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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Protestors Claim Capitol Hill Is Their House; Were Capitol Hill Police Completely Unprepared? Trump Widely Condemned For Inciting Insurrection; Senators Take Back Objections After Hill Riots; Joint Session of Congress Reconvenes to Certify Biden's Win; WH Deputy National Security Advisor Resigns. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired January 7, 2021 - 01:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[01:00:00]

DON LEMON, HOST, CNN ELECTION NIGHT CONTINUED: Challenges to our electoral process, a political crisis and a president who is unhinged.

Can you believe that we're sitting here now talking about invoking the 25th amendment for the person who holds the nuclear codes of this country? It's crazy. Who incited a riot at the nation's capital today.

CHRIS CUOMO, HOST, CNN ELECTION NIGHT CONTINUED: Yes, to the last part. I believe the 25th Amendment is a bit of a passion excuse. I don't think it's set up for this application, I don't think the timing is available --

LEMON: You may be right.

CUOMO: -- and I don't think -- I don't think it politically --

LEMON: But they're talking about it is what I'm --

CUOMO: I know. But I often think that with the media -- you are right, it is being discussed. But I think that's one of the choices we make where we don't have to go that far because it's not going to happen.

But yes, I do believe it because that's why it's not surreal, it is completely real. We are in the middle of a maelstrom.

We are in the middle of a pandemic that we have not talked about at all today because our president won. Trump won the argument over the pandemic. Now I would argue it beat him in the election, I do.

I believe that there became just a level of disgust with how he was that brought people out who weren't going to vote and that's why Biden got more votes than ever -- all due respect to him and VP Elect Harris. I don't think it was about them, exclusively.

I think that the main order of the day was to get rid of Trump.

LEMON: But I think if you had told people -- well, I don't know -- I don't know if COVID was the thing that sealed the deal, I think it may have added to it.

The thing that seal the deal for him is telling people that voting by mail was illegitimate and to go out and vote on election day.

CUOMO: From a process basis --

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: -- maybe. But in terms of voting inclination in what we saw in the exits --

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Denying the pandemic when a lot of people are dying and getting sick in the same places and economically affected where you are, I think was a triple whammy for him. But we're in the middle of a pandemic that we don't discuss, we have a vaccine effort that was a gift, Operation Warp Speed was great.

We are screwing up the vaccine distribution more profoundly than you even know because we don't have time to tell you because we don't understand how much it is, we don't have the time to figure out because we're dealing with Trump's antics destroying the democracy.

And the states don't even know what they're supposed to have and how they're going to get it to people. That's how messed up it is. But yes, this is where we are.

LEMON: Think --

CUOMO: This is where we are.

LEMON: Think about this. How you and I have sat in these very studios and in our homes for much of it, right, because of COVID and because of what's happening in the country and in the world.

Talking about this president every night, stressing -- and people are like you have Trump Derangement Syndrome, right? You are just being are just mean hyperbolic, you are just a liberal lefty and you hate -- that wasn't it.

We were doing our jobs as journalists trying to warn you what happens when you start to chip, chip at the democracy. When you start to undermine. Democracies are fragile.

And we saw that -- that played out more than ever today. It was playing out throughout this entire process.

It started -- really starting, the biggest part that could end this democracy was with COVID. With the president lying to the American people -- to your face, as we say. Lying. He knew that it was airborne. He knew how contagious it was.

He told Bob Woodward but he didn't tell the American people. Instead he made the pandemic -- he made it political. Masks -- lives were lost, tens of thousands of lives, hundreds of thousands of lives now. When he said oh, there's just one case, there's just 15 cases. It's all going to go away.

CUOMO: And then he started saying it's bad because we test too much.

LEMON: And -- because we test too much. And then the testing wasn't inadequate and then we didn't have the masks and we didn't have all of the emergency -- and the PPE that we needed.

From there, we had George Floyd. And then he said that was political, that they were making it up and saying that we didn't to change anything and stop toppling the monuments because it's part of our history and our heritage.

Always at every step on the wrong side of democracy and on the wrong side of history.

And now here we are. With him trying to --

CUOMO: You see those confederates flag in the capital today?

LEMON: Confederate flags. The first time -- I don't believe the confederate flags made it to the capital during the Civil War --

CUOMO: Never. In the Civil War, it never happened.

LEMON: OK. And so it made it to the capital. And then we're trying with him trying to undermine our electoral process.

If I don't win this election --

CUOMO: It was rigged.

LEMON: If I don't win this election, it was rigged. And then all of a sudden, people believe him. This election was rigged, you stole the election. When there is zero evidence, he's still giving false information.

CUOMO: And you know --

LEMON: There are people over on State TV still giving false information.

CUOMO: That was Ted Cruz.

LEMON: We have people on the floor of the Capitol and the Senate tonight -- today, still giving false information about the election process.

CUOMO: Ted Cruz who is, again -- you can't argue the fact that he doesn't know better. The man knows better, OK, he's a legal expert by any kind of qualification. Which makes it worse.

His main basis of proof today -- and you can just go back and check it, it's very easy these days, everything's available online -- was have you seen the polls? Do you know how many people agree with the president that there was something wrong with these elections? That's called a specious circular argument. It holds no weight at

trial. Why? Because the reason that people are suspicious is because you told them it was rigged.

LEMON: Yes.

[01:05:00]

CUOMO: And now you're using the results of your own ruse as proof that it was righteous. And he did it today he offered no other proof, none of them did.

LEMON: You must respect the 70 some million people who believe -- who voted for President Trump and who believe that this was rigged. Why do you they believe it?

CUOMO: Because you said it.

LEMON: Because you have been telling them that. And even when they tell you -- the video that you're seeing, there's an explanation -- it's not suitcases. This is what's happening, it has been debunked. Republican electors, Republican secretaries of state, head of states and heads of the electoral process of states --

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: -- telling you, none of what you're saying is true and yet you continue.

And let's not forget the phone call -- this president is delusional. And you are following him down a never-ending rabbit hole, one that I'm not sure that the Republican Party can ever find its way out of.

