Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Live Event/Special

Attack on Democracy: The January 6th Hearings. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 21, 2022 - 20:00   ET



CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: So by going through this detailed timeline, one of the things, obviously, that 2:24 tweet, basically saying, you know, attacking Mike Pence. That the argument that the committee is going to make. If you want to know what Donald Trump thought about the insurrection and how out of control it got, just watch what he was doing those - during those 187 minutes while the insurrection was going.

And the other thing I'm looking for, Cassidy Hutchinson, you know, we had that - a remarkable moment in her testimony where she told us stuff, despite all the fine investigative reporting about what went in onside the President's SUV when he confronted the Secret Service. Who knows what we're going to hear from Sarah Matthews and Matt Pottinger? Maye they're going to have another Cassidy Hutchinson moment.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Very interesting, Chris Wallace. Thank so much. Jamie Gangel, we've been told that this hearing is the final hearing of this series of hearings. That doesn't' mean necessarily mean there aren't going to be other hearings. What are you hearing about that?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Consider tonight the final of Season 1. We will be back in September with more hearings. There's more information coming, more documents. And let's just talk about the impact of the hearings.

We have heard that Donald Trump keeps asking, "When will they be over?" Not yet. The Committee knows that, and also this keeps pressure on the Justice Department, Jake.

TAPPER: John, there's a lot of hype for these hearings before they started back in June, not from the Committee necessarily, but from, you know, the media and others. Do you think they've delivered?

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Yes. And what's the test? The test is new information and important information, both from a historical standpoint, looking back, and from a - whether it's a legal investigative standpoint looking forward, or the political viability of Donald Trump --

TAPPER: OK. Here comes the Committee. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Here comes the Committee.

Right now, in the lead of course is the Vice Chair, Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming. The Chairman, Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, he is not in the room today because he's been diagnosed with COVID. We're going to hear from him remotely.

We also see there, Congressman Adam Kinzinger, to the left. He is Republican from Illinois. Zoe Lofgren in the red suit, to his right, to the left of your screen. To Liz Cheney's right is Congresswoman Elaine Luria. Congresswoman Luria and Congressman Kinzinger are going to be presiding over the hearing this evening. Luria is a Navy veteran.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): The Committee will be in order.

TAPPER: Kinzinger, Air Force. Let's listen in.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): Good evening. Earlier this week, I received a positive COVID diagnosis. Per CDC guidelines, I've received the initial two shots and all of the boosters. Thus far, I've been blessed to experience very minimal symptoms. Because I'm still quarantined, I cannot participate in person with my colleagues. I've asked our Vice Chair, Ms. Cheney, to preside over this evening's hearing, including maintaining order in the room and swearing in our witnesses.

Over the last month and a half, the Select Committee has told the story of a president who did everything in his power to overturn an election. He lied, he bullied, he betrayed his oath. He tried to destroy our democratic institutions. He summoned a mob to Washington. Afterwards, on January 6, when he knew that the assembled mob was heavily armed and angry, he commanded the mob to go to the Capitol, and he emphatically commanded the heavily armed mob to fight like hell.

For the weeks between the November election and January 6th, Donald Trump was a force to be reckoned with. He shrugged off the factuality and legality correct, sober advice of his knowledgeable and sensible advisers. Instead, he recklessly blazed a path of lawlessness and corruption, the cost of which democracy be damned.

And then, he stopped. For 187 minutes on January 6th, this man of unbridled destructive energy could not be moved, not by his aides, not by his allies, not by the violent chants of rioters or the desperate pleas of those facing down the rioters. And more tellingly, Donald Trump ignored and disregarded the desperate pleas of his own family, including Ivanka and Don, Jr.

Even though he was the only person in the world who could call off the mob he sent to the Capitol, he could not be moved to rise from his dining room table and walk the few steps down the White House hallway into the press briefing room, where cameras were anxiously and desperately waiting to carry his message to the armed and violent mob savagely beating and killing law enforcement officers, revenging the Capitol, and hunting down the vice-president and various members of Congress. He could not be moved.

[20:05:32] This evening, my colleagues, Mr. Kinzinger of Illinois, and Ms. Luria of Virginia, will take you inside the White House during those 187 minutes. We also remind you of what was happening at the Capitol, minute by minute, as a final, violent, tragic part of Donald Trump's scheme to cling to power unraveled while he ignored his advisers, stood by and watched it unfold on television.

Let me offer a final thought about the Select Committee's work so far. As we've made clear throughout these hearings, our investigation goes forward. We continue to receive new information every day. We continue to hear from witnesses. We will reconvene in September to continue laying out our findings to the American people.

But as that work goes forward, a number of facts are clear. There can be no doubt that there was a coordinate, multi-step effort to overturn an election overseen and directed by Donald Trump. There can be no doubt that he commanded a mob, a mob he knew was heavily armed, violent, and angry, to march on the Capitol to try to stop the peaceful transfer of power. And he made targets out of his own vice- president and the lawmakers gathered to do the people's work.

These facts have gone undisputed. And so, there needs to be accountability. Accountability under the law, accountability to the American people, accountability at every level from the local precincts in many states where Donald Trump and his allies attacked election workers for just doing their jobs, all the way up to the Oval Office where Donald Trump embraced the legal advice of insurrectionists that a fellow jurist has already said was a coup in search of a legal theory.

