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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  July 28, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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four hero police officers testifying for the first time about the horrors of january 6th. they told a select committee how they risked their lives to protect lawmakers inside the capitol. some who continue to downplay the insurrection and didn't even bother to watch today's hearing. plus cnn learning that the biden administration will require vaccines or regular testing for all federal employees. it comes as the cdc tells americans, vaccinated or not, to mask up again when indoors in high-risk areas. i want to bring in now cnn's
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senior legal analyst laura coates and analyst philip mudd. good to see you in person. thank you so much for joining. let's start with what happened on capitol todhill today. i want everyone to hear from harry dunn. he talks about this pro-trump mob calling him the n-word. >> one woman in a pink maga shirt yelled, you hear that guys? this nigger voted for joe biden. then the crowd, perhaps around 20 people, joined in screaming, boo, fucking nigger. no one had ever, ever called me a nigger while wearing the uniform of a capitol police officer. in the days following the attempted insurrection, other black officers shared with me their own stories of racial abuse on january 6th. one officer told me he had never in his entire 40 years of life
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been called a nigger to his face, and that streak ended on january 6th. yet another black officer later told me he had been confronted by insurrectionists in the capitol who told him, put your gun down, and we'll show you what kind of nigger you really are. >> it doesn't get more explicit than that. then he says that 20 people all chimed in. laura, look, clear racial aspect to the insurrection and what is happening in the country, but clear racial aspect to those events. >> absolutely. i couldn't help when i heard that to go back to what the experience must have been like for black military members coming back from world war ii in uniforms, some even lynched for having the audacity to have them, as a reminder of how racism is just below the surface, if not on top of it, throughout the course of history in america. and to contextualize this as well, don, remember the reason they reacted that way, this knee-jerk reaction to go to
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racism, was because he was responding to the big lie. someone came in and said, no one voted for joe biden, we want to stop the steal. and he made a statement to address politics in that brief moment and said, i voted for joe biden. am i nobody? and the knee-jerk reaction was to attack him in that way and to call him that word repeatedly. you know, this was an experience that he talked about today, not only being an officer under attack but the dual experience of being a black officer. and i couldn't think about this without contextualizing as well the reaction about the black lives matter protests in reaction to the killing of george floyd and how the failure of this committee purportedly to address that was used as a pretextual reason for republicans not to support a bipartisan endeavor. and so you see it in terms of experience. you see it also in terms of the way it's being used as a scapegoat to take away the responsibility of republicans wto address this. >> i want to get to officer
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daniel hodges. he said the rioters were overwhelmingly white males, and he said this. >> they didn't say anything especially xenophobic to me, but to my black colleagues and anyone who's not white, and some of them would try to -- try to recruit me. one of them came up to me and said, are you my brother? >> what does it say that these rioters, these insurrectionists, overwhelmingly white males, tried to recruit him for the insurrection before they almost crushed him to death in that tunnel? >> how much pain do you want? let me tell you something as a white guy. this country went through in the 19th century telling my people, the italians and irish, they weren't welcome because they're catholics. they had laws against chinese immigration 120 years ago. we in tered japanese people who
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were white during world war ii. we told gay people they weren't allowed to get married. we told women they weren't allowed to vote. if we think this doesn't represent america -- i'm not saying america is not great. i'm saying we have to look in the mirror and say unless we look higher, including looking to our political leadership to say take us higher, that's who we're going to be because we've been there before. this is not unique. from day one we've told people, if you're not like me, you're worse. that's where we will go if we don't go higher, don. >> this is who we are. everyone says this is not america, but this is america. >> we've been there forever. we've been there forever. as i said, irish and italians in the 19th century were the new immigrants. we say we're the melting pot and the world of immigrants, and they were told, you're dirty. my people were told, you're dirty. so if we want to look in the mirror and say that's somebody else, that's somebody else who went to the capitol, i am telling you that is not correct. unless we try harder, that's us, don. that's us. >> i want to talk about chairman
