tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC January 7, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PST
those that pushed them to do that, that inflamed them to do that and preached insurrection, donald trump, rudy giuliani and donald trump jr., should also be brought to justice. and we need a new police chief for the capitol hill cops. >> the media wagons are circling already this morning around donald trump and around those rioters yesterday. the same information bubble online and on cable news that brought us to this place is already at work this morning saying they, those people we saw yesterday inside the capitol, are the victims. >> well, that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle and hallie jackson pick up the coverage right now. >> hi there. i'm stephanie ruhle, live from msnbc headquarters in new york city. it is thursday, january 7th. the day after the stunning sickening events that took place at the capitol. but this morning, democracy in
our nation has prevailed. while you were hopefully sleeping, congress did finally manage to count the electoral votes and officially affirm joe biden as the next president of the united states of america. as crazy as yesterday was, we cannot ignore the fact that lawmakers came back and finished the job. of course, that came after mobs of trump supporters stormed the capitol, brandished weapons and forced those same lawmakers and their staffers to literally go into hiding and flee for their lives. the majority of those people who broke into the capitol simply walked out without getting arrested. >> i'm hallie jackson in washington, where we are waking up to a different city this morning. i just got back from capitol hill which is now secure. four people are dead after an insurrection incited by the president. overnight he tried to put out the fire he helped start promising an orderly transition on january twenty, but there are
still 13 days between now and then. so what happens? more on what i'm hearing from sources about conversations happening inside and around the white house just ahead, including informal talks about invoking the 25th amendment. leigh ann caldwell is inside the capitol for us this morning. ellison barber is outside the building. kristen welker is posted up at the white house. geoff bennett is in delaware and jake sherman is with us. he was inside the capitol all day yesterday. we're also joined by pete williams, our justice correspondent. kristen, let me start with you. this is where many of the developments this morning are coming from after it was the other end of pennsylvania avenue that was the focus for many of the last 18 hours. tell me what you're hearing from your sources. it's my understanding there are informal talks about potentially invoking the 25th amendment though we don't know if it's reached the cabinet level or not. and then this whole dynamic with vice president mike pence and tension that seemed to be building with the president. >> that's rirkght, hallie.
those 2e7tensions on display yesterday when the vice president made it clear at the start of the day that he was not going to follow president trump's directive that he in some way try to block the vote count on capitol hill. and then, very strong words. a condemnation once they were allowed back into the halls of congress of those mob -- the mob that stormed the capitol and no mention of president trump. so it really underscored the fact that we're seeing a break between the vice president and president trump. of course, the vice president has been one of his staunchest allies. but let's take the two points that you raise, hallie. talk of the 25th amendment. of course, that would remove the president from office. that is something that can be done if the vice president, if a majority of the cabinet members agree to take that action. it's our understanding that right now those talks are at the staff level. not clear that it's reached cabinet officials. and we do not believe that it is
directly taken to the vice president. it does come, hallie, though, amid a cascade of resignations which started overnight with stephanie grisham, the chief of staff for the first lady. a longtime aide to president trump. other top officials, we understand, one top official with the nsc and this morning, revelations that mick mulvaney, the current envoy to ireland, announcing his resignation saying, quote, i can't do it. pressure is mounting, but no one seems to know what president trump will do next. >> all right, but hallie, kristen, i saw mick mulvaney on television this morning saying, i can't do it. i'm leaving. my phone lit up because, for the last year, while mick mulvaney has been the special envoy to northern ireland, his day job has had nothing to do with this administration. he's been out there trying to raise a hedge fund. he's never even been a professional investor and his pitch for that hedge fund, a lot of it had to do with his ties to
the trump administration. so now with 14 days to go and after yesterday's debacle saying, i can't do it, it's not like he's not showing up for work today. he wasn't doing it for quite some time. leigh ann, tell us what it's like in the capitol this morning. >> stephanie, i just want to say how heartbreaking it is to walk through the capitol this morning and see the remnants of the damage that was done yesterday. we spend so much time in this building, and to see it in the state that it is now. first of all, there's a thick film throughout the entire capitol that's a mixture of dust, seems like leftover tear gas, that it's going to be very difficult to clean up. in addition, on the house side, where the woman was shot is in this -- what they call the speaker's gallery which is just off the house floor. one pane of glass is left and that is completely shattered.