Our democracy withstood the attacks on January 6th. If there is no accountability for January 6th, for every part of this team, I fear that we will not overcome the ongoing threat to our democracy. There must be stiff consequences for those responsible.

Now, I'll turn things over to our Vice Chair to start telling this story.

CHENEY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Without objection, the presiding officer is authorized to declare the Committee in recess at any point. Pursuant to House Deposition Authority Regulation 10, I announce that the Committee has approved the release of the deposition material presented during today's hearing.

And let me begin tonight by wishing Chairman Thompson a rapid recovery from COVID. He has expertly led us through eight hearings so far, and he has brought us to the point we are today.

In our initial hearing, the Chairman and I described what ultimately became Donald Trump's seven-part plan to overturn the 2022 Presidential Election, a plan stretching from before Election Day through January 6th. At the close of today's hearing, or night, we will have addressed each element of that plan. But in the course of these hearings, we have received new evidence and

new witnesses have bravely stepped forward. Efforts to litigate and overcome immunity and executive privilege claims have been successful, and those continue. Doors have opened, new subpoenas have been issued, and the dam has begun to break.

And now, even as we conduct our ninth hearing, we have considerably more to do. We have far more evidence to share with the American people, and more to gather. So, our committee will spend August pursuing emerging information on multiple fronts before convening further hearings in September.


Today, we know far more about the President's plans and actions to overturn the election than almost all members of Congress did when President Trump was impeached on January 13, 2021, or when he was tried by the Senate in February of that year. Fifty-seven of 100 Senators voted to convict President Trump at that time. And more than 20 others said they were voting against conviction because the President's term had already expired. At the time, the Republican leader of the United States Senate said this about Donald Trump:


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): A mob was assaulting the Capitol in his name. These criminals were carrying his banners, hanging his flags, and screaming their loyalty to him. It was obvious that only President Trump could end this. He was the only one.


CHENEY: Leader McConnell reached those conclusions based on what he knew then, without any of the much more detailed evidence you will see today. Lawlessness and violence began at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, before 1:00 p.m., and continued until well after darkness fell. What exactly was our Commander in Chief doing during the hours of violence? Today, we address precisely that issue.

Everything you've heard in these hearings thus far will help you understand President Trump's motives during the violence. You already know Donald Trump's goal, to halt or delay Congress's official proceedings to count certified electoral votes. You know that Donald Trump tried to pressure his vice-president to illegally reject votes and delay the proceedings. You know he tried to convince state officials and state legislators to flip their electoral votes from Biden to Trump. And you know Donald Trump tried to corrupt our Department of Justice to aid his scheme.

But by January 6th, none of that had worked. Only one thing was succeeding on the afternoon of January 6th. Only one thing was achieving President Trump's goal. The angry, armed mob President Trump sent to the Capitol, go through security, invaded the Capitol, and forced the vote counting to stop. That mob was violent and destructive, and many came armed. As you will hear, Secret Service agents protecting the Vice President were exceptionally concerned about his safety and their own. Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy was scared, as were others in Congress, even those who themselves helped to provoke the violence.

And as you will see today, Donald Trump's own White House counsel, his own White House staff, members of his own family, all implored him to immediately intervene to condemn the violence and instruct his supporters to stand down, leave the Capitol, and disperse. For multiple hours, he would not.

Donald Trump would not get on the phone and order the military or law enforcement agencies to help. And for hours, Donald Trump chose not to answer the pleas from Congress, from his own party and from all across our nation, to do what his oath required. He refused to defend our nation and our Constitution. He refused to do what every American President must.

In the days after January 6th, almost no one of any political party would defend President Trump's conduct. And no one should do so today.

Thank you. And I now recognize the gentlewoman from Virginia.

REP. ELAINE LURIA (D-VA): Thank you, Madam Vice Chair.

Article II of our Constitution requires that the President swear a very specific oath every four years. Every President swears or affirms to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and to the best of their ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. The President also assumes the Constitutional duty to take care that our nation's laws be faithfully executed and is the Commander in Chief of our military.

Our hearings have shown the many ways in which President Trump tried to stop the peaceful transfer of power in the days leading up to January 6th. With each step of his plan, he betrayed his oath of office, and was derelict in his duties. Tonight, we will further examine President Trump's actions on the day of the attack on the Capitol.


Early that afternoon President Trump instructed tens of thousands of supporters at and near the Ellipse Rally, a number of whom he knew were armed with various types of weapons to march to the Capitol. After telling the crowd to march multiple times, he promised he would be with them and finished his remarks at 1:10 p.m. like this.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to walk down. And I'll be there with you. We're going to walk down - we're going to walk down. Anyone you want but I think right here we're going to walk down to the Capitol.

(CROWD CHEERING) TRUMP: So let's walk down Pennsylvania Avenue -


LURIA: By this time the Vice President was in the Capitol. The joint session of Congress to certify Joe Biden's victory was underway and the Proud Boys and other rioters had stormed through the first barriers and begun the attack. Radio communications from law enforcement informed Secret Service and those in the White House Situation Room of these developments in real time.

