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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle, 6/21/22

Guests: Luke Broadwater, Tali Farhadian Weinstein, Greg Bluestein, Al Franken, Michael Steele


Fourth hearing focuses on pressure on states to overturn 2020 election. RNC Chair says Trump called about fake electors plan. GA Secretary of State testifies about Trump asking him to "find" votes to overturn election. Barr: Told Trump DOJ found no voter fraud in GA. Former Georgia election worker testifies about threats, harassment. Primaries in Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, & D.C.


STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: She`s going to have to defend it against Yesli Vega, one of several Latina women to get Republican nominations for the House now in the seventh District of Virginia, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: So Steve, what do we see in the pattern of Trump supported candidates?

KORNACKI: It`s interesting because you look at Georgia and you could say the headline election in Georgia or primary election was obviously the gubernatorial primary a few weeks ago. Trump`s, you know, went after Kemp, got crushed, went after the Secretary of State, got crushed. His candidates lose tonight, but like I say, the winning candidates were running on pro- Trump messages. So harder to read into that.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Steve. Steve Kornacki gets tonight`s "LAST WORD". THE 11TH HOUR with Stephanie Ruhle starts now.

STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, this stunning new details of Trump`s fully campaign in critical swing states to overturn the 2020 election, the GOP officials who stood up to their party`s leader to uphold democracy. And they faced threats of violence for simply doing their jobs, election workers unsafe in their own communities after being singled out as a former president and the active threat they face today. So in light of all of this, what does accountability look like? And where do we go from here? It is all ahead as THE 11TH HOUR gets underway on this Tuesday night.

Good evening. Once again, I`m Stephanie rule. Explosive and emotional revelations on Capitol Hill today as the January 6 Committee had its fourth hearing. The Committee argued that Donald Trump played a key role in the plot to put forward slates of fake pro Trump electors and States Joe Biden won. Senate -- state Republican officials and one election worker describe the intense pressure campaign and the violent threats they faced as Trump and his allies spread lies about election fraud.


REP. BENNIE THOMPSON, (D) MISSISSIPPI JAN.6 SELECT COMMITTEE CHAIR: These public servants wouldn`t go along with Donald Trump`s scheme. And when they wouldn`t embrace the big lie, and substitute the will of the voters with Donald Trump`s will to remain in power, Donald Trump work to ensure they face the consequences.

REP. LIZ CHENEY, (R) WYOMING VICE CHAIR, JANUARY 6 COMMITTEE: Donald Trump had a direct and personal role in this effort.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D) CALIFORNIA JAN. 6 SELECT COMMITTEE: The President`s lie was and is a dangerous cancer on the body politic.


RUHLE: We heard from Republican Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers who talked about resisting pressure to help overturn the 2020 election. Bowers told the Committee, he`d supported Trump. But today he said something very different about supporting Trump. He said this about his conversation that he had with the former President.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To quote the former President during the conversation, he told me, "The election was rigged and then I won Arizona." Did you have such a conversation with the President?

REP. RUSTY BOWERS, (R) ARIZONA HOUSE SPEAKER: I did have a conversation with the President. That certainly isn`t it that there were parts of it that are true. But there are parts that are not, sir. Anywhere, anyone, anytime has said that I said the election was rigged, that would not be true.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And when the former President in his statement today claimed that you told him that he won Arizona, is that also false?

BOWERS: That is also false.


RUHLE: Trump put out two false statements just before we heard from Bowers. He also told the Committee about a phone call he had with Trump and Rudy Giuliani after the election.

BOWERS: Mr. Giuliani came on first in niceties, then Mr. Trump -- President Trump -- then President Trump came on. And we initiated a conversation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And during that conversation, did you will ask Mr. Giuliani for proof of these allegations of fraud that he was making?

BOWERS: On multiple occasions, yes. he said that they did have proof. And I asked him, do you have names? For example, we have 200,000 illegal immigrants, some large number of 5,000 or 6000 dead people, et cetera. And I said you have their names? Yes. Will you give them to me? Yes. The President interrupted and said give the man what he needs, Rudy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you ever receive from him that evidence either during the call, after the call or to this day?

