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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  January 24, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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earliest stages of the universe. you can follow me on facebook, instagram, twitter and the tiktok at jake tapper. if you ever miss an episode, listen wherever you get your podcasts. i will be on jimmy kimmel later this evening. our coverage continues with wolf blitzer and "the situation room." >> breaking in us. president biden says he and european leaders are in total u nam empty after urging talks on the threat of a russian invasion of ukraine. the pentagon has thousands of u.s. troops on alert as this crisis intensifies. i'll speak with john keirby. also, a georgia prosecutor gets the green light to have a special grand jury investigate former president trump's election interference in the state. this as we're getting new details on the january 6th
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committee's talks with former trump attorney general, bill barr. and new york's mayor unveils an ambitious plan to crack down on gun violence after another weekend of senseless shootings, including the killing of a rookie nypd officer responding to a domestic dispute. we want to welcome our viewers here in theni united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer and you're in "the situation room." we begin with new diplomatic moves by the united states amid fear that an attack could be imminent. president biden spent about 80 minutes in talks with european leaders and is declaring they're all on the same page. mj lee is covering this brokeakg story. >> tonight, president biden assessing his options for
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turning up the pressure on russia. >> i had a very, very, very good meeting with the european leaders. >> the president meeting with european allies on a secure video call from the situation room on the escalating crisis at the russia ukraine border. after huddling with his top national security advisers over the weekend at camp david, as he has said in recent days that any russian units crossing into ukraine would considered to be an invasion. >> if putin makes this choice, russia will pay a heavy price. >> one possibility of the table, deploying american troops to the baltic and eastern europe with the administration now set to be in the final stages of identifying specific military units and writing up military orders. as many as 28500 u.s. troops no stand on alert. >> we've always said we'll enforce our allies on the eastern flank. we've never ruled out additional
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assistance to eastern flanked countries in advance of any invasion and those discussions with them have been ongoing. >> overnight, the state department authorizing the departure of all non-essential from kiev. should president putin move forward with an invasion including measures that would target russian citizen smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles. >> we are mindful of what we think is the most effective deterrent and the severe economic sanctions captured something that would be go far beyond what was done and what was on the table in 2014. >> all of this as putin continues to mobilize troops along ukraine's borders, putting global leaders on high alert. the development, yet another test of nato and its mission. the alliance putting forces on stand by by sending ships and fighter jets to eastern europe. u.s. secretary of state blinken sending this message to putin
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about any active aggression against ukraine. >> if a single additional russian force goes into ukraine in an aggressive way, as i said, that would trigger a swift, severe, and united response from us and from europe. >> many lawmakers in washington calling on the white house to act swiftly. >> the plan of action that i've seen in the classified space as well as very specific, very aggressive is timetable. if we don't do something strong right now, i'm afraid that he's going to invade ukraine. >> now the situation in russia and ukraine is hardly the only thing on the president's mind. he just wrapped up a meeting on the economy with top members of his administration and as the meeting was wrapping up, one reporter shouted a question to the president about inflation. the president responding with sahr chasm. >> political liability?
