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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  April 10, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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tonight embattled gop congressman matt gaetz takes to the stage in florida to try to save his career, telling supporters in florida that the sex trafficking allegations against him are smears and distortions. but he is taking them seriously enough that he is hiring two high-powered new york lawyers. now the house ethics committee is opening an investigation into the allegations. and the second week of testimony in derek chauvin's murder trial wrapping up with the medical examiner telling george floyd's death was a homicide caused -- a pathologist also testifying that floyd died from a lack of oxygen, not from drugs or heart problems. i want to get right now to the dramatic testimony today in the trial of derek chauvin. cnn's omar jimenez is on the ground in minneapolis for us this evening. good evening, omar. today we heard from the medical examiner who conducted george
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floyd's autopsy and ruled his death a homicide. tell me about his testimony. >> reporter: today was arguably about the most important part of this trial, the cause of george floyd's death. this was a highly anticipated day because we heard from dr. andrew baker, the chief medical examiner in hennepin county and the one who conducted george floyd's autopsy. he ruled floyd's death a homicide. he went back and forth over what it means to be a factor in someone's death and what it means to be the cause of death, specifically when it came to a pillar of the defense's argument that floyd died from medical history. >> -- that played a role in the death but didn't directly cause the death. so, for example, you know, mr. floyd's use of fentanyl did not cause the subdual or neck rest restraint. his heart disease did not cause the subdual or the neck
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restraint. >> so in your opinion, both the heart disease as well as the history of hypertension and the d drugs that were in his system played a role in mr. floyd's death? >> in my opinion, yes. >> reporter: again, it goes back to that relationship between playing a role in the death versus actually causing the dwa death. we do know drugs were in george floyd's system. but as the medical examiner said, there were no pills found in george floyd's stomach or pill fragments. you might be able to hear a little bit of a protest going behind me. but also we heard from a forensic pathologist who testified over the course of today she ruled out overdose as a cause of death and went even further to say that george floyd would be alive if not for this interaction with law enforcement. >> omar, i know there's a protest going on, and we certainly understand. it's been the site of many protests as well as a makeshift memorial and people come to the scene to actually speak out about injustice.
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so we certainly understand that you have some noise and a protest going on behind you. but if i can ask you how did the jury respond to what they heard today? >> reporter: the jury was incredibly engaged over the course of the day, specifically when you talked about that first witness today, dr. lindsey thomas. she was that forensic pathologist, former assistant medical examiner. she testified she believed the main mechanism in george floyd's death was a lack of oxygen or asphyxia. nearly all the jurors wrote that down. there was even one point where one juror seemed to take issue with the defense's line of questioning for dr. baker. he was squinting his eyes. he was shaking his head. but then conversely, there was a moment where nearly all jurors took notes as dr. baker testified that he believed that george floyd was found in a locked home without any other factors, he would have classified this as an overdose. again, without any other factors. and these are the dynamics that really matter at this point. how these jurors are interpreting these types of exchanges, of course, on that
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ever important question of george floyd's cause of death. >> thank you very much. omar jimenez in minneapolis where there's a protest happening right near him. i want to bring in now criminal defense attorney joey jackson and former federal prosecutor laura coates. good evening to both of you. thank you for joining so much. what a week in this trial. laura, you're a former prosecutor. let's look at the prosecution's case. the medical examiner testifying that heart disease and drugs may have been factors, but it was chauvin's use of restraint and neck compression that caused him to rule george floyd's death a homicide. does this make the case here? >> this is extraordinarily compelling. it's not just this in a vacuum. you're talking about the accumulation of all the evidence over the weeks in this trial. and yesterday you heard the very compelling testimony of a pulmonologist. if people didn't know what one of those were before then, they certainly know now. they've used as a prosecutorial strategy, they've built up on every particular witness. they've corroborated. they have complemented.
