tv CBS News Coverage of the House Select Committees Public Hearings on Jan. 6 CBS July 21, 2022 5:00pm-7:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by cbs >> o'donnell: this is a cbs news special report. i'm norah o'donnell here in the nation's capitol, and we are coming on the air tonight to hear from new witnesses, to hear new testimony, and new evidence tonight, as we learn more about the three hours here in nation's capitol on january 6th that nearly derailed democracy. the key question is about former president donald trump. what was the commander-in-chief doing during the hours of violence at the capitol? w do know that he was sitting in his dining room, watching television, but deciding not to
act. we also know that, from the capitol to the white house and even from people in his own family, he was being begged to do something, anything to stop the violence. well, the committee says it will lay out what they call trump's dereliction of duty. the witnesses tonight will help fill in the gaps in trump's activities that day. we'll hear from former deputy national security advisor matthew pottinger and former deputy press secretary sarah matthews. they will testify live. we're also expected to hear some other new testimony from taped depositions. we've got our incredible team with us here tonight with new reporting and analysis, johlysin dickerson. this is really going to focus -- we've had seven hearings, this committee has interviewed more than a thousand people, but today it's about donald trump specifically and a timeline. >> reporter: during the 2016 campaign, candidate donald trump says i alone can fix it, about the presidency, never more was that more true in his presidency than january 6th. he alone can fix it because he
is commander-in-chief and because he had a special relationship with the people flying his flag. that's why his friends, allies in congress and the media were calling him because he's the only one who could fix it. for 187 minutes the phone was ringing and he refused to pick it up. >> o'donnell: we're watching liz cheney, the chair. bennie thompson has covid and is explaining that right now. robert costa, as we mentioned, we've learned a lot in these hearings thus far, but there's a lot missing out there that hasn't been turned over to the committee. >> reporter: there are still gaps in the story. missing texts in the secret service. some secret service agents are seeking private counsel as the d.h.s. looks into that part of the story. tone logs, who was the president talking to during this time? testimony today will help fill in those gaps. >> o'donnell: let's turn to chairman bennie thompson. >> he bullied, he betrayed his
oath, he tried to destroy our democratic institutions. he summoned a mob to washington. afterward, on january 6th, when he knew that the assembled mob was heavily armed and angry, he commanded the mob to go to the capitol, and he emphatically commanded the heavily-armed mob to fight like hell. for the weeks between the november election and january 6th, donald trump was a force to be reckoned with. he threw us off the fax chiewlt and legal at this sober advice of his knowledgeable and sensible advisors and instead recklessly blazed a path of lawlessness and corruption, the cost of which democracy be damned. and then he stopped. for 187 minutes on janua january 6th, this man of
unbridled destructive energy could not be moved -- not by his aitdz, not by his allies, not by the violent chants of rioters or the desperate pleas of those facing down the riot. and more tellingly, donald trump ignored and disregarded the desperate place of his own family, including ivanka and don, jr. even though he was the only person in the world who could call off the mob, he sent to the capitol, he could not be moved to rise from his dining room table and walk the few steps down the white house hallway into the press briefing room, where cameras were anxiously and desperately waiting to carry his message to the armed and violent mob, savagely beating and killing law enforcement officers, revenging the capitol, and hunting down the
vice president and various members of congress. he could not be moved. this evening, my colleagues mr. kinzinger of illinois and luria of virginia will take you inside the white house during those 187 minutes. we also remind you of what was happening at the capitol minute by minute, as a foul and violent part of donald trump's scheme to cling to power unraveled while he ignored his advisors, stood by and watched it unfold on television. let me offer a found thought about the select committee's work so far. as we've made clear throughout these hearings, our investigation goes forward. we continue to receive new information every day. we continue to hear from witnesses. we will reconvene in september to continue laying out our findings to the american people.
but as that work goes forward, a number of facts are clear -- there can be no doubt that there was a coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn an election overseen and directed by donald trump. there can be no doubt that he commanded a mob, a mob he knew was heavily armed, violent and angry to march on the capitol to try to stop the peaceful transfer of power, and he made targets out of his own vice president and the lawmakers gathered to do the people's work. these facts have gone undisputed. and, so, there needs to be accountability, accountability under the law, accountability to the american people, accountability at every level from the local precincts in many states where donald trump and his allies attacked election
workers for just doing their jobs, all the way up to the oval office where donald trump embraced a legal advice of insurrectionists that a federal judge has already said was a coup in search of a legal theory. our democracy withstood the attack on january 6th. if there's no accountability for january 6th, for every part of this scheme, i fear that we will not overcome the ongoing threat to our democracy. there must be stiff consequences for those responsible. now, i'll turn things over to our vice chair to start telling the story. >> thank you, mr. chairman. without objection, the presiding officer is authorized to declare the committee in recess at any point. pursuant to house deposition
authority relation 10 i announce the committee has approved the release of the deposition material presented during today's hearing. and let me begin tonight by wishing chairman thompson a rapid recovery from covid. he has expertly led us through eight hearings so far, and he has brought us to the point we are today. in our initial hearing, the chairman and i described what ultimately became donald trump's seven-part plan to overturn the 2020 presidential election, a plan stretching from before election day through january 6th. at the close of today's hearing, our ninth, we will have addressed each element of that plan, but in the course of these hearings we have received new evidence and new witnesses have bravely stepped forward. efforts to litigate and overcome immunity and executive privilege claims have been successful, and those continue. doors have opened, new subpoenas
have been issued, and the dam has begun to break. and now, even as we conduct our ninth hearing, we have considerably more to do. we have far more evidence to share with the american people and more to gather. so our committee will spend august pursuing emerging information on multiple fronts before convening further hearings this september. today, we know far more about the president's plans and actions to overturn the election than almost all members of congress did when president trump was impeached on january 13th, 2021, or when he was tried by the senate in february of that year. 57 of 100 senators voted to convict president trump at that time, and more than 20 others said they were voting against conviction because the president's term had already expired. at the time the republican
leader of the united states senate said this about donald trump -- >> a mob was assaulting the capitol in his name. these criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags and screaming their loyalty to him. it was obvious. it was obvious that only president trump could end this. he was the only one. >> leader mcconnell reached those conclusions based on what he knew then, without any of the much more detailed evidence you will see today. lawlessness and violence began at the capitol on january 6th, 2021, before 1:00 p.m., and continued until well after darkness fell. what exactly was our
commander-in-chief doing during the hours of violence? today, we address precisely that issue. everything you've heard in these hearings thus far will help you understand president trump's motives during the violence. you already know donald trump's goal -- to halt or delay congress' official proceedings to count certified electoral votes. you know that donald trump tried to pressure his vice president to illegally reject votes and delay the proceedings. you know he tried to convince state officials and state legislators to flip their electoral votes from biden to trump, and you know donald trump tried to corrupt our department of justice to aid his scheme. but by january 6th, none of that had worked. only one thing was succeeding on the afternoon of january 6th, only one thing was achieving president trump's goal, the angry, armed mob president trump sent to the capitol broke
through security, invaded the capitol, and forced the vote counting to stop. that mob was violent and destructive, and many came armed. as you will hear, b secret service agents protecting the vice president were exceptionally concerned about his safety and their own. republican leader kevin mccarthy was scared, as were others in congress, even those who themselves helped to provoke the violence. and as you will see today, donald trump's own white house counsel, his own white house staff, members of his own family, all implored him to immediately intervene to condemn the violence and instruct his supporters to stand down, leave the capitol and disperse. for multiple hours, he would not. donald trump would not get on the phone and order the military or law enforcement agencies to help, and, for hours, donald
trump chose not to answer the pleas from congress, from his own party and from all across our nation to do what his oath required. he refused to defend our nation and our constitution. he refused to do what every american president must. in the days after january 6th, almost no one of any political party would defend president trump's conduct, and no one should do so today. thank you, and i now recognize the gentlewoman from virginia. >> thank you, madam vice chair. article two of our constitution requires that the president swear a very specific oath every four years. every president swears or affirms to faithfully execute the office of president of the united states, and to the best of their about preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states.
