Skip to main content

We will keep fighting for all libraries - stand with us!

Nancy Pelosi
  House Speaker Pelosi Holds Briefing Following U.S. Capitol Security Breach  CSPAN  January 7, 2021 5:21pm-5:47pm EST

5:21 pm
spread with interactive maps, all at >> you are watching c-span, your unfiltered view of government. america's created by cable television companies in 1979. today, we are brought to you by these television companies who provide c-span2 viewers as a public service. >> house speaker nancy pelosi briefed --
5:22 pm
>> house speaker nancy pelosi briefed reporters today, calling on vice president pence to use the 20 for the amendment to remove president trump from office, saying he incited and armed insurrection against america. speaker pelosi: good afternoon. "goodt know if the word is the way to describe it -- if the word "good" is the way to describe it because yesterday,
5:23 pm
the president of the united states incited an armed insurrection against america, the gleeful desecration of the u.s. capitol, which is the temple of our american democracy, and the violence targeting congress are horrors that will forever stain our nation's history, instigated by the president of the united states. that is why it is such a stain. in calling for this seditious act, the president has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation and our people. i join the senate democratic leader in calling on the vice president to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th amendment. if the vice president of cabinet do not act, the congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment. that is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus. and the american people, by the way. justice will be done to those who carried out these acts, which were acts of sedition and acts of cowardice.
5:24 pm
to those whose purpose was to deter our responsibility, you have failed. you did not divert the congress from our solemn constitutional purpose to validate the overwhelming election of joe biden and kamala harris as president and vice president of the united states. despite the desecration of our capitol, we upheld and in front of the country and the world the bedrock principle that the people are sovereign and that they hold the power to choose their leaders through the ballot, rejecting this attempted coup on the part of president trump and his supporters. accountability is also needed for republicans in congress who promoted the extreme conspiracy theories that provoked the violence, encouraged the mob,
5:25 pm
and who, after desecration of the capitol, went back to the house floor and continued to push the falsehoods that underpinned this assault on our democracy. these republicans abdicated their oath of office that was taken just three days prior to protect the american people and to support and defend the constitution of the united states. the house worked through the evening and into the morning to nearly 4:00 a.m. to validate the electoral count, again, proclaiming joe biden and kamala harris as the duly elected president and vice president of the united states. i just want to say how proud i am of my members. for a while now, our four scholars we call them, jamie lofgren, the chair of the committee of jurisdiction, adam schiff, and joe neguse set forth a plan that was about the constitution.
5:26 pm
it wasn't about donald trump and all the reasons he shouldn't be president. he was not part of this. it was about the constitution and how we have to, we are a country of law. we are not a monarchy with a king, as jamie has said over and over again. i want to also thank the members of the arizona delegation led by raul grijalva and the pennsylvania delegation led by mike doyle, the two deans, for the presentations that they made to refute the ridiculous statements being made by our colleagues. for what reason, i don't know. but it wasn't about reason. so i thank them for them. and so all of this this week, our swearing in on sunday, passing our rule and preparing for wednesday as the week began, the election of two democrats in
5:27 pm
georgia because of the overwhelming participation of people at the grassroots level. so many people, i'm so proud of our house members. congresswoman williams, the chair of the georgia democratic party, lucy mcbath, the newly elected carolyn bourdeaux, david scott, mr. bishop, who was the dean of that delegation, and hank johnson. they had their plan already, should they have objected to georgia, as did nevada, as did michigan, as did wisconsin. so we were prepared. members worked hard about defending the constitution, honoring our purpose to count and ascertain the electoral college numbers for the
5:28 pm
presidency. so i was proud of them. and i did over and over again -- very pleased now that we have in 13 days, president joe biden, a democratic house majority, and a democratic senate majority that will work to heal, to heal and restore the soul of our nation. i will close by evoking, as i did last night, the song st. francis, our patron saint in san francisco, whose song of saint francis is our city's anthem. lord, make me a channel of thy peace. where there is darkness, may we bring light. where there is hatred, love, despair, hope. the list goes on. and so does the time for healing. take us down a path of unity for our country. with that, i'll be pleased to take any questions. reporter: speaker pelosi, would
5:29 pm
you encourage cabinet members not to resign so that they can invoke the 25th amendment? but let's goi: no, over that list. -- if you arehey a member of the cabinet, a secretary in the cabinet, you're in the line of succession to the presidency. president, vice president, speaker of the house, senate leader, pro tem, and then secretary of state. just for information of some, when you have the 25th amendment does for the information up some, when you have the 25th amendment invoked, that would be calling upon the vice president, as we hope to do, to take the lead, and with a majority of the cabinet to be able to unseat the president of the united states. a very dangerous person who
5:30 pm
should not continue in office. this is urgent. this is emergency of the highest magnitude. pompeo, the secretary of state. do you stand by this president dangerously staying in office? secretary of the treasury. what is it? is it about success in business later? do you believe in this? do we have the list? i know it because i know it. the way it goes, secretary of state, secretary of treasury, secretary of defense -- the acting secretary of defense. i don't know what authority he may have. but he certainly has to answer for where the national guard was yesterday. then attorney general.