BOWERS: Never.


RUHLE: Never, never, making it no evidence. Bowers added, the Congressman Andy Biggs on your screen right now. Republican from Arizona, a very close Trump ally also tried to pressure him. Bowers says, Biggs asked him on January 6, to sign a letter to decertify the state`s slate of electors who would back Joe Biden.


Meanwhile, the Committee also said that there were people with ties to the Capital Riot at local protests that took place around the country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 1/6 Committee has uncovered evidence in the course of our investigation that Stop the Steal protests at state capitals across the country. There were individuals with ties to the groups of parties involved in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

One of those incursions took place in the Arizona House of Representatives building as you can see in this footage. This is previously undisclosed video of protesters illegally entering and refusing to leave the building. One of the individuals prominently shown in this video is Jacob Chansley. Perhaps better known as the QAnon shaman. This rioter entered the Capitol on January 6, was photographed leaving a threatening note on the Dyess in the U.S. Senate Chamber and was ultimately sentenced to 41 months in prison after pleading guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding. Other protesters who occupied the Arizona House of Representatives building included Proud Boys, while men armed with rifles stood just outside the entrance.


RUHLE: The panel also revealed that Trump went to Ronna Romney, the Head of the Republican National Committee, and of course, Mitt Romney`s niece for help in the fake electors scam.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did the President say when he called you?

RONNA ROMNEY, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIR: Essentially, he turned the call over to Mr. Eastman, who then proceeded to talk about the importance of the RNC helping the campaign gather these contingent electors in case any of the legal challenges that were ongoing, change the result of any dates. I think more just helping them reach out and assemble them. But the -- my understanding is the campaign did take the lead, and we just -- we`re helping them.


RUHLE: We also heard about the former President`s obsession with getting Georgia election officials to find those mysterious 11,780 votes. That is the number of Trump told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, he needed to overturns Biden -- to overturn Biden`s victory in Georgia. Well, today, Raffensperger explained in plain English for the whole world to see exactly why Trump lost that state.


BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: What happened in fall 2020 is at 28,000 Georgians skip the presidential race, and yet they voted down ballot and other races. And the Republican Congressman ended up getting 33,000 more votes than President Trump. And that`s why President Trump came up short. The numbers are the numbers. The numbers don`t lie. We had many allegations and we investigated every single one of them.


RUHLE: That`s a damning burn right there. People showed up to vote, and they should have to vote for Republicans just not him.

Trump Attorney General Bill Barr also gave the Committee private testimony about there being no voter fraud in Georgia. And he says he made sure, he made sure the President knew it.


BILL BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We took a look, hard look at this ourselves. And based on our review of it, including the interviews of the key witnesses, the Fulton County allegations were had no merit and I told him that the stuff that his people were shoveling out to the public were -- was (bleep). I mean that the claims of fraud were (bleep).


RUHLE: But today`s final and perhaps most powerful and really disturbing witness was Shaye Moss. She was a Georgia election worker falsely accused of being part a voter fraud scheme. She endured relentless harassment and death threats. Her mother Ruby, also accused of fraud. The lies about Shane, Ruby were amplified by none other than our president at the time. These two poll workers went after this young woman and her mother president and his lawyer Giuliani.


RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP`S PERSONAL LAWYER: Tape earlier in the day of Ruby Freeman and Shaye Freeman Moss and one other gentleman, quite obviously surreptitiously passing around USB ports as if their vials of heroin or cocaine. They are engaged in surreptitious illegal activity.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you become aware -- how did you first become aware that Rudy Giuliani, the president`s lawyer was accusing you and your mother of a crime?

WANDREA "SHAYE" MOSS, FORMER GEORGIA ELECTION WORKER: I went to the Facebook app and I`m just kind of panicky at this point. It was just a lot of horrible things there, wishing death upon me, telling me that, you know, I`ll be in jail with my mother and saying things like be glad it`s 2020 and not 1920. A lot of them were racist. A lot of them were just hateful.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ms. Moss, I understand that people once showed up at your grandmother`s house.

MOSS: They just started pushing their way through, claiming that they were coming in to make a citizen`s arrest. They needed to find me and my mom, they knew we were there.


