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tv   Washington Journal Sarah Longwell  CSPAN  August 17, 2022 11:50am-12:35pm EDT

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we saw pushback against those republicans who have gone forth people who voted against certifying elections some of who participated in january 6. we wanted to know there is accountability for the deflator -- behavior and it wasn't until the recent january 6 committee really got underway so we have been very engaged in trying to amplify the results and their findings. the report was told. there are lots of disaffected republicans all recall them there are many independent sort of pro-democracy. there is of robusta micro c space that has crept up over the last six years so it is really people across the political stress -- spectrum but mostly
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they are disaffected republicans who want to see a change away from the trumpism that has dominated for the last six years. host: of key figure in the january 6 investigation. talk about her defeat yesterday to harriet hagerman. guest: it's sad but not at all unexpected. she is a number of for four who voted for its treatment hatred to tell the truth about january 6 she was one of the most prominent of long with adam kinzinger and the fact is they have already told the boy. they believe that light. that was one of the most pro-trump in terms of voting record. it was going to be very difficult for her to survive politically being as vocal as she has been but she has been
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very clear to put the conference to touche and above whatever that meant for her politically and i couldn't respect her more and the way she handled herself. i have watched every republican for the vast majority of them cower in the face of trump over the last six years. they totally adopt his lies, refused to pushback on them so watching her courageously stand up and say this is all alike, you know, he's lying to you and caused an attack on the transferral -- peaceful transfer of power. they are thing it out with the january 6 committee you know with a lot of republican voices people who work for him, that has just been the closest we have come to really getting at the truth and getting some form
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of accountability. if you want to ask her a question republicans (202) 748-8001. democrat (202) 748-8000 and independents (202) 748-8002 you can also text is that (202) 748-8003. i want to play a little bit of liz cheney's speech from last night and then we will get your comments on it. [video clip] >> we must be very clear eyed about the threat we face and what is required to defeat it. i have said since january 6 that i will do whatever it takes to ensure that donald trump is never again anywhere in the oval office and i mean it. [applause] this is a fight for all of us together. i am a conservative republican. i believe deeply in the principles and the ideals and
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love of its history and i love what our party has stood for but i love my country more. [applause] so i ask you tonight to join me as we leave here let us resolve that we will stand together, republicans, democrats, and republicans against those who would destroy our republic. they are angry and they are determined but they have not seen anything like the power of americans united in the defense of our constitution and committed to the cause of freedom. there is no greater power on this earth and with god's help we will prevail. host: sarah longwell that is representative liz cheney what is your opinion? guest: she sounds like a person who is not at the end of their story but the beginning of the story.
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i think that what we have seen from liz cheney over the last many months has been a national historical figure being forced and i think she intends to see this thing through regardless of what it means for her political career and, but got no wishes going to do i do know she's going to start an organization or run for president and continue on very large stage making this case but i think she has been extremely clear about what she wants to do and are very much supported and that is she wants to keep donald trump from being president ever again, to keep them away from the white house. because he has -- is an existential crest -- threat to democracy. dr. mark republicans who try to stand up to trump and a slump away there were a lot of people who were tired rather than challenge him.
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she sounds defiant, like someone who has a mission and i am excited to see what she does next. host: our first call is from new jersey, walter. you're on with our guest. caller: good morning. i am a former firm public and i'm a democrat now but i had to leave the republican party because the republican party has the -- has been hijacked by pictures all these people that believe in all these conspiracy theories and that said that that's what you hear about it's not about the republican party anymore.