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>> great asset. stupid son of a bitch. >> now, it certainly goes without saying that inflation is an issue that democrats are very concerned about. the president indicating that he certainly didn't appreciate being asked about it tonight, wolf. >> yeah, he certainly did not appreciate that question by that fox reporter and certainly it underscored the president's frustration. thank you very much. let's go live to ukraine and our chief international correspondent. about to speak live with john kirby who said today that russia is showing no sign of deescalating. instead, they're adding more forces to the ukraine border. how is putin likely to react to u.s. military forces now being put on stand by for possible deployment to the region? >> well, wolf, i think you can be sure that putin will not be happy about this. it's important to remind our viewers that part of the reason
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that russia even started this whole thing was because putin is deeply unhappy with the post cold war status quo in europe. he would like to see those security arrangements that have allowed for the expansion of nato in eastern europe to be changed and to reflect a reality that he would like to see with russia maintaining a large sphere of influence. even one of the demands that russia has made in these diplomatic discussions has been that nato foreign forces out of countries like romania and bulgaria. so the idea that the u.s. could potentially deploy thousands of troops to eastern europe, the baltic states, which is certainly something even with the insistence that they would be there that they would not be engaging in camombat, this is going to be viewed as an act of aggression, a threat, and a real shift in terms of how the white
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house deals are russia. the question though of how putin will respond, i would have to say that's anybody's guess. >> clthank you very much. let's discuss this with the pentagon press secretary, john kirby. thanks very much for joining us. it was a dramatic announcement he made today, as many as 8500 u.s. military forces troops are ready to be deployed if nato makes that call. what about president biden? has he already made a decision about whether to deploy those troops to the eastern flank of nato and to the baltic? >> haven't made any decisions yet with respect to actual deployment orders, wolf. all we've done right now today is put these troops on a heightened alert. some are on a ten-day tether, if you will, be ready to go in ten days and moving it down to five days. others will have to get from a farther state of readiness to closer. but there's been no deployment orders at this time. >> where exactly would those
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troops be deployed from and would they be combat troops? >> we'll be able to provide more detail in the next day or so, we're notifying these units so we're being careful about saying who they are and where they're coming from, but they'll come from bases around the united states and if they're deployed, they'll be part of the nato response force. this is something that nato would decide where they would go. the secretary made it clear that if he were to do something like this, it would be on the eastern flank. the baltics. romania, bulgaria. the eastern flank of nato to bolster their capabilities in their own self-defense. >> but they are combat troops, right? >> well, some troops obviously would be combat capable. combat credible power is what you're looking for here, but there would also be a sizable amount of troops dedicated to medical support and aviation, logicists and sustainment.
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>> you want to notify their family members before you announce where they're coming from, right isn? >> that's right. we want to let the units know so they'll have time to tell the families they'll be on heightened alert. again, nobody's packing up and leaving today. this is just about telling the units be ready because if you get called, we're going to need you to be able to deploy in a shorter period of time. >> five days. not a long period of time. you want their family members to know about that. i'm sure they're going to start getting a bit nervous. what's your understanding from nato about russian actions? what russian actions would prompt nato to call up and deploy these 8500 u.s. troops? >> well, i think those are the kinds of decisions that policymakers at nato and here in the united states are working their way through. i wouldn't get ahead of that process. but obviously, we don't want to see another incursion. we don't want to see in the invasion of ukrainian sovereignty and their territorial integrity. i think that would certainly be a big indicator of whether or not the alliance would want to
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do anything. but wolf, i can't rule out the fact there may not be some bolstering that needs to be done even before that because we want to make sure we're ready. it takes time to get these capabilities into place. so we're looking at a whole range of potential options for bolstering the capabilities of nato's eastern flank and policymakers are working themselves through on what the indicators would be for. >> what change in the last two, three, four days that led you guys to put these troops on a heightened level of preparedness potentially to deploy to europe? >> combination of factors. obviously there's still a diplomatic path open but we didn't get you know, concrete results out of the talks that had occurred. now secretary blinken made it very clear there's still room for diplomacy. we want to see that succeed. but in the meantime, we've seen p putin add to his capability, not just in the western part, but belarus as well.
