tv Deadline White House MSNBC December 16, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PST
it's 4:00 in new york. the be trayers of our democracy are outed in unprecedented detail. in a brand-new piece of indepth reporting in today anticipates "new york times." the band of aspiring traitors appears knitted together as co-conspirators in an enterprise whose sole purpose for existing was to overthrow the will of the american voters using exotic theories from third-rate figures pressing the fraudulent claim that there is rampant voting fraud and irregularities in key battleground states and frantically urging vice president mike pence to throw out the election results which was a ceremonial counting of the votes. the picture that emerged this week from the text messages, mark meadows turned over to the january 6 committee, comes into sharper focus this afternoon thanks to that deeply reported new account by the "times" of the small circle of republican lawmakers who collaborated with the white house as donald trump
clung to power. the "times" describes, quote, a half dozen right-wing members of congress who became key foot soldiers in trump's effort to overturn the election, according to dozens of interviews and a review of hundreds of pages of congressional testimony about the attack on the capitol on january 6th. those lawmakers -- jim jordan, andy biggs, paul gosar, louies gohmert, mo brooks, and scott perry. some of the most vocal advocates for the big lie, but thanks to the "times" reporting, we know extent of their behind-the-scenes efforts to undermine democracy, as well. here's more from the reporting, quote, the circle moved well beyond words and into action. they bombarded the justice department with dubious claims of voting irregularities. they pressured members of state legislatures to conduct audits that would cast doubt on the election results. they plotted to disrupt the certification on january 6th of joseph biden's victory.
there's clear evidence in the hand of congressional investigators about how much trump himself relied on them and their efforts as part of his scheme. earlier this year, we learned that top doj official richard donahue had turned over notes to congress that depicted trump pressuring doj officials by saying this, quote, just say that the election was corrupt, and leave the rest to me and the r congressmen, he said, according to donahue's notes. today's bombshell revelations on the attempt to override the will of the people in 2020 don't end with those elected lawmakers. "the washington post" is also reporting on the details of trump's white house chief of staff, mark meadows', role as a driver of that effort. quote, interviews with former trump aides and allies, many of whom who spoke anonymously to share candid details, depict meadows as unwilling or unable to moderate the president's worst impulses and is a willing hub for conspiracy theories and false claims about the election. one person who interacted
directly with meadows said he regularly served as a conduit for information from conspiracy theorists and others who believe the election was stolen. often sharing the information with trump and others in the government. the raft of new revelations about the behind-the-scenes effort in trump world to subvert american democracy is where we start again with some of our favorite reporters and friends. katy benner is here. she's "new york times" justice department reporter and msnbc contributor. her biline is on the piece of reporting we started with. daniel goldman, majority counsel for the house impeachment inquiry as well as a former assistant u.s. attorney and former congressman and msnbc contributor david jolly's here. katy benner, it's an amazing piece of reporting. i'm going to ask you to take us through it. my first thought was that in some ways it -- it bookends two other points of sort of public-facing information about what this committee has. one is luke broadwater's great
reporting shortly after the insurrection about a half a dozen republican members who had known associations and appearances with some of the very same extremist groups who are under scrutiny, many of those members have been charged. and the other being the text messages themselves that liz cheney read and that you and your colleagues obviously had some access to. tell me about what this piece of reporting adds to our understanding. >> so between the reporting that luke had done, other reporters, and then of course the documents that were turned over to the committee, we were able to start making inquiries about just how deep the ties between some of the members, the freedom caucus and these efforts to what they called stop the steal, you know, how deep the ties really were. of course we saw in the moment after the election and nose weeks and months that these members were very vocal at rallies and on tv about casting doubt on the results of the election and about perpetuating conspiracyies, but who were they doing this with, were they acting on their own?
several had gone to great pains to defend trump during the investigation, this is more of the same. what we found is there's a lot of coordination with mark meadows. in his role as chief of staff you would think he should be trying to figure out what if -- the priorities of the administration, he shouldn't be trying to work with his former colleagues to stop or overturn the results of the elections. and they were also working with members of stop the steal. they were working with other white house officials. you dispel any notion that mark meadows was a sort of hapless break on trump's worst impulses in the mold of reince priebus or john kelly who seemed to want to
try to keep the lunacy out of the oval office and failed. the most fervent members of congress, and using them against the united states department of justice. talk about that part of the reporting. >> sure. so it's pretty clear that there was really nothing was happening during that time that meadows himself was not at least aware of or apprised of. for example, two days after the election is called for joseph biden, so when that happens in november, two days later on november 9th, there's a meeting at trump headquarters in virginia. trump campaign headquarters. and you see steven miller, rana mcdaniel, head of the rnc, and others sitting down and saying how are we going to message this idea that trump still could win and still could be president. you see two members of congress, jim jordan and scott perry,
representatives from ohio and pennsylvania respectively helping to shape that messaging. then during the lunchtime break when meadows comes in, they brief him and let him know what's going on. mark meadows is in the middle of everything. now we saw in other reporting in "the washington post" which has been extraordinary and in some of the books that have come out about the final days of the trump administration that med oats was always trying -- meadows was always trying to basically argue that he was -- a check on trump's worst impulses. he was saying to people in pence's office, to the mainstream republicans, i think we can figure out a way for this to end peaceably. i'm sure that the president will come to understand that he's lost this election. but what you see is this duality. one face saying we're going to do the reasonable thing, and another working with the president's allies to stoke his very worst impulses. >> i'm going to read the part of the story that details what katie benner's describing to all of us. mr. perry and mr. jordan huddled
with senior white house officials including meadows, steven miller, top trump adviser bill stepian, the campaign manager, and kayleigh mcenany, the white house press secretary. according to two people familiar with the meetings which have not been previously reported, the group settled on a strategy that would become a blueprint for trump supporters in congress. hammer home the idea that the election was tainted, announced legal actions being taken by the campaign, and bolster the case of allegations of fraud. in a news conference later that day, mcenany delivered the message, quote, the election is not over, far from it. jordan's spokesman said that the meeting was to discuss media strategy, not to overturn the election. well, i have two questions about this. if the meeting was not to overturn the election, why are all these people in a room talking about the legal -- what rudy giuliani was going to sort of throw out in court and why
didn't the white house chief of staff who actually possesses some duality when an incumbent president runs for office just call over to doj and say -- and even that would be inappropriate. but these actors knew there was no fraud because bill barr had said there was no fraud. i think chris krebs had already said that the election had been secure. what questions do these meetings lead you to want to know more about? >> well, first i think it's remarkable that they had a meeting two days after the election ostensibly to talk about a media strategy that included allegations of fraud. there was no basis for that. it wasn't that they had received sales of fraud and -- allegations of fraud and they were aware of fraud, that was part of their media strategy, not their legal strategy. right from the beginning you know that this was a corrupt enterprise designed to subvert the election. there are a lot of things in this reporting and other
reporting that's coming out recently that's fascinating to think about. first of all, we know that a number of these potential witnesses in the january 6th committee are resisting strongly the possibility that the january 6th committee would get cell phone records. records of phone calls, just the numbers, just the numbers of text messages and phone calls among the relevant actors. those are going to show the degree of coordination that exists between and among these six members of congress and mark meadows who was their buddy. when i did the impeachment, nicole, and we were doing those closed door depositions and investigations, jim jordan, mark meadows, and scott perry were the most frequent attendees of the republican conference.
