tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 20, 2022 12:00am-1:00am PDT
secret service. >> we received a letter today that did provide us with a lot of documents with this data. they did not receive the additional text messages that we were looking for. >> tonight, congresswoman zoloft karen, on the growing scandal of secret service deletion of january six text messages as calls of a cover-up grow. then, the flood of evidence, likely leading to more hearings, and new fallout, from the doj memo about political prosecutions. the one state committee takes the stand in the trial of steve bannon. when indiana abortion doctor, threatening a defamation lawsuit, against her state attorney general, and, jelani cobb, on the high stakes of the georgia election, completely worked by donald trump. >> he used to think i was crazy. i would put a gun to my head, snap, wouldn't even think about it. >> all in, starting right now.
>> good evening from new york, i'm chris hayes, as we approach thursday's primetime, january 6th hearing, i have to say, i am struck by the enormously fruitful fact finding, that the committee has done so far, and continues to do. each day, there is new information, learning new things. so, most recently, the committee met with former overstocks eo, patrick byrne, that's the overstock guy, about the now infamous december 2020 white house meeting. he attended a, or a group of outside trump advisers tried to sell the president on the coup. that's just today, getting testimony from him. today, they got testimony from a former white house aide, named garrett ziegler. never heard of him before. who, reportedly, let the ragtag group of coup plotters, into the white house, for that crazy coup plotting december meeting. still, a year and a half after this happened, the committee, the new testimony, learning new things.
additionally, the committee is also pulling on, another, i think, important threat. you may have seen things about this, we've covered it a bit in the news today, the secret service, particularly in its relationship for trump, and its attempt to steal the election. this is a strange, certainly unique entity, obviously, tasked with protecting the president, the vice president, their families, it has other things that does, and the treasury department and counterfeiting. it is now under the purview of the department of homeland security, which makes it, officially, part of the national security apparatus in the united states. and, of course, being a secret service agent, being close to a protector he, as they are called, you also formed personal bonds with the protectees, or you might from the opposite, he may come to hate the people you protect. but, they all come from spending every waking moment in close proximity. it is a strange, and intimate, relationship. donald trump, in particular, had a unique relationship with
a secret service. particularly his detail. one of his closest aides, a man named antonin ornato, we talked about a bit, figures, quite prominently, and january 6th. he was serving as deputy white house chief of staff for operations on january 6th, but was also a secret service agent. as the washington post reports, quote, some of the secret service came under criticism during trump's tenure, for appearing to embrace his political agenda. in fact, or notice appointment was a huge departure from precedent, to take someone who is in the secret service, and made them, essentially, political actor. working for the president, in the white house. in fact, during the presidential transition, following the 2020 election, biden coming in, the post also reported that the service had to alter some security detail for than president-elect, show biden, quote, amid concerns that current members were politically aligned with president trump. i remember reading that during the transition, and scratching my head. by the way, that is published december 30th, 2020, six days
before the psychos down. and, speaking of that, the secret service was, at the very least, present for, witness to, some of the most dangerous moments of january 6th. the insurrection, and trump's attempted coup, if not directly involved, in some cases, to appearing to do the right thing and, essentially, stopping the worst form of the coup from happening. i speak, of course, of white house aide, cassidy hutchison is transformational testimony before, the committee, a few weeks ago, which includes a number of shocking revelations. the one that possibly grab the most headlines was this detail, which he was straightforward about what she knew, and didn't. she recounts, she heard the second hand from, again, that same man. the deputy white house chief of staff for operations, anthony ornato. it was about trump's conduct, immediately after the ellipse rally, after he sent that armed crowd to march on the capitol.