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host: you hard in the statement when she talked about kind of the once greatness of the republican party and she is speaking in the's chance because the party has really changed. he has change the kind of candidate that was attracted to running in the cycle and as a result, the people that are running for office for governor, senator, whether it is dark mustering out in pennsylvania or kari lake or whether it's herschel walker in georgia the republicans that are running now are sort of these many trumps and they are running on the other action line. the idea that the election was stolen. that is how they won their primary so i agree in essence with the caller that the republican party that i came not been, though one of ronald reagan is just not there anymore
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. it is not a party of ideas that has become in a political organization oriented around if not just a single man, it's not just trump himself it's also trump's vibe, has temperament which all these other candidates have now adopted. the conspiracy theories, it's really fundamentally changed with the parties looks like, what it stands for and i think for people who were conservative because they believed in free markets and limited government and american leadership in the world, that is not what it stands for anymore. host: does all of a sudden because trump is president -- are these crimes that you saw leading up to that moment? guest: i think it's a little bit of both. donald trump seized on that element there was already existent but then there was a
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dissatisfaction was sort of the republican establishment. a lot of people looking for a new populace direction probably able to kind of seize on that and even though in 2016 was obviously some people he won, there was a big field of republicans of the kind of slipped the vote and left trump all about. at that point there was a constituency beforehand put it was off entire party. what happened over the course of the time when he was president of the united states as he continued to change the party from there. he brought a lot of new people in, people who had not been engaged for people who for attracted to his constantly fighting with people and his way of doing things. so the party just really is
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different. estoppels around ideas is built around all right now they're out of lies but just the idea of you have to go on sort of not just be the democrats at all costs but, i don't know. it's just -- it's nothing like it was. it is built on election lies and corruption and so i think what happened is he lost focus first. i talked to his voters all the time and there is an expression of the appetite increases when you are eating and i think trump caused voters to crave his competitive style of politics and when i talk to voters republican voters, trump voters they are not interested in the mitt romney's anymore. they want people in trumps mold
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that sort of fighting conspiratorial sort of almost an entertainment mode. host: let's go to patrick in massachusetts, republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. i am a republican, i did vote for george bush. looking back on that, i think he was a horrible president. got us into some terrible conflicts, and i find that trump things has done thing -- trump has done things in massachusetts that they said he would never do -- he built the wall, started to help bring business back, there is so much more to say but i am at work right now, and i wish you the best. i think it is deep state, that it is deep state.
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bush was part of, he continued the policies and obama was deep state and trump aide's deep state. -- trump hates deep state. i think that's why a lot of people don't like trump. thank you. host: ms. longwell? guest: donald trump did not build the wall. that is not a thing that happened. i hear that a lot from republican voters. where people who voted for bush, they voted for mitt romney, they sort of regret that because that is not the way they wanted the party to go. it's like i was just saying -- the caller sounds like so many of the voters in my focus groups and i think it represents well the shift in the party, where there is an idea that there is a deep state that is working against trump, the fbi that just executed the search at
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mar-a-lago for top-secret documents that trump was keeping there, that was done by the head of the fbi, who was appointed by trump. i always find it a little bit amusing, i guess, when so many republican voters look at all the people that trump himself appointed and then call them the deep state and people out to get trump. i sibley don't think that's true. -- simply don't think that is true. host: do you think the search at mar-a-lago will be a galvanizing force amongst republicans? guest: it is absolutely too soon to say. there is a temporary rally around trump effect we are seeing at the moment, but it will be entirely dependent on what trump was doing with those documents. there's a ton we don't know yet and i don't want to speculate. one thing we do know, trump is absolutely a national security threat. he was keeping top-secret
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documents totally unsecure at his home. he was not supposed to have them, which is why the fbi went to go get them back. but the question is, did they go to get the documents back because he was not supposed to have them, or was he doing something with the documents he absolutely should not have been doing? it will depend on that whether or not this has a big effect on how people feel about trump or not. host: this is jay in mississippi, independent line. caller: good morning, c-span. i would like to make a comment there to ms. sarah. they need to bring on the libertarian party or something like that, because in the republican party, [inaudible] now, i will tell you what makes america great.