the rest of the other three panes of glass are completely out. and there's shreds of glass on the ground. on some of the doors, the doors leading into the house of representatives from the outside. the house steps. there are four bullet holes coming from the outside. it's a double paned glass. the interior glass is unscathed but the four bullet holes coming from the outside, there are stickers on that door that says "f" antifa and one has a picture of joe biden that says not my president. and then the center doors which you might remember the images from yesterday of the mobs on the center steps of the capitol, well, those -- there's glass on those doors that are completely smashed. on the inside, there's like bullet hole markings on the inside of the doors all around the doors. you know, there is -- it's just very devastating sight. people's offices were ransacked.
not just one. many offices were ransacked. there were things stolen from people's offices as well. house speaker nancy pelosi, her big wood and gold placard over her office is missing. so, stephanie, you know, i've been taking a tour this morning. there's not a lot of people in there. it's pretty empty. only seeing members of the architect of the capitol who are surveying the damage. some members of capitol police who are doing the same. of course, there's many questions about capitol police's role in what sort of investigation there's going to be in the aftermath but it's a very, very disheartening aftermath and day up here on capitol hill. >> leigh ann, i'll pick it up because ellison, leigh ann is inside the capitol describing, and leigh ann, you did it powerfully. not what you're seeing but what it means. ellison, take us outside. you and i spoke 24 hours ago, before this chaos unfolded. at the time, it was a protest, not a riot. not a mob scene. you were in the crowd.
you were talking with these people. you were talking with these rioters. are they planning to come back? >> i met people who had come from all over the country to be here. i talked to one man just around the corner from here at one point before everything got so chaotic. he was in military garb. military-like garb wearing a bulletproof vest. i asked him why the outfit? he said that he was just here to observe and that he did not believe in violence but he told me if something was not done about what he called the rampant election fraud that millions would take to the street. i lost sight of that man but it wasn't 30 minutes until i saw protesters breach through the barricade right over here and start pushing into their way up, up to the front of the capitol steps right here. as we saw people all the way up there and then we heard that people were inside, we started to see at some point people leaving. people coming out. two men walked by me, both
saying they had been inside. one seemed to have some sort of crowd dispersing tear gas substance on his face. they were proud of having been inside, celebrating what they had done. we met another man, my producer and i who walked by us and he said we made it to nancy. i asked him if he would speak to us on camera he seemed to notice my microphone for the first time. said i better not and then walked away. people were being treated in the crowd like they were heroes, celebrating what they had done. every person i spoke to on the ground before things got chaotic and after told me they were here because they supported president donald trump. they were here because they wanted to see vice president mike pence and republican lawmakers object to certifying the electoral college vote. and they were adamant that this is not something that is just about an election. they believe that this election was in their words, stolen and multiple times yesterday and even the day before at the prerallies, there were protesters, people here telling
us that this is not just about this president. this is not just about this election. i've heard people use the term revolution, some people. they feel there's something bigger going on here and in terms of whether or not they'll be back, it's hard to say, but there are a lot of people here who feel there's something much bigger going on within the system, and they have no plans of backing down whether that be verbally or something else. time will tell. >> let's actually share for a moment what the president said yesterday before all of this happened. >> we're going to walk down to the capitol. and we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we'll probably not be cheering so much for some of them because you'll never take back our country with weakness. >> jake, you were inside that building.