they would leave and find out what the messaging was going to be. mark meadows was always trying to play both sides. he would get along with everybody. at the core, he was very deeply close with these men, and clearly ultimately was in the center of all of this. so it's just further evidence when you talk about those notes that richard donahue says about the r congressmen, we know who they r. the question is what does the january 6 committee do? do they subpoena witnesses? they are very, very important and relevant witnesses to what happened on january 6th. then you get into an issue and david can talk to this as members of congress as part of a committee subpoenaing other members of congress. that opens up a whole other can of worms. >> well, i mean, let me play the devil's advocate here. if they don't think they did anything wrong -- so katie reports is that this was jim jordan's spokesman said this --
to "the new york times," the meeting was to discuss media strategy, not to overturn the election. the position jim jordan's spokesperson has take own behalf of jim jordan is he wasn't involved in a coup. why wouldn't he call liz or adam or chairman thompson and ask to go explain that, david jolly? >> well, you're exactly right. to daniel's point, there are privileges that exist with members of congress, much like the president of the united states is trying to exert executive privilege wrongly or not. just because you have that privilege or you suggest you might have that privilege doesn't mean you have to use it. i think that's the question we're in right now, this national moment where people died as a result to try -- of trying to undermine national election, our democracy was nearly toppled, and it would seem the calling of patriotism is that you share with the investigators what you know. but that's not the position that these republican members are taking. the information that continues to be reported out that the
committee continues to share continues to affirm that there was a conspiracy to try to cancel the election of 2020, and that conspiracy involved the president of the united states, members of congress, the white house chief of staff, it involved political actors organizing the stop the steal rally. this was a multi-pronged efforts between actors in the executive branch, in the legislative branch, and outside political actors to try to cancel an election for the sole purpose of keeping the current president who had lost in power. it was a failed authoritarian coup. there's no other way to describe it. if you have the president of the united states, his chief of staff, sitting members of congress, possibly the influence of the department of justice and the political apparatus of that sitting president trying to cancel a free and fair election to keep him in power, it's a failed authoritarian coup. i think that's what liz cheney knows, and that's why she's starting to lean in more and more on this important message.
>> dan goldman, which part of the criminal code does coup fall under? >> well, the easiest way to charge it would be a conspiracy to interfere with the lawful functioning of government. something that robert mueller charged a number of the russian folks during his investigation. there's also conspiracy which could potentially be at issue here. others have been talking about obstructing lawful function of congress which is the january 6th counting of the electoral votes. that is another potential crime that would be here. i think to david's point and he said it so eloquently, it's more than just obstructing congress' counting of the votes. it is a much more wide-ranging effort to overturn the election.
at the end of the day i think the committee is going run into a lot of problems investigating their own. the republicans are not going to be cooperative, and i think it does set a precedent that some democrats may not want to do. but this is where the department of justice needs to be. it's time if they haven't already to open up a much larger investigation into the failed coup, the effort to subvert the election and overturn the election that now we know from katie's excellent reporting, some of these documents coming out from the january 6th committee and a lot of other recordings and conversations and notes, you put it all together, and this has to be investigated by the department of justice for a potential criminal conspiracy. >> and katie benner, based on her public utterances, liz cheney seems to be of that view. i want to read this from your reporting. this is about a republican congressman named scott perry. mr. perry was finding ways to
exert pressure on the justice department. he introduced trump to mr. clark, the acting head of the department's civil division who became one of the stop the steal movement's most ardent supporters. then after christmas, perry called donahue to share his voter fraud dossier which focused on unfounded election fraud claims in pennsylvania. pennsylvania counted their votes at least three times. there was no fraud there. that's where rudy suffered some of -- hard to figure out what's most humiliating when you're talking about rudy, but some of his most humiliating rebukes were from the suits he brought in pennsylvania. there was no fraud in pennsylvania. what is the sort of legal lens on a member of congress introducing someone who was a stated in public advocate for firing the top of the justice department officials because they wouldn't carry out donald trump's will to fabricate fraud in georgia and pennsylvania and
other places. what would garland look at if he were going to look at that behavior? >> it would probably be the career prosecutors in the u.s. attorney's office in d.c., and they would look at some conspiracy charge. if you look at the memo that jeff rosen when he was the deputy attorney general issued over the summer during the racial justice protests when there was some rioting and unrest, he issued a memo saying sedition can be charged in cases where you see the massive disruption to government functions like courthouses. and so the justice department really emphasized the use of sedition and broadened its use in ways with that memo. so that is one direction that the justice department, especially career prosecutors in the u.s. attorney's office, could go if they wanted to go. to your point, it would be merrick garland who would need to sign off on such a radical thing. it's uncertain what he would do. he's a pretty apolitical guy. i think that there are questions
about whether or not you want to charge somebody like a sitting member of congress. if you -- even if you win the case in district court, will it hold through an appeal? and if you lose, how does that impact the political landscape and how does that impact democracy overall? keep in mind that this group of congressmen, they are in office, and they are empowered. they are making these statements about fraud and about donald trump from their seats and the house of representatives. they have a huge platform and their message is really effective. if you look at what republicans were saying on january 6th of this year about how outrageous the attack was and where mr. trump might have born responsibility, you are no longer hearing those statements from republicans. you're seeing polling showing that republicans no longer want to have people in their party who are critical of donald trump. and you're seeing more mainstream republicans grow silent. so not only have they been effective, they have been very influential, and they will remain so because many of their seats are safe. they will stay in congress. >> i mean, david jolly, katie is
articulating an unwelcome and -- and painful truth. the insurrection aside, the betrayers, the aspiring coup plotters are winning. here's the trajectory they're on -- mo brooks, i think he's the one who wore body armor even though the statement of some of these gentleman is that none of the members could have anticipated what occurred on january 6th. maybe he's more comfortable in body armor, maybe he couldn't find his parka. he's running for senate in alabama. mr. jordan is in line to become a committee chair. claims now that he never said the election was stolen. these guys are winning. and we can, you know, reveal them and out them and katie and her colleagues have been on the case of these members and their ties to extremist groups, their ties to the pressure campaign inside a coup plot inside doj to elevate head of the civil
division over the acting attorney general. but the truth is absent -- absent a lens of criminal scrutiny, they're likely to, as dan and katie are suggesting, to defy subpoenas if they're subpoenaed by the committee and keep on keeping on. ? very complex cultural question almost that we have elevated a political party and some of their lead actors who can flaunt our very republican -- can get rewarded for that. is that a reflection on us as the american people? is that a reflection on the republican party at large, is that a reflection on the loudest voice, conservative television and radio more than it is actually elected republicans and is that a reflection on donald trump? i think the answer is yes. they will be affirmed for their arguably seditious activity. katie raises an interesting point as has daniel, there is a
very -- a real possibility that this leads to the fact that indictments might be merited for sitting members of congress and even for the former president of the united states. even in that indictment is merited, we see that in nations where a former head of state is indicted for criminal activity sometimes around the most legal election, what does it mean for the long-term trajectory of the american republic? once that can of worms is opened it's hard to put it back together. the question is i think the founders envisioned the american people would serve as the final check on this type of behavior, but if they're not going to, if the republicans are going to reward this, is it a moment in time where the department of justice steps in or the consequences of that indictment or intervention too great for the long term -- the long-term repair, the long-term health of the american republic?
