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tv   Don Lemon Tonight  CNN  June 21, 2022 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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wisconsin folks saw her as a nice old lady who wasn't harming anyone and they didn't like their senator picking on her, unquote. there were other mccarthy disgraces, of course, as well. by the end of the year, the republican party and the u.s. senate had distanced themselves from joe mccarthy and his smears and lies. one wonders what wandrea shea mosses legacy will be. will the bullying and smears and attempted destruction of her life and livelihood, will that mean anything to today's public? at long last. >> well said, jake. the echos of history echo today. let's turn things over to don lemon and "don lemon tonight." don? this is "don lemon tonight." i'm so happy that you could join us this evening because you're
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going to need a very special woman and her mother. and i want you to hear tonight from this true american hero. i want to you to really listen because this is about the kind of country that we are, the kind of country that we should be. she goes by the name shea. she might not call herself a hero, but that is exactly what this woman is, a woman, a black woman, who stood up for our democracy, for our vote the way generations of americans have done, generations of black, white, and brown people who have fought and quite frankly died to preserve the right to vote. and shea moss, she was just doing her job as an election worker, helping people in fulton county, georgia, helping them to vote, processing the vote count. she worked in the department of registration and afflictions fulton county from 2017 until this year. and for that, she was targeted by the then-president of the united states and his minions, targeted with lies and racist
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accusations. her life turned upside down. >> i felt horrible. i felt like it was all my fault, like if i would have never decided to be an elections worker, like, i could have done anything else, but that's what i decided to do and now people are lying and spreading rumors and lies and attacking my mom. my only child going to my grandmother's house, her only grandchild and my kid is just -- i felt so bad. i just felt bad for my mom, and i felt horrible for picking this job and being the one that always wants to help and always there, never missing not one election. i just felt like it was my fault for putting my family in this situation.
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>> did you hear that? before that, the perfect person to testify. just a regular american trying to do her job and help people, right? wasn't quite sure how to work the mic, a little nervous about being in front of the cameras, sharing her story, which was real. but did you hear what she said? she felt like it was her fault when all she was doing was being a patriotic american. >> well, i've always been told by my grandmother how important it is to vote and how people before me -- a lot of people, older people in my family did not have that right. >> so she talks about being an only child, an only grandchild. she told the committee she loved her job until it was taken away from her by, quote, a few people that decided their lie was more important than her life.
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she and her family were subjected to a disgusting campaign of lies and outrageous accusations, death threats, and being told be glad it's 2020 and not 1920. >> ruby moss and one other gentleman quite obviously surreptitiously passing around usb ports as if they're vials of skm heroin and cocaine. >> we had at least 18,000 that's on tape. we had them counted very painstakingly, 18,000 voters having to do with reuben freeman. she's a vote scammer a professional vote scammer and hustler. >> i mean, come on. that is just disgusting. there's no other way to put it. it's gross, it's disgusting, a hustler?
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donald trump and rudy giuliani revealing themselves for who they are. they're the ones who are trying to pull the scam and the hustle. listen to ruby freeman, she had to go into hiding after the fbi told her she would not be safe -- this is her open home -- until at least the inauguration. >> now i won't even introduce myself by my name anymore. i get nervous when i bump into someone i know in the grocery store who says my name. i'm worried about who's listening. i get nervous when i have to give my name for food orders. i'm always concerned of who's around me. i've lost my name and i've lost my reputation. i've lost my sense of security all because a group of people starting with number 45 and his
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ally, rudy giuliani, decided to scapegoat me and my daughter, shea, to push their own lies about how the presidential election was stolen. >> imagine that. to be afraid to even say your own name. think about it. think about the courage it took for ruby freeman and shea moss to go before the january 6th committee and stand up for what is right, to stand up against the liars and the bullies who put their lives in danger. liz cheney, another principled american, calling out the lies, lies we've seen lead to violence. >> i would urge all of those watching today to focus on the evidence the committee will present. don't be distracted by politics. this is serious. we cannot let america become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence. >> and she's right. don't be distracted by the
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politics. this is not about, you know, right versus left. it's not that. this is about our democracy. this is about calling out the lies and who's doing it. quite frankly, that's donald trump and members of the republican party and the ones who are not saying anything who are allowing this to happen. she said a nation of conspiracy theories. it's a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence, like the threats against arizona house speaker rusty bowers who refused to play along with the plan to decertify his state's election results, only to be harassed by protesters outside his home, calling him a pervert and a pedophile. even his gravely ill daughter, harassed. >> it is a tenet of my faith that the constitution is
