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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Lawmakers Will Resume Counting Electoral College Votes After Pro-Trump Rioters Stormed Capitol; Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT); U.S. Capitol Secured, Woman Dead After Rioters Stormed Halls Of Congress To Try To Block President-Elect Biden's Win. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired January 6, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And good evening.
If you are joining us, the Capitol of the longest standing democracy on earth is reeling right now, the entire city under curfew. The National Guard out of force, at least three pipe bombs or suspected pipe bombs, found and dealt with today. One woman has been shot and killed in the Capitol.
It is important to -- impossible to overstate the significance of this moment. For the first time in generations, the Capitol Building was invaded -- invaded and overrun by a violent mob.
Lawmakers in the middle of carrying out their constitutional obligation of certifying the outcome of a free and fair presidential election were first put under siege, terrorized, forced to take cover behind furniture and under their desks, and then driven out of the chamber.
And compounding the obscenity, these insurrectionists took their marching orders from and wore the colors of a very small man, once considered the leader of the free world, a man who has shown himself to be a coward, who has whipped them into a frenzy with lies about the election ever since he lost more than a month ago.
Then after feeding them false hope, day after day, making money off of them about overturning it, about overturning the election, that's how he was making his money, claims about if they funded him, he would help -- they would help him overturn the election. He repeated all of it this afternoon, and then hit the Go button.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to walk down and I'll be there with you. We're going to walk down. We're going to walk down, anyone you want, but I think right here, we're going to walk down to the Capitol and we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women.
And we will probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, needless to say, he did not march with them. He slunk away to watch the carnage -- an American carnage that he once talked about and has now made real, and while he watched on television from inside the White House, as police officers and elected representatives were attacked, he did nothing.
Nothing until he was finally persuaded to put out a couple of half- hearted calls for calm, which themselves continued to incite his followers, which he continues to call patriots.
And right until the first Capitol window shattered, his Republican enablers were just fine with all of it. These are the senators who until the coup attempt began were objecting to the electoral count in states that the President lost.
These are people who perpetuated the lie, the lie that led to the assault on the Capitol, and just in case you think they didn't know what they were doing, here's one of them, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley raising his fist in solidarity with that very same mob shortly before violence started.
Late today, the Kansas City star calling it like it is with an editorial headlines, "Senator Josh Hawley has blood on his hands in capital coup attempt."
Also late today, former President George W. Bush was no less blunt. The statement titled "President George W. Bush on insurrection at the Capitol" reads and I quote, "Laura and I are watching the scenes of mayhem unfolding at the seat of our nation's government in disbelief and dismay. It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight. This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic," the former President wrote, "not our Democratic Republic."
He continued, "I'm appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement."
And after all that, House and Senate lawmakers are preparing to go back to work. So we first go to CNN's Phil Mattingly, who is on Capitol Hill. Phil, what is happening where you are right now?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think I've probably used Anderson the word surreal about 150 times today. But having covered this institution now for 13 years, I've simply never seen anything like what we've witnessed, not just over the last several hours, over the last several minutes.
Anderson, you had United States senators being walked from where they were being held in an undisclosed location by dozens of law enforcement officials with long guns so they could get to the Senate floor to be able to restart this process, a Senate floor that had been essentially invaded -- invaded by trespassers, by rioters while those lawmakers had been evacuated earlier in the day. Here's where things stand right now: several Republicans I've spoken
to over the course of the last several hours have made clear, there has been a pressure campaign on those Republicans who plan to object. Keep in mind, one objection is actually still going on right now, Arizona, when both chambers were evacuated.
They are trying to get this objection to be the last objection. Now, nothing is finalized yet according to the people that I'm talking to right now, but several of the objectors have since come out and said things are different.
As Mike Braun, an Indiana Republican put it to reporters, we need to get this ugly day behind us. Mike Braun was one of those objectors.
So the big question right now, Anderson, is given what we've seen over the course of the last seven or eight hours, do the objectors, do Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Josh Hawley, who you already mentioned, decide that we don't need to do three, we don't need to do six, one will be enough.
It's an open question right now.
MATTINGLY: One thing to keep a very close eye on, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to take the floor soon. He is expected to speak. Pay attention to those words, I'm told. They will be very strong and they will likely lay the groundwork for what's to come over the course of the next several hours.
COOPER: Just to point out for Senator Cruz and for Senator Hawley, this is about their own presidential ambitions in 2024. This isn't some principled stand that they are making. They're lying to those people who invaded the Capitol and encouraging them.
Phil, do you have any word on when Congress will actually resume the votes certification whether those Republican objectors will carry through with their plans? I mean, even if it's shortened down to one state?
MATTINGLY: Yes, the Senate is going to be back very, very soon. Senators have actually already filed back into the chamber. And again, I keep saying the word surreal. They were actually sweeping up the floor in front of the chamber because of broken glass right before the senators had to walk in.
