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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  December 29, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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and james taylor just call out my name. it premieres sunday night 9:00 eastern and pacific only on cnn. "ac 360" is now. a very busy night of breaking news. jim athat here in for anderson. ahead tonight, justice for the socialite's daughter accused of helping the late sex offender jeffrey epstein recruit, groom, transport, and sexually abuse underaged women. ghislaine maxwell found guilty on five counts, including the most serious -- sex trafficking. we begin tonight, though, with covid. and what officials and experts now concede std start of several rough weeks. listen to what michael osterholm told me just a short time ago. >> we don't know a lot of the things we wish we'd know. but what we do know is what is emerging here is that this country is going to be in the soup in just in the next few weeks with so many cases in so many locations that we are going to see critical infrastructure, as well as healthcare
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challenged. >> to that point, new cases are now averaging nearly 300,000 a day. a new cdc forecast out late today predicts more than 44,000 new deaths are possible over the next four weeks. yes, 44,000. meantime, testing remains hard to come by. former hhs official, rick bright, on cnn this evening compared it to the hunger games and as people scramble to get tested ahead of new year's eve and holiday flights back home, schools in some of the hardest-hit areas are laying out new guidelines. it is a lot. cnn's tom foreman starts us off. >> reporter: schools in d.c. will require all students and staff to have negative covid tests to come back to class. new york city will require rigorous testing, too. all that, as the white house says it expects to sign a contract for a half-billion at-home covid tests next week. and as the centers for disease control faces sharp questioning over new guidelines for covid-weary americans.
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>> it really had a lot to do with what, um, we thought people would be able to tolerate. >> reporter: the recommendation of five instead of ten ice lagsz days for those testing positive but showing no symptoms. then five days of masks is aimed at keeping people working but it is raising alarms, too. >> there is absolutely no data that i am aware about with the omicron variant that supports people coming out of isolation five days after, um, they were first diagnosed with the -- with the virus. >> reporter: nothing in the guidelines mandates testing for these people. and the administration has been harshly criticized for the current shortage of tests. so, the lack of testing and the new recommendations is also drawing fire even as top-health officials push back. >> we actually don't know how our rapid tests perform and how well they predict whether you're transmissible during the end of disease. >> reporter: add in new questions about the effectiveness of some at-home tests in detecting the omicron variant, and it is all becoming
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a muddle of a terrible time. >> we are right now seeing more cases per day than at any point in the pandemic. >> reporter: infections among children are rising rapidly in many places. >> we are seeing here even in new jersey, a fourfold increase, um, in pediatric hospitalizations. we're seeing our daily case rates skyrocket. >> reporter: in connecticut, the national guard has been called up to help with testing. in new york city, 17% of the police department's uniformed officers called in sick yesterday. in washington, the pentagon is tightening its covid safety protocols. and all along the coast, authorities are now investigating at least 86 cruise ships for covid outbraeks. outbreaks. simply put, the pandemic is raging all around causing confusion and concern everywhere. but the fda wants you to be clear on this, especially if you are parents with kids going back to any sort of school setting. remember, if they are 5 or
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older, they can get vaccinated, should get vaccinated, and the fda is considering booster shots for those 12 to 15. so, stay tuned. jim? >> tom foreman, thanks. perspective now from a doctor and one of the hardest-hit big cities, which happens to be right here, washington, d.c., where officials today reported a record number of new cases and the mayor announced vaccination requirements for restaurants, gyms, and other gathering places. dr. james phillips is chief of disaster medicine at george washington university hospital. also with us, kathleen sebelius, former governor of kansas and secretary of health and human services in the obama administration. dr. phillips, let me start with you. what are you seeing inside your hospital in washington right now where cases are spiking, people are very worried here in the nation's capital, how is this wave different? >> well, thanks for having me, jim. i will be honest with you. it is unlike anything we've ever seen even at the peak of the prior surges. of covid. what we are experiencing right now is an absolute overwhelming of the emergency departments
