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State of the Union

Interview With Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD); Interview With Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV); Interview With Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA); Interview With Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC). Aired 9-10a ET

Aired January 10, 2021 - 09:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): Day of infamy. Trump incites a horrific coup attempt at the Capitol, putting lawmakers at risk, and igniting a push to impeach and remove the president do. Do Democrats have enough time and enough Republicans? I will speak with House Majority Whip James Clyburn and Democratic Senator James Manchin next.

And calling it quits. Twitter silences President Trump, as members of his Cabinet and administration resign. But will the president's own party finally take a stand? A Republican senator who now says Trump's actions were impeachable, Pat Toomey, joins me to discuss in moments.

Plus: How did it happen, the nation's capital overtaken by a mob, five people killed? Why wasn't law enforcement prepared? And why did it take so long to get help? One Republican governor says he had the National Guard ready, but could not get authorization. Larry Hogan is here exclusively ahead.


TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is just utterly devastated, after one of the darkest days in our nation's history, a coup attempt, no longer bloodless, instigated by the president of the United States.

The flags at the U.S. Capitol are at half-staff this morning for the police officer, Brian Sicknick, who was murdered this week. But they are not at half-staff at the White House, perhaps because Officer Sicknick was the enemy of the terrorist mob, and the mob loves Trump.

The mob, by trying to intimidate, threaten, or even kill the vice president and members of Congress who were counting the electoral votes, that mob was in turn loved back by Trump. According to Republican Senator Ben Sasse, White House aides told him that the president was -- quote -- "delighted" watching the insurrection. In Trump's view, they were fighting for him.

Trump put out a statement. "We love you," he said, after the attack. "You're very special."

Now, it might be difficult to hear these words. It's difficult to say them, because it's so ugly. But it's true. The flag isn't down at the White House because the president is not mourning Officer Sicknick. He hasn't personally decried the terrorists in any way, because the president loves the terrorists.

And he reportedly has not even spoken to his own vice president, whose life was at risk since Wednesday.

The images of this attack are so shocking that many of Trump's enablers are finally, with just a few days left in his presidency, beginning to get the goddamn point that his continuous lies and humoring of racists and winks and nods to violent extremists are dangerous.

Twitter and many other social media outlets have silenced him permanently. Members of his Cabinet are bailing like rats from a sinking rat.

Some of his closest allies on Capitol Hill are now trying to weasel their way out of their responsibility for the bloodshed, how they shared lies for months.

And the case for Trump's second impeachment, it is expected to be introduced to the House tomorrow.

We're going to speak to a Republican senator who says he does think the president committed impeachable offenses, but we're first going to start with the latest from the House of Representatives.

And joining us now, Majority Whip Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.

Whip Clyburn, before we get into the news, I have to ask you, on a personal level, your workplace was invaded by a hostile mob of domestic terrorists. Five people are dead, including an officer that I'm sure you recognize, maybe even knew.

How are you doing? And how is your staff?

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): Well, I'm doing very well.

My security detail, the Capitol Police that are assigned to me, did a remarkable job. I never really felt any real personal danger. They got me out of there and got me to where I needed to go, needed to be in a very -- in fact, I arrived at the spot at the same time that Nancy Pelosi arrived there as well.

And so I have nothing but good things to say about them.

The shame is the fact that the leadership above them did not give them the right kind of directions. And, therefore, they were not able to be -- effectively doing their jobs throughout.

TAPPER: I want to ask you about that in a second.

But let's talk about the impeachment proceedings. Are you going to introduce the articles of impeachment tomorrow? And when are you planning to hold a vote?


CLYBURN: Well, I think they will be drawn up or finished tomorrow. It may be Tuesday before we really get them to the floor.

You see, because it's privileged, it can go directly to the floor, and it may not go through the regular -- what we call the regular order through maybe the Judiciary Committee. So, it may be Tuesday or Wednesday before any action is taken, but I think it will be taken this week.

TAPPER: We have seen a draft one article of impeachment for incitement of insurrection. You said you could have more than one article. What would the second or third articles be?

CLYBURN: Well, I congratulate Jamie Raskin with a job well done with that one article, because you read the article, you see that he brought into that article the issue that concerned me.

And that is whether or not we would ignore what the president did regarding the vote down in Georgia that is the presidential vote in Georgia. We heard him on the phone talking to the secretary of state, in fact, almost ordering him, begging at one time and ordering at the other time, and threatening him with criminal action to overturn the vote, to find him 11,700-some-odd votes that he needed in order to be declared the victor.

That is impeachable. And I think it should be brought into the discussion. Now, I know the state laws were -- are applicable, as well as local laws. But I think that we in the House of Representatives has got a responsibility to maintain the integrity of a federal election.

We tell the people all the time that your vote is your voice. Well, our vote is our voice. And we must voice disapproval of what the president did.

TAPPER: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that any trial of the president after impeachment could begin on January 20 at 1:00 p.m. That would be about an hour after Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president.

It could distract the Senate from considering any Cabinet nominees for Joe Biden, passing coronavirus relief. Do you have any concerns that Congress will be distracted if this trial goes forward, instead of focusing on the Cabinet and coronavirus?

CLYBURN: Yes, I do have concerns. And so does Speaker Pelosi.