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bennie thompson saying that subpoenas are coming soon, laura. this is right up your alley here. liz cheney said they should be issued quickly. the justice department is saying former doj officials can testify. the department won't assert executive privilege. so which top officials are likely to be among the first called? you think the president should be called or will be called? the former president? >> i think he should be called. i think jeffrey rosen. i think others. remember, the executive privilege in terms of what the doj members would have to assert or be able to no longer have to assert -- so the notion here and why this is such a significant thing is, remember, you're saying in order to have transparency, in order to have a full, holistic investigation, i have to remove the hurdles of people saying, i don't care what you want to hear. i don't have to tell you anything. that does not bode well on the integrity of the department if there's no real basis for it. but also it's a hurdle that now is being overcome by the decision to say, you can speak freely about what it is you know
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about these events. if you knew the who, what, where, when, why, the paper trail, let us know. this is an eye towards a significant level of transparency, and that is precisely what is needed here. >> i mean give me a break. the department of justice has to tell you that you can go before the congress and tell the truth about the most significant event we've had in the congress in 200 years? if the department had said, you can't speak, don. you can't speak because of executive privilege, if you're in the federal government, i spent 25 years there. i would have said, no. what are they going to do, arrest you? you're going to testify before a committee and somebody is going to say, sorry, that was executive privilege, you're going to jail? nobody is going to arrest you, don. >> a lot more to discuss, and question will. thank you both. the testimony at today's select committee hearing was gut-wrenching. officers detailing the brutal attacks at the capitol. but it seems like a lot of
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republicans really just don't care. they're still downplaying or downright denying the horrors of january 6th. but the two republicans on the committee, well, they're calling out those members of their own party. here's congresswoman liz cheney. >> every one of us here on the dais voted for and would have preferred that these matters be investigated by an independent, nonpartisan commission composed of five prominent americans selected by each party and modeled on the 9/11 commission. although such a commission was opposed by my own leadership in the house, it overwhelmingly passed with the support of 35 republican members. it was defeated by republicans in the senate, and that leaves us where we are today. we cannot leave the violence of january 6th and its causes uninvestigated. the american people deserve the full and open testimony of every person with knowledge of the planning and preparation for january 6th.
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we must know what happened here at the capitol. we must also know what happened every minute of that day in the white house, every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during, and after the attack. honorable men and women have an obligation to step forward. one republican, for example, said, quote, what is happening at the u.s. capitol right now is unacceptable and un-american." those participating in lawlessness and violence must be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. no member of congress should now attempt to defend the indefensible, obstruct this investigation, or whitewash what happened that day. we must act with honor and duty and in the interest of our nation. america is great because we preserve our democratic institutions at all costs.
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until january 6th, we were proof positive for the world that a nation conceived in liberty could long endure. but now january 6th threatens our most sacred legacy. the question for every one of us who serves in congress, for every elected official across this great nation, indeed for every american is this. will we adhere to the rule of law? will we respect the rulings of our courts? will we preserve the peaceful transition of power? or will we be so blinded by partisanship that we throw away the miracle of america? do we hate our political adversaries more than we love our country and revere our constitution? i pray that that is not the case. i pray that we all remember our children are watching. as we carry out this solemn and sacred duty entrusted to us, our
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children will know who stood for truth, and they will inherit the nation we hand to them -- a republic if we can keep it. >> and here is congressman adam kinzinger. >> i never expected today to be quite as emotional for me as it has been. i've talked to a number of you and gotten to know you. i think it's important to tell you right now, though, you guys may like individually feel a little broken. you guys all talk about the effects you have to deal with and, you know, you talk about the impact of that day. but you guys won. you guys held. you know, democracies are not defined by our bad days. we're defined by how we come back from bad days, how we take
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accountability for that. and for all the overheated rhetoric surrounding this committee, our mission is very simple. it's to find the truth, and it's to ensure accountability. like most americans, i'm frustrated that six months after a deadly insurrection breached the united states capitol for several hours on live television, we still don't know exactly what happened. why? because many in my party have treated this as just another partisan fight. it's toxic, and it's a disservice to the officers and their families, to the staff and the employees in the capitol complex, to the american people who deserve the truth, and to those generations before us who went to war to defend self-governance because self-governance is at stake. and it's why i agreed to serve on this committee. i want to know what happened that day. but more importantly, i want all americans to be able to trust the work this committee does and