At the direction of President Trump thousands more rioters marched from the Ellipse to the Capitol, and they joined the attack. As you will see in great detail tonight President Trump was being advised by nearly everyone to immediately instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol, disperse and to halt the violence. Virtually everyone told President Trump to condemn the violence in clear and unmistakable terms and those on Capitol Hill and across the nation begged President Trump to help. But the former president chose not to do what all of those people begged. He refused to tell the mob to leave until 4:17 when he Tweeted out a video statement filmed in the Rose Garden ending with this.


TRUMP: So go home. We love you. You're very special. You've seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home and go home in peace.


LURIA: By that time two pipe bombs had been found at locations near the Capitol, including where the Vice President Elect was conducting a meeting. Hours of hand-to-hand combat had seriously entered scores of law enforcement officers. The Capitol had been invaded, the Electoral count had been halted as members were evacuated, rioters took the floor of the Senate. They rifled through desks and broke into offices, and they nearly caught up to Vice President Pence. Guns were drawn on the House floor and a rioter was shot attempting to infiltrate the chamber.

We know that a number of rioters intended acts of physical violence against specific elected officials. We know virtually all the rioters were motivated by President Trump's rhetoric, that the election had been stolen and they felt they needed to take their country back.

This hearing is principally what happened inside of the White House that afternoon. From the time when President Trump ended his speech until the moment when he finally told the mob to go home, a span of 187 minutes, more than three hours, what you will learn is that President Trump sat in his dining room and watched the attack on television, while his senior most staff, closest advisors and family members begged him to do what is expected of any American president.

I served proudly for 20 years as an officer in the United States Navy. Veterans of our armed forces know firsthand the leadership that's required in a time of crisis; urgent and decisive action that puts duty and country first. But on January 6th when lives and our democracy hung in the balance President Trump refused to act because of his selfish desire to stay in power and I yield to the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Kinzinger.

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Thank you. Thank you, Miss Luria.

One week after the attack, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy acknowledged the simple truth. President Trump should have acted immediately to stop the violence. During our investigation General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also remarked on the president's failure to act.

Let's hear what they had to say.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action for President Trump.

GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: You know, you're the Commander in Chief. You've got an assault going on on the Capitol of the United States of America. No call? Nothing? Zero?



KINZINGER: Like my colleague from Virginia, I am a veteran. I served in the Air Force, and I serve currently in the Air National Guard. I can tell you that General Milley's reaction to President Trump's conduction is 100 percent correct and so was Leader McCarthy's. What explains President Trump's behavior? Why did he not take immediate action in a time of crisis?

Because President Trump's plan for January 6th was to halt or delay Congress's official proceeding to count the votes. The mob attacked the Capitol quick -- the mob attacking the Capitol quickly caused the evacuation of both the House and the Senate. The count ground to an absolute halt and was ultimately delayed for hours. The mob was accomplishing President Trump's purpose, so of course, he didn't intervene.

Here's what will be clear by the end of this hearing. President Trump did not fail to act during the 187 minutes between leaving the Ellipse and telling the mob to go home. He chose not to act. But there were hundreds that day who honored their oaths and put their lives on the line to protect the people inside the Capitol and to safeguard our democracy. Many of them are here tonight with us and many more are watching from home.

As you already know and we'll see again tonight, their service and sacrifice shines a bright light on President Trump's dishonor and dereliction of duty. I yield to the Vice Chair. CHENEY: Thank you very much, Mr. Kinzinger.

I'd like to begin by welcoming our witnesses this evening. Tonight, we're joined by Mr. Matthew Pottinger. Mr. Pottinger is a decorated former Marine Intelligence officer who served this nation on tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. He served in the Trump White House from the first day of the administration through the early morning hours of January 7th, 2021. The last role in which he served in the White House was a Deputy National Security Advisor to the President of the United States.

We're also joined by Sara Matthews. Miss Matthews started her career in communications working on Capitol Hill, serving on the Republican staffs of several House committees. She then worked as Deputy Press Secretary for President Trump's reelection campaign before joining the Trump White House in June of 2020. She served there as Deputy Press Secretary and Special Assistant to the President until the evening of January 6th, 2021.

I will now swear in our witnesses. The witnesses will please stand and raise their right hands.

Do you swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.

Thank you. You may be seated and let the record reflect that the witnesses answered in the affirmative. Thank you both again for being here tonight.

Mr. Pottinger, thank you for your service to the nation as well as for joining us this evening. Can you please briefly explain what your responsibilities were as Deputy National Security Advisor to the president?


When I started at the White House, I was a Senior Director for Asia on the National Security Council Staff. So that was a job that involved helping coordinate the president's Asia policy. I supported the president when he met or interacted with Asian leaders.

Later, 2019, I was promoted to the job of Deputy National Security Advisor. In that role I was the Chairman of the Deputies Committee. That's an NSC meeting of all of the deputy cabinet secretaries; we would settle important matters of national policy related to our national security and we would also tee up options for the president and for his cabinet members.

