tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 28, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
hi there, everyone. it's 4:00 in the east. on the first day of the rest of the gop's life, is a party more devoted to white washing the horror of the january 6th insurrection than preventing the next attack on our country? here is the undenial truth about the trump-inspired hit on the nation's capitol. >> as we came close to the terrorists our line was divided and we came under attack. a man attempted to rip the baton from my hands and we wrestled for control. he retained my weapon. he yelled at me, you're on the wrong team. cut off from our leadership, which was at the front of our formation, we huddled up and assessed the threat surrounding
us. another tried to build a rapport and said are you my brother? another said you will die on your knees. >> and instead of breaking the fever of lies about the truth of that day, the gop yesterday after the hearing, after hearing all that, committed itself anew to its anti-law enforcement positions. here is congressman jamie raskin in a vitally important exchange with the gop congressman who claimed the insurrectionists were just like everyday tourists, not the terrorists described by the law enforcement officials who engaged in hand-to-hand combat with supporters of the ex-president. we're going to show you the exchange in its entirety so the context is abundantly clear. this is the republican party addicted to bald-faced lies and propaganda. watch. >> they were asked the question by several of our colleagues including ms. cheney about statements that you made saying
that the january 6th violent insurrection against congress was akin to a normal tourist visit. and those officers said they weren't tourists. they were terrorists. do you stand by your statement that they were tourists? >> i would like you to quote my exact statement. not your interpretation of my statement. >> okay. watching tv footage of those who entered the capitol and walked through statutory hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the ropes taking videos and pictures. if you didn't know the tv footage was a video from january 6th you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit. those are your words. >> and i stand by that exact statement as i said it. >> okay. do you agree or disagree with the officers who spent four or five hours battling that
medieval mob that had baseball bats and lead pipes and so on, do you stand by the statement that the people that they were fighting were tourists, or would you agree with them that they were terrorists? >> that statement did not say that those people were tourists. read the statement -- >> well, i'm asking you now. you have the opportunity to tell america right now, mr. clyde. >> could we just lower our voices here? i'm sorry. >> you have the opportunity to clarify for the whole country right now for these officers, i urge you to watch it on tv. i urge you to watch it in your office. officer hodges, officer fanone, who experienced traumatic brain injury, who had a heart attack after he was tased by some of the tourists or terrorists, officer dunn. do you think what they experienced was an attack by tourists or terrorists or
violent insurrectionists? you have the opportunity to clarify for the whole country right now. >> if you will read the first part of my statement -- >> i'm not interested -- >> you're not interested in my statement, are you? >> will you yield to me? >> i have read your statement once. the whole country and lots of people online believed your statement that it was a normal tourist visit. >> that is not my statement. as you said, as you quoted and then you just misquoted. >> clarify it right now for america. >> i just clarified it for you. >> the people who attacked officer hodges -- >> you're not listening -- >> are there no rules to govern? >> who has the floor, mr. chairman? >> mr. raskin's time. >> i spent several hours today with millions of americans watching sworn police officers testify about their battle to defend our lives, the members of the house and the senators, and they took issue not with --
let's put your statement aside, because you think you've been misinterpreted by people. they're taking issue with an internet meme that the people here were just tourists. it was a normal day. and they were saying they weren't tourists. they were terrorists. how do you react to that? >> well, i'm not responsible for internet meme, okay. we are here to discuss this amendment, mr. raskin. >> okay. so you don't want to answer the question. i appreciate that. i wouldn't want to answer it if i said -- >> we are here to discuss this amendment, and you are obviously not interested in that. you want to make this another january 6, which it is not. this is the rules committee. >> mr. clyde wasn't the only one to dishonor the capitol police yesterday. mitch mcconnell was too busy doing work, he said, to watch the hearing. kevin mccarthy, who once found the time to find president
trump's final flavors of star burst, could not watch the police officers who once protected his life testify. elise stefanik declined to say if she found time to watch. a press conference was held before the hearing prebutting it with spin, smears and lies, attempting to blame speaker pelosi for the insurrection incited by trump and his allies to which liz cheney had this to say. >> what happened is absolutely clear. we had, as we heard this morning, just intolerable cruelty. a mob that was assembled by president trump, was provoked by him. he lit the flame for what happened. we've seen that not just in the speech on the ellipse but throughout. what this committee needs to understand is exactly what the details were of the planning and the financing. but for anybody to be suggesting that somehow he was he wasn't responsible, i think it's
shameful. >> the gop circling the drain is where we start this hour with some of our favorite reporters and friends. white house reporter for politico playbook, co-author and an msnbc contributor. also joining us a.b. stoddard and ben rhodes, security adviser to president obama, also an msnbc contributor. a.b. stoddard, mitch mcconnell is now spending campaign money to try to walk back the dangerous lies about covid. he's now encouraging people to get vaccinated. when will the walkback happen? when will they see polling data that calling a deadly insurrection where law enforcement officers were mutilated with trump flags, flagpoles, batons, their own shields, when will they decide, see the internal polling that gets them to walk back the disgraceful things, in liz cheney's words, that they said yesterday? >> well, nicolle, it's
interesting. i don't know that mitch mcconnell can put space between him and donald trump and all of maga world or elise stefanik. as i carefully comb twitter for re-tweets, i do notice team mitch is trying to put distance between themselves and house republicans not only on the issue of anti-vax conspiracy but on the issue of january 6th. and so i think it's very telling that if you look at the things -- the people around him are commenting on, the comments of the minority whip, john thune, they wanted to stop the pro process. still tried to honor what the officers were saying yesterday in a way that no house republican would step up to do. i'm not saying it will be successful but in all the tea
leaf reading that i do he's really trying to get away from the stain of 1/6 trutherism that is being amplified by the house republicans and will lead to future violence. >> eugene, it's not enough. i mean, he grimaced in response to a question. if i'm thinking and saw the same thing a.b. is talking about. they did nothing to distance themselves from what liz cheney called a disgrace. it is a disgrace that they continue with the lies. it is a disgrace that they didn't all watch the men who protect them. what is the prospect that this sort of shrinking malevolent cancer inside the republican party will show up in the kind of polls that clearly the anti-vaccine positions they've all clung to now for many months have sort of caused them to start to try to put the toothpaste back in the tube.
