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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  January 17, 2021 8:00am-8:59am PST

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>> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos starts right now. historic rebuke. >> he must go. he is a clear and present danger. >> donald trump, the first president impeached a second time. >> our president incited our citizens to attack our capitol. >> a, quote, dangerous snap impeachment. >> it is about principle. >> it will only serve to further divide a nation. >> if inciting a deadly insurrection is not enough to get a president impeached, then what is? >> charged with insurrection by all house democrats. a record ten republicans. >> with a heavy heart, i will vote yes. >> at the end of the day, this was a vote of conscience. >> facing peril in the senate. the president finally condemns the capitol siege. >> there is never a
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justification for violence. >> as joe biden prepares to take office, facing unprecedented challenges. >> the vice president-elect and i will do our best to meet all the expectations you have for the country. >> three days from the inauguration, the capitol an armed camp. the country on edge. >> there have been domestic terror threats against state capitals all over the united states. >> we cover it all this morning on "this week." good morning, and welcome to "this week." insurrection, impeachment, inauguration. three wednesdays, three weeks unlike any others in american history, and in just three days, joseph biden will take the oath of office, address an america in crisis. plagued by a pandemic, economic hardship, deeply divided,
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reeling from the most dramatic act of domestic terrorism our country has ever seen. all inspired by the president leaving office. as we come on the air this morning, there are more u.s. troops protecting the capitol than in iraq, afghanistan, syria and somalia combined. where almost too many people -- 2 million people gathered will be empty when joe biden swears to serve and protect the constitution of the united states. and not long after, all 100 senators will take an oath of their own, promising to do impartial justice in the second trump impeachment trial. head-swirling, mind-bending, surreal and historic. we are living through a real major moment in the life of our republic, and we will try to do justice with jon karl and pierre thomas. pierre, let me begin with you right now. we know that washington is on the highest alert right now. they even have a green zone. that's a term we usually associate with baghdad. >> george, this truly now is fortress washington. the city is in near total lockdown. look at those images of the
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national guard arriving at national andrews base yesterday. just extraordinary. there are military vehicles and police cars on every corner. streets are shut down. fences with razor wire erected. the national mall is essentially closed. as i drove in this morning, constitution avenue was blocked. no traffic allowed. sources are feeling more and more comfortable that washington is secure, and there could be a threat. any threat could be faced down quickly even though they are worried about improvising explosives and extremists showing up in large numbers with guns. this threat goes farther. the latest sign, the u.s. postal service is removing mailboxes and suspending mail collection across 17 states ahead of the inauguration. they are worried there may not be enough of resources to protect government buildings. >> the siege at the capitol is even more dangerous than we knew in realtime.
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>> george, we have some disturbing new evidence about vice president pence and speaker pelosi. sources are pointing to a man in the case of dominic pezzola who was accused of being the man in this window smashing a window to get into the building. witnesses claiming to have had a conversation with him and other members of the group that stormed the capitol, the witness says they discussed how and he had others allegedly went to the capitol and would have killed speaker pelosi and vice president pence if given a chance, and he also discussed coming back to d.c. and killing everyone they can get ahold of, george. >> that is just chilling. you also heard testimony from two of the police officers were assaulted by the mob. >> george, on a personal and professional note, i'm still reeling from a conversation i had with two officers who have been seen in those two infamous videos that have gone viral. one crushed in the door yelling for his life. the other who had been viciously beaten by an angry mob outside
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the capitol. their story raised the hair on the back of my neck. they talked about a fight, a "game of thrones" brawl. members of the mob foaming from the mouth with nothing but hate and anger in their eyes and both men wondering if they were going to live to tell their stories, lemering in n rlor more on the im that is to come. we don't know when this is going to look like, but what do we know about how the president is preparing? >> his strategy is very much in the air. i had a lengthy conversation yesterday with rudy giuliani who said he is working on the president's defense at least for now, but then a former trump campaign spokesperson put out a statement claiming that the president hasn't made his mind up as to who will lead his defense, and george, i talked to giuliani about his approach to the trial, what he would do. he said that he would encourage the president to -- that he would bring up all of those discredited claims about voter fraud, claims that giuliani
