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CNN Live Event/Special

Attack on Democracy: The January 6th Hearings. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired July 21, 2022 - 21:00   ET



LURIA: As this next video shows, the rioters' anger was focused primarily on Vice president Mike Pence.


JANET BUHLER, PLEADED GUILTY TO CHARGES RELATED TO JANUARY 6TH: This woman comes up to the side of us and she says, Pence folded so it was kind of like, OK, well, in my mind I was thinking well that's it, you know. Well, my son-in-law looks at me and he says, I want to go in.

UNKNOWN: What percentage of the crowd is going to the Capitol?

JESSICA WATKINS, FACING CHARGES RELATED TO JANUARY 6TH: 100 percent. It has spread like wildfire that Pence has betrayed us and everybody's marching on the Capitol. All million of us. It's insane.

PROTESTER: Mike Pence will not stick up for Donald Trump.

Mike Pence, traitor!


PROTESTER: Mike Pence has screwed us. In case you haven't heard yet.

PROTESTER: What happened? What happened?

PROTESTER: I keep hearing that Mike Pence has screwed us.

That's the word. I keep hearing reports that Mike Pence has screwed us.

UNKNOWN: Did people appear angry as you were walking to the Capitol?

UNKNOWN: Yeah, a lot of people, a lot of people seemed like they were very upset.

UNKNOWN: Tell us some of the things they were saying if you recall.

STEPHEN AYRES, PLEADED GUILTY TO CHARGES RELATED TO JANUARY 6TH: Oh, they were saying all kinds of -- you know, people were screaming all types of stuff. They were mad. That Vice President Pence was going to accept the electorals. I mean, if you could think it up, that's -- you were hearing it. UNKNOWN: I believe the Vice President Pence was going to certify the

electoral votes and or not certify them, but I guess that's just changed. Correct. It's a very big disappointment. I think there's several hundred thousand people here that are very disappointed.


LURIA: President Trump did not try to calm his thousands of disappointed supporters, instead at almost the same moment violence was getting completely out of hand. Donald Trump sent his 2/24 tweet. The president said, "Mike Pence didn't have the courage what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution."

Despite knowing the Capitol had been breached and the mob was in the building, President Trump called Mike Pence a coward and placed all the blame on him for not stopping the certification. He put a target on his own vice president's back. Mr. Pottinger and Ms. Matthews when we ask you about your reaction about to seeing the 2/24 tweet in real time, you both used the same imagery to describe it. President Trump was adding fuel to the fire. Mr. Pottinger, you made the decision to resign after seeing this tweet. Can you please tell us why?

POTTINGER: Yes, so that was the -- pretty soon after I -- or shortly before I had gotten back to the White House. I had come from off site. I began to see for the first time those images on TV of the chaos that was unfolding at the Capitol. One of my aides handed me a sheet of paper that contained the tweet that you just read. I -- I read it and was quite disturbed by it. I -- I was disturbed and worried to see that the president was attacking Vice President Pence for doing his Constitutional duty.

So the tweet looked to me like the opposite of what -- what we really needed at that moment which was a de-escalation and that's why I had said earlier that it looked like fuel being poured on the fire. So that was the moment that I decided that I was going to resign. That that would be my last day at the White House. I -- I simply didn't want to be associated with -- with the events that unfolding on the Capitol.

LURIA: Thank you, and Ms. Matthews, what was your reaction to the president's tweet about Vice President Pence?

MATTHEWS: So it was obvious that the situation at the Capitol was violent and escalating quickly. And so, I thought that the tweet about the vice president was the last thing that was needed in that moment and I -- I remember thinking that this was going to be bad for him to tweet this because it was essentially him giving the green light to these people. Telling them that what they were doing at the steps of the Capitol and entering the Capitol was OK. That they were justified in their anger.

And he shouldn't have been doing that. He should have been telling these people to go home and to leave and to condemn the violence that we were seeing.

[21:05:14] And I'm someone who has worked with him, you know, I worked on the campaign. Traveled all around the country, going to countless rallies with him and I've seen the impact that his words have on his supporters. He -- they truly latch onto every word and every tweet he says and so I think that in that moment for him to tweet out the message about Mike Pence it was him pouring gasoline on the fire and making it much worse.

LURIA: Thank you both and let's watch what others also told us about their reactions to this tweet.


CIPOLLONE: I don't remember when exactly I heard about that tweet but my reaction to it was that's a terrible tweet and I disagreed with the sentiment, and I thought it was wrong.

UNKNOWN: What was your reaction when you saw that tweet?

DEERE: Extremely unhelpful.


DEERE: It -- it wasn't the message that we needed at -- at that time. It wasn't going to, the -- the scenes at the U.S. Capitol were only getting worse at that point. This was not going to help that.

UNKNOWN: Were you concerned that it could make it worse?

DEERE: Certainly.

UNKNOWN: Ms. Hutchinson what was your reaction when you saw this tweet?

HUTCHINSON: As a staffer that works to always represent the administration to the best of my ability and to showcase the good things that he had done for the country. I remember feeling frustrated, disappointed and really it -- it felt personal. It was really sad. As an American, I was disgusted. It was unpatriotic. It was un-American. We were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie.