>> i'm not sure on this issue that they want to or can. we've seen in polling that the majority of republicans, republican voters, leaders, people in congress, they agree the election was stolen, they agree on the lies that happened way before january 6th. january 6th, the speeches that happened on the ellipse, are not the only reason that january 6th happened. it happened for months and months and months. and so when you watch these, we watched the testimony yesterday and we watched the clips today in talking about it thinking about those officers called the n word and a chant f the n word, thinking of officer fanone who they chanted they were going to kill him with his own gun. it's hard to see how republicans continue to say that, one, they are the party of law and order, they're the party of backing the blue, and at the same time hold a press conference during the testimony saying that it's nancy pelosi's fault, calling liz
cheney and adam kinzinger pelosi republicans. all of these things that are a distraction from what actually happened that day. and kevin mccarthy that day, be that night, blamed donald trump, he said he bore responsibility for what happened. the 180 turn the republican party has taken since then, there's no way to put that back in the tube. it is out and that is the official stance of the leadership of the republican party and that is why liz cheney is no longer the number three, and you have elise stefanik saying these things and continuing to. they are continuing to repeat the lies that the folks that beat these officers, who attacked -- who most importantly looked for and wanted to kill, nancy pelosi and the leaders of this country along with mike pence, that is happening from leadership today. >> ben rhodes, you wrote the
book so you know we're not just watching liz cheney and adam kinzinger separate themselves from the republican party. we're watching them separate themselves from a party that has become an autocratic movement that is now no longer wedded to the democracy, that in their view and in their words have abdicated the responsibilities to the constitution and to their oath of office. in your view after watching yesterday, not just the testimony, not just the searing video evidence. if you still believe your own eyes and you still believe your own ears, there's no question about what happened on january 6th and why it happened. what do you make of cheney and kinzinger separating themselves from an autocratic republican party? >> well, there are people choosing to live in reality and to live with the truth. and if you look at authoritarian movements, authoritarian movements always try to control the understanding of the path
and that's not just the path, it's about what they're trying to do in the future and the reality is january 6th isn't really over, nicolle. if you look at what's hiding in plain sight, you have a republican party that is trying to pass laws at the state level that allow republican state legislators to overturn the results of an election. that could be utilized in 2024. you have a republican party spreading mass amounts of disinformation on their television propaganda networks, online about the big lie that donald trump actually won the election so it can motivate their people to get out. the reason those polls showed the republicans believe the big lie is because people have sold them the big lie. if, after january 6, republicans had stood up and said we can't tolerate this in a democracy, that's not what the polls would show. what they have chosen to do as a party, and i would argue as an authoritarian movement, is to try to control. understanding of this event in the past so as to allow for them
to continue to try to utilize disinformation, try to motivate their supporters and try to change laws so that the next time they try to overturn the results of an election they're better able to do so. this is all happening right in front of us. and so i think part of what is so chilling about watching what happened yesterday is you have one party and then people like liz cheney and adam kinzinger trying to live in reality and deal with the facts and the danger to our democracy and you have another party that is still actively trying to push the agenda that led those people to storm the capitol. that's where we're at, nicolle, in american democracy right now. and we have to stop assuming that there's any shame that will compel the republican party to change course. they will not be shamed. jamie raskin, he's trying to shame somebody with the facts, and that person refuses to be shamed. and that's the truth across the board. >> a.b., it's important to
remind our viewers that that person jamie raskin tried to shame with the facts was hiding from people he describes as, quote, every day tourists. let me read you something dana millbank wrote today. there he is, mr. clyde, hiding from everyday tourists on january 6. had the gop leadership been watching the hearing instead of spinning yet another conspiracy theory, they would have seen what it means to put country before party. police testified about their grievous injuries, the ferocious violence and racism by the armed attackers and their fears they would die that day defending democracy. but a number of republicans expressed more sympathy for the attackers. and i believe liz cheney said yesterday, a.b., that the alleged child sex trafficker, the admitted holocaust denier and the person who raises money with white supremacists out there trying to draw attention
and sympathy for the insurrectionists who were in prison. how is it that kevin mccarthy and mitch mcconnell have broken with those three and not cheney and kinzinger? >> it's really interesting they have gone on tv several times and made the case he's not mentally fifth and spends all his time spreading dangerous conspiracies. i differentiate between him and kevin mccarthy and elise stefanik and people who know what they're doing. elise stefanik nominated liz cheney for conference chair in another place and time. she knows exactly what she's doing, she knows nancy pelosi is not complicit in the tragedy of january 6th. she knows those officers -- she knows they are defying as republicans just as eugene said their oath to the constitution, to the rule of law.
they know that they have abandoned law enforcement who have put themselves and their lives on the line for duty, honor and country in a way they never did, and they didn't have to watch the hearings yesterday to know that or see new video to know that. they're doing it anyway. and ben is right, they can't be shamed. they were mad, people in the leadership circle were mad at kevin mccarthy for letting john patco negotiate on a 1/6 commission. it was voted down and we have a committee now, that would have been far more like the 9/11 commission, more legitimate in a traditional setup and structure. they were mad that he was sent to negotiate as a legitimate and credible republican member in a swing district with bennie thompson, chairman of the homeland security committee on the plans for that committee. they wished that kevin had sent jim jordan so that it could be illegitimate from day one.
he would blow off the negotiations and walk away because they know how bad january 6th is for them and they know that even people who are turning off the news because joe biden is president and they don't have to follow politics anymore will hear about what happened yesterday. if democrats are smart they will lean into this message that republicans back the blue until there's a coup, and then they abandon them. and it's very important that democrats make the most of this committee in terms of not only their findings and how it prevents future violence and how the big lie will lead to future violence. what republicans have done to the very own officers who protect them every day and put their lives on the line to do it. >> such a good point. eugene, i wonder if you have any reporting about what democrats felt after -- and at least, as long as i was watching in the morning, fox news was airing this testimony as well. so the bubble has been pierced. the truth has been broadcast. we don't know whether they believed it or not, accepted it or not.
i know some of the fox news anchors called it a performance, and we'll cover that later in this hour. i wonder if the democrats now plan to move some of these hearings and some of this testimony into prime time so that they can have this direct line to the american people. >> at this point i don't think they've made their decision on that. i also think that nancy pelosi especially and bennie thompson, they both want to make sure this isn't seen as some kind of political farce. that is something they are working very hard to make sure isn't a legitimate attack on what they're doing. that's why they started with these four officers. start with that emotional apea. don't try to go after one of the trump administration officials. go with that emotional appeal. go with and set the stage for what actually happened because a lot of us have been reading all types of testimony. a lot of us have heard from some of the leadership of that day. but this is the first time we
really heard from officers who almost got their eyes gouged out, that one tried to come on their side, all of these kinds of things. i think something that moving forward what democrats and liz cheney and adam kinzinger want to do is make sure that they try to stay focused, put on the blinders and try as much as they can to keep the politics out of it. however, i will say we did a playbook event earlier this year with shawn patrick maloney, and he said, even though it was back in february, i think, that no longer can republicans call themselves the party of backing the blue. know that in 2022 that is something we're going to continue to see as democrats feel they no longer back the blue, and that is something they will tell voters especially in swing districts. >> ben rhodes, i want to put two new pieces of information up for you, and i want to have this conversation that eugene just
set up about politics not entering into this. the public supports this congressional investigation, this select committee appointed by nancy pelosi. two republicans sitting on it, her rejection of kevin mccarthy's farcical clowns. 58% of the company supports them. 29% oppose it. and i'm going to just put up some video of something that shows irony can't be killed even by this version of the republican party. peaceful protesters, i don't know, counter programming event yesterday, were ushered away. they're out there attacking an investigation into deadly protests on january 6th. but they couldn't handle peaceful protesters. here is my question for you, ben rhodes. this is absolutely political. these are the political supporters of the most prominent politicians in the republican party. of course this is political. and i'm not arguing this was a good idea, but september 11th
was in the foreground of the midterm elections in '02 when bush's party held the -- held congress. i think the security questions of the republican party as a domestic terror threat that were raised by the police officers whose political affiliation is unknown should be front and center in these elections. >> the democrats in each of the last two elections, and i think acutely in the last election, ran in part on the fact that donald trump and the republican party had become a danger to american democracy. and, by the way, that danger to american democracy also got in the way of the united states government performing basic functions like protecting people from covid or delivering on the priorities that people care about in their daily lives. i think when you look at what happened on january 6th, you have the manifestation of the
argument that democrats were making how dangerous donald trump is to american democracy. then this case where they wrap themselves in a law and order message, hit behind often phony attacks at the democratic party defunding police, and here you have republicans who can't even bother to watch the testimony of the capitol police officers who saved their lives on january 6th? what an offensive exposure of the republican message on defund being the police, the hypocrisy of anything they might utter about law and order. you and i have walked into that capitol complex many times past those officers. the republicans whose lives were saved by those people can't even bother to watch their testimony?