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himself has brought up in courtroom after courtroom around the country, and has -- have been discredited. he said that if he can prove that those claims are true or that the president had reason to believe they are true, then you can't accuse him of inciting the mob. i don't know how that legal strategy will fly, but giuliani also said that he would not rule out the president himself testifying in his senate trial. >> well, that would be something. our new poll shows that 68% of the country opposes the pardon, but the president still considering that? >> i'm told he's very much still considering it. he's been advised by all of the lawyers who are still here working at the white house not to do it, that it probably wouldn't stand up to constitutional scrutiny, and it could complicate efforts after he leaves the white house leaving the president vulnerable to civil lawsuits, but giuliani for his part, told me that he thinks the president would be fully justified in pardoning himself, and then he said about
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that concern about civil lawsuits, george, his legal life -- the president's legal life is going to be complicated no matter what. i would much rather have my civil life complicated, than my criminal life. that is what rudy giuliani said about a self-pardon. >> the trump white house has never been a conventional white house. i take it's more strange than ever? >> it's bizarre. this place is basically empty. most of the senior staff and almost all of the junior staff have already packed up their desks, packed up their offices and are gone. it's a very empty place, and i'm told that the president is spending a considerable time planning his exit. he wants a big farewell with lots of military fanfare, a red carpet up to air force one, military vans and even is talking about a military flyover. fighter jets flying over as he prepares to board air force one for the last time. >> we shall see. gentlemen, thank you both very much. let's bring in two members of congress central to the second
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impeachment of president trump. w joaquin castro, and peter meijer, one of ten republicans who voted for impeachment. mr. castro, i want to start with you. i want to get to impeachment, but first, you just heard jon karl say that president trump is still considering a self-pardon. if that happens, should the biden justice department bring a suit against president trump? >> well, obviously that's going to be a decision that's going to be left up to the department of justice under president biden, you know, i have said over the years that i think it's quite possible there were crimes committed by president trump, but i'm going to leave that to the biden folks. >> let's talk about impeachment. i know it's a fluid situation right now. what do you know about when speaker pelosi is going to send the articles of impeachment to the senate so the tries can start? >> well, all of us on the impeachment manager team are ready to go when the trial does start. we're ready to lay out the evidence that the president
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incited a deadly insurrection that resulted in the loss of lives of five americans, and so there is of course, conversations going on between speaker pelosi and the senate, but we'll be ready to go when it starts. >> and would you prefer it sooner rather than later? >> you know, we're preparing as though we're going to go in the next hour. we have been working very hard. we have been gathering all the evidence, and so of course, all of us are very anxious to get started. >> how lengthy a trial should we expect? would you expect to be calling witnesses in this trial? >> well, most of all, you know, we're going to do whatever it takes to lay out the case. you had a president who for months was talking about a rigged election, who after the election, insisted to his supporters that he was cheated, that the election was a stolen one, and of course, these are folks who support him very strongly, and so that aroused people incredibly. it created strong emotions in folks and so we're going to do whatever we need to do to lay out the evidence to show the
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american people and most importantly the senators who are voting on this, that this president got these folks riled up, and asked them to go down to the capitol when all of this was going on, and there was a riot inside the u.s. capitol, didn't send relief to quell it. >> one of the points republicans have made opposing impeachment, those who did oppose it, they say it is rally speech that he also told the crowd to remain peaceful. >> yeah. i think this is quite separate from the first amendment. this is a president who knowing that he was in a very combustible, and mostly charged situation, continued to work up his supporters not once or twice, but repeatedly over and over telling a big lie about a stolen election, even though as you know, george, they went to court 60 something times, and lost about 61 times in court, and so this is a president who knew what he was doing, and
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watched as that mob took over the u.s. capitol, in fact, took over the senate floor of the united states, and was slow to act after that to quell it. >> you just heard jon karl report that rudy giuliani is talking to the president perhaps about testifying in the impeachment trial. is that something you would welcome? >> well, you know, we're still discussing strategy obviously, and how we're going to handle the witnesses and so forth, and so, you know, certainly if the president is -- if that's something he wants to do, then he's probably going to be able to do that because he's part of the trial because it involves him. >> senator cotton has said he won't vote to convict because a senate trial of a former president is unconstitutional in his view. he cited the writings of judge luttig, who wrote, the very concept of constitutional impeachment presupposes the impeachment, conviction and removal of a president who is, at the time of his impeachment, an incumbent in the office of which he is removed. are you concerned that they may
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be able to find that this is not constitutional, this trial? >> i don't believe so. in fact, one of the other purposes of impeachment in this case is to make sure that the -- that president trump is not able to run for federal office again, that he's not able to seek the presidency. the reason for that is that somebody who incited a riot, an attempted coup of the united states government should not be president again. so it's not just about making sure that there are consequences to his behavior. certainly it's that, but even after he's left office, it's also making sure he can't run for president again. >> you only get to that vote if you find 17 republican senators who will convict. it doesn't appear you have those votes right now, although it's a very fluid situation. are you worried that if the teod time, there will be some kind of vindication for president trump? >> you know, for any president, when you are dealing with impeachment, there's a high bar. you need 67 votes, but our plan
