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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
A.G. Barr Sends Memo To Federal Prosecutors To Investigate Allegations Of Voter Fraud; Cindy McCain On The Election Results; London Mayor, Assailed By President Trump As A "Stone Cold Loser," Says Biden Win Is Welcome; Fauci On Coronavirus Vaccine: Help Is On The Way. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 9, 2020 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And good evening. A lot happening today, a lot to bring you tonight and a lot of news from Joe Biden and a lot of noise from Donald Trump, but none of it changes the bigger bottom line.
The country now has a President-elect. That's what the numbers clearly say that the President-elect is Joe Biden, you won the election and President Trump lost. That is the reality. And meeting today with his COVID advisory panel, the President-elect said so out loud.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: This election is over. It's time to put aside the partisanship and the rhetoric that's designed to demonize one another.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: "This election is over," he said, and by any other standard at any other time, it would be. Joe Biden won Pennsylvania. He leads by 45,000 votes there, about the same as the President's 2016 margin of victory in that state. He's up by 148,000 in Michigan or by about 15 times what the President beat Hillary Clinton by in Michigan. Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes.
Recount efforts rarely move the count more than a few hundred votes either way. So historically, this is not even close. The results were simply delayed because the ballots took longer to count. Yet today as President-elect Biden got down to work the way election winners in both parties have always done, President Trump did what no other modern day President in either party has ever done under such clear cut circumstances.
He refuses to accept reality and try without evidence to paint his own alternative version of an election stolen from him. Now, we're not going to repeat his allegations because it just perpetuates the lies. Anecdote from people on social media is not evidence. Evidence is presented in a court of law.
And if the President has it, that's what he and his attorneys should do. Georgia's Republican Lieutenant Governor when asked by CNN's John Berman, about whether they are seeing widespread voter irregularities in voting in Georgia said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GOV. GEOFF DUNCAN (R-GA): My office has been in close communication with the Secretary of State's Office and the Attorney General's Office and made sure that if there's any sort of systemic examples of fraud or voter, you know, disenfranchisement across the voting base, to let us know. We've not had any sort of credible incidents raised to our level yet, and so we'll continue to make sure that the opportunity to make sure every legal ballot is counted is there, but you know, at this point, we've not seen any sort of credible examples.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: No credible examples, no credible incidences. That's what the Lieutenant Governor has said. That's also what a Republican Governor and Republican Secretary of State. The Lieutenant Governor of a state that has been as transparent as you could hope for throughout this entire process.
He is stating reality while the President without any evidence tries to peddle his own alternative, again, if he has evidence, he can present it in a court of law. That is the way the system works, not the court of public opinion. A court of law where truth and fiction are actually determined.
The President's post-election legal challenges are being led by David Bossie who today, we learned has tested positive for the coronavirus. The President's Chief of Staff, as you know, Mark Meadows announced last week he had become infected. And today, we also learned that Housing Secretary Ben Carson has also tested positive.
Carson and Meadows were both at the White House Election Night party where no masks were required, and they weren't wearing them.
This is the second major COVID outbreak at the White House. It is happening as the country crosses the 10 million case mark, a million of those new infections were found in just the last 10 days. That's how bad it is.
Since the race was called on Saturday, new cases have been averaging more than a hundred thousand a day. Here is Dr. Fauci just a few hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I had said four months ago at a Senate hearing that if we didn't get control of this that it would be conceivable that we would reach that level. And unfortunately, we have.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: Well, the President did not get control of this, not even at
the White House, twice. Yet, instead of trying harder, the President has been golfing and sulking and tweeting out false claims and conspiracy theories, which you'd be tempted to write off as just more of the same. It's just somebody being a sore loser, but he's still President and it is still a crisis, and he still does have an actual job to do.
And now his administration is attempting to keep Joe Biden from doing what President elects are meant to do.
The General Service Administrator, a Trump appointee has not signed off on the election outcome. That means the Biden transition team cannot access Federal office space, communication services and money to pay staffers and fund travel for the President-elect. No access either to expedited security clearance processing for the incoming National Security team and no secure compartmented National Security briefings.
And no, this is not normal. With the exception of Bush and Gore in 2000, the GSA sign off has come with a few hours of networks calling races every time.
Let me show you who this person is. Her name is Emily Murphy and her job is supposed to be to help the transition goes smoothly regardless of party politics or loyalty to the President. She has drawn controversy before because the GSA oversees the lease the Trump Organization holds on the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
And as "The Washington Post" reports, under her leadership, the agency repeatedly declined to provide documents to House Democrats, including the monthly income statements it receives from Trump's company.
COOPER: So there's that. And making it yet harder to have a smooth transition, the President today fired the Defense Secretary, Mark Esper. None of this is normal. Some of it is dangerous and the days leading up to the inauguration, January 20th are sure to be filled with a lot of distraction, a lot of rhetoric and perhaps conflict.
But none of it will change some simple facts. Donald Trump lost, Joe Biden won and will be the next President.
With all of that in mind, there is breaking news that comes from the Justice Department. The Attorney General of the United States and purports to concern the possibility of voter fraud. Under ordinary circumstances, that story would be news without question. Under these circumstances coming from this Attorney General, there are plenty of questions. CNN's Chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta joins us now with more.
