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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  February 1, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PST

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and "the washington post" on the careful cured nation of pro-trump groups, including groups with ties to militia and white supremacists ahead of the attack. they have brand-new reporting on the coordination with and incitement of the insurrectionists. "new york times" writes this, the forces of disorder were summoned and directed by the departing president who wielded power derived from his near-infallible status. wow. through outhe was enabled by influential republicans motivated by ambition, fear or misplaced belief he would not go too far. the times also details the deadly calculations to support
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the big lie, the lie that would end up being the catalyst for the deadly insurrection. we took the times reporting and put together examples of our own of the disinformation these republicans peddled during the 77-day period in conjunction with trump's disinformation. we show it only as evidence -- >> this is a fraud on the american public. this is an embarrassment to our country. >> because they watch joe biden's democratic party steal the election in philadelphia, steal the election in atlanta, steal the election in milwaukee. >> everyone who is listening, do not be quiet. do not be silent about this. we cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes. >> the media doesn't get to decide who the winner is. >> president trump is 100% within his rights to look into irregularities and weigh his
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legal options. >> we need to fight back. we lose elections because they cheat us. >> you can't ever accept when they steal, rig and rob -- >> let's have trial by combat. >> we won this election and we won it be a landslide. if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. >> no one cheated, no one lied, no one stole on the democratic side. we learned from the "new york times" reporting on friday that gop members' tied to extremists are also under scrutiny. law enforcement also reporting finding evidence of coordination of the assault on the capitol among the rioters them photographs from "the washington post," quote -- fbi agents are working to unravel the various motives, relationships and goals of the hundreds who stormed the capitol. some inside the bureau have described the capitol riot
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investigation as their biggest case since 9/11, and a stop priority of the agents' work is to determine the extent to which that violence and chaos was brie prand and coordinated. that piece also notes this update over the weekend an indictment friday night charged a member of the proud boys, dominique with conspiracy saying his actions showed planning, determination and coordination. william pepe of new york was also charged with conspiracy. the investigation into the insurrection and the role of the trump gop and spreading the disinformation that served as both the match and kind link is where this hour. mike schmidt, and also michael steele, former chairman at the ann and former u.s. claire mccaskill is back.
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the thing that strikes me is, one, they knew at the time what they were saying was untrue. they were saying it to placate donald trump. and, two, it's not evidence against all of them, whether criminal or in a trial, but evidence that their words caused death and destruction. >> that's the part they can't walk away from. you can talk about unity and dance around a lot of, you know, noise, but the reality of it is we listened to you for the run-up of this election. we listened to you on election day. we heard what you said after the election about it being stolen. so, yeah, this is -- this is exhibit a against all of them for contributing to what happened on january 6th. you cannot walk that back. so i think, you know, the smart political thing to do in the face of all of this, which we know they won't, is to say, my
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bad, we got that wrong. we were wrong about this, but yet and still, they're still engaged in it. you still have this level of noise out here from some that continue to perpetuate the lie. so whether it's in the form of a taylor greene and what she's saying, and the fact that mcconnell seems befuddled about how to deal with it, or anyone else it all feeds the continual narrative that the gop has bought into what donald trump started out about the election. they refused to move off of it, and they're going to ride and die with it. >> it's still so staggering, just to hear you saying it all out lloyd. claire mccaskill, i think with this reporting and recreation of
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the timeline -- i hate to use this in the gutter, but they're in the toilet bowl, this muck, this dirty underbelly of american political sociy.ook an investigation is going and the arrests. they are arresting members of the proud boy, they are moving towards charging the conspiracy and perhaps more serious charges of sedition. the so that reel, the peel that were listening, stormed the capitol, erases any doubt about where the conversation was between. it was between republicans and the president and white supremacists, proud boys on the other side, who carried out the crime, that they thought they were directed to carry out. >> mitch mcconnell made a cool calculation in the days after the election. he knew what donald trump was going to try too do. he knew it was wrong. he knew it was a lie, but he was trying to hold power in the senate. everything he did in those 77
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days was all about -- up until the georgia runoff election, was all about winning the senate seats in georgia. he was in a box canyon. he thought if he placated trump, trump would do what he needed them to do to pronot those candidates in georgia and get them across the finish line. of course donald trump didn't care about that. all he cared about was himself. it's one of the few times you see mitch mcconnell make a very bold mistake. if he would have just done the right thing, the outcome would not have been any different, but maybe he could have saved in lives in the process. >> that's some of the most stunning part of the new reporting is this window into what claire just described quite accurately, his calculations and his staff trying to hold the line.