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is to -- is to go after every single vote. we will make sure that every senator is standing up for this country, that every senator is considering the evidence against president trump, and the fact that he incited a deadly insurrection, and so we're optimistic that when we lay out our case, we'll be able to convince folks that, in fact, president trump is responsible for inciting this deadly insurrection, and that the senate should convict. >> finally, we've heard from some of your colleagues that believe there is evidence that some members of capitol police might have been accomplices with the rioters on january 6th. do you have any evidence of that, and how do you expect to follow up? what should be the consequences if true? >> well, sure. look. anybody who helped, who actively participated and helped the people who ended up rioting and taking over the capitol in a mob should be held accountable, and right now i'm focused of course,
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as an impeachment manager on the senate trial of president trump, but there will be a separate process to deal with the folks who may have also participated and helped in that riot. >> congressman castro, thank you very much for your time this morning. let's bring in congressman meijer. one of ten republicans who voted for impeachment. thanks for joining us this morning. first of all, let me get to that last point i had with congressman castro. do you have any evidence that any of your colleagues or congressional staff may have been accomplices in some way? >> thank you, george. i have not seen any evidence of that so far. i think it's important that we don't jump to conclusions and we don't get ahead of process. we let feelings get ahead of the facts. if anyone was responsible or hee the law and we can talk about those remedial processes later, but it's important we don't jump to conclusions. >> in the wake of the capitol siege, you called this the worst week of your life. you voted for impeachment. i read that you and some of your
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colleagues may also be buying body armor to protect yourselves. what have the last few days been like? >> absolutely gut-wrenching. impeaching a prede, rtwag ever hore many of us deliberated deeply. this was not as easy as just saying what is in our best political interest, but frankly looking at the evidence, looking at the facts of the case, reading the article and then asking, is this true by our own experience, by our lived experience, and it was. i think this is a time for reflection, but it's also a time for accountability, and that's something that i am deeply committed to, you know, i'm calling on my party to restore trust, to restore the trust of the voting public and to ensure that we never allow the actions that led up to january 6th and what happened on january 6th. we never allow that outburst of political violence to occur in our name again. >> how do you explain why so few of your republican colleagues agreed with you on impeachment, why so many joined those objections the elections had
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propagated about those false allegations of voter fraud? >> you know, i can't speak to what's in anyone else's hearts. i know i've talked with many of my colleagues, asked them, you know, and compared where we were on various issues. many of them arrived at their decisions, i think in an honest wh it came to, you k tw,noheally objections to certifyi the leth powerful, you know, that'sec nte r 3rd. it was individual concerns about electoral integrity building to something that ended up supporting the president's, you
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know, false idea that he had won in a landslide, and then that was what inspired his followers to come out on january 6th. that was the message he was propagating, but we need to make sure we move away from a politics of deception. we have to make sure we have leaders who are telling folks who trust them what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear. >> and because of those claims, you've even said that your vote to impeach because the president still has such a strong hold on the republican party, and so many believe what he said about the election, you say your vote might have been political suicide. that caught the attention of one of the president's advisers, jason miller who retweeted it as well. are you concerned you ended your career with that vote? >> oh, i may very well have, but i think it's also important that we have elected leaders who are not thinking solely about what's in their individual self-interest. not what is going to be politically expedient, but what we actually need for country. it's not lost on me that i hold the seat that gerald ford held from 1948, to 1973. he created a courageous act when he pardoned richard nixon, but it ended his career going forward. i obviously don't want to follow
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in the footsteps in terms of the next election, but i want to make sure that we have leaders in office who are folks saying, the fact we are a nation of laws, not men, and putting interest of the country first rather than our own political careers. >> liz cheney also voted for impeachment and called this the greatest betrayal of a president in recent history. she's facing pushback from your republican colleagues who want to remove her from leadership. will that happen? >> you know, we're -- we're going to do everything we can to make sure those that stood by their principles, like liz cheney, that that is not something that is punished. ady oc.there is a we need to address some of the issues that we have within, you know, the congressional republican conference, but i have been very impressed by the leadership that liz cheney has shown.
