemary, that unfolding will continue because within the past 24 hours the russian opposition have announced they're planning more protests for next sunday. that drama we saw last weekend we're going to see played out again in the days and weeks ahead. >> interesting. we will continue to watch this
story. matthew chance bringing us the latest. thank you. still to come, a party divided. while many arizona republicans remain firmly on the trump train, others say they're done with the divisiveness and are leaving their party altogether. more on that after the break. minerals, and herbs. it's what makes airborne your daily dose of confidence. when we started our business we were paying an arm and a leg for postage.
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when joe biden flipped arizona from red to blue back in november, the state's republican party found itself at a crossroads. many members remained firmly in donald trump's corner and others are jumping ship and leaving the party altogether saying trump's role in inciting the capitol riot was the last straw. cnn's kyung lah has our report. >> arizona red and to make america great again. >> reporter: donald trump may have lost the 2020 election but he has not lost the arizona republican party. >> however trump rolls is how the republican party is going to roll. >> reporter: this is the first gathering of the arizona republican party this weekend since trump's defeat. >> good morning, arizona patriots. >> reporter: in just four years of trump's maga messaging,
voters in this once reliably republican state voted to elect two democratic senators and a democratic president, but here members punish their own for not being trump enough. >> good afternoon everyone. >> reporter: gop censured cindy mccain, doug dousy and former senator jeff bloat. >> did you vote for john mccain? >> i voted for john mccain. >> reporter: that was then say the lifelong arizona republicans. this is today. are you concerned about the censure of cindy mccain? >> no. i'm sorry i voted for john mccain and we're here to increase the republican party by making it a maga party.
>> no, i don't want to be associated with the arizona republican party. >> reporter: that's it says c.j.diegel. registered republican, married father of two hoped that after this his party would move away from donald trump. they didn't. >> when you go down that path and that's how you gain your notoriety, when you abandon decency, it's hard to go back. >> reporter: deegle changed his party registration, a among the more than 9,000 who the secretary of state says changed their affiliation since the insurrection at the capitol. >> we've got a bankrupt party in the state and it needs to be rebuilt. >> reporter: and remade away from the images of air zone thanes arrested at the capitol to winning statewide election. >> obviously i wear a different hat than the guy in the horns but it's -- it is definitely
time for a reset. >> reporter: is what the gop doing turning the page? >> absolutely not. i have no idea what they're doing. >> reporter: but the state party seems intent to stay on the path forged by trump led by kelly moore. >> we have to stop the steal. >> reporter: who played an audio message from trump at the meeting. >> i give my complete and total endorsement to kelly ward. thank you very much. >> reporter: and was re-elected. as far as the censures, the governor's office here in arizona called it, quote, of no consequence. cindy mccain said she would wear her censure as a badge of honor and jeff flake tweeted a picture of himself, cindy mccain and joe biden with a caption of good company. kyung lah, cnn, scottsdale, arizona. thanks for your company. "early start" is up next.
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welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm laura jarrett. it's tuesday, january 26th. it's 5 a.m. here in new york and breaking overnight. a big break through for the people's business in the u.s. senate. democrats taking full control after a week-long battle over power sharing in the divided chamber. mitch mcconnell dropping his demand for democrats to keep the filibuster. mcconnell's concerns apparently eased by