>> so, as the president got into the vehicle with bobby, he thought that they were going up to the capitol, and when bobby had relayed to him, we are not, you do not have the assets to do it, it is not secure, we are going back to the west wing. the president had very strong, very angry response to that says. tony described him as being irate. the president said something to the effect of, i am the effing president, take me to the capitol now. to which bobby responded, sir, we need to go back to the west wing. hawaii the president reached up towards the front of the vehicle, to grab at the steering wheel hawaii, mr. engel grabbed his arm, and said, sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. we are going back to the west
wing, we are not going to the capitol. mr. trump then used his free hand, to lunge towards bobby, and as he recounted the story to me, he motioned towards his clavicle. >> the bobby angle she referred to, is the head of trump secret service detail, at the time, on that day. and, again, this particular story, florida, and the headline gravelling, is not the most relevant part of the testimony, subsequently. she also testified, remember, that trump wanted to get rid of the metal detectors at his ellipse rally, that right-wing games, like oath keepers, and proud boys, are being discussed at the white house in, the run up to the insurrection. that trump wanted to send, what he knew to be an arm of, to the capital. but, the detail about trump wanting to join the mob, so much so, he reportedly tried to grab the steering wheel he, was so wild, got a lot of attention, understandably. then, something strange happened.
interesting, i would say. almost immediately, the secret service, as a kind of institution, began to try to discredit the story and, specifically, discredit cassidy hutchison. even though, and this should be a key point here, the story does not reflect poorly on the agents, in fact, it's the opposite. it reflects well on the secret service who, in a crucial moment, intervened to stop, what would have been, a wildly dangerous scene, both to the crowd, to the metropolitan police officers, the capitol police, to the president, to everyone involved. they did the right thing. and yet. and yet. anonymous sources, close to the service, try to dismiss it is untrue. unnamed agents, apparently, quote, we're prepared to testify, under oath, that the story was ally. of course, anonymously saying you're prepared to testify under oath is, functionally, meaningless. but, it sure looked like, from the outside, at least, that the point was to declare -- discredit this woman who is relaying negative information about their guy, trump. those anonymous secret service
leaks within weaponized by trump allies, against hutchison. even though, as it turns up, the story that hutchison recounted had been circulating, and secret service channels for more than a year, and a metropolitan police officer, who was in the motorcade with trump secret service detail, corroborated it's details to the january 6th committee says. okay. the secret service connections to january six to go even deeper than that. we also know, and this is one of the crucial moments in this whole episode, from reporting by journalist karen atlantic, and philip rucker. that the people closest to mike pence on that day, the allies, of mike pence, were concerned that the secret service was, actually, in on trump's coup attempt. that they were fundamentally loyal to him, overall. when anthony ornato, the guy who had been in the secret
service, who took a leave to work for donald trump personally. when anthony ornado told the pence advisor, keith kellogg, the secret service plan to evacuate pence from the capitol, where he was in a secure location, to joint base andrews, kellogg reportedly told him, quote, you can't do that, tony. leave him where he's at. he's got a job to do. i know you guys too well. you'll fly him to alaska, if you have a chance. don't do it. now, a lot of ways to interpret that. you guys are so worried about security, you will fly him as far as you can. a charitable reading. or, you guys are in on the coup attempt, and want to physically remove the man who has the power to occasion the peaceful transfer of power, and i don't trust you. we also know, pence refused to get in a car with a secret service detail, during the insurrection. >> is the secret service agents who, presumably, our reporting to trump's secret service agents, who are trying to spirit him off of the campus, and he said, i won't get in that car until we count the electoral college votes. he knew,. exactly, what this inside coup they had planned for was going to do. this was not a coup directed at the president, it was a coup
