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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  December 23, 2020 2:00pm-3:00pm PST

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cnn continues right now. -- captions by vitac -- this is cnn breaking news. >> welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. we're following breaking news. president trump just left his self-imposed bunker at the white house for florida after unleashing new chaos in his final days in office. he vetoed a critical defense bill just a short while ago and he's threatening to upend the huge coronavirus relief bill as well. as if that weren't enough, he granted a slew of controversial pardons, the outgoing president making demands and causing disruption as millions of americans are sick, suffering or dying. the u.s. death toll from covid-19 just surpassed 325,000 with more than 18.3 million cases following the second deadliest day of the pandemic. tonight the cdc says more than a
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million doses of the new covid-19 vaccine have been administered amid questions about the vaccine's effectiveness against a new strain of the virus. let's begin over at the white house. our correspondent jeremy diamond is joining us right now. you're actually in west palm beach, florida, already, jeremy. that's where the president is heading right now. the president left washington without taking any questions from reporters about the grenades he's leaving behind. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. president trump is said to arrive here in palm beach in about an hour. and he arrives here after setting multiple fires in washington. the president vetoing one major piece of legislation, signaling he may veto a second. and with his presidency slipping away, wolf, it is very clear that this president is intent on using every ounce of power that he still has. the lame duck president is trying to convince america he is anything but, vetoing a defense bill, threatening to upend coronavirus relief, and issuing
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a wave of controversial pardons. today trump vetoing the annual defense bill after lawmakers refused to kill a provision renauming military bases named after confederate generals. instead of a win, trump is likely to suffer the first veto override of his presidency. that move came after trump also appeared to threaten the coronavirus relief bill just passed by congress, putting $900 billion in desperately needed financial stimulus and vaccine distribution funds at risk. >> send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a covid relief package. >> reporter: trump's threat coming as another 803,000 americans filed for first time unemployment just last week. attacking the bill as a disgrace, trump undermined his spokesman who said he would sign the legislation. his treasury secretary who negotiated on trump's behalf and the majority of republicans who
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voted to pass the bill, including the republican senators running in georgia's special election. >> we voted on the next round of covid relief and i'm so proud to be able to bring that back to georgia. >> reporter: the president objecting to a slew of funding provisions that are included in a separate government funding spending bill, which the government requested in his budget to congress, like $25 million to support democracy in gender programs in pakistan and $40 million for the kennedy center. trump also calling on congress to triple the stimulus checks to americans. >> i am asking congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple. >> reporter: democratic leaders pouncing on that idea, which many republicans oppose. house speaker nancy pelosi tweeting democrats are ready to bring this to the floor this week by unanimous consent. let's do it. trump's threat to upend the
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legislation even blindsided white house officials who are scrambling to determine if trump is actually threatening a veto. meanwhile the president dulling out a slew of pardons fit for the last gasps of a presidency, even as he refused to accept defeat. pardons for george papadopoulos and alex van der zwaan, duncan hunter, who was convicted of misusing nearly a quarter million dollars in campaign funds and chris collins, the first lawmaker to endorse trump who pleaded guilty to securities fraud, trump also pardoning four blackwater guards after killing 17 people at a baghdad traffic circle in 2007. >> when you look through all of them, what ties them together is corruption. it is corruption. he's literally burning down a house of justice as he walks out the door.
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>> reporter: and wolf, today marks attorney general's bill barr's last day in office nearly two years after he was confirmed as president trump's attorney general. he was one of the most loyal cabinet members to president trump, but their relationship soured over recent months, over efforts to contest the 2020 election. now bill barr will be succeeded by the deputy attorney general rosen. he faces a number of issues with the president now as the president considers appointing special counsels to investigate voter fraud as well as matters relating to joe biden's son, hunter biden, wolf. >> we'll see what rosen does over the next 28 days until the inauguration. stay with us. i want to bring in our political cnn analyst, congressional editor for the "new york times," and author of "my vanishing country." julie, is president trump simply trying to create as much chaos as he possibly can on his way out the door?
