tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC January 4, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST
reality of his defeat is creating new levels of chaos after the release of his stunning one-hour call to georgia's republican secretary of state. >> so, look, all i want to do is this. i just want to find 11,780 votes which is one more than we have because we won the state, and flipping the state is a great testament to our country. >> throughout their call, secretary of state of brad raffensperger points out he personally oversaw three separate ballot counts verifying the biden win. >> there's nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you've recalculated because the 2,236 in absentee ballots, they're all exact numbers that were done by accounting firms, law firms, et cetera.
and even if you cut them in half, cut them in half and cut them in half again, it's more votes than we need. >> well, mr. president, the challenge that you have is the data you have is wrong. >> you should want to have an accurate election. and you're a republican. >> we believe that we do have an accurate election. >> no, you don't. no, you don't. you don't have, not even close. >> in another key exchange, the president trying to push a discredited conspiracy teary about voting machines getting manipulated. he gets a response from raffensperger's general counsel, ryan germany. >> do you think eat possible that they shredded ballots in fulton county, that's what the rumor is and that dominion took out machines, that dominion is really moving fast to get rid of their machinery. do you know anything about that? because that's illegal. >> this is ryan germany.
no, dominion has not moved any machinery out of fulton county. >> have they moved the inner parts of the machines and replaced them with other parts? >> no. >> you're sure, ryan? >> i'm sure. >> this hour we'll also dig into the sharp divide among republicans on capitol hill over unprecedented objections to the concert phiing the election results this wednesday. we'll head down to georgia for the latest on those two critical senate runoffs as both president-elect biden and president trump travel there today. the coronavirus pandemic now responsible for more than 352,000 american deaths and a slower than promised rollout. we begin with peter alexander, garrett haake, host of the oath podcast and nbc presidential his
storian michael beschloss. peter, first to you, this call is so extraordinary. what's the latest reaction both from white house staff, officials in georgia and the people on the other end of that call from georgia? >> white house officials in particular have been notably silent on this, again referring to the president. tweets over the day where he's still fuming. georgia is on his mind, recognizing if even in some alternate universe he can flip the 16 electoral votes there, that wouldn't do enough to win the election. the president in this call, more than an hour of it that we've listen to in its entirety. he's badgering, even begging him to find those votes, not that he's looking for a free and fair election here, but just that he wants to have one more vote than needed to have a vote where he is the winner. it's the bottom line for the president. again in this call, he is
spewing false claims, conspiracy theories. he's not arguing the facts. he's fact checked throughout it by not just the secretary of state, but his general counsel, the lawyer for the secretary of state's office, ryan germany as you played as well. these are debunk conspiracy theories, things that the president acknowledged he heard not only from social media but trump media. brad reaffensperger says he's been fighting this perpetual game of whack-a-mole to try to knock out all these theories the president has been touting. here is what else he said. take a listen. >> we debunked every one of those theories that have been out there, but president trump continues to believe them. >> did you feel the pressure when he said find the votes? >> no. we have to follow the process, follow the law. he did most of the talking. we did most of the listening. i did want to make my points. the data that he has is just plain wrong.
>> you hear from raffensperger there that he thought it was inappropriate, speakly, to speak to the president. this is not something he was comfortable with doing. that's why he wanted legal counsel on during the course of the call. nbc news has confirmed from a georgia republican familiar this call that there had been 18 previous attempts by the white house to put president trump in touch with raffensperger since the election two months ago. andrea. >> chuck rosenburg, that's incredible. 18 attempts to put the president in touch with them. i want to talk about any potential criminal liability, state or federal. let's listen to another section from that call. >> the ballots are corrupt and you're going to find that they are, which is totally illegal it's more illegal for you than it is for them because you know what they did and you're not reporting. that's a criminal, that's a criminal offense. you can't let that happen.
that's a big risk to you and to ryan, your lawyer. that's a big risk. >> chuck, i know you don't think there's a federal issue here, but what about state issues, both criminal -- federal -- state in terms of felonies or in terms of misdemeanors? >> well, first, andrea, let me tell you, what the president did is appalling. it's sickening. it's disgusting. that doesn't necessarily mean it's a federal crime. here is why i say that. the federal statute, and i read both the federal code and the state code. the federal statute requires that you show that the president's conduct was knowingly false. if the president is diluted or maybe mistaken, more likely deluded, you'll have a hard time showing it was knowingly false.