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divinely inspired. one of my most basic foundational beliefs. so for me to do that because somebody just asked me to, is foreign to my very being. i will not do it. >> thug politics, like the attacks on georgia secretary of state brad raffensperger who refused the then-president's demand that he find 11,780 votes. >> eventually my wife started getting a text and hers typically were issexualized in nature. some people broke into my daughter's home. she has two kids so we're concerned about her safety also. >> conservative, trump-supporting republicans standing up for what is right, refusing to break the law or betray their oaths. shea moss and her mother, ruby
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freely, two women of integrity who testified in spite of the threats against them. thanks to all of them, things weren't worse. i know they're bad now, but at least they're not worse because of those people. but who's going to stand up for the right thing the next time? that is the question. a lot to discuss. elie honig, s.e. cupp, alice stewart. good to see all of you. compelling testimony today. i want your take on this and everybody's take. i'll start with you first. you have the integrity of rusty bowers. you have shea and her mom, lady ruby, which is trending on social media today. if you're going to pay attention to something on social media, it should be stuff like that, but refusing to be pulled into this scheme. >> yeah. i got to be honest. i had kind of forgotten what it sounded like when principled conservative republicans put their convictions ahead of
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trump. we were it from from time to time, we heard it from liz cheney, adam kinzinger, but you don't hear it all that koften, and i was reminded these election officials, the secretary of state, that you didn't know about until january 6th and everything that happened, everything they did to prevent worse. i am grateful for those people, and it gives me some sense of hope that there are more out there like them, because they want to try it again. trump and republicans want to keep trying to break our democracy. and they're going to vote for secretaries of state who want to keep breaking our elections and weak continu weakening the integrity of them. i hope there are more of them. >> we also need to be reminded of it. we need to remind our audience too that you are a republican. >> well, yes.
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i'm a conservative and i felt like an orphan and very alone in thinking what trump was doing was awful and -- not conservative, by the way. to hear conservatives i know wanted trump to be president who are conservative to their core say i wouldn't do this, you just haven't heard a lot of that conviction over the past five years. we saw a lot of emotional, compelling testify, if you want to call it that today and we did hear from professional vote scammers. we did hear from them. it wasn't shea moss or lady ruby or brad raffensperger or bowers. we heard from professional vote scammers, former president trump and rudy giuliani, people involved in surreptitious, questionable activity. and it wasn't the four people i named. it is the former president and rudy giuliani. you look at shea moss, she was not a professional speaker, she was nervous, she did not want to be there, and she gave such
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compelling testimony about how she loved her job. she loved going to work and helping older people vote. she loved giving -- >> she would drive to give people absentee ballots in the zero-tolerance policy she loved giving out business cards so they could call her and ask information. that's what our election system is filled with, people like her across the country that make sure our elections are free and fair. i was deputy secretary of state in arkansas. we had people in our elections division just like her that woke up every day doing their constitutional duty to execute free and fair elections, and it's a darn shame that she was chased out of her job because of someone who was so obsessed with trying to win an election that was clearly lost. >> i know you're a lady, but it's after 10:00. you can see it's a damn shame. it's a damn shame. it is a damn shame, i'll say it for you. you said we got a glimpse into this was a coup attempt, right? the strategy behind this coup
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attempt, fake it and hope it works? >> i know there's a certain population of people out there who will never believe the truth, never want to see the truth who will cling to conspiracy theories. but i do think these hearings matter in a big way because we now know the truth. i don't think there's any serious person who can seriously question, who can seriously argue there was meaningful election fraud in 2020. i mean, how can you watch these hearings and possibly argue that with a straight face? so i think it's advancing the cause of truth here. and they ripped the veil right off of the strategy today. we heard from insiders that what they would do is make it up, throw it out there, hope it gets echoed in social media or wherever until it just sort of blends in and gets some air of authority. it's bogus and it's the way that myths are made. >> can we talk about this fake election scheme because that was, really, i think the big news today. we sort of got an inside glimpse of that. pushing this fake election scheme, wisconsin senator ron johnson, cnn caught up with
