tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC January 6, 2021 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
question whether there was buy-in from all republicans in the senate, most notably josh hawley and ted cruz. what do you here? >> i think those two in particular haven't decided what to do. but you know, rand paul had told another reporter a half hour ago it was his understanding this was going to come to a fairly quick conclusion, and he thought that 30 to 40 minutes debate and that's it. so the fact is it does feel as if this is again -- this is a -- they are trying to land this plane. they are trying to do it sooner and look, i don't -- until we hear from hawley and cruz, we're waiting to see if lankford is speaking for all. >> i'm starting to wonder if
january 20th can't come soon enough for republicans after this day. >> i think you're 100% right. you know, it's funny when the day began, we began asking ourselves, there is a divide in the party and republicans are trying to pick a side. are you in the trump wing or the nontrump wing? there is a lot of people who don't want to be associated with the trump wing today. and tonight. now, is that a tonight phenomenon or is this the beginning on of a true sort of massive main stream republican shift away from donald trump? again, we have been here before. you know, whether it was -- i remember the first time when a lot of people thought this is it for donald trump, the politician, when he attacked john mccain. so, you know, his -- he has enough popularity and those guys have enough political ambition, some of the -- particularly the house republicans, i don't know if there will be this clean of a
break perhaps as some of the leadership as the party would like. but this does sort of make him harder to be a part of the main stream of the gop. at least the accomplishment in the gop. >> what did you make of vice president pence not mentioning the president in his remarks. that is one of the things he normally does. >> you know, it's usually the second sentence. i know i speak for the president. he almost says it that way. and the fact -- he is looking for -- hement made his separation comment today. he announced what he was going to do and there was some indication that it was that moment that president lost his mind out there and went out there and started railing and railing at the -- during the speech and never really stopped talking. look, it's a moment that now
leads to you wonder if there is -- if there's impeachment and the 25th amendment. there are a lot of people that worry that the president of the united states is too erratic to run the united states. you wonder if the 25th amendment will go through the mind of pence. the fact he didn't utter his name once says something. >> to remind folks where we were were, today is a day with many acts. they meet in the session to count the elector votes. they had been certified by the various states. republicans objected. the first objection happened to be with the state of arizona where biden narrowly won. that point, they had to then split into their separate
chambers chambers to debate for up to two hours. what is happening now is the first two hour debate, it should be under way. i don't have a clock but they had picked up that debate on arizona alone, and as we have been watching trying to determine if republican senators are now in lock step, that is something we have to watch. >> absolutely, and if chuck is still with us, i thought to watch what happened with mitch mcconnell over the last few weeks. he was re-elected. he had the two georgia runoffs that would determine whether or not he would say as the leader of the republican -- as the leader of the senate. those were decided. the democrats took those. that happened this morning and this vote came on. we saw speech from mitch mcconnell, the likes we have not seen before, chuck, and he broke with the president in a draw mattic way, and tonight taking
the podium and saying they would not be intimidated and that the work of the senate would go on, and they would not in any way not do their duties. he said we will be back at our post. talk about what mitch mcconnell's calculations are at this hour? >> i will say this, do not under estimate the long term that mitch mcconnell will have for donald trump. i was talking to somebody close to him and they were telling me, he was looking forward, in a weird way, he was looking forward to president biden. and being a senate republican leader with biden. because it gave him -- he was the leader of the party and he's still going to be a leader of the party in the minority. he will be an extraordinarily powerful congressional leader and who joe biden will have to go through to get deals done.
he respected the senate. mcconnell was almost looking forward to everything that he was doing. and then he lost. and it's all on trump. i mean, those georgia senate races are -- donald trump created the conditions to make it much harder for the republicans to win. there are other tactical mistakes. i think the two republican candidates made a huge mistake. joining at the rhip and running as a pair. she had more baggage she was wearing around than perdue was. i think it's a bit interangry mitch mcconnell to don't trump. because there is a bit of i told you so. everybody knew that trump was a ticking time bomb and they were hoping they would get to january 20th before the bomb went off. and sadly, we didn't make it. >> we want to go to garrett on capitol hill. we saw the senate.