the president also assumes the constitutional duty to take care that our nation's laws be faithfully executed and, as the commander-in-chief of our military. our hearings have shown the many ways in which president trump tried to stop the peaceful transfer of power in the days leading up to january 6th. with each step of his plan, he betrayed his oath of office and was derelict in his duty. tonight, we will further examine president trump's actions on the day of the attack on the capitol. early that afternoon, president trump instructed tens of thousands of supporters at and near the ellipse rally, a number of whom he knew were armed with various types of weapons, to march to the capitol. after telling the crowd to march multiple times, he promised he would be with them and finished his remarks at 1:10 p.m. like
this -- >> we're going to walk down, and i'll be there with you -- we're going to walk down -- ( cheering ) -- we're going to walk down anyone you want, but i think right here, we're going to walk down to the capitol -- ( cheering ) -- so let's walk down pennsylvania avenue -- >> by this time, the vice president was in the capitol. the joint session of congress to certify joe biden's victory was underway and the proud boys and other rioters had stormed through the first barriers and begun the attack. radio communications from law enforcement informed secret service and those in the white house situation room of these developments in realtime. at the direction of president trump, thousands more rioters marched from the ellipse to the capitol, and they joined the attack. as you will see in great detail tonight, president trump was being advised by nearly everyone
to immediately instruct his supporters to leave the capitol, disperse and halt the violence. virtually everyone told president trump to condemn the violence in career and unmistakable terms, and those on capitol hill and across the nation begged president trump to help, but the former president chose not to do what all of those people begged. he refused to tell the mob to leave until 4:17 when he tweeted out a video statement filmed in the rose garden, ending with this -- >> so go home. we love you. you're very special. you've seen what happens. you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. i know how you feel. but go home and go home in peace. >> by that time, two pipe bombs had been found at locations near the capitol, including where the
vice president elect was conducting a meeting. hours of hand-to-hand combat had seriously injured scores of law enforcement officers. the capitol had been invaded, the electoral count had been halted as members were evacuated. rioters took the floor of the senate, they rifled through detections and broke -- desks and broke into offices and nearly caught up to vice president pence. guns were drawn on the house floor and a rioter was shot attempting to infiltrate the chamber. we know a number of rioters attempted acts of physical violence against specific elected officials. we know virtually all rioters were motivated by president trump's rhetoric that the election had been stolen, and they felt that they needed to take their country back. this hearing is principally about what happened inside to have the white house that afternoon. from the time when president trump ended his speech until the moment when he finally told the mob to go home, a span
of 187 minutes, more than three hours. what you will learn is president trump sat in his dining room and watched the attack on the television while his seniormost staff, close advisors and family members begged him to do what is expected of any american president. i served proudly for 20 years as an officer in the united states navy. veterans of our armed forces know firsthand the leadership that's required in a time of crisis, urgent and decisive action that puts duty and country first. but on january 6th, when lives and our democracy hung in the balance, president trump refused to act because of his selfish desire to stay in power. and i yield to the gentlemen from illinois, mr. kinzinger. >> thank you. thank you, ms. luria. one week after the attack, republican leader kevin
mccarthy acknowledged the simple truth, president trump should have acted immediately to stop the violence. during our investigation, general mark milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, also remarked on the president's failure to act. let's hear what they had to say. >> the president bears responsibility for wednesday's attack on congress by mob rioters. he should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. these facts require immediate action by president trump. >> the commander-in-chief, you have an assault going on on the capitol of the united states of america. nothing, no call, nothing, zero. >> like my colleague from virginia, i'm a veteran, i served in the air force and i serve currently in the air national guard. i can tell you that general milley's reaction to president trump's conduct is
100% correct, and so was leader mccarthy's. what explains president trump's behavior? why did he not take immediate action in a time of crisis? because president trump's plan for january 6th was to halt or delay congress' official proceeding to count the votes. the mob attacked the capitol quick -- the mob attacking the capitol quickly caused evacuation of both the house and the senate, the count ground to an absolute halt and was ultimately delayed for hours. the mob was accomplishing president trump's purpose, so, of course, he didn't here's what will be clear by the end of this hearing -- president trump did not fail to act during the 187 minutes between leaving the ellipse and telling the mob to go home, he chose not to act. but there were hundreds that day who honored their oaths and put their lives on the line to protect the people inside the
capitol and to safeguard our democracy. many of people are here tonight with us, and many more are watching from home. as you already know, and will see again tonight, their service and sacrifice shines a bright light on president trump's dishonor and dereliction of duty. i yield to the vice chair. >> thank you very much, mr. kinzinger. i'd like to begin by welcoming our witnesses this evening. tonight we're going to by mr. matthew pottinger. mr. pottinger is a decorated former marine intelligence offers who served this nation on tours of duty in afghanistan and iraq. he served in the trump white house from the first day of the administration through the early morning hours of january 7th 2021. the last role in which he served in the white house was as deputy national security advisor to the president of the united states. we're also joined by sarah
matthews. ms. matthews started her career in communications working on capitol hill, serving on the republican staffs of several house committees. she then worked as deputy press secretary for president trump's reelection campaign before joining the trump white house in june of 2020. she served there as deputy press secretary and special assistant to the president until the evening of january 6th, 2021. i will now swear in our witnesses. the witnesses will please stand and raise their right hands. do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? thank you. you may be seated. and let the record reflect that the witnesses answered in the affirmative. thank you both, again, for being here tonight. mr. pottinger, thank you for
your service to the nation as well as for joining us this evening. can you please briefly explain what your responsibilities were as deputy national security advisor to the president? >> thank you, madam vice chair. when i started at the white house, i was a senior director for asia on the national security council staff, so that was a job that involved helping coordinate the president's asia policy. i supported the president when he met or interacted with asian leaders. later, 2019, i was promoted to the job of deputy national security advisor. in that role, i was the chairman of the deputies committee -- that's an nfc meeting of all the deputy cabinet secretaries. we would settle important matters of national policy related to our national security and we would also tee up options for the president and for his
cabinet members. it was -- i felt line as i do now that it was a privilege to serve in the white house. i'm also very proud of president trump's foreign policy accomplishments. we were able to finally compete with china. we were also able to broker peace agreements between israel and three arab states. i mean, those are some examples of the types of policies that i think made our country safer. >> thank you, mr. pottinger. and were you in the white house during the attack on the capitol on january 6th? >> for most of the day, i was in the white house, although, when the president was speaking at the rally, i was actually off site at a scheduled meeting with india's ambassador to the united states. the national security council staff was not involved in organizing the security for what was a domestic event, the rally, but i did return to the white house at roughly 2:30 p.m.
