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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  January 4, 2022 1:00pm-3:00pm PST

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january 6th insurrection. more divided than perhaps ever in our history. the select committee is having its you're going to need a bigger boat moment. the committee starting to make clear to us that it is in possession of a trove of internal documents, high level communications and witness testimony from donald trump's inner circle that detailed the events leading up to and on january 6th, including the conduct of the ex-president. the committee is trying to complete its work ahead of a possible gop takeover of the house in the midterm elections. we're getting new reporting in "the new york times" goes under the hood of the january 6th inquiry as it prepares for a new phase. one that involves public hearings which will reportedly entail election officials testifying about the accuracy of the 2020 election results among other things. the times reports this, working in color coded teams, investigators have interviewed more than 300 witnesses from white house officials close to
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trump to the writers themselves and are sorting through more than 35,000 documents. the so-called green team is following the money trail connected to trump's efforts to promote the baseless assertion that he was the rightful winner of the election, including whether any groups defrauded contributors with false statements about fraud. the gold team is scrutining plans to try to overturn the election in his pressure campaign on local, state, and justice department officials to try to keep himself in power. domestic extremist groups are the focus of the purple team. a fourth, the red team, is digging into the stop the steal movement. together, the teams are trying to answer some of the major remaining questions about the insurrection, including whether extremist groups had any tie to trump world and who knew about
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the possibility of violence. one group under intense scrutiny, the first amendment tra torians. from "the new york times" reporting on they will, quote, known in shorthand as one ap, the group spent much of the post election period working in the shadows with pro trump lawyers, military veterans to undermine public confidence in the election and to bolster trump's hopes of remane maining in the white house. one ap's twitter account posted messages saying the group knew violence was imminent, quote -- read one message posted by this group on january 4th. there are also signs the committee is investigating the oath keepers. the right wing militia that's being prosecuted for their role in the capitol attack by the justice department. politico reports quote, two florida-based members of the oath keepers facing conspiracy charges for breaching the
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capitol are suing the january 6th committee to block a subpoena for their personal phone records. kelly and connie megs, two of the 19 defendants to emerge say they were notified of the subpoena by verizon last month. it is the first indication that the committee is seeking records of defendants facing criminal charges for storming the capitol. the january 6th panel delving into the role of extremist groups is where we start this hour. katie is here. also joining us, white house correspondent for pbs news hour and moderator of washington week and joyce vance is here. former u.s. attorney now law professor at the university of alabama. katie, much of what i think i know about the concurrent investigations by congress and doj is what i think i understood
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about the mueller investigation. what is the dynamic right now though between the select committee and those ongoing doj investigations into the rioters? >> the mueller investigation was part of the justice department bob mueller worked under jeff sessions, who was recused at the time, but worked under the office of the attorney general and deputy attorney general. the congressional investigation is separate. it's independent and it's doing its own work. it's not looking per se at whether a criminal case can be proven, which is what mueller's team is looking at. they're trying to build out the fullest account possible of everything that led up to january 6 including efforts in the weeks prior to overturn the results of the election. should criminal behavior stem, be discovered from that
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investigation, liz cheney has said she will kick that over in referral to the justice department, but that's the best way to look at these two parallel investigations. >> it's clear the 1/6 committee and liz cheney has lent her voice to this line, they've made clear they want to understand what donald trump was not doing while the attack unfolded. they also have spent a lot of time with some members of some of these extremist groups. they're looking at, it would appear, what he knew about what they were doing, what their understanding was of what he wanted them to do. is there any sense that doj is interested in that line of investigation? >> dereliction of duty is not really something under the criminal code. joyce can talk more about that. but that's not necessarily a crime that would be easily charged. what's interesting about the committee's decision to look at
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dereliction of duty is it's something that was sort of bandied around during the second impeachment of trump. after the january 6 attack, there were people putting together the article of impeachment who wondered whether or not to do a second article. a far more passive accusation. saying he did nothing to stop it, which seemed to some like it would have been an easier bar to meet. it's in the past. we can debate whether or not that would have been a good idea, but it's something that's coming around trump before. i've spoken to people about this and there are some interesting things to note. one, it was something that came up in the impeachment conversation and two, that it seems to whether or not trump would be fit to hold office again, which is another debate that sort of quietly going on in the background. amongst political strategists, analysts, people on the republican party saying hey, should he be the candidate again? and if not, what are the tools
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at our disposal to make the argument that he would not be the right person? >> a lot of republicans tried and failed to make that argument the first time. joyce, i want to press on this line of investigation by the committee into the extremist groups and i want to read from the committee's letter to robert patrick lewis, head of the first amendment. you later claim you provided security for lieutenant general michael flynn at the jericho march in washington, d.c. on december 20th, 2020, and have claimed to coordinate closely with general flynn. you've claimed to coordinate closely with powell. on january 7, you claimed you were participating in war gaming with constitutional scholars. you also have claimed to be in contact with the founder and leader of the oath keepers prior
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to january 6. what are they looking for from these extremist groups? >> this is such a funny position to be in because if you had read me that and said it was the content of a doj investigation, a look they were taking into what this group had done, that would have been something that made a lot of sense to me. this would be an effort to show the linkage between some of the groups involved in hands on violence to see if they had tails that reached up into people who were closer to trump. part of his inner circle like former general flynn, but of course, this is part of the january 6th committee's investigation in congress and we know that their primary purpose is a congressional legislative one.
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so they're trying to get to the truth of what happened on january 6th in order to figure out whether they need to pass new laws to prevent a reoccurrence. whether there need to perhaps be new criminal statutes where there's gaps in the law. the reality is that congress is in essence doing doj's work and if they stumble on to crimes in that process, that may lead to the types of referrals we've heard cheney and others mention recently, but this is all about linkages. figuring out the connections. and in the language of my people, whether there was a conspiracy underway. >> speaking of linkage, there's been some news made on hallie jackson's program. congressman adam schiff has confirmed some reporting that the january 6 select committee has invited one sean hannity to voluntarily visit with the committee, chat with them, about what he me or may not know.
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as you know, i believe his text messages were among the many that liz cheney read from. data dump they received from meadows before he defied the subpoena. he did over text messages he'd received from fox news anchors, trump family members. one was hannity and schiff confirming that the committee would like for hannity to voluntarily meet with them. the people close to the president that they are interested in, that they have engaged, is really, really getting closer and closers to donald trump. >> that's true. you can see this is a committee that's ramping up its work, trying to close in on that inner circle of former president trump and to really understand who was talking to him and who he respected enough to weigh their opinion. hannity, for anyone who has covered president trump,
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everyone knows he is someone he is in the president's orbit. it's also a reminder that fox news, while it's supposed to be a cable news channel and really the host on there. especially the late night opinion hosts on there. they've been in some ways more powerful than the elected official. so this is really i think an interesting move. it really shows that they are trying to understand what former president trump was thinking. what he was telling people at the time. it's very interesting. we'll see if this gets to be a subpoena level. it's unclear what goes on there. but it's interesting that hannity is now having to face a difficult decision here in whether or not he's going to come in and say here's what the president told me. >> i would think a broadcaster
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like hannity would welcome an opportunity to communicate as only he can with the 1/6 committee and a one-time friend. let's listen to what he said. we have that. >> are you looking for information or cooperation from mr. hannity? >> yes. i think you'll see an announcement about that very soon. you know, we believe it he was texting with the chief of staff and that he has information that would be relative to our committee. he was more than a fox host. he was also a confident adviser, campaigner for the former president and i would hope if he's asked by the committee that he would cooperate with us. >> and that's a voluntary request, just so i'm clear on that? >> my understanding and you'll get confirmation of this soon, is that we are making a voluntary request that he speak with the committee. >> i mean, it goes to reason that they're looking for the
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voluntary cooperation of sean hannity, it might be based on what he was conveying to mark meadows and they might also be interested in the voluntary participation of laura ingram, donald trump jr., all those folks who texted the white house chief of staff under the belief there was one person who could stop the insurrection and that was donald trump. >> absolutely. it also speaks to mark meadows' role and how little we know about it. meadows himselfas emerged many places in the month leading up to the insurrection. when he was in georgia working with the bureau of investigation there. when he was on the phone with officials. when he was e-mailing the justice department to convince officials they, too, should look into election fraud. all things that were explained
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many times to mr. meadows that were wrong, erroneous conspiracy theories, yet, he pressed on and on. his efforts to work with pence to try to get him to also overturn the election. so you see mark meadows show up in myriad places, myriad ways and we know he was working with republican members of congress to again overturn the election. so i think there's a way in which the committee's focus on people tells them about their interest in the former chief of staff. >> the fascinating thing about this news that has been confirmed by congressman schiff to my colleague is that the committee is not, it's not the mueller investigation. there is no stone walling and going to congress, it is writing a report. contemplating legislation and
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hannity is not steve bannon. steve bannon's whole political identity starts and stops with donald trump. there was nothing before. there will be nothing after. sean hannity is, i don't know the right word, he was once for the bush cheney world view. he was once one of the closest cable hosts to the bush white house. he once saw the world that way. he adapts and now sort of sees the world very differently. the way donald trump does. but he's not tucker carlson. he's not laura ingram. he's not made his bed in trump landia and i wonder what you think the prospects are that he comes and he's done nothing wrong, doesn't think donald trump did anything wrong, if he comes and talks to this committee. >> you know, should somebody like hannity decide not to come speak before the committee, i think it says a lot about the perceived power of donald trump.