directed by the president, against the vice president, and against the congress. >> so, knowing all of this, it is not surprising to january six committee wants to hear from the secret service, and not just testimony, but documents. right? data. except, last week, we learned from the inspector general of the department of homeland security, which has oversight over the secret service, writing a memo that, whoops, the secret service had erased messages from january 5th and sixth. after this report, service responded to a statement denying wrongdoing, and bristling with a chip on it shoulder hostilities and police unions all the time, with a spokesman writing, quote, the insinuation the secret service maliciously the text messages, following the request, is false. the agency tried to blame a technical error for the failure to retain key documents saying, quote, tied to an effort to upgrade agent cell phones. undeterred, the january six committee issued a formal subpoena to the service to try to recover the documents. today, the agency said, too bad,
gone forever. january six committee member, congresswoman stephanie murphy, explain what happened to my colleague, nicole wallace, earlier today. >> what happened, however, is they received for requests from congressional committees on january 16th to preserve records. they had this planned migration for the 25th, i believe, of january. nobody, along the way, stop to think, well, maybe we shouldn't do the migration of data, and of the devices, until we are able to fulfill these for requests from congress. they moved ahead with their efforts to migrate the devices, and the data. their process, as explain to us was, simply, to leave it to the agents to determine whether or not there was anything on their phones worth saving, that was necessary to say, for federal records. as a result, today, they did not receive any texts from their agents when they made that transition that was flagged for preservation. >> so, it was up to secret service agents to just decide
to preserve documents, they thought were relevant. shockingly, it looks like none did. a lot, for an organization that insists, it has nothing to hide. congresswoman zoloft, one democrat of california, sits on the january six committee, which will hold its public hearing on thursday. joining me now. congresswoman, what is your response, reaction, to them coming back, pursuing the subpoena, and saying, sorry there is nothing there? >> well, we have a concern. the letter that was sent to the committee, i think, is going to be released shortly by the staff. i won't go into it. as stephanie murphy said earlier today, six committee chairmen, from the committees jurisdictions, before the
january six committee existed. homeland security sent a committee on the 16th of january saying preserve everything. subsequent to that, the secret service allowed the evidence to be destroyed. so, that is a tremendous concern. we got one text message, and i haven't seen it yet. it will be sent over to me. it is clear to me, that is a text message that may have been captured through another branch of government. i just think, we need to find out a lot more about this than we currently know. and, also, we need to find out what, technologically, is possible, to recover all of the communications between the secret service, and others, on the fifth, and on the sixth, in particular, but not just those days. we will be pursuing more information, as a committee, soon.
>> just a follow-up on that, somewhat ironically, my understanding, is the secret service runs a document to recovery forensic unit, that specializes in, essentially, extracting data that is deleted, or lost. it does seem like there may still be some technical means of finding that information. is that something you will pursue? >> yes. there is a backup that is done, for continuity of government purposes, under the federal records act. in their letter, they gave no indication that they have secured the phones in question, and done some forensic work with them. that is something we want to know. obviously, this does not look good. so, coincidences can happen,
but we really do need to get to the bottom of this, and get a lot more information than we have currently. again, we don't want to overthink this. january 16th, they were told to preserve everything, and within a week or two, they allowed it to be destroyed. so, that is very problematic. >> i mean, i have to say, document retention requests are very common, they're common and government, they have been in civil litigation all the time, people take them seriously. it's a big deal, if there is a lawsuit, anything, and a trust in the state dispute. so, also, it's fairly standard. it happens a fair amount. i guess what i am trying to say is, this is not a crazy, anomalous requests, to come into the secret service, for them to be incapable of handling, right?
>> i would think not. now, let's remember, the man to preserve documents, and evidence, was directed by the chair people of the four committees jurisdiction of the house of representatives. it was about an insurrection. a huge threat to our country. it is inconceivable that that would be dismissed. so, what did happen? we need to find out. >> i agree with that. congresswoman zoloft karen, thank you so much. >> you bet. >> coming up, racial mono with the scoop, a memo from violent secretary general, merrick garland, to listen to trump's attorney general. what it means from the many investigations into the former president, next. president, next.