what was the talk among lawmakers, especially republicans. they heard exactly what the president said. so what are they going to do about it? >> i'm back in the capitol this morning, although my view is not as good as leigh ann's, but, listen, there's still a pocket of people who believe, without any evidence, and despite all available information that this is somehow a left wing setup of the president. it's just -- it doesn't even actually -- i'm actually regretting even bringing it up, it's so crazy and baseless. this is what some lawmakers believe and frankly the top of the party, kevin mccarthy, took to the floor last night and equated it to other protests and this is not -- this is not a protest. this is a mob that descended on the capitol and took over for a period of time, a building where leigh ann and i work every day and where the nation's legislature meets. it's absolutely repulsive and dangerous and just horrible for
democracy. i will say this, though. this is the end of this president's term, and now republicans are going to have to figure out what to do with him. and stephanie, you know this well. house republicans, congressional republicans are not funded in -- by the base. they are funded by big hedge funds, corporations, rich people in new york and chicago and los angeles who want lower taxes and less regulation. not passing judgment on that. will they -- will they continue to support this party if they stand with this president after he's out of office? and i don't know the answer to that, and i think only time will tell if people are going to line up with people like kevin mccarthy, if he stays faithful and he stays loyal to this president because the people that stormed the capitol yesterday are not the people who are going to propel this house republican minority back into the majority. so the politics of donald trump and his longevity in public life
is just -- we'll see. we'll see what it looks like after this. but republicans, congressional republicans are beginning to think about this. and i would say more and more are wondering what the hell they're going to do and how they can get away from this guy quick enough. >> let's make it clear, jake. a lot of those really rich new yorkers who have backed the president have no ideology. they're completely transactional. and the president -- >> i agree with you. yes. >> and policies that work for them. they'll be done in 14 days. but can i ask you this? so these lawmakers who are trying to make this argument this was a left-wing conspiracy setup, they are looking at the same images we are. many of those people who were photographed inside the white house -- excuse me, inside the capitol yesterday are well known fringe trump supporters. qanon personalities. we see their pictures. so how are republicans making this antifa argument? >> because they -- it's not logical, stephanie. i just want to -- back on your other point, the transaction is
over. that's the point i'm trying to make. for those donors who have been funding republicans, the transaction that you are talking about, that you are right about is over. there's nothing left for donald trump to give them and that's why i'm saying, what is -- will congressional republicans stay loyal and faithful to this person after he's out of office? i think people's patience is going to -- are going to run thin on that. >> pete williams, i want to go to you and pick up on the thread about the president being held accountable here. as kristen explained at the top of the show, there are informal discussions. we've heard from sources about invoking the 25th amendment. it may not be realistic here, but in general, what can be done at this point for people who do want to hold the president responsible in some way for what happened? >> the 25th amendment was never intended to be a form of punishment. it's only intended to relieve the president if he can't carry out the duties of his office. i went back and looked at some of the discussion that was on
the house and senate floor when it was considered and adopted. became the law in 1967 after the kennedy assassination. and it basically says if the president is simply unable to function, that was kind of the idea of it. so does it fit the original description? maybe. maybe not. it does take a majority of the cabinet and the vice president together telling congress that the president has to be relieved because he can't carry out the duties of his office. so that's one option. a second option being discussed is passing articles of impeachment in the house, even though there wouldn't be time for a trial in the senate. on both of those options, some of the members of congress i've talked to this morning wonder how effective they would be and whether they would simply further inflame the situation and make those sorts of people that stormed the capitol yesterday even crazier. the other possibility, of course, is prosecution. now, obviously, a sitting president cannot be prosecuted.
but after he's no longer in office, the president could be investigated to see whether there was an incitement. that's another possibility. so frankly, none of them seem all that likely at this point. but, you know, the events of yesterday didn't seem all that likely, 24 hours ago either. >> pete, you're totally right about that. obviously we knew there were going to be protests and a lot of people out there. it's not necessarily surprising that this may have escalated but it was shocking for so many people. you've been also in touch with law enforcement sources. i've got to ask, listen, in 13 days from now, we're all going to be covering the inauguration. kristen and leigh ann and geoff and all of us will be spread out across washington as we are every four years along with members of congress potentially, certainly members of the incoming administration. what's being done behind the scenes? are they rethinking what
inauguration day looks like given what happened here, vis-a-vis security? >> yes, i think the answer is yes, but. remember that inaugural security is something that's planned 365 days a year. the planning starts the day after the inaugural of the previous four years. it's an entirely different security posture. there are barricades and fences well around the capitol. and you can't get near the capitol without passing through metal detectors. so that's thing one. now thing two is, though, i think they have to rethink, you know, most of the damage that was done in the capitol yesterday was done by people who were not -- certainly not armed. they weren't really carrying anything that could do any damage. it was things they did with their fists or things they found along the way. picking up flag poles and that kind of thing. so i think they have to think about whether they have to have more law enforcement that would
prevent someone from trying to -- a crowd from trying to storm the west front where the swearing in ceremony takes place. that's obviously the place where the incoming president is to use, for want of a better term, most exposed to a crowd. and that's something that has to, i'm sure that they are rethinking. but the security environment is so totally different. well planned. all sorts of contingencies they think about, including the one i just mentioned. so i think we can be assured that there's -- that it will be a much different security posture. >> and certainly joe biden's team is thinking about that today. geoff, as biden and his transition team are watching all of this play out, what are they thinking? what are you learning? >> i've been on the phone talking to and texting with biden transition officials and people close to the president-elect. and people are really heartsick, frankly.
