tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN March 2, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
we have some breaking news, and it's a first on cnn. a scathing report tonight from the pentagon inspector general on inappropriate behavior by congresswoman ronny jackson when he was the top white house doctor, including sexual comments, drinking alcohol and taking ambien while on the job. more on that in just a moment. also, president biden announcing tonight there will be enough doses for the covid vaccine for every adult american by the end of may. the fbi director christopher wray batting down conspiracy theories that left-wing groups and fake trump protesters were behind the capitol riot, calling the deadly attack domestic
terrorism. i want to bring in manu raju. he's been going through the report on ronny jackson and joins us now. this report on his behavior while work teg whing at the whi house, explosive. what stands out? >> paints a devastating portrait while he was a droctor at the obama white house and trump white house. a lot of witnesses witnessed firsthand and corroborated the -- that came out after he was nominated by trump to be the secretary of veterans affairs. they pulled back the nomination when the -- came out leading to in investigation and. it is not a pretty portrait. they said he made sexual and den gragt comments about one of his female subordinates. he drank alcohol with his colleagues in an overseas trip. that is in violation of a white
house policy. his behavior was considered threatening, toxic, explosive, anger and tantrums that he would do during the course of his tenure that people witnessed that led to a toxic work environment, and taking prescription sleeping medication, ambien, even while taking care of the president of the united states, then-president barack obama during an official overseas trip. also in violation of policy at the white house. one striking thing, too, here, don is how he treated a female subordinate during a trip to manila in 2014, talking at how he was drunk at the time, apparently, banged on the female subordinate's door and said, quote, i need you, to this subordinate and later commented also on that subordinate's body parts, anatomy, the breast and
buttocks to another subordinate. all rather shocking behavior detailed here in this extensive -- by the pentagon wash z wash dog. >> he serves on the committee. doesn't that oversee this kind of conduct? >>. in, it does. he was just lexed in november. he serves on the house arms committee, but also rejects some of these conclusions reached by the investigators here. he did not actually comment to the investigator as part of this investigation, but he did comment to cnn before we published this story. now, it says -- he calls this a political hit job because he said he stood with donald trump, which is why he says they're coming after him. he says they're recycling past allegations against him. he denies consuming alcohol while on duty. he says he respected the
prescription drug practices. the report buzz debunk something that came out about him about crashing a vehicle while sboks g g intoxicated. but it does mention sleeping medication he was taking while taking care of the president of the united states, causing concern among a lot of his colleagues and just a toxic workplace environment from what is describes as explosive anger and rage by his colleagues. >> we should remind our viewer, this was the white house doctor responsible for taking care of the president. he made all kinds of bizarre claims about trump. this is 2018. i want to you to listen. >> explain to me how a guy who eats mcbonds, kentucky fried chicken and diet cokes is in as good of shape as he is. >> it's called genetics. i don't know. some people have great genes.
i told the president, if he had a better diet me height live to 200 years. i don't know. he has incredible genes i just assume. >> okay, manu, as if it wasn't alarming enough, now there is this report. how concerned were people about his ability to do his job given his behavior? >> quite a bit according to the witnesses. very few of these 78 witnesses stuck up for him. many of them raised concerns. it breaks down the level of concerns by number of witnesses as part of this report. it also, don -- actually the trump white house tried to sit in on the investigation as it was going on by the pentagon watchdog them report says that the trump counsel, white house counsel, actually tried to sit in on these investigations, it impacted their ability to move forward, delaying the probe for ten months according to the investigators in their findings here. this all comes ahead of
tomorrow's public release of this watchdog report. we have obtained it debate members of congress who are overseeing all of this have been briefed on this today, and we'll see how members react tomorrow when they hear some of these stunning conclusions reached by the watchdog about one of their colleagues. >> thank you for that, manu. i appreciate it. listen, i didn't get to this with manu, but let me tell you, in a statement to cnn tuesday, jackson said that democrats are using to report to repeat and rehash untrue attacks on my integrity, and that's a quote. manu, thanks very much. appreciate that. i want to bring in john hardwood and amanda carpenter. good evening. i want to start with what the current president is saying about the vaccine, that we're going to have enough vaccine for every american adult by the end a may. huge news. what can you tell us about this plan, mr. harwood is?