LURIA: As you will see, at 2:26 p.m., the Vice president had to be evacuated to safety a second time and came within 40 feet of the rioters. The attack escalated quickly right after the tweet.


LURIA: During this chaos, what did President Trump do at that point? He went back to calling senators to try to further delay the electoral count. While the vice president was being evacuated from the Senate, President Trump called Senator Tommy Tuberville, one of the strongest supporters in the Senate. As Senator Tuberville later recalled, he had to end the call so that he could evacuate the Senate chamber himself. Let's listen.


SEN. TOMMY TUBERVILLE (R-AL): He called -- he didn't call my phone, he called somebody else and they handed it to me and I -- I basically told him, Mr. President we're -- we're not doing much work here right now because they took our Vice president out and matter of fact, I'm going to have to hang-up on you. I've got to leave.


LURIA: Senator Josh Hawley also had to flee. Earlier that afternoon, before the joint session started, he walked across the east front of the Capitol. As you can see in this photo, he raised his fist in solidarity with the protestors, already amassing at the security gates. He spoke with the Capitol police officer who was out there at the time. She told us that Senator Hawley's gesture rowed up the crowd and it bothered her greatly because he was doing it in a safe space, protected by the officers and the barriers. Later that day, Senator Hawley fled after those protestors he helped to rile up stormed the Capitol. See for yourself.



LURIA: Think about what we've seen. Undeniable violence at the Capitol. The Vice president being evacuated to safety by the Secret Service. Senators running through the hallways of the Senate to get away from the mob. As the Commander-in-Chief President Trump was oath and duty bound to protect the Capitol. His senior staff understood that.


CHENEY: Do you believe, Jared, that the president has an obligation to ensure a peaceful (inaudible) power?


CHENEY: And do you think the president has an obligation to defend all three branches of our government?

KUSHNER: I believe so.

CHENEY: And I assume you'd also would agree the president has a particular obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed?

CIPOLLONE: That is one of the president's obligations. Correct.

KEITH KELLOGG, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR FOR VP MIKE PENCE: There's a Constitutional duty, what he has, he's the Commander-in- Chief, and that was the way it -- that was my biggest issue with him was national security advisor.


LURIA: Rather than uphold his duty to the Constitution, President Trump allowed the mob to achieve the delay that he hoped would keep him in power. I reserve.

CHENEY: The gentlewoman reserves, I request that those in the hearing room remain seated until the Capitol police have escorted members and witnesses from the room. I now declare the committee in recess for a period of approximately 10 minutes.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Some stunning testimony just then from both former Trump White House aides but also perhaps even more pointedly from a witness, a White House employee, with the expertise or a role providing security for the White House who was granted anonymity testifying in silhouette with the voice disguised describing how Vice President Pence's security detail were in fear for their own lives. Phoning members of their family at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. Secret Service agents calling members of their family because they were afraid, they might not make it home presumably on January 6th.

We also heard from that same former -- that same White House employee with an expertise in security talking about how everyone in that world was stunned when Donald Trump said he was going to march to the Capitol because they knew and I'm paraphrasing here. But they knew it meant the difference between democracy, an insurrection or coup in his words. Just shocking testimony Jamie.

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: In addition to that we have heard from top White House officials, Pat Cipollone, White House Council, and all of these others who are telling Trump he has to speak out. He has to stop it, and it is very clear that he understood that he had the power to stop it. He didn't just-- he wasn't just sitting there watching television. He chose not to stop it because, as you hear from these White House aides, he did not want the mob to stop.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Not only did he chose not to stop it with that Pence tweet, what they illustrated was that he chose to in -- in -- in the White House aide's words throw fuel on the fire. And the way that they illustrated how it was already Pence focused in the crowd and among the rioters as they were heading towards the Capitol. When they heard that Pence didn't do what Trump wanted him to do, but then when Trump sent that tweet at 2pm-ish. He knew what he was doing. He knew he was continuing to push these people who were hanging on his every word, waiting for tweets, effectively waiting for directions to be more aggressive towards his vice president and now we know why they want those texts from the Secret Service.

AUDIE CORNISH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We've learned a tremendous amount in the hearing today of -- of the traffic. Right?

GANGEL: The radio traffic. We're going to hear more and more about it --

CORNISH: The radio traffic between the officers. I mean, that's almost more vivid than a text could be. GANGEL: Right.

CORNISH: You know, it's also fascinating that there is just this blank, no photos, right? No call logs. No diaries and then they are able to piece it together from the opposite end.

TAPPER: Just on your point you're making, President Trump telling the White House photographer, which is an official job.

CORNISH: Exactly.

TAPPER: They record everything the president does. Don't take pictures.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: A president who loves attention, knowing it's a moment where he does not want anybody recording what he's doing, what he's doing. And so, he's watching on television.


Let's say you're not completely sure what's happening inside the Capitol from the horrific pictures we were all watching that day, except for those who were actually in the building. Then the national security, that testimony you're talking about just proves that they knew inside the White House that they were getting the live reports, listening to the radio traffic from the police and from the vice president's security detail. Vice president's life -- Mike Pence's life is in danger.