that said, i don't know that you don't have a federal crime. you certainly have evidence of a federal crime. the phone call is evidence. you can predicate an vaks on it. you can talk to other people with whom the president spoke. you can talk to other people on the phone call. now that we know he tried this 18 times, there's a lot of people you might want to talk to. the state code, the georgia state code seems to me to be more on point because the president asked -- begged essentially the georgia secretary of state to find him more votes. if you read the georgia state code, that seems to be a more -- more clearly to me a criminal violation. interestingly, i think you have evidence of a federal crime. i think you have stronger evidence of a state crime. and in either case, you absolutely have a basis to go look further and ask more questions. >> of course, there is the
well-known straebd precedent from the justice department that there's no crime that you can take against the president, or prosecute against the president right now while he's in office. there are only 16 days left. there are the state cases he couldn't pardon himself from. that's down the road. garrett, i want to talk about the divide in the senate. you've got an extraordinary rebellion against mitch mcconnell who pleaded with his conference a week and a half ago not to do exactly this. now you have ted cruz, josh hawley, others going against mcconnell's express wishes. tom cotton, surprisingly, an ambitious arkansas republican not joining them. this is quite an amazing divide among the republicans, and then the president threatening thune and others for not going along. >> it is extraordinary. this is a fissure in the republican party about how to handle the end of the trump era.
that's what it comes down to. when you look at the list of senators who are going to object in some form or fashion to the electoral vote count, you see people who might have aspirations of running for the office of president themselves, ted cruz, josh hawley. you see the four incoming senate republicans who feel perhaps they owe their election to the president, along with steve daines who just won in montana. you see people who may be up for re-election in 2022 trying to make sure trump stays with them. mitch mcconnell spends an enormous amount of time and energy to make sure lists like that and segments like this don't happen. so much of his conference is keeping the republicans unified, keeping them focused on things they all agree on. this is something they do not with mcconnell and a number of his top lieutenants, a dozen or more senate republicans, not having to come out with a simple state statement that they will do their constitutionally authorized job and count the electoral votes and nothing
more. this split here has also led to the emergence of the president publicly tweeting about what amounts to his enemies list to include lots of these folks. he responded to tom cotton with a tweet, talking about how you can certify the validity of an election that is invalid. tom cotton says republicans will remember, it's hard to not see that as a threat. he refers to the surrender caucus within his own party for not fighting hard enough. this is a debacle for senate republicans. >> he's doing this within 24 hours of this very important georgia vote, the runoff which will decide who controls the senate. michael beschloss, let's talk about the president. the phone recordings, certainly in history, nixon unwinding in the final days and a number of officials taking actions like the defense secretary, james schlessinger, to make sure the
president couldn't do anything untoward. now you have ten former defense secretaries in both parties coming out, in the op-ed led by dick cheney saying the military should not get involved. how concerned should we be about the president? >> we should be very concerned, andrea. why would those former defense secretaries come out with a statement like that if they were not worried that trump might try to abuse the military either to get us involved in an unnecessary war or to call in 101st airborne to try to help him stay in office and stay in the white house. what we heard on that tape is an impeachable offense. how many presidents were impeached or almost impeached for abuse of power? this is a president, we heard it on that tape for an hour, abusing his power by threatening the secretary of state of the state of georgia as a mobster would. donald trump's acting is not quite as good as marlon brando in "the godfather," but the
dialogue sounds similar. you think he'll be threatening him with a horse's head in his bed next if he doesn't recalculate the vote in georgia. this is america. that's not what presidents are supposed to do. we've now got a situation where, if we allow this to happen and there's no sanction, presidents in the future might feel licensed to abuse their power in the same way. one last question, andrea, he made this call to the georgia secretary of state. there are other states that donald trump has been charging falsely where the vote was not calculated properly. i'd like to know what other secretaries of state and what other state officials he has secretly called abusing them and threatening them in the same way he did in this call. >> and there may not have been a horse's head, but a pig's head apparently outside of nancy pelosi's house. >> i'll make no comment. >> unprecedented vandalizing of
her home and mitch mcconnell's home over the $2,000 checks. we don't know if it was related or unrelated. the conspiracy theories are becoming dangerous. that's my bottom line. it is something where we have to call people out for this. thank you so much, peter alexander, garrett haake, chuck rosenburg and michael beschloss forgetting us started. now very minute independent senator bernie sanders joins us. thanks very much, happy new year to you. we're starting with that extraordinary call. your immediate we action when you heard it? >> it is unprecedented. it is the most consequential attack on american democracy in the history of our country. i think your previous panelist was right. this is what mafia does. what trump was essentially saying to raffensperger, the secretary of state in georgia is, hey, get me 12,000 votes so i can win.