>> a quick last word. i'm guessing there are zero people inside the department of just or attorney's office who want to be the stopgap after the public decides that a conspiracy is a-okay with them. that is not their function. my question is is the rock and the hard place if there's evidence of criminal activity, is ignoring it even worse? >> right. flip what david said on its head and do we want to be a country where we allow an authoritarian coup that luckily failed this time but may continue if it is not prevented in the future. it's a tough question. we don't want to seem like a banana republic where we discharge the last political operative in power. we're a democracy founded on the rule of law. if there is good reason and there's very solid --it, becaus
we don't want to seem political? at the end of all the day, it's a very tough place for somebody like garland to be there but a big reason why merick garland was chosen as attorney general is because he is completely apolitical so he carries more authority when he pursues a case. >> katie, it is really an amazing piece of reporting as to
what happened and who was involved, thank you for spending time with us. dan goldman thank you for all your wisdom and experience, and david sticks around for the hour. on the frontline of trump's quest to overturn the election loss. now saying the ex-president defended their plans for peaceful rally on january 6, their testimony and now plus, pledging allegiance to the big lie is the key threshold, the only one really for republican candidates all across the country, but standing out in a crowded primary field requires sharp elbows and a direct line. looking at the state of democracy for 2022. later in the program, justice department is more than one year deep into an investigation of a right-wing group and its 11th hour 2020 dirty, below the belt tricks campaign, one of the reporters on that story coming up. all those stories and more, at
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>> what we revealed to the committee was an internal conflict on going within the organizer groups about what the program and what the day on january 6 should look like and we kind of lost that battle and didn't realize we lost that battle until president trump told meme to walk down to the capitol. we knew the people they asked to lead that should never be people
associated for something as solemn as the white house so for us, it was devastating, very deflating and one of those snap to reality moments where you look back over all of the previous warning signs you ignored and have to challenge yourself on. >> desdon stockton, one of the organizers at the rally at the elipse, serving almost as a tail gate for the election rally. telling chris hayes he was shocked at the moment trump urged his supporters to march to the capitol. him and his partner jennifer lawrence have been called the bonnie and collide of maga world. now, these right wing activists provided the 1/6 committee with reams of evidence, one of the nearly 300 witnesses who come
forward to the committee giving the investigation serious momentum even as the disgrace ex-president and his allies work to disrupt the quo. joining us, pete aguilar, member of the january 6 committee, congressman aguilar, first, can you characterize where the investigation is? i'll put out some of the depositions scheduled for this week, fill stepien, dustin stockin who you just heard, big names and you'll see where they stand. last week, congressman rascin described it as everybody moving in the committee's direction, is that the case today? >> i do feel that way, we're making significant progress everyday, learning more. that is the nature of a real investigation. we continue to have a lot of conversations and not just the conversations that you depicted on that slide, but other conversations as well that will
be helpful to our investigative steps that we need to take, so i think we are making progress and you quoted it, the 300 individuals we talked to, they continue to give us more information and new information that is helpful. >> congressman, it feels as though it has moved into a different phase and the release of some documents released by mark meadows seems to underscore that, liz cheney's reading of some of the text messages certainly got under the skin of some of the folks who sent them from jim jordan to hannity to laura ingram, what is the value of the importance of the messages and sharing them with the public? >> well, i think it's very telling when the fox news hosts get upset about their text messages. they're not upset that individuals lost their life or that there was an insurrection, they're just upset that those text messages are out.
but i think what it tells us and the importance of that is to convey that mr. meadows knows a lot and that you just, you shouldn't have to buy his book for $25 in order to hear what he has to say. he has an obligation to speak before the committee. if he has privilege he wants to exert, he can do that on a question by question basis, but he should be willing to answer questions, especially on the items that he voluntarily submitted to the committee himself. thousands of text messages, documents, emails and attachments, he should be willing to talk with us about those. the only reason he didn't, is because the president was upset and told him not to in the public domain on the eve of his coming before us. >> right. and how scared, so scared, he wrote his own book, fake news. i want to understand how our observations and questions about
whether liz, congresswoman cheney, invoking the language of the criminal code, whether or not these other members coming into focus for their role in trying to subvert justice and the rule of law at doj by introducing trump to jeffrey clark, are you looking at or working toward criminal referrals to the justice department on more than the contemt vote? >> we're pulling the thread of the investigation and following every lead. we're not presupposing where this is going. what we are doing is preserving an ability to gain information that is helpful to our investigation each and every day and turn that over, at some point in the public domain, whether it's through hearings or ultimately through a report, or a referral. but those are the things that we're doing that are aiding our efforts. we're not closing any doors as chairman thompson and vice chair cheney have said.
we're not closing doors at this point. what we're doing is chasing the facts. >> i want to bring david into this conversation. >> i would follow up on nicole's inquiry, it's a powerful one, the naugz watched the justice department inindict over 500 participants since the january 6 events but you sit in a special space where you have the opportunity to interview political actors, sitting members of congress, the president of the united states, you have huge criminal referrals to the department of justice simply for the refusal to cooperate with your committee, but if you do uncover information that suggests criminal activity, will your committee issue criminal referrals to the department of justice for sitting members of congress or the president of the united states? >> the committee will follow the facts. and if we do our job, and we get
as much information as possible to tell the full and complete narrative on what happened in january 5th and 6th and the planning and coordination and lead-up to that, the assault on democracy we saw, if we do our job we're going to tell that story and if there are additional details that need to be turned over to authorities, we will do that. we're not closing any door, but at this point we're having a lot of those conversations, we are hearing from witnesses like the ones you just played, from last evening. we're gathering that material, and you're building the document of evidence that's going to be needed to tell the full and complete story. >> congressman, i wanted to ask questions about the meadows texts, we don't see all you see but it's clear from the message that is congressman cheney read not just from fox host but donald trump's own son, don jr., that the fox anchors, hannity,
laura ingram, don jr., all believed donald trump's command and control on that day was a light switch, that he was the commander in chief of the insurrection that day. is that an area of interest, is that your understanding from the texts? and is there more? >> well it's very telling that they knew he had the power. they knew he had the bully pulpit to turn those individuals away. but it's also telling that in some of the text messages, they were afraid of the president's legacy. that this was going to affect his legacy. not that this was an assault on democracy, not that people were going to be hurt or injured or capital police officers were going to die. they were appealing to the president's sense of his own ego by talking about his legacy. that's also pretty telling, but clearly, from those text messages released, they felt he could do something about it and
he didn't, and his vice chair cheney indicated were interested in those 187 minutes no one heard from the president. what was he doing? what was he watching? who was he talking to? what calls was he avoiding? what calls was he making? those things are important to this investigation. >> i wonder, if you look at the impact of the committee's action in the last seven days, while preserving, i presume all your investigative leads and threads if you're giving serious thought to prime time hearings or grabbing the bully pulpit and letting the president's ex-advisers and staffers tell the story for you? >> well the committee's having those conversations, and as soon as we have a calendar, then we will do that. we will have public hearings, but we do want to continue to share with the public what we
are learning. we're working within the constraints of the congressional calendar and will do just that, though, so that's something people can plan on. the chairman and vice chair, do this in a way that people can better understand the information we've been receiving for the last number of weeks and months. >> i appreciate that. congressman pete aguilar thank you so much for spending some time with us today. >> thanks nicole. >> next year's republican primaries are becoming primary, messy, primaries always are but these are especially messy. all fighting for the attention of one man, you can guess who. where they stand on the ex-president's number one issue, the 2020 attempt to overthrow the election results. we'll look at the lie litnus test reshaping the gop next. re.
