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The Lead with Jake Tapper

January 6 Committee: Trump Planned To Director Supporters To Capitol On January 6; Cheney: Trump Tried To Call January 6 Committee Witness. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired July 12, 2022 - 16:00   ET


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: And you're watching THE LEAD as we continue our special coverage of the January 6th hearings. More shocking testimony and evidence in this latest installment of today's hearing, including texts, text messages we saw between senior Trump campaign aides in which one, Brad Parscale, described Trump on January 6th as, quote, calling for civil war. This week, I feel guilty for helping him win, Parscale wrote, asserting that Trump's rhetoric, quote, killed someone. That's after we knew of at least one death that day.

We saw evidence just now suggesting despite claims by Trump and his supporters that so many of the events that happened that day were spontaneous, Trump actually planned previously to march on the Capitol. He planned on pushing Vice President Pence to overturn the election in his speech. A push he had emphasized even further after Pence told him he wasn't going to follow his orders to overturn the election or at least attempt to do so.

And we just heard live testimony about the truly violent intentions of the far right militia the Oath Keepers, which had ties to Trump advisers Roger Stone and Mike Flynn, and about the degree to which Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol were following Trump's lead every step of the way.

But, Jamie Gangel, let's talk about this because what we just heard from the vice chair of the committee, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, from Wyoming, at the end there in addition to previewing some of Pat Cipollone's pending testimony that we're going to hear, taped testimony about Donald Trump's alleged dereliction of duty by not calling off the mob, we heard an allegation that a witness, one that we have not seen yet, received a phone call from Donald Trump, one that the witness did not take and referred to his attorneys or her attorneys.

And a suggestion by the vice chair, Liz Cheney, that this is witness tampering or at least an attempt to witness tamper, and that the Justice Department might want to consider taking some action.

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: No question about it. She ended the hearing with a bang, and to your point, she has -- and the committee has been very clear about concerns about witness tampering all along.

[16:00:10] She said President Trump tried to call a witness you have not yet seen, to your point, she's very precise. So this is not someone we have seen either in live or videotaped testimony. I was just able to confirm with a source of the committee the witness alerted their lawyer. The lawyer alerted us. And she very forcefully made the point that the committee is not going to stand for it.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's kind of a book end for her because she ended talking about explicitly saying that the DOJ should look into this. And she began with something more implicit, at the beginning of the day, which is Donald Trump is a 76-year-old man. He is not somebody who --

GANGEL: She's not an impressionable child.

BASH: She's not an impressionable child.

GANGEL: Right.

BASH: And to consider anything else is nonsense.

My understanding is that was a not so subtle call to the DOJ to say, listen, listen to what we're going to tell you, in addition to what we told you in the previous handful of hearings. Listen to what we're going to tell you. Watch what we're going to show you today, after he was told by officials on the federal level, inside the White House, on the state level, anybody who he could listen to, who actually knew what was going on, who had the evidence, especially Bill Barr.

He just looked for people who would tell him what he wanted to hear. And then what today showed was that when he didn't get those people to help him, he turned to the people he knew would listen, his Twitter followers, Oath Keepers.

TAPPER: Just to underline what we're seeing now, we're seeing, if you put the pictures back up, we're seeing images of some of the police officers that have already testified and specifically the one in the middle there, Sergeant Aquilino Gonell. Staff sergeant, he's a former U.S. Army sergeant, Iraq war veteran, who was so gravely wounded defending the Capitol on that day that as was announced by the co- chair of today's hearing, Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, he has to retire from the capitol police because of the wounds he sustained and big emotional moment for Staff Sergeant Gonell.

You saw Sheila Jackson Lee approach him just then and give him a hug. Sorry to interrupt. Obviously, this was also something we can't ignore, because --

BASH: It's the reality. It's the real one of the many, many real life implications of what happened, which is the people who were there to protect and serve were overrun by this mob.

TAPPER: Abby, I have to point out also, like you and I talked about this, the Republican Party likes to pretend that it's -- not pretend, it likes to present itself as a pro-police party, and yet they are completely AWOL when it comes to defending these policemen. DANA BASH, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. This is in

the context of a multi-year effort on the part of former President Trump to claim that the other political party, the Democrats, are in the pocket with Antifa and extremist groups. There's never been evidence of that.

Today, we have evidence of former President Trump egging on extremist groups who were armed. He knew they were armed based on the testimony that we have heard. He heard them from in the Oval Office and sent a tweet encouraging them as they were marching on the Capitol, he did nothing to discourage them from violence.