Mitch McConnell is a pretty good legislator. And he's doing what he thinks he needs to do to be disruptive of President Biden. But I would say to Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi is smarter than that. We will take the vote that we should take in the House. And she will make the determination as to when is the best time to get that vote and get the managers appointed and move that legislation over to the Senate. It just so happens that, if it did go over there for 100 days, it

could -- let's give president-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running. And maybe we will send the articles some time after that.

TAPPER: All right. So, you might impeach this week, vote to impeach this week, but then not deliver the articles of impeachment for several months, until the Cabinet, at least most of the Cabinet has been confirmed for Joe Biden, as well as coronavirus relief being passed.

Interesting. I want to...

CLYBURN: Well, that's (AUDIO GAP) talking there. I'm managing -- this is my first elective office.

I have been managing something all of my life. And so I would say, in this instance, it is up to the speaker to do whatever she thinks is the best thing the to do. But all I am saying is, you can manage this in such a way that you make it an effective presentation to the Senate.


I want to warn our viewers about some graphic videos from the terrorist attack. We have seen some like this one I am putting up on the screen right now, Capitol Police officers being attacked and hurt by these insurrectionists, by these domestic terrorists. One officer, Brian Sicknick, was even killed.

We have also seen some images of -- there was an image of a policeman, Capitol Police, taking a selfie with a rioter. We have seen some other images of officers appearing to allow the protesters, the rioters to pass by.

Now, you suggested on a caucus phone call that there may be some Capitol Police officers who aided the rioters, were complicit in the attack. You said -- quote -- "Something else was going on untoward here."

Obviously, as you stated at the beginning, so many police officers did such a valiant job and should be commended. And so many of them were injured. One of them, obviously, was killed.

Removing them from the conversation, what evidence are you talking about?


CLYBURN: Well, I am saying that I have an unmarked office that you have got to know exactly where it is.

It is where I spend most of my time doing my work. As the majority whip, I have a staff. We work really hard trying to keep up with the members, trying to make sure we do an effective job of managing the votes once they get to the floor. And that office is where I do most of my work. And for some reason,

these people showed up at that office. But the officer where my name is above the door -- or on the door and my position above the door was not disturbed.

So, I'm just saying, they didn't go to where my name was. They went where I usually hang out. And so that, to me, indicates that something untoward may have been going on.

TAPPER: I want to ask you about a comment Nancy Pelosi made about that these protesters, these rioters, these insurrectionists -- quote -- "have chosen their whiteness over democracy."

Is that what you think happened here?

CLYBURN: Oh, many of them, absolutely.

I can't tell you how many times in my life I have heard people say to me, to my teeth, so to speak, that that is what is paramount with them. Why would anybody be going there with this so-called Confederate Battle Flag?

I have been telling people all the time there is something else about that flag that people don't focus on. That has never been the Confederate Flag. And when people tell you it is all about heritage, it is not about heritage. That flag was never adopted by the Confederacy. They always rejected that flag.

Nathan Bedford Forrest put that flag out here when he was forming the Ku Klux Klan, or when he was running it, though he said he didn't found it. But the fact of the matter is, that flag has been adopted by skinheads and white supremacists in Germany. You can't -- it is illegal for the swastika to fly in Germany. So, they took that flag.

So, when that guy walked in there with that flag, he wasn't talking about the Confederacy. He was talking about his whiteness. That flag is the flag of white nationalism and the flag of white supremacy.

TAPPER: Majority Whip James Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina, we are glad you are OK. Thanks for joining us today.

CLYBURN: Thank you very much for having me.

TAPPER: Late at night, after surviving the abhorrent terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol, some Republicans took to the Senate floor to denounce what happened.

Take a listen to Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey.


SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): We witnessed today the damage that can result when men in power and responsibility refuse to acknowledge the truth. We saw bloodshed because a demagogue chose to spread falsehoods and sow distrust of his own fellow Americans.

Let's not abet such deception.


TAPPER: Now those same Republicans could be facing a decision about whether they would vote to remove the president from the White House before noon on January 20.

Joining me now is Republican Senator Pat Toomey from great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Senator, I want to get your reaction to what happened on Wednesday, before we get to some of these policy issues.

Your workplace was invaded by an angry terrorist mob. It left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

How are you doing? How is your staff doing?

TOOMEY: We're all fine, Jake. Thanks.

Obviously, it was a harrowing experience. But there was never a moment when I felt that I was in personal physical danger. We never actually saw the rioters in the building. We were aware that they were in the building while we were in the building.

But I never felt that a personal attack was imminent. My staff was locked in various offices, and they were always safe. They never encountered any of these rioters.

And I would share the sentiment of Congressman Clyburn. The individual officers were absolutely heroic. It's heartbreaking that one of them actually died in this outrageous atrocity. But they were heroic in their determination to protect all of us.

And while there was obviously massive failure at the leadership level that could have allowed this to happen, the individual men and women, they're heroes.

TAPPER: I'm glad you didn't feel any personal threats. We have obviously heard from other members of Congress who felt more directly in threat.

TOOMEY: That's right. I understand that. Right.

TAPPER: Your Republican colleague Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska says President Trump should resign. She said -- quote -- "He's caused enough damage."

Do you agree?

TOOMEY: Yes, I do.