>> thank you, and i know my colleagues will have additional questions for you about that afternoon. let me turn to you, ms. matthews. how did you come to join president trump's white house staff? >> thank you, madam vice chair. as you outlined, i am a life-long republican and i join the trump reelection campaign in june of 2019. i was one of the first communication staffers actually on board for his reelection campaign. and during that time, i traveled all around the country and met kaylie mcenany, also working on his reelection campaign. i worked there for a year and formed a close relationship with miss mcenany. she starred in 2020 as white house press secretary and brought a group of campaign staff with her. i joined her at the white house in june of 2020 to start as her deputy. >> were you, miss matthews, at
work in the white house on january 6th. >> yes, i was working out of the west wing that day. >> thank you. now i'd like to recognize the gentlewoman from virginia and the gentlemen from illinois. >> thank you, madam vice chair. as you've seen in our prior hearings, president trump summoned the mob to d.c. on january 6th. before he went on stage, he knew some of them were armed and prepared for combat. during his speech, he implored them to march to the capitol, as he had always planned to do. by the time he walked off the stage, his supporters had already breached the outer perimeter of the capitol at the foot of capitol hill. since our last hearings, we've received new testimony from a security professional working in the white house complex on january 6th with access to relevant information and responsibility to report to national security officials. this security official told us that the white house was aware
of multiple reports of weapons in the crowd that morning. we as a committee are cognizant of the fear of retribution expressed by certain national security witnesses who have come forward to tell the truth. we've therefore taken steps to protect this national security individual's identity. listen to this clip from her testimony. >> -- message from the people about this idea of the capitol. >> to be completely honest, we were all in a state of shock. >> because why? it just -- one, i think the actual physical feasibility of doing it and then we also knew what that indicated, what that meant, that this was no longer a rally, that this was going to move to something else to physically walk to the capitol. i don't know if you want to use the word insurrection, coup, we all knew this would move from a
normal democratic public event into something else. >> and what was driving that sentiment, considering this part of it, the actual breach of the capitol, had it happened yet? >> why were we alarmed? right. the president wanted to lead 10,000 people to the capitol. i think that was enough grounds for us to be alarmed. >> even though he understood many of his supporters were armed, the president was still adamant to go to the capitol when he got off the stage at the ellipse, but his secret service detail was equally determined to not let him go. that led to a heated argument with the detail that delayed the departure of the motorcade to the white house. we have evidence from multiple sources regarding an angry exchange in the presidential suv, including testimony we will disclose today from two witnesses who confirmed that a confrontation occurred. the first witness is a former white house employee with
national security responsibilities. after seeing the initial violence at the capitol on tv, the individual went to see tony ornato, the deputy chief of staff in his office. mr. orbito was there with bobby engel, the president's lead secret service agent. this comploa told us mr. ornato said the president was "irate" when mr. engel refused to drive him to the capitol. mr. engel did not refute what mr. ornato said. the second witness is retired sergeant mark robinson of the d.c. police department who was assigned to the president's motorcade that day. h-- he sat in the lead vehicle with the secret service agent responsible for the motorcade also called the t.s. agent. here's how sergeant robinson remembered the exchange. >> was there any description of what was occurring in the car? >> no, only that -- the only description i received was that
the president was upset, and was adamant about going to the capitol and there was a heated discussion about that. >> and when you say "heated," is that your word or the word described by the t.s. agent? >> no, the word described by the t.s. agent meaning that the president was upset and he was saying there was a heated argument or discussion about going to the capitol. >> about how many times would you say you'd been part of that motorcade with the president? >> probably over 100 times. and in that 100 times, have you ever witnessed another discussion, argument, or heated discussion with the president where the president was contradicting where he was supposed to go or what the secret service agent was saying? >> no. like other witnesses, sergeant robinson also testified
that he was aware that individuals in the crowd were armed. >> yes, i believe he was on -- we were on special events channel. i was monitoring the traffic and i could hear some of the units pointing out there were individuals along constitutional avenue that were armed, that were up in the trees. i could hear the units responding to those individuals. so that's always a concern when there's potus in the area. >> like other witnesses, sergeant robinson told us that the president still wanted to travel to the capitol, even after returning to the white house. >> so at the end of the speech, what was the plan supposed to be? >> so, at the end of the speech, we do know that, while inside the limo, the president was still adamant about going to the
capitol. that's being relayed to me by the t.s. agent. and, so, we did park the ellipse and we responded back to the white house. however, we at the motorcade, the potus motorcade, was placed on standby, and, so, we were told to stand by until they confirmed whether or not the president was going to go to the capitol. so i may have waited, i would just estimate, 45 minutes to an hour, waiting for secret service to make that decision. >> the motorcade waited at the white house for more than 45 minutes before being released. the committee is also aware that accounts of the angry confrontation in the vptdle suv have circulated widely among the secret service since january 6th. recent disclosures have also caused the committee to subpoena yet further information from the
secret service, which we've begun to receive and will continue to assess. the committee is also aware certain secret service witnesses have now retained new private counsel. we anticipate further testimony under oath and other new information in the coming weeks. after the secret service we feuds to take president trump -- refused to take president trump to the capitol, he returned to the white house. what you see on the screen is a photo of him inside the oval office, immediately after he returned from the rally, still wearing his overcoat. a white house employee informed the president as soon as he returned to the oval about the riot at the capitol. let me repeat that. one 15 minutes of leaving the stage, president trump knew that the capitol was besieged and under attack. at 1:25, president trump went to the private dining room off the oval office. from 1:25 until 4:00, the president stayed in his dining
room. just to give you a sense of where the dining room is situated in the west wing, let's take a look at this floor plan. the dining room is connected to the oval office by a short hallway. witnesses told us that, on january 6th, president trump sat in his usual spot at the head of the table facing a television hanging on the wall. we know from the employee the tv was tuned to fox news all afternoon. here, you can see fox news on the tv showing coverage of the joint session that was airing that day at 1:25. other witnesses confirm president trump was in the dining room with the tv on for more than two and a half hours. there was no official record of what president trump did while in the dining room. on the screen is the presidential call log from january 6th. as you can see, there's no official record of president trump receiving or placing a call between 11:06 and 6:54 p.m. as to what the president was
doing that afternoon, the presidential daily diary is also silent. it contains no information from the period between 1:21 p.m. and 4:03 p.m. there are also no photos of president trump during this critical period between 1:21 in the oval office and when he went outside to the rose garden after 4:00. the chief white house photographer wanted to take pictures because it was, in her words, very important for his archives and for history, but she was told "no photographs." despite the lack of photos or an official record, we've learned what president trump was doing while he was watching tv in the dining room. but before we get into that, it's important to understand what he never did that day. let's watch. >> so are you aware of any phone call by the president of the united states to the secretary of defense that day? >> not that i'm aware of, no. are you aware of any phone
call by the president of the united states to the attorney general of the united states that day? >> no. are you aware of any phone call by the president of the united states to the secretary of homeland security that day? >> i'm not aware of that, no. did you ever hear the vice president -- excuse me -- the president ask for the national guard. >> no. did you ever hear the president ask for law enforcement response? >> no. so as somebody who worked in the national security space with the national security council, if there were going to be troops president or called up for a rally in washington, d.c., for example, is that something that you would have been aware of? >> yeah, i would have. do you know if he asked anbody to reach out to any of those that we just listed off, national guard, d.o.d., f.b.i., homeland security, secret service, capitol police about the situation in the capitol? >> i'm not aware of any of those
requests, no, sir. >> we have confirmed in numerous interviews with senior law enforcement and military leaders, vice president's staff and d.c. government officials, none of them, not one heard from president trump that day. he did not call to issue orders. he did not call to offer assistance. this week, we received additional testimony from yet another witness about why the president didn't make any efforts to quell the attack. the former white house employee with national security responsibilities told us about a conversation with senior advisor eric hirschman and pat cipollone, the top white house lawyer. this conversation was about a pending call from the pentagon seeking to coordinate on the response to the attack. mr. hirschman turned to mr. cipollone and said, the president didn't want to do anything. and, so, mr. cipollone had to
take the call himself. so if president trump wasn't calling law enforcement or military leaders, what did president trump spend his time doing that afternoon while he first settled into the dining room? he was calling senators to encourage them to delay or object to the certification. here's kayleigh mcenany, his press secretary to explain. >> so he sits back there and wants lists of senators and then he's calling them one by one. do you know which ones he called? >> to the best of my recollection, no. as i say in my notes, he wanted a list of the senators, you know, and i left him at that point. >> because the presidential call log is empty, we do not yet know precisely which senators president trump was calling. but we do know from rudy giuliani's phone records that president trump also called him at 1:39, after he had been told that the riot was underway at
the capitol. mr. giuliani was president trump's lead election attorney. according to the phone records, the president's call with him lasted approximately four minutes. recall that fox news was on in the dining room. let's take a look at what was airing as this call was ending. >> the president, as we all saw, fired this crowd up, they've all, tens of thousands, maybe a hundred thousand or more, have done down to the capitol or elsewhere in the city, and they're very upset. now, i jumped down as soon as we heard the news that brett gave you about talking to this people. i said what do you think, one woman, an air force veteran from missouri said she was, quote, disgusted to hear that news and it was his duty to do something, and i told her there is nothing in the constitution unilaterally that vice president pence could do. she said, that doesn't matter, he should have fought for trump.
>> at 1:49, here's what was happening at the capitol with trump's fired-up supporters. >> we're going to give prior warning. we're going to try to get compliance, this is effectively now a rioter. >> he's declaring a riot. old the wall, hold the wall! what did president trump do at 1:49 as the d.c. police, at the same time, were declaring a riot at the capitol? as you can see on the screen, he tweeted out a link to the recording of his ellipse speech. this was the same speech in which he knowingly sent an armed mob to the capitol, but president trump made no comment about the lawlessness and the violence. i yield to the gentlemen from illinois. >> the next action
president trump took was to tweet at 2:24 p.m. what happened during the 35 minutes between his last tweet at 1:49 and 2:24, his staff repeatedly came into the room to see him and plead that he make a strong public statement condemning the violence and instructing the mob to leave the capitol. he did not relent until after 4:00, when he went out to go to the rose garden to film his now infamous e" message. pat cipollone was a top white house lawyer. here's what he told us about his reaction to seeing the violence and his advice throughout the afternoon. >> when did you first realize that there was actually violence. >> i first realized it may have been on television or may have been tony or -- but i found out
that people were -- you know, they weren't in the capitol yet, but they were, you know -- and then i started watching it and, you know, then i was aware. >> what specifically did you think needed to be done. >> i think it was pretty clear there needed to be an immediate and forceful response, statement, public statement that people needed to leave the capitol now. >> my question is exactly that. it sounds like you, from the very onset of the violence at the capitol right around 2:00, were pushing for a strong statement that people should leave the capitol. is that right? >> i was -- pat, you said that you expressed your opinion forcefully. could you tell us exactly how you did that? >> yeah, i can't -- you know, i have to -- on the privileged issue, i can't talk about conversations with the president but i can generically say that i said, you know, people need to be told, there needs to be a
public announcement fast that they need to leave the capitol. >> and, pat, could you let us know approximately when you said that? >> approximately when? almost immediately after i found out people were getting into the capitol or approaching the capitol in a way that was violent. >> do you remember any discussions mark meadows with respect to his view that the president didn't want to do anything? was somehow resistant to wanting to say something along the lines that you suggest? >> just to be clear, many people suggested it, not just me. many people felt the same way. i'm sure i had conversations with mark about this during the course of the day and expressed my opinion very forcefully that this needs to be done.
