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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  June 21, 2022 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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and that's one of the interesting things and one of the contrasts you can see today from what the committee was focusing on, erin. >> all right, thank you very much, evan. thanks very much to all of you for joining us. our coverage of the january 6th committee hearings continues now with a special edition of "ac 360." ♪ good evening, i'm anderson cooper along with my colleague, jake tapper. tonight we are going inside one of the most riveting days of testimony in the four days of hearings so far. the fourth hearing by the january 6th committee, there's no other way to describe what we saw today. a series of republican state officials putting country ahead of party, testifying to the intense pressure they were under by the former president and his allies to help overturn the 2020 election. >> this is also a deeply emotional day as well for many of these witnesses, some having to collect themselves as they spoke about the toll their decisions have taken on
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themselves as well as on their families, having to withstand the demonstrations and threats of violence of those inspired by the former president who are often quite literally outside their doors. >> some of the most personal and damning testimony heard today came from arizona's republican speaker of the house. rusty bowers is his name. he was one of those officials who was pressured directly by the former president's legal advisers. he offered more evidence today that they all knew their scheme was illegal and he spoke of his refusal to help not only in terms of law but also his faith. >> it is a tenet of my faith that the constitution is divinely inspired, of my most basic foundational beliefs. and so for me to do that because somebody just asked me to is foreign to my very being. i will not do it.
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>> there was also a key moment of testimony during today's hearing that for the first time directly linked the former president to the utterly bizarre scheme to install fake electors in seven states to swing the election. equally important was who was providing that testimony. ronna mcdaniel, a strong ally of the president. >> what did the president say when he called you? >> essentially he turned the call over to mr. eastman, who then proceeded to talk about the importance of the rnc helping the campaign gather these contingent electors in case any of the legal challenges that were ongoing changed the result of any of the states. i think more just helping them reach out and assemble them, but my understanding is the campaign did take the lead and we just
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were helping them in that role. >> that was potentially the most legally significant, but perhaps most poignant was the testimony of an election worker and georgian who became a target of the former president and his team and supporters and was forced to endure countless threats. she said many of them were racist and left her afraid to just live her life. >> i don't want anyone knowing my name. i don't want to go anywhere with my mom because she might yell my name out over the grocery aisle or something. i don't go to the grocery store at all. i haven't been anywhere at all. i've gained about 60 pounds. i just don't do nothing anymore. i don't want to go anywhere. i second guess everything that i do. it's affected my life in a major way. in every way.
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all because of lies. >> because of lies. much of today's testimony involved election officials and workers from the state of georgia. joining me now is georgia lieutenant governor jeff duncan who as is the case with many who have testified in these hearings a conservative republican who supported donald trump. lieutenant governor duncan, thank you for joining us. as we mentioned, you're a republican and worked alongside two other republicans who testified, secretary of state brad raffensperger and gabe sterling. i spoke with you before this hearing about what you expected and the hearing has now happened. what stood out to you today from their testimony. >> well, it certainly was refreshing to me and i would imagine tens of millions of other republicans in the country to hear brad raffensperger, gabe sterling and speaker bowers to talk with such clarity and confidence about what they did. i also think a big takeaway was the weight -- it gave america
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the weight of a president working against you, willing to lie about it, how it feels and how disruptive it is to the process. >> i want to play something from what secretary raffensperger said in his testimony. let's watch. >> mr. secretary, why didn't you just quit and walk away? >> because i nouknew that we ha followed the law and followed the constitution. i think sometimes moments require you to stand up and just take the shots when you're doing your job. that's all we did. you know, we just followed the law and followed the constitution and at the end of the day president trump came up short. >> what do you think might have happened if people like secretary raffensperger didn't stand up to the former president? >> yeah, i've thought a lot about this. i put it in my book and spent some time trying to tease out what it looked like if brad raffensperger would have snepd front of a microphone for ten seconds and spread doubt about
