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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Dr. Scott Atlas Resigns; Wisconsin And Arizona States Certify Biden Election Victories; Moderna Seeking Emergency Use Authorization For Its COVID-19 Vaccine; Trump Campaign Lawyer Calls For Death Of Fired Official Who Called Elections Secure?; NY Times: Justice Department Examined Sen. Perdue's Stock Trades; Trump Feuds With Georgia's GOP Governor Weeks Ahead Of Two Senate Runoff Elections. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired November 30, 2020 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: But these documents show, frankly, they had miscounting, misinforming, misdiagnosis, all the problems everyone else faced in time at the very start. The issue China really faces here is it's pretty clear they didn't share the full extent of their mistakes not giving other countries the benefit of the things they learned when they first tackled this virus.

A bit of trouble there, I think for them to some degree and a lot in here, which would have helped so many countries, are they known in real time as it happened.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And the question as to why, why they did not. Thank you very much, Nick. "AC360" starts now.

[20:00:36]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: "It was the first time I allowed myself to cry." John Berman here in for Anderson. That's the Chief Medical Officer of Moderna describing his reaction to extremely positive data on his company's new COVID vaccine.

Moderna is now seeking Emergency Use Authorization for it, joining Pfizer which has a similarly effective vaccine. This is remarkably hopeful news, and it was followed by a dose of breaking news. The departure of the only doctor the President seemed to embrace on his taskforce, Dr. Scott Atlas, the one who doubted masks and had no infectious disease qualifications for the job, stepping down.

More in a moment on how the taskforce is taking the news.

Both items, add in the vaccine coming at the beginning of what could be the darkest days yet for the country. A record number of Americans in the hospital, nearly 95,000. In Wisconsin, nearly one in four of them are in ICUs. In Rhode Island, there are simply no beds left. An alert went out to cell phones that hospitals are at capacity. They've been setting up field hospitals there.

The country is averaging close to 160,000 cases a day, and we haven't even begun to feel the effect of Holiday travel and get-togethers. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We may see a surge upon a surge. You know, we don't want to frighten people. But that's just the reality. We said that these things would happen as we got into the cold weather and as we began traveling, and they've happened. It's going to happen again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Our medical and public health experts will join us in a bit to talk about the moment Dr. Fauci describes. The President meantime has neither done nor has said anything that might help us through that period. He is too busy trying to overturn the election he lost and keeps losing in court and in recounts, and yet again, as states officially certify the vote.

Seriously, he once said we will get tired of all the winning. He clearly never gets tired of all the losing. He keeps losing the 2020 election again and again and again.

Late today, Wisconsin made Joe Biden's victory official there and earlier today, Arizona did the same.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R-AZ): We do elections well here in Arizona. The system is strong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: That's Doug Ducey, the state's Republican governor, and about the same time the President's legal team led by the dye-hard Rudy Giuliani and yes, that's D-Y-E, they were meeting with a group of G.O.P. state lawmakers pushing all the same unfounded allegations that judges including Trump appointees simply are not buying.

And the President, lapping it up, tweeting, "Trump legal team in Arizona and on OANN now. Big stuff. Enjoy."

Enjoy? Really? He is literally trying to overturn the election in public. Enjoy? As if watching him and his enablers sowing doubt in democracy at the height of a pandemic in a country as divided as it has been in generations is just like watching Hoda and Kathie Lee getting Tijdlijn Chardonnay.

But hey, you'll never hear this President singing I get no kick from complain. He lives on the stuff, even if it's in a state, Georgia with two Republican senators defending seats in upcoming runoff elections that will decide which party controls the Senate.

He's even undermining faith in voting there where his party needs all the votes it can get.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They had electoral

officials making deals like this character in Georgia who is a disaster, and the governor has done nothing. He's done absolutely nothing.

I'm ashamed that I endorsed him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: That's the President over the weekend lashing out at Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger who has received death threats for doing his job. This is a Trump supporter, by the way, a Trump voter he says. So is his boss, Brian Kemp.

And just take a minute to consider how little regard the President has for Governor Kemp's duty to the people in his state. It pretty much boils down to, I did something for him. Now, he owes me. A quid pro quo, you might say. Here's the tweet, "Why won't Governor Brian Kemp, the hapless Governor of Georgia use his emergency powers, which can be easily done to overrule his obstinate Secretary of State into a match of signatures on envelopes. It will be a goldmine of fraud and we will easily win the state."

Keeping them honest, the President is asking Governor Kemp to do something he does not have the authority to do, oh, and another thing. There's no evidence of widespread fraud. None.

Listen to the former Federal official in charge of election security. He's a lifelong Republican, the President hired him, and then fired him for saying things like this about the election.

