tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS January 6, 2021 6:30pm-7:01pm PST
et a $500 prepaid card when you upgrade. switch today. >> o'donnell: on the senate floor we here now republican senator mitt romney who has now blamed the president of the united states for insighting mob violence. he also said that those who continue down this path of objecting to the electoral college count are complicit in the violence, he has been critical of the president of the united states for continuing to propagate these lies about the election so much so he has been harassed himself, even in the airport while traveling back to washington. i want to bring in nancy cordes because she is on capitol hill and nancy what is your sense
about how many of these republicans now are retracting what were going to be their objections to the electoral college count? >> norah, a number of them are retracting their objections. we so far heard from steve daines of montana, james langford of oklahoma, kelly loeffler of georgia, the problem is that it only takes one senate republican to object along with any number of house republicans to keep this process going for many more hours, and to stretch out this debate perhaps throughout the entire night and early morning. and that's what we are waiting to see. josh hawley was a little unclear when he spoke a few minutes ago about whether he plans to challenge another state, they are debating about arizona right now or perhaps multiple states, roger marshal news, new senator from can cans is also wanted to continue request his objections, so we won't know for sure, norah, until this debate
concludes, then in about half an hour or so the house and senate will take votes about whether they should in fact sustain this objection to the elect, 11 electoral votes of arizona and if that were to be sustained then arizona's electoral votes would be thrown out but that is not going happen, because all democrats and nearly all republicans think that is just a terrible idea, so then they all gather once again in the house chamber, the house and the senate and they continue to go down the list of states, we are still in the a's so we didn't get very tar before this objection to arizona popped up and the next state that could get challenged is georgia. and if that happens, then we are looking at another couple of hours of debate, another vote is, in stretches out but as you have seen there is a real push tonight, norah, in the wake of the horrific events we saw today to bring this to a close, because it is not going to go
anywhere. it is not going to be successful, it is not going to overturn the results of the election, it is not going to particularly highlight the issues that these lawmakers want addressed. they are arguing that there are allegations of widespread fraud that need to be investigated, those allegations have been investigated and by and large debunked, and so republican leaders wish that they would just go ahead and throw in the towel, but they are still -- they still have the towel draped over their shoulders at this point and it is not clear can exactly what they are going to do with it. >> and senator josh hawley doesn't seem to be throwing in the towel, he appears to be using the towel to wipe the sweat from his brow as if he is ready to go for another round. senator hawley is essentially saying that congress .. is actually the venue for objecting to the election, but it is not constitutionally, in fact the courts are actually constitutionally the area for
that to be done and the trump campaign and its allies have lost resoundly in the courts. this is an argument for the constitutional lawyers and we have dot many of them who can join us to sort this through. but i do want to check in because our nation's capitol has been under siege today and incited by the president of the united states. there were bombs, bomb threats, there were truck near the u.s. capitol that had ammunition that caused mass evacuations and we have 1,100 members of the dc national guard, maryland, virginia police on the move and news tonight about another governor sending in members of the national guard to help secure the u.s. capitol. jeff pegues has been on the streets of washington with all of this new reporting we should remind everyone the nation's capitol has been under curfew for more than three and a half hours now by the mayor of the city and is until tomorrow
morning and jeff, thank you for your reporting and tell us what you know. >> well, norah, at this hour, the streets have been cleared, people have been forced to observe this curfew because you have seen now we have a larger law enforcement presence, much different scene than what it was earlier tonight, but throughout the week, there had been this concern about security in this area based on the amount of people coming to the district, at mr. trump, president trump's urging so we had the national guard that was coming in and asked to help respond and local law enforcement and federal law enforcement provide help as well because obviously this is a tense atmosphere. you had congress doing its work related to the election and then you had these speeches by president trump and his supporters denouncing the election, denouncing the vote saying it was rigged and
obviously the result of that today is that is the supporters were amped up and marched toward the capitol and you saw the breach of the capitol as well, and also tonight, while people are observing this curfew, there is also concern about other security, potential security concerns, including the discovery of a truck, long guns, ammunition and possible bomb making materials found, parked nearby the republican national committee building here in washington, d.c. and this is coming after pipe bombs were found earlier. now this is -- some of this is preliminary information and still working on that -- working on getting additional confirmation on this but this is obviously one of those security concerns that investigators here are looking into, trying to get to the bottom of, was this a serious throat the republican
national commission tee or, committee or is it perhaps a hoax? but it is clearly something on a night and a day like today that you really have to take seriously and investigate, norah. >> and jeff, you have some reporting about new york governor's andrew cuomo? >> i am sorry, norah, could you repeat that. >> oh, sure the siren is going through district of columbia i understand, jeff, you have some reporting about the governor of new york, andrew cuomo perhaps sending some troops to help secure the nation's capitol? >> well, yes. there has been a lot of questions about whether there was enough law enforcement here on the scene and we are getting reports that surrounding states have offered help, have offered assistance in fact late today after the capitol building had been breached we saw police agencies responding from
surrounding communities, so there has been this effort by surrounding communities to try to help calm the situation here in the nation's capitol. >> o'donnell: jeff pegues, allows on the streets as the media and other personnel are exempt from what is a curfew that started at 6:00 o'clock tonight in an effort to make sure that there is no additional violence. but let's be clear. all of the top national security officials across our government are on high alert tonight. there is a great deal of concern and tension. it is why as margaret brennan has reported there is a discussion amongst some members of the president's cabinet about invoking the 25th amendment. i also want to read from maggie haberman who is the white house correspondent for "the new york times" and it is considered one of the best reporters covering the president, the president is known to call her and even express his views on things. so her reporting is spectacular.