last night my colleague, rachel maddow, discovered and -- she received this, memmel issued by attorney general merrick garland back in may. it basically reaffirms and restates a policy that was put into place by donald trump's attorney general in 2020, william barr. >> trump attorney general, bill barr established that new rule in february, 2020. no investigating any declared candidate for president or anybody working for that candidate, unless i personally give my permission. that new rule was established
by bill barr. when he was working for donald trump. merrick garland has formally extended that guidance and told every employee of the justice department that it is still in effect. >> this garland memo reaffirmed suspicions and concerns of a lot of people. up to and including, clearly, members of the january six committee, that the select committee is essentially the only game in town. it may weigh -- well be the only entity approaching the investigation into what happened on january 6th with the kind of durable ferocity needed to save american democracy. and many are worried, and this is been a recurring might've critique from adam schiff and others, understandably so, that will continue to be the case in the foreseeable future. certainly between now and when americans make their very faithful decision in the midterms. asha rangappa is a former fbi special agent -- also an editor of the justice security block. asha, first, i want to get your
thoughts on the memo. and it's important or significant. >> yeah, so, chris, i think merrick garland is basically the jimmy carter of attorney generals. he is a good dude, he's got the right values, a couple of years from now we may think of him of the ag as we never deserved. right now there's a lot that doesn't seem to fit this memo, i, mean the bulk of the memo is standard doj guidance. previous attorney generals have put it out there. it's doj standard procedures for not due -- to time investigative steps so they don't coincide right near and -- that's been there, would raise my eyebrows was a wholesale adoption of barr's new additional authorization piece for a particular types of subjects. and in spirit, this is not a bad thing. you don't want an fbi agent in
kansas to open a case on joe biden. but, i think that putting all of the power in the hands of a political appointee can create the potential for abuse. i, mean imagine a future trump administration with sydney powell as the ag. i would not want her to be the final say on whether trump or his opponents get investigated. so it doesn't actually stop merrick garland for pursuing an investigation. i think in his case, as a good faith after, it would unnecessarily politicize a step depending on when he takes it. and i think that's my concern. >> okay. two things. i find this fascinating. i think it strikes the heart of an existential question about what the department of justice is. and how the law and executive function. but to your first point, the counterfactual, or future possibility of sydney powell as a jew, you would not want that
to be the case. my feeling about that is, if sydney powell is the ag, no memorandum's going to save us. at some level, which is adjacent to the deeper point here. which is about whether the people at the department of justice are acting in good faith or not, whatever memos are being probably gated, that is the fundamental question. and the worry is that in creating this extra step, garland is saying it's on me, when he is the political appointee. >> right. i think that, ideally, in a case involving either, the sitting president, a former president, or a future candidate for president, you want more of a buffer between the attorney general, and the decision makers. not that he should not be notified, or be aware, but that you want some objective distance. those decisions on whether to pursue that case, being made by independent decision makers, who do not have the appearance of self interest. special counsel regulations are there to do exactly this. ideally, and the situation, you move it into that realm. if you want to move it into that realm, you can imagine
more carefully designed policy. for example, when such an investigation is opened, it's vetted by the fbi general counsel, or is signed off by the director of the fbi, who has a bit more distance, and independents, from a sitting administration. i was just surprised it was adopted. i do think people need to know, it does not stop an investigation. i don't think it doesn't mean he can't indict the president. basically, if trump declares his candidacy, and an investigation is pursued after that. there may be one open, for all we know. but if one is opened after that, merrick garland's name will be right there, and the authorization. i think that can, potentially, open a can of unnecessary worms in terms of whether there was an objective, factual basis to do it. you know, even without him doing the sign off. >> it is such an interesting
point. it does seem like there are two things intention. at one level, the kind of outsourcing, and pushing down the organizational hierarchy, to people at the bottom, to make these decisions with neither fair, nor favor, who are furthest away from the political chain of command, right? you want that. at the same time, the impulse that i could see, between the lines of text in this memo, is garland saying, if we are doing this, for the first time in american history, we are not doing it out of a field office where some fbi agents says, open investigation, because they have a good factual predicate. we are doing it, because i given the greenlight, and we are controlling it. i understand the impulse, but to your point, it seems like a double-edged sword. >> it is. i don't know that there is a good answer. in many ways, i keep coming back to why impeachment is such an important tool for
accountability. you face all of these thorny questions. i think why, the special counsel regulations are, really, a very good escape valve for some of these questions as well. frankly, i am curious why that has not been utilized in the situation. >> a good point. they are there for that, for precisely that region, because of the inherent conflicts that arise in that situation. i'll sharon got, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> still to come, despite his best attempts to delay, and delay, today, a jury heard opening arguments, and the first witness in the criminal contempt trial of one steve bannon. glenn kershner, in the courtroom, he will tell us what happened, next. ened, next
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let our injury attorneys help you get the best result possible. steve bannon has now had more ♪ the barnes firm injury attorneys ♪ ♪ call one eight hundred, eight million ♪ attempts to delay his trial then the number of buttoned down shorts he wore to court -- court today. so, at least. three this morning bannon's team try to delay again the trial. asking for another month, and a couple of days. both requests were denied, and opening statements began. the department of justice arguing that ben's failure to comply with the january six committee subpoena was quote, something his nose at the orderly process under the government. bannon just decided not to follow the rules. defense -- steve bannon is the political victim of a -- political witch hunt -- we heard from kristin amerling, the deputy staff director and general counsel for the january six committee. the bannon team had argued that
somehow amerling was not competent to testify today. for more on what we heard from the witness in one of the trial is headed in, we want to bring in glenn kershner, former federal prosecutor -- glenn, welcome. first off, glenn. the judge wants this trial to happen. if one thing is clear from the ruling so far, is this judges moving this along at a pretty fast clip. >> yeah, you know, the latest asked the defense team was for a one month continuance. and judge nichols ultimately said, you know what, i may give you a one day continuance. and then about an hour later, judge nichols took it back and said, no, we're going to opening statements today. so we are now in the thick of steve bannon's criminal contempt of congress trial. >> so what went down today? >> opening statements. which were actually pretty interesting.