>> well, the president did have some big news today, and some of this would have happened any way as the vaccines began to be in production. obviously they were approved late in the trump administration and we began getting vaccined produced then, but you the biden administration put a tre amount of attention to detail on this. they've invoked the defense production act to help expand the production of the pfizer vaccine. now they've brokered this deal between merck and johnson & johnson to use the manufacturing clout of merck to make johnson & johnson vaccine, which had been underproduced in terms of what we had expected to get. you put all that together, and they have gotten vaccinations up to 1.7 million a day. the weekly supply from 8 million doses per week up to 15 million doses. all of that is movement in the
right direction. the challenge now is for the biden administration to make sure all that vaccination gets produce second down going to accelerate the process of herd immunity be getting the process back to normal. >> i swear john harwood is not a ventriloquist. his video is frozen. we can hear him loud and clear. amanda, i want to get to chris per wray testifying today, he was crystal clear saying no fake trump supporters or antifa were behind the riot. he said it over and over again to their face bus still they persist in the their lies. amanda? >> sorry, i thought you were going play some tape. >> no, i want to hear from you a, amanda. >> it's embarrassing we had to take the time to clarify what was an obvious fact. this is what makes me angry from watching the hearing. there's information we need to
have, okay? january 6th was a huge security failure. yes, we can talk about how trump stoked it. all the more reason we should have seen that coming. how much money and resources have we spent to protect the country from terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11? and yet there was a breach of the u.s. capitol. and the most interesting things he had to talk about, he sat there and told these senators to their faces that domestic terrorism is metastasizing in the country. they have tripled the number of arrests of white supremacists since he took the job in 2017. he has more than 2,000 active cases. like, where's the follow-up on that? where's the follow-up about how they're not communicating this information with capitol police. like i want to know about that because i want the country to be protected. and there's just no curiosity on that fact because people want to play, what about antifa?
and josh hawley wants to figure out how they're tracking cell phone data. if you want to know how they collect that data, go review the laws you have voted for. that's how you review that information. if you want to protect america you figure out how the security failed so spectacularly on january 6th. >> i hope they're watching. thank you very much. i want to bring in now former defense secretary william cohen. good to see you. thank you so much. as i said to them, the two folks before, we have a lot to talk about. let's start with christopher wray, the director of the fbi. he said it over and over and over again -- white supremacists, far right extremists tattacked our capito on january 6th. republicans keep trying to shift the blame. how dangerous is this? >> as i watched some of the hearing -- i'm getting a little bit of feed -- as i watched some of the hearing i came to the
conclusion -- i was listening to aretha franklin, who's zooming who? like white guys trying to shift the blame to black guys again. it was the history of the country. ch christopher wray seems to be a -- joe friday guy, just the facts. i was hoping for fact wis but a little more passion. i spent 25 years in that building. revered building. they were just simply talking about it as some past event that wasn't the magnitude it was. when the fbi director said, welsh there is a lot of raw chatter. i said, yeah, there's the chatterer in chief about 500, 1,000 yard from the fbi building the president of the united
states is the biggest chatterer of them all. he said, come to washington. we're going to be wildle we're going to try to overturn the election. fight like hell. i'm walking with you down to the capitol. if the former secretaries of defense -- ten secretaries of defense made a public statement -- look out, trump is trying to use the military, may try to use the military to overturn the election. the chairman of the joint chief sends a letter out saying, we're not going get them -- during the election. where was the fbi in terms of putting these pieces of chatter together to say that -- place a phone call to capitol hill saying, folks we've got a problem here. we've got to get ready? while i praise him for putting down all of the antifa nonsense and black lives matter, i wish he had -- the senators had pressed the fbi director a little more and harder on the issue of, why is it so hard to put the chatter, the pieces together when it was pretty obvious to most people watching