That was known inside the White House at the time. What does the president do? Does he call the Pentagon? Does he call Mike Pence? How are you doing? No, he's calling Rudy Giuliani, his lawyer helping him try to steal the election. And he's calling senators saying, well, if this resumes, you're going to help me slow and stall the election, right? What a glimpse into Donald Trump's --

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I mean, I can't help but think about just from the American electorate the last time we saw a very consequential moment of photograph, Situation Room, Osama bin Laden being executed, right? How important it was to the American people to see the inside of that room where things were happening. And the president is saying, do not show what's happening here.

Are you gleeful? Are you rejoicing? Go back to December 18th, that consequential meeting. This was the plan. January 6th was the culmination of a plan and an effort, it sounds very clear from their testimony, to try to use a last-ditch effort to ignore the fact that the judges told you no, that there was no evidence, your attorney general told you there is nothing there, there's no there there. And now instead why would I have stop what I have set in motion? I mean, inertia is the very thing that stays in motion. And he doesn't want it to stop. That is criminal.

TAPPER: And then -- what do you mean, that's criminal? Legally criminal? COATES: I believe it's legally criminal if you are aware and you're

acting with either a corrupt motive to try to obstruct the proceeding or with corrupt means. And corrupt means, means dishonesty and being -- doing something that you know is actually unlawful or wrong to do. He has been advised by everyone that he shouldn't do so. Now whether DOJ wants to do that prosecution, different story. But remember, we're not talking about rocket science in the sense of having to use anything of direct evidence. Circumstantial also comes. Culmination also comes. We're seeing this here.

TAPPER: Chris Wallace, let me ask you. One of the things -- one of the pictures that has been painted is that Donald Trump was derelict in his duty by not doing more to stop the insurrection. But the question being posed here is, was it not that he was being derelict, it was that he thought this might actually work?

CHRIS WALLACE, CNN HOST: No, I think that's exactly right, Jake. And as I'm hearing this discussion and hearing the very powerful testimony, think about it, under the Constitution, the man who has to -- and it's just a ceremonial role, not what Trump said. But it's a ceremonial role to facilitate the votes, the electoral votes being counted is the vice president of the United States. That's in the Constitution. It's also in the Electoral Count Act.

Now, what happens if there's -- somehow the vice president is taken out of that? I mean, God forbid anything should happen to him. But even if he's just forced to leave the Capitol and can't get back there, does that in its own -- just by itself, does that stop the counting of the vote, which is obviously what we understand President Trump wanted?

So, if you can block -- one way or another, if you can block Mike Pence from being able to perform his ceremonial function, you're able to block the certification of Joe Biden as the president of the United States.

GANGEL: Jake, and we still have not heard yet the outtakes of Trump himself, which I'm told are very dramatic. I just want to say, Cipollone, the White House counsel, corroborated Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony today. And of all the things we've heard in all nine hearings, I think it comes at least to me as a complete shock that there is radio traffic with the vice president's detail fearing for their lives, screaming, saying good-bye to family members.

BASH: What I heard corroborated from Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony, there was so much we haven't even gotten to this. The very beginning of this hearing, we heard about law enforcement officials saying that they too heard about the president being very anxious and angry that he couldn't go to the Capitol. The president and people -- the security people around, understanding that there were weapons in the crowd. These are things that Cassidy Hutchinson testified to, some of the things that her fellow Republicans who are attacking her said was not -- that wasn't true. Well, now we have people -- somebody who actually went on camera who was part of the motorcade saying that he heard this as part of the radio traffic. TAPPER: Yes, the Metropolitan Police Department, Sergeant Mark

Robinson. And also, an anonymous account, John King, very similar to what Cassidy Hutchinson had testified, that Tony Ornato, White House deputy chief of staff and now Secret Service agent, in front of the Secret Service agent Engel saying that the president was very irate that he wasn't allowed to go to the Hill.


KING: And again, from an investigative standpoint, the committee has masterfully turned these attacks into new information. They try to impugn Cassidy Hutchinson, other witnesses come forward. They try to deny her account about the Secret Service, other witnesses come forward and the hearings we thought might end this week will resume in September because they're continuing, even though they've presented a ton of damning evidence so far. We're not done with tonight. They say they continue to get even more worthy of further discussion down the road.

TAPPER: The hearing is about to resume. We're going to squeeze in a quick break. Our conversation will continue in a second.


TAPPER: Tonight's January 6th Select House Committee hearing resumes any minute. We have already gotten some chilling testimony and we will be expecting more chilling testimony about President Trump's behavior as his supporters, the mob were waging a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol and he was resisting pleas from his family members and top advisers to tell the mob to leave the Capitol, for more than three hours he resisted those pleas. We also expect the committee to play some never-before-seen outtakes from Trump's video message the day after the riot. We're told in those outtakes he praises the mob and goes to great lengths to avoid accusing the rioters of wrongdoing. We are learning how some Trump staffers are responding to tonight's testimony. And Kaitlan Collins has that part of the story.

