tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN November 17, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
smallpox is so dangerous that only two facilities in the world are actually permitted to keep samples of it. that is the cdc headquarters in atlanta and a lab in russia. now, we are finding out that even in the united states, smallpox may be in more locations. one of the riskiest possible buy y bio terror weapons. vaccination stopped in 1970 when the disease was considered eradicated due to vaccinations. the cdc is investigating. thanks for joining us. it's time for anderson. good evening. quite a day. just two republican house members, today, stood up against the idea that you can threaten the life of a colleague, and not face any consequences for it. only two voted to censure arizona republican congressman paul gosar and strip him of his committee assignment for posting a photo shopped video depicting him murdering alexandria ocasio-cortez, and menacing president biden with swords. he neither apologized to the co
co-congresswoman today, nor to fo fellow members. he is out with a statement tonight boasting and being called a war your by the former president and comparing himself to the murderer cartoonist. just a short time ago, he retweet retweeted a tweet containing the very same clip he was censured for. so much for regrets or any remorse or decency, he has none. however, his fellow republicans certainly have excuses for him. some don't make much sense but you should see them awl the same because they reflect the kind of conspiratorial climate the video itself embodies. that and a sprinkle of hip okra rasy on top. first, some quick perspective which might shed light on the hypocrisy. this was only the second time in a decade a house member has been censured. the last time was december of 2010 when democrat charlie wrangle was taken to account for ethics violations. democrats led the effort and a wide majority voted for censure. this time, only congresswoman
liz cheney and congressman kinzinger voted yes. defended gosar by pointing finger elsewhere and neglecting the fact that the last censure vote was an example of democrats disciplining themselves. when a democrat congresswoman said israel was hypnotized the world. that supporting israel is all about the benjamins. and that 9/11 was -- some people did something. the democrats actually defended her. why? rules for the e but not for me. >> when congressman omar tweeted those remarks, house democratic leadership condemned them which she also apologized for, which did not stop congresswoman lauren boebert today from launching a string of allegations against her and other unnamed colleagues. >> the jihad squad member from minnesota has paid her husband
and not her brother-husband -- the other one -- over a million dollars in campaign funds. this member is allowed on the foreign affairs committee, while praising terrorists. a democrat chairwoman incited further violence in the streets outside of a courthouse. and then, the cherry on top. my colleague and three-month presidential candidate from california who is on the intelligence committee slept with feng feng, a chinese spy. a lot of things inaccurate in those statements but even going through this them is going down a rabbit hole that is designed to deflect from the actual question at hand, is it appropriate for a member of congress to post a photo-shop video in which he murders a colleague? here is congressman andy biggs trying to turn gosar's efforts into art. >> this is an anime. [ speaking foreign language ]
highly popular, stylized. intended to demonstrate the alienation people feel, particularly young people, in their cultures. now, does anime have violence? yes. it's highly-stylized violence. >> makes it okay. now, it's art, apparently. or maybe it's just that congress is a special place where threatening violence is okay. >> my colleague just referenced the phrase "any other environment," that there would be some consequences. well, this is not any other environment. this is the house of representatives. we have constituents who elect us, send us to washington to represent them, engage in debate, engage in often-heated sku discussions with each other. >> this really wasn't a discussion, heated or otherwise, unless debate these days is conducted via animated-revenge
fantasy. speaking of which, congressman roy then segued into his own vision of payback when republicans control the house. >> and we are now getting into the business of chilling debate and discussion about censuring our members and going down the road of pulling each other off of committees. where is this going to end? when republicans are back in majority, where is that going to end? >> he is condemning the move against gosar, then perhaps threatening partisan retribution down the road. his colleague don bacon underscored that threat. >> i just it's a mistake to take people off committees because this is a precedent that the democrats are going to have to live by when they are the minority and i say that as someone i think it's bad for the institution. retribution's not good. i think it's going to happen. >> by the way, congressman bacon is one of 13 republicans who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill is now
facing the threat of being stripped by their committee assignments by fellow republicans. in today's gop, voting for infrastructure is heresy. threatening violence is not. at the end of the day, that's what this was. it wasn't robust political debate. it was the opposite. the end of the day, it was reducing a human being -- a colleague -- to a fantasy-cartoon murder victim. >> what is so hard? what is so hard about saying that this is wrong? this is not about me. this is not about representative gosar. but this is about what we are willing to accept. >> cnn's chief political correspondent, dana bash, joins us now. for anyone wondering, dana, about the sincerity of what gosar and his republican allies said today, do they need to look any further than the fact that he retweeted that very same violent anime tonight? >> no, they don't. it's complete defiance and you know, you said that a lot of these republicans defended him.