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we differ on many issues, but in terms of somebody who is putting the best interest of the country forward, she has demonstrated that in her actions over the past two weeks. >> is it time for the republican party to move on from president trump? >> i think it's time that we acknowledge that what happened on january 6th was a betrayal of what had been accomplished over the last four years, that it was a culmination of a politics that all too often, you know, fanned flames rather than focusing on building and governing, you know, the president brought some necessary energy. he brought some necessary ideas. he shook the tree. he was a change agent. the challenge was he didn't know when to stop, and he didn't draw a line, and to me, political violence is the line that we must draw. we've seen that outgrowth on my side of the aisle, but that's something that has become all too common, the threats, intimidation, violence more broadly. you know, this all goes back to the fact that too many americans don't trust institutions, don't
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trust the process that we have from the civil and legal side to resolve their disputes. so while i think we need to move past, you know, those events and we need to have accountability first and foremost, we also need to commit to resolving our differences through legal processes. we need to build through that confidence in the public that they don't need to take to the streets. they don't need to take to violence to make their voice heard. that's how we're going to get through this as a country and get back to focusing on what matters. >> what's the most important thing president biden can do to heal that divide? >> i think he can have an open and honest and transparent discussion. i think it's incumbent on both parties to ensure that they are not promoting folks within their ranks who are engaged in a politics of deception, but rather having open, thoughtful, honest, engaged conversations. i hope that president biden will do the same, that he will not give in to some of the more, you know, some of the lower impulses that folks in the progressive
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wing may try to bring out, but rather say that this is a time for the country to focus on rebuilding. this is a time for the country to focus on rebuilding trust, rebuilding our institutions, rebuilding governance. we need to get through the pandemic. >> thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you. up next, biden's agenda for the first 100 days, plus our powerhouse round table. stay with us. "this week" with george stephanopoulos, sponsored by dana-farber cancer institute. stephanopoulos, sponsored by dana-farber cancer institute. they changed how the world fights cancer. blocking the pd-l1 protein, lets the immune system attack, attack, attack cancer. pd-l1 transformed, revolutionized, immunotherapy. pd-l1 saved my life. saved my life. ve
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in the midst of a dark winter this pandemic, is cases, hospitalizations and deaths spike at record levels. there is real pain overwhelming the real economy. we didn't get into all this overnight. we won't get out of it overnight, and we can't do it as a separated, divided nation. the only way we can do it is to come together. >> there is joe biden laying out his coef a prepares to take office, our brand-new poll with "the washington post" shows more than two-thirds of americans approve of how joe biden has handled the presidential transition. rachel scott will be covering the biden administration from the white house, and rachel, we can expect a blizzard from president biden right after he takes the oath on wednesday. >> reporter: and george, it will be the first action that joe biden takes as president of the united states. much of this is going to be focused on undoing what president trump did during his administration. biden does plan on rejoining the paris climate accord. he plans on reversing that
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travel ban on predominantly muslim countries and making it mandatory to wear a face mask on federal property. he can do that on his own, but much of his agenda is going to require congress, and that impeachment trial for president trump could start as soon as next week. during his first hundred days in office, there is no doubting this will pose a significant challenge for the president-elect. he's already unveiled a massive covid relief package that he wants congress to get through. he has a long list of cabinet secretaries that will need to be confirmed by the senate. he is expecting congress to multitask, even suggesting that they can split the day, but george, this is going to be an inauguration we have never seen before. just take a look at the security perimeter behind me, george. >> it is something. rachel scott, thanks very much. let's bring in kate bedingfield who will be the communications director in the biden white house. kate, thanks for joining us this morning. give us more of a flavor of what to expect on wednesday in terms of action from president biden.