So the Attorney General of the United States has taken an unprecedented step in the aftermath of a presidential election. What is he doing? JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Anderson, this
transition is going to be so 2020, I think, and this is just another indication of that. The Attorney General William Barr sent a memo to Federal prosecutors across the country that they should investigate any allegations of voter fraud.
It is interesting to note, Anderson, that in this memo, the Attorney General says that so far, there haven't been any allegations that have arisen that are of a scale that would change the outcome of the election.
And so at this point, it appears the Attorney General is once again, as most Cabinet members do in this administration is performing for an audience of one at this point -- Anderson.
COOPER: Despite what Bill Barr and the President's congressional allies are doing, are you getting any indication from within the White House that the President is beginning to accept the outcome?
ACOSTA: I think beginning to, Anderson, is the key phrase there. I talked to a Trump adviser earlier this evening who said that the President is starting to see a path to losing as the way this, this Trump adviser described it. This is based on conversations that have been going on with the President, the campaign and his team of advisers.
At the same time, though, the President sees it in his political interest to pursue this strategy of fighting this out in the courts, fighting this out as long as possible, and part of that is because the President and his aides have also talked about the possibility of a resurrection run in 2024, and this is the kind of argument that they would like to take into the next four years, should the outgoing President decide to do that.
And so there's some 2020 politics going on, Anderson, but also some 2024 ones as well.
COOPER: So the President fired the Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, which, you know, there have been talks that happening for a long time, he did it this morning. What more are you learning about that and any other officials whose jobs may be on the chopping block?
ACOSTA: Yes, I did talk to a source close to the President earlier today who said in addition to the Secretary of Defense Mark Esper being fired and the President did that basically be via tweet earlier today that there were discussions that happened before the election regarding the F.B.I. Director, Christopher Wray.
Christopher Wray's name did come up in discussions between the President and some of his top aides in terms of officials that they would like to fire. This source I spoke with stressed, though, that the discussion seemed to be about, you know, if the President wins re- election, it would be more difficult or more dicey, this source said for the President to fire Chris Wray, if there's another administration coming in, because obviously Chris Wray would not be in a great mood to do things that are helpful to the President, should he be fired.
But this name of Christopher Wray came up, Anderson, along with multiple other officials that were under discussion by the President with some of his top aides before the election and I think we're just going to have to buckle our chin straps for the next several weeks, Anderson, this could be a very rocky transition period -- Anderson.
COOPER: Jim Acosta, appreciate it. Thanks. Joining us now is Benjamin Ginsberg. This is his specialties. He is a Republican election lawyer, served as national counsel for the Romney and Bush and Cheney campaigns in 2000 through 2012. He is also a CNN contributor. Mr. Ginsberg, we appreciate seeing you again.
We want to just say again, for context, I mean, from what you have seen, do you see any widespread election fraud at all? And how concerned are you about this move by the Attorney General?
BENJAMIN GINSBERG, REPUBLICAN ELECTION LAWYER: I certainly see no widespread election fraud. What we've seen is broad and sort of baseless charges. We saw it before the election based on no evidence from prior elections. Now, we're seeing it here.
And all those suits that the Trump campaign and the R.N.C. brought before the election now undermine the credibility of what they're saying in this period.
But the Attorney General's actions tonight is unprecedented and that is always a cause for concern when something this unprecedented happened.
And Anderson it was yesterday or the day before that Jim Acosta was reporting the President's dissatisfied faction with his own legal team. And now you bring in the Justice Department to investigate this and that's got to raise suspicions that the apolitical nature of the Justice Department is being compromised despite the lofty words of the Attorney General's memorandum.
COOPER: Mr. Ginsberg, what do you say to people who are like, well, look, I saw you know, Twitter, there was a video of somebody who seemed to be checking something off. And then I saw, there's that story of a guy who brought a truck up with ballots in it. And then I heard a story about a guy -- I mean, you must hear this all the time. What do you say to that?
GINSBERG: There are incidents in every election of some irregularities and fraud. That's why it's very important to follow the state processes of recounts and contests, and some litigation.
Now, the Trump Campaign appears reluctant to try and prove these alleged irregularities in the normal course of things, and instead are filing a series of sort of broad generalities, very light in specific proof or evidence. And at no time have they called into question enough votes to change the outcome in any of these states? COOPER: So a lot of the stuff one sees online, that's not actually
making it -- that's not really what -- when they -- actually when lawyers actually have to go into court and submit something to a judge, they're not pointing to that because they feel that's not going to hold up, is that right?
GINSBERG: I believe that will be true. They've not yet reached the deadlines where they have to submit their proof in a contest or a recount. So perhaps they'll submit what you're seeing online, but lawyers do face sanctions if they present courts with totally unmeritorious complaints.
COOPER: Benjamin Ginsberg, I appreciate it. As always, thank you.
GINSBERG: Thank you.
COOPER: Election means we have lost another CNN contributor but by the same token, the Biden team has gained a senior adviser, Jen Psaki joins us now in her new capacity. Jen, thanks so much for being with us.