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throughout washington, d.c. our hospitals themselves -- the inpatient wards -- seem to be maintaining. the emergency departments are being flooded with mostly mildly symptomatic patients who are coming in to get tested. and it's part of that shortfall of national testing that's occurring. and it's all falling on the emergency department. and all of our problems are compounded by the fact that while, um, many of us were able to -- to stay safe from getting the delta virus and the previous variants that have come our way, omicron is affecting the staff at our hospitals in an unprecedented way. we are, um -- we're really struggling to maintain our workforce, particularly of nurses right now. and that makes wait times even longer in the waiting rooms and it's very demoralizing for both the patients and our staff. >> wow. secretary sebelius, as the former health and human services secretary, when you listen to what dr. phillips just laid out there, what do you make of the situation that this country is in right now? and what, if anything, do you think the biden administration should do differently, could
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have done differently? >> well, jim, i think we're in the midst of, um, really two viral infections, simultaneously. so, kansas still hasn't had many omicron cases. we -- as the last report from the health and environment department said, we have about 25 confirmed cases of omicron, over 1,000 cases of delta in the hospitals. so, we're still really being pressed by the delta variant. and people are hospitalized, mostly unvaccinated. and the staff is stretched thin. we have hospitals that are sending patients all over the place. we -- we have yet to have the omicron, um, wave which is coming, i am afraid, later in january for the middle of the country. and we are going to pile that onto a continued delta variant.
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no question that we have a testing problem in the united states. we have been talking about testing since march of 2020, and we have not gotten ahead of the curve and that's really not great news at this point in time. um, so people are making up their own rules. we're also -- i live in a part of the country where every step that the public officials take at the state level, our democratic governor has taken to try and put masking protocol in place, put vaccination requirements in place, has been undone by the legislature. so, it's a kind of free for all about what are the rules? what are the protocol? what are the -- and i think president biden is trying to walk through this minefield of having major portions of the country that have undone any of the basic public health guidelines. and are finding themselves in a
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world of hurt as we see this very transmissible, um, variation begin to sweep the country. >> yeah, it's the wild west in many cases. depending on which part of the country you're in. it's not a -- a coordinated response, unfortunately. and, dr. phillips, as tom foreman was just mentioning in his piece earlier, all students and staff attending d.c. public schools will have to show proof of a negative test before returning to the classroom next wednesday. i mean, january 5th, it's coming up fact. despite that, do you think students and staff in d.c., other cities like new york with skyrocketing transmission rates should be returning to in-person school? i mean, what do you think based on what you are seeing? >> jim, there is no right answer. um, both -- both answers have consequences. if we shut everything down again, um, and go back to virtual, that is going to pull parents out of the workforce. and um, for my personal standpoint, we are in the middle
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of the great nursing shortage of to 2021. it's affecting healthcare and if we pull more nurses out of the workforce and doctors but mostly nurses out of the workforce because they have to stay home to take care of their kids, that is an issue. it hurts the economy. it hurts morale. and turns everything even more political than it was before. but going back to school, and i have two kids who are both in school, um, going back to school right now without really adequate testing has risk. and even with testing, it has risks. what we don't really even know is what is the actual sensitive tif of these at-home antigen tests? like i know a pregnancy test is 95% sensitive one week after you miss your period. i have no idea how sensitive x, y, or z test is when you have symptoms of covid. compound that with the fact that people are doing these tests themselves and may not be doing it correctly or may not even be willing to do it and covid is going to slip through into schools. so, if our kids go back to school, it has to happen with an understanding that we are going to see dramatic rises in -- in
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pediatric cases of covid. hopefully, it's mostly omicron which has as secretary sebelius said, this is a completely different disease. there are two pandemics now. and hopefully, all those cases are omicron because they do seem to automatic to little more than an upper-respiratory infection for healthy people. >> secretary sebelius, the cdc new guideline reeducing isolatin and quarantine times to five days but not recommending a negative test before seeing people again. what do you make of that? do you think that was based solely on science? or were there some practical, pragmatic considerations, you know, being taken into consideration there? i mean, is that the kind of policy you would have pursued as the secretary of health and human services? >> well, let me just start, jim, by saying none of us have ever been through this kind of situation where we have a global pandemic and variations of the global pandemic presenting themselves across this country.