I think, at this point, with just a few days left, it's the best path forward, the best way to get this person in the rearview mirror for us.


That could happen immediately. I'm not optimistic it will. But I do think that would be the best way forward.

TAPPER: The House is moving ahead with impeachment proceedings this week.

Republican Senator Ben Sasse said the president -- quote -- "disregarded his oath of office," that he would consider articles of impeachment. Do you think the president should be impeached? Would you vote to remove him from office?

TOOMEY: So, I think the president did commit impeachable offenses. There's little doubt in my mind about that.

I don't know, as a practical matter, that it is actually even possible to do an impeachment in the number -- in the handful of days that are left. It's likely that, if the House does pass articles of impeachment, we wouldn't get them until, I don't know, Tuesday or Wednesday.

We're literally less than one week to go at that point. I'm also not at all clear that it's constitutionally permissible to impeach someone after they have left office. So, there may not be a viable impeachment route at this point.

But, certainly, he could resign, and that would be a very good outcome.

TAPPER: Regardless of the timing and logistics and whether or not there would be 67 Senate votes to convict the president and remove him from office, should President Trump face any consequences for inciting a mob, a terrorist mob, to attack the Capitol, resulting in bloodshed?

TOOMEY: Yes, he should.

And that's part of the dilemma here. Impeachment does have the virtue of a politically accountable action that is taken when it's warranted. Unfortunately, the -- mechanically, that is certainly very problematic.

Look, I think there's also a possibility that there's criminal liability here. I'm not a -- I'm not a lawyer. I'm not a prosecutor. So -- and I do know that the standard for a conviction in a criminal prosecution is quite high. So, I'm not sure whether that could be met.

But there should be accountability. I will say, there is one very, very important form of accountability. I think the president has disqualified himself from ever certainly serving in office again. I don't think he would -- is electable in any way.

And I don't think he's going to be exercising anything like the kind of influence that he has had over the Republican Party going forward.

TAPPER: Just to be clear, you're talking about possible -- although neither of us are attorneys -- possible criminal liability for President Trump you're talking about?

TOOMEY: That's right. That's right.

Like I said, I don't know whether he's met a standard that could actually be prosecuted and gain a conviction. But the behavior was outrageous, and there should be accountability.

TAPPER: You and I have talked about this before. It's been two months of these lies, these election lies about fraud...

TOOMEY: Right.

TAPPER: ... fraud in our home, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, nonexistent fraud, and elsewhere.

It wasn't just President Trump pushing that. I wonder what you think the responsibilities are for, in addition to President Trump, those who were on the Mall that day, Rudy Giuliani talking about trial by combat, Mo Brooks saying it's time to -- Congressman Mo Brooks saying it's time for patriots to kick some ass, et cetera, how much they're responsible.

And how much are the people who continue to spread these lies? Your colleagues Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, how much are they responsible?

TOOMEY: Look, I think, you know, what was particularly insidious about this is, largely because we were going through a pandemic, there were a lot of rule changes in how the elections were conducted.

TAPPER: Sure. Yes.

TOOMEY: And there were lots of -- lots of little irregularities. They happen in every election. There are probably more this time than in previous ones because of the rule changes, and, by the way, some of the rule changes not entirely legitimate.

I have been very critical of Pennsylvania's Supreme Court for unilaterally changing the law. That -- they don't have the authority to do that. And what's so pernicious was sort of capitalizing, in a sense, on these irregularities as a way to propagate this lie that Donald Trump won in a landslide and it's all being stolen from him.

So, I do think people who knowingly contributed to that, people who knew better, and nevertheless encouraged that belief, they have got a lot of soul-searching to do. And, by the way, it was compounded by spreading this notion that it could all go away if Mike Pence and Congress would just do the right thing.

That was -- that was really compounding the lie.

TAPPER: And how much do you think House Majority -- I'm sorry -- House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy or Senator Cruz or Senator Hawley, who were all part of this lending of credibility to the big lie, how much blood do they have on their hands?

TOOMEY: Look, I think they're going to -- they're going to pay a big price for this.

I think their reputations have been affected. You have seen the kind of reaction that -- in the media back in their home states. So, their constituents will decide what -- you know, the final way to adjudicate this.


TAPPER: After Wednesday's attack, you took to the Senate floor to denounce President Trump as a demagogue.

But we should note, you voted for him in November for the second time, even after Charlottesville...

TOOMEY: Right.

TAPPER: ... even after he used forced to clear Lafayette Square for a photo-op, even after he embraced QAnon conspiracy theorists, many of whom were in that mob.

I'm not saying you bear any responsibility for what happened on Wednesday, but do you regret not doing more to stop somebody you're now calling a demagogue, who's pretty obviously been a demagogue for his entire political career?

TOOMEY: Yes, Jake, I don't think there's any doubt at all -- there's none in my mind -- that the president's behavior after the election was wildly different than his behavior before.

He descended into a level of madness and engaged in activity that was just absolutely unthinkable and unforgivable. For four years, he often put out offensive and objectionable tweets, actually, sometimes dozens a day. I never felt and I still don't think that my job was to be his -- the editor of his Twitter feed, although I was very often critical.

But this raises the question of, why did 75 million people vote for this man whose character flaws were always very apparent? Seventy-five million Americans are not stupid. They're not evil.