CUOMO: I'll tell you who wins, I'll tell you wins in this. Republicans will come -- maybe not from this group because they'll be tainted but Republicans will come with a believe in the bones of that party.

And they will start saying to people who voted for Trump, I'm sorry that he deceived you like this, I'm sorry that people in this party led you to believe things that were so toxic.

I'm sorry about it. They didn't do you a service, they didn't do you a service.

LEMON: I think you're right about the second -- (inaudible) going the right way.

CUOMO: And I think that that's -- I also think that's what Democrats should be doing. I think it's a finesse move off of coming together.

You don't come together with people who you fundamentally oppose, OK. It doesn't work like that. It's like when you have kids shake hands after they fight -- because they fought about nothing -- when two people are fighting about whether or not the other one has the right to exist, they don't shake hands and walk away friends. So I don't know about this kumbaya thing, that's not what it is, it's

about common interests.

And I think if people, no matter where you are in the political spectrum, start looking at each other for points of common interest.

For instance, in Flint, OK, where Dan Kildee is from. They still don't have the infrastructure and water they need, OK.

The blacks came out in a way that I certainly was surprised by looking at the early returns and what we expected.

How do you reward them for that? Who's going to reach out to them maybe from the right and say I'm going to work with Dan Kildee, I'm going to get you the infrastructure you have. That's what we need to see more of.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And just so get it bf you want to dismiss this because you listened to some fringe (inaudible) who says oh, Don and Cuomo, they were upset again.

Why? Did you see what happened today? Did you appreciate something that we haven't seen since the British attacked us in 1812.

LEMON: A coup. Can I make a quick point here?

CUOMO: You can make five.

LEMON: OK.

CUOMO: One for every bracelet.

LEMON: OK. I think you're on to something here. But let me just say -- I just watched -- they play it over the holidays, the "Wizard of Oz."

The Wizard of Oz was exposed last night, America. It was exposed. If you are a Republican president, right, someone who is holding office, you have two Republican incumbent senators in a ruby -- what is truly a ruby red state and you go down to support them and to stump for them, to campaign for them and you cannot take them over the finish line? Poof, you have no power.

CUOMO: When you're running against a black guy and a Jewish guy.

LEMON: When you're running against a black guy and a Jewish guy in a ruby red state, you have no power, you have been exposed. The curtain has been opened and you're back there with the levers pretending to have this big voice.

As I watched him today before this rioting and this attempted coup happened in the capital, he's standing there and he's like -- it was like an old guy, "Back in the war" -- telling war stories. I did this and we did that and I did -- and I won by. He's the past. As he was doing that, Joe Biden is saying my new attorney general is going to be Merrick Garland. The congress and the senate were talking about certifying the election process. And he's still grieving, he's still airing grievances about the past.

He is the past -- the Republican -- he is a hindrance. He is -- what do you call around the neck --

CUOMO: An albatross?

LEMON: -- an albatross around the neck of the Republican Party. And they are too blinded to see it right now.

Get rid of him, get rid of him. He's the reason that you lost. He's the reason that there is a Democratic Senate and there is a Democratic Congress and there is a Democratic White House.

CUOMO: So let's show you now what Donald Trump told people was OK. He wanted them to go home, leave in peace but you're beautiful people, you're special people. And this is what happens when you steal an election from you.

That's how he decided to mitigate what's happened at the U.S. capital today.

CNN's Elle Reeve was there in the thick of it all. Here are the moments that matter.

[01:10:00]

How are you doing, Elle?

ELLE REED, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pretty good, all things considered.

CUOMO: So thank you for being there. Thank God you're safe with the team. Take us through it.

REEVE: Well, it was kind of a frenzy, especially once the mob reached the Capitol.

There was a huge crowd and people were really, really happy. Like they were (inaudible) with each other, with like-minded people, but there was also a lot of anger.

So at one point we were filming on top of the staircase and there were these people in their fifties just climbing over it while another man was shouting like (inaudible) climb up the stairs -- as in go to the Capitol -- or get out of the way.

CUOMO: Was this --

REEVE: And while most people were really nice to us but there was also a lot of anger. And if you became the focus of that anger, it was very dangerous. So at one point we had our backs turn and a man threw a glass bottle at our crew and it shattered our heels. CUOMO: When you were there and observing the movement toward the

Capitol do you believe that this was something organic, that it just became going into the Capitol? Or do you think these people were there with a mind towards stopping this process?

REEVE: Well, I think it's mixed. There wasn't one big overarching group that was in charge of this or in charge of the people who showed up.

So I spoke to several groups who kind of organized on the internet to come here. Some of them were QAnon conspiracy theorists, another were a group of sort of survivalists. That group, the person I spoke to in that group had kind of intimated that there might be some kind of storming.

But for the most part it was ad hoc. And again, like mob mentality; once one person starts doing it, they all want to do it.

CUOMO: And what did they want to do in the Capitol?

REEVE: Well, I talked to several people who went in there -- it was strange. There were two things they described to us repeatedly, one is that people lined up for the bathroom and the other is that people were smoking pot in one of the offices.

Just being able to say that they were there and that it was the people's house and it belonged to them.

CUOMO: Did you notice a difference between this riot and other riots you've been in, in terms of police kind of disposition towards the rioters?

REEVE: Sure, yes. I've covered the protests in Portland and they mixed it up a lot more quickly there.

This was a much older crowd; people forties, fifties, sixties and not just kids. And so the tear gas has a big impact on them.

Something I did see that I see in both, in every protest, is they would go up to the cops and say how could you do this, why aren't you defending us, like why aren't you joining us?

Then another thing I noticed was when people got tear-gassed, they were so shocked. Like they were so shocked that the police would be against them. It's like they had expected the police to be on their side.

CUOMO: Yes. Now that may -- you may see that in different ones but it seems like they were right this time. I'm not blaming the Capitol police or any law enforcement entity.

But the video of blockades being opened so that they could get through, people being walked downstairs without the kind of traditional roughness or in cuffs that we're used to seeing. Selfies being taken with some of the law enforcement officers.