this is a message the democrats should absolutely be driving between now and the election because it gets at the fundamental hypocrisy of the republican party that uses language about law and order and about law enforcement to conceal the fact that they, in fact, are the danger to democracy and they are the ones who won't even back up the very police officers who protect them. >> i hope they're listening to you. ben rhodes, eugene daniels, a.b. stoddard, thank you so much for starting us off today. when we come back the attempt to deny what happened on january 6th undercut, as we've been discussing, by testimony from those officers who describe fearing for their lives from the pro-trump mob. conservative pundits down playing what we all heard and saw calling yesterday performative art. and the very latest on the fight against coronavirus with renewed mask guidance and vaccine requirements from all corners of
the country. the partisan battle naturally heats up as well. plus, the ex-president hyped up the word router nearly a dozen times this week and in a rambling and dangerous speech about his election loss, how that one word could cost the state of arizona millions and millions of dollars. we'll explain coming up. all those stories and more when "deadline white house" continues. e" continues. named america's most reliable network by rootmetrics. and our customers rated us #1 for network quality in america according to j.d. power. number one in reliability, 16 times in a row. most awarded for network quality, 27 times in a row. proving once again that nobody builds networks like verizon. that's why we're building 5g right, that's why there's only one best network. you need an ecolab scientific clean here. and you need it here.
one. >> i sustained injury. >> in the crowd, perhaps around 20 people joined in screaming boo [ bleep ]. no one had ever, ever called me a [ bleep ] while wearing the uniform of a capitol police officer. >> harrowing testimony from the officers on the front lines of the insurrection. from yesterday's january 6th select committee's first hearing, about the brutal violence they faced, and in the case of officer harry dunn the shocking racism on full display in the halls of the capitol that day, that dose of reality about what really happened from those officers seemed to represent a direct threat to the rights to campaign to downplay and rewrite the history of january 6th. here is how fox news reacted to the same hearing last night. >> god save us from these
third-rate theatrics. the award tore best use of an exaggeration in a supporting role, the winners gonell, partisan politics when facts failed the angle award goes to capitol police officer harry dunn. and for best performance in an action role, the winner is michael fanone. >> watch fanone cite the psychological trauma he endured for ditching our bill of rights. >> i've been left with the psychological trauma and the emotional anxiety of having survived such a horrific event. >> let's pray for them. joining us now congresswoman elaine luria of virginia, a member of the january 6 select committee. thank you so much for spending some time with us. i wonder, and this is a serious question, how you shield the dignity of these officers who have already sacrificed their bodies and mental health and careers and reputation who are
now on the receiving end of menacing voice mails in the case of officer fanone and threats to their lives and safety. >> first i want to start out by saying these men were incredibly brave for the actions they took that day, for really holding the last line of defense at the capitol, the last line of defense for our democracy by the actions they took, and then by coming and telling that story of their traumatic physical and emotional, of the brutality they faced. i hadn't seen these clips before. it makes my stomach turn. this network that portrays these officers this way are actively undermining the heroic service those officers did that day, to save the capitol, to prevent the mob from overtaking the certification of election results and seeking out to hang in the gallows that they had put out for vice president pence and ultimately what it shows me i
feel that the large majority of house republicans today are really, truly morally bankrupt. i think that we look at this and say how did this happen? did it happen gradually over the course of these four years and suddenly this event on january 6th happened and shows the threat that faces us. i think about it, there are very few people, very few republicans right now that represent people like john mccain and late senator john warner. it's just distressing to see they're denigrating and undermining the work of these brave officers. >> for better or for worse, i spent some time in the republican party, and i have this thought, and i wonder what you think about this theory. this isn't a great story for them. they're doing that for a reason. and some of their most devoted regulars, people like jim jordan and kevin mccarthy, may have a whole lot at stake here if they're subpoenaed.
and i wonder if you see this as part of the defense strategy, and if you will be chilled by that. will you subpoena jim jordan who said on fox news that he may have called to donald trump that day. he talks to him all the time. and kevin mccarthy who we all know talked to donald trump that day. >> we've all said on the committee we will subpoena anyone and everyone that it's necessary to subpoena to get the full information of what happened that day. do i feel like they're acting like someone who has something to hide? it sure seems like that. they said right after the events of january 6th this was a horrific day. kevin mccarthy himself called this an insurrection. yet somehow he's forgotten that. he's forgotten the fact that he, himself, was in the capitol overrun by this mob of insurrectionists and rioters and personally in danger and is just acting like it didn't happen and pushing forward the other members of his caucus who are saying things like this was nothing other than a group of tourists enjoying the capitol
which is ludicrous. >> there's so much anecdotal evidence and reporting that so many of you knew that this day could be violent. i've interviewed half a dozen members who either wore sneakers or told a spouse where their will could be found. who knew what ahead of time? can you explain the investigation into the intel piece and what was known and how you will pursue that part of the investigation? >> well, you're exactly right. there's lots of pieces to the investigation as far as the intel piece. we need to go back to all of the different elements of the government that have a piece in monitoring these types of threats, identifying credible threats, passing that information along to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, federal, state or local, to ensure that proper actions and preparations are taken, a breakdown of intelligence, something i'm convinced is that there's somebody behind this, money behind this somewhere. someone paid for these people to
come to d.c. in buses. we heard anecdotally of crowdsourcing, of different ways money was raised amongst these organized groups. there's a lot of evidence that needs to be collected to understand where did the money and the resources for something like this come from? who did it? where did it come from? who was motivated by it? there's even reports and the possibility of some sort of foreign interference pushing these groups and instigating this through online means. that is certainly the work of this committee to make sure we overturn every stone, to find that information. and really understand the full picture of what happened that day, what led up to that day. and find ways to prevent this from happening again in the future. >> how much of understanding that involves the president and the white house? the new book by carol leonnig and phil rucker in "the
washington post" about how he delighted in watching the insurrection as it took place. there's some reporting that mike pence was the one who ultimately had to call in the national guard. there's that big gap in time. how much of your investigation will ultimately center on what the president knew and did and when he did it? >> it's certainly part of it. i think liz cheney outlined this very well in her opening statement yesterday, and i think we all agree we need to understand what happened, what was happening in the white house and all that chain of events, why it took so long for the national guard to respond, what the reaction was once this violence started, and the reaction to that. and different people's roles in the day of. we talk a lot about the rally that happened on the ellipse, the call to action that appears to have happened there to encourage people to head towards the capitol plus other activity
that happened before that. some of the reporting that i've seen, there were many groups that prestaged themselves closer to the capitol and are part of the groups of people that are being investigated for having coordinated preplanned actions. so all of this. there's a lot for us to investigate. >> it sounds herculean. thank you for taking some time to talk to us about it after yesterday. we're grateful. i hope we can continue to call on you. up next for us, helping those who won't help themselves. news in the fight against the pandemic. how the vaccinated are being asked once again to take care of those who are doing nothing to stop the spread of the virus. yo, by giving every customer a new 5g phone. old customers. new customers. families. businesses. every customer. from these bakers to these bakers. hello!