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so he has shown no signs of deescalating. quite the contrary. i think it's something we're all watching with great concern. again, i want to stress, no troops are flying over there today. these are really just getting them on a heightened alert posture in case they're needed. >> how high are the chances of a russian invasion of ukraine? we know they invaded yukraine i 2014. took crimea. it doesn't seem like putin has many options, at least right now, to save face. even if he potentially wanted to back down. he's got more than 100,000 troops aligned on the border of ukraine. >> right. nobody knows what's in his head right now. we don't believe he has actually made a decision for another invasion. that's why secretary blinken and the administration still believes there's time for diplomacy and dialogue to work here. we don't believe he's made that commitment. but he is increasing his options by having more and more forces even over just the last few days, wolf. he is increasing his military options available to him and we
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want to make sure that we are standing by our nato partners and that he fully understands the consequences should he incur again. >> the u.s. is now out of afghanistan. removed all the troops, about to get out of iraq. what do you say to american families that are watching or the u.s. public who are saying why should the u.s. potentially get involved in some sort of military confrontation in europe right now? >> the answer to that is the nato alliance itself. an article 5 commitment which says an attack on one is an attack on all. it would be a nice reminder that remember that on 9/11, the first time that article 5 commitment was employed by nato, it was in our defense on 9/11 when nato aircraft started flying some surveillance and reconnaissance missions over our own skies. they came to our defense using article 5 on that very tragic day. and we have an equal commitment to the alliance.
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again, nobody wants to see another war. nobody wants to see another c conflict. but if our nato allies need support, we want to be there for them. >> i know there are three deliveries of additional arms and ammunition and some security assistance material. we flew to kiev. they've got it there. other allies like the brits are doing the same thing. we want to make sure that the ukrainian armed forces can defend themselves. nothing's changed about that commitment and that's been a commitment over more than one presidential administration to make sure that the ukrainians can defend themselves. >> you're going to be busy. good luck. >> thank you. just ahead, william barr is holding exploratory talks right now with the january 6 select committee. will he give investigators any insight into a scheme to seize voting machines in various states? i'll discuss that and more with
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the fulten county, georgia district attorney has been given permission to seek a special grand jury to investigate former president trump's election interference in that state. let's go to ryan nobles. he's working the story for us. update us on the latest. zblt >> this is a significant development. what this does is allows the district attorney there to begin the process of seating a grand jury as soon as as may 2nd. and what this grand jury will allow her to do is subpoena
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individuals' information and all relevant information necessary to conduct this investigation into the former president donald trump. it shows she's getting serious about this process. now, this is something the former president and his allies have said is nothing more than a political ax to grind by a democratic prosecutor there in fulton county is going to open the door to a lot of information that was closely aligned with what happened in georgia after the federal election there in which we know the former president put a lot of pressure on election officials there to you know, find votes, as he said to brad raffensperger. >> cnn is also learning now that the former attorney general of the united states, william barr, has now spoken to the january 6 select committee. what can you tell us about that discussion? >> it seems at this point that these are just preliminary conversations between barr and the january 6 select committee.
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they haven't done a full fledged deposition, but it's when they could do in the future. but it is significant that barr would be willing to cooperate with the committee on any level. you have someone that was very level to the former president donald trump, but he's also someone who left the government service right before january 6th and also made it clear before he left that he and his office found no evidence of widespread voter fraud. at least not enough to overturn the election results. so barr is a key player in all of this. of course, some of his deputies stayed on after the fact where there was that pressure campaign to get the justice department involved. we'll have to see how the committee handles barr going forward. will they do a full fledged deposition and will they have him appear publicly for a hearing. that's something they still need to find out. >> ryan nobles from capitol hill. thank you. let's discuss with a key member of the january 6th select
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committee, zoe lofgren of california. what is the nature of the committee's conversations with bill barr? how extensive were they? >> well, let me just say that they were informal conversations done by the investigative staff with the former attorney general and we appreciate his willingness to have conversations with our investigators. >> you expect to have more conversations with him? >> well, you know, i never make predictions, but certainly he was in a key spot, saw a lot, and if we remember, there were a lot of things i didn't agree with the former attorney general about. but at the end, he did say that these claims of voter fraud were baseless. actually, he used more, a different word that was pretty explicit. and did leave the administration.
