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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  September 10, 2021 11:00pm-12:00am PDT

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9/11 made me late. "don lemon tonight" starts right now. the big star, d lemon. >> let's put it up then. look how beautiful this is. can we show it? um, look. you were born here. i wasn't. i moved here. and it's hard. i still look at this skyline and, you know, driving on the bqe or on the ftr, what have you, and i expect to see those buildings around every turn. and it is a reminder, every day, when you look that way that it's not there. but especially, today. and it's also a reminder how much we lost. but a reminder, as well, on how
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we can come together no matter what as americans, as we did after those horrible attacks. >> yeah, that's what i always thought. 100%. beautifully said, my brother. i have always felt that that's what never forget really is a reminder about. not what happened. obviously, we know what happened. but how we were 9/12, 9/13, 9/14. it wasn't perfect. it didn't last forever but we put things aside and we came together with a collective will and you contrast that with where we are today. i am tilling you this vaccine hesitancy. sure, there is a bit of a personal freedom thing. people don't want to be told what to do. somebody made people think that the vaccine is a personal-choice issue because it doesn't naturally occur that way, brother. >> yeah. >> because we get our kids vaccinated. mumps, rubella, polio, smallpox. we all do it. that's all this is. but all the sudden, it's a big deal. somebody put that idea in their heads. or somebodies. a group of people.
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we are not who we were after 9/11. >> yeah. >> this pandemic has proven that. we are weak people and we are making hard times for ourselves. >> look. and you can go back. i mean, look at what happened over the summer -- the spring and summer -- late spring and summer of 2020 when you saw the division -- the coming together after george floyd. and then, the division afterwards, right? and so, it -- when events like that happen, it proves to us that we can all be what we strive to be, and that's all americans, together. when there's a crisis. and no one is expecting 100% of people to agree, all the time. but when we have tragedies like a 9/11 or we have something like a tragedy like what happened with george floyd, and we see how america can come together. americans can come together. and then, all of the sudden, people, usually politicians, some members of the media, use it to exploit the divisions in our society. and then, they divide us even further. we have got to stop that. that should be a lesson to us. let that be a lesson to us.
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>> i wonder. god forbid -- god forbid -- god forbid. if anything like that ever happens again, i wonder if the first reaction right now would be -- >> whose fault is it? there you go. that's -- i think it's good to end on and that's -- it shouldn't be that. i will see ya. i'll see ya this weekend. >> i love you, d lemon. i will see ya. >> i love you more. i really mean that. i know people think we just say that as a catchphrase but i really do. >> i don't say anything i don't mean. >> oh, whatever. >> i love you. i will see you. >> i will see you. this is "don lemon tonight." you know, it's ironic, isn't it? we were just talking about this, right, what's going on. the politicization of everything. but this is ironic. that anti-vaxers and anti-maskers today they are using freedom as a political rallying cry. claiming it's anti-american and anti-freedom to require someone to get a free, safe vaccine that will save their lives and those
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of their countrymen and women. well, maybe they just mean their own freedom, right? just their own freedom. that's called selfishness. freedom to spread a deadly disease? freedom to land in overtaxed hospitals? freedom to take a hospital bed from a cancer patient or an accident victim? they don't seem to care about freedom for the rest of us. freedom from the pandemic that has overshadowed everything that we have done and been unable to do for more than a year and a half. what ever happened to that summer of freedom that we thought, we hoped, we might have once -- we might have had once the miracle vaccines rolled out? it disappeared in a pandemic of the unvaccinated. that's what happened to it. and now, president joe biden's frustration is showing. his frustration over people playing politics with all of our lives. his frustration with republican
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governors who are apparently willing to put the lives of their own people at risk to oppose common-sense measures that could end this pandemic. >> your vaccine requirements an overreach, who are threatening to challenge it in court. >> have at it. look. i am so -- um -- disappointed that, particularly some republican governors, have been so cavalier with the health of these kids. so cavalier with the health of their communities. this is -- this is -- we're playing for real here. this isn't a game. >> now, this whole idea that a mandate for vaccines and testing in the middle of a pandemic is somehow anti-american and anti-freedom just is a concoction. freedom to get sick?