The evidence is laid out here of a president with very close ties to violent extremist groups, including groups that according to the people who testified today, were anti-Semitic, were racist, were all sorts of things that even this individual Jason Van Tatenhove, he was so appalled by what he experienced, he actually left that group. These were the people that Trump was saying, come on in to Washington, and they were also largely responsible for the coordinated attack on the Capitol.

You heard Jamie Raskin in parts of his testimony talking about some of these leaders stopping on their way to Washington to purchase weapons, shipping tens of thousands of dollars worth of paramilitary equipment to a site closer to Washington all in preparation for January 6th.


BASH: If I may quickly add, the most chilling part of both of their testimony wasn't just what happened in the past. It's their concern for the future. You think what happened was bad, just wait until if he's nominated or if he's president again.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And the best parts of a good trial are the presentation of granular detail and a timeline. Steve Bannon has a phone call with Donald Trump, moments later, he's on his podcast saying tomorrow is going to be wild like nothing you have ever seen.

The president of the United States, that morning, has a phone call with Mike Pence who again for a final time refuses to do what the president wants, which is essentially to break the law, ignore the Constitution, and not count the Electoral College votes, and Trump then orders inserted back into the speech, the legal staff had taken out any references to Mike Pence in the speech at the ellipse. Trump, Mike Pence says no, Donald Trump says put it back in the speech. Not only gives those lines but ad-libs a few other lines, criticizing Mike Pence.

It's the granular detail along the timeline where the committee, it's like you're in a courtroom with the prosecution.

TAPPER: Yeah, absolutely.

Erin Burnett, let me throw to you. Really quite a shocking day of testimony, disturbing, upsetting, a lot to chew on. ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: So much, and you know, with the tweets, with

the text messages, you know, we saw it laid out so clearly.

Laura Coates, let me start with you.

When we look legally here, what they're trying to establish, right, with each of these points of focus, and today the lead-up to January 6th, is what did Trump know, when did he know it, what did he direct? Today they made significant progress on that front.

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: They did except for the last aspect of it, what did he direct? I think they fell short in trying to establish very clearly that Donald Trump gave a coherent order that then was followed, the instructions. Not through intimation. Of course, you're talking about a court of law. It's more than just the idea of a suggestion and innuendo. It has to be a conspiracy, it has to be that we had a meeting of the minds, that what I'm intending you to do I know is criminal and you're doing that.

In the conspiracy charges against the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, you would have to have a conspiracy and a plan. What they did lay out very well here, Erin, was the idea that this was not coincidence. This is not happenstance. It wasn't as if on January 6th they had an epiphany and said let's all gather today here.

BURNETT: No spontaneity, that's gone.

COATES: They knew all this, and remember, the phrase put up or shut up, which Pat Cipollone talked about. Put up or shut up.

There was no evidence to support the fact that any of what the people were being told at the Capitol was legitimate. There was no widespread fraud. Trump knew that. His team told him, his lawyers told him. He still decided here is the last-ditch effort.

I will summon these people to come here and then do what you will.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: And he knew there were weapons in the crowd. This is so important. So the last hearing, we know there were weapons in the crowd. He didn't care about that. He still wanted to march on the Capitol.

Now we have an archival draft tweet that wasn't sent, which talked about going to the Capitol. We have Katrina Pierson after a phone call with Mark Meadows sent an email to organizers saying, well, the president wants to call on everyone to march to the Capitol, but she was afraid to tell the Park Police because she didn't have a permit for that.

And so we now know, as you were saying, not spontaneous. This was organized. Who was the person inspiring it? As Ayres said, I was hanging on every word he was saying.

So Donald Trump was behind it. And he refused to stop it. And as soon as he did try and stop it, the crowd went away. BURNETT: How effective, Elie, were those two witnesses, right? The

former believers, right, who were there at the behest of the president?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I think the witness who stormed the capitol was quite effective because what he drove home to me is that Donald Trump and the people around him knew exactly which buttons to press. They knew how to convey a message over social media, they knew and understand the impact of the "will be wild" tweet, and many follow-up tweets. Donald Trump went on a campaign to promote this.

They understood that these people will listen to us, react in a big way. We saw the scenes from the rallies from the oath keepers and different groups parading the fact that Donald Trump had called them to action, potentially called them to arms, and they understood and both sides understood Donald Trump absolutely had the power to call them off.

That last witness said if he had told us to leave, when he told us to leave at 4:17, we left. If he had done that hours earlier, we would have left then.

BURNETT: When did you leave? Basically I left because POTUS says to go.