what was unfolloding that there was going to be a large crowd in washington and just because they're white doesn't mean they're not violent. the that would have been a black lives matter rally you can bet the fbi would have been on that. so i had hoped the fbi would have been a little more forceful. and i was impressed that he was very forthright, but we need to do much better. because racism -- let's not keep talking about white supremacy. it's white racism. don't look at these guys as being supreme in any way other than their own minds. talk about white racism being the real challenge for the future. has been in the past, too, but going forward it's getting even more violent. >> you are saying exactly -- i had a conversation away lawmaker earlier saying exactly what you said. i appreciate the director trying to keep the temperature down, right? and trying to keep our heart rates lower, but this person expected more passion, especially surrounding the idea
of why weren't more flags raised? loudly. or a phone call or something rather than just sending memos and why wasn't there more passion from the director around the -- what happened, the activity, the riot that happened on january 6th? and they have gotten no real answer with that. >> the president gave them every indication what was going to take place. remember, he called for his supporters to liberate the state of virginia to, liberate the state of wisconsin, the state of michigan. what happened in michigan? his supporters stormed the capitol there, shut down a legislative session. some planned to kidnap the governor and put her on trial and execute her. we know what these focus were capable of doing, and the president is calling for them to come to washington to save the country from what? from you. from brown people who are voting. be so very clear what was going
on, and it's just disappointing to me to say, well, the fbi is looking at all the chatter, can't put it all together and say what's real, what's phoney, and dwyet the president in chie was giving everyone the key to what was going to happen there, not just that day, but long before that, two months of him claiming the election was stolen, revving up his supporters, saying the government was not legitimate or legal and to come to washington, let's take it back. i don't know how much chatter you need in order to put that piece together. >> what did they think was going to happen? thank you, director. appreciate your time and your expertise and candor. thanks so much. >> bye-bye. texas rolling back all covid restrictions, even mask mandated one day after the head of the cdc toll us, this is not the time to let our guard down. >> effective next wednesday, all businesses of any type are
instantly clear every day congestion with vicks sinex saline nasal mist. for drug free relief that works fast. vicks sinex. instantly clear everyday congestion. each febreze car vent clip gives you up to 30 days of fresh air. so, you can have open window freshness... even with all the windows up. enjoy fresh, any time, with febreze.
are you managing your diabetes... ...using fingersticks? with the new freestyle libre 2 system, a continuous glucose monitor, you can check your glucose with a painless, one-second scan. and now with optional alarms, you can choose to be notified if you go too high or too low. and for those who qualify, the freestyle libre 2 system is now covered by medicare. ask your doctor for a prescription. you can do it without fingersticks. learn more at freestyle libre 2 dot u.s. ♪
texas governor greg abbott says he is lifting the mask mandate and allowing businesses to fully re-open in a week. this just after cdc director rochelle walensky -- saying we could lose call ground we gained fighting the pandemic. gregg popovich just one of the people in texas questioning the decision tonight. >> in all honesty, i'm worry about the people in our state. it's a mystifying decision. i think it putting a lot of businesses in a tough spot, i think. you know, they're trying to do a good job of keeping everybody safe. of course they want to open up. but getting rid of masks just
seems -- ignorant to me. >> well, there you go. he said it. join joining me now, the mayor of san antonio texas, ron nurnberg. the number of people who die in the texas of covid yesterday almost three times higher than when abbott first declared the mask mandate and cases are on the rise, too. are you worried about what the decision to open things up is going to cost? >> ai am. i'm with pop. that's a bad call. a tragic and reckless decision not only to bring everything back to full capacity next week but in doing so, also lift the mask, which is one of the primary wayed we have been able to slow the spread in all the mixed messages we have been get from the government. it's a bad call that's cost lives. >> your constituents, how are
they going to react? are you hearing from them already? >> i am, and no one can understand it particularly because we have been just now gaining control of this virus again after a very deadly winter and fall, and we have been through this dance before where we have gotten control of the virus. the governor prematurely lifts restrictions and we go back in a surge. the other challenge in this is as we know, as every other community in the country is, we need more vaccines. the people suffering most through the lack of vaccines are disadvantaged communities, communities of color, and this is going to fall right back to them. they're going to see the worst of the effects of this decision. >> why do you think he's doing this? let me preface it by saying, you know, he took a lot of criticism for his handling of this brutal winter snowstorm in texas, the