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um, so, would that be wise guidance if the majority of cases going to present were delta? probably not. because delta is a much more serious variation. is it a wise guidance for omicron? probably because people are trying to balance between vigilance and normalcy. what does it look like? and particularly, for asymptomatic folks with the omicron variant, very little indication that, um, there is much danger and having lots of people drop out of the wo workforce, lots of people keep k kid home from school may have a lot worse consequences than the guidance that cdc has put out. so i think guidance is based on what they are seeing, what the best health science is about. nobody wants kids to be out of school again. we all know now what an
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enormous -- dr. phillips talked about parents who then have to stay out of the workforce. i think we are just beginning to look at what has happened to children who had to stay out of school? what the long-term traumatic mental health issues are that kids are going to be dealing with, long beyond covid in the rear-view mirror. so, we don't want the economy to shut down and we know we don't want kids out of school. so, balancing those issues as we are dealing now with two variants throughout the country and a situation where, locally, public health is being undermined at every step along the way. we have dismantled any opportunity to do effective track-and-trace programs. any opportunity to have some kind of universal standard. so i think cdc is doing a great job in a very complicated situation. >> very complicated and it's going to get very difficult over
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the next several weeks. secretary sebelius, dr. phillips, thanks to both of you. we appreciate it. coming up next. the breaking news and the very latest behind the sex trafficking verdict that could send sex offender jeffrey epstein's former confidant ghislaine maxwell to prison for the rest of her life. later, with russian troops threatening ukraine and europe on edge in ways not seen since the cold war, vladimir putin now wants to talk with president biden. we will talk about what he's really looking for and what the options are for the president in dealing with the challenge. inner voice (kombucha brewer): i'm dramatically holding this bottle, so the light hits it just right, and people think... wow...
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four women are being praised for their bravery tonight. their testimony about what happened to them as girls convinced a jury late today to convict sex offender jeffrey epstein's confidant ghislaine maxwell of sex abuse charges that could send her to prison for the rest of her life. the trial lasted three weeks. the deliberations went on for more than six days. jurors had plenty of questions. sending 16 notes to the judge. details on all of it now from our randi kaye. >> reporter: a british socialite in a trial focused on her twisted behavior. ghislaine maxwell, now guilty of five of the six counts against her. the three-week trial included key testimony from four women who alleged jeffrey epstein sexua sexually abused them and maxwell not only helped facilitate but in some cases participated in that abuse between 1994 and 2004. the women at the time were younger than 18. >> maxwell was among epstein's
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closest associates, and helped him exploit girls who were as young as 14 years old. >> reporter: maxwell was found guilty of the most serious charge of sex trafficking a girl named carolyn between 2001 and 2004 when she was a minor, and just 14 years old. carolyn had told the court that she was paid hundreds of dollars every time she engaged with a sexualized massage with epstein, and recruited other young girls for him. carolyn recalled on the stand how maxwell groped her naked body on one visit when she was just 14. telling her she had a great body for epstein and his friends. in court, defense attorneys tried to suggest carolyn made inconsistent statements about her timeline, but it seems the jury didn't buy that. another woman identified at trial only as jane testified she was 14 when she endured abuse that included oral sex and intercourse. testifying that sometimes maxwell took part in the sex
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acts. another girl named annie farmer told the court, back in 1996 when she was 16, maxwell massaged her bare chest at epstein's new mexico ranch. overall, the defense argued the women were misremembering or lying for personal gain. or adding maxwell to their stories only at the government's suggestion. epstein's former pilots also testified. he flew epstein for nearly 30 years, he called maxwell epstein's number two. his quote go-to person. the pilot also testified he flew maxwell and epstein, along with some very high-profile passengers but never saw any sexual activity onboard the aircraft. in court, the defense tried to paint maxwell as a scapegoat for a man who behaved badly. that man, being epstein, who maxwell dated in the 1990s. the two remained close after the relationship ended. epstein, himself, later faced charges of running a sex trafficking ring. he took his life in prison while