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president biden tomorrow will deliver an address announcing a new vaccine requirement for all federal workers, millions of people. they would have to prove vaccination or be subject to rigorous and regular testing. that is on top of news the cdc is recommending even vaccinated people living in areas with high or substantial transmission, some 63% of all u.s. counties right now resume wearing masks indoors. new rules from kids, k-12 should expect to wear masks in the fall regardless whether they are vaccinated. it might feel like a step backwards from where we were two months ago.
the measures are seen as necessary to prevent what dr. fauci talked about this morning on "morning joe." >> as long as you have a lot of circulation of virus around unvaccinated people you give the virus a chance to mutate even more so you may get a var yapt variant worse than the delta variant. >> the response from republican lawmakers is exactly what you might expect these days. people entering the house chamber are required to wear masks. not a decision based on science but conjured up by liberals who want to live in a perpetual pandemic state. and here is speaker nancy pelosi's reaction to that. >> the mask mandate, speaker pelosi, any response to the backlash? >> that's the purview of the capitol decision, the mandate
from him. i have nothing to say about that except we honor it. >> leader mccarthy says it's against the science. >> he's a moron. >> here we are. our founding director of columbia university's national center for disaster preparedness and lucky for us an msnbc public health analyst. here we are, they trust science. we are being asked once again to adhere to a changing recommendation and i think most of us can understand that a virus is dynamic. it changes. part of the reason it's changing is we haven't stamped it out quickly enough. dr. fauci seems to be alluding to an even scare yes scenario. if just half of the country is vaccinated, it could continue to do so.
could you flesh that out for me? >> yes. essentially every colleague in the field of public health and virology understands what dr. fauci says and it's worth reiterating. if you have out-of-control growth and spread of a virus like this coronavirus in places where people are not vaccinated, that basically gives this virus a chance to go crazy, mutating in ways that may end up as a far more dangerous situation than we have with the delta variant. so there's no question that we've got to get this thing under control. number one is to make sure each and every one of us is vaccinated and to obey some common sense rules about keeping the spread down which includes returning to masks and keeping distances and so on. it feels like this is a reversal
of a policy and why are we doing this? you made the point this virus is dynamic. it is going to change. it is inevitable. the virus will change and the policies will have to change. one of the things i think the cdc can do is be more forecoming. it should be accompanied with the note that, listen, we're basing guidelines on what we know right now. let's be ready to accept whatever it is that science is showing as time goes on. >> a vaccine mandate or the commitment to abide by regular and frequent covid testing which was sort of the safety policy before the vaccine was available. is the policy hope among health
official this is will lead by example? is this policy done to inspire companies and private industries to follow suit? >> look, nicolle, if the federal government could do this, i would like them to mandate vaccines for everybody everywhere in the united states but we don't -- our system is not like that. we have a federalist system so states and localities and private businesses get to make their own decisions. requiring all federal employees to get vaccinated is a great first step. if they don't every single business, every organization every person or organization that runs an event needs to require proof a person is vaccinated before coming back to the work place before coming to school to teach our kids. we cannot allow people to be voluntarily getting vaccinated or not.
we have too much at stake. >> i can't wait until the day when we are talking about something other than the fear of another wave of covid and another school year with question marks around it. thank you for your time today, my friend. up next for us, the ex-president took his, whatever you want to call it, i guess post twice impeached show on the road to arizona last week. one of the topics he spent a lot of time talking about was routers, routers, 11 times saturday night. and now, guess what, republicans in the state of arizona have sent a subpoena for, you guessed it, network routers. we'll talk with a former maricopa county official about the growing threats to our elections next. ons next
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if you're 55 and up, t-mobile has plans built just for you. switch now and get 2 unlimited lines and 2 free smartphones. and now get netflix on us. it's all included with 2 lines for only $70 bucks! only at t-mobile. maricopa county sham audit continues to plod along. the news gets worse, there's a report that says it has the potential to cost arizona more than $9 million. a lot of that due to the shady group running it. remember them, cyber ninjas, which isn't able to ensure the machines haven't been infected with malicious software during the process. the republican arizona senate served a subpoena seeking routers among other items over the audit which could cost the state millions. as we said over the weekend, the ex-president was in the state demanding over and over again
those so-called routers. joining us now, adrian fontez, a former maricopa county recorder, one of several officials testifying on capitol hill today about the growing threat to our elections. he's also a democratic candidate for arizona secretary of state. thank you for spending some time with us. first, can you answer this question, is there anything that the federal government can do to stop what feels like is this runaway train, this sham audit in maricopa county? >> well, i have a feeling the department of justice could step in and do something if they were properly motivated to do so. i think congress could open up some investigations. but the question is whether or not there's the political will or if they want to waste their time with this nonsense. the whole thing is illegitimate. it doesn't have foundation in anything real. no professional auditor of any type that i've ever spoken with, and i've spoken to a lot of them recently have any faith that anything going on is anything near an audit. to call it an audit in the first
place is not good. but at the end of the day the federal government could do something. it was a federal election, there were federal offices on the ballot but that's above my pay grade right now. >> well, we call it an audit but you're right, maybe we should call it something else. it is at the intersection of domestic extremism. do you worry that the fact that it's still limping along at this intersection of the ex-president coming to your state and saying crazy things about routers, i mean should someone shut it down or should it be allowed to die a natural death? >> yeah, someone should shut it down. senate president karen fan should shut it down. senator warren peterson should shut it down. there's never been a full vote, by the way, in arizona's senate to make this happen or approve this. i don't think they would win a vote right now. there are just a couple of people who are acting as agents of a wannabe authoritarian and embarrassing the heck out of my home state.
you know, arizona is a great state. we have great elections. we've been running elections by mail, no excuse absentee voting for a long, long time. we've had had very successful elections with 27 days of early voting. we were the first state to have an independent redistricting commission, online voter registration. we've done it really well for a long, long time and the voice of arizona has always shown through until one sore loser shows up and all of a sudden everything is wrong. it's just silly and is has to stop. >> what was the purpose of your testimony today? and what is your hope in terms of how congress responds to what's happening in arizona? >> well, very specifically today's hearing was about the threats that have been suffered by local election officials across the united states of america. i've spoken with dozens and dozens of folks since leaving office in december all over the country and we've heard stories. the brennan center did a great report on threats against election officials. this specific piece of
legislation i was testifying on today along with the city clerk from detroit, we talked about the threats that we saw personally. the bad things that happened to some of our staff members. we personalized some of these stories because i don't think members of congress take a lot of time to listen to local officials who do the work of elections. at the end of the day, it is the tens of thousands of local officials who run our elections. it's not some random politician somewhere like they want everybody to believe. this is not a problem in the united states of america. the accusers have no facts. that's a real issue. >> can you give us a sense of the threats that you faced and your co-workers? >> well, one story i told was really harrowing story where one of our staff members was essentially accosted, and that's a tough word, but brought out of the election center while there were some protests outside,
before we had put up the quadrant for making sure folks had a place to protest, and almost held by a group of people, some of whom we suspected were armed and we had reason to believe that. and this person had to basically be pulled away and rescued by law enforcement and some of our other staff members. that's just one incident that i discussed. there's several others. at least two dozen, if not more, that were referred to law enforcement for investigation for possible criminal investigation and prosecution. it's getting bad out there. and this isn't some deteriorating third world country falling into authoritarianism. this is what america looks like after donald trump. and let's not forget, it wasn't like this that long ago. we never had these issues before people started believing this big lie, and that has to end. it has to end. >> i really appreciate your testimony, your taking some time to talk to us. we'll stay on it. adrian fontez, thank you for
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the american people deserve the full and open testimony of every person with knowledge of the planning and preparation for january 6th. we must know what happened here at the capitol. we must also know what happened every minute of that day in the white house. every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during and after the attack. >> hi again, everyone.