if not, by the way, you know, there may be criminal action against you and your attorney. this is beyond outrageous. this is not only impeachable, it is certainly a criminal offense. when you run for office, you can't threaten public officials about manipulating the vote for you to win. that is not what democracy is about. >> what do you think can be done about it, if anything? >> i'm sorry, andrea? i didn't hear that. >> what do you think can be done, if anything, about it, maybe by state officials? we've seen now this unprecedented op-ed today from ten former secretaries of defense in both parties who are concerned about the military not getting involved as the president feeds these controversies. >> well, in the midst of all of
this, andrea, remember, there are a dozen republican senators and 140 members in the house working with trump to really undermine american democracy. but in the senate, you have 40 u.s. senators, republican senators who are not doing that. so at the end of the day, we're going to end up with, i don't know, 88, 90 votes, making clear that biden was elected president. but i think after biden becomes president, we need to do a whole lot of work in a variety of ways to restore the faith of the american people, not only in their government, but in the foundations of democracy. we need to understand that there are tens of millions of people who have given up on democracy. it's not just they voted for trump. when you talk about undermining the election results, what you're talking about is tyranny.
you're talking about authoritarianism. you're talking about somebody to say, we don't need elections. i'm here. maybe i'll stay for life. this is what our country and millions of men and women in the armed forces have put their lives on the line to avoid. we believe in democracy, and we are not going to allow a tyrant like trump to undermine it. but there's a lot of work that has to be done in restoring faith on the part of the american people in their government. >> do you think he should be investigated on the state issues and prosecuted if they prove to be a prosecutable case? >> let's take one step at a time. what has to happen now in the next couple weeks is biden has to be inaugurated. when i talk about restoring faith on the part of working people in this country with the government, we need an aggressive agenda. after biden is inaugurated, we
need to immediately come back with a covid emergency stimulus package because right now, andrea, there are tens of millions of families who are worried about eviction. they have no income. they're having a hard time feeding their family. what we have got to do on day one of the biden administration is to say we understand your pain. we are on your side. so if you want to restore faith in government, you've got to respond to the needs of people who are hurting right now. >> are you concerned about the debate that will take place with all these senators objecting? and in each case they get time, time to go back to the other house. there's a whole process here that's going to feed the conspiracy theories further? >> i am concerned it's goechk to
be a long and painful day. at the end of the day, 88 or 90 senators are going to vote to uphold the election results. it really is fairly pathetic that you have some senators who i suspect are using this as an opportunity to get more name recognition as they plan their presidential campaigns. you don't undermine american democracy in order to get -- gain support for a presidential election. there are a lot of ways you can do that, but not by denying the victor of an election, his ability to become president. >> before i let you go, again, the unusual statement by the former defense secretaries, are you concerned, given the fact we have an acting defense secretary, esper was forced out, other people were purged. you have no real leadership
there on the civilian side. are you concerned about something happening either at home or abroad militarily? >> given the irresponsibility and recklessness and ir rationality of trump, yeah, of course. i worry every day. i think at the end of the day the u.s. military is a very professional institution. they understand exactly what is happening right now, and i do not believe that they will allow themselves to be drawn in to trump's conspiracy theories. bottom line is, on january 20th, i fully expect that joe biden will be inaugurated as president of the united states. >> and finally, just want to ask you, i know the mayor here in d.c. has called on people not to come to d.c. we're really hoping these protests that the president is calling for are going to be peaceful. they weren't back just a few