it was -- it was some defense but it was mostly deflecting. deflecting from the reality of what he did and alexandria ocasio-cortez -- at the end there -- really boiled it down to the most basic question. a question that most republicans said no to, which is, is it okay -- are you willing to condemn your colleague for -- for threatening the life of another? now, they say -- some of them said it's art. i don't remember that defense coming out when a comedian did the same thing -- a similar thing about a republican president. i don't remember them saying that about countless other examples. and it is completely hypocritical. there is no question about it. when you talk about, at its core, what this was about which was inciting violence, anderson. it was inciting violence and it shouldn't be done against any
member but it definitely shouldn't be done against somebody who we know has serious threats against her. >> were you surprised at just how hard republicans went to the mat today in support of gosar? i mean, it was only cheney and kinzinger who voted to censure. how much was that about him? how much of it was about not running afoul the former president or kevin mccarthy? >> yeah. i think some of it was not running afoul of the former president. other was just the cultural moment that they think that they are in right now. which is, don't get -- from their perspective -- i'm not saying that this is the reality that we're living in -- but don't get railroaded by democrats trying to tell us what to do or tell us what to say. that is not what was going on. what was going on was democrats trying to use the means that they have in the house of representatives to punish somebody for doing something that they believe was untoward.
having said that, i did speak with one republican member who tends to be a lot more sympathetic to this kind of -- to this kind of punishment. who said that if the resolution was just about a censure, there would've been a lot more republican votes. but because it was a censure and taking him off committees, that perhaps is why it limited the vote to just two republicans. >> for all the false equivalency, do you think if republicans take over the house after midterms next year with mccarthy possibly becoming speaker, they are going to go after democrats who they called out today? >> it would not surprise me. there is absolutely no shame left. the notion of irony is pretty much gone. these days. and the fact that you have republicans in their -- i mean, congressman -- congresswoman boebert is a great example. i mean, in her defense and you were absolutely right not to go
down the rabbit hole of trying to fact check all of them. but the jihad squad? i mean, are you kidding me? just that term, alone, in any other time, might be enough to have leadership say -- condemn it. or maybe, even go even further to have some kind of condemnation. so irony is kind of dead when it comes to the republicans who came out and outrage that the house democrats would act on something as core and as basic as this. >> yeah, dana bash, appreciate it. thanks. few reporters are better equipped today than our next guest, abc news chief washington correspondent jonathan carl. his new book is titled betrayal, the final act of the trump show. great to see you. congratulations on the book. >> thank you. >> so much news coming out of this book i mean, is this -- what we saw today -- just the latest example of what the former president's republican
party is now? >> you know, it's so reminiscent of what i saw in 2019. i don't know if you remember this. but there was a video shown at the doral trump resort in -- in florida at a republican event. a pro-trump event that showed an animated donald trump shooting down and stabbing and mass murdering people in a church that were cnn, abc, you know, news organizations. it's so reminiscent. i mean, so what gosar did is entirely keeping with what we have seen donald trump, himself, do. >> when -- when you hear gosar say in a statement tonight that, you know, that he is a warrior for trump, how much does the former president need to hear those things? live for those things? >> he absolutely lives for those things. you know, i went down and visited him in the writing of this book at mar-a-lago, had a couple of interviews with him. but i -- he -- all he wanted me to know was how many people were coming down to see him. and how they all -- it's like
grand central station, he told me. >> it's his version of a rating. >> yes, and i also describe the scene where at dinner when he comes in for dinner, all the guests at mar-a-lago stand and applaud. he loves the adulation. obviously, it was a tough transition going from being at the white house where they play "hail to the chief" when you walk in the room. so, he has tried to re-create it. >> and the -- the republicans -- the fact that they are all defending gosar. were you surprised that only two would censure him? >> well, i think that dana got -- as she often does -- at exactly what that was about and that's the fact that they were -- they were going to strip the committee assignments. and i would have loved to have seen a vote that didn't strip the committee assignments just to see how many -- how many republicans would refuse to actually simply condemn his words. because this was condemn, but also take away his committee assignments. it is striking that it's just liz cheney and adam kinzinger. just those that were willing to stand against the republican leadership and serve on the january 6th committee. >> but in all the reporting you did for the book, privately, do