I've never seen that in any riot that had any significant degree of people of color. Did you recognize that distinction today?

REEVE: Well, I didn't see the gate opening myself. There were times when the police were letting people do more than I would have expected.

So we went to the door where people were charging the Capitol and going in and the police were standing there not letting them go further. But they weren't like pushing them out, it wasn't aggressive.

But at some point, there were huge lines of cops and they tear-gassed people.

CUOMO: Right.

REEVE: And a guy went by with like a bloody head saying I can't believe this is what the government does to its citizens.

CUOMO: Well, when you break into the U.S. Capitol, you're kind of asking for it.

But, Elle, thank you very much. Once again, you have capture the spirit of the situation and we appreciate you for that. Thanks to you and your team.

REEVE: Thank you.

LEMON: And Elle has been doing -- she does a great job, a great job, when it comes to Trump supporters when she's been doing things about the alt right and so on. So she's been out there in the trenches, she's seen a lot when it comes to protesters and rioters versus the police.

CUOMO: She has the gift of immersion.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: She can go in and find acceptance within groups no matter what they're about, they don't make her a point of controversy. It's a good gift as a journalist.

LEMON: There's someone else who has that. Because -- before that, I'm going to bring them in -- but before rioters stormed the Capitol, President Trump incited his supporters to fight to stop congress from certifying Joe Biden's victory.

Matthew Rosenberg, also of the "New York Times" saw it all take place. Matthew, thank you for joining us, I appreciate it.

How are you doing?

[01:15:00]

MATTHEW ROSENBERG, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Doing all right. A little worse for wear but -- LEMON: I got to be honest. You've covered wars and coups in the

Middle East and Africa. But you say that these rights in the U.S. Capitol, one of the most insane things that you have ever seen. What stood out to you?

ROSENBERG: I think what stood out, is that it was in the U.S. Capitol.

I think if anyone had predicted this a few years ago you would have said well, you're crazy, there's bad and there's bad.

But to see American citizens urged on by the president of the United States walk down Pennsylvania Avenue and get to the Capitol and just push past the police. Go in there, break into the speaker's office, rip things off her wall, take -- steal things from her office and brag about it outside -- some of them waving confederate flags, it's just astounding.

LEMON: You saw rioters rushed out of the Capitol Building holding a sign from Nancy Pelosi's office, you said stealing things from her office.

There are images of them with their computer open, right, and leaving notes on her desk. You say the crowd cheered, they took pictures. It was like a trophy, it was like trophies to them. There's one there, "The House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi," the sign that's in her office.

ROSENBERG: Yes. Everyone there was acting like this was them standing up for the little guy, it was all righteous and great. Which I think adds to the bizarreness of this.

That in the United States, in the U.S. Capitol, people would walk in and ransack the office of the speaker of the house, regardless of their politics.

LEMON: What kind of bizarre entitlement is that, as you said, as if it was their right to do it? That they were doing something that's righteous and they standing up for the will of the people?

ROSENBERG: Yes.

LEMON: What kind of weird sort of entitlement is that, to be able -- I'm entitled to break the law. And there's video of them saying this is our Capitol, we pay their salaries --

ROSENBERG: Yes.

LEMON: -- this is our house.

ROSENBERG: Yes. There were people tweeting well, how can it be stealing if your taxes pay for it? It's a bizarre logic.

I think if you went up to a police officer and tried to take his gun, he might view that as a problem, even if your taxes pay for it. The level of entitlement is enormous.

And look, it's been engendered for years now by the political leadership on the far right.

LEMON: Listen, I want to put this up. Because you met a lot of people today. There's this man that stole a letter off Nancy Pelosi's desk.

What did you say to people, what did they say?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: I (inaudible) on it and (inaudible)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROSENBERG: Sorry. One more time?

LEMON: About the man who took the letter from Pelosi's desk?

ROSENBERG: Yes. And like the amazing thing is -- and talk about entitlement. He was out there on the steps bragging about it.

He had a crowd of people walking by, lapping it up. Kind of playing the good old boy, look what I did, I got in there, cursing. Pretty colorful about it. But he was basically bragging about committing a federal crime.

I told him who I was with. Some people in the crowd -- it was a pretty hostile crowd when you say you're with the "New York Times" or CNN for that matter.

But he just kept talking. I got him on video. And he was proud is the only way to describe it.

LEMON: Matthew, can we hear it -- can we rerack that, Ellie (ph), Director Ellie, can we hear him?

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: And they were fucking Macing me and I couldn't fucking see.

LEMON: Oh, he's using profanities.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: (Inaudible) and so I figure well, I'm in her office, I got blood (ph) in her office. I'll put a (inaudible) on her desk even though she ain't fucking worth it. And I left her a note on her desk. It says, "Nancy, Big Owen's here (ph). You bitch."

LEMON: Wow. Well, stop. Listen, we apologize for the language -- and Tina (ph), sorry, it's not Ellie. Gina, sorry -- it's not Elle.

But there you go and there he is, taking a picture. Calling her a b- word --

ROSENBERG: Yes.

LEMON: And saying the f-word about the speaker of the house. What happened to values and respecting -- CUOMO: Law and order.

LEMON: -- women and law and order?

CUOMO: That is a federal felony.

LEMON: That's a federal --

CUOMO: Again.

LEMON: And all of them, Chris and Matthew, all of them taking pictures and are proud of it. Are they going to end up in jail or prison because that's -- are they going to be prosecuted?

CUOMO: They made it pretty easy to find them.

ROSENBERG: Yes. He won't be hard to find. He told us where he lives, he told us his age. Apparently he's got a PPP loan, there's all kinds of stuff out there on him.

Later on in the evening too before I left, it was after dark and they pushed -- the few remaining protesters had been pushed way back towards the edge of the mall.

There were guys there yelling at the cops saying traitors get ropes, we're coming back with guns, how you going to like that, that's not an idle threat? That's a pretty audacious thing to yell at a line of police officers (inaudible) --

LEMON: There were nooses out there.

ROSENBERG: -- that's it.

