tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC January 8, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST
days from now. the president's decision comes as the walls are closing in on his presidency. clinging to power has hundreds of lawmakers, former trump cabinet officials and even the conservative "wall street journal" editorial board now call for his removal from office now. there is movement on capitol hill today with speaker pelosi asking joint chiefs chairman mark milley to prevent an unstable president, these are her words, from initiating military hostilities or nuclear streak. another impeachment of the president could begin as soon as next week. days after the horrific mob violence resulting in five deaths, among them a capital police officer dying overnight from injuries suffered during the attack. all of this chaos ripping through washington as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the country, with another devastating record daily death toll, more than 4,000 people on thursday. and now more than 366,000 total
american covid deaths. joining me now to talk about all of this, nbc white house correspondent and "weekend today" co-host peter alexander and "washington post" white house reporter ashley parker. peter, and i should call you chief white house correspondent, your title as of today, with kristen welker, so congratulations, the president refusing to follow in the footsteps of so many predecessors, still not conceding but acknowledging overnight in a video that there will be a new administration, while the pressure is mounting and there's pressure on his team not to jump ship. now we're even hearing that the without counsel cipollone is considering leaving. can you take us through all of that? >> reporter: andrea, there's a lot to walk through given what we've seen in the course of the last 12 hours since the president posted that video overnight as you note, which was way different than the video earlier where he said of his supporters, many of them that turned into rioters, he said "we love you," he praised them, he said they were very special.
in this new video, after pressure, i'm told, from some of the president's top aides, he changed his tune and was much more critical, condemning those who took part in the riots taking place, saying basically they should be faced with all that the law has to deal them at this point. so the president obviously changing his tune, backing down. but as you know, he did not concede in that initial -- in that statement that went out overnight. and today, even though he promised an orderly and seamless and smooth transition, he said he's not going to attend the very inauguration to take place here in washington on january 20, and again, in a separate tweet, he sort of back-pedalled on his criticism of a lot of his supporters that were involved in those riots that took place earlier this week, describing the 75 million people who voted for him as great patriots, saying they will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way. obviously, andrea, there were a lot of people around the president in his orbit who are
furious with the way he's handled this. as one former aide to the president described it to me, this was a lay-up. this would have been easy for the president, while the mob was storming the capitol, to just call on them to call it off and he did no such thing. it's where we've now seen treasury secretary, elaine chao, mitch mcconnell's wife, notably, and betsy devos, education secretary, announce their resignations. and there's apparently more resignations to come. there's pressure from the outside on some people to stay inside, chad wolf, acting home land security secretary, because the president's republican allies recognize that the next few days could be dangerous. >> elaine chao, veteran cabinet
official in several administrations including george w. bush's, now education secretary, leaving. ashley parker, the impeachment being a house vote, we know how uncertain any prospect in the senate would be for a conviction, there is increasing reporting, including from nbc news and "the new york times," you people as well, about whether the president will pardon himself or his family. and he is talking about it to aides. >> it's worth remembering, andrea, this is something, just the general idea of having sort of the consecutive authority to pardon himself as the president is something president trump has sort of, as a theoretical exercise, been intrigued with since when he took office. in the early days, before sort of everything had gone so awry and there might have been specific instances you could point to that he would want to pardon himself from, this was something he had discussed with aides back in the early days of
his administration, this power he possibly had. he's always loved generally the power of the pardon. he came into the white house thinking it was a bit like a monarchy, it wasn't through legislation where you have to deal with lawmakers from capitol hill. the pardon is one of the clear powers the president has. now of course when aides are explaining to him and trying to get him to realize he is potentially in real legal peril, his family is potentially in real legal peril. it is something of course that he is talking about, he is intrigued by, and the fact of him potentially being in trouble for inciting this riot or his son don junior potentially being in legal trouble for inciting this riot, in talking to people in his orbit is one of the few things that's actually gotten through to him, and which prompted the video from yesterday, which is probably as close to a concession as donald
trump is likely to get. >> ashley parker and nbc's peter alexander, thank you so much. virginia congresswoman abigail spanberger is a former cia case officer and i should add parenthetically, i know from our producers on the hill how helpful you were in protecting the reporters who were not getting protection from capitol police at critical moments during the lockdowns, thank you for that. these are people on the front lines as well and very precious to all of us, as is everyone on the hill. i want to read you more from speaker
pelosi's extraordinary new statement today. she wrote, i spoke to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff mark milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike. the situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous and we must do everything that we can to protect the american people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.
