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tv   America This Morning  ABC  January 7, 2021 4:00am-4:31am PST

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administration. go, go, go, go. right now on "america this morning," capitol in crisis, the search for answers after a mob was able to storm the halls of congress penetrating deep in the heart of democracy, into the senate chamber, even into speaker nancy pelosi's office. guns drawn in the house chamber. police using furniture to barricade the doors. >> they shot him in the face. >> at least four people are dead after the melee. pipebombs and molotov cocktails found. how could this have happened? what we're learning this morning. >> today was a dark day in the history of the united states capitol. >> overnight the capitol secure.
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lawmakers back to business and defiant. >> violence never wins. >> mobs don't rule america. laws rule america. >> enough is enough. >> both chambers working overnight on certifying joe biden as the next president. >> what comes next? will the 25th amendment be used to remove the president from office? is impeachment an option? what some of president trump's own cabinet members are now saying. all the breaking news overnight right now on "america this morning." good thursday morning, everyone. i'm mona kosar abdi. >> and i'm alex presha in for kenneth moton. let's get right to the breaking news. president trump releasing a statement through a member of his staff. >> the president said, quote, there will be an orderly transition. it comes hours after a pro-trump mob refused to accept the president's defeat, pushed past police, smashed windows and rampaged through the halls of congress
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and we have an exclusive look at what appears to be a pipe bomb found just blocks away near the rnc headquarters. >> just this morning shortly after 3:30 a.m. congress certified joe biden's victory and there were tense moments when democrats and republicans confronted each other in the house, but president trump releasing a statement after the certification vowing that there will be an orderly transition. abc's andrea fujii begins our coverage. >> reporter: this morning, a cloud of uncertainty lingers over the final days of the trump presidency as the president stands accused of helping to encourage a mob of his supporters to storm the capitol. abc news learning overnight some members of the president's cabinet are now discussing the 25th amendment, which says the vice president and a majority of cabinet members can declare that a president is unable to discharge powers and the duties of the office. >> i don't think that it's realistic. this really was enacted in the wake of the john kennedy
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assassination and concern for the president in a situation where he had been in a coma or completely incapacitated. >> it's designed for incapacity largely, you know, designed with health incapacity in mind, physical health, but i think its words certainly would extend to a situation in which a majority of the cabinet and vice president thinks the president is simply unfit for whatever reason. >> reporter: the discussions coming after pro-trump rioters broke through police barriers taking over both the house and senate chambers as congress gathered to certify joe biden's win. >> let's get back to work. >> reporter: overnight lawmakers returning to the senate floor where vice president mike pence called it a dark day in history. >> to those who wreaked havoc in our capitol today, you did not win. violence never wins. freedom wins, and this is still the people's house. >> reporter: democrats and republicans alike denouncing the
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violence. >> they tried to disrupt our democracy. they failed. they failed. they failed to attempt to obstruct the congress. >> now we gather due to a selfish man's injured pride and the outrage of supporters who he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning. >> reporter: multiple republicans also reversing course saying they will no longer object to joe biden's election victory. among them, georgia senator kelly loeffler, who lost her runoff election on tuesday. >> the events that have transpired today have forced me to reconsider, and i cannot now in good conscience object to the certification of these electors. >> reporter: and south carolina senator lindsey graham breaking from the president. >> trump and i, we've had a hell of a journey. i hate it to end this way. oh, my god, i hate it. from my point of view he's been a consequential president, but
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today first thing you'll see, all i can say is count me out. enough is enough. >> reporter: but on the house floor some trump supporters remaining defiant. >> he was far more explicit about his calls for peace than some of the blm and left wing rioters were this summer, and i am sure glad that at least for one day i didn't hear my democrat colleagues calling to defund the police. >> reporter: president trump's role in the riot now being questioned after he said this to a crowd of supporters before the chaos erupted. >> you've got to walk down to the capitol, and we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women because you'll never take back our country with weakness. you have to show strength, and you have to be strong. >> reporter: abc news also learning overnight that president trump resisted efforts to call in the national guard. sources saying it wasn't until