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and the idea that donald trump could retaliate in some way. that it could hurt hannity's standing at fox. it could hurt his standing with viewers or his colleagues. otherwise to your point, there is no reason for him not to testify. he was texting please have the president stop this insurrection. please have him stop this violence. he wasn't encouraging it. there's no indication that he had done anything wrong. it's just simply you know a very different time. we had a very different president. somebody who had i think generously you could call it, a very broad kitchen cabinet filled with people who were in far closer communication with the white house than the president and that was simply reality and if hannity was one of the voices saying what's happening right now down at the capitol is wrong, there would be no real reason for him not to speak to the committee. >> i want to play something that happened in the last hour for you. this is senator brian shafts on
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the floor blasting the right wing establishment for their loyalty to donald trump. >> donald trump is now defining fealty to him by one thing and one thing only. are you willing to install him into power regardless of the vote count? and so now every republican politics and elected official, secretaries of state, county elections commissioners, united states senate candidates, have to promise to put trump above democracy itself. they are installing loyalists across the country in order to cheat and they are not being subtle about it. meanwhile, the cocktail set in washington is busy policing our tone and talking about democratic overreach. >> that sound came out in the same news cycle as the bernie carrick document which included strategic communications plan as part of the giuliani legal
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defense team and we know how that worked out. that included protests at local official's homes and offices. protests at lieutenant governor's homes, protests at weak members homes. protests in d.c. and a rally for key house and senate members. it was put in writing. that's what's so remarkable about the plan to overthrow the election of 2020. they put it on paper. the whole intimidation. defrauding. corruption. strategy. was all on paper. black and white. >> it was all on paper. it was all on twitter. i'm also looking and learning as everyone is about this one ap group and they had a proposal to persuade the president to declare an emergency and seize the country's voting machines in a bid to stay in power. i had to read that because it sort of makes me shaky to even read about it because how in the world are we living through this
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moment where the gop frankly has embraced this lie that just continues to me tas siesz. it is remarkable to me when you look at gop primary candidates in a lot of different states that people can't even say that joe biden is president now for feature they're going to offend trump supporters by stating the actual fact. it's always been very interesting how brazen the attempt to steal the election in 2020 was. i think the thing that's going to be interesting for the committee and for any lawmakers is how you hold people accountable and is there a way to hold people accountable? and is there a way to stave off what is becoming clear, a republican party that is going to be more focused on making sure that republicans get elected by any means necessary and not looking at sort of how can we as a society work together to have fair voting laws. i think that is a thing that is i think at the center of this. when i talk to republicans,
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republican voters, who were going to try to find a way to change the voting laws in this country to make sure republicans win rather than earning the vote, they're trying to make sure they can install people and that is the way that democracies die. when it talk to experts, immigrants who came to america, i'm hoping for a more stable democracy. >> let's not skim over that. tragically, that's the part of all of this. this even the kind of republicans we carve out and still consider protective if that's the best thing we can say about them do not object to. there have been no floor speeches or rousing from liz cheney, mitt romney, or whomever else falls in that group about those 400 laws that have been rolled out in 48 states to roll bacak success to the polls and
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most people agree more alarming are the parts of those bills that give donald trump's cronies the power to nullify the vote. is it framing to move to that's how democracies die to that's how ours is dying right now? >> if you talk to experts who have seen and study democracy, that's what they would say. this is a paradigm that needs to shift. a january 6th that happening every day. on a local level that's tearing apart our democracy. it is interesting when you look at who is speaking out and who the profiles of courage are. if you're looking for someone to push back on donald trump, if you're a republican who's thinking about sort of speaking out against this, you look at cheney and realize what your future will be in this gop. i also think it's interesting, katie made a smart point about why would hannity not want to come talk to the committee and it's because those same people who were of course texting mark meadows saying the president former president trump needs to stop this, they've now sort of all shifted to sort of this
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world view that no, there was something funky that happened in the 2020 election. there must have been some sort of fraud. that is a lie. we know it's not true. but hannity of course is someone along with a number of people at fox news and a number of of course establishment elected republican officials have sort of just decided they're going to embrace this because their voters and president trump who has so much power are sort of requiring for them to have this lie as part of their world view nrd to stay in the good graces of the party. >> joyce, i'll give you the last word on the development from a legal standpoint. i'd be interested in not a voluntary manner speaking to sean hannity. are there tools that they think that's urgent? could you envision a subpoena for someone like that if they think he's instrumental? >> anytime you subpoena someone who's a member of the press, there are first amendment issues that you have to confront. you have to decide not only can
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you do it, but is it a precedent that you want to set. so like with so many others, we see the committee start with the voluntary requests. they've clearly signalled out the person in the fox news world who is is most likely to be cooperative. but it's clear the committee, like all of us, is struggling with this very difficult question. how do you get to the truth? how do you hold people accountable for the incomprehensible? and it is not something that ended on january 6th. it is something we will continue to live with every day. so it will be important for the committee to press forward and try to get as much of a clear view as they can of what the former president was thinking on january 6th and in the run up to january 6th. that may be an area where they're willing to push against that first amendment right. >> it's a big deal.
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thank you so much. when we come back, how extremists re-grouped and shifted their focus in the days after 1/6. now looking to take over local governments, puts themselves in the center of vaccine debates and school curriculum wars. the reporter on that story is next. plus the justice department under pressure to move on accountability for january 6 including holds the ex-president and his allies criminally responsible for their efforts to overturn the 2020 election. garland will speak tomorrow. we'll look at what he's expected to say and what he should say. and forever changed. that is how some people who witnessed the insurrection firsthand are feeling now almost a year later. the toll january 6th has taken on those in and around the u.s. capitol that day. also, after more than 27 hours, an update to one of the stranded motorists on i-95 outside of washington, d.c. all those stories and more when deadline white house continues
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much in the same way that january 6th was a tragedy and wake up call to many americans watching from home, january 7th must have ignited some similarly intense feelings in those who planned the attack faced with their own unmitigated failure and trying to overturn a free and fair election result, domestic extremists began to retreat. it was a cooling off period. but slowly and with quiet purpose, domestic extremist groups from qanon to the proud
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boy to out in the open white nationalists re-grouped, replanned and retransformed themselves. their grand demonstration at the capitol ultimately failed, so they started, with some success, going small. going local. local politics, school boards, county health boards and other such institutions. a new analysis conducted by a non-profit think tank tracked changes to far right strategies, infrastructure and messaging. our nbc news colleague is on the beat and reports this, quote, that analysis which tracked political violence since january 6th via news reports and known extremist networks found that despite an initial decline, domestic extremist groups have evolved and resurfaced, encouraging local action while recruiting and spreading their messages through culture war debates including vaccines, race, and education. quote, the domestic extremist
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landscape was battered by january 6th. jared holt, author of the new report, but extremism is dynamic and fluid. always trying to adapt to fit the container it's in. joining us now is ben collins. yamesh is still with us. ben, take me inside what the sort of psychological and motivational i guess impact was of january 6th on these groups and how they so quickly transformed into grass roots extremists activists. >> yeah, a lot of them were spooked by the feds in the weeks after january 6th with good reason. obviously their faces were on social media pushed by the fbi's accounts. so they were largely in hiding or trying to distance themselves. i talked to somebody at the capitol on january 6th.