but they are prepared to meet the moment. and in the words of one transition official i spoke to, this person told me that the country should feel lucky that joe biden isn't new to this. no matter what you think of his politics, this is someone who can draw upon nearly 50 years of experience in public life, in public service, of course, eight years as a vice president and an untold number of strong working relationships with lawmakers. and the reason that's beneficial is because the workload that awaits him in 13 days' time is intense and immense. a spiraling pandemic, a cratering economy, a suspected russia cyberattack, and now a crisis in our democracy fomented by the outgoing president. now joe biden was asked by reporters after he completed his remarks yesterday about what he makes of his own safety, his own security and his own inauguration. he said he had no concerns about any of those things. and there is a sense among the team, the biden team right now, that it's more important perhaps
now more than ever to have the inauguration that was planned. of course, the planned inauguration had been scaled back a bit. parts had been scaled back given the pandemic but it's important to them to signal american resolve. to signal that the insurrectionary mob that laid siege and occupied the capitol yesterday did not prevail. and, of course, joe biden's work toward restoring faith in public institutions continues today. he is set to announce his designates to lead the department of justice. namely, merrick garland to be attorney general and then biden administration. people remember merrick garland because he was snubbed by senate republicans and mitch mcconnell some four years ago when former president barack obama tapped him to fill the vacancy left on the supreme court following the death of justice antonin scalia. but merrick garland is viewed widely by biden officials as being someone who can meet the moment who can restore public
faith in the doj and restore morale within it. so joe biden today says that the people that he's going to introduce to the country will help restore the country's faith in the rule of law, steph. >> geoff, thank you. geoff, leigh ann, ellison, kristen, jake, pete. we've got a full house thus morning. thank you all so much. and thank you for all of your reporting over the last 24 hours. it's been extraordinary. we've got a lot to cover today. up next, two lawmakers and military veterans who are at the capitol when the pro-trump mob forced its way illegally into the hall of congress. they'll be with us.
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overnight, congress officially confirmed joe biden and kamala harris as the next president and vice president of the united states. lawmakers coming together for a closing prayer before vice president mike pence read the results and declared joe biden the victor. it was a stunning contrast -- >> and boy, stiff, when you look -- >> to the images that we saw in the same house chamber just hours before as a violent mob of trump supporters breached the capitol causing chaos and fear across the city. >> joining us now, two lawmakers who were there for it all, democratic congressman mikie sherrill, and steve molton, also both of you are u.s. military veterans. thank you for being with us and for your service.
good morning to the both of you. we're glad you're okay. >> thank you for having us. >> morning. >> congressman molton, let me start with you. you expected something like this as a u.s. marine in iraq, not as a u.s. congressman. at what point did you flip the switch from lawmaker mode to marine mode? at what point did you know that you had to get there? >> well, look, i think once a marine, always a marine, and to be fair, what i experienced overseas was far, far worse. but, of course, for many of our colleagues, they never experienced anything like this in their lives. and it was very clearly that the security situation was completely out of hand. it could have been a lot, lot worse. the images that you saw on tv of rioters, this mob taking over the capitol, i mean, they could have taken over the entire capitol complex. we're just fortunate that didn't happen. >> congresswoman sherrill, take us through how this all played out for you. >> well, we started our
deliberations at about 1:00. i was in the gallery. and we started to get some reports that there were protesters outside, that were causing problems. i know one of the house office buildings was evacuated. we were hearing of more and more unrest and then started to hear it was getting closer and closer. i had then been informed that the vice president had been removed. shortly thereafter, the speaker was removed from the floor. mcgovern took over. we continued to try to certify, but with rioters at the door. one of your reporters said, the woman who was killed was killed in the speaker's lobby. that's right outside the chamber. we were in the chamber. we pulled out gas masks because we'd been informed that tear gas was being utilized. we were waiting to get out but there was no clear egress. so as you saw from some of the pictures, the doors were
barricaded with furniture. police had their weapons drawn. people were told to shelter in place. and there you saw vajpai. i saw them calling their loved ones, worried this could go very, very bad. and then we did find an egress and got out, off of the chamber and back into a secure location in longworth. >> did you ever think, congresswoman, something like this could even happen in the u.s. capitol, one of the most secure buildings in d.c.? >> well, i think, you know, you're aware that this is the seat of government, that this is a place where many people who are governing the nation gather and would be an area that could be under attack. i just didn't think it would be from citizens of the united states.