RUHLE: Shaye Moss testified that her mother was not passing her a USB port. It was a ginger mint. Her life destroyed over a ginger mint. We`re going to have much more on their story and the threats just ahead. But we got a lot to cover.

With that, let`s get smarter with the help of our lead off panel tonight. Luke Broadwater, Pulitzer Prize Winning Congressional Reporter for the New York Times. Greg Bluestein, Political Reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. He is the author of Flipped: How Georgia Turned Purple and Broke the Monopoly on Republican Power. And my dear friend, Tali Farhadian Weinstein, former Federal and State Prosecutor in New York. She clerked for Merrick Garland and Justice Sandra Day O`Connor.

Luke, I want to share more of a Congressman Adam Schiff said earlier tonight.


SCHIFF: Really just how premeditated it all was, how it started with a big lie that the President was told over and over and over again by his attorney general, a deputy by his U.S. Attorney in Georgia by others was a big lie. But that didn`t matter.


RUHLE: Did today help us understand more of what led up to January 6, because let`s be honest, we heard that phone call between Raffensperger and Trump 17 months ago, and we`ve seen little to no consequences?

LUKE BROADWATER, THE NEW YORK TIMES CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Yeah, I think what the Committee has done with each of these hearings and did again today is, one, they have demonstrated President Trump`s criminal exposure. Each time -- each hearing had a new avenue, which frankly could be investigated and potentially charged if a prosecutor chose to do so. This time, it was about the fake elector scheme. We know the Justice Department is investigating that scheme. We know subpoenas have gone out naming some of Trump`s lawyers.

You`ve heard today for the first time direct evidence that tied Donald Trump to that scheme where he proactively calls the RNC and puts John Eastman, the conservative lawyer pushing this plan on the phone with them to further this plan.

The second thing that Committee has done, each hearing is they`ve underscored the victims of Donald Trump`s plans on the -- you saw Capitol Police Officer at the first hearing talking about her traumatic brain injury, you saw Mike Pence fleeing from the mob. And today I think you`ve heard some of the most dramatic testimony yet from these election workers, just average folks who were had their lives destroyed because of lies and defamation. I mean, when you see that clip of Rudy Giuliani and then later the president singling out average folks by name and turning internet mobs against them, and frankly, you know, endangering their lives potentially, you know, you`d have to think of all the damage that was caused by these actions. So I think the Committee has been very effective and using that sort of two part strategy for each of the first four hearings.

RUHLE: Tali, did today`s hearing put Donald Trump any closer potential criminal charges?

TALI FARHADIAN WEINSTEIN, FORMER NY FEDERAL AND STATE PROSECUTOR: Stephanie, I think it did. And no, we`ve talked a lot about whether there are going to be federal criminal charges that come after these hearings. The order of operations today was different because just focusing on --

RUHLE: Order of operations, she`s getting Junior High math with us right here.

WEINSTEIN: My mother is a math teacher.

RUHLE: There you go.

WEINSTEIN: There you go. You know, let`s talk about Georgia, because --

RUHLE: I just can`t believe you`re just talking about order of operations. OK.

WEINSTEIN: I can`t believe I just brought up my mother.

RUHLE: There you go.

WEINSTEIN: So Georgia, right, because hear what we heard from the hearing today and particularly from Brad Raffensperger was what he is already likely testify to almost exactly and an ongoing investigation in Georgia. We know that a local DA there and paneled Grand Jury back in May, he testified under oath there about possible violations of Georgia Law, of election law in Georgia, maybe even racketeering statutes in Georgia. And we got a window into what had already gone on there. And I think that that`s really important because we`ve talked a lot about federal charges, but state charges against Donald Trump, in many ways are not burdened by many of the heavy questions on the Justice Department right now about what to do.


RUHLE: But what take so long, Tali? If I walked out of the studio and I walked into Saks Fifth Avenue right now and shoplifted I would be arrested immediately and I would be downtown facing consequences within hours. It has been 17 months since we heard from Brad Raffensperger, since we heard that phone call. In the span of that time, those poll workers have been terrorized. He had time to write this in a book, publish it and go on a book tour. What takes so long?

