tv Deadline White House MSNBC June 28, 2022 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
♪ i want to rock and roll all night ♪ ♪ and party every day. ♪ ♪ i want to rock and roll all night ♪ applebee's late night. because half off is just more fun. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. >> hi there, everyone. it's 4:00 in the east. earlier this afternoon about one hour ago the january 6th select committee wrapped up a stunning public hearing. it was, we should make no mistake, one for the history books and a complete game changer in terms of what we
understand about january 6th and the conspiracy, the plan to carry out a coup. the hearing centered around the explosive testimony of a single witness, 25-year-old cassidy hutchinson. she's a trump white house aide who did what so many of her colleagues and her bosses, including her direct boss, chief of staff mark meadow have so far refused to do. she told the truth. she cooperated with the panel having sat for four taped interviews before today's testimony. this afternoon in public she made it clear that the brutal unsparing violence that took place at the united states capitol was not just something unexpected, something that got out of hand, as many in the republican party would want you to believe. it was part of a planned, premeditated coup attempt. hutchinson testified that the white house was fully aware that january 6th could turn violent before that day. they let it happen anyway. chief of staff mark meadows was told on the morning of the 6th
that the attendees for the rally before the attack on the capitol were armed. they knew exactly what kind of weapons they had. they were the same weapons they would later use to injure and maim dozens of police officers. watch. >> i recall tony and i having a conversation with mark probably around 10:00 a.m., 10:15 a.m. where i remember tony mentioning knives, guns, in the form of pistol and rifles, bear spray, body armor, spears and flag poles. i remembered tony finishing his explanation and it taking a few seconds for mark to say -- to the point where i almost said, mark, did you hear him? and then mark chimed in and was like, all right, anything else still looking down at his phone. and tony looked at me, and i looked at tony, and tony said,
no, sir, do you have any questions? he's like what are you hearing? and i looked at tony, and i was like sir, he just told you about what was happening at the rally. and he said yeah, i know, and then he looked up and said have you talked to the president? and tony said, yes, sir, he's aware. he said all right, good. >> so the time line is coming into focus. the president knew before he leaves the west wing, he's been briefed on the weapons. hutchinson also testified before the committee today that donald trump knew exactly how his supporters were armed and then directs them to the capitol anyway, urges secret service to let his armed supporters into the rally at the ellipse with their weapons. >> i was in the vicinity of a conversation where i overheard the president say something to the effect of i don't care that they have weapons. they're not here to hurt me. let my people in, they've marched to the capitol from here, let the people in.
take the effing mags away. >> here's how hutchinson describes the moment on the morning of january 6th when the secret service tells donald trump he cannot go to the united states capitol. >> the president had gotten into the vehicle with bobby. he thought that they were going up to the capitol, and when bobby had relayed to him we're not, you don't have the assets to do it, it's not secure, we're going back to the west wing, the president had very strong -- a very angry response to that. tony described him as being irate. the president said something to the effect of i'm the effing president, take me up to the capitol now. to which bobby responded, sir, we have to go back to the west wing. the president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel, mr. angle
grabbed his arm, said, sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. we're going back to the west wing. we're not going to the capitol. mr. trump then used his free hand to lunge towards bobby angle, and when mr. arnado recounted the story, he motioned towards his clavicle. >> hutchinson pulls back the curtain on one of the major outstanding questions about january 6th, what exactly was going on minute by minute inside the west wing as the insurrectionists stormed the capitol. the committee aired video from hutchinson's deposition where she recounts a conversation between white house counsel pat cipollone and mark meadows after the capitol had been breached. >> i see pat barrelling down the hallway towards our office, and rushed right in, looked at me, said is mark in his office? and i said yes. he just looked at me and started shaking his head, and whenever
opened mark's office door, stood there with the door propped open and said something, mark's still sitting on his phone, i remember like glancing at him, and he's still sitting on his phone. and i remember pat saying to him something to the effect of the rioters got into the capitol, we need to go down and see the president now, and mark looked up at him and said, he doesn't want to do anything, pat, and pat said something to the effect of -- and very clearly said this to mark, something to the effect of, mark, something needs to be done or people are going to die and the blood's going to be on your effing hands, this is getting out of control. i'm going down there, and at that point mark stood up there from his couch, both of his phones in his hand. he had his glasses on still. he walked out with pat. he put both of his phones on my desk and said let me know if jim calls, and they walked out and went down to the dining room.
>> and on the day after the deadly insurrection with the trump administration now in deep turmoil with cabinet members in active discussions about invoking the 25th amendment and talk of impeachment on capitol hill, trump and his allies were talking pardons. the ex-president bringing up pardons for the rioters as a line for a speech, and both rudy giuliani and mark meadows seeking pardons for themselves. we learned that for the first time today. it's difficult to overstate the historic relevance of hutchinson's testimony, it stands in such stark contrast to everybody else, the trump allies who were stonewalling the committee as well as those who according to the committee, liz cheney at least are not testifying truthfully. vice chair liz cheney ended the hearing by raising the prospect of witness tampering that is ongoing with messages from trump allies to the committee's witnesses. watch. >> they said to me as long as i continue to be a team player,
they know i'm on the right team. i'm doing the right thing. i'm protecting who i need to protect. you know i'll continue to stay in good graces in trump world. and they have reminded me a couple of times that trump does read transcripts and just keep that in mind as i proceed through my interviews with the committee. here's another sample in a different context. this is a call received by one of our witnesses. quote, a person let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. he wants me to let you know he's thinking about you. he knows you're loyal and you're going to do the right thing when you go in for your deposition. i think most americans know that attempting to influence witnesses to testify up untruthfully presents very serious concerns. >> it's where we start today with some of our most favorite reporters and friends, jackie
alemany is back, "washington post" congressional reporter. neal katyal with georgetown university law professor, charlie sykes is here, editor at large of the bulwark and ben rhodes joins us, former deputy national security adviser to president obama, all msnbc contributors. i'm going to play some more of it, either for anyone who didn't see it in its entirety or anyone who didn't see it with the four of you to provide context. i have to start with jackie alemany, i will not ask you how you knew or who told you, but you were pressing it 24 hours ago and you pushed back against john carl who said don't expect a john dean moment. you said i don't know. what did you know? >> i think if we're looking at the hearings this committee held so far, even the hearings that didn't technically reveal any new information were fairly jaw dropping, just hearing these witnesses speak in their own words and tell the stories up
close with personal anecdotes about the ways in which the former president tried to abuse his power and stay in office and overturn the results of the 2020 election have been shocking, and all along cassidy hutchinson has been a consistent voice that has added some color and depth to these previous hearings and revealed very shocking bits of news along the way, and so i figured hearing from cassidy potentially today was going to be revelatory no matter what she had to say, whether or not it was, quote, unquote new as, you know, reporters would deem it to be. that being said, she did fill in some really key moments in american history that we've all been waiting for and made it pretty clear why mark meadows and otherwise who were close to trump and in his proximity on january 6th have tried to avoid speaking with the committee. the urgency of scheduling this hearing as well, also suggested to my colleagues and i that the
committee was seeking to pick up on some of the momentum and potentially encourage other people to come forward and cooperate with their investigation as they wrap up and reach the conclusion with only a few more hearings left next month. >> neal katyal, there were two major themes today, and they both point to criminality and intent and premeditation. one is all of the talk about crimes and criminal exposure from the white house counsel. two was all the foreknowledge of violence and as the violence is ongoing, what we learned today is because trump planned to go there and a presidential movement called an otr, which means a teeny circle of people knew about it, they had contemporaneous reports of the assault and the weapons. they were thinking about using their -- to the capitol until the very last second when they turned the car around and went back to the white house. i'm going to play some more of
the hearing, but just your first reaction to what we heard about knowledge of criminal conduct both in the speech on the ellipse and the intention to go to the u.s. capitol. >> my first reactiolle is that i was start led. i had my doubts, but boy, this was a surprise hearing and a game changer as you've said. i've seen hundreds of witnesses in my time. i've never seen a witness like the witness today. she was poised, balanced, credible, and most of all was a trump person, and before being a trump person, she was a steve scalise person. this is not some never trump republican or a democrat. it's the opposite. and you know, my bottom line reaction is trump, donald trump needs an effing good law now. and i think when you isolated as, you know, the two kind of themes, i point to basically four pieces of evidence that we learned today. one is that trump was warned that these people on january 6th had guns. he said don't worry. in fact, he said take the mag --
the metal detectors away because these people aren't here to hurt me, and he still wanted to march to the capitol with them afterwards. that's one. the second is trump was warned by his own white house counsel saying don't go to the capitol, you'll be charged with multiple crimes, giving him that premeditation and foreknowledge. third, pence -- excuse me, trump's own chief of staff sought a pardon from trump for all this activity, pat sterling, and then lastly which you talked about, the cliff hanger, the witness tampering that liz cheney dangled at the end. these four together suggest donald trump is in real trouble personally as well as his, you know acolytes around him like mark meadows. >> let's take those four, that's a better list than my two. let's take them one at a time. i want to play for my team, this is number 13. this is specifically his white house counsel's concerns about trump's legal exposure just from the speech. >> there were many discussions