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>> yes. so president-elect biden, then-president biden is going to come into office and take decisive steps to roll back some of the most egregious moves of the trump administration, and he's going to take steps to move us forward, across the course of the first week and a half in office, you're going to see him move on promises that he made on the campaign trail to ensure that we are focused on workers. you'll see him make good on his buy american process. -- promise. you'll see him make good on promises to move us toward a more just and racially equitable society. you'll see him make movement on racial equity, and movement on climate, on jobs. so over the course of the first week and a half, he's going to do everything that he can within his power to move us forward, but then, you know, as your correspondent just said, that's only one piece of the agenda. the second piece of the agenda will be working with congress. you saw president-elect biden roll out the american rescue plan on thursday night.
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this is a plan to get desperately needed direct relief to the people who have been hardest hit by the crisis, all over the country, and it's an effort to fund a coordinated, federal vaccine effort. it's an effort to get shots into american arms to ensure that we can once and for all finally get this virus under control and get our economy back on track. >> you're already hearing some democrats and many republicans saying it's just too expensive. >> there's been bipartisan support for all of these pieces. i would really point that out. if you look at the big core planks of this plan, for example, senator rubio supports direct relief checks. senator romney supports expanding the child tax credit. there is bipartisan support for the big planks of this plan, and i would also note that the plan came about as a result of consultation with bipartisan governors and mayors all across the country. he spoke with them to hear what they need, what's going on with their constituents and what their most dire and important
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needs are for their constituents. and so this plan reflects the urgent needs, the things that people need right now. i mean, you know, we've got millions of americans unemployed. we've got thousands of americans dying from the virus every day. there's no question we are in a state of emergency here, and this plan is designed to get the relief that people need to them right away, and president-elect biden looks forward to working with congress to get bipartisan support for this bill and get it done as quickly as possible. >> first things first, the inaugural address comes on wednesday. you heard congressman meijer say it's time for an open and honest discussion. what can americans expect to hear on wednesday? what is the major goal of this address? >> so i think what you will hear from president-elect biden on wednesday will be a reflection of a lot of what you heard from him on the campaign trail, which is that he believes we can bring this country together. he believes that we have to
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bring this country together, that a unified america is the on way te g be able to tackle the massive crises that we're grappling with. i won't go too much farther in terms of previewing the speech because i'll let the president-elect speak to it on wednesday, but i think you can expect that this will be a moment where president-elect biden will really work to try to turn the page on the divisiveness and the hatred over the last four years and really lay out a positive, optimistic vision for the country, and lay out a way -- lay out a path forward that really calls on all of us to work together. i think that's what americans all across the country want. they want a government that once again is focused on doing the right thing by them, and helping them in their day-to-day lives, and so we're going to hear president-elect biden really lay out a vision to get us to a place where we can work together because that's what americans want. that's what they voted for in
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this election. 81 million americans voted for president-elect biden, in part, because he was laying out a vision for this country that gets us to a place where we can work together. so you'll hear a lot of that from him on the 20th. >> he'll be delivering that message across an empty mall there. the capitol mall, and the entire u.s. capitol has become an armed camp. you had to cancel parts of inauguration, including the train ride and rehearsals. are you certain that it will take place at the capitol as planned? >> well, that is certainly our plan. i think that will send an incredibly important visual image to the world about the resilience of american democracy, and so our plan and our expectation is that president-elect biden will put his hand on the bible with his family outside on the west side of the capitol on the 20th. look. there is no question though. of course, we ar v
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i think, you know, unfortunately you only have to look at the chatter on social media to see that we're in a volatile time, and so we are making preparations. we'll begin meeting tomorrow. daily meetings with the outgoing leadership in national security and law enforcement to ensure that we're preparing for any scenario that should arise after noon on january the 20th. so we're working to ensure that we will be prepared, but we have full faith in the united states secret service and their partners who have been working for over a year on the planning to ensure that this event is safe. so we're very much looking forward to president-elect biden putting his hand on the bible at noon on the 20th. >> has the president-elect weighed in with nancy pelosi and schumer on how long this should go? >> obviously ultimately the mechanics and the logistics of the pace of the trial and how it should play out is up to congressional leadership. you know, i think the president-elect has spoken publicly about his view here which is he hopes that the congress will be able to do its -- its constitutional duty, to discharge its constitutional duty while simultaneously being able to focus on the business of the american people. he hopes that will be able to
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immediately take up this package, the american rescue package he laid out at the end of last week, and start to move forward on getting that money out the door in order to get a comprehensive vaccine distribution program set up. so his great hope is that they're going to be able to do that, and i think if you look, you know, there's precedent for that. if you look at the previous impeachment trial, the senate was able to move forward on floor business while also conducting the trial. so his hope as he's spoken privately to congressional leadership, but also publicly about, is that the congress is going to be able to move forward on focusing on the virus and on the economy while simultaneously focusing on their constitutional duty. >> kate bedding fooel-- bedingf thanks very much for your time this morning. >> thanks for having me, george. i appreciate it. round table is you next. we'll be right back. ts. that's why we're a fiduciary, obligated to put clients first.