what is happening with the house? >> the house is getting the chamber back in working order. we may not see them in session until 9:00. we know more of the rioters were in the house chamber than in the senate. they are trying to get their act together to get going. again, the irony is once we resume, this may end up being a shorter night overall than what we expected before things turned violent earlier today. the spirit seems to have gone out of the pro trump rejecters. you mentioned james lankford and the comments he made, to bhakac away from his objections, and steve dain essays the time has come to okay knowledge joe biden's the game. and other than cruz, we are starteding to see an acquiesces
to reality, and you seement tom cotton, say get with the program here. i think the desire to fight this out in the wee hours will go out of the chambers. maybe the house is a different story. it takes objections from both chamber fos start a special session like this. >> all right, we are watching the debate under way. the u.s. senate chambers did get back in, just about a half hour ago, and it resumed. >> there is a little dissent. we did hear the republican senator say he is done with his objections. he is willing to vote to certify the vote tonight, and ted cruz,
what they will do and whether it ends sooner or later. but it will end. let's get back in and listen to some of the debate that is going on capitol hill. michael bennet of colorado, a democrat. >> once again, a nation of law and not of men. and the only result that we can reach together is one that rejects the claim the senator and the members of the house and senate who seek so overturn the decisions that have been made by the state, by the voters in the state and by the court. if we follow what they have proposed, we will be the ones that will have disenfranchised every single person who cast votes in the election, whether they voted for the president or they didn't. i urge you to reject this and i deeply appreciate the opportunity to serve with every single one of you.
thank you, mr. president. >> majority leader? >> five minutes, the major from georgia, senator loeffler. >> the senator from georgia. >> mr. president, when i arrived in washington this morning, i fully intended to object the certification of the electoral votes be i cannot now in good conscious object. the violence, lawlessness and siege of the halls of congress are a direct attack on the very institution. my objection was intended to protect the sankctity of the democratic process.
i fwlooef were changes to the november 2020 process that ended up in too many americans losing confidence in the integrity of the election and the power of the ballot as a tool. too many americans are frustrated what they see is an unfair system. never the less, there is no excuse for the events that took place in the chamber today. though the fate of the vote is clear, the future of the america's fate remains uncertain. we must turn to protect the elections and restoring every american's faith that their voice and their vote matters. america is a divided country with serious differences but it's the great ers country on earth. there is no disagreement that upholding democracy is the only path to preserving our republic.
i yield the floor. >> interesting moment there. that is snorkelly loeffler from georgia who essentially lost her job, defeated last night in one of the georgia special elections, and she, the second senator who was going so stand in opposition, has said she is going to drop her opposition to the counting of the electoral ballots. l let's go to chuck todd. does it appear the republicans will go in lock step? >> it sure looks like it, and it looks like what the plan seems to be is let the senators that had gone on the record to challenge go on the record to backdown and at least try to save some face here. that was clearly an attempt to save face there by senator loeffler. you heard the same from senator lankford as well. look, this is -- in some ways,
we talked earlier about mitch mcconnell. the surprising thing about what happened over the last 72 hours was this is one of the rare times where mitch mcconnell lost control of the republican conflict, and hawley and cruz, 2024, what it is that is intoxicating, those two gentlemen, seem to grip them and you have the 2020 primary fears that others had, and it started to grow. mcconnell lost control. i do think it feels like mitch mcconnell may have regained control of his republican congress again. it's almost like a march of republicans that will go to the podium and apologize and pull back. >> yeah, we will see how it plays out. we will continue to watch it, and you see tim kaine going in,
and it will and interesting to hear from staff in fact the building, watching what is unfolding. we start to see the republican opposition start to fold one by one by one, and we await to see the divisions of senators hawley and cruz, to see if it strategy goes down to defeat or whether it will be extended an it will longer. >> i will tell you it is quiet here at the white house after what has been a day of trying to pressure president trump to come out and deliver a more forceful message than the one he gave, calling back those mobs, those who were gathering and storming capitol hill. what we were waiting and watching for is what the reaction will be. i can tell you what is happening we are seeing increasing number of the president's only alleys start to break with him.