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so you know, he has information that i'm sure is helpful to us and we appreciate that he wants to share some of those insights. >> would you say he's cooperating with your committee? >> i don't know what, i mean, what does that mean? he is willing and has in fact had conversations with our investigators so i think that's you know, proper on his part, and we appreciate it. >> sounds like he is cooperating with your committee. at least for the time being. politico published this draft, a draft of an executive order from december 2020 that would have directed the pentagon to seize voting machines in various states and hunt for what they called evidence of fraud. have you been told who wrote that order or who was privy to it inside the white house, the defense department or the department of justice for that matter?
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>> really, all wen a know about that is the memo itself. it's an extraordinary document and we have a lot of questions an it. we've got no evidence at this point that there were steps taken in the department of defense to implement that memo, but i mean, it's a lawless document and really breathtaking in its approach to our american democracy. >> yeah. that's what all the reports suggest. i want you to listen to something that the former house speaker, newt gingrich, told fox. >> i think when you have a republican congress, this is all going to come crashing down and the wolves are now going to find out they're sheep and they're the ones who i think are going to face a real risk of jail for the kind of laws they're breaking. >> what's your reaction to that? >> well, first, it's, i mean,
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it's weird. i think newt is apparently just lost it and i, it's bizarre. also, he doesn't look well so i, although we very rarely agreed when i served with him when he was the speaker of the house, i certainly don't wish him any ill personally, but this is bizarre statements and really, he looks unwell. >> congresswoman zoe lofgren, thanks so much for joining us. coming up, new york city mayor adams is unveiling a new plan to tame a growing surge of gun violence. we'll be right back. unlike ordinary memory supplements, neuriva plus fuels six key indicators of brain performance. more brain performance? yes, please! neuriva. think bigger. we strip in the community garden. i've been stripping here for years. i strip before take-off. breathe right strips open your nose for relief you can feel right away,
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it's been nearly two years since the pandemic started. our students and teachers tried their best, but as a parent, i can tell you that nearly 18 months of remote learning was really hard. i'm so angry that instead of helping our kids get back in the classroom, the school board focused on renaming schools schools that weren't even open . please recall all three school board members now. for the sake of our kids, we can't wait one more day, never mind a whole year for a fresh start.
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new york city mayor is anountsing new steps to fight gun violence in the wake of the shooting of a rookie police officer responding to a 911 call. bryn reports it was part of a deadly nationwide wave of weekend gun violence. >> the family of 22-year-old jason rivera is heartbroken. fly high, my beautiful angel, his widow writing on instagram. the nwpd rookie shot dead while responding to a 911 domestic call friday. his partner is critically injured. the suspect was shot by a third officer and the nwpd confirms died today. >> recovered at that scene is a glock 45 high capacity magazine which holds up to 40 additional rounds. >> the man among five officers shot in new york city this
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month. the first month in office for mayor adams. >> officers are doing heroic work, getting guns off the streets, but traffickers keep the guns coming. that must end. >> today, adams is demanding action, laying out what he calls a blueprint to end gun violence that includes reinstating a plain clothes police unit and focus on a flow of firearms into the city. the gun that killed rivera was reported stolen in 2015. >> everybody believes the gang and crime crisis is the nypd's problem. no, it is not. every agency in this city must be involved with the number one threat in our city and that's violence. >> in houston, authorities believe an assault type weapon was used to kill a deputy who was conducting a traffic stop this weekend. authorities are still looking for the suspect who suddenly fired at 47-year-old charles
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galloway. >> there's a lot of very broken up officers. he was the one that was teaching them what to do and how to get home safely to their families. >> another officer shot in washington, d.c. this weekend treated and released from the hospital. but in chicago, gun violence took the life of an 8-year-old girl. melissa ortega was walking with her guardian when she was hit with a stray bullet. >> i don't care who your targets were. you targeted that little girl because if you didn't that is correct she would be here today. because when you miss, you hit our babies! >> and now, new york city will honor a man who showed so much promise. >> i want y'all to like, to hear me, hear my voice and know that you're going to get through it. >> rivera joined the nypd to bring together police and the community. a community now mourning his death.