one you guyed just faced. do you think this decision is politically motivated? >> i can't begin to speculate on that. all i can tell you is that the state is also reeling from the aftereffects of the most outrageous collapse of our energy system and mismanagement of our energy grid, and to top it off we're going right back into the teeth of this pandemic with nothing but our hopes for more vaccines and our community exercising good common sense, which thankfully most people have done and i believe most people will continue to do. but again, they're taking away our first layer of defense. >> thank you, mayor, i appreciate it. >> thank you, don. he's a basketball player who's being called coronavirus on the court. jeremy lin speaks out about the skyrocketing rise in hate against asian-americans. that's next. and ahead, six dr. seuss
hate crimes against asian-americans spiking since the pandemic began a year ago. nearly 3,000 incidents reported. during his testimony on capitol hill today, the fbi director christopher wray telling lawmakers the bureau is concerned about the rise in crimes against asian-americans. cnn's amara walker has that story, and a warning for you, some of the video you're about to see is graphic. >> he slashed me from cheek to
cheek with a box cutter. >> reporter: he was attacked on a packed subway in new york last month at the height of the morning rush hour. >> there was really a lot of blood oozing so i was so afraid. >> reporter: afraid he was die on his way to new york after encountering this man. he says the stranger repeatedly kicked his tote bag and when he was confronted he was viciously assaulted. >> so i asked for help, but nobody came for help. >> quintana believes he may have been targeted because of his race. >> because of the covid-19 i think there are more asians being attacked. >> reporter: according to stock aapi hate, which tracks these kinds of attacks there have been nearly 3,000 attacks reported across all 50 state last year. the asian advocacy group says nearly all of them were unprovoked.
the rights group don't know the exact cause of the surge. they say a clear pattern emerged since the pandemic began. >> they told me to go back to china. >> reporter: in los angeles, danny kim said he was punched in the face guy two strangers. lapd will investigating the case as a hate crime. thursday, a man stabbed from behind in chinatown is now in critical condition. although the nypd says the suspend would be charged with a hate crime, no charges have been filed. >> this is driven by hate. >> reporter: in san francisco, authorities say an 84-year-old immigrant from thailand died after being shoved to the ground in januarile a 18-year-old man facing murder charges. >> it's been devastating for me and so many asians. >> reporter: andrew yang tells cnn while former donald trump's rhetoric may have fanned the flames of anti-asian sentiment,
racism against asians is certainly nothing new. >> having the pitt saying things like kung flu and china virus did normalize an association between the pandemic and people of asian descent. >> reporter: jason wang, ceo of xian asian foods said -- gave him no choice but to cut hours at all restaurants. despite the pandemic already forcing him to close six locations, wang says safety is more important than the bottom line. >> one of the biggest reasons for that is to make sure our employees feel a little safer about traveling back home. >> reporter: even with celebrities like jeremy lin and olivia munn speaking out about the hate and lawmakers raising
concerns, some feel the attacks need to be taken more seriously. >> the government is still figuring out how to properly serve asian americans. and so, like, even prosecutors have to understand the nature of discrimination against asian-americans. >> i think that the asians should speak up and -- on solidarity, so that -- >> reporter: don, he is still recovering from that face lashing and he tells me he's too afraid to ride the subway again or take my public transportation and as a result he's working from home. i've spoken with a lot of asian-americans in recent daying and they tell me they don't have remember an a time where they have had to think twice about their safety before going about their daily routines. don? >> amara walker, thank you so much. with attacks on asian-americans on the rise, jeremy lin is