All eyes will be on Senators Hawley and Cruz and a few of the other objectors. Anderson, I can tell you behind closed doors, those objectors were meeting trying to figure out a path forward with staffs, both the Democratic and Republican side; again, trying to figure out if there's a way to kind of consolidate the objections into one.
I cannot underscore enough the frustration and anger that you're hearing from both Republicans and Democrats about what transpired today, how unsettled they are about what transpired today, how upset they are with President Trump, Republicans included.
Although one thing to keep in mind, Senator Pat Leahy, long term veteran Democrat from Vermont, was asked if he thought all of the objections should be consolidated into one, end this very quickly, scoffed.
And he said, if they want to defend Donald Trump, let them talk all night after what we just saw -- Anderson.
COOPER: Phil Mattingly, appreciate it. Thanks. Joining us now by phone Vermont senator and former Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders.
Senator Sanders, you have warned for four years now about the kind of rhetoric that President Trump has been using and his words and his actions. Can you walk me through, first of all, what your experience was like today as this mob stormed the Capitol?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): You know, to paraphrase your correspondent, it was surreal.
We were just escorted here by the F.B.I. and Capitol Police, you know, dozens and dozens and dozens of armed law enforcement people in order to just get back into the chamber so that we can once again --
COOPER: Senator Sanders, I'm sorry, sir to interrupt. Vice President Pence is speaking. I just want to play that for viewers.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... who defended our Capitol today and we will always be grateful. The men and women who stayed at their posts to defend this historic place.
To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins. And this is still the People's House.
And as we reconvene in this chamber, the world will again witness the resilience and strength of our democracy. For even in the wake of unprecedented violence and vandalism at this Capitol, the elected representatives of the people of the United States have assembled again, on the very same day to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
So may God bless the lost, the injured and the heroes forged on this day. May God bless all who serve here and those who protect this place, and may God bless the United States of America. Let's get back to work.
COOPER: I am joined by Senator Sanders. Senator Sanders, I'm sorry to interrupt. Have you ever seen or lived through a darker day in America?
SANDERS: No, it really is very, very sad for our democracy, for our country. And it really speaks to the fact that we have a President who not only is a pathological liar, somebody who lost an election by seven million votes, lost the Electoral College, but he is prepared, Anderson --
COOPER: Senator Sanders, I'm sorry, sir. I have to go -- Senator McConnell is speaking.
SANDERS: I have to get back to the chamber. I'll talk to you later. Take care. Bye-bye.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): ... or threats. We will not bow to lawlessness or intimidation. We are back at our post. We will discharge our duty under the Constitution and for our nation, and we're going to do it tonight.
This afternoon, Congress began the process of honoring the will of the American people in counting the Electoral College votes. We've fulfilled a solemn duty every four years for more than two centuries, whether our nation has been at war, or at peace, under all manner of threats, even during an ongoing armed rebellion and the Civil War, the clockwork of our democracy has carried on.
The United States and the United States Congress have faced down much greater threats than the unhinged crowd we saw today. We've never been deterred before and will be not deterred today.
They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed. They failed. They failed to attempt to obstruct the Congress. This failed insurrection only underscores how crucial the task before us is for our Republic.
Our nation was founded precisely so that the free choice of the American people is what shapes our self-government and determines the destiny of our nation.
Not fear, not force, but the peaceful expression of the popular will.
Now we assembled this afternoon to count our citizens votes and to formalize their choice of the next President. Now, we're going to finish exactly what we started.
We'll complete the process the right way, by the book. We will follow our precedents, our laws, and our Constitution to the letter and we will certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress. This institution is resilient. Our Democratic Republic is strong. The American people deserve nothing less.
PENCE: Democratic Leader.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Mr. President. Mr. President, it is very, very difficult to put into words what has transpired today. I have never lived through or even imagined an experience like the one we have just witnessed in this Capitol. President Franklin Roosevelt set aside December 7, 1941, as a day that
will live in infamy. Unfortunately, we can now add January 6, 2021 to that very short list of dates in American history that will live forever in infamy.
This temple to democracy was desecrated. Its windows smashed, our offices vandalized. The world saw Americans elected officials hurriedly ushered out because they were in harm's way.
The House and Senate floors were places of shelter until the evacuation was ordered, leaving rioters to stalk these hallowed halls. Lawmakers and our staffs, average citizens who love their country serve it every day, feared for their lives.
I understand that one woman was shot and tragically lost her life. We mourn her and feel for her friends and family.
These images are projected to the world. Foreign embassies cabled their home capitals to report the harrowing scenes at the very heart of our democracy. This will be a stain on our country, not so easily washed away.
The final, terrible indelible legacy of the 45th President of The United States, undoubtedly, our worst.
SCHUMER: I want to be very clear. Those who performed these reprehensible acts cannot be called protesters. No, these were rioters and insurrectionists, goons and thugs, domestic terrorists. They do not represent America.