it's 5:00 in the east. the house select committee on january 6th unequivocal in its commitment to pursuing each and every lead and piece of evidence in its investigation. translation, republicans, watch out. as politico playbook noted this morning, in response to that statement from liz cheney, quote, the subtext was unmistakable. mccarthy and trump-aligned lawmakers like jim jordan are likely headed toward a summons or subpoena at some point, especially when we have moments like this one with jordan on fox news revealing even more about the communications between the former president and his allies on the day of the insurrection. >> did you talk to the former president that day? >> i talked to the former president umpteen times, thousands -- >> i mean on january 6th. >> countless times. i never talk about what we talk about, i just don't think that's appropriate just like i don't talk about what happens in republican conferences. i talked to the president numerous times. i continue to talk to the president since he left office. >> did you talk to the president
january 6th, congressman. >> yes. i can't remember all the days i've talked to him but i've certainly talked to the president. >> and on that day, was -- can you share any of the insight of what he was thinking about that day? >> brett, the people we need to come testify are the people that can testify to the fundamental questions. why didn't the united states capitol, the people's house, have an appropriate security posture on that day and what have we done -- those are the people we need to hear from. >> so now we have yet another trump ally that we know of who spoke to the ex-president on that day. jordan's hesitancy and deflection is exactly what the committee wants to pursue. here's the committee's chair, congressman bennie thompson, this morning when our colleague joe scarborough asked if he has what he needs to shine a light on what happened on both sides of pennsylvania avenue that day. >> absolutely we have. we had conversations with the white house about limiting if
not eliminating executive privilege in terms of witnesses and information. we want to talk with the attorney general to make sure that he comes forth with all the necessary information as well as the department of defense. nothing is off limits in this investigation. we are absolutely committed to getting to the bottom of what happened. as you know, i have subpoena power. i have no reluctance whatsoever in issuing subpoenas for information, telephone logs to the white house, especially during the times of january 6. members of congress have already admitted that they talked to the white house while it was going on. now many of them are trying to walk back the conversation they had. but you know, there's a record. and in this institution, in a democracy, those records are important. we plan to pursue them.
>> the committee stopping at nothing, as president biden's department of justice is forcefully demonstrating it will not help the aiders and abettors of january 6th. yesterday announcing that former officials could testify in congressional inquiries into efforts by the last administration to overturn the election results. the department following that up with a decision to decline to defend congressman mo brooks in a lawsuit that accuses him of inciting supporters of donald trump at the rally right before the capitol insurrection. "the new york times" reports it this way. brooks had asked the department to certify that he was acting as a government employee during that rally. had it agreed to defend him, he would have been dismissed from the u.s. and the u.s. substituted as the defendant. the record indicates that brooks' appearance at the january 6th rally was campaign activity and it is no part of the business of the u.s. to pick sides among candidates in federal elections the justice department wrote. significantly, "the times" has
this. quote, the justice department's decision shows it is also likely to decline to provide legal protection for trump in the lawsuit. the law coming down on the side of the truth is where we start this hour with some of our favorite reporters an friends. jake sherman is here, founder of punch bowl news. as joining us, joyce vance, former u.s. attorney and professor at the university of alabama. and kimberly atkins stohr is here, co-host of the hash tag sisters-in-law podcast. jake sherman, let me show you liz cheney following her -- i think it's one of the incidents that you've explained was at the root of her break with mccarthy suggesting that he had something to share in an investigation into january 6th. she now has her sights on jim jordan. watch. >> congressman jim jordan was mccarthy's pick for this committee and this new book "i alone can fix it" reports an encounter that you had with him. you told him, "get away from me.
you did this." what did you mean by "you did this" and do you think jordan should be called to testify? >> you know, i think congressman jordan may well be a material witness. he's somebody who was involved in a number of meetings in the lead-up to what happened on january 6th, involved in planning for january 6th, certainly for the objections that day as he said publicly. so he may well be a material witness. >> so, jake sherman, it's my bet that kevin mccarthy and jim jordan and liz cheney in an elevator ride together is something that you'd love to experience. talk about liz cheney really articulating a witness list of the trumpiest of trumpy house members who in her view are material witnesses to the deadly insurrection of january 6th. >> great to be with you, nicolle. the funny thing is and i can't help but mention this is mccarthy and jordan and cheney were once pretty close. >> i know.
>> i think they were always skeptical of cheney, but she and jim jordan i remember back in the early days of the trump administration, they were working together in a way that was on defense hawk matters and so it's all stunning to me how the world turns but i guess i shouldn't be surprised. so here's the larger question to me. it seems completely obvious, you'd have to have your head buried in the sand to think that bennie thompson with the help of cheney and adam kinzinger, they're going to call everybody who may or may not have talked to donald trump on that day. those people will probably include mark meadows, kevin mccarthy, they'll probably include jim jordan, all these people. the question, and this is really a question for attorneys, for joyce and i don't know who else would have a sense of this. so the next step is thompson has said and our reporter christian hall was there when he said this, that he will not be sending letters. so he won't be asking for cooperation. congressional investigations usually follow a sequence of we
ask for information. if they don't comply, we are going to subpoena them at some point in the future. he said he's going to skip the letter writing thing and just issue subpoenas. why is he going to do that? i think they have learned some lessons from the impeachments that they're not going to get voluntary cooperation in most cases. i think they might around the edges try to recruit people from the former trump administration to be helpful to them in some way, shape or form, but they are going to issue subpoenas. so if mccarthy or jordan don't comply with the subpoenas, is the justice department going to hold them in contempt, in criminal contempt? i don't know the answer to that. i don't know how you get -- i just don't know how that plays out. i understand they're not going to defend executive privilege. but if they decline to talk about this, i don't know what the next step is. and the larger question, and again i'm not an attorney, but i wonder if they're going -- if the house has the stomach to go to court to force and compel testimony. i mean will they get arrested?
again, this is not my expertise, but the politics of this is just impossibly bad for jordan and mccarthy. number one, why is it bad for mccarthy? mccarthy voluntarily decided to have no one on this panel. he's ceded an infomercial to the democrats and adam kinzinger and liz cheney to have an investigation -- he has no situational awareness of any of this. it is beyond comprehension that they decided not to put people on after pelosi rejected jim jordan and jim banks. and the politics for jordan and mccarthy, if they get in that room and are forced to testify under oath, testifying against donald trump, i don't -- i just don't know how that works politically for them, especially with mccarthy trying to become speaker. and by the way, nicolle, we have to mention that kevin mccarthy could have and mitch mcconnell could have stopped all of this. they had a bill in front of them that was stopped in the senate that would have given republicans veto power over
subpoenas. veto power over subpoenas. they could have -- even if they wanted to obstruct and not have a real investigation, they could have had that power. so here we are. and if you're a republican, i don't care what your party is, it's just -- they have no situational awareness. they are going to be dragged in to testify. they have no control over the subpoena substantively. and politically, just a complete and utter disaster for them. >> we're going to bring the lawyers in in a second, but let me unpack some of what you just said. to your first point, mccarthy and cheney and jordan were closely aligned because they saw republican stuff similarly. i think that was your point on policy. >> yes. >> what cheney's vigor, it's not just her participation on this committee, but her vigor on this committee, and i know the cheneys. i worked with the cheneys. liz cheney is going to do this right. liz cheney is going to get to the bottom of what happened on january 6th. and my question, before we get
to the legal side of it, is what is the substance of what kevin mccarthy and jim jordan are going to testify to? it's sort of an open secret on fox news. it was chris wallace what pulled it out of liz cheney that kevin mccarthy should be subpoenaed and bret baier pulled it out of jim jordan that he had a conversation that day. what is the scuttle about what those guys know about what was on donald trump's mind that day? >> kevin mccarthy or other people have said publicly, there's been ample reporting that mccarthy had indicated to trump that he needed to somehow pull back the protesters or try to pull back the protesters. i think that they would all -- i think it's been widely reported in phil rucker and carol leonnig's book and a host of other books about this administration that trump was very angry that day. the questions that people are going to want to know is did trump say no to the national
guard. and by the way, mark meadows was probably in the room with him for most of this. i don't know if jared kushner and ivanka trump -- i mean there's ample reporting out there to cling onto. on the liz cheney topic, nicolle, i've been covering her since when she was in leadership and before. liz cheney has, i think it's fair to say, put her career in jeopardy. there's no question about that, on this quest to get the truth about january 6th. and on her just disdain for donald trump and kevin mccarthy in a state that donald trump won by 50 something percentage points. so, you know, it's -- she is definitely taking a tack that the truth is more important than party, is more important than elected office. and it's not -- it's politically of course very risky because who knows how that all works out. but it's definitely admirable in the eyes of a lot of people on that committee and i think there are people in the republican party, although not many, but on
capitol hill who admire what she's doing. listen, again, for a place, and this is a building where everybody tries to do everything they can to get re-elected. she is doing everything she can feasibly that would put her election in jeopardy. >> joyce, the most notable thing about that is that there are only two, right? they're not supposed to be there to get re-elected. they're supposed to be there to serve the country. so the most notable thing about what jake just reported, which is of course true, is that there are only two of them willing to put the country ahead of their re-election. that's why we have kevin mccarthy who spent more time looking for donald trump's starburst flavors than he spent yesterday watching the men who protected his life on january 6th. he too believed his life was in danger. that's why he called donald trump. that's why liz cheney wants him as a witness before this committee. joyce, you have a list of witnesses. you write that for the white house, let's start with the white house. the white house role and response. these are the witnesses that the committee should call.