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she runs a group called freedom angels and she posted on instagram the day of january 6th while you know, we've been through -- it was a revolution, that you know, we the patriots knocked down the doors and in the weeks after that, she deleted those things and re-grouped. went back to stockton, california, where she lives. i talked to her outside at a school board meeting and she said you have to go local. that going to the capitol doesn't work. just simply doesn't work. so that's where the shift has come. by the way, at that school board meeting, she won. she gave a speech saying that this vaccine mandate in california shouldn't exist. and the board backed her up. by the way, the person after her, part of her group, said that our effort was giving her children havana syndrome. the chrome books her children were given for distance
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learning. it's that kind of talk in these spaces, but they are winning these fights and votes in local elections. >> i want to understand sort of the structure around them that makes them win with chromebooks are causing havana syndrome because i think the cia would love to know what's causing it if they figured it out. that would be so helpful to them. i want to play some of her in her own words. >> it's all about local legislation. your local school districts. city council board of supervisors. so it kicked off as a national movement that's now parents are realizing we need to start coming to the local government. we figured out that going to the capitol and working that particular piece doesn't do anything. because these legislators have already made up their mind. >> so turning her sort of voice and her power and her grass roots skills to the local school board is a strategy that steve
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bannon has talked about. there was a call to action. other local anti-mask groups. we've talked about the intersection of the extremists who were maybe drawn to the stop the steal movement. extremists involved in the anti-mask, anti-public health measures, but you seemed to close that circle. talk about why those movements are attracted to one another? >> well there's a lot of disparate and ideas right now and disagreements within the trump faction. you see it all the time now. people like flynn or bannon. the different sides. they all agree the only way to move forward is at the school boards at the local level in these off year elections while people aren't paying attention. you can hop into these spaces, run at the qanon candidate openly and few people vote in these things. and if you get in there, you're there. for the next few years. you can affect change legitimately. so michael flynn has pushed that. he said run for your school board. bannon said you have to go
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village by village in the next few years and that's their plan. build up this base underneath it so when people are saying all the crazy qanon stuff, the chromebooks are giving my kids havana syndrome stuff, sounds crazy now, but maybe in a couple of years it won't. that's how we got here with this vaccine stuff. the 5g stuff and all these things. that was crazy a few years ago but it isn't now. it's part of our discourse. planting those seeds now will in fact in a few years pay dividends to them. >> still crazy. you're just saying it's accepted by a wider group of people that goes beyond the crazies. >> yes. >> okay. >> it's still absolutely -- >> it's being normalized. this is important what i want to ask you. i think what ben is describing, it's so difficult to describe these efforts as brilliant, but they are. and my concern has been as with the voting effort, it is
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un-american to roll back the right to vote. to take out the few election officials who walked the line and allowed for the rightful winner in 2020 to become the next president. but it has been a brilliant campaign. the right wing has gone state house to state house to state house. more than 30 laws have been passed. there are 400 steams through the rest of the states. this campaign is equally successful. they went back to their towns. back to their school districts and they are running and as ben reports, running and winning. what is the counter for the other side. what is the white house doing? are they watching? are they worried? >> that's a great question. a question that white house reporters like me pose regularly. it is the thing that's the unknown here. we know that the republican party has been really, really good at going state by state on a number of issues. whether it's abortion rights,
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whether it's in this case, trying to overthrow elections or push back on science and truth and spread conspiracy theories. republicans don't have a playbook of like, we're going o to go to states and scale people that their children are being harmed by this system and believe these lies. so it's a really good question. when i talk to white house officials, they're very concerned about this. they're concerned about the idea that there are people who are just pushing essentially lies all over the country. you heard the president today talking about this pandemic really being a big worry specifically for unvaccinated americans. so they've been trying to beef up their messaging, but i think we have to step back. zoom all the way out. this is in some ways what america has been like. since our founding as a country, there have been certain people that want to stop others from voting. of course african americans have
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been locked out of this and i think schools in particular have been a sort of center for this. when you think about desegregation and how much it meant when white kids had to go to school with black children and how much those parents said, oh, we don't have to do public schools. we're going to start our own school systems so our kids don't have to go to school with these black kids. schools have been at the center and where the civil rights wars have been thought. i think democrats are scrambling to try to figure this out. you see this week with voting rights, democrats starting to get their heads around the idea they need to do something urgent to get around these issues. >> to your point ben, about being normalized which was considered crazy really does sort of thrust to this front burner. we'll stay on it. ben collins, i'm such a fan of all your reporting. thank you for spending time with us today. next for us, how the department of justice and the attorney general plan to mark the january 6th anniversary this
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the president could have walked into the briefing room, gone on live television and told his supporters who were assaulting the capitol to stop. he could have told them to stand down. to go home. and he failed to do so. it's hard to imagine a more significant, a more serious dereliction of duty than that.
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>> is his failure to make that statement criminal negligence? >> i think that there are a number of as the chairman said, potential criminal statutes at issue here. >> liz cheney there looking at the possibility of criminal charges for the disgraced former president for inciting the january 6th insurrection and doing nothing about it. tomorrow, attorney general merrick garland will address the department of justice's efforts to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the attack. garland will not speak about specific people or charges. instead, he will offer broad remarks about the department's duty to follow the facts and law and pursue equal justice under the law. it comes amid growing criticism that garland has failed to be aggressive in prosecuting or investigating those responsible for january 6th. joining our conversation, msnbc legal analyst, neil, former acting u.s. solicitor general.
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now a georgetown law professor. yamesh is still with us. i want to show you something that congressman reuben said today on this topic of trump and on the doj. >> i think merrick garland has been extremely weak and i think there should be a lot more of the organizers of january 6th that should be arrested by now. the problem we have right now is that we have a very obstructionist republican party that should be part of helping us decide how to save democracy instead of trying to cover up for their crimes and you have again, an attorney general who is fekless. it's just about game as in who's winning the argument of january 6th. it's extremely disturbing. >> it's brutal. but we do only ask about what doj is doing about january 6th in a political frame.
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is it too scary for a justice department to investigate a former president of the other party? and rarely is the conversation had in the frame of the facts and now that liz cheney and chairman townsend had made some of the facts and evidence public, do you think the justice department should be following those facts and pursuing a criminal investigation of donald trump? >> i do. and look, i've been very patient with merrick garland. i used to appear before him when he was a judge and there was no judge who was more meticulous, more brilliant, more prepared down to reading every footnote. i'm getting worried and i agree with the congressman to a point. like, look, nobody's asking merrick garland to get up in a speech tomorrow and announce indictments against donald trump and his pals. he's the attorney general. he's not santa claus. but we are all hoping for some reassurance from him that he's investigating all leads and all people who may be responsible.
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so that's what i want to hear tomorrow. and right now, we've heard really crickets. yes, the justice department's been great in securing convictions of 275 people rank and file people who were involved in the january 6th attack, but we've heard silence about the higher ups. there's two possibilities here. one is that garland as you were saying a moment ago, possibly too scared of his shadow and he's doing nothing or the other is that he's got a secret investigation and we just don't know about it. and it's rare to think an investigation of this magnitude could be kept secret, but i suppose it's possible. the thing that concerns me is that the governing documents here, the u.s. attorney's manuals do say that when public confidence requires an announcement of an investigation, it can be done. so we've heard silence in the teeth of what the u.s. attorney's manual says and that to me is concerning. >> neil, i guess what concerns me is that this is the pattern and as a student of patterns,
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the pattern is that donald trump is so outrageous. his sort of criminality is like hanging out there for all of us to see. hey, acting ag rosen, declare the election corrupt and me and my republican pals will handle the rest. the call to raffensperger that we've all heard. if you watch or listen to or read "the new york times" magazine piece out today about the brutality that donald trump supporters who he summoned to washington eked out on capitol police officers, it's forever. the damage trump did is forever and what it looks like from the outside is that as with the old republican party, as with the democrats in congress while he was president, everyone bends to the audacity of trump and thinks if i go back to norms, he'll go away. he will not go away. no norms will serve anyone in
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holding donald trump accountable and it looks like without a doubt that the norm, a justice department not pursuing or following the evidence even if it leads right to donald trump's flashing his conduct for the world to see, it looks like there's no chance that that secret investigation is going on. are you really open to the fact that it is so secretive none of us know about it or do you think it hasn't commenced? >> i think we've got to be open to that fact because it is possible to have a law enforcement investigation with that level of secrecy. it's also of course possible that garland is waiting to hear from congress first before acting. but i agree with the general sentiment of what you're seeing absolutely. donald trump was a brutal, brutal, launched a brutal attack on our democracy on the rule of law on the way we think about what our country, what america stands for. the way in which my parents came to this country.
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everything about it he is a rebel against and tearing it apart and it requires a strong response. look, i totally respect merrick garland. it's so great he's handled so many things with so much tact, but at this point, we're in a national cross roads and if garland doesn't speak out about the lessons from the past year, the other guys are going to and they're going to write the narrative and we see it right now with all this view of like oh, no harm, no foul on january 6th. well, people died and our capitol was attacked and if you're going to leave out the months of conspiracy an provocation that proceeded the attack, if that's your narrative, you might as well call january 6th the day that melania trump photographed all the white house rugs that day. there's a need for a strong, swift response and here we are a year later and we haven't had it. >> neil, we will sort of the
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watch tomorrow's speech from the attorney general with that healthy skepticism, but we'll keep our minds over to the possibility that there's something happening we don't know about it thank you so much for spending some time with us today. josh letterman called it a distopian nightmare after nearly half a day spent in his car with his dog, he has made his way home. he will join us on the experience and what went wrong last night on i-95 in virginia. that's next. ng last nhtig on i-95 in virginia that's next.