WEINSTEIN: Well, I`m not making excuses for anybody, but a violent crime that occurs over the course of minutes is much easier to prosecute. I can tell you from experience, then something like a fraud where you need to do things like prove intent, but it`s frustrating to wait. But the DA in Georgia, DA Fani Willis has told us that she`s pretty far into this investigation. So at least for that case, it looks like the weight is closer to over.

RUHLE: Greg, you`re our GA man, give -- does everything that you heard today, line up with everything that you`ve seen over the last 18 months?

GREG BLUESTEIN, POLITICAL REPORTER, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: It does. We heard some rather guarded testimony from Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who won a convincing primary victory and he`s now running for reelection. We heard him say basically the Trump believe what he wanted to believe, despite the evidence, otherwise we heard how Trump exaggerated lies about all sorts of issues in that phone call, the number of "dead people," the ballot counting process at State Farm arena, and so on. And even when Brad Raffensperger calmly told them otherwise. Trump said he had his own version of the truth that he was relying upon.

To me one of the biggest moments of the testimony was actually as heart wrenching as we saw from Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman, it was a testimony involving Robert Siners (ph), a low level Trump aide, who was involved in orchestrating the phony GOP electoral scheme in Georgia. He told the false electors to act in secrecy and trick stayed off -- strict state capitol officers. His testimony today showed that the campaign in his words treat him in him as a useful idiot and knowingly misled him and now that he regrets it. So to me, that was just -- you know, there`s so many pawns in these schemes that were unwillingly duped, because they didn`t do their own research.

RUHLE: Hold on, did we -- he called himself a useful idiot. Have we heard from him before he was deposed? Because there`s a whole lot of time between him acting as a useful idiot, and him getting called down by the committee?

BLUESTEIN: You know, he works for Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger`s office now, in a unique twist. He`s actually the one who was hired to rebut a lot of the pro-Trump claims that were coming into the office, because he`s so close to all this, and he`s kind of had this awakening now that he realizes that the last, you know, for all this time at the Trump campaign, he was promoting those lies, not he`s trying to refute them.

RUHLE: Awakening or a new opportunity. Luke, we heard a lot about fake electors, our friend Jackie Alemany tweeted this earlier today, RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel`s directly implicates Trump and the alternate elector scheme. Do you buy that, is she really refuting Trump? Remember, two weeks ago, everyone tried to push on us, boy, that Ivanka and Jared really flipping on Trump. They weren`t as Ronna?

BROADWATER: Well, I don`t think that she thinks she`s flipping on Trump. The thing that the Committee was able to extract that information out of her, you know, what the Committee has done with many of these interviews is Trump`s allies have gone into these hearings or gone into these interviews, and they think they`re defending him. And they`ll talk to the Committee for an hour or two hours or eight hours. And -- but the Committee will get some evidence from them. And Ronna admitted that Trump called her proactively to push the fake electoral scheme.

And so she, you know, I don`t know what she said during the rest of her testimony. She may have defended him vociferously during it. But they`ve been able to use interview techniques to get information to help their case, even from people who are loyal to Trump or are friendly to Trump.

You know, I do think that that`s important, because we`ve heard about plans to have a conspiracy with John Eastman to defraud the American people. And we heard about the ripping off of Trump`s voters by the spreading of lies and then seeking donations. And you hear about potential criminal statutes violated in Georgia. But here`s yet one more statute, which is this, if people submitted fraudulent documents to Washington, to the National Archives. They could be in a lot of jeopardy, legal jeopardy. And if they were put up to it by people, if they were misled into doing that by others, then those people could be in legal jeopardy too. And that`s why, you know, some of these witnesses who say that we were pawns, they were pawns and these people above us, who were the ones really doing it, you know, that could lead up the food chain.

RUHLE: Tali, Shaye, her mother, so many of these poll workers, they`re not political, their actual patriots, a word that has been co-opted by hyper political people. What does justice look like for this woman?