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they've allowed the medical examiner who actually performed the autopsy, for his testimony to be all the more clear, to clarify what is meant by cardiac arrest, and it's not this synonymous term with a heart attack. to demonstrate how the last minutes of george floyd's life actually looked. and they had the benefit, don, they normally don't have. usually an m.e. only has the process of elimination to figure out what happened or didn't happen. now you have the star witness in this case, the 9 minute and 29 second video not only helping the jurors to understand the scene and what happened, but now to inform and guide the actual forensic pathology and the autopsy. it's invaluable. >> joey, good to see you. i want you to take the role of defense counsel here, okay? you just need to raise doubt in the mind of one juror, right? how do you do that? >> yeah, don. good evening to you. good evening, laura. listen, this is about the rules of engagement, right? we have to understand that and recognize that you have a system
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where 12 jurors have to be in accord, right? and any one of those jurors who for perhaps any reason really is sympathetic to the police, thinks that police are not out there looking to do anything that's untoward, inappropriate, certainly illegal, you play for that audience of one. you get the audience of one, you have a mistrial. i think what the defense is doing here, and it's a stretch admittedly because the other rule of engagement is you have to just demonstrate that the neck compression is a substantial cause, not the sole cause. so you could have all these contributing factors. the defense is looking at fentanyl and they're making really headway with respect to the levels of fentanyl in george floyd's system. they're looking at meth in his system. they're looking at heart disease. they're looking at this 90% blockage in his system. they're looking at hypertension. they're looking at covid. they're looking at everything, right? so they're trying to raise these doubts by blaming really like a brew of activity that was going on in the body. now, you could also remember and recall this debate that was had
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between i ate the drugs or i ain't have any drugs, right? the reason why the defense raised that issue was again to raise the specter of doubt. maybe there was a point that george floyd ingested a significant amount of drugs, and that might have led to his demise. and so again, these are all issues which the defense is raising in order to bring that doubt, to have the jury say, hmm, i know there was a lot of things amiss in george floyd's system. was it that, or was it the next compression? that's what the defense is trying to do here. >> now let's talk about the prosecution. at this point you've already called eight medical witnesses, 11 law enforcement witnesses to make your case. laura, at what point do you think more testimony could potentially hurt in i? is that possible? >> you're always balancing as a prosecutor whether the juice is worth the squeeze. you run up against the law of diminishing returns. remember, you have to be
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exhausted because you cannot assume that because you think how it's going, you've heard the testimony as the prosecution and you're saying, i know i've got this element checked off. i know i've got this one. that's what i wanted to come in. but you have to make sure you realize you're playing to a series of laymen and a series of wild cards who may need to have it preempted whatever seeds of doubt are actually raised. you have to be comprehensive and holistic. the thing is once you've been admonished by the judge already as they have been about the number of law enforcement agents, that was a moment that they had to then turn towards the second causal -- the causal factor of death here. that's why you've seen the shift. i think they have enough in terms of being able to substantiate the elements that this was a substantial causal factor of death. a lot had been made up until now about these dueling medical experts and the family had one report and the hennepin county m.e. had a different one. we're seeing, however, that it's not so different. there was not that
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combativeness. there wasn't this contradiction. instead, it complemented the very thing we have seen through the unreasonable use of force. now the jury, though, has to be sure. and if you see the -- we're not in the courtroom. we don't see the jurors' faces. we don't see them nodding or being irritated. you have to make sure you're able to comprehensively allow them, when they go in that verdict room, that there is no stone left unturned, no room for a seed of doubt to actually germinate. >> joey, the prosecution has been effectively making the case that chauvin caused floyd's death, right? so would you argue that chauvin believed in the moment that his actions were reasonable? is that -- >> you know, don, that's where they have to go. they being the defense has to make this argument. you may have recalled that they argued about this case called graham versus connor. >> right. >> that defines a standard of what we call objective reasonableness. what does that mean in english? it means that the court looks at three things. one is the severity of the crime at issue here.
