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Senate Sergeant At Arms On Capitol Hill Security; Prince Harry And Meghan Welcome Baby Girl Lilibeth Diana; Interview With Arizona Secretary Of State Katie Hobbs (D) About Trump's 2020 Election Lies; President Biden To Meet With Putin, U.K. Prime Minister In First Foreign Trip; The Story Of Late Night Airs Tonight At 9 P.M. ET. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 6, 2021 - 19:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: Professor, thank you so much.



KAREN GIBSON, SENATE SERGEANT AT ARMS: I worry a lot more about cybersecurity than I do about another mob attacking the Capitol.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Do you think that adversaries of the United States have the capability right now to shut down the power grid?


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More than 300 million vaccine doses now administered in the U.S., but will Americans reach the July 4th goal of 70 percent with at least one shot?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The newest royal baby as Prince Harry and Meghan announced the birth of their second child.


BROWN: I'm Pamela Brown in Washington. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM and it's great to have you with us on this Sunday.

We begin tonight with the unseen threat that we can no longer ignore. Hackers are disrupting our everyday lives, targeting essential sectors including energy, food, even vacations. It's forcing President Joe Biden to confront America's vulnerabilities as the nation's Energy secretary gives a major warning.

I'll have more on that in just a minute. But first, another warning, this time from the Senate's chief law enforcement officer and just the second woman to hold the job. I sat down for an exclusive interview with Senate sergeant-at-arms Karen Gibson to discuss the safety of the nation's Capitol after the January 6th attack. It's now up to her to protect lawmakers, and another insurrection isn't even her biggest concern.


BROWN: Do you feel like the investigations that have been done and the investigations underway give you the sufficient information?

GIBSON: They certainly give us a lot of material to start with, yes. There have been a number of in-depth IG investigations and hearings by both Senate and House committees as well as the Honore task force that looked at ways to improve security at the Capitol. I think we have a lot of information that we need to move forward with developing a security strategy.

I think the purpose of the January 6th Commission was intended to be much broader, and we don't need to wait on a commission like that to move forward with improving security.

BROWN: Do you still have any outstanding questions that hasn't been answered for you about the systemic failures that led to January 6th?

GIBSON: So I'm sure certainly much could be learned by a January 6th Commission. But we, the cause of the insurrection is really not necessary for me to understand the ways in which we need to improve the security at the Capitol. That is less relevant to my job. There are certainly people who would benefit from that. But my office is not dependent on understanding the cause of the insurrection in order to develop a way forward.

BROWN: The review you were part of found that police were understaffed, insufficiently equipped and inadequately trained as well as woefully lacking in intelligence capabilities.

GIBSON: So first I would say I think the staffing levels will take probably the longest time to address because there is great competition for people with the skillset across the United States. And so we're working with the Capitol police to develop some different kinds of staff and strategies that would enable us to flush out their ranks and allow for even more training.

I think one of the areas where I've seen the most concrete improvement is, as we've discussed, in intelligence. There is a very competent intelligence professional who is now leading the intelligence team at the U.S. Capitol police. She does need a larger staff and some additional training, but certainly I've seen a tremendous improvement in the ability to integrate the U.S. Capitol police with others who are tracking threats in the national Capitol region.

BROWN: Because a lot of the post-analysis after the insurrection was there was a failure of imagination with the intelligence coming in. Do you feel like that is adequately addressed? Now, are you confident?

GIBSON: I think that the failure of imagination part was definitely fixed on January 6th, and we can envision all kinds of things that might happen on a given day as opposed to assuming that it's just going to go the way it did previously. I think what they've done a much better job of is plugging into other organizations that are tracking threats across the Capitol region. And that was really an easy fix but a significant shortfall prior to January 6th.

Just being plugged into that network of analysts that are looking at these kind of things and talking about it at an analytical level.

BROWN: Many Capitol police officers reported to CNN that they're exhausted, they feel overworked. More than 70 officers have resigned or retired since the insurrection. One senior officer said we are hemorrhaging people still, it's amazing to watch these young officers leave. What do you say to that?