>> congressman moulton, let me ask you about sort of where we go from here, right? i think you come out in support of invoking the 25th amendment. explain that. explain where you'd stand on the possibility of impeachment, which has been raised by some of your colleagues and congresswoman sherrill, you'll want to weigh in on this. >> i was one of the first to support both because this president of the united states, the commander in chief, whose number one responsibility is to keep americans safe is himself inciting violence against our government. inciting violence against fellow americans. so he has completely failed his oath of office to protect us from enemies foreign and domestic. and he should be relieved of command. some will say that there's going to be a transition of power in a few days anyway, so what does it matter at this point? it's never too late to do the right thing. it's never too late to hold people accountable to the law. if you had a ceo steal a million dollars from a company the day before he retired, no one would
say, well, it's okay, he's out the door. just let him go. this is america. this is a country of laws. and the united states capitol should be the most secure place for law making to occur in the world. the president violated every part of that, and that's why he should be relieved. >> congressman sherrill, where are you on those two issues? >> well, you know, certainly, i think we have to ensure the president can no longer create this chaos and encourage people to violence against our country and our government. but make no mistake, we have impeached this president. i moved for impeachment because he crossed lines for me up to and including encouraging a foreign power to dig up dirt on his opponent joe biden to undermine our democratic elections. that was about a year ago and since that time, he has gotten worse and worse and worse.
and, yet, as i was being sworn in on january 3rd and i was hearing the speeches of republican leadership, one of the things that they praised themselves for was beating back the impeachment effort. despite the fact that more and more evidence had come out since that time. so i think what i would like to see is a movement by republicans who have been complicit in this, with the president, who have encouraged him and supported him and, as you saw even last night, voted with him despite no evidence and no facts and contrary facts. and really made it possible in many ways for this horrible, horrible event to take place yesterday. i would like to hear from them if they are ready to move forward with us on impeachment or if they are going to move forward, if the president's cabinet is going to move forward on the 25th amendment. >> we're a nation of laws, but laws only matter if you enforce them. what do you think of those
scores of people that broke into the capitol, ransacked in and then walked out free people? >> they need to be held accountable, too. from the president on down, everyone needs to be held accountable to send a message to everybody in america and frankly everyone in the entire world that we are a nation of laws. look, these people walked out of the capitol at the end of the day without any consequences. but they live streamed the whole thing. and so it's time for companies like facebook and twitter to step up. hand over those videos to the fbi. look, this is something that we do with terrorists all the time. that is foreign terrorists. we need to do it with these domestic terrorists as well. use those videos as the evidence that it is and hold these people accountable. >> congressman seth moulton and mikie sherrill, thanks for being with us on here on this morning in washington. it's a rather different one for you today. we appreciate it. up next, we'll be looking at what can only be called as a
massive security failure that let these rioters get access to the capitol in the first place. what could have or should have been done and what needs to change as we are just now getting in some breaking news about the d.c. national guard. we'll have it for you after the break. break. oes in the house. our son says, since tide antibacterial fabric spray kills 99.9% of bacteria. just to be sure. he wants us to spray everything every time we walk into the door. it's just to be sure. just to be sure! i thought you just sprayed those. ma, it's just to be sure. see, he takes after my side of the family. for every just to be sure, it's got to be tide antibacterial fabric spray.
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end cyber attacks. and accessoriesphones for your mobile phone. like this device to increase volume on your cell phone. - ( phone ringing ) - get details on this state program visit right now or call during business hours. breaking news right now. we've just learned the d.c. national guard will be placed on a 30-day mobilization. that means they'll be on the ground through the inauguration. this comes as questions continue
to mount about the massive security failures that resulted in a pro-trump mob storming the u.s. capitol. as of this morning, just 52 people have been arrested. 47 of them for breaking the 6:00 p.m. cure few in d.c. and three people were arrested on possession of a weapon relates charges. the fbi tweeted it's asking for tips about individuals who instigated violence yesterday. tom winter joins us now. what are your sources telling you about how this breakdown in security could have happened? this event was a surprise to no one. >> right. exactly right. so myself and my colleague andrew blankstein talked to a number of law enforcement officials and major city police departments that have real experience handling these type of incidents and knowing how to handle it, how to plan for it. we spoke with them last night and raised a number of questions. what was the planning for this? i'm looking at the video yesterday and i'm trying to figure out where it may have occurred.