[20:05:14]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTOPHER KREB, FORMER DIRECTOR, CYBERSECURITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY AGENCY: And just look at what happened in Georgia. Georgia has machines that tabulate the vote, they then held a hand recount and the outcome was consistent with the machine vote.

QUESTION: And that tells you what?

KREB: That tells you that there was no manipulation of the vote on the machine count side. And so that pretty thoroughly, in my opinion, debunks some of these sensational claims out there that I've called nonsense and a hoax that there is some hacking of these election vendors in their software and their systems across the country. It's just -- it's nonsense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: That's what a career public servant sounds like. And here's what one of the lawyers trying to overturn the election for the President sounds like, Joseph diGenova, who told radio talk show host Howie Carr today, this about Chris Krebs, "That guy is a Class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out a dawn and shot." That's a former U.S. Attorney, a member of the Bar making death threats -- death threats -- against a former public servant -- death threats. More on that shortly.

As for what he's peddling in terms of evidence, we have yet to see one scintilla of evidence from the President or his legal team that has convinced a single court that this was anything but a Joe Biden victory. Take that away and what have you got? For the president, a little more than this, I was winning when they started counting, yet I was losing when they finished. That's un-possible. That's it? That's all.

And if that sounds too outlandish that a President would not know what his advisers, what the pundits, what most voters and Election Night viewers know that this is how elections work. We'll listen to how the President explains it.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

TRUMP: And what happened, if you watched the election, I was called by the biggest people saying congratulations, political people. Congratulations, sir, you just won the election. It was 10 o'clock and you looked at the numbers and I'm sure you felt that way. This election was over. And then they did dumps.

And they did these massive dumps of votes. And all of a sudden, I went from winning by a lot to losing by a little.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BERMAN: Which is how it actually worked out. No fraud, no conspiracy, just counting votes.

And by the way, the six million votes he is currently losing by is not a little.

More now from CNN's Jim Acosta, who joins us from the White House with some breaking news -- Jim.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John. The President's fraud claims, they are the biggest fraud of them all. I talked to a couple of Trump advisers this evening about the certification news in Wisconsin and in Arizona, and according to these advisers, the President is fully aware. He fully understands that he has lost this election.

I asked one adviser, does the President understand he has been defeated? This adviser said quote, "Yes, he does. He sees the writing on the wall." So strip away what the President is tweeting, strip away what he is saying to Trump friendly TV hosts on FOX News, he understands he has lost this election.

Now, as to what's going on inside the President's head, this adviser said, listen, he still believes that there's some way he could win. He still wants to believe that he can win. But he when he's talking to his advisers privately, he is conceding to them, if not conceding to the public that he has lost this election. BERMAN: I'm sure that's not -- I'm not sure that's a comfort that he

knows he lost even though he is trying to undermine democracy and overturn the results.

ACOSTA: That's right.

BERMAN: In the meantime, Jim, Dr. Scott Atlas, President Trump's controversial coronavirus adviser has resigned. What are you learning about that?

ACOSTA: He has resigned. He tweeted out a self-serving letter a few moments ago, I won't read from that. But essentially he handed in his letter of resignation to the President. Sources confirming to myself and Kaitlan Collins over here at the White House that Dr. Scott Atlas has resigned.

I talked to a source close to the Coronavirus Taskforce earlier this evening about this, who said this is welcome news that Dr. Scott Atlas and his controversial views about herd immunity and so on will no longer have a seat at the table and this Coronavirus Taskforce is still up and running over here at the White House despite all the hits that it has taken over the last several months, it remains intact, according to a White House official.

But no question about it, somebody who believed in herd immunity, somebody who is espousing those views anywhere he could is no longer on this taskforce. And you know, that is something that is being welcomed by people on the taskforce itself tonight -- John.

BERMAN: Jim Acosta, thanks so much for the reporting. Really appreciate it. Joining us now CNN political analyst Josh Dawsey, who shares the byline on this gripping look inside the White House as the President struggles with and resists the reality of losing an election quoting now, "Sequestered in the White House and brooding out of public view after his election defeat, rageful and at times delirious in a torrent of private conversations, Trump was in the telling of one close adviser like Mad King George muttering, 'I won. I won. I won.'"

[20:10:24]

BERMAN: Josh Dawsey joins us now along with CNN political correspondent, Abby Phillip and Josh, I have to say in the last 24 hours alone, the President is attacking the Republican Governor of Arizona, the Republican Governor of Georgia, suggesting the D.O.J. and the F.B.I. are in on some scam to rig the election. You've done this deep dive, talked to so many people inside the White House. What did you learn?