the morning of the 6th about the rhetoric of the speech that day. in my conversations with mr. her schman he had relayed we would be foolish to include language that would be included at the president's request which had lines to the effect of fight for trump. we're going to march the capitol. i'll be there with you. fight for me. fight for what we're doing. fight for the movement. things about the vice president at the time, too. both mr. hirschman and the white house council were urging the speech writer to not include that language for legal concerns ask for the optics of what it could portray the president wanting to do that day. >> you know, this also seemed intended to flush out pat cipollone. his movements, his storming into
the chief of staff's office, his concerns about the language in the speech, what was in it, what was out of it, what trump put back in it seemed to suggest that like don mcgahn before him who spent, i think 19 to 25 hours with robert mueller, he was worried about perhaps participating in or not raising these flags about illegal activity inside the west wing. >> exactly, nicolle, and i want to drill down very specifically for our viewers over what the legal issue is. there's a federal crime, and it says that whoever incites, sets on foot, assists or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the united states is guilty of a massive felony and can never run for federal office again, and that's the picture that is painted by the witness's testimony that you just played, and that is what patrick cipollone the white house counsel is warning about. cipollone is worried about this
potential incitement charge, and you know, trump doesn't appear to care. mark meadows doesn't appear to care, and you know, journalism is sometimes thought of as a first draft of history, but i think if you're donald trump, advice of counsel is a first draft of your indictment, and you know, it's shocking to me. it's shocking to me that we have not heard from the white house counsel. we've heard from people around him who said, you know, he said various things, but you know, if this guy doesn't have the guts to go and tell the american people what happened on that day, then congress has got to subpoena him. now the stakes are way too high, and we know it from cassidy hutchinson today. >> neal, i want to turn to violence, violence carried out by the president and both violence that the president knew about ahead of time. i have to ask you one question about the mags. they're called mags. they're metal detectors that you walk through before you go into any presidential event, that's on the schedule. cassidy hutchinson provided the
difference between an event that's on the schedule and therefore public and an unscheduled event. she testified that trump said get rid of the mags. they're not going to hurt me. if you know who they, the rioters are going to hurt and not going to hurt, how are you not part of the conspiracy? >> absolutely. it suggests you are. my friend chuck rosenberg made this point eloquently in the last hour. he said if they're not here to hurt them, who did they think he was -- that the guns were there to hurt? you know, it does suggest some foreknowledge of the thing and at the very least -- and that's why i read that statute to you, nicolle, 2383, it criminalizes not just actively being part of the conspiracy, but someone who assists in the insurrection and here donald trump obviously assisted both through his orders and by his sitting on his hands for three fateful hours. >> i want to show what was another -- to jackie's point --
revelatory piece of testimony. we've heard so much about pardon ben rhodes, which is weird. most white houses don't sit around and talk about who's going to get one, who wants one, who needs one, who's on the list, who's not on the list, but they came up all the time in this white house. let me show you the part of the testimony today about mark meadows being on that list of pardon seekers. number 14. >> do you believe the violence on january 6th was justified morally? >> take the fifth. >> do you believe the violence on january 6th was justified legally? >> fifth. >> that was not the right one, but i do want to talk about that. this is mike flynn refusing to even answer a question for fear of incriminating himself about
whether the violence was justified either legally or morally, but if we have number 14, the testimony about pardons i'd love to play that. do we have that? okay. let's play that. >> do you believe the violence on january 6th was justified morally? >> take the fifth. >> do you believe the violence on january 6th was justified legally? >> fifth. >> general flynn, do you believe in the peace -- >> we're going to find the right tape. it's actually number 15. it's my mistake. i'm sending mixed signals to the folks trying to get this on the air really quickly, but let's talk about mike flynn not being able to say that the violence was morally or legally wrong. we learned something new about mike flynn today too, i think. he's worried about his exposure as a pardoned man. >> yeah, but i think the moral and legal question is at the heart of it because he's actually reflecting trump's view, right? i mean, if you look at
everything we learned about trump's behavior today, clearly he had no moral misgivings about what was taking place. he literally wanted them to take away the mags that were going to keep people safe. all he cared about was his own political safety, and legally, the treatment of the secret service -- and i want to pause on this for a second, nicolle. i planned a bunch of otrs, which are basically they're things that are planned in advance by the president, so this is an important distinction. it's not like he just wakes up and decides to do something, and then you set it up. it's something that is planned where you go and do the normal secret service advance work, and you don't set up the normal secret service footprint at the site. you don't want to tip people off to the fact that the president's going. it doesn't mean you don't plan it. it doesn't mean that lots of people including potentially people like mark meadows don't know in advance that it's planned for the president to go to the capitol, what's so interesting to me, in the
testimony about the president's relationship with the secret service, it's like he almost wanted to treat them like a presidential guard in some dictatorship, right? not an institution that protects the office of the presidency, but literally a personal security service that will take him where he wants to go, protect him and endanger other people. this is really scary stuff and shows that he obviously doesn't think the laws apply to him, the norms apply to him. there's no moral check on what he's doing. i think this entire picture that we see today is someone who thought that the u.s. government should act at his whim, institutions like the secret service should do whatever they had to do in his interest, even if it endangered others, and people like mark meadows sitting right at the center of this and doing absolutely nothing to stop this, and meadows is kind of a metaphor for the entire republican party on this day. he's looking at his phone, trying to pretend like something's not happening that is clearly happening that he clearly knew was going to happen in advance, i think we learned a lot. all the dots were connected
today by cassidy hutchinson. >> ben, i want to show you what she described -- i mean, your point about violence is so shattering that they live with this person who was abusive not just in words but in deeds. i mean, what she describes the scene where he lunges for his own personal agent, i mean, that relationship is never ruptured because that's the human being that takes a bullet for you, the first one to go down. he lunges at him. he describes him going for the clavicle. so i'm not sure what you're heading for but one can only imagine. she also makes clear in questioning from liz cheney that that wasn't the only violent outburst she witnessed. she witnessed plates being thrown against the wall like a junkie leaving a hotel room trashed, except this was steps from the oval office. let me play number one about plates being thrown against the wall and the ketchup stains it left. >> around the time that i
understand the ap article went live, i remember hearing noise coming from down the hallway, so i poked my head out of the office, and i saw the valet walking towards our office. he had said get the chief down to the dining room. the president wants him. so mark went down to the dining room, came back to the office a few minutes later. after mark had returned, i left the office and went down to the dining room, and i noticed that the door was propped open, and the valet was inside the dining room changing the table cloth off the dining room table. he motioned for me to come in and then pointed towards the front of the room near the fireplace mantle and the tv where i first noticed there was ketchup dripping down the wall, and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor. the valet had articulated that the president was extremely angry at the attorney general's
ap interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall, which was causing them to have to clean up so i grabbed a towel and started wiping the ketchup off the wall to help the valet out. and he said something to the effect he's really ticked off about this, i would stay clear of him for right now. he's really, really ticked off about this right now. >> and ms. hutchinson, was this the only instance that you are aware of where the president threw dishes? >> it's not. >> and are there other instances in the dining room that you recall where he expressed his anger? >> there were several times throughout my tenure with the chief of staff that i was aware of him either throwing dishes or flipping the table cloth to let all the contents of the table go onto the floor and likely break. >> as a former west wing staffer
ben rhodes as you are too, for me for some reason this was like a physical blow to me, to hear that the -- we knew so much of the horrors of the last presidency and the president's conduct and the way he debased the office of the presidency, but to hear that he regularly pulled the table cloth and threw dishes is evidence of an extremely abusive person in the west wing in the oval office. >> yeah, two things, nicolle, about this, one that's really important, i really want to underscore this for your viewers. the role that cassidy hutchinson had, that person would know everything. okay? >> right. >> we have the same role, the aide to the chief of staff in the obama white house. ron klain has that same role today. here's why, physically the west wing is an incredibly small place, and there is one hallway that is the chief of staff's office that went into the hallway, the oval office in the middle of it, and the national security adviser's office at the other end. that person, it's not a long hallway. you can see who's going in and out of the office. you hear what's going on.
you hear from the valet, and you also see the paper flow. everything that is going to the president, everything that is going to the chief of staff is going to cross the desk of somebody like cassidy hutchinson, and they're going to have relationships with people like the white house counsel and people like the valet who actually make the white house run. anyone questioning how someone so young would have so much knowledge, when i was the closest aide to the president for four years, the person in that role would know more than me. if he was doing this regularly, this is someone who's so temperamentally, profoundly unfit for the office. this is someone who's so volcanic and disrespectful to the institution he's in, the people around him, but it's also a reminder of how fundamentally disrespectful he was towards democracy. this is someone we gave the nuclear codes to. he's not done as a political actor yet, but today i think he
became one step closer to being done. >> i think that's so important. i worked in the west wing as well. the reason this person has so much power. there's an expression, they know where the body's buried. that's cipollone. this person knows who shot them, how they died, who did it and when the president found out about it. this is the person who knows everything. so she was able to with credibility testify to her direct boss mark meadows interest instead a presidential pardon let me play this for you, charlie. >> did rudy giuliani ever suggest that he was interested in receiving a presidential pardon related to january 6th? >> he did. >> and ms. hutchinson, did white house chief of staff mark meadows ever indicate that he was interested in receiving a presidential pardon related to january 6th? >> mr. meadows did seek that pardon, yes, ma'am. >> wow, charlie. we knew about rudy's interest in a presidential pardon but i don't know that i'd ever heard of meadows' interest in one.
