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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  January 15, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PST

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millions of americans now turn to the local pharmacies every day for their medicines, flu shots and much more. we're going to immediately start new major efforts working directly with both independent and chain pharmacies to get americans vaccinated. this program will expand beyond access in neighborhoods across the country so that you can make an appointment and get your shot, conveniently show up at a particular time and get it done quickly. the fourth thing we're going to do is we're going to use the full strength of the federal government to ramp up supply of the vaccines. as i said before, we'll use the fund protection act to supply the tools and syringes and
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protective equipment. i've already asked the team, and we have identified the suppliers who are prepared to work with our teams, and we're going to work with their teams. not someday we're going to do this. when i say we're going to invoke the defense production act, go out, even though we don't have the authority, go out and identify those companies that are prepared and will be able to do what we're going to ask. as we made clear earlier this month, the trump administration's policy of holding back close to half the supply of the vaccines available did not make sense. our administration will release the vast majority of the vaccines when they're available so more people can get vaccinated quickly while still maintaining a small reserve for any unseen shortage or delays. but let me be clear. we are not changing the fda's recommendation and its recommended dosing schedules.
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we believe it's critical that everyone should get two doses within the fda-recommended time frame. so we're not doing away with that availability. fifth, we will always be honest and transparent about where we stand, both the good news as well as the bad. we're going to make sure state and local officials know how much supply they'll be getting and when they can expect to get it so they can plan. right now we're hearing that they can't plan because they don't know how much supply of vaccines they can expect at what time frame. that stops when we're in office. we also promise to provide regular updates to you, the american people, on our progress and our goals. we will be, i promise you, transparent about the decisions we are making and why we're making the decisions. you're entitled to know. our administration will lead
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with science and sciences, with the center for disease control, the national institutes of health, that will be free and totally free from political influence. a surgeon general who is independent and speaks directly to the american people. the fda's decisions are based on science and science alone, speaking directly to you. look, while millions of americans have already gotten the vaccine and millions more were all ready to get it, we also know we need to address vaccine hesitancy and build trust in many communities. we know that's the case, for example, in black, latino and native american communities, people who have not always been treated with the dignity and honesty they deserve by the federal government and the scientific community throughout our history. we also see that disinformation campaigns are already underway to further undermine trust in the vaccines.
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our administration will launch a massive public education campaign to rebuild that trust. we'll help people understand what science tells us, that the vaccines help reduce the risk of covid infections and can better safeguard our health and the health of our families and our communities. it's a critical piece to account for a tragic reality of the disproportionate impact this virus has had on blacks, latinos and native american people who are being infected about four times the rate of white americans and dying at three times the rate of white americans. this is unacceptable, it's unconscionable. equity is central to our covid response. and the vice president and i commit to making sure that communities of color and rural neighborhoods, those living with disabilities and seniors are not left behind in our vaccination
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plans. look, our plan is as clear as it is bold. get more people vaccinated for free. create more places for them to get vaccinated. mobilize more medical teams to get the shots in people's arms. increase supply and get it out the door as soon as possible. this is one of the most challenging operational efforts ever undertaken by our country. but you have my word that we will manage the hell out of this operation. but as i said last night, we need funding from congress to make this happen. and i'm optimistic. i'm convinced the american people are ready to spare no effort and no expense to get this done. all these steps will take some time. it may take many months to get to where we need to be. there will be stumbles, and yes,
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i know so much has already been asked of you. and when we're sworn in next week, we're going to ask you to keep the faith and keep following what we know works. one of our 100-day challenges is to mask up everyone. the day we're inaugurated, i'm going to ask you to mask up for the next 100 days. this is not a political issue. and i will issue an executive order to require a mask or have the authority to do that for federal workers in federal property, on interstate travel like trains and planes. we'll also be working with mayors and governors in red states and blue states and ask them to require masking up in their cities and their states. look, i hope we now know this is not a political issue, this is about saving lives. i know it's become a partisan
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issue, but what a stupid, stupid thing for it to happen. this is a patriotic act. we're asking you, we're in a war with this virus, and experts say and have shown that wearing a mask from now until april will save as many as 50,000 lives. quite frankly, it was shocking to see members of the congress while the capitol was under siege by a deadly mob of thugs refused to wear a mask while they're in secure locations. i'm so proud of my congressman right here in the state of delaware, lisa brock rochester, trying to hand out masks while people were lying on the floor, huddled up, and the republican colleagues refusing to put them on. what the hell is the matter with them? it's time to grow up.
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result? at least four members of congress to date, including a cancer survivor, now have covid-19 who were in those rooms. for god's sake, wear a mask if not for yourself, for your loved ones, for your country. these are real matters of life and death. we need you to stick with hand washing, social distancing and avoid indoor gatherings with people outside your own household. we'll be a partner to the states and cities so where things are working, we'll help do more of the good work. and when things can improve, we'll bring more resources to bear to get folks tested and vaccinated. i promise you, we're going to work closely with non-profits and the private sector who we know all want to partner with us
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in this effort. the more people we vaccinate and the faster we do it, the sooner we can put this pandemic behind us, and the sooner we can build our economy back better and get back to our lives and to our loved ones. as we're seeing during this pandemic, we can't solve our problems as a divided nation. the only way we come through this is if we come through together. as americans, fellow americans, and as the united states of america. vice president-elect harris and i ran on that vision. we started at noon on wednesday, and that's exactly how we're going to govern and ask for your help. god bless you all and keep you safe, and may god protect our
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troops. thank you. [ inaudible question ] >> yes. i'm in for nikole wallace. president-elect biden delivering a clear message of transparency and leading with science, and how his team will tackle trump's sluggish, incompetent approach to vaccine rollout, asking for patience from americans, and promising again to vaccinate 100 million americans in his first 100 days, about nine times today's total. biden says no goal is too big with the nation's health at stake. he said his team will get it done, by increasing supply as fast as possible, encouraging states to vaccinate as many people as possible and doses become more available, instructing fema to set up 100 federally supported vaccination
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centers. in biden's words, he's going to manage the hell out of this virus. positivity calls for unity from the president-elect today for a nation suffering great loss. more than 390,000 to the coronavirus so far. nearly 4,000 of them just yesterday. and more than 23,000 just this week. and now this prediction from the cdc for biden's first few weeks. nearly 90,000 more americans could die from covid by the first week of february. biden's big moment now just five days away when he'll inherit a nation broken and unrecognizable, almost a dystopian wasteland of viruses, where his inauguration is filled with domestic terror threats and where the senate will be hampered by the past where they juggle an impeachment trial and biden's cabinet is delayed because the president wants to
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be the last. we have our white house policy director in the obama administration. this is probably one of the better speeches i've seen joe biden give. ali, i'll start with you. what was the goal? what was sort of the chatter behind the scenes with the biden team? because he came out today swinging. he called people who wouldn't mask up stupid, he said he was going to manage the hell out of this virus, he was frustrated, he was passionate, he was calm. what kind of tone were they trying to strike? >> all of those. i think we saw it starting last night where he struck this tone of optimism but also didn't mince any words around the harrowing stakes here that he was inheriting just five days from now. we heard the same thing. your takeaway was he was going to manage the heck out of this, i think my takeaway was more.