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this has been a pretty insane and fairly dystopian experience. the thousands -- i can see thousands of cars from where i am on the highway, on i-95, have been in their cars overnight without food, without water. it's been 26 degrees outside, and nobody knows how long we're going to be here or how we are going to get out. >> that was nbc's josh letterman, my colleague, describing his experience as one of the hundreds of motorists stuck on i-95 yesterday and today just outside of washington, d.c., after two tractor trailers jackknifed, causing motorists to be stuck in their cars in freezing temperatures overnight. virginia's department of transportation said the agency should have the interstate cleared by this evening and open for rush hour tomorrow. senator tim kaine, driving from
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richmond, virginia, back to d.c., and got caught in that jam returned to the capitol a few minutes ago after more than 27 hours on the road. let's bring into our conversation, josh letterman, now safely at home. what did you know about what was happening at the time? did they go -- i mean, obviously, you have 27 hours, you can walk down or drive down and tell people what's going on or hand out water, see if there are any medical emergencies. did any of that happen? >> almost none of that was happening, nicole, because nobody knew what was happening or whether or not in two minutes we were all going to be clear and start driving our cars. it was also the middle of the night on the interstate. people didn't really feel safe. you didn't know who was in other vehicles so people were largely keeping to themselves, taking their dogs or children out every few hours but mainly trying to conserve gas. there was a point around maybe 11:00 or 12:00 p.m. where it became pretty clear we were spending our night in the car where people kind of all at once started to turn their cars off
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to conserve gasoline and that fear set in. i was lucky to have about three quarters of a tank of gas when i started this but if you had run out of gas, it was 26 degrees outside. there was nowhere to go. the roads were too icy to walk, much less drive. you weren't going to be walking to anywhere warm. and so people were really just digging through their trunks, trying to find, is there an extra granola bar i forgot about from six months ago or a bottle of water i might be able to use as they searched twitter, listened to local radio, tried to get any updates from local authorities, but we had no information, and i think that's why we're seeing so many questions right now about the response from authorities in virginia. obviously, they had a massive storm to deal with that's not easy to pull people out of, but this was a very harrowing experience that a lot of people on that roadway were really not prepared for. >> i grew up driving to tahoe and it snows a lot there and i
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have never heard of a jackknife shutting down the freeway. what are the calls for accountability in the aftermath? >> well, one thing i'll say, just from what we could see on the ground, is it wasn't like there was one accident if they could only clear that. the issue was the roadways were such a mess of ice and snow that looking around, it was littered in every direction with disabled vehicles, cars, trucks, tractor-trailers so you'd clear one accident and ten feet down the road, there would be another one. so there were certainly a lot of issues there. now, the authorities are saying that part of the problem was that they had this rain right before the snow, and so that made it hard for them to treat the roadways, but still, you know, i think there are some questions about -- it took hours for us to even get updates on twitter of, are they aware of what's happening here? is anybody coming to try to deal with this situation? and that's something we're already hearing a lot of lawmakers today, is really not an acceptable response in the united states. >> it is not an acceptable response in the united states.
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i'm glad you're okay, i'm glad you're safe. josh, thank you for spending time with us. yamiche, thank you for spending the hour with us. a great day to see you as we head into this incredibly consequential week. thank you so much, my friend. >> thank you so much. the next hour of "deadline white house" starts after a quick break. line white house" starts after a quick break. as america begins to reunite big oil executives saw a chance to make more money. they hiked up gas prices, right before the holiday season. sky-high gas prices for you meant record profits for them. 174 billion dollars. big oil executives took advantage of a recovering nation. just to make more money. it's time to tell big oil executives that their rigged game is over. america: it's time for clean energy.
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as a member, i called my husband last night and i told him that i was coming into work today but that should anything happen, i let him know where my will and last testament was
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located in the event that we needed it. >> i knew that something was going to go down. i didn't know what, but i wore my tennis shoes on wednesday because i knew, just based on what i know as a layperson, reading and knowing nothing about security, really, although i've been in many dangerous situations, i knew something was going to happen. >> fortunately, we took the decision to keep them out of the capitol that day. and so, thank god in the midst of worrying about so many things, i wasn't worried about my poor staff, as so many were, hiding under desks or in closets as the mob broke down doors. >> hi again, everyone, it's 5:00 in new york. immediately following the deadly insurrection, we heard those alarming stories from lawmakers who had just taken extra precautions that day. they were fearful of what might transpire on january 6th. now, almost one year to the day from the horrific attack, fear of violence at the u.s. capitol
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remains, but now the concern is not only that insurrectionists may return. lawmakers are worried about what their own colleagues are capable of now. a harrowing new piece in the "washington post" details how january 6th has fundamentally changed those who work at the capitol. quote, trust in one another whether to clinch a critical legislative bill or to protect each other from violence seems to be at an all-time low one year after the pro-trump mob attacked the capitol with both democrats and republicans in their crosshairs. the democratic majority, which ordered that the metal detectors be put in place a few days after the attack grew so frightened of some gop colleagues that they slipped two of their committee posts after learning of violent social media comments directed at high-profile democrats. a third is awaiting a possible similar punishment. congresswoman maxine waters told "the post," quote, this is the worst i've ever seen it. we've never threatened by people
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carrying guns. this is kind of scary. while the vast majority of republicans want to forget about the angry trump mob that stormed the capitol fueled by the ex-president's lies, for many house democrats, that remains impossible to do. some vote against any legislation sponsored by a republican who voted against certifying president joe biden's win. senator amy klobuchar told "the post" that she thinks of the votes by the eight gop senators against certification, quote, every time i see them or work with them, the distrust and the toxicity within capitol hill coming on top of the growing threats to lawmakers' safety, quote, according to the u.s. capitol police chief, threats against lawmakers are at an all-time high with 9,600 recorded in 2021, all of it adding up to an environment driving house members away. politico is reporting on the upcoming exodus of house democrats, quote, congresswoman cheri bustos told politico that
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the insurrection and months of vitriol that followed propelled their decision not to seek re-election. so far, 23 since this piece was published, up to 24, house democrats have announced they will pass on a re-election bid this year. representative stephanie murphy, who stunned the party by announcing her exit at age 43 after just three terms made her choice in part because she's tired of the noxious house culture, according to people close to her. murphy, a member of the house panel investigating january 6th, has also faced a barrage of threats. as the capitol still reels from the deadly attack, the select committee is pressing forward with its investigation. we're expecting a big development to come soon. axios is reporting that the committee is preparing to ask fox news anchor and trump ally sean hannity for his voluntary cooperation. the toll of january 6th is where we begin this hour. "washington post" congressional correspondent jackie alemani is
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here, her byline is on all that fantastic "washington post" reporting we read from. matt dowd and congressman jim himes of connecticut joins us, a member of the house intelligence committee. congressman, sorry to sort of start there, with some old sound from you, but i've been haunted by all three of those interviews for the whole year. congresswoman sanchez saying she told her husband where to find her will the night before. and congresswoman lee talking about wearing sneakers and then i remembered you saying that on our air, that you didn't want your staff in the building. i just want to dispense with the idea that there was any lack of intelligence available. you all knew that donald trump had summoned his supporters that heeded the call and they were coming to the capitol, right? >> yeah, that's true, nicole. i'm not sure we knew they were coming to the capitol. again, i think most of us thought that anything could happen. and yeah, i heard barbara lee
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said she wore her tennis shoes, i kept my staff at home. i don't want to lose the fact, nicole, that none of us, i think, conceived that what did happen could have happened. in other words, you know, as the door was breaking to the chamber, we saw that flag pole come through with the capitol police with their weapons pointed at the door, i don't think any of us imagined that that would be possible, which is both obviously an indictment of the intelligence and the security response and hopefully that has been fixed and it won't happen again, but it was also, i think, a moment where we all realized, oh my god, you know, the toxicity, the rage, the lies, the dementedness that this president has injected into the body politic is actually much worse than we could have ever imagined. >> there is a piece of reporting in "the new york times" magazine, congressman, i don't know if you have had time to read it. it's long. they actually have it in audio form. it takes 75 minutes.