[01:20:00]

LEMON: There were hang man nooses --

ROSENBERG: Yes.

LEMON: -- on the Capitol. Did they -- the FBI is now looking for tips for these people. Many people can't understand how few people were arrested, they thought there should be more, there should be hundreds of people who were arrested today.

But listen, that's a whole nother story and for law enforcement; we'll ask them that question. I want to ask you, though. Did they feel like the police should be on their side? Do you think that in some way hindered the police or kept them from being -- from acting stronger to protect the Capitol or to push these people back?

ROSENBERG: I want to be careful here not to speculate because I didn't see all the interactions with police. I think they were caught totally off-guard, totally unprepared and probably should have been far better prepared.

But I think that among this crowd there's an expectation that yes, the police are on their side. That the police are ordinary Americans like them and they are fighting for the ordinary Americans.

And that anybody who opposes them is a communist, deep state, pedophile, what have you. So that's definitely there. And there is an expectation that yes, the police are going to be on their side.

LEMON: Matthew Rosenberg of the "New York Times". Matthew, thank you. We appreciate your reporting, as always.

Chris, we're going to have more to come on this remarkable Thursday morning -- can you -- I was going to say can you believe it? But you can, we've already discussed that. The horror --

CUOMO: We're living it.

LEMON: -- the day of horror --

CUOMO: And it's not over.

LEMON: Horror in our capital.

CUOMO: Because the people who did that today have no reason to feel that they did anything wrong. And that is the sign of the times.

LEMON: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CUOMO: All right. Let's get an update on the state of play. CNN's Phil Mattingly is on Capitol Hill. So where do things stand, pal?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, pretty much, Chris, to put it bluntly, the objectors are in kind of the final death throes of their efforts as things currently stand.

Right now, the State of Pennsylvania -- the Commonwealth, excuse me, of Pennsylvania is being debated on the house floor. At the senate, it has already completed its debate.

It yielded back the entirety of its allotted two hours, it voted. The objection went down by a lot, which essentially kills it. Now we're just waiting for the house to finish its debate and for it to vote.

Once that is done, they will reconvene once again in joint session, Vice President Mike Pence will lay out how the Pennsylvania objections have failed and then they will continue down the line.

[01:25:00]

Chris, shortly before the Pennsylvania objections, you saw this can move pretty quickly and does move pretty quickly when there are no objections or when there are no paired objections between a house member and a senate member. And that's exactly what's going to happen.

Look, if you talk to members right now, both parties, both chambers, they more or less just want this to end. And so once the debate in the house is over, once the vote in the

house is over, the joint session will reconvene, they will start ticking through the final 12 states.

All of those electors will be accepted, there is no objection -- at least that I'm aware of right now that is coming -- there are certainly no Republican senators that plan to object to any further states.

And shortly after that, the certification will be voted on and final. And that will be it. Joe Biden, once again, will be confirmed as the next president of the United States. Next step will be inauguration on January 20th.

Chris, look, you guys have been having a really good discussion over the last couple -- 20 or 30 minutes of what's transpired over the course of the day. And I think everybody's trying to get their heads around things right now.

You have the procedure and you have the reality and the history of the moment and all of those things put together.

But the bottom line, I think, is this. And it's been the case throughout the entire day, it's been the case throughout the last several weeks. Joe Biden is the president elect the United States.

The United States congress is going to confirm that fact, probably within the next hour or two. And on January 20th, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be inaugurated.

CUOMO: Do the Republicans who were voting 'aye' tonight to enlist an objection, do they realize that they are helping foment the exact same tension that called that insurrection today?

MATTINGLY: That's a good question. Look, you need to separate them, they're not necessarily monolithic in terms of the group.

I think one of the -- by far, at least in my opinion, the most interesting development of the day were the Republicans were very clearly on board with objections who in the wake of what transpired in the Capitol building today, changed their mind.

There were eight of those members that had planned to object that chose not to including people like Kelly Loeffler, James Langford, Steve Daines hat watched what happened and kind of connected the fact that while they said they were just doing this to raise the issue, they were just doing this to have the discussion, they were just doing this to represent their constituents, they recognized that the words and the actions mattered and lead to actual repercussions.

That's not the case with everybody that's voting 'aye' right now. It's particularly not the case with a number of house Republicans.

Chris, there was a house Republican on the floor just a couple of hours ago who stated flatly that Donald Trump had won the election by a couple hundred thousand votes. That individual was not making that up, Mo Brooks of Alabama believes that to be true.

It's a little bit different over in the senate. I think a lot of senators who were considering were aware of kind of the dynamics -- any senator you talk to in a more candid manner will acknowledge that Joe Biden has been the president elect since November 7th.

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY; But I think there are political realities here that are at play, there are constituent realities here that are at play --

CUOMO: Right.

MATTINGLY: -- and there's four years of fealty to the president of the United States that's at play.

CUOMO: Don, thank you -- Phil. Don Mattingly, you wish you were Don Mattingly. Phil was a baseball player.

MATTINGLY: I wish, Don. I'd get a lot -- Chris --

CUOMO: He was a baseball player.

LEMON: Why you trying to downgrade Phil by calling him Don?

MATTINGLY: I would get so many free --

CUOMO: Just looking at one handsome guy and talk to another one.

MATTINGLY: Chris, I would get so many free drinks in New York if my name was done.

CUOMO: You're better looking.

MATTINGLY: But it's not, and it's very dispiriting.

CUOMO: You may not be a better ball player but you're better looking. I have to tell you though, Mo Brooks -- Phil is right from the reporting -- that he really believes the president won. But do you know what belief is without --

LEMON: Well, then Mo Brooks is delusional.

CUOMO: That's right. Belief without proof is called superstition. That's what it is.

LEMON: Or crazy.

CUOMO: It's like believing in ghosts. You don't have any proof of it but it feels right. It's not the sincerity of your feeling if you have nothing to prove it.

And that's the part that has been so painful for me. Is that they know they have no proof of what they want to be true and they're doing it anyway even though it's making people crazy.