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more vaccinations and more coordination with the states and federal government. we have seen a real absence of federal leadership here, and biden transition officials as well as biden himself have worked hard over the course of these last few weeks to make clear that role of unfinished work was not going to be unfilled any longer. we saw the initial layout of that $1.9 the trillion plan he's going to shoot for, but today he bared down on the money he's asking for. you're right about how dismal the vaccination response has been so far. that's true, especially when you look at the goals they laid out and how far short of them they have fallen over the course of the last few weeks. but there are a few things biden will be doing differently that really flipped the strategy around, including the piece where he's going to be less rigid over who can get the
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vaccine right now. they'll be releasing more of the vaccine that's available, holding back some of it just in case it lags in terms of production levels, but mostly getting it around to states saying they want less rigidity of who can get this vaccination, people 65 and older as well as front line workers. he also made clear he wasn't going to shy away from using the defense production act. that's something we hadn't seen from this administration, and biden was clear he was going to push for both the vaccine itself, but then you need ways to store the vaccine and get it out to people. they set this lofty goal of 100 million people vaccinated within the first 100 days. that's going to be really crucial to hit. but you heard him remind people that just because they rolled out the vaccine doesn't mean we don't do the things we do so well, social distancing, wearing
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a mask, and he's going to ask everyone to mask up in the first 100 days of his presidency as well. >> they now have access to tiberius. what is the tiberius software, and why is it so critical now that biden said in his speech? >> this is the coolest way they get to roll out the vaccine. they get to see who has what, and that's one of the key things he mentioned in this speech. he said they're going to have a way to watch and say, who did get vaccinations of that vaccine? the fact they got access to it late leaves them behind the 8-ball. these are the kind of concerns we were hearing from biden transition sources over the course of this transition, that
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they weren't getting the information as early as they needed it, which is why we made all these plans to get the vaccine over what they were already doing. it's very clear they are behind where they wanted to be at this point. >> dr. patel, one of the more interesting parts of what i thought was a good speech by incoming president joe biden was this idea of fighting disinformation, making sure that the disinformation that's already online is sort of countered by national education programs. i want you to listen to this tweet by councilman escilot. this conversation had already taken both doses of the vaccine and still contracted the coronavirus, which is something that certain segments of the online world is saying to say, hey, the vaccines don't work. how do you think joe biden's message is going to fight through that disinformation, and could you explain to the
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audience how it is that someone could take both doses of the vaccine and still contract the coronavirus? >> absolutely, jason, good to be with you. i couldn't agree with you more that i think what we're going to see is, a, a communication plan. we never had one. we never really had a federal response whatsoever, and part of that is going to be a communication plan that involves what's true and what's false about the vaccine. to your point, the congressman had both doses, but all of us, including myself, know that full immunity occurs anywhere from one to two weeks after that second dose. there has been some limited data to show there is beginning of immunity after that first dose, but to really get the full 95% efficacy, which we know has been transmitted and reported in clinical trial data, we do need that second dose in time for your immune system.
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just getting the doses of the vaccine doesn't keep your body from contracting the coronavirus. what it does do is take down your risk of dying or getting disease from the coronavirus. so i think that's why you see people like me. i'm still wearing my full ppe, i'm doing everything possible until we have even better data, jason, about what we can expect that this -- what the vaccines can do to defeat the virus once we get to herd immunity or at least a greater percentage of the population. and i'll tell you, i know the president-elect is dealing with the fact that he's watching the cdc reports just like we are about these mutations and the mutant variation from the u.k. and the cdc projecting that could be the dominant strain. so you bet he wants clear communication and i think he also said something i want to highlight. that also means the bad aspects of this. he's not going to sugarcoat it, he's not going to hide it.
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we need adults to tell us what's been happening. you and i talked about the deaths, the sickness. mara has been talking about her story of kind of battling covid. we need to keep it real, and i really appreciate i heard all of that in the last 20 minutes. >> yeah, i think, dr. patel, the public really needs to understand, especially with the congressman, taking this vaccine, it's like the flu shot. just because you take the flu shot doesn't mean you can run naked through the street and run rampant. the virus needs time to work. i want you to listen to sound from dr. fauci. one of the things president-elect biden was talking about is we're going to have to have public, private and state partnerships. i want to hear your thoughts of what dr. fauci said about this on the other side. >> you don't want the federal government to take all the responsibility of doing this. you don't want the states to be left on their own.
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you've got to have a good degree of interaction, and i think that's what we're going to see more of where states will have both help to get out to resources but also more of a general coordinated plan about how to do this. >> mara, first off, we have some states that are red, some states that are blue, some states that are purple and some states run by competent people. how likely do you think it is that we're going to see the kind of federal/state relationship and coordination that dr. fauci is talking about? >> i think we're going to have a much greater chance under president joe biden. and my hope is that's where their focus is. look, it's a big country and it's a complicated country with a far from unified government, right? the states all have their own individual government. some of those states and even cities within those states are going to be highly effective at delivering this vaccine to their people.
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others will need state or federal help to do so. the goal is to be nimble. where you have cities in localities and states that will be effective at that, let them do their job, get out of the way. get them the vaccines, get out of the way. make sure the policy is to get them in as many arms as possible as quickly as possible and as safely as possible. then where you have other places in the united states but maybe don't have that kind of health infrastructure, public health infrastructure, they are going to need more federal help. so an example of this would be here in new york city we have -- not to brag, but truly we do have an exceptionally well regarded public health department. in 1947 they inoculated 1 million residents against smallpox in under a month. so this is an infrastructure that can actually deliver a vaccine very quickly. i'm putting them on the line here. they should be going faster than
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they are, but still, the infrastructure is vast here. there are going to be a lot of places in the united states, especially in rural areas, where that's just not the case. so the goal is to be nimble and to make sure that the politics doesn't play a role but that the public health officials, local, state, federal, are able to do their job with the resources they need. >> this might be the only time we say this. we might hope that every place is like new york when it comes to delivering this virus, at least from the 1940s. mara gay, ali vitale and dr. patel, thank you very much. we're learning how very close the terrorists came to vice president pence. as trump slinks off over the next several days, we're wondering how his administration
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stayed so tightly with him for so long. we'll have more after this. don't go anywhere. e after this don't go anywhere. with moderate to severe crohn's disease, i was there, just not always where i needed to be. is she alright? i hope so. so i talked to my doctor about humira. i learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of crohn's disease after trying other medications. the majority of people on humira saw significant symptom relief in as little as 4 weeks. and many achieved remission that can last. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores . don't start humira if you have an infection. be there for you and them. ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, remission is possible.
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hang mike pence! hang mike pence! >> we all heard the frightening chants from the terrorists to hang mike pence. now we know how close they got to him in the capitol. about one minute after the group was hustled out of the chamber, the terrorists chased a capitol police officer who drew them away from the senate.
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pence and his family ducked into a hideaway close by, according to people in the white house who spoke in anonymity because of the seriousness of the situation. if it were just seconds earlier, the attacker would have been in eyesight of the vice president as he was taken to the reception hall across the way, end quote. they are guarding against ongoing threets going forward. fbi director christopher wray warns of potential risks surrounding vice president-elect joe biden's inauguration which will take place five days from today. the city looks like it's preparing for war. i can tell you the entire city is shut down. residents are frightened. there are police and national guard everywhere. they deployed 20,000 national guard troops which officials point out is roughly three times the total of americans deployed in iraq, afghanistan, somalia
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and syria. joining us now in our city under siege is jake sherman, founder of punchbowl news as well as an msnbc contributor, also national post security reporter and karen -- kurt wadella. kurt, you had a fantastic viral moment yesterday when you talked about the security issues and what was going on in the house after the attack. i want you to listen to the sound of speaker nancy pelosi where she talks about the imagery and the symbolism behind all these precautions in the capitol. >> for a long time now, weeks, it has been determined that we would have a very small inauguration because of covid. most disappointing, because obviously we're excited about nominating a new president of the united states.