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freedom to die? the fact is -- the fact is -- vaccines are already required. kids in schools and childcare are widely required to get vaccinated for things like dipt diptheria and tetanus, also, measles, mumps, and rubella, polio, and chickenpox. >> vaccination requirements in schools were nothing new. they work. they're overwhelmingly supported by educators and their unions. >> vaccination mandates are really nothing new. they go all the way back to the revolutionary war when george washington mandated smallpox inoculations for soldiers. george washington. revolutionary war. mandated smallpox shots for soldiers. friem. freedom. liberty.
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look up the definitions. and let me -- let me tell you something that you might not get from watching the news, listening to the amplification of the loudest, most ignorant voices. ready? the majority view in this country is that people should get vaccinated. that's the majority view. that's the sane view. the people with sense. common sense. look at your screen. that is the latest gallup poll finding that majorities support vaccine requirements to work in an office, travel by plane, or eat in restaurants. again, leave that up. the majority of people in this country said that there should be vaccine requirements if you want to work in an office, if you want to travel by plane, if you want to eat in restaurants. freedom. liberty. most people agree that vaccines are necessary to end the pandemic. but a vocal minority is holding
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everybody else back. and too many republicans are trying to use that to play to the base. they think that vaccines are fine. it's mandates that they don't like. alabama governor kay ivey encouraging the people of her state to get vaccinated, but saying we're never going to mandate it. and vowing not to let the president -- her words -- tell alabama what to do. think about that logic. that's like saying, well, i encourage the use of seatbelts and driving with insurance. but how dare you mandate it? it's mandated, already. kay ivey. interestingly, though, that governor ivey was pretty clear over the summer when she blamed people who refused to get vaccinated. >> it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. it's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down. >> so, here is the thing.
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if you are saying, on the one hand, people need to get vaccinated. but on the other hand, readily against mandates for them to do so. does that mean you are fine with the virus running its course and overwhelming our hospitals? you are fine with more americans dying of an entirely preventable disease? you are fine with kids who are too young to be vaccinated catching that entirely preventable disease from people who just refuse to roll up their sleeves? freedom. liberty. because that's exactly what's gonna happen. that's what is happening right now. and some of the people who called vaccine mandates anti-freedom are the same ones who spread the big lie that fueled january 6th, an attack on our freedoms as americans. exhibit a. the former president who said this in 2019. >> they have to get the shot. the vaccinations are so
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important. this is really going around now. they have to get their shots. >> uh, kelly, can you re-rack that? this was the former president of the united states saying, in 2019, to get vaccinated. let's roll it again, please. >> they have to get the shot. the vaccinations are so important. this is really going around now. they have to get their shots. >> i don't need to say anything. i could just play that sound byte for the entire show. where was the gop outrage then? where was the gop outrage when trump said that you have to get the shot? where was the shouting about freedom, liberty? where was the gop outrage when he touted the miracle vaccines that he said that he helped to
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create -- not really -- but back in december, where was it? >> today, we're on the verge of another american medical miracle and that's what people are saying. people that aren't necessarily big fans of donald trump are saying, whether you like him or not, this is one of the greatest miracles in the history of modern-day medicine or any other medicine, any other age of medicine. >> you know who was in the room that day applauding? applauding the vaccines? well, it was governors like tennessee's bill lee. now, at the same time, he calls vaccines the best tool we have. he blasts the mandates we need to get shots in arms as a power grab. okay? also, in the room applauding that day was florida governor ron desantis. he supports vaccines, too. but slams mandates as the president having a hissy fit. >> to take people's jobs and livelihoods away from them with
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no force of law, just an executive edict, that is fundamentally wrong. and so, we need to be providing protections for folks here in the state of florida. you should not lose your job just because joe biden is having this hissy fit. >> you have to get the vaccine. that's it. they have to get the shot. the vaccines are so important. this is really going around now. they have to get the shots. but now, president biden is having a hissy fit. ron desantis, come on. we see you. and then, there is the texas governor, greg abbott, who tweeted saying that he'd protect texans' rights to choose -- right to choose. oh, the hypocrisy. texans' right to choose, huh? all the sudden, governor of texas is all pro-choice? just not for women. in texas, they don't have the