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>> well, it certainly seems that way, although i will say that i'm not sure why any of us are surprised to see him react in this way to this latest stimulus and spending bill that congress just cleared after really a herculean effort over several months. he has in the past threatened to and in fact refused to sign big spending bills of this kind. and the fact that he was not involved in these negotiations at all -- he would weigh in in disruptive ways but not do anything to bring about a deal -- made it almost inevitable i think that he was going to look at this in the end and see an opportunity to really make an issue here. so, i do think he is trying to churn up a lot of chaos. i think he's maybe doing things and then trying to distract from those things by doing other things. the timing of this threat on the stimulus bill came right after those pardons that he caught a lot of criticism for. i think as jeremy said, he's also trying to flex his muscles and use whatever power he has in
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the remaining few weeks of his term. >> you made a good point. it's awkward for his treasury secretary steve mnuchin who was involved in these talks with the house and senate leadership. ba how much of this do you think is about a president who's angry with his fellow republicans for not giving him enough support in his efforts to overturn the democratically held election results? >> i think we may be looking too deep into this moment. this president being erratic is par for the course. the things he's been doing now are things he's been doing in his administration for the last four years. there's really no rhyme or reason. and i think sometimes we give him too much credit for trying to be calculating when it's just utter chaos and not too much calculation that goes into it. but to your point, i think this does have a very serious political implication because now you have to ask kelly loeffler, you have to ask david perdue do they support a $2,000
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stimulus payment check directly to individuals, do they support the president's veto of the defense spending bill? so, he put them in a very, very difficult position where now they have to defend positions that you really don't want to be defending two weeks out from an election when you're already saying that you're supporting him overthrowing the election results in the state of georgia. so, there are political implications. i just think this president's checked out. i don't think he cares anymore. i think he's going to go down to mar-a-lago. he's going to hang out with the country club folk who are there. he's going to have a good time and drink some eggnog and not really care about the chaos he's causing. >> so, how does this end right now 28 days until biden becomes president of the united states? does anyone have any idea what the president is going to do over the next 28 days? >> nobody knows, wolf. nobodies knows how this is going to end. even the president's closest aides, they will tell you that the president is erratic and he
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is -- says a different thing one day versus the next. you know, this is a president who has been floating and considering a range of dramatic actions, including discussing in an oval office meeting the possibility of using martial law in some key battleground states. he has talked to some aides about the fact he doesn't want to leave the white house on january 20th, ultimately to only be talked down from that. so, there are some aides who are more in the wishful thinking category, saying they believe president trump at the end of the day will accept the results to the extent he can and actually leave office peacefully. and then there are other aides who are far more alarmed, wolf. and more aides are falling in that category and have fallen in that category over the past week because the president's behavior has not only become more erratic but he is listening to fringe advisers who are putting antidemocratic ideas in his head. and he isn't saying no to the ideas. he's actively considering them.
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there are a number of aides who are growing increasingly concerned over the last week and none of them, whether they are more concerned or more on the wishful thinking side of things, nobody knows how this is going to end. >> i'm curious what you're hearing about how great the concern might be across the outgoing trump administration about what else president trump might be doing in these final days. >> well, i think it's at a pretty high level now because he is acting in a way even for him that's very erratic. he's clearly a number of advisers around him who are able to talk him out of or talk him away from some of the more extreme ideas that he has, that as jeremy said, some of his colleagues both on the hill and outside the government are putting in his head. those people are dwindling. so, he is hearing from the most conservative lawmakers in the house and senate who are encouraging him to go ahead and try to overturn the election result on january 6th when congress has to certify it
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officially. and he's hearing from, you know, sidney powell and michael flynn and some of these folks who really have a lot of wild ideas about what should happen now. so, i think there's a very heightened level of concern among his advisers and republicans in congress that this is headed in a direction that they don't like and they're not sure how they can stop it. >> yeah, that's really the key question right now. you know, we're also expecting even more pardons from the president after this initial wave last night. the president pardoned two of his first backers in congress, men who lied in the russia investigation, contractors convicted of slaughter of iraqi civilians. what message does all this send? >> i mean you hear people say the words "corruption," but i don't think that goes far enough, wolf. to be completely honest some of the people he's pardoned were just murderers. they were brutal. they didn't believe in the value or the sanctity of life. i was reading articles from the