They were a few thousand violent extremists who tried to take over the Capitol Building and attack our democracy. They must and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, hopefully by this administration, if not, certainly by the next. They should be provided no leniency.
I want to thank the many of the Capitol Hill Police and Secret Service and local police who kept us safe today and worked to clear the Capitol and return it to its rightful owners and its rightful purpose.
I want to thank the leaders, Democrat and Republican House and Senate. It was Speaker Pelosi and Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy and myself who came together and decided that these thugs would not succeed, that we would finish the work that our Constitution requires us to complete in the very legislative chambers of the House and Senate that were desecrated. But we know, always, belong to the people, and do again tonight.
But make no mistake, make no mistake, my friends, today's events did not happen spontaneously. The President who promoted conspiracy theories that motivated these thugs, the President who exhorted them to come to our Nation's Capital, egged them on, he hardly ever discourages violence, and more often encourages it. This President bears a great deal of the blame. This mob was in good part, President Trump's doing, incited by his
words, his lies. This violence in good part, his responsibility is everlasting shame. Today's events certainly, certainly would not have happened without him.
Now, January 6 will go down as one of the darkest days in recent American history. A final warning to our nation about the consequences of a demagogic President, the people who enabled him, the captive media that parrots his lies, and the people who follow him as he attempts to push America to the brink of ruin.
As we reconvene tonight, let us remember, in the end, all this mob has really accomplished is to delay our work by a few hours. We will resume our responsibilities now and we will finish our task tonight.
The House and Senate chambers will be restored good as new and ready for legislating in short order. The counting of the electoral votes is our sacred duty. Democracy's roots in this nation are deep, they're strong, and they will not be undone ever by a group of thugs. Democracy will triumph as it has for centuries.
So to my fellow Americans who were shocked and appalled by the images on their televisions today and who are worried about the future of this country, let me speak to you directly.
The divisions in our country clearly run deep, but we are a resilient, forward-looking and optimistic people and we will begin the hard work of repairing this nation tonight because here in America, we do hard things. In America, we always overcome our challenges. I yield the floor.
MCCONNELL: Mr. President.
PENCE: Majority Leader.
MCCONNELL: I yield two minutes so the Senator from Oklahoma, Senator Lankford.
PENCE: Senator from Oklahoma.
SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): The Vice President, you said things more eloquently than how we say it in Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, we'd say something like, why in God's name would someone think attacking law enforcement and occupying the United States Capitol is the best way to show that you're right. Why would you do that?
Rioters and thugs don't run the Capitol. We are the United States of America. We disagree on a lot of things and we have a lot of spirited debate in this room.
LANKFORD: But we talk it out and we honor each other, even in our disagreements, that person, that person, that person is not my enemy, that's my fellow American.
And while we disagree on things and disagree strongly at times, we do not encourage what happened today. Ever.
I want to join my fellow senators in saying thank you to the Capitol Hill Police, the law enforcement and the National Guard, the Secret Service, who stood in harm's way while we were here debating, they were pushing back.
And I was literally interrupted midsentence speaking here because we were all unaware of what was happening right outside this room, because of their faithfulness, and because what they have done, and I want to thank them -- thank them.
Ronald Reagan once said, peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. Peaceful people in my state of Oklahoma want their questions answered, but they don't want what happened today.
They want to do the right thing and they also want to do it the right way. They want to honor the constitutional process, but they also want to have debate about election security, because they want to make sure it's right. Which is why it's an important issue that still needs to be resolved.
Transparency in government just doesn't seem like a bad idea. Obviously, the Commission that we have asked for is not going to happen at this point. I understand that and we're headed towards tonight, towards the certification of Joe Biden to be the President of the United States and we will work together in this body to be able to set a peaceful example in the days ahead.
I yield the floor.
PENCE: Democratic leader.
SCHUMER: Senator from Nevada, Senator Cortez Masto.
PENCE: Senator from Nevada.
SEN. CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO (D-NV): Mr. Vice President, I know that this room is full of leaders of both parties who love this country, and many believe that for America to succeed, our politics must find common ground and that has never been clearer than today when armed rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, emboldened by President Trump's false and inflammatory rhetoric about the 2020 elections.
I believe that we, in this chamber have a special duty as leaders to work together to lower the temperature of our politics, and I hope that my colleagues would question the legitimacy of this election in Arizona and all of these other states now see the dire and dangerous consequences of sowing doubt and uncertainty.
I also know that as U.S. senators, we all take solemnly the oath we swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
At this moment in history, I can think of nothing more patriotic than renewing our faith in the Charters of Freedom that our founding fathers crafted for our Republic, starting with the fundamental American principle and our Declaration of Independence that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
The people have spoken in this election, and our only job here today is to do what they ask. It is not to argue election security. That's not the place for what we are doing today.
Our Constitution specifically reserves to the people the right to meet in their respective states and vote for the President and Vice President. As a result, individual states oversee and implement the election process, not the Federal government.