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where the election was going to head or governor kemp would have alluded to some sort of fraud or jeff duncan would have stood up and said we should call a special session just because the sitting president wants us to. it would have created complete chaos. two and a half million of votes in georgia would have been nullified and millions of votes around the country. we were elected to follow the constitution and to follow the law. it didn't work out for us. we have time to regroup and figure out a better pathway forward. i think these january 6th hearings are going to be a true launching pad for a gop 2.0. a different direction, a better direction that's a better competitor to a joe biden agenda that's quite honestly failing america. >> secretary raffensperger spoke about threats that he received, his wife received, his daughter-in-law's home was broken into, his son has passed away. despite all that he's continuing to fight for the rule of law, he ran for re-election. are you worried, however, that experiences such as the ones
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that he had and the georgia elections official and speaker of the house in arizona bowers, et cetera, could have a chilling effect, could have the -- i mean that's what terrorism is. it terrorizes people so they behave a certain way. could this end up discouraging people from doing the right thing? >> look, there has never been a time where leadership mattered more than right now and it's being put on display. we've got to have leadership in this country. we've got to have folks willing to stand up and lead this country in a better direction. right now if i'm looking at democrats, i'm sure many of them would admit joe biden is not the right answer. millions of republicans would admit donald trump is not the right answer. it is time for us to step up and tackle the real problems and we're not going to do that without leadership. if we simply pay attention to the fliers in our mailbox or 10-second clips on youtube, we'll keep electing them. we need true leaders. >> i know you're a republican and don't support president
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biden but there's a demonstrable difference in terms of commitment to democracy. joe biden, whatever you think about him and there's certainly plenty of criticisms to be made, he's not trying to undo elections. >> absolutely. and republicans if we don't get this right, if we don't get democracy right, if we don't convince the right and the middle and the left for that matter that we can control democracy in a way that the constitution spells it out for us, then we have no chance to really do anything important. but my assumption is americans are ready to turn the page. republicans are ready to turn the page. donald trump is going to be an irrelevant part of the 2024 cycle by the time we get there. and i think there's two lanes that are going to develop. there's those that try to look and smell like donald trump and then a lane that i would support that would try to be problem solvers, solution seekers, folks that can build consensus and solve real issues. >> all right. georgia lieutenant governor jeff d geoff duncan, good to see you. >> let's bring in kaitlin collins for new reporting on how
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the president is reacting to today's testimony. i understand the former president is paying close attention to these. >> he was pushing back on today's hearing before officials had testified going after rusty bowers and a conversation they had where he claimed that bowers had told him he won arizona, that the election was rigged, something that rusty bowers later testified under oath he had not said to the former president. you've also seen our reporting that the former president has been defending that call to georgia secretary of state brad raffensperger that was on full display during the hearing today where he was going after the officials, which they later said they were targeted by, they were harassed because of it. that is something i'm told that trump has still been maintaining to people he believes was a perfect call and he assumed it was being taped and would, therefore, be made public as it certainly was today multiple times in that hearing. anderson, one thing we are picking up on, though, as these hearings are going on, the former president is becoming more frustrated by watching them. one of the primary reasons for
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that is not because of the democrats on this committee, but it's because he does not have his aggressive republican allies on this committee. yes, there is adam kinzinger and liz cheney. they are not allies of the former president. he has been complaining to people about the lack of republican representation on this committee. he's not focusing his ire on that really on democrats. what i'm told more is that he's focused on kevin mccarthy who when this committee was being formed last year submitted five picks to speaker pelosi, and when she rejected jim jordan and jim banks, he withdrew all of his selections. now that is something trump is describing as a foolish decision. he is saying that they need more republicans on this committee because he wants to see them pushing back as you're seeing these officials dissect his election lies. of course that's not happening. i should note that kevin mccarthy did not answer questions about this today but did say he had spoken to trump yesterday, anderson. >> we should point out that rusty bowers in his testimony today was asked by adam schiff
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about president trump's suggestion that rusty bowers had said to him that the election was rigged and president trump suggesting that he hopes somebody was recording it. mr. bowers said categorically that is completely false. >> yeah, he said -- confirmed they did have this phone call in january 2020 but said he did not tell trump the election was rigged. he did not tell him that he had won the state of arizona, which of course he did not. the implication from trump that there was a tape is something we've seen from him before. remember with the former fbi director james comey, there was not a tape in that situation. it's sometimes a threat that he makes when it comes to situations like this. >> kaitlin collins, thanks. not all of the news being made by testimony to the january 6 committee happened inside. new reporting from "the new york times" undercuts who ivanka trump said during recorded testimony. you might remember this comment.