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"new york times" and "post" on twitter and everywhere else, and they were going back talking about the youngest victims of these slaughters that occurred overseas and how a father had to witness his son's brains being blown out. and the president of the united states, as we go during this holiday season, one of his last acts before he gets to go spend time with his family is to pardon individuals who were callous, who were murdering, who slaughtered and who did so and were sentenced -- they didn't commit the acts, but they were sentenced and prosecuted during the his administration and his term. there's no justification for it. i get paying back a political favor for people who endorse you. i get politicians do that. it's obscene. you should be ashamed by that. he thinks the russia investigation is fake. that's obscene but i understand the politics of it. but to pardon murderers, people who have taken away young folk
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from their family, this is going to be a stain on not just president trump, evangelicals who lift him up and praise him. this is a sad day and people should pay attention to these callous acts. >> many more pardons are probably on the way over the next 28 days. everybody, thank you very, very much. don't go too far away. i want to get to the president-elect of the united states, joe biden. he's moving forward tonight with the transition, despite president trump's disruptions. jeff zeleny is covering all this from wilmington, delaware. jeff, biden introduced his nominee for education secretary today. update our viewers, yef, on the very latest. >> he did introduce miguel cardona. he is the head of the school system of the state of connecticut. he has been a proponent of reopening schools in the wake of pandemic. he is a former elementary schoolteacher himself turned
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principal. he grew up speaking spanish as a first language, grew up talking about how public schools helped him. he was also talking about how he will play a central role in the biden's plan to reopen schools. take a listen to the president-elect. >> there's mixed signals from the white house that have left more confusion than calm and they've left so many parents and schools feeling like they're on their own. but we also need someone who knows what it's like, what it takes to get through this crisis. re-opening schools safely will be a national priority for the biden-harris administration. >> with education secretary in the books, there are about five more key positions that president-elect biden still is trying to fill, chief among them attorney general and director of the cia. we are learning tonight new names for the cia director. mike morelle, who led the cia
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during the obama administration briefly but came under fire for his influence on drones and torture policy, he is no longer in the running, we're told. but we're told lisa monaco, a formeral adviser in the obama administration and key adviser to the vice president as he was picking his running mate last summer, she's also in the running for cia. those decisions are coming after the holiday, perhaps in the new year. >> thank you very much. one quick question before i let you go though, jeff. >> sure. >> what are you hearing about the trump administration's cooperation with the biden transition team right now because we're hearing some disturbing developments? what do you know? >> we're definitely seeing tensions escalating between the biden transition team and the pentagon, largely the trump political appointees inside the pentagon. we heard mr. biden say he has not been given the briefings at
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the pentagon. this is important because of the cyber attacks that we heard president-elect joe biden talking about yesterday talking. that's why these briefings matter. the pentagon said it's not true, that they have been getting the briefings. but the biden team pushed back again today saying they have not been getting those briefings, and now they're not scheduled until early next year. >> they should be getting those briefings. clearly it's really important to make sure the incoming administration knows what it's doing, knows all the information as it takes office on january 20th. jeff, thank you very much. more breaking news just ahead on the soaring death toll from the pandemic as researchers suspect hundreds of americans may have a new strain of covid-19 and not know it. i'll ask ohio governor mike dewine about his concerns about that new strain and if his state is seeing any lag getting people vaccinated. we'll be right back. but we've a. it's two stage-filter... doesn't compare to zerowater's 5-stage. this meter shows how much stuff,
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or dissolved solids, gets left behind. our tap water is 220. brita? 110... seriously? but zerowater- let me guess. zero? yup, that's how i know it is the purest-tasting water. i need to find the receipt for that. oh yeah, you do. i guess i look pretty... ridiculous. [ chuckles ] no one looks ridiculous, bob. progressive is always here for you with round-the-clock service. just so you know, next time, you can submit a claim with our mobile app. good. thanks again for -- for rushing over. are you kidding? this is what 24/7 protection looks like. okay. -you smell like fish. -sorry. i was talking to jamie.