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get the facts out there free of conspiracy. this cannot continue to be a partisan fight. i'm a republican. i'm a conservative. but in order to heal from the damage caused that day, we need to call out the facts. it's time to stop the outrage and the conspiracies that fuel the violence and division in this country. and most importantly, we need to reject those that promote it. as a country, it's time to learn from our past mistakes, rebuild stronger so this never happens again, and then we can move onward. and serving on this committee, i'm here to investigate january 6th not in spite of my membership in the republican party but because of it, not to win a political fight but to learn the facts and defend our democracy. >> congressman kinzinger going on to write this in "the new york times," an op-ed tonight outlining the questions he wants
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answered during the committee's investigation, and i quote here. how did this happen? why? who spurred this effort? was it organized? when did our government leaders know of the impending attacks, and what were their responses? what level of preparation or warnings did our law enforcement have? was there coordination between the rioters and any members of congress or with staff? so i want to bring in now former defense secretary william cohen. thank you, sir. it's an honor to have you here. i really appreciate it. let's just say right off, it takes a lot of courage to do what congressman kinzinger and congresswoman cheney did today. >> it does. but as the officer dunn said, why do we make saying the truth an act of courage? it should go with the office. every member of congress is a
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fiduciary. i commend both adam kinzinger and lynn cheney -- >> liz cheney. >> i served with her father, and the party was big enough for us to serve together and to go after another scandal, the iran-contra scandal together, to try to find the facts. that's what's missing today. that's not happening today. >> what did you think of what occurred today? what stood out to you? >> i was on a roller coaster of emotions. number one, i felt pride in the men in blue who testified. i felt -- i felt pride. i felt grateful, and i felt anger. i felt anger that we have come to this point in our lives, in this country's life. before you had two guests who were very powerful in their statements. but i go back to senator moynihan. years ago he commented about the british burning the capitol. he said, maybe they can burn the
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capitol, but they can't burn the idea. they can't destroy the idea of democracy. >> mm-hmm. >> what took place on january 6th was an attempt to destroy the idea of democracy, and we are that close to allowing it to be destroyed if we follow the path that said, we now in the republican part of the cancel culture, we want to cancel what happened on january 6th. we don't want to think about it, talk about it, be reminded about it, or get at the truth. >> i was having a conversation with my colleague -- actually, it was with chris that you'll hear on our handoff podcast about republicans canceling people today, including liz cheney and adam kinzinger. so cancel culture is not just something that's on the left. actually the right cancels people more than the left cancels people. and i'm glad you said it. i was very emotional today. i cried. but most of all, i was angry, secretary. i was angry. >> this is the most significant thing that has happened to this
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country since the civil war, since the burning of the capitol. and we came within minutes of having it destroyed, and if they had breached that, if they didn't hold the line -- and i think the holding the line, joshua chamberlin at gettysburg, hold the line was his command. general mattis, hold the line in iraq. they held the line. we owe them everything, and i commend all of those officers, capitol hill, metropolitan police, and i want to know why the fraternity of police officers hasn't spoken up on their behalf. >> yeah. >> that, to me, was a question raised. it's one that needs to be answered. >> he's holding their feet to the fire and in this situation, someone should. remember the officials who resigned after january 6th. i'm going to put them up on the screen so people can see. betsy devos said that there was no mistaking the impact of trump's rhetoric had on the situation. transportation secretary elaine
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chao was a clear -- mick mulvaney said administration officials who were choosing to stay were worried about trump putting something worse in there. trump's communication director told cnn at the time that trump should seriously consider resigning. look, the gop knew how bad this was, and many are now whitewashing and downplaying it. it's a cover-up. it's blatant. it's propaganda. what are we witnessing here? >> you're witnessing what you just said. it's a cover-up. if you think about it, just read mitch mcconnell's speech back, what he said on the floor of the senate about who was responsible. read republican leaders' response on the floor of the house. they both said categorically the then-president was responsible for inciting this insurrection. he was the inciter and the insurrectionist in chief. there's no question in my mind, and i think the facts will establish that. >> secretary, thank you.