Kaitlan, what are you hearing?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jake, as these hearings have gone on, you know, we've spoken to a lot of people who worked in the Trump White House, who have remained in the former president's orbit, who have really kind of discounted these hearings and said they're not going to amount to much. That moment that you saw from the committee earlier where they played that audio of the Secret Service detail for former Vice President Mike Pence that day on January 6th as they were scrambling to get him out of there and into a secure location, obviously their number one job to protect him.

I've actually heard from several former staffers who worked in the Trump White House that they are shocked by that audio because you listen to them saying, if we don't get out now, we are losing time here. The window is cutting short. Trying to figure out where the smoke is, where it's coming from, if they're going to encounter protesters there. And then obviously you heard from the anonymous security official,

doesn't really detail a lot of information about who they are, what role they played, saying that national security staff was listening to them in real time, overheard some of them making good-bye calls to their family members.

And, Jake, the Secret Service details are people that the staffers know very well. They interact with them on a daily basis. They fly with them on the plane. They go with them to meetings. They know these people as colleagues because they work with them so closely. And I think it goes back to showing people, you know, the further you get away from January 6th, I think it's easy for some people to forget how they felt that day.

But I remember reporting in real time, people were genuinely freaked out by what was going on that day. And I think listening to that audio of the Secret Service detail for Pence has reminded some of the former staffers who, to me, have expressed shock over that audio.

TAPPER: All right. And while we wait for the committee hearing to resume, we should note that an important context here, Jamie Gangel, and we heard this from the White House employee with responsibility for security that the president, this is his quote now: "The president wanted to lead tens of thousands of people to the Capitol." I think that was enough grounds for us to be alarmed. The question, why? What did Trump want to do while there with these hundreds if not thousands of rioting supporters?

GANGEL: He wanted to obstruct Congress and the electoral process, plain and simple. And all of these people -- what we're hearing today are from White House insiders, all of whom understood that Trump really did want to go to the Capitol. He really did want to stop it. And the reason he didn't speak, the crowd was doing it for him once they wouldn't let him go to the Capitol.


TAPPER: And here we go. The vice chair, Liz Cheney, is resuming the hearing. We have the deputy national security council adviser and deputy White House press secretary.

CHENEY: The committee will be in order. I now recognize the gentleman from Illinois.

KINZINGER: We left at the recess just after President Trump's 2:24 tweet attacking the vice president. By this time, the president had been in his dining room for an hour. I want you to just think of what you would have done if you were in his shoes and had the power to end the violence. You would have immediately and forcefully told the rioters to stop and leave. Like, stop and leave. Done. As you heard, that's exactly what his senior staff had been urging him to do. But he resisted. And he kept resisting for another almost two hours. In the meantime, all the president did was post two tweets. One at 2:38 and the other at 3:13. One said, quote: "Stay peaceful." The other said, quote: "Remain peaceful." But the president already knew that the mob was attacking the police

and had invaded the Capitol. Neither tweet condemned the violence or told the mob to leave the Capitol and disperse. To appreciate how obvious it was that President Trump was not meeting this moment, it's helpful to look at the real time reactions of his own son, Don Jr., to the first tweet, captured in a series of text messages with Mark Meadows. I'll warn the audience that these messages contain some strong language.

As you can see, Don Jr. first texted Mr. Meadows at 2:53. He wrote: "He has got to condemn this shit ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough."

Mr. Meadows replied: "I am pushing it hard. I agree."

Don Jr. responded: "This is one you go to the mattresses on. They will try to fuck his entire legacy on this if it gets worse."

Here's what Don Jr. told us he meant by "go to the mattresses."


UNKNOWN: It's 58 when you say that he needs -- that Mr. Meadows needs to "go to the mattresses" on this issue. When you say "go to the mattresses," what does that mean?

DONALD TRUMP JR., SON OF DONALD TRUMP: Just a reference for going all in. I think it's a "Godfather" reference.


KINZINGER: Sean Hannity agreed, and he also turned to Mark Meadows for help after the president's second tweet. As you can see, Mr. Hannity texted at 3:31 to say Trump needed to deliver a statement to the nation telling the rioters to leave the Capitol. Mr. Meadows responded that he was, quote, "on it."

Don Jr. And Sean Hannity were not the only ones who implored Mr. Meadows to get the president to speak to the nation and tell the mob to leave, to go home. Go home. Throughout the attack, Mr. Meadows received texts from Republican members of Congress, from current and former Trump administration officials, from media personalities, and from friends. Like President Trump's staff, they knew President Trump had to speak publicly to get the mob to stop.

Let's look at just a few of these text messages. FOX News personality Laura Ingraham said: "The president needs to tell the people in the Capitol to go home."

Former Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney urged: "Mark, he needs to stop this now."

FOX News personality Brian Kilmeade said: "Please get him on TV. Destroying everything that you guys have accomplished."

When we interviewed White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, he told us that he knew the president's two tweets were not enough. Let's listen to what he said.


UNKNOWN: I think the question is, did you believe that the tweets were not anything about your advice to the president?