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and the funeral for rivera is set for this weekend. as far as adams' plan, he says plain clothesed officers will be hitting the streets targeting the neighborhoods where 80% of the violent crime is happening and adams also making a plea to the federal government saying they need to pass common sense gun legislation to stop the trafficking of guns not only into new york, but other states across the country. >> heartbreaking, indeed. thank you very much. let's get more on this. joining us now, cnn law enforcement analyst, the former philadelphia police commissioner, charles ramsey. also was the d.c. police chief and the former fbi deputy director, andrew mccabe. chief ramsey, as the former chief in d.c. and philadelphia, what goes through your mind seeing this level of violence that these police officers going through? >> well, it's ridiculous. it's not just the police officers. it's members of the general public. crime has been increasing for
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the past couple of years and this year, even though it's early in the year, it doesn't look like it's going to get any better and so i understand what the mayor is doing. you have to get these illegal guns and the people who use them off the streets, period. there's no other way to do this. it is not going to fix itself and police officers are going to be at risk because they're the ones that go after the people that are doing the shootings, the carjackings. and so forth. and it's just not a good situation at all right now. >> a terrible situation. yo will this new blueprint from the new york city mayor get to the root of the problem or as some are suggesting, maybe exacerbate them? >> well, that remains to be seen, wolf. we haven't heard all of the details on how this new team will be different than the old anticrime units that ran into so much trouble and were so divisive in the communities they served in years ago. so i think we really need to hear more from the mayor on that count. but i will say that another way
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to address this problem is on the prosecution side of the issue. when criminals know without a doubt that getting caught with a gun is going to result in serious time in jail, they're not going to get bonded out, not going to get pled down, they stop carrying those weapons so that's something they need to lock at as well. >> you agree, chief ramsey? >> i do, 100%. right now, there is in many of our cities, including the one in i'm in now, philadelphia, they don't fear being arrested because they know nothing's going to happen to them. they're not going to be given any kind of jail sentence, they're not going to be held. you're starting to see more and more of these guys out on the street. they're violent. they either wind up hurting someone or because the street is really mercyless, they will be the ones that will be the next victim because they'll be shot by some other bad guy. so all of it just leads to bloodshed and violence on the streets of our city.
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so not only do police have to be aggressive in locking some of these kguys up, the prosecution has to step up to the plate and of course step up and do something as well. >> you think it's going to change or continue to be as bad as it is right now? pretty awful throughout so many parts of this country. >> well, it's not going to change quickly, wolf. these policies he put in place have a lag time. they should be targeted at those parts of the city where the data shows you you have your worst episodes of violence. your most frequent episode of gun violence, but at the end of the day, we are a nation awash in guns and it's going to take a lot of concerted effort to turn that back. >> guys, thank you very much. just ahead, dr. anthony fauci says the om waicron wave heading in the right direction. will americans finally see some relief from the pandemic in the next few weeks?
