Return to Transcripts main page


Trump: There Will Be an Orderly Transition on January 20th; Congress Certifies Joe Bidens Win After Capitol Attack. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired January 7, 2021 - 04:00   ET



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Implying that himself is going to go. But of course he went back to the White House after where he is safe and protected. But also everything that he has been laying the groundwork for since he lost the election, by fueling them, by saying, you know, that he lost, that it was fraudulent, and making up all of these accusations that were completely baseless, rejected by Republicans in so many states. Yet the president continued to put fuel in the fire, and he laid the groundwork for what happened today.

And you're hearing Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill acknowledge that. And Senator Imhoff said today in an interview just a few hours ago that he had spoken to Vice President Pence, and said Pence was upset with what the president had been saying. And that seems incredibly mild given the events that have happened today.

But for the vice president to say something like that is a notable departure from where their relationship has been. So you saw the president on one of his final days in office be abandoned by some of his top allies in the Republican Party. His deputy national security adviser resigning in protest over how he responded to this today, and other people considering doing so. So I think that speaks more to the president's legacy than a lot else over the last four years can really.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: 357,000 deaths.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, and counting. Kaitlan Collins thank you very much for burning the midnight oil with us here. I'm Chris Cuomo along with Don Lemon, let's reset here at four o'clock in the morning, Thursday morning. Just moments ago, history, Congress has officially certified Joe Biden's Electoral College victory.

Now, President Trump is saying there will be an orderly transfer of power in 13 days on January 20th. He just put out a statement to CNN, here it is.

Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election and the facts bear me out -- that's a lie -- nevertheless, there will be an orderly transition on January 20th that has already proven untrue because today there was an insurrection. I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. They were. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to make America great again.

LEMON: When I read off the litany just now, that was top of mind, I left out one thing, he was impeached for the same type of phone call that we heard from this past weekend. So.

CUOMO: What does it tell you --?

LEMON: That he's crazy.

CUOMO: -- that one of the things people forget about you when critiquing you, is that you were impeached. It's like somebody forgetting and they, well I'll tell you why I don't like Don, is that you robbed a bank. We just went through an election where Joe Biden never attacked him in the debate with the fact that he had been impeached. OK, one of the things that puts him in very rare company.

LEMON: But impeached, Chris, seriously, for the same type of phone call, there were those -- I don't believe the president that he was trying to shake down Ukraine. It didn't happen, even though the transcript showed exactly what he was doing, and then when you hear the same type of desperate phone call.

Listen. There's a lot to be said about this president and what he is responsible for, but adults in this country, in this world -- if you look at this video -- adults are responsible for themselves. There is self-responsibility -- personal responsibility here, and you see the idiots at the capitol today. These people, yes, they have been hoodwinked by this president and they're elected officials. Hoodwinked into believing that the election was fraudulent and that votes were stolen.

None of that is true. None of that has happened, it was proven over and over. Louie Goldman, moments ago saying, you know, we weren't even allowed to get to the court. The court could not hear all of this. As he was saying that, honestly, Chris, we were sitting here saying, well that's not true.

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: Courts heard it. The Supreme Court heard it. How many times did it go to the Supreme Court? I believe it was twice that things went to the Supreme Court, at least.

CUOMO: And he cited things as fact that he could never demonstrate.

LEMON: He said Senator signed it and then the vice president had to correct him, and then there was no Senator and then the vice president, all right, get out of here, but go on, sorry, Chris.

CUOMO: No, no, no. I'm saying that look, at every level, and look there will be criticism, that oh, you know, you have to respect that these people feel. No, they committed federal felonies today with what they did. They broke into the U.S. Capitol with an intention to disrupt our democracy. OK. When you say, you know, they should never have called everyone who follows Trump a deplorable. That's what Hillary Clinton said she shouldn't have said it, fine.

But I'll say it again, not all Trump supporters are people who believe in ugly things and bigoted things. But all people who ascribe to that kind of an animus seem to support this president, and that has to tell you something. And we saw that in action today.