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unlike other sleep aids, our extended release melatonin helps you sleep longer. and longer. zzzquil pure zzzs all night. fall asleep. stay asleep. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senator. >> i, joseph robinette biden jr. do solemnly swear -- >> that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> against all enemies, foreign and domestic. >> against all enemies, foreign and domestic. >> so help me god. >> so help me god. >> and now joe biden who is who was the youngest senator to take the oath will become the oldest. let's talk about the challenges ahead with our round table with chris christie, rahm emanuel, democratic strategist karen
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finney, and cnn commentator and republican strategist sara fagen. and rahm, let me begin with you. this challenge for joe biden as he comes in faces these multiple crises in this country could no be higher. >> no, it could not. if you look at it, abraham lincoln had the civil war. wilson hadbvpandem. obously lyonnsad you haven't seen something like this in the united states -- some presidents have had one of these, not all four, and he then also has an opportunity. these crises offer a huge opportunity, and when you look at polling and his presidency, people will reflect and love his decency. they are drawn to it. the policies, he has right down the middle support, and he has to keep driving his person in front. remember, the american people want to turn from this type of donald trump politics of hunger game into normalizing, lowering the temperature and reaching
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out. that's where joe biden does great. the policies, he's going to be unbelievably important to bring and keep moving forward. momentum is his key goal and also a unifying message. his person will be his greatest asset in speaking to that unity, but major, major challenges in the covid and reducing that. i'm sorry, george. the covid reducing that impact is going to open the doors on the economy for him. >> chris christie, how does he speak to republicans? so many still believe the election was stolen and are still followers of president trump. >> well, he's got to do his job, george. in the end, i think what the american people have learned especially over the last year or so is that competence really matters in the oval office in terms of managing things, and that he's going to have to deal now with the challenge of covid. i hear all the other things that rahm mentioned and i don't
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disagree necessarily, but the number one issue is covid. until the covid vaccine gets broadly distributed, until life gets back to some measure of normalcy, it will be what dominates joe biden's job because until that happens, he can't really bring back the economy to where it needs to be. you can't really deal with a lot of those underlying issues effectively until you get people feeling once again, as if they're safe, and this pandemic with over 300,000 americans dying, they don't feel safe. so we need to get back to that. that's going to be his first task. if he does that, he has the chance to achieve a lot of other things that he might want to do in a very closely divided country, as long as he keeps his eye on getting covid under control. the rest of it i think, will come to him over the course of his first year. >> it's a divided country, karen finney, but there's a divided party. a lot of democrats want joe biden to go further than he might be able to go.
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>> well, look. i think the most important thing is that joe biden stays focused on the agenda that he was elected overwhelmingly -- an overwhelming majority of american people to implement. we're seeing both in the measures of the things that biden has talked about since becoming elected that a majority of the americans agree with and appreciate the way he has handed himself, and in addition to that, i think we will see this president answer the memo that ron klain put forward yesterday. i slightly disagree with chris christie, an agenda that will not only deal with the covid crisis, but start to deal with the economy. people have not just fallen off the cliff. they are down into the ravine, and so, you know, the incoming president has taken these issues on as well as our environmental crises and the racial justice crises. the last thing i'll say, george, is the most important thing, and i think all democrats and republicans of good faith agree is accountability.