what's your response to that? >> well, andrea, i want to thank you for having me on and i would like to begin by expressing my condolences to the family of officer brian sicknick who was a capitol police officer who died as a result of his injuries that he sustained while trying to protect people within the capitol. members of congress, our staff, members of the media. and his staff is one that we all mourn together. i would like to begin by expressing my condolences to the family. as it relates to speaker pelosi's statement this morning, we have seen what has happened when this president has taken his refusal to truly acknowledge the results of this election, his desire to stay in power, and taking it to the next level just on the 6th, as we were preparing for the joint session of congress, he incited what became a riot of insurrectionists who
broke into the capitol, terrorized people inside and created havoc and resulted in the deaths of multiple people including officer sicknick. and so i think that it is incredibly important that the joint chiefs of staff and speaker pelosi have these unthinkable conversations about ensuring that in his final 12 days, the president of the united states is not able to do further damage to our democracy and the state of world affairs than he has already done. >> and also asking you about -- and our condolences as well to the family, the friends and colleagues of the capitol police officer, isn't this the result of a failure of leadership, leadership in the security, leadership perhaps in the city, leadership from certainly the president of the united states? >> i think there is an absolute
failure of leadership, certainly it starts at the top. it starts with the president of the united states rallying his supporters in anger and with vitriol and with conspiracy theories to go march on the capitol, to go to the capitol, denying the election that occurred, the results of the election, within the capitol police and within the security apparatus. certainly there's a failure to prepare for what we saw. but i will say this, for those of us who are in the chamber of the united states congress as people stormed the capitol, the memories that are most vivid to me are the fact that we had capitol police officers who were barricading doors with benches, i was in that room, with benches, with tables, yelling and screaming, working hard to protect everybody in that room. while i have supported and have called for an investigation with more than 100 of my colleagues into what went wrong, because
clearly from these views, something absolutely went wrong, i am grateful for those who worked and fought to keep everyone in the building safe, members of the media, members of congress, our staffs and their colleagues within the capitol police. but we need a full investigation, because what occurred just this week is unthinkable. it's an absolute break in what should happen and we need to be prepared in the event that unfortunately we see any future attacks like this one. >> we've learned from a member of the democratic leadership team that impeachment could move to the house floor as soon as the middle of next week. one thinks, with 12 days now to go, what is the point, when there's so little time left and certainly the senate is not going to take this up and convict. >> you know, i think every option should be on the table. i have called on the vice president of the united states to invoke the 25th amendment. clearly this president is unfit
for office. he provoked an insurrection and an attack against the united states capitol during a joint session of congress. we as members of congress and our staffs and people throughout the capitol were sheltering in place, were lying on the floor, with a donning gas masks, because of an attack on the united states capitol that this president provoked. and i think it's important that we take a strong stand to designate and affirm that this president should not continue to be in office. it is my hope that the cabinet will do the right thing, recognizing the threat. and they are most aware of the threat that he poses which is why you have seen former close advisers, former cabinet members, and former people within his circle speaking aggressively about the fact that he should no longer be in office. while there are only 12 days left, 12 days is a lot of time to do immense, immense damage. it is also about ensuring that
looking towards the future, we remember this day in the united states' history, when the president of the united states provoked an attack on the united states capitol and across the board, we make sure that we are counted, that our opinions are made clear, that this is never, never acceptable. so i do hope that the cabinet will do the right thing. but if they choose not to, then i think all options will be on the table. >> congresswoman abigail spanberger, again, thank you for everything you've been doing. thanks for being with us today. >> and andrea, if i could just say. >> yes. >> ime i wanted to say, because was with members of the media, when we were huddled in the chamber and were evacuated out, given all the attacks on the media we've witnessed, as we were hurrying past, with capitol police trying to protect us, members of the media were continuing to take pictures and
