The Jan. 6 insurrection, 1 year later | PBS NewsHour presents

one year ago today trump supporters from across 
the country gathered in the nation's capital   to protest congress's certification of 
the 2020 presidential election results   to use a favorite term that all of you people 
really came up with we will stop the steal at a rally near the white house president 
trump spoke to a crowd estimated in the   thousands everyone from ordinary 
americans to conspiracy theorists   to members of right-wing extremist groups 
we will never give up we will never concede   trump repeated the lie that the election 
was stolen urging his supporters to march   to the capitol and fight you'll never 
take back our country with weakness   we fight like hell and if you don't fight like 
hell you're not going to have a country anymore   around 1 pm as trump is wrapping up his remarks 
in the park the day turned violent a group of his   supporters on the western side of the capitol 
confront the handful of police guarding the   barriers and force their way through moments after 
mr trump finished his more than hour-long speech   thousands of protesters streamed from that rally 
site and walked this route down pennsylvania   avenue directly to the u.s capitol grounds 
several people told us that day they expected   vice president pence to overturn the 2020 election 
results what needs to happen today is vice   president pence needs to not open the seven state 
electors envelopes for the states that i mentioned   set them aside and send it all 
back to those state legislatures   we're going to stop this deal from happening 
because if we don't nobody's ever going to   vote again there's not going to be 
any integrity in our voting system as the crowd grows clashes between trump 
supporters and capitol police officers   clearly outnumbered intensified we're not 
going to take it anymore this is our country   outside the capitol's west front became a 
battleground inside the joint session of   congress to certify election results was underway 
the traditionally ceremonial process is upended   by republicans led by representative paul 
gosar of arizona and senator ted cruz of texas   challenging trump's loss sending lawmakers 
to their separate chambers to debate   what does it say to the nearly half the country 
that believes this election was rigged if we vote   not even to consider the claims of illegality 
and fraud in this election meanwhile around 2pm   the east side barricades are breached here's what 
i saw from outside the capitol half an hour ago   vehicle barriers that had been set up about 
a hundred yards away or so from the capitol   were first breached by a group of protesters 
capitol hill police retreated a little bit more   then hundreds more protesters started to 
stream up this walkway in front of the capitol   it is a remarkable scene on the west front 
the mob tore down scaffolding battled their   way through the last line of police defense 
and broke into the capitol building itself newshour congressional correspondent lisa 
desjardins was inside the building reporting   live as it happened judy there are protesters 
protesters have now broken into the u.s capitol   and it will stand in recess until the call of 
the chair the senate was called into recess and   evacuated the mob of trump supporters roamed the 
historic halls damaging property and searching for   lawmakers security footage captured the moment 
capitol police officer eugene goodman shuttled   republican senator mitt romney of utah to safety 
before running ahead to divert the approaching mob   away from the senate chamber rioters came 
within a hundred feet of vice president   mike pence whose security detail took him 
to safety from an office near the senate   while this was happening at 2 24 p.m 
trump tweeted from the white house   criticizing pence for not having quote the 
courage to do what should have been done   remarkably the house was still in session when 
rioters attempted to break into that chamber a police officer shot ashley babbitt an air force 
veteran from california and q anon conspiracy   theorist as she in a crowd tried to break into 
the rear of the chamber where some lawmakers were   still sheltering according to an analysis from 
the new york times rioters breached the capitol in   at least eight different places they entered the 
rotunda statuary hall and the senate chamber some   broke into the offices of lawmakers including 
house speaker nancy pelosi's law enforcement   arrived to clear a hallway above statuary hall 
where newshour correspondent lisa desjardins was   sheltered i do hear shouting as police seem to 
one by one be taking down the protesters telling   them to get on the ground trying to control the 
situation democratic senator patty murray from   washington state spoke with judy woodruff about 
hiding in her office with her husband that day   and we heard somebody saying we saw 
them they're in one of these rooms   and they were pounding on our door and 
trying to open it and my husband sat with his   foot against the door praying that it would not 
break in meanwhile outside as the crowds grew   so did the violence officers on site continue to 
call for backup throughout the day and while some   reinforcements did arrive from local and state 
and federal agencies it took national guard units   about three hours to respond to the capital 
rioters outnumbering law enforcement by more   than 50 to one attacked dragged and beat police 
officers crushing them underfoot and spraying them   with chemicals they began to beat me with their 
fists and with what felt like hard metal objects   in testimony to congress former d.c metro police 
officer michael fanon recounted being pulled into   a crowd of protesters i was electrocuted 
again and again and again with a taser in total nearly 150 police officers were injured 
on the day during the attack those closest to   president trump privately urged him to take action 
and tell his supporters to stop the assault house   republican leader kevin mccarthy spoke with him 
from the besieged capitol his son donald trump   jr and several fox hosts texted white house 
contacts to tell trump to address the crowd   hours passed before president trump did anything 
to address the insurrection just after 4 pm he   released a video repeating unfounded claims 
about the election results i know your pain   i know you're hurt we had an election that 
was stolen from us it was a landslide election   and everyone knows it especially the other side 
but you have to go home now we have to have peace   around this time police began to secure 
the capital flash bangs and tear gas   were used to clear the western terrace 
the site of presidential inaugurations police declared the capitol complex secure around 
8 p.m to those who wreaked havoc in our capital   today you did not win in the early hours of 
the next day january 7th congress finished   certifying the election results some senate 
republicans withdrew their initial objections   the chair declares the joint session dissolved   a capitol police officer brian sicknick 
suffered two strokes and died that evening   in the days and months following the attack 
four police officers who were on duty died by   suicide more than 720 people have been arrested 
and charged with crimes linked to january 6.

The physical destruction of that day has since 
been cleaned up but questions of how to repair   the deeper damage to our democracy remain for 
the pbs newshour in washington i'm amna nawaz   we are going to be examining what happened last 
january 6 as well as the misinformation extremism   and political divisions that contributed to 
the attack and continue to plague the nation   to this day william brangham begins our coverage 
he recently traveled to one part of the country   that produced an outsized number of people charged 
in the capitol riots and heard from others in that   community who are still trying to understand the 
forces that propel their neighbors to the siege   any other patriots on the fence about joining us 
in d.c don't think just do they have reached up   onto the terrace of the capitol as tv screens 
showed the destruction and chaos at the u.s   capitol on january 6th real estate agent java 
johnston watched it all unfold on social media   from her house in frisco texas as one facebook 
friend after another posted from the capitol   then when i started not only 
just recognizing names but faces   and people that i've known for a long time 
johnston worked in the same circles as jenna ryan   the notorious realtor who went to d.c on a private 
jet and live streamed on facebook throughout the   riot they said somebody in there is like shot in 
the face i don't care shoot me in the face there's   wonderful anna ryan that's the frisco realtor 
johnston had also been friends since high   school with another local realtor who flew 
to dc with jenna ryan these were neighbors   a lot of them from right here in north 
texas we hang out together we would go   to happy hours together it was shocking but then 
when i took a step back and i started thinking   a little bit more about who that person 
was it was less surprising i think that   there is a certain section of these people that 
became emboldened and they feel righteous and   i believe that he is one of those that got swept 
up in that this region was an epicenter for people   who went to the capitol on january 6th the dallas 
fbi field office has arrested 35 people for their   role in that day's events that's among the 
highest numbers of any field office in the country   when you saw that a lot of people in this 
region were being nabbed by the authorities   for january 6 did that surprise you no it 
didn't it didn't really surprise me we have   seen a pretty dramatic change in shift over 
the last five years i think that politicians   you know somehow keyed into the idea that 
divisiveness and demonizing the other side created   more more of a frenzy george fuller is the mayor 
of the north texas city of mckinney he's pushed   back on the various lies and conspiracies that 
animated so many people here to go to the capitol   the main one the repeatedly debunked 
fantasy that donald trump won the election   i'm here to tell you as a republican the election 
wasn't stolen republicans lost the presidency and   is that a fraught thing for you to say aloud in 
front of a camera well i will yeah i will catch   a tremendous amount of grief for that the 
mayor says it's not just the election he's   had to push back on all kinds of conspiracies in 
his community and even within his own family you   know i have one sister that the fact that i was 
engaged in setting up a mega vaccination center   i was part of the deep state i am i am you know 
i'm injecting people with with tracking chips   i said for you to be right i have to be part of 
this conspiracy and her response was yeah you are   you must be you know i say it with a smile but 
it's actually very sad i was very close to my   sister but she finds you know she spends her time 
in in the in the deep black holes of the internet   and and finds all kinds of things that convince 
her she's she's right and these things are real   those black holes and different realities are 
expanding as fast as these north texas suburbs   as you see around me this area is going through a 
housing boom according to the u.s census the city   of frisco texas was the fastest growing city in 
all of america over the last 10 years and as this   region grows the demographics are shifting as 
well this local county dropped from 63 percent   white population down to 51 percent in that same 
time period debbie teaches at a local public   school she asked that we only use her first name 
she says given the current atmosphere she does   not want to trigger any more anger she's lived 
in this area for over 40 years and she's seen   some backlash to its rapid transformation we saw 
a language about you know keep plano suburban   and you know keep away the apartments i mean 
that's that's a dog whistle right it's against   diversity of people of socioeconomics it's just 
another culture war others point out that nativist   and at times violent rhetoric is also coming from 
the pulpits of some of the christian evangelical   churches in this area like brandon burden pastor 
of kingdom life church who told his congregants on   january 10th it was god's will for trump to stay 
in office and told them to keep their guns loaded   debbie saw similar inflamed talk in the schools 
in increasingly heated fights over mask mandates   so-called critical race theory and growing calls 
for banning books we started the school year with   tons of people showing up with signs 
and screaming with horrible things on   their t-shirts and on these signs and it's 
terrifying they harass people last year   sodoff hawk was the target of that kind of 
harassment her family is one of the many who moved   to frisco for the growing economic opportunities 
but when she ran for city council in 2020 she saw   an ugliness laying below frisco's shining surface 
during my campaign i started to face a lot of hate   misinformation just brainwashing the attacks that 
i got from you know different extremist groups   trying to paint me as anti-semitic trying to paint 
me as you know just anti-anti-police you know   anti-american even at the polls 
i was yelled at i was spit at   lost her race and now says if she knew the 
extent of the xenophobia that would bubble out   of some of her neighbors she'd have thought 
twice before running i think if i had seen   what went down on january 6th if i had forecasted 
everything that happened leading up to november   i wouldn't have really i wouldn't have it's a 
paradox this region's booming development is quite   literally built from the ground up and maintained 
by an influx of non-white residents and immigrants   they do construction work they do cleaning houses 
and roofing electricians everything to do with   the building of a house alex camacho is a long 
time pastor in mckinney and also a lawyer who   helps immigrants work through the legal process he 
says what he saw on january 6th turned his stomach   for us the american flag is a symbol of respect 
when we become citizens we play solutions to the   flag but now that we see these writers uh using 
the flag as a symbol and screaming and attacking   people and destroying property of the government 
in washington uh we kind of you know is that the   purpose of the flag meanwhile rioters like jenna 
ryan seemed to revel in their white privilege   she said sorry i have blonde hair white skin a 
great job a great future and i'm not going to jail   in fact ryan reported to prison right before 
christmas for a 60-day sentence another january   6th rioter from north texas mark middleton charged 
with assaulting d.c police officers is now running   for a seat in the texas legislature on a platform 
of building trump's border wall gun rights and   possible secession from the union and the big lie 
conspiracies continue this county is one of four   in texas where officials have launched more audits 
of the 2020 election initial results released on   new year's eve found what all other audits have 
found no evidence of widespread voter fraud for those who've borne the brunt of lies and 
conspiracies this new year could not come soon   enough there was a while where i couldn't even 
walk in my neighborhood because i just wasn't   i wasn't ready to face the world i mean i'm 
raising three daughters what kind of a world   are we living in how do we get out of it a year 
since the january 6th attacks and the gulf between   families neighbors and political parties seems 
wider and more unbridgeable than ever for the   pbs newshour i'm william brangham in collin county 
texas on january 6 as rioters breached the capitol   security perimeter capitol police officers tried 
pushing back the crowd in an attempt to protect   the building and the lawmakers still inside one 
of those officers was brian sicknick pro-trump   rioters sprayed him with a chemical substance 
during the insurrection he collapsed later that   evening he suffered two strokes and he died the 
next day at the age of 42.