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awaiting trial in 2019. so now, it is ghislaine maxwell's turn to answer for the crimes and having just celebrated her 60th birthday in prison, she could spend the rest of her life behind bars. >> randi, it seems the jury really took their time to get this right but they did reach that verdict just before the new year. >> reporter: yeah, jim. it was a long deliberation. 40 hours over a six-day span. and she now faces up to 65 years in prison. she could have faced more, had she not been found not guilty of that one count she was not guilty of enticing a minor to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity. that charge was related to the victim known as jane in court. no sentencing date has been set, yet. but her attorneys -- the defense attorneys are already talking -- they spoke after court today -- they said that they believe -- they believe in her innocence. they are already working on her appeal. they are confident that she will be vindicated. but they are -- they spent really the most of the trial
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trying to separate her from jeffrey epstein. to try and unwind her connection and put some distance between the two of them. but clearly, jim, the jury felt that she was not an innocent bystander in all of this. that she wasn't a bit player but in in fact a key player in the abuse of these girls, jim. >> absolutely. randi kaye, thank you for that. for more now on what might have moved the six women and six men on the jury, we are joined by jury consultant alan turkheimer. also with us, cnn legal analyst and former federal prosecutor jennifer rogers. jennifer, let me start with you. you called this quote a good day for justice. um, tell us why? >> well, jim, you know, this was a long, hard road for these victims. and until today, no one has gone to prison for this. you know, there was a ridiculous slap on the wrist down in florida for jeffrey epstein a number of years ago but he died by suicide in prison, so he will never be held responsible for this. so, for these women, girls at the time, who came forward under
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oath, spoke in court with one of their abusers -- ghislaine maxwell -- right in front of them. the jury believed them. they credited their testimony. and so, today, having learned that and having learned that ghislaine maxwell will go to prison for some still-undetermined number of years, i have to think it's a good day for them and a good day for all of us. a good day for justice. >> yeah. they should be commended for their bravery and their cooperation, no question about it. and, alan, this jury deliberated for 40 hours over six days. they sent a number of notes to the judge asking to examine testimony. um, i -- i think the defense was perhaps optimistic that that was moving things in their favor. what does all of that tell you? >> certainly, this was a meticulous jury and i think each and every member wanted to get it right. and so, they essentially re-created what they felt were the significant and key moments of the trial, and so they went over it. they talked about it. look. memories aren't perfect, and so when jurors start to deliberate,
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sometimes they have disagreements about what was said or what was done. and so, i think what they wanted to do was make sure they got it right. they wanted testimony. they wanted all different pieces of evidence. and so, moving forward, they just want to be sure they were on the same page and they were for five of the six counts. >> and, jennifer, in a lot of ways, this trial was about jeffrey epstein as the primary abuser. that being said, there was evidence of maxwell being present during the abuse. the defense tried to, you know, make her out to be a placeholder for jeffrey epstein during this trial and so on. what stood out to you, though, as the most critical piece of evidence that really sealed her fate? >> i think, jim, you know, it's hard to pick one piece of evidence. there were four victims who testified and the counts kind of broke down along those lines. certain counts were tied to certain victims, and they found guilty as to five of those six counts, so they believed all of these women. i think the critical thing here is the consistency in what they
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told the jurors. you know, it wasn't as if these four women are telling four completely different stories and it doesn't sound like they went through the same thing. in fact, what they said was remarkably consistent in the way that ghislaine maxwell approached them, dealt with them, lured them into this, the actual abuse they suffered at the hands of jeffrey epstein. all of it sounded like they had gotten in a room together and talked about it and, of course, they didn't. which means that it was truthful and so i think that was really striking and what that -- that's what really convinced the jurors here. >> and, alan, what do you make of the jury not finding maxwell guilty on count two -- enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts? did that surprise you? because she was found guilty on all these other five counts. why not that one? >> right. and i think with a lot of juries, there is horse trading where someone might think look we will find her guilty on this count if you find her not guilty on that count but i don't think that's what happened here. i think they were very careful to look at the law and i think