>> there were so many wow moments in this testimony, so many moments that were truly extraordinary. not only did she lay out evidence, she and liz cheney laid out evidence of, you know, criminal culpability by donald trump and his rcle and as you pointed out, connected the dots. we have a much better idea of what the time line was, but these dazzling details. i think that's going to stick for a lot of people. the president of the united states, you know, attacking his secret service agent. you know, this may not be the most important thing, the tampering with witnesses may have, you know, greater significant, but that dazzling detail's extraordinary. i think really we can't under estimate how this looked to donald trump himself. if i didn't see what happened today through donald trump's eyes he understood how compelling that television show was, how compelling she was as a witness. this is his worst nightmare in many ways, and also, she laid the predicate for so many other
lines of inquiry because at some point, we're going to hear from that secret service agent, right? we're giving a lot of spin. this is just hearsay. well, then bring the people in who can then testify. pat cipollone is obviously going to be very, very central to this. people have been struggling for is this the john dean moment? yeah, think about what we learned from rosemary woods back in the watergate. this seems to much more compelling. she was a credible witness. she was in the room. she is downloading the kind of information that i'm guessing that donald trump never thought would leak out of his own white house, and so we're getting a picture of what happened from the inside that we've never had before, and i do wonder whether or not this will be break open the dam, whether other aides who know her, who experience the same things might reconsider their position. it's going to be very interesting to me to see how many of those other aides who
know cassidy hutchinson, who respected her, who liked her, how they're going to react to this massive smear campaign that has already begun from mar-a-lago and from the former president of the united states. but this was genuinely an extraordinary and explosive day, and i have to say that nicolle, you and i have been talking about this for years. i think that -- i worry about becoming jaded. it's hard to shock me anymore. i was genuinely shocked. i'm watching that testimony, when she told the story of donald trump grabbing the steering wheel, i actually sat up straight. i thought this is extraordinary. it's not like we didn't know who donald trump was, but it's like -- it's like on steroids, and so all of this, the context of it, the details of it, the legal implications of it. this was, i think, the most extraordinary day for the hearings so far. >> i totally agree, and i would just add to your observations, charlie, i stay just like a
millimeter on the other side of jaded for you. i always had confidence in what liz cheney and chairman would put in front of the public but what she does, she doesn't just pierce any remaining gauzeness around how heinous his final acts of president, what she does is turns the rest of them into co-conspirators. i really want to press you, neal, if there's a conspiracy prosecution, how do all the people who are continuing to cover up for the conspiracy and the conspirators, how do they navigate that legally? ben rhodes, i know you have to go. thank you for being part of our breaking news coverage. we're going to sneak in a break. on the other side we'll get to some of these questions to january 6th select committee member elaine loria who will be our guest. don't go anywhere. member elaine luroria who will e our guest. don't go anywhere.
my minions will save me. mr. meadows is engaged in litigation with the committee to try to avoid testifying here. what was your reaction when he said things might get real, real bad? >> in the days before january 2nd, i was apprehensive about the 6th. i had heard general plans for a rally. i had heard tentative movements to potentially go to the capitol, but when hearing rudy's take on january 6th and then mark's response, that was the first -- that evening was the first moment that i remember feeling scared and nervous for what could happen on january 6th, and i had a deeper concern
for what was happening with the planning aspects of it. >> joining our coverage, congresswoman elaine loria of virginia, she's of course a member of the house select committee investigating the january 6th insurrection. thank you so much for spending some time with us. this was not on the public schedule. we learned about this yesterday. can you tell us why it was so urgent to hear from cassidy hutchinson today? >> well, i think for anyone who listened to the hearing or has had a chance to hear some of the highlights of her testimony, it's very clear that this information, it cuts across all of the topics we've covered so far and those that we have yet to cover in the future. it was in more detail. it was truly more damning in the sense that, you know, she brought together all of these different pieces where there may have been a lingering question of who knew what when, these conversations that she had you were just referencing on january 2nd with giuliani and meadows about how it could get really,
really bad on january 6th. you know, all of that shows a clear knowledge of what was yet to come, and to me it shows a clear intent and an involvement in this. and then the next phase of that is what's the cover-up? you know, a lot of times there's a phrase essentially that, you know, sometimes it's not the crime that gets people, it's the cover-up, and you know what we heard today in the closing remarks about, you know, how there's been pressure, potential intimidation, and other means to influence people who have more information, i mean, i think her courage to come forward as a 25-year-old young woman. she has ties to our community. she's a graduate down in hampton roads, new port university, so we're very proud of her for her courage. but a 25-year-old woman who has more courage than so many men we're talking about here who are twice her age. it's really just breathtaking. >> you're so right, and i think i was 27 when i went to work in the white house, and i didn't have a job like what she had,
but she certainly has a role where you see and hear everything, and because you'd already spoken to her four times in four taped depositions, and because her testimony had been featured so prominently, i wondered if she went today because she is one of the victims of this witness harassment and witness testimony that liz cheney talked about at the end. >> you know, i certainly think that everyone in the president's inner circle is susceptible to that from what we know and understand from those examples, anecdotes that were given today. i don't think we'd say they were unique to one person, they probably applied to many. her courage should be a signal to those people and what it means to our country and, you know, really the future of our institutions that they should come forward like she did, be as strong as cassidy was. >> congresswoman, are you presenting evidence that will build toward a conspiracy prosecution, if that's a choice doj makes? >> i think that the evidence that we're providing paints a
very clear picture of all of these different pieces. you know, i've said earlier and i feel more convinced every time we learn more that this was an attempted and failed coup, and there were multiple parts of that. there was clearly a conspiracy when there's multiple people involved in this and they have an attempt to undermine the government, stop the functioning of congress, and so you know, all those building blocks, you know, have been coming together, and they're just coming more clearly into focus as we're able to present more information from witnesses like cassidy. >> the white house counsel, pat cipollone was essentially a witness without being there to testify to his own actions, his own conduct, his own storming into the chief of staff's office to, i don't know, if valiant is a word used for anyone other than ms. hutchinson, but to go down to the oval office to try to get donald trump to call for the rioters to go home, i wonder at this point if the -- what sort of responses are you getting? i mean, all of his deputies have the same privilege structural
concerns that he would have. what is -- what is the reason he has given to the committee for not doing what his deputies have had to do and what his colleagues who were interacting with him around the clock have already testified to him doing? >> well, i'll reiterate what my colleague liz cheney said a few hearings ago. we want mr. cipollone to come speak to the committee on the record. i won't get into specific dialogues we've had with witnesses or potential witnesses but his testimony is incredibly important, so i want to just reiterate that request, you know, to provide the information and fill in even more of the story we heard today. he is a key witness, and i think there's plenty of information that he should be able to provide to the committee that wouldn't necessarily apply as far as privilege is concerned. there are circumstance things, there are conversations that weren't directly with the president, and that's information that we need in order to more completely fill out the story that we're telling to paint a full picture of january 6th and all the events
surrounding it. >> we have asked and you have not been at a place to disclose, but we've asked about violence and donald trump's nexus with the violence. we learned what that was today, some of what that was. it was being warned ahead of his own speech on january 6th on the ellipse that the attendees were armed, and he says take down the mags, let them in anyway. they won't hurt me. does donald trump knowing who the armed insurrectionists and trump supporters were going to hurt and who they weren't going to hurt, what does that mean? what are we to take from that? >> this anecdote was just absolutely shocking to me. you know, first of all, the vain aspect of it. it's all about the image of the camera and making sure that the area that's within the frame of the camera is full enough and that he wants more people in there and this insistence, you know, okay, who gives a damn if these people are armed. they're not here to hurt me.