LEMON: But what about, Chris, their removing the inside of the machines, what about that? What about them destroying --

CUOMO: You hear the guy on the call?

LEMON: What about them destroying --

CUOMO: You be Trump, I'll be the secretary of state.

LEMON: What about them destroying ballots? Yes -- hello, duh. Last ten seconds.

CUOMO: Well, tee up the line. Right?

LEMON: Well, what about them removing the inside and Dominion taking the machines out?

CUOMO: No, no. No. Not taking them out.

LEMON: OK. Then what about them destroying ballots and putting them in suitcases?

CUOMO: No, Mr. President. No.

LEMON: And what about them -- there's nobody watching over this, there's no Republican poll watchers?

CUOMO: And then you hear (whisper) because you know like three of them are like this guy crazy?

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And then he comes back and he says we've looked at all those things and the problem is the data that you're working with is all wrong.

LEMON: And here's the problem. Those lies still became election ads.

CUOMO: That's right.

LEMON: Up until last night. Yes. So we're going to continue to talk about this -- talk about the madness, really, that has been playing out in the Capital all day.

[01:29:49]

This is really the culmination of five years of lies and disinformation playing out in real-time at the Capitol of the United States in both Houses of the Congress -- the Senate and the House of Representatives.

We have the vote live, as soon as they get to it, they are now doing their thing. And as soon as there's something to report, we'll report it to you.

Chris Cuomo, Don Lemon back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: So we're back now.

And despite this domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters trying to block Joe Biden from becoming president, Congress continues moving tonight to formally certify Joe Biden's victory.

I want to bring in now Bakari Sellers, Scott Jennings and S.E. Cupp. Good evening to one -- I should say excuse -- good morning to one and all.

Listen, I'm going to get to everything that has happened today. But this, I want this new information that has come out. S.E. I'm going to go with you first on this one.

This is from Senator Inhofe (ph). He talked to Mike Pence and he says the VP is very upset with Trump's criticism.

And this is our reporting. GOP Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma said that he talked to Vice President Mike Pence about President Trump's criticism of them and he said that Pence was very upset with him. He called Trump's comments regrettable.

Ask if the situation should be escalate to this point? Inhofe said, no it should not. And it's hard to really elevate who is more responsible than anyone else because I seriously doubt that the president knew about it. However, the argument is that he inflamed a lot of people. I've not experienced anything like that before, and I have been around here for 35 years.

[01:34:59]

LEMON: What do you make of that? The vice president saying he is upset with the president? That his comments were regrettable. Basically, I guess, saying that he should never have put him in this position.

S.E. CUPP, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, four people are dead. I'd call that worse than regrettable. You know, people stormed the Capitol building today to overturn a democratic election. I think that's worse than regrettable. People attacked Capitol police. People endangered the lives of U.S. lawmakers. That's worse than regrettable.

And I'm not interested in participating in anyone's 11th hour redemption efforts after five years of utterly predictable and predicted behavior and actions by people who could see the writing on the wall, before Donald Trump was even elected.

Because he promised to do these very sorts of things. He promised to disregard the constitution, to disregard the bill of rights, to disregard separation of powers, to disregard our democratic institutions.

And he led the Republican Party around all of those institutions for five years, that we are here, as many have pointed out, was not just predictable like I said, it was predicted.

And the people who predicted it were called deranged, were called cuts (ph), liberals. I was accused of virtue signaling for daring to point out this president has no virtues.

It gives me absolutely no pleasure to say that we told you this would happen. But here we are. This is what happened and because it did, I think it's time to say, the Republican Party is dead. It is a rotting corpse.

It died in a suicide pact made four years ago with Donald Trump. And it has been slowly dying over the past four years. And today it lost its pulse.

LEMON: Scott Jennings -- I saw your tweet today, calling out Josh Hawley. And so let me put this up. This picture is before the chaos that broke out. Senator Hawley greeting protesters outside the Capitol, raising his fist in solidarity.

And tonight there's an editorial in the "Kansas City Star" and it says -- I'll read some of it. "A solemn democracy, Senator Josh Hawley has blood on his hands, and Capitol coup attempt". They write, "Hawley was first to say that he would oppose the certification of Joe Biden's electoral win, that action motivated by ambition set off much of what followed." And then it goes on, we'll leave it up on the screen, you can read it.

What can you possibly say about what happened today and the deplorable actions of Josh Hawley, who was -- he has only himself to blame?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Look, Donald Trump violated his oath of office today. He incited the insurrection. He clearly did not learn any lessons. I mean the tweet that was taken down by Twitter late this afternoon said, "This is what you get." He did not learning anything today.

But he was aided and abetted in this by Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz. And they had every opportunity tonight, to go back to the Senate floor and apologize to their colleagues and apologize to the American people for what they did today. And instead, they are still up there voting tonight, still dragging us through this charade.

It's amazing to watch someone destroy their career, the way we did today but whatever, good, I guess. You know, I guess we now know who you are. We don't have to wait to find out.

This is an absolute disgrace. I understand people have raw emotions about the elections. This is about the country and the constitution. The president has an oath of office, and all those senators and congressmen do -- to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution.

This is the opposite of that. This is the opposite of that and it became even more --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: You said he violated his oath of office.

JENNINGS: -- raw when they stormed the Capitol. LEMON: If he violated his oath of office then, Scott Jennings, if

that's what you're saying then what happens? Shouldn't there be consequences for that?

JENNINGS: Yes. There should be consequences when people violate their oath of office.

LEMON: So what should happen to Mr. President?

JENNINGS: I don't know how else --

(CROSSTALK)

JENNINGS: Preserve, protect, defend the constitution to the best of my ability. That is the oath. That is the oath.

LEMON: Should he be impeached, removed, censured?

JENNINGS: Does this look like the best of anybody's ability? At a minimum, they should be censured. 100 percent.

CUPP: That will teach him. That will show him.

JENNINGS: At a minimum. At a minimum.

LEMON: What would that do, Bakari?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean that's not going to do much but let's -- let's just back up here.