It was -- I felt then as I do now that it was a privilege to serve in the White House. I'm also very proud of President Trump's foreign policy accomplishments. We were able to finally compete with China. We were also able to broker peace agreements between Israel and three Arab states. I mean those are some examples of the types of policies that I think made our country safer. CHENEY: Thank you Mr. Pottinger. And were you in the White House during the attack on the Capitol on January 6th?


POTTINGER: For most of the day I was in the White House, although when the president was speaking at the rally I was actually off site at a scheduled meeting with India's ambassador to the United States. The National Security Council staff was not involved in organizing the security for what was a domestic event, the rally. But I did return to the White House at roughly 2:30 p.m.

CHENEY: Thank you and I know my colleagues will have additional questions for you about that afternoon.

Let me turn now to you Miss Matthews. How did you come to join President Trump's White House staff?


As you outlined, I am a lifelong Republican. And I joined the Trump reelection campaign in June of 2019. I was one of the first Communication staffers actually onboard for his reelection campaign. And during that time, I traveled all around the country and met Kayleigh McEnany who was also working on his reelection campaign. I worked there for a year, and I formed a close relationship with Miss McEnany, and she moved over to the White House in April of 2020 to start as White House Press Secretary, and she brought over a group of campaign staff with her. And so, I joined her over at the White House in June of 2020 to start as her deputy.

CHENEY: And were you, Miss Matthews, as work in the White House on January 6th?

MATTHEWS: Yes, I was working out of the West Wing that day.

CHENEY: Thank you.

And now I'd like to recognize the gentlewoman from Virginia and the gentleman from Illinois.

LURIA: Thank you Madame Vice chair.

As you've seen in our prior hearings, President Trump summoned the mob to D.C. on January 6th. Before he went onstage, he knew some of them were armed and prepared for combat. During his speech he implored them to march to the Capitol, as he had always planned to do. By the time he walked off the stage the supporters had already breached the outer perimeter of the Capitol, at the foot of Capitol Hill.

Since our last hearings we've received new testimony from a security professional working in the White House complex on January 6th, with access to relevant information and responsibility to report to National Security officials. This security official told us that the White House was aware of multiple reports of weapons in the crowd that morning.

We as a committee are cognizant of the fear of retribution expressed by certain National Security witnesses who have come forward to tell the truth. We therefore have taken steps to protect this National Security individual's identity. Listen to this clip from their testimony.


UNKNOWN: What was the consistent message from the people about this idea of the president to walk to the Capitol?

UNKNOWN: To be completely honest, we were all in a state of shock.

UNKNOWN: Because why?

UNKNOWN: Because it just - one, I think the actual physical feasibility of doing it, and then also, we all knew what that implicated and what that meant, that this was no longer a rally, that this was going to move to something else, if he physically walked to the Capitol. I don't know if you want to use the word insurrection, coup, whatever, we all knew that this would move from a normal, democratic, you know, public event into something else.

UNKNOWN: What was driving that sentiment, considering this - this part of it, the actual breach of the Capitol hadn't happened yet?

UNKNOWN: Why were we alarmed?


UNKNOWN: The president wanted to lead tens of thousands of people to the Capitol. I think that was enough grounds for us to be alarmed.


LURIA: Even though he understood many of his supporters were armed, the president was still adamant to go to the Capitol when he got off the stage at the Ellipse. But his Secret Service detail was equally determined to not let him go. That led to a heated argument with the detail that delayed the departure of the motorcade to the White House.

We have evidence from multiple sources regarding an angry exchange in the presidential SUV, including testimony we will disclose today from two witnesses who confirmed that a confrontation occurred. The first witness is a former White House employee with national security responsibilities. After seeing the initial violence at the Capitol on TV, the individual went to see Tony Ornato, the Deputy Chief of Staff in his office. Mr. Ornato was there with Bobby Engel, the president's lead Secret Service agent. This employee told us that Mr. Ornato said that the president was quote "irate" when Mr. Engel refused to drive him to the Capitol. Mr. Engel did not refute what Mr. Ornato said.


The second witness is Retired Sergeant Mark Robinson of the D.C. Police Department, who was assigned to the president's motorcade that day. He sat in the lead vehicle with the Secret Service agent responsible for the motorcade, also called the TS agent.

Here's how Sgt. Robinson remembered the exchange.


UNKNOWN: Was there any description of what was occurring in the car?

SGT. MARK ROBINSON (RET.), D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: No, only that -- the only description I received was that the president was upset and was adamant about going to the Capitol and there was a heated discussion about that.

UNKNOWN: And when you say heated, is that your word or is that the word that was described by the TS agent?

ROBINSON: No, word described by the TS agent, meaning that the president was upset. And he was saying there was a heated argument or discussion about going to the Capitol.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): About how many times would you say you've been part of that motorcade with the president?

ROBINSON: Probably over 100 times.

SCHIFF: And in that 100 times, have you ever witnessed another discussion of an argument or a heated discussion with the president, where the president was contradicting where he was supposed to go or what with the Secret Service believed was safe?



LURIA: Like other witnesses, Sgt. Robinson also testified that he was aware that individuals in the crowd were armed.


ROBINSON: Yes. I believe we was on special events channel. And I was monitoring the traffic. And so, I could hear some of the units pointing out to individuals, that there were individuals along Constitution Avenue that were armed, that were up in the trees.