>> so your advice was to tell people to leave the capitol, and it took over two hours, when there were subsequent statements made, tweets put forth, that in your opinion were insufficient, did you continue, mr. cipollone, throughout the period of time up until 4:17, continue, you and others, to push for a stronger statement? >> yes. were you joined in that effort by ivanka trump. >> yes. eric herschmann. yes. mark meadows. yes. white house counsel wanted there to be a strong statement out to condem the rioters. i'm confident in that. i'm confident ivanka trump wanted there to be a strong statement to condem the rioters. i don't know the private conversation she had with mr. trump but it were when me came to the chief of staff's office with white house counsel's office, she was talking about the speech later that day and trying to get her dad on board with saying
something that was more direct than he had wanted to at the time and throughout the afternoon. >> i think mark also -- i remember him getting ivanka involved, saying get ivanka down here because he thought hat would be important. i don't think jared was there in the morning, but i think he came later. i remember thinking it was important to get him in there, too. and, of course, pat philbin was expressing the same things. pat philbin was very, as i said -- i don't think there's one of these meetings -- there might have been, but for the most part, i remember that both of us going down together, pulling back, getting on phone calls. he was also very clearly expressing this view. >> pat cipollone and cassidy cay hutchinson, an aides to chief of
staff mark meadows, also told us about the hang mike pence chants. as you will see mr. cipollone recalled conversations about those chants in the west wing but relied on executive privilege for confidentiality for conversations between him and the president. ms. hutchison provided moderate explicit information filling in the blanks. >> it wasn't until mark hung up the phone, handed it back to me. i went back to my desk. a couple minutes later, him and pat came back, possibly eric herschmann, too, i'm pretty sure eric hirschman was there, but i'm confident it was pat that was there. i remember pat saying something to the effect of, mark, we need to do something more, they're literally calling for the vice president to be f-ing hung.
and mark responded something to the effect that you heard it, pat, he thinks they deserve it, he doesn't think they're doing anything wrong. to which pat said something, this is f-ing crazy, we need to be doing something more and briefly stepped into mark's office. >> do you remember discussion at any point in the stay about riots at the capitol chanting "hang mike pence"? >> yes, i remember -- i remember hearing that about that, yes. i don't know if i -- i know i observed that myself on tv. >> i understand. do you remember what you can share with us about the discussion about those chants to hang mike pence, the chants? >> i can tell you my view of that. >> yes, please. my view of that is that is outrageous, and for anyone to suggest such a thing to the
vice president of the united states, for people in the crowd to chant that. i thought it was terrible, i thought it was outrageous and wrong and i expressed that very clearly. >> with respect to your conversations with mr. meadows, did you specifically raise the concern of the vice president with him and how did he respond? >> i believe i raised a concern about the vice president and i began the -- the nature of his response without recalling exactly is, you know, people were doing all that they could. >> and what about the president? did he indicate whether or not the president was doing what needed to be done to protect the vice president? >> sir, that -- i'm being instructeded --
see. additionally mr. cipollone testified it would be feasible as commentators on television were suggesting mr. trump needed to immediately appear at the podium in the press room to address the nation. >> would it be possible at any moment for the president to walk down to the press room, briefing room and talk to the president at anytime between the time you gave him the statement and 4:00. >> yes, it would have been. mr. cipollone said president trump could have gone to the press briefing room to issue a statement any moment. to give you a sense of that would have been, let's take a look at the map of the west wing. as we saw earlier, the president's private dining room is at the bottom of the map. the press briefing room is at the top highlighted in blue.
and the rose garden where the president ultimately filmed his go home video was to the right to have the oval office, highlighted in green. ms. matthews, how quickly could the president have gotten on camera in the press briefing room to deliver a statement to the nation? >> so, as you outlined, it would take probably less than 60 seconds from the oval office dining room over to the press briefing room, and for folks that might not know, the briefing room is the room that you see the white house press secretary do briefings from with the podium and the blue backdrop. and there's a camera on there at all times. so if the pt president had wanted to make a statement and address the american people, he could have been on camera almost instantly. and, conversely, the white house press corps has offices located directly behind the briefing room, and, so, if he had wand to make an address from the oval office, we could have assembled
the white house press corps probably in a matter of minutes to get them into is it oval for him to do an on-camera address. >> thank you. other witnesses have given us their views on that question. for example, general keith kellogg told us some staff were concerned that a leave appearance by the president at the microphones at that moment could actually make matters worse. he told us he recommended against doing a press conference because, during his four years in the trump administration, quote, there wasn't a single clean press conference we had had. president trump's advisors knew his state of mind at that moment, and they were worried about what he would say in unscripted comments. i yield to the gentlewoman from virginia. >> thank you. as you've heard, by 2:00, multiple staff members in the white house recognized that a serious situation was underway at the capitol. personally, i recall being evacuated from the house office
building where we were sitting before this time. it was due to the discovery of two pipe bombs in nearby buildings. ms. matthews, around the same time you were watching the violence unfold on television and social media with colleagues, including with ben williamson, a senior aide to mark meadows and the acting director of communications, you told us that before president trump september his next tweet at 2:24, mr. williamson got up to go see mr. meadows and you got up to go see kayleigh mcenany. why did you both do that? >> to ben and i were watching the coverage unfold from one of the offices in the west wing and we both recognized the situation was escalating quickly and that the president needed to be out there immediately to tell these people to go home and condemn the violence that we were seeing. so i told him i was going to make that recommendation to kayleigh, and he said he was
going to make the same recommendation to chief of staff mark meadows. >> thank you. and one of your colleagues in the press office told us he also went to see ms. mcenany at the time. let's hear what he said at the critical time as the rioters were getting into the capitol. >> -- it was necessary. well, it appears individuals are storming the u.s. capitol building. they also appear to be supporters of donald trump, who may have been in attendance at the rally, were going to need to say something. >> and did you have a view as to what should be said by the white house? >> if i recall, i told kayleigh that i thought that we needed to
encourage individuals to stop, to respect law enforcement, and to go home. >> although president trump was aware of the ongoing riot, he did not take any immediate action to address the lawlessness. instead, at 2:03, he called rudy giuliani again, and that call lasted for over 8 minutes. moments later at 2:13, rioters broke into the capitol itself. one of the proud boys charged with seditious conspiracy used an officer's shield to smash a window and rioters flooded into the building. >> go, go, go, go! to the capitol!
go to the capitol! >> as rioters were entering the building, the secret service held vice president pence in his office right off the senate chamber for 13 minutes, as they worked to clear a safe path to a secure location. now, listen to some of that radio traffic and see what they were seeing as the protestors got just feet away from where the vice president was holding. >> ( bleep ) oh the building. hold. >> if we're moving we need to move now. >> copy. if we lose any more time, we may have -- we may lose the about to leave. so if we're going to leave, we need to do it now. >> they've gained access to the second floor, and i've got --
side me from below. >> copy. they are on the second floor moving in now. we may want to consider getting out and leaving now. copy. >> will we encounter the people if we make our way. >> repeat. will we encounter people if we make our way. >> six people between us and the people who are five and ten feet from us. >> i'm going down to evaluate. go ahead. we have a clear shot if we move quickly. are we going to be met downstairs by the protesters. >> is that compromised? we have -- insecure. we will bypass protestors that are being contained. there is smoke, unknown what kind of smoke it is. copy. >> clear. we're coming out now, all right. make a way.
>> the president's national security council staff was listening to these developments and tracking them in realtime. on the screen, you can see excerpts from the kyat logs among the president's national security council staff. at 2:13, the staff learned that the rioters were kicking in the windows at the capitol. three minutes later the staff said the vice president was being pulled, which meant agents evacuated him from the senate floor. at 2:24, the staff noted the secret service agents at the capitol did not "souped good right now." earlier, you heard from a security professional who had been working in the white house complex on january 6th with access to relevant information and a responsibility to report to national security officials. we asked this person, what was meant by the comment that the secret service agents did not "sound good right now"?
in the following clip of that testimony, which has been modify to protect the individual's identity, the professional discusses what they heard from listening to the incoming radio traffic that day. >> that last was did not sound good right now. >> correct. what did that mean. the members were starting to fear for their own lives. there were a lot -- there was a lot of yelling, a lot of very personal calls over the radio. so it was -- i don't like talking about it. but there were calls to say goodbye to family members, so on and so forth. for whatever reason the was on the ground, they thought it was about to get very ugly.