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they are not republicans, they are democrats. millions of conservative democrats now support donald trump, and i am proud to be one of them. now, they refer to him as 45 -- how about 45 and 47, twice impeached? you will go down in the record books. host: jay in mississippi. guest: well, i don't think we need to join the libertarian party, but the caller is making a point about what i think change in the republican party, per--many people previously identified as democrats, maybe they were union members that were economically democrats, but then a lot of those people, they are culturally more maga and have moved white, working-class
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voters to support donald trump. that is a big part of his base. they find the message that he is selling, the cultural grievance, the idea that he was going to build a wall, which again is false, he cannot do that -- they find that appealing. he has been able to put together a pretty large coalition of voters. look, he was defeated by 7 million votes, so i want to be very clear that he lost the last election. the majority of people in this country did not vote for him, but he still got a lot of votes. there's no doubt there are a lot of people in this country who find his message appealing, and it seems to not matter to them that he inspired an attack on the peaceful transfer of power, that he is a national security threat -- things that i find -- and the republican party i knew growing up would absolutely find
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appalling. these are the same voters who thought hillary clinton should be locked up for mishandling classified documents. and that was mishandling documents -- donald trump took the documents. he stole the documents. i think there's not a lot of consistency here in applying standards that have been applied to other politicians to donald trump. host: your organization, the accountability project, has released an ad campaign between the first round of january 6 earrings and the next. what's the goal of the campaign? guest: the january 6 hearings were having an impact on getting us toward truth, but also on republican voters. i do a lot of focus groups, and prior to the january 6 hearings, any time i asked to they wanted to see run in 2024, half of the
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group would say they wanted to see trump run again in 2024. after the hearings, we would see groups where no people wanted trump to run again in 2024, or one or two people. hearings, it is less they are breaking through and more they are seeping in. the voters who liked trump, they are too worried that he had too much baggage and could not win again. they were starting to think about other candidates. there's a lot of people -- i just did a focus group in florida and unsurprisingly, everybody but one person wanted ron desantis over donald trump, and ron desantis is very popular in the focus groups and seems to be the number one alternative to donald trump. but what the january 6 committee was doing was highlighting for people what trump had done, and i think it was making a difference. right now, in the summer months in august, where the hearings
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are off, because they will resume again in september, we wanted to make it stick and continue to highlight the january 6 committee, because they are important, an they are starting to help republicans -- because there were so many republicans testifying against trump. not just liz cheney, but every person they heard started to diminish people's enthusiasm for trump running again. and it's important that trump be defeated, that he not be a candidate again, that he not be president again. anything we can do to amplify the findings of the january 6 committee and help voters. host: featuring a republican named bill. [video clip] >> i don't know how to put this into words. trump lying about the election to me is unforgivable.
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he absolutely played a part in inciting the riots. he definitely prompted the crowd to march up to the capitol. they saw they were doing what he wanted them to do, protesting and invading the capitol building. americans deserve to know what happened on january 6 and what led up to it. host: where do you imagine these ads are being targeted? guest: we are running them in eight states. they are the states that are most likely to have this argument, where we have seen a lot of audits of the 2020 election, where the big lie was caused. state legislatures who signed either alternative electors were fought against -- or fought against certifying the election. that fight is certainly not over and there are still candidates on the ballot.
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there are a lot of people who have been republicans their whole lives, people just like me, but who find trump and his lies to be appalling. we have built a real community of those people. one of the things we have to do is to film testimonials talking about why they can't support donald trump, what they think about january 6, and for a lot of people, there are a lot of republicans for whom january 6 caused them to leave the party forever. those people, the ads that were running are just regular republican voters telling the story about what january 6 meant to them, how it impacted their feelings about being republicans, how damaging the lies were. look, there were better messengers than me or any other person -- these were people from pennsylvania, arizona, and georgia who have always supported the republican party and they can't do it anymore because of january 6.