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right to choose to not carry the child of a rapist to term. people who want to go around -- think about that. think about that. he's going to protect people's right to choose. but if you happen to become impregnated, you're a woman, a young woman, a child, you got to carry the baby. let that set in for a while. hmm, interesting. but people who want to go around unvaccinated, un-masked in the middle of a pandemic, right? what about that, right? seems that they can do whatever they want. we talked about freedom tonight. well right now, as you are looking, live, at the iconic tribute in light, we are just hours away from marking the
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solemn anniversary of the day when foreign terrorists attacked our freedom. a day when 2,977 people died at the world trade center, at the pentagon, and in a field outside shanksville, pennsylvania. the white house releasing a video ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. >> unity is what makes us who we are. america at its best. to me, that's the central lesson of september 11th. it's that at our most vulnerable, in the push and pull of all that makes us human, in the battle for the soul of america, unity is our greatest strength. unity doesn't mean we have to believe the same thing. but we must have a fundamental respect and faith in each other and in this nation. >> hmm. unity means that we don't have to all believe the same thing but we have to have a fundamental respect.
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think of all the sacrifices we made after 9/11. think of how americans came together. our unity, as joe biden says. now, some of us won't even get a shot or wear a mask to save precious american lives. we are losing as many people, every two days, as we lost on that terrible day of 9/11. and it is completely avoidable if we don't let politics divide us, and steal away american lives. the president is trying to end the pandemic, and some republican governors are fighting him. do they really want to play politics while americans are dying? >> politics doesn't have to be this way. politics doesn't have to be this way. growing up in an environment where they see it's like a -- like a war, like a bitter feud.
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oh we thought it distracted from the new behr dynasty paint color. let me take your coats. because behr dynasty only takes... one. coat. behr dynasty. go ahead, throw your wine on it. what? stain repellent. it's also scuff resistant. you're paying for that! introducing behr dynasty™, the best of behr. exclusively at the home depot. so, the president is getting a lot of blowback from republican governors over his vaccine mandates. florida's ron desantis calling the mandates unconstitutional, and saying that he will fight them. florida, by the way, averaging more than 14,000 new covid cases each day. mississippi's governor claims biden doesn't have the authority to impose mandates. he said that today, while extending the covid state of emergency in mississippi for another 30 days. just saying. so i want to bring in now, cnn's senior political analyst, kirsten powers, and medical
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ana analyst dr. jonathan reiner. good to see both of you. good evening. so, let's talk about this, y'all. i've been talking to my family in louisiana too much. sorry about that. kirsten, several republican governors are rejecting biden's vaccine mandate. calling it an overreach, and saying that they'll challenge it in court. and president biden is daring them saying, have at it. he is trying to end the pandemic. what are the republican governors trying to do here? >> they are trying to rev up their base. there's, you know, no other explanation for what they're doing. they don't -- you know, this is not, in any way, going to help save a single life. it's not going to -- it's not going to even help a business if you care about the businesses in your state by trying to fight a mandate. i mean, the business groups that typically trend republican, they tend to support republican views are -- are all in support of this mandate because they know that this is something that's necessary for businesses and for the economy. and it's, obviously, something that's necessary to end the
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pandemic and -- and save people's lives and -- and help everybody get back to a somewhat normal life. so they seem to just be playing politics. >> yeah. well, having said that, dr. reiner, there is a recent gallup poll. i don't think this is going to win them over. going to expand the tent any because a recent gallup survey taken before biden announced this new mandate found that 56% of americans favor vaccine requirements at their office or work site. 44% oppose. i mean, it's a good reminder most people want it and the experts say that vaccinations are the way to get back to normal. >> right. so, let -- let's remember that 75% of america's adults have been vaccinated. so the tail has been wagging the dog in this country for the last 18 months. and it looks like the administration, finally, wants that to stop. the vast minority of americans are resistant to -- to vaccination. but that's where the virus has
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been circulating. and that's why we -- you know, we have, you know, 14 -- 140,000, you know, cases a day. and so, i think most americans understand the value of vaccines, as evidenced by their willingness to get vaccinated. that's why vaccine mandates are widely approved in the united states. >> yeah. kirsten, should we be discussing it this way? i mean, despite the -- you know, the people at school board meetings or people refusing. uh-oh. did we lose kirsten? kirsten, can you at least hear me? okay. she's gone. all right. so we will try to get her back. so let me ask you that question. should we be discussing it this way despite the people at the school board meetings, doctor, or the people refusing to mask up on planes. they're a vocal minority. but -- but they're in the wrong. they're the ones who are holding the majority of the country back, and dictating how everyone else has to live.