What we did was, we looked at a choice that we had between an ever more radicalized left-wing Democratic Party and a man who's very, very flawed, but with whom we actually had very substantive success in the early parts of his administration, with a record-performing economy, with peace agreements in the Middle East, with restoring the strength of our military and all kinds of judicial confirmations.

It wasn't a referendum on Donald Trump. It was a choice. And that's why I think 75 million Americans voted for him.

TAPPER: OK. I'm not personally insulting anybody who voted for him.

But I would just say that John Kelly, the former White House chief of staff, I had him on a few days ago. And he said that this Trump that we're seeing now is the same one that has been around for years.

TOOMEY: Look, John Kelly's entirely entitled to his opinion. And there's no question that there was a lot of very objectionable behavior over the way.

I just think that what we witnessed this week is orders of magnitude more egregious than anything we have ever seen from Donald Trump before.

TAPPER: Senator Toomey, thank you so much for your time today. And we're glad that you and your colleagues and your staff are all OK.

TOOMEY: Thanks for having me, Jake.

TAPPER: A Republican governor says the National Guard from his state was ready to go to protect the Capitol, but he didn't get the authorization, wasting critical minutes as the Capitol was under siege.

What went wrong? Maryland Governor Larry Hogan joins me next.

And no holding back. Joe Biden's new plan that could get a vaccine in your arm sooner. But is the strategy safe?

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

As a horde of MAGA terrorists climbed and crashed their way onto the Capitol, Maryland's Republican Governor Larry Hogan says he had the National Guard from his state ready to go in, but he could not get the clearance he needed, one of the many baffling and stunning security questions coming out of this deadly attack.

Republican Governor Hogan joins me now.

Governor Hogan, the president incited a domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol. Five people have died, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.

Does President Trump have blood on his hands?

GOV. LARRY HOGAN (R-MD): There is no question in my mind that he was responsible for inciting this riotous mob.

This was an insurrection. And they stormed the Capitol and threatened to kill the vice president and put the lives of people in danger. And he had a huge part, a huge role to play in that.

TAPPER: I think a lot of people don't necessarily understand just how close this was to a mass casualty event, with members of Congress and the vice president slaughtered.

How worried are you about what might happen over the next 10 days with President Trump remaining in office?

HOGAN: Well, I'm pretty worried.

But we're taking action. So, in the lead-in, you were talking about us sending in the National Guard. Within minutes of this attack, I called a security team together, sent in several hundred Maryland -- specially trained Maryland State Police, a rapid response team. And I called up 500 members of the National Guard.

All -- we are having security briefings. My main focus is on trying to assist the capital city in a peaceful transition of power and keeping everybody safe. So, we still have 500 members of the Guard in the city. We have now been joined by, I think, five other states and 6,000-some troops.

And we have got hundreds of police officers from all of our, not only Maryland State Police, but all of our allied agencies. We are having discussions with all of the federal folks and everybody in the region about what we do.

My main concern is a peaceful transition of power and what role we can play in keeping everybody safe.

TAPPER: Yes, well, there's -- I mean, there's -- it's not a peaceful transition of power. I mean, that ship has sailed.

But let me ask you, Governor. You mobilized the Maryland National Guard very quickly, immediately after the attack. But you weren't able to send them into Washington for nearly two hours because you couldn't get authorization.

According to the Pentagon, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller did not formally authorize the deployment of out-of-state National Guard units until 5:45, three hours after D.C. officials asked for help.

Why? Why didn't he act sooner? What -- I mean, was he -- did he not want there to be protection?

HOGAN: Well, I can't speak as to what was going on the other end of the line back at the Pentagon or in the White House.

All -- I can tell you that, within -- I was in the middle of a meeting when my chief of staff came in and said the Capitol was under attack. We contacted -- we were in contact with the mayor's office, who requested assistance. We immediately sent police assistance.


I immediately called up the National Guard. It's a little bit of a tricky situation. In most cases, one governor could send his National Guard into another state to help another one. But, in D.C., only the Defense Department can do that.

So, our Guard mobilized and was ready. But we couldn't actually cross over the border into D.C. without the OK. And that was quite some time. We kept running it up the flagpole, our generals talking to the National Guard generals. And, eventually, I got a call from Ryan McCarthy, the secretary of the

Army, asking if we could come into the city. But we had already been mobilizing. We already had our police there. We already had our Guard mobilized. And we were just waiting for that call.

TAPPER: For people who don't understand, it's because D.C. has been denied statehood, even though we have a population bigger than several states. Therefore, we don't have a governor.

Let me ask you a question. I don't want to sound conspiratorial, OK, but President Trump refuses to say a word about the dead officer. He refuses to condemn the terrorists. He refuses to have the flag come down to half-staff at the White House in honor of Officer Sicknick, OK?

He told the terrorists: "We love you. You're very special."

It's very clear that his sympathies are with the terrorists, not with the victims of the terrorists.

Was acting Secretary Miller of the Pentagon acting on that by not letting you send the National Guard in?

HOGAN: I think we're going to figure that out, Jake, in the after- action report.

I don't know the answer to that question. All I know is that we were trying to get answers, and we weren't getting answers. It could have been just the fog of what's going on.