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vaccinated people told to mask up indoors in areas with substantial and high covid transmission. everyone in and around schools told to wear masks. making sense of the new guidance. that's next. >> the bottom line is the masks will help us reduce spread further, but the vaccinations remain the bedrock of ending this pandemic. hey, i just got a text from my sister. you remember rick, her neighbor? sure, he's the 76-year-old guy who still runs marathons, right? sadly, not anymore. wow. so sudden. um, we're not about to have the "we need life insurance" conversation again, are we? no, we're having the "we're getting coverage so we don't have to worry about it" conversation. so you're calling about the $9.95 a month plan -from colonial penn? -i am. we put it off long enough. we are getting that $9.95 plan, today. (jonathan) is it time for you to call about the $9.95 plan?
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where covid is spreading like wildfire. joining me now to discuss, a professor of infectious diseases at vanderbilt university. doctor, thank you. i appreciate you joining us. big night when it comes to two things happening in our country. so, listen, doctor, dr. fauci is saying -- said to chris earlier when asked why people should get vaccinated, if they still need to be on guard against the variant and wear masks. here it is. >> when you get vaccinated, you don't get vaccinated just because you don't want to wear a mask. you get vaccinated because you want to save your life. your own health is the reason. >> so i hear people now talking about a layered approach to fighting this pandemic. what is that? i mean what does that mean? the vaccine saves your life. masks will stop the spread. >> sure. we're doing any number of things that we can do to, first of all,
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protect ourselves and those around us, don. and we do a number of different things. getting vaccinated provides the biggest barrier to having to become sick if you're infected with this virus and having to be hospitalized. it also reduces your risk of transmitting the infection to others. if you wear the mask, that adds another literal layer of protection. it reduces further the chance that you could acquire or transmit this infection. and of course if we do social distancing, good hand hygiene, watch the ventilation and do all those other things, that adds even further. so relying on vaccination alone, well, this delta variant is so transmissible that it's best to add on some things. you might call it the belt and suspenders approach. >> interesting. the cdc is also recommending
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today that all kids and teachers and staff in schools should be wearing masks regardless of their vaccination status. it's saying in and around schools. what about states like iowa and florida where governors are not honoring mask mandates? >> well, i certainly hope that will change because the recommendation really is very clear. we're trying to make schools absolutely as low-risk a place as possible. every adult by now who is associated with a school, whether you're a teacher, school bus driver, work in the cafeteria, custodian, coach, you should have been vaccinated by now. if not, shame on you. then of course we should be vaccinating all the children 6 months and older. in addition to that, we have the youngsters who are younger than 12 years of age. they can't be vaccinated yet. so let's add another layer of protection. have them wear masks and have everybody else do the same.
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we need to do everything we can to allow children to return to school and get all the benefits from socialization, education in schools. >> listen, i'm going to talk a little more about -- there's new data cited by the cdc showing that vaccinated people might still carry the same viral load as the unvaccinated. what does that mean for vaccinated parents and their unvaccinated kids under 12? >> well, what it means is that we need to be careful wherever we are. we don't expect to wear masks in our own home, but when we're out among other children, particularly indoors, we're going to have to continue to be very careful. this is a wily virus. we can't just do one thing and have it disappear. it's not going to be that way. we're learning more about it all the time.