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we cannot move forward in unity from this moment if there is not accountability for what has happened, and look. donald trump is not the -- he drew the mack truck of gasoline into the tinderbox. the politics of polarization of policy for too long has dominated and there has to be accountability for what we saw at the capitol if we are to move forward, and i have full faith both in biden and congress that we can do both things and all these things at the same time. >> sara fagen, that will be the question though. can they handle dealing with president-elect's agenda and also handle the senate impeachment trial? >> i think that is the real challenge for schumer. having to try to manage really this covid package which is likely going to have to get done. if he wants it as robust as the
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president-elect wants it which includes the minimum wage and so many other policy priorities that are really democratic policy priorities, not just covid priorities, he's likely going to have to do it through the reconciliation process, and that becomes incredibly complex. of course, he's got to confirm janet yellen and many other cabinet secretaries and he's got to manage an impeachment trial, and it's a no-win situation for both parties. getting rid of donald trump, i think is a win situation for the country as a whole, but the democrats are going to have to choose between a robust policy agenda and a month-long impeachment trial while republicans have to decide if they don't impeach the president, we look complicit in the events on wednesday. if we do impeach him, we risk the loss of a big portion of our base. it is a very complex, political dynamic, and i think while i agree with karen in the fact that donald trump should be held to account for the riot at the capitol, i don't know that -- i don't know that that is in joe biden's best interest.
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>> how do democrats deal with that dilemma, rahm? >> well, i think this is going to take a deft hand. right now as you can see in the transition, the biden people have done pretty good of navigating the shoals here and not knocking off, but i think chuck schumer has his hands as sara said, and the question is foremost, get the cabinet confirmed and mcconnell's offered to do that. i think that's a place you can do that without the impeachment becoming an impediment. i think it's too early right now, i think, on the economic package. you always have reconciliation which is a 51 vote. some things will drop out. i think it was smart to offer it to be bipartisan. on the impeachment effort, and i want to say this because this is very, very important. there's not a single lawyer especially for the one who is about to be disbarred by the new york bar, in rudy giuliani, who wants to defend president trump. that tells you something. you can have the impeachment and
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deal with both confirmations and getting things moving. if anyone wants to not deal with so covid, they have a problem. if the impeachment becomes a weight stopping you from dealing with covid, that becomes a problem. both parties have a challenge, not just chuck schumer and everybody is going to be looking in the first hundred days. are you going to be working together or using this to score political points? and the president -- >> chris christie -- >> i don't think -- >> go ahead, sara. >> what i was going to say, is we're calling this a covid package and there are elements in this package that are very important for covid relief. vaccine distribution of course, and money for getting schools back on track, but there's a lot more in here that republican senators are not going to go along with. a minimum wage may make sense in boston. a $15 minimum wage may make sense in boston and los angeles. doesn't make sense in iowa. and the other constituencies,
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particularly the state and local governments. the republicans aren't going to support that. if the president-elect wants to get that accomplished, he will have to do it through reconctionacen dra fr >> chris christie, i want to bring to you this deal for the republican party as well. there was a smart column in "the washington post" where he says, president trump is leaving behind a republican party that is broken but still in his grip. does the republican party have to reject president trump to move on? >> well, listen. i think what the party has to do is stand by its principles, george. it has to stand by the issues that have moved the party forward by gaining 14 seats in the house, and flipping two legislative chambers, flipping a governorship. most of what happened on election day was good for the republican party. most of what happened in the runoff was bad, and we can attribute that directly to what was going on in terms of what the president was doing. i think we have to stand by our
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principles and what's going to happen in the senate now, i mean, listen. chuck schumer has been called a lot of things. a guy with a deft touch is not one of them. this guy is a sledgehammer, and so for those of us who live in the area where i love, watching the press conferences every sunday afternoon, it seems like for the last hundred years, this is not a deft touch guy. so the challenge is going to be more to people like joe manchin and others in the democratic caucus. angus king. they're going to say, don't do it this way. calm down a little bit to be able to get the agenda moving if they want to do more than one thing at a time. i don't think chuck schumer is the guy to give the deft touch to running things in the united states senate, and i think we'll see that very clearly right from the start. >> karen finney, what's the response to that? >> again, i have faith and confidence in democrats, and look. if republicans are sincere,