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a big lie about the 2020 election result is the number one litmus test for republican primary candidates across the country, actually number two and three as well, turning races into election denial free-for-alls as candidates rush to distinguish themselves in crowded primary fields by embracing the big lie. axios reports this, georgia, arizona, michigan, nevada, pennsylvania and idaho have drawn anywhere from two to 12 republican candidates vying for the president's mansion,
campaigning heavily on the election results. short on facts but long on conspiracy theories, not one governor there would say president joe biden freely won the 2020 election. >> did president biden win -- >> i don't know and we have to take that attitude towards 2020. i don't think there's any question that we got enough shenanigans. >> i don't think the election was fair. >> they decided they would change the rules, weaken what defenses we did have against voter integrity. >> you need a secretary of state who is actually interested in legal votes being counted. >> we believe there was voter fraud, and is across this country. >> massive fraud, with zero evidence. shenanigans.
there were no shenanigans. credit where credit was due, hue huwitt monitoring the debate, his first question. nbc political contributor anna palmer, anna, i feel like you live the other half of this. if it's cause and effect, the effect is those of the world, have punity on capitol hill, but could it get worse? >> yeah, i think what you're seeing, right, at the state level here is the fact that they sort of litigate what happened in 2020. who's going to win? a lot of these conservative primaries, they're trying to outtrump trump even, in the republican caucus certainly, maybe outliers in the republican conference and now main stream, so elections have consequences and this is going to have a
consequence of who the republican candidates are and where does the republican party go moving forward? >> you know, david jolly, without, if you just look at radicalization and take trump out of it, what we are watching on there was one party's radicalized supporters engaged in hand to hand combat with police officers. who's portfolio is it to deal with the deradicalization? >> it's those five candidates on the stage in minnesota. what a bunch of weak kneed cowered running for nomination in minnesota, and in capitol hill and statehouses across the country including my state home of florida, unwilling to confront a leader of the party in donald trump who has excited and ignited the events on january 6 and is ready to do it again in 2024.
that's the important lesson of watching this behavior we saw in minnesota is this. if they are willing to do that to gain power, what will they do to keep it? and i think what we saw on the stage in minnesota is an indicator of what they'll do to keep it. when donald trump says to the nation's republican governors, fix the electoral college for me in 2024, they're going to do it. if not then, they'll do it now. that's the danger and the forecast we need to be afraid about. >> you know, anna, i know it doesn't matter what people actually think because we follow what they say and do, not what they think in their private nightmares, i hope, they actually think. but do you wonder, having been on that, knowing that building and knowing these people in a way that we don't necessarily see them just on camera, do you think folks like portman and mitch mcconnell and richard burr
and mit romney have remorse of igniting the monster of trumpism and having it turn to frankenstein and the situation now where up and coming republicans have to pledge their loyalty not to the constitution, to the dense of united states of america, not to, republicans used to be helping the most vulnerable, evangelical republicans were interested in climate change before democrats were, interested in the economy, and military, do you think now this is it, it's all a bunch of bs, about aligning themselves with what's not true, election fraud in 2020? >> i think one of the most important things to note is during the trump era, a lot of those mainstream republicans decided that they weren't going to, you know, face another primary challenge on the right, look at the senators in the republican party who are
retiring this year, somebody who wanted to work across the aisle on gun legislation, republicans already, have to reflect their own personal politics, and you look at what senator leader mcdonnell says, how they're going to win the majority of 2022 or 2024, but they are outliers compared to the conservative base and clearly when you look at some of these primaries and the messaging that's going out there, they're trying to set up it's far to the conservative trumpian view to out-trump trump at this point. >> it's not conservative, it's just trumpy. thank you so much for spending time with us today. up next for us, feels like america is again, trying to figure out what to do next, what not to do, what to post-pone, cancel, what to wear, test, shoot up, as cases of highly
contagious omicron variant rise. talking about that, coming up. i. real cowboys get customized car insurance with liberty mutual, so we only pay for what we need. -hey tex, -wooo. can someone else get a turn? yeah, hang on, i'm about to break my own record. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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protection from severe disease is still going to be considerably high. >> that was dr. fauci warning that the highly contagious omicron variant will be the dominant strain in this country within a few weeks with the delta surge already causing major closures and setbacks even places doing the most to be safe, like broadway in new york where vaccines are mandated for all workers and vaccines and masks for audience members but closing after showing positive cases this week with cast and crew. college learning, cornell and princeton move to remove classes this week despite on campus vaccination rates from 97 to 99%. bringing into our conversation dr. roy, with covid measures and housing sites for new york city. so dr. roy, it's nice to see you again, although the fact that we're talking about this everyday again isn't good news.
let me ask you a question. the pace of the shutdowns, i was just looking at some of the sports accounts i follow. the pace of nba players and nfl players testing positive is so accelerated so quickly almost in the last 72 hours, is it possible omicron is already raging everywhere here and this is the omicron variant causing all these rapid positives to show up. >> good to see you too, nicole, i wish it was under more cheerful circumstances. what we're learning is that omicron is spreading faster than any previous variant and it's more infectious than any previous variant. we're also seeing break-through infections amongst triple vaccinated, i.e.boosted people. the key message everybody needs to know, though, nicole, is that the vaccines are still highly protective against severe disease, hospitalization and death. i think that when people hear this message that oh, you can be
vaccinated but still get covid, they interpret that as meaning the vaccines don't work and that's simply not true. we have more than enough data showing vaccines are protective against those three factors i showed you, severe disease, hospitalization and death, however vaccines aren't the only key. we need to now wear masks. masks are going to be that key barrier in preventing that transmission or spread from person to person, in addition to the vaccines. because remember, nicole, last year, all we really had were the masks and distancing. that was the only message that public health professionals gave but now we got the vaccines and boosters. that's really key, nicole. people just got to get the vaccines and boosters. >> if we have positives in any place or people queen, and we show the colleges where people are moving to remote, what is the step we take on the other side? should vaccinated people still have to quarantine for 10 days,
test out of quarantine? what is the answer if we're heading into another phase where something more infectious that breaks through to vaccinated people is upon us? >> yeah. i mean, i think you heard the expression endemic, right? i think this coronavirus is so, so tricky. we've now clearly learned that it's not really going anywhere. we're going to have to find a way to live with it safely. we're going to need our schools and businesses, academic institutions, our entertainment industry, you mentioned broadway shutting down, you and i both live in new york and saw, i've been to several broadway shows this summer and fall safely, being fully vaccinated and masked but we're going to have to learn how to deal with upcoming variants. and unfortunately, until we get that 40 million people or so vaccinated, this virus is going to continue to replicate and mutate and new variants are going to form. so we just really got to get
people vaccinated and businesses need to treat situations and environments that are safe for us to be able to work and study safely, nicole. >> dr. roy, it is nice to see you again. thank you for spending time with us. next, deadline white house starts after a quick break. don't go anywhere. quick break. don't go anywhere. make your nights anything but silent. and ride in a sleigh that really slays. because in a cadillac, tradition is yours to define. so visit a cadillac showroom, and start celebrating today. ♪ ♪ i brought in ensure max protein, with thirty grams of protein. those who tried me felt more energy in just two weeks! (sighs wearily) here i'll take that! (excited yell) woo-hoo! ensure max protein. with thirty grams of protein, one gram of sugar, and nutrients to support immune health.