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we're talking about a counterfeit $20 bill, not so significant at all. then the other issue is the immediacy of the threat, right? and then i think you can argue that initially perhaps there was some justification for the force, but there's this issue of reassessment. and an officer has an obligation to reassess, re-evaluate, determine whether you're in control such that i can let go and stop, right? not let go in the general sense of letting you go, but just letting up on the force. and then the other component of that graham test is the component of the resistance. what level of resistance, if any, are you getting? and so where the defense has to go in the pillars of this case is they have to argue that the force is justifiable, number one, because it meets the standard of objective reasonableness. then they have to argue in pivoting to the mendical issue that the cause of death were the factors i just mentioned to you. those are the pillars of the case. when the defense has its turn, they're going to put up these
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expert witnesses to enunciate their theory of the case, the theory about reasonableness on self-defense, the theory about it was all these other things in his system. to the extent they do that effectively is the extent to see what happens. final, final point, don, and that's this. we have to remember there's three different options the jury has. the first option, of course, the most assault. the death is the result of that assault, you get second. you have this element of depravity because we've heard a lot about the prone position, face down. he had his knee on his neck for three minutes more after he was dead. that's depravity. that gets you to the next count, which is the third degree murder. finally if you could establish there was negligence because there are these policies and protocols and procedures, all of which were violated, now you get to the manslaughter. so the defense has multiple bites at the apple here. i think they're presenting the case in a pretty compelling way. i think certainly a conviction is likely on one of those three
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counts. >> what do you say to that, laura? >> i think that the idea of having that bevy of choices for the jurors is key, which is why they wanted to have all those options available. it gives the jurors, especially given that most jurors still are questioned on whether they're going to give officers a benefit of the doubt. remember, this is still a big psychological hurdle for so many jurors in this country to be able to convict somebody who was at the time an officer because no one wants to believe that an officer gets up in the morning, puts on his or her uniform, and intends to commit murder. jurors have to be able to overcome the hurdle, which is why you spent so much time as the prosecution in this case distancing law enforcement from derek chauvin. why you had actual law enforcement witnesses there to suggest that, look, this was a cop in name only. he knew better. he was trained better. he chose not to do better even in the face of so much imploring by the bystanders. so they're prepared for that hurdle. they're prepared for those bevy of choices.
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but, again, there are 12 human beings, 12 wild cards, and no prosecutor who is worth his or her weight in salt would ever, ever believe it's a foregone conclusion, even with the strongest of cases. so to manage expectations, they've got to be thorough, they've got to be comprehensive, and they may have to respond to whatever presentation of evidence the defense puts on. >> joey, so you could start presenting your case as early as next week, right? who is the most important prosecution witness that you need to undermine? >> i think you have to undermine -- there's two really, don, right? because there's two different pillars of the case. the first pillar being use of force. so you really have to undermine -- remember the compelling evidence. you have the chief who goes there and says, sanctity of life. those are the values of our department. you have lieutenant zimmerman, senior most officer, 40 years, right? he's telling you this is not what we do. you have a sergeant, 27 years, saying, uh-uh, not today, not now, not us. so you have to undermine that
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from a defense perspective, all of the issues concerning self-defense. then you have to pivot to the medical issue, and you have to undermine all of the medical testimony that we heard that was so compelling with respect to the critical question. yes, he may have had hypertension. yes, he may have had blockage. yes, he may have had meth. yes, he may have had any other substance, fentanyl, but guess what? the substantial cause -- and that's what the jury instruction will be -- was the neck compression. you undermine those things, i think you can make hedadway, bu it's an uphill battle indeed. >> i know this is a tough one for you because you're an attorney. do you call chauvin to the stand, yes or no? >> i would say teat this point would not do it. my esteemed co-counsel -- >> i said yes or no. you're proving my point. so you don't call him? >> i say it's too risky, don. >> laura, what do you say? >> you asked a lawyer a yes or