JEN PSAKI, SENIOR ADVISER, BIDEN-HARRIS TRANSITION: Good to be here, Anderson.
COOPER: So I want to first get your reaction to what Ben Ginsberg said about the Attorney General's move at the Department of Justice. How concerned is the campaign about it?
PSAKI: Well, look, I'm on the transition side, and we're just trying to get ready to govern. But I will say we've all seen these tactics for weeks, if not months from the Trump team, even before the election.
And with every day with every effort to delay this, it's delaying us getting access to the resources we need, getting people onto agency review teams, into agencies to talk about COVID and the recession and moving forward. And kind of that's how we see it.
COOPER: So I mean, are you being paid on the transition? Because the GSA hasn't signed off on this and it says staffers, I mean, it makes it hard to like hire people, it makes it hard -- what is not, you know, having that sign off -- what does that actually mean in a nuts and bolts way?
PSAKI: Well, there's certainly a money part of it. Um, and you know, that's something that does have an impact. Of course, I'm getting staffed in to be able to prepare to govern. But we're also talking about trying to fill 4,000 political appointment jobs.
We are talking about National Security officials having access to classified information, as you were talking about earlier in your show, access to skiffs about our policy experts, some who are coming back to government who may have left during the Trump administration, who want to get to roll up their sleeves and get to work preparing for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to govern. We're going to announce those in the coming days, and they won't even
be able to get into the agencies to do their work until ascertainment happens.
So there are all sorts of impacts Anderson, and it's really -- it's dangerous and history tells us that, even in the 9/11 Commission Report, they talked about the delay and the impact of the delay in preparing to govern.
COOPER: So if that continues at the GSA, what's the transition team's next move? CNN has reporting that the Biden team thinks it might have to play things a little tougher. What would that actually mean?
PSAKI: Well, look, I think over the last couple of days, we've really wanted to give some space, even though it's longer -- it's a longer delay than then we've seen historically, because the outcome was clear as of Saturday, as everybody you included at CNN can confirm given it was days of waiting for the outcome to come.
But it's clear now, there's no mathematical path forward for Trump and we are obviously trying to get our job and get our get our jobs going here. You know, I think there's -- we're not going to -- there's a bunch of things that we can do moving forward. We're not going to take any options off the table that can include direct engagement with the administrator.
It can include more public advocacy for what the importance is of getting this done, the impact on National Security, the impact at a time where we're facing the global pandemic, and our officials can't even get into these agencies and work with people who have been working on COVID, so we'll talk more about that.
Our preference here, Anderson, is for the GSA Administrator just to sign the document as it's been happening for 60 years and we can all move on. And you know, Joe Biden can proceed to preparing to govern. But we're also prepared with a range of options if that isn't the case.
COOPER: Yes, I mean, given that we are in a pandemic and Joe Biden has won the election. I mean, even if the person wants to pursue things in court, which is absolutely his right, there is no reason that those two things can't happen, that the transition can start and the President can also move things through the court.
PSAKI: That's absolutely true. And factually, as any lawyer or historian will tell you, there have been many times throughout history where there had been recounts, where there has been litigation where the election has still been ascertained. So that the President coming in, the President-elect and his team can get prepared to govern. And that's just what we fully expect and that's what we're hoping for.
COOPER: I want to read you something that Stuart Stevens who worked for five Republican presidential campaigns tweeted, he's also was opposed to President Trump. He said, "If Trump will not release legal transition funds, there's no reason for the House to approve post presidency funds for Trump and his family." Does he have a point? Is that something they actually have say over?
PSAKI: That's a great question. Look, I think that there are Democrats, and I hope some Republicans, I hope on the Hill, on the House and Senate side who are going to start to be more and more outraged by the delay here because we're all trying to address the same crises.
But again, our hope here is not to escalate. You know, Joe Biden wants to start talking to Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate, to governors to mayors. He doesn't want to be bogged down. None of us want to be bogged down by a verbal fight with the GSA Administrator or the White House. We want to get to work.
COOPER: Yes. Jen Psaki, I appreciate it. Thank you very much.
PSAKI: Thank you.
COOPER: Joining us now, CNN chief national correspondent, John King; CNN senior political commentator, David Axelrod; and CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Boucher. So, David, you were part of the incoming Obama administration in 2008, saw firsthand how a transition is supposed to work.
If the Trump administration continues to impede a normal transition, funding, Intelligence briefings, security clearances, all sorts of other resources, how much does that hurt America?
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it is enormously disruptive. It was interesting to hear Jen Psaki reference the year 2000 when the Gore -- when the Gore-Bush race went into overtime and it delayed the transition and it was cited in the 9/11 report as one of the things that impeded the administration -- the new administration, in getting to work on some National Security issues.
There are real consequences to this. This is incredibly subversive and it's not the way it's supposed to work. Not only is the President -- what we see right now is not only is the President preventing the new team from working, he is firing the old team, particularly in the National Security realm. I think it exposes the country to great danger and it definitely makes the job of the new administration more difficult.
And this is an administration that is going to have to take office in the midst of a national crisis, a national pandemic, an economic crisis that's resulted from it. It is a very, very subversive act on the part of this President.