take notes so this day in american history would be well-documented and i want to say thank you to all of the colleagues and all of the members of the media who were there that day to make sure every american knows what happens so we can ensure it never happens again. so thank you very much, and thank you for having me. >> that is very well-said, in our instance it was haley talbot and frank thorpe and of course kasie hunt and all of our people, garrett haake on capitol hill. it took an hour and a half for maryland governor larry hogan to get pentagon sign-off to send his national guard troops to the capitol, just across the district line. the question is, why did it take so long? maryland's republican governor larry hogan joins me later this hour. and the former white house communications director who says it's time for president trump to step down, joining me ahead. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. dry, distressed skin that struggles? new aveeno® restorative skin therapy. with our highest concentration of prebiotic oat intensely moisturizes over time
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those who are suggesting impeachment or the article -- 25th amendment, that's time consuming. i wish he would just do what nixon did and that's step down. somebody ought to go up there and tell him, it's over, plane's waiting for you, you're out. >> retired four-star general and former secretary of state colin powell with savannah guthrie today on the "today" show, expressing his disgust with the president's behavior, a sentiment also growing in the
republican senate caucus. former senator bob corker joins me now. >> andrea, good to be with you. >> thank you very much. obviously you have traveled the world and know more about foreign policy and national security than most people. let's start with the president. are his words and actions now a direct threat to the national security of the united states? >> well, he's definitely lost all legitimacy. and, uh, like, i think, most people who watched what has happened and seeing him foment violence against the capitol, then stand down and let it continue, i'm looking forward to the day that he walks out. as it relates to some of the things that are being discussed relative to the nuclear weapon issue, we had hearings on that, and everyone knows the state of mind that he's in.
stability was never his strength even on a good day. and so there is no way that the president on his own accord can launch a nuclear weapon. there's someone else on the other end of that. and i think it's near impossible that something like that could occur. the flip side is that, you know, what about something happening to us, and whether people view a command from him to counter something. so that is something that does create a national security issue. i don't think, though, that people are worrying about a nuclear weapon being launched, it's not particularly realistic with the checks and balances in place to keep that from happening. >> i want to read to you from the "wall street journal"'s editorial board, they write in part, if mr. trump wants to
avoid a second impeachment, his best path would be to take personal responsibility and resign. this would be the cleanest solution since it would immediately turn presidential duties over to mr. pence and it would give mr. trump agency, a la richard nixon, over his own fate. >> i love the "wall street journal"'s editorial column, i read it twice a day. the thing, andrea, that i think people have to think about is, look, i cannot wait for him to exit, if he resigned early, i think that would be great for our nation. but you have to remember, he does the victim thing. that's how he -- that's how he maintains his power. that's what the core of his base loves, is the fact that he is a victim. and so i not only want him to walk out the door, i never want him to walk back in the door of the white house. i want his power relative to the political issues in our nation, to be greatly diminished. and so what would happen if an
impeachment proceeding started, what would happen is his base would rally to his cause. and so while i hear that, and certainly under the circumstances that type of discussion is warranted, the fact is all that would do is strengthen him. and for me, i just want him out the door and i want him never to return. and anything that may be done to cause him to curry even greater favor with those loyalists that he continues to have, to me is not a good thing for our country. >> senator, the two senators facing the most scrutiny right now in the caucus are ted cruz and josh hawley. josh hawley started it, ted cruz followed, in challenging something that's constitutional, that's symbolic and ceremonial, and they're both experienced lawyers and know better. >> yes. >> josh hawley of missouri is now being condemned by former
senator john danforth, dean of republican politics in missouri, saying supporting josh hawley was the worst mistake he's ever made in his life. what does this do to their future in politics, if any? >> i read the letter. i went down this path, if you will, with senator cruz, who i think is a very talented person, and i never give up on anybody, you know, you never know when somebody is going to surprise you. but this is exactly what he did in 2013, where he shut the government down by creating this bogus way of ending obamacare. and unfortunately there were about 12 senators that followed him, just enough to do the damage that they did to our country. billions of dollars wasted, and it certainly hurt the republican brand. so this is the same kind of thing, you raise money off doing these things that are impossible. that's just the minor part of