GIBSON: Yes. I say to those young officers who are thinking of leaving, I would ask them to hang in there a little longer. We are working to rapidly hire a permanent chief of police for the U.S. Capitol police. They've had an acting chief since the 6th of January. And I think in some of the leadership changes that are occurring within the Capitol police and are going to occur are going to make a big difference.

We are seeking a transformative leader who will help turn around the culture, the morale, and the training posture of the Capitol police. So those who are still contemplating where their future lies, I would ask them to give the team some time and be a little more patient.

BROWN: And where are you on the leadership search since you brought up, you know, that is one of the things you're telling some of the officers, hold out, we're going to do -- you know, we're going to do something there.


BROWN: Can you give us any updates?

GIBSON: So we are in the midst of the search for a permanent chief of police. The window has closed for applications, and I can tell you that we were excited at the diversity and competence and experience level of a number of the candidates. And we're about to embark on interviews. So certainly by mid- to late summer, we should have selected a permanent chief of police for the U.S. Capitol police.

I think whether it's ransomware or other cybersecurity threats, yes, I actually -- again I see cybersecurity as my greater concern than a mob attacking the Capitol.

BROWN: And how much has that concern grown in recent days when we've seen the attack against the pipeline, we've seen the attack against the meat business and other attacks as well?

GIBSON: So I think these are things that are coming to greater public awareness but are not new. It is just beginning to have a broader general understanding of what is happening and what is possible. And to that extent, I think it's good to get that attention and to be able to move forward with the private sector across the United States. Now I'm talking beyond the Senate to ensure that critical infrastructure is secured. I've often thought of that as sort of the soft underbelly of America,

the critical infrastructure that's in private sector hands and may or may not be secure to the extent that we need it to be as we saw perhaps with the Colonial Pipeline ransomware incident. There are many opportunities for those who wish us harm to do so in the cyber domain.

BROWN: And that is terrifying.

GIBSON: Well, it's certainly going to keep the cybersecurity staff very busy for the foreseeable future.

BROWN: I think some people at home have a hard time understanding or grasping the threat because it's an invisible threat in a way unless they're directly impacted.

GIBSON: Yes. And they're unaware of it until it occurs.

BROWN: So when it comes to your space, what could actually happen where people would care, would pay attention? What is your biggest concern about what could actually happen?

GIBSON: I think members have sensitive information that they would not necessarily want to have disclosed that may be in documents. Much of what we do is public and meant to be so. So, you know, committee deliberations, hearings, that's intended to be public. But I would worry about, I think, nation state actors or others who might try to just really cripple the government's ability to function by locking down cyber communications networks.

Now I would say the legislative branch where we still physically walk a bill from the House to the Senate is perhaps better postured to revert back to pencil and paper than perhaps some of the other parts of the government, but it's still a concern here.

BROWN: Do you stand ready for any potential cyberattack?

GIBSON: We hope so. I mean, that team is very vigilant. And, again, you know, many cybersecurity teams think they're secure until they're attacked or until they're penetrated. But it's certainly a very high priority for us here at the Senate sergeant-at-arms.


BROWN: And our thanks to the Senate sergeant-at-arms Karen Gibson for sitting down with us.

Well, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is echoing that same sentiment about cybersecurity. She warns that even the U.S. power grid is vulnerable to a cyberattack. And she talked with CNN's Jake Tapper earlier today.


TAPPER: Do you think that adversaries of the United States have the capability right now to shut down the power grid? GRANHOLM: Yes, they do. I mean, I think that there are very malign

actors who are trying even as we speak, there are thousands of attacks on all aspects of the energy sector and the private sector generally. I mean, the meat plant, for example. It's happening all the time.



BROWN: The nation's power grid may not be the only thing under attack right now. The building blocks of democracy, fair elections, are under assault by Republicans in several states. I'll talk to Arizona secretary of state as the partisan election audit there continues.

And when we come back, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry honor his mother and grandmother as the couple welcomes a baby girl. We are covering the story from both sides of the Atlantic.


BROWN: Well, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are announcing the birth of their second child, a baby girl, Lilibet Diana Mount Baton Windsor. Lili for short. She was born on Friday in Santa Barbara, California.

And with us now, Max Foster in Hampshire, England, and Paul Vercammen in Santa Barbara.

All right, starting with you, Max.