I mean, I'd heard some talk about, look, the National Guard is not the first line of defense. The specially trained police are, because the Guard is not really trained for that. I don't know all the reasons for the delay. I can just tell you that we were taking actions immediately. We were ready. And there was a delay.

And I was getting called from the leaders of Congress pleading with me to get -- to get our Guard into the city. And we were mobilizing to do that. And we were waiting to get the -- getting the -- to get the OK.

I can't tell you why.

TAPPER: Why did it take until the next morning for the first Maryland National Guard units to actually arrive in D.C.?

HOGAN: So, they -- it takes about 12 hours for Guard units to mobilize.

These are folks that are doing something else, and they have to pack their bags, get their uniforms, show at the armories. We were the very first ones to arrive in the city. And so those extra three hours or so that we had to get ready certainly helped us get in there a little sooner, but -- and be the first ones.

But the big issue is, why were the Capitol Police and the federal law enforcement agencies not prepared for this? And why were we coming in to do a cleanup operation afterwards?

TAPPER: Sir, how much responsibility do you think falls on not just President Trump, but the members of Congress who gave credibility to the big lie, the big lie that the election had been stolen, the big lie that it could be overturned?

What should happen, for example, to your fellow Maryland Republican, Congressman Andy Harris, who's been on board with all of this from the beginning? "The Capital Gazette" newspaper in Annapolis, no stranger to fatal violence in the workplace, condemned Congressman Harris, called on him to be censured. The Maryland Democratic Party said he should resign.

What do you think should happen to him? He is part of this seditious effort.

HOGAN: Well, look, right after the election, I gave a major address at the Lincoln -- at the Reagan Institute, where I said, we -- this is a time for choosing in our party. And you have to decide if we're going to return to the party of Lincoln and Reagan, or we're going to keep heading down this path of worshipping at the altar of Donald Trump.

And a lot of people, I think, chose wrongly. People in Congress, I'm -- quite frankly, as a lifelong Republican who was a chairman of Youth for Reagan, who's dedicated my life to the Republican Party, I'm embarrassed and ashamed of some of the members of Congress, some of the senators for their actions, especially after this attack on the Capitol, that they continued to head in that direction.

It's -- we're -- I think history will decide how they're remembered and what their fate is going to be in the party.

TAPPER: Should Congressman Harris resign?

HOGAN: I'm not sure what Congressman Harris should do, but I was -- I was extremely outraged at some of the things he did and said.

TAPPER: The United States reached 4,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day for the first time this week, as the vaccine rollout continues to limp along.

President-elect Joe Biden says he's going to release nearly every available dose of the coronavirus vaccine when he takes off. That's the reverse of the Trump administration's plan, to hold half of the vaccines back, so that there are enough for second doses.

This is a legitimate debate to have. What do you think is the best move, release them all or not?


HOGAN: Well, so, it's a really interesting debate. And I'm not sure.

We're having discussions with both the Biden team. And, tomorrow, we have a meeting with the coronavirus team at the White House, the White House call.

I met on Friday with Dr. Robert Redfield. I have talked with a number of other governors. There's an argument on both sides. Look, we don't want to -- we want to make sure we don't run out of that second dose.

TAPPER: Right.

HOGAN: So, the people that got the first one, we have to have those.

But we -- it's a gray area as to what -- where can we ramp up the production? Are we getting -- right now, we're not getting them out fast enough into people's arms. I just want to make sure we get as many out as fast as possible, without endangering people by not having that second dose.

TAPPER: All right.

HOGAN: So, I think it's a discussion we all have to have. There's -- everybody's arguing about what's the right path.

TAPPER: Governor Hogan, thank you so much. It's always good to have you on the show. Appreciate it.

HOGAN: Thank you.

TAPPER: He could be the most important politician in America once president-elect Biden takes the oath of office.

The new swing vote, the potential decider on $2,000 checks, top Biden priorities, Senator Joe Manchin, is here exclusively next.


TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

House Democrats are currently planning to introduce articles of impeachment against President Trump as soon as tomorrow for inciting the terrorist mob to cause death and destruction inside the Capitol.

A potential Trump trial could then begin as president-elect Biden takes office and Democrats take control of the Senate.

Joining me now is the man who may become the most important and powerful politician in America. He will be the crucial swing vote in a new 50/50 Senate, as the most conservative Democrat, West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.

Senator Manchin, thanks so much for joining us.

I want to start by asking how you...

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Oh, thanks for having me, Jake.

TAPPER: How are you and your staff doing? This mob left five people dead, including a Capitol Hill police officer. They attacked your workplace while you were all there. Are you OK? Is everyone OK? MANCHIN: Jake, yes, we are OK. We're very fine.

And the only thing I can tell you is, the day before, I knew, we all knew that there's -- something could happen, and it could be very, very dangerous. And I -- I didn't have anybody come in. Just my chief and I drove in the morning. We were the only ones in our office.

And then I went over and started working on the House -- I mean, went over to the Senate chambers. We walked over to the House. Everything was pretty normal. We didn't know these throngs of people -- we knew that the president was going to give a speech at 11:00 or 11:30.

I knew it would be insidious. I knew that it would get people ginned up. Didn't know to what extent. So, I never did feel threatened. I saw where Pat Toomey -- we were together. All of us were together.