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we've heard a lot of attempts to try to minimize the violence at the capitol, to try to sweep it under the rug and call for moving forward. if republicans are sincere about that, they will support the president-elect, soon-to-be president biden, and they will in good faith, we may have policy differences. they will vote for his cabinet appointees. they will not try to use the impeachment as a way to slow down the progress of moving forward with this agenda, and i think it's incumbent on democrats also as we now know in this modern media environment to do a better job of communicating who we are, what we stand for, and what we're fighting for in terms of the things that are in the package that biden has put forward. anybody who is opposing that, again, a majority of americans voted for joe biden. these are all the ideas that he campaigned on, so if you are opposing that, you're opposing the moving forward of this country. i do want to correct one thing. what happened in georgia was the hard work of many incredible
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people including black women like stacey abrams and black voters. it was not just because of donald trump's ridiculousness. it was because people came out and voted and because of changes -- i mean, what happened in georgia reflects changes that are happening in this country that are going to continue, and i will go back to my core message here which is, there can not be unity in this country without accountability, and that is part of how we move forward. that is part of how chuck schumer is going to have to leave the senate in terms of holding people accountable if they don't vote to support these policies. >> on karen's point, i want to point to this. if you have an open wound which people talk about, the only way to heal it is to get the infection out. donald trump has to be held accountable for inspiring this, and that's why at the end of the day, you look at impeachment, but you also look at the 14thedment. it doesn't require 67 votes. it says he should be banned from running and if you look at the polling, that's where a good two-thirds of the country, majority is for that. >> let me press you on that. i want to do a follow-up
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question there because they're going to face -- >> it's your show. you can do anything you want. >> not always. they're going to face a tricky dilemma. do you move that vote on the 14th amendment banning the president from running again before you move to a final vote on impeachment or after? >> you know, first of all, it's your show, but we just -- the round table likes to run it periodically. i would just say on this point, it's way too early to say, george. on this point, i would just say you start with impeachment. if it looks like the impeachment the dragging everything else down, you have a lot of backup. you go for 60 votes on the economic package and you have reconciliation of 51. you always have an offramp to how to get these things done, and i think on the impeachment, you're going to go straight forward. if you wait, you have other options. >> i have to go to sara fagen on this. does mitch mcconnell vote to convict or not? sara? >> i don't know. i don't know. i don't know if he will vote to
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convict or not. he's certainly leaving it open, and i would argue that, you know, him letting that story in "the new york times" unanswered that said he was unsure of what he was going to do speaks volumes about where his head is, and the fact that he's certainly not going to whip his caucus on this vote. that means that more republicans will vote to impeach the president, but if this is a long trial -- >> george. >> quickly. >> i'm sorry. >> i think we fail -- >> go ahead, karen. >> this is a long trial. >> if there is a long trial -- >> okay. i'm just going to ask you quickly. final question. yes or no answer. will the senate vote to convict? go down the line. karen finney first. >> they should, but more importantly, the test is not just about convicting donald trump, but it's about accountability and understanding
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the divisions in this country and figuring out how we unify and heal and move forward in acknowledging that these divisions have been exploited by trump, but they exist. this is who we are. it's not who we have to be. >> that is all we have time for. i don't get all the yeses or noes. thanks very much. we'll be right back. >> thanks, karen. r noes. thanks very much.
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that is all for us today. thanks for sharing part of your sunday with us. tune in wednesday for special coverage of joe biden's inauguration. i'll be anchoring with our whole political team starting at 7:00 a.m. and i'll see you tomorrow on "gma." team starting at 7:00 a.m. and i'll see you tomorrow on "gma."
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breaking news famed music producer and convicted murderer phil spector is dead. we'll have the latest. >> good sunday morning to you. 53 degrees in san francisco. temperatures in the upper 60s here, record-breaking warmth and an offshore flow getting going tonight for high fire danger. stay tuned. it's hard to explain what depression feels like. but i can tell you what it feels like when someone offers to help. every plan through covered california is comprehensive - with mental health coverage and financial help for people who need it. enrollment ends january 31st. ♪ ♪
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