JOSH DAWSEY, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, the President is particularly frustrated with Brian Kemp, the Governor of Georgia. He believes that he made Brian Kemp's political career by endorsing him and that Kemp has betrayed him at every turn and he wants him to take more forceful action.

As we put in our story this weekend, he called Kemp recently and berated him about not helping him more in Georgia. He is also unhappy with Ducey in Arizona. I mean, what happened here essentially was the President thought he was going to win these states.

As the results came in on Election Night, as they were the map room in the residence, he was watching the results, and he believed he was going to win, and then more and more ballots came in and he clearly did not win. Some of these states have now been certified.

And his team has not been able to provide any sort of compelling evidence of fraud in any of these cases. They've lost case after case after case in state after state after state and they are making a lot of these arguments and on, you know, FOX News and on OANN and other channels, but when they're actually in front of a judge and are being asked to provide evidence, they've not been able to do it.

And one of the things we put in our piece, John, is that Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and some of the other lawyers, you know, the Trump campaign lawyers have said, if you have evidence of these things, let us know, like we'll help you make these arguments. And they've not been able to provide them.

BERMAN: Yes. It's amazing. They're giving different stories under oath than they are on places like OANN. Josh, you know, according to your reporting the President's aides, even though they were clear eyed about his loss, they indulged him and encouraged him to keep fighting. Is there anyone around him now who is being realistic? Because Jim Acosta is reporting now that the President is seeing the writing on the wall?

DAWSEY: Well, I think if you talk to most of the people around the President, they realize that he is not going to win this election. They realize it's over. They're working on, you know, a speech for him to give before he leaves. He is never going to concede that he lost.

But in their mind, you know, the President has, you know, a powerful legacy. He has three Supreme Court judges. He got more votes than any other Republican. He got more minority votes than any other Republican has. And they wanted to tout these accomplishments and leave as less of a sore loser and more of kind of a victory tour of sorts even though he lost.

But so far, he has not been able to go along with that. I mean, those conversations have not really gone anywhere because he still wants to fight. I mean, it's a two-pronged reason really, John. I mean, one is that just his pugilist against thing to fight, whatever, and then the second is, they're actually raising a lot of money for their legal fund. He is raising money for his PAC for his political future.

He is freezing out field in 2024, and he is still getting a lot of media attention, a lot of coverage, a lot of -- you know, he's still in the spotlight. And I think for the President right now, unlike the people around him, he doesn't see much advantage to quit this yet.

BERMAN: He will use that money to throw parties at Mar-a-Lago and fly around the country at will, Abby, it's amazing that we can just all take for granted something Josh just said there, which is the President will never concede, and we can talk about and we'll talk about at length over the coming weeks and months how this undermines democracy and the long term impact.

The short term impact, what does this mean for Georgia? Right? The President keeps attacking Republican officials in Georgia. Is it possible that that attack might depress Republican vote in that state where he needs them to turn out on January 5th in those runoffs?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think it is definitely possible and we are already seeing Republican officials kind of raising the alarm about this, whether it's the R.N.C. Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who kind of had to battle these flying misinformation coming at her from Trump supporters who say, you know, they think the whole thing is still rigged.

You know, one of the most interesting talking points that has come out of all of this is Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, making the point several weeks ago that President Trump's attacks on mail-in voting between the primary in Georgia and the general election in Georgia have effectively resulted in fewer Republicans voting for the President in the general election.

And he basically made the point that the President should not have discouraged his own people from utilizing mail-in voting because they were willing to do it in the last election and they would have voted for him.

So I think a very similar story could be playing out for the January runoffs where there is a depressive effect of all of this talk about a rigged election. Those same Dominion machines that the President keeps vilifying? Yes, well, they're probably going to be used in the next election as well. And now the President is claiming that it's all rigged.

This has got to be a real nightmare scenario for Republicans who are trying desperately to get out the vote in an election that is all about turnout. It is not about persuasion at all.

[20:15:11]

BERMAN: Abby, can I ask you a question? I think I probably asked you a half dozen times since November 3rd. Where's Mitch McConnell? I mean, how much longer can Mitch McConnell let this happen? Attacks on Republican governors who matter a lot in upcoming elections, not to mention death threats from the President's lawyers on government or ex-government officials?

I mean, how much longer can McConnell let this just sit out there?

PHILLIP: Yes, it's such a good question, because a lot of the rationale for McConnell's silence and kind of a passive allowance of the President's comments were that President Trump needed to gin up his supporters for January, right, that if President Trump could get his people worked up and out to the polls in January, they could win these two seats.

The question is, is that still true now when the President might be effectively depressing Republican turnout by convincing his supporters that the whole thing is rigged? I think there's some real questions about what the strategy here is for McConnell.