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i want to read some of it. if i had a longer program, i would read the whole thing on the air. they write this. this is about the toll that 1/6 took on the capitol police and still takes. it's called "the capitol police and the scars of january 6th." it was not unusual the first week back at the capitol after january 6th for officers walking by a bathroom or any one of the many small hidden rooms in the building to overhear the sound of weeping. anton thought his colleagues' eyes looked vacant and he was pretty sure they would have said the same of him. officers were fearful and on high alert as bomb threats were called in every few days. some officers, certain they'd never be given the equipment they needed, went out and bought their own helmets and kevlar. on the morning of the 6th, members of the midnight shift had been sent home. now the capitol police called on officers to work long hours of overtime, everyone as they were surrounded by thousands of national guard members whose numbers dwarfed that of the force. how are all of you doing? how are you doing?
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how do you think the capitol police force is doing? >> well, nicole, you're talking about a lot of different people with a lot of different personality types and different experiences that day. i happen to be one of the last members out of the chamber, and i saw the capitol police doing their job so valiantly, and we tend to think these guys who walk around with weapons, that they're all clint eastwood types, but they're not. they may go a whole career without having to violently engage somebody and nobody that day, none of the capitol hill police officers, didn't have to get into hand-to-hand combat so it's not at all surprising to me that there is a terrible hangover, including, by the way, some weirdness. there's two or three things i can't get out of my head. one of those is that this question that you got to before, which is the complete destruction of the bipartisanship. you know, right after we returned after the violence, about midnight that night, 138 out of 202 house republicans
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voted against the ratification of joe biden's victory, even though their lives had been threatened a mere three hours before, and it's really hard, especially for those people like me and stephanie murphy who really make a point every single day to reach out to republicans, to continue to do that, knowing the response to the most violent attack on our democracy since the war of 1812. >> how much of the time that you're going about your job is it on your mind? i mean, do you look at the ordinary tourist visit guy, i can't retrieve his name from my brain at the moment, do you look at, you know, do you look at these members differently, the ones who voted not to certify the election and the ones who said similarly, outrageous things over the last 363 days? >> you know, as you walk around the capitol, and thank god the national guard is gone, the fencing that made it look like a base in afghanistan is gone.
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but yeah, there's just -- you can't walk 50 yards in the capitol without seeing capitol police officers without remembering what happened there. you know, for a long time, there were all of these, you know, oh, thank you, capitol police on the doors of people like marjorie taylor greene and matt gaetz. thank you to our heroes, you know, even though now they're turning around and suggesting that the people that perpetrated that act were the real heroes. so, it remains hard, and candidly and honestly, you know, i continue to work really hard to build those bipartisan bridges, but it's hard. it's really, really hard, knowing that when push comes to shove, it's basically two members, adam kinzinger and liz cheney, who will put their country, their oath to the constitution ahead of their political ambitions, and that's a really hard context in which to -- in which to be. >> jackie, you've done some incredible reporting, really,
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throughout, but this piece today, i think, bringing to life the reality that the congressman's talking about. tell us about it. >> yeah, nicole, with my colleagues, paul cain and mariana, we interviewed over 20 different members, republicans and democrats in the house and senate, and it revealed a congress that is on edge where violence is at the front of mind, and not just because of january 6th, but because of recent spats that we have all seen play out publicly like congressman paul gosar retweeting an anime cartoon trying to kill congresswoman, his colleague, alexandria ocasio-cortez. that is activity we see on a daily basis since january 6th. i would say it's pretty fair to say that relationships have completely deteriorated since then. you know, republicans and democrats can't even agree on things like having metal detectors to make sure that members aren't carrying guns
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into the chamber or to things like wearing a mask. so that people are protected or that people are vaccinated in the house. i would say that the tension seems to be more palpable in the house. we see these tensions explode in-person right in front of us, between people like marjorie taylor greene, lauren boebert, and others. but this also -- these conversations have continued to happen behind closed doors. you have, as you mentioned, and we reported, house lawmakers, some democrats, a group that refuses to vote on any piece of legislation -- they vote against any piece of legislation that's been introduced by a republican who voted against the certification of the election. you do have some democrats, though, that have tried to pivot towards working with republicans a little bit more. you had ro khanna telling us, you know, joe -- sorry, congressman john lewis worked with people who were much worse than the people that the -- the colleagues that he has to deal with every day and in that vein,
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he's trying to get things done for the american people. but you know, something that congressman joaquin castro told me that really resonated was, this isn't necessarily about january 6th anymore. this is about the great alarm, about how republicans are going to behave after the 2024 presidential election. so, i think democrats are still walking around with a lot of trepidation about the upcoming elections and what political violence may come along with that. >> the congressman mentioned liz cheney and adam kinzinger. the committee on which they serve has just made some news that we've been discussing all hour, all afternoon. the committee has requested that sean hannity of fox news spend a little time with them. let me read from the letter they've just sent to him. the select committee now has information in its possession as outlined in part below indicating that you had advance knowledge regarding president trump's and his legal team's
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planning for january 6th. it also appears that you were expressing concerns and providing advice to the president and certain white house staff regarding that planning. you also had relevant communications while the riot was under way and in the days thereafter. these communications make you a fact witness in our investigation. the select committee has immense respect for the first amendment to our constitution, freedom of the press, and the rights of americans to express their political opinions freely. for that reason, we do not intend to seek information from you regarding your broadcasts on the radio or on television, your public reporting or commentary or your political views regarding any candidate for office. at the same time, we have a solemn responsibility to investigate fully the facts and circumstances of these events in order to inform our legislative recommendations. our nation cannot let anything like january 6th happen again. thus, we write again today to seek your voluntary cooperation on a specific and narrow range of factual questions. quickly, let me read some of the text that the 1/6 committee has
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from sean hannity. for example, on december 31, 2020, you texted mr. meadows the following. this is a text from sean hannity to mark meadows in the position of the 1/6 committee. quote, we can't lose the entire white house counsel's office. i do not see january 6th happening the way he is being told. after the 6th, he should announce he will lead the nationwide effort to reform voting integrity. when he speaks, people will listen. similarly on january 5th, the night before the violent riot, you sent and received a stream of texts. you wrote this. this is sean hannity texting, quote, i'm very worried about the next 48 hours. the county the electoral vote scheduled, why were you concerned about the next 48 hours? on the evening of january 5th, sean hannity texted meadows, quote, pence pressure, white house counsel will leave.
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congressman, it was clear, i guess, coming into the week that the committee was ready to show some of their cards, to make sure they now had eyes in the room. it's clear now they also know who was acutely aware that donald trump had gone too far. your reaction to what they've seen from sean hannity and their interest in talking to him. >> well, i think the committee's doing terribly important work, and even, you know, if they went away tomorrow, everything that we have learned about how much more planned and intentional january 6th was, the war room that steve bannon was running at the willard hotel, not something that we knew about. the fact that any number of people were texting president trump saying, call this off, takes away any possibility that president trump didn't understand how bad it was. already, the committee has done really, really important work and they continue to find these facts out. you know, sean hannity, it was
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interesting to me, as you read that letter, because of course the committee is trying to be very, very careful about not impinging on a journalist, but as the texts that you read indicate, sean hannity, and i guess we can argue that he's never really been a journalist, he's always been a provocateur but he was advising a right-wing insurrection, and people associated with it, and it raises an interesting question about whether he gets to claim journalistic protections under the first amendment when he's acting as an advisor to an insurrection. >> i mean, jackie, what the committee makes clear from their letter is that they are aware of multiple conversations sean hannity had with donald trump, and they describe him as a fact witness. they are getting closer and closer to donald trump. they write this. it appears from other text messages that you may have had a conversation directly with president trump on the evening of january 5th and perhaps at other times regarding his planning for january 6 . each of
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these nonprivileged communications is directly relevant to our investigation. we are aware of and interested in your communications to meadows during the violent attack. they talk about a detailed knowledge that sean hannity had regarding trump's state of mind in the days following the january 6th attack. they write this. for example, you appear to have had a discussion with trump on january 10th that may have raised a number of specific concerns about his possible actions in the days before the january 20th inaugural. you wrote to mark meadows and jim jordan, quote, guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in nine days. he can't mention the election again. ever. i did not have a good call with him today, and worse, i'm not sure what is left to do or say, and i don't like not knowing if it's truly understood. ideas. jackie, your reaction? >> yeah, this is just another example of someone who was a firsthand witness to the activity and some of the planning around january 6th and
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potentially on january 6th. we had already known that sean hannity was in touch with mark meadows along with other figures like don junior, the former president's son, laura ingraham, brian kilmeade, other fox news personalities, and they were not able to get through to the president successfully during that 187 minutes, at least via their surrogate, mark meadows. it's still unclear, though, who was in direct contact with the president on that day, other than the white house staffers who were there in-person and we do know that the committee has honed in on that question. did the president commit a dereliction of duty by not calling for any action, by not going into the briefing room and telling his supporters to stand down and does that amount to criminal action, hence, a potential criminal referral from the committee to the justice department recommending that they prosecute the former president for this dereliction of duty.