it. the bigger part of it is, because senators signed on, acting as if they would be a part of this undoing of the electoral college, it raised hopes. people thought something might happen. and so there's no question that because some senators offered an objection, it raised the hopes of those people who were out on the mall that ended up coming in and being a part of this seizure or insurrection or whatever you want to call it. so it was irresponsible. terribly irresponsible. they knew better. i'm very glad that vice president pence did what he did on the floor. what i would have liked even more is the very first time that the president said, and the vice president can, i wish vice president pence would have said, no, no, no, even if i could do it, i would never do that. so that happened right before the president made his speech, the day that they were there,
they then came up. so there's numbers of things along the way that could have been done by -- that would have -- where people would have known there's no way that this election could be overturned. and unfortunately it didn't happen. and yes, senator cruz, senator hawley, played a very destructive role in this. and what it appears, you never want to question people's motivation, but what it appears, in a way, to launch them in the event that president trump didn't try to run again, to run for president. >> the future of the republican party is really up for grabs. it's a big question. please come back soon, we have a lot to talk about, it's very good to see you, senator corker. >> thank you, good to see you. right now, breaking news from the biden transition team, big news on the vaccine front. nbc's mike memoli joining us from wilmington. what have you got, mike? >> reporter: andrea, even with
the events of this week, the biden team has been trying to convey the message that the president-elect remains focused on preparing to take office on january 20. we're getting new information about specifically how to tackle the pandemic and dealing with this issue of vaccination and vaccine supplies. a new statement from the biden transition says that biden supports releasing available doses of the vaccine immediately and believes the government should stop holding back the vaccine supplies. so what is this about, andrea? as we know, most of these vaccines, the pfizer vaccine, the moderna vaccine, specifically require a second dose within 21 or 28 days. there has been debate even within the biden team about whether in the interests of getting the vaccine out to as many people as possible, you don't necessarily hold back supplies of the vaccine. biden weighing in very clearly that he does not think they should be holding back supplies. >> this is exactly what tony fauci told me last week that
they should not be doing because it was critical to follow the protocols of the testing. in particular, there are issues as to whether the amount of immunity without that booster shot within the time frame is going to be as effective, particularly for senior citizens. so there's a lot at stake here. obviously they have data that we don't have about just about how dangerous the spread is and what could be happening in the next month or two without immunizing more of the population. big decision today from the biden people. thanks very much, mike memoli. and meanwhile, a top white house aide who resigned in december after the president kept denying his election loss tweeted during the rioting that the president should condemn the mob, that he was the only one who could stop it. she is now speaking out after he ignored those appeals. alissa farrah worked for vice president pence as well as at the pentagon. alissa, thank you very much for being with us. first of all, tell us what led you to say that the president
should be condemning it, and what do you think he should now do? >> andrea, thanks for having me. listen, what happened at the capitol was unpatriotic, un-american, un-democratic, and a stain on our democracy. it was a tragic day, what happened on wednesday. as i tweeted, as you mentioned, the president was the one person who could have called off the mob. a simple message of saying, stand down, leave, go home and vote, but you do not attack the beacon of democracy in the u.s., the united states capitol. and it didn't happen. it called for a moment of moral leadership. i served proudly in his administration for 3 1/2 years. but innocent americans are dead because of the actions of that day and the lack of leadership in those critical hours. >> as you point out, we now have the news that the -- the tragic news that a capitol police officer has died, a total now of
deaths are connected to this riot. it's even more troubling to watch this video, filmed before the clash wednesday, by donald trump jr., showing the celebrations in the security tent on the ellipse ahead of the president's speech. the clip includes ivanka, chief of staff mark meadows. you can see meadows there with don junior. they're repeating words. that's kimberly guilfoyle who had a role in the campaign. and behind avenge you civanka y the president himself. they're watching monitors of the crowd, they're talking about fighting. how much responsibility do they all bear and does mark meadows really believe the election was stolen? >> this is a great question, andrea. it's the point that i've tried to make. and what i want to convey to your viewers is, the president lost the election, and he knew he lost the election pretty quickly afterward. i was in the white house for several weeks after the election