weeks ago. what would your call be to the counterprotesters who might be wanting to show up? should they all stay home and hope for as much quiet as possible on the 6th? >> well, all i can say is people have the right to protest, but i would urge everybody to make sure that there is no violence. that would be a terrible, terrible thing. so let's all -- if you want to protest, come out, march, do what you do, but let's not have any violence. >> senator bernie sanders, thank you very much. thanks for being with us today. appreciate it. >> thank you, andrea. as coronavirus hospitalizations hit another record, the race for vaccines is certainly at a slow crawl. with the rollout left to the states, how are things going and what do they need from the federal government? the colorado governor joins me next. ten former pentagon chiefs publicly calling for a peaceful
goal of 20 million by the first of the new year. top health officials are considering administering a half dose of the vaccine instead of the full dose. dr. anthony fauci told chuck todd that the u.s. should stick to protocol for administering the vaccine. >> we know what the science tells us, so my feeling and my direct answer to your question, chuck, is let's do it the way the clinical trials have instructed us to do it, but let's get more efficient into getting it into people's arms. joining me now is colorado governor jared polis. thank you very much for being with us, governor. first of all, fewer than half of the doses received in colorado have been administered according to the late of the data on your own state's health department websi website. tell me about the delay and how frustrating this must be for you? >> this would be good news if we're able to double our dosages
of moderna. that would be welcome news. we sat down in colorado all the people were work with for vaccinations, community health centers, others, we want to make sure it's given in someone's arms within 72 hours. if not, we reassign that partner to another partner that can successfully deploy it that way. >> one concern would be, as dr. fauci said, these vaccines were not tested at half dose or without doing the second dose. no matter what the u.k. is doing, there are certain tisk reasons to not know how efficacious they would be. it might also violate agreements that have been made with people who have already received the dose as well as reliance on the science for people who are suspicious of the way things are being done. >> every single one of these
approvals is an experimental use approval. so these are not the normal fda process that can take many, many years because of the urgency. so if the science and the data show that, for instance, one vaccine works -- a lot of preliminary data shows -- this is why uk went in that direction, it might be 60%, 70% effective. rather than getting the full effectiveness at 90-plus percent, we want more people at a lower rate to combat the virus. we need to rely on scientists, the mathematical modeling to lead the way. it would be welcoming news if half the dose of moderna is as effective or almost as effective as the full dose. that would double the availability of the vaccine particularly for our frontline workers, if they target our younger people rather than our seniors with half the dose. >> what about this new variant which has been identified now in
a number of states, first in colorado. it clearly is in more places. it's much more transmissible, more contagious, but not more deathly as is reported. how concerned are you about that, as well as the effects of the holiday travel? >> we're very con srnds about what the overall transmission rate is. so far the variant is not the predominant strain in colorado. i don't think it's the dominant strain anywhere in our country. we would see that through our screening, our routine screening. we were proud that colorado scientists isolated the first case of the vary yantd here in the united states. what we saw in southern england is it quickly became the dominant strain they tell us because, in fact, it spread faster than other strains. we're watching it closely, whether it spreads because of christmas and new year's contact or simply because people are getting tired. it's all the same in that it could create a great strain on our hospital system and an
unnecessary loss of life. more important than ever before for people to wear masks and avoid interacting with people outside of their homes whenever possible. >> governor, thank you very much. thanks for being with us today. in georgia, the center of the political universe today in the final hours leading up to tomorrow's two critical senate runoffs, president trump and president-elect biden are holding dueling rallies in georgia today and tonight. right now vice president pence is set to campaign with senator kelly loeffler in milner while david perdue remains sidelined in covid quarantine. after rallying with vice president-elect kamala harris in savannah on sunday, democratic candidates jon ossoff and raphael war in that case are back out on the trail today. >> they know when we vote things change. they know when we vote, we win. >> the whole country is watching us right now because we have the power, georgia.