katrina pierson, mark meadows the chief of staff, stephen miller, white house advisor, ivanka trump, white house senior advisor, kayleigh mcenany, keith kellogg, eric hishman, dan scavino, the white house deputy chief of staff for communications. chris christie who was on tv while it was under way criticizing the white house response. kellyanne conway, alyssa farrah, mike pence, marc short, the vice president's chief of staff. let's stop there and we'll get to congress after that. what is the scope of the investigation into those individuals? what do you want to know? >> so i think liz cheney gets this exactly right. we want to know everything because when you're an investigator and you're trying to build a story about what happened, not even looking at a criminal case but just trying to
develop a factual narrative, it's critical that you start at the beginning and move to the end. that you talk to everyone who was in the room, that you get all of the backup documentation, that you understand everyone's awareness of what was going on during that point in time. you know what liz cheney says, that she wants to talk to every witness, is not remarkable. this is just the day-to-day business of investigators. it's almost as though on the republican side of the aisle they're saying, well, let's do the 9/11 investigation but let's only look at what happened with one of the planes. let's just ignore everything else. of course you can't build a fulsome narrative if you do it that way. >> and, joyce, can you speak to what jake alluded to, the legal process. clearly when you've impeached a president twice and you've investigated his campaign for ties to russia, robert mueller spent 23 months doing that, you know a lot about congressional subpoenas and their limits. in all those investigations, democrats trying to hold the
ex ex-president and his team accountable came up short. i think don mcgahn finally testified what he shared with robert mueller. what is sort of the current state of play in terms of enforcing congressional subpoenas for people on your list? >> well, unfortunately, the mcgahn situation wasn't resolved with a legal ruling. it was actually a compromise that was worked out between mcgahn, the former president's folks, between this white house and between congressional investigators. so there is no court that has set out parameters for enforcement of these subpoenas. but democrats appear to be a little bit savvier. i think we heard representative thompson making a pretty clear statement, that he intended to go straight for the jugular here. to start out with subpoenas. presumably that's because he understands he may have to get in the court early to enforce them. and the justice department at least for limited purposes here for january 6th seems to be
taking a very unusual position, which is that former executive branch employees can come in and they can give unrestricted testimony. that means there will be no assertion of executive privilege, at least from the biden administration. certainly the former president will try to throw a sort of a monkey wrench into the works there, but this is a much more focused exercise because it's been informed by, frankly, the failures with these subpoenas for the last four years. >> kim, let's talk about the garland justice department. there's been a lot of consternation about its decision to defend the ex-president in a lawsuit against e. jean carroll. the mo brooks' decision is the opposite sort of analysis that's been made. the analysis that merrick garland has reached and publicized is that that congressman was not acting in a official government function, he was there as a campaign official, a campaign event. they will not defend him.
the lawsuit from congressman swalwell and others goes forward. what do you think of that? >> yes, i think that at least in this case, it is a clear case for the justice department to make, to deny that this was a part of his job frankly. so federal law allows the justice department to come in and substitute itself in a case, in a case arising out of the performance of duties of an elected official. and it's the same question, the call that was made is very much the same in the e. jean carroll case, but the justice department is not -- it's not a decision i agreed with, but based on their own past precedent, when a president is speaking it's much more difficult to say that was not a part of his job. but in this case, this activity was pegged as a campaign event. this was mo brooks going out and making these comments in a way that had absolutely nothing to do with his job as a member of
congress debating and passing legislation, so this falls so far outside of that that there is no place for the justice department to intervene. it sends a signal that anyone participating in that way, that they would come to a different decision. so i think the facts here are much more clear. the facts also would mean that it's less likely that it would be seen that donald trump and his comments out there in a campaign event would be seen as falling under this federal law either. so it opens up a big door. it gives a hint of what could be ahead. but as we talked before, this is also a justice department that has treaded very carefully, making very careful decisions, as jake pointed out, that are both legal decisions and political decisions about where they're going to step in, where they're going to assert themselves and where they're not, so i think we're going to have to see. >> i want to just press you on that. this is a select committee and we got to speak to one of its
members who said it's going to follow the money. we know that the money spent that day was spent by political organizations, by campaign arms of the ex-president's sort of political apparatus. do you think liz cheney will flinch if the facts lead her to issuing a subpoena and co-signing a subpoena for donald trump? and if it comes to that, what do you think this justice department will do? >> i think the latter part of that question is unknown because that will weigh directly into where the law meets the politics on this issue. i do believe from everything that we've seen from the members of the select committee that they are going to go where the facts take them in getting a full and thorough investigation of what led up to that day. keep in mind, what they are doing is not in furtherance of any lawsuit by congressman swalwell or anything else. this is a fact-finding mission that this committee is on to find out all the relevant facts
to determine what happened, to allow lawmakers to be able to react to the situation and find out what they want to do. now, in the process of seeking out that information, of course if it comes out, it could be used in lawsuits. but i don't think that's front of mind for congresswoman cheney or anybody else on that committee. i think what the justice department ultimately decides, i think because we've seen two ends of the spectrum, right, with attorney general garland taking different tacks. i think we'll have to see when we come to that moment, i'm not sure. >> we will all be watching together. jake sherman, joyce vance, kim atkins stohr, thank you so much for starting us off this hour today. later this hour for us, the chilling, haunting testimony of officer gonell and the fear he said he felt as the rioters attacked on january 6th. >> on january 6, for the first time i was more afraid to work at the capitol than in my entire
deployment to iraq. the rioters called me traitor. a disgrace. and shouted that i, i, an army veteran and a police officer, should be executed. >> on that note, we will talk to the founder of the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america, our friend paul rykoff a little later on. up next, a senate democrat on the news that the justice department has notified former trump officials that they may testify on capitol hill about the disgraced ex-president's efforts to overturn the election result. plus, the backlash to the backlash over the decision by simone biles, the world's top gymnast and one of our world's most preeminent athletes to prioritize her health and pull out of olympic competition. "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. don't go anywhere. tinues after a quick break. don't go anywhere.