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senator johnson who acknowledges that he was aware and his chief of staff reached out. but contends that he has no idea who was behind it and had no involvement. watch this and then we'll get you to. >> 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. annoyed knowledge of this. >> who was person that delivered -- >> i had no involvement in the slate of electors. i had no idea this was even going to be delivered to us, delivered staff to staff. my chief of staff did the right thing, contacted the vice president's staff. they said didn't want it, so we didn't deliver it. that's the end of the story. >> who is the person that delivered it to your office? >> i have no idea. >> how does this look? >> it belies every step of belief. we're talking about the chief of staff of the senator. this is not something that even
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invokes a credulous response. what the importance of today's hearings was was expanding it out of just january 6th. i think we got an idea of just how many levels there were to a real concerted effort from this administration to subvert democracy at every step, right? to pressure state legislators, to pressure election workers through conspiracy. january 6th is a culmination of that. >> these were not real electors. this was fake. >> absolutely. i'm saying we now know -- to ellie's point about facts, having a first draft of history, i think this is a real place where these hearings a doing a journalistic service too. there's no question of evidence or fact, right? these are not things that are really disputed even by the other side, right? they have not said this support true. these are the responses you get from the senator there is just one of throwing their hands up. they're not even contesting it on the level of fact because we know here that every piece of
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evidence tells us that the president and all of those around him didn't care at all about the basic -- not basic tenets of democracy, the basic will of the american voters, and even more so than that, were actively working to subvert both of those. >> in a court of law this defies credulity. >> as a injury, you can reject that. we should use common sense. >> as bill barr would say, this was bs. >> stick around. i want to talk about the emotional testimony of today's hearing and the personal cost of standing up to the former president. >> do you know how it feels to have the president of the united states to target you? the president of the united states is supposed to represent every american. not to target one.
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witnesses testifying before the january 6th select committee today about the pressure and intimidation they faced from the highest levels of government. republican congresswoman liz cheney saying we cannot let america become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence. when trump's pressure campaign didn't work, that's when, really, the terrorizing began. we heard about the death threats. we heard about the home break-ins. we heard about the constant harassment. is that the cost to standing up to the ex-president? >> it is -- we've seen this over and over, the specifically weaponized harassment that comes from standing up to the president. it could be active or it could be passive. simply doing anything that is outside of the purview of what donald trump wants would invite harassment specifically from the media outlets and conservative sources who have pushed conspiracy theories, who have
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pushed lies, who have pushed harassment on individuals who are, frankly, doing the yeoman's work of american democracy. we're talking about people here who have taken it upon themselves to actually hold up the tenets of our government. and as a reaction to doing their job, experience these things specifically targeted from the highest levels of government. that is not a feature, but a bug of -- not a bug, but a feature of donald trump's administration where we have seen this over and over to former friends who became enemies, to longtime enemies, to media. >> you made them enemies. former friends who told the truth and then became enemies. >> so wbut you didn't have to s up to the president to be the target of his ire. >> right. >> you just had to be a perceived opponent. he told people all the time over years, conditioning this environment that his opponents were enemies of the state. that such and such group wasn't
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to be believed. go after your opponents, i'll cover your legal costs if you take them out. he conditioned this environment and radicalized people to do this on his behalf in his name. and i just want to say something about sheaye and her mom and th targeted harassment they got. because this isn't just around the election issue. i remember in 2020 i wrote about the harassment of women public health administrators who didn't make a lot of money, they weren't big-name people, they were just doing their jobs, but because trump told his base that covid was a cold and taking precautions were now an assault on your freedom, they got death threats, rape fantasies, awful kinds of harassment that specifically target women in a way -- >> raffensperger talked about
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that. >> raffensperger talked about it. it's part of the hatred that women has seeded. he's done it to other women. i've been the target of his harassment online. women get a particular kind of attention from trump and his supporters. and i think it needs calling out because women have been going through this not just for election stuff, but through the whole course of his administration. >> but this certainly ramps it up and takes it to a completely different level. my next question is for you, allison. al schmidt was on with jarp earlier and said trump's election lie has nothing to do with being a republican at all and has to do with whether you're willing to lie for the former president or not. right? >> absolutely. look, these are republican election officials in many states that stood up for the right thing.