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white house officials intervened for, quote, the sake of the country that the president finally relented. andrea fujii, abc news. >> andrea, thank you. several white house staffers have resigned after the capitol riot. deputy press secretary sarah matthews said she was disturb disturbed. the first lady's chief of staff also resigned and several top white house officials are considering stepping down. new details overnight about the chaos in washington. at least 14 police officers were injured. more than 50 people were arrested, and now many questions linger including how could this happen? here's abc's megan tevrizian. >> reporter: this morning, members of congress are demanding answers after that pro-trump mob breached the capitol leaving at least four people dead. >> i've never witnessed a situation like this in the united states capitol. >> reporter: police firing tear gas and flash grenades as hundreds of rioters broke through barricades forcing
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police to retreat. some officers in riot gear tried to brace against a crowd of insurgents as they forced their way through security. >> back up. back up. >> reporter: one man using the metal fencing to break open a door. once inside a sea of red maga hats swarmed the capitol rotunda. some people turning american flags into weapons using them to hit officers protecting the entrance. rioters taking over the area flying the confederate flag. this man even breaking into speaker nancy pelosi's office and stealing a letter addressed to a republican representative. in the house chamber armed guards desperately using furniture to block the doors, lawmakers forced to take cover diving under chairs. one woman trying to make her way to the house chamber by jumping through a broken window was shot once in the neck by police. she was rushed into an ambulance
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but later died. she's been identified as ashley babbitt, an air force veteran who had high level security access during her time in the service. her husband calling her a strong trump supporter and patriot. >> they work for us. they don't get to steal it from us. >> reporter: the unprecedented violence inside the capitol sparking outrage despite a response from the entire d.c. national guard along with troops from virginia and maryland. experts say police were dangerously unprepared. >> usually law enforcement in these massive events like this have what's known as a show of force. they have so many law enforcements officials available and visible that people know not to try anything. that didn't happen. >> reporter: some things that could be to blame for the chaos, the large number of people that rushed the capitol may have been too many for police to handle. rioters also came prepared with pepper spray and tactical gear, plus there was pushback from president trump on calling in the national guard. by the time police regained control, the senate parliamentarian's office was destroyed.
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windows were shattered and officers had uncovered molotov cocktails, bombs and a long gun. the house is now launching an investigation to find out how and why things went so wrong, but the images from wednesday's uprising are a stark contrast from the police response seen over the summer during protests over racial injustice. critics comparing the june incident where capitol police used tear gas on peaceful protesters to the scenes of weapon wielding renegades scaling walls and breaking windows before they were met with any aggression. megan tevrizian, abc news. >> megan, thank you. now let's get to more now on the breakdown in security. >> earlier we spoke with former fbi agent brad garrett about what plans should have been in place for a protest police knew was happening. >> typically in a situation like this, you would have had the national guard or reinforced law enforcement from various agencies around washington, d.c. to do an outer barrier, so you
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didn't have that, and it's a real question as to why because law enforcement, the capitol police, are a professional group of folks. you know, were they told, you just can't use that sort of presence and we're going to let the people walk up to the house, up to capitol hill, and that was a huge mistake. >> garrett says typically law enforcement would simply overwhelm a crowd that size with manpower. our coverage continues with analysis from both sides of the aisle. coming up, a closer look at what lies ahead in washington after the president's statement was released before 4:00 a.m. eastern time. more coverage is next. lysol disinfectant spray and disinfecting wipes together can be used on over 100 surfaces. and kill up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.