WEINSTEIN: Well, the Department of Justice has had for about a year now, a task force exactly about this to investigate and hopefully to prosecute violence and threats and assault against poll workers. And of course, state prosecutors can do that as well. And, you know, Stephanie, it`s really important question because we bring criminal prosecutions not just to bring justice to the victims of the crimes that already happened, but to create an atmosphere of safety. Because I was listening today and thinking, who would want to be a poll worker to step up?


WEINSTEIN: And participate in democracy in the electoral process, when now it means possibly taking on a risk to the kind of threat and danger that these women testified about today. So it`s important for law enforcement to step in and say no, that`s not OK. And there is going to be accountability for that.

RUHLE: I`m sure, hope there is, Tali. Always good to see you, talk in order of operations, Tali Farhadian Weinstein, I hope your mother`s watching. Luke Broadwater, Greg Bluestein, thank you all so much.

Coming up, more testimony from long time Republicans, even one who campaigned for Donald Trump in 2020, what they`re saying today about the former guy, and will it matter?

Plus later, much more on the threats and harassment public servants are facing for doing their jobs, and why it matters for future elections? I might need Tali to lead that segment. She`s asking the right question, who would want these jobs? The 11th Hour just getting underway on a very busy Tuesday.




THOMPSON: You`re the speaker the Arizona House and a self-described conservative Republican, you campaign for President Trump and with him during the 2020 election. Is it fair to say that you wanted Donald Trump to win a second term in office? Please?

BOWERS: Yes, sir. Thank you.

THOMPSON: And is it your understanding that President Biden was the winner of the popular vote in Arizona in 2020?

BOWERS: Yes, sir.


RUHLE: It is worth noting we are hearing a lot from longtime Republicans in this investigation. Right there, that was Rusty Bowers, he supported Donald Trump. But he told committee members today, "I do not want to be a winner by cheating."

I want to bring in two very special guests, former Minnesota Democratic Senator right here in New York with me, Al Franken. He is the host of The Al Franken Podcast. And Michael Steele joins us, former Chairman of the Republican National Committee and former Lieutenant Governor of the State of Maryland.

Al, you are an elected official, the preservation of our democracy is everything. That is the whole ballgame.


RUHLE: But do you think voters realize that?

FRANKEN: Unfortunately, I think a lower percentage of voters realize that there used to be when I was even 10 years ago, 20 years ago. I think polling shows that. And that`s, of course, tragic. And this president -- or this former president attacked our democracy what he tried to do. He led a conspiracy to try to overturn a legitimate democratic election.

I don`t understand why everyone is having such a problem saying we -- there`s nothing prosecutable been proven. I think, you know, remembering Jerry Maguire, You Had Me at Hello. Trump had me at 11,780. That`s -- that is a conspiracy. I mean that is -- he was threatening Raffensperger. We heard that today. He was threatening election officials. Sure they`re prosecuting it in Georgia. But it`s a federal election. It`s a crime, the idea that he has led a conspiracy to overturn a democratic election. And that is, I`m not a lawyer, but I played one. And that`s criminal.

RUHLE: Michael Steele, former Senator Franken just laid it out for us. And it`s distressing that more voters don`t put the preservation of democracy higher. Think about corporate donors, think about corporate America, right? Whenever there`s something big and they`re at risk of losing employees or losing customers, they step in. They`re dead silent here. Does that not tell you it`s worrisome that again, people vote on what affects them not offends them, they`re not realizing this affects our future.

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: I think that`s very much the case. It`s all about how they weigh these things in their lives. You have for the past couple of weeks now, Stephanie, made the case about the economy and the role that that`s playing in shaping people`s attitudes. I break it down along a more political line, people are setting up values. So what do you value right now? Do you value the price of a loaf of bread and a gallon of gas more than you value the right to vote and the prospects of re empowering a political party that literally tried to rich the democracy away from us?


So the realities are stark. And I think that we have to be sober about that. Because this November, voters are going to go to the polls, and they`re going to look in their pocketbooks and see less change, they`re going to look in their bank accounts and see less savings, they`re going to look on their kitchen tables, and probably see fewer meals, because of the cost of things. And that is going to be something that I hate to have to say it, the Republicans are going to take advantage of it, they`re actually going to play that card to remind voters that the most important thing is that two things one, the Democrats have ruined the economy. And secondly, the culture piece, which is they`re grooming your kids, and those two narratives will converge. And it will be a price that the country will ultimately pay come February, March next summer, going into 2024.