she writes that the president, sr. advisor says has lost it. he has been almost impossible to talk throughout the day today and has been watching the coverage of the capitol. what is leading everyone to this moment that the president has lost it today based on previous days? and that this is at a crisis point? >> that the president cannot or will not accept the reality of two things, his role in inciting this violence, this unprecedented historic assault on desecration of the united states capitol and understanding his responsibility and his ability to do something about it. there are two things there. not recognizing the reality that he incited it and he is to blame for it and therefore he is responsible as president of the united states to do something about it. he is creating a vacuum in both areas. awareness and responsibility.
and if you have neither, awareness or responsibility there can be no action which is why twice today we have commented about the vice president of the united states engaging the highest other officials in our government to try to rectify this situation. one that president of the united states is either indifferent to or by his very inaction allowing to continue and was doing it from the capitol with the vice president was. >> o'donnell: yes. >> with senior members of congress by his side, as if they were element protecting him from whatever might have been going on down the street. just the thought of the fact he was deploying or mobilizing elements of the federal government from the capitol as vice president when the president would not or could not -- >> it speaks to the alienation between the two and the very grave consequences that might have for the continued operation of our federal government. look, the president's powers do flow through an hourglass but they are the same powers until the day that they and the day they expire and they are vast and they are now of concern to those who work closest to and
listen to and are around the utterances of the 45th president of the united states. >> yes. >> o'donnell: mitt romney today was applauded by the entire most of the senate floor today because he said that the best way to respect the rule of the voters is to tell them the truth. he was applauded by his colleagues. he also rebuked his colleagues who support the president's bid to overturn his defeat and saying that will be their legacy legacy. a senior sites man in the senate, a former republican nominee for president of the united states looking at some of his younger colleagues who have political ambitions and have decided to appeal to the president's supporters by this political effort that they know will not reach any kind of outcome but really just a raw political play. >> mitt romney is telling his
junior colleagues, you think there are no indelible moments in american politics because question all suffer from recentism, everything now is the only thing that matters and we can't remember anything, our collective memory lasts about 72 hours, mitt romney is making it clear as former defense secretary, james mattis made clear through his statement talking about the infamy of this moment, if you align yourself after all that you have seen today, after the lawlessness and criminality that you have seen today with this movement you will be marked forever and properly so, that is the warning that should only 0 need to be delivered once, that it even needs to be delivered is a minor moment of astonishment to me i would think they would recognize it plainly, but mitt romney is trying to get them to recognize it if they haven't already. >> we are coming up eventually here soon on some early resolution of the first challenge to the electoral count, the senate should be getting close, the house started about an hour behind the senate and there as you can see still
negotiating and debating this, this is chip roy a republican from texas, the austin area, a former chief of staff, senator ted cruz, and among those that actually opposes challenging the results on the idea that this isn't constitutional, the states are supposed to do it and even suggested that the seating of his colleagues from the states that are challenging this should be con can tested as well if they have a problem with the results of the presidential election. >> they must have a problem with their election. >> why not the congressional election, so the debate continues and we were commenting major earlier, that irony is, we don't see members of the house and senate actually in the chamber together debating anything of substance these days because they just don't legislate, especially at this point in a year and in a campaign cycle, and the irony is they are debating something that really shouldn't be debated because there is no basis on which to be making these challenges and here they are tonight doing this under incredible duress. >> o'donnell: and quickly,
because we have this chrism in the party, even in the senate let's listen to now one of the strongest part of mitt romney's speech. >> what happened here today was an insurrection incited by the president of the united states. those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy, fairly or not, they will be remembered for their role and the shameful episode in american history, that will be their legacy. >> o'donnell: complicit, that will be their legacy, ohio senator rob portman considered one of the statesmen in the united states and a republican saying today i agree that there were instances of fraud and
