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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  January 7, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PST

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welcome back. i'm chuck todd with our continuing coverage of this special breaking news that we've been dealing with for the last 48 hours. the senate's chuck schumer and others have joined a list calling for the president's immediate removal after he incited a mob of his supporters who rioted and stormed the capitol building. roughly 30 minutes from now,
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nancy pelosi is scheduled to hold her weekly press conference on capitol hill. of course, this hasn't been an ordinary week. we expect her to address those calls for removal and the latest on the massive security failure at the capitol yesterday which is raising a number of uncomfortable questions. we have an inauguration in 13 days. at the same time, president-elect biden is also scheduled to speak at an event where we expect him to formally announce his pick for attorney general, merrick garland. and it comes as bill barr is now joining the list of folks denouncing the president for betraying his oath of office. we're also following new developments at the white house. many of the president's allies are resigning or signaling that they want out now after that shameful display last night. the president not only incited the violent attack on our nation's capitol. but he delivered a response on social media that was taken down due to concerns it may incite more violence. he essentially congratulated them on what they did. it's led to a ban on all new
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posts for the president's main social media accounts. kelly o'donnell is at the white house. leigh ann caldwell is on capitol hill and with us is "the new york times'" peter baker, also an nbc political analyst and former homeland security secretary jeh johnson. kelly o., let me start with you and this white house. who is left that is minding the president? >> well, that's a very good question. and it's a confluence of events. we already had some prominent departures simply because of the end of the term. people who announced they had other employment and moved on. a lot of work-from-home in this covid footprint. as ironic as that may be given it's the trump white house. and then a rash of sudden resignations related to the events of yesterday including a couple of prominent officials in the first lady's orbit with her social secretary and communications director with a
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deputy press secretary in the west wing shop and notably today we heard from matt pottinger through his boss, the national security adviser, that he is stepping away. and matt pottinger has been the deputy national security adviser and has been very involved in a lot of the prominent events of the trump presidency, including being a key player during the president's work interfacing with kim jong-un of north korea. these are prominent moments. and at the same time, it is a question about who is around the president. typically we would see a lot of the president, except since election day. and today we expect that he is giving the medal of freedom to three golfers, including one posthumously. that's an event he's having but with no press involvement, at least not at this point. and at any point he could call in the press if he wanted to say more, clarify, expand on what happened yesterday. he's not done nathat. the people who are talking are
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his own critics who expressed a lot of concern about what happened yesterday, and we've now seen that his name has been withdrawn for full senate confirmation. the white house says that happened prior to his criticism. we're at the end of the administration. but it is also one of those things that appears to be the criticism being met with some kind of retaliation. the white house says that's not how it played out here but certainly secretary johnson can speak to how important that role is, especially with an inaugural coming at a time there's been national tension. >> any clarity on why the president delayed the calling in of the national guard, calling up of the national guard, why it was left to the vice president in lockdown? and whether or not the president and the vice president even spoke during that period. >> we have put the question to different officials about whether they have spoken. the president did say publicly they spoke before mike pence went to the capitol. and that, we believe, based on the president's willingness to
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overtly pressure him that they talked a lot about the authority the president would have or not have when it came to the electors. after the incidents unfolded yesterday, the vice president with his secret service detail remained on the capitol grounds for many hours. and was able to get to a secure location there and work the phones and reach out to other officials in the administration. and we have seen reporting that the president was reluctant at first to engage any further on sending additional resources. and then at a certain point there was a flood that came through. the u.s. marshals, the fbi, the secret service. additional resources, the national guard is fully deployed and will be for the remainder of the next few weeks to go past the inaugural time period. that hesitation may be connected to the president's affection and personal link to those supporters he had just been with. i was at that rally walking amongst those protesters before they got to the capitol.