5:31 pm
attorney general barr, do you subscribe to the presidency of donald trump after the act of sedition he committed yesterday? next, postmaster general. interior. the list goes on. ask each member of the cabinet , do they stand by these actions? are they ready to say in the next 13 days this dangerous man can do further harm to our country? an assault on our democracy, on the first branch of government. those who we spoke to yesterday, why would he not, as the acting
5:32 pm
ag, say this is wrong? there are some courageous republicans who are speaking out. i salute secretary of defense bill cohen and others. defense secretary, they saw the letters. even before yesterday about what is going on in the white house and how that is not a good thing for our country. and the message it sent to the world. a complete tool of putin, this president is. putin's goal was to diminish, the view of democracy in the world. that's what he has been about. and, again, his enabler has been donald trump for a long time. that is why i said, when i am with you,s meeting, mr. president, all roads lead to putin. putin wants to undermine democracy.
5:33 pm
that's what he's about domestically and internationally. the president gave him the biggest of all of his many gifts to putin, the biggest gift yesterday. my friends, we are in a very difficult place in our country as long as donald trump still sits in the white house. >> you said you may be forced. under what circumstances would you do that and how long would you give this 25th amendment process before going down that road? speaker pelosi: it's a simple matter, in terms of the constitution, the vice president working with the cabinet can immediately improve the security of our country. if that doesn't happen, jamie raskin has passed legislation that enables another step in the
5:34 pm
25th amendment process. when it is determined that the president is unfit for whatever , and he clearly has indicated that over and over by inciting sedition, as he did yesterday he must be , removed from office. there's only 13 days left. any day could be a horror show for america. so the next step would be that congress, this can be done quickly, can establish a commission very fast of maybe former presidents, of cabinet people who know something about the health of the president and the rest and that group can make , recommendations to the congress. that, the best route
5:35 pm
would be the vice president to recognize the danger of the donald trump presidency and take this. b, my numbers are very much interested, my phone is exploding with impeach. the president must be held accountable. we will be prepared to do that but i don't have immediate plans because we haven't even been to sleep since the folly of the republicans deciding that we should go until 4:00 in the morning with no purpose whatsoever except to be enablers of the president's sedition by undermining the elections. the president of the united states undermining the election in our country. in any event, we would be
5:36 pm
prepared. >> how long are you willing to give? 24 hours? 48 hours? speaker pelosi: i don't know how quickly he might respond we will , see. >> the clock is ticking. there are 13 days. how long would you be willing to give the cabinet and pence? speaker pelosi: i don't think it will take long to get an answer from the vice president. it would be yes or it would be no. but we want to make sure -- >> you expect an answer today? speaker pelosi: we would hope. the new majority leader of the senate and i have made our interest in this known. we will see what they come back with. but they have to answer for it. in answering for whether they are prepared to do that, they are answering for the behavior of donald trump.