the prosecutor, assistant u. s. attorney amanda von, did a really nice job. she presented a linear, logical, and perhaps most importantly layman friendly opening statement to the jury. it almost had a civics class feel to it. which i think was appropriate. because she needed to explain to the jurors, they don't all necessarily know how congress functions. what's the house of representatives is, what committees are, what's the j six house select committee is. how they do their business. with their mission in mandate. is what congressional subpoenas are all about. and then she dove into the heart of it. she said, steve bannon had critically important information about what happened on january 6th at the capitol. and the committee needed, it wanted it and had every lawful right to it. so they subpoenaed him. and then he intentionally defied the subpoena. it wasn't a mistake, it wasn't an accident, he simply decided that he doesn't live by the same rules and laws that his fellow citizens lived by. and i thought it was a really effective opening statement.
not so much for the defense got off to open. the defense attorney by the name of, evan corcoran open for steve bannon. and i think he made a fatal mistake. he wrote a bad check to the jury. he wrote a check i don't think the evidence will cash. trial lawyers will tell you never bounced a check with your jury. it hurts your case. and it can hurt your credibility in the eyes of the jury. will he, said it was really interesting, was, here ladies and gentlemen, steve bannon was served with the subpoena, but the dates weren't fixed. they were, quote, flexible. i have seen no evidence, chris, in the governments opening statement or any of the litigation on the motion that will support that assertion. in fact, the first witness who is already testified, kristin amerling, the chief counsel for the j 6th middle, he has already shut that down.
she said he was subpoenaed and he defied, he violated the subpoenas. miss amerling has not been cross-examine yet, that will come tomorrow. but, you know what, if you write a check for the jury an opening statement that you can't cash, you are in trouble. >> wait a second. we should be clear. i don't want to impugn this defense attorney who has been in his own words, left with very little -- and a bunch of pretrial motions. he wanted to raise a bunch of motions that the judge effectively ruled out of order. and can't use, about the legitimacy of the committee himself. he said what's the point in going to trial if there's no defenses? the strategies are limited. was the idea that the dates weren't fixed that, like, steve had this on his to do list? and just hadn't quite gotten around to it yet? >> i am not exactly sure how they are going to prove up that the dates weren't fixed -- here's with the my, to chris. they might say, well, steve bannon may be misunderstood that the dates were flexible.
and that could give him a defense, because it has to be a willful and intentional violation of the subpoenas. but here is the thing, steve bannon would have to testify to make some of these arguments to the jury. and i have a feeling he will not fair all that well on cross examination. and i wasn't impugning the integrity of evan corcoran. i assume he's making his arguments a good faith. they are going to have some kind of evidence, even if only circumstantial, to back up with their promising for the jury. >> yeah, i mean, there would be something somewhat amusingly ironic where he would end up giving sworn testimony on the witness stand in his own trial that is about his refusal to give testimony to the january six committee. but it seems highly unlikely. right? >> highly unlikely. in most criminal cases, defendants do not take the stand.