Officer sicknick and   sandra garza were together for 11 years and 
she joins me now sandra garza thank you so much   for joining us to talk about something so 
personal to you tell us a little bit about him oh   well brian was just one of the sweetest kindest 
men i've ever met and i know that sounds so cliche   you know when a loved one or someone that you 
care about so much passes away for people to say   oh they were the kindest sweetest you know person 
i've ever met but it really was true and i mean to   really emphasize how true that was about brian 
even the investigators who were investigating   brian's death you know because it took you know 
three and a half months to find out what caused   his death they actually said to me that they 
could not find one person not one single soul   to say anything negative about brian that's how 
well liked and how good of a person that he was   brian got along with everybody he was just 
a warm loving person and so it really hurt   me a lot to know that he suffered greatly before 
his death so and we know he was a good person i   know some people have have looked at what happened 
they've read a little about it and they've they've   questioned the connection between what happened 
to him as we mentioned he was sprayed with a   chemical substance then he suffered two strokes 
he died the next day some people have questioned   the connection but you've said there's no doubt 
in your mind that it was that what happened in   that riot that led to his death well i've said 
that i accepted the medical examiner's conclusion   and their report but what i will say is the 
medical examiner did say that all that transpired   that day definitely played a role uh in 
kind of escalating or tipping the scales   to escalate his death and i agree with that and 
i hope i'm not you know misquoting the medical   examiner but i mean that's pretty much how i 
see it you know brian was running from one end   of the capital to the other end of the capital he 
was exerting himself and you know he was attacked   uh you know all of those factors combined and 
being highly stressed you know producing a lot of   adrenaline and cortisol in the body worrying about 
his colleagues as well as himself i mean i know if   i was approached by thousands of people and there 
was only you know three or four officers next to   me and they're screaming at me and throwing 
things at me and assaulting me i'd be pretty   darn stressed so you know i think definitely that 
played a role in tipping the scales for him to   pass away much faster brian was we know now brian 
was had been a supporter of former president   trump he had opposed his first impeachment but 
then of course these events took place um who   do you hold responsible to what extent do you 
hold the former president responsible for this   i hold donald trump 100 responsible for what 
happened on january 6 and all of the people that   have enabled him enabled him that 
day and continue to enable him now   but definitely yes and i think sadly brian did not 
live long enough to see the evidence that has come   forth to show what kind of man donald trump really 
is clearly he doesn't support law enforcement i   mean he watched for hours law enforcement being 
pummeled and beaten attacked and he did nothing   he later we had you know four officers kill 
themselves because of the events of that day   the stressors that they experienced and of 
course the the last two officers sadly that   uh committed suicide we don't know all the factors 
uh that you know combined that caused them to take   their lives but clearly we know that january 6 
was a terrible event and i think that coupled   with maybe other stressors in their life certainly 
played a role and i think brian would be horrified   i think he would have viewed donald trump in a 
very different light and of course on that day   all the officers were in their you know respective 
areas it was only after the event that they got to   see all of the footage from that day that they 
got to see what you know their colleagues on the   other end of the capitol were experiencing so i 
think they were horrified yeah and you're right   it has taken a long time for many of those details 
for the video pieces of the story to come together   how do you think the former president should 
be held accountable personally for me i think   he needs to be in prison that's what i think but 
you know donald trump has been playing these legal   wrangling games for decades you know he knows how 
to skirt the system uh you know he he knows how to   he's a very litigious person you know himself 
and then when he's been sued he knows how to   you know play these games to get around things 
and avoid jail and prison time so you know that's   the sad piece but it would be a very uh you know 
what's the word i'm looking for satisfying to me   to see him in prison you know i don't regret 
uh for for voting for trump i identify as an   independent by the way brian was a republican 
but you know the the horrific thing that he did   on the six is unforgivable and uh you know 
it's it's uh terrible yeah he's he's just a   horrible person and he still has not contacted 
me by the way he has not been in touch with you   no no he doesn't have the courage or 
the spine to do it he just doesn't   one other thing what do you what do you say to or 
think of the members of congress most republican   members of congress are saying in effect let's 
move on january the 6th happened it's in the   past we need to focus on the future yeah what i 
would say to that is trump is the type of man who   incites violence uh and you know so it's not 
gonna stop and if they don't stand up and say   enough is enough uh it's just gonna continue and 
and sadly i really worry about the safety of of   our officers still i worry about another january 6 
6 like attack i mean this is serious stuff and and   they're concerned about money in their pocket and 
power it's ridiculous it's it's really ridiculous   they don't care about the american people that 
says it right there they care about themselves   well sandra garza we know what a tough week this 
is for you remembering all that and remembering   of course your longtime partner brian signing 
thank you so much for joining us we appreciate it   thank you judy i really appreciate you 
having me it was nice speaking to you   in the months since the riot a number of far-right 
extremist groups have become household names   and as nick schifrin reports some of their core 
beliefs and even their tactics have moved from   the fringe to the mainstream on january 6 
in a sea of thousands of trump supporters   members of the far right group the proud 
boys descended on the national mall   among them matthew greene who just a month 
earlier had joined the central new york chapter   law enforcement officials say green and other 
proud boys seen wearing earpieces were among the   first to barge through the police line last month 
green became the first proud boy to plead guilty   to conspiracy and he's cooperating with federal 
authorities who are attempting to untangle a   complex web of planning and coordination i think 
you'd have to be naive to fail to understand   how organized these groups were michael 
german is retired fbi special agent who   focused on domestic terrorism he 
sees january 6th as a culmination   years of activity from the deadly 2017 white 
supremacist rally in charlottesville virginia   to violent post-election protests in november 2020 
that convinced these groups they could act with   impunity these groups were increasingly emboldened 
to publicly announce their intention to commit   violence at a public rally commit violence at 
the public rally walk away despite this criminal   activity occurring in plain view that created an 
atmosphere where they believed not just that they   were going to get away with engaging in violence 
but it was actually encouraged by law enforcement   law enforcement has cast a wide net charging more 
than 700 rioters including dozens from right wing   groups the proud boys oath keepers and three 
percenters but the majority of those are not   for violent acts such as assault the justice 
department's effort seemed to front load uh   people who were involved in the least egregious 
conduct there were hundreds if not thousands   of people engaging in violence against police 
officers that should have been the primary focus   because many of those people still have yet to be 
charged and are out in the communities still able   to organize still able to attend events this year 
across multiple states proud boys have attended   school board meetings to back those opposed to 
coveted measures and critical race theory or crt   anytime that there is a contentious issue 
such as the mass mandate or crt in our schools   or forced vaccinations of our children you're 
going to see more proud boys propublica   reports at least 10 sitting state lawmakers are 
members of the militia group the oath keepers experts say an insurrectionist mentality is 
becoming normalized and more popular what we have   is a new type of political movement with violence 
at its core and what's new about the movement   is that it's coming heavily from the mainstream 
robert pape is a university of chicago political   science professor and director of the 
chicago project on security and threats   his team studied those arrested for 
january 6 and found more than half   are business owners or white collar workers 
including doctors lawyers and architects   nearly 90 percent are not members of militia 
groups and they come from 44 states half   from counties won by president biden paper 
surveys found 21 million americans 8 percent   called president biden illegitimate and 
supported violence to overthrow the 2020 election   we have a tinder box in front of us think 
about this as a wildfire uh scenario where   what i'm describing with the 21 million with these 
insurrectionist sentiments are the combustible dry   wood that could be set off by a lightning strike 
or by a spark or by a match and that combustible   material is really quite significant at this point 
in time the problem of domestic terrorism has been   metastasizing across the country for a long 
time now and it's not going away anytime soon   in march fbi director christopher wray told 
congress the fbi had for years considered domestic   terrorism as much of a threat as isis this is a 
top concern and remains so for the fbi in june the   biden administration released the first national 
strategy for countering domestic terrorism more   information sharing inside and outside government 
preventing extremist group recruitment improving   prosecution and tackling endemic problems such as 
racism the only way to find sustainable solutions   is not only to disrupt and deter but also 
to address the root causes of violence and   following a stand down to try and reduce extremism 
in the ranks the pentagon released a new strategy   including a ban on liking white nationalist or 
extremist social media content while extremist   activity in the force is rare any instance can 
have an outsized effect i think it's a good   first step and this is fundamentally a problem 
for our political leaders our community leaders   our leaders of faith this we need to broaden our 
approach to this because it is a broader problem   a broader problem as more americans support and 
are willing to commit insurrectionist violence   the political violence we have most to worry about 
today is them coming rooted in the mainstream   that is a challenge it's a challenge i believe 
that we'll be able to meet but that's the core   test of our democracy today so to explore how 
radicalization and extremism are testing our   democracy i'm joined by kathleen bellew 
professor of history at the university   of chicago and the author of bring the war home 
the white power movement and paramilitary america   and michael jensen a senior researcher at the 
national consortium for the study of terrorism   and responses to terrorism at the university 
of maryland welcome to the newshour both of you   michael jensen let me start with you uh do you 
see more radicalization today than in the past   and is the speed of radicalization increasing 
yeah absolutely i think in many ways january 6   was the culmination of things that that have 
happened for for at least 20 years in this   country and that really is the mainstreaming 
of radical political uh opinion uh certainly   the events of january 6 were tied to some of 
the extraordinary circumstances that we all   endured um during 2020 pandemic racial justice 
protests and a hotly contested election   but for decades we've seen the surge in especially 
right-wing extremism in the united states   and is it moving faster all indications are 
yes this is something that primarily happens   now online on social media and social media 
is a hyper mobilizing environment it's a 24 7   echo chamber where individuals hear these views 
that are mobilized to act so it absolutely is   moving much faster today than in the past kathleen 
baloo the mainstreaming of radicalization how are   you seeing that uh into politics as well i think 
this is the critical question we know that one   stream of activism that took us to january 6th 
was the white power and militant right groups that   have been active in our country since the late 
1970s but the big question is how they are able   to recruit and radicalize from the other groups 
of people who were there that day things like the   trump base q anon groups and even within stop the 
steel there's a large degree of separation between   people who came simply to a free speech action 
and people who came with the intent to do violence   and in the middle somewhere are people who 
are instantly radicalized on that day so the   question really is how that flow works between 
the extremist groups that are highly weaponized   and highly organized and those mainstream 
people who are just now finding this ideology   and kathleen blue let me stay with you is it 
not only the flow but is it also a question of   what the goals are of these groups of these people 
are the goals political are they policy is it to   so distrust i think this is the big question and 
my guess as a historian is that we really don't   know the full answer here yet because earlier in 
the white power movement part of the reason that   these groups became violent and declared war on 
the federal government all the way back in 1983   and many of these groups have considered 
themselves at war on the state since then   is because they never thought mainstream politics 
could possibly deliver the kinds of reforms that   they wanted to see mainstream politics though 
is not a closed door for many of these activists   anymore and some people are finding entry into 
our mainstream in all kinds of ways this is   something that would have been unthinkable to the 
people in the white power movement in the 1980s   michael jensen let me take us back to 2020 for a 
second and a point you were making about what led   to january 6.

We had unprecedented isolation 
uh thanks to covet lockdowns people spending   a lot of time online then in the summer of 
2020 widespread black lives matter protests   and president trump painting the election as an 
existential threat we are now in the process of   defeating the radical left the marxists the 
anarchists the agitators the looters and people   who in many instances have absolutely no clue what 
they are doing how did that rhetoric and those   variables help lead to january 6th well january 
6 was a product of having millions of people   that were quite vulnerable to a radicalizing 
narrative as you mentioned these are people that   were sitting at home they were isolated they were 
scared they were anxious about what was happening   around them and in their communities and in 
their lives and they were looking for answers   and ultimately they were spending an awful lot 
of time online looking for those answers in in in   those spaces they often encounter disinformation 
as much as they they found truth and evidence   for mass radicalization like we saw on january 
6 to occur you have to have a narrator that is   politically powerful and whose message carries 
weight and nobody's message carries more weight   than the president of the united states so when 
the president says that the election was stolen   um that's going to energize his base and 
that ultimately mobilized thousands of people   uh to act uh on his bathroom these unfounded 
claims that the election was stolen from him   kathleen blue let's fast forward to today and 
look at the two strategies that we've seen   from the buy administration the pentagon trying 
to tackle recruitment of active duty but also   veterans by extremist groups and also the bidet 
administration with a counter-domestic terrorism   strategy the first ever what do you think 
of those efforts so far these are both very   positive steps in the right direction the dod 
policy is particularly noteworthy because since   the mid-1980s the pentagon has been trying to 
prohibit what it called active participation in   extremist groups but it did not define what active 
participation was or what an extremist group   was this new policy defines both of them and 
the definition is broad enough that i think   it would have limited several of the people 
who were involved on january 6th it asks for   service members even to take accountability for 
retweeting and reposting content from hate groups   and also sort of lays out a landscape of 
how we can begin to think about this problem   michael jensen you've talked about the need for 
mass deradicalization are you seeing signs of   a policy that can achieve that as as is it 
even possible to achieve that yeah when you   when you look at the the events of the the 
past year i actually think the department of   justice has done quite a good job in terms of the 
criminal investigations tied to january 6.

It's   the largest criminal prosecution in the history 
of the united states but where we haven't done   as good a job is is tackling the disinformation 
that made its way into the mainstream in 2020 it's   still very much front and center in our national 
political discourse an overwhelming majority   of republican voters in particular believe 
that the 2020 election was ramped with fraud   we see anti-vaccination conspiracy theories q anon 
movement uh et cetera are still very much in the   mainstream political discourse and we haven't 
had a unified voice that's really come out um   to counter that disinformation and i think really 
importantly is we haven't had a collective voice   from both sides of the aisle of you know 
powerful political leaders condemning   um that disinformation what happened on january 
6th and so unfortunately um if anything we've   we've moved in the opposite direction because 
on top of all that disinformation we now have   this revisionist history around january 6th um you 
know the certain political commentators promoting   the idea that it was a peaceful protest 
and that the truly aggressive people that   day were the police and that the you know the 
demonstrators were just protecting themselves   and their their true patriots um and so now 
we have this disinformation that's making its   way into the mainstream on top of all the other 
disinformation that was there prior to january 6.   michael jensen kathleen ballou thank you very much 
thank you as we know police officers were on the   front lines defending the united states capitol 
on january 6 for many of them and even for the   capitol police force as a whole the year since 
has been difficult lisa desjardins begins there   one year later some officers like u.s capitol 
police officer harry dunn are still recovering   from the emotional scars of that day others 
like capitol police sergeant aquilino gannell   are still recovering from the physical toll gannel 
recently tweeted out graphic photos showing the   gashes bruises from crushing and other injuries 
to his shoulder to his hands and to his foot   dun and ganel co-wrote this op-ed today for the 
washington post demanding accountability for the   capitol riot officer harry dunn and sergeant 
aquilino gannell join me now thank you both so   much for protecting the capital me personally and 
thank you for joining us now and i want to start   first off with that op-ed you had strong words 
in that one sentence that you wrote was this you   wrote it will not be enough to identify and punish 
only those who physically attack the capital and   try to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power 
those are strong words sergeant canal who do you   mean there and what do you want to happen in terms 
of that accountability well there's a lot of uh   people who are involved with with what 
transpired germany six including some of the   elected officials that even after 
we put our bodies uh arrest of   injuries and even death like uh office 
sickening they continue to downplay this   tragic horrific event of jeremy six and it's 
mind-boggling that what they do trying to downplay   everything it sounds like you're talking 
about you're talking about politicians   is that right being called more and more electoral 
first shows that on january 6 on johnny seven   they all knew where to put the blame and point 
the finger at they all knew that the president   for almost three hours did not do his job 
uh and he paints me that 16 blocks away   he was watching everything on tv despite the 
horrific images that were coming live on tv   i didn't see on tv but i'm sure uh by 
then everybody around the country were   watching with their own eyes as i 
was battling those people in the   lower worst interest i was people know it down the 
tunnel you're talking about the former president   and former president trump put out a statement 
just in the last few weeks calling what happened   on january 6 an unarmed protest um also at one 
point officer dunn fox news host tucker carlson   called you a quote angry left-wing activist this 
is the battle now a battle of words over what   happened on january 6th and officer dunn i want to 
ask you how do you respond to people who say that   your accounts and the way people look at it are 
exaggerated and perhaps it wasn't that bad well   well thanks for having me on happy new year 
to you um angry left-wing activists i uh when   i heard that i had to stop and think about it 
for a little bit um it's fair to say i am angry   i'm a registered democrat so i guess i'm a 
left-wing and if activists mean somebody who's   standing up for what's right and fighting for 
what they believe in then sure i'll be that um but   outside of that i don't have any response to to 
him or anybody over at that network because uh   it just seems like they like to talk about people 
and not to people so if they're interested in   having an actual conversation about the facts 
about what happened that day i'd be happy to talk   to them but until then i i'm just gonna keep on um 
talking to people that matter and uh fighting for   accountability and justice for what happened that 
day if i may i mean you're talking about people   who never raise the hand who say hey i don't 
solemnly swear to protect and defend this country   and the constitution they never done that so they 
they are talking from their office and in comfort   uh despite us doing the hard work and 
protecting and serving something that   they never thought about doing themselves both 
as a police officer or as a military person   you wrote in your op-ed that you feel there is 
an effort to whitewash what happened on january   6.