i.e., they're not here to hurt donald trump, take down the mag no, ma'am ters, throw out all sense of security and protocols, safety that are involved in these types of events and bring these people in and then they can just march from here to the capitol. it just shows knowledge ahead of the plan at which we also talked about length in today's hearing about how he himself wanted to go to the capitol, which we clearly were aware of those intimidations before, but just the level of effort that he took and that continued. there was a route being plotted. there was a physical altercation in the vehicle to try to get them to take him there, and even once he got back to the white house, he continued to pressure people and essentially say, i'm upset that i couldn't get to the capitol today with my people. so you know, all of this just, you know, keeps coming together to show that he had foreknowledge, and he had a will to participate personally in what happened at the capitol
that day. >>congresswoman, i have one more question, we also learned that kevin mccarthy is in on this. he's talking to the chief of staff, and there's at least one conversation with the president where he says, don't come up here. why do you think kevin mccarthy who on the day of the insurrection saw it the same way many of his democratic colleagues and at least two of his republican colleagues saw it, that donald trump endangered them. he threatened the u.s. capitol with his supporters and the incitement of violence. >> this is still a mystery to me as well. even in days after january 6th, kevin mccarthy was saying the right things. he was condemning the violence. he was clearly pointing to the fact that the former president has responsibility through the rhetoric and the call to action to bring these people to washington. i'm still waiting to hear from him directly as to what changed because there was a distinct change in which he kind of jumped back on board in his defense of the president and continuing to kind of be on this train that's perpetuating these
lies in a stolen election. it really does remain a mystery to me why there was such a shift at that particular moment in time, roughly seven to ten days after january 6th. >> with the spector of witness tampering raised, maybe the mystery gets solved by the end. congresswoman elaine luria, thank you for spending some time with us today. we're going to sneak in a quick break. don't go anywhere, not today. a break. break. dot n'go anywhere, not today ♪ i've been everywhere, man ♪ ♪ of travel i've had my share, man ♪ ♪ i've been everywhere ♪ ♪♪ right now, we're all feelin' a little strapped. but weekends are still all about grilling. and walmart always keeps prices low on our fresh ingredients. so you can save money and live better. ♪
when you finally were able to give mr. meadows the information about the violence at the capitol, what was his reaction? >> he almost had a lack of reaction. i remember him saying, all right, and something to the effect of how much longer does the president have left in his speech. >> joining our coverage former republican congressman denver rick lman, and a former adviser to the january 6th select committee. the panel is still here as well. you and the whole committee is so disciplined about not getting ahead of the testimony in the public hearings, but we've gone from donald trump's indifference to chants of hang mike pence to donald trump's complicity and foreknowledge of violence. tell me the significance of cassidy hutchinson's testimony around donald trump knowing that his supporters were armed in some instances and carrying
weapons in others, flag poles with spears attached to them. he wanted them let in because he knew they wouldn't hurt him. what else did he know? >> well, i mean, that's the thing, you heard the testimony today, that doesn't even bring in what the committee hasn't done yet, which is the operational planning. we haven't heard about the proud boys and the oath keepers rally planners and all the other groups that are actually linked to this. i know the data that the committee has, and it's actually compelling, and i heard a lot of people talk about bombshells today, this was sort of a data and information cluster bomb. i think what that does is it links sort of this compelling need for the president to support what was happening january 6th, and nicolle, you talked about this even before the january 6th, you know, thing that happened there. me and you had these discussions about qanon well before this happened on january 6th, but what you saw were individuals that were sort of -- i would say they were trying to satisfy the violent whims of a credulous --
and you had an individual with me being a counterterrorism analyst, you had an individual at the top of our government that was either facilitating or supporting a domestic terrorism event on january 6th. so i know that's strong language, but i think people need to look at this for what it was. as i watched this today,weren't facilitating or supporting a domestic terrorism event on january 6th. i know that strong language but look at this for what it was. the girlfriend for brian sicknick talking about this, i was thinking about the bravery of cassidy hutchinson and the committee, itself, and what they've gone through and i was thinking about the past 2-3 years, talking about conspiracy theories and fantasies. you had fantasies, lies and absolutely bizarre insanity driving these people to attack the capitol and you had a had a president throwing temper tantrums. it was either overtly or tacitly supporting the overthrow.
and it is shocking what happened. i believe we will have republicans who need to answer the question if they support donald trump or not and they need to be ask that question every day. >> well, liz cheney is focusing her public comments on the root cause of the domestic terror attack. her view is donald trump and is clear that what cassidy hutchinson testified to his mark meadows as an accomplice. he was in on everything that turned violent, the willard hotel, the command center, and the 25-year-old chief of staff aid said that was ill-advised? george terwilliger is a real lawyer, unlike donald trump when he gets in trouble. how does he defend someone who seems like an accomplice to a
coup? >> you want to be very careful, and how i say this, nicole, i said mark meadows was the mvp of the committee of the investigation. today, mark meadows is the rosetta stone of the investigation. he was pivotal for everything happening between these groups and up to the president paid when you hear an individual on the couch sending text messages -- to have the unique insight into being the first to see some of those text messages after we identified them -- when i saw that at the beginning, the committee saw the same thing and they automatically knew that what they saw on the text messages -- there was a story here they could break apart. we have to know this, and i'm being very careful, there is 1000 text messages we hadn't seen that were privileged. we know mark meadows and others are fighting the records and why? because it's a tremendous weapon and with that data at the hands of the committee right now, i don't think the american public has seen anything yet.
i actually believe that cassidy hutchinson was the bridge to the following -- and i will be very careful here -- a bridge to the operational planning and the date of the committee still has in his back pocket. again, mark meadows is the player for the committee and i think it is the rosetta stone. he was in the middle of it all. he puts his legal team in a tremendously challenging position. >> does the committee have the text that mark meadows sent from the couch? have you matched it to the timeline that cassidy hutchinson testified to today? >> my guess is that some of those text messages from the couch are in the hands of the committee. >> your guest? your informed guess? wow. >> the informed hypothesis. yes.
>> i have to bring neil can't yell back into this. is it safe to presume that if mr. terwilliger remains mr. meadows attorney, who will be defending him and a contempt of congress legal situation? >> it's looking like that. when i outlined the trump crimes committed, i almost discounted seditious conspiracy and insurrection because i thought it would be hard for the committee to get evidence for trump and people around him that they knew about the risk for violence and actively supported it but the testimony today completely changes that and shows that not just trump new, but mark meadows knew and they basically were in the seditious conspiracy. the doctorate of conspiracy is designed to basically encourage people with what?
whether meadows or giuliani or john eastman, it's a very flexible doctrine that gives people the law enforcement matter threat. the threat didn't work before because the prosecutor didn't say, give us evidence against the higher ups and i will let you go with a reduced sentence. trump would say, don't do this and i will give you a pardon and dangle that out. now, trump is not president and there is discussion about back in january when he was but he doesn't have that lever. if you are george terwilliger or any attorney representing mark meadows right now, you are looking at some very, very serious criminal charges with lots of jail time and with the ability to strip you of the ability of a run for office. mark meadows was a politician before he became a coup leader at the white house. this is really, really scary and the last thing, apart from
the legal thing, let's contrast mark meadows' behavior to the brave justice department people we saw last week. mark meadows saw this stuff donald trump was doing or not doing and didn't threat to resign. meadows told trump, let's go to the capitol after this speech. donald trump always wanted a ragdoll as his chief of staff and i think the fourth time was a charm. >> jackie, i did not get a super clear answer from congresswoman lori about why today? do you have it in your head that cassidy hutchinson provided the live testimony today after already sitting for four depositions? >> the reporting has stated that there were security threats to cassidy that were so intense and challenging for her to handle that the committee figured it would be better to have her testify sooner rather than later in the case that ultimately caused her to have second thoughts about appearing
publicly because of the intense public pressure on her. we've also figured out today, including from behind the scenes conversations with the investigation, is that there was also a feeling that it was important to get her out there to potentially spur others who worked closely to the former president to maybe change their mind and reevaluate and come forward to provide testimony or appear publicly, as well. >> unbelievable. so grateful to all of you. thank you, and charlie sykes, for the 5:00 hour, we will have much more more on this extraordinary testimony with former cia director john brennan. for your part, sit down and get comfy. don't go anyway. r your part, s comfy. comfy. don't go anyway.