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and -- our key to piecing together this story, especially as mark meadows is now being held in criminal contempt. we're not sure if he's going to get prosecuted by the justice department. that's an announcement we're expecting to come imminently. in the next week, potentially, or coming weeks, but without meadows actually cooperating with the committee, these are conversations that the committee cannot get more information on, hence why you're going to see them start moving out to figures like sean hannity to glean as much information as possible prior to them pivoting to this public phase of the investigation. >> matt, i want to bring you into this. it's clear from the lines of investigation that they reveal their letters, in their invitations to sean hannity to meet voluntarily with them, that the investigation has moved directly to donald trump. what he did and did not do, leading up to the insurrection and as it unfurled, and this interest in understanding why
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sean hannity was concerned the night before, how he knew that the entire counsel's office would quit. he said, you can't lose the entire white house counsel's office. so, obviously, he's had some firsthand knowledge about what mr. cipollone and his team would do on january 6th. and he communicated to jim jordan and mark meadows after the insurrection that he did not have a good call with him, suggested he never mention the election again. i mean, donald trump's, you know, to the degree he speaks in sentences, you know, the noun is always the election and the verb is always, didn't lose. i mean, he didn't listen to sean hannity, but i guess what is revealed is the absolute hypocrisy and phoniness of what is broadcast on that network. >> well, you know, as i was listening to this, nicole, and we have had this conversation before, but i was listening to this as a conversation, we, i mean, obviously, january 6th is
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a seminal moment in our country's history, but it's really a moment combined with a lot of other moments. this, in fact, is domestic terrorism, which has completely surfaced in our country, and it has all of the elements of domestic terrorism. with the added element, it has cells around the country. it has actions. it has intent. it has weapons. it has radicalization. it has communication channels that do it, which is fox news and sean hannity, all that. but what is different here and makes this, in my view, so much worse, i've often said that i think january 6th was worse -- a worse event for our country's history than 9/11, even though more people were -- there was a greater loss of life on 9/11. january 6th has actually revealed what exists, this sort of -- the sort of treasonous activity that exists among our -- many of our leaders in this country, and it has divided the country more. it completely much more divisive area of the country we're in, and i think we have to start
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thinking about this is that we have an active domestic terrorism unit in this country with all of its manifestations of it but what we have never seen before is the facilitation of that terrorism by elected leaders of our country, including the president of the united states. and i pause for a minute to say that. we have a -- we have domestic terrorism facilitated by a former president, a president at the time of our country. and can you imagine -- can you imagine if the run-up to 9/11, president bush had been fully aware of what was going to happen with specific ideas about it and then encouraged it and then in the aftermath, didn't do anything about it, didn't do anything to save life, didn't do anything in the aftermath of that, and proceeded to do that with a media channel that he might have had at the time. that's the difference in the situations we have today. and it is an astounding thing to say, but it is a truthful thing to say.
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we have an ongoing, active domestic terrorism problem in our country that january 6th was an element of. and now we have leaders in the capitol who have helped and are helping facilitate that domestic terrorism in our country, including a former president of the united states. that's the fundamental problem that exists today in america. >> you know, i would like your reaction to that analysis, but i guess if you look at the bulletins that have come out from the department of homeland security since this period, since january 6th, they have all been renewed, every time they've looked at the intelligence anew and had an opportunity to rescind them. they have not done that. and they all describe the domestic violent extremism threat which the fbi contends is the greatest threat to the homeland as sort of sitting at this intersection of grievances that include a belief that the election had been stolen from donald trump and anger at the covid pandemic health measures.
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first, do you agree with the analysis? second, are we acting like a country that has a political problem that intersects with a domestic violent extremism problem? >> yeah, nicole, i have a slightly different view than matt does, and i won't in any way deny that there are elements out there that look a lot like domestic terrorists, these three percenters, boogaloo boys, whatever they may be, but i would resist the notion that that's the core problem that the country has, because i think that takes our attention away, and it absolves us of a need to engage in what i think the very real problem is, which is not so much guys stockpiling guns, although i do think that that's very serious and needs to be dealt with, but if we think that that's the core problem, what it does is it says, well, that's the fbi and law enforcement's problem. what i see as the real problem around january 6th is not january 6th. it's everything that has happened since january 6th, and
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i would highlight two things as the core problem. number one, according to the ipso polling, two-thirds-ish of republicans, this great party of lincoln, two-thirds of republicans continue to believe that donald trump is the legitimate president. that, to me, is a deeper cancer in our body politic than a bunch of three percenters in the woods in montana. and secondly, all over this country, the republican party is trying to do things that will lean us away from a democratic outcome in 2024. what do i mean? taking away power from the brad raffenspergers of the world, right, and giving it to partisan legislatures. brad raffensperger, obviously, being the georgia secretary of state, republican, who when the president, president trump, demanded that he find 11,703 votes, he just said, no. all over this country at the state level, the republican party is taking steps which are very clearly designed to make sure that next time, in 2024, they succeed.
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so, again, i wouldn't say that domestic terrorism isn't an issue. but i would say for god's sakes, don't be so obsessed with january 6th and guys with guns that you lose track of the fact that a significant minority of the american citizenry today is coming -- is working or coming to believe that democracy no longer makes sense. >> what do we do about that, congressman? how do you make democracy the thing that people want badly enough to vote out that sort of democracy indifferent -- i mean, you know, people that look at how democracies become so weak and flabby that autocrats or people are autocratic impulses can seize power and be punitive toward the press and punish political dissidents, donald trump had all the flashes and impulses, but he didn't really completely institutionalize that. how do we make sure that he doesn't so normalize, so desensitize the entire american right that i think it's 71% of all republicans who don't
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believe president joe biden was legitimately elected. how do we sort of make sure that doesn't spread and make sure that doesn't metastasize or is it too late? >> well, talk about a two-hour-long show that we can do on that topic. >> i have two hours. >> look, i think it's the key essential question, and we need to take it really seriously. but let me offer two thoughts. number one, people like me, not necessarily journalists, but people like me and frankly the citizens of this country need to do all that they can to support the institutions of democracy, by which i mean, the legitimate media. by which i mean, our courts. by which i mean, you know, community organizations that get together. all of those things that stood up against the authoritarian instincts of donald trump, we need to continue to rededicate ourselves to and here, again, i don't want to say that i think matt is wrong. i just think that his emphasis is a little bit misplaced
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because when people hear that the fundamental problem is that it's domestic terrorism, look, those 70% of republicans who believe that donald trump is the legitimate president will, if you call them terrorists or say that they're part of a terrorist organization, you lose all ability to engage them, and if i've learned one thing in a dozen years in politics, it is that you can not bludgeon somebody with facts or antagonism or labels into coming around. it may sound sort of silly to say this, but i think that until we have a more robust conversation with each other as americans in which we come to understand each other better, when, you know, presidential candidates on the democratic side aren't calling trump people deplorable, until we get into that kind of dialogue, they're not going to feel like they have a common purpose with those on the left, and again, i'm not saying matt's wrong. i'm just saying that violence and terrorism is a part of this, and i'm not sure it's the part that the citizenry needs to
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solve. the citizenry needs to ask itself, every single day, how much do i care about the resilience of our democracy and what can i do today to help strengthen it? >> matt, i want to bring you back in. you want to respond? >> yeah, i don't think that the congressman and i are fundamentally on a difference here, though. i think i have a different -- i believe that 70% of the republicans who believe that you should take horse dewormer, who don't believe that the covid's a real problem, who don't -- who believe donald trump's the real president, who believe all that, they're gone. in my view, they're gone. and we can present every fact that we possibly can and have great anthems around democracy and "america the beautiful" and all that. they don't believe in the same america that the majority of the country does. they just don't. i've talked to them. as you know, i'm a former republican. i've talked to them. i've had conversations with them. i have family members that are some of those people. there is no fact basis that gets them to where they are with
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where they have been radicalized today. and the only reason -- and i agree with the congressman. the fundamental problem we have today is we don't have a shared american story today any more about what does democracy mean and how it should manifest itself in a multicultural country. i agree with that. my worry is -- my worry is, we need to have a lot more outrage not only surrounding january 6th but all of the events that have occurred since then and the events that occurred before then, and if we think about -- we had almost a governor kidnapped and murdered of michigan. we have had multiple, multiple incidents of this. and so, to me, yes, we do need to have a story, and yes, we do need to share a common sense of democracy, and yes, that is the fundamental problem in america today, but we have a proximate problem today. many of those people that showed up on january 6th were not three percenters. were average americans that you run into at the starbucks or at a grocery store who are radicalized enough to commit a violent act on january 6th.