RUHLE: And Al, this was Trump`s playbook 2020. What we are seeing laid out over the course of these hearings should be extraordinary and disturbing to all Americans. If it`s not, if there are not real consequences, are the wheels just going to come off come 2024?

FRANKEN: Well, Judge Luttig laid it out. He presents a clear and present danger. And yeah, there are headwinds, as Michael said, against Democrats here. But I do see that these hearings are much, much more effective than I thought they were going to be.

RUHLE: How so?

FRANKEN: Well, it`s -- first of all, it`s produced incredibly well. Everything`s done very clearly. We`re getting one shocking except I`m not shocked by any of it. You know, I`m not, but I think they`re -- you know, I wouldn`t be shocked if in the next hearing, we find out that Trump is the one who designed the gallows. I mean, there`s nothing that that shocks me. But it -- I think the American people who are watching this, and I`ve seen some polling, it`s not a huge increase.

RUHLE: A lot of people are watching.

FRANKEN: A lot of people are watching and a number of Americans a percentage of Americans who want to see him prosecuted have increased. And listen, number of people have said this now, but I`ve been saying that the only thing worse than prosecuting him is not prosecuting him. And we have to this guy led a conspiracy to overturn a legitimate democratic election that`s as bad a crime as you can commit.

RUHLE: We got more to cover on this story. Al Franken and Michael Steele don`t go anywhere.

When we come back, I want to talk about death threats and harassment for people just doing their jobs after a wave of lies about the 2020 election. More of what we heard from several public servants today, and what it means for the future, when THE 11TH HOUR continues.



RUHLE: One of the most striking parts of today`s January 6 testimony concerning the threats and intimidation people faced, do you know why? Because they went to work. They did their jobs. Watch this.


BOWERS: They have had video panel trucks with videos of me proclaiming me to be a pedophile, and a pervert and a corrupt politician.

MOSS: Wishing death upon me, telling me that, you know, I`ll be in jail with my mother and saying things like, glad it`s 2020 and not 1920.

RAFFENSPERGER: I was getting texts all over the country. And then eventually, my wife started getting a text and hers typically came in a sexualized attacks which were disgusting.

GABRIEL STERLING, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, GA SECRETARY OF STATE`S OFFICE: You committed treason may God have mercy on your soul with a slowly twisting GIF of a noose. And for lack of a better word, I lost it.


RUHLE: The Committee also included video of angry Trump supporters showing up at the homes of public officials to demand a different fraudulent election outcome.

Let`s discuss Al Franken, Michael Steele, still with us. Mr. Steele, I turned to you first, we have now witnessed what the web of Trump lies does to people. I want to share some of Professor Jason Johnson`s reaction how he felt about what some of these poll workers are experiencing.


JASON JOHNSON, THE GRIO CONTRIBUTOR: You know what happens to people on the Supreme Court when they get threatened. They get security paid for by the Senate, but not regular black people who are just doing their jobs, not people who have lost their name, the ability to go to the grocery store, the ability to just live their regular lives for having the audacity to stand against the white nationalist coup that masquerades as the Republican Party.


RUHLE: Michael, put politics and policy aside, shouldn`t common human decency be a core principle that all of us should follow?

STEELE: Stephanie, you ask me --

RUHLE: These women can`t go to the grocery store.

STEELE: You ask away too much, girl, come on now. Come on, stop it. I mean, this not what our politics is about today. I mean, you know, we know, we`ve watched it, eat people alive. We`ve watched it, eat men and women up who try to serve the public good. We`ve watched it, eat men and women up who -- who`s, you know, who don`t have fancy titles, but are just workaday folks, right, as we`ve seen from the testimony.


So this is the nature, the corrosive nature of our politics, you know, these very same people who are out here, you know, threatening and, you know, doing this in the name of God, these good God fearing Christians are the first ones to find the rope for the news, are the first ones to come up in your face with a gun to threaten you, to you know, threaten your family, to sexualize your behavior as a pedophile. It is corrosive. It is the worst of the underbelly of our country. And I think Dr. Johnson -- Jason Johnson, put his finger right on the heart of it. And, you know, the question becomes ultimately, what how do we respond to it as citizens?