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hi again, everyone, it's 5:00 in the east. so rarely in all of american history have we heard such significant, such historic, such damning congressional testimony. the january 6th select committee's surprise witness revealed a number of shocking new details about what was going on inside the white house, both in the few days leading up to the insurrection and while the insurrection, while that deadly riot took place. details that when you put them all together could help lay out the potential criminal exposure for ex-president donald j. trump as well as some of his most senior advisors and closest allies. today, the extraordinary, breast breathtaking testimony of cassidy hutchinson, revealing how days before the insurrection, those close to the
ex-president were keenly and completely aware of how large and just how dangerous january 6th was going to become. here was hutchinson describing what happens after she speaks to rudy giuliani on the night of january 22, 2021. >> did you go back to the west wing and tell mr. meadows about your conversation with mr. giuliani? >> i did, after mr. giuliani had left the campus that evening, i went back up to our office and i found mr. meadows in his office on the couch. he was scrolling through his phone, i remember leaning against the doorway and saying, i just had an interesting conversation with rudy, mark. it sounds like we're going to go to the capitol. he didn't look up from his phone and said, there's a lot going on kasz, but i don't know. things might get real, real bad on january 6th. >> things might get real, real bad. cassidy hutchinson also provided incredibly granular detail about exactly how and when and how
often the white house counsel warned those around the president not to let him march to the u.s. capitol with his supporters. because the legal consequences would be extreme. >> i saw mr. cipollone right before i walked out on to west exec that morning, and mr. cipollone said something to the effect of, please make sure we don't go up to the capitol, cassidy. keep in touch with me. we're going to get charged with every crime imaginable if we make that movement happen. >> and do you remember which crimes mr. cipollone was concerned with? >> in the days leading up to the 6th, we had conversations about potentially obstructing justice or defrauding the electoral count. >> the president was so set on, so committed to moving his body from the ellipse to the u.s. capitol to be his supporters that according to hutchinson, he got into a physical altercation with his own head of security. he tried to grab the steering
wheel of the presidential vehicle called the beast, because it's so heavy. that coming after the former president was told that his supporters, who were at the time currently marching to the u.s. capitol, that they were armed with a wide variety of weapons, including guns. trump's response? "they're not here to hurt me." situation became so serious, hutchinson describes the white house counsel, pat cipollone, again, giving mark meadows a stark warning as the mob was making its way to the capitol. >> i see pat cipollone barrelling down the hallway towards our office, and rushed right in, looked at me, said, is mark in his office? and i said, yes. he just looked at me and started shaking his head, and went over, opened mark's office door, stood there with the door propped open, and said something to the -- mark still sitting on his phone. i remember glancing and he was still on his phone. and i remember pat saying to
him, something to the effect of, the rioters have gotten to the capitol, mark. we need to go down and see the president now. and mark looked up and said, he doesn't want to do anything, pat. and pat said something to the effect of, and very clearly, had said this to mark. something to the effect of, mark, something needs to be done or people are going to die and blood's going to be to be on your f'ing hands, this is out of control, i'm going down there and at that point, mark stood up from his couch, both phones in his hand, had his glasses on still. he walked out with pat, he put both his phones on my desk, and said, let me know if jim calls. and they walked down, went down to the dining room. >> white house counsel had seen enough to know that, that, quote, people are going to die and the blood will be on your, mark meadows, hands. we also now know the attack on the united states capitol, tragically was deadly, but
according to the president, according to today's testimony, the president continued to suggest, behind the scenes, that his supporters were right and that it was mike pence who was wrong, deserved what he was getting. trumpworld's potential legal exposure not limited to just what happened in the lead-up to january 6th and on that day. in her closing statement, liz cheney spoke about potential witness tampering showing intimidated messages from trump's allies sent to witnesses for the committee. it's where we begin our coverage today, katie benner is here, "new york times" justice department reporter, also an msnbc contributor. harry litman is here, former deputy assistant attorney general, former u.s. attorney. frank figliuzzi is here, former assistant director for counterintelligence at the fbi, also an msnbc national security analyst. former senator and msnbc political analyst claire mccaskill is here and i made charlie sykes stay after school. he's the editor-at-large of the
bulwark. katie, i want to start with you. i hate to say, what did we learn that was new? this was the first time we heard live, firsthand testimony from a west wing insider on the president's side. we heard from some of the vice president's staff, but i wonder if you have any reporting or any understanding about why this took place today. >> sure, i think that it's been widely reported that one of the reasons why hutchinson decided to testify today is because the threats against her were growing, and as you point out, at the end of the hearing, liz cheney gives us sort of a taste of the kinds of threats, almost mafia-like in their tone, that are being levied against potential witnesses. so not only did hutchinson serve the purpose of both encouraging others to testify. i mean, look at what happened. you have a 25-year-old lower level white house aide willing to defend democracy, to put herself in harm's way, to do what she thinks is right. she testified that some of the things that she saw that day were, quote, un-american, that the capitol building was being defaced because of a lie.
and we have seen other white house officials, including the white house counsel, pat cipollone, unwilling to take this kind of stand, so her testimony is really powerful because it can encourage other people to come forward but also as cheney pointed out, her testimony might have had to happen today because of the threats that trump and his allies are currently levying against people who will give damning testimony to the committee. >> katie benner, you said the vice chair, liz cheney, provided evidence. do you have any indication that evidence has been turned over to doj and there's any investigation into criminal witness tampering? donald trump was criminally investigated for witness tampering by robert mueller's investigators, but this was the first, i think, public display of evidence of witness tampering from trump aides as it relates to this probe. >> right. and to your point, this wouldn't be trump tampering with witnesses. it would be his aides. you can see from the text messages, it said things like, trump knows that you are testifying tomorrow, so this
would be his aides. it's unclear how much of this has been shared with the justice department. the committee has been very reluctant to send information to doj and nobody from the committee has come out and said they have sent this over to the department as a criminal referral. however, it's clear that this is exactly the kind of information the justice department would be very interested in after the hearing, jamie raskin, speaking to reporters, said, of course, he points out that tampering with the witness is not only a federal crime, it is a crime here in the district of columbia, implying that the recipients of those messages would have been in d.c. so, of course this is something that doj is watching very closely. >> i want to turn to all of the talk inside the west wing of criminality, and i want to play this for you, harry litman. this is meadows talking about how trump was so enthusiastic and supportive of the rioters as they chanted "hang mike pence." this is number three. >> i remember pat saying something to the effect of, mark, we need to do something
more. they're literally calling for the vice president to be f'ing hung and mark responded, you heard him, pat, he thinks mike deserves it. he doesn't think they're doing anything wrong. to which pat said something, this is f'ing crazy. we need to be doing something more, briefly stepped into mark's office and when mark had said something -- when mark said something to the effect of, he doesn't think they're doing anything wrong, knowing what i had heard briefly in the dining room, coupled with pat discussing the "hang mike pence" chants in the lobby of our office and then mark's response, i understand them to be the rioters in the capitol that were chanting for the vice president to be hung. >> harry litman, all of this testimony now in the record of donald trump's enthusiasm for a death threat against his own
vice president. i mean, it's a crime to threaten the president or the vice president. you've now got a president celebrating a pledge to hang his own number two. what is the exposure on that? >> in a day of huge fireworks, nicole, i think this was one of the two or three most incendiary. it was -- it's almost like a law school exam. i counted six new crimes potentially. yes, this is one. also, the obstruction. also, the destruction of property. but look, to date, the inquiry has all been, is he aware of the violence? does he know what could happen? we have a completely different portrait of him now. it's someone who is not just aware of it. he's eager for it. he's fomenting it. he's grabbing secret service people by the clavicle and trying to grab the wheel so that he can orchestrate it. so, we're way past, might he be aware and very much into the territory of, he wants this to
happen, and as you say, the "this" here is literally the tearing from limb to limb of his vice president. that's, you know, maybe the most crystalline sociopathic, not to mention criminal, moment in a hearing that was chock-full of them. >> all right, give us the other five, harry. >> all right. i'm going to get an "a" on my exam. they already knew about the two ones we've been talking about which are messing with the proceeding and defrauding the u.s. but i have now, he destroys u.s. property. i think seditious conspiracy is now in play, and that's very, very serious. inciting a riot is now in play, and that's very, very serious. assaulting a secret service officer. but the two big-ticket items that are now very much in the doj's can, seditious conspiracy, incitement of a riot because as
i say, it's now clear that he wants the force to occur, and that brings the two most serious charges down on his head, potentially. >> frank figliuzzi, there was really granular testimony about donald trump's commitment to participate in the insurrection. you had nick cannon, cassidy hutchinson, you had all this testimony from aides talking about how he wanted to physically locate, alongside his supporters at the capitol. i too planned otrs because you always take some press, a smaller pool of press, they basically commit to keeping it secret, to preserve the sanctity of an off-the-record spot. i want to play some of this testimony from nick luna, from my team, it's slot 11, nick luna taped testimony about trump wanting to go to the capitol and i want to understand what this sworn testimony about his desire to physically be there alongside the insurrectionists means. let's play that first. >> how did it come up and what was discussed? >> he brought it up. he said, i want to go down to the capitol.