results were called and we all knew it. we knew it would take some time to process it. there were legitimate questions of fraud, of irregularities, that we were going to go through a legal process to look at, but we knew we lost it. but the narrative started, it's been rigged. it's dangerous. i want point to the innocent woman -- i should say, the woman who died in the mob in the capitol, she was an air force veteran. she heard from her commander in chief saying your election was stolen, your vote, the votes were rigged, your democracy is falling apart, and she must have thought she needed to stand up. actions and words have consequences. in a moment that called for honesty with the public, the president didn't do the right thing. >> alissa, if it becomes an issue of legal culpability and accountability for inciting a riot, one of the issues with the
president's comments, repeated comments, constant tweeting, rallies, is that the election was rigged and stolen. and some people have said that he's deluded, that he didn't understand. you just said, as someone who was in the rooms where it happened, that he knew pretty quickly that he had lost this election. >> i believe that he knew he lost and that those around him did. and that's why it was very troubling for me to see the public misled. there are good -- you know, 74 million people voted for the president. many of those are good, hard working americans who believe in the policy agenda of the trump administration. and they believed his words. i have friends and family saying, oh, no, alissa, i think he's still going to pull it off, and i had to say, guys, this isn't going in a different direction, biden won, this is a democracy, our politics are cyclical, it is okay and actually it is a good thing that we have changes in leadership. and the lack of honesty with the public, you know, ended up having deadly consequences.
>> let me ask you about the fact that you did resign in december when it was clear the president had lost and was saying to the contrary. but you did stay on when the president said that the proud boys should stand by, in that debate, and refused to condemn qanon, separated migrant children from their parents. some people might say what took you so long to resign. >> it's a fair question. i've always believed when asked to serve your country, you should seriously considering saying yes, it's our duty as americans, and i was asked to serve. i was at the department of defense, it was my dream job, it was where i wanted to be, but i was asked to come back and serve in the trump white house. the second side of that would be, i also think it's important to have people in the room who are going to speak up. i offered a lot of private counsel that i'm proud of and that i stand by. and i also want to convey to your viewers, andrea, and you know this, there are some very good and decent patriots still in the trump administration.
and it is a good thing that they're going to stay through the final ten days. i think of my friend robert o'brien, pat cipollone, some of these individuals who will keep this to an orderly, smooth transition and look out for the best of our country. those are the people you want in leadership. i fear who might step into the role if not me. >> i want to ask you about vice president pence whom you served so loyally and for so long. he was in the lockdown, he was in a bunker along with, separately, speaker pelosi, others in the chain of succession. from our understanding, the president of the united states never called the vice president. and in fact, according to a lot of reporting, we'll get more on this later in the program, delayed the deployment of the national guard and defense reaction to come to the aid as the mob continued to run unchecked through the capitol, when the vice president was at risk, there were even threats,
we understand, from reuters, threats of some of the people who were hunting him down and looking and saying they were going to kill the vice president. how could that happen to someone who stood so loyally by the president, and to great criticism, loyally stood by when so many things were happening? >> there's no excuse for it. my heart aches not just for the vice president who i believe to be a man of the highest integrity. but our entire, you know, chain of leadership, the speaker, the leader, the minority leader, in the capitol, in danger, reporters, staffers. this is not something that should happen in our country. and ei have said it before, i'v spent time in fragile democracies in different parts of the world. that didn't look like america. it's not who we are. it's not who we are as a republican party. i'm proud with the number of people who have come out and unequivocally come out and said this is wrong, i condemn it, we're going to build a new bond
from this moment. we're better than this. >> alissa farrah, former white house director of strategic communications for the trump administration, thank you very much. thanks for being with us. and the nation's capitol remains under a public emergency has questions swirl about how the response to the riots that overwhelmed the halls of congress failed. d.c. mayor muriel bowser joins us next. many people with type 2 diabetes like emily lower their blood sugar. a majority of adults who took ozempic® reached an a1c under 7 and maintained it. here's your a1c. oh! my a1c is under 7! (announcer) and you may lose weight. adults who took ozempic® lost on average up to 12 pounds. i lost almost 12 pounds! oh! (announcer) for those also with known heart disease, ozempic® lowers the risk of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, or death. it lowers the risk. oh! and i only have to take it once a week. oh! ♪ oh, oh, oh, ozempic®! ♪