LEMON: Come on here, Chris.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Chris is like nothing's going to happen. But go ahead, Bakari.

[01:39:52]

SELLERS: I was like, who is that in my ear? I had Chris Cuomo dancing in my head.

And so, you know, nothing is going to happen. Let's just level set for a minute, let's just keep it 100 as we say.

We have a president of the United States who is banned from Facebook and Twitter but who has nuclear codes. That is the hypocrisy and the irony in the perplexing situation that we are in tonight.

And I don't want to hear anybody else say that this is not America. This is America. These are our chickens coming home to roost. This is what we deserve, you know.

And when you look at it, I think that, they even push back on what Chris said earlier, what Chris Cuomo said earlier about, you know, finding ways to work with people and finding issues that are palatable like infrastructure and other things. No, we need to have a Justice Department that is going to go out, who's going to be wholesome, that's going to be firm. That's going to go out prosecute these individuals.

We need to fight back. We need to stand up and say that this is not what we deserve. This is not what we want. This is not the America that we want to show to the rest of the world.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: But you do both, Bakari.

SELLERS: And then from a distance --

CUOMO: I'm not saying to go work with the people that just broke into the Capitol. I'm saying that you use law enforcement there --

SELLERS: But I'm tired --

(CROSSTALK)

CUOMO: -- but you have to find common ground with people in this country, otherwise you're going to left-right us to death.

LEMON: But the people who broke into the Capitol and --

(CROSSTALK)

SELLERS: I hear you.

But my point to you is this --

LEMON: -- people who work in the Capitol. It's the same thinking.

SELLERS: -- but my point to you -- my point to you is this though Chris. We are beyond the point of saying, let's turn the page. We are beyond the point of saying, let's sing kumbaya. We're beyond the point of saying --

CUOMO: I'm with you.

SELLERS: -- why don't -- so my only point is that we actually have to stand firm in values we believe in. And we have to push back. And we have to say --

CUOMO: I agree.

SELLERS: -- that this is the American we deserve.

CUOMO: I agree, I'm just saying -- how do you get the 74 million people -- how do you get some of those 74 million people who are largely working class people, to move towards the side of a column on the ballots where your party is?

SELLERS: But see -- why do I have to bring them anywhere?

It's not a question of wanting them, why do I have to bring them anywhere? I mean why do those 74 million people not see the sight that they are on tonight? Why do they not see the destruction that was caused in the United States Capitol.

And you saw the images that came through. And then you saw the people -- the custodians, the black and brown custodians who are bending their backs, who are sweeping up the glass that was broken, who don't even have access to vaccinations, while Josh Hawley and Marco Rubio did vaccinations --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Earlier we had the people who broke in today --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: -- and then we've got the people of color who are having to clean up their mess afterwards. And we should have those pictures.

SELLERS: But that is my point. I'm just -- you know, we can draw the -- we can drew the parallels. Don did an awesome job earlier tonight, I was watching, drawing the parallel between you know, what black folk go through in this country with law enforcement compared to what we saw today.

But Chris, I'm not trying to convince 74 million people out of anything.

CUPP: Yes.

CUOMO: Look, I'm with you. Hold on -- hold on, guys.

Guys, hold on one second.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Bakari, stand by. You got to stand by.

CUOMO: I'm not cutting you off, to make a point. I'm cutting you off to go to Kaitlan Collins. We have some breaking news out of the White House about a potential resignation. Kaitlan?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes Chris, the resignation has happened. And this is the deputy national security adviser, Matt Pottinger, who of course, has been in the White House almost since day one of the Trump administration.

And we are now learning that he did turn in his resignation earlier this afternoon in light of the president's response to that pro Trump mob breaching Capitol Hill. And he told people there is very little for him to consider when it came to resigning from this position.

And there will be people who criticize this given, you know, he is someone who is resigning with just a few weeks left of the Trump administration. But we are witnessing a breaking point for some people, given the way the president responded today.

And how they were just, you know, so unsettled by the fact that he not only did not condemn was happening on Capitol Hill, he defended a lot of those people going up there saying it was understandable.

And so Matt Pottinger is someone who, of course -- he's a name that would be familiar to people from earlier on during the pandemic. He was one of very few people who was actually encouraging people in the West Wing to wear a mask. He often was wearing one when very few people were not that it ever came to a thing where a lot of people were. But he was that kind of a figure in this White House.

And he worked under several different national security advisers and yet still stuck around. He was elevated to deputy national security adviser and now he has resigned from that role.

So it's not clear who was going to fill that. It's not clear who is going to follow him potentially when it comes to resignations, but this is a pretty high-profile resignation coming as a direct response to what you saw from President Trump today.

CUOMO: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Now, when Kaitlan was given that new source which is relevant, timely and useful, Don and I gave each other the stink eye. And you know why?

LEMON: Why?

[01:44:51]

CUOMO: Because why resign now? You know what I mean? Why, after everything that has happened -- now 10, 12 days out, you resign? Because this was too much.

You know, and if you want to bring the panel back, I mean you know, to see how many people on the panel I can get upset at me at once.

LEMON: I'm sorry, I know there are those who disagree and who say if not now when? But I mean I honestly think it's too late.

CUOMO: I'll tell you when.

LEMON: I think it's too late. I think this is -- I think this is long --

CUOMO: Right.

LEMON: -- the writing has been on the wall for a long time.

CUOMO: Right. This guy has never changed.

LEMON: When Mark Meadows resign, then I want to know.

CUOMO: He's never changed. He's always been this person, everyone of them leaves the White House and then all a sudden they find religion. All of a sudden.

And even the generals, the same way. Once they leave, all of a sudden, they want to speak truth to power. That's not when it matters.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: And you know, I think the problem for Jennings and a lot of people in the party is that they're going to have to start answering a question. Would you do it differently?

This would be a nice version of the question.

LEMON: Yes.

CUOMO: Would you go back and do it differently if you could? And now we know that there's an impossibility of reality but at least gives people an idea that you've changed your perspective on your past actions.

LEMON: Are they still there? Do we still have the group? Are they still there?

We have them. Let's bring them back in.