>> what about him marching to the capitol on the 6th? >> yes. >> tell us about that. >> so, just kind of a general thing. to get into the specifics of it, i was aware of a desire of the president to potentially march to the -- or accompany the rally attendees to the capitol. >> when did you first hear about this idea of the president accompanying rally attendees to the capitol on the 6th? >> this was at the 6th. this was during the -- after he finished his remarks. >> so, frank, you know, i always noted, having worked in the white house on september 11th, there was never a security threat at the white house. i mean, nobody hunkers down. the gates are never locked. they never reduce down to one entrance or exit. not only was that the case, trump wanted to be located at the capitol. he wanted to be part of the
insurrection. what does that say to you? >> today, for me, was the day that donald trump moved from a detached observer of a riot to a -- an active participant in an insurrection. we saw his desire, despite being told, we have weapons in the crowd, there are people with ar-15s, radios, and body armor. we have radio traffic from the capitol police indicating they have been breached, and it's all hands on deck. and yet, he is still -- he still wants to go. he still wants to wrestle the wheel of his vehicle away from the secret service driver. so, what is the legal significance of that? again, it's active participant, despite all other information. and what is the kind of nonlegal approach to this? look, we've talked before about the study of cults and the fact that when a cult realizes that
what they've dreamed of, envisioned, been told is not going to happen, experts call it forcing the ending, forcing the ending. make happen what you think is never going to now happen. you make it happen. he's trying to make it happen for the cult. and it has legal investigative and prosecuted significance. >> claire, i watched today and felt like we have missed the -- maybe not missed but we've looked at so many of the shiny objects, rudy's buffoonery, mike flynn and the pillow guy. this was donald trump as the quarterback and the receiver of his own coup plot. this was donald trump cheering the violence, the threats, the plan, the intention to hang mike pence. this was donald trump saying, get rid of the mags, they're not going to hurt me. donald trump now we know knew who was at risk and who was not. what do you think? where do you think we are today in terms of where we were 24 hours ago? >> well, it's very clear now
that we really do have an organized crime syndicate that and there's so many pieces of this now fit into that puzzle. as harry said, and by the way, my fellow panel members that are federal law enforcement can speak to this probably much more effectively than i can, but you have the boss, who wants to keep his fingerprints off everything, but the people in the tightest circle around him can finger him, and you have operatives. some are buffoons. some have some kind of patina of credibility that are out doing things. but you are really building an organized crime syndicate case, and that could take many forms. it can take conspiracy forms, a rico form, but it's all going to boil down to the credibility of the witnesses that come from within the crime syndicate, testifying against the bad
actors. and what this woman has, she has credibility, and her credibility can be bolstered. it can be bolstered first by her credentials. her republican credentials, working for scalise, working for cruz. it can be bolstered by data, phone records. she testified a lot about various moments where phones were involved or expecting calls. all that data is obtainable by the federal government. and finally, she can be corroborated by other witnesses, and one thing we haven't talked about today is immunity. they can't force some of these witnesses to testify in front of this committee, but yee howdy, merrick garland can force some of these folks to testify and i would say the most likely candidates for immunity against this crime syndicate, to testify against this crime syndicate would be pat cipollone. it would be the two security detail that were referenced today, bobby engel and tony ornato. these are the kind of people that the federal government
could give immunity to and then they can't take the fifth. they can't take the fifth anymore. they have to say what happened. and i really do think that today, i think we have passed the rubicon in terms of real criminal activity being exposed to the american people. >> yeah, i mean, charlie, i held you over because i asked congresswoman luria about whether they're presenting enough evidence for doj should they go to route to prosecute a conspiracy to defraud the government. the two crimes pat cipollone mentions are defrauding the government, obstructing justice and electoral count act fraud, i think, was what cassidy hutchinson testified to and she apologized for not knowing the specific statutes, but doj will know what they are. my question for you, we had jim jordan play a prominent role. he hands cassidy hutchinson the phone, goes to the oval office, and the only person he wants to be interrupted to hear from is jim jordan. we also have testimony that invokes kevin mccarthy saying, don't come here.
kevin mccarthy knew that donald trump wanted to come to the capitol. to do what? people died. there was medieval hand-to-hand combat. what is the pressure cooker today for kevin mccarthy, jim jordan, mr. perry, other witnesses who we now know a whole lot more about what they did and did not do on january 6th? >> well, the pressure cooker is they now know that there are people within the white house who knew everything and are willing to testify and there are going to be more. i'm not a lawyer in all of this, but you do feel that the ground is shifting. over the last couple of days, jeffrey clark's, you know, is raided. you have john eastman's phone taken away. now you have evidence tying mark meadows to things like the rudy giuliani was doing, so i think that what you have is people realize that this is getting very real. you have the multiple tracks. you have what this committee is doing and the kinds of evidence they are putting together and the fact that we only know part
of that. secondly, you know the department of justice is now aggressively pursuing criminal charges with people who, if they were involved in a conspiracy, were involved in a conspiracy with donald trump himself. and then of course you have the political fallout, and it cannot be stressed too strongly, i think, that the worst testimony that we're getting comes from within trumpworld. these are not democrats. these are not resistance folks. these are people who were there in the white house, who supported the president. think of the strongest testimony that we have heard so far. almost all of it comes from republicans. now, will that get any traction within that world? maybe not. but you don't need, again, to peel off a lot. so, again, one of the things that really struck me is how many people knew on january 6th and in the run-up how serious it was, how much legal danger there was about that. kevin mccarthy's reaction in the time shows you that it was not
trivial. and i have to say that today felt like it was a lot of it was about pat cipollone and putting pressure on him or encouraging him to come forward because that -- if this was not the john dean moment, that could be the john dean moment for the trump presidency. >> katie benner, i'll give you the last word. i mean, my questions about the justice department are infinite. i know we don't always have a lot of visibility into what they're doing, but with the law enforcement activity that charlie's talking about, it's the warrant that was obtained for a search of the home of jeffrey clark and a search and taking of mr. eastman's telephone and other records and documents. if you look at that silo of the conspiracy that went on into december and through january 6th and beyond, frankly, congressman perry is always cited as someone who was tied to all that activity. is there any indication that
this is part of something that is mushrooming, or is it all pretty tightly held? >> it's very tightly held, but what i will say is that the investigation into jeffrey clark began at the inspector general's office as far back as january 25th of 2021. michael horowitz came out and made a public statement saying he was going to investigate firms who had tried to overturn the election and what we're seeing with these very public raids and seizures of property from the last week are the fruits of that labor. depending on what he finds, that will be referred over to the justice department criminally. what we saw today, though, it feels connected but it feels like an entirely new line of inquiry, almost. i think that when we think about what the justice department could be doing, especially vis-a-vis trump, at least i have always presented the facts in their most conservative form, because that is the way that the justice department tends to see things. if we charge donald trump with a crime, will we be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed that crime? if not, what will happen if we lose? say we win and he appeals and it
goes to the d.c. circuit. what happens then if he wins? what are the stakes for democracy if trump were to win a case like that against the justice department? it's very much how merrick garland sees these things as a former appeals court judge himself. what we saw today, though, i do believe changed the calculations somewhat. with cassidy hutchinson's testimony, what she has said is, what are the stakes, though, if the justice department, if our law enforcement branch cannot do something about this behavior? it's true that the stakes are very grave for democracy if the justice department were to charge donald trump and lose, but the open question also is what happens if there is no way to bring accountability to bear on a former president who has behaved in this manner. >> it's an unbelievable, unbelievably stark choice before merrick garland. thank you for crystallizing that for us, katie benner, and for being part of our coverage. charlie sykes, my thanks to
you for staying over time. harry, claire and frank stick around. after the break, i'll show you more of today's stunning testimony and that portrait of dereliction of duty from the ex-commander in chief. former cia director john brennan will be our guest. plus, more reaction from capitol hill. jim himes will join us for the potential consequences for the ex-president and his closest allies. all that and more when "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. "deadline white house" continues after a white house" continues after a quick break. riders! let your queries be known. uh, how come we don't call ourselves bikers anymore? i mean, "riders" is cool, but "bikers"...is really cool. -seriously? -denied. can we go back to meeting at the rec center? the commute here is brutal. denied. how do we feel about getting a quote to see if we can save with america's number one motorcycle insurer? should flo stop asking the same question every time? -approved! -[ altered voice ] denied! [ normal voice ] whoa. the unknown is not empty.