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we need to all be flexible and adapt ourselves to new guidance as that guidance comes along. if we get rigid, the virus is going to win. >> dr. schaffner, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> the delta variant's spreading, and so is anger. anger toward the people who just won't get vaccinated and are putting the country at risk. plus simone biles abruptly withdrawing from the gymnastics team finals today. >> i also just want to remind people that simone biles is human, and every single athlete, no matter how successful they are, every single athlete has good days and bad days. if laundry stinks, it could be bacteria. detergent alone doesn't kill all odor causing bacteria. adding lysol laundry sanitizer kills 99.9 %. lysol, what is takes to protect. did you know diarrhea is often caused by bad bacteria in food? try pepto® diarrhea. its concentrated formula
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people who have been vaccinated are increasingly angry at those who aren't as the delta variant surges. and it's not the only crisis fueled by misinformation that's endangering americans. joining me now to discuss, cnn political commentator ana navarro. ana, good evening. >> hi. >> let's boil this down, okay? it is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. that is the truth. but now the vaccinated are going to have to put the masks back on because people aren't getting their shots. listen, you're not one to mince words as we know. you and i often go at it, or i see you going at it with everyone. what do you think about this situation that we're in? >> i'm apoplectic about it. i'm particularly affected by it because i am one of the vaccinated people in florida, in a state where our political leadership has chosen to make this into a political issue. and i'm enraged, as should all
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of -- [ inaudible ] -- to beat this pandemic are being held hostage by people who are being influenced by peddlers of lies and outrage for the purpose of gaining political points and driving people to the polls. look, this is what pisses me off to no end. it didn't have to be this way. i say this every single time. it doesn't have to be a politicized issue. this is the only country in the world where covid and vaccinations has become politicized. it is because of republicans like the ones on fox news and some of our elected officials who have chosen this as a wedge issue. but, you know, those republicans like mike dewine, the governor of ohio, or asa hutchison, the governor of arkansas, or jim justice, the governor of west virginia -- these are no rinos.
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these are lifelong conservatives who realize that the lives of their constituents were worth more than a fabricated, faux outrage to drive people to the polls. >> look, you know covid misinformation is deadly. americans are at risk. but honestly, look, so is our democracy. when the former president and his supporters spread lies about january 6th and the big lie, there's proof that vaccines work and that january 6th was a violent insurrection. how did we get so divided that we can't even believe the truth about topics that are literally life and death? >> not only are they life and death, we've -- the receipts are there for all of us to look at it. i mean how can anybody look at the video that we saw in those hearings today and think that that was tourists, not terrorists? at first i thought maybe they were mispronouncing the word "terrorist."
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how can anybody hear the testimony and see those four officers that were representing all the men and women of law enforcement who ran to danger and risked their lives, and they weren't there protecting -- they weren't in disneyland protecting mickey and minnie mouse. they were protecting the congress people and senators as they did their jobs. so for some people, because of complicity with donald trump, because of covering donald trump, because of not wanting to implicate donald trump, don't give these officers the respect of even appointing credible republican appointees to this committee and then pretend that this is not going on, that they didn't have time to watch these proceedings? and it's all about complicity. it's all about this mentality where loyalty to trump trumps loyalty to country, loyalty to constitution, loyalty to logic,
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and endangers people's lives. in the same way we are seeing lies and misinformation endanger people's lives when it comes to covid, we saw how months of propagating and promoting and instigating the big lie led to risking people's lives, including the congress people, who now turn a deaf ear. those republicans who turn a deaf ear and pretend this isn't happening. they're such -- they're such pathetic, hypocritical ingrates. and then they beat their chests about blue lives matter and about being all about law enforcement and pro-law enforcement. give me a damn break. if you're not willing to give officer fanone or officer dunn or officer gonell the time of day and respect they deeverybody -- deserve, spare me the sermons about how much you love law enforcement. >> ana navarro, thank you. simone biles drops out of
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the team gymnastics finals, citing her mental health. five-time gold medalist nadia comaneci and two-time gold medalist bart conner are going to weigh in after this. >> i just felt like it would be a little better to take a back seat, work on my mindfulness. and i knew that the girls would do an absolutely great job, and i didn't want to risk the team a medal for kind of my screw-ups because they've worked way too hard for that.