So, the overall point, Audie, that Liz Cheney introduced here that they were trying to make is there's no way that the former president can say oh, I just believed it, even in spite of being told that this was all false.


AUDIE CORNISH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's a 76-year-old man and no one can tell him what to do.

BURNETT: Right. Let's play that -- let's play that, so everyone can hear in case they didn't hear it at the time. Here it is.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): President Trump is a 76-year-old man. He is not an impressionable child. Donald Trump had access to more detailed and specific information showing that the election was not actually stolen than almost any other American, and he was told this over and over again.

No rational or sane man in his position could disregard that information and reach the opposite conclusion. And Donald Trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind.



CORNISH: One of the things I found interesting that you brought up about the witness Steven Ayres is the line of questioning seemed to imply something the happened to him. Not that he had been willingly drawn into a movement, participated in essentially a very high-profile moment of his own volition. And there's something about that, hearing Jamie Raskin somehow say that what he went through and what the election worker went through who suffered from Trump's lies is sort of the same, like everybody was a victim somehow of the president's machinations to hold on to power.

It feels like they're somehow trying to speak to multiple audiences here and say, hey, even if you believe some of this, here's an off- ramp for you. It's not your fault. It's Trump's fault.

And it was just sort of like an oddly personal interesting line of questioning in the way they framed it. These guys are here because they went there on purpose. No one dragged them there.

BORGER: And Donald Trump is always the one who perceives himself as the victim here, in everything. And what the committee is doing is saying, no, no, no. Donald Trump is not the victim of a fake election. Donald Trump is not the victim of people saying he organized this rally, blah, blah, blah.

CORNISH: He said I felt like I had horse blinders on.

COATES: They want to alienate everyone for that reason. This is not a criminal prosecution where you're trying to persuade the jurors who already feel that emotional distance and don't feel any blame. You're talking about how Ayres talked about being the everyday person, a family man, working man, kind of honing on that point.

But there is a part that you and I talked about, the idea of Brad Parscale and his comment about what was -- every puppet for the marionette to be the cause has to have the string. And that seemed to be the rhetoric statement that they made. The idea of talking to Katrina Pierson, hey, I feel --

BURNETT: A text exchange.

COATES: They're talking about the idea of I feel badly for helping get elected and the rhetoric, it's the rhetoric. That to me was what this hearing was about. Less than it was about the direct causal effect and saying, hey, Donald Trump said X statement, it gave this instruction. Someone then followed. It was more of the contextual of here's the string of rhetoric.

BURNETT: And, Elie, to that point, the text exchange with Katrina Pierson, right, he says the rhetoric, right, whether that mattered. Katrina goes no, and he goes, Katrina, period, yes, it was.

HONIG: Yeah.

BURNETT: And, later, Brad Parscale turns around again and tries to get back in Trump's good graces, but at that moment, he spoke. At that moment, he said the rhetoric matters and then we saw those people who went there that day. They went there because of the rhetoric. Rhetoric was reality. HONIG: It's such a fascinating text exchange because you saw Brad

Parscale who was the campaign manager for the most campaign, saying I bear responsibility for this. I helped him get elected. The rhetoric did it. Pierson says, no, you didn't. He says, yes, I did.

I will say, though, I do not buy the attempt to equate by the committee right there the people who stormed the Capitol with the Georgia election workers. To me, those are not comparable. Those are very different situations.

Look, Ms. Moss, Shaye Moss, the Georgia election worker --


HONIG: -- she is a victim. She is a hero. She is a person, a civilian who was doing her job, her public duty. She got dragged into this, she got falsely defamed.

Jason Ayres, he's a grown-up, too, Or Steven Ayres, excuse me, the man who stormed the Capitol.

BURNETT: Stephen Ayres, yeah.

HONIG: He's now a convicted federal criminal. He chose to go in there. Was he swayed? Yes. Did Donald Trump and others try to manipulate him? Yes, but he's personally responsible.

BURNETT: He's an agent, yes. Pause there, and next, Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton reacts to the new testimony about an unhinged White House and an admission by Trump's former campaign manager that the president's election lies were literally deadly.



TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD.

On a day of damning evidence about events inside the Trump White House and the lead-up to January 6th and on that day, we're getting new reaction to the stunning testimony in today's hearing, including what we heard from former White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

Let's go to CNN's Kaitlan Collins who is working her sources in Trump world even as she travels with President Biden on the other side of the planet.