To guard against fraud or irregularities in the voting process, the states are required to have robust election security measures. Likewise, state legislators have the opportunity to examine evidence of voter fraud before they certified their Electoral College votes.
And our courts, from District Courts to the United States Supreme Court, adjudicate legal challenges and election disputes. All of those things happened after the 2020 election.
CORTEZ MASTO: State houses and courts across the country took allegations of voter fraud seriously and followed the constitutional process to hear challenges to this year's election.
No state found evidence of any widespread voter fraud, and neither did any court asked to review the state's findings. In Arizona, Republican Governor Doug Ducey, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and State Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, all certified the results of the election on November 30th.
And we know we have heard Arizona's have been voting by mail for almost 30 years and Governor Ducey has expressed confidence in the state's process numerous times.
In November, he said, "We do elections well here in Arizona. The system is strong, and that's why I have bragged on it so much." He further stated, "We have some of the strongest election laws in the country, laws that prioritize accountability and clearly lay out our procedures for conducting, canvassing and even contesting the results."
And they are right. Arizona has one of the most transparent election processes in the country with built-in accountability, starting with internal auditing.
We have heard unfounded allegations that voting machines in Arizona and elsewhere somehow changed vote tallies, or somehow improperly rejected ballots while claiming to accept them.
These allegations all ignore the fact that Arizona counties conducted ballot audits by hand to double check the machine counts and these audits found no widespread fraud or irregularities. Maricopa County, the county where more than 60 percent of the state
population resides conducted a post-election hand count audit in the week after the election, which showed perfect 100 percent accuracy in the machine tabulations.
So why would we need, my colleagues, to call for a 10-day emergency audit to be conducted by a legislative commission when it's already been done by the State of Arizona? What happened to states' rights?
The audit involves checking ballots for the presidential election, but also ballots for federal and state legislative elections. The audit report shows every precinct's machine and hand count totals for each of the races audited, and for every single race in every precinct, the difference between the hand count and the machine count was zero.
Maricopa's audit report stated, "No discrepancies were found by the hand count audit boards." Seeking to find any reason to contest these results? Some of their state Republicans then tried to claim that Maricopa County failed to follow state law in conducting this audit by selecting voting center locations to audit instead of voting precincts. This was wrong.
And this too, went to a court. In rejecting this claim, state court in Arizona found that the county followed the properly issued guidance on hand audit procedures from the Arizona Secretary of State.
And the court found that Maricopa County officials therefore could not lawfully have performed the hand count audit the way the plaintiffs wanted it done. If they had done so they would have exposed themselves to criminal punishment.
PENCE: The senator's five minutes is expired.
CORTEZ MASTO: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. I would close by just saying, please, my colleagues, do not disenfranchise the voters of Arizona and certify their votes tonight. Thank you.
PENCE: Majority Leader?
MCCONNELL: Mr. President, I yield up to five minutes to the Senator from Utah, Senator Lee.
PENCE: Senator from Utah.
SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): Mr. President, at the time I prepared my remarks for today, it seems like a lifetime ago.
COOPER: We're going to continue to monitor this and bring you significant moments as they occur. David Axelrod, as we watch this, we just heard from Senator James Lankford sounding very rational and calm. He was actually one of the people who had signed on to this attempt to overturn the election results.
DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, well, I think what is clear is that the sobriety of the moment has over taken some of the emotions that we saw earlier today, and I think the reality of the implications of what's gone on relative to this election has seeped into the consciousness here.
The question is whether they're going to go through the whole exercise in the three states and so on, but I thought the most interesting -- one of the most interesting things that was said by Senator Schumer, when he said that the stain on our democracy won't easily be washed away.
It has been stunning today not just to hear what Americans have said about this, but what the world has said about what they say. An unthinkable thing: America, the citadel of democracy, the Capitol being stormed and the question is, will it change people's behavior at all or this fever that has seized us even deeper, you know, people ascribe it to the President and the President is the accelerant here and everyone is laying blame at his feet as they should because he was the one who inspired this crowd to go down to the Capitol in very incendiary ways.
But there's something deeper going on in this country. And we need to confront it. We have people -- these people firmly believe today when they went down to the Capitol, that they were somehow saving, saving their democracy, the President's rally was called the save America March. And they believed that this election had been stolen, because they've been told that and they've been told that not just by the President, but all the channels that he relies on, to propagate those messages and this sort of vicious circle of social media of misinformation.
This is a fundamental problem. And for the Republicans who have reaped the benefit of it. Here and who are acting out of fear of the mob, as it were, at the polls and the President himself, people need to evaluate how we're going to break this fever, because otherwise, this is just going to be a dismal landmark along the way to ruin. And I really hope that we don't just move on and sadness and resume, you know, our normal positions.