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team usa gymnastics superstar simone biles making the stunning decision to withdraw from the women's team gymnastics final at the tokyo 2020 olympics. biles citing mental health concerns as the reason for taking herself out of the competition. >> that 5 1/2 hour wait or something, i was just like shaking, could barely nap. i've just never felt like this going into a competition before. once i came out here, i was like, no. mental is not there. so i just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself. >> let's discuss now with olympic gymnastics gold medalists nadia comaneci and bart conner. thank you so much for joining us again. we just saw you last week. nadia, simone biles is arguably the biggest star in the olympics. the expectations of her are so
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high, plus the unique pressures of being in tokyo with no family or support system there, right, because of the covid restrictions. what did you think when you heard this, and can you relate at all? >> yeah, a little bit. first of all, i'd like to say congratulations actually to the team, who won the silver and didn't lose from the gold, the silver. and the girls did amazing under the circumstances. nobody has thought about what happened today in tokyo. so, yeah, i can relate to that because i did compete in two olympic games. i was very young on the first one, and it was easier actually in the first olympics because i was young, and i didn't doubt myself, and i just went for it, and i didn't have too many ifs. four years later, i went back as the olympic champion, and i think that the more medals you have when you go back, the
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heavier the backpack is. so you kind of have to be prepared that you're going to be hit from all directions on everything you do. so i did make a major mistake in moscow olympics, on my second olympics, and the at the time i did it in a preliminary, and i had to carry the scores all the way to the end. now when you qualify, you start from zero, so you have a new life. so, yeah, that is a lot of pressure because you want to do your best. but i think it's important to remind yourself that you want to do the best that you can for yourself and not the best for everybody else to expect you to do something that it's more that you can deliver. so you have to be sure that you keep those pieces separate. >> yeah. bart, look, gymnastics is a dangerous sport. initially some people thought that simone was being selfish to
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do this to the team. but, i mean, if her head was not in the right place and she knew she wouldn't perform at her best, did she do the right thing? because to listen to her in that press conference, she said, i don't want to hurt the other girls. look, i don't know. i'm not an olympic athlete. but it seems like it was pretty big of her to say, i don't want to screw them up. let them do their thing. i'm going to take myself out. >> no, you're right, don. i think she did exactly the right thing. and hats off to jordan chiles and sunisa lee, grace mccallum, because they stepped up under enormous brpressure to win that silver medal. and hats off to simone for acknowledging she was in trouble. i know this is not an uncommon problem in gymnastics. we call it the twisties where you get disoriented in the air, and it's terrifying when you don't know which way is up and which way is down. we think about the complicated skills that simone does. even her vaults, she does three different types of vaults, and
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they're completely different in terms of their techniques. so if you get disoriented and all of a sudden you start doubting yourself, it's really scary. now she's launching herself 10 to 12 feet in the air, flipping and twisting, and has no idea where she is. and i've had that experience. we call it the twisties, and it happened to me even at the end of my career. and it's terrifying. i mean my palms are sweaty just thinking about it now because it's scary when you're flying through the air and you have no idea where you are. so i feel for her. i think she did the right thing, and it was probably the best thing for the u.s. team as well. scary stuff. >> nadia, 2018, simone revealed that she was among the hundreds of gymnasts who were abused by dr. larry nassar, and she said that she chose not to retire in part because she was the only identified survivor of nassar's abuse still competing. is there too much weight on her shoulders, you think? >> yeah, you know, she was the
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face of the -- i mean she is the face of the games, and it's really hard to be everywhere and to do everything because, you know, i was thinking that, you know, gymnastics and everything she does is so unbelievably difficult. then to be able to juggle five other things during the day, it's really complicated, and that's a lot of pressure, as you said, on her shoulders because, you know, she's like -- listen, i have to do complicated things. i really want to think about what i do in a gym because i'm not going there to do jumping jacks. you know, she does really unbelievable, difficult skills. you have to have your mind all the time there. but, a, she is there because she loves the sport, and she wants to support the girls, and she wants to do the best she can. and i think that she will just be continually a role model for
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all the generation that's thinking of doing gymnastics right now. >> nadia and bart, it's always a pleasure to have you on. hope to have you back to continue to talk about the olympics and more. thank you so much. >> thank you so much, don. >> thank you. eight people dead, three different shootings, and now a prison sentence. we have all the details on the georgia spa shooting next.
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the georgia man accused of fatally shooting eight people at three atlanta-area spas in march was in court today. robert aaron long pleaded guilty today to four of the killings and was sentenced to life in prison. long still faces an additional 19 charges in nearby fulton county. we'll keep you updated as that case moves forward. thank you for watching, everyone. our coverage continues. wake up refreshed.
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