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tv   New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar  CNN  January 7, 2022 5:00am-6:00am PST

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called to nurture. look how many animals got adopted during the lockdowns. we want to nurture, we want to care. there are children who need homes. he talks about adoption during this entire lecture there are children who need loving homes, who need foster care. are we discerning doing that in our life these days? the pope is really trying to invite a much larger conversation, we shouldn't just sound bite him in this modern world where we can clip things and it goes viral on internet. >> katie mcgrady, love talking to you this morning. please come back. >> thanks for having me. appreciate it. >> "new day" continues right now. good morning to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. it is friday, january 7th. i'm brianna keilar with john berman. and this morning, the great american experiment known as democracy is at a crossroads.
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president biden calls it an inflexion point in history. the president addressing the nation on the first anniversary of the january 6th insurrection, and delivering what really could be one of the most important and forceful speeches of his presidency. biden condemned the violence and donald trump's lies that have weighed on his first year in office. >> the former president of the united states of america has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election. he's done so because he values power over principle. because he sees his own interests as more important than his country's interest. you can't love your country only when you win. i will stand in this breach. i will defend this nation. i will allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy. >> so president biden never mentioned trump by name. though he did use the phrase former president more than a
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dozen times. trump did fire back calling it all political theater. this as the department of homeland security is now warning about increased online threats on extremist platforms over just the last 48 hours, including against some lawmakers. >> joining us now, cnn chief white house correspondent kaitlan collins and host of the ax files, david axelrod. kaitlan, you have interesting reporting i want to discuss this morning, which say little bit about how the speech came to be. obviously a speech of note, just for the emotion that biden brought to it. >> yeah, and there was a level of calculus to it. just how far do you go after the former president? because that's kind of been something that president biden has stayed away from since he's taken office. he came into office, of course, with that speech on inauguration day, talking about healing the nation, talking about unifying the nation. and so at times when he's been asked about trump, you know, over the last several months i've been covering him, he said i don't really think about the former president all that much.
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but, of course, yesterday it was a phrase that he uttered 16 times during this speech, and that was a calculus made by the president and by the white house. and i was told it was never really in question whether to go after trump in this speech because they felt like they couldn't not do so, given the role that they believe he played in what happened on january 6th. but the question privately was how scathing should the attack be and how sustained should it be? and, of course, it was an overarching part of this speech. the first time i think we have seen a current president label the former president a liar in the way that president biden did yesterday, but the white house said that was completely intentional. though i should note they said this isn't going to be some new strategy going forward. they're not going to go after trump at every turn. the voting rights speech in atlanta on tuesday, for example, but it was definitely a calculated choice that president biden was making yesterday. >> if the question was how scathing, the answer seemed to be pretty, right? i mean, there was this moment where he tried to reframe how people refer to donald trump.
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listen. >> he's not just a former president, he's a defeated former president. defeated by a margin of over 7 million of your votes. and a full and free and fair election. >> he literally leaned in, david, to the words, defeated former president. this was a shift from joe biden. i wonder whether you think it was the right shift, david. >> i think it was an unavoidable shift, given the fact that there would have been no insurrection at the capitol. but for this lie that is -- the 2020 election has been the most audited election in the history of this country. it is -- it was certifiably honest election and even when, you know, forces were deployed by republican legislatures such as in arizona, to try and find
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evidence of fraud, it turned out that biden did better in the state than the original count by a few hundred votes. so this was the most honest election in history, and yet this president has told this lie and it has taken root. those people at the capitol, john, they thought they were patriots. they thought they were defending democracy because of a president they trusted told them that the election was stolen. so how do you tell the story of that day, without telling the story of how it happened and how it took root and what caused them to be there and so, yeah, i'm sure i know that there were deep discussions about how far to go. but i'll tell you something, it was the most forceful speech of his presidency. i think he passionately believes that democracy has a dagger at its throat because the president -- president trump keeps telling these lies and now, you know, large numbers of