hypocrisy isn't to be found in the contradiction although i think there is some between her text and the night of january 6, i mean freaking lindsey graham was detesting donald trump on january 7 while these people knew what they were seeing with their own lying eyes, certainly know who was responsible and who had the ability to stop it, then spent the next year doing clean-up operations -- >> hi again, everyone, 5:00 in new york, there it is, the calls coming from inside the house at fox news now. jonah goldberg, fox on air contributor until a few weeks ago laying out the fundamental issue between chief of staff mark meadows and fox news host on january 6. the lies those anchors spouted, knowing they were spouting lies to their viewers every night since, feeding into the
falsehoods, into the grievances that resulted in a deadly insurrection in the first place. goldberg was a contributor at fox news for 12 years before resigning last month after concluding the network went so far and so deep into trumpism and its lies that there was no way out. in the clip we played, goldberg was talking about laura engram who we know from the january 6 community revelations texted this to mark meadows, mark the president needs to tell people in the capitol to go home. this is hurting all of us. he is destroying his legacy. in a new piece for the dispatch published yesterday, goldberg elaborates on her deception, last night, she made a huge deal that she condemned the violence on her show on the evening of january 6, and she did, although she sprinkled with fan service nonsense about antifa provoking the violence and insinuations
that the mob had the right to be angry at the allegedly rigged election but what she did not say is the passions boiled over because of trump's lies and the message she and colleagues gave to those lies, that truth is what she left out that night, and as far as i can tell, every night since. in other words, the central truth of the text isn't that what the mob was doing was condemnable, but that trump was responsible for the condemnable behavior. the lies, the whitewashing and at times, spreading of conspiracies at january 6 are the staple of a fox news broadcast. here's just a bit of what fox viewers have been fed this year. show you this not to elevate or amplify the lies but to be aware of the danger they create. >> no reasonable person thinks what happened on january 6th was, as biden said, the worst attack on the capitol since the civil war. >> we know this committee is out to get the former president, the
former president said that day, peacefully make your voices heard. didn't incite anything. >> some of the people participating in january 6 have not been charged, calls those people unindicted coconspirators, it means in almost every case their fbi operatives. >> brings back to mark meadow's piece, his part in a network that purposely airs lies. quote, i didn't want to be kplits in so many lies. yes, yes, so many people drankal cool aid and came to believe their own lies but that's a subject for another time. suffice to say however, just because you come to believe a lie, doesn't make the lie true. i never deliberately lied on fox news but over time i felt like i was becoming complicit in a
series of lies of omission. fox's crew of lies and omi it, it, ers is where we start, director the renumeric ah monument policy research institute, and reporter her dealing with the elephant in the room first, maybe miles spent more time on a fox news than i have, but fox news used to be and i say this having worked for republicans, usually, the most charitable take on the days news. it never, until trump, represented a total alternate reality, something sort of the likes of which mark zuckerberg is dreaming up in the meta verse. what jonah goldberg takes us to understanding is deep inside the alternate reality are lies and
liars, and what he leaves me wondering is how much knowledge of the damage they're doing there is and how much acceptance of what the platform has become, which is inextricably linked to extremism in this country, miles taylor. >> look, nicole, they knowwhat they're doing and rationalize it to themselves, i say that because i've seen this show before and so many times with donald trump and this is usually how it plays out, whether it's cabinet secretaries or people in his orbit, they see him do something terrible or on the cusp of doing something terrible, intervene, send a text message or phone call to white house chief of staff, say you got to stop him, just like mark meadows on january 6, the message they get back is i'm trying, i'm trying, which means they can't get the president to do the right thing, because he wants to do the wrong thing which he ultimately ends up
doing and they go out there, cover it up and defend the president. again, i saw people in the cabinet do this regularly, now seen text messages, fox news anchors do the same thing and it tells us two things. one, that their moral compass is outweighed by their fear of disappointing donald trump, number two, it tells us that even though these people thought they could control or influence donald trump, ultimately found out they only held the democracy-devouring tiger by the tail. we saw this in afghanistan, syria, and at the border. held, when john mccain died, the president wanted to go out and stomp on his grave but aids convinced him not to, but the same aids went and said trump would never do that, he wants to honor mccain and lower the flags to half staff. on january 6, this means the commander in chief of armed forces was watching gleefully,
sitting on his hands as the insurrection went out despite those around him telling him it needs to stop. that's damaging on donald trump, but also those in his orbit including fox news who later went and justified it. >> nick, we've had these conversations about fox news because i think when you see all those people at the capitol on january 6, if you haven't watched the disinformation on the right, you have no idea what they're doing there. you have no idea that donald trump amplified this belief that he hasn't actually lost, even though some of the earlier reports were that ivanka and jared went out planning their next real estate purpose almost immediately, people related to him knew that he lost to joe biden. the delusional americans don't exist without the amplification of the delusional ex-president. nothing can change donald trump, nothing and no one, but the radicalization of his supporters does not happen absent fox news,
and i wonder if you think we know more about where we're heading and is that now abundantly clear that the greatest threat to the homeland in terms of domestic terrorism is not al qaeda. fox news, i think saw themselves as part of the patriotic response after 9/11. they are now amplifying the messages that people who wish to do us harm are attracted to, messages about stop the steal, attack some public health measures like masking and vaccine mandates. where does that lead us? what does that new frame of reference mean for the country? >> well, you know, fox and trump have a feedback loop as we all know. but the bottom line is that trump sets the tune and everyone else sings it. so in the aftermath of the election, trump has spread this conspiracy theory, this big lie about massive fraud, and everyone else in his audience,
also fox's audience, was primed to believe it and many of them went to the capital that day to stop the election from being serviced. a few months after the election, really interesting, fox was covering the attacks in a more balanced way, news coverage poking holes in rudy giuliani's allegations, hosts taking a different line, and what happens is they started to lose audience to one, america, and the upstart channels. it didn't take long but put a scare into them. what you've seen since then, contributors who are trump sceptical like jonah goldberg, have left, and the prime time has mostly embraced the conspiracy theory about january
6 or sanctified it as the people put on the brakes on the fraud. that's taken over the whole movement and in some sense is the cause of trump running for election again in 2024. >> i want to read the analysis of this, and this is a great description from the washington post, greg sergeant calls goldberg a fox news defector and like a defector from american adversary, kind of reading the tea leaves trying to learn what we can. this, quote, here's another thing engram does not address, the january 6 violence was actually about disrupting the election's outcome and functioned as the outgrowth of a larger effort about thwarting a legitimate elected government from taking power.