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brad raffensperger has said from the beginning i'm going to do my constitutional duty, i'm going to follow the law, we are a nation of laws. we are not a nation of the current elected president being able to decide if they will continue to be the elected president. we're a nation of laws. brad raffensperger wanted the president to win. georgia governor brian kemp wanted him to win. bowers in arizona wanted him to win, but they did their constitutional duty by certifying the electorals as they came in. >> he said this is whether you were willing to lie for the former president. >> absolutely, and they were not going to do so. that has far-reaching consequences. brad raffensperger pointed out today the president's tone and demeanor and the wrath of a lot of things that he -- he doesn't like when people dov things and his base goes after critics,
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that took a toll on him. brad raffensperger traveled with the president and saw the vitriol republican voters had against the president and the tone and the way he treated people, that took a toll on him running in 2020 as well as the senators running in the midterm elections. raffensperger said specifically looking at the numbers, 28,000 republicans went to the polls in georgia and voted down-ballot. they did not vote for donald trump, they voted down-ballot. these are republicans who are fed up with his tone and tenor. so that's the lesson to republicans moving forward. voters are tired of it. >> listen, ellie, all of these threats of violence and harassment and on and on, it's horrific. was there any case for anything that was against the law today that was illegal? >> you know what's so interesting to me, over the course of the last several weeks while these hearings are happening, the focus for potential prosecution has shifted.
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we used to be focused on january 6th itself. was this legally incitement of a riot? the only people prosecuted are the people who went in on january 6th. now the focus is really on the much boarder conspiracy, the effort to block the electoral certification. i think that's actually a better and smarter way for prosecutors to look at this. i think charging donald trump with the incitement of a riot is a very, very difficult charge. but i think if we're talking about a conspiracy to steal a fair election from this country, which has been charged before, now the case for that to me is really sort of crystalizing, and i think we're seeing vastly increased pressure on the united states department of justice. >> even folks at fox news today were saying this is bad. this looks real bad for the president. i mean, you know it's bad when they're admitting it. >> what she said. >> at the same time you have trump endorsing people across the country. we have to be clear that this is not only a legal question, but a political question. this is not just -- i think it's
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actually flattening it to say that donald trump himself was the one who was inciting. donald trump mobilized a portion of america that is not insignificant. that is a real electorate in this country, and the message that a lot of republican electorates have gotten from this, some have certainly stepped away and said this has gone too far. some are also scared of the real base that is true and we know the vitriol that comes from that. so the same type of belief in democracy that we see from shaye and others has to come true among the electorate that trump motivates or this will be a persistent problem. he's mobilizing voters, people who have impact. >> the problem is that there is one party in this country that still pretty much abandoned the truth. they've abdicated the truth and reality. listen, we dealt with going too far left or right, but when you
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abdicate, when you abandon the truth, how do you turn back from that? how do you stand up and fight for people who are not standing up -- >> a usb port, some nefarious, complete made-up lie that you weaponize with no consequences, no care for what's about to happen because of it. >> so here's a quote. be glad it's 2020 and not 1920, that's what shaye moss was told while being threatened. we're going to dig into the ugly racism rearing up in these attacks. that's next.