When we first started hearing the rumbling, I have heard rumblings when I have been in the Senate chamber before. And you have seen outbursts in the gallery at the Senate chamber. I never felt threatened. I says, OK, well, I have heard that.

But then it start getting louder and louder. All of a sudden, all the people run into our chamber and start closing the big wooden doors and locking us in.



MANCHIN: I had seen that happen in a state legislature before, but never on a federal level.

So, I'm thinking, OK, I have been through this before. And then there must have been gunshots that I never did hear. I don't think we heard anybody. But they heard outside. And that's when the police just jammed into our office -- into our caucus, says, come on, guys follow us.

And we all took off and went down the back halls into a secured place. Not until we saw televisions of what actually was happening -- we couldn't believe it then.


MANCHIN: But we never did feel threatened.

TAPPER: The video is terrifying.

MANCHIN: Unbelievable.

TAPPER: House Democrats plan to introduce articles of impeachment, with a vote expected soon after. Do you think President Trump should be impeached and convicted?

MANCHIN: Well, no -- there's no doubt about it he should be impeached, basically. But if we can't do it -- you got to be -- you got to be practical about what we're doing now, Jake. You got two paths to go. We're about ready to install a new government. If I was Joe Biden, I'd want to be able to put my government together to start putting confidence back in the American people that we can govern ourself and be the beacon of light for the whole country and the whole world.

That's what we need to do. So, with an impeachment going on, as he's coming in, I understand we wouldn't get the articles -- if the House does it this week coming, we wouldn't get them until the 19th. So, on Election Day would be the day we could officially start.

That doesn't make any common sense whatsoever. So, I hope people will look, two paths. You have got a political path, and you have a judicial path. I think the judicial path can be the one that can give us the best results to stop this type of silliness within politics, this dangerous, insidious type of speech that you have.

And people have to understand, your words have consequences. And we have seen it at the most dangerous level.

TAPPER: So, it seems to be that you're saying that there should not be a Senate trial of President Trump after the articles of impeachment presumably pass, but maybe there should be a legal trial, a prosecution of President Trump and anyone else who incited this riot.

Is that what you're saying?

MANCHIN: Well, first of all, we're a country -- the rule of law is who we are. That's our bedrock. And that means no person is above the law.

If people have died -- and we know they have -- and all the damage that was done, an insurrection our own Capitol, someone has to be held accountable for that, so it never happens again, or it doesn't come within our borders within our country. That has to stop and never can be allowed.

So, I would think that would be a better position to take, and that'd be a better route to go, vs. the -- taking a political route. And everyone believes that an impeachment, it's a political route, even though we know there's a purpose and a reason for us to do it, because there has been a violation.

But that basically stops us from putting a government together. And Joe Biden, first thing he needs to do, put his people in, get them confirmed. That should be the first thing we're doing the first week. And then get people vaccinated, and then get people back to work and get businesses opened up.

He's got an awful lot on his plate right now. And I'm not sure that the impeachment route is the way that he can put that back together.

TAPPER: But, just to be clear, in addition to the actual terrorists who invaded the Capitol and murdered the police officer and the rest, you're saying that anybody who played a role, anybody who incited the violence, including Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr, Congressman Mo Brooks, President Trump, that prosecutors should look at their behavior and their responsibility as well?

MANCHIN: Absolutely. Absolutely.

We had a -- we had a delegate-elect in West Virginia who got all ginned up. And he said he told his wife: I'm going there because Donald Trump asked me to be there. And I need to do something for Donald Trump.

He was that much of a fervent supporter. He goes. He goes in. And he basically shows all the videos and this and that. They came and arrested him two days ago, and he resigned yesterday. He did the right thing. He's held -- he's holding himself accountable and responsible for his action.

Can't we have people in the highest level of Congress and the U.S. Senate who did the same thing maybe come to the same conclusion?

TAPPER: Do you think...

MANCHIN: Because it would be awful hard for them to have any credibility right now.

TAPPER: Do you think Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Josh Hawley, who were part of this brigade of politicians who shared this lie, this big lie, that there was election fraud, that there wasn't -- that the election could be overturned, even though it couldn't be, do you think they should resign?

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown tweeted yesterday that "Hawley and Cruz have betrayed their oaths of office and abetted a violent insurrection on our democracy." And he called for their resignations. And if they don't resign, Sherrod Brown said, the Senate must expel them.

Do you agree?

MANCHIN: Well, what I'm telling you is, we must stop the lies, OK?

The lies have taken us down this path to where we are today, and it's absolutely very dangerous for our country. Whether they should resign or not, I don't know how they can live with themselves, knowing that people have died because of their words and actions.

But they were saying, I'm operating within the confines of what my duties are as a senator.


I don't -- the people I have the most admiration for were those senators that says, I'm going to object, and they signed and put their name to it. And then after, basically, the insurrection to our Capitol and the attack on our Capitol, we go back in that evening.

We were determined, to a T., Democrat, Republican, we will go back. Thugs will not keep us out of our Capitol from doing our jobs. We went back to our caucus. We went back into our chamber and did it.

And then you had people stand up and say no. Those were people that basically changed their mind because they put their country and their loyalty and their oath to the Constitution above their own political preferences and their own political ambitions.