What do you mean by that officer dunn you know 
uh just just a simple down playing um just like   recently i i wasn't aware that uh with the former 
president's statement was that you just that you   just quoted um i wasn't aware of that statement 
but i guess that's the perfect definition to   the answer to your question about what they're 
trying to whitewash it and you know an unarmed   demonstration uh i would like to refer to it as 
a terrorist attack um i i went through it and uh   a lot of my co-workers physically hurt 
still to this day one year later and um   there's so much that we do not know about what 
happened that day and uh we're starting to find   out more and more about what happened that day so 
i think we just need to continue to sit back and   let all the facts come out and it will no longer 
be people's opinions that are valid once all the   facts are out on the table so i'm interested in 
talking to both of you first you sergeant grinnell   about why you think january 6 happened you saw 
the faces of your fellow americans attacking you   why do you think what was driving them what's 
going on here sergeant during the last almost   five years we have an individual telling a lot of 
people the system is ready if i lose but if i win   it's okay everything is okay and 
people are susceptible to to to lies   uh and the way that he was amplifying it made 
it even worse uh coupling that with the type of   charges that some of these insurrectionists are 
getting and people can see that as a as a way   to explain it to themselves and say you know 
what it wasn't that bad it wasn't as horrific   as they saying but it was horrific if you were 
in the entrance of the lower west terrace it was   do or die it was these people were trying to 
her officer in fully closed police uniform   officer dunn do you think this danger is still 
here where are we right now in terms of the   threat to democracy from your view you know it's 
it's scary to think about um where we are like   sure we succeeded as far as our mission that day 
democracy went on uh late in the night january 6   into january 7th democracy prevailed but i think 
it's very important for everybody now to think   realize how close and fragile democracy is 
and that everybody everybody even anybody   watching anybody listening has a job to 
do in protecting and defending democracy   that could be us police officers we police 
the legislators the lawmakers they need   to do their job and legislate the judge's 
judge and the american people need to vote   about who to put into those positions that 
we need to we need accountability and we   need to make sure the right people are 
in office that want accountability also   how's the police force doing how is the u.s 
capitol police force doing i know there have been   improvements they announced today more equipment 
but we also know that some 200 officers have left   since january 6th recruiting is tough um officer 
dunn how's the police force you know i like   i don't i don't really want to speak for everybody 
else so i'll just speak on some things that i know we're still hurting a lot of people are struggling 
with what happened i'm still upset but i'm   recovering i'm starting to heal but i don't think 
total healing can happen until accountability   has had has been had so sergeant canel 
how are you doing i'm okay i mean there   are these uh things comes in in waves i hit you 
uh left and right there are times that i'm okay   for a minute then something a word or sound or 
smell would trigger some of the things that uh   that happened back at work on that day and going 
back to the question he posed to harry the former   president still wears a lot of influence 
over these people and i'm worried that uh   in the future he could just tweet something 
make a statement and the same people who   were on january 6 2021 they could end up back at 
the capitol yes we have made a lot of improvement   yes we have a lot of training but the forces 
that are con culminated and on january 6 uh   they're still in place and that's why we need 
accountability that's why we want to hold those   responsible i know you both are faced in facing 
the thick of the fighting and we talk a lot about   the difficulties of that day but i also know you 
found some bright spots in the hundreds of letters   and tweets of support and uh i just have 
to thank you all for speaking to us tonight   officers harry dunn and sergeant aquilino ganel 
thank you thank you for having me happy new year   just three days after being sworn in to serve 
his first term in congress representative peter   meyer a republican from michigan was among the 
lawmakers in the house chamber last january   when pro-trump rioters attacked the capitol he 
voted later with nine other house republicans   to impeach then-president donald trump that 
decision has resulted in death threats and now   he is facing a trump endorsed primary challenger 
as he runs for reelection congressman peter meyer   joins us from grand rapids congressman thank you 
so much for being with us as we said you were in   the house chamber on that day what memories does 
it do come back to you as you reflect on that   i would thank you for having me 
tonight i would say just feelings of   of anger or frustration of feeling like 
something sacred was being trampled on   um and that you know in the history that 
was made you know a very dark uh dark   you know possibility raised of the threat 
that every four years we would no longer have   a peaceful transfer of power but that we've just 
chosen to expand what we compete on in a political   playing field outside of elections outside of 
our institutions and frankly put everything   up for a debate as we mentioned you were one of 
just a handful of republicans to vote to impeach   president trump over inciting that riot and 
we also mentioned death threats you've had a   reaction very negative reaction from your 
constituents even from family members   are you able to have a rational discussion 
about what happened with any of these people   certainly on a one-on-one basis i 
think oftentimes we'll find that the   misunderstanding or or where we differ is 
a lot less significant than you know it may   appear from the outside especially talking 
about the lack of response in the immediate   hours after the capital was broken into you 
know there's obviously people who still have   very strong beliefs about the november 2020 
presidential election but when you start to get   down to brass tax and what actually occurred clear 
away some of the fog some of the the deception and   the misinformation that's out there it's very 
hard to justify how the former president reacted   at the very least in the hours after the capital 
was attacked when the vice president and the   next two individuals in the presidential line of 
succession were under assault in the capital well   i want to ask you about how you reconcile those 
views because in a poll we've just done only 10   percent of republicans said they could call what 
happened on january 6th an insurrection and then   coupled with that you have the great majority of 
republicans who don't believe president biden won   how do you explain these views both of 
which are are clearly not based on facts   i think you whenever you're asking a survey or 
a polling question you know there's a certain   defensiveness that can come in i think i've seen 
that plenty of times where somebody will publicly   be very defensive and then on a one-on-one 
conversation you know where the guards let down   where somebody doesn't feel like it's their tribe 
against another you know they're more than willing   to accept and acknowledge things but you know 
when we have a highly polarized context when it's   you know black or white when it's all or nothing 
when we're dealing with absolutes it's very uh   tempting to you know feel like it's us versus them 
when at the end of the day we're all americans   but 10 of the republican party uh saying members 
of the republican party saying they don't think   it was an insurrection i also want to ask you 
congressman about you you did an interview with   nbc news over the weekend you were asked about uh 
president trump whether there was another option   for the republican party other than to 
support him and you said there's no other   option i mean what is it what do you got 
to clarify when asked about whether why   there was the reversion back after january 
6 to supporting donald trump i said because   individuals did not see an alternative they did 
not see another path not that there is no choice   but that you know we need to be creating the 
path we need to be working on what a party that   is reflective of the concerns of conservative 
americans but that also is a party that adheres   to the rule of law what that looks like and to 
me that is a charge that is a an opportunity to   be defining that not you know succumbing to a 
belief that there is no other option but that   the charge is to create it and just to clarify 
on that that poll uh that only ten percent   of republicans described as an insurrection i 
think the other options were a protest or a riot   and i think riot was um 30 and i think protest 
was 40 if i'm referencing the same poll but i   think it's clear that you and you're listening 
to the police officers we just heard from there's   there's no doubt in there or at least it what 
came across is they believe this was an attempt   to to overthrow the results the election 
congressman you didn't vote for this january 6   committee in the house you've said that you want 
to wait and see what the work product is but i did   interview yesterday the longtime partner brian 
sicknick who was a capital police officer who   died the day after the attack on the capitol and 
she said unless members of congress or including   republicans are able to to hold president 
trump accountable there's going to be more   violence what what do you say to to sandra garza 
who again long time partner of brian sicknick   now i say we absolutely have the same fears that 
i agree for um the the tragedy that that struck   her and her family uh in those moments i mean the 
the loss of officer sicknick um and and then the   subsequent uh loss of several um other capitol 
police officers and metropolitan police officers   who took their own lives in the days and weeks and 
months that followed is an absolute tragedy and   why it is even more frustrating to see people 
whitewash and downplay the events of january   6.