COOPER: Gloria, President Trump obstructing the transition and denying, you know, the votes of the American people and not just the popular vote, but the Electoral College and enough votes in enough states to win the presidency, which is how he had won the presidency. While President-elect Biden is focusing on putting together a national strategy to combat the pandemic, I mean, the difference could not be more stark. I guess the endgame here for the President is setting up his post, you
know, White House life of grievance and you know, being a Rush Limbaugh-type figure, I suppose, and a kingmaker in the Republican Party and the Republican Party where he wants them to still, you know, basically have to pledge allegiance to him for the next four years. That's the only reason I can see him doing this.
It's certainly not for the good of the country to be, you know, even if you're pursuing stuff in court, why wouldn't you let the transition team have the money that they need to do their job that they were elected to do?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Because you're petty, and you're small, and you're full of grievance as you point out, and you're not yet in your heart of hearts, you haven't kind of accepted the fact that you've lost and what you see among Republicans, most of them, except for a handful or so are those who are enabling Donald Trump the same way they have enabled Donald Trump for the last four years.
And what Mitch McConnell is doing as the leader of the enablers, which he did today, he came out and sort of said, you know, let the votes -- you know, let these court cases proceed et cetera, et cetera, is you know, you have to think of McConnell as thinking about the game and John knows more about this than anybody.
Is he thinking that this is a way to motivate the base of the Republican Party, those voters in Georgia who might think that the Democrats tried to steal the election, even if they didn't succeed, they tried to steal the election, and maybe he'll get voters out to get those two seats in Georgia? I mean, who knows?
BORGER: But for the President, it's all about himself, and for these Republicans, it's all about themselves, because they are still afraid of Donald Trump, most of them, and he is going to be around for a while, even if he is not President of the United States and he has an awful lot of power with the Republican voters.
COOPER: John, he still has power and 70 days left in office. So he has fired the Defense Secretary. It sounds like Chris Wray, the F.B.I., you know, maybe on the chopping block, C.I.A. Director reportedly on thin ice, you know, Fauci. The President is actually supposed to continue working until January 20th, not just settling scores and brooding and spreading lies about the election. How do you see this playing out?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he is blatantly transparent about who he is and he has always been that way. And now we're seeing it play out as Gloria noted.
Look, it is petty that he is taking it out at his own team because they would not do his bidding. Secretary Esper got upset about being used at that march from the White House over to St. John's Church, and he told the military stay out of this, stay away from politics as much as you can.
Christopher Wray said publicly several times, Russia was interfering in the election. The President doesn't like that, so now you're going to have this.
And look, you're going to have this domino effect of Trump grievances across the government when these are important agencies. But the President has never respected the government, let alone the National Security agencies where he has been at war with the Intelligence Community from the beginning. He has never respected the government.
And the flip side of that is look, most of Joe Biden's people and David knows most of them all, they know the agencies. Jen Psaki knows where the buildings are. They know where the conference rooms are. They even know where the bathrooms are.
So many of them will come into government with preparations, but especially when it comes to the pandemic, you need access to critical information. What data does the government have about its problems? What is being done now?
If we have a plan to do it the same, great. If we were going to do something differently, we need the numbers. We need the people. We need the charts and the graphs.
There are a hundred thousand Americans, more than 120,000 Americans getting infected every day. So especially on the pandemic, it's just reckless, and it's dangerous to not have a full transition and full cooperation.
One quick point -- sorry to ramble -- about the point Gloria just made about Mitch McConnell. Look, I just want to show you something.
This is Kentucky, right? President Trump gets 1.32 million votes. Mitch McConnell was easily re-elected. He doesn't -- he is not up for six years. He actually has leeway now. But he got 70 something, almost 80,000 fewer votes than the President in his home state.
This is about power. Mitch McConnell likes being the Majority Leader.
If the Democrats win these two seats, the two Senate seats down in Georgia, Mitch McConnell is the Minority Leader.
This is about power. They need to keep the President on their side, as Gloria noted, so they are running up his flagpole of grievances about fraud. And there's two words -- two words -- prove it. Show it or else go away.
COOPER: And John, I mean, the election has been decided. There are still county votes. We still don't have -- we still have states that don't have a projected winner. Where does that stand?
KING: Well, let's take a look at them, and I have this up for a reason this way. So here's how the race looks. Let me come back to the presidential race here and here is how it looks. If you look at the full map, Trump leading in North Carolina, Biden in
Georgia, Biden out in Arizona. We've called Nevada, but if you take it off, you see the gray on the map, those are the states we haven't called yet.
So let's just walk through them. North Carolina, they are still counting some votes here. But the President is leading pretty comfortably, nobody in the Biden campaign -- they would wish late votes would bring them back, but they don't expect that to happen.
Down in Georgia, Joe Biden has actually increased his lead. It's only 11,414. You have those two Republican Senate candidates complaining about the Secretary of State Why? Because he counted votes. The Republican Secretary of State did his job and counted votes and the Republicans are mad because Joe Biden is leading and they are worried about those runoffs.
In Georgia, the Vice President's leads in Saturday, Joe Biden's President-elect now I should call him, I keep calling him former Vice President, and his lead has gotten up about 4,000 since Saturday.