not only vice president mike pence, but we are seeing those within these walls express frustration with the way he handled it. and hop adviser stephanie grisham resigning and public pressure on president trump. the washington post in an op-ed calling on president trump to be removed and saying, quote, the responsibility for act lies squarely with the president who has shown that his continued tenure in office poses a great threat to u.s. democracy. he should be removed. that is the washington post. let me read you a statement we got from barack obama. history will rightly remember the violence incited by a sitting president who continues to lie about a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame but we would be
kidding ourselves if we tweet it as a total surprise. the president and his allies will say these are the actions of a couple individuals that bear responsibility. i can tell you i have been talking up to this moment and they said we know what the outcome is going to be. our challenge is going to be getting the president to accept, and that still seems to be the challenge as pressure mounts on president trump to send a very different message to his supporters. >> all right, thank you. and in about 15 minutes, the united states house will reconvene and start its business and we will continue to watch that. as we await and we watch the senate floor as well, and let's bring in michael beshlov. you, wach were watching with usu sue they reopen, reconvene and
never had to leave in such disarray, violence and chaos. >> well, that is exactly right, and the upside is they are getting back to work in the senate chamber that was desecrated by that mob today. the down side is i have been listening for mike pence or mitch mcconnell on other republican senators to say that we were outraged that the president of our party that we supported for four years incited a mob of people. he told them literally go up pennsylvania avenue to the capitol and the result was there was a terrorist attack, and that is what it was. and after it was done and people were still in the capitol, the president goes and says, we love you. we think you're special. did you hear one word from any of the republican senators about
this? even at this point, everything that has happened today, not a word against what our president has done. >> michael, we have been done the road so many times where something will happen and there's an expectation that this is the one. and then it gets rundown by whatever the next -- the next event is. this one clearly feels different. we heard talk about -- a possible impeachment. some people are talking about invoking the 25th amendment. how would that work and what would be the point? >> lester, say the 25th amendment, that would be done by a majority of the cabinet or perhaps a group that is organized by congress as the 25th amendment does. did you see mike pence or mitch mcconnell suggest that is there anything to invoke the 25th
amendment. let's take a look at the cabinet. when a member of the cabinet or the president's staff objects to something that the president does, he denounces him and resigns. have you seen any regular signa today? i can't believe what i'm seeing and hearing. what i heard is there is nothing wrong here exkrecht for a few protestors made it in the capitol. >> you know, i have to say chuck schumer said he can quote pearl harbor, a day that will live in infamy. he said this day will also live in infamy. it's hard to make those comparisons. but if anyone can do it, it's you. how do you think we will look back on this day? >> this was a terrorist attack against congress, and the people of the united states and it was
incited by the president of the united states. we have never seen that. we have had terrorist attacks, the british burned be london. there with us ft. sumpter, and 9/11. that is what we have never seen before in our history. >> thank you so much. we are seeing some of the images and just because we have seen them a few times now, it doesn't make them less extraordinary. >> it's shocking. >> it's shocking to see that's where the mt. and you have an if and the lawmaker says december grated the poir. >> there were snoim and once they got dpm and you see -- one person led away in land scuffs
but once they got a more froo bust police fence, they were able to movie people out. >> obviously to that poirngts nbc fums and they have to be convinced to desflap and contact with the pentagon and was encouraging a mump more rapid deployment and reporting from nbc, first reported by "the new york times," that president trump had to be convinced that it was necessary to deploy the national guard. >> so we're waiting to see now how the -- if there's poetry, if there is a plan tonight to dispense with these opposition -- some of the opposition to the counting of the electoral votes. we have seen a pair of republican senators back off their objections. the house will be in -- 9:00,
ten minutes from now. the senate floor, let's see what is happening there. because we are -- it's one of those situations where there is suspense. >> and members of the house cannot sustain their objections without a senate part anywhere. >> is this ben sasse? let's listen. >> we saw only of that hooligan today. god gives us rights by nature and government is just our shared project to secure the rights. america has always been about what we choose to do together. the way we reaffirm the constitutional system. we have some governmental tasks and we can do better but the heart of america is not government. the center of america is not washington, d.c.