We have to face it for what it was we have 
to recognize the threat of political violence   and say that we should not be tolerating that that 
was one of the reasons why i voted for impeachment   the fact that we cannot in our political system 
be playing around with such dangerous rhetoric and   encouraging uh spurring you know inciting people 
to go and try to use use force use threats uh   use violence in order to achieve a political end 
that cannot be tolerated in our politics but but   i would say sorry i was just excuse me i was 
just going to say but you know the leadership   of your party in the house and the majority of 
republican members of the house are saying that   this committee shouldn't be there it shouldn't be 
doing this work that it's important to look ahead   not to look back in other words it's just the 
opposite of what these police officers and what   ms garza are calling for oh and there were dozens 
of my republican colleagues who voted in support   of a bipartisan independent commission that 
was styled after the 911 commission and i think   i'm still deeply disappointed and frustrated 
that that commission was not formed uh again   i said that i will look at the work product and 
the results coming out of the january 6 select   committee you know as it continues along but in 
my mind the the opportunity that was missed and   i hope that the ultimate work product will be this 
was to have something that could be looked at and   viewed objectively by the american people that can 
be clearing away a lot of again the rumors and the   innuendo and the deception and the misinformation 
uh the the whitewashing the blame casting that we   saw in the days weeks and months after january 
6th and still you know today trying to make it   seem like anything other than it was which 
was a violent attempt to interfere with the   proceedings of congress and specifically uh the 
certification of the electoral college results   and and we're hearing your voice uh a minority 
voice uh in in the republican party congressman   peter meyer thank you very much for joining us 
thank you one year ago this week crowds stormed   the u.s capitol while lawmakers were inside 
affirming the results of the presidential election   we have two different of you views on the events 
of january 6 from lawmakers on opposite sides   of the aisle who were both at the capitol 
that day lisa desjardins begins our coverage   and now i'm joined by troy nels a republican 
congressman from texas also a former sheriff   and combat veteran thank you for your 
service and thank you for talking to us today   i know on january 6 you were there with a chair 
leg in your arms at the door to the house chamber   to keep rioters out i wonder how you reflect 
what what do you think happened on january 6   how do you see it well actually thank you lisa 
for having me it actually was a was a hand   sanitizer it was a wooden hand sanitizer i was 
at the back doors the center doors leading into   obviously the house chamber those doors would be 
the same doors a president would walk through when   he would deliver a state of the union and i was 
positioned back at those doors and and obviously   you know once we went we're going through the 
objectors in arizona the state of arizona was   there and then all of a sudden several uniform 
personnel and plain clothes you know obviously the   plain clothes uh rushed nancy off the dyess back 
there and rushed her back into her speaker's lobby   but the door started shaking violently i mean the 
doors were locked but uh people were banging on   those doors and and capitol police were there um 
i was told by one of them that i must leave and   i i chose not to i said i'm not i am not leaving 
i'm gonna sit there and i'm gonna be there with my   brothers and sisters in blue and the doors kept 
shaking violently you could hear the commotion   on the other side and then you can see in some of 
the photos that furniture was brought over to help   secure those doors but there was a these wooden 
hand sanitizers and mark wayne mullen another   member of congress was there and he broke off 
uh broke off that hand sanitizer off that wooden   base and there was another one there and i did the 
same thing so that that was my weapon for the day   um should those individuals uh uh be 
successful in getting through those   those doors and thank goodness they they weren't 
i know that you've called what happened criminal   you have been very clear in saying that it was 
dangerous those who incited violence were wrong   but there is a real divide over the narrative 
about january 6 and there's a real divide over   the role of president trump the former president 
who i know you support i wonder how do you see   his role that day well let's go back to the to 
the the individuals you mentioned i use the word   criminal and yes there were individuals inside 
that capitol building that day that committed a   very assault on police officers and some of those 
assaults even being aggravated if you were inside   the capitol that day and you broke windows and you 
destroyed property you should be held accountable   if you assaulted a law enforcement officer you 
shouldn't just go to jail you should go to prison   and i think most of the american people agree with 
that that that when you were in there and you were   committing criminal violations of the law assaults 
destruction of property breaking the windows you   should be held fully accountable for your actions 
that day but what we do know is there were many   people inside that capitol building that day 
that were not doing any of those things they   they weren't touching anybody they weren't 
assaulting anybody they were walking around inside   that capitol building many of them were grandmas 
many of them almost appeared to be ushered in   uh and so they're only crying that a majority 
of the people inside that building uh uh the   people that entered that building i guess the only 
crime was maybe entering the building and many of   them quite honestly didn't even realize that they 
were committing a violation of the law that is the   united states capitol it's open to citizens and 
and it's it's the it's the country's building so   i kind of question some of the motives of the 
doj uh and others who are are claiming that every   person inside that building is an insurrectionist 
uh that term gets to to be used quite a bit   by the by the liberal media but nobody has 
obviously ever been charged with insurrection so   i have i i pause uh as it relates to the 700 
or so individuals that have been arrested   by the fbi and the doj as they're related to their 
activities on that day i gotta check your language   and i heard you say that it seemed some of them 
were ushered in i didn't see anyone ushered in i   saw people breaking in i also want to come back 
to the former president former president trump   at four o'clock on january 6 you wrote this 
tweet after seeing what you did you wrote what   i'm witnessing is a disgrace violence is never 
the answer a strong tweet from you but at that   moment as of that time president trump still had 
not told the riders to go home and we know there   were many many trump supporters in that crowd if 
not the majority of the crowd from my experience   did he do enough what do you think his role 
was that day well i don't i'm not in donald   trump's head i wasn't in the the oval office 
or wherever he was positioned that day and   i wasn't one of his top advisors so uh i i 
don't know i mean could he have maybe said   but he's your pr he he was our president maybe but 
i have to say he is our republican you support him   but but you alluded to earlier about when 
i made the comment about being ushered in   nobody on this select committee and it's pelosi 
select committee benny thompson is the puppet   and she is the puppet master you want to claim 
that it's bipartisan when you look at bipartisan   miss cheney and kenzinger are pelosi republicans 
kenzinger isn't running again and and obviously   liz cheney is going to be defeated here in 2022 
but that that entire committee they all have one   thing in common they hate donald trump they don't 
hate they despise him they talk about him all the   time and i kind of joke that they have a serious 
crush on this guy they have a serious crush on   donald trump because that's all they want to talk 
about what they want to do is blame donald trump   for january 6 with everything they want to go 
after all of his associates they could do you   you know contempt of congress against bannon then 
it was mark meadows but nobody on this committee   is asking the real difficult questions the 
questions that the american people need to know   about and that is why were the capital police so 
ill prepared to deal with that day how do we move   forward how do you think we get past the divide in 
the country in just a sentence or two i i that's   a very difficult question i think our country 
overall lacks faith i think we need to get back to   our basic principles and and we're losing faith as 
a country but there is that divide unfortunately i   went to donald i went to joe biden's inauguration 
on january 20th and he got up there and he said   that he would he would work with his friends on 
the other side of the island quite honestly as a   member that's been there for 12 months i haven't 
seen any of it i haven't seen any of it joe biden   despises president trump he completely reversed 
his immigration policies he completely reversed   all these other things so there is a divided 
country uh and and we must do better than that we   owe it to the american people to come together but 
right now you just don't see it i certainly don't   see it from this administration congressman 
troy nels we appreciate your time thank you   thank you god bless with few exceptions members 
of the two political parties view january 6 very   differently for a democrats take now we are joined 
by the chairman of the house democratic caucus   he is representative hakeem jeffries of new york 
congressman jeffries thank you very much for being   with us i believe you heard at least part of what 
congressman nels was saying but i want to ask you   you were on the floor of the house on january 6th 
what memory do you take away from that day well   what took place on january 6 was a violent attack 
on the congress the capital and the constitution   and it was of course incited by the former 
president of the united states donald trump who   for several months prior to january 6 had 
perpetrated the big lie that he actually won   the election and that it was stolen from him he 
radicalized millions of people across the country   and some of them showed up on january 6 intent on 
effectively overthrowing the government and trying   to halt the peaceful transfer of power it you 
know it's a day like pearl harbor and like bloody   sunday down in selma alabama and like september 
11th that should live in infamy here in america   and throughout the world as we said you were 
there on the floor how close did it come to being   even worse than it was ultimately these writers 
were not able to get into the house chamber they   did get into the senate but from your perspective 
how close did we come we came very close i recall   the sergeant-at-arms interrupting the debate 
that was underway with respect to the results in   arizona and he said something that i can remember 
as vividly as if it was said just today when   he said the mob has breached the capitol 
they're on the second floor they're a few steps   outside of the house chamber be prepared 
to hit the floor and secure the gas masks   that are underneath your seats i'd been in 
congress at that point for eight years never   did i have any real understanding that 
there were gas masks in the house chambers   let alone would have to utilize them one day and 
thankfully at some point the capitol police found   an escape route and they were able to safely 
evacuate members of congress but many of us   at that particular time thought we were 
actually going to have to fight for our lives   and when we heard congressman nels refer 
to some people or many people in his words   being ushered in to the building 
did you witness that in any way   the capitol was violated folks urinated they 
desecrated the citadel of our democracy this   fantasy and fiction that you know for many people 
it was all wine and roses is after the fact   spin that's why the bipartisan january 6 select 
committee is so important in uncovering the truth   presenting it to the american people in terms 
of what happened why it happened that day and   also coming forward with some recommendations 
as to how to prevent that type of violent attack   and assault on our democracy from ever happening 
again and judy let me make this one point about   the democratic and republican members of the 
select committee chairman benny thompson vice   chair liz cheney they're doing a great job no 
member of that committee hates donald trump   but they do love democracy they do love america we 
all do we do love the peaceful transfer of power   and that's why we're committed to uncovering 
the truth and and you've spoken about how in   fact uh congresswoman cheney approached 
you even as the assault on the capital   was taking place spoke to you about how to hold 
president trump accountable as you point out she   congressman kinzinger now serving on that 
committee they are though the very much tiny   minority in their party have any republicans 
in the house spoken to you privately reflecting   any views differently from what we're hearing 
from the republican leadership in the house   well the republican leadership has 
completely abdicated any responsibility   in the context of ensuring that the events 
around january 6 never happen again and that they   shouldn't be looked at through a partisan lens 
because that was an american tragedy now there are   dozens of house republicans that did fortunately 
vote to certify the election of joe biden   and i do have conversations with many of them they 
did the right thing that night and hopefully they   will continue to try and do the right thing and 
stand up to the efforts by donald trump and his   authoritarian co-conspirators to really 
obliterate american democracy which would   not be good for anyone not good for democrats not 
good for republicans not good for independence   not good for america but do you think there 
are more than the the ten who voted uh uh to   impeach him later i mean are we are we looking 
at a situation where there may be more closet   republicans who are prepared to stand up or is 
what you see what there is well it's my hope that   that republicans of goodwill beyond liz 
cheney and adam kinziger and those who voted   to hold donald trump accountable for inciting 
that violent insurrection through their   impeachment vote will stand up and reclaim 
their party because right now the republicans   are not the party of ronald reagan and not 
the party of john mccain and not the party   of bob dole or george h.w bush or george w bush 
they're not even the party of mitt romney you know   they are the party of donald trump and a violent 
insurrection take your party back for the good of   america congressman i want to turn to something 
that has grown out of what happened that day and   of course to challenge the election that's the 
effort by democrats to get voting rights reform   legislation passed up until now no republicans 
have at least in the senate have expressed a   willingness to do this but just in the last few 
days that we're hearing from some republicans that   that they would might be willing to look at the 
the way the electoral vote is counted instead of   voting rights reform is that something that you 
think could be acceptable well it's not an either   or all situation we have to do both the right to 
vote is sacred to the integrity of our democracy   this principle of one person one vote and 
government of the people by the people and for the   people is really brought to life by every single 
american being able to exercise their franchise   choosing who represents them at all levels of 
government and so we've got to elevate that   because we have a voter suppression epidemic 
that is taking place all across the country   and the john robert lewis voting rights act and 
the freedom to vote act are critical in making   sure we push back against that at the same time 
this principle of the peaceful transfer of power   which is central uh to american democracy 
republican presidents handing off to democratic   presidents and vice versa that was interrupted 
uh and and and almost disrupted permanently uh on   on january 6 and reforming the electoral account 
vote act is an important thing that should be done   to tighten up some loose ends that exist right 
now in that peaceful transfer of power congressman   in the time we have left it is a political 
year midterm elections coming in november   it doesn't look like a good year at this point 
for democrats for historical reasons and others   right now is there one thing what would you like 
to see president biden do that could could help   the demo democratic prospects this november 
well president biden is doing a great job in   making sure that we confront the covert crisis 
anchored in science and evidence in a decisive   fashion and he'll continue to lead in that way at 
the same time deal with the economic challenges   that we confront inflation continue to create 
millions of good-paying jobs and then we'll   have to sell the american people on what we've 
done and we'll be able to do that particularly   when we get the build back better act over 
the finish line and and uh but my question   is how confident are you that can happen given 
uh opposition in your own party in the senate   well i'm very confident you know we're not a cult 
we're a coalition and so we have to work with the   various components of that coalition including 
senators mansion and cinema i believe president   biden who knows the senate better than perhaps 
any president in modern american history he'll   get it done are you prepared to see big changes 
though in the buildback better bill as it is   for example cutting in half the threshold 
household income amount for the child tax credit   well the tax cut for children and families through 
the child tax credit has been transformational for   working families low-income families and middle 
class families and i think we have to continue to   keep it robust but let's have a conversation and 
see what senator manchin comes up with at the end   of the day we need a product that decisively makes 
life better for everyday americans and if we get   that product it's something i can live with so 
maybe something below 400 000 household income   just finally uh congressman jeffries we know 
speaker pelosi has said she does intend to serve   through the remainder of this term but if she 
decides not to run for leadership again are you   going to run for your party's top position 
in the house well i've got a job to do with   share the house democratic caucus and i also 
have to go back to the voters to try to get my   two-year employment contract renewed in 
2022 so i'm going to keep the focus on that   for the moment we will leave it there 
representative hakeem jeffries of new york   the chair of the democratic caucus thank you 
very much thank you the attack on the u.s capitol   nearly one year ago was based on a big lie about 
election fraud in 2020 and the hope of supporters   for former president trump that they could stop 
the certification of electoral vote results   but starting that day there has 
been a new misinformation campaign   to recast downplay and misrepresent the events 
that unfolded at the capitol amna nawaz reports they broke through barricades assaulted 
police smashed their way into the capitol and sent lawmakers into hiding yet even 
as the attack was playing out there were   already alternative narratives being spun 
about who was to blame there are some   reports that antifa sympathizers may have been 
sprinkled throughout the crowd possibly antifa   insurrectionists possibly could have infiltrated 
some of these movements and maybe instigated some   of this the washington times has just reported 
some pretty compelling evidence from a facial   recognition company showing that some of 
the people who breached the capital today   were not trump supporters they were masquerading 
as trump supporters and in fact were members of   the violent terrorist group antifa yeah in the 
first hours and days afterward you could see   trump and his allies and supporters sort of 
groping for what the appropriate narrative was   david graham is a staff writer at the atlantic 
magazine so on the one hand you had trump you   know coming out with his video on the day of 
saying we love you but now go home but you also   saw people saying oh this is agitators 
it was antifa it was black lives matter   that despite contemporaneous texts between pundits 
on fox and the white house showing they thought   trump supporters were responsible when subsequent 
arrests confirmed that publicly the narrative on   the right shifted to downplay the violence that 
day here's former president trump on fox in march   right from the start it was zero threat look 
they went in and they shouldn't have done it uh   some of them went in and they're they're 
hugging and kissing the police and the guards   there was no insurrection and to call in an 
insurrection in my opinion is a bold face line   republican congressman andrew clyde at a hearing 
in may you know if you didn't know the tv footage   was a video from january the 6th you would 
actually think it was a normal tourist visit   strange to see somebody like you know congressman 
andrew clyde who of georgia who we saw   in videos and footage from january 6 helping to 
bar the doors suddenly saying well these were   just tourists they were walking through another 
recurrent theme shifting focus away from january 6   and towards protests for black lives matter the 
year before republican congressman clay higgins   of louisiana 19 people died during b.l.m riots 
last year hundreds and hundreds were injured 2 000   police officers were injured from blm rise last 
year voices on the right have also recast those   awaiting trial for their part in the attack 
as political prisoners here's republican   congressman paul gosar of arizona last month 
these are dads brothers veterans teachers   all political prisoners who continue to be 
persecuted endure the pain of unjust suffering   so too with the death of ashley babbitt the 
air force veteran shot by capitol police as   she attempted to breach the speaker's lobby here's 
republican representative jody heiss of georgia in   may in fact it was trump supporters who lost 
their lives that day not trump supporters who   were taking the lives of others former president 
trump reinforced that in a july interview on fox   who was the person that shot an innocent wonderful 
incredible woman a military woman the idea that   they were all motivated by these good intentions 
they believed the election was stolen which   of course was false it was a lie that had been 
peddled to them by the president and many of his   allies but they were going in and they wanted to 
stand up for what was right um that they were sort   of like the you know the american revolutionaries 
or like you know the confederate rebels who wanted   to really uphold the best of the constitution in 
an october piece in the atlantic graham explored   this idea how those who committed criminal acts 
to stop a democratic process have been recast by   the far right as heroes patriots and martyrs for 
a just cause much like the confederate soldiers   celebrated by the mythology of the lost cause the 
fact that those people are referred to by some   of these circles as patriots what does that do to 
the narrative it makes them into the you know the   errors of what was right it turns something that 
was one of the darker moments in american history   into one of the brighter ones and into a moment 
of unity and um and rebellion against what's   wrong and standing up for what's right um which i 
think is really dangerous if we can turn something   that's an assault on a constitutional process 
into a moment of triumph and a moment of uh a   sort of load star for what's to come i think that 
doesn't bode well for american democracy these   efforts could be working an npr newshour marist 
poll conducted last month showed a sharp partisan   divide over how americans view what happened on 
january 6th the legitimacy of investigations into   it and decreasing blame for president trump even 
as the former president continues to push the lie   at the heart of january 6th the durability of that 
lie where does that fit into sort of the larger   misinformation campaign the very thing that 
brought people out on january 6 in the first place   well it's essential to the legitimacy of trump as 
a political actor today if he's somebody who had   the election stolen from him that makes 
him still a sort of heroic figure and a   more legitimate leader perhaps than joe biden 
in the eyes of his supporters and that makes   it that enables a lot of other information 
information or more accurately misinformation   questioning or undermining everything from 
measures to stop the spread of covid19 to the   safety and efficacy of vaccines from bogus stories 
about vaccines tracking and controlling americans   to campaigns to stop teachers from talking about 
race or racism in schools so when people in   the trumpet orbit spread misinformation about 
joe biden or they spread misinformation about   vaccines or about covid all these spring from his 
legitimacy as you know the real elected leader   which depends on the the lie of the election being 
stolen for more on the misinformation surrounding   january 6 and how it's spread and evolved 
i'm joined by two people who track and study   just that jennifer cavanaugh is a senior 
political strategist at the rand corporation   she co-authored the book truth decay about the 
rise of misinformation and claire wardle is the   u.s director of first draft as a non-profit that 
tracks misinformation online welcome to you both   and thank you for being here claire i'll begin 
with you as we just saw immediately after the   capital attack there were already alternative 
narratives being spun despite live pictures live   reports people seeing it in real time in our 
latest newshour npr marist poll it shows a   divide on how americans saw that day 89 percent of 
democrats say january 6th was an insurrection was   a threat to democracy but only 10 of republicans 
agree with that how does that happen claire   because there was a foundation being laid all 
the way through 2020 and then from election   day onwards this stop the steel narrative was 
emerging this idea that the election was not safe   that the election was stolen there was this drip 
drip drip throughout november and december and so   when we had the events of january 6 very quickly 
very smart people began shaping these narratives   that already had a foundation that made sense to 
people who wanted to believe a certain world view   jennifer talk to me about the role of news 
and journalism and all this because you have   studied this about the declining trust and news 
american skepticism around news how much do you   think that contributed to people being willing to 
say what you're reporting what you're showing me   i don't believe i think it played a big role i 
mean people get their information from specific   sources and when they see information coming to 
them from sources that they don't trust they tend   to discard that information it's also really hard 
to change people's minds once they've made it up   so when people see additional information coming 
at them that contradicts that they're not ready   to discard what they've been believing for months 
or what they've been hearing from their trusted   figures the fact that people have such low trust 
in media plays a big role in their uh lack of   their lack of ability to change their mind and 
the difficulty that we face in trying to spread   accurate information after the fact claire we know 
one of the main ways in which that information was   spread even well before the capital attack was 
on social media right we saw even leading up to   that day the whole stop the steel narrative how 
those groups not only organized online but then   mobilized online got people to show up 
in real life to commit criminal acts   after that organization what responsibility lies 
with the companies behind those those social media   platforms when you look back at the timeline it 
was only september of 2020 when twitter started   marking as false tweets from the president for 
example saying that the votes couldn't be trusted   so i think the platforms were absolutely weren't 
ready for this and then as we saw on essentially   january 7th and 8th they panicked and like 
dominoes they all started changing their   policies and de-platforming but the disinformation 
ecosystem is really participatory and engaging   and that's what's happening on these platforms not 
that much has changed in a year and that's what we   should be more worried about not to see it as a 
one-off and what changes have the platforms made   and i would say not enough jennifer you've used 
this phrase truth decay in your work and nowhere   have we seen that more potently than when it 
comes to the pandemic and disinformation on social   media and other places around the efficacy of 
vaccines and the efficacy of mitigation measures   and these are all things that are backed by 
science they're backed by data but as you lay out   there's declining trust in in those two things 
so can that decay as you lay it out can it be   reversed well the challenge is that disinformation 
tends to have an emotional component as claire   described as participatory it becomes part of 
the believer's identity trying to reverse the   decay as you described it is not simple it's very 
very challenging because you're actually having   to break into people's world view and change how 
they see the world this is a challenge for a whole   range of stakeholders social media companies 
are one researchers and scientists are another   how do we make data whether it's about vaccines 
or covid or election integrity how do we make that   data that narrative compelling to people who are 
not inclined to believe it um one piece of that is   thinking about who provides the messages there's 
a concept of strategic messengers trusted people   within communities that are vulnerable or at risk 
for believing conspiracies and disinformation   election integrity is one of those cases where 
identifying allies within the communities that are   vulnerable to that information is is a challenge 
and i don't think it's a challenge that has been   addressed yet which is why this the conspiracies 
and disinformation around the 2020 election   continue to thrive claire you've also done some 
work on this about how people can arm themselves   right how they can outsmart misinformation or 
disinformation campaigns whether it is around   elections or political candidates or vaccines 
or the pandemic what are some of those tactics   what should people know what the research shows 
is whilst it's important to have fact checking   what we should be doing is actually rather than 
focusing on the individual rumor or conspiracy   teaching people the tactics of those 
who are trying to manipulate them   because what the research shows is whoever you 
are you know whatever your political persuasion   or even education level nobody wants to believe 
that they're being hoaxed or fooled so the more   that community can work with each other to teach 
them well you know if you see a text message that   says my brother works for the government and 
he's telling me dot dot dot and anecdote as   jennifer just said that in itself teaching 
people well just be a little bit more savvy   about that because that's a known tactic so the 
more we can teach people tactics and techniques   rather than waiting for the rumor and then kind 
of playing whack-a-mole we're actually seeing the   research shows that's a much more effective way of 
building the resilience that means that when they   see misinformation they're more likely to identify 
it as that clara i have to ask after all the work   you've done and jennifer i'll ask the same thing 
of you with misinformation and disinformation   so prolific now being pronounced and perpetuated 
from even the highest office in the land at times   do you have hope that that can be brought back 
under control i still have hope otherwise i   wouldn't get up every day but i think what we 
have to realize is this is a very long game   i'd say you know this is the the battle of our 
lives the next 20 to 30 years around climate   elections vaccines health and we need to start 
thinking that this is a long game there's no quick   fix we can't just shift the facebook algorithm 
and make it all go away jennifer what about you   i agree with claire i think it's important to 
recognize that this the challenge that we face   now has evolved over several decades and it's 
going to take just as long to figure out a way   to to manage the situation so really thinking 
about this as a from a holistic perspective   and understanding that whatever future we work 
to that's hopefully better than what than what we   face today it's not going to look the same as 20 
or 30 years ago the goal isn't to put the cat back   in the bag the goal is to figure out sort of what 
we want online spaces to look like what we want   our societies to look like and how we want to 
interact in that way and i guess that's what   gives me hope is thinking that you know we can we 
can work towards that that better future rather   than thinking about how we make things go back to 
the way they were that is jennifer cavanaugh and   claire wardle thank you so much to both of you for 
joining us thank you thanks for having me on this   january 6 solemn ceremonies at the u.s capitol 
replaced the violent scenes of rioters ransacking   the building one year ago it was also a day when 
a sitting president denounced the man he succeeded   in stark terms congressional correspondent lisa 
desjardins begins our coverage my fellow americans   today a speech a location and an anniversary 
which were all unprecedented one year ago today   in this sacred place democracy was attacked in 
one of the oldest parts of the capital president   biden took on the january 6th attack with his 
most direct confrontation yet of his predecessor   we must be absolutely clear about what is 
true and what is a lie and here's the truth   the former president of the united states 
of america has created and spread a web   of lies about the 2020 election he's done 
so because he values power over principle   he can accept he lost the words echoed inside 
statuary hall a place that was filled with   pro-trump rioters one year ago a mob that wanted 
to stop the electoral count and the biden win   he recounted the scene that day in historic terms 
rioters rampaging waving for the first time inside   this capital confederate flag that symbolized 
the cause to destroy america to rip us apart   even during the civil war that never ever happened 
the address was unusual for president biden who   has often resisted drawing attention to 2020 
and to what's called the big lie from former   president trump about election fraud biden 
didn't mention trump by name but he did level   very clear charges for the first time in our 
history a president had not just lost an election   he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of 
power as a violent mob breached the capital   but they failed they failed on this day of 
remembrance we must make sure that such attack   never never happens again we fight like hell 
mr trump fomented the attack the president said   and then let it continue what did we not see 
we didn't see a former president who had just   rallied the mob to attack sitting in the private 
dining room off the oval office in the white house   watching it all on television and doing nothing   for hours former president trump responded 
shortly after president biden's remarks with   several statements lashing back he wrote biden 
used my name to further divide america the   political theater is all just a distraction for 
the fact biden has totally and completely failed   and mr trump doubled down on the false claim that 
the election was fraudulent that incredible divide   and mr trump's sway and his party were evident 
on the house floor now i ask all members which   meant for a brief january 6 commemoration and 
moment of silence nearly no republicans attended   but among the few who did a very big 
name former vice president dick cheney   he attended with his daughter congresswoman 
liz cheney reporters asked his thoughts on how   current republican leaders have handled january 
6 sparking remarkable pushback from a top party   member it's not a leadership that resembles 
any of the folks i knew when i was here   chaney used to be considered among the most 
hard right but those who hold that position   now representatives marjorie taylor-green 
and matt gates showed the divide by holding   their own separate news conference all this as 
many members simply wanted to address the harm   and their experiences from last january 6.