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the minority is dictating to the majority. >> that's right. and look, we live in a country that has rules. you know, you can't smoke in most buildings in the united states and you can't drive drunk. >> can't smoke on planes. you know? and yeah. >> you can't -- you can't smoke on planes and you can't blow virus into my face. that's how it has to be in this co country. and if you are going to be a persistent threat to the public health by refusing to get vaccinated, well your actions have consequences and the consequences may be that you can't work at your job. my guess is that if businesses have the choice between mandating vaccines or testing, they're going to choose mandating vaccines because that's the most cost-effective way for them to do business. first of all, testing is probably going to cost them some money. and vaccines, which prevent illness, will keep their workers on the job. so i think what the biden mandate is going to do is going to -- it's basically going to
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un-handcuff the businesses around the united states. and you'll see all kinds of restaurant chains and manufacturing facilities mandate vaccines for their employees. >> kirsten, let me ask you the question in a different way. remember during -- um -- obama's first term when he kept trying to work with the republicans, and i want bipartisanship. i want to work with republicans. and then, during this pandemic, joe biden's been doing a similar thing. but with the pandemic, he has been coaxing people, urging people, what have you. when the polls, clearly, show that the majority of people want him to be stronger on this issue. they want mandates. they want to get back to normal. um, do you see the similarity there? do you get the point that i am making? that maybe the democrats -- joe biden and the democrats need to lean in a little bit harder with their agenda, instead of coaxing and trying to go for bipartisanship and, you know, okay, come on and trying to string people along?
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>> well, i think it's sort of both. i think that, on the one hand, he needs to still try to reach some of these people because i do think while we all -- a lot of us feel very frustrated and angry about what's happening. the people to be really frustrated and angry with are the leaders and the people that are giving them this information. the -- the tucker carlsons of the world, right? the people who -- the -- the governors who are -- who are -- are fighting this and are giving out bad information. so -- so, i think that that's -- i think it's right for him to still try to reach those people. the problem is those people are probably never going to see him because they're consuming news -- you know, news from news outlets that don't ever really show this to them. but i do -- i do feel like he could have been a little bit stronger, sooner, in terms of, you know, asking businesses to do these kinds of things. even before -- you know, i guess he wanted to wait for fda approval to do this. but then, why not the minute
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there is fda approval, you're not ready to go, right? i don't -- this is -- people are dying. and so, it just -- it's just incredibly frustrating. you know, i was in italy this summer when they started doing their -- their vaccine mandates and they had they call it a green pass over there. and, you know, it's just -- it just -- everybody just did it, right? it was something that everybody just understood, oh, you have to be thoughtful towards other people. you have to think about other people when you go into a restaurant and you are going to take your mask off. oh, of course, here is my green pass. i will show you that i have -- i've been vaccinated. so, it was sort of frustrating seeing that happen and then coming back to the u.s. and seeing that we are still having people, you know, walking around without masks. and infecting each other. so, yeah. i think that -- i -- i -- i think he can try to reach those people but i also think the time has passed in terms of policies. you can't cater to them. >> yeah. thank you, both. i will see you soon. have a good weekend. >> thank you.