You come out to Arizona. This is one place where Biden's lead is actually shrinking a little bit by about 5,700 votes the President has picked up since Saturday. Biden is still ahead in most of the data, people think he will still win, but this is worth watching. But he doesn't need it.
If somehow the President came back and took Arizona, Joe Biden is still well over the threshold, Anderson of 270 electoral votes and we have projected in Nevada. It's now up to 36,186 votes and that has gone up 13,000 over the weekend.
So in all, but Arizona, for all of these complaints about why you're counting votes, all in all, but Arizona and even in Arizona, they are counting legally cast votes and in three of those four states, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Georgia, Joe Biden's lead keeps growing.
COOPER: David, you know, in the mid-90s, I think it was like '96, I was in Kinshasa, in the waning days of Mobutu and Mobutu was, you know, a pretty awful dictator. And when he finally fled the country and the rebels were moving to take the capital, his son drove around in a pickup truck with a machine gun and settling scores with people he felt had not been supportive enough with Mobutu.
Thankfully, it hasn't come to that here, but I can't believe we're in a situation where, you know, a transfer of power is not -- I can't believe we are in this situation here. It just seems so petty. And I know it's about Georgia and I know it's about setting up grievance politics that will perhaps allow him to run in four years again and get a TV career --
But you know, we're in a pandemic and people's lives -- and even if you don't think Joe Biden is going to become the President, I don't understand why you wouldn't allow the transition funds, you know, to be given to at least start that process so that if, in fact, you know, the courts decide as it seems they would that there's not enough evidence, this thing can continue, and more people won't die because of it.
AXELROD: Anderson, I share your feelings about this. But I don't know what about the four years would have persuaded you that it would have ended any other way. I mean, this President has subjugated the institutions of our democracy and fundamental norms of democracy to his political interests throughout the four years.
And it was very clear in the months leading up to the election that if he did not win that he was going to claim fraud. And yes, it is a way of leveraging -- launching into the next phase of his career, but let's not make any mistake about this.
He got over 70 million votes. He is still the dominant voice in the Republican Party and beyond helping keeping him on board to help win these Senate seats, these people are afraid of him. These Republicans are afraid that he will turn on them.
BORGER: It is about placating him and he can't admit to himself that he got fired. He is the guy who fires people.
COOPER: Yes. Gloria Borger, David Axelrod and John King. Thank you very much.
Coming up next, Cindy McCain on her journey as a lifelong Republican to her current role advising the Biden transition team and what her late husband Senator, John McCain would make of it.
And later, the big news today about a COVID vaccine that seems to work -- work very well -- we're going to take a look at the details of it, when might it be available? And more importantly, when could it actually make a difference? A big night ahead on 360.
COOPER: Given all the breaking news, it's easy to lose sight of the history being made, whether it's the first female vice president, the oldest incoming president, the first modern incumbent to refuse to accept the outcome. There's also the unprecedent movement by Republicans on behalf of Joe Biden.
Joining us now is a member of the bipartisan Biden-Harris transition advisory team Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Republican senator and former presidential candidate, John McCain. Ms. McCain, thanks so much for joining us. How do you feel about the results? And how do you think John McCain would feel about his friend Joe Biden becoming president elect?
CINDY MCCAIN, MEMBER, BIDEN-HARRIS TRANSITION TEAM'S ADVISORY BOARD: Well, obviously, I'm pleased with the results, I guess is it's not going in the right direction is gone the right direction. And I just hope that with all this going on, and with the difficulties that this White House is having that, that the President stays on the right side of history with all of this.
I think my husband would be very pleased. You know, we were good friends. And with the Biden's and I just know, he's looking down going you did the right thing. I'm so happy to be here. And I'm very honored to be part of the transition.
COOPER: You know, Washington, you know, and politics better than just about anybody. Does, you know, Joe Biden, President-Elect Biden, excuse me, talks about, you know, reaching out about, you know, getting things done with both sides of the aisle. It's a notion that, you know, had a lot of currency in the past. It doesn't get talked about a lot now. But I think it's where most Americans are. And it just seems like that's going to be a really, really difficult thing. Do you think actual that is actually possible in this day and age?
C. MCCAIN: I do. I really do. I would not have supported Vice President Biden if I had thought that, but he thought anything. But most of all, we had experienced as a family, and of course, my husband did with him. We're working directly across the aisle, we check with each other disagreeing a lot.
But they were able to get things done, because they did it for the good of the country. That's the difference in President-Elect Biden, with regard to this White House, there, they I believe they can get things done. I also think that they're going to heal the country by working that way. And this, of course, what we all want. I this has been such a bitter divide these last few years, and it's time that we heal this.