Right now, everyone`s kind of like, oh, OK, what do I do with this? Well, you`ve got to, you`ve got to step into it is what you got to do. And I don`t know if people really want to, we`re here, because this is where we want to be. When we don`t want to be here any longer, we move on, right? That`s the way it`s supposed to work.

But as I just said, in the last segments, Stephanie, there`s an election in November. What are the polls showing you? People are more concerned about their self-interest than they are about the democracy, and they`re fretting about things that are important, but I`m telling you when they strip away your right to vote, your right to freely assemble, and the other rights that you enjoy, and I tell all the Trump people this time and time again, don`t think they`re not coming for you at some point. Because you`re just a means to an end and when you are no longer of use to them. Josh Hawley, you know, and company, guess what happens to you, just ask Mo Brooks, what happens to them? He lost his primary tonight because Trump un-endorsed him because he didn`t like something he said, seriously, people get a grip.

RUHLE: Al, you`ve experienced firsthand what it`s like when they come for you. You know what a smear campaign does? How did it make you feel to watch this that the President of the United States reached all the way down to a poll worker?


RUHLE: And had her life terrorized?

FRANKEN: Giuliani call Ruby Freeman a professional vote scammer and hustler.

RUHLE: She was given a mama mint. She was exchanging a mint with her daughter.

FRANKEN: This is again, I go back to Luttig in clear and present danger. This is brown shirts, is what we`re looking at when these mobs come for people. And that`s what, you know, actually, we had a guy Camp Auschwitz sweatshirt, we had the Confederate flag. And this is kind of what the Republican Party allowed. Not Michael`s Republican Party, but a lot of the Republican Party now has become and that`s what a lot of it was talking about.

RUHLE: Did you think when you left office, did you think we`d end up here?

FRANKEN: It wasn`t this bad when I left office, but I do take your point about smear campaigns.

RUHLE: I want to share another person involved in this today, Ron Johnson and I want to share a bit of this. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much did you know about what your chief of staff was doing with the alternate slates of electors?

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): I`m on the right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you`re not. I can see your phone. I can see your screen.


FRANKEN: Oh, that`s great.

RUHLE: Ron Jackson was faking being on the phone because he doesn`t want to answer questions.

FRANKEN: That`s -- I used to actually make fun of senators who did that because every once in a while, you don`t want to answer question. So I used to go around like this.

RUHLE: I`m on one.

FRANKEN: I know I did this.

RUHLE: You did this.

FRANKEN: Yeah. I go like I`m on the phone and then if I saw tester I go, hey, John, give me a call. And -- but this is ridiculous what he was doing, but they finally got to talk to him. And he said like, oh, I didn`t know anything about it. And like, my yeah, my chief of staff did it without my knowing. No chief of staff goes to hand the vice president fake elected or list of faith electors without asking their boss. That`s ridiculous.

RUHLE: OK, that`s blaming a Chief of Staff. Michael, we heard from a former Trump employee who said I was just used as you useful idiot. This is the same argument otherwise you`re using, oh it got so crazy but I`m on team normal. What do you make of this there`s no team normal?


STEELE: No there`s no team normal and and you weren`t a useful idiot, you were a willing participant. You did it because you believed the grift, you believed in the lie, and you believed in the man who is at the center of all of this. And the reality of it is accountability, accountability, accountability. And somebody at some point, this country has to hold these suckers accountable. You just do. And it goes back to what Al was saying in the last segment, you know, the -- you know, the telltale signs are there. You know, the law is laid out, we`ve seen the evidence. As you notice, Stephanie, 17, 18 months later, a book deal and all kinds of interviews, and we still have not seen justice even come close to the neighborhood let us, alone the doorstep of these individuals. And so I think we need to be clear about accountability here.

RUHLE: I can talk about this all night but I got a phone call, so I have to go.

STEELE: I got what do, Al. I got to talk to you bro.