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fights at school board meetings. fights on airplanes. why is everybody so angry?
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i -- i -- i really want you, on this evening, to listen to this next segment. there -- we have new polling from cnn that finds 74% of americans are angry about how things are going in this country today. and you can see it. okay? you can see it on planes. >> chill. >> chill out. >> you can see it in schools. >> okay, right here. look right here. so as you can see, fists are now flying. all of this on live television. fists are flying. >> you can see it at protests. so, the question is where is all this anger coming from? why is everybody so angry? let's turn now to cnn senior
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political analyst, ron brownstein. ron, i have been asking this forever. since, you know, early in the pandemic, and especially now, i don't know why everywhere you go, everywhere you look, the anger is palpable. some of it is getting physical. what is making us so angry? >> well, look, i don't think there's, like, one explanation for, you know, that runs through every event. i think there are long-term factors, and then there is a very immediate kind of trigger and match. i think the long-term factors, don, is that we are living through the modern equivalent of the 1850s. i mean, we are in a cold war between the states between now red and blue america and the issue of whether the -- the -- the -- the disconnect and divergence in values and priorities between red and blue america is being crystallized in a way that it never has, before. um, the -- the pandemic has put everybody under a lot of pressure in their daily lives, and those are real factors. but i think the immediate trigger, the match that has kind of let -- you know, set all this ablaze is that donald trump
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legitimized violence and intimidation as a political tactic. other republicans have not pushed back against that. they are trying to normalize the january-6th insurrection. and he told his supporters, and i believe this is the exact quote, this is our america and they are trying to take it away from us. and if that is your perspective, if you believe that the america that you know is being stolen and irrevocably transformed into something unrecognizable, you can see where it leads. i mean, there were republican senate candidates in ohio last night who were calling for defiance of the -- of the vaccine mandate that you were just discussing even if the supreme court upholds it. and i think that's -- you know, that is the logical endpoint of kind of his messaging that violence and intimidation are acceptable, and that this is our america and it is being stolen from us. >> every time i read something or see, you know, either on social media or in -- um -- traditional media. and i just read it. i don't see the person. and then, i -- it's always the same type of person that is
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angry and nonsensical about the -- you know, didn't wear a mask. or they are coughing in someone's face. or they're -- you know, it's just -- i don't -- i don't really get it. >> well, no. i mean, i think -- i think i do in the sense that look, the republican coalition, particularly under trump, has become increasingly dependent on the voters who were the most uneasy with the ways america is changing, demographically, culturally, and economically. and everything that has happened in covid, you know, has kind of provided an opportunity. you know, you would not think, you know, ostensibly, that a public -- the biggest public health crisis in 100 years would become the arena for a culture war but that's what it has become. and so, things like mask wearing or vaccine mandates really energize and antagonize a minority of the population. and as we talked about the other night, what we are learning here in california in this recall,
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for example, where gavin newsom seems to be now strongly in command by emphasizing his support for mandates is, in fact, there is a majority of vaccinated americans, up to three-quarters of americans who are vaccinated, who are kind of exhausted with all of this posturing and -- and this kind of rhetoric about liberty. it -- liberty at the cost of endangering someone else. and so, i actually think there is an american majority that has kind of had it with this -- with this argument. but within the republican coalition, it is the dominant piece and there are i don't think any -- i'm not aware of any republican, you know, leading officials who are saying that they can or will accept mandates. >> well i mean, you -- you see it when people are -- if someone is not wearing a mask in a store, or they are coughing on people. or if they are on an airplane. everybody else is going get off the plane, shut up. or in the store, put on a mask. or here we go, again. and there's -- there is a one in every single bunch. but no matter what biden does, are republicans going to be angry, anyway, especially when they are fueled by people like