>> as john lewis would say, vote like we've never voted before. are you ready to win this election? >> nbc news correspondent blayne alexander joins us from atlanta. all eyes are now on georgia. how fired up are voters on both sides, what reaction, if any, is there to the president's call pressuring raffensperger? we understand there's going to be a secretary of state news briefing later today. >> reporter: in less than three hours we'll hear from the georgia secretary of state, somebody who possibly to the chagrin of many republicans, really this whole call, this whole call with president trump and the secretary of state has taken center stage over this pair of very important runoffs that's taking place tomorrow. we're going to hear from the secretary of state in a 3:00 news press conference. i've been speaking with his spokesperson all day. he said they've ben inundated with media requests. he's going to be having a press
conference likely to speak about this or certainly questioned very heavily on it. you asked about tomorrow's elections. i think the numbers really tell the story. one, we know that nearly half a billion dallas has been spent on this senate race, one of the most expensive in senate races in history. records are being shattered when it comes to early voting. consider this. more than 3 million people have already cast a ballot in the early voting period leading up to tomorrow's election day. that's major because it blows the previous record out of the water, but it's edging up to what we saw on election day. that's certainly unheard of when it comes to runoff races. as for who have been casting the ballots, we know numbers show they're overwhelming or dispro portion natalie younger voters and voters of color, african-american voters. both categories which tend to lean democratic. this is good news for democrats. it's something that, when i
interviewed stacey abrams about this, she said that's their focus, that's their ground game, reaching out to those voters, many of whom possibly didn't vote before. we know more than 100,000 of the voters who cast their ballots this time didn't vote in the general election. that's what's happening on the democratic side. very quickly for republicans, they're counting on in-person turnout tomorrow. that's why it's crucial that they have people turn out to the polls and the messaging reflects that, andrea. >> could not be more important. thank you so much, blayne alexander. joining us is the mayor of savannah georgia, van johnson. thank you for being with us. what are you gleaning from the turnout? i know republicans always do better in runoffs. it's historically a fact. do you think you can change it this time and that the democrats have a shot at these two critical senate seats? >> first of all, it's always an honor to be on with you.
i think that 2020-2021 is a game-changer. i think conventional knowledge is out of the window. i believe democrats in georgia and georgians recognize the importance and the historic nature of this moment, the game changing nature of this moment. so i think conventional wisdom is out the window. if we listened to conventional wisdom that donald trump would be the preemptive winner of this presidency. he is not, and georgia helped make that happen. >> perhaps no one has done more to register new democratic voters in georgia than stacey abrams who was expressing confidence on "meet the press" on sunday. >> we're going to win columbus. we're going to win in albany. we're going to win in macon. we're going to live in savannah. a lot of the ex-urban counties outside metro atlanta but not south of the nat line, more than 100,000 voters who didn't participate in november are
voting in this election and already cast their ballots. they are disproportionately voters of color and young voters. >> are you concerned about voter suppression? there has been criticism of raffensperger by the head of the georgia naacp. >> i think voter suppression or threats of it is always a concern to us. i think raffensperger has been a rock star, particularly given all the enormous pressure that he has been under. i do think that being said, it's the responsibility of voters to turn out, and i think if we turn out and turn out in big numbers, there's no doubt about who the victor will be. >> how long do you think it's going to take to count the votes? obviously the control of the senate is at stake, and if this is a close election, who knows how long it could take. there have been cases in the past where senate races are not determined for months and months in minnesota. what do you expect in savannah and georgia as a whole?
>> we believe, again, raphael warnock and jon ossoff will win decisively in savannah. we've proven that with joe biden and kamala harris' win here. for us, the issue is let it take as long as it takes. let's make sure -- i think everybody, regardless of your affiliation, wants a fell, well-counted election. let's take the time. obviously we agree that it won't happen tuesday night, more like sometime wednesday, thursday. and then let's make sure that everything is counted appropriately. >> right now vice president pence, as we see on screen, is right now campaigning for senator loeffler. we know, of course, senator perdue is in covid quarantine. there's going to be a lot of action in your state coming up. we'll all be watching closely. thank you so much, mr. mayor. >> thank you. we're glad that georgia is on everybody's mind. >> thanks for being with us. >> thank you. >> indeed. now, in an unprecedented
op-ed, all ten former defense secretaries have a warning as president trump still refuses to concede that the military should stay out of the elections. former secretary of defense william cohen joins me next. stay with us. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. linically-pron ingredients and his gum problems have vanished. (crowd applauding) therabreath, it's a better mouthwash. at walmart, target and other fine stores.