CIPOLLONE: No, I believe more needed to be done, OK? I believed that a public statement needed to be made.

CHENEY: When you talk about others on the staff thinking more should be done or thinking that the president needed to tell people to go home, who would you put in that category?

CIPOLLONE: Well, I would put Pat Philbin, Eric Herschmann, overall, Mark Meadows, Ivanka, once Jared got there, Jared, General Kellogg.


I'm probably missing some, but those are -- Kayleigh, I think was there but I don't, Dan Scavino.

CHENEY: And who on the staff did not want people to leave the Capitol?

CIPOLLONE: On the staff?

CHENEY: In the White House, how about?

CIPOLLONE: I -- I -- I can't think of anybody, you know, on that day who didn't want people to get out of the Capitol once the -- you know, particularly once the violence started, no. I mean...

SCHIFF: What about the president?


CIPOLLONE: She said, "the staff." So I answered.

CHENEY: No, I said "in the White House."

CIPOLLONE: Oh, I'm sorry. I apologize. I thought you said, "Who else on the staff?"

I -- I'm -- I can't reveal communications. But obviously, I think, you know.


KINZINGER: Let's pause on that last statement. Although Pat Cipollone is being careful about executive privilege, there really is no ambiguity about what he said. Almost everybody wanted President Trump to instruct the mob to disperse. President Trump refused.

To understand how inadequate the president's tweets were, let's examine his 2:38 tweet in more detail. For context, here's what was happening at that time.


UNKNOWN: They broke the glass.

UNKNOWN: Everybody stay down. Keep down.

UNKNOWN: Doors barricaded. There's people flooding the hallways outside. We have no way out.

UNKNOWN: We were just told that there has been tear gas in the rotunda, and we're being instructed to, each of us, get gas masks.

UNKNOWN: We went from a peaceful protest, and this is a very dangerous situation right now, that there are -- I'm being told these protesters on the inside are around both chambers, and there is now tear gas inside the Capitol Rotunda, in fact members locked in the House are being instructed to put on masks.


KINZINGER: Ms. Matthews, after President Trump's tweet about Vice President Pence, you told us you spoke to -- immediately you spoke to Kayleigh McEnany. What did you tell her, and where did she go afterwards?

MATTHEWS: After the tweet about the vice president, I found Kayleigh and told her that I thought the president needed to immediately send out a tweet that condemned the violence that we were seeing and that there needed to be a call to action to tell these people to leave the Capitol. And she agreed and walked over to the Oval dining room to find the president.

KINZINGER: We interviewed Ms. McEnany and others who were in the dining room with the president, urging him to put out a statement. Ms. Matthews, Ms. McEnany told us she came right back to the press office after meeting with the president about this particular tweet. What did she tell you about what happened in that dining room?

MATTHEWS: When she got back, she told me that a tweet had been sent out. And I told her that I thought the tweet did not go far enough, that I thought there needed to be a call to action and he needed to condemn the violence.

And we were in a room full of people, but people weren't paying attention, so she looked directly at me and, in a hushed tone, shared with me that the president did not want to include any sort of mention of peace in that tweet, and that it took some convincing on their part, those who were in the room. And she said that there was a back- and-forth, going over different phrases to find something that he was comfortable with. And it wasn't until Ivanka Trump suggested the phrase "stay peaceful" that he finally agreed to include it.

KINZINGER: The president resisted writing "stay peaceful" in a tweet. He told Mark Meadows that the rioters were doing what they should be doing, and the rioters understood they were doing what President Trump wanted them to do. President Trump's message was heard clearly by Stop the Steal

organizer Ali Alexander. At 2:38, he told another organizer, quote, "POTUS is not ignorant of what his words would do."


Rioters storming the Capitol also heard President Trump's message. In this video, you'll see surveillance footage from the rotunda that shows a group of Oath Keepers, including Jessica Watkins, who's been charged with seditious conspiracy. You'll hear her walkie talkie communications with others as they share intelligence and communicate about President Trump's 2:38 tweet in real time. Again, we warn the audience that this clip also contains strong language.


UNKNOWN: CNN just said that they evacuated all members of Congress into a safety room.

UNKNOWN: There's no safe place in the United States for any of these motherfuckers right now. Let me tell you.

UNKNOWN: I hope they understand that we are not joking around.

UNKNOWN: It's military principle 105, military principle 105, cave means grave.

UNKNOWN: Trump just tweeted, "Please support our Capitol Police. They are on our side. Do not harm them."

UNKNOWN: That's saying a lot by what he didn't say. He didn't say not to do anything to the congressmen.


UNKNOWN: Well, he did not ask them to stand down. He just said "Stand by the Capitol Police. They are on our side and they are good people." So it's getting real down there. I've got it on TV, and it's -- it's looking pretty freaking radical to me. CNN said that Trump has egged this on, that he is egging it on, and that he is watching the country burn two weeks before he leaves office. He is not leaving office. I don't give a shit what they say.

UNKNOWN: We are in the mezzanine. We are in the main dome right now. We are rocking it. They're throwing grenades. They're fricking shooting people with paint balls. But we're in here.

