tv CBS Evening News With Norah O Donnell CBS January 7, 2021 3:12am-3:43am PST
number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. this is not dissent. it's disorder. it's chaos. it borders on sedition. and it must end. now. >> reporter: now after the president-elect spoke i asked him if he was concerned about his own inauguration and the prospect for more violence. he said he's not concerned about his safety, security or the inauguration. he said that the american people will step up and declared enough is enough. we're just two weeks away from inauguration day. our new house is amazing. great street, huge yard. there is a bit of an issue with our neighbors fencing.
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seriously questioning not only their relationship with him but whether or not he should continue as president of the united states for the next two weeks. >> this is extraordinary, norah, and news i'm going to be very careful as i deliver it, because it is so incredible. the people around the president, some of the highest members of our government, are discussing the possibility of invoking the 25th amendment, which would remove the president from office and make the vice president, mike pence, the commander in chief for the remaining days of the trump presidency. that's the theory they've talked about, the idea of their level of concern right now, frankly, at what has happened in the past 24 or 48 hours. what may happen in remaining days or weeks of the trump presidency, and any related national security concerns. they are keenly aware of some
members of the trump cabinet of how the rest of the world is watching this, what they are seeing, that this is not just a protest, these are pro-trump supporters who have stormed the u.s. capitol, that symbol of our democracy. this is something that is being discussed. whispers about it among cabinet members who are considering bringing this to the vice president. i want to underscore it's not been brought to him as formal proposal in way to trigger a process. these are early discussions of it, but it is incredible it is even at that level. i'm not talking about democrats speculating or political pundits, but members of the trump cabinet. we know tonight there's a lot of reporting still developing regarding level of concern from top advisers to the president of the united states.
they may hopefully get his attention with the potential of invoking this. as for whether it will go through is another matter, i'm underscoring the level of concern right now, norah. >> and margaret, is this a concern about future actions that the president may be considering? >> yes. it is concerned about what has happened, about the ability to speak with the president, to break through to him. it is concern about what this means in terms of damage to american democracy, the perception of it. it is not lost on advisers to the president, as i mentioned, that the rest of the world is watching this closely, that the commander in chief spoke at a rally today and encouraged his supporters to march on the capitol to oppose weak republicans and directly
attacked his vice president while he was there, thus putting him in the line of danger. these events, this is not lost, the symbolism, the potential risk, and potential of what could happen in remaining two weeks or so of the trump presidency, is what is adding to concern. >> a reminder that some of the top members of the president's cabinet include the secretary of state mike pompeo, his treasury secretary steve mnuchin, wilbur ross, the commerce secretary, sonny perdue, alex azar, i forget the current number but around ten. thank you margaret. bring in david, on that matter of the 25th amendment, margaret said it's early stages of discussion but how would it work? >> way it works, it's usually
used in circumstance where a president might be going under anesthesia in a temporary way to remove the president from his duties when he can't perform them for a period of time. but also could be used when the vice president and majority of the cabinet decide the president is unable to perform his duties as president. they transmit a letter to the president protempore of the senate. and until and unless the president submits a letter saying he is able to do his duties and at that point can continue on or they can do another letter, go to congress for vote and need 2/3 of each house, with two weeks to go, it's about the same as perform
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and that gives democrats control of the united states senate. more from cbs's mark strassmann in atlanta. good evening, mark, this is historic. >> reporter: it is, norah, everyone in america has been consumed by the craziness of the day in washington, understandably so, but you can bet these races here have everyone's attention in georgia. double defeat for republicans, moment of reckoning and soul searching. two candidates wrapped themselves in the trump brand and their defeat was a rejection of that brand. and in the double victory for democrats, they understand they have a path forward after years, decades really of trying. ossoff and pastor warnock are not just moderate but liberal candidates who managed to win statewide in a state generally considered to be conservative.
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go to dav.org/helpvets or call now. your donation will make a real difference. cbs's john dickerson, residential presidential historian was watching most of the day with us, and he has thoughts on a national disgrace and what many see as a threat to our democracy. >> in president trump's remarks today to the crowd he summoned to overturn the lerk election, e pledged to protect the monument, he thinks of himself as savior. but the monument was the capitol, on the steps that he talked about carnage, saw closest thing to that since the british attacked it more than 200 years ago. president who threatened to quell protests over racial
justice with the insurrection act spurred an act of insurrection. flower of four years of dismantling traditions that held the presidency together. to an audience he primed to believe that the government was made up of sinister forces trying to steal their liberty. members of congress, some of whom he targeted were forced to follow emergency instructions put in place after 9/11 when the extremist threat was supposed to be coming from overseas. capitol police had to draw their firearms. not all protesters were violent, some took photos of the paintings. there was a painting of the moment george washington willingly handed back power by resigns as commander in chief of the continental army.