>> and did you hear that over the radio? >> yes. what was the response by the agents -- secret service agents who were there. >> everybody cep saying, you know, at that point it was just reassurances or -- i think there were discussions of reinforcements coming, but, again, it was just chaos. there's just yelling. >> obviously disturbing, but what prompted you to put it into an entry. >> we were running out of options and they were getting nervous. it sounds like that we came very close to either investigate use lethal options or worse. at that point, i don't know. is the v.p. compromised? i don't know. we didn't have visibility. but if they're screaming and saying things, like say goodbye to family, this is going to a hole other level soon. >> as this next video shows, the
rioters' anger was focused primarily on vice president mike pence. >> this woman came up to the side of us and she says, pence folded. so it was kind of like, okay, well, my mind, i was thinking well, that's it. you know? well my son-in-law looks at me and he says, "i want to go in." >> what percentage of the crowd is going to the capitol? >> 100%. that is spread like wildfire that pence has betrayed us and everybody is marching on the capitol, all million of us. it is insane. >> mike pence. mike pence is a traitor. >> mike pence has hurt us, i guess you haven't heard yet.
>> what happened? what happened? >> it appears that mike pence has screwed us, that's what i heard that mike pence has screwed us. >> people appeared angry as you were walk to the capitol? >> a lot of people seemed like they were very upset. >> tell us some of the things they were saying if you recall. >> they were saying -- people were screaming all types of stuff. they are mad that vice president pence was going to accept the electorals, i mean it was -- if you could think it up, you were hearing it. >> i believe the that vice president pence was going to certify the electoral votes or not certify them. but i guess that's just changed, correct? and it's a very big disappointment. i think there are several hundred theusand people here that are very disappointed. >> president trump did not try to calm his thousands of
disappointed supporters. instead, at almost the same moment violence was getting completely out of hand. donald trump sent his 2:24 tbeet. the president said, mike pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect the our country and our constitution. despite knowing the capitol had been breached and the mob was in the building, president trump called mike pence a coward and placed all the blame on him for not stopping the certification. he put a target on his own vice president's back. mr. pottinger and ms. matthews when we asked you about your reaction to seeing the 2:24 tweet at the same time, you used the same imagery to describe it. president trump was adding fume to the fire. mr. pottinger you made decision to resign after this tweet. can you tell the us why? >> yes, so that was very soon
after i or shortly before i'd gotten back to the are white house, i'd come from offsite. i began to see for the first time those images on tv of the chaos that was unmodelling at the capitol. one of my aides handed me a sheet of paper that contained the tweet that you just read. i read it and was quite disturbed by it. i was disturbed, and worried, to see that the president was attacking vice president pence for doing his constitutional duty. so the tweet looked to me like the opposite of what we really needed at that moment which was a deescalation. and that's why i had said earlier that it looked like fuel being poured on the fire. so that was the moment that i decided that i was going to resign, that that would be my last day at the white house. i simply didn't want to be associated with the events this were unfolding on the capitol.
>> thank you. and ms. matthews what was your reaction to the president's tweet about vice president pence? >> so it was obvious, that the situation at the capitol was violent and escalating quickly. and so i thought that the tweet about the vice president was the last thing that was needed in that moment. and i remember thinking that this was going to be bad for him to tweet this, because it was essentially him giving the green light to these people. telling them that what they were doing at the steps of the capitol and entering the capitol was okay that they were justified in their anger, and he shouldn't have been doing that. he should have been telling these people to go home and to leave and to condemn the violence that we were seeing. and i'm someone who has worked with him. i worked on the campaign, traveled all around the country, going to countless rattlies with hm and i've seen the impact his
words have on his supporters. they truly latch on to every word and every tweet that he says. anr tweet t message of mike pence, it was him pouring gasoline on the fire and making it much worse. >> thank you both. let's watch what others also told us about their reactions to this tweet. >> i don't remember when exactly i heard about that tweet. but my reaction to it is that's a terrible tweet. and i disagreed with the sentiment and i thought it was wrong. >> what was your reaction when you saw that tweet? >> extremely unhelpful. >> why? >> it wasn't the message that we needed at that time. it wea wasn't going to -- the ss
at the u.s. capitol were only getting worse at that point. this was not going to help that. >> were you concerned it was going to get worse? >> certainly. >> ms. hutchison, what was your reaction when you saw this tweet? >> as a staffer that works to l always represent the administration to the best of my ability and to showcase the good things that he had done for the country, i remember feeling frustrated, disappointed, and really, it felt personal. it was really sad. as an american i was disgusted. it was unpatriotic. it was unamerican. we were watching the capitol building get defaced over a lie.
>> as you will see at 2:26, the vice president had to be evacuated to safety a second time. and came within 40 feet of the rioters. the attack escalated quickly right after the tweet. [ screaming ] [ horns ] >> come on, play! oh oh oh! oh oh! >> during this chaos what did president trump do at that point? he went back to calling senators to try to further delay the electoral count. while the vice president was being evacuated from the senate president trump called senator
tommy up therville one of his so he could evacuate the senate chamber himself. let's listen. >> he didn't call my phone, called somebody else, handed it to me, i basically told him, mr. president we're not doing much work, they just took the vice president out, as a matter of fact i've got to hang up on you, i've got to leave. >> reporter: senator josh hawley also had to tblee. earlier that afternoon before the joint session started he walked across the east tront of the capitol. -- front of the capitol. as you can see in this photo he raised his fist in solidarity with the protestors already amassing at the security gates. we spoke with the capitol police officer who was out there at the time. she told us that senator
hawley's gesture relied up the crowd, he was doing it in a safe space protected 50 officers and the barriers. later that day, senatorial hawley fled after those protesters he helped to rile up stormed the capitol. see for yourself. think about what we've seen. undeniable violence at the capitol. the vice president being evacuated to safety by the secret service. senators running through the hallways of the senate to get away from the mob. as the commander in chief president trump was oath and duty bound to protect the capitol. his senior staff understood that.