and that is for good, tactical reasons. i think it really is unlikely that we're gonna see steve bannon raise his right hand and begin to tell the truth. >> i think that's probably right. glenn kershner, thank you very much for that dispatch, i appreciate it. still ahead, -- >> this is one of the most environmental drilling countries in the world. but yet, we're walking on all the resources we have underneath our feet and we won't say, hey, guys we have to come out of this. >> he's one of the worst major party candidates in recent memory. but despite his lies an acid like that one, my next guest says herschel walker can still win in georgia. next. till win in georgia next
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depraved chapters in this new era of post roe america has been the case of the ten -year-old girl impregnated by her rapist. she was forced to flee from the state she lives, in ohio, to indiana, in order to get an abortion. first, the story broke and right-wing media shouted, this could not possibly be true. the wall street journal editorial board ran an op-ed titled, an abortion story too good to confirm, saying, quote, there is no evidence that the girl exists. fox news hosts jesse waters, tucker carlson, also told their audiences the same lie. >> prime time decided to investigate this alleged child rape. but we quickly found out that
the authorities in ohio haven't even begun a non-criminal investigation into the rape. no one reported this child right to law enforcement? >> why is the biden administration, speaking of lying, just repeat a story about a ten-year-old child who got pregnant and then got an abortion was not allowed to get an abortion when it turns out the story was not true? >> you hear that part -- when it turns out the story was not true. the story was, in fact, true. it turned out to be true. according to the indianapolis star, which reported out this story, an indiana ob/gyn, quote, took a call from a colleague, a child abuse doctor in ohio. ohio had outlawed abortion after six weeks. this doctor had a ten-year-old patient in the office who was six weeks and -- took steps to help this child. but once it was revealed that this appalling situation obviously did happen. the reaction on the right from the people that had lied about this. ways to go after the doctor and possibly even in danger by plastering her face and neck all over fox news segments. then republican indiana
attorney general todd rokita got involved. his office requested documents from state agencies to seize find out if the doctor had reported to state law and reported the abortion. but instead of waiting for the agencies to go through the records and report back about the compliance, he rushed to fox news to join jesse waters and essentially slamming the doctor. >> so, what is going, on todd? >> jesse, thank you for having me on but i shouldn't be here. first of all, this is an illegal immigration issue, because likely of biden's lawlessness at the border. and everything going on down there. indiana, as a non border state, has actually filed several independent lawsuits on that
end. then we have the rape and then we have this abortion activist, acting as a doctor with a history of failing to report. so, we are gathering the information, gathering the evidence as we speak and we are going to fight this to the end, including looking at license sure if she failed to report in indiana, it's a crime to not report, to intentionally not report. >> that is the state ag on the tv screen with the face of this ob/gyn, implying that she is a criminal. the day after that fox news appearance, indiana [inaudible] produce the records that rokita requested, showing surprise, surprise, the doctor did report the procedure as required. information that rokita would have obtained if he had, oh, i don't know, simply waited another day to get his fox news hit. but again, there will be no apologies or climbing down from this, by right-wing commentators or politicians. their goal, seems to me, is to
try to ruin this doctor's life for the crime of having provided legal abortion services to a ten year old child impregnated by a rapist. why? because they want the ten year old child to carry her rapists child to term, at the age of ten. but there may be some small window of accountability. washington post reports the former dean of the indiana university law school filed a complaint. the -- alleges that rokita intended to harass and intimidate doctors who performed abortions and is expected to trigger a report by the state's disciplinary commission. for her part, the doctor in question, has hired an attorney, is taking the first steps to potentially sue attorney general rokita and others, perhaps, for defamation. defamation.
all the good air decided to flow over to china, [inaudible] bad air. so, when china gets our good air, their bad air has to move. so, it moves over to -- [inaudible] good airspace. now we've got to clean that backup. >> that is georgia republican nominee for senate, herschel walker, outlining his stance on the environment, on clean air and climate change particularly. that moment, talking about the good air deciding whether wants to go to the bad air, represents just one of the many reasons why he's not just not a good candidate but they really, truly, catastrophic one. a man who, regardless of ideology or beliefs, simply has
no business being a u.s. senator. before and during his campaign, walker has lied repeatedly. he falsely claimed to have graduated in top percentile from university of georgia. he lied about having spent time in law enforcement -- he said he was an fbi one point. he exaggerated success about the claims of his businesses. he's also accused of domestic violence, very serious accusations, reportedly lied to his campaign about his multiple secrets children. in spite all this, walker has a genuine chance to defeat an unambiguously qualified senator who currently holds the sea, raphael warnock. as jelani cobb writes, no one in gop leadership can possibly believe that walker is fit to hold the senate seat. the hope, as dangerous as it is cynical, is that he may be able to win. jelani cobb, new yorker staff writer and incoming dean of the columbia journalism school joins me now. jelani, i really liked your piece, because you really did a great job articulating what i found gobsmacked-ing about this
particular race, which is -- take away all of the lies, the embellishments, the really upsetting accusations of domestic violence against herschel walker, take all of that away. and just put them up and say, okay, you are going to be a u. s. senator. like, what do you think about these issues? what do you want to see happen to the country? and it just seems obvious, within minutes, that this is not a person who is qualified to have that role. >> sure, i mean, i think the thing is, we have had, less than brilliant senators. we have had -- >> oh, sure. >> elected to many offices, previously. not that this is an endorsement for qualified unqualified people being elected to office. but i think that the problem with walkers twofold. one, is that he is unambiguously unqualified.