Kaitlan, what are you hearing about former President Trump's reaction to Cipollone's testimony that we heard excerpts of today?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, the former president certainly had some trepidation when it was made clear that Cipollone was going to in and testify. And, you know, he didn't do it publicly in the way that Cassidy Hutchinson did, but really it's just as effective because there are these clips of Pat Cipollone's testimony. He was present for several of the key meetings.

We had seen some rebuttals of Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony by saying she was quoting second-hand information or things that she'd overheard.

Pat Cipollone was actually in a lot of these meetings. So, he was there able to flesh out these moments talking about the insane meeting in mid-December at the White House and what not. But also, there were moments where he went out of his way it seems almost to needle former President Trump when it came to how his reaction is going to be watching the clips. It was a moment where Pat Cipollone was talking about the role that Vice President Pence played that day by not doing what Trump had suggested he do.

And unprompted, Cipollone stopped the part of his testimony, part of his interview, and said he wanted to say something about Pence, and this is what he said, Jake.


PAT CIPOLLONE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I thought that the vice president didn't have the authority to do what was being suggested under a proper reading of the law.


I conveyed that. And I think I actually -- somebody in the vice president's just blame me. I think the vice president did the right thing. I think he did the courageous thing. I think he did a great service to this country. And I think I suggested to somebody that he should be given the presidential Medal of Freedom for his actions.


COLLINS: It was a notable moment, Jake, where Pat Cipollone went out of his way to heap praise on pence and what he did that day. While some may dispute whether or not Pence deserves the presidential Medal of Freedom for not doing something he was not constitutionally able to do, I do think that's a moment where Trump is looking at clips of people he spend so much time with, Ivanka Trump is one of them, and they have been enraging him, moments where she talked about believing Bill Barr when he said there was no widespread election fraud.

It is hard to see, Jake, where this is not one of those moments of Cipollone, someone who is in key moments with Trump, heaping praise unprompted on Pence saying that he believed he deserved the presidential Medal of Freedom.

TAPPER: Yeah, that's going to bother the former president, and so much about all of this is about the feelings of Donald Trump.

Joining us now to discuss, Trump's former national security adviser, Ambassador John Bolton.

Thanks so much for being here. So Pat Cipollone became White House counsel in 2018 when you were

still working as national security adviser. What did you make of the excerpts we heard of his testimony today?

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER UNDER TRUMP: It was very revealing of what he was telling Donald Trump, and quite accurately, on matters of the constitution and law. I certainly had some disagreements with Pat in the effort to suppress my book, but I want to say on this occasion and on many others.

But on this one in particular, he stood tall. He did the right thing. He told the president his best legal judgment. And we should give him a round of applause for his steadfastness.

TAPPER: If not a presidential Medal of Freedom.

BOLTON: Why not?

TAPPER: I guess we're handing them out now.

I do want to ask, it does seem as though the president, and this is not a new phenomenon, but the president would go to experts, even people who were loyal to him, like Pat Cipollone. If you're the White House counsel in November 2020, you have been loyal to Donald Trump. Get advice, not listen to the advice, not heed the advice, and keep shopping around until you end up with this group of misfits, like Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell. Is he just not capable of hearing no?

BOLTON: Well, when it comes to his personal advantage, the answer is he doesn't listen to anybody else. But I think it's also important to understand, while nothing Donald Trump did after the election in connection with the lie about the election fraud, none of it is defensible. None of it is defensible.

It's also a mistake, as some people have said, including on the committee, the commentators, that somehow this was a carefully planned coup d'etat aimed at the Constitution. That's not the way Donald Trump does things. It's rambling from one half vast idea to another. One plan that falls through and another comes up. That's what he was doing.

As I say, none of it defensible. But you have to understand the nature of what the problem of Donald Trump is. He's -- to use a Star Wars metaphor, a disturbance in the force. And it's not an attack on our democracy. It's Donald Trump looking out for Donald Trump. It's a once in a lifetime occurrence.

TAPPER: I don't know that I agree with you, to be fair with all due respect. One doesn't have to be brilliant to attempt a coup.

BOLTON: I disagree with that. As somebody who has helped plan coup d'etat, not here, but other places, it takes a lot of work. And that's not what he did. It was just stumbling around from one idea to another. Ultimately, he did unleash the rioters at the Capitol, as to that, there's no doubt. But not overthrow the Constitution, to buy more time to throw the

matter back to the states to try to redo the issue. And if you don't believe that, you're going to overreact. And I think that's a real risk for the committee, which has done a lot of good work, mostly when the witnesses testify, not when the members are opining.

It is invariably the case that when you go too far, try to prove your case, you undermine it. And I think you got to give credit to the intelligence of the American people to listen to the witnesses and let them come to the conclusion. And I think the fellow who had actually gone into the Capitol who said today that he had blinders on and he was too loyal to one person, that is the central point.

TAPPER: Yeah, no, it's something, and as I think Laura Coates said or somebody said earlier, an offering for a lot of Trump supporters and a lot of people who maybe were inclined to believe the lie that they were being fed, not only by Trump but others in other parts of the media and political ecosystem.


Let's talk about the testimony today. Cipollone testified that Trump allies failed to put up the evidence. He kept saying where's the evidence? Where's the evidence? Which, of course, they could never do, not in a court of law after court of law after court of law. Not before election boards.

He called out Sidney Powell specifically denouncing her plan to seize state voting machines. I think Michael Flynn was on board with that, too. Bill Barr evidently agreed. So, take a listen.


WILLIAM BARR, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: My recollection is the president said something like, well, we could get to the -- some people say we could get to the bottom of this if the department seized the machines. It was a typical way of raising a point.

And I said, absolutely not. There's no probable cause. And I'm not going to seize any machines. And that was that.


TAPPER: This idea, which Pat Cipollone said you're not going to do that, that's crazy. There's no legal way to do that, et cetera.

Why do you think Trump embraced this idea, which wouldn't have proven anything?

BOLTON: Well, I think he was grasping at straws. I think when he tried one idea and that didn't fly, he went to another. This is the way Trump makes decisions. It's not from A to B to C. It's as I said, an archipelago of dots unrelated to one another. You could try to draw a line through them, but he can't even draw a line through it.

TAPPER: Brad Parscale, who worked for the Trump campaign, he texted Katrina Pierson who also worked for the Trump campaign on January 6th. We saw the text messages today in which Parscale says, describes Trump as a sitting president asking for civil war. And then directly blames Trump's rhetoric for the death of Ashli Babbitt, the Trump supporter who was killed by a Capitol police officer as she tried to break into the House chambers.

So then the question becomes, Brad Parscale has since met with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago.

Can you explain as somebody who was not a cult member, but somebody who was in with this group of Trump insiders, why so many people who seem to be horrified and shocked by Trump's behavior have a tough time leaving the circle?

BOLTON: It beats me, honestly. I don't know why the phenomenon exists, but it's certainly very strong. And this is -- this is another example of it.

But you see it in members of Congress who on January 6th or the day after said this is it, I have had my ride, and they're right back on to Mar-a-Lago. It's a big mistake. It's a big mistake for the Republican Party.

We are not the party of a man on a white horse. We are a party of conservative philosophy. And if we get back to that, and I think we will, we're going to overcome the problem.

This is another place, I want to be clear here, I think the committee, some of the members of the committee are going too far. Congressman Raskin at the end of the hearing today talked about the Republican Party having a problem of authoritarianism. That is flatly wrong. Not to mention insulting, but flatly wrong.

What he's trying to do is use Trump, about whom I'll say it again, I have nothing good to say, he's trying to use Donald Trump to anathematize the rest of the Republican Party and that's unacceptable.

TAPPER: I do want to ask a follow-up when we were talking about what is capable, what you need to do to plan a coup, and you cited your expertise having planned coups.

BOLTON: I'm not going to get into the specifics.

TAPPER: Successful coups.

BOLTON: I wrote about Venezuela in the book, and it turned out not to be successful. Not that we had all that much to do with it, but I saw what it took for an opposition to try to overturn an illegally elected president. And they failed.

The notion that Donald Trump was half as competent as the Venezuelan opposition is laughable. But I think there's --

TAPPER: I feel like there's other stuff you're not telling me.

BOLTON: I'm sure there is. I think there's another point here that came out in the testimony

that's not been stressed enough. Testimony, deposition testimony by I think his name was Donnell Harvin (ph), I may have taken that down wrong, the chief of intelligence and homeland security for the District of Columbia government who said we were watching Twitter after Trump's tweet calling for the demonstration on January 6th.

We saw all of these implications, all of the concerns about the violence. Want to know where the rest of the government was, and I particularly want to know where members of Congress were if this was so evident at the time, why there wasn't more security on the Hill long before the demonstrators ever turned up.

TAPPER: No, that's a good question, absolutely. I think a lot of people who lived here and were paying attention were aware there was a real potential for violence.

BOLTON: I hope the committee gets into that. That's important.

TAPPER: I agree.

John Bolton, thank you so much.

Coming up, I'm going to talk with Jamie Raskin, whom the ambassador just had some observations about, about today's hearing, and his take on how it went.

Plus, after Raskin said Watergate break-in was a Cub Scout meeting compared to the events on January 6th, Watergate star witness John Dean will weigh in. We'll see if he agrees, as our special coverage continues.

Stay with us.


BURNETT: January 6th committee made the case today that president Trump issued a call to arms to extremists and other supporters. And that directly led to the insurrection and the brutal assault on officers defending the U.S. Capitol.

Evan Perez joins me now.

So, Evan, how -- you take the totality of what we just saw, how could this testimony that we saw and those two gentlemen sitting there who were there on the insurrection day, you know, ready to fight for Trump. How does this affect the criminal cases at stake?


EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's not clear that the committee really made that connection, Erin, to be honest. I mean, we were waiting to hear things that were new to some of the criminal cases that are already ongoing, as you might recall, there's already a number of Proud Boys and a number of Oath Keepers who were charged by the Justice Department. And one of the things that the lawyers for at least the Oath Keepers

who are awaiting trial were concerned about and considering asking for a delay in trial, because they did not know what was going to come from the committee. The only thing we heard today was this allegation from the committee that Stewart Rhodes had shipped $7,000 worth of tactical gear to a rally planner for January 6th. We talked to Stewart Rhodes' attorney, and he has denied that happened. So, it's not clear whether that changes any of the things that we know is ongoing from the criminal cases.

The other thing we know is obviously the committee was trying very hard to connect what happened with the violence with what Trump was doing. And I think, again, if you're a prosecutor and you're trying to make that connection, I don't think they necessarily got there today. Because, you know, again, you have to sort of get to the mindset of what Donald Trump was thinking.

And you know, everything we have heard from even from the witnesses today is that he still was claiming that he really did believe that he won the election. And so, again, it's one of those things that I think there's a lot more work for prosecutors to do for the investigators to do, to be able to make that connection, and there are other ways that they might get to the former president, including, of course, his deep involvement with the electors and the fake electors plot they were trying to come up with.

BURNETT: All right. Evan Perez, thank you very much.

And John Dean is with me now.

So, John Dean, you know, two of the individuals that we saw there today, Jason Van Tatenhove and Steven Ayres, were there on that day, right? You know, ready to topple the government if they could.

Today, Jason Van Tatenhove says we need to stop mincing words. That was the whole goal was to spark a new civil war. Steven Ayres said I waited and waited. And I only left basically because the president said to leave.

How compelling were they?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I thought they were powerful witnesses because they were speaking from the heart. This is what they felt. This is how they had performed. They know they had made a mistake.

They rethought their position now. And they realize the power of this man. They were really classic authoritarian followers following the leader.

BURNETT: We're watching them there as they stood and took their oath. When you look at the totality of what we saw today, right, the goal to lay out clearly one of the key goals was that this was a premeditated act, that this was a premeditated march, that the president, we already know he knew this was an armed crowd. It was not spontaneous.

We have several tweets, one of the organizers who was there that day, Ali Alexander on January on 5th, he texts, Trump is supposed to order to the Capitol at the end of --


DEAN: -- one. But they made it look very spontaneous, the way they pulled it off. And they pulled it off successfully. As somebody said earlier, Trump really knows how to push the button of his base. And can really make them respond on command. And this was evidence of it.

BURNETT: And in this seventh hearing, what did you find the most powerful part?

DEAN: The ending. I found very powerful.

First, the live witnesses were strong. But Liz Cheney's call or calling out the fact that Trump had called a witness and the witness indeed had deflected the call --

BURNETT: A call in the past week, just in the past few days.

DEAN: Yes, and passed it on to the attorney. Makes me very curious who it was because as we were talking, we would all take the call and want to hear him talk and record it if we could.

BURNETT: Right, right, and this person did not -- did not take the call so we don't know what he was going to say. I guess it pertains to something like witness tampering.

DEAN: We will hear more.

BURNETT: We will definitely hear more. You also heard Jamie Raskin, who I know Jake is going to be speaking with later, say next week is going to be profound. It's going to be profound. Their final hearing when they go through minute by minute as Liz Cheney said, what happened.


What do they still need to prove, John?

DEAN: Well, their goal is to lay it out so people can really understand each element of how this occurred. I don't think they're building a criminal case.

BURNETT: You don't think they are?

DEAN: I don't think they are, but I think a criminal case is going to come out of it. And I don't see how the line prosecutors at the Department of Justice can't take a lot of this evidence and use it, a lot of these people who are involved in this are going to be in front of a grand jury if they're not already. And Trump is in trouble. Trump is in trouble.

BURNETT: Criminally, do you think they have made that case?

DEAN: I think they're close.

BURNETT: They're close. That's why we'll see how profound next week is. John Dean, thank you so very much.

And next, the former Trump White House insiders who share their reactions to today's hearing including details about that Oval Office meeting, the crucial one that exploded into a chaotic and profane shouting match.



TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD and our special coverage of today's January 6th committee hearing. The committee revealing new details about an explosive White House meeting weeks after the election that turned into a chaotic epithet filled shouting match over seizing voting machines and appointing a conspiracy theorist at special counsel.

We're joined now by two former members of the Trump White House, Stephanie Grisham, who served as White House press secretary, and Olivia Troye, who was a top adviser to Vice President Pence.

Thanks both of you for being with us again.

Stephanie, let me start with you, because one of the stunning parts of the testimony was about that, I think it was December 19th meeting, where you had all these conspiracy theorists and the guy from Overstock and Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell and Rudy, all of them coming up with these crazy theories and the White House counsel Pat Cipollone and others trying to push back on these deranged schemes.

Let's run some of what Pat Cipollone had to say.


PAT CIPOLLONE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I opened the door and I walked in. I saw General Flynn. I saw Sidney Powell sitting there. I was not happy to see the people in the Oval Office.


CIPOLLONE: The Overstock person, I didn't know who this guy was. Actually the first thing I did, I walked in, I looked at him and said, who are you? And he told me.

I don't think -- I don't think any of these people were providing the president with good advice. And so I didn't understand how they had gotten in.


TAPPER: One senses if you got a beer in Pat Cipollone, he might be more descriptive about these individuals other than they weren't going to provide him with good advice.

But let me ask you, how did these people get into the White House? STEPHANIE GRISHAM, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: They

contact people, anybody that will sneak them in. Wave them in. It's not that hard.

Also, the president would demand they would come in, and when the president tells you I want somebody to come in, you have to get them in because he will keep asking where are they. It's interesting because with that particular video, I was taken back to impeachment number one. We had almost the exact same scenario in the dining room off the oval.

Jenna Ellis wanted to be appointed special counsel and the president was going to do it. We had to get Pat in there. Again, Pat was like this is not a good idea. I don't feel she's giving you great advice.

And it turned into a melee and there was yelling and Pat stood his ground, to his credit. And he said I will leave here if you do this. So, it brought back such a memory of that situation. It rang very, very true to me. It was one of many crazy meetings that happened.

TAPPER: One other thing -- an interesting decision that the committee went with today had to do with testimony that Ivanka Trump gave that was immediately in the video cutting contradicted by Ivanka Trump's chief of staff. Having to do with whether or not Ivanka was trying to calm Donald Trump down, I think on the day of January 6th.

Let's roll that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Been reported that you ultimately decided to attend the rally because you hoped you would calm the president and keep the event on an even keel. Is that accurate?

IVANKA TRUMP, SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDEN TRUMP: No. I don't know who said that or where that came from.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She could tell based on the conversations and what was going on in the office that he was angry and upset, and people were providing misinformation. And she felt like she might be able to help calm the situation down.


TAPPER: I mean, they seem to be suggesting that Ivanka Trump wasn't telling the truth.

OLIVIA TROYE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER TO MIKE PENCE: Yeah, I found that really interesting because I don't know why she would be sort of embarrassed of that other than she's probably scared of her father like many of these people, because she's been known to be the person where people would send in when you wanted to talk him off the ledge or when you wanted to advise him that what he was doing was wrong. She was one of the people that was relied upon. I'm sure Stephanie can attest to that.


TROYE: So, I think it's interesting. So, guarantee her chief of staff is telling the truth because they probably were saying, okay, if anyone, Ivanka, can you go in and at least, you know, tell him to do something?

TAPPER: And in fact, Stephanie, when Cassidy Hutchinson testified a couple weeks ago, you posted on Twitter a screen shot of a text that you wrote to First Lady Ivanka Trump on January 6th, do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American but there's no place for lawlessness and violence, to which the first lady wrote back, no.

GRISHAM: Correct. So, I mean, as Olivia was saying as we were talking about with Ivanka, a lot of times we would go to family members. I would also go to Ms. Trump. That is why I worked with her for so long, I really thought that we can make an impact in that regard. So the day she said no to me was -- it broke my heart knowing her like I did.


She'd often been the voice of reason.

She was upstairs. She was in the middle of a photo shoot for a rug, and you know, the tweet is not political. It literally just says there's no room for violence. It's not saying anything else. She said no.

I do want to say about today's testimony that Stephen Ayres really, he really brought down the power -- not brought down, but lifting up actually the power of Trump's Twitter account. And it made me think of that the president knew what kind of power he has.

I can't tell you how many times he would say, get ready, kids. Let's watch this. Let's watch this. Every network is going to put this up.

He loved to watch when he would tweet something. Same thing, he would say let's watch this, the stock market is going to go up. We would sit in front of TVs and watch the power of his tweets.

And so I think that's really, really important to think about when you think of what Stephen Ayres said. He knew the power he had. And he did get people to come here.

TAPPER: That's interesting.

And the testimony from the unnamed Twitter executive about how they talked about how Donald Trump was planning this violent event weeks ahead of time. If he had not been the president, they would have banned him from Twitter long before.

You said that was resonant with you. that --

TROYE: Yeah.

TAPPER: That brought back some feelings. TROYE: Yeah, I was thinking about that because look, I handled

homeland security for Vice President Pence. I have seen the rhetoric and how it gets picked up by some of these extremist groups.

I have seen it in terms of mass shootings in the past related to the Pittsburgh synagogue where they post on Gab, where they repeat some of the lines the president has said. I saw it in the El Paso shooting where my aunt was in the Walmart during the shooting. Thankfully, she was okay.

But all that rhetoric gets picked up. Hearing the Twitter employee talk about sort of the concern there, I had those same concerns leading up to January 6th for myself and my family, knowing that this was going to galvanize a lot of people to descend upon Washington, D.C. in a very dangerous way. I had to figure out the security for me and my family.

And very honestly, I was concerned for my former boss. I was watching --

TAPPER: Vice President Pence.

TROYE: Absolutely. I was concerned about Mike Pence's life and his family and the staff that were going to be there that day because I knew that it was going to be violent.

TAPPER: So, one of the things that I was wondering about is because, look, Cesar Sayoc was a Trump fan who was arrested and I believe he's in prison, he sent pipe bombs to CNN, to Barack Obama, to a bunch of other people. You went in and told Vice President Pence about this, right?

Tell me about that experience, because the idea of Trump causing violence did not happen -- it did not start on January 6th.

TROYE: No, it's been a pattern of behavior, and this is something I think the national security community has wrestled where. Look, I was his adviser at the time. I have to tell you the White House culture, it is one of fear.

And you got to be careful. You tread carefully with how you're going to brief things. I remember that day very clearly when I had found out and had been briefed that it was a MAGA supporter that he was extremely loyal to Trump, they had found a lot of MAGA supporting gear that he had attended the rallies, and I went in to brief the chief of staff, to the vice president and Mike Pence himself, to talk about this.

I was told by a superior to be careful because I was walking a fine line here because it was a Trump supporter sending this off, and I was like the fact of the matter is, this person put many people's lives in danger, media in danger, political figures in danger. This is not okay.

TAPPER: And they don't care because if they're supporters, they're supporters, even if they cause violence. GRISHAM: Absolutely. If you will support him publicly, loudly, in any

capacity, it's a supporter, and that's why he will not denounce them.

Today was tough. Today was really tough to watch. It brought up a lot of feelings of anxiety here.

TAPPER: I'll bet.

Coming up next, a slew of shocking developments from today's hearing including what Donald Trump's former campaign manager thought in real time about the riot and the fact that Trump's rhetoric had, quote, killed someone.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: And welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

The January 6th committee presenting a number of shocking details today including evidence that Michael Flynn and roger stone worked with far right militia leaders ahead of the Capitol riot. The committee also playing new video of testimony of then White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Ivanka Trump about whether they believed Trump should concede the election despite his insistence falsely that he won.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you, in your mind, form a belief that the president should concede the election loss at a certain point after the election?

CIPOLLONE: Well, again, I was the White House counsel. Some of those decisions are political. So to the extent that -- but if your question is did I believe he should concede the election at a point in time? Yes, I did.

I believe Leader McConnell went on to the floor of the Senate, I believe in mid-December, and basically said the process is done. That would be in line with my thinking on these things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: December 14th was the day on which the Electoral College met. It was obviously a public proceeding or series of proceedings that President Biden had obtained the requisite number of electors. Was that an important day for you? Did that affect your planning or your realization as to whether or not there was going to be an end of this administration?

IVANKA TRUMP: I think so. I think it was my sentiment probably prior as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP TAPPER: Let's go to CNN's Ryan Nobles on Capitol Hill. And, Ryan, you just caught up with the chairman of the committee, Congressman Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, talking about possible future witnesses, including Mike Pence?