here, again, a safe space lies in detachic the violence and trump from the larger aims. you know, what we know now from some of the evidence released from the 1/6 committee is the big lie wasn't a message, it wasn't a maga hat, wasn't a red cap with a slogan. it was a plan. it was a 38 page powerpoint. it was the eastman memo, the clark coupe at doj. it was about not certifying president biden's victory in the most secure election in american history and all the people that amplified the lie are part of the plot. where do we sort of begin unpacking and unraveling that, in terms of the disinformation and how far people are willing to go in service of that? >> that's a problem, nicole. even if you are a defector, you are just pushed out of this bubble, you know, and replaced by somebody else, that they will
bow to trump in repeated lies. i think the other thing just a little disturbing is, you know, we often times, we talk about nazi germany and people think that's hyperbole and too much exaggeration but think about this, when i was growing up we read about german military officer and see their understanding of what was going on. and much of what joe in his article talks about is you aren't told what to say, you just know what not to say, and you kind of go along with this sort of system. you're seeing this happen here in our own country where completely antidemocratic authoritarian ideas are being advanced. elections, we were talking about yesterday, local election leaders, the next round of them that are coming through, i would be shocked if one of them did not overturn an election completely in a bogus fashion and make things up. and the last part of it is there's no coming back for these fox news folks and if they were,
all of them, on a dime, what do you think the mob will do to them? that's always, you know, it's not stated enough. it's not understood enough that these people, these people that have believed in this lie, that have stuck with it for five or six years, when they are told the truth they have to come to reality with it, they won't kill the message, they'll kill the messager, they will come for them. and this is what happens when you dance with the devil. ultimately, when you come to realization with what's going on, many of these folks are straight up extremists, with guns, show up at targets, at different places with peoples homes. we saw this after the election. chris krebs many of the folks who were republicans doing the right thing. i don't know how this will go in the end going along with the lie, other than turn up in the heels of the trump system. >> such a great point, miles, everyone who has enabled trump has been forced to eat it. mitch mcconnell now facing calls
for his ousting, and blaming trump for the insurrection, take trump, take the republican party, no threat is made lesser by enabling it and pandering to it. every threat is made bigger by catering to it and i want to read a little bit more. and that seems to be part of the motive for jonah goldberg not just leaving fox but speaking out. this is what he writes about how they sort of contort themselves. during the trump years, many people found safe harbor in changing the subject. it only makes sense, if you can't defend something indefensible, bring up something the other side did that's not defenseble either and talk about that. the whole point of these what aboutist games is consistency, if your only goal is letting
trump off the hook, you're adopting the same double standard you're committing, the has been the over riding ethos of fox opinion hosts for years. one of those opinion hosts just left fox news, but i see the tape, watching their coverage, saying how can anyone defend a monster who grabs about bragging women between their legs but they didn't break with him. they never broke with him. good people on both sides of a kkk rally didn't break with him jim mathison's letter about america's strength in the world, military and democracy, they doic and still don't. what do you make, again, of where this is leading us? >> i got to say that, i think really point in the right direction, we can learn a lot from history here. just a few lines later nicole in jonah's piece that you just read, he talks about the naked
hypocrisy of some of these individuals he worked with at the network, just before on camera, or in the green room, online, the guy's crazy, a lunatic, then go on tv and defend him. you got to ask why does that happen? when citing back through history, we're rife with examples not just the nazi period but really soviet rule why this happens. a famous author wrote a book, the road to circrum you why in these autocratic regimes you have these people at the top who know better but do anything to aid the leader, the answer is simple, one, they're afraid of that leader and if they're unseemingly in their behavior as possible the leader will continue to elevate them,
because they will do regardless of where their moral compass is pointing. that's what we've seen with so many around trump in his administration, but larger orbit as well like on fox news. i think it's important you pointed out that chris wallace has left, i don't think you said because he went in the wrong direction, obviously a wrong disparagement clause, but look people now leaving that network. ask the question, who is still there. paul ryan is on the board at fox, maybe having a positive influence, but why are those people staying in the orbit? they have an opportunity like jonah goldberg to leave, to point out the hypocrisy and hopefully, peel some of those viewers away and back towards the truth. >> you know, if you peak in on fox news, there is dedicated to purging enemies of their movement as they are to defending the champions of their movement, donald trump. and what they have done to liz
cheney and kinsinger, i think on truth serum. folks like hannity see the world exactly like liz cheney does, makes it seem so in the last 20 years, but she must be purged, must be destroyed, i'm sure they'll give air time to her primary challengers and i wonder where you think that takes us, not just fox enabling trump and trumpism, but being willing participants in purging people, not who they disagree with, not on anything, not on 9/11, not on foreign policy, not on anything, just on the question of trump. >> look, you know, i think any healthy system or organization, if it's a country, news organization, needs to of checks and balances. needs to have some system in place to acknowledge its own mistakes and recover from them to adjust course, to find the
truth and get back to it. and the current function here with trump in his party, in the purging, look, this is a mentality which you simply can't disagree with the president, the ex-president, and have a career in conservative politics or even a big career in conservative media. in fact, john goldberg has his own site now, the dispatch, had to carve out his own thing. so really, we're getting to a place where essentially there is only one safe course. it's to be with trump and most or all things. certainly, not to criticize him and i think we'll see in the next two years, in the midterms and races, are there people who took a stand on some of these vote counting questions in 2020 who are ousted, who are under pressure, simply for doing their jobs upholding the law? that's the real danger that the system of self-correction
disappears. >> such a good point. miles taylor, thank you so much. clint sticks around, when we come back. so much attention focused now on the circle of republican congressman who helped the ex-president overturn the 2020 election result. connections of a lawsuit filed against gomert from vp pence and what role the ex-president played in it. that story is next. dirty tricks campaign from conservative activists and allies of the disgraced ex-president, looking to smear the adult children of president biden, and the biden administration's plan to bring clean drinking waters to schools and homes by replacing millions of lead pipes in this country. deadline white house continues after a quick break, don't go anywhere. continues after a quick break, don't go anywhere ow!
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you would be saving my life. how do i know that you're legit? ♪ ♪ yeah, that's more like it. as we cover the latest reporting and revelations today about the pressure campaign to overturn the election result, including sitting republican congressman doing donald trump's bidding, politico points to a tool largely ignored and how it could involve donald trump, gohmert, congressman, sued vice-president pence, arguing it gave pence full control of the certification only leading to the first public signals from pence that he not only did not have that power, but the doj powers are completely siding
with him to his defense, but as politico reports today, pence's allies long believe trump played a role in the strategy and indicated trump was frustrated the justice department intervened to defend his vice-president against gohmert's suit, but unknown how involved he was in trump's legal strategy. representative jamie raskin called it a significant detail in that it was part of a plan to isolate and coerce pence. joining our conversation, carol lennig, author of the book "i alone can fix it," georgetown law professor, both nbc contributors. so carol leonnig, when i read this, and i remember covering the gohmert suit at the time and i think there was a lincoln project ad that a lot of folks thought put it on trump's radar