So you look back at other royal baby births. And this doesn't quite seem to be the big royal projection we're used to, Max.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, no. I'd normally be outside the hospital, wouldn't I? Waiting for the baby to come outside with mother and father. But the Sussexes always found that quite distasteful actually. They never understood why royals did that. It's one of the things that they felt uncomfortable with, with their royal life. They don't have to choose to do that anymore and they're not doing that.

So we haven't even had a photo yet. But we have had a statement from their press secretary describing how mother and baby are well. They're already back at home in California so that's good news.

Lilibet was the Queen's nickname growing up. So this baby is going to be named after the Queen. But also Diana. Diana is the middle name, so tributes really very much to Harry's side of the family on this one.

A brief statement from the couple themselves saying that she's more than we could ever have imagined. We remain grateful for the love and prayers we felt from across the globe. The royal family also putting out statements, the Queen sending her congratulations.

Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate saying we're delighted by the happy news of the arrival of baby Lili, and also from Prince Charles as well, Harris Father. "Congratulations to Harry, Meghan and Archie on the arrival of baby Lilibet Diana."

Of course they haven't seen the baby yet. They're a long distance away, but hopes are high I'm sure on this side of the pond that the family will be reunited at some point because they haven't seen Archie either for months now.

BROWN: Yes. That's a really good point. So, Paul, this is their first child since they went to the U.S. What do you know about the birth this weekend?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I know that they pulled something off, Pam, and that was they did so with relative anonymity. And I also spoke with the publicist for Meghan and she's saying as Max confirmed that the baby's healthy, that Meghan's healthy. And the cute little thing here, she confirmed to me that 2-year-old Archie is just thrilled, happy to have a little sister.

So behind me, Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara. The couple live in Montecito. And to give you a sense for how carefully they've guarded their privacy, they were able to keep any of this from leaking out. And one of the reasons of course that the royals moved here to California is so they could avoid those paparazzi chasing after them.

And I spoke with a longtime royal watcher who ironically lives just a few doors down from the royal couple. And he described how one day he saw Prince Harry just riding his bicycle with his sunglasses on down the street.


RICHARD MINEARDS, COLUMNIST, MONTECITO JOURNAL, COVERED THE ROYALS FOR 45 YEARS: Well, he seems to be fitting in very well in Montecito. You haven't seen too much of them because obviously of the pandemic and the lockdown. But Harry has been seen around on his bicycle at East Beach watching the volleyball players.

And he's also been at Miramar Beach and Butterfly Beach in Montecito walking his dog. And he's talked to other dog walkers. They seem to have that familiarity, and has been very pleasant apparently.


VERCAMMEN: And so they live in an exclusive neighborhood Riven Rock. And Richard predicts that perhaps someone like Oprah or Ellen will drop off baby gifts in the coming weeks.

Back to you now, Pam.

BROWN: So normal but yet not so normal their situation there. All right, Paul Vercammen, Max Foster, thank you both. And our congratulations to the couple.

Well, former president Trump praising the partisan recall count going on right now in Arizona, and the idea that it could happen in more places.

Coming up I'll talk to Katie Hobbs, Arizona's secretary of state and now Democratic candidate for governor.



BROWN: Up next, this is quite a story. This bizarre political game of cat and mouse that just turned nasty. So let's catch you up here. Democratic senator Eric Swalwell has been in hot pursuit of his Republican colleague Mo Brooks for days. Swalwell has been trying to serve Brooks with a lawsuit in the wake of the Capitol Hill riot.

Brooks, however, has been nowhere to be seen. But Swalwell was determined to get his man and then he even brought in private eyes to track him down, which brings us to this latest twist in this political thriller. Trespassing claims, angry tweeting and compromised passwords.

Katelyn Polantz has been covering this soap opera from the start. So many twists and turns, Katelyn.

KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: This has been a hot pursuit since March, Pam. This was a lawsuit that Eric Swalwell filed after the insurrection trying to hold Brooks, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani, accountable for the speeches that they had given on January 6th. And he couldn't get to Brooks. This really isn't something we're often talking about whenever we're talking about contentious pieces of lawsuits, but it has been.