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and there are many, many millions of those people in america today. that i don't believe we have had enough outrage at the leaders who are facilitating it. at the leaders in washington, d.c., who are facilitating that in a way that they're facilitating terrorism. that's how we ought to look at leaders who facilitate us. they are facilitating terrorism and we ought to have outrage about it. >> congressman, i'll give you the last word here, but i want to show you something that officer brian sicknick, who tragically lost his life following the deadly insurrection, something that his long-time girlfriend, sandra garza said on pbs yesterday. >> i hold donald trump 100% responsible for what happened on january 6th. and all of the people that have enabled him, enabled him that day and continue to enable him now. but definitely, yes. >> what do you say to -- or think of the members of
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congress, most republican members of congress are saying, in effect, let's move on. january 6th happened, it's in the past, we need to focus on the future. >> yeah, what i would say to that is, trump is the type of man who incites violence, and you know, so, it's not going to stop. and if they don't stand up and say, enough is enough, it's just going to continue, and sadly, i really worry about the safety of our officers still. i worry about another january 6th like attack. this is serious stuff. and they're concerned about money in their pocket and power. >> what are your thoughts as you are, you know, within 48 hours of the one-year anniversary of what she lays out, that the capitol police officers aren't out of danger and they're not beyond the trauma they experienced that day.
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and the violence, in her words, it is -- it's not in the past. the violence -- trump is the type of man who incites violence, it's not going to stop as he remains this unrivalled figure on the right. >> yeah, yeah, something matt said really stuck with me. i would use a slightly different word. i would substitute accountability for outrage. i'm not sure that outrage does anything other than, you know, be something of a, you know, a catharsis for those of us who went through that kind of stuff. i saw these folks up close and personal on january 6th. some of them were very dangerous people and i hope those dangerous people are in prison for a very long time. a lot of those folks, as matt said, were folks that you would otherwise see at starbucks. people who were duped. here's my point. here's my point. a lot of them are going to jail, and they should. every last one of them should go to jail. but talk about outrage. if we need to see the
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accountability against the leaders of this thing from president trump to michael flynn to rudy giuliani, you know, the fat cats, the big guys, the leaders, you know, the lawyers who filed 60 different bologna complaints, you name it. there's a long list here. but i'll tell you, the country and history and quite frankly our emotional and psychological wellbeing will require that not only, you know, the folks who wandered in from starbucks into the rotunda of the capitol but that those people from the president on down who planned this, who financed it, you know, who goaded it on from the comforts of their own offices and living rooms, they need to be held accountable, and a lot of us are waiting on merrick garland, are waiting on the final work of the january 6th committee, are waiting on the justice department probe into this thing, but it will be a profoundly dissatisfying thing if the people who knew better than the starbucks folks who were in the rotunda waving typewriters around don't face accountability. >> is there something you want
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to hear from merrick garland tomorrow that suggests that all the evidence that the 1/6 committee has made possible is at least under scrutiny by somebody at the justice department? >> well, remember, they do have, as you know, nicole, an ongoing investigation that may reach up to donald trump. of course i do. of course i want to see the department of justice deliver justice, but i need to tell you that having lived through four years of donald trump and caring a lot about this democracy, i also want to be a little careful about not being the guy, you know, a partisan elected official who calls up the justice department and says, prosecute this person. remember the last guy who tried that? his name was donald trump. so, you know, i make some of my democratic colleagues and constituents irritated because they say, you need to go just as dirty as the republicans have gone. you know what? i think there are constitutional order is such that we don't want to go just as dirty as donald
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trump would be willing to go. >> do you think, though, that you have seen enough evidence that if he wasn't donald trump, and he wasn't in another party, that firsthand witness accounts of a deadly insurrection playing out in the tv and no action taken would at least represent enough in terms of what's in the public view to be examining that? >> well, let me answer that question both from a knowledgeable standpoint and a completely unknowledgeable standpoint. from a knowledgeable standpoint, i'm in politics, right? had hillary clinton or al gore or barack obama done 2% of the things that donald trump did, he would have been crucified or she would have been crucified and i know that because benghazi, in which hillary clinton did nothing, coughed up nine different investigations and it was only recently we started hearing about her email practices. from a political standpoint, they would have been absolutely brutal on the democratic donald trump. i'm not a lawyer so i can't answer your question about
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charges, but even as a nonlawyer, if i were to call up the registrar of voters here in connecticut and say, find me 11,000 votes because i want to win this election, my guess is that i might get visited by a district attorney. >> yeah. i think so. as a resident of connecticut. congressman himes, we've called on you and appreciated you and your candor, and your outrage when appropriate for last year. thank you for spending some time with us today ahead of this anniversary. >> thank you, nicole. i want to turn back to the breaking news at the top of the hour. the 1/6 select committee, as it nears the one-year anniversary, not of its existence but of the deadly attack, has sent a long letter to mr. sean hannity describing him as a fact witness and asking to talk to him more about texts like this that he sent. this is from sean hannity. to mr. meadows, who we know turned over some documents
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before being held in criminal contempt of congress. quote, we can't lose the entire white house counsel's office. i do not see january 6th happening the way he is being told. after the 6th, he should announce he will leave the nationwide effort to reform voting integrity, go to florida and watch joe mess up. stay engaged and when you speaks, people will listen. you've read the letter. your thoughts? >> it is absolutely stunning, nicole. the document displays a number of things, including -- i mean, yes, it is a -- it's a bombshell. i'm sure we've said that a lot of times, but it is literally a bombshell. the committee knows everything that went on in these relationships, and they have sent a clear signal to sean hannity that they have all of his emails and communications with the white house chief of staff, probably because the white house chief of staff turned them over to the committee when he was still cooperating. so, they now know that hannity was having firsthand
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conversations with donald trump, and donald trump was relating to hannity most possibly what we would know as the powerpoint 2 plan, that plan for suppressing certification of the vote using mike pence and hannity is pushing back, going back to meadows, the chief of staff, saying, listen, you the president is nuts here. this plan can't work. he needs to walk away from it. there is abundant rationale for the committee to speak with sean hannity. we've already seen some early communications from his attorney expressing outrage because he's a journalist, you know, leaving aside for a moment the fact that hannity protested back in 2016 when he was accused of going too easy on trump as a journalist, and he said, i'm not a journalist, i'm a talk show host. but leaving that aside for the moment, and cloaking him in the protection of the first amendment, it's important that the committee in its letter explicitly respects those priorities and says, we are reaching out to you not in your journalistic capacity but in
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your capacity as a fact witness for factual information. lots more to come here. wow. >> and he is a corroborator of an account, i believe, first told by "the washington post," carol leonnig and phil rucker, i believe it's in their book that says that then white house counsel pat cipollone believed for a while on january 6th that donald trump would be charged. sean hannity, i think, becomes the second person to sort of offer any real visibility into the white house counsel's state of mind. don mcgahn was obviously a key fact witness to the ongoing criminal acts of obstruction of the mueller probe, and again, you've got the white house counsel to donald trump in the middle of this story. this is the text from january 5th from sean hannity to mark meadows, chief of staff. pence pressure, white house counsel will leave. the committee writes this. what communications or information led you to conclude
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that white house counsel would leave? what precisely did you know at that time? on january 5th. we know that mr. eastman, i think, was in the oval office on the 5th, meeting with trump and pence, and i wonder what other questions you have when you see that paragraph in the letter, joyce. >> so, this is just an astonishing suggestion, both that there were people -- i mean, as you read this nicole, it looks like not just the white house counsel but perhaps the entire office was ready to step back, to leave the white house if there was some sort of effort to move forward with this plan to interfere with certification of the vote, that's speculative but i think that that's not a bad reading based on what's in this letter. beyond that, there's this notion of interlocking communications. who was hannity talking to? how did he know this? was all of it firsthand? who else can he point the
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committee to who was having firsthand conversations? this is -- it's not close to the oval office. this letter puts the committee right inside of the oval office. it is clear that the focus of their inquiry is donald trump, and of course, we've already seen trump's lawyers in court suggesting that the committee is pursuing improper inquiries, that they're, in essence, stepping into the shoes of an absent justice department. i think that that criticism is unfair. the committee is, after all, trying to get to the truth of january 6th to learn what was going on so that they can take legislative steps that are necessary to prevent a repeat. the committee can't ignore when criminality comes to light in the middle of its investigation. it's legitimate for it to pursue these allegations. it's legitimate for them to send them on to the justice department, even if the experienced prosecutors and agents now working for the committee put together the sort of report that doj is used to typically getting from fbi agents or other agencies, you
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know, these thick reports with blue covers that lay out the evidence and possible crimes. it would be well within the committee's rights to send the report to doj and ask for prosecution. >> wow. jackie, i want to bring you back in and read some more of this and come back to mark meadows' legal strategy, if there is one. the committee writes this to sean hannity this afternoon. quote, likewise, as you know from the select committee's recent meetings, we are aware of and interested in your communications to mr. meadows and otherwise during the violent attack on january 6th as the rioters were attempting to occupy the capitol building. for example, we have your text to mr. meadows advising that president trump should, quote, ask people to peacefully leave the capitol. trump did not do so until 4:17 p.m. that day, likewise, on january 6th, you texted to meadows, press coverage relating to a potential effort by members of president trump's cabinet to remove him from office under the 25th amendment.