that pence really did not have this authority to overturn the result, but i remember thinking about one person, and that's mark short, and all the time he just spent with the 1/6 committee and i wonder if you have thought asser insights into what that line of inquiry may look like for the 1/6 committee. >> you know, this is a moment filled with a lot of pathos for me, because remember mark short, and vice-president pence's wife, daughter, and son, and another aid are with him as he is being, essentially, hunted by individuals who stormed the capitol on january 6, about 2:20 p.m., they've been evacuated to a secure room by the secret service detail of the vice-president at the time who basically want to get him off the floor, because they know
what's coming in the windows and the doors. and those are people with nooses and threats and challenges and chants of, you know, "hang mike pence," where is mike pence. on that day, mark short is the person in charge of communicating with the white house the status of the vice-president, and there is a turning point that happens here for mark short, which is a person who has been watching then-president donald trump exert one of the most excruciating pressure campaigns on his boss, to do something that's not legally or constitutionally viable. to press, and press, and press and threaten him. he's watched this for several days, been at his boss's side while the president used every tactic in the book and now learns, after january 6, after 2:20 that president trump is doing nothing to check on the safety of his boss, the safety
of his boss's family, the safety of his employees himself and doing nothing to call off the individuals he encouraged about two hours earlier to fight like hell and go up to the capitol and stop the certification of the vote and insisted that one of their key targets should be vice-president pence. so mark short, now let's rush forward, to today. he's had multiple interviews with the committee, provided multiple documents and pieces of information, telephonic, regular paper, electronics information, and what does it reveal? that that campaign was even broader than we knew. that bullying effort to get pence to do what trump wanted was more extensive. short was a witness to a lot more, and now he's basically sharing it all, bearing it all, and there clearly is, in short's
mind, some, i wouldn't say revenge. i would say there is some come-up-it for the former president to expect. >> yeah, what carol is saying is, in some ways, it's not a circle, but it's an elliptical. we were deflected for a while by mike pence's on going subserviance to trump but that doesn't mean the people around mike pence aren't going to tell the truth. and what this politico analysis suggests to me is there is an active line of investigation into what donald trump participated in or directed this lawsuit, as carol said, another pressure point to his number two. >> yeah, nicole, i think the
gohmert lawsuit is one of many elements that reveal a court truth that there was an attempted coup dressed up in legal clothing. these folks trying to hijack our government with a bogus set of legal arguments and as a lawyer, i can't tell you just how bad the arguments were in the gohmert lawsuit and given how spectacularly the lawsuit from gohmert failed i got to think trump had a hand in it. his technique worked, had his drip paintings and court has his smash-down court dismissals and that's what happened here. it reads like trump because trump is a guy who thinks his supreme court is going to, you know, rule for him, even on a bogus thing. and the idea that the vice-president can just name a president and toss out the election results is, from a constitutional perspective, insane. i mean the idea that our founders who rebelled against
king george would vest the power to pick the president in the vice-president, a guy who has never won an election and indeed could be a rival of the president, particularly the way the founders had it in their initial structure, is just preposterous. and in one sense, i got too feel bad for donald trump because he could only get louie gohmert to file this lawsuit, that's who he had to get, and gohmert is the guy who makes mark meadows look like an up standing member of congress. >> what now, though, should we expect in terms of criminal investigation into whether members of congress were conspiring to overthrow the election result by being part of this pressure campaign against mike pence? >> i think it's got to happen. it's got to be done both on the 1/6 side which is not criminal, just trying to get at the truth, but the justice department has to investigate this as well and, nicole, there's a really
important decision by judge friedrick in the dc trial court, she was a trump appointee and said there is a criminal statute that prevents an attempt to disrupt official seating alike january 6 counting of the votes, in jail up to 20 years and you don't need to show a defendant like a member of congress, one of these writers, you don't have to show that person intended violence. all you have to do is show that person intended to disrupt the counting of the votes. so that's where, i think, the investigation on both the 1/6 congressional side as well as the justice department investigation should focus. >> and carol leonnig, more astute observers than i point out that liz cheney seems to be speaking the same language as some of these judges and is very fluent in the criminal code in this area. let me play some of her, on mark
meadow's texts. >> these nonprivileged texts are more evidence of president trump's supreme dereliction of duty during those 187 minutes and mr. meadow's testimony will bear on another key question before this committee. did donald trump, through action, or inaction, corruptly seek to obstruct or impede congress's official proceedings to count electoral votes. >> though that's exactly what they've been accused of, obstructing the official proceedings. >> i think there's a real important reason why liz cheney uses the boilerplate language. did donald trump corruptly, you know, this is the key adverb that he's using, corruptly obstruct this, and the point is,
you know, january 6 committee is unlikely to charge donald trump. however, they're gathering evidence that points at him and i think the importance of this, nicole, is that liz cheney is not saying this loosely. she's saying this because they have some indicia that he did. they have some evidence that he did do that, and it's in the eye of the beholder some might argue, but in the hands of a prosecutor is another matter. so i don't think she's saying this casually. my understanding from some reporting around this is that they do believe that's exactly what he did. >> and my experience is that liz cheney doesn't say anything casually or loosely, just to pile on to carol leonnig's wise words there. thank you for spending time with us. neil is going to come back later in the program. when we come back, a federal investigation now underway into how low they will go, they being
allies of the disgraced ex-president who went to try to disparage president joe biden and his adult children. we'll have the brand new reporting on that, after a quick break. ♪ ♪ ♪ "how bizarre" by omc ♪ no annual fee on any discover card. ♪ ♪ your plain aspirin could be hurting your stomach. vazalore... is the first liquid-filled aspirin capsule clinically shown to cause fewer ulcers than plain aspirin. try new vazalore. aspirin made amazing! ♪ ♪ ♪ hey google. ♪ ♪ ♪
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committee, retired u.s. army colonel connected to the powerpoint in overturning the 2020 election that was sent to mark meadows that was later turned over to the january 6 commity. thompson writes this, mr. waldron reportedly played a role in promoting claims of election fraud, was also apparently in communication with officials in the trump white house and in congress, discussing his theories in the weeks leading up to the january 6 attack. the document he reportedly provided to administration officials, and members of congress, is an alarming blueprint for overturning a nation-wide election. joining us now, mike shmidt, new york times washington correspondent, neil and clint watts are back with us. neil, just along the lines of
where this investigation seems to be focusing its efforts on the documents. we've talked about adam kinsinger describing the memos as a blueprint for a coupe, now clearly singling out the creator of this document turned over by mark meadows in the 9,000 documents he did turn over as an alarming blueprint for overturning a nation-wide election. >> so i think, nicole, the documents are really important, as you say, but i think it's a lot more than the documents. it's actually what this suggests to me is they are now circling around key individuals in power, both in congress, the white house, and most specifically, mark meadows. i have a copy of the letter just sent to phil waldren who is a kook and i'm sure facing some liability but it's about more than that. what they say is according to public reporting, you claim to
visited the white house on multiple occasions after the election, spoken to mark meadows maybe eight to 10 times and briefed several members of congress on election fraud theories and as you said, the letter gets into the powerpoint and so on, but what congress is doing here is really trying to get information not about waldren per se, but about waldren contact with trump, and meadows and meadows with congress and if any of those individuals could violate that criminal statute earlier, obstruction of official proceeding and indeed, in this letter to waldren today repeats language from that statute, so this is rapidly becoming a criminal investigation, and a criminal investigation looking not just at some low level kooks but people in positions of power. >> mike shmidt, i mean low level kook should be used, i guess, loosely.