COOPER: And the dismal landmark that will be reshaped and weakened over time. That'll be reinterpreted as, oh, wasn't that bad? Oh, it wasn't really Trump supporters. I've already seen that kind of stuff.
AXELROD: Yes. I know. And also, you know, I've seen on other networks, so justification for the crowd, they couldn't be heard any other way. And this was -- I mean, there was no sympathy express for protesters during the summer, when that same argument was made. But now, there was a justification of the storming of the Capitol.
And so, you know, I have to say I was, you know, it'd be nice to say, this is going to be the moment at which we all come to our senses. The end of Trump isn't the end of Trump, rationality will reign. I think it's going to be harder than that.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: I think, though, in the Senate. And obviously, we haven't spoken every senator. But there seems to be a general agreement for even listening to the tone tonight, that this mob was a wholly owned subsidiary of Donald Trump, period. And the paragraph wouldn't have happened in the way that it did without the President inciting this the way he did, the way Donald Trump Jr. did this morning.
What was striking to me is listening to Mike Pence again. Because this was going to be his day, where he certified the election, and he finally said to Donald Trump, I've got to do this, because that's what the constitution demands tonight. He said to the mob, to the terrorists, whatever you want to call them, you did not win. Violence never wins, freedom wins. And this is the people's house.
When you compare that to what the President said, on that little video he did earlier today where he said to them, we love you. It's very different. Mike Pence --
COOPER: Right. But Mike Pence has been coddling --
COOPER: -- the same people who stormed this.
COOPER: I mean.
BORGER: Absolutely. But I think Mike Pence --
COOPER: I understand it's upsetting when it actually happens to you --
COOPER: -- and you're in the building and have to be evacuated.
BORGER: And he's been forced into this position. I agree with you because he wouldn't have done it on his own. But it's been forced into this position, because you're either with Trump or you're against him at this point. And I think Mike Pence tonight came out and said, you know, guys, you didn't win. And the President is living to fight another day on this.
VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, I'm, I'm looking for something, I'm trying to find something. There's some things you have to see to believe. And when we saw that, you have to see that to believe it. That was just nuts. But some stuff you have to believe in order to see. And I believe that breakdowns can lead to breakthroughs if you use them, right.
I believe sometimes this much disunity can sometimes open the door to some unity. And there's some good stuff that's happened. First of all, Pence did come out before all this and stuck with the constitution and walk away from the president. That was good. McConnell today gave a speech that any American that loves the Constitution, left or right could endorse. Biden came out and gave a speech, a beautiful speech by bringing us together. That's good.
[20:35:14] You did have a miracle happen, frankly, in Georgia, where you're going to have a southern state represented by a black preacher and a young Jewish kid, something beautiful is trying to happen. You have to believe it to see it. Because the ugliness can, could knock you down, and the overreach by this mob. These Trump rioters, this Trump insurrection is an overreach doesn't mean now sometimes an overreach can stay and now you're in hell.
But sometimes it gives you a moment to pull back. And I do believe not just because it could happen in a positive way. But because if we want to, we can fight for more unity now, because he looked over the edge into disunity. We could wind up where we're headed, and where we're headed. It looks more like Syria, the United States of America.
COOPER: Senator Santorum?
RICK SANTORUM, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I think we're to a sobering moment, that what you're seeing here in the United States Senate, I don't think you're going to see three objections or four more objections, I think this is going to be the only debate. And I think everybody wants to stay to end as quickly as possible and to try to pick up in and move forward.
I'm encouraged by the by the comments, I hear from both sides of the aisle. And I would just say that that's a great place to start, I would just caution for everybody that's been active on social media and the media and everybody else on both sides. Maybe we can all learn a lesson and try to tone down the temperature here a little bit.
Joe Biden is not going to be successful. We're not going to bring this country together, if we continue the rhetoric at the level that we have seen. And I just encourage that maybe this horrible thing that happened today, as Van said, can maybe help have this all sort of say, let's step back a little bit here. And let's not be as incendiary as we might want to be and try to set a new course. We have a new president coming in a few days. Let's try to make it a an opportunity for unity that he wants to accomplish.
COOPER: Jim Sciutto is standing by has some new reporting on the ground. Jim, where are you? What are you learning?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, I'm on Independence Avenue just outside the Capitol. You can see it there of course, the flags are up because they're in session. But I just want to describe to you the phalanx of security now deployed around the Capitol because the squad car here squad cars, you can see there but may not be able to see it.
But that whole line of cars up the hill there that is police, it continues the length of Independence Avenue down here. And every couple of minutes, we see a convoy of police, sometimes on foot sometimes in vehicles. And I have to tell you Anderson, I've covered elections around the world. I have never seen a security presence like this in my experience. The only comparison is I was sitting here watching this might have been Iraq, first parliamentary elections there with the threat of terrorism, all around. COOPER: But Jim --
SCIUTTO: But to see this today in the nation's capitol, alarming.