I think his strategy right now seems to be complete silence. But there is a point at which, you know, there are diminishing returns for this sort of thing. Obviously, diminishing returns for the country, for sure. But certainly for Republicans, even if they're looking at the short term need that they have, which is to get Republicans out for those January runoffs.

BERMAN: Does Brian Kemp, Josh, Doug Ducey, do they feel real pressure here? Is Brian camp tempted to break the law in the State of Georgia and do what the President says?

DAWSEY: Well, one of the true lines so far, John, has been that one of these Republicans in states when they felt pressure from the President, in Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia and Arizona have not caved, have really stuck with what the law says and what the numbers say.

Ducey and Kemp, neither one have given into any of their entreaties to call a special emergency powers nor do what the President has wanted.

You know, the President has called a lot of these different governors and have asked them to get more involved. And you know, so far in Pennsylvania and Georgia and Arizona, and Wisconsin and Michigan, you're not really seeing the kind of involvement that the President and his team would like.

You're seeing these governors certify results, these Secretaries of State certify results. You know, they do these rigorous recounts of the ballots and then once the recounts are done and the legal challenges are done to certify.

BERMAN: Josh Dawsey, we appreciate you being with us. Terrific reporting. Abby Phillip, we appreciate you being with us as well. Terrific reporting, as always.

Next, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and public health expert William Haseltine on the breaking vaccine news and the Scott Atlas departure.

Later, one former public servant who broke what the President has to say about death threats against another -- that would be Chris Krebs -- that and more head on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:21:24]

BERMAN: So Dr. Scott Atlas is leaving the role he was never actually trained to perform. The radiologist leaving the President's COVID Taskforce. Also the second wave of hopeful vaccine news, first it was Pfizer; now Moderna. A lot to talk about.

Joining us, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and William Haseltine, formerly of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He's also the author of many books, including the upcoming "My Lifelong Fight against Disease from Polio and AIDS to COVID-19."

Sanjay, I want to start with you. Just quickly, your reaction to Dr. Scott Atlas leaving the White House, leaving the Coronavirus Taskforce?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I mean, I said before that he just wasn't helpful. He was harmful. I mean, two of the biggest issues that I think we've learned about this past year, the benefits of masks and not pursuing a plan of herd immunity were both things that he was in opposition with, to just about everyone else on the taskforce.

He would say that he wasn't really advocating herd immunity, but all of his comments would suggest otherwise. He would say people should wear masks, but all his comments would suggest otherwise.

I think, you know, it's unfortunate because as has been suggested, not just by me, I think he gained the President's ear because he was just reflecting what the President was saying, as opposed to offering up a science based proposals.

So, you know, Deborah Birx essentially said she would not sit in taskforce meetings with him anymore. That's how disruptive his presence had become.

BERMAN: It's quite a legacy. So Sanjay, the Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told CBS this morning that if all goes well, the first people to get either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine may be able to do so before Christmas. So just in the simplest terms, walk us through this process and what comes next?

GUPTA: Yes, so there's vaccine -- some vaccine that's been manufactured, some of it will be distributed. My understanding is we're hearing just even over the next week or so, December 10. I mean, this is not preordained yet, but December 10, there will be this meeting where they'll essentially make this recommendation as to whether or not the vaccine is authorized.

If it is, it's expected to be, but if it is, then there is a certain amount of vaccine that is then available, and will continue to be produced on a rolling sort of basis. The prediction is 40 million doses, if both these vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are authorized within December, it should be available. It is two doses. So that would be 20 million people; January, another 50 million doses.

I mean, you can look at the calendar here, it's going to be sort of this rolling basis of production.

Now, one thing I will say is that, you know, we're sort of presenting a scenario where everything goes, as people hope it will. They have to manufacture this vaccine. They have to distribute it. We've talked about how difficult the distribution is, for example, with cold storage, but even manufacturing at this sort of scale. It's got to go through all these safety checks, John, before it's actually released.

If there's a problem with the batch, then all of a sudden, that timeline we just presented could actually get delayed a bit. So, that's sort of roughly how things are looking like they may shake out, though.

BERMAN: So Professor Haseltine, you've been on this program and all of our programs since the beginning of the pandemic, so just big picture. What are your thoughts tonight on all these developments on the vaccine front, the distribution but also the news today from Moderna, you know, their vaccine, they say 94 percent effective, 100 percent effective against severe cases.

DR. WILLIAM HASELTINE, CHAIR AND PRESIDENT, ACCESS HEALTH INTERNATIONAL: That's nothing, but good news. If the story pans out, as these preliminary reports suggest, the issue is we haven't seen the data yet, but I expect that the data will support their claims. That's really good news.