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but not at the risk of people's health and well-being and, indeed, their lives. so this was always going to be small. now with the insurrection of last week, it is necessitated by security to have more security, but it hasn't changed the nature of the swearing in. i think it's important for people to know that. this is not a concession to the terrorists, it is a recognition of the danger of covid. >> kurt, after 9/11, there was a meme that popped up. if we don't do anything, the terrorists have won. what do you think of nancy pelosi's explanation that, hey, look, the terrorists haven't won, we were going to have a small inauguration, anyway. and what do you say to the people who terrorized this
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country to think they can be emboldened by how this ceremony will come across? >> this is a delicate balance. you have to look at, obviously, the security of the president-elect and all the people who are going to be there. you have to look at the impact of covid-19. as the speaker said this was going to be a different inauguration because of that. we're not going to have tens of thousands of people on the mall watching the peaceful transition of power. that was never going to happen. but i think we would all be fooling ourselves if we didn't acknowledge that things are different this year, this time, because of the insurrection we saw just the other week. the fact that even rehearsing for inauguration has been disrupted. the fact we even have to have the conversation about having our national guard troops be here, have that presence in d.c. to ward off potential instigators and protesters and rioters. the whole point of our country is that we have the transition of power, that we have to worry about changing of governments
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under siege and violence hanging over us. this is why i keep going back to the line that republicans who say we need to unite, we need to move forward, we need to come together, i'm sorry, but neither you nor i are going to be able to unite with people who are racist, who are white nationalists, who want to hang our elected officials, who want to kidnap them, who want to hold them hostage and execute them. there is no uniting with them. imagine what republicans would have said if, after 9/11, we would have gone out there and said, we need to unite, we need to move on, we need to not hold people accountable. what happened last week was more devastating than 9/11 because it happened within and it was fueled by our own leadership, and one of the most political parties in america are still standing with those people instead of standing for democracy. >> kurt brings such fire, he literally lit candles in the background of the set there. matt, this is something that i think is probably one of the most engrossing things we've seen since this terror attack.
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finding out day by day how close this country came to assassinations of multiple leaders. we've got the "washington post" story that mike pence was 100 feet away from possibly getting attacked by a mob, we're getting additional information about tours that were happening. what is it about getting this reporting out to the capitol police in the white house right now, and what do you think we're going to hear in the next couple days as more information comes forward? >> i think there's been two big reporting incidents, what did the fbi know and when, what did the capitol police know and when? today inspectors general of several agencies, including the justice department, announced they're going to investigate, see what sort of intelligence and security failures precipitated the events of january 6. and then this is all very relevant in the next week and
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you have another big high-profile event with joe biden's inauguration and capitol police, fbi, secret service have to prove that they can defend that sort of thing. so the other line of reporting is, what are they doing different this time? how are they responding to threats this time? certainly the fbi is going out and arresting people that are responsible for january 6th and that will sort of take them off the board in terms of the inauguration. they're monitoring all sorts of online chatter, but they're under a lot of pressure to do a lot better than they did last week. >> so, jake, speaking of pressure to do better, right, we have reporting out of the "new york times" that mike pence has turned over a new leaf. he's spoken to incoming vice president kamala harris, he's made efforts to communicate with her, possibly have dinner with her husband. do you think this is mike pence recognizing, look, the jig is up, i finally have to do things better, or is he just tired? i suspect having people chant "hang mike pence" might make you
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realize you want to get out of this job as soon as possible. >> i imagine he no longer worries about what donald trump thinks of him, frankly. i don't think they have -- from all reporting, from my indications, they don't have much of a relationship anymore. and this is the kind of thing that he could never do if he was still on speaking terms, probably, with the president of the united states. remember, mike pence and joe biden spoke and spoke when joe biden took over and mike pence took over the reins as president. i want to talk about the challenge that the capitol police, the secret service and
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the police have. i can tell you it's very difficult to get into this building right now, and you can't walk -- i mean, the image you're seeing here is, i believe, that's second or third street that runs across the mall about two or three blocks from the capitol. i have to enter the capitol every day by going three or four blocks away, going through three or four checkpoints. i park in a garage near the capitol. it is nearly impossible. it takes me about 30 minutes to get into the garage. i just have a very hard time believing that anybody is getting anywhere close to this complex right now. it's a complete fortress that is no fun to get anywhere near. >> and that's not just sort of difficult for the inauguration process, but i keep telling people, you've got 700,000 people who live in washington, d.c. they are essentially living in a
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city under siege because of last week's terror attack. the more information we're getting is the calls keep coming from inside the house. you have members of congress who are legitimately concerned that they might be attacked by staffers or other congress members on the republican side. you know, matt, i want your thoughts on this, because when you have members of congress who say, hey, i want to bring in my guns, i don't care what anybody else says. when you have members of congress who may or may not have brought some of these terrorists in advance, when you have terrorists saying, kill them, blah, blah, blah, they want this taken to the ground, how can anyone have confidence going to work without knowing if somebody is going to shoot them? >> maybe i'm not the best person to speak of this, but the relationship between democrats and republicans have been broken
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for a long time, and it's broken now when they say they fear their own colleagues or colleague's staffers might have participated in some sort of reconnaisance before the events of january 6. it's a far cry from someone doing a congressional tour. maybe law enforcement will go down the road of exploring, but look, the effects of this are going to stick with us beyond just january 20. we'll see what security measures stay in place, especially for the capitol after january. we'll see what additional security measures other government buildings might get after january 20th. this event, i think, is pointing out how badly the system can fail, so maybe we need to change some of it. >> and the result being that we still have more limited access to our leaders, which is always a shame. jake sherman, matt zopotosky,
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thank you for being with us. when we come back, how americans specifically are preparing for a post-trump world. post-trump world. at alright, i brought in ensure max protein to give you the protein you need with less of the sugar you don't. [grunting noise] i'll take that. woohoo! 30 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar. ensure max protein. with nutrients to support immune health.
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for your free information kit i'm proud to be a part of aag. i trust 'em. i think you can too. call now! there are just five days left in trump's presidency, and the message from the american people to trump appears to be, don't let the door hit you in the rear on your way out. trump is set to leave the white
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house wednesday after stealing as many things as possible from vital time as president. this is a new poll from the "washington post" and abc news says that 56% of americans want congress to bar trump from ever running for office again. trump will also be the first president to never achieve majority approval at any point from his four years in office. and they've lost congress and dozens of lawmakers already being blacklisted by corporate america, and the gop brand is basically radioactive and flawed in the country. let's bring in phil rucker, bureau chief and msnbc political analyst. i'll start with you, the notorious rick wilson. i feel like i should slap on a banner that says, warning, explicit lyrics. rick, i want to play the latest ad from the lincoln project, and i want you to sort of explain to the audience what you guys are really shooting for when we get
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back this new ad about rick scott. >> rick scott here. i have just now taken over as chairman of the nash republican senate committee. i now have to figure out how to raise roughly a bazillion dollars to stop the march of socialism. >> we could take that place! >> then do what? >> i'll do it. >> get the [ bleep ] in there! >> let's go! >> wow. so, rick, what's the message you're trying to get across here? not that we haven't already picked it up. >> well, rick scott was one of the members of the sedition caucus who backed the false conspiracy theory that the election was stolen from donald trump, which helped inflame a violent mob.
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people like ted cruz, josh hawley and rick scott poured gasoline all over the country, essentially, by promoting this conspiracy theory that donald trump had won the election through weeks and weeks since the election, backing up his every statement. and when donald trump struck the match this week or last week, on wednesday, and an armed insurgent force entered the capitol with murderous intent, who killed a police officer, guys like rick scott are still dug in. they're still saying nothing changed, it's business as usual. we're going to fight socialism. the magical enemy of the republican party, the magical socialist army while they've got an army of insurgents who have killed people in this country who are still tuned up and ready to go. so corporate america is going to be one of the things rick scott has to go to to tell them, i need your support to rebuild the republican party and recap tour the majority. we want to make sure corporate america makes a decision.