Brooks was in Congress where the halls of Congress are shut down so you can't really get to him that way. The attorneys for Swalwell have sort of, they've sort of suggested that Brooks was trying to avoid getting this lawsuit.

And so it finally did get into Brooks' hands today. Swalwell's attorneys say that this properly done today. It was handed to Brooks' wife at their home in Alabama. And that is according to the rules.

And Brooks now, though, on Twitter is saying that this was criminal trespassing. Now that's just an allegation at this point, and he does have the ability to come into court and try and contest whether or not he properly received the lawsuit. But, again, we're not usually talking about this because this isn't often the contentious part of a lawsuit. Usually that is the substantive parts where there are arguments that are being made from one side or another.


And even with this one, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani, their lawyers all received the suit. And Trump is a person that has fought over and over again against House Democrats lawsuits. Trump now is making substantive claims saying that he should be immune from this sort of civil litigation when he was president and also that he and the others are protected by the First Amendment -- Pam. BROWN: This is so wild. And I should correct, Democratic Congressman

Eric Swalwell, but I mean, just to have two lawmakers in this lawsuit and the cat and mouse part of this, you really cannot make this up. This is wild.

Katelyn, thank you so much.

Well, there's still so much we don't know about the attack on the Capitol five months ago. Last night I spoke to two Capitol police officers who were there, who faced down the violent pro-Trump mob. They called for a full accounting of the deadly incident and expressed frustration with Republicans who are whitewashing it. Here's part of our conversation.


OFC. HARRY DUNN, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: Tell the truth. Tell the truth. I don't understand how anybody can live with their self being dishonest. You can apologize to people, you can apologize to everybody in this world. You apologize to yourself knowing that you're full of crap.

SGT. AQUILINO GONELL, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: We still live in it. Meanwhile, for some of these individuals calling this a --

DUNN: Terrorists.

GONELL: A fantasy like it never happened. We gave them the time for them to escape. We gave them the time to go to safety.


BROWN: If you missed the interview last night, you can still watch it right now on my Twitter feed @pamelabrownCNN.

Well, also last night at the North Carolina GOP convention the guest of honor revived some of his favorite lies about the 2020 election. He just can't let go that he lost. Ranting about conspiracies to obscure the fact that he lost fair and square.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That election, the 2020 presidential election was by far the most corrupt election in the history of our country. There's never been anything like this.

I want to congratulate, by the way, Republican state senators in Arizona and other places for their great work.


TRUMP: That they are doing and exposing this fraud.


BROWN: To reiterate, nothing you heard in that clip was factual. I'm joined now by one Arizona official who has repeatedly debunked

Trump's election lies. Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. She is also running for governor.

Before we get to your reaction to Trump's speech last night, I want to ask you about, just, could you have ever imagined that this lie would go so far? I remember I spoke to you before the election. And we talked about misinformation, and we talked about trying to combat it.

But here we are all these months later, and you see these laws being passed in Republican-led states across the country. You see the big election lie continuing to be put out there. Could you have ever imagined this?

KATIE HOBBS (D), ARIZONA SECRETARY OF STATE: Absolutely not. And I think most Americans are probably in the same position. I mean, we talked before about how dangerous the misinformation was, and I don't know that we all had quite a grasp of how dangerous it was, but we saw that on January 6th. And we're seeing the same kind of ramp-up now, I mean, with Trump saying he'll be back in the White House in August.

And so this is -- we've never seen anything like this. I don't think anyone thought we would get here, and it's really unfortunate that there wasn't a big wake-up call for a lot of people on January 6th.

BROWN: But do you think that there was a failure of imagination early on? Because before we got to this point, Trump was broadcasting all of these claims, right, even before the election? Do you think that more should've been done as a whole from officials, from even state officials like yourself?

HOBBS: Well, I think that what I have seen in Arizona is the lack of willingness to step forward and say, no, this is wrong coming from elected leaders. And because they have seen the consequences and the political price that officials who are willing to do that have paid. And it's just, to me what this says is that they are willing to put their party and their loyalty to Trump and their future political aspirations ahead of the good of our country.

And it's unfortunate, but it is such a stark contrast to, you know, today we are commemorating the anniversary of D-Day and honoring those brave soldiers who stormed the beaches to protect and defend our freedoms. So, you know, yes, more needs to be done, absolutely.