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emotional because my memories are very similar   to many of yours the house held an unusual event 
an opportunity for members to give testimonials   those of us trapped in the gallery 
relived it ducking crawling under   over railings hands knees the sounds the 
smells we had a front row seat to what lies   hate or plain old misinformation 
conjures the january 6 committee did not   meet but has indicated it hopes for public 
hearings soon and a report in coming months   and lisa joins me now along with our chief 
washington correspondent jeff bennett who's   at the white house so lisa you've been at the 
capitol most of this day tell us a little bit more   about what you're picking up there on this day of 
looking back judy the feeling today was reflective   and the tone was soft and quiet to be honest in 
fact i want to show you just ended a few minutes   ago was a vigil held by congressional leaders 
mostly democrats there including house speaker   nancy pelosi you know really today seemed 
to me to be about an idea of healing and   about members dealing with their own personal 
memories very different from what i've been   experiencing in the last year which is members 
talking about the greater political high stakes   those however are still evident i spoke with one 
democratic senator who came to the capitol today   told me she is determined that january 6 makes her 
more determined about their agenda all that said   judy i've been speaking to so many house members 
this week and i have to tell you that democrats   lawmakers that i spoke to did not seem to have 
a really clear message a real counter punch to   president trump's false charges about january 6 to 
his following they seem to have different messages   until today when president biden spoke speaking 
to some of those same democratic lawmakers today   they said they've heard something different than 
they heard before and one in fact said it was   as if president biden said what had had been on 
his mind all along so we'll see if that changes   how democrats act going forward and picking up on 
that jeff we we we did hear some in lisa's report   of what president biden had to say but you've 
you've learned a little more about what was behind   the thinking in having him deliver this message 
today that's right and the president as you   know has described this moment as a battle 
for the soul of the nation and his remarks   this morning i'm told by sources familiar with his 
thinking were an acknowledgment that really trying   to unite the country starts with a forceful 
condemnation and a direct calling out of the   forces that seek to divide us and so for president 
biden for much of the past year he's really tried   to avoid talking at length about donald trump 
and i'm told it's for a few reasons one he didn't   want to try to elevate him or sort of draw more 
attention to the lies the former president told   about the election that he lost he also judy 
didn't want to really personalize what he sees   as being a debate that should focus on trying to 
defend and preserve the democracy but really all   of that changed today president biden standing in 
that capital he so reveres with a top to bottom   takedown of trump and trumpism and on his way 
out of the capital the president was asked by   a reporter if his words might have done more to 
divide than heal and the president shot back he   said no he said understanding how to move forward 
requires an understanding of the extent of the   wound and we should also mention that the speech 
in many ways sets the foundation for democrats   as they move forward and try to renew their push 
for voting rights there are a pair of bills that   are stalled in the senate and so this is going 
to be a messaging battle that really starts   with a kind of direct language we heard from the 
president and vice president today judy it was a   noticeable turn jeff bennett at the white house 
lisa desjardins at the capitol thank you both   and as we've been discussing president biden and 
vice president harris both spoke at the capitol   this morning to mark this anniversary of the 
insurrection and that was the focus as i began   my conversation with the vice president earlier 
this afternoon madam vice president thank you   very much for joining us on this day one 
year after the assault on the capitol you   president biden speaking out very forcefully 
on the need to correct the lies out there about   what happened and to hold former president trump 
accountable but we know one year later those lies   have only settled in why do you think it is after 
all this time that attitudes have not changed well   judy first of all it's great to be with you um i 
will say as i said in my speech this morning that   i do believe that um there has been a slow attempt 
to unravel our democracy that proceeded one year   ago and um and it is important that we look at 
what happened one year ago on january 6th um as as   as a moment in a series of events that have been 
taking place some would argue over the last 15   years slowly but steadily in terms of an attempt 
to erode our democracy and when i think then about   where we are as of today this is a moment where we 
reflect on this violent assault on our capital um   an assault that i think in many ways symbolized 
what can happen if there is a a destruction   of democracy meaning chaos and violence and 
um and a lack of order or adherence to rule   of law but let's also see this as a moment 
where the duality of the the the existence   of a democracy that is both fragile and strong 
was highlighted in that at the end of january   6 that night one year ago where i was there 
still as a senator and vice president-elect   right members of all parties democrats republicans 
and independents went back to over to to show   their loyalty to the constitution above party or 
person and uphold the tenets of our constitution   and our democracy but just as many people today if 
not more believe the lie lies about what happened   what's to stop this from just staying this 
way this deep polarization for years to come   our democracy will not stand and it will 
not survive if we each of us is not vigilant   in understanding we can take nothing about 
it for granted so to your point there have   been moments in history such as this where 
there has been rampant misinformation lies   and it is incumbent then on those who are informed 
who are knowledgeable to be vigilant in speaking   truth no matter how difficult sometimes it is to 
hear much less speak because the truth is that   the democracy of the united states of america 
is only standing as it is because of the faith   and and and the purpose of the american people 
to fight for it given attitudes out there do you   believe the january 6th house committee will get 
to the bottom of what happened i do and i from   what i'm witnessing from the outside it seems 
that they are um exercising great diligence and   they are being guided by the facts and law and 
doing their job and upholding their oath to defend   and support the constitution of the united states 
i do have faith in in the process that they have   embarked upon and and i think we will see i i hope 
and i believe we will see justice come out of it   i want to ask you about what the vice chair of 
that committee representative liz cheney one   of the only republicans seeking to hold the 
former president accountable said she said   former president trump quote summoned this mob 
assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack   is she right yes and again these are moments where 
we must speak truth and i applaud her courage   in the midst of uh you know a number of her 
colleagues who have failed to show such courage   or those who have shown courage and sadly are not 
seeking re-election or have not sought re-election   um i applaud her courage to speak truth if that's 
the case then does that not mean there will   have to be serious consideration of a criminal 
prosecution i am not privy to the internal facts   that that are before that committee so i can't 
speak to that and you know perhaps i'm burdened by   also my career as an attorney and as a prosecutor 
where i'm not going to judge or speak to the facts   and the law in the case which i don't know well 
let me ask you about the aftermath of all this you   and president biden are going to be speaking out 
more publicly in the days to come about the need   for voting rights reform but we know right now 
there aren't enough votes for that in the senate   some republicans are countering right now with a 
proposal to reform the way the electoral college   vote takes place why is that not an acceptable 
compromise because it's not a solution to the   problem at hand which is that right now 
in the united states of america we need   federal laws that guarantee the freedom and 
right of every american to have access to the   ballot to be able to vote the john lewis 
voting rights act the freedom to vote act   addressed that issue and those are the issues that 
are are present and that are imminent and that are   really dispositive frankly of this moment in time 
in terms of whether we are going to fight for some   of the most important pillars of a democracy such 
as the freedom to vote in free and fair elections   so let us pass those two pieces of legislation and 
ensure through the federal law that all americans   have meaningful access to the polls three 
other things i want to ask you about madam vice   president kovitt is the first six of the prominent 
public health advisors who were part of the biden   harris transition team have today gone public with 
a plea to the president to adopt an entirely new   pandemic strategy geared to what they call the 
new normal of living with this virus indefinitely   trying to minimize the risk first of all what 
we know without any debate and i think all of   us agree um is that we have tools available to us 
to address this pandemic in a way that we can at   the very least mitigate the harm to the greatest 
number of people and so we are going to continue   as an administration to urge all people who are 
eligible to get vaccinated to get the booster   to wear masks when they are in public and and to 
do what is necessary for us to get beyond this   we welcome of course any um anyone who has 
information especially those who are experts   about how we can accomplish these goals but 
there are certain things that are without debate   and and really not even necessary 
for discussion at this point among   people who are knowledgeable about what needs to 
happen in terms of vaccines and boosters and masks   but is it time for a new approach is the 
question i mean this administration came   in promising to get things on track here we 
are a year later we're in the fourth wave   there aren't enough tests nearly enough we 
know that the approach in terms of vaccines   boosters and masks work so i don't think 
that that's what we're discussing right now   but let's also talk about to your point where 
we are today versus a year ago today the vast   majority of schools are open today we have a 
vaccine that the majority of americans have   actually received boosters we are seeing great 
progress with that people are wearing their masks   so we have seen progress we are seeing businesses 
reopen and i think it's important for us to   to to see in this moment we're still it is 
extremely frustrating there's no question for   all of us but we also must acknowledge that there 
has been progress and that that is the trajectory   but there are still um steps to go we have still 
work to do and in particular around the vaccines   and and masks we want to make sure that everyone 
is taking advantage of all the tools that we do   have available to us right now two other things 
one is your administration the biden harris   agenda in the beginning a year ago got off 
to a strong start but it's obviously stalled   right now the president's approval ratings have 
taken a dramatic hit did you try to do too much   well i think that there there are many um metrics 
by which we can measure where we are today one of   them again is is where we are and on covid which 
we just discussed um let's also look at where   we are on the economy last year we created six 
million new jobs last year we brought unemployment   down to i believe it was 4.2 percent which the 
economist most didn't believe would happen until   at least 2023 2024.