And so, I can hear the units responding to those individuals because there is always a concern when there is a (INAUDIBLE) in the area.


LURIA: And like other witnesses, Sgt. Robinson told us that the president still wanted to travel to the Capitol, even after returning to the White House.


UNKNOWN: So at the end of the speech, what was the plan supposed to be?

ROBINSON: So at the end of the speech, we do know that, while inside the limo, the president was still adamant about going to the Capitol. That is being relayed to me by the TS agent.

And so, we did part (ph) the Ellipse and we responded back to the White House. However, we, at the motorcade, the police (ph) motorcade, was placed on standby. And so, we were told to stand by on West Exec (ph) until they confirmed whether or not the president was going to go to the Capitol.

And so, I may have waited (ph), I would just estimate, maybe, 45 to -- 45 minutes to an hour, waiting for Secret Service to make that decision.


LURIA: The motorcade waited at the White House for more than 45 minutes before being released. The committee is also aware that accounts of the angry confrontation in the presidential SUV had circulated widely among the Secret Service since January 6th.

Recent disclosures have also caused the committee to subpoena yet further information from the Secret Service, which we've begun to receive and will continue to assess.

The committee is also aware that certain Secret Service witnesses have now retained new private counsel. We anticipate further testimony under oath and other new information in the coming weeks.

After the Secret Service refused to take President Trump to the Capitol, he returned to the White House. What you see on the screen is a photo of him inside the Oval Office, immediately after he returned from the rally, still wearing this overcoat.

A White House employee informed the president, as soon as he returned to the Oval, about the riot at the Capitol.

Let me repeat that. Within 15 minutes of leaving the stage, President Trump knew that the Capitol was besieged and under attack.

At 1:25, President Trump went to the private dining room, off the Oval Office. From 1:25 until 4:00, the president stayed in his dining room. Just to give you a sense of where the dining room is situated in the West Wing, let's take a look at this floor plan.

The dining room is connected to the Oval Office by a short hallway. Witnesses told us that, on January 6th, President Trump sat in his usual spot, at the head of the table, facing a television hanging on the wall.

We know from the employee that the TV was tuned to FOX News all afternoon. Here, you can see FOX News on the TV, showing coverage of the joint session that was airing that day at 1:25 pm.

[20:35:00] Other witnesses confirmed that President Trump was in the dining room with the TV on, for more than 2.5 hours. There was no official record of what President Trump did while in the dining room. On the screen is the presidential call log from January 6th.

As you can see, there is no official record of President Trump receiving or placing a call between 11:06 and 6:54 p.m.

As to what the president was doing that afternoon, the presidential daily diary is also silent. It contains no information from the period between 1:21 p.m. and 4:03 p.m.

There are also no photos of President Trump during this critical period between 1:21 in the Oval Office and when he went outside to the Rose Garden after 4:00. The chief White House photographer wanted to take pictures because it was, in her words, "very important" for his archives and for history.

But she was told, quote, "no photographs."

Despite the lack of photos or an official record, we have learned what President Trump was doing while he was watching TV in the dining room. But before we get into that, it's important to understand what he never did that day. Let's watch.


UNKNOWN: So are you aware of any phone call by the president of the United States to the Secretary of Defense that day?


UNKNOWN: Are you aware of any phone call by the president of the United States to the attorney general of the United States that day?


UNKNOWN: Are you aware of any phone call by the president of the United States to the Secretary of Homeland Security that day?

CIPOLLONE: I am not aware of that, no.

UNKNOWN: Did you ever hear the vice president or -- excuse me -- the president ask for the National Guard?



UNKNOWN: Did you ever hear the president ask for a law enforcement response?


UNKNOWN: So as somebody who worked in the national security space, with the National Security Council, if there were going to be troops present or called up for a rally in Washington, D.C., for example, is that something that you would have been aware of?


KELLOGG: I would have.

UNKNOWN: Do you know if he asked anybody to reach out to any of those that we just listed off, National Guard, DOD, FBI, Homeland Security, Secret Service, mayor part of (ph) the Capitol police, about the situation at the Capitol?

NICHOLAS LUNA, FORMER ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: I am not aware of any of those requests. No, sir.


LURIA: We have confirmed, in numerous interviews, with senior law enforcement and military leaders, vice president Pence's staff and D.C. government officials, none of them, not one heard from President Trump that day.

He did not call to issue orders. He did not call to offer assistance. This week, we received additional testimony from yet another witness about why the president didn't make any efforts to quell the attack.

The former White House employee, with national security responsibilities, told us about a conversation with senior adviser Eric Herschmann and Pat Cipollone, the top White House lawyer.

This conversation was about a pending call from the Pentagon, seeking to coordinate on the response to the attack.

Mr. Herschmann turned to Mr. Cipollone and said, "The president didn't want to do anything."

And so, Mr. Cipollone had to take the call himself.

So if President Trump wasn't calling law enforcement or military leaders, what did President Trump spend his time doing that afternoon, while he first settled into the dining room?

He was calling senators to encourage them to delay or object to the certification.

Here is Kayleigh McEnany, his press secretary, to explain.