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you, or them, because that couldn't be further from the truth. >> them. >> i know that you know that we plan for first amendment demonstrations all the time. part of that planning is whether d.c. police, who patrol d.c. streets who keep our city safe, will need additional support. so on december 31 i requested the d.c. national guard. let me, for your viewers, make very clear how it works in the district. the district doesn't actually have its own national guard. i don't have a guard under my command, in other words. the d.c. national guard reports to the secretary of the army, who reports to the president. so when i need national guard support, i request it from the secretary of the army, which is what we did. our national guardsmen were deployed in the district before the rally or whatever you want to call those demonstrations
began. and it is important also to note that i advocated, when i learned that the capitol had not in fact made that request of the army, to get those troops moving to the capitol as soon as possible. >> so i just want to flag, for clarity, you wrote, the letter of january 5, to the pentagon and the justice department, that said you were not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel, which could be homeland security or fbi or others, because, you wrote, we are mindful that in 2020, mpd, metropolitan police, was expected to perform the demanding task of policing large crowds while working around unidentifiable personnel deployed in the district of columbia without proper coordination. so -- >> in that -- >> -- what happened last june with the george floyd protests was a disaster, you had border patrol, you didn't know who they
were. was that on your mind? >> i think those federal forces or definitely national guard should definitely have been on the grounds of the capitol and capitol building, which of course i have no jurisdiction over. my letter refers to what we need on d.c. streets to keep the district of columbia safe. it was a letter to demand coordination. as you rightly point out, in june we didn't have that coordination. we saw not only troops from around the country come on d.c. streets. we saw bureau of prisons, unidentified personnel on our streets. so that was certainly on our mind. but it does not stop us from having the national guard troops that we needed, nor would it stop the capitol from requesting that type of support. >> the d.c. police chief told "the washington post" that there was no intelligence that suggested there would be a
breach at the u.s. capitol. our reporters, nbc and other organizations who have covered these groups, say that they were tweeting on facebook, calling for independence day. so there was a lot of public source material that they were planning violence. >> i do think there is definitely a lot of questions that need to be asked around intelligence gathering from the fbi and all intelligence gathering organizations. and that's why i called for a commission, a bipartisan commission for the congress to investigate what exactly happened. andrea, i have to tell you, another question that my residents, district residents are asking, is the federal government, in june and throughout the summer, had a full-on dispatch of resources to washington, d.c., not only to protect federal buildings like the white house and the lincoln memorial, but they were
dispatched to d.c. streets. and i think what people can see very clearly is, why it's so important that in our city, that the mayor has control of the national guard. so we don't have to go to the secretary of the army to ask for supports, that we don't have to go to the secretary of the army to adjust how national guards men and women are deployed in our city, and so those troops are fully reporting to the mayor of the district of columbia, so that i'm accountable for their actions and accountable to the residents of d.c. >> that is clearly an issue, and i know statehood is always top of mind for all of us who live in the district. i also want to ask you about the inaugural and the prospect that the safety and security of everybody involved, also of the people on the streets, what planning is going on now. i know there's been a lot already, leading up. but clearly this has to sort of upgrade whatever was planned
before. >> well, i certainly agree with you. inaugural planning, as you know, takes place over the course of the year. and there's full integration with all of the federal agencies. i expressed a similar urgency to both congressional leadership and to the presidential pick, the presidential campaign who is responsible for part of the inauguration planning. so i expect more full federal integration for protection of all of the events. >> we thank you for being with us today, and best of luck with everything that's going to happen going forward, because this is a critical time, obviously. >> thank you. >> with the inauguration coming up. thank you so much, mayor bowser. >> thank you. joining us now to talk about all of this, how could so much go wrong in the military chain of command, as a mob was joining the capitol?