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he lost cross anyway. >> and people who are working on he legal team, that at some point the president was going to give up, and that he wasn't going to take this far. i find that a bit surprising. if you look at the president's pattern of behavior throughout his four years in office, to see that he would question the election to the ends of the earth, was not surprising, they thought the norms were going to kick in. they thought that the president was going to act like a typical president who has lost an election. that just never happened. and as we wrote in this piece, almost 8,000 words anchored by our colleague jim ruttenberg, the events build on themselves from early november, with the
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claims about dominion, the specious claims about foreign interference, and or the gobbledygook from giuliani. they build and build and build on each other unthat bookend being january 6th, as the election is being certified. you see how the president cooked up these doubts and feelings amongst his base, and the result being, obviously this ugly, ugly insurrection. >> mike, i want to read more from the piece, because it is the most comprehensive i think explanation of what you just said, how it all build on each other, almost like bricks, laid one on top of the other. it also defies this nothing that everything -- because trump is so chaotic, what he does -- it actually was quite well coordinated. as trump's official election
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campaign wound down, a new campaign stepped into the breach to turn her fury into a movement of its own, reminding key lawmakers at key times that denying the will of the president called windchill for america first had tied to mr. trump, then seeking presidential pardons, among them steve bannon and michael flynn. flynn had already received his, but bannon got his on the last day. what role did that play in how involved bannon was in the president's final act? >> flynn is not pardoned until a couple weeks after the election on the eve of thanksgiving. there was a period of time in there where he had a chance to show his loyalty to the president. obviously bannon in real legal jeopardy. in flynn's case -- in bannon's case, he was awaiting a trial. he really, really went out of his way to help the president and to take his supporters --
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bannon's supporters, bannon's followers and throw them behind this. you just see how the combination of these different factors coming together, the senate election in georgia being one of them, the giuliani's efforts, you know, going around the country, going to state legislatures to bring this up, and then ultimately just the simple fact that the president of the united states at the time he the largest bullhorn in the country, and that simply by talking about this, by sowing this doubt, whether it was on twitter before he was kicked off -- his was not doing a lot of media during this period of time, when he did speak out publicly, it just shows the power of what happens when the person with that bullhorn wants to use it to undermine the democracy for their own ends. >> you guys also report during
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the campaign attorney general barr it echoed some complaints of voter fraud, but privately he was chafing at barr's resistance to the more authoritarian efforts. the president dismissed the department's derelict before finding other officials there who would view things his way. we know how that ended, too, through dramatic reporting in the times as well. did this relationship, though, really break off over barr not manufacturing fraud and finding julianist and the others, i think you describe him as clowns? >> i think trump's relationship with barr deer tier yates as the summer goes on, the durham investigates, whatever the president thought was going to come of it does not come out publicly. the president wanted barr to be doing a lot of different things on biden that barr was not going along with. so i think there started to be a
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deterioration. look, i know a lot of people see bill barr as the president's loyal lawyer, the dream candidate cabinet member that he had in the attorney general he always sought. and in many ways bill barr was that to the president and how he helped with the mueller investigation and such, but when it came to the election, barr was unwilling to go along with the president. he was unwilling to play along with something that he thought there was no evidence to back up. i think that -- it may turn out to be one of the more substantial things that happens, because i think barr has stanchal sway with middle of the road republicans. if barr with thrown his weight behind the president's efforts, i think it could have had a significant effort. barr was unwilling to go along with what trump wanted. >> michael steele, for that end, the tragedy was barr wasn't able to stop before trump's lies