>> do you believe jarrod that the president has an obligation to ensure a peaceful transfer of power? >> yes. >> and do you think the president has an obligation to defend all three imramps branches of our government? >> i believe so. >> and i assume you also would agree the president has a particular obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed? >> that is one of the president's obligations correct. >> no, i mean i asked what his duty is. >> well i mean there is a constitutional duty, what he has he's the commander in chief and that was the -- that was my biggest issue with him as national security advisor. >> rather than uphold his duty to the constitution president trump allowed the mob to achieve the delay that he hoped would
keep him in power. i reserve. >> the gentle woman reserves. i request that those in the hearing room raiment seated until the exot police escort the witnesses from the room. we're in a ten minute recess. nbd specifically vice president mike pence and the danger he was in up on capitol hill. want to bring our team back in margaret brennan. we knew that donald trump was targeting his vice president, we knew protesters outside were chanting hang mike pence. what we learned today was the vice president's most secret service detail, the toughest of the tough that they were calling family members saying good-bye. >> that's right, and that there was radio traffic being listened of them asking for people to
make calls to their family. these are people who gave oaths to keep the vice president, how close and deeply threatened and threatening the situation was. what this whole hearing is about today is really framing it in that national security context. to show how severe this threat was, that it was not just a riot gone wrong, that this was a attack on the capitol of the united states, the commander in chief chose not to intervene. not what he did but what he did not do. that is what we have been hearing and what we would hear from the deputy national security officer, matthew pottinger. his four years in the trump administration was the mother of all command deployments. this is a statement to make. this was the final straw, staff member after staff member going
in there for immediate action to be taken and repeatedly there was none taken 50 the commander in chief. >>o'donnell: from that testimony from the disguised national security official voice and face disguised he said the members of the vp detail at this time was starting to fear for their own lives. does this not lay waste to the claim that there was snob in danger, that the supporters, to this day house republicans are tweeting trying to dismiss some of these witnesses today. >> that's why i think it was important that they show mitch mcconnell and kevin mccarthy at the beginning sitting with the two republican leaders saying there was an obligation for the president to act. they had not seen any of the grizzly evidence but there was obligation for the president to act. the president not acting. it was what the president was not doing. there was no testimony about what he was doing because he was on the phone, actually there was
one interesting piece of testimony, while he was not doing his commander in chief job he was on the phone to rudy giuliani, not that he wasn't acting, to the extent he was not acting at all, he was furthering the mayhem. >> those have mysteriously dispaird the call logs. robert you were the first to report that, that there was this gam in the president's calm logs, there was a gap in the president's schedule. no records essentially during that time. no photos during that time. and now in the last couple of days we know there's not going to be any secret service texts or phone records as well. which is interesting in light of what we're learning today about the fear and the danger that the vice president's own detail felt. >> we learned a little bit through this testimony about rudy giuliani's calls to the president when he was in the room. the call logs provided to the national archives then provided to the committee do not have all
of the information, we're still wondering was the president making other calls on the cell phones of aides or advisors? and this was such a critical moment that margaret is reporting. while president trump was watching television the rest of the world was watching the united states. this was a grave national security crisis. at the capitol the mob getting close to the vice president and his detail to the point of chaos and alarm and u.s. allies and adversaries were also watching this. some of them went on alert wondering who was in control in the u.s. >> and that was we learned later the justification for mike pence saying i'm not getting in that secret service vehicle to leave the capitol. i don't want the world to watch me flee. knowing what that wos signify. >>o'donnell: the phrase has been used, dereliction of duty under that stuff questioning biliz cheney. did he call anybody from the
department of homeland security, or department of security? no. what was he doing? he was calling senators asking them to do what he wanted done up on capitol hill. the idea that the president's inaction was worse than kind of hanging out in his dining room. he was purposely not working to stop the violence. >> it is so strange to hear this because as all of us know when you report on the white house, what aides like to tell you, how rck 'em sock 'em, how active a president is but yet here no one can testify to action. a call comes in from the pentagon, the president's lawyer has to take it because he won't. where they can act in the one moment that the one person who can act isn't doing it. >> we heard from the one time white house council cipollone, to go to the white house
briefing room to tweet, whatever to stop the violence and the president would not do that. i want to go over to the wall around scott mcfarr lane who covers the white house and the prosecution of many of these people up on comolt. you know and can you show us just how much danger vice president pence was in. >> the committee wasn't sugar coating it. the 2:24 p.m. tweet from former president trump, saying mike pence didn't have the courage. it coincides to the vice president being evacuated to an underground safe space. his detail was concerned about their own safety and the vice president's safety. the mob starts moving away from the senate, now they want to find members so they come over here to the house side. you will recall around 2:45 p.m. they are smashing the windows, trying to get inside. one of them is shot after she breaches the capitol and breaches that window but here is
the thing. the members in the house hadn't escaped yet. they're sheltering behind a barricaded door, some of them beneath the chairs. this was an infusion of energy from the 2:24 p.m. tweet nora hurvetion. it's not just, he's adding fume to the fire from his posts, i think we're going to hear more about that from the 4:07 p.m. twitter video. >>o'donnell: major garrett, not only the president's inaction, he was watching it on tv he was stoking the violence in many ways. >> he was placid and he was pleased about what he was seeing. and these phone logs, limited though they are, now suggests the president was trying to invoke further delay in the transfer of power. building on what john dickerson just said. i covered the trump white house
for a good number of years. when pres president trump was in office how active he was, hour his fury his rage, his penchant to get things done, things that are seemingly unmovable, moved. that was a secret sauce to his presidency and at this moment of maximum peril for people for the democracy for the capitol itself the president who prided himself on action and changing things and changing them quickly with the force of his either ego or direction, did nothing. >>o'donnell: major garrett, thank you. want to bring in jeff pegues who is our chief justice correspondent. you were on the capitol grounds on january 6th, you witnessed it firsthand that violence and at the same time i know you cover many areas of law enforcement. i'm just thinking about the secret service. i mean if you want a fly on the
wall, right, to tell what you was going on it's the secret service agents, right? i mean they're there with the frans they are listening to the chatter they are talking to one another and yet that is a gaping hole in terms of now that their text messages have been deleted. >> yes, there is this separately from the hearing, we haven't heard anything really about these missing text messages. the messages that the committee wants to get its hands on, as well as other investigations, the dhs ig investigation, but what we heard tonight, norah is testimony from others. who were in contact with the security detail, members of the secret service. and they talked about how there were these messages that they were layering about, secret service agents as you noted who are trained to protect presidents and other dignitaries concerned about their safety,
sending messages or hoping messages would get back to their families. and as i was listening to that, just wondering if their families were reaching out to see how they were doing and perhaps that led to some text exchanges between family. we don't know yet because we haven't seen nor have the investigators seen some of these text messages, their ease in investigation underway that could perhaps down the road lead to some sort of criminal investigation. but what you saw in these images, or how concerned they were about the safety of the vice president at that time, and it just reminds me norah of the stress of law enforcement that day because they were outnumbered, because they didn't have reenforcements, the stress that they were under, the members of the mpd, members of capitol police who were trying to push these angry crowds back and again, these crowds, they
were so consumed with anger, all these chants of hang mike pence, you know, when have you heard people speak in that manner? but they were serious that day. this was thought a tour. these were crowds of people, some have called them mobs of people, who clearly wanted to take action against political leaders in this country. >>o'donnell: it's an excellent point jeff and as you point out learning those new daylights too from that radio law enforcement chatter that we had not heard prior. jeff pegues, thank you. want to go to capitol hill and nicole killian who is up there and theo-air the committee liz cheney saying that while this is their last hearing for the as you recall, there is going to be more hearings, she said, plural, in the fall. >> yes, that's right and the committee has been hinting at this for some time.
and what the vice chair said today is that they are going to after this hearing use the month of august to kind of press forward with more leads that they have gotten throughout the course of this investigation. you know many members have said that they continue to get new information almost daily. and so they do intend to pursue those avenues and follow up with yet another hearing probably again in september at some time in the fall at mix to just start to provide the outlines of a report that this committee will eventually put together. >>o'donnell: nicole killian thank you as we await the hearing to resume. there is also the matter of josh halley, worth touching on, here is a senator who was noted had walked outside and raised his fist to the crowd, the crowd reacteti committee chose to show video of him running out of
the capitol and evacuating. what do you think the point is they were trying to make there john? >> well, one of the points is, he was in safety when he held his fist up and the capitol police officers who were protecting him and allowing him to do that safely were the ones that were at the point of contact, the ones that were overrun the ones who were beaten. it is basically trying to make the point again that you made earlier that this is not some group of tourists and those who would sort of delight in the fantasy play of insurrection that this is deadly serious. in the end this is the kind of thing you have to run away from, not the kind of thing you can in the moment raise your fist to. >>o'donnell: it wasn't a political ral yir, it was a plan motivated, led and stoked by the president, as thoated in these hearings. >> testimony about at minimum, a
scuffle, a very heated moment inside the beast, the president's vehicle as he demanded to be taken to the capitol that was noted as well. nrtd let's listen in. >> at this point, the president had been in his dining room for an hour. just for a moment i would ask you to say what you would have done, would you have immediately told the rioters to stop and leave, done. as you've heard, that is exactly what his senior staff had been urging him to do but he resisted and he kept resisting for another almost two hours. in the meantime all the president did was post two tweets. one at 2:38, and the other at 3:13. one said, quote, stay peaceful. the other said, quote, remain peaceful. but the president already knew that the mob was attacking the
police and had invaded the capitol. neither tweet condemned the violence or told the mob to leave the capitol and disperse. to appreciate how obvious it was that president trump was not pleating this moment, it's helpful to look at the realtime reactions of his own son don jr. to the first tweet captured in a series of text messages with mark meadows. i warn the audience that these messages contain some strong language. as you can see don jr. first texted mr. meadows at 2:53. he wrote, he's got to condemn this shit asap. mr. meadows replied i'm pushing it hard, i agree. don jr. responded, this is one you go to the mattresses on. they will try to fuck his entire legacy on this if it gets worse. here is what don jr. told us he
meant by go to the mattresses. >> it's 58 when you say he need, that mr. meadows needs to go to the mattresses on this issue. when you say go to the mattresses what does that mean? >> just a reference for going all in. i think it is a god father reference. >> sean hannity gl agreed and he also turned to mark meadows for help for his second tweet. mr. meadows texted at 3:31, saying mr. trump needed to send a tweet tell rioters to leave the capitol. he was on it. done jr. and sean hannity were not the only ones to get the president to speak to the nation and till the mob to leave, to go home, go home. throughout the attack mr. meadows received text from republican members of congress, from current and former trump
officials from media personalities and from friends. like president trump's staff they knew president trump had to speak publicly to get the mob to stop. let's look at just a few of these text messages. fox news personality laura ingram said, the president needs to tell the people in the capitol to go home. former chief of staff mick mullvaney says he needs to symptom this now. former fox news personality brian killmead says, please get him on tv destroying all the things you have accomplished. when we used pat cipollone he told us he flew the president's two tweets were not enough. let's listen to what he said. >> the question was, did you believe that the tweets were not anything about your advice to the president? >> no, i believe more needed to be done, okay?