UNKNOWN: All right, that says back there, and he wants a list of senators and then if he is calling them, one by one, do you know which ones he called?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: To the best of my recollection, no. As I say in my notes, he wanted a list of the senators. And you know, I left them at that point. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LURIA: Because the presidential call log is empty, we do not yet know, precisely, which senators President Trump was calling. But we do know, from Rudy Giuliani's phone records, that President Trump also called him at 1:39 after he had been told that the riot was underway at the Capitol.

Mr. Giuliani was President Trump's lead election attorney. According to the phone records, the president's call with him lasted approximately four minutes. Recall that FOX News was on in the dining room. Let's take a look at what was airing as this call was ending.


UNKNOWN: The president, as we all saw, fired this crowd up. They have all, tens of thousands, maybe 100,000 or more, have gone down to the Capitol or elsewhere in the city. And they are very upset. Now I jumped down as soon as we heard the news that Bret gave you about Mike Pence.


I started talking to these people, I said, what do you think?

One woman, an Air Force veteran from Missouri, said she was, quote, "disgusted" to hear that news and that it was his duty to do something.

And I told her, I said, there is nothing in the Constitution, unilaterally, that Vice President Pence could do.

She said, "That doesn't matter. He should have fought for Trump."


LURIA: At 1:49, here is what was happening at the Capitol, with President Trump's fired-up supporters.


UNKNOWN: We're going to give (INAUDIBLE) warnings. We're going to try and get compliant but his is how a possibly a riot.

UNKNOWN: In 49 hours, declaring in a riot.


LURIA: What did President Trump do at 1:49, as the D.C. police at the same time were declaring a riot at the Capitol?

As you can see on the screen, he tweeted out a link to the recording of his Ellipse speech. This was the same speech in which he knowingly sent an armed mob to the Capitol. But President Trump made no comment about the lawlessness and the violence.

I yield to the gentleman from Illinois.

KINZINGER: The next action President Trump took was to tweet at 2:24 pm.

What happened during the 35 minutes between his last tweet at 1:49 and 2:24?

His staff, repeatedly, came into the room to see him and plead that he make a strong public statement, condemning the violence and instructing the mob to leave the Capitol.

He did not relent until after 4 o'clock, when he went out to go to the Rose Garden to film his now infamous "go home" message.

Pat Cipollone was the top White House lawyer. Here is what he told us about his reaction to seeing the violence and his advice throughout the afternoon.


UNKNOWN: When did you first realize that there was actual violence or rioting at the Capitol?

CIPOLLONE: I first realized that it may have been on television, or it may have been Tony or it may have been Philbin. But I found out people were -- you know, they weren't in the Capitol, but they were, you know -- and then I started watching it and, you know, then I was aware of it.

UNKNOWN: What specifically did you think needed to be done?

CIPOLLONE: I think I was pretty clear there needed to be an immediate and forceful response, statement, public statement, that people need to leave the Capitol now.

UNKNOWN: My question is exactly that. That it sounds like you, from the very onset of violence at the Capitol, right around 2 o'clock, were pushing for a strong statement that people should leave the Capitol. Is that right?

CIPOLLONE: I was, and others were as well.

UNKNOWN: Pat, you said that you expressed your opinion forcefully. Could you tell us exactly how you did that?

CIPOLLONE: Yes, I can't -- I'm going to have -- you know, I have to, on the privilege issue, I can't talk about conversations with the president. But I can generically say that I said, you know, people need to be told, there needs to be a public announcement, fast, that they need to leave the Capitol.

UNKNOWN: And, Pat, could you let us know, approximately, when you said that?

CIPOLLONE: Approximately when?

Almost immediately after I found out people were getting into the Capitol or approaching the Capitol in a way that was violent.

UNKNOWN: Do you remember any discussions with Mark Meadows, with respect to his view that the president didn't want to do anything or was somehow resistant to wanting to say something along the lines that you suggested?

CIPOLLONE: (INAUDIBLE) just to be clear, many people suggested it. Not just me, and many people felt the same way. I'm sure I had conversations with Mark about this during the course of the day and expressed my -- my opinion very forcefully, that this needs to be done.

UNKNOWN: So your advice was to tell people to leave the Capitol and that took over two hours, when there were subsequent statements made, tweets put forth, that in your view were insufficient.

Did you continue, Mr. Cipollone, throughout the period of time, up until 4:17, continue, you and others, to push for a stronger statement?


UNKNOWN: Were you joined that effort by Ivanka Trump?






CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO MARK MEADOWS: White House counsel wanted there to be a strong statement out to condemn the rioters.


HUTCHINSON: I'm confident in that. I'm confident that Ivanka Trump wanted there to be a strong statement to condemn the rioters.

I don't know the private conversation she has with Mr. Trump, but I remember when she came to the office one time with White House Council's Office -- when she came to the Chief of Staff's office with White House Council's Office she was talking about the speech later that day and trying to get her dad on board with saying something that was more direct than he had wanted to at the time and throughout the afternoon.

CIPOLLONE: And I think Mark also wanted -- I remember him getting Ivanka involved because he's like, "get Ivanka down here," because he thought that would be important. I don't think Jared was there in the morning, but I think he came later. I remember thinking it's important we get him in there too. And, of course, Pat Philbin, you know, was expressing the same things.