someone who gets into the white house, quote, maybe eight to 10 times is a low level kook punching way above their weight. i worked near the white house, not many people get in eight to 10 times to brief white house chief of staff, particularly in a period that should be dominated by a transition in a deadly pandemic. i want to read some of this letter, because it's attributed to your colleagues in their reporting on december 10th. the 1/6 committee writes, you have also publicly acknowledged contributing to the creation of a powerpoint presentation that was given to or described for republican members of congress on the eve of january 6. that, in the foot notes is attributed to luke broadwaters reporting on the january 6 committee examining the powerpoint documents sent to meadows and again, this bridge over the white house and republican members of congress who are also the focus of some great reporting from your other colleagues today. tell me what this is shaping up
for in your view? >> to me, it demonstrates a problem that trump has had dating back to the 2016 campaign, you know, in neil's description of waldren the problem is trump allows people like this to surround him at all different points in his presidency, including the 2016 election, most campaigns would not have had people like them working for them and that theme continued throughout the presidency, where there were people in the administration who wouldn't have been in normal administrations. and what you see at the end, in those final 60 days after the election, is that even those who were the guard rail, who were around, are gone, and allows even more of these individuals like the vitillo guy and waldren
and eastman and flynn to all come in and become sort of the cabinet, or the advisers directly to the president, and it's just the sort of on steroids version of what we saw during all the way back in 2016. >> clint watts also a lot of billing given to the root cause, perhaps, the center, the beating heart of this committee's work and that is promoting claims of election fraud and circulating potential strategies for challenging results of the 2020 election. they're looking at outside groups that did that, looking at the rallies that featured those false claims of election fraud and if neil's reasoning holds, they are also looking at the ex-president's role in doing that. >> that's right, nicole, and mike's exactly right. if you surround yourself with clowns, you're bound to get a
circus and this is an absolute circus of idiots if you look at it. problem is they're armed, and aggressive and didn't stop. even a year later, talking about fox news enabling this sort of lie to continue over the past year, you look a year forward now at the damage it's caused our democracy, and instead of them just marching in eight to 10 times into the capitol, you now have believers in this lie, marching into polling place said around the country, you know, threatening election workers, you have them trying to take in roles of political power so they can overturn an election if it doesn't suit their ends but i think where the damage comes is no one remembers the hundreds of lawsuits and how they fell apart, people don't often put together the pieces that this is a pretty small network of people behind the scenes, challenging it in the courts, challenging it on capitol hill on january 6, challenging it with local officials around the country. so i think where this spins out of control is if the lie continues to be told and continue to double down on it,
puts us in a dangerous place down the road. i think with mr. waldren whether he goes there, very interested to see not just in terms of the committee but other charges in terms of criminal and civil liability, if he is advancing outright lies repeatedly such as defecting the conduct of democracy. >> in the last block, i played for neils, i won't do it again, liz cheney on tuesday night invoking the language of the criminal code and asking did donald trump through action or inaction corruptedly seek to impede the lawful political code and i wonder if she is, intentionally or by virtue, the attention and power of her words, the text messages from talks news to meadows, from trump's son to meadows, if she is applying pressure on this
justice department to do exactly what she is asking. answer this question, did donald trump, through action or inaction directly seek to impede congress's official proceedings? >> i don't know, but she seems to have a good sense of the type of things that will drive them, and drive trump crazy. and she leans into that as much as she can, and sort of has this moment this week where she effectively, was able to raise the question of criminality while at the same time disclosing new details that really embarrass the right, embarrass fox news and embarrass, you know, well i don't think trump was embarrassed but were embarrassing to trump, and it's just been interesting to see how she has thrust herself to the front of this committee. she is the public face of it right now. she is the most aggressive, most out there, you know, folks that we've spoken to say that behind the scenes, she is in every meeting, wants to be a part of
everything, wants to help decide who, what to do, what the next moves are and such, and it is, it's become a very interesting wrinkle of the story and of the larger cheney story of the american history where we have a new cheney who is leading a very, very, very aggressive effort. >> neil, just picking up on that conversation we had in the last block, and to mike's analysis, you know, liz cheney is the narrator of donald trump's potential criminality that the muller report never had. you had a report and there were great anecdotes particularly in the second volume, frankly, the first volume as well. but there was never anybody using donald trump's inner circle in their own words. the committee has not subpoenaed anyone who didn't vote for donald trump, anyone who didn't really want him to win. most of the people subpoenaed
were part of an effort to overthrow joe biden's win so these aren't people necessarily with creditability on the left in american politics, their entire cache is in trump's world and to the point of making trump mad, what two folks so far have said they will completely obstruct of committee. even those who have postponed have not taken the position of not giving them anything. mark meadows could face prison time, turning over some of the most devastating evidence again donald trump. where do you think this is heading? >> first of all i think liz cheney is doing something that's vital to the the press race of american democracy. she labeled me as par of the al qaeda seven, and ran ads against me, but i have to respect, with every ounce of my being, respect what she's doing.
for recording for history, she made everyone record their vote on the meadows' contempt citation. she's playing exactly right. i don't think she's doing it because she trying to make donald trump mad. she's doing it because there's a fundamental threat to our democracy. that's what she wants to get to the bottom of the the reason why i think this is different -- i think mike schmidt is different, trump has always surrounded himself with clowns. the difference is with the russia and mueller investigation, it was hard to understand the harm. colluding with secret discussions, it's hard to note exactly what the harm to the united states was. you and i are broth horrified about that, but it's different when you have an image of our capital under attack and you have documents like the powerpoint presentation that underscore this was something
done by a bunch of people perhaps at the highest levels of our government. that's why you see mark meadows who's cooperating to some extent, and others not ruling out cooperation, because this is just a different animals than something abstract, as bad as that colluding was. neal, as someone who served with liz cheney, makes me sweat a bit that she called you that. liz cheney seems at least just as motivated by the ongoing threat, by the fact we have -- and we've spent the last two hours covering thefts efforts, day after day, hour after hour, precinct by precinct, people unraveling if the -- liz cheney spent a lot of time after the invasion of iraq making sure
that democracy was stood up and that it had -- that their elections meant something. liz cheney watching the unravels of american democracy in real time is, to me, an equally lethal threat to donald trump, maybe not criminally, but certainly reputationally. you know, liz cheney is acting just as much as a historian as she is a prosecutor or an investigator. when you go to the national archives, one of the big signs on the right is the past it prologue. i think one of the big motivations is not because she's out to get donald trump. it's really to uncover what happened, because if she and the committee can get to the bottom of what happened and tell the story to the american people, i think there's a belief on that committee and a belief more generally among members of congress that that can help get our democracy back on something of the right footing. you know, it's one thing if
trump is going to hide and his minions are going to hide behind executive privilege and all sorts of bogus arguments to hide the truth, but in that truth can come out, it just makes is harder to do some of the shenanigans that trump tried last time in 2024. >> clint, we talk a lot of times about the efforts to hold trump accountable that came up short. none of them had someone like liz cheney that had a ton of credibility, i would say the most of credibility off right. i know trump reigns supreme on this current gop, but it is different to have someone lie lid cheney that many someone, maybe, like -- not to override
the input, but to potential chunk away at some of it. is there any evidence that meadows' texts have a different sort of bearing in the information, disinformation, cyberwars? >> i've not seen it yet, nicolle, but i would note most of this bubble is peripheral social media platforms at this point, maybe watches cable news to some degrees, or maybe it's collected cuts from certainly broadcastses, so they're not engaged in anything fringe social media. the one part i do think matters and why having liz cheney, you know, out there, leading a lot of effort, there are still people who want to support the gop's agenda and have not had a way to reconcile that with what is the trump agenda, which is just a nonsensical smattering of policy issues that change from
time to time and resolve around a few hashtags or tweets. i do think it matters in the sense there is still a republican party out there that is adrift in a certain way. they're probably looking to try to understand what's going on. their information is constraint by that thought bubble, and i think for a large population, it doesn't say much. the breaking news we're covering with mike, clint and neal, the january 6th committee has issued a subpoena in the last 20 minutes for the author of a 38-page powerpoint that was turned over to the 1/6 committee ostensibly by mark meadows.
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thank you so much for lets us in your homes during these truly extraordinary times. we are greatively. jason, hi. >> i love your holiday design. it's fantastic. candycane. >> thank you. we start with breaking news in the magga -- maga probe. a major subpoena just revealed. the retired army colonel has been subpoenaed. they said to hear from t