So we have seen great progress 
we passed an infrastructure law people have been   both both parties as administrations have been 
talking about doing for generations there has   been great progress no doubt you know covet for 
example i mean we're all well you know everybody   is frustrated with that and i understand and i 
fully appreciate there is a level of of malaise   we're in two years into this thing you know people 
are that we want to get back to normal we all do   but we have to to then do the tough and hard work 
of pushing through with solutions understanding   that there are going to be challenges but 
let's meet the challenges where they are   and let's also take a moment to see the progress 
we've achieved last question this year madam vice   president has not been an easy one for you there 
have been a rash of stories about dissension   inside your office inside the white house 
about questions about your role what would   you say you've learned over this year well one 
of the things i've learned is to get out of dc   uh i think it's important to definitely be 
out and um and be you know i i can't tell   you when i've been able to to get out of dc and 
be with the folks who are actually informing our   policies and will be impacted by our policies 
i do hope that this year i will be able to get   out there more i know the president feels the 
same way so that we can make sure that we are   we are with the folks and not just frankly 
you know hanging out in dc with the pundits madam vice president kamala harris thank you 
very much for joining us today we appreciate it   good to be with you thank you happy new year 
to help us understand the broader effects that   january 6 is having on our politics our culture 
and democracy itself and consider where we go from   here i spoke yesterday with four writers who spent 
the last year engaged in this conversation george   packer is a staff writer at the atlantic he has 
written extensively about the country's political   divisions jelani cobb covers race and politics at 
the new yorker and is a professor of journalism   at columbia university stuart stevens is a former 
republican strategist he worked on many republican   campaigns including from mitt romney in 2012 
but has since written the book it was all a lie   how the republican party became donald trump and 
gary abernathy is a contributing columnist at the   washington post we welcome all four of you to 
the program thank you so much let me just lay   down the basics what words would you use george 
packer to describe what happened on january 6 and   how much does it matter that we get to the bottom 
of it that we hold those responsible accountable   at the time i thought it was an insurrection 
and i still do directed by the president   and i still think that but i underestimated 
it i thought it was a a kind of wild shot   that nearly hit its target could have been fatal 
um but that we dodged that's not how i see it now   i think it was actually a warning shot and almost 
a searching for the target that did miss but that   found how to get the target next time and in the 
year since january 6 what we've seen is efforts by   both national republicans and state legislatures 
and major figures in the party to figure out how   to use january 6th to make sure that next time it 
works and next time what didn't work for donald   trump in overthrowing uh the 2020 election and the 
constitution last time is going to work next time   and that for that reason i think a year later i'm 
far more concerned even than i was when i was in a   state of shock on january 6 2021.

Gary abernathy 
what about you how do you see what happened   well i think it was a very disturbing uh day judy 
one of the most disturbing and embarrassing things   that i've ever seen it makes me actually angry 
at donald trump because of someone who supported   trump and frankly i'm still glad he was president 
but i think the event disqualifies him from uh   future office not legally but by in the hearts of 
people they should say we can't vote for this guy   again and it's because of what he didn't do but 
as president of the united states he should have   done more to tamp down the emotions of that day 
and he should be held politically responsible   for not doing that i think it's a stretch to 
say he's legally responsible for not doing that   and i think the worry for me is going too far the 
other way to try to really use this politically to   to slam the republican party in a way legally that 
really is better adjudicated at the ballot box   so to speak jelani cobb how much does it matter 
that we understand what happened on january 6th   i mean it matters it's crucial i can't think of 
anything that's more important in fact uh you   know i agree with george you know if i were to use 
a single word here to describe what it was i would   say harbinger because you know at the moment 
you know people thought uh that this had been   uh averted and that the danger had passed but uh 
in reality if we think about you know january 6 at   the capitol uh there was a convergence in a single 
place and that building was overwhelmed uh and you   know supposedly the most fortified secure city in 
the country in terms of federal presence and that   building was overwhelmed rather easily what would 
have happened if we'd had a brush fires across   the country in the state legislatures as we saw in 
michigan what if people had come back militias had   come back in in michigan in georgia in arizona in 
places uh where there was suspicion being ginned   up and how would that have played out we could 
have wound up with a much much worse situation   and there's no guarantee that we won't wind up 
with a similar kind of situation in the future   stu stevens you've heard what the others 
are saying uh how how do you look on what   happened um i think what's important to wrap our 
minds around is that what happened on one sixth   is just part of a larger uh effort here which 
is autocratic movement in america and i think   that it's a mistake just to isolate one sixth 
is okay this one event some people came there   look what followed these coordinated effort to 
pass these voting legislations and make it more   difficult for people who don't vote republican to 
vote and george packer we heard gary abernathy say   in so many words that uh it would be wrong to over 
interpret overreact to what happened what do you   think about that uh how can one overreact to a 
mortal threat to american democracy the first in   my lifetime that that that actually seems to be uh 
on a road toward making it um impossible for the   popular world to be respected at the ballot box 
that's been the goal of all these bills passed   or debated across lead legislatures in georgia 
in arizona in michigan wisconsin pennsylvania um   which are not just about restricting access 
to the ballot but are about putting elections   in the hands of reliable partisans so that next 
time around we'll have states that claim that the   election was somehow wrongly held and that it's 
thrown into the hands of a partisan legislature   which sends its own electors to congress um to 
choose the next president that's exactly the   strategy going on right now and it's building 
on what the republican party learned from 1-6   and these events around it which was you need 
the right people in the right offices to be   making these decisions in order to seize power 
they didn't have it last time they're trying to   get it next time i can't possibly overestimate 
the seriousness of that gary abernathy uh you're   hearing this uh you're hearing uh george and 
the others say it's it's it's impossible not to   take this seriously i want to be clear i'm i'm 
on board with everyone who thinks january 6 was   a horrible day for our country i think it's 
right to remember it i think it's right to   to look back at it as a day that we should all 
be ashamed of and hope never repeats itself   but i think it's being used uh politically in some 
cases to then you know extrapolate those events   and say well we can't have any election reform we 
can't have any anything because it's all an effort   to to make what happens on january 6th happen 
again and the fact is a lot of us would argue   that our system actually worked on january 6.

of these terrible things came to be because you   know people like mike pence said i can't go along 
with that so there are degrees of differences here   but but in some ways i think we're on the 
same page we are not on the same page gary   and the system did not work if we think about the 
the law enforcement officers the capital of police   officers who lost their lives you know those the 
the officer who died on that day and the those who   who subsequently died who have left uh we can't 
gloss this over and make it seem as if it were uh   florida in 2000 where there were a simple 
bit of electoral glitches that were resolved   administratively bureaucratically that's not what 
happened we had people beating physically beating   police officers and threatening to lynch the 
sitting vice president of the united states   none of those are minor things i want to move 
and br and bring in stu stevens again and and   talk about the role of the of the political 
parties the republican party uh in this we   know most republicans today say they believe 
donald trump was reelected that joe biden is not   legitimately the president when we say that the 
majority of republicans don't believe that joe   biden is a legally elected president that means 
the majority of republicans in this country don't   believe we live in a democracy they think that 
we live in an occupied country and if you follow   that to a logical conclusion it means not only 
do they have a right to reinstate their rightful   uh president united states some feel they have an 
obligation and that's what they're going to teach   their children and if you go down that line of 
thinking it justifies uh terrible acts of violence   and terrible acts of legal authorities and 
legislatures to try to overturn the will of the   people we've never been here at least not since 