But there's things we don't know about the vaccine, how long it lasts, for example, what are the long term side effects, for example.

[20:25:11]

HASELTINE: And already, there's confusion as to how the vaccine is actually going to be used, when, as you just discussed, when it will be rolled out, how many people will get it, who will get it? You know, we still are in a leadership vacuum.

Because Scott Atlas is gone doesn't mean leadership is back. We need leadership to have uniform policies across the United States, which we have never had in this pandemic, and we need it now more than ever. When there is something that really can be done, we need to make sure it's done fairly, it is done uniformly and it is done properly and that takes strong Federal leadership and that is something I worry about.'

You're already seeing different people in the administration saying, it's going to be this date, it's going to be that date. It is going to be these people who get it first and it's going to be those people who get it first.

The actual fact is, it's up to the states to decide how to distribute this vaccine, and to whom, and it can vary enormously from state to state, and even, in some cases, from city to city. So we're just in the beginning. It's great news, but let's make the best of a good story.

BERMAN: To what extent do the answers to these questions or does your decision whether you will personally take the vaccine hinge on the answers to those questions?

HASELTINE: It depends, I think, for many people. We need to see the data. The doctors who are going to be administering the vaccines need to see the data which they haven't seen yet. I would like to see the data on longer term effects. But many people are understandably eager to take the vaccine before we know the full benefit.

There are possibilities, for example, but it will be a short-lived vaccine and people will draw precautions. I argue for a two-step program, one in which we begin to transit to a vaccine, but we increase our vigilance in this terrible pandemic, which is now upon us.

BERMAN: Look, we need to be vigilant for sure over the next several months. There's no question about that.

Sanjay, one other piece of news from Moderna when they released their information today, they said that their vaccine was designed in just two days back in January. It took them two days to design the vaccine. I have no idea what to even make of that. How should we interpret that?

GUPTA: Yes, it's pretty remarkable. I mean, you know, it's a different -- a totally different way of thinking about vaccines. I mean, you know, it's almost like you think about this more like generating computer code rather than medicine in a lab.

And you can you can take a look at the calendar, you know, the timetable, very fast. They get the genetic sequence, they basically say, okay, we're going to create a portion of the virus, what's called the spike protein, and get the genetic sequence of that particular portion of the virus, not the whole virus.

Essentially, you know, the idea was that once you've got that, that's the vaccine design. You can basically give just a genetic sequence, and then the body starts making spike protein over and over again. And then the body says, oh, there's a lot of spike protein here. So let's make the antibodies to that spike protein.

So essentially, it turned the body into its entirely owned vaccine making machine in a way. It is superfast and I think that makes some people nervous. But the story didn't just begin this year.

Some of the basics of this technology had been around for a long time, you know, even back going to SARS days. So in many ways this was building on a lot of existing knowledge.

BERMAN: Well, with Professor Hamilton's copy, I have to say this is a triumph of science, the likes of which I'm not sure that I've seen in my lifetime.

Sanjay, Professor Haseltine thank you so much for being with us. Appreciate it.

HASELTINE: Thank you.

GUPTA: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: More breaking news coming up. As we reported at the top of the program, a lawyer associated with the Trump campaign tells a radio call-in show that Chris Krebs fired by President Trump as the nation's cybersecurity chief for saying the election was secure that he now ought to be shot. That's when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [20:33:37]

BERMAN: So more breaking news. We told you this earlier but it's certainly important enough to repeat. A lawyer who as far as we know remains part of the Trump campaign legal team is telling a radio call in show that a man the President fired for saying the election was secure. Not to put too fine a point on it should be executed.

The lawyer is Joe diGenova. And he said the official should be drawn and quartered and taken out of dawn and shot. He was referring to Christopher Krebs, the former DHS official cyber security chief who said there were zero problems with election security as far as he was concerned.

President Trump hailed diGenova and a tweet back on November 14th. The President wrote, I look forward to Mayor Giuliani spearheading the legal effort to defend our right to free and fair elections. Rudy Giuliani, Joseph diGenova, Victoria Toensing, Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis, a truly great team added to our other wonderful lawyers and representatives.

Joining me now was Miles Taylor, another former DHS official who was a close friend of Chris Krebs. Also with us, CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger.

Miles, I just want to start with you and look I don't want to over amplify what was a public death threat against Chris Krebs, but you're a friend of his. How do you see him taking this that a lawyer of the President is calling on him to be executed for telling the truth?

MILES TAYLOR, FMR HOMELAND SECURITY CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, look, I'll say this John. Chris Krebs is a wonderful public servant. And anyone who speaks out against a sitting president is going to face a rough and tumble time. And I think Chris was probably prepared for that.