5:37 pm
>> the security breach, talk to me about are you taking a similar step? what are you going to do to address a security breach on the speaker pelosi: -- on the capitol? speaker pelosi: that is a very important question. let me hold for a moment because it is not -- we have to do the after action review. i am calling for the resignation of the chief of the capitol police and have received notice from mr. irving that he will be submitting his resignation. having said that, we will have the after action review. but it goes beyond capitol police. it goes to the fbi. what was the shortcoming in their intelligence? how long did it take for them to anticipate the need for the national guard? it goes to many other elements of the executive branch and i think we have to have a full
5:38 pm
review. from the standpoint of -- let me just say this. many of our capitol police acted so bravely and with such concern for the staff, for the members, for the capitol of the united states. many of the men, and they deserve our gratitude, but there was a failure at the top of the capitol police. he hasn't even called us. i have made it aware that we will be calling for his resignation. in that score, getting back to what was underestimated. that the president of the united states would not be as insightful, perhaps somebody thought for a moment that he would not be patriotic before he leaves office for just this once.
5:39 pm
again, the fact that these people were incited, and you know what? last night, some of the republicans and their enabling of the president's bad behavior had said those were not trumpites. they were antifa. disguised as trumpites. we have a problem with the enabling with republicans in the congress as well, undermining the election again, enabling the president, and if they don't recognize what yesterday was, a threshold was crossed of such magnitude that there is no way that this president should be allowed to make any decision to rouse any troops of his trumpites. what's next? what happens today? who knows? what we do know is that he must be contained.
5:40 pm
any other questions? >> at the inauguration, what are your plans? how are those changing and how do you plan to keep members secure? speaker pelosi: i will go back to my original point. we have 13 days more of donald trump to deal with. he was a danger to our country. when we talk about the inauguration, a national security event. that rises to a different level of security protection. we want every day at the capital to be deemed a national security event. so that there is no, well, i didn't know. that highest level of concern, intelligence seeking, redundancy is necessary to protect. we've been working a long time
5:41 pm
on the inauguration and just in terms of coronavirus -- another shortcoming of the president, people have died because of his denial, distortion, and the rest. calling it a hoax. this man is deadly to our democracy and to our people. to get to your point, because of coronavirus, in our meetings on the intelligence, and our inauguration we have jurisdiction. it becomes purview of the presidential designee, joe biden. to your point, that we had that decision was encouraged to have a very small inauguration. i don't know what's in the public domain, but i'm not going to put it out there except that it would be very small and
5:42 pm
hopefully have a celebration at some later time. on top of that, to see what if thereyesterday -- is any -- i don't want to use the word benefit because nothing could justify. if there is anything that we learned about it, it is that we have to be very, very careful because these people and their leader, donald trump, do not care about the security of people, they don't care about our democracy. they don't care about the peaceful transfer of power. something is very, very wrong here. let me say one more thing about what he did yesterday and relating to other national security events. people saw throughout the world something that looked like it was out of a banana republic or some other kind of a third
5:43 pm
world, where the president of the country turned on the people. turned on the people. what's sad about it is members of congress would sign up for the exposure that we have, but to see in the eyes of so many of the staff people, especially the young ones, the trauma, the fright that it was for them to be locked into rooms with terrorists banging on the doors, hiding under desks, under tables. they did not sign up for that. we did not sign them up for that. it's a blessing to be interested in public service, to learn from it here, perhaps to go on to public service and carry that important value into whatever they do in life. but to see, to meet with them and to see how frightened they
5:44 pm
were, how traumatized they were because these thugs, these trump thugs decided they would desecrate the capitol with no thought of what harm they might do physically, psychologically, or in any other way. and they will be prosecuted. justice will be done. in terms of the inauguration, i don't know if it could be made any smaller. i don't trust whatever the president might have in mind because i do not trust -- i think he's a very dangerous man. we will review what our options are in terms of the 25th amendment. review what our options are. if he wants to be unique and be doubly impeached, that's up to him and his cabinet as to whether he should stay in office. impeached, defeated, impeached,
5:45 pm
gone. it's really a sad tragedy for our country. i say a prayer for the president every day. last night was the hardest day for me. 5:00 in the morning, when i finally got home. maybe there's some hope. but we can't take that chance because people's lives are at stake as well as our democracy. that's it for now. thank you. >> is the president welcome at the inauguration? do you want to come? >> [indiscernible] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
5:46 pm
are watching c-span, your unfiltered view of government. c-span was created by america's cable television companies in 1979. we are brought to you by these television companies, who provide c-span as a public service. ♪ senator lindsey graham held a news conference about yesterday's security breach. senator graham shares the judiciary committee. sen. graham: i will check and see, i don't want to speak if he is speaking. everybody ok? >> [inaudie]