BROWN: So, looking ahead to the summer, you're going to have Trump holding these rallies, you are running for governor now. How worried are you that things could get dangerous once again? Because you're already getting hit with death threats.


HOBBS: Right. I continue to get threats and harassment thrown towards me and my office almost on a daily basis. I'm currently under state security.

And it is really, really unfortunate that it has come to this. I'm not going to back down, and so I'm grateful for the protections that is there, but no elected official signs up for this and it shouldn't be a part of where we are today.

BROWN: I'm wondering, do you feel -- are you concerned that looking ahead to 2022-2024 that officials that work in the election round just won't want to do the job given the threat environment against them? I mean, you saw what happened recently in Alaska, where the election officials were being harassed?

HOBBS: Yes, we've certainly seen some attrition here in Arizona, I mean, the election work is highly skilled and specialized and we don't already do enough to sort of develop that profession. And certainly, I think this is going to cause a little bit of a drain.

I mentioned just a minute ago that no elected official signs up for this, but certainly not people who sign up to be just public servants and work to protect our democracy and do a job for the taxpayers of their state or wherever there they are, and that they certainly don't sign up for this and they do not deserve to be under attack, they are just doing their jobs.

BROWN: Let's talk about the partisan audit happening in your state. It is weeks past its deadline at this point, do you know when they'll be finished?

HOBBS: No, and what it seems like really is that they are trying to continue to find ways to drag it out because we know that a lot of Trump's allies and folks are profiting from it, and so the longer they can drag it out, the more ways they can find to come up with whatever they are trying to come up with, the more it benefits them.

I really don't know what the end will be and how this will end, except we fully anticipate a report that is fraught full of lies and things that just didn't happen and not any type of valid result of this audit.

BROWN: I want to ask you, before we let you go, I want to get your reaction to Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who we should note was once the West Virginia Secretary of State. He wrote -- he put out an op-ed, he opposes the For the People Act and vows to only pass a voting rights bill with 10 Republicans on board. He also, though did say that he supports the John Lewis Voting Act. What is your reaction to this?

HOBBS: Well, it is really unfortunate that one senator who represents two million-ish Americans is able to block voting rights for the rest of Americans. And that just says how antiquated and in the face of progress the filibuster is.

And, you know, to me, his justification really didn't make any sense because what we are seeing right now is this partisan rash of voting restrictions across the country. And having this -- the For the People Act in place would help to combat that, and so his justification just doesn't make any sense.

BROWN: But just really quickly on the filibuster, he talks about how Democrats previously years back, wrote a letter when Republicans were majority saying don't get rid of the filibuster, it's going to be bad for democracy. Do you see his point there that it would be hypocritical for him now as a Democrat to get rid of it?

HOBBS: I think right now, we need leaders who are going to rise to the moment and, you know, I don't know the circumstances under which that previous letter was written. But right now, the filibuster is blocking a lot of progress in our country.

BROWN: I believe it was Susan Collins and Chris Coons back in 2017. All right, Arizona Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, thank you for coming on the show.

HOBBS: Thank you.

BROWN: President Biden has a big agenda on his first overseas seas trip this week, the biggest meeting on his schedule may be the sit down with the Russian President Vladimir Putin. I'll talk about it all with CNN presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley in just a moment.



BROWN: Well, today is the 77th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany. It was the largest seaborne invasion ever undertaken. The invasion was actually supposed to start a month earlier, but had to be postponed because of a lack of landing craft.

It is estimated 10,000 Allied troops were killed, wounded or went missing on June 6, 1944.

Vice President Kamala Harris's first overseas trip is turning into quite the adventure. Her flight on Air Force 2 had to return to Joint Base Andrews shortly after takeoff this afternoon because of a technical issue. That's according to the Vice President's chief spokeswoman.

There was no major safety concern, we should note, and Harris told reporters quote, "We all said a little prayer, but we're good." End quote. They switched planes and took off again to Guatemala City.

Meantime, President Biden is preparing for a trip of his own this week. He's going to leave for his first foreign trip as President on Wednesday, and he has a packed itinerary and some challenges ahead.

Thursday, he will meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the G-7 Summit in England and then he will sit down with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle.