republicans on the hill -- i mean, do any of them express embarrassment, shame, concern about the future of the party? >> oh, yes. oh, yes. and i'm sure dana can talk to this because she's spent so much time with them. but i mean, gosar. the way republicans would talk about gosar privately is entirely different than what you saw the spectacle today, coming in and effectively defending him. >> it's more along the lines of how his family talks about him? >> i mean, they say he has lost it. i have had top republicans tell me about gosar specifically before this episode. you know, he is not all there. >> but is it just -- is it just fear of, you know, the being primaried by somebody farther to the right who is supported by -- by the former president that keeps people from speaking out, republicans? >> it's a real fear. um, you know, i also -- go back to the impeachment vote. it would have been interesting to see back when the house voted
to impeach donald trump over what happened on january 6th, if there had been simply a censure resolution. because you can get into the tangled arguments of can you impeach a president hthis late n the presidency and da-da-da. how many would step forward and just condemn the guy? you heard kevin mccarthy in the impeachment debate back then, actually condemn trump and say that he was responsible. he survived, although, let me tell you when i talk to trump. he is still bitter at mccarthy for doing that. >> well, i mean, he is obviously also bitter at mcconnell. he called him a broken, old crow. mitch mcconnell. he talked about saying that he should resign. something he said to head of the rnc when he was leaving the white house, that he was going to create his own party and she said words to the effect of you can't do that. and he said, you know, he didn't care about the party. mitch mcconnell has -- there is a lot of things you can say about mitch mcconnell. but he is certainly a loyal republican who's worked very hard for republican values. >> there is a scene i describe in the book right after ruth bader ginsburg died.
right after she died. trump's at -- you may remember -- he was at a rally. he came over, talked to reporters, pretended he was hearing for the first time. he walked up the stairs of air force one and he called mitch mcconnell and mcconnell told him, right there and then, here's what you do. wait until the memorial is over and then announce amy coney barrett is your nominee for the supreme court and he did exactly that and he -- it was mitch mcconnell more than anybody that got donald trump another appointment on the court. so, it is -- it is remarkable. but, you know, the scene at -- on january 20th, also on air force one when he gets on the plane for the last trip on ars force one to go to florida and he gets a call from ronna mcdaniel. this is what you are referring to and he says flatly, i am leaving the party. it wasn't i am threatening if you don't do it. i am creating my own party and she pleads with him, we will all lose, you will destroy the party and all those who have worked for you and he didn't care. he thought they should punish --
be punished because he lost, everybody should lose. >> john, stick around. i want to talk more about that a lot more about john's book. how jon's reporting informs fuel that erupted today between senator ted cruz and congresswoman liz cheney with her questioning his manhood. there is also breaking news tonight in the kyle rittenhouse homicide trial with the jury asking to see a specific piece of video. we will tell you about that, ahead. ♪ there are beautiful ideas that remain in the dark. but with our new multi-cloud experience, you have the flexibility you need to unveil them to the world. ♪ no annual fee on any discover card.
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donald trump just broke. just shattered. she is lashing out at trump. >> senator -- >> trump and republicans and everything. and she's become a democrat and it -- it's sad to watch what has happened. it is trump-derangement syndrome. >> congresswoman cheney had this to say to it all today. >> trump broke ted cruz. ted used to say he was a constitutional conservative. but now, he is, like, so desperate for political approval, that he will even advocate, suggest succession. and i think that a real man would be defending his wife his father and the constitution. >> back with jonathan karl. i mean, what is it with somebody like cruz? a pure political calculation? he was a failed presidential candidate himself and spoke very, you know, against donald trump when he thought he had no power and wasn't going to win and then he obviously saw the writing on the wall. >> go back to what cruz said about donald trump. i mean, it was the harshest
condemnation of donald trump that anybody's ever done. and he did it for good reason. i mean, as -- as liz cheney points out. i mean, he accused cruz's father of being part of the kennedy assassination. he attacked the looks of his wife. i mean, it -- it's -- but it's -- the calculation here is quite simple. the vast majority of republican voters -- at least two-thirds in virtually every poll -- fully support donald trump. um, want him to run for president again. and even after all of this. so these -- ted cruz still wants to be president. there is no doubt about that. and he wants -- to do so, he has to get elected, nominated by a party where rank-and-file voters support donald trump. >> but i mean, could not -- had they just stuck to their guns after january 6th and, you know, lindsey graham stood -- not that anyone's waiting to hear what is coming out of the mouth of lindsey graham but i mean stood by his guns. he said he was out. he could no longer do it. mitch mcconnell. would it have made a difference?