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telling ghost stories, we hope it creates a structure for other republicans who are also deeply uncomfortable about what happened on january 6 so they do not support candidates who continue to lie about the election. that includes trump and people like kari lake, doug mastery auto -- doug mastriano, and so many other candidates on the ballot in november. host: let's hear from our next caller, democrat line. caller: yeah, i like what you are doing, but you should go all the way back to number one, as far as the $1 million, he blew that. companies went through bankruptcy. he filed bankruptcy six times and his workers -- i would love to see a series of commercials like that. do you know what that is telling me? management. he cannot manage anything. are you doing commercials like that? i think you would pull a lot of
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gop people if you consistently ran those commercials. host: that's ronald in new york. guest: yeah, it sounds to me like what the caller is saying, and i completely agree with this, was that trump was unfit from the very beginning. frankly, there were lots of republicans who agreed with me on that point, but many of them decided to get on board once trump won the republican nomination and then later, when he won the presidency. there were so many people who argued because of his life in the private sector, how corrupt he was, the lies he told in the media, his, how shall we say -- unconventional romantic life -- all these issues, he was unfit to be commander in chief and have his finger on our nuclear button. clearly, we know from the documents in mar-a-lago, he cannot keep ossified and talk --
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classified and top-secret information secure. i think a lot of people decided to make peace with that or they cared about other things more. but for me, there has never been a moment i have stopped thinking he was unfit. we have run many ads about his unfitness over the years, but right now, our focus is not on looking back, it is on looking forward and trying to ensure that donald trump does not become president again. so the ads we are running is about amplifying the findings of the january 6 committee, because all of our research showed, it was having some impact on republican voters feeling like maybe they wanted to move on from trump. that's what we want to do. host: this is from ed in akron, ohio, republican line. go ahead. caller: yeah, i think people are just tired of the government
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spending, you know? they spend, spend, spend. giving the money to whoever we gave it to to get to china, maybe we wouldn't have the virus -- and now the green deal, the green deal -- they keep pushing that. the january 6 committee is, i don't think, investigating january 6. trump was not responsible for the security of the capitol building, somebody else was. someone got shot who shot their head through a window and no one is talking about that. it has been trump, trump, trump as long as it has been going. whether he built a wall or he didn't build a wall, the border was closed. he did not stand up and say the border was closed, but the people coming across it -- that's a lie. our president today says, well, i didn't know they was going there.
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you think the department of injustice is going to go after somebody, a former president, and not talk to the current president about it? i don't think so. host: ed in ohio. guest: again, the republican callers sound an awful lot like the people i hear and there -- in the focus groups. what's dangerous for democracy, you can hear in the callers and the voters the complete collapse in faith of many of our institutions. they think elections are rigged and found she and people are the deep state, -- and fauci and people are the deep state, and fauci was somehow involved -- these things are nonsense. but there is a reason people believe them, and it is because donald trump has amplified these kinds of lies. we've never had a president do this before. being president is a very big
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deal. people trust the president of the united states. when the president lies all the time, voters come to believe many of those lies. there is a reason 70% of the republican party believes the election was stolen, despite it being definitively disproven over and over and over again. the reason that people believe it is because donald trump tells them that it is true, and because the other republicans are such cowards and are so afraid of donald trump and afraid of his voters, they too refused to tell voters the truth about the election. as a result, you have people who believe things that aren't true. look, i am so pathetic to republicans who are frustrated with got -- sympathetic to republicans who are frustrated with government spending, the national debt, those are things that made me a republican in the
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first place. donald trump was a big spender. he did nothing to reduce the debt or the deficit. i hear from voters oftentimes this mistake -- there wasn't world peace. we were still in afghanistan. donald trump and mike pompeo made a deal with the taliban and wanted to pull us out of afghanistan. there were a bunch of people who stopped him from doing it, then joe biden did it. people believe a lot of things about trump that just aren't so, and that's why we are running the ads we are doing. host: let me turn you back to mar-a-lago just a second. this is a suite from kevin mccarthy about the events of the last week or so. he writes i have watch the department of justice region intolerable state of weaponization, when we take back the house, we will follow the facts and leave no stone unturned. attorney general garland,
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preserve your documents and clear your calendar. if the house falls back in republican hands, what do you see happening in light of tweets like this, the management of the house under republican hands? guest: they will launch lots of investigations. they will launch an investigation into hunter biden, probably make good on these threats -- kevin mccarthy's position there is absurd. the responsible thing to do is to say, we don't know. we don't know yet. let's wait and see. the fbi took those documents and like i said before, we have so little information right now about why and what is going on, but also again, these are the people who wanted to lock up hillary clinton for mishandling classified documents. trump has stolen and taken classified documents, that the government was saying give us these back, and he refused. that's all we know.