But look, this is a man with a family who did a good job. All right. What was Chris's crime here? He spoke the truth. He simply said that based on the job he had in the Trump administration, that the election was secure. And now he and his family have to face the tumult of this kind of violent rhetoric out there because of him simply speaking the truth.

[20:35:31]

Now, John, my concern here is not only what's happened to Chris, but it's the broader culture of intimidation that's been created by this president and by this administration that has resulted in this. We saw during impeachment with people like Alexander Vindman and Fiona Hill, we saw when Steve Bannon recently suggested that Dr. Fauci be beheaded for simply speaking the truth. And the President himself has suggested that people liked the intelligence community whistleblower, he's insinuated, rather than people like that be hung. I experienced it myself, John. I mean, in speaking out against the President, you know, I now have to have a protective detail because of the threats that have emanated from that.

BERMAN: We just got the sound in. So let's listen to what he said.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

JOE DIGENOVA, TRUMP CAMPAIGN LAWYER: Anybody who thinks that this election went well, like that idiot Krebs, who used to be the head of cyber law --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, were the guy that was on 60 Minutes last night.

DIGENOVA: That guy is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered, taken out of dawn and shot.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

BERMAN: Glory, that's not the rough and tumble of politics. That's not sharp elbows.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: No, that's disgraceful. It's disgusting. There is no bottom here. It's beneath contempt, John. I mean, you know, Joe diGenova, may try and come out and say, oh, that was just a joke. But it wasn't a joke. This was a threat.

And what was he threatening Mr. Krebs for trying to procure a safe election for this country, defending the work of tens of thousands of workers out there at ballots, who have been counting and recounting and making sure that every single vote is counted. Office holders across state local across the country who have done their jobs to try and make sure this election was safe.

What should -- what would even, you know, why would Joe diGenova even say something like this? And there's only one answer to that, which is that he's playing to an audience of one who likes when people say something like that, and that's the President.

BERMAN: I will say, though, as we just learned for Miles, who as a security detail now, it has an impact beyond the audience --

BORGER: Yes.

BERMAN: -- of just one. And Gloria, I will ask you what I think is the question. Maybe the one question left, that hasn't been answered over the last nearly month now. Where's Mitch McConnell? Where is Mitch McConnell? How can Mitch McConnell listen to this sound, listen to the President's lawyer threatening a public official like that, and continue to remain silent?

BORGER: And by the way, this is a person who is demeaning what Mitch McConnell does, which is serve the public. Senators are supposed to serve the public. And with his silence, Mitch McConnell is not doing that. What he's thinking about is the short term, he's thinking about Georgia, he's thinking about winning two Senate seats, and keeping the majority in the Senate.

He doesn't want to poke the bear, the bear being the president of the United States. But what is happening as a result is that the Republican Party is being ripped apart at the seams. And you have people now in Georgia saying, you know, what, why should I vote? Republican saying this, because it's all rigged.

And so, the Republican Party, you've got people who are saying, Republican officeholders saying we conducted a fair election, and then you've got other people saying, well, you know, they're criminals. They're morons. It's just absurd. And it's not only ripping the Republican Party apart, I'm afraid it's ripping the country apart, John.

BERMAN: So Miles again, if you're keeping score at home over the last 24 hours, the President has attacked the Republican governor of Georgia, the Republican governor of Arizona, he suggested the DOJ and the FBI are somehow in on some kind of a fix. And now his lawyer is suggesting that a public servant who said that the election was fair, be shot. That's an incredible string of things to happen in one day.

TAYLOR: It is John. And you've got to look though, even beyond this day. We've got a Washington D.C. that's now filled with rhetoric from this president about good public servants been hung, quarter, shot attack. All right, Washington D.C. has become medieval times under Donald Trump.

People also say it's become crazy town but this rhetoric has jumped the tracks into violence such that these people who are simply trying to do their jobs and serve their country have to actually fear for their lives and their families. And it's not just in the Washington D.C. bubble.

[20:40:17]

As you note, John, down in Georgia, we've got people like the Georgia Secretary of State and others who are on the receiving end of really vile and disgusting death threats, because they've gone out and told the American people and voters the truth about this election, which is that it was safe, it was the most secure in modern history, and that what the President is claiming about it is factually incorrect.

But now we've stepped so far beyond the pale that it's difficult to see how we come back from this. And look, we're going to hear I'm sure within hours that the President's lawyer denies this. And as Gloria said, he might suggest that he was merely joking. But when we live in an environment where the President can crowd source violence with a tweet, it doesn't have to be that his lawyer goes out and conducts the attack.

It's that this mob, the social media mob goes out and amplifies this, and that's what creates danger for these individuals who speak out against the President and tell the truth.