George packer what about the future how   how do we keep this democracy strong with this 
deep division existing in our political body   i mean the lesson that i've learned over the 
past year is that democracy actually depends on   a kind of reason obtaining among the electorate 
people behaving in a at least a roughly rational   way and not falling under the spell 
of conspiracy thinking and irrational   uh interpretations of events and the spell of 
an authoritarian demagogue like donald trump   but what's happened is one of our two major 
parties has fallen into that it really is simply a   matter of each and every american citizen finding 
it in themselves to resist that uh that force   and to try to rescue the democracy that we love 
from uh our fellow citizens who seem determined   to take it into a direction that i 
think is dark and and destructive   and that i fear very much gary abernathy 
do you see from where you sit politically   a way through this that keeps our democracy 
strong well one thing i constantly try to argue   for is judy we need to respect each other again 
we need to respect each other's differences again   i don't care what polls you look at if 
you look at polls that say forty percent   of americans and eighty percent or ninety percent 
of republicans think that the election was stolen   we can't suddenly just demonize and and you 
know minimize these people as the americans   that they are we've got to work our way through 
this talk our way through this not you know not   just divide into our media camps and our feeds 
that just reinforce what we believe we've got to   do a good job of continuing to communicate 
and eventually truth wins out stu stevens   do you see that as the way yeah i think i i think 
that's a fantasy um you you can't negotiate with   evil how do you negotiate with the person who's 
in the capital united states in a camp auschwitz   sweatshirt you don't want to meet those people 
halfway you don't need to understand them they're   wrong people who believe in democracy are right 
the solution to this is pretty straightforward you   have to beat these republicans you have to have 
more days like january 5th last year where you   elect democrats in georgia because the democratic 
party which i spent 30 years pointing out flaws in   is the party that represents democracy in 
america now and we have to just accept that   and put these other differences aside well it 
is a conversation we need to continue to have   uh as the american people and i want to 
thank all four of you for being part of this   conversation today stu stevens gary abernathy 
jelani cobb george packer thank you so much   with the one year anniversary of the capital 
insurrection with a renewed push on voting rights   and with vaccine mandates getting their day 
in court it has been a full week to consider   it all we're joined by brooks and kay part 
that is new york times columnist david brooks   and jonathan k part columnist for the washington 
post very good to see both of you even though   you're not here in the studio i was going to 
start with something else but i have to begin with   january the 6th jonathan listening to what our 
correspondents were saying and thinking about what   president biden yesterday said taking it right to 
his predecessor saying that that former president   trump was holding a dagger at the throat of 
our democracy that's a stunning statement what do we make of that it's a stunning statement 
judy and it is a true statement you know the thing   to keep in mind about president biden is that 
he is since the campaign uh he has been never   been more clear focused direct passionate and 
determined than when he is talking about american   democracy or as he called it the soul of america 
and the damage and danger that donald trump   was to both uh he started his campaign in talking 
about charlottesville and why that animated him   to jump into the 2020 race and then there in 
sanctuary hall as president of the united states   with to his mind the clear and present danger of 
donald trump and what he did as president and what   he could do um down the road if he decides to run 
for president in 2024 i think the president after   uh uh uh almost a year in office of getting some 
legislative wins under his belt decided that the   anniversary of the the most dangerous moment uh in 
in in history for congress that that was the time   to say clearly uh and forcefully that what 
happened in that building was a travesty and uh   and that he's gonna do everything that he possibly 
can to ensure that it doesn't happen again and   the first step in that is talking about it naming 
names and trying to hold them publicly accountable   for what they for what they did and david 
what do you make of the of president biden   using this stark imagery hold a dagger yeah i i 
thought the president was right to not talk about   trump directly for most of this past year because 
there was the hope that trump would fade away and   i must say on january 7th of last year i thought 
what the events of january 6 were so horrific and   so disgusting that it would be an inflection 
point and people would look at the whole trump   era as something lamentable and terrible i was 
wrong about that uh donald trump has not faded   away he's if anything stronger in the republican 
party so if donald trump's not going to fade away   you might as well tell the truth and you might as 
well go after him correctly and you might as well   go after him with the passion of a man who worked 
for 30 years more than 30 years in that building   and who mentioned yesterday that the rotunda where 
they were sitting that's where abraham lincoln   sat uh that's you know a few feet down the hallway 
there's john f kennedy a few feet down the other   hallway there's tip on heel and so this is 
american history that was trampled something   joe biden has devoted his life to extending 
and making prosperous so there's got to be   strong emotions there and i'm glad to express 
them and and jonathan i mean as you're pointing   out as david's pointing out this is a turn for 
president biden he hasn't he hasn't wanted or   hasn't spent a lot of time talking directly about 
the former president but now he's going after him   uh is there a risk in that uh there are risks 
in everything but i think that the president   and the white house have made the calculation 
that if you're going to take any kind of risk   if the risk is in defending uh american democracy 
then it is a risk worth taking and i think that   the president the speech yesterday was terrific it 
was what the nation needed to hear but it it can't   be the last step it has to be the first step 
of many to remind people about what happened   who did it and also to remind people that even 
though the focus right now is on donald trump   what donald trump unleashed 
will survive donald trump   whether he runs for president or not and that is 
the big danger that i think a lot of people are um   might be getting themselves into by focusing 
so intensely on donald trump and the damage   he did to this country that they're maybe 
not paying attention to the forces that he   unleashed that can't be put back in the 
bottle now that they have been unleashed   david pick up on that i mean how is it a gamble 
for for president biden to be taking this this   tack right now in his presidency i don't think so 
uh you know the democrats criticizing donald trump   is not exactly a new thing it's not exactly a 
risky thing for democrats to take it down a notch   to the fairest political level the democrats are 
going to try to win keep that their majorities in   2022 joe biden presumably he's going to try to 
keep the presidency or at least have a democrat   in the presidency 2024 his approval ratings are 
not high enough to do that on the basis of his   own accomplishments and frankly he didn't win the 
presidency the first time because people love joe   biden that he won it because people really dislike 
donald trump and so raising the saliency of trump   is uh is probably the smart thing to do now 
there are clear limits to that as we learn in the   virginia gubernatorial rape uh when uh the 
democrats tried to tie younkin to trump and   it didn't work so i don't think it's the only 
thing he can do to keep democrats in office but   it's certainly a key part of it well one of the 
things we're seeing the president and the vice   president do they're heading to atlanta jonathan 
next week to make what they're calling major   speech or statement on on voting rights a big 
push for legislation that they have not been able   to get through congress meantime some republicans 
and i know you all talked about this a little bit   last week but meantime republicans are coming 
back and saying well let's look at electoral   vote count reform i asked vice president harris 
about that when i had a chance to talk to her   yesterday here's what she had to say about 
about how to think about these two things   it's not a solution to the problem at hand 
which is that right now in the united states   of america we need federal laws that guarantee 
the freedom and right of every american to have   access to the ballot to be able to vote the john 
lewis voting rights act the freedom to vote act   address that issue and those are the issues 
that are are present and that are imminent   so jonathan she's saying uh voting rights 
has to come before anything with elect the   electoral vote count well because 
as she was saying what is happening   in the states um is happening because 
of the big lie suppressing the vote   keeping people from voting and also now the 
prospect of once people have voted boards   of elections that have now been um taken over by 
state legislatures having their votes tossed out   so that's why there's such this there's this big 
push for the john lewis voting rights advancement   act to be passed with the freedom the vote act 
to be passed but i also think in in the in your   interview with the vice president i i think 
she goes on to say that it's not an either or   both of these things have to be done it's a matter 
of priority and when it comes to the electoral   count the electoral count act you know congressman 
jamie raskin who's a member of the select january   6 select committee um writes in his his new book 
unthinkable about how they saw months by may of   2020 that the electoral count act was probably 
the way that donald trump was going to try to mess   with the election because it was so squishy so the 
electoral account act must it must be reformed but   doing that instead of passing the john lewis 
voting rights advancement act or the freedom   to vote act that's not a solution to the the 
near near-term uh danger that uh faces uh the   right to vote right now how do you david how do 
you see movement on on these two things or not   well i think we probably need to do both but i 
really do think the democrats have to completely   revamp their approach to the national emergency 
january 6th started or donald trump's sergeant   is continuing expanding right to this day 
they're sort of three elements to an election   there's casting the votes there's counting the 
votes and then they're certifying the results   we do not have a crisis in casting the votes 
we just in 2020 had the highest vote turnout in   american history we don't have it all problem 
in counting the votes we counted the votes   without fraud and without error pretty much in 
2020 as we've seen we have a complete crisis in   the certification of the votes it's that third 
thing where we have this complete crisis where   state legislatures are politicizing uh the vote 
certification where they're attacking the the   people who bravely stood up to donald trump where 
republicans are running for these local judge   clerk judge uh of elections positions republicans 
who are trumpy and truly use them for nefarious   ends and so we have this massive assault on our 
democracy in the certification of the results   the problem with the freedom to vote act is it has 
very little about that it's all about elements one   and two and so to me what the democrats need to 
do is really focus on the certification protecting   the people who are non-partisan and certifying 
results the democrats need to get much more   active locally on these local races for for judge 
of elections and other all those other things and   they're not doing that the republicans are far 
outpacing them on the ground on the grassroots   and so me that's that the house is on fire on 
that and so we should be focusing on that and get   take care of that immediately and then we can 
do the other voting rights which are very hard   to pass uh we can do it now or we can do it 
later we need to focus on that third thing   jonathan what about that uh i agree with david 
that the house is on fire um but i don't agree   with david and david mentions this uh as mentioned 
this at least three times about how there's no   you know the vote is not being suppressed i you 
know there there are a lot of uh democratic and   progressive activists and actual voters who would 
disagree would disagree with that especially those   who are standing in line for hours and hours 
in multiple locations multiple states in order   to vote but look all of these things that we 
are we are talking about need to be addressed   the only problem is we don't live in a monarchy 
and we don't live um in a dictatorship where you   know president biden king biden dictator biden can 
just go and say this shall be done what the senate   needs to do is to is to take action to ensure 
that whoever wants to register to vote can vote   that the person who registers to vote is able to 
vote as conveniently as possible and then when   that person does vote that their vote actually 
gets counted and that their voice is actually   heard by not having a state board uh overturn 
the voice of the people the will of the people   at the ballot box that has to be done and that 
can only be done at this point if the united   states senate rallies around and gets it done 
but unfortunately we spend a lot of our time   talking about two senators one in particular 
who's still even though the house is on fire   is refusing to be a part of the 
solution to put the fire out   uh david put the button on this uh why isn't 
that the priority you've got 30 seconds i don't think the problem the answer is in 
washington democrats need to rally people   in harrisburg pennsylvania and state capitals 
around the country they need to work on state   legislators they may need to make it extremely 
painful for anybody to vote to politicize the   certification of a result i think the focus 
on washington is the wrong focus right now   and the republicans know this and they're 
doing something about it and democrats   are not on it clarion call from each one of you 
david brooks and jonathan k part thank you both   on this friday night thank you so much thanks 
judy thank you we returned to some familiar faces   our own newshour correspondents who were 
on duty covering the events of january 6.   lisa desjardins who was inside the capitol amna 
nawaz who was outside the building as the crowd   gathered and yamiche alcindor who was at the 
white house the four of us spoke last year in   the days following the insurrection for our 
podcast america interrupted and when we came   together again earlier this week we talked about 
how the country has changed in the year since   lisa let me start with you you were inside the 
capitol i remember it vividly as the rioters   broke through the glass in those doors you were 
eyewitness to the worst attack on the u.s capitol   in 200 years from a political standpoint lisa 
it looks like a much more partisan place what   does it feel like from the inside i didn't think 
that the capital could get more partisan than   after the 2020 election ended in 2020 but it has 
and and i also have to say you know a year ago   we all felt these palpable very raw emotions 
from lawmakers right after january 6th and i   knew they would continue i thought they would 
continue february march april democrats just   seething with anger democrats who don't usually 
express this kind of anger were saying things like   this to me that they couldn't look at republicans 
couldn't even get in an elevator with some of the   republicans who had objected to the election i was 
sure that that would wane by the end of the summer   and i have to say it it really 
didn't it continued through the fall   as we saw some republicans increase their rhetoric 
on the other side i will say just this one holiday   break this this past holiday break i have sensed 
in my phone calls with lawmakers finally a little   bit of breathing and a little bit of relaxing of 
that anger but i just don't know what's going to   happen when they return to washington interesting 
and and yamiche you were at the white house you   were on the lawn as all this was unfolding at 
the capitol you were trying to stay in contact   with then trump administration officials on the 
inside how has our understanding of what then   president trump was doing during all this how 
has that evolved and changed over the last year   well judy i do remember standing on the white 
house lawn and watching people break into   the u.s capitol the president was watching it 
all unfold on tv like so many other americans   and he was in some ways both enjoying the idea 
that his supporters had taken his lie about   the election being stolen so seriously that they 
were breaking into the capital to sort of defend   his line his his his idea of what should be 
happening in this moment but he was also in   some ways fearful because there was real violence 
happening the president's lie has metastasized   it's grown all across the gop and now you have 
gop lawmakers elected officials who at first were   outraged who at first were telling me that the 
president had gone too far they've now all sort of   fallen in line so the president former president 
has continued to lie about the election continued   to say that the election was stolen and his power 
that seemed to be teetering that seemed to be   almost coming to an end on january 6 it's only 
grown and grown and then amna you were outside   the capitol you were talking to the protesters 
and others uh outside and watching as all this   unfolded recollect for us some of the language you 
were hearing from them and talk about how that's   evolved in in the years since you know judy in 
terms of everyone we talked to outside that day   there was one thing everyone had in common and 
that was they believed the election lie they   believed that the election had been stolen beyond 
that in terms of rhetoric it was really a mishmash   i mean there were conspiracy theorists out there 
waving human on flags there were anti-vaxxers   and koba deniers who harassed me and our team 
for wearing masks out there they were far-right   extremists they were white nationalists white 
supremacists openly wearing the insignias of these   groups and and walking around and it was this 
overlapping this sort of toxic brew of ideological   beliefs and personal grievances that really 
caught a lot of people by surprise and caught   a lot of national security and counterterrorism 
experts by surprise at the time too they hadn't   seen it before well how much has that changed in 
the year since not much if anything it's gotten   worse i mean we know the potency of that election 
lie that millions of people still believe   we know where we are with anti-vaxxers and covet 
deniers and we also know where we are with the   larger threat to the u.s from some of those 
groups those blending of beliefs experts say   is more volatile than ever you know the top two 
lethal threats domestic threats to the u.s today   are violent white supremacists and anti-government 
extremists and those remain the top concerns   for counterterrorism officials and in terms of 
holding people accountable we've seen over 700   people arrested charged in connection with 
the assault on the capitol lisa you have a   firsthand connection with all of this what is 
it two of the people who were following you   inside the capitol have been sentenced in the 
last week or so that's right and you know judy   i didn't know that i was being followed until this 
summer when the department of justice contacted me   and said we see on video that two of the rioters 
followed you for a significant distance those two   uh two men from pennsylvania were just sentenced 
this week and their attorneys were both asking   that they'd be given no more than one day in jail 
this was their first offense for both of them   neither of them harmed anyone when they in 
their building they did pick up some papers some   congressional papers at some point and put them 
down and that is one of the things the judge said   was serious the judge did give them 30 days in 
jail which was a disappointment to their attorneys   but the judge said it is not enough to say that 
you just wandered into the building or you didn't   mean to be there or you wished you could have left 
or that you regret it the judge was very strong   and said this was an attack on our democracy 
and i cannot condone this kind of mob violence   some of the language we heard from these these 
rioters that day clearly there were racist   elements to it yamiche we've talked over the 
past year about how that language has persisted   and how it's played into what was already a 
fraught controversy conflict in our in our   nation across our nation over over racial justice 
how do you see that coming together a year later   well a year later the language that we saw used at 
this attack on the capital has sort of spread and   deepened across our country we've had seen really 
an evolving of the conversation on race where   we saw of course the murder of george floyd 
and the swelling of this idea that america   really needed to be better when it came to not 
only policing americans but also the way that   we talk about justice and race and there's been a 
big backlash to that movement and what we've seen   really is that january 6 um was not the end of 
something but it was really the beginning of this   ugly phase so we've really seen a lot of people 
i think twisting the idea of pushing for racial   equality in this country and making excuses 
frankly for the people who broke into the capital   and that has been detrimental i think to our to 
our democracy and that continues to be the case   and i want you to pick up on that because 
this this notion of how we use language uh   with racist overtones and and just arguments 
over what word to use about what happened   on january the 6th the words to use whether it's 
white supremacy whether it's insurrection versus   a coup um all of these things are have have 
not only been they've they've filtered out into   the public discourse but there are things 
that journalists have had to think about   that's absolutely right judy i think it's 
important to point out that some of those   forces that we confronted face to face that day 
on the capitol grounds have always represented   some of the biggest threats to people of color 
and to marginalized people in this country   and it was a mostly white crowd who had openly 
talked about bringing violence to the capitol   that day who authorities did not see as a threat 
who felt entitled to storm a federal property   and try to overturn a democratic process because 
they were angry and i think we've all done this   long enough to know what that response would have 
been if that had been a crowd of all black people   or all brown people or all muslim people or all 
immigrants and this kind of organized eruption   really laid bare what so many of us have long 
known and lived which is that white anger is seen   differently here i want to close by asking each 
one of you to think about what stays with you what   sticks in your mind as you go back and you think 
about that day lisa i think one that stays with   me this is going to sound so corny there are two 
things it's just the walking away from the capitol   that night you know we were there until three 
four in the morning for the election to finish   and it was so important for all of us to 
stay there and i just i think of that image and it was just i just have such faith in 
the capital sorry i'm getting emotional   yeah one year later i just had it was just it's 
a it's a it's a beautiful place and i i really   walking away from the capitol that night looking 
at it i just remember that feeling of faith in   our constitution um and in that building and one 
more thing someone loaned me a phone charger at   a critical moment and that is something i will 
always hold on to it is my lucky phone charger   and yamiche for you what what memory stays most 
with you the memory that sticks most with me um   watching the capital being attacked is that sense 
of entitlement that these white protesters had to   break in and i kept picturing what it might 
have been like had these people been the   protesters that i covered so closely in ferguson 
the black people that were demanding justice and   police accountability it's very easy to see 
those people being shot frankly dead on the   steps of the capitol if they if they were black 
or brown or immigrants um and to see some of the   some of the white protesters walk away with their 
lives i think it's something that sticks with me   because to me it taught a lasting of who could be 
outraged who could break into the capital and keep   their lives and who are the people who if they 
stand peacefully on a street and demand justice   they might die just for asking peacefully for 
respect and finally amna what what stays with you   well judy as you know i spent years as a war 
correspondent a conflict reporter overseas   parachuting in and out of places where quite 
frankly scenes like this were expected um and i   said on the day and it is still true that i never 
expected to see that scene unfold in my own home   country but also on the steps of the u.s capitol 
and i think what last year has shown me is that   while america is absolutely unique as a nation 
with its democracy it is not immune from a lot   of those same forces that can wear away and 
tear away and and eat away at foundational parts   of our democracy and that includes journalism 
right a fee a free and fair press so i think what   i carry with me what sticks with me is really just 
this the sense of duty to continue to not just   report on everything we see and to bear witness 
but also to remind people about what's at stake   well the three of you were absolutely 
essential to the newshour's reporting on that   historic tragic and historic day in in 
america so we cannot thank you enough for   what you did on that day and the reporting ever 
since and of course right up until right now so   i want to thank you lisa desjardins and yamiche 
alcindor this is your last program as a newshour   correspondent white house correspondent you 
are leaving us to go on to nbc news you we   wish you the very best we're going to miss 
you you've contributed so much uh to the work   of this program uh but we will miss you and 
we thank you all three thank you so much   judy it's been an honor to to work and report 
with you and so many others on this program   thank you thank you all one year ago 
supporters of president donald trump breached   the united states capitol building in an 
attempt to disrupt the democratic process   lawmakers staffers maintenance workers capitol 
police officers and many others feared for their   lives as insurrectionists trampled barriers 
shattered windows and broke into the capital   and as a predominantly white crowd shouted 
rhesus epithets and threatened lawmakers   there was a particular concern that people of 
color would be targeted by the violence i spoke   with representatives sheila jackson lee grace 
ming and norma torres all congresswoman of color   who were trapped in the capitol that day i want to 
start off by asking you where were you on january   6 2021 what happened and and how did you navigate 
that we were looking forward to um watching   democracy you know uh unfold as we began to uh go 
through you know this process of certifying um the   election results that had already been certified 
by all states um so you know it it started as um   for me getting those alerts those text alerts 
on my phone um i noticed that of my colleagues   not all of them were receiving those text 
alerts i was sharing that information with them   really going through the process of you know 
one building after another after another   being breached by these riders that were attacking 
us and it got to a point um where i thought   we're gonna be here for a long time i never 
imagined they would breach the the capitol   itself but also um the doors of the balcony where 
i was sitting balcony number three at one point   the door swung open and it was an 
officer um in plain clothes that had been   shoved in and he would have been shoved 
in so hard that he almost lost his balance   a cell phone was dropped immediately he 
shot back and i don't know what that was   that first exchange was but i know that it was a 
violent exchange um the doors were closed locked   then he came back and picked up a phone and the 
members at this point were all watching the floor   hadn't really um understood what happened 
so i heard a lot of loud noises i wasn't   exactly sure what was going on the room that 
we were in had no windows um and so what i did   which i later regretted was turned on the 
television um and i turned on the television   and i saw images of people marching and banging 
things and i realized by seeing the images that   um they were right outside of our room 
um which made me more nervous because   the sounds were muffled even though they were 
loud so i didn't exactly know where they were   but seeing it on tv made me realize 
that they were right outside of our door   um so we started moving furniture and blockading 
the doors whatever way we could uh at about the   same time i was texting with my staff the entire 
time because we didn't want to talk on the phone i   didn't want anyone to hear me from the outside we 
had the tv on mute and i was texting with my staff   and they said something about how people in the 
chamber in the house chamber had been instructed   to put on their gas masks so i looked around 
the room where we were in and couldn't find   any gas masks so we also prepared to um to wet 
the curtains in the room there were curtains on   fake windows they're not real windows they're 
just like um for decoration and so we we got   these curtains and we were prepared to wet them 
because we were told that they could be used as uh   as a good substitute uh in case of tear gas 
being used and then there was sounds like   lock the doors locked the doors locked the doors 
and it was a sound that one had never heard   the last time that it happened it was the 
1950s and uh it was attacks inside the chamber   by uh individuals who are nationalists but it had 
not happened in the last 50 to 70 years at least   or at least between 50 and 70 years and here we 
were being told to lock the doors and there was   a matter of confusion but we began to as members 
look out for each other but embrace uh the   call to get down get down get down and literally 
we were crawling in order to make our way to   an exit that the capitol police could assist 
us still not knowing what was going on still   literally uh grabbing our belongings 
until there was a point where i was   uh crawling and bending down uh with a 
lot of scurrying going on but bending down   checking on our colleagues in front of us checking 
them and uh in back of us i just left things   on the floor i i dropped a notebook and a shawl 
and things that would keep your hands occupied   i kept a phone uh because as news was 
breaking the phone began ringing and   we we made it to a point of an exit but we were 
still uh couldn't move it was not safe enough   according to the capitol police for us to move uh 
there was slight crying i think i was astonished   i had been in the capital actually in the 
capital on 9 11.