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heads into the christmas holiday the coronavirus crisis has taken an even deadlier turn. we're following all the breaking news on the pandemic. cnn's alexander field is putting it together for us. what's the latest? >> reporter: wolf, the all out
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effort to protect front line workers continues here in new york city. they'll continue with the vaccinations through the holidays of course. they want to get that job done. this as the u.s. records 18.3 million covid cases, 324,000 deaths. that means we are now kareening toward an almost unthinkable number this christmas week. a crisis now on the verge of a horrific new milestone. by the end of the week, it is likely that 330,000 americans, roughly 1 in 1,000 americans will have died from covid-19. for the 5th time in the u.s., deaths climbed higher than 3,000 on tuesday. it was the second deadliest day of the pandemic. california is on track to be the first state in the nation to hit 2 million cases. >> it's so bad here that if our state was its own country, we would be ahead of the uk, india and germany in terms of the number of new infections. so, this situation is dire. >> reporter: the little relief
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that could be on the way to americans is now in jeopardy with president trump casting doubt on the future of a $900 billion stimulus bill in a surprise stimulus bill. >> i'm asking congress to amend this bill. >> reporter: the government strikes another deal to purchase 100 million more doses of the pfizer vaccine. nine days after the first shots in arms, just over 1 million doses of the pfizer doses have been administered according to the cdc's website. there's no data on how many moderna shots were given but it's likely the country will fall short of a goal, 20 million shots by the end of the year. >> if we don't get to 20 million people being vaccinated by the end of this month, i hope people will understand. this is a logistic challenge of enormous proportion. >> reporter: are they as effective as the variant of the virus identified in the uk? >> we would expect it should be effective against that.
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i want everybody to talk a breath here. one of the things we are worried about is it appears to be more transmissible. >> reporter: and possibly more infectious for children but more study is needed. research suggests the u.s. may already have hundreds of cases. >> we have been saying loud and clear to the entire american people, we need to be limiting our mobility, period. >> reporter: that warning coming as the tsa reports record travel in time for the holidays. the number of people passing through america's airports around 1 million for each of the last five days and likely to hit a new high tomorrow. >> this type of travel is risky, particularly if people start congregating when they get to their destination in larger crowds in indoor settings. >> new york city taking no chances with anyone coming in. >> if you don't comply with the quarantine, that's a thousand dollar fine to begin, day one. if you continue not to comply with the quarantine, it is a thousand dollars for each
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additional day. >> reporter: and wolf, in terms of the vaccine rollout, we are getting new estimates from health officials tonight. while they had hoped to have administered 20 million doses of vaccine by the end of this year, they're now saying they believe they will have delivered 20 million doses, not administered but delivered 20 million doses by some time during the first week in january, wolf. >> the cdc says more than a million americans have at least received the first dose of this new covid vaccine. alexand alexandra, thank you very much. we're joined now by ohio's republican governor mike dewine. more than a million americans have received their first dose of the covid vaccine. as you also heard the country is falling behind on the goal of 20 million vaccinations by the end of this year within the next few days. does the rollout in ohio reflect the same lag? >> well, i think there's always going to be some lag. you know, we just really got
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started. we had last week's pfizer, but most of that was going into our nursing homes and our nursing homes really started on friday and really got rolling on monday. so, we're coming along. there's a lot of moving parts. we've got 113 health departments that are administering this. we've got the four pharmacy companies that are doing our purs haddi nursing homes. so, there's lia lot of moving parts here. i think it's coming. we had our press conference today. we went to four different locations around the state and people were getting vaccinated and talking about it. we're just trying to encourage people to get the vaccine. and having people with different backgrounds and people with different jobs, talking about they got the vaccine or showed them getting the vaccine. so, trying to encourage people to get that vaccine. but the logistics are complicated. but i think so far so good. >> yeah, well so far a million americans have received at least the first dose of that vaccine.