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they just felt when they looked at the law, look what happened after reviewing it, that the prosecution didn't prove their burden on -- on that count of enticing. and look. this was a lot of evidence by the prosecution and the -- the -- the jurors did not buy this defense that this was all about jeffrey epstein and he had only -- jeffrey epstein was responsible for the abuse of these then girls, now women. i also think that as was alluded to, that going after these accusers is risky. and i think it backfired. i think questioning the memory and the motivation really hurt the defense and i am not sure that was such a good strategy. and then, lastly, and i am sure this was talked about, while maxwell certainly has a right -- constitutional right not to testify -- i think some of the jurors were probably wondering well if she is really innocent, why doesn't she get up and tell the world about it? >> yeah. all right. well, jennifer, alan, thanks so much for your time. appreciate those insights. f fascinating case, we will see what happens next. thank so much for your time. up next. why russia's vladimir putin
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as the u.s. and its allies worry about the massive buildup of russian forces along the country's border with ukraine and with memories of the 2014 invasion of crimea still fresh, the white house announced today that president biden will speak by phone tomorrow with russian leader vladimir putin and that the call was requested by the russian president. joining us now, cnn white house correspondent jeremy diamond. jeremy, what more are we learning about what is going on behind the scenes and how this call came about?
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>> reporter: well first of all, jim, there is that critical piece of information that this call was requested by the russian president. and it comes just three weeks after president biden and president putin held that video conference together and less than two weeks before the next round of talks are expected between u.s. and russian officials. a senior administration official said they don't know exactly why the russian president requested this call. but at a moment of crisis, which are the words that this senior official used to describe the current situation, they said they didn't see any downside to having this conversation. and crucially, we know that president biden sees a lot of value and a lot of importance that he places in these leader-to-leader conversations. he often says that there is no substitute for those kinds of conversations, particularly when it comes to autocratic countries, like russia and china. >> and what's the goal for the biden administration going into this call? do officials believe that biden can effect putin's behavior, get him to reverse course and this buildup on the border with ukraine?
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>> well, they are not setting high expectations for this one phone conversation. instead, they see it really in the context of that video conference that happened three weeks ago and those upcoming talks coming in the next two weeks. but officials do see it as an opportunity for president biden to, once again, make clear that while he is willing to engage in meaningful diplomacy and he hopes that that is where things stay, he also wants to make clear to vladimir putin what the costs will be if, indeed, he decides to move forward with an invasion of ukraine. and that is to say, crippling economic and financial sanctions that u.s. officials say go well beyond what the u.s. did in response to russia's invasion of crimea back in 2014. and of course, crucially, this is also about setting the table for those talks that are set to begin on january 10th and to begin to kind of set expectations for what exactly can be achieved in those conversations. >> all right. those are some high-stake talks that are coming up. jeremy diamond, thank you very much for that. let's now bring in a former cnn
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moscow bureau chief and a global fellow with the woodrow wilson center in washington. longtime colleague of yours truly. jill, great to see u. thanks as always. and what are your expectation -- i mean, this is -- you know, jeremy diamond was alluding to this. what are your expectations for this call between the president and vladimir putin tomorrow? and the fact that, you know, putin requested the call? i mean, usually, the russians like to say, you know, oh, washington reached out to us and, you know, that sort of thing. >> right. i mean, i -- i think it is significant that it was president putin who asked for this. and i was asking myself, okay, why exactly would he want this? and the only thing i can really come up with -- you know, there is always a possibility that he has a surprise but i don't think -- i don't think he has a surprise. um, i would go back to about six days ago when he had his news conference and he was very, very insistent -- in fact, i mean
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some of the quotes -- he was saying, um, i want the -- the west -- the united states to provide these security guarantees. and then, this is actually a quote. you should give us guarantees. you, right away, right now. so it may be that he wants to reiterate that and to say i am serious, i really want these guarantees. and what will happen is, you know, they are going to discuss those guarantees that putin wants at those meetings coming up in -- in -- in january. but the thing is really i think, you know, the -- the united states has made it clear that any progress there is going to depend on deescalation by the russians. and so far, it doesn't look as if they are deescalating. >> right. i know you have been monitoring russian media today. how are they framing this call? um, what are you seeing? i mean, one of the things with -- with vladimir putin is he always wants to put himself on -- you know, on an even plain