i'm joined by someone who knows a lot about this, helaine cooper, "new york times" reporter who has reported extensively on all of this and what went wrong. there were literally hours of delay. we'll talk to larry hogan, governor of maryland. you've heard his account, he was trying to get permission to send the maryland national guard across the border and could not reach the authorities until, you know, apparently 4:40 in the afternoon, when the secretary of the army said okay. that was well after the 2:00, 2:15 breach of the capitol. >> well, hi, andrea, first of all, it's nice to see you. i think there is a lot of -- there is a lack of understanding about what the pentagon can and can't do. in a lot of ways, at least the view at the defense department is that a lot of people right now are trying to have it both
ways. for months now, we have seen the pentagon get raked over the coals, defense officials say, about the george floyd protests back in june where you saw so much -- we had congressional hearings about the military role, you've heard again and again, particularly democratic congressmembers saying they want the military to play no role in any kind of election -- any kind of [ inaudible ]. and the military has been told several times and has promised several times over the past few months that they would stay out of the election, election protests. and then you turn around and have this, the breach of the capitol on wednesday. so we can go into the semantics over the timeline of when the
national guard deployed. mayor bowser had asked for 340 national guardsmen troops, she was given them before the protest. pentagon officials say when she asked for more, they okayed the request and sent them in. there seems to be a lack of understanding of how quickly national guard troops who have not already been put on standby can actually get to the capitol. so there are sort of the linear -- the details of the timeline of when they got there. but even when they did get there, they still stayed unarmed, they didn't even have nonlethal weapons, and they stayed in the back, establishing a perimeter, because mayor bowser, according to defense officials, had repeatedly said that she didn't want to see helmets in the capitol, she didn't want to see a militarization of washington, d.c. and the pentagon also says that
capitol police, when they offered to come as late as sunday, declined an offer from the pentagon for help. so there are certain statutory legal things that have to be observed. and when you talk to people at the pentagon right now, and i just got off the phone with one of them, there's still a lot of anger that, one, they feel that people in congress who are complaining about how soon the national guard deployed are trying to have it both ways, because these are the same -- many of the same people who complained that they were ov overmilitarizing the george floyd protests. so either you want the military in the streets or you don't. and two -- >> let me just say, i just want to say, because we have a time issue, i want to ask you about the role of mike pence. but mayor bowser, to the
pentagon point, mayor bowser has nothing to say about what happens on the capitol grounds. that's all capitol police. >> no, that's all capitol police. yeah, that's all capitol police. >> so she couldn't have said, i don't want helmeted people inside the capitol, that's up to her. >> no, but she can say i don't want them to medicilitarize the city. >> that's correct. i want to ask you about mike pence because there's dispute from people in the pentagon about whether the vice president was calling on the national guard and the president was slowing it down. the vice president was in a bunker, in a secure place, where he had been taken out of the senate chamber. is it your reporting that it was the vice president who was pushing hard for the national guard to come in and that the delay was in part because the president didn't want it to happen? >> the pentagon, normally, if you were looking at a normal presidency, the pentagon would be on the phone with president
trump immediately, they never talked to him on wednesday at all. they interpreted an earlier order that he gave them on sunday saying do what you need to do. and they took that to mean that they could deploy. and then they went to do, and t to vice president pence with that. it was white house officials particularly, according to our reporting managed to get trump out of the way. mr. trump -- president trump did not like the idea of turning national guard troops on his protesters, and cipollone helped to push him in the right direction. >> wow. fascinating. thank you as always, "new york times" penitentiary correspondent. while the rioters were storming the capitol, those were