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will be an orderly transition after congress certified joe biden's win. >> we spoke earlier to amanda renteria, a former political director for the hillary clinton campaign amanda and former congresswoman barbara comstock to get their perspectives. >> i want to start with you, barbara. you worked on capitol hill for a number of years and i want to get your reaction to the deadly attack that took place wednesday. >> well, it is truly just horrifying. i woke up this morning with a sense of dread about 8:00 and sent off some emails to family, to friends because i really feared something like this would happen. >> something else that we saw in the senate on the floor today, lindsey graham, a longtime trump ally appeared to break from the president saying, quote, trump and i, we had a hell of a journey, but today the first thing you will say, all i can say is count me out, enough is enough. i tried to be helpful, but this
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is a really big reversal and, of course, we've seen him be a staunch ally to the president. >> i think that's because -- and you're hearing from people at the white house the stories that you're hearing about the people are very concerned just about the mental state of the president, and i think you are -- i certainly have heard words 25th amendment mentioned by members. i certainly think it should be invoked. i've called for it to be invoked. i would hope vice president pence and cabinet members would do that because i'm very concerned, i still have that sense of dread for 14 more days and what this man might do. >> amanda, i want to ask you a question on that note as well. we did see lawmakers on both sides of the aisle appear to be on the same page for what has been the first time in a really long time. do you believe that the events that took place on wednesday might be the unifying factor that we needed in this divided congress under biden's administration going forward? >> you know, i think what you saw tonight and really the start of the day with mitch mcconnell coming out and recognizing that
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those two georgia races, that the senate was going to change, the georgia races had come through. it started at the beginning of the, but then you add on that experience that everyone went through, didn't matter mr. whether you're a democrat or republican, when you start to hear those chambers and you have to make some calls to your family, that does shake you up, that does change things but i do have to say, what people saw today was something that i think for some they didn't expect. i think they will all go home, hug their families and they will look at the capitol in a different way and look at each other in a different way. >> our thanks to abc news contributors amanda renteria and barbara comstock. coming up, some historical perspective. >> one of the leading presidential historians will join us. we're back in 90 seconds. ck in 90 seconds. rol. with less eczema, you can show more skin. so roll up those sleeves. and help heal your skin from within with dupixent.
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and bacteria initially, including the virus that causes covid-19. once dry, microban forms a bacteria shield that keeps killing bacteria for 24 hours, even after multiple touches. try microban 24. this has been medifacts for microban 24. back now with some newspaper headlines. "the washington post" saying trump mob storms capitol. "the new york times" front page saying trump incites mob. overseas a sampling of front pages. one saying, anarchy in the usa. other british papers saying u.s. capitol under siege and democracy under siege. >> and as we've mentioned, the president has released a statement this morning promising a peaceful transition of power after congress certified joe biden's election. >> earlier we spoke with historian mark updegrove about the events of the last 24 hours. i want to get right into it and talk about the tragic chain of events we saw today.
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we heard the vice president, mike pence, call it a dark day. then we saw senate minority leader chuck schumer saying this day will live in infamy. i want to ask you, how will history remember this day? >> well, i think the senate majority leader said it right. this will be a day as franklin roosevelt said about pearl harbor that will live in infamy. we remember december 7th, 1941 for that tragic bombing that brought us into world war ii. we think about november 22nd, 1963 the day that john f. kennedy was assassinated. september 11th the day that al qaeda bombed washington and new york. this is something that we will always remember. the good news is that we came out of those tragedies closer as a nation realizing that something was wrong, and we had to unite. >> and we are hearing that there are talks about invoking the 25th amendment. at least americans wanting some kind of accountability for the events that took place today.
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there are other options. there's impeachment talks that are being brought up by some lawmakers, and there's also censure. can you explain the differences and what we might be able to see. >> there are big differences. the 25th amendment to the constitution, which many are invoking right now, was put in place in the 1960s and one of the provisions was if the vice president and majority of cabinet officers vote to get rid of the president, that goes to the president pro tem of the senate, and it is voted on in the house and senate. if they get a two-thirds majority in both of those bodies, the president is expelled if he doesn't remove himself in the process. that is a way of bypassing an impeachment proceeding in the house and a courtroom proceeding in the senate that would ultimately expel the president as well. it's never happened before, mona. we have two weeks left of this president being in office. my guess is that it probably will not happen now either.
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>> and, mark, you mentioned we are two weeks out from the biden/harris administration beginning. what does history tell us about what joe biden needs to do in order to unite this country, especially after this presidential election? >> joe biden cannot only use this moment to bring us together but perhaps to put together some law that will help this country to move forward and make sense of this tragedy. >> and lastly, mark, as a presidential historian, what do you take away from the events that happened today? >> well, ultimately i think this is the way that donald trump will be remembered. this will be the principal part of his legacy. putting our democracy under siege. we have never seen an incumbent president attack our democracy before, and hopefully we will never see it again. our thanks to mark updegrove. coming up, facebook and twitter blocking the president. >> the role of social media in these historic times next.