the center of america is the neighborhood where 330 million americans will try to put food on the table. we're not supposed to be the most important people. we are trying to maintain a frame work so there is a structure that back home where they live, they can get through the silver frame to the golden apple at the center as washington would have said it, which is the things they build together. the places where they coach little league. where they invite to inthsynago or church. like kicking hitler's ass or going to the moon. but the heart of america is where moms and dads are raising kids. and we is are supposed to retain order and reject violence. you can't do big things like that if you hate your neighbors. you cannot do big things like that for other americans if you
think other americans are the enemy. is a lot of uncertainty about the future. i get it. if you're angry, i want to beg you don't let the screamers who mon adverti mo mo monetize you have the final word. don't let them be your prophet. instead, organize, and love your neighbor. visit the one down the street, his wife died. he discussn't have a lot of friends. shovel somebody's driveway. you can't hate who just shoveled your driveway. the heart of life is the community and neighborhood. and the constitutional system is still the greatest order for any government and it's our jord to steward it and protect it. let's remember that today when we vote. >> democratic leader?
>> senator from illinois. >> ben sasse, we just listened to from nebraska, a republican who has been the constitutional conservative and a frequent critic of president trump over the years, and gabe is in washington, we have to check in on what is going on. the curfew is there almost three hours. what is the situation? has it calmed down? it seems so. >> i want to paint the picture for you outside while you look at what is happening inside. behind me you can see emergency vehicles here. it's a much quieter scene here. but we have seen a steady stream of law enforcement personnel. if you look over here, that is the u.s. capital. a magnificent sight. and right now, it's surrounded by law enforcement, and folks
here from the national guard, fbi, and a curfew is in effect. again, as you have been describing, it was quite a sight to see today. and now, as it is -- night falls and as we fwit see the tension dissipate here, we are seeing a huge law enforcement presence here, and again, this curfew is in effect, law enforcement is on very high alert right now outside the u.s. capital. savannah? >> all right, we will keep an eye on the united states capitol. and we will see the house reconvenience. right now, the snofrs are making their comments but this is the thing we await, whether or not any remaining republican senator will lodge an objection to the certification of the elector
vote. if a senator does, presume ting there are some that want them, we will see a longer process than what we saw earlier. but the indications right now certainly as -- from the republicans we heard. those who planned to lodge ejections like lankford and senator loeffler, they have said it's enough. it's over. we lay down our objections. we will certify the vote today and that is what is happening that hour on capitol hill. let's bring in garrett on capitol hill. what do you have for us? >> i think the people we need to watch for here as the senate continues to figure out how long it's going to go. are josh hawley and ron johnson of wisconsin. they raised issues about specific states we haven't heard about yet. hawley earlier this week said that his objection was going to be about want state of pennsylvania, and ron johnson of
wisconsin said he would reject the results in his home state. i wrran into johnson and he sai they would talk about it. he would not be more specific. he he said he and president trump bear no responsibility were the violence that happened here today. of the key people here in the mix of continuing to abject, ted cruz has already spoken about want arizona objection. he is in the allowed to speak again in the two-hour period so if we hear from hawley on ron johnson, and they also withdraw their objection that can tell us this would be potentially the last of the objections tonight, that the fire had entirely gone out from the senate side to continue the fight. i think we know there are house members that want to continue objecting and the senate seems to be backing away from making it a losing fight to object to
the challenge. >> so if they resume to the normal order of things, the vote can come quickly. >> normally, the count takes less than half an hour. sop we will see the resumption of the house debate. they have an hour left they can still use. when we get back in the joint session, they will continue going through states like we started to see with alabama and alaska hours ago today. i think the next step up alphabetically is georgia, and if no senator objects to that, that may tell us we are in for a night. that is a clue here as we get a few starts back. >> we don't want to give a seges there is a huge quit cal match. it's a fm fore gone conclusion. there is nothing standing in his way. >> that is a really good point.
even if the objections had been mounted today just as they hoped and planned, it still could not have amounted to casting into question that joe biden was elected. there are not going to be enough votes to do anything to cause that to be called into question described, is theater. >> absolutely, theater. and -- and republicans, who are worried about being primaried, you know, facing a primary challenge if they, in any way, defy the president, if they want to show their loyalty, i'm a trump supporter all the way, who are facing re-election in two years. many of them were those who lined up, those who want to run for president in four years, and want to claim the trump mantle. those were the senators, who we saw saying, okay, we want to mount an objection to the electoral college. it's not something that's done all that often. and many republicans have been pointing out, in -- in previous days, you know, senator barbara boxer had