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republicans have come to believe it as an article of faith. let me just make one last point, i'm worked up about this myself. how is it that something as catastrophic as what happened a year ago at the capitol could be commemorated and no republicans other than liz cheney show up to mark the occasion and to remember what happened. that's how thoroughly the big lie has taken root. >> i mean, i think adam kinzinger would have been there if he was not expecting a child, as i believe, right. he's got some priorities there. but kaitlan, when i hear what biden said there, it is like him saying, hey, loser, and i wonder how trump picks this up and what, i mean, whether you care about that or not, what that's going to mean for the discourse moving forward. >> well, it is safe to say not well. some of those lines seemed written by design to trigger the
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former president. because he kept saying the words loser, lying, defeated, failed, he said he failed to make his case when it came as david noted there, election fraud claims he's been boasting about for a year now. lines, very short, very blunt, that seemed designed to infuriate the former president, to go after exactly what he has been saying time and time again, and plans to say in rallies continuing going forward. and the way i view it also was something that former president -- that president biden said over the holiday break, before he went on his holiday break, and in an interview he did where he was asked about running for re-election and the prospect of facing trump again at the polls, and he was saying that it almost gives him more incentive to run for re-election if former president trump does also try to run for re-election and i really think that was solidified in his speech yesterday. i think, of course, that's too far down the road. we have a lot of time before the -- before any of those decisions will be made. but i do think the way that he laid out his viewpoint
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yesterday, on where the united states stands, on this teetering point that is going to heavily fact near tor into that mindset forward. >> part of kaitlan's reporting is president biden has been looking at his poll numbers and doesn't like them. there is not a lot to like. let's be fair there. democrats saw the speech yesterday and saw this was a different joe biden and some felt this was a better joe biden. so why not lean into this more over the next year? >> well, first of all, i do think that when joe biden is passionate and forceful, it helps him. and i think that the demeanor that he brought to that speech yesterday was helpful to him. i also think the country is focused on the virus, it is focused on inflation, it is focused on the issues that are affecting people's day to day lives and they want the president to be there and they
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don't want the -- one of the reasons republicans didn't want donald trump out yesterday is they don't think it is helpful to them to have him constantly prosecuting his grievances about the 2020 election as they're running for office in 2022. and then the same way i don't think the country wants the president to be constantly prosecuting this case, when they want him focused on other things. there is one question i have, how do you go down on tuesday to atlanta, and talk about voting rights, without talking about this? because all of these changes in these voting laws around the country are predicated on this big lie. they're predicated on the premise that somehow there was something wrong with the last election, and therefore we have to restrict voting, we have to give legislatures new authority to override the judgments of local election officials. it is all part of the same fabric and the fabric has been totally woven by donald trump. so i don't know how he makes
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this speech on tuesday without continuing in some form or fashion the case that he was making yesterday. >> maybe he's watching and he'll listen to you. david axelrod, thanks so much for being with us. kaitlan collins, as always, thank you. this morning, schools still out for more than 340,000 students in chicago. this is the third day in a row after the district and chicago teachers union failed to reach an agreement, the union says it wants more resources including covid testing sites and better masks. chicago school and health officials say students are at an even higher risk outside of school. a striking new critique from a group of former biden health advisers on the administration's covid response, writing in the journal of the american medical association, quote, without a strategic plan for the, quote, new normal, with endemic covid-19, more people in the u.s. will unnecessarily experience morbidity and mortality, health inequities will widen and trillions will be lost from the u.s. economy.
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joining us now, one of the authors of that article, dr. ezekiel manual, a former member of joe biden's transition covid advisory board and vice provost at the university of pennsylvania and the author of the book "which country has the world's best healthcare." thank you for being with us. there is so much in these essays in jama, we won't be able to cover it all. i want to hit on the major points which are fascinating. this new normal you describe is what? >> well, covid is going to be around us, just like the flu is around us and we're going to have to live with that and we're going to have to bring the mortality rates down to make it so we can go back to our normal everyday lives. and the idea is we're not getting rid of the virus, we are going to have to live with it. >> so i would like to know what that means in terms of the numbers. and you do put some meat on the bones there in your piece. you say we got to consider covid as part of a larger group of
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respiratory illnesses that put people in the hospital and kill us. but you say we should be somewhere around, what, 3,000 deaths a week, and 50,000 hospitalizations and as of a few weeks ago we were at 7,000 and, you know, 70,000 hospitals. how far away are we from where you think we need to be in terms of the numbers? >> the 3,000 a week was in the peak week, not in an average week. but if you think about all the viral respiratory illnesses, you know, we have around 60, 70,000 per year, before covid struck. that's probably the rate in which we're not in emergency conditions and we're in sort of normal conditions. that's, you know, 100 to 200 a day. that's our range. and that's where we -- that's 200 a day is probably our maximum amount which is about 1400 a week. that's the goal we need to do.