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are you considering, governor, any restrictions or screenings, exfrom, for people flying to your state from the united kingdom, which is grappling, as you know, with this new variation, this new strain of the covid virus? >> no, we have not. you know, we don't have much direct flights in. you know, we're not like new york or l.a. or someplace else. you know, i've listened to what experts say, several experts. we've had them on your show basically said, you know, it's probably here already. but i'll leave that up to other health experts to make that call, make that decision. >> what do you fear, governor, could be on the horizon if people get together indoors for christmas and new years. how worried are you about this because the numbers right now are awful. 3,500 deaths from covid just yesterday here in the united states. >> you know, wolf, when we look
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at what happened over thanksgiving, we didn't have a huge pop-up really. we saw interactions between people go down compared to the previous thanksgiving. but this is a longer holiday. in our family, normally we would start on christmas eve and you would go from the 24th all the way until people go back to school or back to work usually on the 2nd or 3rd. so, it's a bigger, bigger chunk of time. so, we're very concerned about it. you know, i told the people of ohio and more importantly the health experts have told them, you know, don't eat with anybody if they don't live in your household. and if you're around someone who's not in your household, make sure you wear a mask and keep a distance. these are basic things. but we've let our guard down particularly around holidays particularly when we're around friends. so, we really rely on ohioans to pull back and christmas just
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like thanksgiving was not a normal thanksgiving. christmas is not going to be a normal christmas either. it shouldn't be. >> i'm still very worried about the numbers we're going to see, cases, hospitalizations, deaths. let's say the second and third week of january as this thing continues unfortunately to explode. let me switch gears, governor, while i have you. the president just vetoed the defense spending bill. it's, what, a $740 billion spending authorization bill. there's a chance he may do the same thing with the covid relief bill. how much damage does this do to your fellow republicans who are serving in congress, potentially to the country right now in these final days of this presidency? >> well, we need the covid bill. >> the defense bill you need too. we need that as well. >> oh no, we need the defense bill, i just hadn't been tracking yet. it's been 20 years in congress, but i'm not tracking that and i didn't know until you just told me, frankly, that he had vetoed that.
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so, you know, i don't know why he did that. >> one thing he didn't like was that the bill mandates removal of con federal generals' names from u.s. military bases. that's one thing he cited for his veto. >> okay. well, let's hope he does not veto, you know, the covid relief bill. i mean, he made some points that money should have been more. and i understand that. but this was a process, and i think congress did the best they could. they got a bill together. they got it out. we hope that they'll be able to come back after the first of the year and fill in some gaps. but this bill will be very helpful to us. and like i said, it's not perfect, but i appreciate the work that congress did on it. >> you served in congress for a long time. and you know, sometimes with two parties, the majority in one house, the majority in the other house of different parties, you've got to compromise. and as i often say, you can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, especially when it comes to all these millions and
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millions of americans who are suffering right now. you've got to move and you've got to move the best way you can. governor dewine, merry christmas, happy new year, good luck to you. we'll stay in close touch. thank you. coming up, what you need to know about that new strain of covid-19 that's spreading in the united kingdom right now and could be already here in the united states. and health officials are wra ratcheting up their warnings. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." e than what's being said... and offer the answers that make someone feel truly heard. i understand, let's get started call a dell technologies advisor today.
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tonight researchers say hundreds of americans may have the new covid-19 strain that's clearly spreading big time in the united kingdom. joining us now, michael oeser hom. on the biden-harris covid-19 advisory board. we're learning more about the new variant of the virus, professor. it's spreading across the uk. how worried should folks here be about this? >> well, i think, wolf, we have to be very concerned about this
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strain. but in addition there's another strain that's separate and different that's circulating in south africa. that may be a bigger threat to us right now than the one in the uk. with both strains like this, it's telling us this is probably the new reality we're going to see more and more of emergence of these very changed strains what we had when the pandemic first began. >> are we confident, professor, this variation in south africa or the uk won't over all effectiveness of the vaccine in the united states. >> i think the good news is the best data we have are that the vaccines are going to still remain effective, quite effective. and in terms of the protection that we have in the antibody we get when we get ill is also likely protective. the bad news is it's likely going to mean a much higher level of transmission, potentially 70% higher. and right now with our overrun