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>> i respect attorney general barr. so i accepted what he was saying. >> i'm joined now by "the new york times" maggie haberman who broke this story. maggie, what are you learning that ivanka trump said to cameras filming this documentary leading up to january 6th that differed from what she told the committee? >> sure, jake. what she told the committee in that snippet, and we should be clear that's one of the few pieces that they have released so far. she sat for a much longer interview. we don't know what else is there. she said that she was affected by bill barr, she respected him, et cetera. that was based on a statement bill barr made on december 1st, 2020, to the associated press where he said there was no widespread fraud that impacted the election, contrary to what the president was saying at the time, then president trump was furious with barr for saying it. nine days later, according to video that we have seen, ivanka
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trump was recorded by this filmmaker in an interview with him, this person making some kind of a documentary about trump and about people around trump, talking -- you know, asked her response to trump's view of the election and she endorsed the idea that he should continue fighting, that he should keep seeking every legal remedy, legal remedy were her words. she says now there's all of these questions that people have about sort of the sanctity of the electoral process, without mentioning the fact that her father's false claims are part of why people had these issues. she did not use the word "fraud" in what we heard but she did sort of toe this line that was being articulated publicly. i don't know which one she really believed, but those were -- those were words that would make her father very happy. people around her often point to she was in a tough position. she certainly was but it was a position she put herself in. the view of staff in the white house and in the campaign was
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the family needed to be doing more to talk to trump than they were. instead it was left to other people to try to handle the mess. >> has ivanka trump responded to questions about this documentary video? >> no. i reached out to an aide for her and have not heard back. i'm not sure that she will. it's also not clear what else is on their tapes which were turned over to the committee today and the filmmaker is supposed to be interviewed by the committee on thursday. >> maggie haberman, thanks so much. good to see you. let's get some perspective from george conway, laura coats, former federal prosecutor and gloria borger and alyssa farrah griffin. george, what stood out to you today, because i was watching you watch the testimony and certainly rusty bowers really was very, very powerful right off the top. >> yeah, i thought today was the most moving day of testimony. i think in a lot of ways it's
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going to be one of the more memorable days of testimony. as i said earlier, this was sort of like the have you no shame moment of these hearings, because of the way, the emotional impact of seeing how these election workers, particularly shaye moss and her mother, lady ruby, were impacted so personally by the big lie. and it was just -- i mean the remarkable contrast between rusty bowers and shaye moss and ruby freeman doing their jobs, fulfilling their oaths, and then having these people lie about them and cause physical threats to them, you know, all because of donald trump. i mean the contrast was just -- it was emotionally jarring. and i'm a lawyer. i want to tick off all the
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different ways donald trump was told he lost legally and factually, and that's important. but this had much more impact emotionally. >> the president of the united states reaching out by name, selecting some american citizens who are doing their jobs as workers in the election process and not only attacking them, attacking them in racist ways, calling them -- one of them a hustler. >> suggesting that they were handing out heroin and cocaine, they were handing out ginger mints to one another. there were so many moments that were unconscionable as described. but this was an important day because up until now we were thinking about what happened on january 6th. the committee talking about what happened on january 6th. this is what happened leading up to january 6th. the violence that was almost asked for and sought after. the idea and the fact that the violence on january 6th was not the beginning of the story.
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that was very much part of what the committee was focusing on. everyone was vulnerable because they would not yield to foolishness, to absurd lies. they held their ground. and that notion of terry banks thompson saying, listen, the reason democracy stayed is because of a few individuals to do so. until now it was all about vice president mike pence. but it was every single person who said i have a compulsion to do the right thing. and for them to be in danger because one person decided that they are entitled to the president of the united states, it's shocking. it was just so sad to see the people who were most affected. >> also to have the president preemptively try to threaten or intimidate rusty bowers today. i want to play, gloria, some of what mr. bowers said. he's the speaker of the house in arizona. if i was an attorney and i wanted to put a witness that had credibility on a witness stand between former president trump and rusty bowers, i think
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anybody would go for rusty bowers. let's take a look. >> it is painful to have friends who have been such a help to me turn on me with such rancor. i may in the eyes of men not hold correct opinions or act according to their vision or convictions, but i do not take this current situation in a light manner, a fearful manner, or a vengeful manner. i do not want to be a winner by cheating. >> that's an entry from his diary from the worst -- or the midst of the attacks. >> well, i think he says it all. and what was so remarkable to me about his testimony today and everybody else's was it was sort of more in sorrow than anything else, that he had to go through this at a time when his daughter was very ill. >> terminally ill. >> yeah.