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became deadly. there was an off-ramp before the lies led to death and destruction, and every republican in the house voted for impeachment now living in fear, and all but not even hold an impeachment trial. bill barr is the up country's top law enforcement official, had the opportunity to create a safe place. i think the other half of the tragedy is he didn't find his conscience ten minutes earlier. >> well, there's a lot of truth to that, but i think it goes back to what mike was say how this thing evolved. you can can go back to the lafayette park moment where i think barr realized the gravity in terms of that response, maybe all of the hot noise inside the
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bubble belied the truth that was on the striae, you know, this administration had crossed a lot of wrong lines, and i think there was also this thinking that it would never actually lead to an insurrection, that as much as people beat their chests, they just like him. they just really like each other. they just get along, but they don't understand and appreciate how deeply some of those folks feel and how these translate that feeling into action. they were defending their man. you heard these folks say, i'm here because donald trump asked me to be here. i'm doing this, because i'm trying to save my country for trump. so, you know, i think barr, as this whole thing started to devolve, certainly in the post-election period realized, wait a minute, now we're getting into this territory in which i
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am participating in treason, i'm participaing in insurrection more directly. i think that was a bar he could not cross. >> claire, that is the on rinse/repeat cycle of the trump presidency, the people who are there try to walk the line. i think they always tell folks privately, you have no idea how much worse it would have been if i wasn't there, but when you pair the barr reporting in this times report with earlier reporting about the relationship with trump and chris wray, basically going off the rails in the summer after he refused to manufacture antifa as an equally legal and ominous threat as right-wing supremacists, you see that trump really did succeed in bending the rule of law and distorting it. claire, i want you to read some
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of that times reporting on somehow it distracted from the far-right threat. the message from trump was quickly embraced and amplified by barr and top homeland security officials that translated it into a shift in priorities, even as mr. trump was beginning to openly stoke the outrage that would ultimately culminate in storming the capitol. this piece of reporting makes clear that this chafe was almost as sort of violent, if you will, as barr's refusal to manufacture fraud, the fbi was seeing a far greater threat. wray testified to it in the summer, but the president was obsessed about manufacturing as equally ominous threat, when there wasn't one, from antifa. >> mike was right, trump had this bullhorn of spreading this
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misinformation in the days after the election, but he also had the levers of pow tore distract and direct resources away from the real threat to the threat that he thought would serve him politically. this reporting is remarkable, the 77 days article. people should real every word of it. take the time to read every word of it. it really does lay out how we can lose it in a democracy. you know, i've just got to say here, nicolle, one of the things that just made barr go bonkers was rudy giuliani. look at what this guy was able to do. all trump needed was this buffoon whispering in his ear, and he followed giuliani to two impeachments. rudy giuliani is the star of this buffoonery. donald trump had the job, but rudy giuliani, in all of his clown car of lawyers in those 77
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days, that had to embarrass barr, that should go down in history with the guy as maybe not as much blame as donald trump, but it's damn close. >> mike schmidt, since claire just encouraged everyone to read all 8,000 words, i'll give you the last word. can you give us more color on whether barr is%ed to have been associatd with the giuliani efforts? >> so barr never really spoke out publicly against giuliani. it's sort of a theme of barr, never publicly going after the president, but privately being more sort of direct. obviously that has less weight with the public than the other, but in terms of giuliani, in our story, we talk about barr says to trump, look,he's no role
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for the justice department to overturn state election counts. and then barr refers to the president's legal team, the group led by giuliani as clowns. so the attorney general is in the oval office, telling the president of the united states that his lawyers senior clowns, and the president paused and said, maybe. but by the time barr left the office, barr was not convinced that trump understood there was nothing to back up the claims they was making about the election, and there was a general feeling around those close to the president that nothing was going to change his mind. >> that's an interesting anecdote. it does seem trump became more and more convinced of his lies as time went on. mike schmidt, congratulations to you and your colleagues on what
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really is a stunning piece of reporting. it looks like donald trump is relying on his same old lies in defending himself in his next ia
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