opening up about an experience he had on the court. he said, being an asian-american doesn't mean we don't experience poverty and racism. being a nine-year veteran doesn't protect me from being call coronavirus on the court. being a machine of faith doesn't mean i don't fight for justice for myself and others. here we are again. is anyone listening? joining me mow is jeremy lin talk about what made you right this. you were playing with the golden state warriors g league team and someone actually called you coronavirus as a slur. tell me about that and what was your reaction in the moment is this. >> you know, i think for me, just -- this has been something that's really blowing up and blowing up for a little bit for me just because i've seen since, you know, last year around january when everything started to happen, and i just have seen
the rise in what we have -- in a lot of these attacks and hate crimes and stuff like that. so, you know, it's something i was trying to wring awareness towards, and it was just something that i had, for some of this time, finished my season in the cba, the china basketball association last year, so i was actually removed for about five, six months. and then when i came back, it seems like things in the u.s. had gotten even more hostile. >> jeremy, the league says they are investigating the incident, but you say you're not interest in the publicly name organize shaming the person who said it. why not call them out? >> you know, from day one, i had no intention of actually -- i have talked about it. people heard this story many times, even when i was in college and i was playing in an ivy league game and i was called
chink multiple times. i never revealed who that player, players were. to me it's not about trying to take somebody down or anything like that. it's about building awareness and, it's about promoting solidarity. >> you know what? i totally understand about getting revenge, because it's usually -- it's not about getting revenge. that can suck you into a negativity. it's about the other person. they know what they did wrong. i completely understand what you're saying. but there are instances, i'm sure, in other people's eyes they have to call people out for. that's thinker own individual assessment. their decision is their decision. i totally understand what you mean. this is what steve kerr the head coach said about your post. here it is right here. >> really powerful. i applaud jeremy for his words and echo his sentiments
regarding racism against the asian-american community. it's just so ridiculous. and obviously, you know, spawned by many people, includining our former president as it relates to, you know, the coronavirus originating in china. >> do you agree, jeremy, that the rise in hate towards asian-americans, partly because the former president pushed terms like the wuhan virus, the flu when talking about the pandemic? >> i think this is something that's been a long-term issue, and i didn't even realize or know all of this stuff growing up. i kind of grew up in california where there's a lot of diversity and you're in somewhat of a northern california bubble. i started to learn a lot more. if you look all the way back, you see the chinese exclusion act. you see japanese internment
camps. you see the murder of chen. you see a lot of different things. things that happened that i was never taught in history class. i had to go out of my way to learn this stuff. and a lot of these things have started from a long time ago. and even the minority, the way that asian-americans are prompting in the hollywood, so many things have added on to it. and i'm going the stand by and double down on what i said a year ago in terms of, yeah, that type of language that we have from the then-president in terms of how he was portraying it, it definitely empowered or excesser ba exacerbated an issue that was already there. i'm not going say he created it, and he has sole responsibly for it, but he didn't help the situation, for sure. that in my mind was something i ned to speak out on and something i believe is not so much that it's created a new problem. it exposed an underlying problem
that was there for a long, long, long time. >> it certainly did, but there was no coronavirus before this president, and so president's words also carry a lot of weight, and even christopher wray spoke about what has been happening with the asian-americans as well and the fbi has been taking it seriously. as we move forward, jeremy, what would you like to see done? >> i think at the end of the day more people spend time listen and hearing than judging and condemning. i would love the see cross cultural solidarity. i would love to see people supporting, you know, anti-racism not just in one people group but across the board. and so one thing i have been doing is i have been donating money for every single three-pointer i hit, and one of the organizations that i'm donating to -- and i'm planning
to highlight more organizations -- are these organizations that do cross culture work, that have to do with racism and justice. that's something that if people want to join me, i would love to see that. >> jeremy, thank you so much. i really appreciate it. and i hope what you said and what you want changed, hope that comes the fruition. thank you so much, sir. >> i appreciate it. this can for having me. >> very, very important top you can. they're no longer being published. dr. seuss books you might have forgotten sbabout and the racis within them. next. vicks sinex. instantly clear everyday congestion.