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and there was that bond, and he was apparently reluctant based on everything he has said and done to be in any way condemning of their actions. >> nancy pelosi is supposed to talk to reporters at 1:30. do we have any idea what she might say? >> no official word yet what she might say but we can only anticipate what she's going to say. the senate democratic leader put out a statement just about an hour ago saying that the president should no longer be i 25th amendment or impeachment. it would be odd if schumer went rogue is not the right word but went on his own without speaker pelosi on such a big decision like this. you know, not that they're acting in any way just yet but house members have already called on the president to either step down or for the 25th
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amendment to be invoked or for impeachment. so pelosi does have the support of her caucus there if she show chooses to say that she's going to support something like that. we also know that she's going to get a lot of questions about the role of capitol police yesterday. what -- is she going to call for any investigation? there are members of her party and republicans and democrats in the house and senate are saying an investigation is needed and quickly because inauguration is less than two weeks away. so there's just so many unanswered questions up here. dealing with the remnant, the remains of yesterday, not only the physical remains in the capitol but just the political fallout of what happened yesterday and pelosi is going to get asked a lot of questions about that, katy. >> peter baker, you wrote -- i thought a tour de force today when it comes to trying to
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explain what happened from the purview of your white house perch there that you so looking. who has got his -- you know, when nixon had these dark days, there was at least some people who could get to him and say, you have to go, mr. president. is there anybody in his orbit who can restrain him that could get him to maybe, you know, he has only issued this release -- i don't buy anything he said in that release at 4:00 this morning because he didn't say it. he didn't tweet it. it was written by jason miller probably and released by dan scavino. what is happening in an attempt to restrain him or get him to resign? >> well, that's a great question, chuck. the problem is for people around him that circle has been shrinking. it's been shrinking since the election. he's been casting off people who were not willing to tell him what he wanted to hear which is that the election was somehow stolen rather than he actually
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lost. he stopped listening to people like that. and only the people telling him, yeah, this conspiracy theory and that conspiracy were given entree to the oval office. he's now broken with his vice president. that was the strongest relationship in many ways, not close but unbreakable up until the last few days when the president was berating him for not taking it upon himself to unilaterally nullify the election. you saw it yesterday, pence not only rebuffed him but even seemed quite angry at what the president has done, even senator inhofe told the world that he'd never seen the vice president so angry. the vice president told him, after all i've done for him. that's nothing we've seen in 1400-some days of this presidency. who was he listening to? hard to say. he's not listening to that many people because that many around him would have given him different advice. even the video he put out which was in response to the response he was getting from kevin mccarthy didn't go anywhere near as far as his aides thought it
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should. you're seeing this exodus. it's a white house in meltdown. it's hard to see who is still there and who is left because so many are on their way out the door. >> this has been building for so long, peter, since 2015, what the president has stoked, the words he's used, the divisions that he has deepened in this country. and those who work around him have seen it. they know what's been happening. lawmakers have seen it. they know what's been happening. i guess there are a lot of people out there asking the 25th amendment was created for a situation where the president is a danger to the country. where he cannot lead and yesterday we saw the president stoked an angry mob to storm the capitol. he put lawmakers' lives at risk, his own vice president's life at risk, he threatened the chain of command. what do you make of the situation we find ourselves in? >> yeah, it's rather remarkable. you talk to trump advisers today, current and former. what they'll tell you is they
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convinced themselves that they could do good, right? that they knew he was erratic and combustible but never thought it would come to this. but now here we are. as you say, the 25th amendment ask one route. it depends entirely upon the vice president. the 25th amendment only works if the vice president and majority of the cabinet were to go along with it. as far as we understand it, there have not been discussions that we've detected at that level. there have been discussions ad hoc amongst some aides and among republicans, what if, what if. not among the people who would take that decision. now you're hearing more people say it. adam kinzinger. mike chertoff. i wouldn't expect it. this is not -- it's hard to see that actually happening but it's a measure of how unsettled things are that we're even talking about it. >> jeh johnson, let's pick up from what peter was just saying. some have suggested there should be a de facto 25th amendment
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where the cabinet and the vice president agree and certainly in terms of the national command structure agree that, as james schlesinger did when defense secretary and richard nixon, nobody would take any actions without checking with the secretary of state or -- whether it's the vice president. but not take actions on orders of the president of the united states. >> well, first, andrea, i have to say this. this goes back to the prior segment with eugene robinson. this is a tragedy, but it's also a day filled with cruel irony and hypocrisy. four years ago, i was responsible for the security of the inauguration in january 2017. i took the time to brief the president-elect on the security planning for that event at trump tower. and in that inaugural address, he talked about american carnage, and a lot of us, including reportedly george w. bush said, what are you talking
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about? here we are four years later, this very month, and we have on the western front of the u.s. capitol american carnage in the wake of 50,000 dead americans as a response to covid-19. and all of us should blame directly president donald j. trump for that. now talk about him leaving. talk about him removing -- being removed from office. we have to be practical at this stage. you ask peter, who can influence donald trump at this stage? i think whoever is around who can influence president trump ought to be saying to him at this point, just leave. just get on marine one go to andrews. get on air force one. fly to mar-a-lago and stay there. and stay there for the indefinite future. play golf. let the vice president sign the necessary documents, run things in washington. just pick up and go to mar-a-lago and stay there.