CUOMO: You know because --

LEMON: Here's the thing.

CUOMO: -- that's the thing.

LEMON: I need to say this, S.E. if they didn't resign -- listen, ok find, they do what they want their conscious brings in this moment is the one that --

CUOMO: He should have resigned after Helsinki.

LEMON: If they didn't do it after Helsinki, if they didn't do it after very fine people on both sides.

CUPP: Child separation, right.

LEMON: If they didn't do it on child in the cages -- if they didn't do it after --

CUPP: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

CUPP: Always do it with a little terrorism, yes.

LEMON: Hello -- this was all leading to this. Why now? Why didn't they do it then?

CUPP: I'm just not impressed. And like I said, I do not want to participate in anyone's 11th hour redemption efforts.

No one thinks that this is courageous to wait until two weeks before this person is leaving for you to locate your spine or your backbone.

There were so many milestones and mile markers along the way that should have told you this person is terrible for the country. and you should not be hitching your wagon to his door. In fact, you should be doing the opposite, railing against it as loud as you can either inside or outside.

So I think you're going to see a lot of these both as sort of a craven attempt to save their careers at the last minute or maybe because they finally had enough after a little incident of terrorism.

But I just think giving this more oxygen and fame and attention and plaudits than it deserves is sort of creating this storyline that you can revise history. History will be very clear about what you did over the past four years. It will be written in ink.

LEMON: And another one of those tonight was Lindsey Graham is speaking on the Senate floor.

CUPP: Exactly.

LEMON: We will get to that so stand by. I'm going to get back to you guys.

I want to bring in now Congresswoman Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, who also experienced the horror of Wednesday's attack. She joins us now by phone.

Congresswoman, thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us. Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo, both here to ask you a couple of questions.

There are resignations at the White House tonight over this. We were just talking about this. You're calling on the Vice President to invoke the 25th Amendment. Do you think that that is a real possibility?

REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA), (via telephone): I certainly hope it is. It's something that I think has been long overdue. I think this president has proved himself day after day, month after month, year after year to be unstable and unfit.

And so in these waning days of this disgraceful presidency I hope we will be able to invoke the 25th Amendment.

CUOMO: Representative, you're worried about giving Trump another perceived win? You know the 25th amendment, I'm sure better than we do. But section 4 is not easy. It takes a complete 180 from the people around him, as we're seeing right now in real-time, people who support this president, are willing to lie for personal benefit.

When they know they're doing that, why do you think that you get a majority of the cabinet and the vice president to tell the truth to personal disadvantage?

DEAN: I don't have great optimism about that. I wonder where they have been all these many days, through what this country has been through and through what we just went through today.

To your question do I care about the president -- I actually don't. I care deeply for our country. This president has been so failed, so flawed, so inhumane, so despicable to incite violence, that this Capitol and our democracy suffered today.

I'm not concerned for the president whatsoever. He's acting out of desperation.

CUOMO: Right. The populist concern would be that you would expose the American people to yet another process that goes nowhere, runs out of time when he's already getting out. And, you know, it raises that kind of specter --

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Yes, but also if you don't do it now --

CUOMO: -- of inefficiency.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: -- if you don't do it now for this sort of behavior, Congresswoman, I think you might agree with this, then when would you do it?

[01:49:58]

DEAN: Exactly. When would you do it? We are at a breaking point.

Look what happened in this Capitol today. I was in the gallery as thugs, domestic terrorist who were inspired and incited by the lies of this president and those accomplices around him came barging in, breaking through the doors.

If this doesn't call for the 25th amendment, if this doesn't show his unfitness for office, shame on all of them.

LEMON: Here's a question that both Chris and I have been asking our elected officials tonight. How do you work with the other side after this? How do you do it?

DEAN: You know, we were holed-up in a secure location for many hours, Democrats and Republicans altogether. And I had the chance to talk to a couple of leaders, frankly in the Republican side. And I expressed to them that I hope in this time of being in a secure location forced to be together, that there was time for reflection.

I hope that many will shed the disinformation campaign that they were a part of. That they will, you know, I talk to tonight on the floor about the courage of Margaret Chase Smith. She was the first Republican to speak out against McCarthyism. And she put her duty over fear.

And I quoted her. And she said I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the four horsemen, she called them, of calumny, fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear. She said surely Republicans are not that desperate for victory. I hope, the Republicans are not that desperate for victory that they have just absolutely sacrificed their soul and used fear and ignorance and bigotry and smears to rise to power. I hope they shed that. That's how I will work with them

LEMON: Congresswoman, thank you for your time. I know you have to get back to the floor. We appreciate you joining us.

DEAN: I have to get back to the floor. Thanks so much.

LEMON: Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

DEAN: Appreciate it. Thank you, Don.

LEMON: Can we get back to the group. I just have one question for the group.

CUOMO: No.

They have Charlie Dent and Mark McKinnon.

LEMON: Charlie and Mark, go for it.

CUOMO: Sure. Congressman Charlie Dent and Mark McKinnon, thank you very much.

We just wanted to bring you in here to get a little flavor of what this means in party.

Charlie, we've talked about this for years. The concern now for your party, will be that each member is going to be held to account for enabling, empowering, being complicit with what this president has done.

And they're going to have to say here's where I was on him and here is where I wasn't. I think what does that mean for the future of so many of these people who are voting tonight?

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well Chris, I've got to tell you. you know, I've been talking about the consequences of chaos for some time. And what we saw was social disorder and mayhem. A frontal assault on the constitutional order.

I mean the president of the United States setting a mob on the Congress. Look there are Republicans standing up finally. Liz Cheney was very strong. My friend Adam Kinzinger, Pat Toomey and Ben Sasse and Mitt Romney.

And I hope out of this group comes a foundation of elected leaders. And there are plenty of people on the outside like me, who want to get this party back to a better place. We've talked about this many times.