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there's a growing hope tonight that we may soon be able to put the worst of the omicron surge behind us. let's discuss with a member of the vaccine advisory committee and the dean of the brown university school of public health. doctor, as you know dr. fauci says we're heading in the right direction, but deaths are still on the rise. i just checked, the u.s. is now averaging 2,033 new deaths each day. at what point where the omicron crisis finally be over? >> yeah, wolf, first of all, thanks for having me back. look, i do agree. certainly agree with dr. fauci that the infection numbers are heading down in the right direction, about 20% off the peak. what we know from really two years of this pandemic is that deaths follow about three to four weeks later. so we're probably a couple of weeks away from the death numbers declining. my hope is that once we get into mid february, we're really going to have very low levels of cases
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across the country. >> for those who are fully vaccinated and boosted like i am, when should they feel comfortable going back to a restaurant, eating indoors or a bar or a movie theatre for that matter? >> well, i'm fully vaccinated and boosted since i'm over 65 and i to that now. i certainly go to restaurants and i wear a mask when i walk in and when i sit down and with people that i know are fully vaccinated, i take the mask off and i would go to a movie theatre and wear a mask. if someone behind me wasn't wearing a mask and was coughing, i would move. >> what do you think? >> i agree. one could make the case that when the surge is horrible, when the infection numbers are terrible in your community, it does pay to be a bit more careful. but infection numbers are declining i think certainly the next couple of weeks as they come down, everything dr. offet outlined seems really reasonable
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to me. that's what vaccinated, boosted people should be comfort doing. >> i'm curious to get your thoughts, the first three n-95 masks from the federal stockpile are beginning to arrive at pharmacies around the country. at this point, is there any reason to wear a basic cloth mask like we all did in the early days of the pandemic? >> no. i think a cloth mask is not a good idea. obviously you want a tightly fitted mask. if you can get the n-95 mask, great. kn-95 would be another option. surgical masks also work, but to a lesser extent. it's hard for children. young children, to wear that kind of mask, but as an adult, it's wearable. it has the nice, tight fit to prevent droplets from leaving or coming in. >> i've been wearing one myself in recent days. seven virginia school districts have now filed a formal lawsuit over the new governor's
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executive order making masking optional in schools. are these school districts right to push back? >> you know, i think they are. and here's why. again, as much i'm optimistic that the surge is starting to abate, it's not yet. infection numbers are still quite high across the country. so i do not think it's responsible to get rid of mask mandates at this moment. there will come a time, probably in the next you know, few weeks or depending on the case numbers, when infection numbers get much lower when mandates can be lifted safely, but i think the districts are right to push back right now. >> what do you think, doctor? >> i agree completely. only about 19% of 5 to 11-year-olds are fully vaccinate. only about 56% of 12 to 17-year-olds are fully vaccinated. so other than vaccines, what you have is a mask, so why tie both hands behind your back? people talk about waning a pan coronavirus vaccine. one that will work against all
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variants. the mask does that. >> doctors, thank you so much for joining us. obviously, the pandemic still continues. let's hope it goes away soon. coming up, disturbing rhetoric from anti-vaccine protesters taking to the streets here in washington, d.c. we're going to have a closer look at these inflammatory and false comparisons they're drawing between covid v vaccinations and the holocaust. [limu emu squawks] woo! thirty-four miles per hour! new personal record, limu! [limu emu squawks] he'll be back. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty. ♪ no ink! ugh! i need you to print, i need you. you think you're empty? i'm empty. do you suffer from cartridge conniptions? be conniption-free, thanks to the cartridge-free
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one of america's top political dynasties is among the latest anti-vaccination
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activists to make outrageous and offensive comparisons between the fight against covid and nazi germany. brian todd is joining us now. these comparisons aren't just morally reprehensible, they're dangerous. >> medical experts say they're very dangerous. t comparisons often made by public figures threatens to derail the progress in getting more american adults vaccinated. at the foot of the lincoln memorial, the words from the son of an american political icon speaking about covid vaccine policies in america were stunning. >> even in hitler germany, you could cross to switzerland, hide in an attic like anne frank did. today, the mechanisms are being robert f. kennedy jr.'s factually incorrect tirade about
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vaccine mandates is drawing utter scorn tonight from public health experts fighting to get more americans vaccinated. >> he has completely jumped the ethical shark. he has no understanding of what he is comparing. you've got racism resulting in genocide in nazi, germany, and he's comparing that to being told to produce a vaccine card if you want to get into a sporting event? >> reporter: but kennedy is not alone. a few weeks ago fox news host lara logan compared dr. fauci to the nazi's so-called angel of death. >> he doesn't represent science, he represents the nazi doctor who did experiments on jews during the second world war in the concentration camps. >> i'm congressman warren davidson from ohio. >> reporter: several days ago, congressman warren davidson responded to a tweet from d.c.'s mayor saying proof of vaccination would be required to
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enter some city buildings by tweeting an image of a nazi document with the comment this has been done before, #do not comply. and marjorie taylor greene said this about speaker nancy pelosi's request for proof of vaccination in order to go maskless in the house chambers. >> we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in nazi germany. >> reporter: health experts worry about the effect the nazi comparisons will have on the already plateauing number of american adults getting vaccinated. >> it's going to be a very heavy lift to increase the number of people in this country, the percent of our population much further. they take a part of the american population that has had doubts about vaccines. now they sort of create this false history that somehow
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mandates fall into the kind of evil processes that we saw in nazi germany. >> reporter: dr. jonathan reiner says the disturbing irony is the nazis were pro vaccine. the nazis understood the benefits of vaccines and withheld vaccines from prisoners in concentration camps and others who they wanted to annihilate. >> awful situation indeed. brian, thank you very much. coming up, three former police officers who were on the scene during the murder of george floyd are now on trial for violating his civil rights. we'll have details from the prosecution's opening statement. , grab mucinex all-in-one... and get back to your rhythm. ♪ don't play around with cold and flu symptoms. we're getting destroyed out there. we need a plan! i have a plan... right now at t-mobile, customers on magenta max can get the new iphone 13 ...and t-mobile will pay for it!