COOPER: Yes. It's interesting to see it tonight. Jim, I'm wondering where were they earlier in the day when it was known that there was a, you know, going to be this huge rally. We've known this for weeks now. We knew the President was going to speak at it. We knew he was going to be incendiary. I don't understand what happened here.
SCIUTTO: It makes no sense. Anderson, I spent the afternoon speaking to people in national security, people who served as Commissioner of Police, people who served for the Department of Homeland Security. They can't explain it. I don't know if you remember this, but in 1998 Edison, you remember the Capitol Hill shooting.
Two officers were killed in Capitol Hill, they revamp the entire security of the building then created a whole new underground entrance to protect the people inside. And today, dozens of them marched inside with minimal at all resistance. And we know weapons were confiscated. We know that pipe bombs were found in people's lives were in danger.
It's an enormous security failure. That is the second headline from this beyond the shock, of course is, is how this was allowed to happen.
COOPER: Whether it's Capitol police --
SCIUTTO: -- (INAUDIBLE) and also what steps will be taken.
COOPER: Whether it's Capitol police.
SCIUTTO: Prevented from happening again, whether it's Capitol police, exactly.
COOPER: National Guard --
COOPER: What -- I mean there's a huge failure here, Department of Homeland Security, that obviously needs to be looked into.
Jim, I appreciate you being out there. We've got video of the fatal shooting at the Capitol today a warning first, it's not easy to watch. We've not taken the decision to air it lightly. That said in light of all that surrounds, and all this transpired today, we think it is important because this actually happened in that context. If you'd rather not watch now would be the time to look away. It's about 11 seconds.
There's no sound obviously on this recording, it's hard to see but you may have seen a gun being pointed. And there was a female in the building seemed to be in a doorway going up kind of into the opening of the doorway. A shot rang out. And she then fell on the ground as you saw.
Two -- or two people who were there joining us now documentary filmmaker, Jade Sacker and left-wing activist John Sullivan. John you film this moment on your phone, just -- can you describe what happened?
JOHN SULLIVAN, FOUNDER, INSURGENCE USA: Yes, so basically all the protesters kind of stormed to get into the chamber we tried to get into like the main entrance, right when you walk down the hallway. But that being said, nobody was able to get it because there's two guards refusing to move. People there we're not really wanting to hurt the police.
So, like they went down a different alleyway they went to like the left of the main entrance of the chambers and then took a right down the hallway that and entered into that glass windows that now you see. There are two -- there's about like four or five police officers right at the forefront. And I remember just coming up and seeing one of them like crying saying they want to go home to their kids.
And, like --
COOPER: One of the police officers --
SULLIVAN: Yes, one of the police officers. It was kind of like, a scene out (INAUDIBLE) like thousands of these protesters like kind of merge on them yelling thing, let us in here, let us in here. We're not trying to hurt you. I ended up like talking to a few of them. I said, hey, we can like just make a pass for you to get through. By no means am I there on the Trump side or the Biden side.
But I don't want to like see people get hurt unnecessarily especially when like, there should be a better way to go about it. So, I allowed and told everybody to just let them through. They're willing to go peacefully and just put down their arms and through.
COOPER: So how was -- how was this lady shot? I mean, she was in trying to get through the door. And it was a do -- did you see who shot her?
SULLIVAN: Yes. So I was getting to that part. So, immediately after they started breaking through the glass, once they broke through the glass, they were using like flagpoles and whatever they had to kind of bash through the windows. The -- on the right hand side, this lady was able to like make her way all the way through the window. all we see is these guns come out the doorways, just guns and all you can see is their hand.
That's it, you can see faces. And right when I saw that I was yelling to people, I was like, Guys, there's guns, there's guns, you don't want to go through there. Like they were, like, shoot, like not just like hold it there and run away. They were literally going to shoot to kill the second that she climbed through the window. She got shot, like right in the neck area, fell backwards.
And I just remember, like, the sense of shock and sorrow that somebody just died and didn't not need to die, because she didn't have a weapon. She was being violent in any way. We just let police officers through. We weren't trying to hurt anybody at that moment in time.
COOPER: So just to be clear, was at a police officer who shot her?
SULLIVAN: I don't know if his police or a private security guard. I couldn't see what they're wearing. I only assume it would have been policed based on everything that we've met up until that point.
COOPER: So when they were in an area that protesters were trying to get or writers were trying to get into. Is that what you're basing it I mean, it wasn't an area that, you know, some of these writers had already -- were already inside of, or was it an area they were trying to get into that the shot came from?
SULLIVAN: So it was the area that was -- yes, the area that was completely blocked off. They had chairs up against the doorway like tables so people couldn't get in. So no one has been in there.
COOPER: OK. Obviously, it's very chaotic. I appreciate talking to you. We're obviously trying to -- I know there's some other angles on this and we're trying to learn more information about exactly what happened. I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
I want to continue the discussion about what occurred today. We're obviously getting more and more images in throughout. We've been getting them over the last couple of hours. Let's check it. Let's look back into the proceedings that are ongoing on Capitol Hill right now.