UNKNOWN: Be safe. Be safe. God bless, and Godspeed, and keep going.

UNKNOWN: Get it, Jess. Do your shit. This is what we fucking lived up for, everything we fucking trained for.

UNKNOWN: We're going to the Capitol, overran the the Capitol.

UNKNOWN: We're in the fucking Capitol, bro.


KINZINGER: We've now seen how President Trump's supporters reacted to his tweets.

Mr. Pottinger, you told us that you considered the tweets sent to this point to be, quote, "wholly inadequate given the urgency of the crisis." What, in your view, would have been needed?

POTTINGER: Yeah, I -- it was insufficient. I think what -- you could count me among those who was hoping to see an unequivocal, strong statement clearing out the Capitol, telling people to stand down, leave, go home. I think that's what we were hoping for.

KINZINGER: So something a lot more, kind of, definitive and not ambiguous?


KINZINGER: Because he has that power over his folks.

Ms. Matthews, you told us about a colleague who said during the attack that the president should not condemn the violence. Can you please tell us about how that -- about that moment and your reaction?

MATTHEWS: Yes. So a conversation started in the press office after the president sent out those two tweets that I deemed were insufficient. And a colleague suggested that the president shouldn't condemn the violence because they thought it would be, quote, "handing a win to the media" if he were to condemn his supporters.

And I disagreed. I thought that we should condemn the violence and condemn it unequivocally. And I thought that he needed to include a call to action and to tell these people to go home. And a debate ensued over it. And I became visibly frustrated, and my colleagues were well aware of that. And I couldn't believe that we were arguing over this in the middle of the West Wing, talking about the politics of a tweet, being concerned with handing the media a win, when we had just watched all of that violence unfold at the Capitol.

And so, I motioned up at the TV and I said, "Do you think it looks like we're effing winning? Because I don't think it does." And I again reiterated that I thought that the president needed to condemn the violence because it didn't matter if it was coming from the left or the right, that you should condemn violence 100 percent of the time.

KINZINGER: We've heard this evening how everyone in the president's orbit was pushing him to do more, to tell the mob to leave the Capitol. One of these people, one of those people, was Republican leader Kevin McCarthy. He managed to get the president on the phone and told him to call off his supporters. As you will hear, the president refused. And so, Leader McCarthy reached out for help to Ivanka Trump, who was at the White House, and Jared Kushner, who that afternoon had just arrived back on a flight from the Middle East.



UNKNOWN: So, at some point in the afternoon, Mr. McCarthy placed a phone call to Mr. Scavino's desk line, and it was transferred to the president. Is that correct?


UNKNOWN: OK. Were you involved in making that -- transferring that call?

MICHAEL: I -- I -- yes.

UNKNOWN: OK. Where was the president at the time that he took that call?

MICHAEL: He was in the dining room.

UNKNOWN: Would you personally reach out to the president for more support?

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I've already talked to the president. I called him. I think we need to make a statement, make sure that we can calm individuals down.

UNKNOWN: Did Mr. McCarthy indicate that he had been in touch with President Trump?

MARK SHORT, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: He indicated that he had had some conversation. I don't recall whether it was with the president or with somebody at the White House, but I think he -- he'd expressed frustration that -- not taking the circumstance as seriously as they should at that moment.

REP. JAIME HERRERA BEUTLER (R-WA): I asked Kevin McCarthy, who's the Republican leader, about this, and -- and he said he called Donald -- he finally got through to Donald Trump. And he said, "You have got to get on TV. You've got to get on Twitter. You've got to call these people off."

You know what the president said to him? This is as it's happening. He said, "Well, Kevin, these are my people, you know, these aren't Antifa."

And Kevin responded and said, "No, they're your people. They literally just come through my office windows and my staff are running for cover. I mean, they're running for their lives. You need to call them off."

And the president's response to Kevin, to me, was chilling. He said, "Well, Kevin, I guess they're just more upset about the election, you know, theft than you are."

And that's -- you know, you've seen widespread reports of Kevin McCarthy and the president having basically a swearing conversation. That's when the swearing commenced because the president was basically saying, "Nah, I'm OK with this."

UNKNOWN: Leader McCarthy, the president of the United States has a briefing room, steps from the Oval Office. It is -- the cameras are hot 24/7, as you know. Why hasn't he walked down and said that now?

MCCARTHY: I've -- I conveyed to the president what I think is best to do, and I'm hopeful the president will do it.

UNKNOWN: And have you spoken with his chief of staff?

MCCARTHY: I've spoken to the president. I've spoken to other people in there and to the White House as well.

UNKNOWN: Who else reached out to Mr. Trump that you know of that afternoon about the attack on the Capitol?


KUSHNER: So I heard my phone ringing, turned the shower off, saw it was Leader McCarthy, who I had a good relationship with. He told me it was getting really ugly over at the Capitol and said, "Please, you know, anything you could do to help, I would appreciate it."

I don't recall a specific ask, just "anything you could do." Again, I got the sense that, you know, they were -- they were -- you know, they were scared.

UNKNOWN: They, meaning Leader McCarthy and people on the Hill, because of the violence?