would it have broken the trump hold over the republican party? or would all of those people, then, just been killed off by the gosars of the world? >> it is a critical moment when -- when the senate came to hear the impeachment trial and mcconnell ends upcoming to this position that we can't convict a former president. that -- that -- that removing a president that's already out of office doesn't make any sense. that was his position. you can argue it. i mean, it's -- it's a serious position, one way or the other. but it -- it was close. i mean, mcconnell i know had conversations and was considering jumping onboard to convict donald trump to finally be rid of him. but then, what happened is he goes to mar-a-lago, and somehow the hold on the party faithful is still there. and mcconnell reverses course. there's a scene in the book, i describe where mcconnell comes out and he comes out against forming an independent commission to investigate january 6th along the lines of the 9/11 commission. and liz cheney sends him a text message pointing to this statue
and statuary hall. it's of the goddess cleo. and -- and -- and she is writing notes. she keeps notes for history, the goddess of history. the muse of history. and mcconnell doesn't answer her and she's kind of gets called a couple weeks later and she thinks mcconnell is going to be basically apologizing. saying or explaining look, sorry, this is what it had to come. but instead, mcconnell is calling liz cheney to tell her lay off trump. it's not good for you. it's not good for the party. whatever you or i think of him, enough. >> wow. the -- so many fascinating things in -- in the book. um, you interviewed the former president about mike pence and how he handled the election results. this made a lot of news. i want to play a clip from your interview with him. >> there was a report -- excuse my luanguage, not mine it was i the report -- that you talked to him that morning and you said you can be a patriot or you can be a [ bleep ]. did you really say that?
or is that -- is that incorrect? >> i wouldn't dispute it. >> is it clear to you where their relationship -- i mean, is there a relationship today? >> well, they do talk. and they do talk, you know, like trump had called him on -- on the botirth of his -- of a grandchild just after i had been down there but there is no real relationship and listening to the rest of that interview. as you know, in that interview, he justified, he explained, he defended the people that were chanting for -- for the execution of -- of mike pence. so says he is a great guy, i like him but the guys that were chanting to execute him are justified. >> they were very angry. >> yeah. they were angry. how could you pass on a fraudulent vote . this is a terrible thing. and he also said flatly if pence did what he wanted him to do, he would still be president. >> there is also -- but, you know, what's fascinating. mike pence who just, you know, not that he had a huge career
before he became vice president anymore. but, you know, he -- he did everything the president wanted him to do. he was loyal. >> everything. he stood by him through it all. i remember seeing mike pence the day after the "access hollywood" tape broke during the first campaign. he didn't even criticize him then. charlottesville, none of it. but i think mike pence is ultimately a constitutional conservative and he knew that it was insane to say that one human being could overturn the will of tens of millions of american voters and he was never going to do that. but the pressure on him was immense. and i also got -- got a chance to see these photographs of pence during january 6th. >> yeah. what was that? >> that really -- there's one that's particularly kind of searing. these are photos that were taken by the official-white house photographer that -- that tracks the -- the vice president. and in one of these after the senate's been -- after pence has been evacuated from the senate and brought to this room behind the senate, um, he is back there and he is sitting at a desk. this is before he goes into the
bowels of the capitol building and karen pence is behind him pulling the -- the drapes closed. pulling -- pulling the curtains closed. because she can see out the window, the rioters coming. and she is worried that they'll see pence. >> will those photos ever be seen? >> they absolutely should be seen. they are government property. they are at the national archives along with all the other photographs that were taken by white house photographers. i asked pence's office if they would let me use them. i went for months pleading with them. these are important for the history of that day. and they refused. but i ti-- i -- i have got to believe the committee is going to subpoena them because they -- they show -- you see where he was afterwards. he was in the bowels of the capitol. he was in a parking garage, an underground-parking garage because he refused. it is a moment of true bravery. true bravery, mike pence, because mccarthy, mcconnell, pelosi, schumer, all the leaders were taken away off the capitol to a safe location.