♪ pepto bismol coats and soothes your stomach for fast relief and get the same fast relief in a delightful chew with pepto bismol chews. you can try to predict the future or you can create it. we're driving it. everywhere. we emit optimism, not exhaust. we plug in our vehicles as naturally as we charge our phones. we. we are generation e. we want smart. clean. and safe. to also be fun, easy and powerful! ultium! a battery that charges fast. runs long. it fits everyone. nobody will be left out. and that, changes everything. ♪ ♪
interesting conversationing sparked in the last days about dr. seuss. six booked will no longer be published according that dr. seuss enterprises. among the books no longer publish, "and to think i saw it on mulberry street" and "if i ran the zoo". before i put them on the screen i want to remind you they are
offensive. i want to show you. it's important you understand the reason why the company is no longer going publish these books. here they are. there are images like this one showing what the book says are helpers who all wear there eyes at a slant. there's also this portrayal of africans. it's a caricature of the worst stereotypes of black people. joinings now, the author of "was the cat in the hat black"? the hidden racism in children's literature and the need for diverse books. i'm so glad to have you on. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> you are a scholar of children's literature and, this topic is our specialty. what do you think about the decision by dr. seussenter prices to stop printing these six books? >> i'm glad to see them taking responsibility for the culture
they're putting in the world and profiting from. glad to see this. it's a positive step. >> you would rather see them -- you think it's good they took them out of publication, out of circulation? >> absolutely yeah, absolutely. these books, as you showed in the introduction, perpetuate racist stereotypes and as you have been talking about, those are damaging, those are dangerous, and those infect our minds at an early age. you know, the previous president was able to mobilize the kind of hatred he was able to mobilize because those ideas were already in our heads. the anty asian violent didn't come out of nowhere. it was already in the culture, including with dr. seuss. >> how should old books with backwards views on race be handled? there's a thinking it should be taught to student bus, but with
caveat that says, during the time this book was published, picture os asian people or asian descent were offensive. instead of having them taken out of rotation. many see it as a teaching and learning experience. >> well, yeah. i mean, i think there's a few possible responses here. one is not to teach them. one way to minimize the harm that racist works do is to not teach them. and that's a great choice. and i would not argue with that choice. but another choice is, yes, too teach them, but to teach them in the context of works that tell the truth, that don't perpetuate stereotypes, and in so doing you would give children the capacity to respond, to know it's okay to argue with a book, to know it's okay to be angry with a book, and you would be giving them
that capacity within the safer confines of a classroom. a third thing i would say is the man of his time argument really only goes so far. there are people in the 1950s who are not reproducing racist stereotypes. there are always people in any given historical age who are opposed. the number of those people may change, but they're there. so he is a man of his time buck there are also people of his time who thought differently, so i'm not quite willing to write him a pass on that, either. >> having said that, a living member of dr. seuss's family told "the new york times" in 2017 that in later life dr. seuss was not proud of the illustrations. should that be part of the conversation, too? >> absolutely. his grand nephew ted owens said there wasn't a racist bone in
dr. seuss' body. i don't think he was intentionally trying to be racist. i think he was intentionally trying to not be racist. his "horton hears a who" when it was published called by one viewer protection of minorities and their rights. his week the sneechs was about anti-semitism. he was trying to do anti-racist books and i think we can look at them as positive, but that's what makes these books interesting and books as important, someone doing these at the same time producing these characters it's important because a lot of people think of it as either or or, you're on team racism or off it, but it's not, it's simple. it's often both/and and you ask
see suesss as the woke white guy who is not as woke as he think he is. >> i think whether to take it out the circulation not on nostalgic 1y5u but on the merit of what it is, people could decide whether they want it take it out the publishers, but i do think there's a teaching, learning lesson. >> sure. >> i would hate for children to miss the opportunity because of the current standards. thank you so much, i appreciate it. >> absolutely. absolutely. you can learn from these. as you say nostalgia is not an excuse. we might ask what would it mean if a book i loved as a child were causing harm today. the way we answer that question should dictate going forward. absolutely you can learn from these. >> in my book fun with dick and jane wasn't a lot of black
so, if you want to know about something i had been working on for a while, i'm going to tell you right now, it's my new book, called "this is the fire" what i say to my friends about racism. it's coming out in a few weeks, it's like the conversation i just had just before the break. so thank you for watching,