they are asking, where were the physical barriers? where was the ppe for the police? you had police in regular uniforms. you are looking at them there. no sort of projection of force, no way to keep themselves safe so they could keep members of congress safe. where were the s.w.a.t. and specialized units? we didn't see them yesterday. what was going on with the ground level windows? we heard reports of people breaking through windows. how are those windows not better protected? th how are they not bulletproof? that's a key question. where wery in flexicuffs for arrest? we saw video all summer long at protests of the white zip tie-type flexible handcuffs that would be able to make quick arrests. we didn't see those on any officers yesterday. what was the plan for mutual assistance if they were overrun? it took a long time for them to get additional resources. what was the i.t. shutdown plan. when i look at some of the video from yesterday you see members of congress, their emails or
staff's emails in computers open on their screens. what if there were foreign intelligence operatives mixed in with that crowd yesterday? that's a real concern that a senior member of law enforcement raised to me. so what was the plan for shutting down those computers? and then what was the plan with respect to the use of rubber bullets and tear gas. we're looking at smoke in the hallways but there's no indication that was deployed by the capitol police yesterday. rubber bullets and tear gas were criticized for their use over the sumner several protests, but that's what they're there for. nonlethal means to put down a violent mob, the types of which we saw yesterday. that could have saved lives. that could have stopped people from coming in. there's some real questions and people are try to ask this morning for 2300-member police department with a $460 million budget of which is not foiable. i cannot look at their budget, their communications. they've exempted themselves from that. >> tom, lead me --
>> whether or not the u.s. people got their money's worth yesterday. >> i want to tease that out a little bit. you just listed 12 or 13 separate questions, big and important questions that need to be answered. there will have to be an investigation here. the way those investigations are done is going to happen internally, externally but also by members of the media. you do these freedom of information act requests, foias to get emails, information, correspondence, et cetera. you're making the point, we can't do that with the capitol police. >> that's exactly correct. so in instances where we've had issues like this before, after action reports that are compiled by members of the media or by independent oversight boards. so we can look at those communications, get into it and see what may have transpired looking back, obviously, but look at what was transpiring in realtime. i have no access to that. so for the officers, the individual officers yesterday, all of the law enforcement officials said, look, it's not
on the one officer who is backing up the stairway with his baton, 40 members of this mob march on him. it's not on that guy. it's on the leadership and the commanders and i'd love to know what their messages were, what their communications were, what their plan was before this happened yesterday. because best as people in law enforcement can tell, they didn't have it. >> tom winter live for us there. i want to bring in somebody who knows security perhaps better than most. former department of homeland security secretary jeh johnson. thanks for being with us. >> good morning. >> so, the analysis here, right? this is, obviously, turned into a riot scene, but the protest itself was planned. we knew about it. it was permitted on the ellipse. officials had time to prepare. a ton of chatter on social media specifically about january 6th. i want to play for you what
colin powell said this morning. >> in this case, i do not know what the plan was. i cannot tell how many people were going to be there in police uniforms, why we didn't have more national guardsmen on standby. maybe they weren't there right away but why weren't they on standby? so i think the plan was not good. and i hope that this will be examined very, very closely. >> secretary johnson, you are looking at this with a different eye than perhaps the rest of us. best as you can tell, what was the plan? >> first of all, i have to begin with this. the entire world is looking at these images this morning of the u.s. capitol and this mob, and the message has to go out, this is not america. this is trumpism boiled over and donald trump lit the match. now on the security question, this is actually not that hard. we do this regularly. we plan and i was responsible for this four years ago for the
inauguration. we plan for what we refer to as national special security events, nsses around the capitol, around the united nations during the general assemb assembly. it's not that hard if you can anticipate it properly to secure the perimeter of the u.s. capitol grounds. we do this for state of the union addresses, inaugurations and the like. and the failure here was a failure to treat yesterday's event like an inaugural event, like a state of the union, like a general assembly, and this was the result. it was far too easy to penetrate the perimeter and we see these horrible images of people unscreened with backpacks and the like roaming the halls of what usually is one of the most secure buildings in the country. >> and only 52 people were arrested. despite hundreds storming the capitol.
we asked moments ago congressman seth moulton about that. he said now we're going to work with companies like facebook to get face recognition and go arrest these people. that's after the fact. why weren't more people arrested yesterday? >> well, they obviously did not have the capability and the facilities to arrest massive amounts of people. they didn't anticipate that they'd be -- that they'd have to make large-scale arrests. they were not in a passion to do that. my guess from looking at the footage is that the focus of the capitol police was to push back people in the perimeter. by the way, this is typically and should be a joint effort of the capitol police, homeland security, homeland security investigations, secret service, coast guard, d.c. metro police. when you properly plan for one of these it's typically a joint effort among a number of law enforcement agencies, including also the national guard.