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to have. we need to communicate to the public, you know, when we get much higher than that, restrictions have to be in place. when we're lower than that because of vaccinations, because of better indoor ventilation, we can actually ease up. >> in other words, talk about this in advance, so you're not panicking and reacting when there is a wave or something like this. more meat on the bones here, you obviously -- you're all critical of the testing situation in the united states, half a billion tests the biden administration wants it make available. you say that's not nearly enough. how many tests should there be? how much testing should we be doing? >> that really depends upon the circumstances. again, as the virus evolves, our policies have to evolve and it has to be quite clear where we're at in the course of the event. i would say more importantly than just the numbers of testing is the importance of connecting people who have been tested, and turn out to be positive with treatments, if they're not
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eligible for treatments with the research study, so they can help improve our knowledge and get other treatments. and information about what they need to do for isolation and quarantine and masking. and that test to treat connection needs to be very, very firm, we can't rely on the healthcare system, which i think is frankly too fragmented and not able to respond quickly enough. and that infrastructure needs to be put in place. >> i do understand on the testing, it depends where the society is, how about right now? how often do you think we should all be testing right now? >> well, we probably need billions of tests per week. we were building up a reasonably good test infrastructure last summer and then the vaccines came -- got wildly distributed, people thought we had turned the corner, and unfortunately i think undid that infrastructure and we need to build it back up. that's not going to happen overnight. and i think we need -- the
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administration should give us a sort of schedule that looks out three months. >> i will say this, the implication in these essays you don't think the administration is doing it right right now. >> well, look, i think the administration had an outstanding strategic plan, coming in in january 2021, they executed it extremely well on it, all the way through june, and then delta came, and when the virus changes, the strategic plan has to change. and we're suggesting the change in the strategic plan, and areas that need to be focused on. >> dr. ezekiel manuel -- >> i think what we're trying to do is be helpful and suggest what kind of changes are needed in going forward over the next 3 to 12 months. >> seems to me you probably have their air. dr. ezekiel emanuel, thank you for being with us this morning. >> thank you, my pleasure. then vice president elect kamala harris was evacuated from the democratic national committee headquarters minutes after a pipe bomb was
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discovered. she was there when they discovered a pipe bomb. so why are we just learning about it a year later? and how did the economy stand up to the omicron surge? we're about to get some crucial numbers. the highly anticipated monthly jobs report out moments from now. plus, the three men found guilty of murdering ahmaud arbery are about to be sentenced. arbery's mother is going to join us on this consequential day. find your rhythm. your happy place. find your breaking point. then break it. every emergen-c gives you a potent blend of nutrients so you can emerge your best with emergen-c. it's my 4:05 the-show-must-go-on migraine medicine.