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): Mr. Vice President. I can only think of two times in American history that individuals laid siege to our capital, stormed our sacred civic spaces and tried to over rent on up end and overrun this government, one was in the war of 1812. And the other one was today.
What's interesting about the parallel between the two is they both were waving flags to a sole sovereign, to an individual, sovereign surrendering Democratic principles to the cult of personality. One was a monarch in England. And the other with the flags I saw all over our capital, including in the hallways, and in this room, to a single person named Donald Trump.
This had different difference between these two times this one was yet another nation in the history of our country that tried to challenge the United States of America. But this time, we brought this hell upon ourselves. My colleague from Texas said that this was a moment where there were unprecedented allegations of voter fraud. Yes, that is true.
They were unprecedent when the President before the election even happened, said if I lose this election, then the election was rigged. That's unprecedented. It's unprecedented before the night of the voting, even count -- the counting of the vote was even done that he called it rigged. And it's unprecedented that he's fanning the flames of conspiracy theory to create a smokescreen in this nation, to cover what he is trying to do, which is undermine our Democratic principles.
But it's not just that the shame of this day is it's being aided and abetted by could Americans who are falling prey, who are choosing Trump over truth, who are surrendering to the passion of life as opposed to standing up and speaking truth to power who are trying to fundraise. Off of the shame of conspiracy theories, as opposed to doing the incalculably valuable, patriotic thing to speak truth to our nation. Or tomorrow, democracy is wounded.
And I saw it when I saw pictures of yet another insurgency of a flag of another group of Americans who tried to challenge our nation, I saw the flag of the Confederacy there. What will we do? How will we confront this shame? How will we confront this dark second time in American history?
I pray that we remember a Georgian. His words, all I can say is, we must in spirit join together like those Georgians on a bridge called the Edmund Pettus, who join hands were called threats toward democracy, who were called rageous epithets when they sought to expand our democracy to save it to heal it when they joined arm and arm and said what we should say now commit ourselves to that ideal. Together we shall overcome.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Majority Leader (INAUDIBLE) and I yield up to five ministers senator from Nebraska senator Sasse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator from Nebraska.
SEN. BEN SASSE (R-NE): Mr. President, thank you. And Mr. Vice President, let me just say before I begin, thank you for the way you have fulfilled your constitutional duties and your oath of office today. It obviously hasn't been easy.
Colleagues, today, it's been ugly. And when I came to the floor this morning, I planned to talk about the lesson of 1801 because I'm kind of a history nerd. And I wanted to celebrate the glories of the peaceful transition of power across our nation's history. It feels a little naive now to talk about ways that American civics might be something that could unite us and bringing us back together. 1801 blew everybody's mind all over the world by the way, John Adams loses to Thomas Jefferson.
And Adams willingly leaves the executive mansion and moves back to Massachusetts and Jefferson peacefully assumes power. And people all over Europe said those must be -- that must be fake news. Those must be bad reports. There's no way any executive whenever willingly laid out in power. And yet Adams in defeat did something glorious to give all of us a gift. I wanted to celebrate that and it feels a little bit harder now. This building has been desecrated, blood has been spilled in the hallways.
I was with octogenarian members of this chamber that needed to have troops and police stabilize them to get down the stairs at a time when a lot of our staffs were panicked and under their desks and not knowing what was going to happen to them. It was ugly today. But, you know, what? It turns out that when something's ugly, talking about beauty isn't just permissible. Timber (ph) beauty is obligatory at a time like that. Why? Why would we talk about beauty after the ugliness of today? Because our kids need to know that this isn't what America is.
What happened today isn't what America is. They've been given a glorious inheritance, is the 59th presidential election, and the Vice President was in the chair. And if the President approached them was, I'd made some joke that Chuck Grassley has voted in two-thirds of those 59 presidential elections. He's laughing. It's not as good as hit deer dead. But it's still got a Grassley laugh.
I don't think we want to tell the Americans that come after us that this republic is broken, that this is just a banana republic, that our institutions can't be trusted. I don't think we want that. We don't want that in this body. We don't want that in our hometowns. I don't think we want to tell our kids that America's best days are behind us. Because it's not true. That's not who we are.
America isn't Hatfields and McCoys blood feud forever, America's union. There's a lot that's broken in this country. But not anything that's so big, that the American people can't rebuild it. That freedom and community and entrepreneurial effort and that neighborhoods get rebuilt. Nothing that's broken is so big that we can't fix it.
Generations of our forefathers and our foremothers, find out a word, our ancestors have spilled blood to defend the glories of this republic. Why would they do that? Because America is the most exceptional nation in the history of the world. And because the Constitution is the greatest political document that's ever been written. Most governments in the past have said might makes right. And we saw some of that fool again, Nuttery today. Might makes right, no, it doesn't. God gives us rights by nature, and government is just our shared project to secure those rights.