COOPER: I mean, your husband was as tough as anybody, but he was also an incredible patriot and gracious about the people he was running against. You know, I remember, you know, him standing up, a lady stood up in a town hall he was having when he was running and said something about President Obama. And, you know, he said, you know, no, you know, he's a very fine person. He spoke about President Obama during his concession speech in 2008. And I just want to play a part of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MCCAIN, FMR SENATOR: Senator Obama, and I have had and argued our differences. And he has prevailed, no doubt many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country. And I pledged to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face. I urge all Americans. I urge all Americans who supported me to join me and not just congratulating him, but offering our next president, our goodwill and earnest effort to find ways to come together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's just, I mean, just listening to him. It's just a reminder of the way the Republican Party used to be of viewing, you know, the country and the institutions as important and it just, I mean, it's sad for many reasons, hearing his voice tonight and, you know, the dignity of what he said. C. MCCAIN: Well, I for that reason, I'm very grateful that you did replay that because I think that was a very important speech, because it wasn't concession speech, but the manner in which it was given, I really truly hope that like I said, that this president stays on the right side of history. But also, with all that said, does what's right for the country.
And the fact that that Vice President Biden, President-Elect Biden is now putting the pandemic first it's the first issue he's working on, because it's the most important issue right now where a lot of trouble. And the disruption that's occurring and continues to occur within the White House only serves to make the rest of us who did vote for or Vice President Biden know that we did the right thing. And I also want to thank you for playing that clip by love hearing my husband's voice.
C. MCCAIN: I can hear it very often.
COOPER: Oh, yes.
C. MCCAIN: Thank you.
COOPER: I always found it hard. Like after my brother died, and after my mom died to hear for a while, I found it really hard to hear their voices. And my brother's voice said there's only one recording of his voice, but when my mom especially but now I love. I made a lot of recordings with her the last week of her life, and I love hearing, hearing her voice and replaying those conversations.
C. MCCAIN: Yes, I love it. I know. I understand.
COOPER: Yes, there's a lot of people who feel like the Republican Party has fundamentally changed and shifted over the last four years under President. I mean, there was shifts going on long before that, but I mean, a real shift and, you know, the people called the party of Trump.
Obviously, you know, your husband's friend, Senator Lindsey Graham has had a change in how he's been acting. And what he's been saying. I'm wondering what you think Senator McCain would make of this transition? Just in general of the Republican Party. I mean, the fun attacking the fundamentals of our election system. And what happened to his friend, Lindsey Graham I mean.
C. MCCAIN: Well, I -- which to begin with the issue itself of the election, I know that my husband, my husband would abide by the process, which is one thing that he as you know, he's both great a great deal about. And also encourage Arizona to get the results in let's move on with this.
It is time, but to do it, follow the process, make sure we count every vote. With that said, Lindsey Graham's a member of my family. I mean, I love him to death. I've certainly disagreed with some things, but you won't get a harsh word out of me because I love him too much. He's a good friend.
COOPER: Well, I mean, that's a great thing we have families in this country is we all got family members who totally disagree with us, and we're still able to get around table and you know, overcome that I.
C. MCCAIN: Yes.
COOPER: Yes. Finally, I just have to point this out your late mother- in-law, Roberta McCain, was laid to rest today at Arlington National Cemetery. What a remarkable life. I mean, 108 years old. Just extraordinary. And I mean, our condolences, obviously, to your family, entire family, but I mean, 108 years old, what a life she led.
C. MCCAIN: But she was a remarkable woman. When I first came to Washington, she was my mentor. She was she guided me through the pitfalls of Washington, D.C. and also Navy life because my husband was still in the Navy at that time. She saw history, from, you know, from the very beginning to the very end.
I mean, she saw a whole lot of what occurred and transformed the United States of America. And she also was not afraid to speak her mind which made her a remarkable woman for that era. We -- she's sorely missed, and I can't tell you she was the most gracious person I ever knew. And someone I love with all my heart and I -- we will all miss her.
COOPER: Well and to have had her in your life for so long is a remarkable thing.
C. MCCAIN: 108, I know.
COOPER: Yes. Cindy McCain it's really a pleasure always to talk to you. Thank you.
C. MCCAIN: Thank you. Thank you.
COOPER: Among world leaders the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is sending his congratulations to President-Elect Biden, Vice President-Elect Harris. Just ahead, I'll speak with the London mayor whom President Trump called a stone cold loser. Just ahead of his visit to England back in 2019.
COOPER: World leaders continue to react positively to the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and the defeat of President Trump. London's Mayor Sadiq Khan called it a well-deserved win. There's been some contentious history between the two on Air Force One just before he landed in London back in June of 2019. The President tweeted this in reference to the mayor: He is a stone-cold loser, President Trump wrote, who should focus on crime in London, not me. Trump added, Khan reminds me very much of our dumb and incompetent
mayor of New York City de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job only half his height. I'm looking forward to being a great friend of the United Kingdom, and I'm looking very much forward to my visit. Landing now.
I spoke with Mayor Sadiq Khan just before airtime.
COOPER: (on-camera): Mayor Khan, thanks so much for joining. You and President Trump have been critical of each other during his term. He's attacked you and your city you were critical of the Muslim ban. What do you think is his defeat says to the world?
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: Well, what you see Anderson is a big smile on every tired face. I think what it shows, actually is that hope can overcome fear. Unity is much more important than succeeds over division.
COOPER (on-camera): You reached out welcoming President-Elect Biden, have you spoken to him directly?