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hospitals as it is, if this starts to circulate in the united states, which i think is just a matter of time it will, that means we've got to really add on to the burden of cases that are already present. that to me is a grave concern. >> you think we should tighten up travel restrictions and prevent folks from coming into the country? >> you know, i have to tell you that as much as it would seem obvious that such kind of travel bans make a difference, they really don't. this virus is likely in many, many different countries right now. the same thing is true even with the south african virus. we're now seeing it show up in the uk itself. now they have both. i think these viruses are here. they're going to be spreading right now. what we have to do is beef up the system in the united states. unfortunately our current system for looking at these viruses and determining their genetics is very, very, very limited. we are the bottom countries of the high income countries in
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doing this. what we have to do is really increase ability to test these samples and to give us a forewarning with this virus is spreading. >> this is so awful. this is the last thing we need now with the death toll soaring and about a million people traveling through airports here in the u.s. every day during this holiday week. how bad could things get in the next few weeks? we know yesterday 3,500 or so americans died. >> it obviously is a real concern. you know, we have about 50% to 60% of the country right now that is in really tough shape. look at california, tennessee, a number of states. the hospital systems are on the verge of collapse in term of being able to provide care. we anticipate christmas is going to add to the potential surge of cases based on just all we know about how people are traveling, moving, having contact with each other. and now you throw into this mix this new strain, which in the uk and south africa clearly is associated with increased
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transmission. then i think this is a real concern. and what we have to do first and foremost is understand we don't want anybody to get infected, but at the very least we have to protect our hospitals from collapse in terms of providing medical care. >> yeah, we absolutely do. the trump administration announced the purchase of another 100 million doses of the pfizer vaccine. that's really important excellent news, but will that speed up the vaccination timeline at all? we know already a million americans have received at least the first shot, the first dose of this vaccine. >> well, it's obvious we need the vaccine. and that's good news to have more vaccine. but what i'm really concerned about is the fact that what happens in congress in the next day or two in terms of the relief money, the money that we need in state and local health departments right now to fund giving the vaccine is tied up there. we don't have the resources to deliver this vaccine without that support. so, i hope people understand our
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lifeline with this vaccine is actually being compromised substantially if we don't have the resources to get the vaccines into people's arms. so, with e need to get that support out here. i don't care how much vaccine you have, we're never going to get the vaccination level done that we need to in the next days ahead. >> yeah, i think that's obviously so, so critical. michael oeser home, as usual, thanks so much for joining us. please have a merry christmas and a happy new year. >> you too. >> thank you. coming up, can millions of desperate americans still count on help from the federal government now that president trump is blasting the coronavirus relief bill. the president's demand for $2,000 stimulus payments has thrown a curveball into georgia's senate run off. we're getting an update when we come back. this week on "the upper hands"...
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we're following the breaking news, president trump now heading to his mar-a-lago resort in palm beach, florida, after unleashing a new round of chaos in washington. let's discuss with richard blumenthal. thank you for joining us. the president just vetoed the defense bill. he's putting the covid relief bill at risk after sitting out months of negotiations. why the last-minute intervention with benefits for millions of americans right now on the line? so many americans are suffering. >> it's a blunder, deeply
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dangerous and self-destructive, pathetic, sad, crazy. and my hope is that it will be overridden by the same kind of overwhelming bipartisan majority that both measures the national defense budget and the pandemic relief bill passed by both houses of congress overwhelmingly. and i think it should be overridden promptly and decisively. >> yeah, the defense authorization bill won a $740 billion package to fund the u.s. military. it passed the house 335-78, passed the senate 84-13. veto-proof unless a whole bunch of republicans decide to change their mind and support the president this time around. we don't know what's going to happen next week. but it's obviously very critical. does the president you believe have the leverage to get republicans to back a bigger stimulus check, let's say he wants $2,000, $4,000 for a couple. you probably want money like
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that as well. >> i'm all in on $2,000. democrats supported it before the passage of this bill. but president trump failed to lift a finger, nothing. he was silent. and so the question is from my republican colleagues, will they now stand up, not just speak out, but be with the president on a stimulus bill when nancy pelosi and chuck schumer offer it by unanimous consent? and frankly i was absolutely floored. you could have knocked me over with a feather when the president decided to veto the national defense authorization act because it's a real gut punch to our military. it's not only about providing cyber defense right after the most massive cyber attack in our nation's history, but also pay for our men and women in uniform, their health care, their body armor, their