i believed that the public statement needed to be made. >> when you talk about others on the staff thinking more should be done, or thinking that the president needed to tell people to go home, who would you put in that category? >> well, i would put filbin, eric hirshman, overall mark meadows, ivanka, once jarrod got there, jarrod, general kellogg, i'm probably missing some kaley i think was there, but i don't -- dan srovino -- >> and who on the staff did not
want people to leave the capitol? >> on the staff? >> in the white house, how about. >> i -- i can't think of anybody. you know. on that day who didn't want people to get out of the capitol particularly once the violence started. no. i mean -- >> what about the president? >> yeah. >> she said, the staff. so i answered. >> no, i said in the white house. >> oh, i'm sorry, i apologize, i thought you said who else on the staff. i can't reveal communications,
but obviously i think in the -- yeah. >> let's pause on that last statement. although pat cipollone is being care of about executive privilege, there really is no ambiguity about what he said. almost everybody wanted president trump to instruct the mob to disperse. president trump refused. to understand how inadequate president trump's tweets were, for context here's what was happening at that time. [ crowd noise ] >> it broke the grass. -- the glass. >> everybody stay down. >> there was barricades, there
was people flooding the hallways outside. we have no way out. >> we were just told that there has been tear gas in the rotunda and we're being instruct to each of us get gas masks. we went have a peaceful protest, and this is a very dangerous situation right now. that there are, i'm being told these froaforts on the inside -- protesters on the inside are around both chambers and there is now tear gas inside the capitol rotunda. in fact members locked in the house are being instructed to put on masks. >> ms. matthews after president trump's tweet about vice president pence you told us you spoke to, immediately you spoke to kaley mcenany. what did you tell her and where did she go afterwards? >> after the tweet about the vice president i found kaley and
i told her i thought the president should immediately send out a tweet that condemned the violence we were seeing and there needed to be a call of action to tell the people to leave the capitol. she agreed and walked over to the oval dining room to find the president. >> we interviewed ms. mcenany and others who were with the president, ms. mcenany told us she met with the president immediately after reading this tweet. what did she tell you happened in the dining room? >> when she got back she told me a tweet had been sent out and i told her i thought the tweet did not go far enough, i thought there needed to be a call to action and he needed to condemn the violence. we were in a room full of people but people weren't paying attention but she looked directly at me and in a hushed tone shared with me that the president did not want to mention any sort of mention of
peace on that tweet and it took convincing on their part the people in the room and she said there was a back and tort going over different phrases to find something that he was comfortable with. and it wasn't until ivanka trump included the phrase stay peaceful that he agreed to it. >> the presi resisted saying stay peaceful in a tweet, he told mark meadows that the rioters were doing what they should be doing and the rioters were doing what from the wanted them to do. president trump's message was heard quickly by stop the steal oraller, ally alexander. potus is not ignorant what writers could do. also heard president trump's message. in this video you can see surveillance video that shows a group of oath keepers including
jessica watkins who has been charged with said ishes conspiracy. -- seditious language. we warn you that this language also contains harsh language. >> there is no safe place in the united states for any of these mother fuckers right now, let me tell you. >> they understand that we are not joking around. >> it's military principle 105, military principle 105, cave means grave. >> trump just tweeted, "please support our capitol police. they are on our side. ot nar hm them." >> that is saying a lot but what he didn't say, he didn't say not to do anything to the
congressmen. (laughing). >> he did not ask them to stand down. he just said stand by the capitol police they are on our side and they are good people. so it's getting real down there. i got it on tv and it's looking federate friggin radical to me. cnn said trump egged this on, he is egging it on and he is watching the country burn two and a half weeks before he leaves office. he is not living the office, i don't care what the shit he says. be save, be save god bless and godspeed and keep going. >> get it jess, do your shit. this is what we fucking lived for, everything we fucking lived for. >> we're in the fucking capitol
people. >> we've now seen how president trump's supporters reacted to his tweets. mr. pottinger, you told us that you consider the tweets sent to this point to be, quote, wholly inadequate given the urgency of the crisis. what in your view would have been needed? >> yeah. i -- it was insufficient. i think what you could count me among those who was hoping to see an unequivocal strong statement clearing out the capitol, telling people to stand down, leave, go home. i think that's what we were hoping for. >> so something a lot more kind of definitive and not ambiguous? >> yes. >> because he has that power over his folks. ms. matthews, could you please tell us about that moment and your reaction? >> yes. so a conversation started in the
press office after the president sent out those two tweets that i deemed were insufficient. and a colleague suggested that the president shouldn't condemn the violence because they thought it would be, quote, handing a win to the media. if you were to condemn his supporters. and i disagreed. i thought that we should condemn the violence and condemn it unequivocally and i thought that he needed to include a caught to action and to tell these people to go home. and a debate ensued over it and i became visibly frustrated and my colleagues were well aware of that and i couldn't believe that we were arguing over this in the middle of the wetion wing talking about -- west wing talking about the politics of a tweet being concerned with handing the media when we had just watched all that violence unfold at the capitol. so i motioned up at the tv and i said do you think it looks like we are f-ing winning? i don't think it does.
i thought the president needed condemn the violence because it didn't matter if it was coming from the left or the right that you should condemn violence 100% of the time. >> we've heard this evening that everyone from the president's orbit was telling him to do more, to urge the mob to leave the capitol. one of them was republican leaders ken mccarthy. he managed to get the president on the phone and told him to call off his supporters. as you heard the president roughed so leader mccarthy reached out to ivanka trump and jarrod cushner who was back. >> a flight from the middle east. >> at some point mr. mccarthy placed a phone call to mr. scavino's are line and it was transferred to the presidential, is that correct? >> that is generally what i recall. >> okay, were you involved in making that transferring that
call? >> i -- i -- yes. >> okay, where was the president at the time that he took that call? >> he was in the dining room. >> would you personally reach out to the president for more support? >> i've already talked to the if the. i called him. i think we need to make a statement. make sure that we can calm individuals down. >> did mr. mccarthy indicate that he had been in touch with president trump? >> he indicated that he had had some conversation. i don't recall whether it was with the president or somebody at the white house. but i think he'd expressed frustration that not taken the circumstances as seriously as he should at that moment. >> i asked kevin mccarthy who is the renal leader about this and he said he called donald -- finally got through to donald trump and said you have got to
get on tv, got to get on twitter, got to call the people off. he said to kevin, these are my people, they are antifa. he said no, mr. president, my staff are running for their lives. you need to call them off. and the president's response to kevin to me was chilling. he said well kevin they are more upset about the election theft than you are. you've seen widespread reports of he and kevin having a swearing. >> steps from the oval office, the cameras are hot 24-7 as you know, why hasn't he walked down there and said that now? >> i conveyed to the president what i thought was best to do and i hoped he would do it.
>> have you spoken to the chief of staff? >> i've spoken to the president, to others at the white house as well. >> who spoke to president trump that afternoon about the attack on the capitol? >> i believe at one point, mccarthy did. >> i heard my phone ringing, turn the shower off, saw it was leader mccarthy who i had a good relationship with, he told me it was getting really ugly over at the capitol, set please if there is anything you could do i would appreciate it. no specific ask, just anything coy do. i got the sense that they were -- you know they were scared. >> they meaning leader mccarthy and people on the hill because of the violence? >> that he was scared, yes. >> think about that, leader mccarthy who was one of the president's strongest supporters was scared and begging for help. president trump turned him down. s he tried to call the
president's children, republican house member mike gallagher also implored the president to call off the attack. >> mr. president, you have got to stop this. you are the only person who can call this off. call it off. the election is over. call it off. >> president elect joe biden also went live on tv to demand that president trump tell the mob to leave. >> i calm on president trump -- call on president trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath, and defend the constitution. and demand an end to this siege. >> there was a desperate scramble for everyone to get president trump to do anything. all this occurred, and the
president still did not act. i yield to my friend from virginia. >> thank you, mr. kensinger. president trump finally relented to the pleas from his staff. his system and from capitol hill for him to do something more at 4:17. 187 minutes, more than three hours after he stopped speaking at the ellipse. after he stopped speaking to a mob that he had sent armed to the capitol. that's when he tweeted a video telling the rioters to go home while also telling them that they were special. and that he loved them. by that time, although the violence was far from over. law enforcement had started to turn the tide, reenforcements were on the way. and elected officials were in secure locations. the writing was already on the wall. the rioters would not succeed. here is what was showing on fox news, the channel the president
was watching all afternoon. >> dr. breath bahr with more information, what do you have? >> tomlinson confirming the defense department has moibilitydzed the entire d.c. national guard. to get them up and running, army second ron mccarthy is setting up headquarters at the fbi, sending troops to the capitol. it's no coincidence then tht president trump finally gave in and went out to the rose garden at 4:03. his staff had prepared a script nor him to read. but he refused to use it. as can you see on the screen, you can see the script is is stamped president has seen. the script said quote i'm asking you to leech the capitol region now and go home in a peaceful way. the if the was urged to stick to the script.