So many ugly symbols of hate were carried in his name today into the U.S. Capitol.

LEMON: But you know what -- you know that these people, many of them who took selfies and they're going to display this and they're proud of it.

But you know what -- you know that these people, many of them who took selfies and they're going to display this and they're proud of it. I have heard people who are proud of it. I know people who are Trump supporters who think it's funny. And look what they did to the capitol. We will not back down. Those are the words of who, the president of the United States, and he said that even in that statement.

I have said that we'd always -- paraphrasing it's similar language -- I've said that we'd always fight for every legal vote. Legal vote, that became the rhetoric. Of course they're all legal votes. Just because they were votes from people in minority communities and urban cities or they were blue votes doesn't mean they were illegal votes. It's not just the white people who support Donald Trump's votes who count.

CUOMO: But Don, we know when you have those black people counting those votes in those urban areas.

LEMON: I mean your suspicious, right, putting them in suitcases --

CUOMO: You know what they do.

LEMON: -- and destroying ballots.

CUOMO: You know what they do. I mean all the time. Everybody knows. Philadelphia, everybody knows.

LEMON: You know what they really do? You know what those people in those counties do? They work hard to do the work of the American people.

CUOMO: With less resources --

LEMON: With less resources.

CUOMO: -- less polling places, twice the waiting time.

LEMON: And you know why? Because people are trying to take their vote, voter suppression is why that happens. That's why there are fewer polling places in minority communities because --

CUOMO: Worse machinery, less machinery, less personnel, less money for it.

LEMON: You know what, everyone talks about voter suppression, everyone talks about redistricting and zones and all of that, you know what the most -- voter suppression, Republicans are really good at voter suppression, really good at voter suppression, especially when it comes to black people. Especially when it comes to taking away drop boxes. Especially when it comes to trying to stop the United States Postal Service from delivering ballots on time.

Trump tried it, even with all of that, he still lost. So imagine, imagine if Donald Trump had succeeded with getting the Post Office to stop delivering or picking up ballots and removing all of those boxes.

CUOMO: By the way, it took a federal court to get them to expedite service, and then they had a resource issue also because the boy -- his boy that put on there to do it who was problematic in terms of doing it. But even Gomer in pleading the case that was largely fake was, you know, they illegally created all of these extra polling centers.

You know, if that's your gripe, that they created too much access to exercising the franchise, what does it tell you that this is really about. This is about keeping those people from voting. And it is sad that he has harnessed that, and people find very intelligent and subtle ways to suggest it, what did you call it before, white grievance or something like that?

LEMON: Yes, white grievance.

CUOMO: It is bigotry, that is just bigotry. It's like when we say food insecurity, that's hunger is what that is. You are going after only the minority votes.

LEMON: Yes, I told you, did I stutter. Only the white voters --

CUOMO: Sounded so much more real said it. When the white guy says it, the black guy is disenfranchised. It sounds much more believable.

LEMON: I know that your ice is colder, and I know that your votes count more, but it shouldn't. That's indeed, -- but listen, we've got to -- we have to look on the positive side, if there is one. This was over on November 3rd. Right? But now it is officially other. Even all the rigmarole, even all the trying to steal the vote, all of that. Trying to undermine the will of the American electorate. It's over. Moments ago Joe Biden, Kamala Harris their win was certified by the Congress. I mean the Senate and the House of Representatives. So let's talk about that.

Joining me is Angela Rye, Alice Stewart and Amanda Carpenter. Good evening one and all -- good morning. I keep saying good evening or good morning. So here we go. Amanda, good to see you. I'm going to start with you. You say that every single Republican should be issuing a press release right now saying Biden is the rightful and winner of a free and fair election. Talk to me about that.

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, we have to put an end to this madness. The president incited a mob that breached the United States capitol and shut down business. And tonight, as we are supposed to look at his, you know, supposed concession statement, whatever that was, he ends it by saying the fight continues.