irregularities but he noted that no recount or lawsuit found fraud or irregularities widespread enough to change the result of the election. it was litigated in the courts. there were dozens and dozens of republican lawsuits, all of them soundly rejected including bias mitch mcconnell said today, some hand picked republican conservative federal judges rejected claims by the president of the united states and his team when it dime allegations of voting irregularities. this is not only been a sad day for many americans, including all of the former living presidents who have denounced what happened today calling it an insurrection and rebuking in george w. bush's words reckless lawmakers who continued it but watched closely around the world. way tonight bring in michael morell, former acting deputy, former acting director of the cia and cbs news senior national
security contributor. michael, thank you so much for joining us. how closely have our adversaries watched what happened today on capitol hill? >> norah, it is good to be with you again. i think both our adversaries and our allies are watching this mostly, closely, i think our adversaries are looking at this as an opportunity both russia and china have an interest in weakening us and i think they will use this around the world to say to other countries this is what democracy gets you. this is what following the united states in its democratic model can get you. they will also use it domestically, both of them are deeply concerned about democracy in their own cubs, democratic movements in their own country so they will use this domestically to tell their citizen this is is what democracy gets you.
i have talked, norah, to a lot of our allies today, a lot of people that i have worked with when i was in government reached out to me, they have expressed, that they were questioning about what was happening and having a hard time understanding it, they were expressing concern and they were expressing a view, norah, that i found interesting and it was fairly consistent, which was this tells us that the political divisions in the united states are perhaps deeper than we even thought, and that it is going to take a considerable amount of time for those to heal and we shouldn't expect the u.s. to lead in the world as long as those political divisions are there. so a very interesting message from some of our allies. >> o'donnell: and on that note, we are now hearing that there may be members of the president's national security team who are considering resigning. what are the implications of that? >> i understand the desire to
resign. i think i would have it myself if i were serving. i would hope that they would leave behind individuals who they had confidence in, there is another two weeks to go here and i do -- i do very much want people in place who know thousand protect the country for the next 14 days. and when you hear margaret's brennan's reporting that there are some members of the cabinet considering invoking the 25th amendment are we on the brink of a constitutional crisis? >> i think the, you know, mind reading of the constitution, i am not a lawyer of course but my reading of the constitution is that it allows that, right? as a solution to a very difficult problem with a president who is not doing their job, who is actually endangering
the nation by doing their job, so i see it as a constitutional solution to a problem not as a constitutional crisis. >> michael morell, thank you for joining us and being with us. >> i would tend to agree. this would be in the category of a leadership crisis with a constitutional remedy. one of the great gifts that our founders bequeathed to us was the constitution, it doesn't solve every problem, but it provides a road map and it provides a structure to resolve the hardest problems and a leadership crisis of this magnitude would fall into that category of hardest problems and it was does provide a means by which to resolve it. it does not mean there is a crisis. it means there is a remedy outlined by the constitution and all that needs to be done is a recognition of a problem that grave and a solution there by triggered by the instruments of the constitution. and we have had so many moments over the last four years where there were at least discussions
about using nooks and crannies of the constitution or the possibility that they would have to be used, did anyone know what an emolument issue was before this president? no, we have had examples of this and reminded over and over again over the last four years that the founding fathers thought through a lot of this. in fact they laid out some of the electoral college stuff that happened today but it wasn't until the 1880s and nineties they went and clarifieds clariff it because there was one example of we need a little more clarity. >> precisely. >> that's what the american system does and to michael's point there is a constitutional remedy, not necessarily a crisis, although we are certainly in crisis mode tonight in the nation's capitol. >> think of a story we covered, hong kong, what do you think china is going to do with this video about hong kong? >> they are going to say, look, no, you get none of that. we will suppress you because you want to do something that america can't even handle and that's just a small example of a
>> another big headline of the day is that even gas u.s. capitol was being stormed there has been a shift in power unrelated to this moment, but related to the two elections that were held in the state of georgia yesterday, once a view y red republican state that southern state now shifting because of the demographics in that state, including a third of the voters african-american, younger voters, and suburban voters leaving the republican party, just today cbs news projecting the democrats have won both senate seats in the