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back now with pro-trump demonstrators breaching the grounds of the governor's mansion in washington state. they left peacefully. police say the governor was never in danger. protests erupted in more than a dozen state capitols. we turn now to the role of social media. >> twitter, facebook and instagram have temporarily banned president trump. here's will ganss. >> reporter: an unprecedented move by twitter and facebook this morning suspending the president's accounts for 12 hours and 24 hours respectively citing violations against platform guidelines. the social media companies along with youtube indicating that the president's messages on wednesday encouraged additional violence as his supporters stormed the capitol. >> today was the first time that they really took the offending tweets down entirely, locked his account for 12 hours and then said, if you break this rule
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again, you're going to get kicked off. >> reporter: this is by far the strongest action taken by social media companies since early summer when twitter first hid the president's tweets beginning with this one threatening violence against blm protesters. >> they really shielded the tweet and stopped people from replying or liking and that was a really pivotal moment in content moderation on social media. >> reporter: twitter, facebook and instagram also flagging the president's posts containing misinformation about covid-19 and baseless claims of election fraud. but wednesday's account suspensions deliver a major blow to a president who relies on social media not only to communicate with his core loyalists but also sets policy there as well. how would you compare the president on social media to other political figures on social media? >> there's no comparison. the president is a singular figure for better or in this case worse. >> reporter: will ganss, abc news, new york. >> and our coverage from washington continues next. make sure to stay with us.
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back now with the latest from washington. police confirming that the capitol complex is now secure after four people died during wednesday's riot. also this morning abc news has obtained an image of a suspected explosive device found outside republican national committee headquarters. and new video shows some of the damage in the offices in the capitol after the chaos. after president trump incited his supporters and failed to condemn their actions, there is now talk of invoking the 25th amendment to remove him from office. but overnight a new statement from president trump. he said, quote, there will be an orderly transition but he promises continuing to fight to make america great again. he did not condemn the rioters. >> and it was just after a.m. eastern when the house and senate certified joe biden's
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electoral victory. fewer republicans followed through with plans to object to the results after they were shaken by the attack that forced many of them to scramble to safety. vice president mike pence declared biden as the next president. and finally, a firsthand account of the dark day in washington. >> kenneth was in d.c. here's what he saw. >> reporter: mona and alex, as i stand in this locked-down washington, d.c., a city mona and i have worked in, alex, you still work here, it is just incredible to see these images of a city that, yes, has been locked down before, for covid and also for black lives matter protests during that time over the summer. but to see it locked down because of an insurrection for people storming the capitol, the images that we saw yesterday is truly hard to give you the words to explain what i saw for myself standing there on the west side of the capitol, seeing people stand in the spot where in less than two weeks now president-elect joe biden will be sworn in as the next president of these united states, to see people there essentially storming the capitol.
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and just to take a beat, earlier in the day this is what we saw. we saw a peaceful protest and really a crowd that was building the momentum and intensity as well. and then once they got that order, those marching orders from president trump to go to the capitol, that's what they did, marching down constitution avenue. it was quite the scene, again, to see it in person. we spoke with so many people who came from all over who said they wanted to be here to stand up for the president who they believe was defrauded out of this election. we know that was not the case. and, mona and alex, i'll leave you with this one moment that i had with one demonstrator who said once the capitol, once we saw the images, the incredible images that were happening there of people storming the capitol, something we've never seen before, he said this one line that keeps reverberating in my head. "as we took the capitol." alex, mona. >> our kenneth moton in a locked down washington after a dark day in washington, we are now 13 days away from the beginning of a biden/harris
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administration. right now on "america this morning," capitol in crisis, the search for answers after a mob was able to storm the halls of congress penetrating deep in the heart of democracy, into the senate chamber, even into speaker nancy pelosi's office. guns drawn in the house chamber. police using furniture to barricade the doors. >> they shot him in the face. >> at least four people are dead after the melee. pipebombs and molotov cocktails found. how could this have happened? what we're learning this morning. >> today was a dark day in the history of the united states capitol.


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