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cnn has learned that kamala harris, then the vice president-elect, was evacuated from the democratic national committee building on january 6th of last year, seven minutes after a pipe bomb was discovered nearby. no one has been charged with planting the bomb, and the fbi is still searching for the suspect that you've seen in this video among others. joining us now is pam brown, cnn's senior washington correspondent and anchor of "cnn newsroom." pamela, first, tell us is there any possibility here that harris was actually a target or was this a coincidence? >> she could have been a target, but let's just remember, this bomb was placed at the dnc and the rnc the night before, according to law enforcement officials. and it was not publicly available -- publicly available information that the vice president-elect would be at the
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dnc on january 6th. so it is unlikely that kamala harris was actually the target of this person we see in this video right here, laying the pipe bomb. that, the fbi says was viable and included explosive powder, but it raises troubling questions about security lapses here. i just spoke to one law enforcement source who said, look, the fact that the bomb was placed here in the first place is a security lapse, the fact it was placed in this highly secured, highly surveilled area is a security lapse, and now we're finding out that the vice president-elect was inside the building. she came there the next day, was able to get into the building, while this pipe bomb was outside, and she was evacuated minutes after the pipe bomb was discovered. it is really troubling. >> what about, pamela, the overall timing of when the bombs were planted and also just where are we in this investigation a year later? >> yeah, so the overall timing has certainly raised questions
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among law enforcement officials because, of course, it was the night before january 6th and the riot there at the capitol. so law enforcement officials have certainly wondered whether this was a strategy to perhaps distract and create chaos and divert resources from the capitol riot or was this person just a lone actor. they don't know. and they have interviewed, i'm told, several people, they have looked at people who made threats against the dnc and the rnc, interviewed several people after following leads, and so far it hasn't panned out yet, which is really frustrating a year later that they haven't been able to do that, given all the surveillance there in the area, given the fact they have that video. but they do believe that this was someone that was from out of town, that was in the area. >> whoever did it knew they could be putting certainly elected officials and others at risk. and in a separate but somewhat related story here, the department of homeland security memo obtained by cnn that shows an increase in online extremist
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content here in the past 48 hours and that includes threats to lawmakers and the president. how is law enforcement dealing with this? >> well, law enforcement has sent out a bulletin to local, state law enforcement across the country because the concern is that this extremist rhetoric online targeting elected officials, it could spark violence in washington, d.c., and beyond. so they're really increasing resources right now at a time where they have seen an uptick in violent rhetoric and threats against members of congress, against government officials, against, you know, politicians, it really is concerning and included in these threats is a video that has been circulating online. i think it has gotten 60,000 views if i recall correctly, that is targeting members of congress who voted to certify the election, and calling for them to be hung right outside of the white house. that gives you an example of some of what is circulating online that people are actually viewing, and it also -- i must
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note, you know, just -- it highlights the danger of political rhetoric, of this hyperpartisan environment we're in, saying continuing to say the election was stolen when, of course, it wasn't. donald trump, the former president, released a statement yesterday on january 6th, repeating that deranged lie and people, there are people who believe that, and law enforcement is concerned that they will act out and engage in violence and so that is why there is increased security right now. >> yeah, look, we have seen it happen, right? pamela, thank you so much for being with us. it is great to see you this morning and, of course, we'll be watching you this weekend, tomorrow night and sunday night as well. >> thanks so much. here's what else to watch today.
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coming up, the mother of ahmaud arbery, the man who was chased down and murdered in broad daylight, she will join us just hours before her son's killers are set to be sentenced. unvaccinated tennis star novak djokovic denied special treatment from australia. some of the shade now being thrown by some of his opponents. some of my best memories growing up were cooking with mom. so when she moved in with us, a new kitchen became part of our financial plan. ♪ ♪ find a northwestern mutual advisor at nm.com
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deadly violence is escalating in kazakhstan as anti-government protests over a fuel price hike paralyzed the central asian nation. the president telling law enforcement to, quote, open fire to kill without warning. cnn's nic robertson live for us in moscow. that is, i mean, to read that, to hear that, nic. >> it is astounding to have the
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president say that. the numbers that the authorities in kazakhstan are giving at the moment for the number of casualties killed just don't add up. government saying 26 protesters have been killed. they call them armed bandits. they haven't offered evidence that these are either armed bandits. they call them terrorists with outside training and haven't offered evidence of that. they say 26 have been killed so far and 18 injured. those numbers just don't make sense even if troops are opening fire without warning on crowds. you would expect many more to be injured. they say they arrested 3,000 protesters. the police are saying they had 18 law enforcement officers killed and 748 injured. again, these injury numbers between the law enforcement and the protesters don't add up. the president is vowing to go after any opposition elements and that any protesters, any protester is going to be put down and destroyed.