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whether he'll do that is an open question, but those who have the ability to influence his personal behavior ought to be telling him to do exactly that. >> and they are building a fence now after the fact around the perimeter of the capitol. can the inauguration be secured? you've done it before yourself. >> yes, yes, absolutely. you can secure the perimeter of the u.s. capitol grounds. it has been done routinely. it's done for inaugurations, it's done for the state of the union. they're called nsses, national security security events. it's done for the u.n. general assembly when you 170 world leaders assemble on this island, manhattan. we know how to do this. the failure here was to anticipate that what happened yesterday was on par with one of those events, and, therefore, you needed the barricades and so forth. more secret service, more
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homeland security investigations, more coast guard, more tsa on hand to provide security for the event. those who plan this did not anticipate that that was the level of security necessary for yesterday's event. this could have been prevented. >> we're hearing about a lot of resignations, jeh, and joe manchin just released a statement on presidential action potentially against donald trump. no matter what course of action is taken against president trump in 13 days, joe biden will be sworn in as president of the united states. until then, i urge the good men and women honorably serving at all levels of the federal government to please stay at their post for the protection of our democracy. the actions of a rogue president will not and should not reflect on you. instead, your patriotism and commitment to the greater good of our country will be reaffirmed. do you agree with that? >> well, i think joe has a good point there. resignations 13 days before you
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were going to leave office anyway to perhaps rehabilitate your own legacy at this point, what does that really matter? i do think that there are certain people in government who should recognize their responsibility to be the guardrails around this president. they all can't just jump off the ship into the life boats and leave this president to his own devices. so i think there is actually something to that. particularly in my old department, the department of homeland security. i'm not talking about the acting secretary chad wolf who, frankly, i've given up on a long time ago, but there are other good, responsible people in national security, in law enforcement who need to stay at their post for the next couple of days. >> give some advice to joe biden on that first week of trying to start scabbing up for the country, if you will.
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trying to get us to heal. what's your -- what's your two cents to him on this? >> chuck, i think we're in a social and political environment now unlike anything that joe biden or me or possibly even you have recognized from before. we talk about healing the rift, building bridges and so forth. i think the ravine below that is a lot deeper. 70 million people voted for donald trump. that's more than any loser in american history has ever got. and so i think the focus has to be, for now, on making direct appeals to people who were previously supporters of donald trump. part of that coalition of 70 million people who are appalled by what happened yesterday and
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are ready to move on to a better place. that's going to require, i think, a reconciliation different from anything we've ever seen before. >> no, it starts with a pledge. mitt romney invoked the other night, which is stop lying to your voters. stop lying to the voters. kelly o'donnell, peter baker, leigh ann caldwell and jeh johnson. the growing talk of removing of the president or impeaching him again. with 13 days left in his term is that a realistic way to restrain him? a democratic house member inside the chamber yesterday joins us next. see the difference, after being washed with tide hygienic clean. for a deep clean, try tide hygienic clean! if it's got to be clean, it's got to be tide.