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a recent move by the biden justice department could lead to significant legal exposure, maybe even trouble, for anyone involved in the former president's months-long campaign to toss out the 2020 election results. the doj has reportedly sent letters to former trump administration officials telling them that the department will not block them from testifying to committees investigating the insurrection and the big lie. the chair of the senate judiciary committee welcomed the move announcing that he'll proceed to interview relevant witnesses asap so he can get to the bottom of this plot to enlist doj in donald trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election. joining us now, senator chris coons of delaware, a member of
the aforementioned committee. senator, a lot of what we know, we know from your committee's work, from the senate judiciary committee's investigation and some of the news reporting around it. and i wonder if you would like to speak to mr. rosen, mr. barr. if you could tell us the kind of folks who will be of interest to that committee? >> nicolle, i'll just say that i think it's important that we get to the bottom of january 6th, that we get a deeper and better understanding of what was happening in the white house, what instructions they gave to the department of justice, what preparations they made for the january 6th protest that turned into a deadly riot here in the capitol. and i'm pleased that the select committee in the house is making progress. there was riveting testimony yesterday from four brave capitol police officers who laid out for the american people in their testimony yesterday just how it felt to be a capitol
police officer, a military veteran, someone who's dedicated their life to law enforcement, to protecting this capitol in several cases, and to hear and experience and feel the things that they were on the receiving end up from that angry and violent crowd on january 6th. >> is it your sense that the select committee by taking their testimony directly to the american public without the filters of any cable news will break through some of the lies and disinformation that have been perpetuated by some of your colleagues in that building? >> well, that would be my hope, nicolle. we've really had a challenge here in congress coming to any bipartisan agreement about the value of knowing what caused january 6th, about transparency and accountability for the former president's actions, and moving forward on the steps we need to better secure the capitol. later tonight, maybe as late as tomorrow in the senate, i think we will move forward on a $2
billion security supplemental bill that will help fund some of the costs that the national guard and the capitol police need to recoup from january 6th and some of the proactive investments in increased security needed here. but it's shocking to me that it's taken weeks and weeks to get past partisan objections to moving forward with this security supplemental bill. >> on sunday it was billed as a make-or-break week in congress. talk to me about infrastructure. do we have a deal? >> we do. we're going to vote on the motion to proceed later tonight. this $550 billion in new spending on infrastructure is a big deal. it's going to create 650,000 high-paying, high skilled jobs. it will modernize our infrastructure all over the country. it will make some climate investments in terms of resiliency and proactively
improving our electric grid across the country. it will do everything from paving roads and highways to improving passenger rail and transit to improving broadband. so i am very glad we are finally moving to vote on this, and i'm optimistic that this will be just the next biggest step in moving forward president biden's bold agenda for our country. >> let me switch gears just a little bit. president biden, someone you know very well, is his optimism about the country's ability to do big things, to beat the pandemic. he had set a target of july 4th for independence from the virus. we're now talking about mask mandates again. we've got 50% of the country that isn't vaccinated. if you talk to him about his optimism about our ability to beat this, would you tell him it is misplaced or do you think that he's correct that we'll ultimately get through all the disinformation and vaccine
resistance and put the pandemic behind us? >> i spoke to the president earlier today, and he is clear-eyed about the challenges we face. nobody knows better than our president how divided we are, how much disinformation there is on social media and how many millions of americans are hesitating or refusing to get vaccinated because they're not well informed about the underlying science or because of other reasons motivating personal resistance. so i admire his relentless positive focus on getting done the things we need to do to get americans vaccinated, to distribute funds to help americans stay in their homes, to help businesses reopen, to help schools reopen. but he's clear that both here in the united states and around the world, we still have a long way to go to be clear of this pandemic and that one of the real challenges is disinformation spread by some for political reasons, some for
personal reasons, but frankly where we are seeing this latest more transmissive variant cause huge problems is in parts of the country where vaccination is low. 97% of the people hospitalized for covid today are hospitalized because they're not vaccinated. and, yes, i think the president realizes that we have big challenges. his confidence in us, his confidence that the american people will ultimately overcome challenges, is rooted in our history and the fact that we overcame really tough challenges before. whether it's the depression in the second world war, the civil rights movement or the labor movement, he knows that we've overcome challenges before and continues to believe that we, the american people, can do it again, but he's clear that's going to be hard. >> senator chris coons, it's always great to talk to you. thank you for spanning all of the day's headlines with us. when we return, redefining what heroism really means after simone biles pulls out of
olympic competition to put her health and well-being first. that story inext. story i ne this is sam with usaa. do you see the tow truck? yes, thank you, that was fast. or that her grandpa's dog tags would be left behind. but that one call got her a tow and rental... ...paid her claim... ...and we even pulled a few strings. making it easy to make things right: that's what we're made for. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. get a quote today. ♪ when i was young ♪ no-no-no-no-no please please no. ♪ i never needed anyone. ♪ front desk. yes, hello... i'm so... please hold. ♪ those days are done. ♪ i got you. ♪ all by yourself. ♪ go with us and find millions of flexible options. all in our app.
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well-being. physically she is fine but emotionally and mentally it is not the same story. so bravely she's taking a step back. the reaction back home has been largely positive, loving in fact. with the exception of what we'll call the usual suspects. people mostly on social media who describe themselves as patriots, but who have also in recent days and weeks attacked u.s. military leaders, american police, scientists, vaccines, all that stuff. you know, the good stuff. joining our conversation, jemele hill, contributing writer to the atlantic and the host of jemele hill is unbothered podcast. also joining us paul rieckhoff, president of righteous media and the host of the independent americans podcast. we follow him on twitter. we know he's wearing flip-flops. i have to tell you guys what i really thought when i saw this. my first thought was just this ache for this jewel.
she's one of the world's preeminent athletes. she's exquisite. and i found it soul crushing to see a little pocket of, you know, doughy, white, right-leaning losers who probably have a hard time getting dates attack her. and i think if we want to know the answer to the question how f'ed up is our country, just look at the reaction to what happened this week in tokyo with simone biles. you first, jemele. >> well, i agree with you. simone biles is extraordinary. i think what we forget is what she has been through on a personal level. she's the only athlete who's competing -- or only gymnast that's competing in these olympics that was victimized by larry nassar. the only reason she decided to compete in this olympics is because, you know, there's a new crop of gymnasts. i think she takes her responsibility as an ambassador very seriously.
so to think that some part of that would not weigh in on her or weigh on her is really -- it's asking a lot. and so in addition to the fact that simone biles essentially is the greatest gymnast ever, she is, she has done things so extraordinary that they can't even really figure out how to score her. that's how good that she is. so to act as if simone biles owed us anything is crazy. this woman has given this sport everything. even when the powers that be enabled somebody to violate her, she still gave it her all. so for people to question how mentally tough she is, i find that to be disgusting. >> paul, i wanted to talk to you about this as well. i want to read you a tweet from martin dempsey that caught my eye last night. where there's no struggle, there's no strength.