But on the second leg of the trip, things could get tense with bilateral meetings with Russian President Putin and Turkish President Erdogan.

For more, let's bring in CNN presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley. Great to see you.


BROWN: President Biden will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid this escalating cyber crisis. I know that is what a lot of people are going to be watching for. How that meeting goes? What approach do you think he should take?


BRINKLEY: Well, it's a big meeting. I mean, U.S. and Russia relations are at a low ebb, it's at rock bottom of the barrel. Donald Trump in 2008 had met with Putin in Helsinki and gave him a hug and a kiss practically.

Biden is going to have to hold a very tough line with Putin. We have issues with Russia over the Ukraine, over Antarctica, over interference with the American elections and with cyberspace. The list is long.

But the most important thing Biden and Putin could do is to de- escalate the tensions, just if they could leave Geneva and the world feels that things have gone down a notch in the disdain that each country currently has for each other, that would be a success for Biden.

You don't want to repeat of Jack Kennedy in June of 1961 where Putin starts, you know, hammering away at Biden and Biden starts slamming back and it actually escalates tensions instead of de-escalates them.

BROWN: So you have that meeting that we're all anticipating with Putin. He will also visit the U.K. where he will meet with the Queen. What is the significance of Biden's meetings with the Queen and other foreign dignitaries?

BRINKLEY: Well, meeting with the Queen is going to be wonderful. I mean, she is 95 years old. You know, the Royal Family is going to roll out the red carpet. Buckingham Palace will warmly embrace Joe Biden.

I'm more interested in how he gets along with Boris Johnson. I mean, after all, Biden has been opposed to Brexit, and said it was a mistake and Boris Johnson is Mr. Brexit himself. They've got to find common ground.

London, you know, Whitehall is claiming that the new slogan is Global Britain, and so what does that mean? It means that they better get along with the United States well, and there is some common ground there with Biden and Johnson on issues of climate change, on wildlife diplomacy, on how to get the COVID vaccine, you know for coronavirus, global. I think that will be the big headline.

You know, Biden and Johnson working to vaccinate the world. So it's going to be I think, a very successful trip to the U.K. for Joe Biden and the G-7 Summit in Cornwall will reap benefits, but that Putin meeting is going to be very tension filled. BROWN: Yes, it comes after the U.K. visit, so we will all be watching

that closely. I want to talk about what's going on domestically, Doug. Senator Joe Manchin came out against the For the People Act and changing the filibuster in the op-ed that you no doubt read today.

Last week, Biden expressed frustration with Manchin for holding up his agenda. He didn't say it by name, but he hinted at it. How have past Presidents dealt with swing senators like Joe Manchin?

BRINKLEY: Oh, you have to strong arm them. I mean, Lyndon Johnson would do the lean in treatment and stare you down, "I'll make your life miserable for you." You have to have discipline.

Manchin has become a media star as being the guy who holds the Democratic Party in the balance. It's unfortunate. You would think at this point he would get behind that the fact that the Republican Party is gerrymandering, kind of disenfranchise voters. But alas, he wants to be seen as the maverick of West Virginia on issues of voting rights, which has a lot to do with race.

Manchin isn't a progressive. He is more worried about his future in West Virginia politics than he is helping the Biden administration succeed. So, the filibuster looks like it's here to stay. Any hope is going out the window with Manchin wiping his hands and saying I'm going to leave the filibuster alone.

BROWN: So, really quickly, you're saying this is about Manchin wanting to stay in power. Now, as we know, Senator Manchin has said no, this is about protecting the Senate and the institution. What do you say to that?

BRINKLEY: I think that that's baloney. Manchin is looking after his own hide here. We're in a very divided country, and for Biden have to have a setback like this simply because of somebody that caucuses and is with the Democratic Party, it is unfortunate.

And I think Biden should call Manchin out by name instead of doing, you know, low ebb that kind of, you know, there's somebody that's causing a problem. Our voting rights now are being threatened in the United States and Republicans are scoring a big victory because of a Democrat from West Virginia.

BROWN: Douglas Brinkley, thank you so much for sharing your views. We appreciate it.

BRINKLEY: Thank you.

BROWN: The late night show now are not what they were 20 years ago or even five years ago. It's all about going viral now. Right?