KUSHNER: He was scared, yes.


KINZINGER: Think about that. Leader McCarthy, who was one of the president's strongest supporters, was scared and begging for help. President Trump turned him down. So he tried to call the president's children.

Republican House member Mike Gallagher also implored the president to call off the attack.


REP. MIKE GALLAGHER (R-WI): Mr. President, you have got to stop this. You are the only person who can call this off. Call it off. The election is over. Call it off.


KINZINGER: President-elect Joe Biden also went live on TV to demand that President Trump tell the mob to leave.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I call on President Trump to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.


KINZINGER: It was a desperate scramble for everyone to get President Trump to do anything. All this occurred, and the president still did not act.

I yield to my friend from Virginia.

LURIA: Thank you, Mr. Kinzinger.

President Trump finally relented to the pleas from his staff, his family and from Capitol Hill, for him to do something more, at 4:17, 187 minutes, more than three hours after he stopped speaking at the Ellipse, after he stopped speaking to a mob that he had sent armed to the Capitol.

That's when he tweeted a video telling the rioters to go home, while also telling him -- them -- that they were "special" and that he "loved" them. By that time, although, the violence was far from over.


LURIA: to go home, while also telling him -- them that they were special and that he loved them. By that time, although the violence was far from over, law enforcement had started to turn the tide. Reinforcements were on the way, and elected officials were in secure locations. The writing was already on the wall. The rioters would not succeed. Here's what was showing on Fox News, the channel the President was watching all afternoon.


UNKNOWN: Dr. Brett Baier with more information now. Brett, what do you have?

BAIER: Yeah, our Pentagon team, Jen Griffin, Lucas Tomlinson, confirming the Defense Department has now mobilized the entire D.C. National Guard 1,800 troops take several hours as I was mentioning before, to get them up and running the army Secretary Ryan McCarthy is setting up a headquarters at the FBI. You just heard from David Spunt that the FBI is also sending troops to the Capitol.


LURIA: It's no coincidence then that President Trump finally gave in and went out to the Rose Garden at 4:03. His staff prepared a script for him to read, but he refused to use it. As you can see on the screen, you can see the script to stamp President has seen the script said quote, "I'm asking you to leave the capital region now and go home in a peaceful way." The President was urged to stick to this script, but he spoke off the cuff. Eric Herschmann and Nick Luna went with the President to film the message in the Rose Garden. Let's hear what they had to say and see the never-before-seen raw footage of the President recording this video message.


UNKNOWN: Ultimately, these remarks that we're looking at here and exhibit 25 are not the remarks that the President delivered in the Rose Garden. Do you know why the President decided not to use these?

NICHOLAS LUNA, FORMER ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: I don't know, sir. No, I do not know why.

UNKNOWN: Did the President use any written remarks to your knowledge? Or did he just go off the cuff?

LUNA: To my knowledge, it was off the cuff, sir.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know your pain. I know you're hurt. We had an election.

I know your pain. I know you're hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election. And everyone knows that. Especially the other side.

But you have to go home now. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order. We have to respect our great people in law and order. We don't want anybody hurt. It's a very tough period of time. There's never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us, from me from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election. But we can't play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace.

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 at peace.

KUSHNER: When I got there, basically, the President just had finished filming the video. And I think he was basically retiring for the day.

UNKNOWN: Was there any discussion about the President releasing a second video that day?

HERSCHMANN: Not that I recall. When -- when he finished his video, I think everyone was like days over. People were pretty drained.

UNKNOWN: Were pretty what?


UNKNOWN: When we say day -- day over, there were still people in the Capitol at that point, weren't there?

HERSCHMANN: There were people in the Capitol, but I believe by this stage, law enforcement -- and I'd have to go back and look, but I believe law enforcement was either there moving in or going to take charge. I just hope people were emotionally drained by the time that videotape was done.


LURIA: Emotionally drained at the White House? Here's what was happening at the same time at the Capitol. We warn the audience that this clip also contains strong language and violence.



UNKNOWN: Keep pushing. Don't lose the momentum. Keep pushing. Don't lose the momentum.

UNKNOWN: Another officer is unconscious.

UNKNOWN: Everybody, we need gas masks. We need weapons. We need strong, angry patriots to help our cause. They don't want to leave.

UNKNOWN: Everybody, we need gas masks. We need weapons. We need strong, angry patriots to help our cause. They don't want to leave.

UNKNOWN: The terrorists. What terrorists?


LURIA: While President Trump refused to even lift another finger to help other leaders honor their oath and acted to clear the Capitol and resume the joint session. For instance, here, never before seen photos and video of congressional leaders in action during the attack. The video was a portion of a call they had at approximately 4:45 with Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): We're not going to let these people keep us from finishing our business. So, we need you to get the billing cleared; give us the OK, so we can go back in session and finish up the people as soon as possible.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Mr. Secretary, it's Senator Schumer. Some people here in the Capitol, police believe it would take us several days to secure the building. Do you agree with that analysis?

MILLER: I'm not on the ground, but I do not agree with that analysis.