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those are his words. and at the moment, the picture today remains very unclear because the internet services are down, the phone services are down, the president said that they would be opening up the internet in some parts of the country and warned people if the government does that, then there will be punishments for anyone publishing false information there. it is all very deeply troubling. >> incredibly and stunning pictures. nic, we know you'll continue to keep an eye on this, thank you. breaking moments ago, the december jobs report released, which shows us first impact of the omicron surge. >> under winter weather alerts across the country, forecasters warning of a bomb cyclone in the northeast. ♪ ♪ ♪ "how bizarre" by omc ♪ no annual fee on any discover card. ♪ ♪
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breaking news, the labor department just released the december jobs report, joining us now, cnn chief business correspondent christine romans and cnn white house correspondent john harwood.
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some wow and some huh. >> it is the slowest job growth of the year. but the jobless rate fell to 3.9%. that's the best of the pandemic. that number on the right hand of your screen is showing you a labor market that is doing quite well. the jobs gains, 199,000, was pretty widespread here. when i look within these numbers, also, john, i see kind of a stutter at the end of the year when you compare with just how strong the rest of the year was. i mean, this year, on average, 537,000 jobs a month added back into the labor market, more than 6 million jobs added this year, that's a record-breaking year after a record-breaking year of losses the year before, of course. so always important to show where we have been. and where we're going here. this is less than many economists had estimated. i had been not giving a lot of credence to economist expectations in the past few months, john, because they have been so far off.
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and in fact the government itself here has revised november numbers and october numbers higher to the tune of another 141,000 net new jobs there. so, you know, they're still tweaking the numbers and they tend to undershoot them. the big picture for the year, 537,000 on average a month jobs added back, overall more than 6 million jobs added in the year. that breaks a record. but for the month, a bit of a disappointment, john. >> i got to say, you see unemployed numbers in the 3s, though, as a rate, that is very low. >> it really is. consider that in april 2020, it went to 15% for unemployment rate, which is catastrophic for the united states economy and for working people. and now to be all the way down to 3.9%. i also see in here wages up 4.7% year over year. that is the practical thing here for so many workers. we see these job hoppers who are leaving from one industry to another. we see companies that are doing their best to give hiring
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bonuses, signing bonuses and pay raises to keep and retain workers and we see workers who have utterly reprioritized their expectations, hopes and dreams about their job. and that has been a real hallmark of this jobs recovery that it is the worker who has the upper hand, no question here. i think that continues to be the story in 2022. >> it is a revolution as one of those workers participating in the great resignation said earlier in the show. i wonder what the takeaway is for the biden administration here. >> i think they're going to be disappointed because, you know, they keep waiting for a month where you have a big blowout number. but they're also understanding of giving the misses month after month that christine just referred to, you got to take all the numbers with the grain of salt. you are likely to get revisions up later as we had in previous months. you do have, remember, separate surveys of businesses, that's the establishment survey, and
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households which produces that unemployment rate. the unemployment rate is good, labor participation has held steady this past month. so the unemployment rate didn't fall for bad reasons. what we don'tlluded to is to wh have the recalibrated expectations, do they mean that people are going to be slow to return to the labor force if they left during the pandemic. that is have -- is this because people have retired and we're simply not going to get the jobs back or they're waiting for higher wages? you also got, of course, concerns about inflation, eating that's one reason why president biden has suffered in his ratings on the economy is that what people feel month to month in their everyday lives is that some of the gains that they have been achieving have been eroded because prices are up.
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>> john harwood, christine romans, thank you both very much. >> you're welcome. this morning, his mom getting involved. novak djokovic, his mother says he's a prisoner being treated inhumanely. the australian government disagrees with mom. and a judge is about to sentence the men who chased down and murdered ahmaud arbery, his mother is going to join us live next. a must in your medicine cabinet! less sick days! cold coming on? zicam is the #1 cold shortening brand! highly recommend it! zifans love zicam's unique zinc formula. it shortens colds! zicam. zinc that cold! with clean, fresh ingredients, panera's new chicken sausage and pepperoni flatbread is a mouthwatering explosion of yes. craft? yes! heartiness? yes! living life to the avor-fullest? heck yes. panera. live your yes. now $1 delivery. and it's easy to customize your insurance ♪ limu emu and do.♪ at libertymutual.com so you only pay for what you need.