Essentially saying I'll be back because he still thinks he owns the Republican party.

His son was at the rally, ginning these people up, saying this isn't the Republican Party. It is Trump's Republican Party. And where did that get the Republican Party? Cowering in their seats while protesters mobbed, not protesters, domestic terrorists mobbed the building. This did not happen overnight. These people have been coming to our cities, shutting down legislators in Michigan, shooting people in Kenosha, marching in Charlottesville for years. Because Donald Trump cultivated and coddled them.

This has to end. We need statements putting an end to the election lie that Joe Biden somehow didn't win fairly, end that. And then there needs to be more to make a solid, clear, permanent break with Donald Trump because otherwise they will be back because this didn't happen today.

Angela Rye, you sat and watched the image, you sat and watched what happened in Washington, D.C. Many people felt helpless that the country was on the brink of losing the democracy. I for one, and I'm sure many people around the country including you were not shocked or surprised that this was inevitable, this was bound to happen because Donald Trump has been stoking this sort of thing for years, and today, actually moments before it happened, he stood there and encouraged people to do it.

ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Don, I didn't just sit and watch, I talked to many of the members of Congress who I used to work for. Many of them who when they were coming into Congress, talked to them about staffing up their offices. I have friends who still work on Capitol Hill. And I was not just angry and frustrated by the fact that when you are -- as Amanda so aptly put it -- a white domestic terrorist protesting god knows what, that frankly fake news and fake tweets, versus if you are a protester trying to survive, trying to just breathe in this country but you look like me and/or you were standing in solidarity with people that look like me, you are shot, you are tased, you are hit with rubber bullets.

I have a little brother named Dion Jones who was hit in the face with a rubber bullet in California and was severely traumatized. But when you look very different, and you believe that you own a house that was built by enslaved people, you can go in and leave notes on Nancy Pelosi's desk. You can go in and threaten the lives of people who I worked with. So I didn't just watch. I mourned, I grieved. I was stressed out. I had anxiety sky high. I haven't felt that way since 9/11 honestly. And what I'm thinking about, listening to, you know, people talk today

and putting this blame right at the feet of Donald Trump, you know, the fact that Donald Trump won an election, it was not just about Donald Trump winning an election. It was about Donald Trump saying that Barack Obama wasn't born here. It was about a Republican Party that implemented a southern strategy. It is every time when I say Black Lives Matter or people who look like me say that and the response is blue lives matter or all lives matter, it is all of those things.

It is not Donald Trump. It is white supremacy. It is oppression. It is hatred in this country. It is both sides and other-ism. It is all of that, and those are the things that we have to deal with and finally reckon with the fact that the foundation of this country is in fact fatally flawed and we have to deal with that immediately.

Members of Congress have been saying this was a problem and this was going to happen. We've all said this was a problem and this was going to happen, and I just, I don't have any patience for and I'm trying to find the space in my spirit for the empathy. Thank God for that prayer from Barry Black tonight, to just tap into people who might just be waking up.

But pardon my frustration because I've been woke, right. I've been living this life. I'm the daughter of an activist who also suffered from death threats. This is not new to us. Everybody, including Vice President Biden, incoming of course President-elect Biden saying this is not who we are. Unfortunately, it is.

LEMON: This is.

RYE: And as long as we continue to deny that that is exactly what we'll be.

LEMON: And this is who we have been especially for the past four, even five years. Because four years of this term, and a year of campaigning before that. Alice and I quote.

RYE: 402.

LEMON: And I quote, even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election and the facts bear me out, nevertheless, there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I've always said that we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to make America great again.


This statement could have said there will be an orderly transition of power, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won a fair election and left it at that. But even in this he is still stoking disbelief, doubt, in the election. This is not a statement of someone who wants to bring the country together. This is something that someone had to do because they look bad because they realize now what happened today makes them look terrible and will be part of their legacy.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And because everyone in this administration and staff is jumping ship and leaving because of what happened today. He might have also thrown in this statement, a congratulations to the incoming administration for good measure. But I'll believe a peaceful transfer of power when I see it. I hope that happens, and I also want to further what Angela said about the words of the chaplain, really wraps up what we have been going through for the past two months.