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the january 6th committee hearing today from shaye moss and her mother, ruby freeman, two black election workers in atlanta during the 2020 election, former president trump and his allies put them both at the center of their unhinged racist lies about massive voter fraud in georgia. i want to discuss their emotional testimony with cnn's senior political analyst, nia-malika henderson and joey jackson. good to have you both on. good evening. so knethis is shaye moss talkin about being targeted over election lies. >> yes, a lot of threats, wishing death upon me, telling
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me that, you know, i'll be in jail with my mother and saying things like be glad it's 2020 and not 1920. >> were a lot of these threats and vile comments racist in nature? >> a lot of them were racist. a lot of them were just hateful. yes, sir. >> this is woman loved her job, was proud to be a fulton county election worker and it ended up like this. it is despicable. >> loved her job, loves her country, loves democracy and knows about the history of this country, particularly this country in terms of black people and the right to vote and how hard fought that has been in this country. i thought about what happened today almost 60 years ago and that was the death of three civil rights workers who were going down to mississippi to try to register black people to
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vote. that is the history that certainly shaye knows about. she's trying to uphold democracy, trying to spread the word about voting, talk about the importance of voting to all folks in her community. so it was disheartening and frightening to hear about her experience, the sort of racialized, violent threats she got. this idea let's be glad it's not 1920 and all of the things she had to go through because she was targeted by this president, people coming after her verbally. her grandmother, her mother as well. and then saying they didn't want to participate in the same way because of the way they were spotlighted and targeted by this president and his followers. so it was very emotional, obviously, for her and i think emotional for a lot of our viewers who watched her testimony today. >> i want you to hear from mom. this is the committee playing
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audio of trump attacking ruby freeman. watch. >> 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. >> donald trump attacked you and your mother using her name 18 times on that call, 18 times. ms. moss, can you describe what you felt hearing president trump attacking you and your mother in a call with the georgia secretary of state? >> i felt horrible. i felt like it was all my fault, like if i would have never decided to be an elections worker. >> joey, let's be honest, these crazy ass people believe that,
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the 1920s stuff, that trump said she's a scammer and a hustler, she and her mom were attacked by trump and then faced serious and racist threats. people harassed them and other family members at their homes. she had to move out of her house for her own safety. what responsibility does the former president have here? >> i think a lot of responsibility. i think everyone should be responsible for using language that's clear, that's precise, that's truthful, and i think the truth has gotten lost. we could sit here all night talking about first amendment, talking about opinions, talking about the distinction between that and defamation, talking, talking. but the reality is that when you have that bully pulpit and you're talking about things that are factually inaccurate and you're not only impairing and impugning someone's reputation who should be celebrated for being an election worker, who should be celebrated by being on the front lines and attempting to protect the propriety and integrity of the election
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instead denigrating them without factual basis at all. the former president and politicians alike have to be careful when you use language and how that could impair and affect and really just destroy people, and that's clearly what we saw happen there, don. >> each of us sitting here tonight, people of color, we know what it's like being attacked by the president, the former president of this country. i have personal experience. i think you have personal experience as well. and the concern that goes with you personally or with me personally and our families. what these women were experiencing was real. look, i can handle it. i don't like it, but it's not what they signed up for, nia. >> and it has completely changed their lives. i mean, shaye talked about not wanting her mother to call out her name in the grocery store, not wanting to go to the grocery store for fear that her mother might call out her name.
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we all know how important names are and naming is for african-americans, so that was poignant and sad to hear her mother say that, someone who built this business down in georgia. and now, you know, lives in fear because of what the former president did in maligning her in a racist way. >> thank you both. i appreciate it. be well. we'll be right back. >> thank you, don.