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president-elect joe biden will be sworn in 13 days from now. but the calls for president trump to be removed from office now are growing. 100 house democrats are joined by a handful of democratic senators including chuck schumer and republican congressman adam
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k kinzinger. joining us now, washington democratic congresswoman pramilla jayapal. we saw the video yesterday and there you were as the chaos was unfolding. you hadn't realized it and watching yourself in that moment. 24 hours later, congresswoman, what is the price of not having some accountability on the president's actions before january 20th? >> that is exactly the right question, chuck. and i think we have to start with what happened yesterday. this was the most violent and destructive assault on the capitol, breaching of the capitol, since the war of 1812. and this was done by domestic terrorists, many associated with white nationalist groups and incited and fueled by the
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president of the united states with the intent to overturn the election. and i think that is the thing we cannot forget. there is no precedent, really in any modern recent history for this. and when you look at that, i think the reality of the situation is that i have called for the president to be removed. this is a danger to our country in the next 14 days. we have an inauguration coming up. it can be secured. the capitol can be secured just as it could have been yesterday. but we are immediately undertaking and pushing for an undertaking of, number one, removal of this president. he is a danger to our country, to our constitution and to our democracy. number two, an investigation into everything that happened. why did we not have the national guard out? why did we not have barricades? you go down to the capitol today, there are barricades there, law enforcement everywhere. we did not have any of those
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resources yesterday and i want to understand why that is the case. and then third, i just have to say that during the impeachment trial which you covered magnificently, i remember saying in my opening statement at that impeachment trial that donald trump is the smoking gun. and that gun is loaded and whether or not it goes off is up to us. i remember questioning bill barr and saying, why did you not pay any attention to the protesters that were -- the armed militia, excuse me, that infiltrated the capitol in michigan and yet we have all of these people out against black lives matter protesters. i think these are all things that we have to remember the gop is complicit in this, not all of them, but some of them are finally coming out, but if they continue to not say anything or, worse, to do what matt gates and others did on the floor last night and make up more lies and conspiracy theories, we have a very, very deep wound in this
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democracy that we're going to have to heal. >> it's a good point we saw a preview of what was going to happen yesterday from what happened in michigan at the statehouse. we're just getting a little news from our capitol hill team. senate minority leader chuck schumer says after yesterday's events at the capitol, the senate sergeant at arms, sergeant stinger, hasn't vacated his position by the time that schumer becomes majority leader, then he will fire him. what do you think of that and what do you think of the response from the capitol police? >> i am distraught by what i've seen of the videos of some of the capitol police members opening barricades, taking selfies. and i have to wonder, and this is -- this is what we are all thinking. who are the capitol police actually accountable to? who are they helping? how was it possible that we had so many breaches across the capitol that we were stranded as members of congress inside our staffs, all of the personnel
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within the capitol, with no assistance from a very well-resourced capitol police and multiple defense departments. we spend $750 billion on military defense in this country and we can't even protect our own capitol? i believe there have been breaches from within our own ranks of law enforcement and i also think that the president deliberately delayed giving assistance that was requested. all of that needs investigation, obviously, but very quickly, and with answers. and i am calling for us to remain in congress in session so that we can have some of these immediate discussions. because, frankly, i don't know that any of us are safe within the capitol and those pictures are going out all across the country. those supporters, those proud boys supporters and qanon supporters are going back to wherever they're going with no accountability. there were only something like 50 arrests yesterday. even when judge kavanaugh was
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being confirmed there were over 200 arrests in the capitol. so there is something very, very wrong. and we are -- i think everyone is obviously dealing with the trauma of what happened yesterday and the raising of a confederate flag on the united states capitol. it is a dark day for our country. >> and that's what hit me when i watched that. and then when i saw the pictures of you and veronica escobar, your colleague, huddled on the floor in the gallery. what was -- what's the emotional impact of that on you, going through that? what was going through your mind at the time? >> it's been really tough, andrea, for all of us. and i think, frankly, we're even only beginning to allow ourselves to deal with it. i'm usual lly extremely calm unr pressure. i also had knee surgery, so i couldn't move. i lost my mask somewhere along the way.
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we had to get gas masks out. and we were stuck there in the upper chamber in the upper gallery. people on the floor were able to be ushered out. it was terrifying for everybody no matter where you were. but we were stuck in the upper gallery and watched -- heard as the shots were fired into the chamber. watched as capitol police barricaded the doors with furniture. and stood with guns drawn in the picture that you just saw. it was incredibly traumatic for everybody. i don't think that, you know, i think that we are all still dealing with remnants of that. but the reality is, we have a job to do. we returned to the chamber yesterday to make sure joe biden and kamala harris will be certified as the next president and vice president. our job is not done. >> we are grateful to you for speaking out. >> this will be a deep scar for congress for a long time. congresswoman jayapal, democrat from washington state, thank you for coming on.