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>> in the house where there's a mob outside yelling, you know, calling her dad a pedophile of all things. >> right. and he outlined chapter and verse of the phone calls that he got, of the phone calls he got from eastman and from rudy giuliani, the president of the united states, on and on and on. the kind of pressure that was put on him. and yet he stood firm. it made me think about -- you know, we always hear in washington, hear about, oh, you know, there's this silent majority of republicans who really don't like the president. but they're kind of afraid of saying anything because of what it would do to them. and then i looked at him today and i thought, yeah, you may be right to be afraid, but look at how strong he looks. >> you also think, look, he's conservative speaker of the house. >> trump supporter. >> this is not about politics, this is about integrity and people who are fearful about the
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future of the country, you can look at today as a frightening thing. you can also look, at least these people stood up when it was needed. >> they were the guardrails. >> alisyalyssa, you have such a unique perspective having been in the white house when some of this push was going on. what stood out to you today? >> i thought i couldn't feel worse and heart broken than i did after the pence, that there was a true threat to the vice president. today was worse and more impactful. it was showing ordinary but extraordinary public servants. an election worker, a staffer for the secretary of state with the georgia secretary of state who did the right thing. and what it brought to mind as a republican, i'm sure george has experienced this too, so many elected republicans privately tell me i'd love to speak out against trump but i fear for my family, my future, my career, what i'm going to hear in my district. everyone who testified today put
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fear to the wind and did the right thing and patriotic thing for their country and i'm so grateful to them. >> george. >> yeah, i absolutely agree with that. again, it's the marked contrast between people who are doing their duty and acting honorably and then people like trump who are lying and fomenting violence. it's just -- it's just a sharp -- today was a morality play. >> also, for anybody who is watching, they could be ms. freeman. they could be any of these people plucked out of obscurity by the president of the united states and labeled a pedophile, labeled an enemy of the state. i mean anybody watching, it can happen to you. >> what makes me so mad about the idea of fear is that we're supposed to be a nation of laws. one way we try to counter that fear is to hold people accountable who intimidate those who are involved in elections. we have laws around this very issue.
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and if we're not holding people accountable for that, people will continue to be in fear. >> everybody, stick around. george conway, thanks. everyone else will stick around and we'll have a live report from capitol hill on one of the other big revelations of this day. a u.s. senator linked to that scheme. we spoke to wisconsin republican ron johnson and got his response. later we'll dig into the tactics against the election officials as our special coverage of the january 6th hearings continues. may i? we're dedefinitely not lit. i mean seriously, we named ourselves which is kind of lit if we are talking... literal... ha ha. it's why we're planet earth's number one site for booking accommodation. we love booking stuff! and we're just here to help you make the best of your vacation. ow... hi... booking.yeah
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staffer for vice president pence just minutes before the beginning of the joint session. this staffer stated that senator johnson wished to hand deliver to the vice president the fake electors' votes from michigan and wisconsin. the vice president's aide unambiguously instructed them not to deliver it to the vice president. even though the fake electedor slates were transmitted to congress and the executive branch, the vice president held firm that his role was to count lawfully submitted electoral votes. >> the committee presented text messages between aides for senator ron johnson and former vice president pence. johnson's aide said he wanted to hand something to pence. it's an alternate slate of electors. pence's aide responds do not give that to him. senator johnson has since responded to this. for that we go to manu raju. you caught up with senator johnson outside the capitol.