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liz cheney issuing a challenge today to former white house counsel pat cipollone. >> our committee is certain that donald trump does not want mr. cipollone to testify here. indeed, our evidence shows that mr. cipollone and his office tried to do what was right. we think the american people
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deserve to hear from mr. cipollone personally. ea he should appear before this committee. >> a source telling cnn cipollone believes he has cooperated enough with the committee. back with me, the panel. mr. honing, the committee clearly wants the former white house counsel, pat cipollone, to testify. he is a critical figure here. do you think he'll do it? >> i don't think so. first of all, pat cipollone believes he's already cooperated enough. well, excuse me. >> i've cooperated enough, sorry. >> i'm done with you, sorry. that's not how it works, right? liz cheney is exactly right. he could be a crucial witness. the problem is the committee is entirely at cipollone's mercy now because of where we are on the calendar. if cipollone were to say i'm out, i'm not testifying, the only remedy the committee would have would be to go to court. these hearings are going to be over soon, so it's based on his
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good will and i wouldn't back on that. >> >> why do you think it's important for the american people to hear from pat cipollone? >> all the reasons, right? >> all the feels, as they say? >> all the reasons. anyone that was that close to these moments should have to talk. what i don't like, though, is this public airing during the hearing of what we want , what we're not getting. it makes me feel anxious. like, i want to feel like they got this. they know exactly what's about to happen, they got everyone lined up that they need. it reeks of insecurity. i don't like it. >> i've worked on a campaign with cipollone before. he is a man of the utmost integrity, brilliant legal mind. look, he's done all the right things in terms of his advice to the former president and has provided information. yes, it would be nice if there was more information, but in his
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mind he's done what he needs to do. look, we can all acknowledge what we've seen on videotape testimony from bill barr, from jason miller, from ivanka trump, from bill stepian, look, this information has been pretty darn damning, and that in and of itself, just hearing from cipollone, whether it's videotape or if he comes forth, which i wouldn't expect him to do and i'm sure if he was your client, you would advise him not to do so. what he's provided so far, i'm pretty sure -- i don't know. >> here's my question. if he is a man of integrity, i certainly take your word on it. why not do it? >> that's what i was going to say. it's my question to you. >> yeah. i feel as if there is so much pressure on this hearing that i imagine there's a lot of different factors going into it. but about the same time, there shouldn't be, right? as we talked about, a first draft of history, a question of truth, that is the pitch the
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committee is trying to do with him. wins one thing about election workers, though? if you are looking at that and saying how does someone like shaye sign up again? that's actually the point of that harassment. it's not only about right now, it's about the future and about making it -- putting up higher and higher barriers for regular people to stand up for our democracy. and so as we talk about the conspiracy or the harassment, the intention here is on going, and so that is going to not only be a present for now but also for the future. >> that's why people like shaye that we should protect at all costs. we're going to have more on today's hearing on the hill, but we have big developments on another hearing, one about the robb elementary school shooting in texas. has the uvalde mayor throne people under the bus? that's next.
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tonight the mayor of uvalde, texas lashing out in anger at the director of the department of public safety accusing colonel mcgraw of giving officials and the public contradictory information about the mass shooting at the school that killed 19 children and two teachers. >> since that day colonel mcgraw has continued to whether you want to call it lie, leak, excuse me, mislead, misstate information in order to distance his own troopers and rangers from the response. every briefing he leaves out the number of his own officers and rangers that were on scene that day. >> earlier today the colonel
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himself slammed the response by law enforcement to the mass shooting as an abject failure. much more on the late developments in our next hour when we're live in texas. also ahead, today was january 6 committee's fourth public hearing on the hill. how does it fit into the big picture of what we've learned so far? we will lay it out for you, next.
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the january 6th committee today laying out in point by point detail the intense campaign by the then president and his allies to get state officials to overturn election results. a top arizona state gop official testifying he would not violate his oath to the constitution. georgia's secretary of state also a republican testifying he fought back against attempts to get him to change the results, saying trump lost the election
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in his state. those officials and two georgia election workers testifying they and their families faced threats because of trump's tactics. more tonight from cnn's manu raju. >> you're a tyrant. you're a felon. and you must turn yourself in to the authorities immediately. >> reporter: tonight the january 6th committee laying out in stark terms the intimidation and pressure campaign from then president donald trump and his allies against state officials who were attempting to uphold democracy in states where joe biden won. >> what are we going to do? what can you and i do to a state legislature besides kill them? >> reporter: trump urging them to reverse the election results even though he was told repeatedly it was illegal. >> i said something to the effect of, sir, we've done dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews. the major allegations are not supported by the evidence developed. >> reporter: rusty bowers the republican arizona state house speaker testified that trump, rudy guiliani, congressman andy
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biggs, and others, pressured him to decertify biden's win in his state. biggs ignored cnn's questions about it. bowers said guiliani never provided evidence of their conspiracy theories. even admitting there was none. >> what exactly did he say and how did it 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 gaff or maybe he didn't think through what he said. afterwards we kind of laughed about it. but i do not take this current situation in a light manner, a fearful manner, or a avengeful manner. i do not want to be a winner by cheating. >> reporter: trump's lawyer john eastman allegedly told bowers to just replace the electors even if he did not have the authority. >> he said, just do it and let the court sort it out. i said, you're asking me to do something that's never been done in history, the history of


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