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families, health care, more than just the weapons platforms. and i think this threat to veto the pandemic relief is absolutely destructive because it will deny stimulus payments for families, $2,400 for a family of four when they most need, aid for small businesses that are hanging by a thread, and unemployment insurance that runs out at the end of the year. >> you're on the armed services committee. one of the reasons the president vetoed the defense authorization bill is he doesn't like it includes the mandate to remove the names of confederate generals from u.s. military bases. what do you say to that? >> what i say is that military bases should not be named after failed generals who, by the way, treasonly rebelled against our nation. there are real heroes whose names ought to be on those bases. the other reason he gave for section 230 reform, i'm for
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section 230 reform, which provides internet websites for what they run, but not on this bill. it is irrelevant. so, it was, again, pathetic, sad, but deeply dangerous and destructive, self-destructive as well as destructive to our national security and defense that the president vetoed this bill. and if my republican colleagues are serious about all the flag waving and all the rhetoric, patriotic words, they ought to back it by action and vote for and override. and by the way, wolf, i'm very hopeful, even optimistic they will from what i'm hearing on the house side. >> i think the military needs it. if they support the military, they need the money. they need it now. let's see if the republicans and the senate in the house decide to override the president's veto. i suspect you're right. i suspect they will. senator blumenthal, thank you so much for joining us.
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i want you to have a happy, happy new year. >> and to you and all your listeners as well. >> coming up. how president trump's sudden call for stimulus checks are making waves in the georgia run offs where both incumbents supported the lower $600 payments. e with shea butter body wash... all i wanted was to use your body wash .. .. want to sell the best burger in every zip code? add an employee. or ten... then easily and automatically pay your team and file payroll taxes. that means... world domination! or just the west side. run payroll in less than five minutes with intuit quickbooks.
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president trump's veto of the defense spending bill and calls to increase the relief package are causing waves in the georgia senate runoffs. ryan, what are you seeing where
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you are? >> wolf, it's important to point out that both pieces of legislation were thing that both david perdue and kelly loeffler endorsed and both voted for. in fact, the morning after the omnibus bill passed, david perdue was on the air waves here toutic the fact that that legislation had been passed and he was proud to support it. it no doubt threw these republicans for a loop when president trump came out and, in less chance 48 hours, undermined both these candidates. now, democrats have been quick to pounce on the president's change of mood, if you will, regarding this situation, both rafael warnock, the democrat, and jon ossoff have been saying for sometimes that $600 was just not enough. they continued to push that
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forward last night after president trump said $2,000 should be the number. take a listen. >> i don't know where president trump has been for the last eight months while his allies have been blocking this relief. president trump is, as ever, erratic and all over the place, but on this point tonight, he's right. $600 is a joke. they should send $2,000 to american folks, because people are hurting. >> reporter: neither perdue or loeffler have said where they stand on the $2,000 payments to americans. perdue's office did not respond. kelly loeffler kind of talked around it, said she was open to a discussion, and this is complicating for the republicans, because they have pledged undying loyalty to
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donald trump. on to be on the other side of an issue for the president, makes it very complicated as they go to voters asking for their vote a january 5th. >> thank you, ryan nobles. stay with us. we have more on the breaking news. president trump heading off for florida to spend the holidays in florida, after sowing chaos here in washington. advanced hydration isn't just for kids. pedialyte helps you hydrate during recovery.
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we'rewelcome to a -wbetter way to live.s. ♪ welcome to my house the croods are coming home. kinda big, isn't it? that's the mirror. -sorry.
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and the world will never be the same. what is this? uh, we call that a window. window. dun, dun, dun. make it a croods family movie night with "the croods: a new age". go to ♪ >> announcer: this is cnn breaks news. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in the "the
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situation room." we're following breaking news on the chaos president trump has left behind here in washington as he's now heading to florida for christmas and new year's, just before he walked out the door, he vetoed a huge defense bill that has wide support among his own party in the senate. that followed back-to-back bombshells when he threat under to upend the relief bill and granted a series of controversial pardons. ratcheting up his scorched-earth strategy, with the u.s. death toll tops now after the deadliest pandemic. tonight, the cdc says more than a million doses of the covid-19 vaccine have been administered. that


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