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that's all we know at this moment, trump is a national security threat, much worse than hillary clinton when it comes to classified documents and far worse than mishandled them. the fact that kevin mccarthy is threatening merrick garland without waiting to see what the fbi and department of justice is pursuing here is, to me, an example of how irresponsible the party is these days, but also, it's because they know the voters, their voters believe in the deep state. they know, that's why they are talking about defunding the fbi, despite being furious with the democrats over there defund the police discussion, and rightfully so. defunding the police is an extremely silly idea, but so is the defunding the fbi. this was a lawfully executed
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warrant, signed by a judge, so kevin mccarthy, like the rest of us, should wait and see what is going on. host: from carol, west virginia, independent line. good morning. you are next for sarah longwell. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. i am disgusted with both parties. all we have heard is trump, trump, trump. every president that has ever been elected has baggage. if everybody thinks none of them don't lie, i have some oceanfront property on the top of a mountain. every president lies. it's just on who spins the story the best. has there been election interference in the past? yes. it's called cleanup the voter rolls and make sure everybody is legal can vote. it's been happening for years. and it's ok to protest or
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disagree with how an election turns out. if i'm not mistaken, there were five democrats that stood in the house and wanted the election results changed when donald trump was president. the only difference was, they didn't get a senator to go along with it. that's the only difference. now, as far as the rhetoric goes, there's rhetoric on both sides. don't call out one side -- i have heard some democrats make statements that could insight the blm riots. if we want to blame trump for january 6, we need to look in that mirror and blame those in office that also incited the blm riots. host: i will leave it there, carol. let our guest respond to it.
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guest: this is a comment that i see from a lot of voters, where it is sort of, their answer is to say, what about. what about this other thing? i agree. i agree, people during the black lives matter protests where it got violent and things got lit on fire, those people should be prosecuted. destruction of property? they should be prosecuted. just like the people who attacked the capitol should be prosecuted. and if you believe, as it sounds like the caller just did, that inciting that kind of violence is a problem, i don't understand the resistance to holding trump accountable for his incitement. but i do think there is something -- i hear something in these voters that i hear a lot in the focus groups that really worries me, a kind of idea that everybody lies.
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that every politician lies, and all those lies are equal. that has created a perverse sense of how we think about morality, and the morality that we apply, the standards we apply to politicians. of course, there are politicians trying to get elected, so they say things that are spin -- sure. i agree there are lies that people tell and it is not good to tell lies. i think the proportion of lies from donald trump, the kind of lies he is telling, you are right. the caller's right, there have been some democrats who in different elections objected, a small number of democrats here and there have objected the way i believe 160 -- i cannot
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remember the exact number of republicans, but it was certainly over 100 that objected to the certification of the election. the proportions are different. and we came very close in 2022 something this country has never seen before, the ultimate slate of electors overturning the will of the people, throwing out people's votes, republicans, senators and congressmen, refusing to certify. threats against the vice president, mike pence, doing his duty to certify. that is not both sides. that is not a both sides equivalent. we have never seen that in our lifetime. it was so gob smacking to hear voters say this is the same thing. there is a reason to be concerned when any protest gets violent. like i said, people should be prosecuted, but it is categorically different from trying to overturn an election.