But you know, I also want to say to Chris, I see that image of the guy running through the Capitol with the confederate flag -- that idiot. And I tell you what I always proudly took my constituents to a plaque right by the east wing -- the east front Capitol right by the front door. It's a plaque dedicated to the honorary first defenders from Allentown, Pennsylvania and Reading, Pennsylvania in (INAUDIBLE) County, who went to the Capitol at the call of Abraham Lincoln to defend the Capitol during the Civil War.

The first ones at the station there. The confederates never got there. They were there to protect against the rebellion.

And here we are watching confederate flags running through the Capitol. I mean to see this desecration to me I mean it's so upsetting as an American, as a Republican. I mean how could this happen?

And you know -- and the president of United States, he's committed a mortal crime against the republic. I mean this is -- he should have resigned over this. But he won't of course.

And so the party has to come to grips with this reality. We are the party of Lincoln, for God's sake. Teddy Roosevelt and, you know, Dwight Eisenhower, Reagan and the Bushes and you know, a lot of the -- Gerald Ford, his statue was desecrated too. He was a World War II veteran, just sickening what we witnessed.

(CROSSTALK)

[01:54:53]

LEMON: One thing you said wrong Charlie -- you said one thing wrong. You said are, were -- you were the party of Lincoln. I don't think the Republicans are the party of Lincoln anymore.

DENT: Well --

CUOMO: I mean this guy has put a big stain on you. I mean Mark McKinnon, I mean you know, you've worked with Republicans, you understand the messaging of that party very well. I think they're going to almost need new blood because even after what happened today, you have 100 plus of them in the House still pushing lies, still being complicit in a fraud and just for personal favor and fealty.

And that's why they're doing it. It's not just because it's alliterative. It's because it's accurate. Even on the Senate side, for Cruz and Hawley, legal, very sophisticated guys to still push what they know as BS after people were fomented by that same tripe to break into the Capitol. What does that tell you about what rules in your party right now? In the party right now?

MARK MCKINNON, POLITICAL ADVISER: Well, it tells me Chris, I think today was the reckoning. I think today was the day that everybody has literally unmasked and revealed. You know one thing I want to say and echoing what Don said is that I think everybody should be shocked but nobody should be surprised at what happened today.

I was at the speech and if you were at the speech and if you heard Donald Trump say as he did, "After this, we're going to walk down to the Capitol because you'll never take back our country with weakness.

CUOMO: Yes. LEMON: Yes.

MCKINNON: The only surprise to me was that if they hadn't gone to the Capitol and created violence and chaos.

CUOMO: But what does it mean that nobody in the party, you know, look I'll give Mitt Romney. You know he's not one of the bad guys in this. But that's the strongest you guys have.

And again, I don't mean you guys, Mark. I'm saying within the Republican Party. And it's still pretty even, considering the guy just led an insurrection of the U.S. Capitol, you know. Where is that Nixon era "Mr. President, that's it. You don't have the votes you're gone."

You know, where is that idea of being bigger than anything, except your own adversaries (ph) --

MCKINNON: Yes. Well, I've always though we're going to have to burn it to the ground before we rebuilt it. And I think today we got the ashes. And we'll start.

We're starting to see some signs though, some encouraging signs from people like Liz Cheney, and some others that hadn't before. So I think this is a demarcation point.

And like you said Chris, it's going to take a lot of new blood. But if anybody want to be part of this they'd better show some new -- they'd better get some transfusion.

LEMON: Does this mark the end of the Trump era, Mark?

MCKINNON: Without question. I mean I was worried, really worried that the next four years would be a period of the Republican Party under the dominant influence of Donald Trump. I don't think that anymore.

I mean I do think that's there's going to be a war within the party and a struggle to see who emerges but I don't think it's going to be monopolized by Donald Trump anymore.

I think there's going to be an emergent wing like Chris was talking about, of new blood, of people getting transfusions, of people standing up and saying, you know what I didn't go there. That's where Donald Trump went.

if we're going to be a new Republican Party, we've got to go somewhere else and we got to show some backbone and courage and show that we uphold the constitution of the United States.

CUOMO: Charlie --

LEMON: One of the -- one of the Republicans who had a backbone, we do have to say is the person on this panel and that's Charlie Dent. Charlie --

CUOMO: Yes. That's why so many guys like him had to choose to leave --

DENT: Right.

CUOMO: -- because you're going to get eaten alive by your own for staying in there. And look, I understand those realities, Charlie. We talked about it before. But the idea, you know, Mark is much smarter than I am about this stuff -- but the idea that he goes away, he's got $250 million in a war chest that was just given to him under false pretenses.

He's got a good chance of signing up with a fringe cable network and making it like Maga Max or something like that and eating into Fox's dinner. And now he is relevant and he's all about negativity. He could -- he could cause a lot of trouble for people in your party and be very relevant.

DENT: Chris -- there's no doubt about it. He can cause a lot of problems, you're right. The digital TV platform --

CUOMO: He could run again.

DENT: -- TV show and all the money. He could. I don't think he will but I -- look, I agree with what Mark has said. I think that the president's power is going to diminish over time in part because of this.

I just want to say one thing too Chris, you know, when this administration began I was the first Republican to speak out against that awful travel ban. That was so horribly implemented and executed.

CUOMO: Yes, you were.

DENT: it was a disgrace.

And then health care. You know, I got into a fight with the president in the White House because I told him the problems with the health care law and he carried on like a maniac, you know, and tried to bully me. I voted against the bill.

But I mean the point this, you know, I could see this on fitness from day one, the ADD, the narcissism, the impulse control, the volcanic temper -- all wrapped in a hot mess. And you know what, and a lot of my colleagues agreed. They said he's nuts.

And here we are, and we're still debating this. and I really want these guys -- I have a lot of really good friends in the Congress on both sides. I really want them all to come together and take this country to a better place. And certainly our party.

[01:59:51]

DENT: And we can't do it with Donald Trump and his legacy of, you know, his legacy of nativism and ignorance. He glorifies ignorance, and this kind of, you know -- this ugly populism that he embraces and the protectionism, the isolationism. All the stuff that is not healthy.

And again, I don't know the answer and people -- like others are going to have to figure out a way to work with our friends to take the party to a new place.