said the act was inconceivable, usually leaders clung to power no matter what. if washington does that, king george supposedly said, he will be the greatest man in the world. in this case, washington's virtue, restraint and character, he put the nation over his personal ambition. donald trump's personal ambition has convulsed the nation. that is a far greater threat to washington's legacy and america than any threat from which president trump may perceive himself as the protector. >> democracy did not break today but it was tested and tonight we'll see what many lawmakers will do to move forward with the peaceful transition of power that is the hallmark of a great democracy. there will be much more on the assault on the capitol and your local news and "cbs this
morning," we're going to leave you with pictures from this day as we remember our great nation, those who serve. for now, i'm norah o'donnell, cbs news, washington. in an extraordinary day here in the nation's capital that no one thought would come to fruition, angry mob of supporters of president trump convened on the u.s. capitol, overwhelming law enforcement, this is an image inside what is called the capitol crypt. as those supporting the president sought to storm the house and senate chambers, what can only be viewed as an attempt not only to thwart the democratic process but also an effort incited by the president of the united states, to try one
last effort to overturn the presidential election. senators, congressmen, their staffers, were quickly whisked into a secure location. among them as well, the vice president of the united states. brought by the u.s. secret service into a secure location, all of them holed up for hours trying to remain secure. this picture encapsulates it all. the u.s. capitol police, guns drawn, those are members of congress on their knees with bags to protect them from chemical agents in the galley watching stunned. staffers, scared. these are some of the people who tried to storm the capitol and the law enforcement with long guns drawn, asking them to stop this assault on democracy.
and outside the west front of the capitol, which two weeks today will witness the inauguration of the 46th president of the united states, hung a trump 2020 flag. that flag is no longer there. law enforcement, including our national guard, was activated, in part from the pentagon, and also from the vice president, who was holed up inside a secure location. urging the pentagon to move quickly, asking for help. that call did not come from the white house and president trump, who sat in a small room by himself watching television, steaming mad and getting phone calls from capitol hill urging him to do something to make it stop. if you watched our coverage today, you heard the republican leader of the house, kevin mccarthy, his voice shaking, saying he'd called the president
himself, called the president's chief of staff, urging him to speak forcefully and stop this assault on democracy. but even before we heard from the president of the united states, we heard from the president-elect, joe biden. who called this an assault on the capitol and the citadel of democracy, an assault on public servants and an assault on lawmakers who try to do the work of the american people every day. we've seen shocking video of the moments after the mob first breached the capitol, a lone guard left to confront them as they filled the hallways, chasing him up the stairs. this scene in itself has prompted calls about whether this party that incited this
violence is the party of law and order. it has been a remarkable day, and i want to bring in cbs's jeff pegues, still on the streets of the nation's capital, under a mandatory curfew, state of emergency since 6:00 as the mayor has called in 1,100 members of the national guard to help secure the peace. jeff. >> reporter: this has been an extraordinary day and started early, early this morning when president trump's supporters, at his urging, descended on washington, d.c.. they came here before the sun came up and we were walking with them along constitution avenue as they prepared to fill the ellipse. as i was describing it, i said there were tens of thousands of people there, potentially. but one of president trump's followers corrected me. she said you should call this a
massive crowd, and it was a massive crowd that seemed to grow during the day and grew even larger as it got closer to president trump's speech to the crowd. and when he arrived, he soaked up the adulation, repeated some of the slogans, stop the steal, the slogans that suggested or said outright that the election was rigged. slogans that his followers repeated to me over and over and over again without evidence. but also during the president's more than hour-long speech, he told his followers what to do next. >> we're going to walk down to the capitol and we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them.
because you'll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength, and you have to be strong. >> reporter: you have to show strength and you have to be strong. at the capitol, those protesters upon hearing the president's speech, some of them left early heading for the capitol. they clashed with police as they surrounded the capitol and climbed the walls. >> we need more men up at the capitol, we need 80 men at a time to go from the tear gas. >> excuse me, what are you saying? >> 80 men. to take our property back. we the people own that property. >> reporter: and there were others saying similar things, in fact i heard a few people say this is civil war. so they were intent on breaching the capitol and they did. and their actions today raise
questions about whether law enforcement was truly prepared for what was going to happen today. everybody knew in this city this day was going to come, the president had been advertising it to his followers for at least a week, urging them to come to d.c. they did, they got permits, and so city officials and law enforcement knew that the crowds would be big, perhaps they didn't know they would be this big, and then at the capitol, there are some who feel as if capitol hill police did not do enough to prepare for this event. in fact we talked to a former capitol hill police officer who told cbs news that this structure of course should not have been breached. there should have been a larger perimeter of capitol hill police officers around the capitol. in fact they are 2,000 strong but they didn't have those numbers here today. in fact typically there is a saying among capitol hill police
♪ >> announcer: this is the "cbs overnight news." >> all of you have been watching, i've been watching. at this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault. unlike anything we've seen in modern times. an assault on the citadel of liberty, the capitol itself. an assault on the people's representatives, and the capitol hill police, sworn to protect them. and the public servants who work
at the heart of our republic. an assault on the rule of law like few times we've ever seen it. an assault on the most sacred of american undertakings, the doing of the people's business. let me be very clear, the scenes of chaos at the capitol do not reflect a true america. do not represent who we are. what we're seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. this is not dissent, it's disorder, it's chaos, it borders on sedition. and it must end. now. i call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward.
you heard me say before in different context, the words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad that president is. at their best, the words of a president can inspire. at their worst, they can incite. therefore, i call on president trump to go on national television now, to fulfill his oath and defend the constitution and demand an end to this siege. to storm the capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices, the floor of the united states senate, rummaging through desks, on the capitol, house of