The chaplain said words matter. The power of life and death is in the tongue. That's exactly what we have been going through, the lies and the misinformation led us to where we are. And I'll reflect today on what has gotten us to this point and what the president's role is this. And I looked at three things. The cowardly challenge, the constitution and commander and chief.

Here we have a person that's a five time draft dodger who sends his own people to the frontline to fight his battle with a faux enemy of widespread voter fraud. That's shameful. Here we have someone who swore an oath to protect, defend and preserve the constitution who has spent today and the last two months challenging the constitution and challenging the will of the American people which the constitution implicitly says this is up to the states and the people. Yet he is encouraging members of Congress to stand in and challenge these electoral votes today, instead of count them and certify them. That also is shameful.

And as the president and as the commander in chief, it is his job and duty to protect Americans from enemies both here and abroad, and what he did, he orchestrated and oversaw and instigated an active insurrection that has led to what we see as an act of domestic terrorism and four people have died as a result of this. This is shameful. All as a result of one man who cannot accept the fact that he lost this election. I do encourage like Angela --

LEMON: OK, but Alice, listen, and I know what people at home are saying because you're on all the time. You work here. You are a contributor at CNN, but you voted for him and you defend him. You have defended him.

STEWART: Not when he engages in actions like this, and when he says things that are not true, Don. You know, every time he says something that is not true or un-factual or that instigated something --

LEMON: But you still support him even with that, Alice, and what I'm trying to get at is because this is the mindset of his supporters. I don't support everything he does but yet I still support him. I don't understand that. Many people don't understand that. I understand what you're saying, and I agree with you about all of that, the insurrection and domestic terrorism and all of that.

But if someone has those beliefs and those actions I for one cannot support them. I don't care if they're a Democrat or Republican or my uncle or my sister or my mother. I cannot support that kind of action. So I don't understand how you can say everything that you said and you're right on that, but yet still support him and defend him on other things. I don't get it. Help me.

STEWART: But Don, as you know, he is the face and the voice and the leader of the Republican Party. As a Republican I'm supporting the leader of our party. What he has done in the last two months and specifically --

CARPENTER: Maybe it's time to break with the party.

LEMON: I just don't understand --

CARPENTER: Maybe tonight is the time. When do we give up power?

LEMON: Go ahead, Amanda.

CARPENTER: I mean, tonight is not a night to be engraving because it's so saddening what happened. But this is why we're here. Is because people were unwilling to give up the power, to give up the seat at the table if it meant they would have to break with the party. I mean, this is what it is. It's a deal with the devil is what has happened. Trumpism is not confined to Trump. It requires a willingness of people to engage in and coddle or at least condone silently conspiracies and lies.

When someone engages in conspiracies and lies that hurt people, hurt our democracy, you have to walk away. There's just no other way to get around it.


I have so many friends, you know, I've been this way since the day he came down the golden escalator, right. Because you could so clearly see what kind of person he was. End stop. Look at where the enabling has got us. Look at those images. Walk away. If you don't, there will be more, and I'm sorry to start a fight about this, but it just has to be that.

LEMON: It's not a fight. I mean we're having a discussion that was a legitimate question I'm asking Alice. And now she knows that these are legitimate questions. This is what is perplexing about Trump supporters. You see this horrible behavior, even now, the most violent day we have seen beyond the gassing of protesters in Charlottesville, those are all violent. This was the most violent day, an attack on our democracy. And there are people who are still out there saying, I don't agree with that, but yes, the election was stolen. There's no evidence and they're supporting him. That's what I can't understand. I think that's what most of America cannot understand.