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with the united states and he uses that for domestic political purposes but is any of that reflected in what you are seeing in russia? >> well, you know, there was one announcement about this. it was a report in the russian media, in which they used the phrase "the two powers." kind of like the great powers. reminded me very much of the old soviet days. you know, big, scary ussr. the great powers. and then, tonight, on tv there was a very long discussion about this and one person said something that i think actually is true. or at least this is way the russians look at it. he said, you know, three years ago, we couldn't even have thought of doing this. but now, we're a lot stronger and now we can stand up to the west. and i think that might be a putin russia feeling their oats and feeling they can actually do this. but i think you are going to have to watch that every time they have said something, biden has come back with the same
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thing which is we're prepared to respond if, you know, you don't invade. and by the way, we are coordinating with our allies. and by the way, there will be severe costs. so we will just have to see. and again, i think there -- this is high stakes and president putin usually takes advantage of those at least to get some attention on himself and to make russia and himself look powerful. >> yeah. but, you know, putting the theatrics of the puffing of the chest out aside, russia's military buildup on the border with ukraine is front and center. a senior administration official told cnn that the u.s. is not yet seen any effort by russia to lower tensions, to decrease tensions here. um, how do you think that is going to play out on this call? because, you know, we might write all of this off as putin playing his usual games and so on but, you know, the pock
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possibility of an invasion, i mean that would just send shock waves across the region. >> well, you know, president putin often says you made me do it. and in this case, that's kind of what he is saying. you are coming too close to my borders. this is a threat to russia, and i ever to pi have to protect russia's interests. therefore, i am prepared to do what i have to do to protect russia. and i think that is the approach that he is going to take. it's your fault. nato is too close to our borders. and that's where you get into these discussions. now, can they come up with something? what the russians want, you know, is a big re -- revamping of european security. but that's -- that's very complex, jim. >> all right, jill, belle be watching. know you will as well. the formers president is backing alaska's governor for re-election. but his endorsement, you might have guessed, comes with a catch. we will have the details, next.
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former president is endorsing alaska governor mike dunn leavy for re-election as he did four years ago but this time a very important catch. in a statement released tuesday, the former president said dunn leavy has his complete and total endorsement but this endorsement is subject to his nonendorsement of senator lisa murkowski who has been very bad for alaska. in other words, if mike endorses her, which is his prerogative, my endorsement of him is null and void and of no further force or effect. in the meantime, murkowski was one of seven republican senators and the only one running for re-election in 2022 who broke party lines voting with democrats to convict the former president for inciting the january 6th capitol insurrection. and joining us now to talk about this, former republican congressman from virginia, scott ridgel. and cnn political analyst ryan
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lizza. congressman ridgel, first of all, it sounds like, you know, used car salesman. you know, got to read the fineprint here in this endorsement, i suppose. have you ever heard of this kind of conditional endorsement before? and such a display of it, as well. this is the kind of thing i suppose that happens behind the scenes with the former president. but he -- he did kind of say the quiet part out loud. this is how he operates. >> well, he's -- he has a track record of using intimidation to advance his political goals but this is clearly the most egre egregious example of basically a quid pro quo in the negative. that is, if you do something, i will take something away. it's really deeply offensive to me and i think it's -- it will breach the governor's conscience if he -- if he lets trump influence him in this decision. >> ryan, the words trump and quid pro quo in the same sentence there as i mentioned senator murkowski voted to impeach the former president
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over january 6th. is this all just another loyalty test for trump? i mean, you know, the loyalty test for him is, of course, the loyalty goes in one direction and that's towards him. >> yeah, look, trump has made a lot of endorsements so far. about 50. and murkowski is probably the one that is the most important to him because as you pointed out, jim, it's the one senator who voted to convict him in the impeachment trial earlier-this year, who is actually up for re-election so he is trying to find every lever he can in alaska poll tilitics and he is the governor in a very strange position. as you pointed out jim, this is usually the kind of thing that happens behind the scenes, right? that happens quietly and classic trump, um, he's, you know, saying it out loud. it's all out in public and now dunleavy's got to make a decision does he address this? does he say no that is not the way we do politics in alaska?