Well, Bill Carter joins us next to talk about "The Story of Late Night." We'll be right back.


[19:49:36] BROWN: Well, there was no doubt the internet, COVID, Donald Trump

changed late night television. That is the focus of the season finale of the CNN original series, "The Story of Late Night."


JAMES CORDEN, TALK SHOW HOST: In less than 24 hours, the election will be over Thank God.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah, they decide to do live election night shows.

TREVOR NOAH, TALK SHOW HOST: I remember thinking, Hillary Clinton is going to become President and it will be the most boring time in politics.


STEPHEN COLBERT, TALK SHOW HOST: Welcome to my live election night special on Showtime. I am your host, Steven Colbert.


NOAH: We will also be getting updates on the results from around the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are calling the state of Ohio for Donald Trump.


NOAH: He was winning all the counties that mattered. He was winning the Electoral College.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump won Florida.

COLBERT: It is happening.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we're like, oh, Donald Trump is going to be the President.

NOAH: Any good news?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can smoke weed in Massachusetts.


NOAH: I remember thinking, "Wow." Like it's real now. That moment for me was when "The Daily Show" with Trevor Noah started.


BROWN: Joining us now is Bill Carter, the executive producer of "The Story of Late Night" and a CNN media analyst. Great to see you, Bill.


BROWN: So in the past five years or so, there has been this explosion of late night content, right? It's all about content. Everyone is trying to produce material that will go viral. How did that change late night?

CARTER: Well, it made people think more about just the fact that you have an audience that's watching live because you could come up with ideas that would play online and sustain it for a long period of time.

James Corden, for example, consciously thought, I'm on at 12:30 at night, I've got to do more. So he came up with that carpool karaoke idea. And with Adele, he gets like 400 million views. So it really changed the outlook of how you put on a show at late at night.

BROWN: And then you have the election of Donald Trump really changing the way the late night shows dealt with politics.

CARTER: Totally. You know, there have been point of view in late night before -- Jon Stewart basically brought that in -- but with Donald Trump's election, it became basically all point of view all the time, and all Donald Trump all the time.

And the jokes were very pointed, and frankly, all the things that were going on were feeding this comedy because they were so outrageous and crazy. And this whole period was very dominated by the whole conflict between the late night hosts and Donald Trump.

BROWN: All right, well, Bill Carter, thank you so much. We're looking forward to watching this, the season finale of "The Story of Late Night" airs in an all-new extended episode tonight at nine Eastern only on CNN.

Well, some researchers believe food insecurity has tripled among us households with children because of the pandemic. Well, this week, a CNN Hero had to shut down her supper club because of COVID, she redirected her love of cooking to feed people at risk of going hungry in her Chicago Community.


CHEF Q. IBRAHEEM: I've witnessed that people are literally a paycheck away from not eating. That's heartbreaking. That's unbelievable, but it's so very real and it is continuously happening.

We've served over 60,000 meals in the past 14 months. I'm inspired to keep going because the need has not stopped.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, we've got goodies.

IBRAHEEM: It's a great feeling to know that I'm able to ease the burden, if just a little bit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's beautiful. Oh my gosh. I see okra, too. IBRAHEEM: I'm giving them a sense of understanding that we are in it



IBRAHEEM: You all enjoy.

A sense of knowing that people in your community do care.


BROWN: What an inspiration her story is. To see the full story about her ongoing work, all you have to do is go to and you can nominate someone you think should be a CNN Hero.

And before we leave you tonight, we want to update you on something very close to our hearts here at CNN.

The Team Beans Infant Brain Tumor Fund has now raised more than $1 million. It was founded by our very own Andrew Kaczynski and his wife, Rachel in honor of their daughter, beautiful Francesca seen here or Beans as they fondly called her.

Beans was just nine months old when she passed on Christmas Eve.

A hundred percent of the money raised is going to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. We thank everyone who has donated. You can still keep those donations coming. You can also buy a beanie in honor of Team Beans.

Don't forget that you can tweet me @PamelaBrownCNN and you can follow me on Instagram. We really appreciate you joining us this evening.

I'm Pamela Brown, and I'll see you next weekend. Have a great night.