oprah winfrey. putting team before self. simone biles showed real strength today. hope to see her back soon, but in the mean time by her example she reminds us that character matters. i saw several tweets calling simone biles weak. compared to who? that would be laughable except that it's intended to be hurtful. it's hard to get to the top and even harder to stay there. we should expect no more of our heroes than we do of ourselves. our best. this vein has been tapped where defending our heroes now falls to some of our military leaders who are also under attack pie some of the same characters. explain. >> well, there is some parallels there, but when you talk about simone biles, she is a true american hero. she's a true patriot. she's a true bad ass. she's an inspiration to people around the world not just because of what she does in the olympics but what she does in the community and as an example and as a leader. she's what you want young men
and women to be. she's what we want young men and women in america to be. this is what right looks like. you know, i don't like to feed the trolls. i don't want to talk about the haters and people who want to learn her down. but there is a learning lesson here. i coach t-ball and flag football and they are taught to be teammates. to put the team above themselves. if they're hurt, to step off because that's for the betterment of the team. she's showing tremendous strength there. to attack her is not just despicable, it's dangerous, because it will discourage other people from coming forward and seeking mental health support, from saying that they're having problems. showing that you need help is a sign of strength. that's the really important moment here. so her impact in this moment may be even greater than the impact she's had in the olympics because she's undoubtedly saving lives. she's encouraging other people to come forward no matter what these haters on cable news or in congress have to say. >> let me follow up with you, paul, because there is a parallel. i remember being so haunted by the book "thank you for your
service" about some of the wounds you cannot see from iraq and afghanistan being the hardest for veterans to sort of deal with and come home with, ptsd and psychological damage. and i wonder what her -- what she sort of tapped in terms of making a mental health setback as grave as some physical injury that we could all see. >> well, mental health is total health. we've been trying to have this conversation in america for over 20 years. for 15 years i've been working in the veteran space trying to change the dialogue around mental health support, trying to explain posttraumatic stress disorder and suicide and we've made tremendous progress. but let's imagine this criticism focused on someone different. imagine if it was focused on a navy s.e.a.l. or green beret who said i'm going in to get bin laden but i'm not feeling all right, i'm not feeling ready for the mission so i'm going to take myself out of the mission. who would call that person a coward? i would hope no one but in this
new normal that man or woman would probably be under attack too. but there's an example that simone biles is setting and many veterans will set that i hope will cascade down across our country and especially to young people. if you need help, reach out. if you need help, you will be supported, there's help out there and you're not alone. that's the message. ignore the haters, focus on your total health and you'll be stronger for it. >> jemele, i want your thoughts on that but i want to put out there a brilliant jemele quote here and get you to expand on this as well. you said this back in june. as impressive as her consistent dominance is, what biles has come to mean to black culture, to women, and especially the black women, is bigger than her all-out assault on the record books. her excellence is an act of resistance. she is openly mocking expectations about what she should or shouldn't do. through her performances she is creating a previously inconceivable new standard for her sport.
>> well, the reason that i wrote that, nicolle, was just because the one thing i love about simone biles and still love about her is she's so unapologetic about her greatness and her dominance. this is a very self-aware woman. that's why i'm not surprised that she was self-aware enough to know that she didn't have it because she was on however grand she has made it be, she knows what that looks like. anybody who follows gymnastics knows that given what they're doing with their bodies and at such a high rate of speed and such a dangerous degree of difficulty, especially her, who has four moves named after her, that the slightest bit of being off, of not being completely mentally there, not being focused enough, and she could wind up seriously hurt. it was a complete act of selflessness for her to take herself out of competition so that she wouldn't hurt the rest of her american teammates. and a lot of people don't seem
to get that. again, simone biles has nothing to prove to you, especially not to people who certainly have never exhibited any level of the same mental fortitude and strength that she has. she has already proven to be one of the best athletes of all time. she's already the greatest gymnast ever. so to me she understood the assignment, accomplished the mission. if she -- if she needed a mental break, she knows herself better than we do and so i think this is a time for people to just fall back and support her. i guarantee you, nicolle, the people criticizing simone biles calling her mentally weak have never come close to being as good at their job as simone biles is at hers. >> i'm sure you are right about that. jemele and paul are sticking around.
on the other side of the break an attack on another american hero. we'll hear that haunting testimony from police officer gonell next. imony from police o gonell next. good morning, mr. sun. good morning, blair. [ chuckles ] whoo. i'm gonna grow big and strong. yes, you are. i'm gonna get this place all clean. i'll give you a hand. and i'm gonna put lisa on crutches! wait, what? said she's gonna need crutches. she fell pretty hard. you might want to clean that up, girl. excuse us. when owning a small business gets real,
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iraqi population as well. but january 6th for the first time i was more afraid to work at the capitol than my entire deployment to iraq. in iraq, we expected violence because we were in we spent our violence because we are in the war zone. nothing has prepared me confronted for january 6th. that was officer ginnel yesterday describing his horrific experience on january 6th and comparing it to his time serving in iraq. ginnel describes scenes something out of a medieval battlefield. officer gonell describes the
hitman, donald trump. >> i need you to expand of what the officers say that january 6th is worser than anything he saw? iraq. >> he broke it down. over a million people served in iraq and have few of them been in hand direct combat. i dealt with crowd control and big groups of people when i was doing patrol. we never had that. what we all saw on tv and that was terrifying. it was overwhelming and they didn't know if they had any support. i think it cut to the core of the idea that america is about team work. when they're talking about simone biles, we got to work together especially when the stakes are high. yesterday was an example of true american heroism. it was disgusting, if you are not angry about that, you are not paying attention. it shows american heroes are stepping up everyday. i say in my podcast every time.
when things are bad, look for the helpers going in. we saw four of them yesterday that our kids can look up to. as we talk about in the show, january 6th is not the end. it is the beginning. it is the biggest security threat we face. and we'll need a lot of people like officer gonell. >> the sad encounter of that is we saw them for what they are, fact witnesses that can actually happen on january 6th, they were trashed on the news channel that if you will the 30% who believe they lie or incline to attack officer gonell or thank him, they happen to intersect with people who don't want to take the vaccine and they happen to attack simone biles. where do we go around here with
bifurcated reality. >> i was told blue lives matter or blue lives only matter when it comes to black or brown people. when it is in the context of brutalizing other people who don't look like what you just described. they are here to disrespect and dishonor and disregard these officers as long as they don't go along with this plan they had in mind. i could not agree with paul more. january 6th was not the end. it is truly the beginning. that sentiment had carried over. what's so hurtful beyond what this is done to our democracy to the soul of this country was so hurtful about this is that, there is an intent to never hold the right people accountable who
are responsible for these things that we are seeing here, that for responsible for an officer losing their life and these officers left with lifelong trau this is something that's going to stick with them forever. to know there is no real push or at least on one side to never hold the people accountable or responsible and i am not talking about the people pushing that. i am talking about the people who put all of this in motion. i just feel awful for them because they're not going to get the justice that they truly deserve. >> paul, we talk all the time about the rise of extremism and institutions traditionally holdup and look to. how do you see this hearing as
potentially breaking through? do you think it has any chance of doing that? >> i do. it is kind of a moment when we started seeing coffins coming home from iraq. it changes when you hear personal narratives and you understand people behind uniform and you understand their pain. they put color behind what seems to be a political talking point. this is a strategy by extremist and right-wing attack people and the machine. they continue to attack certain types of people who step forward to express heroism. they're not attacking white people. they're attacking simone biles and officer gonell and officer dunn. this is a strategy. they continue to compound it because it animates the extreme part of this movement which i will say every time i am on your show is the number one national security threat we face right
now. it is not al-qaeda or isis, it is domestic extremist. these people did. many of them are still out there. i say it on my twitter feed. if you are upset, you can help. the fbi is looking for these people right now. there are 11 people out there that are still on the streets. we can help the fbi and lock them up. either you are with us or against us. they're against team america and officers. they need to be held accountable and locked up and put on trial and put away. >> i see all those videos and i repeat them. you do, too. jemele hill and paul, thank you so much for spending some time with us today. we'll be back after a short break. don't go anywhere. back after a break. don't go anywhere. when a hails, he needed his insurance to get it done right, right away. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa
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thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. we are grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. >> thank you very much, i am ari melber. we are tracking a vote that could come this hour. we have a special high-ranking guest from the biden administration joining us later hour. we start with the quest for accountability for this capitol riot. one of donald trump's defender in congress who's not allowed in committee. he talked to trump on that faithful day. >> did you talk to the former president that day? >> i talked to t