STEWART: Look, Don, I think it's important. There should be consequences for this for the people that we're seeing this these images. That bozo for stealing a podium for some ridiculous reason and the people that conducted violence, and destroyed our Capitol and threatened members of Congress, there should be consequences. And same with the president. I think he should be censured. I think just because he has two weeks left in office doesn't mean this should go unchecked. But I was a Republican long before this president came down the

escalator, and I will be one long after. And there are many people that are going to stay with the Republican Party because this is who we are, we the party of limited government.

CARPENTER: This is exactly who you are.

STEWART: -- This is the responsibility of law and order, and I think that is important that someone like Donald Trump is not going to make me walk away from the party that is part of me.

LEMON: Angela, let me ask you, you said you were talking --

RYE: You're right. You said law and order, it's law and order for everybody except for white people. So white people can go and destroy the capitol but now it's got to be law and order. Whose law and whose order, and where. And I do what to say, Amanda, I have to commend you because you have been absolutely the most consistent Republican voice besides Ana Navarro on this, and I applaud it.

Like I don't agree with on a lot, but consistently on Trumpism and the dangers of it, we have been lockstep, my sister, from the beginning, from the escalator. And I want to commend you on that because I know it takes courage, and I know you have taken a lot of flak from people in your same party, I know you have.

But it's so important because if there is not a distinction between what Donald Trump stands for and has stood for, again, since before he decided he was running for president, since birtherism, to now it's going to just get worse. We cannot afford to do this. It is not safe. It is only getting worse.

LEMON: So let me ask you this. How does one, and again, something that I don't understand, if someone doesn't believe that I should exist. If someone doesn't believe that law and order applies to certain people. If someone doesn't believe in a free and fair election, if someone doesn't believe in facts, doesn't believe in science, doesn't believe that they should wear a mask, how do you work with them? How do you come together? Because there's one side who's living in reality, and another side is not living in reality. And the side who's not living in reality wants people to respect them and reach out to them. And that they should be heard even when they are on the losing side, that they should be respected.

How do you do that? This is why I'm not a politician because I could not do that. I could not work with someone who believes lies, who is not living in reality. Who is in essence, crazy. How do you do that?

STEWART: Don, I think it's important to remember that almost half of this country is supportive of Donald Trump. This was -- certainly Joe Biden won without a doubt but almost half of this country, more than 70 million people voted for Donald Trump, and they did so because of the policies, and they did so because he is a voice for them. They did so because they felt as though he is someone that will come to Washington, D.C. and fight for them. That is why people stand behind his. Yes, there are a lot of things he has done and said and continues to

do wrong, but those are issues that a lot of Republicans and a lot of people are willing to put aside while he is the president of the United States because of the policies that he represents, are much more reflective of the policies of the Republicans than Hillary Clinton was and certainly now Joe Biden and that is why people stand behind.


LEMON: I'm not exactly sure because I don't think this president is policy driven. It has been a cult of personalities. Is personality driven. But Amanda I'm going to give you the last word. I ask you the same question. Because I know people still who are not believing in reality, believing in every conspiracy theory, actually believing that Donald Trump will still be president come January 20th and 21st. How do you work with someone who's literally nutty and does not believe in the truth? I don't get it. I don't think I could do that.

CARPENTER: You can't. You can't. And that's why we have elections, and we settle things with votes. You just have to beat them in the contest of ideas. And let me tell you something, the people scaling the wall of the capitol and fighting with capitol police and disrupting Congressional offices, were not interested in having a policy discussion. They did not care about tax cuts. They did not care about judges. They cared about fighting. Donald Trump said I'll fight for you. They care about fighting. These are not people you can have a reasonable discussion with. You have to join with likeminded people who can have a basic agreement on democratic principles and decency. That is the answer.

LEMON: Thank you all. I appreciate you joining, and I appreciate the lively discussion. We have breaking news, that shouldn't be breaking at all, right, Joe Biden is our next president. We should have known that on November 3rd. We did know that. The congressional vote failed as expected overnight. And now it appears even Donald Trump is getting the message but only after a deadly riot that he incited at our very own capitol. Live coverage this Thursday morning continues. We'll be right back.