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what did he have to say about this slate of fraudulent electors. >> well, he acknowledges in the morning of january 6th he in fact was aware that his chief of staff had reached out to mike pence's office to try to deliver them the slate of electors, but he also contends that he does not know the genesis of this push to potentially pro vvide n electors from the states of michigan and wisconsin. he has no idea the person that was behind it. he also says that he had no involvement whatsoever other than a very brief interaction he had with his staff member who tried to deliver this to the vice president's office, who rejected it. this is what he said. >> why was he even asking for that? >> because somebody delivered this to our office and asked to deliver that to the vice president. >> did you support his efforts to try to get those slates to the vice president? >> no. i had no knowledge of this. >> who is the person -- >> i had no involvement in an
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alternate slate of electors. i had no idea it was going to be delivered to us. it got delivered staff to staff. my chief of staff did the right thing, contacted the vice president's staff. they said they didn't want it so we didn't deliver it. that's the end of story. >> who's the person who delivered it to your office? >> i have no idea. >> i also just asked him moments ago whether or not he would try to find out the identity of the person behind this. he indicated no interest in doing that. i also asked him, jake, just moments ago about why not -- why exactly offer something to the vice president without vetting this information. he went on to say we got handed an envelope that was supposed to go to the vice president. i didn't know -- i didn't know about it so we just called up the vice president and offered it. he claimed it came from a house office initially, but he also said he didn't know who, which house office provided it. so a lot more questions than answers after my interaction multiple times with ron johnson tonight. also, jake, andy biggs, the congressman from arizona, it was
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revealed today that he tried to pressure the statehouse speaker, rusty bowers, to decertify the electoral results from arizona. he declined to comment when asked multiple times on capitol hill but one person did defend trump and that was kevin mccarthy, the republican leader. i asked him directly is it right for the president to pressure mike pence and state election officials to overturn the election results. he said the president has the right to question an election. >> manu raju, thanks so much. >> i want to get something over to the vice president, just contact ron johnson, he'll pass it along. more now on today's testimony tied to the vote in arizona. joining me is arizona secretary of state katie hobbs, a democrat running for governor in the state. she faced death threats. secretary hobbs, appreciate you being with us. rusty bowers spoke at length about the direct pressure from the former president and his allies to decertify biden's victory in the state. watching him, i wonder what your
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takeaways were? >> well, i think, first of all, it came across very clearly he's an honorable man. i think that what was reinforced today is that republican officials faced a whole different kind of pressure than democratic officials did. i never got calls like that. what the former president and his allies tried to do was play the loyalty to party card over country. and by loyalty to party, i mean loyalty to him. you know, rusty has clearly faced a lot of consequences for not caving to that pressure, but he was unequivocal in the fact that he was being asked to break the law and wasn't going to do that. he was upholding his oath to the constitution of our state and the country. >> and that's one of the things that stood out to me at least and all the people today. that is what it takes. we talked about these institutions of democracy. they only are institutions because it takes honorable people in all these positions
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doing the right thing, following the constitution, following their oath. >> and i think that that's the bare minimum we can ask people to do and it's sad that that's where we're at right now. we need folks who are willing to step up and do more than that. and this is on the ballot up and down the ballot in arizona and across the country this year. the future of our democracy is on the ballot. it's why i'm running for governor. and we need leaders who despite party, regardless of party, are going to uphold the oath that they take when they get sworn into office. >> we also learned today that congressman andy biggs, republican from your state, urged speaker bowers to throw out biden electors and replace them with phony electors for the former president on the morning of january 6. were you surprised by that? i'm wondering what your reaction was. >> i mean unfortunately, no, i'm not surprised. he's been onboard with these election conspiracy theories
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from the beginning. there's been more and more kind of coming out about his role in the whole january 6th attack on our country. and so, no, this was certainly not surprising. >> i should point out cnn caught up with the congressman to ask him about this and he would not answer our questions. the committee played a new video from when the so-called qanon shaman illegally entered the arizona state capitol building. they wanted to show some of the people that parmd in the riot in d.c. were tied to prior incidents at state capitols across the country. were you aware this character had showed up with this mob? >> i mean he's shown up with mobs at the capitol many times. and so, you know, it wasn't surprising. i don't know specifically the incident that you're referring to from the video of earlier today, but i know that the cast of characters that were involved
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from arizona at the capitol insurrection also were involved in rallies and protests here in arizona many times. >> secretary of state katie hobbs, appreciate your time. thank you. >> thank you. a lot to discuss. joining me on the panel, abby phillip, also jamie gangel, kasie hunt and john king. all right, we're out of time. i gave all their titles. one thing i want to run again because it was really amazing was senator ron johnson's response to manu raju asking why his staff member was reaching out to the staff of vice president pence with these fraudulent electors from his home state of wisconsin and michigan. let's roll some of that sound. >> why was he even asking for that? >> because somebody delivered this to our office and asked to deliver that to the vice president. >> did you support his efforts to try to get those slates to the vice president? >> no. i had no knowledge of this. >> who is the person --
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>> you know, i had no involvement in an alternate slate of electors. i had no idea this would be delivered to us. it got delivered staff to staff. my chief of staff did the right thing, contacted the vice president's staff. they said they didn't want it so we didn't deliver it. again, that's the end of story. >> who's the person that delivered it to your office. >> i have no idea. >> i can understand why he would give that answer because at least according to carrie cordero earlier today, this might actually be illegal to give fraudulent electors. but that was the worst explanation i've ever heard. i mean that was like something out of like a local newscast, a guy that was caught knocking off a bank. >> he didn't want it so i didn't give it to him. what i thought was so wild about that text exchange was that the staffer, who by the way is ron johnson's chief of staff, basically was implying that, oh, these electors just didn't get to get archivists.