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um, he is going to have to make a calculation about who is more important to his re-election, you know, donald trump or lisa murkowski. >> yeah. and, congressman, how much currency does a trump endorsement mean for republican candidates these days? what is your sense of it, i mean, as you know in virginia in that gubernatorial race, glenn youngkin -- i mean, he had trump's endorsement but he held trump at arm's length, kept him out of the state and he ended up winning. i guess, alaska -- it's going to be very different, i suppose, out there? >> it depends entirely on the -- the -- how the district, itself, is constituted. i know, for example, in virginia's 2nd congressional district, we are basically -- we could elevate a democrat or a republican and i don't think that a trump endorsement would really help a -- a republican candidate in our district. but in some districts, it clearly -- the farther you could run to the right and in a deep-red district, get the president's endorsement. that could be the path to a --
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not only the nomination but going up and serving in congress. >> and, ryan, the former president is not just endorsing republican candidates to help flip seats or statehouses. he is also actively trying to unseat incumbent members of his own party. people, like congresswoman liz cheney, georgia governor brian kemp, massachusetts governor charlie baker. the list goes on and on. um, how sustain able is this fo the republican party, as a whole right now do you think? >> well, he's -- um, he's -- he's -- he cuts different ways in different places. remember in virginia, he was not welcomed by the republican gubernatorial candidate and if he had come into that state and campaigned for him and if the candidate, glenn youngkin, had embraced trump, a lot of people think he would have lost. in other places, um, he's absolutely -- especially in republican primaries -- his endorsement, um, is the whole ball game and he is endorsing early in a lot of places. partly, to clear the field.
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you know, he is endorsing early in some of these races and then some of the potential challengers to his -- the people he endorsed are just giving up and not running at all. um, so, the deep-red districts, he's got a lot of clout. um, and, you know, he's driven, though, partially by revenge, right? so, he is making some decisions that are not strategic and not in line with what other republicans, like say mitch mcconnell, think is best for the party. um, because mostly what he is driven by in a lot of these endorsements is his personal preferences. i think the most worrisome endorsements and the most interesting and the ones we really need to pay attention to are these secretary of state endorsements in some of the states that did the right thing, and certified the election results. there are candidates now running for secretary of state that trump has embraced and endorsed who basically said they would not have certified the election results in places like arizona,
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georgia, and michigan. and um, that is very, very scary to see what would happen if some of those folks were in place in the next presidential election. >> well, in many ways, ryan, i mean, that is by design. i mean, that is something that republican party operatives, especially in trump world, they -- they have laid this out as their blueprint for the upcoming midterm cycle and the 2024 presidential election. very worrisome, indeed. all right. scott ridgel, ryan lizza, thank you very much. we appreciate it. just ahead. a big day for the january 6th committee tomorrow as its fight for the former president's white house records heads to the supreme court. mobile app so you can quickly check the markets? yeah, actually i'm taking one last look at my dashboard before we board. excellent. and you have thinkorswim mobile- -so i can finish analyzing the risk on this position. you two are all set. have a great flight. thanks. we'll see ya. ah, they're getting so smart. choose the app that fits your investing style.