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they have to tell republicans like rick scott and josh hawley and ted cruz, you're either with us as this country or with the insurgents who tried to overthrow a free and fair election. it will be a tough spot because they have to keep the magas happy, and they know it's bad branding to be in insurgency against a free and fair election. >> they're going to go with whatever side works for them at the moment. phil, we have senator james lankford from oklahoma. he was originally part of the republican caucus, and then he said, wait, maybe the election wasn't stolen. and then in a deep apology, he apologized to all sorts of black people in oklahoma and said, i didn't realize that trying to cancel all your votes meant it was somewhat vaguely racist. i'm going to say up front, i'm
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not particularly moved by this. if you didn't know it wasn't about cancelling black votes, i would think you knew better. but i'm going to ask this. do you think we'll see these kinds of apologies from other members of the senate as they try to rehab themselves and not get hit like rick scott was by the lincoln housing project? >> potentially, and i think the big thing for these senators is it's frankly corporate america. we're seeing many, many companies trying to distance from donald trump, vowing not to give donations to campaigns, if not temporarily then over the course of this next election cycle, and that could be very damaging for their political fortunes. the pressure, i don't think, however, is going to come from republican voters. that new "washington post" abc news poll found that a majority of republican voters continue to believe president trump's claims that the election was rigged and they continue to support trump. in fact, they want republican
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leaders during the biden presidency to follow trump's lead, to continue to be led by former president trump. that's the view of the majority of republican voters out there. >> and yet we have this great article in the "washington post" by ashley parker saying those people who have been strongly linked to donald trump are suddenly having trouble getting any responses on their linkedin. they're having difficulty finding work, they're having difficulty going home. rick, what do you think sort of the political environment of america should do with people who decided to stay with trump until the absolute last minute? it's one thing if you left in 2018 after the midterms, it's one thing if you left after charlottesville. what should they do with americans who basically hung out with donald trump until the last minute? >> this is in the category of if you bought the ticket, you get to take the ride. there was a thought that the whole world had changed, we were
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going to be this monopolistic party, and they've got stain on them. they backed them up in charlottesville. all these folks that can't get jobs now are the dead-enders, the hardest of the hard-core. they want to get out and work in hollywood, in the finance industry of corporate america. again, bad choice. >> i tell you, they might be looking differently at that $2,000 a month now that they're going to be unemployed. rick wilson and phil rucker, thank you for being with us. up next, we'll look at the challenges already facing jamie harrison. that's next. facing jamie harrison that's next.
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last night, president-elect joe biden announced that he would be choosing jamie harrison to lead the dnc. hooray. with the hope that he can get them to hang on to their slim majority in congress. harrison most recently shattered fund-raising during his senate race against lindsey graham in the 2020 elections and before that was the chair of the south carolina democratic party. not an easy task. "the new york times" writing about the difficult road ahead for harrison and the party said, quote, the party committee will have to bridge the divides between democrats who want mr. biden and his messaging to focusing on unifying the country
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and a liberal wing eager to pursue legal measures to hold president trump and his allies accountable. joining us now, juanita toliver and reverend al sharpton. rev, i'll start with you. you know jamie. i know jamie. talk about what makes him uniquely qualified to head the dnc. >> jaime harrison is as proven himself to lead the democratic party in south carolina is an excellent fund-raiser and an excellent person that knows how to bridge both the progressive and the moderate wing of the party and is excellent in knowing how to organize and mobilize in the south where the democrats have now began to make some progress and needs to continue that if we're going to see the wins that we saw in '18 and in '20 under our tom perez so i think there couldn't have been a better person than jaime
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who has the experience and the track record to do what's needed to be done at this time. >> so, tom perez, you got to give him a lot of credit, right? the democrats won the white house, won the house, won the senate during his time there. but jaime harrison has a very different job than tom perez. juanita, what's a successful term for jaime harrison going to look like several years down the road, following up on what is arguably a successful run by tom perez. >> above all, it's going to include heavy long-term investments in state parties across the country to not only build that infrastructure but learn some lessons from the playbook that we saw on display in georgia, invest in programs and organizing programs run by black and brown women across this country who know how to invest in voters, and i think that's something that we've seen jaime do in his home state of south carolina. even in different programs where he actively engaged communities that are typically ignored by elected officials, typically
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ignored as voters, and he made sure they got attention, they were heard, and they turned out to the polls. so i feel like that above all is his number one goal here. i think number two, absolutely listening to all parts of the party. there are -- like you mentioned in that "new york times" story, he has to hear progressives. he has to hear moderates, and he has to make sense of it all. what he has going into this role, though, is strong relationships with state party leaders across the country, and that's going to be a massive asset for him as he navigates this terrain. >> rev, really quickly. i tend to disagree with some of these analysis that say that the party is that split. i think that there are lots of democrats and lots of independents who believe that you can still push forward policy and hold trump and his cronies accountable when it comes to messaging, though, that may be a challenge. if you were talking to jaime harrison right now, what would you say is the first message that democrats need to have in that first 100 days when they'll still be dealing with impeachment and trying to push through policy for covid? >> i would have, as the message, that we can walk and chew gum at
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the same time. we must move forward in terms of dealing with the pandemic, in terms of preserving some of the things like the affordable care act, police reform, and some of the things that we dealt with in 2020 from george floyd on and at the same time prosecute those that have broke the law. and i think that jaime is uniquely qualified to know how to strike that balance. i agree with you when you say you don't think there's as great a divide as some of the media plays. people want to see bread on the table and the guy that broke in the house go to jail at the same time. >> i agree. and besides, it's really hard to not see the value of police reform after we saw numbers of police engage in a violent insurrection against the united states government. >> absolutely. >> juanita tolive and reverend al sharpton, thank you so much for joining us today. that's going to do it for me. up next the man of the hour, tower of power, ari melber with
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i have dedicated my life to the defense of our nation, and donald trump is a risk to all that i love. >> every moment donald trump is in the white house, our nation, our freedom is in danger. >> he is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love. >> speaker pelosi making the argument right there, donald j. trump, a clear and present danger. this is the argument that's at the heart of the impeachment in the looming trial. the contention that with every day donald trump is in office and every day that he could run for office again, legally, the public is at risk. it's 5:00 on the east coast, i'm ari melber, i'm in for nicole wallace tonight at a time where the evidence to support that argument appears to be mounting before our very eyes across washington and the nation. d.c. on a war footing. more than 21,000 national guard troops set to secure the capitol in the coming week against these