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three former police officers present during the fatal restraint of george floyd back in may of 2020 are now on trial facing federal civil rights charges. cnn's omar jimenez is in st. paul, minnesota, for us tonight. the prosecution is charging that these three former police officers just stood by as george floyd was killed. tell us what happened in court today. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. well, for starters, we got into testimony. we began to hear from an fbi forensic examiner as we went through video from the day george floyd was murdered back in may of 2020. but the day was largely dominated by opening statements from both the prosecution and the defense attorneys for each of these former officers. the prosecution largely stayed close to the charges in this, that former officers thomas lane, alex kueng and tou thao
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deliberately were indifferent to the serious medical needs that floyd was showing under the knee of derek chauvin and specifically that thao and kueng did not intervene or try to stop derek chauvin. the prosecutor said over the course of her opening statement that each made a conscious choice over and over again. they chose not to intervene and stop chauvin as he killed a man. they chose not to protect george floyd, the man they handcuffed. then went on to tell the jury, you'll see the ambulance arrive, and it wasn't the defendants that got chauvin off of floyd, it was those first responders. now, i should also mention all of these former officers have pleaded not guilty to these charges. their defenses ranged from, well, the video and what the crowd saw didn't tell the full story of what happened, that they tried to do something but were shut down by chauvin. and that they were deferring to the senior officer on the scene in chauvin. i should also note chauvin is not a defendant in this trial. he was initially supposed to be
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but pleaded guilty to his charges last month and now his proceedings will be happening separately. >> omar, do we expect any of these three former police officers to testify during the course of this federal trial? >> reporter: as we heard from thomas lane's attorney in opening statements, lane is expected to testify in his own defense over the course of this. remember, he's not charged with failing to intervene and stop chauvin, because as his attorney argued, there were multiple points where he tried to intervene. for one, suggesting to chauvin that they put an added restraint, a hobble on floyd that would have propped him up on his side and chauvin said no. his attorney also argued there was another point where he asked chauvin if they should turn floyd on his side and chauvin said, no, he's staying put. that's likely why they want him on the stand. the prosecution will likely try to paint him into a corner, back him into their bottom line as part of their argument that you
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saw george floyd in clear need of medical care and did not act. tomorrow we'll be back in court resuming testimony in what is expected to be a four-week trial, wolf. >> we'll stay in close touch with you, omar. thank you very much. omar jimenez in st. paul, minnesota. to our viewers, thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. outfront next, president biden says the u.s. and its al i say are in, quote, total unanimity when it comes to a russian invasion. this as we are seeing new video from putin showing russia beefing up its presence even now as we speak along the ukrainian border. plus a georgia prosecutor getting the green light to intervene a grand jury in trump's efforts to overturn the election. and the great escape. people now paying upwards of $22,000 to get their pets, including dogs and hamsters, out of hong

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