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desantis and abbott and a media ecosystem intent on enraging them? >> well, look, as you were discussing in the last segment. i mean, this is -- biden came in -- biden, i think, wanted to be eisenhower. he wanted to be a kind of elder statesman who was largely above politics, who was bringing the parties together. and, you know, kind of tamping down the cultural and social conflict, and focusing on kitchen-table issues, shots in the arms, checks in the pocket. what he has found at this moment of intense polarization, when so many red states are careening so far to the right on so many issues, on masks, on abortion, on voting rights, that posture is simply untenable that if you try to be kind of above the fray, you end up not being eisenhower but james buchanan who was the president before lincoln who kind of blundered into the civil war. ultimately, he i think has recognized if he is going to achieve what he is setting out to do and what the majority of the country supports, he is going to have to confront, more directly, those forces in red
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america that are -- that are opposing it. whether it's the unvaccinated through mandates. or whether it's the governors that he is, you know, going after on a variety of fronts now from education department investigations on masks to the lawsuit on abortion in texas. and i think the critical next front in all of this is, is he willing to do the same thing on voting rights? because the -- the divide -- the s centrifugal force is just too much to try to pretend that we are all in this together, at this moment. we're not. and there are different perspectives, different views, and ultimately he has decided he has to stand up a little more firmly for the one that he believes in. >> before i let you go, i want to say it's -- it's not just republicans. nearly nine in ten republicans say that they are angry. 67% of democrats say that they are angry but it's for different reasons and we'll get into that at another time. thank you so much. i appreciate it, ron brownstein. >> thank you. >> you know, it has been 20 years since september 11th. how have we, as a nation, changed?
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september 11th, 2001. tomorrow marks 20 years since that horrific day when 2,977 people were killed and this country changed forever. join me now, cnn presidential historian douglas brinkley. douglas, good evening to you. it's been 20 years since the 9/11 attacks, and for some of us who lived through it, it's years ago but also, just yesterday, all at the same time. um, where are we historically with that day? >> well, one reason we relive it is the film footage is indelibly seared in our imaginations. it's the same as the kennedy assassination in that way. we watched the world trade center collapse over and over, again, in our minds. you know, 20 years ago, our -- our country pulled together. that was the deadliest terrorist
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attack in world history. we lost nearly 3,000 americans. we've had 25,000 injured. many people were later sick from environmental problems developed from the attack. in the immediate wake at the time when george w. bush spoke from the oval office to the country, and then days later came to new york with the bullhorn. american flags went all up over the country. as you remember, don, we were like united. we were living the united states of america and we were going to stand together. and that, quickly, dissipated. um, probably by mission overreach in the united states. we went into afghanistan to ferret out al qaeda and the taliban. but here we are, 20 years later, the taliban's now in afghanistan. we had our longest war in afghanistan without a clear victory. so we're having to scratch our heads tomorrow -- um -- somberly, prayerfully remembering the dead of 9/11 and remembering that moment. but also, using it to say what
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are we doing in the united states? what is our foreign policy? what are we about? and why are we whipping at each other's throats -- um -- instead of terrorism that we are now fighting the enemy within ourselves? >> i want to play part of the video that president biden released tonight focusing on the sense of unity in this country following 9/11. here it is. >> yeah. >> unity is what makes us who we are. america at its best. to me, that's the central lesson of september 11th. it's that at our most vulnerable, in the push and pull of all that makes us human, in the battle for the soul of america, unity is our greatest strength. unity doesn't mean we have to believe the same thing. but we must have a fundamental respect and faith in each other and in this nation. >> clearly, we lost a lot of unity. when you look back on these 20
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years, how did that happen? >> well, the -- the good news is we reacted to 9/11. we built a homeland security department. and we -- the tsa increased at airports and i feel we have better port security. we're able to monitor terrorist -- terrorist groups ostensibly much better than we did 20 years ago. but it's gotten ugly and heinous within. part of it is american xenophobia and nativism. a lot of the tensions today are stoked by donald trump. i find it shameful, don, that donald trump's going to be a commentator on a fight on 9/11 commemoration instead of being there laying a wreath in shanksville or in new york city or washington, d.c. of showing the unity that president biden's talking about. instead, we will have -- um -- harris and biden there. we will have obama and bush 43. but trump's out on some