whatsup, alice! hey, marshawn! good call! go pro and get double the protein for just $2 more on your favorite sub or new protein bowl. subway. eat fresh. in a remarkable joint statement reportedly prompted by former defense secretary and vice president dick chain nay, all ten living former defense secretaries representing both political parties have issued a joint statement pointing out that u.s. military leaders themselves says there is no role for the military in determining the outcome of the u.s. election. in "the washington post" column the former secretaries of skate, quote, efforts to involve the armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory. joining me is former defense
secretary william cohen. thanks for being with us. how did this all come together and can you describe dick cheney's role, william perry, one of the former secretaries says he helped precipitate this. >> well, it came to pass by eric edelman, a friend of dick cheney and, of course, a letter was circulated with each of us having a chance to read the letter that we made public to the american people and to offer whatever revision, modifications. there were very few. all of us felt that statement had to be made. it was well worded. it went directly to the point that joe biden has been elected. he needs to be recognized as the president-elect, and any calls for the military to try to reverse this course of action for the swearing in on january 20 would be illegal, unconstitutional and certainly unpatriotic. so the message went out because the president has a habit of referring to everything as his own.
my general, my military, my justice department, my fbi. so we want to make sure that the message went to all of those, certainly in the pentagon but well beyond the pentagon into the lower ranks and out into the field to make sure they took no action that would involve the military in political activity or any kind of domestic activity. >> we know the former defense secretary esper was pushed out after objecting to what happened june 1st in lafayette square, among other things, the renaming of confederate bases. we know there's been a purging of important officials at the pentagon, replaced by people who are trump loyalists. is that part of your concern? >> it is. there has been a pattern. it was, as you mentioned, lafayette square where the president misused the chairman of the joint chiefs and the secretary of defense, using them as part of his walking entourage
for that photo op in front of the church, pushing people and gassing people along the way. there was that. there was the incident in seattle where you had thing gentleman-suited federal employees or agents firing rubber bullets into the heads of protesters and apprehending people in unmarked cars and taking them off to jail without charging them. there has been a pattern here. now with the talk of martial law within the confines of the white house and then general flynn out talking about the possibility of having the military deployed to oversee a recounting of ballots, that that certainly got all of our attention. the president is capable of virtually anything. we have seen that. there's no level to which he will not sink in order to achieve his aims. i think it was incumbent -- i know it was incumbent on all of us to say this is certainly an unpatriotic course of action that you are pursuing, if you do
pursue it. it was a preemptive strike at those who would in any way subvert our democratic system. so i hope that the message went out clearly. i think in the military, i don't think any in the pentagon -- we have any worries about those officers. they understand their role is to abide by the constitution and not to obey an illegal, unethical, immoral act. but there's always possibility that those who are not in the direct chain might be persuaded to take action. there's always a fear that the president will stir some of his supporters into taking violent action here in washington or elsewhere in the states that are being charged with having illegal voting. and that would allow potentially the president to call into play the local officials and the -- certainly possibly federalizing the national guard and urging them to suppress the violence.
there's that on the domestic side. there's the issue of foreign policy. what actions might be taken, what orders might be given vis-a-vis iran, north korea, any other place, hot spot on the planet. so just want to make sure that the military understands its role is not to abide by illegal, unethical, unpatriotic orders coming from the president of the united states. it's sad to have to say that. you had earlier some talking about whether it's mafia oriented. it's a combination between john gotti and -- well, john gotti, for example, and vladimir putin. a combination. that's what they do in russia. we don't do that here in the united states. >> you're a former senator and house member. i don't have to remind you what happened under richard nixon where the defense secretary, secretary schlessinger put out orders because he was concerned about what the president could do during those final days. what are the implications of the
president urging senators and house members to protest the electoral college? >> well, i think it's shameful. he is shameless. and those who are following his direction certainly are ambitious. as i quoted before from julius caesar, when he said look out for young caseous, he's lean and hungry and those lean and hungry men are dangerous. when people use their position of power not to promote democracy but to sow more division. there's a deep division in this country among racial, certainly religious lines as well as cultural. these individuals are helping to sow that division and cut it even deeper, totally contrary to our obligation. that is to try to heal the country, bring us together. we have two wonderful party whose have different philosophies about the role of government in our lives. we should battle it out as we do