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no question? are you kidding me? you're also going to get all these different caveats. i call him to the stand if i'm the defense counsel because he is all that he has left. he is persona non grata to every law enforcement officer. what's he got to lose except 40 years in prison. >> a vicious cross-examination where he will fold as to his past prior bad acts, as to what he did, as to you knew you should have reassessed. you into the regulations. you were on the force for 19 years. you were trained every year, and you still did it. he would be shredded, so i would be really thinking twice, three times and four times before i put him on the stand. >> yeah, but joey, you got to think to yourself, if you're the jurors out there, you might be looking -- and i'm not saying that chauvin is going to be the ideal witness, and i do think he will inflict a lot of self-inflicted wounds. if you're the juror, the question that's been lingering the entire time is why didn't you? please give me some reason to see there is the human connection that wasn't there when the mixed martial arts
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fighter spoke to you or tried to get you to do the right thing. they may be look for something, anything. you know, sometimes, sometimes people can feel empathetic in ways that go against common sense or the instructions of a jury. so he's got to gamble. >> it's a fair point. >> that -- that is what is known as a yes or no answer from lawyers. >> don, real quick, these are the conversations that are being had. i bet you there's a war room. >> that's why i let you guys go on with it. >> this is a war room, and i bet you there's a laura coates in there saying get him on and there's someone on my said don't ever do it. >> a joey jackson. thank you both. i appreciate it. i'll see you soon. so you had to see it coming. matt gaetz complaining tonight about being canceled. too many republicans seem to be grasping at straws, yelling about cancel culture. but will that be enough to save them from themselves? one former gop leader calling some members political terrorists. >> you call some of these members political terrorists.
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>> oh, yeah. jim jordan especially. my colleague from ohio. i just never saw a guy who spent more time tearing things apart and never building anything, never putting anything together.
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congressman matt gaetz at trump's miami doral property tonight giving his first public speech since the revelations that he is under investigation by the justice department. >> this past week has been full of encouragement from president trump, marjorie taylor greene, and jim jordan to the maga nation. so let me assure you i have not yet begun to fight. >> earlier today the house ethics committee announcing they're launching their own investigation into the allegations surrounding gaetz in the latest blow to the embattled congressman. joining me now, cnn political commentator and former u.s. senator doug jones and cnn
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senior political analyst ron brownstein. he is also the author of "the new york times" best-seller "rock me on the water." it's a new book. congratulations. thank you, sir. thank you both for joining as a matter of fact. although you're a best-seller, i'm going to start with doug. doug, let's talk about gaetz. he was defiant, praising the former president while speaking at that event hosted by women for america first. that is the same group by the way that hosted the january 6th rally that turned into the insurrection. he's playing the cultural warrior for all its worth, right? >> he's absolutely doing that, don. and it's stunning the brashness of folks who are facing the kind of problems that matt gaetz has got right now, not just with the house ethics committee, but this guy has got a colleague where there is serious evidence. i mean he is looking at jail time. he is looking at an indictment down the road, and the brashness is just stunning but not
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unexpected from somebody like matt gaetz. >> ron, he says he's a victim of the deep state, but gaetz lost another staffer over his legal troubles. fellow republican adam kinzinger now calling for his resignation. do you think he can survivor this politically, and if so, how long? if not, how long? >> don, first of all, thanks for the nice words on the book. look, he's beyond spin here, right, as senator jones noted. i mean he's looking at serious legal allegations and if the evidence develops against him along the lines that it seems to be, you know, going, there's no -- you can yell deep state all you want. you can yell cancel culture all you want, and it will not change the realities that he faced. this was i think the most inevitable play of inevitable plays, that he was going to claim he was being targeted because he's a conservative. but he, i think, is way beyond the point where he can affect his fate very much by trying to
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frame or spin this. >> it's interesting because the very person who were supposed to unseat or uproot the deep state, that's the justice department that it started under, which was donald trump's justice department under bill barr, who carried the water for donald trump. doug, we have so much to talk about. i'm going to move on because senator joe manchin is insisting that bipartisanship is the only way to move forward. given what we have seen so far, will republicans come to the table in good faith on any part of joe biden's -- the president's agenda? >> sure. i think they can, and i think they will. but it's going to take some work. i mean clearly what you're seeing is that there's an obstructionist view. it goes all the way back to what senator mcconnell did with president obama. but at the same time, there is a group of senators that are meeting regularly to talk about areas of common ground. and is it possible? absolutely it's possible. it is going to take -- >> is it probable, though?