he refused to leave. and i think one of the big moments that we'll -- we'll look forward to here is when the january 6th committee has their hearings -- theoretically, prime-time hearings, they will want mike pence to testify. will he -- will he testify? will he testify voluntarily? and if he does, what does he say about that day? does he finally dramatically break from trump? >> jonathan karl, we will watch. and again, the book, betrayal the final act of the trump show is fascinating read. coming up next, very full day of jury deliberations in the kyle rittenhouse trial. what jurors wanted another look out, plus a lot of drama outside the jury room surrounding the judge and a defense motion for a retrial. crafted with clinically studied plant-based ingredients that work naturally with your body. for restorative sleep like never before. to make progress, we must keep taking steps forward. we believe the future of energy is lower carbon. and to get there, the world needs to reduce global emissions. at chevron, we're taking action.
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there was drama in the kyle rittenhouse homicide trial today. the jury has now ended deliberations for the second day with no verdict. before that, jurors asked to re-watch videos of the shootings and that led for a call for a mistrial from defense attorneys. omar jimenez joins us from kenosha, wisconsin. what is this latest one? >> yeah, anderson, so that first motion for a mistrial is tied to what the defense is calling prosecutorial overreach and that mistrial would be without -- with prejudice, meaning it can't be tried again. this one is tied more specifically to the argument from the defense that they had access to a lower quality of evidence than the prosecution did. specifically, around drone video
that shows the moments leading up to the shooting and kills of joseph rosenbaum -- the first person killed that night. basically, what happened is a kenosha police detective got a copy of this video and air cro dropped it to the prosecution. then, separately, e-mailed this video to the prosecution. but it compressed the file, meaning there was a loss in quality. and that was the version that was sent to the defense. and the defense is arguing that's not fair. especially, because they didn't find out about it until after the evidence had closed in this case. and when they said they are going to file for a mistrial, they said it's because this loss in quality unevened the playing field. take a listen. >> i can tell you what we think but it doesn't matter what we think because we don't get to present to that to the jury anymore. we got a compressed version, which was not of the quality that they had. we learned that friday. after the evidence had been closed.
>> reporter: now, the prosecution said that they didn't know that that loss in quality was going to happen, one. but that also, the defense and the jury had a chance to view the high-quality version of this in court as this played out, and that it doesn't matter what's on someone's phone or laptop. what matters is the exhibit that's actually played in court. the judge did not make a ruling on this motion, and that's where things stand as of now. >> omar jimenez, appreciate it. thank you. want it to bring in criminal defense attorney mark o'mara, defended george zimmerman. mark, first of all, what do you make of the motions for a mistrial some. >> this most recent one should not be granted. it's an interesting issue because of this compression and, therefore, degrading of the evidence. but the saving grace for the prosecution, i think, is the one that was shown to the jury is the proper one. that's the one that's in evidence. and although the defense has an argument to say, wait a minute, it was fuzzy and we couldn't present our defense with the
more precise video. it is so minor in relation to most everything else that was presented, the judge should not grant the mistrial on this one. >> what about the -- what we heard from the jury? the questions the jury had today? >> interesting, that they are thinking it through. we want them to spend their time on it. you know, they are looking at these videos. we know that when they must be struggling with after two days of deliberations is, no question, he killed two people. the question is did he provoke it by walking around sort of like a g.i. joe with that type of a weapon making believe he is a medic, and, therefore, putting himself in the position and i think the strongest thing that the state didn't focus on that the jury might be is, you know, one shooting. maybe, you thought in the moments that you had to decide. the second shooting and the third shooting that didn't end in a death. you know, i think the jury is just thinking this kid -- 17-year-old at the time -- is just using this gun as the default response, rather than the last response which is what
it's supposed to be. >> does the fact that there have been two days of deliberations mean anything? >> well, you know, we all love to try and read the tea leaves so i will try. but no basis in this. um, i think that they are considering obviously the two sides. one, self-defense. two, murder. and i think they are considering a compromised verdict on some of the death counts and that's something the jury may do because don't forget, they could be 10-2, 8-4, 6-6, one way or the other but they know that they want to try to come to a verdict or resolution. and one way to do is not just -- it's really the justice that they decide as the jury to compromise a verdict. >> what did you make of -- of the prosecution's case in -- in this trial? >> i thought they did a fair job. and, you know, it's easy to armchair quarterback it but i think that they had some strengths in their case they