every two, four and six years. one party walks away with a victory in a house or the senator the presidency, and the other will wait and fight the battle again another day. that's our system. what is central to our system is the peaceful transfer of power. that is the message that comes from the letter that was made public. we want to see a peaceful transfer of power. the president announcing, well, he may believe these outrageous claims he's making. therefore, he has doesn't have a criminal intent. if he believes these rumors, suggestions, stuff on social media, that tells you he's unfit to be president. if he believes in spur laos rumors and says these are facts and he actually believes that, he ought to be pulled out of the white house right away. >> do you still consider yourself a republican? >> i do. i consider myself a republican, the old school. i go back, john mccain, howard
baker, hugh scott, al simpson, chuck hagel, dan coates, so many others who i think were representative of the big ten approach of the republican party. that ten has been collapsing into a very narrow ideological focus now which is not really about ideology. it's about power. those people seeking to preserve power at any cost, almost a lesson taken from malcolm x. at any price, any cost necessary, victory we'll achieve by any means necessary. that means we'll violate the law, twist the law, circumvent the law. we'll do whatever we have to do in order to retain power. that's what's taking place within the republican party today. >> former defense secretary william cohen, thank you very much for being with us. >> good to be with you. speaking of the party divided, the republicans with some vowing to challenge the
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he's the most important husbthing in my life. attack. i'm so lucky to get him back. your heart isn't just yours. protect it with bayer aspirin. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. with the republican party divided as the president's closest allies and 2020 hopefuls are promoting his false theories, while others are
blasting the ploy as dangerous, what is the threat? joining me is michael steele and phil rucker. thanks to both of you. phil, your colleague at "the post "reque post" writing that trump knows no limit. what is the fallout of that? how much damage is he willing to commit on his way out of office? >> andrea, he appears to want to try to burn the system down. his efforts are almost certain to fail in the congress. it still will have lasting inpai impact on our democracy because you will have joe biden becoming president and a large portion of the countrylected in a free and fashion. importantly, trump is not acting alone. he has the support of more than 100 house members, a dozen,
perhaps more, republican senators who all say they will object on wednesday to the certification of the election results. >> michael, what does it mean for the republican party? you see people like jim langford and people who know better. ted cruz is a constitutional lawyer. he knows the difference. what are they trying to prove here? >> it's all about trump. it's all about the branding. some are jockeying to be the leader when this is over in three weeks or two weeks. the reality of it really goes to what phil said, what you are seeing are republicans who are sealing themselves inside the tomb that donald trump created for them, made for them. there they will lie. the rest of us will move on. the country has to figure out how to move on without them.
because they are anti-democratic. they are anti-constitutional despite the fancy rhetoric and the flowery words and the passion for the rule of law, they listen to the same thing that we listen to, the president of the united states trying to engage a conspiracy to violate the u.s. federal code, to violate the constitution, to disenfranchise -- let's be specific. to disenfranchise black voters in several states because he didn't like the result. that's the modern day republican party. that's a tomb they're going to have to lie in. >> phil, what about the decision that mike pence has to make? he has been such a loyal trump person. he is encouraging this or endorsing it. he will be front and center and have to do what al gore and dick cheney and others have done after their party loses an
election. in gore's case, he lost an election and the most disputed, 537 votes. >> that's right. vice president pence is going to be leading that joint session of congress on wednesday to certify the electoral college result. my understanding is that he is encouraging and our reporting shows he plans to allow this debate to continue on the floor. if senators -- if house members want to object to the results and certain states want to bring forth what they claim to be evidence of some irregularity, pence will allow it to be heard, will allow that debate to continue. what he will do beyond that is unclear. he does not, for example, have the power constitutionally to unilaterally declare trump the winner of the election. that's just not in his power. >> we hear the fulton county, georgia, d.a. says he will investigate. to be continued. michael, phil, thank you very
♪ happy new year. welcome to monday. it's "meet the press daily." i'm in for chuck todd. we are in the middle of a chaotic situation here in washington. after president trump pushed georgia's secretary of state, brad raffensperger, to overturn the state's election results in a recorded phone call this weekend that was leaked. we have just learned that raffensperger has scheduled a press conference for 3:00 p.m. eastern at the georgia capital. this comes as a growing number
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