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is it probable because we just don't -- i mean is it the senate that you left just a short time ago, or has it moved on light years since you've been there? >> that's kind of like asking that yes or no question that you just asked your previous guest. probable versus likely. it is going to be difficult. there's no question. but i do believe, don, i really believe that on voting rights and some other things, there is some common ground. but democrats are going to have to take out some of the poison pills as well. if they're willing to do some of that, to do the good things, the progressive things that are out there, they can get some things done but it's going to be tough. >> thank you for your honesty with that. possible, yes. probable, that's tough. i think that's a perfect answer. ron, you were shaking your head. you want to say something? >> i'm much more dubious that there are ten republican votes for anything meaningful that joe biden wants to do.
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first of all, i think mitch mcconnell has made very clear that as in 2009, 2010, behind the scenes, he's going to be putting pressure on them to avoid allowing democrats to claim that anything is bipartisan. i think on voting rights, he's made very clear his goal is to provide air cover in washington to the ground cover in the states. i don't think he will accept anything that establishes a nationwide framework, a baseline of voting rights. even on infrastructure where you think that it could be possible, the fact is that republicans are arguing that any attempt to pay for it by reconsidering the trump tax cut is inherently, you know, a deal killer. i mean the trump tax cut reconsidered democratic tax policy from before. so the idea if you're going to go back and kind of look at tax policy, that's a deal killer doesn't leave you with a lot of room. joe manchin has made very clear he wants to test whether republicans are willing to work. the question is what do him and kyrsten sinema do at the end of
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the road when they find they can't get ten republican votes for almost anything they care about? do they say at this point we let the issue die, or do they say at that point i'm going to negotiate with other democrats? >> that was a yes or no from a political expert right there. that was a yes or no answer. i'm kidding. i think you get it. the white house announcing a commission to study the supreme court and look at possible reforms. biden has been facing pressure from the left to add seats to the court. he was cagey about the issue on the campaign trail. should he be considering adds seats? >> well, you know, joe is doing exactly what he promised to do on the campaign trail. he wasn't just cagey. he was basically saying i believe in the institutions of government. i believe in the supreme court the way it's composed right now. and he promised, though, that he would take a look. and that's exactly what he's done. he's delivering on his promises again, don. and if you look at the commission and their charge, it's not just the number on the
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court. it's the history of the court. it's how they get their cases. it's the rules. there's any number of things that could come out of this that may or may not get enacted. but he's doing what he said he would do on the campaign trail. i think that's the most important part of this. >> ron, let's talk about your new book. it's called "rock me on the water: 1974." what drew you to this moment in our history and give us some lessons that you've learned that you can share with us today. >> thanks. look, i mean at one level, it is just an incredible confluence and constellation of talent that came together in l.a. in the early 1970s. in music, joni mitchell, linda ronstadt, the eagles. movies, warren beatty, jack nicholson. then of course tv, norman lear and carol o'connor. it's like the literary world in
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paris in the 20s. it's an incredible constellation of talent. at a deeper level, this was the moment when the 60s critique of american life was hammered into popular culture never to be dislodged. ideas like more suspicion of authority, changing relations between men and women, greater autonomy for women, more inclusion of marginalized groups. this was really the moment when those ideas took root. and they took root in popular culture even as richard nixon was winning two elections by mobilizing his silent majority of voters most uneasy about them. that's the real parallel to today. trump showed that there is a big constituency that can be mobilized against the way that younger generations, particularly the increased diversity of younger generations is changing america. but i think my story from the early 70s tells us while you can kind of fight a delaying action in politics, the future always gets the last word and the culture is often ahead of the politics in predicting what the country will become. >> great reading and great coffee table book.