but whoever was in charge of the security for yesterday did not anticipate that. did not treat this in that way. they know how to do this. they know how to keep people back from the capitol grounds if they anticipate it properly. >> they do know how to respond in a different way. last june we saw peaceful black lives matter protesters at the white house. we saw them get tear gassed and assaulted so the president could make his way through and have a photo opportunity holding up a bible. yesterday -- >> yes. >> we did not see the same show of force against rioters who stormed the capitol. and obviously it's important to note one woman was fatally shot. but how do you explain that split screen? >> stephanie, i can't. i have to say, all day yesterday, i had family members texting me. suppose this had been a black lives matter rally. suppose this had been people of color storming the capitol. and what i do know is if that
had happened, some of the same elements of donald trump's base would have been screaming law and order in the streets. put down the riot. and so it's a very legitimate question. you recall last summer, president trump was talking about the insurrection act. well, ironically, this was an act of insurrection that he instigated. what you see in these images is the very definition of an insurrection on the u.s. government performing a constitutional function. so you're absolutely right to call out that dichotomy, that distinction, that contradiction. >> there are those, mr. secretary, who will point out and as we're seeing in these images, the rioters over the last 24 hours at the capitol were mostly white. the protesters that we saw over the summer, for example in the black lives matter protests, were people of color. do you believe, and there are
those who will say that that was a factor. do you believe it was? >> regrettably, i do believe it was. i believe that the nature and the character and the demographics, the skin color of those who marched on the capitol yesterday was somehow interpreted to mean it will be okay. this is not a real threat. and this is a huge, huge lesson learned. and so these were violent, angry people. this was a mob. this was an insurrection. to watch the images of them breaking down the doors to that u.s. house of representatives, waving a confederate flag on the u.s. capitol grounds. we fought an entire civil war to prevent that from happening. it was truly, truly alarming. so this has to be a lesson learned for those who believe somehow that this group of
people was not a threat. it was clearly a threat. >> hopefully it was a lesson learned. secretary johnson, thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. what's really important to understand is that what happened yesterday on capitol hill was not a surprise. if you have been following the dark web, these plans and preparations have been everywhere. we have seen headlines like these for months leading up to yesterday's warning of increasingly violent rhetoric being used to far right forums. right here on your screen across the board, two people who have been following this closer than anyone are brandy and ben collins. they join us now. thank you both. ben, help us understand when you watch this play out yesterday, did you know this was going to happen? have you been reading this playbook for weeks or months? >> yeah, i called brandy two nights ago and said, i haven't had this feeling since charlottesville. i know something is going to happen tomorrow. i don't know what it is, and it
will be a miracle if it doesn't happen. and it happened. it is exactly what they said they were going to do. for the last month, on forums like the donald, which is a pro-trump forum, it got kicked off reddit and where qanon is hosted, they said donald trump crossed the rubicon on january 6th. they had a hash tag trending on twitter, by the way. and the point of that was to, just like in julius caesar, across the rubicon, kick off the civil war. we'll be there for you. you know, we will storm the capitol for you. they wanted a civil war-style robert e. lee-style leader and they thought they found it in donald trump. and, look, i don't know how much clearer they could have been. they flooded the internet with explicit directions for january 6th, and nobody listened. and it's kind of hard to hear the excuse that it's just the internet. it's not just the internet.