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welcome back. even as the gop ponders what's next for the party after the trump presidency, president trump's grip on the party still very real. six senators and 121 house members supported an objection to arizona's electoral vote
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count. seven senators and 138 house members supported an objection to pennsylvania's results. we're joined by sarah, who was the spokesperson for jeff sessions when he was attorney general. she's now a staff writer and the political gurus at the dispatch. also charlie sikes, the editor at large of the bulwark and msnbc contributor. sarah, let me start with this. karl rove says the republican party is in a civil war. do you concur? >> i think the republican party has ended. the republican party started in 1854 as the anti-slavery party and i don't see how someone like a mitt romney, a ben sasse, charlie sikes can be in the same party as the people that we saw yesterday. they want to be the party of donald trump. that is not fundamentally what the republican party was about, but it is now. so i think that the republican party ended yesterday if not some time in the previous three
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years. civil war, i think that's ended. i think it's over now. >> so i -- charlie, are we in a three-party system? >> no. the republican party has not ended. the republican party has not ended. it is still there and will be for some time because we're a two-party system but there is a civil war. but you did see something rather dramatic over the last week or so, the last 24 hours. you've seen the end of the lockstep support for president trump. >> you sure? >> not only is the republican party -- well, look at what's happened. they overrode the defense veto. they ignored him on the check and overwhelmingly in the senate, you had senate republican senators voting against the coup attempt. look, i don't think that it wipes away the stain in any way whatsoever, but you have mike pence, you have mitch mcconnell, you have even lindsey graham, his chief senate fluffer breaking up with him on, you
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know, on national television last night. so what i think is happening is that, look, the water is churning with rats from this sinking ship. and there is a real split. and i don't know how it's going to play out because the party has a leadership problem right now. leadership vacuum. but it's also got a followership problem. what does the base do? you're seeing a willingness to buck donald trump, ignore donald trump, defy donald trump that we have not seen over the last four years. so something is going on, but i think it's too early to say how it turns out. but clearly you know, that vote -- i mean, it's appalling the number of republicans who voted for the coup attempt last night, but you had a vote of 93-6, 92-7, this was an overwhelming bipartisan repudiation of donald trump. and he is being turned on by some of his loyalist supporters.
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when bill barr feels it's time to come out and denounce the president, you can feel something shifting. when all of the former secretaries of defense in this country, including the two secretaries of defense appointed by donald trump come out and denounce donald trump, you can feel that something is shifting. you are also seeing it in some of the conservative media. it's early. but this is not donald trump's party in the way that it was donald trump's party, say, a month ago. >> perhaps, but what bill barr may be more about bill barr and lindsey graham may be more about lindsey graham. how do you explain a josh hawley. >> they made the decision that they were going to put their own 2024 ambitions over the country, over the constitution. and they are betting that somehow that can be trumpism without trump. and i think we're going to test
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that. and i think it's very interesting watching the shots being fired by tom cotton who has been very, very close to donald trump over this issue. so, again, it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few weeks because these guys have been very reluctant to get crosswise with their base. obviously, the situation in the house of representatives is very different than in the united states senate. but, look, this is a party that is moving very rapidly into the post-trump era. >> sarah, the dispatch today did their first editorial calling for the impeachment and removal of donald trump in these last 13 days. you got one republican on board, adam kinzinger at this point. look, we know that's not going to happen, but you very, i think, astutely said maybe the republican party is dead and that it will be a new party. would you recommend to your ben
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sas sasses and mitt romneys become independents and serve in the senate? >> i think that's absolutely where this has to go from here. the party can't contain both. it can't both say that it is as conserving something and then on the other hand say that it wants to federalize national, you know -- federalize our presidential elections, have this coup attempt, sack the capitol. those are not -- those cannot live within the same party. and so, yes, in the same way the democratic party has two independent senators, i think you will start to see slowly but perhaps not as slowly as it might have been, independents caucusing sometimes with the republicans, but i think that, in the end, you'll have two different parties coming out of this. because i do not see how they can exist as one. i left the republican party after i left the department of justice because i cannot be a member of that. and i think when voters make clear that they can't be members
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of that either, even a small number, there will economist a third party that is conservativism. >> i remember ben sasse for a while said he did not want to identify as a republican and then as the re-election got closer, he went back to that. charlie sykes, you're wisconsin. you know what i dealt with on sunday. i have to ask you about him. ron johnson. what -- i do not understand what has happened there. i've talked to other senators. nobody can really. but you've known him a lot longer than anybody else. when did he flip like this? >> chuck, i honestly don't know. as i've said before, i really thought that he was going to be a wisconsin senator in the mold of an independent maverick. he's become a wisconsin senator in the cold of joe mccarthy. i don't know what's happened to him. in that performance on sunday it was embarrassing to himself.