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it's great. thank you. and climbing up the best-seller list, so we're happy about that. "rock me on the water." >> we're neighbors. >> thank you both. thank you, ron. thank you very much. i appreciate it. i appreciate it, doug. britain's prince philip dying at the age of 99. we're live at windsor right after this. air wick our essential mist transforms fragrance infused with natural essential oils into a mist. to awaken your home with an experience you can see, smell, and feel. it's air care, redefined. air wick essential mist. connect to nature. anxiety and depression. but when i was ready for help, finding the right care was nearly impossible. luckily, he had us.
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sometime tomorrow, buckingham palace expected to announce the full funeral arrangements for the queen's husband, prince philip, who died today at the age of 99.
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he was in poor health but the palace says he passed away peacefully at windsor castle. philip's death another blow to the royal family, which is still reeling from the accusations of racism made by prince harry and his wife meghan. i want to bring in max foster. reactions around the globe to the death of prince philip. what is the latest there tonight, which is tomorrow morning where you are? >> reporter: well, the queen is obviously having to deal with what happened yesterday and then also sign off on the funeral arrangements. prince philip was very involved in his funeral arrangements. he didn't want a lot of fuss, but he did want the charities and the causes and the military associations that he built up over his lifetime to be reflected in that. a lot of that won't be able to happen because of the pandemic and the restrictions around that, so there won't be any procession. so what we expect to hear on saturday after the queen has signed everything off is that everything will be contained within the castle walls behind
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me. perhaps a funeral next weekend, but it will be limited to 30 people under the current restrictions unless some sort of exemptions have been made here. so we're waiting to hear those details. the queen would have wanted prince philip to have a bigger fanfare really. she feels he made a very big contribution, not just the marriage but the monarchy and also the commonwealth. >> you know, max, meghan and prince harry put out a short statement on the front page of their archewell foundation website. it says, in loving memory of his royal highness, the duke of edinburgh. thank you for your service. you will be greatly missed. prince harry was very close with his grandfather. do you expect him to attend his grandfather's funeral? >> well, as you say, he was close, and after the oprah interview, he went out of his way to say to oprah that philip and the queen were not the people he was referring to in
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reference to that conversation about race of his unborn child at that time. so he was protecting philip to that extent, and he did that because he does look up to who the person he was, the patriarch of the family. i think he would want to come. i haven't spoken to anyone on his team about this yet, but i think we would expect him to want to come. the duchess, not so sure. she is pregnant, of course, and the numbers would also be restricted. so it would depend as well who the queen signs off on the guest list as well. but i would think he would want to come. if he does want to come, there is a quarantine process. he'd have to be in quarantine for at least five days. he'd be able to do that if he left soon. but we'll wait to hear on that. >> former president barack obama posting a beautiful tribute to prince philip, showing a photo of him and the former first lady michelle obama posing with the queen and the duke. at the queen side or trailing the customary two steps behind, prince philip showed the world
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what it meant to be a supportive husband to a powerful woman, yet he also found a way to lead without demanding spotlight is what is written there. so what will prince philip's legacy be, max? >> reporter: well, it's interesting, isn't it, because we will know him as the person who supported the queen, was always by her side. she will remember him as a husband but also the one person she could be normal with, which is hugely important when you are a member of the royal family. even her own children bow and curtsy to her when they first see her. philip was the one person that could be himself with her. she would take his advice. she described him as her strength and stay. and you will hear people who know them very closely talking about how she couldn't have done it without him. he had a huge contribution to her monarchy, which is one of the great monarchies in british history, some would argue the greatest monarchy. so she's lost her closest adviser, and i think that's the
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key part of, you know, what's happened today. so his legacy will be what he did for the crown, also what he did for the family behind the scenes. he was the head of the family. he would make all the key decisions. there was some sort of deal there between him and the queen on that. he was very much a leader behind the scenes, and he made a lot of compromise, i think, over the years, but he did that for his wife. >> max foster, thank you for staying up late or waking up early, whichever it is. thank you. we appreciate it. he fired up trump supporters just hours before the capitol insurrection. his lies so bad that his own party thought about removing him from committees. but congressman misso brooks co become senator mo brooks soon. stay with us. we'll talk about that. but you never knew all the things a dog could do for you. and with resolve you never have to worry about the mess. love the love, resolve the mess.