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that was a lie. these electors were fake electors. not only that, he said that ron johnson himself was the one who wanted to hand it over to pence himself. so there are a lot of problems with this. and i don't think that that explanation obviously cuts it. but also ron johnson saying, oh, my staffer did the right thing. his staffer did exactly the wrong thing. lied to another person about the nature of these electors and tried to give them to the vice president on the day of january 6th. >> but also just to dive back into what he said, beyond the morality issue, which is an important one. >> what is the right thing to do? >> i want to unpack it here because what he's saying is we got this package. we don't know who gave us to us. it had electors in it and they said we should give it to the vice president so we reached out to give it to the vice president. what if it was like ricin. you have no idea what's in this package and some rando gave it
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to you? >> that's assuming that any of that is true, which seems highly unlikely that it is. he knew what it was. >> i think what we learned today over and over again is that democracy depends on men and women of good will who are not going to deliver or want to deliver false electors. but what was most impressive to me today was the people we heard from are trump supporters. they are conservative republicans, many of whom voted for him twice, and they over and over and over again honestly, unlike perhaps that walking interview we just saw with manu, said that there was no fraud. and just two quotes from one -- from rudy giuliani. what did rudy giuliani say?
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aren't we all republicans here. >> right. >> and then john eastman, just do it and have the courts sort it out. luckily there were people like gabriel sterling on the other side who said there were no secret suitcases with magical ballots. >> so congressman adam kinzinger, republican, on the committee, veteran, air force veteran, wrote watching today's witnesses, i'm reminded what honorable people look like. the first three reminded me of the gop i joined. republican leader mccarthy probably feels ashamed today. >> i think it's clear adam kinzinger, liz cheney and all these republicans that they brought in front of this committee today who we saw, they were the ones who stood in the breach. without them, who knows what might have happened. and, you know, we've talked about how this could have at so many different points could have easily gone the other way. i think the committee has been illuminating new and more creative ways it could have gone
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the wrong way, starting in senator ron johnson's office. props to the pence staffer who wrote back in this text message, don't do that. we don't want them. >> it seems that the pence staff has more honor than lots of elected officials in this town. john, i want your response to the exchange between the arizona republican speaker of the house. again, this guy is super conservative and was a big trump supporter. an exchange between him and congressman adam schiff. >> at some point did one of them make a comment that they didn't have evidence but they had a lot of theories? >> that was mr. giuliani. >> and what exactly did he say and how did that come up? >> my recollection, he said we've got lots of theories, we just don't have the evidence. i don't know if that was a gaffe, or maybe he didn't think through what he said. but both myself and others in my group, the three in my group and my counsel both remembered that specifically. afterwards, we kind of laughed about it.
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>> it's a gaffe in the michael kinsey definition when a politician accidentally tells the truth. >> the speaker says he laughed about it. remember, this was before january 6th. he thought this was a parody is what he called it because that was before january 6th. then we saw on january 6th the impact, the potential impact of this cancer in the system and the propensity. what you heard today repeatedly from all of these witnesses, i wouldn't do what donald trump did and i was threatened. i was harassed. my work was made more difficult. my family was threatened. my children were threatened. it's not funny. it's not funny. when you listen to these things in a vacuum, especially when it's mayor giuliani involved, yes, it's easy to laugh and sometimes we need humor. when we think about the gravity of this, the president of the united states searching for people to help him, searching for a gang to help him steal the country. not steal your car, steal the country. when one lawyer said no, he went for another one. when georgia said no, he went to arizona. when arizona said no, he went to michigan. this is just continuing. but the violence and the threats
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being part of it makes it all the worse. you see behavior today, today from republicans threatening people. >> yeah. more to discuss with all of you a little later on. please stick around. coming up next, the pressure campaign was only the start. how election officials and workers told the committee they were targeted for harassment with death threats and more. a former trump white house official joins me with his own experiences after standing up for the truth. that's next.