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inauguration threats. a bigger military presence than in afghanistan, iraq, and syria combined. take that in. the threats are imminent. preparations are january 20th already disrupted. the fbi tracking what christopher wray yesterday called extensive online chatter about armed uprisings in washington and kpros the country. evidence that the insurrection donald trump incited on january 6th with that big lie about election fraud and the call to fight back, well, this is the authorities of the united states, not a political matter, trying to make sure everyone clearly understands they view that insurrection as in progress, continuing right now. we're also sifting through the fallout of the siege. all 44 federal charges filed so far are in action. more than 100 arrests, as many as 300 case files expected to be opened by the day's end. over 140,000 tips have come in to help law enforcement identify those who captured. of course, the capitol for a time and were in their own way
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captured on camera as they stormed congress, some of them with every intention of harming elected officials or worse. today, a pair of disturbing new reports in the "post" detailing the greatest detail yet in the ferocity with which the mob rioted, d.c. police officers speaking out, saying they feared the worst was happening as they sought to protect the capitol and those inside from a swarm of trump's supporters. that includes michael, pictured here in the thick of the mob, captured by rioters. he relays the evidence against them, saying, they shouted, kill him with his own gun, end quote. while commander raimey tells "the post," we believed we were fighting for our lives. and he had to calculate what to do to keep an uprising from becoming a massacre. i didn't want to be the guy who starts shooting because i knew they had guns and the only reason i could think of that they weren't shooting us was
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they were waiting for us to shoot first and if it became a fire fight between a couple hundred officers and a couple thousand demonstrators, we would have lost. "washington post" also revealing how close the vice president was to potentially moral danger that day. quote, about one minute after vice president pence was hustled out of the chamber, a group charged up the stairs to a second floor landing, chasing a capitol police officer who drew them away from the senate. if the pro-trump mob had arrived seconds earlier, those attackers would have been in the eyesight of the vice president while he was being evacuated. quote, rushed across the reception hall. this is part of the case that senate republicans will be hearing. they will consider and their opportunity to decide whether there is a reckoning and a conviction for donald trump as a matter of constitutional law for inciting an uprising that, again, according to authorities, is playing out right now. we are joined tonight by "new york times's" homeland security and clint watts, fbi special agent and an msnbc analyst and
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carol lening, "washington post" national investigative reporter and msnbc contributor. carol, what does this reporting reveal? >> well, first off, hats off to the metropolitan police department and my colleague, peter herman. the police decided that they needed to tell their story. their chief decided they needed to explain what it really was like. basically, a "game of thrones" medieval, you know, death match, and our amazing cops reporter, peter herman, documented, in excruciating and chilling detail, just how close some of those officers felt they came to death on that ground. pretty hallowed ground and not what they expected when they reported for roll call that morning on wednesday. i find it really interesting to read deeper in that store, ari, and see how some of the officers said they were so stunned because they could see some of the people on the other line, the people bashing their heads
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in, were either ex-cops, ex-military, or off-duty law enforcement, and while they didn't recognize them, they recognized who they were and that stunned them. >> clint, when you look at these operational details that are revealed in this story and the other accounts and videos we're seeing, what do you see as the significance of, as "the post" put it, the fact that these rioters who chanted "hang mike pence" who wanted an insurrection in order to allegedly kill members of government in order to keep donald trump in power, as an autocrat, that they were a minute away or under a minute away from seeing pence. what operationally does that mean to you? >> what i find shocking throughout all this, ari, is this was well known in answer. people knew that a lot of people were going to be there.
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you could observe online them talking about how to get weapons or bring weapons into the district, how to get them up to the capitol. as we heard from that officer, they had been seizing guns all day and this footage right here that you're showing, that gentleman, i -- i thought the entire time the rest of the day, why didn't he shoot? and then i was like, look at this mob that is approaching him. and i had to give him credit for showing such restraint. he could have tipped off a gun battle right there in the senate. you know, right outside the senate with the vice president of the united states being evacuated. this is all going on during this scene right here that you're showing. so, i don't understand -- >> i'm asking -- but i guess i'm -- you're pivoting to the security failures, which are important, and we've documented. i'm curious, though, your view, tactically, of the question posed. was mike pence close to getting killed that day? i think we have to be direct about the implication, the reporting, or given your deep knowledge of how this works, is that not something you can conclude yet from the fact that
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they were close? >> yeah -- >> ari, can i interrupt there? >> they're close. >> i'm just going to interrupt because i was doing some of the reporting on this. you know, we don't know if he was close to death. we know he was one minute away and 75 feet away from the rioters you just saw on that tape coming up the stairs. coming up from the first floor, right at that moment, the vice president is in a hideaway with his wife, with his daughter, with his brother, with several of his staff members, hiding with secret service outside, hoping that they can figure out how to evacuate him from the building. you know, the secret service is trained to evacuate and cover whenever there is danger. any threat that rises, they've got to get the heck out of there, distance is their friend. well, at 1:00 p.m. on wednesday, danger was at the door. the capitol police chief had announced an emergency riot. he could no longer hold the mobs back.
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at 1:59, the capitol police reported that people -- the visigoths were inside the building or making their way in shortly. and at 2:13, vice president pence was taken to this hideaway and one minute before this is when pence's door closed, roughly, based on our video and reporting. one minute before is when pence is spirited into that room. he's still not in safety. he hasn't fled the building. and it will take several minutes before the secret service can convince him that they need to get him the heck out of the building. so, he was in heightened danger. death? i doubt it. there were a lot of armed guys around him. but he was in a lot of danger. >> wow. clint and then zolan. >> ari, i mean, in the documents filed in court today, very specifically, one of the witnesses that is cited in there says that one of the subjects that was arrested talked about
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trying to kill nancy pelosi, the speaker of the house, if they could find her. so i think the intention was probably there. what we don't know was, was this talk, whenever they're talking, trying to pump each other up or would they have kaefrd it out? the people that were talking about this had the ability to do it. these are former military members, why would we think they could not do it? they absolutely could. and would they go to that sort of length? we also know, if we rewind this, we watched this episode be disrupted by the fbi in michigan. what happened? we had a fringe militia group that was doing an intricate plos uses explosives as a diversion to kidnap the governor of michigan. they wanted to try her, certainly they would have wanted to kill her. so i think the intent is there. whether they would actually carry it or not or if it's just talk, we won't know until it actually happens and i think that's one of the dangers when we're talking about terrorism is we can't wait until it happens to do something about it.