America has always been about what we choose to do together, the way we reaffirm our constitutional system, where we've got some governmental tasks and we all in this body can do better at those governmental tasks. But the heart of America is not government. The center of America is not Washington, D.C., the center of America is the neighborhoods where 330 million Americans are raising their kids, are trying to put food on the table and trying to love their neighbor.
That's the center of America that we're not supposed to be the most important people in America, we're supposed to be servant leaders who try to maintain a framework for ordered liberty. So there's a structure that back home where they live, they can get from the silver frame structure in order to the Golden Apple at the center, as Washington would have set it, which is the things that they build together, the places where they coach Little League, the places where they invite people to synagogue or church.
Sometimes the big things we do today together are governmental, like kicking Hitler's ass or like going to the moon. Sometimes there is governmental stuff. But the heart of America is about places where moms and dads are raising kids, and we're supposed to serve them by maintaining order and by rejecting violence.
You can't do big things like that if you hate your neighbors. You can't do big things together as Americans, if you think other Americans are the enemy. Well, there's a lot of uncertainty about the future. I get it. There's a lot that does need to be rebuilt. But if you're angry, I want to beg you don't let the screamers who monetize hate, have the final word. Don't let neolith become your drug dealers.
There are some who want to burn it all down. We met some of them today, but they aren't going to win. Don't let them be your profits instead, organize, persuade, but most importantly, love your neighbor. Visit the widow or down the street who lonely no one tell anybody that his wife died. He doesn't have a lot of friends. Shovel somebody's neighbor, some shovel somebody's driveway.
You can't hate somebody who just shoveled your driveway. The harder life is about community and neighborhood and we're supposed to be servant leaders. The constitutional system is still the greatest order for any government ever and it's our job to steward it and protect it. Let's remember that today when we vote.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democratic Leader
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Senator Durbin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator from Illinois.
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): Thank you Mr. Vice President.
In March of 1861, a Springfield lawyer caught a train to Washington. His name was Abraham Lincoln. It wasn't his first trip here. It served as congressman 15 years before, and he returned in the beginning of the Civil War to serve as president. It was a different place than he knew it is congressman in 15 years and changed a lot. The springs boarding house across the street, which is now the Library of Congress was gone. And this building was changing, big changes.
They're building a dome on the Capitol. But they were also in the earliest stages of a war and President Lincoln was counsel, stop building the dome, cost too much money, we can't spend any more time on it. And he said, no, we're going to build that dome, and we're going to finish it. That dome and this building will be a symbol of this country that will survive the Civil War, and come back strong. So they built the dome. They won the war. And since those days that dome in this building had been assembled to this country, a symbol of unity and of hope.
Tourists come through here before COVID-19 by the tens of thousands. And if you've ever noticed their tours, they're often shushed people are saying, show some respect for this building. We know this building in the rotunda as a place where some of the greatest American heroes of both political parties lie in state and we go there to honor them. We know this building because we work here. We enact laws here that change America, we gather for State of the Union messages for presidents and honor the people in the gallery. This is a special place. This is a sacred place.
But this sacred place, was desecrated by a mob today on our watch. This temple to democracy was defiled by thugs who roam the halls and set in that chair, Mr. Vice President, the one that you vacated at 2:15 this afternoon, set and pose for pictures, those who were roaming around this chamber. What brought this on, that this mob springs spontaneously from America? No.
This mob was invited to come to Washington on this day by this president for one reason, because he knew the Electoral College vote was going to be counted this day. He wanted this mob to disrupt the constitutional process, which we are part of. This mob was inspired by a president who cannot accept defeat. If you wonder whether I'm going too far and when I say, just read the transcript with the Secretary of State from Georgia, and listen to this President's wild conspiracy theories, one after the other, swatted down by that Republican elected official and his attorney is having no basis in fact.
This president begs coaxes even threatens that Secretary of State to find the votes he needs in any other venue that would be a simple, obvious crime. The links you'll go to are obvious. The Texas Senator says to us well, many people still agree with him, you know, when it gets down to the bottom line. Many people have fallen for this presidential position, that it must have been a rigged election if I lost.
Well, I would say that after we've lost count 57 lawsuits, 62 lawsuits. I've heard so many numbers, after 90 different judges. After this president took his case the best he could put together to the highest court in the land across the street where he has personally chosen three justices on the Supreme Court.
I say to the Senator from Texas, you know much more about that court than I do. I don't believe they let that paper that he sent up there even hit the desk before they left it out of the court. And that's the best he had to offer. No evidence whatsoever of this rigged election in this fraudulence.
The Senator from Texas says we just want to create a little commission, 10 days, we're going to audit all the states, particularly the ones in contention here and find out what actually occurred. And it really draws its parallel 1876 Hasan Tilden. Don't forget what that commission that so-called political compromise achieved.