state of georgia, raphael warnock who is the pastor at the ebenezer church where martin luther king led and worshipped will become the first black senator from the state of georgia. also, jon ossoff defeating the incumbent republican and businessman david perdue, jon ossoff becoming the youngest senator in decades he is just 33 years old and becoming the first jewish senator from the state of georgia. let's bring in mark strassmann who has been covering those senate races in atlanta, mark, it has been one for the history books. >> it really has norah and it has been a reality check here particularly for republicans, a reality check that this state is changing this many ways, it is younger and more diverse and in the suburbs in particular in metro atlanta, it is much more progressive than historically has been the case. it also is reality check about
the trump years and the trump year's impact, in just two months here the president lost an election and the party lost both of its -- both of its republican incumbents in the u.s. senate, that in itself is devastating, there are many republicans here both lifelong republican voters and state republican leaders who are furious at the president, as recently as monday the president was here os sense fly campaign for the two candidates but really he just whipped up the crowd are his groundless allegations of voter fraud and the republicans are angry because nothing that nothing that the president said may have encouraged some republican voters to show up to the polls, why would they if they believe like the president that the system is rigged? so what we have now is two senators elect both democrats, you have john os sons of, john os son, the first jewish senator from the state of georgia and the youngest elected u.s. senator since joe biden .. then
you have reverend raphael warnock who is the pastor here at ebenezer baptist church, historic pulpit where martin luther king, jr. once preached and he is george's first black senator and in both cases they ran as a team, the republicans and the democrats and in the end, the democratic message prevailed despite georgia's reputation as a conservative state, and now it has two democratic senators and not only shifted the power here in the state of georgia but as we all know it also shifted the balance of power at the u.s. capitol as well, so a really remarkable 24 hours here in georgia, remarkable and historic and a bit of a gut check for the republican party here moving forward, norah. >> o'donnell: mark strassmann, some excellent reporting in georgia. >> two quick things. i spoke with smart republican strategist today that said normally in this situation where you have a democratic president who is going to win and two
republican people running, they could make the very basic albeit check and balance on that democratic president argument. the problem was, if they made that argument, they would be parting ways with the president who insisted he -- and the republican base would stay home so the strategist said they were handcuffed and just no way they were going to be able to breakthrough and turn out enough people. secondly he, the almost immediate effect was that you had joe biden announce and announce his attorney general nominee tomorrow, merrick garland, judge from court of appeals, along with lindsey graham, we will listen to lindsey graham and talk about the other thing. >> i want to send them back to the states. i believe there was fraud. to the conservatives who believe in the constitution, now is your chance to stand up and be counted. originalism, count me in, it means what it says. so my, vice president, just hang in there. they said we can count on mike, all of us can count on the vice
president. you are going to do the right thing. you are going to do the constitutional thing. you have got a son who flies f-35s and son in laws who fly f-18s they are out there flying so we get it right here. there are people that are dying, my good friend illinois to make sure we have a chance to argue among ourselves and when it is over it is over. it is over. the final thing, joe biden, now traveled the world with joe and i hope he lost, i prayed he would lose, he won. he is the legitimate president of the united states. i cannot convince people, certain groups by my words but i will tell you by my actions that maybe i among any, above all others in this body peed to say this, joe biden and kamala harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and the vice president of the united states on january the 20th.
applause. >> o'donnell: all right. after -- and there senator lindsey graham who has been a trump whisperer and plays golf with him and viewed as the only person who can perhaps speak with the president, thinkable is the first time he has acknowledged in such a forceful way. >> oh, yeah. >> o'donnell: -- that joe biden and kamala harris will be the next leaders. >> it is over. >> o'donnell: yes. >> let those words ring. clear, concise, meaningful, obvious, but needed to be said. >> that is also him acknowledging he knows there are a lot of people in this country who thought differently about him, saw him embrace and defend this president and now he seems to be saying, i understand reality, other republicans need to as well. >> o'donnell: all right, our coverage will continue in one minute with cbs news special assault on the u.s. capitol.
captioning sponsored by cbs >> o'donnell: good evening i'm norah o'donnell with cbs news special report, assault on the u.s. capitol. in an extraordinary day here in the nation's capitol that no one thought would come to freuician,-- fruition an angry mob of supporters of president trump convened on the u.s. capitol, overwhelming law enforcement. this is an image inside what is called the capitol crypt. as those supporting the president sought to storm the house and senate chambers, but what can only be viewed as
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