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we learned from the republican election officials who testified today and from that former georgia election worker that the efforts to overturn the election came alongside a campaign of fear tactics, death threats, doxxing, picketers outside their homes, invented sick claims of pedophilia and even a home break-in. we're going to talk about that testimony in one second with our guest. he is with us now? we were having problems with him. chris krebs was the trump administration official in charge of cybersecurity. we're waiting to see if he pops up on the screen. he was fired after he said the 2020 election was the most secure in history and chris krebs joins us now. chris, we learned more about the threats of violence.
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we don't have his -- okay, we're going to skip -- i'm going to toss to anderson. we'll bring chris krebs in, in a second. >> live tv, it's really joyful sometimes. with me now to talk more about the threats and fears of violence, kathleen ballou, author of "bring the war home, the white power movement and paramilitary in america" an associate professor of history at northwestern university. kathleen, you've been focused on this for a long time. i'm wondering what you make of this moment that we're in, in which turning to political violence, making threats is not just becoming normalized, it is normalized. you have, you know, this disgraced politician greitens making an ad talking about hunting rinos, republicans in name only. have you, in all the years you've been researching this, have you seen anything like this moment we're in? >> you know, it struck me today listening to shaye moss'
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testimony to the commission about her experience of being harassed and intimidated and how one threatening message she had gotten was lucky this is 2020 instead of 1920. i mean as a historian, this is a lot like 1920. we have intense nationalism, we have intense paramilitarization that's running throughout our culture, and we also have a culture of racial violence that's becoming more of a tide than a set of isolated incidents. i mean a lot of the testimony today had to do with how january 6th is not the beginning point of this violence, nor is it the end point of racial violence as we see. and i think i would just add that in addition to thinking about the way that election workers were harassed in 2020, we should well think about the way white power activists have also been harassing people like michigan governor gretchen whitmer, harassing businesses for masking, harassing others,
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harassing people at statehouses. we should consider how on january 6th multiple statehouses were also sort of in the crosshairs of action. >> you've said that extremists involved in january 6th have a different understanding of what truth is. can you expand on that a bit? because there's truth and lies. >> yes, absolutely. it may be good to think about the role of conspiracy theory here, because a lot of what we heard in the testimony was not only about death threats, and i don't mean to say that death threats are minor in any way. but it also had the shape of some specifically conspiratorial world views, including things like accusations of pedophilia, which we see often in qanon movement, materials and including some more organized forms of intimidation and harassment. so that should draw our attention to two different problems. one is what the commission was doing today, which is sort of what is the role of our
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political officials in instigating campaigns of harassment against our civil servants who are just trying to carry out votes. and the other part is about who the people are who are in fact doing the harassing. and i think we haven't begun to hear that side of the story yet. but some of them are simply people who get fixated for whatever reason. some of them are organized extremist groups who are simply looking for a direction for their targeted campaigns of vie sglens kathleen belew, i appreciate your time tonight. thank you very much. >> thank you. again, we're with chris krebs who saw firsthand the threats and intimidation that kathleen belew was just talking about. he was let go after saying the factual, accurate truth that the 2020 election was the most secure in history. chris joins us now. chris, can you hear me? are you doing okay there? >> yeah, loud and clear, jake. >> okay, great. so, chris, we learned more about the threats of violence some of
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these election officials faced and the terrible intimidation suffered by an election worker and her family. i know that you had threats. i remember a lawyer, joe digenova, saying something pretty heinous to you. so heinous under threat of lawsuit he apologized and retracted it. what was your takeaway from their testimony about election. well, it built up today throughout the hearing. started with rusty who talked about threats he had received, then you heard gabe sterling talk about the threats to his employees, and you had brad raffensperger talk about the threats he received, his wife received, his widow daughter received, and then of course closing out with shea moss and libby freeman. their lives are ir revokably
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changed. they can't go out for food. it was one of the reasons since the insurrection that we have these rules. she just wanted to cast an american vote, and for that she'll be punished for the rest of her life. >> you say it's just a trial run. tell me more about what you mean by that. >> well, look, if those that were responsible for the threats, responsible for the attempts to overturn through fake electors and those slates are not held accountable, they may try to do it again. we're seeing part of the republican party that are candidates for office actually