I mean, Pat Philbin was very, as I said, I don't think there was one of these meetings where, there might have been, but for the most part I remember the both of us going down together, going back, getting on phone calls. He was also very clearly expressing this view.


KINZINGER: Pat Cipollone and Cassidy Hutchinson, an aid to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also told us about the "hang Mike Pence," chants.

As you will see, Mr. Cipollone recalled conversations about those chants in the West Wing, but he relied on executive privilege to maintain confidentiality over his and others' direct communications with the president. Although Mr. Cipollone was unwilling to provide more detail, Ms. Hutchinson provided more explicit information, filling in those blanks. See that for yourself.


HUTCHINSON: It wasn't until Mark hung up the phone, handed it back to me. I went back to my desk. A couple minutes later him and Pat come back, possibly Eric Herschmann too. I'm pretty sure Eric Herschmann was there. But I'm confident that it was Pat that was there.

I remember Pat saying something to the effect of, Mark we need to do something more, they're literally calling for the vice president to be f-ing hung. And Mark had responded something to the effect of, you heard him, Pat, he thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn't think they're doing anything wrong. To which Pat said something, this is f-ing crazy, we need to be doing something more. Briefly stepped into Mark's office.

UNKNOWN: Do you remember any discussion at any point during the day about rioters at the Capitol chanting "hang Mike Pence?"

CIPOLLONE: Yes, I remember hearing that about that. Yes. I don't know if I observed that myself on TV.

UNKNOWN: I'm just curious, I understand the privilege line you've drawn but do you remember what you can share with us about the discussion about those chants, the "hang Mike Pence," chants?

CIPOLLONE: I can tell you my view of that.

UNKNOWN: Yes, please.

CIPOLLONE: My view of that is that is outrageous. And for anyone to suggest such a thing is the vice president of the United States, for people in that crowd to be chanting that, I thought it was terrible. I thought it was outrageous and wrong. And I expressed that very clearly to people.

UNKNOWN: With respect to your conversations with Mr. Meadows, though, did you specifically raise a concern over the vice president with him, and how did he respond? CIPOLLONE: I believe I raised the concern about the vice president,

and I again, the nature of his response was recalling exactly was he, you know, people were doing all that they could.

UNKNOWN: And what about the president? Did he indicate whether he thought the president was doing what needed to be done to protect the vice president?

UNKNOWN: Privilege.

UNKNOWN: You have to assert it.


CIPOLLONE: I'm being instructed on privilege.



KINZINGER: In addition, Mr. Cipollone testified that it would have been feasible as commentators on television were suggesting, for President Trump to immediately appear at the podium in the press room to address the nation.


UNKNOWN: Would it have been possible at any moment for the president to walk down to the podium in the briefing room and talk to the nation at any time between when you first gave him that advice at 2 o'clock and 4:17 when the video statement came out? Would that have been possible?

CIPOLLONE: Would it have been possible?


CIPOLLONE: Yes, it would have been possible.



KINZINGER: We just heard Mr. Cipollone say that President Trump could have gone to the press briefing room to issue a statement at any moment. To give you a sense of just how easy that would have been, let's take a look at a map of the West Wing.

As we saw earlier, the president's private dining room is at the bottom of the map. The press briefing room is at the top highlighted in blue, and the Rose Garden, where the president ultimately filmed his "go home," video is on the right next to the Oval Office and that's highlighted in green.

Ms. Matthews, how quickly could the president have gotten on camera in the press briefing room to deliver a statement to the nation? MATTHEWS: So, as you outlined it would take probably less than 60

seconds from the Oval Office dining room over to the press briefing room. And for folks that might not know, the briefing room is a room that you see the White House press secretary do briefings from with the podium and the blue backdrop. And there's a camera that is on in there at all times.

And so, if the president had wanted to make a statement and address the American people, he could have been on camera almost instantly. And conversely, the White House Press Corps has offices that are located directly behind the briefing room.

And so, if he had wanted to make an address from the Oval Office we could have assembled the White House Press Corps, probably in a matter of minutes to get them into the Oval for him to do an on-camera address.

KINZINGER: Thank you.

Other witnesses have given us their views on that question. For example, General Keith Kellogg told us that some staff were concerned that a live appearance by the president at the microphones at that moment could actually make matters worse.

He told us he recommended against doing a press conference because during his four years in the Trump administration, quote, "there wasn't a single clean press conference we had had." President Trump's advisors knew his state of mind at that moment, and they were worried about what he would say in unscripted comments.

I yield to the gentlewoman from Virginia.

LURIA: Thank you.

As you've heard, by 2 o'clock multiple staff members in the White House recognized that a serious situation was underway at the Capitol. Personally, I recall being evacuated from the House Office Building where we were sitting by before this time. And it was due to the discovery of two pipe bombs in nearby buildings.

Ms. Matthews, around the same time you were watching the violence unfold on television and social media with colleagues, including with Ben Williamson, a senior aid to Mark Meadows and an Acting Director of Communications.