KHAN: No, we haven't. But we're in close contact with the Biden team and we're just chuffed that heaven Kamala Harris did so well on Tuesday. Many of us have been glued to our sets watching John King's magic wall, seeing the developments in America and many of us were rooting for Biden no secret. But also one of the things that I'm not sure if your viewers in America realize is that, you know, when America sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold and the embodiment of your country is your President, you set the tone.
And you set the tone in bad times. And the last few years, we're afraid, for many of us have been bad times, but also for good times when the President-Elect talks about hope, talks about unity, talks about love, talks about time for healing, talks about internationalism, tolerance, anti-racism.
These things really inspire those of us not just in London, not just in my country, but around the globe. And I speak as somebody who's of Islamic faith, and a practicing Muslim, who really has felt under attack, not just personally, but follow fellow followers of Islam over the last few years, because of some of the things your president has said and done.
COOPER (on-camera): By the way, I should just interpret for our viewers to chaffed is a positive term means like, happy, excited, I think, correct?
KHAN: Absolutely does chaffed is over the moon, delirious, happy, inspired all those things, as hopefully you can see from the smile on my face.
COOPER (on-camera): What difference does the person at the top make? Because I mean, you know, the Republicans have actually gained more seats in the House, they maintain control of the Senate, obviously, the court as the Supreme Court as well, conservative justices. But just from an international perspective, what's your belief about the important role of the President of the United States on the world stage?
KHAN: One of the -- I think things that I'm not sure all Americans realize, is the ripple effects of what your president says and does. Many of us fell in love with America, not simply because of fictional politicians that are American, but because of past presidents, because of the civil rights movement, because of your culture, your film, your music. But also when your president speaks, we listen.
So, when a president of the USA, the beacon of freedom and democracy talks about separating children from their parents, because they have a Mexican, talks about banning people from certain countries, because they happen to be Islamic majority countries, talks about taking away funding for clinics, because they allow women to choose what to do with their bodies, has policies that are anti-LGBTQ plus community.
When the president of the USA has an equivalence with anti-racist campaigns in Charlottesville, with the Ku Klux Klan, those things are heard and felt by people across the globe. And certainly, there's a very good reason why many of us across the globe have been glued to CNN since Tuesday, because who wins this election? Who becomes the president matters?
COOPER (on-camera): Have you ever run against somebody who refuses to acknowledge the results of an election and refuses to concede, because this is sort of uncharted territory in the United States? And, you know, obviously, it's unclear how this plays out. I mean, the end result is clear how we get to that end result is not.
KHAN: You know, I love sports when I was younger, and my coaches and my teachers always taught me to be magnanimous in victory, and dignified in defeat, and it's less not took with me when I became a lawyer. And now a politician, we find it quite remarkable. I've got to tell you, as Democrats in this with a small decent, as people who believe in the ballot box and elections, for the loser, not to be dignified and accept defeat.
Many of us looked at marvel at the letter President Bush wrote President Clinton, many of us were just in all of Al Gore's humility, in the year 2000. And you will know, and you've been reporting this about some of the defeated candidates in the past have shown their grace and their class by accepting defeat. But let me ask a rhetorical question. Is anybody surprised?
COOPER (on-camera): Mayor Khan, I really appreciate your time. And by the way, we're keeping John King and the magic wall over here. You can have him on your side.
KHAN: We love (INAUDIBLE). OK.
COOPER (on-camera): Take care. Thank you very much.
COOPER: Just ahead, a member President-Elect Biden's Coronavirus Advisory Board for his transition joins us he along with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who spoke with the CEO pharmaceutical company Pfizer today. We'll discuss the company's big announcement on its vaccine and when Americans may finally have access to it.
COOPER: Just a short time ago Dr. Anthony Fauci put an exclamation mark on the big news from pharmaceutical company Pfizer today about the 90% affectivity rate of its vaccine. He suggested we could be potentially weeks away from initial distribution of a vaccine.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NIAID: You have to go through the hoops of making sure all the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed about the safety and the regulatory aspects of it. But we would be giving vaccine to people very likely before the end of this year. That is good news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Specifically, Dr. Fauci said a vaccine could be ready as early as the end of this month or into December. It was also quick to point out that while there is he said light at the end of the tunnel, we cannot give up on public health measures like mask and social distancing. Today this country crossed the 10 million case mark on Saturday, the nation recorded the most cases since the pandemic began more than 128,000 in one day.
Our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke to the CEO Pfizer this morning, he joins me and Michael Osterholm who's director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research Policy at the University of Minnesota. Today, he was named a member of Joe Biden's transition COVID-19 Advisory Board. Sanjay, so you spoke to the CEO of Pfizer, I want to play some of what he told you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALBERT BOURLA, CHAIRMAN & CEO, PFIZER: 90% is a game changer. 90%. Now you're hoping to have a tool in your war against this pandemic that could be significantly affected. How long this protection will last is something that we don't know right now. But it's part of the objectives of this study. We will follow up on the 44,000 people that they received. They are part of this study for two years. And during this follow up, obviously, we will be looking also the durability of the immune responses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So talk about this were put into perspective. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very interesting. So you know, first of all, this is early interim data, there's still going to be more data coming but they, you know, they were bullish enough about this that they decided to go ahead and do these interviews and talk about it. But let me show you the numbers because I think it's instructive Anderson.