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call out rusty bowers for being a traitor. we have candidates in arizona and we're seeing candidates for governor and secretary of state that are riding the big lie in the 2020 election, stolen election. so the permission structure has not shifted back to center and some degree of normalcy. instead the incentive structures are in place to continue the lies, and by biggest fear, or one of my greatest fears, at least, is there won't be rubens and shea mosses. fewer workers, fewer polls. fewer polls, fewer opportunities to vote. >> you were fired by a presidential tweet because you stood up to the former president's lies about widespread voter fraud. you were the top cybersecurity official, homeland security. do you think the point-by-point
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repetition of claims of fraud during all of these hearings will resonate with any of the people who believe the lies, or is it just too late, they bought it and they're all in? >> well, i think the most important part is that we're putting this all in a comprehensive record. and by the way, brad r raffensperger tick off the issues, and the witnesses did a fantastic job. but this goes to the importance of putting the foundation of the facts of what actually happened and what happens afterwards with law enforcement and other investigations as they may look to conspiracy or fraud or whatever cases, that's critical. but to your question, look, is this going to change many people's minds? i don't know. if the viewers of oan and news
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max, they're not watching this. they're the ones that need to see what happened and what their false idol tried to put on the american people, but, you know, it is critical to get it out there, get the message out there, and then what happens next is in the hands of law enforcement. >> all right, chris krebs, always good to have you. thanks so much. this is senior political commentator david irvin. he is a political consultant and washington lobbyist. back as well jennifer coats . >> what chris and jake were talking about, it's compelling testimony but the folks who need to hear this aren't tuned in. folks who truly believe the election was stolen are not watching. they'll turn on the television, they'll see adam schiff, impeachment manager, and they'll click right by.
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i think if the democrats want to appeal to a broader base, you don't have adam schiff, enemy number one of the trump administration and the maga crowd, as your presenter. it doesn't help make your argument, right? it's not going to win anybody over. >> we have heard from one republican after another here. >> i understand this. >> i hear what you're saying. >> how many people watch television with the volume off or they turn it up when they see something interesting. >> i'm talking about the actual testimony you heard. >> the rudy part, right? clete missile who is a very respectable lawyer, is saying, do we have any evidence here in these documents or e-mails? >> i want to hear someone lash
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out at former leader freeman. >> we had at least 18,000 that's on tape, we had them counted very painstakingly, 18,000 voters having to do with ruby freeman. she's a vote scammer, a professional vote scammer and hustler. >> again, i still find it stunning the president of the united states is reaching out, selecting a person who is doing a very important job and calling her a professional scammer without any -- that is just completely made up, and a hustler. >> it is, and he amplified this to such an extent that it was believed by millions of people, potentially. that she was in danger based on people's believe she had done something wrong. what has she done? she followed the lay of the land that there was actually the ability to have democracy not be a spectator sport. earlier on my radio show today,
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i had so many callers that called in with that very notion. they said, maybe i would listen if they allowed devil's advocates to be part of this hearing. if i could hear similar to a criminal prosecution, if the prosecution had to provide exculpatory evidence saying, here's why they maybe did not do this, i might tune in. i pushed back and said, hold on a second. there was an opportunity to testify. if you would like to come and testify, you very well could. other people were asked to be a part of it and they didn't want to for any reason, so it's kind of a convenient notion to say if i only had the other side of the story -- >> i think this will make a difference, and it's because 58l 58%, 58% of this country think donald trump probably did something really bad and it was wrong. it may not affect candidates in 2022, but if he runs in 2024, this is going to be there. and people are going to say, do
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i want him back in the white house? i mean, i don't know all the details of this, but there was some pretty awful stuff that was out there. people were treated really badly. the president lied. so what about, you know, won't that matter? >> alyssa, how would the former president have even learned ruben's name or shea's name? >> i was thinking about that. i was shocked about information that would get in front of him. they would see fringe conspiracy theories and they would put them in front of him. in any traditional white house, it should not work like that. >> apparently it can be someone random. >> usually it's the chief of staff. >> there was a lot of accountability that broke down at the end there, but i think the point chris krebs made was great. this is a trial run for what could happen in the future. i'm not so much worried about
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the next january 6 at the capitol. we'll arm the capitol, we'll make sure we have the proper security. it's every state capitol, like michigan where you have armed militias that are rising up. this is something the public has to pay attention to. >> it's actually people running for those positions with an agenda in mind -- >> that are not the good citizens we saw today who put their country and their state ahead of their own personal views. all republicans, by the way. >> more than 100 people in the "washington post," more than 100 are election deniers. >> tom freeman will be here with his reaction as well. we'll look at things that happen ed in the justice investigatati. more after this.
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