You told us that before President Trump sent his next tweet at 2:24, Mr. Williamson got up to go so Mr. Meadows, and you got up to go see Kayleigh McEnany. Why did you both do that?

MATTHEWS: So Ben and I were watching the coverage unfold from one of the offices in the West Wing, and we both recognized that the situation was escalating, and it was escalating quickly, and that the president needed to be out there immediately to tell these people to go home, and condemn the violence that we were seeing. So I told him that I was going to make that recommendation to Kayleigh, and he said he was going to make the same recommendation to the Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

LURIA: Thank you.

And one of your colleagues in the press office, Judd Deere, told us he also went to see Ms. McEnany at that time. Let's hear what he said about this critical period of time, right as the rioters were getting into the Capitol.


UNKNOWN: And why did you think it was necessary to say something?

JUDD DEERE, FORMER WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I mean, it appears that individuals are storming the U.S. Capitol building. They also appear to be supporters of Donald Trump who may have been in attendance at the rally, we're going to need to say something.

UNKNOWN: And did you have a view as to what should be said by the White House?

DEERE: If I recall, I told Kayleigh that I thought that we needed to encourage individuals to stop, to respect law enforcement, and to go home.


LURIA: Although President Trump was aware of the ongoing riot, he did not take any immediate action to address the lawlessness. Instead at 2:03 he called Rudy Giuliani again, and that call lasted for over eight minutes. Moments later at 2:13 rioters broke into the Capitol itself. One of the Proud Boys, charged with seditious conspiracy, Dominic Pezzola, used an officer's shield to smash a window and rioters flooded into the building.



LURIA: As rioters were entering the building, the Secret Service held Vice President Pence in his office right off the Senate chamber for 13 minutes as they worked to clear a safe path to a secure location.

Now, listen to some of that radio traffic and see what they were seeing as the protestors got just feet away from where the vice president was holding.


UNKNOWN: Hold, they've entered the building. Hold.

UNKNOWN: Harden that door up.

UNKNOWN: If we're moving, we need to move now.


UNKNOWN: If we lose any more time, we may have -- we may lose the ability to leave. So, if we're going to leave, we need to do it now.

UNKNOWN: They've gained access to the second floor. And I've got public about five feet from me down here below.

UNKNOWN: OK, copy. They are on the second floor. Moving in now. We may want to consider getting out and leaving now. Copy?

UNKNOWN: Will we encounter the people, once we make our way?

UNKNOWN: Repeat?

UNKNOWN: ...encounter any individuals if we made our way to the (inaudible).

UNKNOWN: There's six officers between us and the people that are 5 to 10 feet away from me.

UNKNOWN: Stand by, I am going down to evaluate.

UNKNOWN: Go ahead.

UNKNOWN: We have a clear shot if we move quickly. We got smoke downstairs. Standby. Unknown smoke downstairs.

UNKNOWN: By the protestors?

UNKNOWN: Is that route compromised?

UNKNOWN: We have the (inaudible) is secure. However, we will bypass some protestors that are being contained. There is smoke. Unknown, what kind of smoke it is. Copy?

UNKNOWN: Clear. We're coming out now. All right, make a way.


LURIA: The president's National Security Council staff was listening to these developments and tracking them in real time. On the screen you can see excerpts from the chat logs among the president's National Security Council staff.

At 2:13 the staff learned that the rioters were kicking in the windows at the Capitol. Three minutes later the staff said the vice president was being pulled, which meant agents evacuated him from the Senate floor. At 2:24 the staff noted that the Secret Service agents at the Capitol did not, quote, "sound good right now."

Earlier you heard from a security professional who had been working in the White House complex on January 6, with access to relevant information and a responsibility to report to National Security officials. We asked this person, what was meant by the comment that the Secret Service agents did not, quote, "sound good right now?"

In the following clip of that testimony which has been modified to protect the individual's identity, the professional discusses what they heard from listening to the incoming radio traffic that day. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNKNOWN: OK, that last entry on this page is, Service at the Capitol does not sound good right now.

UNKNOWN: Correct.

UNKNOWN: What does that mean?

UNKNOWN: The members of the VP detail at this time were starting to fear for their own lives. There were a lot of, there was a lot of yelling, a lot of very personal calls over the radio, so it was disturbing. I don't like talking about it, but there were calls to say goodbye to family members, so on and so forth. It was getting -- for whatever the reason was on the ground, the VP detail thought that this was about to get very ugly.

UNKNOWN: And did you hear that over the radio?

UNKNOWN: Correct.

UNKNOWN: OK. What was the response by the agents -- the Secret Service agents who were there?

UNKNOWN: Everybody kept saying, you know, at that point it was just reassurances, or I think there were discussions of reinforcements coming, but again, it was just chaos, they were just yelling.

UNKNOWN: Obviously you've conveyed that's disturbing, but what prompted you to put it into an entry as it states there, Service at the Capitol.

UNKNOWN: If they're running out of options, and they're getting nervous, it sounds like we came very close to either Service having to use lethal options or worse. At that point I don't know. Is the VP compromised? Is the detail -- like, I don't know, like we didn't have visibility, but it doesn't -- if they're screaming and saying things like say goodbye to the family, like, the floor needs to know this is going to a whole 'nother level soon.