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here in about an hour, the three men found guilty of murdering ahmaud arbery will learn if they will spend the rest of their lives in prison or if they will be eligible for parole. they were convicted of murder the day before thanksgiving. their claim of self-defense was rejected by a nearly all white jury. and joining us now to talk about this is the mother of ahmaud
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arbery, wanda cooper jones and area lawyer civil rights attorney lee merritt. thank you for being with us. this is obviously a huge day. you have a country, people around the world who are going to be watching the outcome today. wanda, to you first, we know that these men will receive life sentences as i mentioned. the question is are they going to be able to get out of prison potentially after 30 years. two of the men are in their 50s or 60s. travis mcmichael, who pulled the tr trigger is in his 30s. he could be given many years of life that your son certainly didn't have. what is your hope of the outcome today? >> my prayer is that therravis mcmichael receive a life sentence without the chance of parole. >> i'm so sorry. i thank you for braving the cold for us there, wanda. request you tell us about that, tell us about why that's
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important to you. >> you said earlier that ahmaud lost his life back in february of 2020. ahmaud didn't get a chance to live. so with that being said, travis should not get a chance to live as a free man. travis should go to prison for life, without parole. and that being said, he should remain in prison forever. >> lee, what is your expectation today? >> well, we expect a similar outcome, you know earlier this week the department of justice approached wanda cooper jones and her family and asked whether or not they would consider a plea deal where these men would be sentenced to 30 years in federal prison. she rejected that offer. we believe that today the state will move forward with life sentences without the possibility of parole. and we think that's the appropriate sentence. >> so, wanda, these men, convicted of killing your son, they will have a chance to speak
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today. i wonder what you want to hear from them, if anything. >> i really don't want to hear anything from travis. i really don't want to hear anything from either defendants. there is nothing they can tell me today that would make me feel better. i miss ahmaud more and more each day. >> if they speak, wanda, you say there is nothing they could say that would make you feel better. if they speak, would it make you feel worse? >> well, actually, i had a chance to hear travis speak when he gave his testimony about what happened on the day that he shot ahmaud. and after he gave his testimony, that actually made me feel worse. so i'm afraid if i hear his voice again, it is going to make me feel even worser. so -- >> certainly understand that,
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wanda. i wonder, we saw the day where the verdicts were handed down. and the jury delivered these verdicts against these defendants. that was a day, think, where many people commended the justice system and the outcome in this process. what has it been like for you since then, though? >> the days have been very, very hard. again, i sat in that courtroom for five weeks. i was shown very, very graphic photos of my son shortly after he was murdered. i relive those days each and every day. my days have been very, very, very, very hard, but since those days i look forward to today, the day that these days are going to be sentenced. >> and so, lee, the federal hate crimes trial, which you mentioned before, is set to begin in early february. what are you expecting to be
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different in this trial versus the murder trial? >> well, the discussion of race and the racial motivation behind these men's acts was more or less completely absent from this trial as it was not an element of the crime. but the hate crime charges will really get to the nature of why these men targeted ahmaud arbery and it will get to some of the national concern about the vulnerability of the black community in the face of hate and rising hate -- racial tensions in our country. >> you know, wanda, one of the big questions about the trial that we witnessed, the murder trial, was could brunswick, georgia, provide an impartial jury. when we see this federal hate crimes trial, it is also going to be in brunswick. what did the murder trial tell you about whether brunswick could deliver an impartial jury?