but he spoke off the cuff. eric hirshman and nick luna went with the president to form the message in the rose garden. let's hear what they have to say and see the never before seen raw footage of the president recording this video message. >> ultimately these are remarks we are looking at in exhibit 25 are not remarks the president delivered in the rose garden. do you know why the president decided not to use these? >> i don't know sir, no, i do not know why. >> did the president use any written remarks to your knowledge or did he just go off the cuff? >> to my knowledge it was off the cuff, sir. >> can you tell me when? >> when you're ready, sir.
>> who's behind me? >> he's gone around. we're all clear now. >> i know your pain. i know you're hurt. we had an election. let me say. i know your pain. i know you're hurt. we had an election that was stolen from us. it was a landslide election. and everyone knows it. especially the other side. but you have to go home now. we have to have peace. we have to have law and order. we have to respect our great peple in law and order. we don't want anybody hurt. it's a very tough period of time. there's never been a time like this. where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us. from me, from you, from our country. this was a fraudulent election. but we can't play into the hands
of these people. we have to have peace. so go home. we love you. you're very special. you've seen what happens. you see the way others are treated, that are so bad and so evil. i know how you feel. but go home and go home in peace. >> when i got there basically the president just had finished filming the video. i think he was baix retiring for the day. >> was there any discussion about the president releasing a second video that day? >> not that i recall. when he finished his video i think everyone was like, day's over, people were pretty drained. >> were pretty what? >> drained. >> when we say day over, there were still people in the capitol at that point weren't there? >> there were people in the exom but i believe by this -- capitol
but i believe by this stage, law enforcement, i'd have to go back and look but i believe law enforcement was either there moving in or going to take charge. i'd say people were emotionally drained by the time that videotape was done. >> motionly drained? -- emotionally drained at the white house? here's what was happening at the same time, at the capitol. we warn the audience that this clip also contains strong language and violence. >> keep pushing, doing the rest much them. >> fuck. >> another officer unconscious. >> at the church. >> everybody, if bee need downspouts, we need strong angry patriots, they don't want to
leave. [ screaming ] >> get out, get out. >> get back! >> ha ha! >> while president trump refused to even lift another finger to help, other leaders honored their oath and acted to clear the capitol and resume the joint session. for instance, here are never before seen photos and video of congressional leaders in action during the attack. a portion of the call they have with approximately 4:45 with acting secretary of defense chris miller. >> we're not going to let these people keep us in finish our business. so we need to get the building cleared, give us the okay so we can go back in session and finish up the people's business
as soon as possible. >> mr. secretary, it's senator schumer. some people here in the capitol police believe it would take several days to secure the building. do you agree with that analysis? >> i'm not going to agree with that analysis. >> so what is the earliest date we could safely resume our proceedings in the chamber, the earliest we could safely resume? >> here is my assessment, i would personally be often the ground, but i would say we're looking at four to five hours. >> the vice president also worked the phones from his own secure evacuation location, including conversations with acting secretary of defense miller and other military leaders. while president trump's fowk 17 video, let's look at some never
before seen videos of the vice president and hearing about the vice president's conversation with military leaders to secure the capitol and ensure everyone was safe. >> vice president pence two or three calls with vice president pence. he was very animated and he issued very explicit, very direct, unambiguous orders. there was no question about that. and i can get you the exact quotes, i guess from some of our records somewhere. but he was very animated, very direct. very firm. and to secretary miller. get the military down there, get the guard down here, put down this situation. et cetera. >> as you layered earlier in the hearing, the president did not call the vice president, or anyone in the military, federal law enforcement, or d.c. government, not a single person. but general mille did hear from
mark meadows, the continual tras from that call and his call to vice president pence tell you everything you need to know about from the's dereliction of duty. let's listen. >> he said, this from memory, he said, we have to kill the narrative that the vice president is making all the decisions. we need to establish the narrative that the president is still in charge, and that things are steady or stable or words to that effect. i meadly determined that was politics politics politics, red flag for me, no action, but i remember it distinctly. and i don't do political narratives. >> so while president trump and his advisors were drained, other leaders upheld their oath to do the right thing.
maybe it was exhausting to get the president to put out that video. but think about the law enforcement officers who were attacked by the mob that day. president trump had summoned them himself to washington. and what about president trump? he watched tv, tweeted, called senators to try to delay the count of electoral votes. called rudy giuliani and argued with his staff who were insisting that he should call off the attack. ms. matthews what was your reaction to president trump's message to the mob at 4:15? >> i was struck by the fact that he chose to begin the video by pushing the lie that there was a stolen election. and as the video went on, i felt a small sense of relief because he finally told these people to go home. but that was immediately followed up by him saying, "we love you, you're very special." and that was disturbing to me
because he didn't distinguish between those that peacefully tainded his speech earlier that day and those that we watched caused violence at the capitol. instead he told the people that we just watched storm the nation's capitol, violently attack police officers and chance heinous things like hang mike pence, "we love you, you're very special." and as a folks person for him i knew i would be asked to defend had. and to me his refusal to act and calm off the mob that day and his refusal to condemn the violence was indefensible. and so i knew that i would be resigning that evening. so i finished off the workday, went home and called my loved ones to tell them of my decision and resigned that evening. >> thank you. in defensible. let's hear about what some of
your colleagues in the press office felt about this message of the 4:17 message? >> i thought it was the absolute bear minimum of what could be said at that point for something on camera. >> what else do you think should have been said? >> so a more forceful, a more forceful dismissal of the violence, a more forceful command to go home, a more forceful respect for law enforcement, even a comparison to the respect that we have given law enforcement as it relates to what was done to them in the prior summer. and i thought it was important that an acknowledgment be given
to the u.s. capitol building itself. what it's a symbol of, what it means, not only to the people that worked there, but to the american people generally, and the work of congress, that by law, needed to be conducted that day. >> do you wish in hindsight that the president had asked the protesters to leave the capitol earlier than he ended up asking them to do that? >> of course. i would have loved if the go-home message would have happened earlier in the day. >> the president's words matter. we know that many of the rioters were listening to president trump. we heard from one last week, stephen ayers. let let's hear what he had to say about the 4:17 message from the president and what the rioters reacted to the president's message in reement. >> when we were there, everybody started talking about it and it
seemed like it started to disperse you know some of the crowd. >> delivering the president's message. donald trump has asked everyone to go home. >> that's ordered. >> go home. he says go home! >> we're here. >> he says for us to go home. >> but just as mr. ayers said, police were still spending off the last throes of the brutal assault. i yield to the gentleman from illinois. >> while everyone else was working to get congress back in session, what did president trump do? at 6:01 just after the citywide curfew went into effect, he posted his last tweet of the day. after officers engaged in hand to hand combat with over 100 of
them sustaining injuries, president trump tweeted at 6:01 and justified the violence as a natural response to the election. he said, quote, these are the things and events that happened when a sacred landslide victory is so unceremoniously viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly, unfairly treated for so long. go home with love and peace. remember this day. forever." he called the mob great patriots. he told people to remember the day forever. he showed absolutely no remorse. a few minutes later at 6:27, the president left the dining room and he went up to the white house residence for the night. on the screen is the last photograph of the president that night, as he went into the residence. as he was gathering his things in the dining room to leave president trump reflected on the
day's events with the white house employee. this was the same employee who had met president trump in the oval office after he returned from the ellipse. president trump said nothing to the employee about the attack. he attack. he said only "mike pence let me down." >> ms. matthews what was your response to president trump's t >> at that point i made the decision to resign. this tweet further cemented my decision. i thought january 6th, 2021 was one of the darkest days in the nation's history and president trump traited it as a celebratory occasion wth the tweet. >> others agreed with your assessment of the tweet. let's look at what they had to say. >> who asked you about the
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