and the other is that the stakes are so high. and so transparently, obviously, very high, in a state where there is an ongoing, active criminal probe about an attempt to subvert the previous election, vis-à-vis the most recent presidential election, happening there. a state with a legislature has made laws that will make it more amenable to potentially subverting a future election and to have someone who, at best, would be a rubberstamp for some of the most reactionary elements of that party, have that person elected to the senate, is just another step closer to the ledge. >> yeah. and the point that you make in the piece, of course, is that -- and this is always an important one -- that the structural factors do a lot of the work in a campaign like this, which is to say, the person within our next to their name, in a state like georgia, is going to have a fighting chance, and the year that's likely to be a tough one, independent of the particular qualities, qualifications or whatever, of the candidate --
and this is an insight that the gop and, trump particularly has attempted to get as much mileage out of as possible. >> sure. they are utilizing brand loyalty here. there is also a curious element of, potentially, racial cynicism here in that, obviously, raphael warnock is the first african american senator ever elected in the state of georgia. and the fact that herschel walker is running means that, no matter who wins that race, georgia will have at least one black senator in the future, going forward. but beyond skin color, beyond epidermal concerns, there is virtually nothing that these men have in common. certainly not their level of qualification. and so it's a kind of dual cynicism, that is operating here. >> and i think it's also the case that warnock is just one of the most distinct and remarkable individuals who ever served in the u.s. senate, just in terms of his background and his bio and where he's he comes from and what he represents, in terms of the actual pasture
from martin luther king and martin luther king junior's church -- a man who was born into poverty who is now a u.s. senator and an active pastor -- that, it's not just a kind of random democrats next to the name, a generic democrat. there is someone here who has a pretty remarkable set of qualifications. >> sure. and that's keeping over the part about him earning a doctorate. i think that those two things, obviously -- even outside the question of what the party people stand for, my point is not really a partisan one. it's much more about the metastasizing culture in which a celebrity, the ability to ramble on about subjects, not fluency at lies, and truth become a formula for political victory. we saw that in 2016. the headline in the piece was that trump looked at all the same qualities and saw some of
the same himself, game recognizes game. but we have also seen what kind of wreckage was the result of that election in 2016. and that breaking the tradition of peaceful transfer of power in this country. that is something that should give us all pause. >> yeah. i think the one sort of recent precedent i find slightly more encouraging, or at least hopeful, is that alabama special election that could put more and more against doug jones, in which you have i think, a similarly -- independent of the incredible reporting for the washington post that shows that he alleged multiple times to have preyed on underage women, even independent of that, a guy who just had no business in the u. s. senate, versus someone who had a remarkable sort of career
and record on the other side -- and in the end, even in the state of alabama, that proved to be too much. it actually went too far. so, it's not like the rubber band can stretch forever. the question now, in georgia is, how far can a stretch and that's what we will be watching. jelani cobb, thank you very much. >> thank you. much thank you very much. >> thank you. that is all in on this tuesday night. msnbc prime starts right now. good evening. >> e hey, good evening to you, chris.ni thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. you probably won't hear him talk this way again, but i want to play this for you. this was what the top house republican kevin mccarthy said on live television back on january 6th 2021 as the attack on the capitol was unfolding in realtime. >> i have spoken to the president. i asked him to talk to the nation to tell them to stop this. i told him he needs to talk to the nation. i was very clear with the president when i called him.
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