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it was embarrassing to the state and frankly it was embarrassing to anyone like me that ever supported him. so i don't know this vortex that draws people on the right, conservative republicans into this crazy conspiracy theory maw. it's been very powerful. and i was -- after i watched that, i really had to ask myself whether or not he is going to be running for re-election here in wisconsin because i will tell you that he will have a target on his back, and if you watch what happened in georgia earlier this week if you mobilize and motivate democrats, states like wisconsin are going to, you know, will potentially be out of reach for republicans. >> very quickly, charlie, i want to remind people of the irony. he wanted these objections. he put out a release last night talking about the need for these objections. and how did he vote if you want to remind folks? >> he did not vote for any of the objections. so profiles in courage, having
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put us all through this, threatened to disenfranchise millions of voters, he went awol at the end. >> can't make it up. thank you, guys. sarah from the dispatch and charlie sykes from the bulwark. we have a little breaking news to report as well. nbc news correspondent monica alba joins us. elaine chao just announced she has resigned the transportation secretary. she's tweeted her statement. i want to read the first little part of it. yesterday our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the president stormed the capitol building following a rally he addressed. as i am sure is the case with many of you, it is deeply troubled me in a way that i simply cannot set aside. here's the question. why resign? why not get behind the 25th amendment? >> this is notable for a couple of reasons, katy. nbc news was first to report this last night. the fact that secretary elaine
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chao, who is married to current senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, though, of course, he'll not have that title soon, and that she was considering her options. this is the first cabinet level secretary to make this decision. and what we also know is happening in parallel are these discussions at a staff level about potentially presenting the argument to invoke the 25th amendment to the vice president. though we should point out that hasn't happened yet. as far as we are concerned or what we've learned, we're continuing to track that by reaching out to all of these agencies. but this is an important development because secretary chow is the first person who has been with the president since the beginning of his administration in this role to say that she was so deeply uncomfortable with what she saw in terms of the violence and chaos on capitol hill yesterday. that you're right. she's willing to forgo the opportunity to potentially take more action in these final two weeks. so we're continuing to report
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out what else may have contributed to it. something else we're tracking is this idea that if she's the first one to do this, could she potentially be breaking open the dam for other agency heads to come forward and do the same. to your excellent question about such a narrow amount of time, what kind of a signal does it send? secretary chao may be somebody in a more specific and unique situation given, of course, her relationship with mitch mcconnell who we saw in the most forceful of ways compared to the last four years really come out against the president and really reject all of his continued baseless claims of voter fraud, katy. this is just one example. of course, we've seen other resignations from white house staffers, the deputy national security adviser, matt pottinger also submitting his resignation letter. we're told by officials there are likely more to come in the next 24 hours. >> monica, thank you. andrea and chuck, this just seems like the easy way out here.