didn't focus on and i also don't think that they properly took on the huge obligation they have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. and more importantly, to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. to really get to that jury and -- and focus on the fact that -- and again, like i said, the second shooting with the second death and second injury. i think it's much more significant because it gives that sense to the jury of the way this guy was thinking that his gun is what he is allowed to use even though we know he shouldn't have had it. >> there -- there was some reporting that jurors looked fatigued today. i mean, i don't know that one can read anything into that. i'm sure -- i mean, i'm fatigued. i am sure they are incredibly fatigued. they have got a huge weight on their shoulders. >> they are fatigued. they're tired. they want to go home. they don't like the pressure of this case. we look at it, as observers and commentators, and think okay, well just do your job and keep going but these are people who are not used to this system at all and now they are sitting there trying to decide for a
person's life -- sort of. and yeah. i think that can also lead to that frustration. we might hear some yelling and back and forth out of that jury room to try and get to a result. it might hang, meaning that we may come back and try the case again. and of course, there could be a conviction and this judge, with some of his predispositions that he seems to have shown, he still has that other motion for mistrial in his pocket and they could get a conviction and watch it be overturned by the judge granting that mistrial. one of the defendants on trial for his murder, took the stand described the moment he shot the 25-year-old black man. hear his testimony and reaction from arbery's mother, next. worries away♪ ♪as an old native-born californian would say♪ ♪it's a most unusual day♪ ♪it's a most unusual sky♪ ♪not a sign of a cloud passing by♪
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your neighborhood grocery outlet is the destination for savings of 40 to 70 percent on your whole meal with deals like 14 dollars off your turkey. the defense teams for the three defendants charged in the death of ahmaud arbery started presenting their case to the jury this afternoon. their first witness, travis mcmichael he and his father and neighbor accused of chasing down and killing arbery. he was out for a jog in february of 2020. on the stand, travis mcmichael said he wanted to tell, quote, his side of the story, end quote. he also testified that he shot arbery because quote he was attacking me. ryan young has the latest from brunswick, georgia. a warning, some images you will see are graphic. >> what did you do?
>> reporter: travis mcmichael ott fired his shot gun three ti timings killing ahmaud arbery. >> he struck me. it was obvious that he -- it was obvious that he was attacking me, that if he would have gotten the shotgun from me, then it was a life-or-death situation and i'm going to have to -- to stop him from doing this. >> reporter: mcmichael the first witness for the defense appeared emotional at times as he described his encounter with arbery in february of 2020. >> i turned around. pulled his hand out and realized that he was deceased and i looked up and the police were right there. after that, it was -- it's a blur. >> reporter: during his testimony, mcmichael said a neighbor pointed toward the direction where arbery was first running. tra travis said he grabbed his
shotgun and he and his father got in their pick-up truck to find him. >> he never says anything to me. he is still [ inaudible ] and this guy is -- this could be volatile. you know? >> reporter: both mcmichaels told police they believed the man running was involved in the recent break-ins they heard about on social media. minutes into the chase, things took a deadly turn. >> first shot, another shot. and then, the second shot. i shot again because i was still -- i was still fighting. i was still -- he was all over me. he was still all over that shotgun. um, and he was not relenting. >> reporter: in cross-examination, the prosecution struck at the heart of the defense's claims. they were going for a citizen's arrest. >> not once during your direct examination did you state that your intention was to effectuate an arrest of mr. arbery until your attorney asked you that leading question, isn't that
right? >> >> yes. >> the prosecution also pointed out none of the defendants knew why arbery was running that day. >> he was running down the road, correct? >> yes. >> and you didn't know where he was going when he was running down the road? >> i did not. >> all right. and you had no idea what he had actually been doing that day? >> not at that time, no. >> reporter: and reminded the jury there was an alternative to what occurred. >> you didn't tell your dad this is a really, really bad idea that could go really wrong for us and we should just stay here and call 9-1-1. you didn't say that, did you? >> i didn't. >> reporter: ahmaud arbery's mother, wanda cooper jones, spoke about her own pain after watching today's testimony. >> travis was on the stand wiping tears from -- from his eyes. but again, travis is alive. i mean, the tears he shedded today was no -- was -- can you imagine the tears that we have shared? >> ryan, what happens tomorrow?