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one of donald trump's staunchest allies now running for an open senate seat in alabama, and he could win. another example of trump's grip on the gop and how far-right politics are now mainstream in the republican party. here's cnn's manu raju. >> usa! >> reporter: he was one of the architects behind the big lie, that donald trump won the 2020 election. firing up trump supporters at the stop the steal rally that preceded the deadly january 6th riot at the capitol. >> today is the day american patriots start taking down names and kicking ass!
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>> reporter: now six-term congressman mo brooks is being rewarded with an endorsement from the former president as brooks now seeks the alabama senate seat being vacated by retiring senator richard shelby. >> he saw the crooked election, what happened, and he was willing to speak up. >> reporter: trump choosing brooks over his former ambassador to slovenia, linda blanchard, and before others could jump in. though trump's 2017 picks in the alabama senate primary and general election both lost, this time it could be different. with republicans seeing brooks as a clear front-runner all thanks to trump. appearing last month with trump adviser stephen miller at his kickoff rally, brooks repeated the falsehoods about the election and compared it to his 1982 bid for a seat in the alabama legislature where he contended that machines would not allow votes to be cast for him. while he won that race, what exactly happened then was never fully resolved. >> when i saw what happened last year with donald trump, i
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recognized it pretty quick because i'd seen it before. >> reporter: as one of the staunchest house conservatives who was elected in the 2015 tea party wave, brooks has emerged as one of trump's biggest defenders. during trump's first impeachment proceedings in 2019 -- as he pushed for an investigation into the bidens. asked by cnn at the time about a key witness's testimony, brooks erupted. >> mr. brooks, the opening statement says very clearly this is not -- >> the opening statement doesn't make any difference. >> let me finish my question. he says -- >> you should not be relying on it. >> let me ask you about the substance of what he said. >> that doesn't make any difference. we don't know whether what he said is true or not because of the sham process that's being used. >> reporter: he has also refused to take any responsibility for inflaming the january 6th rally goers and for giving them false hope that congress could change the electoral outcome, repeating the big lie just hours after the
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pro-trump mob stormed the capitol. >> non-citizens overwhelmingly voted for joe biden in exchange for the promised amnesty and citizenship and in so doing, helped steal the election from donald trump. >> reporter: his actions alarmed colleagues from both parties with cnn learning that republicans privately considered stripping him from his committee assignments. republican stephen womack told cnn he played brooks' rally remarks to his gop colleagues. >> there were jaws dropping. >> do you think he incited the rioters. >> i'm not going to get into that. he offended me, i can tell you that. >> reporter: but brooks has remained defiant. >> do you regret speaking at that rally last week? >> i did my duty for my country. >> reporter: even though some republicans were concerned about what mo brooks did in the run-up to january 6th, he received no punishment. he's still serving on his committees, and he could very well be a united states senator next year. and one reason why is donald trump is still popular in the
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state of alabama. he won that state by more than 25 points and republicans believe that there's very little chance that democrats can pull off an upset in that very red state like they did in 2017. so whoever wins that primary could very well be the winner and could become the next united states senator from alabama, and at the moment mo brooks appears to be the favorite. don. >> manu raju, thank you very much for that. i want to make sure you know about the new cnn original series, the people v. the klan. it tells the story of beulah mae donald, a black mother who took down the ku klux klan after the brutal lynching of her son michael. watch back-to-back episodes sunday at 9:00 eastern right here on cnn.
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