The person I really have admiration for was Kelly Loeffler. Here's a -- here's a senator who lost her election the day before. She came back with the intentions of objecting. That was her intentions of being there. She wanted to show her objections and show -- then, after the attack, she stood up, and she says, after what I have just seen and witnessed, I can no longer object.

And she voted no. Now, that shows you that, first of all, there are people with credibility, there are people with loyalty and people that basically will stand up and do the right thing.

What I can't believe, Jake, is 101 and -- what, 100-plus members of the House?


MANCHIN: I went back over afterwards, and we saw them. They objected to the Senate. And that's when Senator Hawley stood up again.

And I asked him personally when we were all in the room together, in that locked-down room, I said: "Josh, please, please reconsider what you're doing here and what it's doing to our country. Please."

TAPPER: Would you vote to expel him?

MANCHIN: I talked to Steve Daines. I talked to James Lankford.

I don't think that's -- I don't think that's -- I don't think that we have that ability to do that. I don't think that's going to come to that level. They stayed within the confines of what the rules and laws allow them to do.

The bottom line is, do the public want to reelect them in 2022 or 2024?

TAPPER: But you think they -- do you think they have blood on their hands, though?

MANCHIN: I would say, if a person used that poor judgment -- oh, I most certainly believe that -- and their -- blood on their conscience. That's for sure.

I mean, to be able to say that I support the lie. There have been count after recount after recount, legal proceedings, basically no evidence whatsoever. Sooner or later, someone's got to say, this is not who we are. Someone's got to speak truth to power.


MANCHIN: The worst that can happen to them is, they get defeated. I don't think I'd want to be in government if I couldn't speak what I know to be the truth, if I knew that I didn't have the guts to vote what I know is right, that my -- I couldn't represent my state of West Virginia.

These are wonderful people. And they support Donald Trump probably stronger than any other state.


MANCHIN: But I don't think they support what they saw went on.

The good people of West Virginia know right from wrong.

TAPPER: Yes, I think you're being kind of generous to Senator Loeffler and the others for blinking about their...

MANCHIN: Oh, I know. I...

TAPPER: ... intended act of sedition just because there was a terrorist attack.

But, because I have you here, I do have to ask you some policy issues...


TAPPER: ... because you are about to become...


TAPPER: ... one of the most powerful politicians in Washington.

You have given some mixed messages on whether...

MANCHIN: Jake, let's speak about power first. Let's speak about power. Let's speak about power first.

TAPPER: Before...

MANCHIN: I have seen power in Washington.


MANCHIN: And I have seen people abuse power.

If you think you have got it, usually, they end up abusing it. If I'm in a position that I can make a difference...


MANCHIN: ... by bringing this country back together and making us work in a bipartisan -- I will use it for that.


So, you have given some mixed messages on whether you support sending $2,000 checks to Americans who earn $75,000 or less. Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, as well as your new Senate colleagues Ossoff and Warnock...


TAPPER: ... all support sending these larger checks. Are you on board, yes or no?

MANCHIN: Jake, that's not a yes-or-no question.

I'm on board by helping people that need help, people that really can't make it, people that don't have a job. They can't put food on their table. I'm in total support of helping them. Sending checks to people that basically already have a check and aren't going to be able to spend that or are not going to spend it, usually are putting it in their savings account right now, that's not who we are.

We have done an awful lot of that. It's time now to target where the money goes. Make sure that people in need -- I have people in West Virginia that can't go back to work because there's not a job to go to. I have businesses that can open up.

Don't you think we should be helping them first? And, you know, Jake, we talk about everything else. Why can't we just do something that basically puts people back to work? Infrastructure.


MANCHIN: If you want to spend $2 trillion or $3 trillion, invest it in infrastructure? FDR did it in '32. And, basically, we saw WPA and CCC.

I have played ball and gone to schools to where that was built back in the '30s.


MANCHIN: There's a lot we can do to put people back to work.

TAPPER: So, yes on a big infrastructure bill, no on the $2,000 checks, because they're not targeted enough.

I only have a minute left, so I just want to do a...

MANCHIN: Well, if they're targeted. No, if they're targeted -- if they're targeted.

TAPPER: Yes. I...


MANCHIN: If they're targeted, I'm all for targeting the money.

TAPPER: Targeted -- targeted, but not just anybody who makes under $75,000.

MANCHIN: Not carte blanche across the board.


TAPPER: It's tough getting a senator to do a lightning round, but I have to ask you, because we have less a minute.

MANCHIN: OK, let's do it. OK.

TAPPER: Eliminating the legislative filibuster, yes or no?

MANCHIN: Oh, Jake, I'm basically for making this place work together. I'm -- I want to make it work. So, I would be no on that.

TAPPER: So, that's a no.

Statehood for Washington, D.C.?

MANCHIN: I don't know enough about that yet. I want to see the pros and cons. So, I'm waiting to see all the facts. I'm open up to see everything.

TAPPER: Statehood for Puerto Rico?

MANCHIN: Same thing.

TAPPER: What about a ban on some forms of...

MANCHIN: I need more facts on that.

TAPPER: What about a ban on some forms of semiautomatic weapons?

MANCHIN: Oh, Jake, there has to be responsibility in gun ownership.