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when you head her statement she says i'm sure as is the case with many of you, it's deeply troubled me in a way that i simply cannot set aside. if she is so deeply troubled, why -- i guess why would you not be trying to take him out of office? there are, yes, 13 days left, but who knows? >> except that she's a sole player here. there's no point in it if you need a majority of the cabinet and the vice president to even accomplish that. and so it could be that because of her spouse, mitch mcconnell, who has clearly broken with the president and is so deeply aggrieved by what happened on the hill and responsible for the security of the senate at this point, because of all of that. she also was the labor secretary under george w. bush. she has a long time in public service under george w. bush 41 she had deputy transportation secretary, maritime commission, director of the peace corps. she's had decades of public
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service and so this is a notable break if, as you point out, it's symbolic with only 13 days left. but it is significant in that she is the highest profile person. i would be surprised if there were not some others but, remember, you have so many acting secretaries. this is a very thin cabinet. >> i am sort of torn on this -- on the effectiveness, but let's put yourself -- i'm going to try to put myself in her shoes. and maybe you don't have enough people to do the 25th amendment. and maybe you think, you know, this is also a time for choosing, to borrow a phrase that some on the right like to talk about all the time. and you want to stand up and do something and say something and, yes, you'll have people say it's not enough and all this stuff. but at the end of the day, is it still better symbolically to have -- to publicly rebuke them even if it's in the last 13 days, even if it does look like
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you're trying to launder yourself a bit so that maybe you'll be invited to a better law firm or better cocktail party. but the rebuke may be still necessary anyway? so i -- you know, i'm -- i get it on sort of the -- ah, it's hallow. it's an empty gesture. on the other hand, we don't know if she was willing to do 25th amendment and nobody would go along. >> what about mitch mcconnell? is this by default also a statement coming from him? is that fair? >> to apply this to mitch mcconnell? 100%. look, in -- since -- in the last 24 hours, in fact, it was about 24 hours ago right now where mitch mcconnell used the phrase death spiral in criticizing what was done. so i would say, yesterday mitch mcconnell put himself on the side of being a trump critic for the very, arguably, the very first time. and so in this case, this follows suit.
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i think in this case, in fairness, elaine chao is speaking for elaine chao. >> and she's also doing something for the team for the people at transportation. huge demoralization in all of these agencies and departments. >> that's apolitical. it's one of the more apolitical. like it's actually that and ag are the two agencies usually that they shovel money out the door. everybody loves those two agencies. >> we never hear from her or the transportation agency. if it is a symbolic statement to leave with 13 days left and say it's a bridge too far for me. i just wonder why it wouldn't be a symbolic statement to say, hey, listen, i don't think he's fit for office any longer and this is how i feel and i think he should be removed and i hope that there are other cabinet members who support me. maybe -- i am not going to put words -- >> so publicly announce -- you would have said, if you did feel this way, you say, hey, i'll
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sign the letter. who is joining me? and say it publicly? >> this is a republican cabinet. >> it's interesting. >> she's been in government now for 30, 40 years. comes from a very established giantly wealthy chinese maritime f family. and i just think it's significant, but when mike pompeo stands up there and says, i'm leaving on a matter of principle, well, then that's another matter. by the way, joe biden is expected momentarily, really, to be speaking in wilmington, delaware. we understand he's going to be announcing his commerce secretary who is the governor of rhode island. >> this is somebody that progressives were doing to block her from becoming treasury and all of this. commerce is a place where the progressives aren't going to be as upset about her there. it's mostly a labor union issue
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that some of the labor unions aren't a big facn of hers up there because she did pension reform they weren't happy about. but the president-elect has been really impressed with her during those vp interviews. >> the treasury, some experts, the money people, the economists were not so keen on her either because they were not sure she really had the expertise to be treasury secretary. commerce is probably a good place. and we haven't had the formal -- we've had the announcement about merrick garland but haven't heard him speaking about it. that was to happen yesterday but what took place instead was him calling upon the president of the united states to go on national television. >> let's bring in mike memoli on standby before we see the president-elect with these latest announcements. mike, i assume we're going to hear more from the president-elect about the fallout from yesterday. >> absolutely, chuck. the announcement we'll be getting today, biden will be joined by what some biden advisers are calling his justice league. his choice to lead the justice
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department, merrick garland along with lisa monaco, his number two there and other officials. and this is an intentionally timed event. a lot of speculation about whether his decision about ag was held because they wanted to see the results of wanted to se of georgia. i'm told this was very deliberately times. you look at georgia, you look at the counting of the electoral votes, and biden cares, they see them all as important. he is a former committee chairman and he had oversight of this department for so many years in the senate. he feels the ambitithe biggest was to the rule of law. it is part of an effort to rebuild that trust.