calling the governor for help for the national guard. hogan said the maryland national guard was ready to go but could not cross into d.c. without permission from the secretary of defense and that did not come for more than an hour and a half, at least. joining me is republican larry hogan, the governor of maryland. am i accurately reflecting what you said at the news conference yesterday? >> yeah, sure. i was in the middle of a discussion with the japanese ambassador doing a conference call when my chief of staff rushed in and told me that the capitol was under attack and we immediately got off that call and talked with d.c. and they had a requests for additional police officers, and we sent a couple hundred well-trained riot police from the state of maryland, maryland state police,
immediately started mobilizing and i had our national guard, the general of the maryland national guard start to activate our troops and we called up 500 members of the national guard. the mayor of d.c. was requesting assistance from the national guard and maryland doesn't have authority over the national guard, and most governors do and the mayor does not and you have to get it from the secretary of defense, and the generals were running it up the flagpole and did not authorization, and we kept going forward with that anyway, and steny hoyer called me and he was in a bunker and he was pleading for help, and i informed him i called up the guard but we didn't have authorization yet. we eventually got a call, we were continuing to mobilize and having meetings with our entire
security team and a little over an hour and a half later acting secretary of the army called me and basically said, you know, can you come in? i said we're ready to go and we're already en route. >> remarkable. governor hogan you have heard about the defense department about what caused the delay? >> i got a call earlier today from the acting -- it's secretary of defense who just thanked us for our quick response and thanked us for what we were doing for the nation and sending in 500 members of the guard. i said, you know, we will continue to provide them as long as they are needed. we have extended their activation through the inauguration through the end of the month to provide whatever assistance we can for keeping our nation's capitol safe, and we did not get into details about what was going on at the white house or pentagon, and i was not privy what was happening
at the other end of the call, and i can just tell you what we were doing here in maryland. >> is there any explanation from what the teams told you as why there was such a delay in getting help to the speaker of the house and others in a bunker, and five lives were lost in connection to this. >> it's tragic. we started acting within the first couple of minutes about hearing about it, with our police agencies and national guard. by the way the maryland national guard were the first to arrive. but i don't know -- look, there was a lot going on. i was out in annapolis and we're about 30 miles away, and i was not in d.c. and was not involved in those particular decisions and i have no idea how the capitol was left unprotected. we just came to their aid as rapidly as we possibly could. >> should the president resign?
>> you know, yesterday i said i thought the country would be better off if the president resigned or was removed from office. i think if mike pence could conduct a peaceful transition over the next couple of weeks until biden gets sworn in, it would be better for the country and i am not sure that would happen or not, and that's something that would help us heal the wounds and move on. we know there's going to be a peaceful transition on january 20th, but who knows what is going on in the meantime. >> should he be impeached? >> i am not sure how quick -- i mean, congress as you know doesn't act very quickly. it took us eight and a half months to get us our desperately-needed stimulus package, and the last impeachment dragged on for sometime and i don't know how they can do it in a week, not going to have that quickly. >> and the 25th amendment? >> we have been busy focused on
the vaccines and the virus and what we are doing with the guard and police. i know there's some speculation about what is happening in the discussions with cabinet but i am not sure what those discussions are. my understanding from reports is that some cabinet are having those discussions but i don't know the details of it. >> i know we're just out of time, but very briefly, if joe biden has his way and the vaccines can be distributed without the booster, are you prepared to do that, single shots quickly to the people in maryland? >> well, we're getting the vaccines out quickly. we have done over 100,000 of them in the past couple of weeks and we had a record number today, and i don't know, we are having a longer discussion this afternoon with all of our health experts to learn a little more about that. i have not heard a real solid answer yet on whether or not we can do just one use of the vaccine or not.
i know there's some discrepancies. the good news is the incoming biden administration has reached out several times to the governors and we have ongoing discussions. >> thank you. thank you very much, governor hogan. >> thank you. we are out of time on a busy day. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." chuck todd is up next here on msnbc.
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