These trials been going on, some 44,000 people are enrolled in the trial, half get placebo, roughly half get the vaccine and they basically see which group gets infected, more likely to get infected. And what you find is more than 90% of the infections that occurred out of these 94 were in the placebo group. So that was pretty good evidence that this seems to be doing something, this vaccine seems to be effective at reducing or preventing infections.
What, you know, we don't know for certain is you know if you think about it 80% of people who get this infection do well right? They have minimal or no symptoms. They're saying this is 90% effective. But does it work in people who are vulnerable? Does it prevent people from getting really significant disease? That's something we don't know yet. That's something he was sort of alluding to.
COOPER: And is it a one time like shot.
GUPTA: Also, we don't know how long it lasts? Right? Yes, that's the other thing. We don't know how long it necessarily lasts. I can tell you, he was sort of alluding to this idea that it probably would be more of a yearly sort of thing or not a one time thing for certain. And keep in mind, we're talking about two shots overall to start with Anderson.
COOPER: OK. Professor Osterholm, on the day when the country expressed 10 million confirmed cases. Do you think the Pfizer news is, you know, they keep using the term game changer? Is this a game changer?
MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, DIRECTOR, CIDRAP: Well, I think Sanjay really summed it up very well, we still have major questions left, if you're preventing 90% of mild illness, that's one thing versus preventing 90 percent of the severe illness, those who might be hospitalized or who die. And so, we really need to wait to get that information. But I think these initial results are, are hopeful in the sense that we can make a vaccine and have some impact. But I think we still have answers that we have to get before we can make a full assessment of the impact that this vaccine will have.
COOPER: And when do you think we get those answers?
OSTERHOLM: Well, unfortunately, far too late. And what I mean by that is you alluded to Anderson, as we came into this segment of what's happening right now. I mean, we are watching cases increased substantially in this country, far beyond, I think what most people ever thought could happen. You know, it will not surprise me if in the next weeks, we see over 200,000 new cases a day. This vaccine will not be available in any meaningful way well into the
first quarter of next year. And then second and third quarter for many people in this country. So, in the interim period, until we get to a vaccine available for all. We really have to deal with what's happening right now. And that by itself is really going to be a challenge.
COOPER: Sanjay, I know, you asked the CEO about the timing of the release of this information. Some people say, well, look, why did they wait till after the election?
GUPTA: Right. No and, you know, he was pretty clear about this, you know, saying this is this was a science dictated the release of the information. You may remember, they thought that they were going to release information earlier.
COOPER: But they talked about the end of October.
GUPTA: (INAUDIBLE) October.
GUPTA: Yes. Right. And what sort of happened, Anderson, as you know, you're sort of counting at a certain number of people becoming infected in this trial, in order to, you know, draw some statistical significance, and they didn't have enough people who had become infected.
And then you had the surges, you know, this obvious, surging cases that we've seen over the past few weeks and more people got infected. So, 94 people were infected, out of 44,000, just to again, put it in perspective here in terms of the types of numbers that we're looking at. But I think that that's sort of what dictated the timing of when this interim data was released.
COOPER: And Professor, you were, you were named to the Biden-Harris Transition Coronavirus Advisory Board. How confident are you about the President-Elect's ability to actually improve the government handling of the pandemic?
OSTERHOLM: Well, I'm very encouraged by the entire activity in the sense of the topics that they're covering, the priorities are making the emphasis. I mean, this is the very first thing that he and the new Vice President Harris put forward as their priority was this very issue. So --
OSTERHOLM: -- I think that we expect to see even in the interim before he actually takes office, of the potential to do a lot of good, helping direct states out here in terms of priority. So I'm very optimistic that this will be a game changer.
COOPER: Michael Osterholm, I appreciate it. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, as always, thank you. We're going to leave you with one last note about someone who -- somehow made me and tens of millions of people feel smarter, even as his questions are, to be more accurate his answers, maybe did the opposite, or often did. Alex Trebek died this weekend of pancreatic cancer, as host to Jeopardy! he brought decades of fun and excitement and the joy of knowledge into our lives. Alex hosted Jeopardy since 1984. He was trusted, he was loved by all of us. And he faced this last difficult chapter, his remarkable life with tremendous courage and remarkable grace.
And in so doing, he gave strength to many people around the world facing challenges on their own. I started watching Jeopardy in high school. I think it was '84, '85 getting to compete on the show several times. I meet Alex Trebek was kind of a dream come true. Even when, Cheech Marin crushed me on my second appearance in Jeopardy. And all I won twice. I lost twice. On my digital show Full Circle today. I devoted the whole show to Alex Trebek.
I was joined by my archnemesis Cheech Marin, who I still bitter toward because he beat me so soundly. You can watch it on our website at cnn.com/fullcircle. The whole show about Alex. You can also tune in to our show live on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays or watch us on CNN app at any time On Demand and our thoughts and our prayers are with Alex's wife and three children. And we wish them peace and strength in the days ahead.
The news continues, want to head over Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME". Chris.