>> reporter: yeah. the prosecution really gets another go at this, anderson, because there are so many questions they are going to have to ask in that courtroom, especially with all the talk about training that he received, when he was in the coast guard. but let's not forget something else that we talked about last night, anderson. it's the fact that so many pastors are going to be showing up here for their demonstration tomorrow. there is going to be a prayer vigil outside. there is going to be a march through the streets. i said this before. you can kind of feel the temperature rising around this case but today was such a surprise, the first defense witness was travis mcmichael. >> ryan young, appreciate it. thank you. up next, a mystery out of china where a star-tennis player there has disappeared after allegedly accusing a former government leader of sexual assault. now today, a new twist. details ahead.
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sport concerned about french open doubles champion peng shuai. after weeks of silence from her, chinese state media has released an e-mail alleged names in the . the chinese state media has released an email alleged to be from her claiming she's fine. the email also appears to back-pedal the alleged claim that a former top communist party leader assaulted her in his home. her allegation was deleted from social media by chinese censors. >> honestly, it's shocking that she's missing. >> reporter: warnings echoed by other champions past and presence. i hope peng shuai is safe and okay, i've known peng since she
was 14, chris effortverett writ. >> this is extraordinary, a top athlete, 35 years old, formerly number one ranked doubles player in the world, just goes missing, gone? >> reporter: in early november peng published this post on her social media account, an open letter to a top communist leader, now age 75, who peng accuses of shaexually assaultin her after the two had an affair. why did you have to come back to me, take me to your home, force me to have sex with you? yes, i did not have any evidence and it was simply impossible to have evidence. cnn cannot independently confirm these allegations. we reached out for further
comment with no results. shortly after the controversial post, peng's online profile more or less disappeared. until recently she was one of the biggest tennis stars in ch china. look what happens when you try to search for people with her name of on the chinese internet. you get the message "no result found." censors have all but scrubbed this woman from the chinese internet. now today, a new twist. with chinese state media releasing this email purportedlpurportedly written by peng to the women's tennis association. it completely disavows the allegation of sexual assault adding, i'm not missing, nor am i unsafe, and i hope chinese tennis will become better and better. wta chairman steve simon responded in writing saying, the statement released today by chinese state media concerning
peng only raises my concerns as to her safety and whereabouts. i have a hard time believing peng actually wrote the email we received. unable to communicate directly with peng despite multiple attempts, he's calling for independent and verifiable proof that this chinese tennis star is safe. >> ivan watson joins us now from hong kong. this isn't the first time someone who embarrassed the chinese government has disappeared. what happened in those cases? >> reporter: this has happened previously this year. slightly different circumstances. you have two well-known actresses who were both canceled with their movies and tv shows, stripped from chinese streaming services, their fan clubs erased, and suddenly their very public profiles kind of disappeared online. one of those actresses was accused of tax evasion to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. the others, there was no real
explanation. you have another example, the tech mogul jack ma, for some three months at the end of last year he kind of went dark and reemerged as almost a shadow of his former public self, even as chinese regulators were going after his companies hard. in the case of peng shouai, this is different because of the allegations of sexual assault. i can't stress enough the difference in tone between the allegations she made weeks ago in her initial post, somebody who is in real distress, and this bizarre email that the head of the wta is suggesting is basically a hostage email, anderson. >> it's incredible. ivan watson, thank you, we'll stay on it. up next, the charges against two people convicted of killing
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after more than half a century, two of the men convicted of malcolm x's murder were exonerated. evidence of their innocence, including fbi documents, was withheld at trial. in a statement, the innocence project and the lawyers for the two men say with the agreement of the d.a. they'll file a joint motion tomorrow to vacate the 1966 convictions. malcolm x, one of the most powerful voices for the fight against racism, was murdered in new york city where hundreds had gathered to hear him speak. let's hand it over to chris for "cuomo prime time." chris? hey, everybody, i'm chris cuomo. welcome to a special edition of "prime time." bill maher is our guest for the full hour. e