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looney-tune fighting game and the continuing to be the dis-uniter of america, instead of a uniter. we had an authoritarian president for the first time and we are reaping the problems trump sewed with this every day now. >> douglas, no disrespect to you but when i heard or read that, i just said of course he is. you know, that's who he is. >> that's who he is. no, i agree. >> yeah. >> but you know, when you do presidential history, don, we like to think that there is this moment that anybody would do the right thing. and in -- instead, trump, on the anniversary isn't so we pay respect to the -- the fallen heroes of 9/11, the -- the firefighters and the policemen who died and -- um -- and just put aside that person who is trying to divide our nation. and -- and just won't be part of the ceremony tomorrow. >> thank you, douglas brinkley. always a pleasure to see you. >> thank you. >> thank you, thank you. >> thanks, don. the tribute in light shining over new york city tonight
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honoring those who died in those terrible attacks on 9/11. we're going to be right back with a look at the events of that morning. please don't do this, i love you so much, i hate you! you think you're empty? i'm empty. do you suffer from cartridge conniptions? ugh! be conniption-free, thanks to the cartridge-free epson ecotank printer. a ridiculous amount of ink! up to 2 years of ink comes in the box. the ecotank is the perfect cure for... i'm sorry, i didn't mean any of that. i meant it! you're mocking me! the epson ecotank. just fill & chill. does anybody have more cartridges? available at.
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a plane crashing into it. and i want to warn you that even 20 years later, these images are graphic and disturbing. >> this just in. you are looking at obviously a very disturbing live shot there. that is the world trade center, and we have unconfirmed reports this morning that a plane has crashed into one of the towers of the world trade center. cnn center right now is just beginning to work on this story. obviously calling our sources and trying to figure out exactly what happened. but clearly something relatively devastating happening this morning there. >> and just minutes later, as we were still trying to make sense of what was happening, another plane flew into the south tower of the world trade center. >> looks like six, seven floors were taken out -- >> hold on. people are running. >> hold on just a moment. we've got an explosion inside. >> the building's exploding. >> if you look at the second
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building, both twin towers now are on fire. this was not the case, am i correct, a couple moments ago? this is the second twin tower now on fire, and we're going to check on the second flight if perhaps that had happened. >> the second plane made it clear the unfolding tragedy was a planned attack. moments later, then-president george w. bush was told the country was under attack while reading to elementary school students in florida. at 9:37, a third plane struck the pentagon building in washington. smoke was soon billowing out of the building, visible from across the city. it was clear that american lives had already been lost. but no one was prepared for what was about to happen in new york. just before 10:00 a.m., the south world trade center tower collapsed. it was hard to even tell what had happened at first. >> jamie, i need you to stop for a second. there has just been a huge
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explosion. we can see a billowing smoke rising, and i can't -- i'll tell you that i can't see that second tower, but there was a cascade of sparks and fire, and now it looks almost like a mushroom cloud explosion. >> as america was glued to the horrific images playing out in new york in a lonely field near shanksville, pennsylvania, united airlines flight 93 crashed, killing all onboard. the passengers and crew had fought back against their hijackers, having learned what was happening outside. and moments later, collapse again. >> in washington, there is a large fire at the pentagon. the pentagon has been evacuated. and there, as you can see, perhaps the second tower, the front tower, the top portion of which is collapsing. good lord.
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there are no words. >> there weren't, and there still aren't. it was unbelievable. just because we know now what we're seeing doesn't diminish the heartache or the shock. 2,977 americans died that day, and many of those who rushed to ground zero suffer still through lingering illness tied to the fumes and the rubble. today 57% of americans say the attacks changed how they lived their everyday lives. a whole generation of americans born in the shadow of 9/11 with no memory of the day itself. and tonight where there was once destruction and smoke, two towers of light shining into the new york city sky, calling again for unity and for us to never forget. o shake ♪
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