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i've been involved in communications in the media for 45 years. i've been taking prevagen on a regular basis for at least eight years. for me, the greatest benefit over the years has been that prevagen seems to help me recall things and also think more clearly. and i enthusiastically recommend prevagen. it has helped me an awful lot. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. every search you make, every click you take, every move you make, every step you take, i'll be watching you. the internet doesn't have to be duckduckgo is a free all in one privacy app with a built in search engine, web browser, one click data clearing and more stop companies like google from watching you, by downloading the app today. duckduckgo: privacy, simplified. millions have made the switch from the big three to xfinity mobile. duckduckgo:
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i was really sad. we were watching the capitol building get defaced over a lie. and it was something that was really hard in that moment to digest, knowing what i had been hearing down the hall in the conversations that were happening, seeing that tweet come up and knowing what was happening on the hill, and it's something that i -- it's still -- i still struggle to work through the emotions of that. >> former white house advisor cassidy hutchinson testifying today. joining our conversation, former cia director and nbc news senior national security analyst john brennan. the panel is still here. director brennan, i haven't seen it, so if i've missed it, i'll stand corrected, but i haven't seen steve scalise, who cassidy hutchinson worked for before she went to the white house, put out a statement defending her patriotism, her service to the country over any political party.
neither have i seen mark meadows, the former member of congress, the former boss that i'm sure she worked much longer than 8-hour days for, probably more like 12 or 16-hour days, defend her. i haven't seen any high-level republicans defend cassidy hutchinson. in this climate, with all the reporting that katie benner and others have had today about risks to her security, that that's why we added this surprise testimony yesterday, potentially, what do you make of this moment in our politics? >> well, her testimony today was chilling, and quite frankly, i don'think we ould be surprised or shocked by anything that she told us about donald trump. it is clear, with her firsthand account, that donald trump was at the center. he was integral to this conspiracy of sedition and coup plotting. and also, her accounts of trump's toddler-like temper tantrums in the white house, throwing plates of food and pulling table cloths, and then his violent outrages against the secret service, those
individuals who are supposed to protect him, i do think that, again, as has been said, these are republicans. these are loyal members of the former administration who were disgusted, to use cassidy's own words, as what they were seeing donald trump do in order to try to perpetuate his stay in the white house. and so, therefore, i think that, you know, all the republicans in congress, as well as those white house officials who have refused to cooperate, should be ashamed of themselves, as a 25-year-old civil servant, who was trying to do her best in a white house that was obviously in chaos and tumult and i think what was the most surprising thing for me was the utter incompetence and dereliction of duty of mark meadows. the chief of staff at the white house. i worked for -- like you, i worked in the white house for four years. i worked for many chiefs of staff. that position is one of the most powerful, if not the second most
powerful position in the u.s. government. they have their finger on the pulse of everything that goes on with the president. and the fact that mark meadowsfuls was allowing this to happen, he was not only asleep at the wheel, he was basically abetting this continued chaos that was unfolding on january 6th. and the fact that he was allowing rudy giuliani and these other people to sort of run around and, again, try to continue donald trump's administration, again, it's just outrageous, and i think we all are very fortunate to have somebody of cassidy hutchinson's courage and bravery to stand up publicly and to speak the truth and do the right thing, and that's what i think has motivated her, just to do the right thing as american citizen. >> to your point, i mean, the portrait of mark meadows -- and your point about how important a white house chief of staff is, the second most important person in all of the u.s. government, she was at his right hand around the clock. she testified at the very beginning of her testimony today that she was in contact with him all day every day, and this is
number eight. this is her almost rise in panic that she couldn't get mark meadows to care on january 6th. let me play that for you. >> i start to get frustrated, because i sort of felt like i was watching a -- this is not a great comparison, but a bad car accident about to happen where you can't stop it, but you want to be able to do something. i just remember thinking, in that moment, mark needs to snap out of this, and i don't know how to snap him out of this. he needs to care. >> so, this is her articulating that she can't get mark meadows to have a normal human reaction to a planned coup and an ongoing riot that endangers mike pence. what does that mean if this proceeds to a criminal phase?
>> well, clearly, i think the department of justice is looking at all this testimony and trying to determine exactly whether or not criminal charges should be filed against a variety of individuals who were involved in this. and the fact that they were going to remove the magnetometers and they were not concerned about the array of weapons that people had outside of the gates of the white house, i mean, there's so many things here that just seem to be unbelievable. when i was homeland security advisor for president obama, i was in constant touch with the chief of staff if there was any security issue related to not just the white house but to the washgton, d.c., and the fact that mark meadows was just playing with his phone and trying to talk with jim jordan, as opposed to doing what he needed to do, which was to be working closely with the secret service, working with the white house counsel to determine exactly what was legally authorized to do, but he was just not carrying out the duties that are incumbent upon a white house chief of staff,
particularly at a time when the threat to our democracy was so real, so intense, and we were really on the edge of a knife there. >> i want to pull frank figliuzzi back in and frank, i want to show you this. we get a fuller picture of the willing participants in the coup plot. this is cassidy hutchinson testifying about her boss, mark meadows, interest and desire to be at the willard hotel, a war room of sorts. this is number nine. >> do you know if mr. meadows ever intended to go to the willard hotel on the night of the 5th? >> mr. meadows had a conversation with me where he wanted me to work with secret service on a movement from the white house to the willard hotel so he could attend the meeting or meetings with mr. giuliani and his associates in the war room. >> so, frank, this is -- just feels like smoking gun evidence of their planning role, their
planning role for the violent insurrection that took place on january 6th. >> yeah, you know, i was taking copious notes during the testimony today, but when i heard this, i actually had to put my pen down because i didn't think i heard it correctly. this is extremely significant. you've got -- you've got the white house chief of staff really interested in going, you know, what i call extrajudicial. these people at the willard war room, this is not a government operation. let's be clear here. and it's the 25-year-old assistant who has to tell him that i don't think that's right. she's got an idea, a notion, she's picking it up all around her, that bad things are being planned. and she's telling her boss, i don't think you want to be there. and he eventually caves and goes, yeah, i think i'll just dial in, which, by the way, phone records, phone records, and phone records. phone records while he's sitting on the couch, which seems endlessly texting and receiving texts. phone records when he says i'm going to dial into the war room.
i hope, you know, merrick garland, fbi, taking notes on all of the phone records they need to grab. but we've heard reports previously. stewart rhodes, the head of the oath keepers, he's in some hotel, talking to roger stone. we heard roger stone's name invoked today, why? because cassidy hutchinson says, the president told meadows, i want you to talk to roger stone and rudy giuliani -- mike flynn, excuse me, and roger stone about what's going to happen on january 6th. now we hear meadows wants to go to that war room where they're planning what's going to happen on january 6th. meadows moves from disinterested kind of guy not doing his job to, i think, a key cog in this wheel. he's got to wake up. he's got to realize this is now the time to save this skin, legally, and i think the timing, i think, kate benner was right on the money about why this had to happen today, this testimony. part of it was security,
perhaps, but part of it was timing, they believe this is the time to leverage pat cipollone, mark meadows, they need to put ultimate pressure on meadows. they told him today, this is the testimony we've locked in. are you going to help yourself, or are you going to go down with the ship? >> frank, real quickly, i thought one of the most harrowing things, and i looked back at my notes between the two hours, was the footage. i had never seen the footage before of all the armed trump supporters in the trees, and the within i think some of that radio traffic is -- with the secret service in the loop on what the security situation looks like, for that planned trip, an otr on the part of the president down to the u.s. capitol. what do you make of sort of this new picture of how much they knew about the potential for violence? >> so now, today was my first confirmation that, yeah, this isn't just the capitol police's problem and their radio traffic. it's bleeding over into the
secret service. they're collecting it up. they're hearing it, and it's part of the collective decision, and it's part of that bobby engel, the head of the secret service detail for trump, saying, get your hands off the wheel, right? because usually, you're going to try your best to acquiesce to what the president wants to do. he wants to go get ice cream, okay, we'll figure it out. get your hands off the wheel. why is he saying that? they have all of this intel that there are weapons in the crowd, and this can't happen. what is the president thinking? they're not here to hurt me. he knows something bobby engel doesn't know. >> so incredible. almost doesn't feel real. frank figliuzzi, director john brennan, thank you so much for being part of our breaking news coverage. we'll have much more on all of this with the member of the house intelligence committee after a quick break. mber of the house intelligence committee house intelligence committee after a quicbrk eak. and find the answer that was right under their nose.
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i'm very focused on the domestic violent extremist groups and the mobilization of the mob, and you know, the -- it's very clear from what we've seen already that donald trump used these groups, but i also want people to see that these groups used him too. he's helped to create a monster in this country, and the american people need to know that there's very serious terroristic threat out there from the domestic violent extremist groups. >> joining our coverage, congressman jim himes of
connecticut. he's a member of the house intelligence committee. congressman, first, your reaction to everything you saw and took in today. >> well, it's pretty shocking, nicole. it's especially shocking to somebody like myself who was in the chamber, and you know, when we were in there, we thought, okay, you know, this is a really ugly protest that got out of control. now we are learning -- of course we learned afterwards that this was actually a potentially armed insurrection, a coup attempt, led by the president of the united states. i mean, to hear that he actually had to physically go after his secret service detail because he that desperately wanted to lead this group of people, which, by the way, as we learned, he didn't want to have to go through mags, so he knows that they might be armed, i mean, to look back on january 6th and to think that at that moment, we were actually not under assault by a group of people who were angry and the rally that got out of hand but by a deliberately created presidential coup attempt. it's head spinning. >> it really is.