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and to send a very clear signal about the way he will be viewing this department, not the president's lawyer as he put in the past. >> also for deputy ag, someone who certainly knows homeland security, who worked so closely in the obama white house. and had a very good reputation for domestic security and for noj of domestic terrorism and for overseas challenges. so another woman in a very important post. mike, how much is having somebody who is a highly respected judge, nominated period the supreme court, recreate the firewall. so there is an ongoing investigation into hunter biden. >> yeah, that is exactly right. the way that biden talked about who he will choose as attorney
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general all along really did point to someone like merrick garland. more than someone like doug jouns. it could have been a difficult confirmation environment. former senators are often easier. biden has known doug jones for a long time. one of the concerns is that perhaps, especially with the question that i posed to the president-elect a few weeks ago, has this investigation of your son been a factor or part of conversations you had about your potential attorney general. he insisted that was not the case and underscored his goal was to -- let's listen now to the president-elect. >> i want to focus on the issue of the judiciary as well as talking about the attorney general's office. so i have plenty of time to answer the questions i know you want to ask about everything
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from the 25th amendment on. i want this to be the issue that we're focused on, i think it is so important. yesterday in my view one of the darkest days in the history of our nation an unprecedented assault literally on the citadel of lipperty in the united states capital. an assault on the rule of law and the most sacred of american under taking. we all grieve the loss of life. what we witnessed yesterday was not decent. it was not disorder, it was not
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protest. it was chaos. they were not protestors. they were a riotous mob. i wish we could say that we could not see it coming. but that is not true. but we could see it coming. the past four years we have a president that made tis contempt for our democracy, for our rule of all clear on everything he has done. he uncleared an all. out assault on the institutions of our democracy from the outset. and yesterday it was the cull min nation of the unrelending attack.
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he repeatedly called the free press the enemy of the people. language at the time that he first used has long been used by autocrats and dictators all over the world. language that is being used now, but this time with the outgoing president of the united states of america. he dared tell the american people the truth about the effort of a foreign power, choosing instead to believe the word of vupt over the word of those that tore their allegiance to this nation.
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the united states military protesting peaceful protestors in pursuit of a photo opportunity, even holding a bible upside down. an action that lead to an apology from the chair of the joint chiefs of staff and a outspoken denunciation of the use of military for domestic political purposes from scores of former military leaders. and sec stairs of defense. they thought they could stack the courts with friendly judge that's will support him no matter what. he needed nine justices on the supreme court because he thought the election would end up in the supreme court and they would
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hand him the election. they acted with integrity, followed the skrugs and jep held the rule of law. not just once or twice, but over 60 times. more than 60 cases in state after state after state. then at the supreme court, judges including people that were his judges, look at the allegations that trump was making. nothing was judged to put this in doubt by any of these judges. want to understand the importance of democratic institutions in this country,
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take a look at the judiciary in this case. look at what was just objected to by a sitle president of the united states of america at every level. the judiciary rose to the moment in this election. they did their job, acted with complete fairness and impartiality. i believe it will say our democracy survived in no small part because of the men and women that represented an independent judiciary. we oh them a deep debt of gratitude. then there is an attack on the department of justice. treating the attorney general as his personal lawyer and his partner as a personal liaw firm. you kept hearing my generals, my judges, my attorney general.
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and then yesterday, a cull min nation on the attack of institutions of democracy. this time the congress itself n inciting a mob. trying to stop congress from ratifying the will of the american people. trying to use a mob to silence the voices of nearly 160 million americans. who summoned the courage in the face of a pandemic that threatened their health and their lives to cast that sacred ballot. i made it clear from the moment they entered this race. what i believe what was sat
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staat stake. i said what there is nothing than who we are as a nation. who we stand for, what we believe, what we will be if at the center of that believe is where it is long held. where the government of laws, not of men and people, i said it many times in the campaign. our democratic institutions are not relics of another age. they're what set this apart. they're the guard rails of our democracy, and there is no president who is a king. no congress that is a house of lords. a judiciary doesn't serve the will of the president or exist to protect him or her. we are three co-equal branchs


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