FRANKEN: Yeah, later.

RUHLE: I`ll call you guys later.

We are so grateful that Michael Steele and former Senator Al Franken join us tonight in studio. It is so good to see people in person. We don`t have to call.

Coming up, we are tracking election results on this Tuesday night including some contests with clear insurrection connections. So that means Steve Kornacki is in the House at the big board when THE 11TH HOUR continues.



RUHLE: Today was yet another election day and polls are officially closed in primaries, in Virginia, in D.C. as well as run offs in Georgia, Alabama and Arkansas. And so you know that can mean only one thing. Steve Kornacki is at the big board right now. Steve, what are you watching?

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, here`s the biggest statewide story. It`s the Republican Senate runoff in Alabama here. Katie Britt soundly defeated Congressman Mo Brooks. There was quite a drama over the last year here. Mo Brooks got endorsed by Donald Trump. Then Donald Trump withdrew his endorsement. Then Brooks still somehow made it into the runoff with Katie Britt pleaded with Donald Trump to re-endorse him. Trump responded to that by endorsing Britt. So Britt wins big. Alabama deeply red states, she`s the heavy favorite to win the Senate term this November from Alabama.

Couple House primaries in Georgia, we had the runoffs today and got some clarity, got some answers here. A couple of interesting ones here. You have a Trump endorsed candidate here, Jake Evans, who was blown out loses this Republican runoff in the sixth district of Georgia. Also in the 10th District of Georgia, Vernon Jones, endorsed by Trump blown out. So again, Georgia, where we saw Trump take some hits a few weeks ago, with Brian Kemp going after him and losing with Brad Raffensperger, the Secretary of State, and losing. He takes a few more hits in terms of endorsements not winning in Georgia, though it is worth noting that these victorious candidates like Mike Collins in the 10th District, ran and very Trump friendly platforms. Collins says the 2020 election was stolen. Trump should rightfully still be president.

We also had a couple of house prep races primaries to show you in Virginia. These are going to loom large in the general election. The Second District of Virginia near Virginia Beach Republicans have nominated Jen Kiggans, she is going to run against Elaine Luria. This will be a closely watched race. And in the seventh district, Abigail Spanberger, the Democratic incumbent elected in the blue wave of 2018. She is going to be facing off against Yesli Vega, one of several Latina Republican candidates will be running this fall, Stephanie.

RUHLE: All right, Mr. Kornacki election night, you know that means Steve`s in the House. Thank you so much.

Coming up, he`s a Trump supporter, who said despite almost unfathomable pressure, he simply could not break his oath. One of the most moving moments from today`s testimony when THE 11TH HOUR continues.




BOWERS: He said, just do it and let the court sorted out. And I said you`re asking me to do something that`s never been done in history, the history of the United States.


RUHLE: The last thing before we go tonight, I will not do it. Russell Rusty Bowers, hardly a household name. But he is considered a diehard conservative, a pro-Trump Republican. That is why what we heard from the Arizona State House Speaker about the enormous pressure he faced from Trump himself and his allies to remove and replace Biden electors was so very striking. Bowers says he saw all of this as a violation of his oath to the Constitution. And he explained why doing such a thing was simply unthinkable to him.


BOWERS: So as far as I was concerned for someone to ask me, in that -- I would call it a paucity, there was no, no evidence being presented of any strength. Evidence can be hearsay evidence, it`s still evidence, but it`s still hearsay, but strong judicial quality evidence, anything that would say to me, you have a doubt, deny your oath. I will not do that. And on more than one occasion throughout all this that has been brought up. And it is a tenet of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired of my most basic foundational beliefs. And so for me to do that, because somebody just asked me to is foreign to my very being, I will not do it.


RUHLE: Forget politics, watch these hearings if you care about decency, humanity, honesty, it is a tenet of my faith. His dedication to the truth recently caught the attention of the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. Last month Bowers was one of the five people given its Annual Profile and Courage Award for Caroline Kennedy called, His Steadfast Integrity.

And on that note, I wish you all a very good and safe night. From all of our colleagues across the networks of NBC News, thanks for staying up late with us. I will see you at the end of tomorrow.