I'm not going to eliminate people having their gun. They shouldn't be scared to death of Democrats on the Second Amendment taking their guns away.

I went to the shooting range yesterday to start practicing again just to get in -- get back in shape.

So, no, we're not going to take people's guns away. But there is things that we should not have in people's hands.

TAPPER: Senator Manchin, always a pleasure to have you on. Thank you so much, sir. Best to you and your family.


MANCHIN: Thanks. Thanks, Jake. You too.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: He joined the New Jersey International Guard after 9/11. He served honorably overseas and he support President Trump.

Forty-two year old Capitol Hill police officer Brian Sicknick was killed this week when that manic Trump-supporting mob whipped into a frenzy by President Trump, his allies, and their election lies staged a domestic terror attack on the U.S. Capitol.

That Trump's lies have led to bloodshed is horrific and distressing, but, honestly, not much of a surprise. It feels, in some ways, like the natural tragic culmination of what so many have been warning about for years.

Why do you think so many people have been objecting so vigorously to his spreading of these conspiracy theories since the election?

Regular viewers know that we have often discussed the threat of stochastic terrorism posed by the president, his demonization and falsehoods about groups and individuals which once injected into the political bloodstream could result in someone taking a nonspecific cue and acting out with no specific fingerprints, such as the evil domestic terrorists in Charlottesville who committed violence while defending a Confederate monument. They killed Heather Heyer and injured others.

Thugs and terrorists about whom President Trump equivocated. Or the murderous maniacs who heard the president and others spreading the conspiracy theory that George Soros, a prominent Jewish American, was funding caravans of Latin Americans coming into the U.S. to do harm.

They heard that and then they killed Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue. They heard that and they killed Latinos in El Paso. And Trump kept fueling those fires.

Stochastic terrorism. No specific directive. Demagoguery followed by violence.

Now President Trump's fingerprints are far easier to detect today. After two months of lies amplified by sycophants such as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who said this about President-Elect Joe Biden.


KEVIN MCCARTHY, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Don't know if he'll be president January 20th.


TAPPER: Not to mention senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz. Not to mention MAGA media irresponsibly boosting these deranged conspiracy theories. And then of course came the rally where supporters, already angry about these lies, were whipped into a frenzy.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You'll never take back our country with weakness.

DONALD TRUMP JR., SON OF DONALD TRUMP: If you are going to be the zero and not the hero, we're coming for you and we're going to have a good time doing it. CONGRESSMAN MO BROOKS, (R-AL 5TH DISTRICT): Today is the day American

patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.



TAPPER: That was followed by this.


UNKNOWN: The whole country hates you --

UNKNOWN: I want you to go home.

UNKNOWN: We have --


UNKNOWN: Let's go.


TAPPER: Did no one see this coming? Of course they did.

Here's Former Governor Rick Perry, more than five years ago, comparing Trump to the Know Nothing movement of the 1840s, which attacked Irish and German immigrants. They hated Catholics so much they came to Washington to destroy marble donated from the pope to build the Washington Monument.


RICK PERRY, THEN-GOVERNOR (R-TX): It is wrong. They built (ph) nothing. They created nothing. They existed to cast blame and tear down certain institutions to give outlet to anger. Donald Trump is the modern day incarnation of the Know Nothing movement.


TAPPER: And yet Perry later endorsed Trump and became his energy secretary. But he saw it coming. He warned about it. A violent mob descending on the Capitol.

The MAGA terrorists came into the Capitol and vandalized Congress. They stole computers. This guy has restraints, perhaps planning to take hostages. This guy has a neo-Nazi t-shirt. This one a Confederate flag. Traitors, one and all.

And let us be clear eyed. After losing the election, President Trump and his team tried to overturn the election results. First legally through courts and election boards and then not so, by abusing his power, pressuring legislatures, a secretary of state and even the vice president, telling them to break the law to give him the election. And then finally, after all other options had run out, the president

and his team incited intimidation and violence and five people were killed and countless others injured. And it could have been worse.

Was it really a surprise to hear these thugs chanting that they wanted to kill Vice President Pence?


RIOTERS: Hang Mike Pence!


TAPPER: Trump had been lying to his base, telling them that Pence could overturn the election, and it was not until the day before that Pence made clear he had no power to do so.

The president all but handed the mob a noose. The ones who committed violence, they're being arrested. But what about those who incited this attempted coup? Who remain in our midst? Who about those who lied, the 126 House Republicans who signed on to that mendacious lawsuit? The 147 House and Senate Republicans who even after blood had been shed supported sedition, supported disenfranchising millions of legal voters because the states went for Biden.

Will there be any consequences? Will Kevin McCarthy remain the Republican leader of the House? Are Cruz and Hawley, whose legacies are forever stained by blood, are they just going to be allowed to pick up their committee assignments and try to move on?

And what about the President of the United States? Will he be allowed to fly out of Washington on January 19th to spend his days luxuriating on the golf course, spreading more lies through the TV networks that were also part of this treason?

What happens to us? What happens to our country if we continue to pretend leaders who played a role in this attempted coup, in this terrorist attack, end up doing just fine without no consequences at all? Will January 6th, 2021 be remembered as only the beginning?

Thanks for spending your Sunday morning with us. The news continues next.