i mean, i wonder your thoughts, to your former colleague mark meadows, who we learned, i think, for the first time today, sought a pardon for his role in trying to overturn the election. >> well, you know, the infinite wisdom of the ages, nicole, right? power corrupts, right? and i actually knew mark meadows really well. i knew mike pompeo really well. and these are guys who facilitated, you know, and we could have a long conversation about exactly their level of guilt, but they supported a man who ultimately created the most severe threat to our democracy since the civil war. and who has, as congressman raskin just pointed out, created waves in this country. we are far from done. an awful lot of my republican constituents are saying, this is all made up. it's all made up. it's a partisan witch hunt, never mind the fact that all of the witnesses, of course, have been trump people. you know, that was a -- that was a catastrophe unleashed on the
country that is not over yet. >> i feel, as a former staffer, that there is something so sad about the midlevel staffers who -- and i guess they're not all midlevel staffers. i mean, mike pence's most senior staffers, his chief of staff and his chief counsel, and a former judge who advised him, judge littig, have all testified. cassidy hutchinson was in the power center of any west wing. that is the person who knows everything about everything. what do you make of the unwillingness or the -- i mean, i think it looks cowardly, of all these people's superiors, from the pence side, mike pence hasn't come in, has left his deputies to testify. on the west wing side, on the trump side, cassidy has testified, but cipollone won't, even though his deputies have. i mean, what do you make of the cowardice of the most senior staffers on trump's team? >> it's disheartening,righ you know, mark meadows, to
redeem himself in the eyes of american history, what he would do is come into the congress and tell us everything that he knew. you know, i -- i think back on the number of people who facilitated this. think of john bolton. that's a name that hasn't come up a lot lately, but john bolton, had he said during the impeachment hearings what we now know to be true, who knows? maybe this president would have been removed from office. but he didn't. instead, he decided he would wait to write it in a book to try to make a whole bunch of money. i mean, i don't know what you say about people like that, other than if you get enough people like that, enough people who are still going to go along with this, our democracy will end. again, what -- more difficult for me than looking backwards, and that's pretty difficult, because i was one of the last people out of the chamber on january 6th, is looking forward. where an awful lot of people have not had any accountability for their actions, which ranged from obviously criminal to, as you point out, cowardly.
>> well, i want to ask you about that. i mean, congresswoman elaine luria was on -- i lost track of time, in the last hour, i believe, and i said, are you -- is there an intention to present enough evidence for conspiracy prosecution? and she didn't deny that that was either an intention or a desired result. i mean, have you seen enough to believe that donald trump and his team should be under criminal investigation for conspiracy? >> yeah, i'm not sure you're asking exactly the right guy because i'm not a lawyer, but i played one on tv long enough to know that, you know, ideas around conspiracy, around interfering with the governmental function, you know, what is hard about this, i think, is not pointing to a crime, incitement to violence, you name it, you name it, you name it. what's harder about this is the political aspect of prosecuting a president, and i'll tell you where i come out on this, and i hope a lot of americans come out on this, is that, as hard as that may be, as difficult as it
might be to parse people's first amendment rights to say whatever crazy thing they want to say, if the lesson to future presidents is that you can, you know, attack your secret service detail, demand that a crowd that you hope is armed, you know, launch an assault on the capitol in order to stop the peaceful transfer of power. if the end of the story here is that you can do all of that and not suffer any accountability whatsoever, i don't know what to say about the future of our democracy. >> i agree with you. i think what's ahead is more ominous than what is behind. congressman jim himes, thank you for being part of our coverage. i want to bring back into the conversation harry litman and claire mccaskill to respond to something the congressman just said. i mean, to me, my read on merrick garland's justice department is that -- and katie benner just provided the reporting that suggests this is the case -- that his deliberate and cautious and conservative view of the rule of law would have him not proceed down a path
of investigating and prosecuting a former president of the other party. but it feels that people who pay attention to the evidence and to what's happening in this country, which is an ongoing threat of domestic violent extremism of domestic violent extremism in this country connected to donald trump's key messages, the lies about election conspiracy, ongoing agitation about covid protocols and vaccines. i wonder what you -- and i know, harry, you've already crossed the transom into thinking there's enough evidence, but what do you make of this justice department? what would you say to merrick garland if he were right here? >> welsh i think he's proceeding down the path, and the path got a lot more precarious today, especially a lot of your guests have mentioned mark meadows, and next to trump, he had the worst day. and there's also issues of history now and being able to show your face at washington dinner parties and the like. but i think there's zero doubt,
literally, that from both what he said on january 5th and the kind of prosecutor he is that proceeding down this path, and and again it has real potential consequences for very important high-up folks like meadows, who, incidentally, if he is facing criminal jeopardy, becomes the most dangerous man in america for donald trump. but i think there's no doubt he goes to the end of the path. he does a thorough investigation of trump. now i think what congressman hien his to say is sophisticated and correct. at the end of the day pulling the trigger on a former president involves more than ticking the boxes, which us a say, i believe now are easy enough to check. i have no doubt the doj is going to give it a hard look and that the hangup, if there is one, will have less to do with evidence and more to do with the
considerations that you could summarize as their determination of, is it good for the country? but for all the reasons you said, congressman hines has continued to say, it seems to me it's really very bad for the country if nothing happens, and i don't think that will escape merrick garland's notice. >> from your lips. claire, we haven't talked enough about hutchinson's testimony about what happened next, about what happened on january 7th. let me play this. for me team, this is number four. this is trump's opinions on his january 7 speech. >> a group of individuals, five aides -- individuals, brown cowboy boots, they had glock style pistols in their waistbands. >> actually, claire, that was some of that security footage that we talked about with frank.
i'll tag on a question about that at the end, but this is cassidy hutchinson testifying about donald trump's opinions about what exactly he would say on january 7th. >> when he was -- convinced to put out a video on the 7th, i understand that he had a lot of opinions about what the context of that announcement were to entail. i had original draft of the speech where there were several lines that didn't make it in there about prosecuting the rioters or calling them violent. he didn't want that in there. he wanted to put in there that he would potentially pardon them. this is just with the increased emphasis of his mind set at the time, which was he didn't think they did anything wrong. >> so, claire, on the 7th, he didn't want to call them violent and he wanted to tell them, it's
okay, i'm going pardon you. what did he still want from them on the 7th? >> well, i don't think donald trump ever believed that what these folks did was bad. i mean, we've said from the very beginning, nicole, back for we had any of this brave woman's testimony, i have been saying for a year and a half he was sitting -- i can picture him in that dining room. i know exactly where it is. i know exactly where he was sitting. i picture him watching all the violence on those tvs and thinking it was good. and that's what's hard for us to get our arms around is that he thought that was okay, all of it. so of course he wasn't going to tell him to go home. of course he wasn't going to tell them to stop chanting hang mike pence. this is the boss, and he was watching it unfold what his minions were doing for him in realtime, and of course, why -- john brennan asked, why wasn't
the chief of staff doing his duties that day? because the boss didn't want him to. the boss told him to stand down and let these guys do our work for us, we're going to be able to hold on to power. and i believe on january 7th, he still believed he could, and he still to this day thinks he can lie about that and get away with it. i think doj -- i just got to say this. anybody who thinks this is an easy decision doesn't understand the power of a prosecutor when you make that charging decision. and this is a particularly weighty one. i have become convinced in listening to the evidence that the damage to this country for not charging this criminal conspiracy, no matter how it comes out, is much greater than charging it and maybe not having a clean conviction, and they've got a lot to look at they could provide a clean conviction. but the boss' payoffs were pardons and money, and remember,
meadows got a million dollars of that $250 million he raised after the insurrection. >> quid pro quo was his brand. it's just -- it's an incredible -- every time we all watched and it every time you play it, it is shocking anew, and in some ways it is more shocking when we start to drill down and have your expert analysis. thank you both so much for spending the hour with us. we have to fit in a quick break, but we'll be right back. don't go anywhere. but we'll be right back. don't go anywhere. a monster was attacking but the team remained calm. because with miro, they could problem solve together, and find the answer that was right under their nose. or... his nose. - i'm norm. - i'm szasz. [norm] and we live in columbia, missouri.
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every click you take, every move you make, every step you take, i'll be watching you. the internet doesn't have to be duckduckgo is a free all in one privacy app with a built in search engine, web browser, one click data clearing and more stop companies like google from watching you, by downloading the app today. duckduckgo: privacy, simplified. an historic, explosive day of testimony on capitol hill today. cassidy hutchinson making
history. she will not be forgotten for a very, very long time. it was too much to digest ine even in our two hours which is why tonight we'll be back for a special exended the recap and analysis of the testimony with my primetime friends and colleagues led by the one and only rachel maddow. it starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern. be there for that. thank you for letting us into your hopes during these unbelievable types. we're so grateful. now ari melber take over on that historic day. i'm going to go upstairs and watch. >> i'll see you at 8:00. thank you, nicole, and thank you at home for joining us. congressional testimony today was unlike any other, and that's why our program right now is going to be a little different. we're going to show you a crucial extended excerpt of the newly released testimony by white house aide cassidy hutchinson who was repeatedly in the room or at the door during some of the most pivot and incriminating parts of the
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