BERMAN: And I will say something you both said what was his crime Chris Krebs saying that the election was fair. Imagine that. Miles Taylor, Gloria Borger, thanks so much for being with us tonight.

TAYLOR: Thanks, John.

BERMAN (voice-over): Coming up, incumbent Georgia Senator David Perdue under the microscope for stock trades in the wake of a New York Times report that the Justice Department was investigating his trades at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. I'll also speak with his Democratic opponent in that January 5th runoff, Jon Ossoff.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:45:34]

BERMAN: More breaking news now. Georgia's Republican governor in the state's Republican Secretary of State today vigorously push back on any attempts to overturn the state's presidential election. A statement issued in the name of Governor Brian Kemp said state law prohibits his interference in the election. In a news conference, Brad Raffensperger said quote, truth matters.

All this as new reporting from the New York Times has put incumbent Georgia Senator David Perdue under a microscope. The paper says the Justice Department has been examining stock trades by the senator in a company where he wants served on the board. Perdue is one of two Republican Georgia senators facing a runoff election on January 5th.

CNN's Kyung Lah has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JON OSSOFF (D-GA) SENATE CANDIDATE: Every time he has said he's not personally responsible for profiting from this pandemic. He's been lying to you. Perdue's misconduct is repeated and flagrant.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Georgia Senate Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff is on the attack against Republican incumbent David Perdue. From this news conference to appearances on Sunday political shows to a new ad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When he was getting classified briefings about the pandemic. But instead of him being concerned about us, he of selling stock.

LAH (voice-over): The latest attacks from Ossoff target the timing of Senator produced sales of more than a million dollars worth of stock from Atlanta based Cardlytics, a financial company where Perdue was once a board member. In e-mails obtained by "The New York Times," Cardlytics CEO at the time, Scott Grimes e-mail the senator on January 21st. David, I know you're about to do a call with David Evans. As an FYI, I have not told him about the upcoming changes. Senator Perdue responded I don't know about a call with David or the changes you mentioned.

The Cardlytics CEO e-mailed back the next morning, David sorry, that email was not meant for you wrong, David. An e-mail mix up. But the next day on January 23rd, financial disclosure forms show Perdue sold between 1 to 5 million and Cardlytics stock. Six weeks later, Cardlytics stock plummeted when the CEO announced he was stepping down forecasting disappointing earnings.

On March 18th, with Cardlytics stock at $29 a share, financial disclosures show Perdue bought back between 100 to $250,000 worth of Cardlytics stock. Cardlytics is trading this week at around $120 a share.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Perdue welcomed a full review of his stock trades.

LAH (voice-over): Perdue defended his investment history during the general campaign, noting that he's never been charged with the crime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the Department of Justice, the SEC, and even the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee cleared him completely.

LAH (voice-over): But the investigations dog the senator politically. This moment and the only debate between Perdue and Ossoff ahead of the November election went viral.

OSSOFF: It's not just that you're a crook senator. It's that you're attacking the health of the people that you represent.

LAH (voice-over): And it's not just Perdue, Georgia's other Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler is spending off accusations of insider trading by her Democratic challenger as well. The Justice Department investigated Loeffler sale of between 1 to $3 million in stock. As lawmakers were briefed on the pandemic ahead of the virus's impact on the markets. The DOJ did not file charges and the Senate ethics panel dismissed its investigation.

As for Perdue, his campaign says accusations of insider trading are baseless accusations, nothing more than lies to push a categorically false narrative for political gain.

(on-camera): These investigations were closed without charges.

OSSOFF: Well, the standard for conduct for a U.S. senator needs to be higher than that he wasn't criminally prosecuted. This conduct is obviously deeply unethical.

LAH (voice-over): Kyung Lah, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Our thanks to Kyung Lah. Now we reached out directly to Senator Perdue's campaign and the campaign declined to speak to CNN about this on camera. Cardlytics did not respond to requests for comment and order Kelly Loeffler.

As you heard in Kyung's piece, David Perdue's Democratic opponent in early January is Jon Ossoff. I spoke to him just before air time.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: (on-camera): Mr. Ossoff, you said that the standard for U.S. senator needs to be higher than simply Senator Perdue wasn't criminally prosecuted. So what should that standard be? And what do you say to people who say the fact that the Justice Department isn't charging him may be exculpatory?

[20:50:15] OSSOFF: Well, the facts are that Senator Perdue while he had access to classified information about COVID-19, was at the same time telling the public, it was no deadlier than the flu, and buying up shares and producers of vaccines and medical equipment in private, all year.