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fight for the former president's white house records takes a major step forward tomorrow. the committee and the biden administration plan to file a response to the supreme court after the former president asked the justices for a full review of a case involving the release of more than 7 # 0 pages of white house records to the committee. lower courts have already decided in favor of the house panel. now the committee, which is hoping to produce an interim report, wants an expedited decision from the court. joining us is jeffrey and chief legal analyst and a former federal prosecutor and john dean. jeff, do you think the supreme court is going to take up this case, and how important would
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this be for the committee if it were fast tracked? it would be something. >> i do think they will take the case. this is just a major separation of powers issue. it's never been settled in the supreme court before. you have this very unusual situation of the executive branch and the legislative branch in agreement. president biden thinks the records should be turned over, but former president trump does not think they should be turned over and the supreme court has held in the past that former presidents do have the right to assert executive privilege. what the courts have never addressed is what happens when there is a conflict between the current executive branch and the former president and that's what this case is really about. >> and, john, obviously, much of what the january 6th committee is doing has been handicapped behind -- or happening behind closed doors. that's expected to change in the
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new year. how important will that be, do you think, not only for their case, but for the mccarpublic a large? it was injury presence at the watergate hearings in front of the american people that turned the tide against richard nixon. >> i think it's going to be very important. it serves as educational purpose. i think the mccarthy doesn't realize how much goes on behind the scenes. these are like icebergs. the bulk is under the water. that happened in watergate. there were executive hearings or closed hearings or depositions of virtually every witness before they appeared in public. that's what's happening today with the select committee on january 6th. so they are direct parallels. and they know when a witness appears and they call the witness what the witness is going to say. they know how the witness will
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perform. i didn't -- i had a very brief executive session, but i spent almost six weeks in secret meetings with the chief counsel. so he knew very well what my testimony was before -- and that's why i think it built up the point it did. >> that's interesting. and, jeffrey, as you know, then-president trump appointed very conservative justices to the court. do you think that anyone on the bench is going to be sympathetic to his argument because the former president has made no secret about his expectations when it comes to loyalty. we saw that when he was challenging the election results. he was practically saying i put you on the supreme court, make me president. >> well, it is worth remembering that the four judges who have decided this case so far, one district court judge and three court of appeals judges, have all been democratic appointees. now it's going up to a court with six conservatives,
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including three trump appointees. i don't think it's necessarily a question of loyalty. i don't think these justices are thinking, well, i have to repay the president for appointing me. however, i do think that the conservative justices, especially the three he appointed, have a very robust conception of executive power, and they believe that if a president can't speak, frankly, with his advisors and can't exchange memos and emails, that will chill the operation of the executive branch. so i suspect at least some of those six are going to be sympathetic to the president, trump's arguments, whether that means he'll get a majority, five, i don't know. i think this case is going to be a chose one, and i would -- i don't think the, you know, the congressional victories that we have seen so far necessarily
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mean they are going to win in the supreme court. >> and, john, hooking at legal precedent when it comes to executive plifl, obviously, the 19 # 4 supreme court decision ordering then president nixon to turn over the watergate tapes, that is going to loom over some of this. we mentioned your role a moment ago. i want to may a portion of what you said and what became the john dean moment. let's watch. >> i began by telling the president that there was a cancer growing on the presidency and if the cancer was not removed, the president himself would be killed by it. >> i mean, do you see any potential john deans out there? i mean, it's a different time now. what do you think? >> well, you know, i have looked, and i don't think anybody's going to do it. it is not a pleasant route. it's not a route most people decide to take, as bob woodward decided it, i decided to blow myself up, and that's exactly what i did.
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in the long run, it's been -- it's made life a lot easier for me. i am not somebody who believes he could have ever carried the lie. so i wasn't willing to play the game. but i hope there is some people who will certainly come forward whether it's going to be at the level i got knowledge, which was pretty high. i didn't have -- i wasn't a big deal. i had a big title and a middle-level job, but i don't know if anybody in this administration is going to come forward with that same kind of knowledge. >> hope so. >> but this is one other factor, jim, which was that john dean was proved truthful by the white house tapes. everything he said was verified when the tapes came out hater. i don't think there are going to be tapes here, so i suspect most people will hear what they want to hear when more facts come out about january 6th. >> we will wait to see what the
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january 6th committee unfolds because, you know, we've been surprised so far. they have had some blockbusters so far. jeffrey john, thanks so much. we'll be right back. i've always been running. to meetings. errands. now i'm running for me. i've always dreamed of seeing the world.
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