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overturning election, it's a different animal. that was the goal, and that was trump's goal. trump's goal, like a dictator, was to stay in power, despite losing. to waive that away, all politicians do this, all politicians lie, that is not true. that is just not true. nobody has done the kinds of things we have seen donald trump do, certainly not in my lifetime. i think people were trying to rationalize it and explain it away are missing just how dangerous it is for our country. host: who characterizes the republican party that you would like to see? guest: oh, liz cheney. liz cheney and adam kinzinger have put the country over party, they have stood up for the constitution, they have told the truth in the state of immense pressure, and look -- i don't
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even agree with liz cheney on certain policy positions. it's not that she and i are 100% in alignment, but she is one of the only people besides adam kinzinger and a couple others who have stood up and said, this isn't true. i am not going to let you get away with it. i will say, before donald trump came down that escalator, i thought people like elise stefanik, nikki haley, marco rubio would be the future of the republican party. we would have a fiscally conservative, socially moderate party. that is what i hope the party would turn into, and instead it turned into a populist nationalist movement that morphed overtime into a cult of personality around donald trump. host: from illinois, independent line. tom is next. hi, tom. caller: yeah, i am from
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[inaudible] i think some of the stuff you said, you said you were a never-trumper. he had so much against him when he came into office. he had the republicans that were against him and the democrats that were against him, and people know that the way our government was going, when they said build the wall, lock up hillary clinton, hillary away with way more -- she was busting up computers with hammers and blackberries. nobody did anything. nobody holds any of these people accountable except donald trump. right off the bat, the russian collusion and dirty dossier from hillary clinton. that was all lies. that was not under donald trump, even when it was proved to be false. proved to be a lie. he spoke his whole time as
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president -- the first impeachment. a total lie. second impeachment, total lie. in the end, january 6? total freaking live, because -- freaking lie, because if i was him and these people supposedly joined the party to try and change things, which he did -- he did. we never would've had the vaccine if he was not in there. if ayden was in there, it would have taken six years to get -- if biden was in there, it would have taken six years to get the vaccine. and we never would have had an investigation into where the virus came from. host: we will leave it there. guest: literally, none of that is true. the first impeachment was about donald trump leveraging zelenskyy, the president of ukraine, withholding weapons from him until he agreed to
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investigate his political rival, is likely political rival, joe biden. prior to that, there was the mueller report, which was filled, 400 pages, multiple accounts where trump obstructed justice, they simply did not pursue it, because they felt like, you know, there is a law against prosecuting sitting presidents, rules against that, so they didn't do it. and the second impeachment, which, seven republican senators voted for and 10 house members voted for, was because trump lied about the election and those lies -- this is what the january 6 committee has found -- donald trump was trying to go to the capitol himself. he sent the mob to the capital. they try to overturn an election by breaking in and attacking the
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peaceful transfer of power. if you can look at all that, i understand, you have been lied to. you and many of these other callers have been lied to by donald trump and elected officials. i understand that you didn't like things the -- the way things were going in the country, but none of it justifies supporting a president who lies all the time, was impeached twice for things that he did, and instigated an attack on the peaceful transition of power. those are things that happened in third world countries. this is not because we have a deep state. what is happening right now, it is an attempt to have some accountability for a president who was totally unaccountable to the rule of law. host: our line for democrats. ron in michigan, hi. caller: boy, i have been listening to you for the last 10 minutes, and -- i am a
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registered democrat, however, based on your knowledge, i have a very, very good accountability of what you have done. you have taught me to look at the republican party in a very careful way. if trump runs or any of his officials run, i will not be voting for them. however, i would like to see cheney run. i think she is a very intelligent young lady, just like you. you have laid down a myriad of facts that should be accountable to all the people in our country, because i am afraid of what goes through, if trump's people get in there, i think our democratic process is having a real situation that we are going to have to deal with. the second thing is, garlands -- i wish the people would leave him alone.
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the guy's intelligence, he is calculating, and will come up with what is necessary to point out the facts of what trump has done in the past four years. for the democrats and republicans, leave him alone. he is a very intelligent man. all i can say is, thank you for what you have done this morning. you have laid out the facts. i have taught school for 32 years and done exactly what you have done, laid out the facts to all my students and say, you make a decision. take both sides of the issue and make up your own mind. thank you very much. host: our viewer from illinois. guest: i appreciate that, thank you. your point about merrick garland and leaving him alone, again, i want to go back to this idea of the fact that there is so much we don't know. we should not make political predictions about the impact of
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this and why kevin mccarthy should not be threatening investigations. merrick garland has only told us he approved the search and they had grounds to do so, and called on trump, said they were going to unseal the warrants. that's all we have heard from me >> you can watch the rest of us go to our website. journalists talks about his recent article on the topic. live coverage on c-span. >> frequent publishing partner that reports a lot about the monopolized economy. as far as how the hour will go, we will


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