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>> and just to add to what clint was saying there, look, it's clear the writing was on the wall for how dangerous this threat was. law enforcement officials had the ability to look at online platforms and see the chatter that was taking place, chatter that discussed coming through washington, d.c. you can look at the president's twitter feed and see that he was encouraging this rally that would soon turn into the violent riot that you did see, and these are the questions, as we continue to dig in, you know, through this breakdown in the security presence, the security -- the coordination among federal law enforcement that was responsible for protecting the capitol. we have seen that there was warnings that there were warnings coming out of federal agencies. we have seen that there was also a void of intelligence that was shared amongst some of these different government agencies. we have also recorded that some in the defense department, as well as just some throughout the trump administration, hesitated
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to deploy the reinforcements, the back-up, the federal assets that was needed at that time. that's one of the main questions that we still have as we continue to report here is why is it that we had this rather modest presence of capitol police officers at the capitol and it was only until hours after we had this violent, angry mob at the doorstep of the capitol that you saw more national guard members as well as tactical agents deployed to help those members of congress that were forced into a lockdown. >> and speaker pelosi discussed today whether other members of congress, including allegedly, potentially, republicans, were involved. take a listen to that, zolan. >> when we're talking about security, we have to talk about truth and trust. in order to serve here with each other, we must trust that people have respect for their oath of office, respect for this
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institution. we must trust each other. respecting the people who sent us here. we must also have the truth, and that will be looked into. the -- if, in fact, it is found that members of congress were accomplices to this insurrection, if they aided and abetted the crime, there may have to be actions taken beyond the congress in terms of prosecution. for that. >> zolan? >> you know, it's fascinating, not only do you have members of congress as well as federal law enforcement responsible right now for investigating these breakdowns or in that case investigating if members of congress did give tours the day before the siege at the capitol to people that were in that mob, but you also have a situation
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where public officials right now, responsible for the security in washington, need to balance those investigations while also looking forward, right? i mean, we still have a big event coming up in the next couple days, and already, we're seeing just the other day, we reported on a bulletin that we obtained that was authored by multiple federal agencies that said, once again, these extremist groups, including extremists that are intent on starting a race war or groups like the boogaloo, which do have the intent to start a second civil war, are -- have said online and, you know, i must say that you can only -- you have to take for a grain of salt the chatter that you do see online, but they said in this bulletin that there's already talk about once again coming back to washington in the days leading up to the inauguration. you have a situation right now where public officials as well as federal law enforcement will need to balance investigating the breakdowns that happened last week while also looking forward to the inauguration and
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already, you're seeing a washington that looks a bit unfamiliar. you know, there's -- you mentioned before, more than 20,000 troops are expected, national guard members, are expected to be in washington in the coming week, and we're already seeing the secret service, which is in the lead of securing the inauguration in the coming week, establish a sort of bubble in downtown washington. >> yeah, and carol, what is the mounting evidence of what happened in the capitol have to do with the pressure that you and your colleagues are reporting on senate republicans to consider convicting donald trump? because in essence, there are two questions. how bad was the insurrection? and, boy, does it look worse the more we learn about it, thanks to your and other intrepid reporting. and then, what is the level of culpability for the president, which, whether people like it or not, outside of the senate, in federal law, it's a very high
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bar to jail someone for their words that may lead to someone else doing something. it's a, obviously, lower bar in the constitution for senate conviction precisely because it is not something that the founders wanted government officials or the president in their job duties to get away with doing, to state the obvious, i guess, this is part of my job in 2020, carol, but to state the obvious, the founders did not envision that first amendment protections would be used to defend a president trying to incite, through violence, that which he couldn't win at the ballot box. >> no. they really didn't envision that. your question really hits the nail on the head. and you know, think about listening to zolan and listening to clint and their smart remarks. think about the insane juxtaposition of the fact that the president is outside whipping people into a fury, recommending that they storm towards the capitol, if not inside it, and inside it is the
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vice president. there are nooses being carried around, allegedly to hold eventually his neck by the protesters who are joining. there are republican and democratic lawmakers, hundreds of them, inside, fearing for their life. mcconnell's aides are barricading doors to try to protect themselves and their other colleagues, all republicans. think of how bizarre that juxtaposition is, and add to it that these are law enforcement officers getting in this situation of fearing for their lives, having small heart attacks, as one officer did, all because of what the president recommended. you know, it is true, there are two pieces going on. impeachment and possible criminal prosecution. yesterday, i interviewed former fbi director jim comey, and i asked him, would you prosecute the president, the president's son, and rudy giuliani for inciting a riot? and he said, i absolutely would.
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i would investigate it and if the evidence is there, i'd bring it. it's a hard one, i agree. and he does too. impeachment has a whole other element to it, which is, your lives were on the line, republicans. you were chased out of your building. you were in small little hideaways and sometimes taken to fort mcnair on emergency suvs to get away from a marauding horde that wanted to help donald trump and who were following, essentially, in their own words, following his instructions. so, how worried are you that this could happen again? and do you want to send a message? that's the big question for republicans in the senate as we get down to this point. >> you laid it out starkly there, and i think that echos, i think, viewers can hear exactly what you're saying, carol, just as these reports written in red have a lot of americans better informed tonight from the "washington post." i want to thank carol, clint,
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and zolan for kicking off our coverage here. still ahead on this very special hour, the evidence against donald trump that could be presented at the unprecedented second impeachment trial. a growing threat to capitols around the nation, the fbi of warning of more violent protests and five days to go before president-elect biden takes power. go before president-elect biden takes power.
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or bring your own device and choose the amount of data that's right for you to save even more. and you'll get nationwide 5g at no extra cost. all on the most reliable network. so choose a data option that's right for you. get nationwide 5g included and save up to $300 a year on the network rated #1 in customer satisfaction. it's your wireless. your rules. only with xfinity mobile. we've got the president on national tv telling people to come up to the capitol and stop the counting of the ballots. so, this is a pretty straightforward case. you could see that with the
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article of impeachment. it was very straightforward and factual. and i think that's what we'll be seeing in the trial over in the senate. >> congresswoman degette, one of the house impeachment managers, speaking out about the case that she and these eight others will be presenting to the senate. the argument is that much of the case against trump is on tape. you can listen to the president on january 6th at the rally before the mob stormed the capitol. >> we will not let them silence your voices. we're not going to let it happen. because we're going to have somebody in there that should not be in there, and our country will be destroyed, and we're not going to stand for that. we won this election, and we won it by a land slide. if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. you'll never take back our country with weakness. you have to show strength, and you have to be strong. republicans are constantly fighting like a boxer with his hands tied behind his back.
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it's like a boxer, and we want to be so nice. we want to be so respectful of everybody, including bad people, and we're going to have to fight much harder. >> let me be clear. this isn't a tv segment you're watching. i mean, it is, but what you just saw is not just another, quote, in the endless trump era of news. what you also just saw is a preview of what we know is part of the evidence against donald trump in his looming judgment day in the senate because it is already submitted by house democrats as part of the evidence in the article of impeachment. the reference to fight. the call to action backed by so many of those allies at the rally. >> today is the day american patriots start taking down names and kicking ass. >> who hides evidence?
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criminals hide evidence. if we're right, a lot of them will go to jail. so, let's have trial by combat. >> those rioters didn't target every random member of the trump administration. they specifically targeted pence, who donald trump had thrown under the bus and then some. he said pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done, which was posted at 2:24 p.m. at that point, pence was already in hiding from that mob filled with people who literally said out loud they were there to execute him. we were just discussing that "post" reporting with carol and others, the mob coming within a hundred feet of him as he was hidden in a hideaway with his family and in no position to have secret service agents fight off thousands of people who would breach the capitol. the insurrectionists also had zip types, they had weapons, some collected at the time, some not. prosecutors say there's evidence they did intend to capture or
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assassinate elected officials. now, this actually was a rogue mob that took donald trump's words out of proportion, the president also had every single opportunity to get involved. to tell them to stand down. "the post" reports, though, that as members of congress were hidden in the capitol and they were inside begging for help during the siege, they struggled to get through to the president, who, quote, safely ensconced in the west wing, was busy watching tv images of the crisis unfolding around them to act or even bother to hear their pleas. when trump finally released that video hours after the rampage, he addressed the insurrectionists by saying, and again, not everything was known then, but quite a bit was, quote, we love you. you're very special. some of the republicans who did vote to impeach cited donald trump's inaction during the violence as a major factor. liz cheney said that trump could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence. he didn't. tom rice, for hours while the riot continued, the president communicated on twitter and offered only weak requests for restraint. new signs today trump's refusal
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to admit that the election lie was, of course, ultimately always false continues to embolden extremists in the view of authorities. quote, in the video wednesday, the president did not acknowledge he had lost the november election and by not doing so, he's seen as giving approval to his followers' plans to wage war. that word is deliberate. quote, war against the establishment. i'm joined by law professor melissa murray, and andrew weissman, a former fbi general counsel and msnbc analyst and of course a former member of the mueller probe. andrew, what is criminal here, and what is impeachable and convictable in the senate? >> it's important for people to understand that for the impeachment, it is neither necessary nor sufficient that there be a criminal charge. you could have a minor crimes by a president that don't need impeachment, but you could also have conduct that's outrageous
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but not criminal that could warrant impeachment. so, that latter is important here, because in your segue here, where you talk about representative cheney talking about what the president did, essentially, while this was going on, that alone could be impeachable. meaning, even if you didn't tie the president's actions to being sufficient to instigate, in other words, he didn't somehow know this was going to happen, which i think is a stretch anyway, but even if you found that, you could find that it was impeachable just because when this was happening, the president clearly was approving of it because he took zero steps to prevent it, to dissuade it. in fact, he encouraged it by talking about how these were good people, as you mentioned. so, i think that the impeachment
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trial has a lot of room to work with and i similarly think with a criminal case, there actually is a lot of evidence of the president's intent, not just what you played, but it doesn't really make a lot of sense if he was not actually trying to encourage this that he didn't have all the kinds of reactions that you would have. he should -- if you thought this was a terrible thing that they didn't just exercise their first amendment, but they were actually attacking congress, you would expect him to react by saying, oh my god, let's send in the national troops, let's make sure this stops. what can i do to prevent it? and the fact that he wasn't doing that is really good evidence of his intent at the time. >> all really important, if disturbing points. can i ask you a yes or no question, andrew? >> yes, you can. >> in your view, is the
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president's conduct here worse than anything you found in the mueller probe? >> you know, i think the answer to that is yes, because it goes so much to the undermining of a core democratic function, and i do think here the visual, the seeing it play out is so damaging to our democracy here and abroad. but it is also important to note that undermining the rule of law without a graphic, which is what was found in the very least the second volume of the mueller investigation, is really serious. >> same question to you, professor. andrew weissman is known for many things but in law, he's known as a tough prosecutor.