Again i was actually in   the capital hearing gunshots um in the u.s capitol 
is not normal um hearing tear gas being deployed   and seeing the smoke rise isn't normal seeing 
a mob violently attacking officers hitting   them with a u.s flag isn't normal and every 
single person that works in the u.s capitol   has been impacted one way or another 
people were shocked to see insurrectionists   carrying the confederate flag and shouting 
racial slurs at capitol police officers   and they're even photographs of some wearing 
shirts with anti-semitic slogans on them   i'm curious to hear how did your race and 
gender factor into your concerns for your own   well-being that day as a latina as a you know as 
a female of color um we knew that we were going to   at that moment that we thought we were going to 
have to fight for our lives to get out of there   um and it as i looked around um and i saw these 
two brave members uh of congress you know two   females um trying to stand at the door uh mickey 
was one of them spanberger was another um you know   getting themselves armed with um a 
pen we had pins those were our weapons   um you know that that we had to prepare 
ourselves but thinking about when those doors   are open and this violent crowd 
walks in who are they going to   unleash their you know madness on first 
who would be the first that they grab   how are we going to protect ourselves up 
here i thought about that a lot because i was afraid that they would find me 
and i was afraid that just based on   how i looked that they would assume that i was 
not let's say a fan of president trump and i was   nervous how they would react if i did happen to 
encounter them so my thinking at the time was just   to do everything i could to avoid that situation 
from happening um you know we just turned off the   lights turned off the sound muted ourselves 
uh turned off the sound on our cell phones   um and still you know texting my staff like 
asking the capitol police to come rescue us   um so yeah we were really nervous and just 
desperately hoping and waiting for the capitol   police or someone to help help us get out of there 
but for a brief period of time i i was worried   that i wouldn't you know make it we did not have 
all the exterior um exhibitions of hatefulness   that occurred that we saw after the fact i would 
only say that i viewed myself as an american   and as a patriot that's why i was there to see 
america in her best in the transition of power   i think if i felt any extra danger it was that 
the color of your skin always draws more angst   and anger and if there was a situation where we 
were fleeing and there were people chasing us i might have had an intensity of 
fear for what they would do to me   if i was captured but i was equally concerned   about my brothers and sisters who were there 
who did not look like me but in this instance   uh the hurt was that these were americans 
domestic terrorists insurrectionists attacking   this democracy that belonged to all 
of us and so it was only after when i   knew and met the police officers african-american 
in particular who indicated the racial epithets   that were thrown against them or towards them or 
said to them and then the noose that was hanging   that was supposed to be for vice president 
pence a noose has always been a terrorist weapon   because it's always terrorized people 
and hanging is one of the most vowel ways   of dying and terrorists foreign terrorists 
use hangs and beheadings because it's so vile   and so to have a noose hung out on the 
outward area of the united states capital   i don't know if history reflects whether 
there was ever a news was anyone ever hung   on the grounds of the united states capital 
then this news certainly had to be the first   ugly sign of the stigma of race hatefulness racism 
since january 6 we've seen violent threats against   other women lawmakers of color you know most 
notably representative bogart's message to   representative omar and representative gosar's 
sharing a video of fantasies about the death of   representative ocasio-cortez do instances like 
that make you question whether or not the right to   feel safe while representing your constituents 
and and being in the people's house is equitably   applied um nothing about being a member of 
congress um from different regions you know   of the country is equitable um when you think 
about you know just the cost of living for example   um but what we go through um and what are 
our colleagues think about you know members   that come from let's say california 
because it is a very progressive state   it is so easy for them to you know dehumanize 
members members of color uh females it is so   easy because people allow it um you know by 
staying silent um that silence from their   constituents is a message to me that it is okay 
for their member of congress to attack somebody   that looks like me simply because i look the way 
i look simply because of the color of my skin um   and and that's not acceptable that is not the 
america you know that i grew up you know loving   being an immigrant um and you know thinking about 
the sacrifices of my parents sending me to the us   to escape the same type of violence that was 
brought upon the u.s capitol on january 6   that is the political violence that my parents 
wanted you know so much for me to get away from   little did i know that you know i would you know 
eventually have an opportunity to be a member of   congress represent my community my community 
by the way that is 70 latino um you know i go   there you know because you know they empower me 
to be there and i have to be able to do my job   um members of congress cannot be uh intimidated 
you know to go on the floor and speak about the   issues that are important to their constituents um 
my constituents are not necessarily interested in   another welfare uh program but they really 
need services they're minimum minimum wage   workers um and and just because you know they 
they can't afford to buy the luxury things that   many of my colleagues you know have and take for 
granted doesn't make them any less human it's just   it has been really disappointing i mean you know 
most people on both sides of the aisle we we   sacrifice a lot with our families and our personal 
time and that's fine we don't mind the hard work   we really believe that we are trying to improve 
the lives of people in our district but we don't   believe i don't believe that you know we signed 
up for a job where our lives should be at risk   i know that many of us are much more careful 
at doing and participating uh in very public   events with large crowds it's something that 
i'm much more mindful of than than in the past   and so it's it's definitely something that 
that is scary i mean my my mom has asked me   repeatedly you know why i can't find 
another job perhaps the safer job to help   people in similar ways so people are definitely 
very nervous and it's really upsetting to see when   um our fellow colleagues you know 
even though they're on the opposite   sides of the io uh i consider them my colleagues 
and never want to put any one of my colleagues or   their loved ones in danger of any kind and to see 
that sort of behavior come from just a few of our   colleagues is just really disturbing um it's it's 
not something that is appropriate uh at all um   in any workplace much less the people's house 
well i was outraged as a woman as a woman of color   on the attacks of congressman omar and the 
acts of violence um that happened against   my colleague from new york as well alexander 
ocasio-cortez was simply tragic and horrific there is no response to it 
but as someone who i think can look over the time that i've served and the 
ugliness that has come towards me and the   attacks and the impeachment proceedings that 
i um participated in and the vowel attacks   during that period one way or the other 
um i really stay focused on service and   i don't hesitate to say what i think is right on 
behalf of my constituents and the american people   because of the color of my skin um i i think i 
really want to focus on how unique january 6 was   and how in all of my career even 911 which 
brought people together brought members of   congress together brought america together we had 
a common enemy against us how different it was for   january 6.

And so in january 6 i think what is 
most frightening is the uh the the ripping away   uh the tearing away the fragility of democracy 
and that they're persons who took the oath who   would now want to kill me maybe or my colleagues 
a big part of your job and the responsibility that   your constituents have invested in you to to 
take on requires you to go back to the capitol   how does it feel going back there and how have 
you navigated being back in a place where you   experienced a life-threatening and life-changing 
traumatic experience i do not feel safe i have   um an extra change of clothes which you know was 
suggested uh to me by friends in law enforcement   that i should have you know a change of 
clothes and at any moment be prepared to   remove my uh my pen um and try to blend in but how 
do you blend in in a crowd when you look like me   you know i can't you can't just blend in um i it 
doesn't matter how many hoodies i put over my head   i am still you know a latina um i am still 
you know uh someone who comes from california   you know who lives in the city of pomona i i i 
can't change who i am i think the metal detectors   um have given me a little bit of relief because 
i know that every member has to go through it   i have a vest also a bulletproof vest 
in my office that i keep there um   we have gone through with my staff as to 
you know what are the emergency procedures   in our office locking the doors block barricading 
ourselves in our office these are things that you know we have taken for granted these are the 
freedoms that are guaranteed by our constitution   and these are freedoms that are no longer 
guaranteed uh to members of congress because   of the threat that we have within our us capital 
i think there's just you know a lot of resentment   and hostility even if we don't talk about it 
every day you know walking past the very glass   doors and windows where um shots were fired 
and and people were destroying property   uh it's just there's such a sense for me of a 
violation of democracy and our workplace you know   the the capital is a place where even the youngest 
of children understand somehow and get a sense   uh that it's a sacred place they they whisper 
right they they they behave and act very quietly   and respectfully um there's just a sense that 
this is a place that belongs to everyone in a   physical sense uh in an emotional sense um in 
in the true spirit of of what congress and what   the capital means to so many people across 
america and across the country and so to be there   and to to be reminded of what happened on that 
day it really just seems like such a violation   of of the basic foundation of our country and 
and democracy how do you assess whether or   not it's worth it to take those risks to hold 
public office um to be honest those thoughts   have crossed through my mind um more often in 
recent years than in the past before january 6th   but i think that serving in a time of covid 
serving in a time where in new york for example   we had many people affected by the flooding 
of hurricane ida i really feel like there's   a place and a role for me and so many to serve 
and to make that sacrifice and to help bridge   a lot of the gaps that aren't necessarily being 
met between government and the everyday people   in our communities um the services and the 
resources that government is providing and even   those that are not being provided have not fully 
reached the people in our districts and in our   communities and i feel like the risk is worth it 
because i think that i can continue to try to to   bridge that gap and to make sure that more people 
are getting more services from our government that   that they so desperately need and deserve i'll be 
darned if i'm going to allow evil forces to chase   me out of something i love won this country and 
i believe i need to stay here as long as i can   to bring her back to her higher angels and 
values even when i came to the united states   congress there were obviously two parties there 
were other political interests but we found a way   to disagree and not be disagreeable but most of 
all to not be violent having gone through january   6 gives me a reason to go back because my life 
is worth a great deal to the people that love me   but my democracy in my country is a great deal 
to all americans and i think that we have to   this is our sacrifice of this time to continue 
to push forward to be able to deliver for the   people that have been suffering for so long that 
have not been heard being that voice for them is   what keeps me going we're gonna keep telling 
stories like this for more of our coverage   of january 6th head to newshour 
i'm nicole ellis thank you for watching

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