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as you may recall, secretaries devos and chao both resigned following the president's conduct on january 6th. we would like to question you regarding any conversations you had with meadows or others about any effort to remove the president under the 25th amendment. jackie, they are really circling these sort of live wires around donald trump. the 25th amendment has been sort of written about and reported just a handful of times by anonymous who turned out to be miles taylor. some reporting about mike pompeo and others. it's my understanding that there weren't enough confirmed secretaries to have invoked the 25th amendment by january 6th. correct me if i'm wrong. but what do you make of their really intimate knowledge of sean hannity's level of engagement deep inside the west wing? >> so, i think it's twofold. i think it speaks to what you
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had noted right off the bat which is that the committee knows so much more than they have publicly let on to. after all, they have interviewed hundreds of people, collected 35,000 pages worth of documents, 300 interviews with witnesses, some voluntarily, some subpoenaed, and the outliers of this whole process have been mark meadows, steve bannon, and jeffrey clark, and for the most part, they have gotten a lot of cooperation, and they are leaving little bread crumbs for people who might be recalcitrant to show just how much they know and why there might be some incentive for people to cooperate so that they don't end up with a criminal contempt charge, potentially on their obituary or headstone. whether that ultimately forces some cooperation here from people like scott perry,
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potentially, or maybe sean hannity, we do not yet know whether or not he is going to decline to cooperate or whether he'll come forward. that remains to be seen, but it does seem like the committee has gathered enough information now that they feel comfortable pulling out these more public stops in order to compel people to cooperate. i think what it also shows is that if sean hannity was in the know on some of these conversations that were supposed to be probably very private and held close to the vest in the oval office, there's got to be others. people like mike lindell and people that were part, unofficially, part of trump's outside legal team. i think hannity, though, straddles an interesting lane in that he was in touch with, you know, some of the more influential people who had trump's ear, like mark meadows, who was happy to peddle some of these conspiracy theories and put them in front of president
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trump and on his desk, while also having, you know, an -- a line in with some more serious folks in the white house counsel's office like pat cipollone. and that way, he was able to serve as a bit of a mediator, as you see here, with these new communications that they've released. he was at least trying to get the former president out of office unscathed. >> it's just a remarkable development. i'm glad and fortunate that we had all of you available to us today. jackie, matt, joyce, thank you so much for spending so much time with us on this breaking news. when we come back, how facebook helped spread the false narrative, the lies about a stolen election leading up to the violence on january 6th. a new investigation into the relentless barrage of lies and violent threats reveals just how extensive the problem there was. that new reporting is next. exte. that new reporting is next
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for months now, questions have swirled about social media's role and whether they should face any accountability for disseminating conspiracy theories and false election narratives in the days and weeks before the capitol riot. today new analysis reveals the critical role, outsized role really played by facebook between election day and january 6th. a stunning investigation from "the washington post" and propublica found that groups on facebook posted at least 650,000
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times between president joe biden's win in november and the insurrection in january, attacking the legitimacy of that election, some even calling for political violence. one post made ten days after the election read, quote, we are americans. we fought and died to start our country. we are going to fight, fight like hell. we will save her. then we're going to shoot the traitors. despite the scrutiny that began last year after whistle-blower francis haugen released tens of thousands of documents about facebook's inner workings, "the washington post" reports that executives at the company have resisted those calls, including from its own oversight board for comprehensive internal investigation and the company has not turned over the information requested by the january 6th select committee. joining us now kara swisher, "new york times" contributing writer, kara, i've read this and i've wanted to talk to you.
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thank you for waiting. what is wrong with facebook? >> i don't know, i keep telling you, it's the biggest area so therefore you're going to see the most of this behavior. it's not just there, it's on twitter, youtube, it's on rumble, it's on parler. facebook has tried to control it. they absolutely have. it's a question of how good those controls are and how the system design as francis haugen talks about is problematic, enragement equals engagement and vice versa. >> this is a period where they didn't really try. they facebook tried leading up to the election, and then they stopped trying. they didn't even facebook try between november and january, right? >> yeah, i like that verb, nicole, facebook try. they dismantled the civic integrity team, and that's something that frances haugen talked about. this is a team dedicated to focusing in on the stuff.
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i think they were doing it a little bit for pr, they often during elections would drag reporters into these rooms, these special war room, which is a terrible term in this case for these things. i think the issue is it's overwhelming. it's a much bigger problem, which frances was talking about which one thing is transparency. what is happening on these platforms? there's a lot of legislation about bringing transparency and, two, is the architecture just wrong for the way -- for what's happening, and this is actually what happened. some of these statements people made are fine to make, even if you don't like them. they should have flagged the more violent ones, some of them they did, some they didn't. i did an interesting interview with the ceo of parler. they did flag quite a few things, but not enough. stuff that gets through can be quite dangerous. >> it started to look like whac-a-mole and you got a brand
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new piece that just posted in the "new york times" that says social media needs better solutions than just banning bad actors. in real life we all know what a stop sign means. online it's largely anything goes until it doesn't, which satisfies no one and confusing everyone. the social media companies wrote the script themselves, the facebook whistle-blower frances haugen said she thought the firms tried to wrap themselves in the constitution when it suited them and are caught between a rock and a hard place when they use free speech right to boot people from what is effectively their place of business. no truth, no following the rules, no service. it's simple, frankly they were revolutionary to require things to be truthful, and we don't have the kind of lies that strengthen the truth like they do in the uk and other places. is anything like this on the table? >> we also have the first amendment, and it goes both ways for companies like twitter and facebook and other places and
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the american people. the problem is twitter and facebook are private companies, and you do not have to be on them, and that's one of the reasons all those screaming for marjorie taylor greene is ridiculous on some level. she doesn't have to be on -- she doesn't have a right to be on twitter or facebook. i know donald trump followed up with one of his statements again acting as if it was a public utility. it's not a public utility. they're just using it. what's perfect about this system is that they can use the mega phone to push these things out, and then when they get kicked off, they can use it to say censorship, and so it's a perfect machine for them for fund-raising political issues and popularity, and i think it really does play into people's feelings in the united states at least that you should be able to say anything you want, which is unfortunately not true on private platforms like this. >> what at the one-year mark from the insurrection if any -- i hate to use the word soul searching because i understand there are companies whose mission is to make money, not to serve anybody's soul, has
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any soul searching happened at facebook since the year since the insurrection? >> i don't think so. i think they've become more feeling like victims, feeling like they've been attacked. haugen was quite kind to the company. she wants them to see another way. she had the most kind way of talking about it. i think within the company they've sort of decided that they're under attack from the press. they're under attack from this and that, and at the same time look who attacked them today, donald trump. so it's really kind of a difficult situation and the only thing they're going to do is sort of become even more inflexible about what they're doing. so, you know, at this point we've got to have really good privacy veils and things that don't attack the first amendment but actually show transparency, deal with privacy issues, deal with ads and the use of information of people. that's really where we need to go instead of arguing about this first amendment issue. it's not a speech issue at all. it's an issue of responsibility
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of platforms in terms of all kinds of things, and we have to move it away from that discussion. that's all just political, and it's not the point really. >> so we will rely on you, my new year's resolution is to have smarter conversations where i express my dismay and disgust at facebook. we'll rely on you to keep it focused on where those conversations should be. kara swisher, thank you for spending some time with us today. a quick break for us. we will be right back. (sighs wearily) here i'll take that! (excited yell) woo-hoo! ensure max protein. with thirty grams of protein, one gram of sugar, and nutrients to support immune health.
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thank you so much for letting us in your homes during these extraordinary homes. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. >> welcome to "the beat." we're tracking some big breaking news and


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