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i was very keen to hear his answer. and i'm curious, yours, because we all covered the mueller probe. the report has at least five instances of what, in the lawyer's call, substantial evidence of obstruction, which is a crime, a major federal felony, people go to jail for that. there's a lot of bad stuff outlined in the mueller probe, as a factual statement. we all lived through it. we remember it. same question to you, given all that, professor. >> there are so many impeachable offenses that we could have chosen from over the course of four years. on january 5th, we were talking about the call to the georgia secretary of state being the basis of a potential article of impeachment. and that was entirely eclipsed by what happened on january 6th. i mean, that really was, i think, a line in the sand. there has been a lot of low-level, petty, unorthodox governmental practices that have gone on in this administration, there have been huge, major issues that have been called to attention, including the ukraine call and other things that were
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noted in the mueller report. but this really was a bridge too far. and although it happened toward the end of this administration, it's indicative of everything that preceded it. >> andrew? andrew, your thoughts? >> so, i, of course, totally agree with professor murray, my colleague at nyu. you really can look at this over four years as an undermining of the rule of law in various ways, whether it is the executive function of doing a criminal investigation, tampering with witnesses, or tampering with the 2020 election. so, you've seen, you know, tampering with the 2016 election.
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you've seen tampering with the investigation into the 2016 election. and now, you have what many have referred to as the big lie with respect to the 2020 election, and the undermining of the rule of law. but i do think it's important to note that while this is just incredibly serious, what we're seeing, it is very much the visual that i think has caused people to just be so shocked and the people in congress are now sort of actually experiencing the undermining of the rule of law in a very visceral, public way. but it, in fact, as somebody who was in the department of justice for over 20 years, it's something that we have lived with for four years, and as melissa mentioned, in small ways and big ways. >> yeah. i hope people are hearing what both of you are saying here.
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the whole reason that you have rule of law and law enforcement is so you don't get to those scenes. this is not a murderous education that a civil society wants to live through to be reminded why you have those things. and so the attacks on everyone from former fbi director james comey, who joins us, by the way, on msnbc next hour, but who -- whose firing amidst the russia probe was part of the alleged obstruction that led to the mueller probe. as well as the attacks on everyone from hillary clinton to joe biden to barack obama to journalists, all of that was a president pressing as far as he could and firing people who wouldn't carry out the things that you documented in your investigation, a would-be autocrat if he could get away with it, seeking that through illegality and violence that he couldn't get through democracy, and so as you say, it started somewhere else. it got to here. professors murray and weissman, thanks to both of you.
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we want to go to one of the states where law enforcement officers are preparing for the possibility of violence this weekend. dasha burns live in lansing, michigan. >> reporter: a lot of eyes on the michigan state capitol and a lot of concern in the community. as we've been here throughout the day, we've seen and heard security measures getting ramped up. there's been a chain link fence erected around the capitol, and we have seen quite a visible presence from the michigan state police here. they've been walking around the perimeter, and we did learn that the national guard will be joining them on the ground here this weekend. and ari, i spoke to the chief of police here in lansing, who told me that the preparation here has been unprecedented. he feels very confident they'll be able to handle anything that comes at them, especially because armed protests are becoming quite a familiar sight across the state of michigan. but at the same time, ari, there was a sense that the mood, the
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climate, has really shifted since what we saw on january 6th. the chief of police told me that the community here is much more fearful, and he's concerned for the safety of his officers, especially as they're hearing these stories of officers at the u.s. capitol being targeted specifically. i want you to take a listen to what he had to say. >> i actually had a long communication with our officers, very concerning what we saw, particularly from that group that has really embraced this whole notion of blue lives matter, and so for us, and me as a police administrator, i've had to have some tough conversations with our officers, and with that, we're still in the midst of a pandemic, and so we have to take that issue into account, that variable, and so we'll be doing the best we can to make sure our officers are mentally ready as well as physically ready as well. >> reporter: and ari, of course, michigan is an open carry state,
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but earlier this week, open carry was banned at the capitol, though some lawmakers say it didn't go far enough because concealed carry is still allowed and while the capitol's going to be closed on sunday, both the house and the senate are in session next week, so it remains to be seen how they proceed with the people's business amid these security concerns, ari. >> nbc's dasha burns in lansing, michigan, thank you for your reporting. when we come back, joe biden taking office in five days, amidst concern the trump administration won't even engage in a traditional transfer of power with national security risks. we have some very special experts ahead. me very special experts ahead.