His excuse has been that he doesn't handle his own stock trades. But what federal investigators found was that he was personally directing stock trades. Whether or not Senator Perdue has been indicted is not the point. And that's a pretty low bar for conduct by a sitting U.S. senator. He's been enriching himself in office while blocking financial relief for the people he represents and lying about it all year long.

BERMAN (on-camera): So President Trump going to Georgia to campaign for both senators in that state, what impact you think that will have?

OSSOFF: Well, I mean, is the President bringing stimulus for families here? Is he bringing relief for small businesses? Or is he just going to be spreading COVID-19? I think the most interesting thing is that Senator David Perdue, when he's behind closed doors with Republican establishment donors, has been complaining that opposition to the president in Georgia is what forced them into a runoff.

And that the ambiguity about what the President's going to accept the results, putting him in a tough position. He's griping about the president in private. But in public, he's out here indulging the President's fantasy, but he actually won. He's going to have to make a decision soon which way it is.

BERMAN (on-camera): The President today attacking the Republican governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, what impact do you think that'll have?

OSSOFF: Is this same disarray, where you got Perdue in private complaining about Trump, Perdue in public, calling for the resignation of the Republican Secretary of State. The bottom line is that David Perdue felt entitled to reelection in a walk. And he expected the apparatus of voter suppression in Georgia to keep the lid on the pot. But the will of the people boiled over.

And the President was defeated here and Perdue forced into a runoff. And if folks want to help us continue to build that kind of momentum and get out the vote, I'm asking them to go to elect jon.com and help us finish the job here.

BERMAN (on-camera): You know, if there are some people who say that President Trump attacking Brian Kemp, President Trump attacking the system, the Georgia electoral system may depress Republican turnout. To what extent are you hoping for that?

OSSOFF: Well, I want everyone to participate in our democracy. What I want to stop are these attacks on voting rights. Because that is fundamentally what this says. Remember that Senator Lindsey Graham was actually pressuring Georgia Secretary of State to discard legitimate ballots, to try to throw the state for the President. And it was black turnout in Georgia that delivered this state for

Biden and forced Perdue into a runoff. And so, these attacks on the process are an attack on black voters. And that cannot stand.

BERMAN (on-camera): Joe Biden's not on the ballot January 5th. To what extent are you concerned that that might depress some of that Democratic turnout you were just talking about?

OSSOFF: I'm not concerned because what's on the ballot, is whether or not this incoming administration will be able to confront this pandemic and resource public health experts, rush, direct financial relief to families and businesses and invest in economic recovery.

Bottom line is if McConnell keeps the Senate he's going to try to do to Biden and Harris just like he tried to do to President Obama, it will be obstructionism, government shutdowns, he will prevent the passage of the kind of major COVID relief bill that we need. We need effective government, not paralysis in a crisis like this.

BERMAN (on-camera): That sounds though like you're making a an argument that the election should be nationalized. And it's about more than just Georgia.

OSSOFF: Look, I'm just speaking candidly about the stakes. The stakes in Georgia are extraordinarily high. The stakes for the nation are extraordinarily high. I call things like I see them. These races are so important, because they will determine whether or not this incoming administration can cover at a moment when we desperately need good government.

When the Senate has already been holding up desperately needed relief for six months. This is about families, businesses, jobs and lives, not the partisan circus in Washington, not which side is up, which side is down. But whether people survive this crisis, both in terms of their health and their literal survival and the economic catastrophe that has befallen so many families and businesses in Georgia.

[20:55:07]

BERMAN (on-camera): Jon Ossoff, we thank you for joining us tonight. Appreciate it.

OSSOFF: Thanks so much.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Just ahead, we just attained Dr. Scott Atlas' resignation letter.

(voice-over): Details when "360" continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: Earlier in the broadcast, we reported the breaking news that President Trump's top COVID adviser controversial neuroradiologist with no background in epidemiology has resigned. We now have the resignation letter from Dr. Scott Atlas, which contains some frankly, unbelievable claims. For instance, he writes, as you know, I always relied on the latest science and evidence without any political considerations or influence.

Last month, Twitter removed in Atlas tweet that red masks work, no. And earlier this month, he urged Michigan to quote, rise up unquote against COVID restrictions. Later in the letter Dr. Atlas also writes this use we're in agreement with those of many of the world's top epidemiologists and medical scientists.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is one of the world's top infectious disease specialists. He and others have criticized Atlas's lack of expertise. A month ago, Dr. Fauci told The Washington Post quote, he keeps talking about things that when you disect it out and parse it out, it doesn't make any sense.

A reminder, don't miss it "Full Circle" Anderson's digital news show. You can catch it streaming live at 6:00 p.m. Eastern at cnn.com/fullcircle, or watch it there and on the CNN app at any time On Demand

[21:00:10]

The news continues. So let's go to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME".