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Biden: We Cannot Accept Political Violence as the Norm; Pelosi Leads Moment of Silence to Mark Horror of Insurrection; Moment of Silence on House Floor to Mark Capitol Insurrection; Rep. Phillips Spearheads Bill to Make Jan 6 "Democracy Day"; Rep. Phillips: "On a mission to repair Democracy". Aired 12-12:30p ET
Aired January 06, 2022 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN HOST, INSIDE POLITICS: Will you see the Capitol police officers? They tried valiantly, desperately with the help of Metropolitan Police Officers to hold the line that day.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know it is kind of, I didn't expect when I came up here. You live with it every day because you walk these halls every day, but to be here one year later, there is a heavy sense of trauma in the air. It's palpable, it's really almost hard to describe. And we do that for a living.
And I felt it, just the minute I got out of the car, but also in talking to the officers who are behind us right now one after another, having trying hard not to have tears in their eyes. One told me he couldn't sleep last night, because the images of people scaling the walls of the Capitol, were - are indelible in his mind. And he just he can't get over it.
Another saying, you know, a year ago today, in just a couple of hours, I had pepper spray, in my eyes. These are the people who we have to remember because they were working so hard to do every day, but so hard to protect the Capitol and the people they sworn oath to protect. And they felt really, really helpless.
KING: And we're waiting to hear from the speaker who was an institutionalist. She wants to remember this day and it should be remembered this day should never be forgotten. As I mentioned at the top Manu, there are people who would just want to forget about it, whitewash it, minimize it. And that to me is a continuation of the attack.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the impact of January 6th continues to linger as Dana pointed out so eloquently there, but not just on the people who tried to save this building from attack, but also on the politics itself.
It just has deteriorated to a place where I have certainly never seen particularly in the House chamber where the speakers gaveling in right now, John will be interested to see how many Republicans actually participate in today's proceedings. Most of them are not coming back to the Capitol on the Senate side. The Republicans are on Johnny Isakson, the late Senators Memorial Services in Georgia. So this is going to be mostly a Democratic event, remembering what happened today when, at that moment, that time, as I said, people came out and they were stunned. They were guessed, they were they were distraught about what happened.
And they were criticizing Donald Trump a year later that's just not the case for most Republicans.
KING: And as we wait to hear from the speaker, a woman, you know very well, the most powerful woman in American politics, no offense to the Vice President of the United States, either. But let's suppose for a long time has been the most powerful woman in American politics now shares that I guess you would say what the Vice President of United States.
We heard this morning from the president who came back into Statuary Hall, where we saw some of the violence go through right there, just an incredibly powerful speech from the President of the United States about what is at stake one year later, trying to shake people who just want to say it was a bad day, let's let it go the president saying a hell of a lot more than that.
BASH: You know there's so much to say about the words he used about how remarkable it was to call to need to call the former president, his predecessor, the man he beat a liar. But what struck me in listening to him was the fact that he even needed to give that speech that here we are one year later, and other events that we have borne witness to as journalists, 9/11 comes to mind when we mark those moments, we come together in a non-political way, in a way that addresses what we all saw and felt with our own two eyes.
The fact that here we are one year later. And there we were, maybe a month later, not even days after the actual attack on this Capitol behind us. And there is not a shared sense of events because of the former president and the people who amplify his lies. Somehow convincing people that what they saw didn't actually happen.
And the fact that, that event divided us more as opposed to unite us the way so many events like that has happened in our history. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around.
KING: Well, and again, this is still a crime scene. It has been cleaned up most of the repairs have been done, but the investigation into what happened, continues. And again, this is an opinion, we're not supposed to be in the opinion business, but on this day, that the crime continues when people will not - people will not own up that we do not have as you mentioned a moment of unity.
Do we not have the Republican Leader of the House is not picking part of this today, the Republican Leader of the Senate is using forgive me the excuse of a memorial service for a Republican Senator who did pass away with the scheduling of that memorial service. If you believe it's a coincidence, then you know, I'll tell you a bridge that they're not here today tells you just enormous about the just how ridiculously sadly polarized this town is. RAJU: Yes, no question about that.
KING: Let's listen to the House Speaker.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The Chair will address the Chamber. Today, one year ago, the Capitol and those who work within it were targeted in a violent insurrection that sought to undermine democracy. As we acknowledge the horror of that day, we honor the heroism of so many, particularly U.S. Capitol Police, institutional staff floor leadership, committee and member staff.
We had a session this morning where we could say thank you to many of them unfortunately COVID did not enable us to have the full house.
PELOSI: We will have another time when the attending physician allows. But as we acknowledge the horror of that day, in the face of extreme danger, they all risked their safety for our democracy by protecting the Capitol Complex members, staff, press et cetera.
Press within safeguarding the ballots in those mahogany boxes set up to validate the election and ensuring that Congress could accomplish our purpose and honor our duty to the Constitution and to our country. That day in and the days after, they were the defenders of our democracy, and their courage and patriotism, remain an inspiration.
Because of them Congress was able to defeat the insurrection to return to the Capitol that same night to ensure that the peaceful transfer of power took place because of them and our members. The insurrection failed.
One year later, this sacred space where members legislate children learn visitors are welcomed, was defiled and damaged we know that. As we reflect on that darkest day, we remember that the insurrection sought not only to attack the building, but to undermine democracy itself.
When the violent assault was made on the Capitol, its purpose was to thwart Congress's constitutional duty to validate the electoral count and to ensure the peaceful transfer of power. But the assault did not deter us from our duty, I say again, and this Capitol, a symbol of democracy to the world that evening, the Congress because of the courage of all of you, rose to honor her oath and protect our democracy.
We did so honoring the words of President Lincoln during the Civil War. Fellow citizens he said we cannot escape history. We will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare us one or another. We hold the power. Therefore, we bear the responsibility Lincoln said.
Today we accept responsibility as daunting and demanding as any previous generations of leadership had faced. Since the January 6 inspiration, there have been continued assaults on our democracy, undermining the sanctity of the voting and integrity of our elections, which are the basis of our democracy.
Let us be true to the vision of our founders who brilliantly established our democracy and made it a model for the world. Let us honor the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform who protect that freedom with their lives.
And let us remember the words of another president, our patriarch, George - President George Washington, when he delivered the constitution to the Congress. He said this, he said this constitution represents the creation of a government, which would allow for the continuation of rigorous debate, but relies upon the common sense and good faith of the American people to find the better angels of our nature.
As we proceed, let us find our common ground reach our nation's heights with liberty and justice for all remembering the words of our great patriarch, and in the spirit that our chaplain referenced of President Lincoln with malice toward none with charity toward all.
Let us acknowledge today. As I conclude, I want to acknowledge our fallen heroes of that day. U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, U.S. Capitol Police Officer Howard Livengood, Metropolitan Officer Jeffrey Smith, U.S. Capitol Police Officer Billy Evans of a later assault. Now I ask all members to rise for a moment of silence in their memory.
Thank you! Pursuant to section let them be of House resolution 188 the House stands adjourned until 6:30 pm On Monday, January 10th, 2022.
KING: The Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reflecting on what happened the horrible events that happened in that chamber in this Capitol on these grounds one year ago today, taking time at the end to pay tribute last for a moment of silence in honor of the police officers who lost their lives in the days immediately after the insurrection.
One of those options killed in a separate attack near the Capitol in the days after the insurrection. The House is now adjourned. CNN is told that as the Speaker spoke, the only Republicans in the Chamber were Liz Cheney, who was a member of the Select Committee investigating the insurrection and her father, the Former Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney, who was a member of the House Republican leadership back in the day.
BASH: Yes. And as you were speaking, you couldn't see because you're looking at the camera. The House Speaker came off the dais as and came down into the well to greet Liz Cheney and her father, Dick Cheney; you could see how kind of empty it was.
But the fact that she came down onto the floor and made a point of greeting him, and more importantly, the fact that he made it a point of being there as a symbol to stand with his daughter, but also stand with the rule of law and the Republican Party that he thinks. I mean, he was certainly not - he was certainly a controversial guy, but he believes in the basics of the Constitution and obviously wanted to stand by his daughter.
KING: Again, the fraud of the America first Trump, part of this is that that is putting America first you don't have to agree with Dick Cheney, or you don't have to agree with Nancy Pelosi, maybe you're somewhere in the middle to think that this is a day.
This is a day and one year ago was a day that the country is supposed to put all that aside, that there are more important things than Republican and Democrat. There are more important things President Biden said today than winning and losing the rule of law, procedure, order institution are supposed to matter.
KING: But the absence of all those Republicans today just jumps out and speaks volumes.
RAJU: It shows you really what this is, at the end of the day. This is politics. We are in a game of politics, particularly for Republicans leadership, who realizes that the majority is within reach in November. They don't believe that talking about January 6, or dealing with January 6 in any meaningful way will help them change their chances of taking back the House.
They would rather be criticized for ducking these kinds of events not being involved with this not getting crosswise with Donald Trump and instead letting the movement - the moment move on. And focusing on the Biden economy and the - agenda of the economic agenda, the economic woes of the country.
They believe that will get them into power, not January 6, which despite what we ever saw this horrific attack on the Capitol, they wanted to essentially be something that is most voters forget about and not reflecting on come November.
KING: In their ecosystem, they get a lot of help; they get a lot of help from conservative. I'm going to put it in air quotes, media outlets, that just don't want to talk about this day or that minimize the day or whitewash that day or makeup just fabricated lies that it was Democrats or ANTIFA or the FBI or some false flag event.
That is just flat out BS, which is one of the reasons the president today in his speech decided to call it out using some of the language Republicans used.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This wasn't a group of tourists. This was an armed insurrection. They weren't looking to uphold the will of the people. They were looking to deny the will of the people. They were looking to uphold. They were looking to hold a free and fair election. They were looking to overturn one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: The question is from today where does that go? It was a very powerful speech. Many people say perhaps the most important speech the president has given. He's about to hit the one year mark, where does it go? Where does it come? Can you - can you have a conversation with a piece of the country that still is living a fantasy?
BASH: Unclear. I mean, the question is, was that a speech that was delivered to he was preaching to the true believers, or whether he was preaching to people who are willing to actually listen to facts.
And there's no evidence in anything that we've seen over the past year that people who are down the rabbit hole of lies are willing to come out and listen to something like that. He was giving a speech that he needed to give as President of the United States for today and for history.
KING: Today and for history. Manu, you made a key point a moment ago that most Republicans have made the calculation that we need to stay with Donald Trump or at least not crossed Donald Trump even if you don't embrace Donald Trump don't cross him because we want power. We want power that is - that their power lust is before the principal of the country.
So they will stay with this man. Let's go back to one year ago today. It was in this hour, the 12 o'clock noon hour, Donald Trump delivered that rally speech where he said fight like hell. And he told he lied his supporters. He said I'll march to the Capitol with you. Of course that was a lie.
At 1:08 next hour, the rioters breach the perimeter here. In the two o'clock hour Donald Trump tweeted not back down but that Mike Pence has failed the test didn't have the courage to do what was right.
KING: The president lit the fuse at noon, and he continued to light it throughout the day. At 2: 38 there was the mysterious tweet about, you know, please support Capitol Police. Again, he didn't say back down. Trump loyalists say oh, that was his way to say stop fighting the police.
But no, no, that's again, that's another cop out. Only at 4:17 does he release a video asking the mob to go home. So one year later, Republicans still think that is the man they want to follow.
RAJU: It is pretty remarkable, because immediately afterwards, when the - this happened, there was a belief potentially that this was it, they were done with them. And then we moved into the impeachment trial phase of this, and they could have voted in the Senate to essentially end Donald Trump's career once and for all.
17 Republicans were needed to convict him, and then ultimately to say you can't run for office ever again. That did not happen. The Republican leaders calculated, for whatever reason for political reasons for reasons that they believe for, could hurt them politically, that they were not going to vote to convict him.
Even Mitch McConnell, who called it morally and practically responsible, voted to acquit Donald Trump. So at the end of the day, he's still their leader and a lot of them are still reckoning with how to deal with it.
KING: And as we deal with that complication, if you call it's polite, we're looking forward. When we come back, we will go back one year ago today, trapped in the gallery members of Congress share their stunning accounts of where they were during the siege on the Capitol and how it shaped where we are one year later?
KING: That video just a small piece of the harrowing experience of more than 20 House Democratic lawmakers trapped above the House Chamber in the gallery as that pro Trump mob of insurrectionists stormed the Capitol building one year ago today.
Democratic Congressman Dean Phillips of Minnesota was one of those lawmakers and he joins us now. Thank you for your time on display. I appreciate it. I'm looking at your PIN, hearing the video there take your pin off so the insurrectionists wouldn't know you're a member of Congress. That was the idea there up? How often how often do you relive that moment?
REP. DEAN PHILLIPS (D-MN): Well, every day. Its trauma, anybody who's been through trauma knows that when you experience a potential death situation, it changes you. But I have to say, and I speak for my colleagues, it's so much less about us.
The real trauma was our country's trauma. And that's what we think about every day. That's why we're on a mission, to repair, to invest in the foundations of democracy and reflect on the fact that those that stormed the Capitol that day and put us in that position are not the ones we're afraid of.
We're afraid of the Republicans who are showing no courage, who refused to even be here today to commemorate the day, whose absence of duty at a time the country needs it the most. You know, that's what we're fearful of. And that's what we think about every day.
KING: But does that tell you? You want this day to be called "Democracy Day".
PHILLIPS: I do.
KING: Do you want to commemorate this day as "Democracy Day"? Does the fact that you have no Dick Cheney, the Former Vice President on the floor with his daughter, and applause to them for standing up for the constitution for putting country ahead of party on this day but that's it. That's it.
So as you and what you call the gallery group, try to have this conversation, not your fault. But one year later, are things better, or are they worse?
PHILLIPS: They're worse. I mean, I can't lie. The culture in Congress is damaged. But it's all - it's not all lost. And I have to say there's an anger-tainment industry in America, too, that is making things a little bit worse than the reality. We're all human beings, every one of us in Congress, and there are a lot of good people.
And there are a lot of good Republicans. But they're scared and they're afraid and they're fearful. And that is the problem. We have to find an antidote to that. I celebrate, by the way, Liz Cheney and Dick Cheney for being here today that courage is a rare commodity right now.
And I have to tell you, the spirit of self-preservation always being placed above principle is what we have to change every one of us.
KING: I want Dana Bash to join the conversation as I do. So I just want to read this is what Cheney told ABC after down on the House floor. I'm deeply disappointed. We don't have better leadership in the GOP to restore the Constitution.
BASH: It's very telling. And you walk those halls every day. You are talking to Republicans, and you just mentioned that you're all human beings. What conversations do you have with Republicans who are scared and your words to not be here today? They did - they know better, right?
PHILLIPS: They do. Dana, I actually reflect back on January 6, right after the insurrection, we all retreated to a safe room. There were probably a few - more than a few dozen of us Democrats and Republicans all of whom had been together in the chamber, now in a room together.
And there was a remarkable but very fleeting moment of unity, in which every single person in that room recognized our duty to go back in the chamber and get the job done, and more importantly, to hold accountable those that had incited it.
And it's the erosion of that the dissipation of that intention that really, really troubles us. And my conversations with many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are very human ones and behind the scenes in their private reflections are very different than their public ones.
And that is this culture of fear. They are fearful for their safety. They're fearful for their family's safety. One of my dearest friends in Congress is resigning because of that fear, I believe, and that shameful that I think is the great problem that we have to rectify.
KING: Who's that? Who do you think is resigning because of fear?
PHILLIPS: You know, I don't want to - I think it would be unfair to him to say his name but it's a feeling felt by many.
KING: On that day - on that day you shouted out at Paul Gosar one of your Republican colleagues saying that you believed he and people like him had created the environment where this was possible. A year later, the man who would be Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy says Paul Gosar would get his committee assignments back if he's Speaker of the House.
And in the year since Paul Gosar posted that video that he calls it a cartoon an anime video in which he killed his character kills a Democratic member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and then threatens the President of the United States. How do you pierce through how do you puncture through to improve that climate?
PHILLIPS: You know, I scream that John. I scream this is because of you. Because it was and I spoke for tens of millions of Americans who had seen this slow motion train wreck from the Election Day to that certification day, right in front of our eyes, and I don't like to break decorum. I'm not a screamer.
I have a high threshold for anger. But I had to scream it. And it was true. And from that podium, he screamed back shut up. And how do we address that? And we have to recognize that we've got 800 people now charged with crimes that day, insurrectionists' rioters, but the ones that incited it that inspired it that enabled it and that continue it, continue to walk the halls of Congress and Mar-a-Lago, that's how we hold people to account.
They are the responsible ones. And I think the January 6 Commission will uncover that and then it's up to Americans. Democracy requires every one of us to participate. It's the will of the people, if the will of Americans is to hold people to account, we will but we have to send people to Congress, populate Congress with those put that integrity first.
BASH: Congressman, you say it's not about you. It's about what happened to democracy. But the fact is that you were in that gallery in the House behind us, you were there. You were a potential victim. I mean, you were a victim.
And so we as - part parts of civilizations, always remember moments like that and rely on people like you to tell us for history's sake. So tell us what it was like to be in there?
PHILLIPS: That was awful. And I reflect again, on it was awful for the country. For those of us inside, of course, it was trauma. There were about 20 minutes where we thought being taken hostage would be the best case scenario, to see and be sitting next to colleagues who were texting and calling loved ones saying goodbye, or not feelings I'll ever forget.
It's analogous to perhaps being on an airplane that you know might be going down and those last moments. And it seems trivial in hindsight, because perhaps we were not as at risk as maybe we thought we were at that moment, but it lives with us.
But I want to convert that anger and that trauma to gratitude. I we're hosting a lunch right now across the street at the Capitol for 800 Capitol Police Officers and Capitol Staff, who are unheralded, underappreciated under recognized for what they do every day, but particularly on that day, to save us to save the Capitol and give us another day to do what's right.
But it was an awful day and not just for members of Congress, staffers and journalists. The Capitol Police Officers many of whom - some of whom have taken their lives over it, some of whom have resigned. It's time for Americans to set aside policy issues and start placing the principle of preservation of way above it. If we don't, there's no winner.
KING: Congressman Dean Phillips grateful for your time sir.
PHILLIPS: Thank you John.
KING: You can go to that lunch please extend our thank you. I want to staff members you're absolutely right the people we don't see don't get enough credit and enough thank you.
PHILLIPS: Keep the face.
KING: I appreciate it right there. When we come back to fight subpoenas bombshell reports and public testimony one year later, there's still a lot we don't know but we'll take a closer look at where things do stand in the January 6 investigation.