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there's a clear and present danger that faces this incoming new biden administration. many are discussing it. it's obviously the ongoing threat to national security. there has been, of course, much obstruction to the transition from donald trump to joe biden by trump and his aides, from the very beginning of the transition process. while the threat of domestic terrorism rises. there has also been vulnerability at this critical time. the first confirmation hearing for joe biden's cabinet was actually scheduled for today. it was the hearing for his pick for d&i but with five days before the inauguration that's already cutting it close. today's hearing postponed last night. it's scheduled for tuesday, as are four others, the day before joe biden takes office. we turn to experts with extreme
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experience in these type of extreme events. former cia director john brennan, an nbc news senior national security analyst and ben rhodes who served as deputy national security advisor to president obama and is an msnbc contributor. when we look at what's happening, john, what is the way to prioritize this knowing the threats but needing to staff up the government? >> well, ari, i think it's quite obvious that there are very serious security failures on the part of the trump administration, which is why president-elect biden wants and needs to have people he has confidence in being able to be in positions of authority from day one. fortunately, he has selected people with deep expertise in national security and military affairs, homeland security, diplomacy, and so the faster that he can get people into position, the faster we're going to be able to get back on track. and particularly, in light of the environment we have right now, with all these challenges and threats, particularly on the home front, i think it's
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critically important that the nominee to be the secretary of homeland security is going to have his confirmation hearing and be confirmed as soon as possible. >> ben, i'm going to put up on the screen just the schedule. as everyone knows, in a different or normal time, these would be the lead stories if there wasn't such an attack on the transition of power itself, january 19th, you can see the big names, including yellen, blinken, hanes and others. pete buttigieg for transportation, a former presidential contender is how many americans know him. what do you think is vital here? the vetting is a part of the coequal branch of government. do you have any creative ideas for how they can get things going first with agreements to do any further vetting somehow later? >> well, look, i think you've never had a situation where an administration has left the nation as unprotected as now. you're got multiple crises, a
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covid crisis endangering the lives of americans. you've had this time during the transition where the trump administration has been totally disinterested and these agencies that have already been decimated, hollowed out, are terribly in need of leadership so they can begin to do the work of securing the american people, and then, you have the additional threat of the president of the united states having radicalized a large portion of the american public, including, we know, a smaller subset of those people who might be committed to commit acts of violence. so, in terms of prioritization, you just need leadership. we need to get people in charge of these agencies. these agencies are staffed with people, i think, who are hungry to do the work of the american people in a way they haven't been allowed to for the last several years. so if you can get your white house team in place, if you can get that department of homeland security, get ale mayorkas in there, get hanes in charge of national security again, making decisions based on facts, get those leadership people there as fast as possible, some of the sub-cabinet people, the deputy
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secretaries and others, that might take more time but if you can get leadership in place, they can make those agencies get back to work for the american people in a way they just aren't right now. >> john, i'm curious if you could -- if you could share your reflections. we've learned more as we go, given your background in intelligence, you're the type of person that would often caution us, when we see one clip or one video or one data point in a breaking emergency, we don't have the full story. we're a week and a half out, we still don't have it all, but boy, does it look even worse than it did wednesday. your reflections on what occurred and the responsibility of donald trump, someone that you did sound an alarm about early on. >> well, clearly, it was a disaster last wednesday in terms of the security breakdown, and all of the warning signs were there. strategic warning signs as well as tactical intelligence that clearly was available as we are reading now in various press reports. and so, it just -- i'm puzzled as to why things were not better
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done in terms of preparations. i think that there was probably a conscious decision at some levels not to do more, and i think as you point out, there's going to be a very thorough investigation here. >> john, can i have you -- i'm only interrupting because you're being so diplomatic, but i really want to understand what you're saying. you said puzzled. i get that. that's a washington word people use when they need more information. but you also said, conscious decision. you're saying, based on the available evidence, we'll all have an open mind as we learn, but based on the evidence, you're concerned there was a conscious decision at a high level of the trump administration, an inside job of sorts, to be less than prepared at the capitol? is that what you're saying? >> there had to have been a conscious decision at some level not to do more, not to put in place those physical barricades, not to have sufficient number of personnel, not to have the reinforcement available. as we knew that there were going to be thousands upon thousands of individuals, very emotional individuals, passionate
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individuals, who were being riled up and incited by donald trump descending upon the nation's capitol and nothing was done in advance. and so, i was homeland security adviser for president obama for the first four years of his term. i was in touch with members of the congressional security staff, the senate sergeant of arms, house sergeant of arms when we had events in washington to make sure all the preparations were in place. there was clearly a breakdown of communication as well as of leadership. so i think the intelligence and security and law enforcement professionals would have seen this brewing storm, and they were not able, they were not directed. they were not allowed to take the appropriate measures that i think any sensible security official would have wanted to have in place to avoid the disaster that we saw. >> and as someone, again, who used to run and realm the cia of the united states, you are reminding everyone that if the
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combined federal and national security apparatus of the united states government did want to secure the capitol, even against the intensity that we saw, you are saying that is an achievable objective if they decide in advance to fully do it. >> absolutely. there are more than sufficient resources and authorities and capabilities to bring to bear, to prevent that debacle from taking place. we see now that the capitol is being reinforced. it's an impenetrable fortress. thank goodness. but this is where i think the mobs and individuals are going to be looking at additional targets, those that are soft, those that are vulnerable. the capitol was a soft target on 6 january. it shouldn't have been. there were conscious decisions in my mind that i think were made not to take additional steps. were they concerned that donald trump would react negatively to it? were they directed to take it easy and not to go in fact the way they have a done in the past, which is to ensure that all the contingency plans, all the preparations are made?
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i don't know. but the investigation i think is going to reveal some very, very disturbing developments or indications of who actually was complicit in this, who was responsible for it, and then reports about being walk and toured through the capitol in advance? clearly i think there was surveillance and casing that was done, because the way this crowd just descend upon the capitol and was able to penetrate, it clearly indicated that they knew there were not going to be confronted by the overwhelming force that they should have encountered. >> it's significant what you're saying. ben rhodes, you know your way around national security of the united states government. i'll just say as a reporter, it's not every day that a former cia director says there is enough evidence and inference to look at a conscious decision -- i'm quoting mr. brennan here, made by some trump officials to have it be that bad. your view of that rather important statement.
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>> no, it's usually important. and look, we all saw it with our own eyes. i used sit in the meetings with john when he chaired those meetings. when the united states government wants to defend a particular target, they can do it, and it's done regularly. i think one of the things that's most extraordinary about this, ari, just talking to john here, i remember the obama inauguration in 2009. john was working around the clock because there was a security threat against that inauguration, a terrorist threat emanating from an overseas terrorist organization, which is what you might expect our government to have to be doing for a major event like this. part of what was so extraordinary the other day is that 12 years later and four years after donald trump is elected, the security threat to america's democracy came from within. it came from the president of the united states inciting this. it came from all the disinformation and conspiracy theory that has been spreading like a virus on social media platforms. it came from all the people in the republican party who didn't shut this down. so you had a dynamic where the powers that be in this country
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were not sitting around thinking how to secure the capitol. the powers that be of the president of the united states and his inner circle were thinking about how to rile up that mob as much as they possibly could while obviously paying no attention to security. so it's an extraordinary thing, and we're going to have to investigate this, as rigorously as we investigate any terrorist attack in this country. if you think about the resources put into investigating may adviser terrorist attacks against this country, that's what's required, a months' long investigation to figure out who these people were, what the planning was, what the financing was, what their ambitions were in storming the capitol, why there were these security breaches, whether there were help from inside the capitol, from members of congress or congressional staff. these questions have to be on the table. we have to understand this catastrophic event in american history that took place. we had the resources to do that, the law enforcement resources to figure out what happened. we have to be unafraid to ask hard questions and to look in difficult places to figure out why was the united states capitol overrun 20 years
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after 9/11 with all the security protocols put in place. we can't get on a plane without taking our shoes off, and these people can storm the capitol? we need to get answers as to how that could happen. >> very important, very well put. mr. brennan, we give you the final word. i got about 90 seconds. i want to read from fiona hill, who many remember. in her words, she argues, quote, if we are to restore democratic norms and make sure it doesn't happen again, something both of you are alluding to, these congressional republicans will have to take personal responsibility in support of actions of trump's coup attempt. they must tell the truth about the election and what the president tried to do in january 2021, a month we're still living through. quote, they owe to it the people they represent as well as the country they serve. mr. brennan, a final word. >> i think what donald trump did last wednesday and in the days, weeks and months, even years before that was certainly amoral. it certainly was unpatriotic, and i think it was criminal in the last instance, because he was inciting an insurrection,
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which is the definition of sedition. and so, again, i think this investigation has to go forward. i think it certainly meets the standards of impeachment of somebody in the oval office. but when i was watching that assault on our capitol, i remember that ben rhodes and i were in the white house situation room watching the mobs in the arab spring descend upon the government buildings, trying to dislodge authoritarian leaders. paradoxically, here in our country, these mobs were trying to keep an authoritarian tyrant in place. there is no place for that in a democratic society, especially one as revered as the united states' democratic processes have been over the years. therefore i think this is something that as ben says needs to be thoroughly investigated. it needs to be addressed so we never have that scene again. >> john brennan and ben rhodes, important. thank you both. i want to thank everyone for joining us this hour. it's a special day of coverage.
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i'm ari melber. welcome to a special edition of "the beat" tonight. we have one of the top law enforcement experts in the nation and a vital report on justice over unity, plus breaking news on the new evidence the feds are using against d.c. rioter, including the infamous qanon shaman who was in court today. feds allege


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