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>> the state trial showed that we were able to pick jurors from our community that was willing to do the right thing. i do believe that in the federal trial that we will be able to select the same type jurors and we will be successful and have a victory in that trial as well. >> if you had a chance, wanda, to think about the months and years ahead and ahmaud's legacy and how, you know, how you're going to get through the days and what you're going to do with the years in light of the outcome of the trial? >> i have -- my family and i have started a foundation. the name is called the ahmaud arbery foundation. i also want to mention that since we lost ahmaud, ahmaud has implemented change already. ahmaud -- >> georgia hate crime law for the first time. >> yes. >> we also saw change in the --
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>> the citizen's arrest law as well was passed in georgia. since we lost ahmaud, we got change already. so i'm very proud of that as well. >> well, wanda, as always, we are so incredibly sorry for your loss, and what you're living every day after this, even as you are looking for justice and hoping for more of it today. wanda and lee, thank you to both of you this morning. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. the australian government clapping back at claims that it is holding tennis star novak djokovic as a prisoner, and just in, djokovic has responded for the first time. a huge winter storm wreaking havoc in airports across the country this morning. stand by. some of my best memories growing up, were cooking with mom. she always said, “food is love.” so when she moved in with us, a new kitchen became part ofof our financial plan. ♪ i want to make the most of every meal we have together.
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one year after the attack on the capitol, the main players who may have plotted the attempted coup have not been brought to justice. john avlon with a reality check. >> there really hasn't been an end to january 6th, so once accountability has been had, you can start to heal. >> that's capitol police officer harry dunn. and he's right. just as truth needs to precede reconciliation, we need to see legal accountability for the coup plotters, before we can really heal as a nation. but so far, despite more than 700 pro trump rioters being charged and 30 going to prison, there has been little to no legal accountability for the people who plotted this insurrection attempt. but there are signs that the january 6th committee is focusing on just that. >> i think that there are a number of -- as the chairman said -- potential criminal statutes at issue here. but i think that there is
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absolutely no question that it was a dereliction of duty. >> so what exactly might that mean? let's start with potential criminal statutes. it turns out there is a criminal penalty for insurrection already on the books, which states, whoever incites, sets on foot, assists or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the united states, the laws thereof or gives aid or comfort thereto shall be incapable of holding any office under the united states. and note this specifically covers someone who incites or assists an insurrection. there is also a separate criminal statute that covers seditious conspiracy. likewise, the attempts to pressure secretaries of state like georgia's brad raffensperger to find more votes could constitute election interference. and it could also be argued that trump's promotion of the big lie constitutes a conspiracy to defraud the united states. now, typically this law applies to financial fraud against the u.s. government. but that's only one of its intended applications.
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in a 1924 opinion, supreme court justice william howard taft explained that it also means to interfere with or obstruct one of its lawful government functions by deceit, craft or trickery or at least by means that are dishonest. so an ongoing attempt to defraud our democracy by our next president would certainly seem to qualify. in all these cases, the justice department would need to choose to prosecute and to date, despite a sfrprawling investigation, there has been no evident effort to prosecute the top tier coup plotters. while merrick garland has been busying to normalize the justice department, he's pledged this in a statement this week. >> the justice department remains committed to holding all january 6th perpetrators at any level accountable under law. whether they were present that day or were otherwise criminally responsible for the assault on our democracy. >> beyond criminal penalties,
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there are constitutional prohibitions on insurrection. put in place by the civil war generation. specifically, the 14th amendment section 3, designed to prohibit people who have taken an oath to uphold the constitution and then participated in an insurrection against the united states from holding elected or appointed office. and as university of maryland law professor mark ghraiber told me, from a constitutional perspective, there is no difference between trying to overturn an election by fraud, force or violence. all of them fall under insurrection. while subject to inevitable legal challenges, it could possibly bar trump from running for president again, given the majority of congress voted in favor of his second impeachment on charges of inciting insurrection. it could also apply to any member of congress who are found to have coordinated with the insurrectionists. that's true these criminal statutes and constitutional prohibitions are rarely invoked. but then insurrections rarely happen in the united states. they were put in place to use in
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moments like this, doing nothing is by far the most dangerous option. one year after the attacks of january 6th, we should all know that we cannot take our democracy for granted. basic guardrails must be strengthened. we need to apply the law, fairly, but without flinching, because bullies only respect strength, and without strict accountability, we will only invite future insurrections. >> john avlon, thank you very much. cnn's coverage continues right now. good morning. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we're following breaking news this morning. a major, major miss for the u.s. jobs market. moments ago, the u.s. labor department released the december jobs report. the u.s. economy added 199,000 jobs in the month of december. that number falls far short of what was expected, and it was

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