this is real life. >> ben, i think you're speaking truth to what is happening here. frankly, it gives me chills to hear you talk about it. the idea you had that feeling specifically because you are correct, this was bubbling up on the internet, right? these people got out of the web and into the capitol and now, brandy, there is this kind of retroactive filter trying to be put on it by some close to the president, allies of his, this wasn't actually the people on the internet, this was antifa coming in and doing something else. obviously, that's not the case. the president, we should note, praised the rioters who had come into the capital. he indicated his support for them, said, "we love you and you're special, go home, but we still like you." talk about who these rioters actually are, brandy? >> yeah, these rioters are the internet come to real life. ben and i spend a lot of time in these spaces and it's not a fun place to be. we've seen it all summer,
though. we've seen it since the lockdown orders. this is militia groups, proud boys, anti-maskers, covid deniers and qanon extremists. the woman shot and killed by police yesterday had a twitter account that was just filled with tweets about qanon and pizzagate conspiracy theories. it turns out it's really easy for the internet to appear in real life and people mean what they say online. you know, they came, all of these disparate groups came together at the behest of the president. for months, this president has been telling extremists to stand by and spreading qanon misinformation about the election to georgia officials and to his followers. you know, they got on planes and came to d.c. because he told them to come. they marched to the capitol because he told them to march to the capitol. and then, you know, they decided in trump's language, you know, not to be weak. and they had run out of options. and this is what happens when
you make a gang of conspiracy theorists and flood them with propaganda and misinformation and then tell them they have no other option. >> ben, i have only ten seconds. what you're seeing now this morning on some of those boards and some of those places you're talking about? >> they're trying to sort of thread the needle of, we're proud of this, we're excited it happened, it's going to keep coming, and also antifa did it. now, i know what you're thinking, that's not possible. it's logically inconsistent. these people thrive on logical inconsistency. you're going to hear mixed messages. you're going to hear people saying, like, this is -- this didn't really happen, while taking credit for it at the same time. >> and no evidence to back up that other claim. ben collins and brandy zadrozny, thank you so much for your very helpful reporting and interesting perspective. i want to bring in somebody else who has a different perspective. nbc news presidential historian michael beschloss, helping us to understand this moment. truly, the only question to you
is, how does this fit in, right? how do people look back on this? i was struck yesterday, the president issued a tweet that was taken down, right? twitter, he was muzzled, basically, on that platform, but he talked about how this might be a day remembered forever. yeah, but not for the reasons he thinks. >> right. it doesn't fit into history because we've never seen anything like it. we've seen other terrorist events, assault on the capitol, burning by the british, 1814. assault on ft. sumter, which started the sicivil war, 1961, 9/11, which most of us remember. but unlike all of those things, this one was instigated and incited by the president of the united states. we still don't know exactly why or who was involved. and the scary thing is, this is a guy who over the next two weeks is going to still have an enormous amount of power. he has talked from time to time throughout his presidency almost like a small boy. you wouldn't believe the kind of powers i have. i have some powers that are so
great that i can't even talk about them. i assume that has to do with martial law, the ability of the president to abuse the military. maybe this is a guy who thought that if there was chaos yesterday, he could say, i'm going to declare martial law and impose my rule to respond to it. who knows? he still controls nuclear weapons. this is a guy who can do a lot of things that could lead to an unnecessary war. one example, hallie and stephanie, 1962, the joint chiefs of staff -- you know, these are serious people -- went to president kennedy with a plan saying, the mercury project at cape canaveral that's sending spacecrafts into the air, if one of them fails, if there's an accident, if there's an explosion on the launch pad, let's blame it on the cubans and use this as a pretext to invade cuba. this has happened all the time throughout american history. beware that it happens falsely and unnecessarily during the next two weeks. >> michael, you talk a lot about republicans in congress standing
up to nixon. we saw this week mitt romney stand up to the president and get a standing ovation on the house floor and days earlier get shouted down on an airplane by trump supporters. how will we remember congressional republicans after this? >> they were cowardly and silent for four years and as a result of that, our children have been in mortal danger day after day. our congress did not protect us. the founders always wanted the courts and the congress to stand up to a tyrant, criminal, demented president who was lawless and amoral like the one that we've had for the last four years. it has not happened. this is a dangerous defect in our system. >> a dangerous defect. michael, thank you so much for joining us this morning. and for you at home, do not go anywhere. hallie jackson and i will be here for two more hours as part of our special breaking news coverage. we are expecting to hear from secretary of state mike pompeo at the top of the hour. we will see if he mentions the capitol insurrection. we'll also be talking to
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i'm hallie jackson in washington. a city picking up the pieces this morning after living through one of the darkest days in americans history. an insurrection at the capitol, incited by the president of the united states. i'm hearing from sources about what's going on now inside the white house with democrats and even some republicans putting the blame squarely on president trump. more members now of the
president's own administration resigning in protest this morning. and who is considering leaving next? >> and i'm stephanie ruhle here at msnbc headquarters in new york city. while you were sleeping, your government, it got back to work. congress confirming president-elect joe biden's 2020 win, finally ending a day of violence and bloodshed, some of it inside that very chamber. president trump now promising a peaceful transfer of power, but is it simply too late? our team is spread across washington and the one, covering it all. >> let's start with nbc's gabe gutierrez in washington. justice correspondent pete williams, leigh ann caldwell is inside the capitol. kelly o'donnell is at the white house. and jeff bennett is in wilmington, delaware. kelly, extraordinary front pages across the u.s. this morning. take a look. putting the president's name on this insurrection, right? saying, he is the one who incited it. take us inside the white house