SCHUMER: So, what is the earliest that we could safely resume our proceedings in the Senate and House chambers? The earliest we could safely resume.

MILLER: I -- here's my assessment, but I prefer to be on the ground, which I personally would prefer to be right now that I need to be here; I would say best case we're looking at four to five hours.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LURIA: The Vice President also worked the phones from his own secure evacuation location, including conversations with Acting Secretary of Defense Miller and other military leaders. While past President Trump's 4:17 video. Let's look at some never-before-seen photographs of the vice president during this critical time and hear about the Vice President's conversation with military leaders to secure the capital and ensure everyone was safe.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Vice President Pence, two or three calls with Vice President Pence. He was very animated. And he issued very explicit, very direct, unambiguous orders. There was no question about that. And he was, and I can get you the exact quotes, I guess from some of our records somewhere, but he was very animated, very direct, very firm. And to Secretary Miller, get the military down there, get the guard down here, put down this situation, et cetera.


LURIA: As you heard earlier in the hearing, the President did not call the Vice President or anyone in the military, federal law enforcement, or D.C. government, not a single person. But General Milley did hear from Mark Meadows the contrast between that call and his calls with Vice President Pence. Tell you everything you need to know about President Trump's dereliction of duty; let's listen.


MILLEY: He said -- this is from memory. He said we have -- we have to kill the narrative that the Vice President is making all the decisions. We need to establish the narrative that you know that the President is still in charge and that things are steady or stable or words to that effect. I immediately interpret that as Politics, Politics, Politics. Red flag for me personally, no action, but I remember distinctly and -- and I don't do political narratives.


LURIA: So, while President Trump and his advisers were drained, other leaders upheld their oath to do the right thing. Maybe it was exhausting to get the president to put out that video. But think about the law enforcement officers who were attacked by the mob that day, and President Trump had summoned them himself to Washington. And what about President Trump? He watched TV tweeted, called senators to try to delay the count of electoral votes, called Rudy Giuliani, and argued with his staff, who are insinuating who were insisting that he should call off the attack.

Ms. Matthews, what was your reaction to President Trump's message to the mob at 4:17.


MATTHEWS: I was struck by the fact that he chose to begin the video by pushing the lie that there was a stolen election. And as the video went on, I felt a small sense of relief because he finally told these people to go home. But that was immediately followed up by him saying; we love you; you're very special. And that was disturbing to me because he didn't distinguish between those that peacefully attended his speech earlier that day and those that we watched cause violence at the Capitol.

Instead, he told the people who we had just watched storm our nation's capital with the intent on overthrowing our democracy, violently attack police officers and chant heinous things like hang Mike Pence; we love you, you're very special.

And as a spokesperson for him, I knew that I would be asked to defend that. And, to me, his refusal to act and call off the mob that day and his refusal to condemn the violence was indefensible. And so, I knew that I would be resigning that evening. And so, I finished out the workday, went home, and called my loved ones to tell them on my decision and resign that evening.

LURIA: Thank you. Indefensible. Let's hear what some of your colleagues in the press office told us about their reaction to the same 4:17 message.


DEERE: I felt like it was the absolute bare minimum of what could have been said at that point for something on camera.

UNKNOWN: What else do you think should have been said?

DEERE: So, a more forceful -- a more forceful dismissal of the violence, a more forceful command to go home, a more forceful respect for law enforcement, even a comparison to the respect that we have given law enforcement as it relates to what was done to them in the prior summer. And I thought it was important that an acknowledgment be given to the U.S. Capitol building itself. What it's a symbol of, what it means, not only to the people that work there, but to the American people generally, and the work of Congress that by law needed to be conducted that day.

UNKNOWN: Do you wish in hindsight that the President has had asked the protesters to leave the Capitol earlier than he ended up asking them to do that?

MCENAMY: Of course, I would love to go home message would have happened earlier in the day.


LURIA: The President's words matter. We know that many of the rioters were listening to President Trump. We heard from one last week, Steven Ayres. Let's listen to what he had to say about the 4:17 message from the President and see how rioters reacted to the President's message in real-time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) AYRES: Well, when we were there, as soon as that come out, everybody started talking about it. And that's -- it seemed like it started to disperse, you know, some of the crowd.

CHANSLEY: I'm here delivering the President's message. Donald Trump has asked everyone to go home.

UNKNOWN: He said go home. That's our order. He says go home. He says go home. Yeah, he said to go home.


LURIA: But just as Mr. Ayres said, police were still fending off the last throes of the brutal assault. I yield to the gentleman from Illinois.

KINZINGER: While everyone else was working to get Congress back in session, what did President Trump do? At 6:01, just one minute after the citywide curfew went into effect, he posted his last tweet of the day after officers engaged in multiple hours of hand-to-hand combat, with over 100 of them sustaining injuries. President Trump tweeted at 6:01 and justified the violence as a natural response to the election.

He said quote, "these are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide victory is so unceremoniously, viciously stripped away from great patriots who been badly unfairly treated for so long? Go home with love and peace. Remember this day forever!" He called the mob great patriots. He told people to remember the day forever. He showed absolutely no remorse.