House Select Committee holds first Capitol riot hearing. Officers who battled mob testify about Capitol riot. Officers detail physical and psychological violence they suffered during Capitol insurrection. CDC urges some vaccinated Americans to mask up. CDC advises universal masking for schools. COVID hospitalizations surge in Alabama. House committee plans to examine Trump White House actions on Jan. 6.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: The Trump mob thought they were winning when they heard Officer Daniel Hodges screams of pain in that doorway when they were trying to kill him. But Daniel Hodges was winning and he was saving lives. That is tonight`s Last Word. The 11th Hour with Brian Williams starts now.
CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, once again, I`m Chris Jansing in for Brian Williams. Day 189 of the Biden administration, and today we heard from four of the police officers who are on the front lines of the battle to defend the Capitol during the insurrection carried out by Donald Trump`s supporters. They testified at the first hearing of the bipartisan House committee investigating the events of January 6, a hearing that took place at the scene of the crime, where both lawmakers and law enforcement were witnesses.
We watched the right unfold hour by hour on January 6, but today the select committee release new video of the attack during the hearing. Just a warning, some may find this video disturbing.
(NEW VIDEO OF OFFICERS ATTACKED BY CAPITOL RIOTERS)
JANSING: Along with that video came harrowing testimony from officers who were under attack as they thought for hours trying to hold the line against the rioters. We should warn you some of the testimony included a racist term.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SGT. AQUILINE GONELL, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: What we were subjected to that day was like something from a medieval battle. The rioters attempted to breach the Capitol, were shouting Trump send us, take the right side. We want Trump. I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, this is how I`m going to die.
OFFICER MICHAEL FANONE, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: I was dragged from the line of officers and into the crowd. I heard someone scream, I got one. I heard chanting from some in the crowd, get his gun and kill him with his own gun. So many of the people I put my life at risk to defend are downplaying or outright denying what happened. The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful.
OFFICER DANIEL HODGES, METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: The terrorists alternated between attempting to break our defenses and shouting at or attempting to convert us. Terrorist push through the line engaged us in hand to hand combat. Eventually it was my turn in the meat grinder that was the frontline. The terrorists had a wall of shields that they had stolen. My arms were pinned and effectively useless, trapped against either the shield on my left or the doorframe on my right. I was effectively defenseless and gradually sustaining injury from the increasing pressure of the mob.
PFC. HARRY DUNN, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: Then the crowd, perhaps around 20 people joined in screaming boo, fucking nigger. No one had ever, ever called me a nigger while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police Officer. Yet another black officer later told me he had been confronted by insurrections in the Capitol who told him, put your gun down and we`ll show you what kind of nigger you really are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Anti-Semitism was also on display that day in the form of a camp Auschwitz shirt worn by one riot suspect. You may recall that while all this was going on, former President Trump was on social media sending out posts like this one which read, "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love and in peace. Remember this day forever."
Members of the select committee made it clear that the Trump administration`s actions on January 6 have not been forgotten and will come under review during their investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LIZ CHENEY, (R) WYOMING JAN. 6 SELECT COMMITTEE: We must also know what happened every minute of that day in the White House. Every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to during an after the attack if those responsible are not held accountable, and if Congress does not act responsibly, this will remain a cancer on our constitutional republic.
REP. BENNIE THOMPSON, (D) MISSISSIPPI JAN. 6 SELECT COMMITTEE CHAIR: And while institutions and do it and while Joe Biden is the legitimately elected President of the United States, a peaceful transfer of power didn`t happen this year. A violent mob was pointed toward the Capitol and told to win a trial by combat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: The Justice Department has already told several former Trump White House officials that they can answer questions from Congress about efforts by the former president or DOJ officials to challenge or overturn the 2020 election. During today`s hearing, Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger joined his House colleagues in praising police officers. He also pointed out how partisan politics has kept the investigation into January 6 from moving forward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM KINZINGER, (R) ILLIONOIS JAN. 6 SELECT COMMITTEE: I never expected today to be quite as emotional for me as it has been, but you guys won. You guys held. I`m frustrated that six months after a deadly insurrection breached the United States Capitol for several hours on live television. We still don`t know exactly what happened. Why? Because many in my party have treated this as just another partisan fight as self- governance is at stake. And it`s why I agreed to serve on this committee. I want all Americans to be able to trust the work this committee does and get the facts out there free of conspiracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: And here`s what the Senate majority leader said today when asked about the hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you watch any of the hearing today?
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) KENTUCKY MINORITY LEADER: No, I didn`t.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not?
MCCONNELL: I was busy doing work. I serve in the Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: Meanwhile, the Capitol Police may soon be getting some financial help. The standard appears to be moving toward passing a more than $2 billion spending package that would replace funds spent since January six.
There was also important news tonight from the CDC about masks and the latest COVID outbreaks. In a reversal, the CDC is now urging vaccinated Americans living in regions where the virus is surging to mask up while indoors. The agency also called for universal masking for teachers, staff, students and visitors in schools, no matter the vaccination status. CDC officials now say new scientific evidence shows even vaccinated people may become infected and may even carry large amounts of the coronavirus. It comes as NBC News has learned that the Biden administration is strongly considering requiring federal workers be vaccinated or follow strict COVID protocols like regular testing.
With that, let`s bring in our leadoff guests on this Tuesday night. Jackie Alemany, Political Reporter for The Washington Post and author of the paper`s morning newsletter, Power Up, Jeremy Bash former Chief of Staff of the CIA and the Pentagon. He`s also former Chief Counsel to the House Intelligence Committee, and Dr. Irwin Redlener, Founding Director of Columbia`s National Center for Disaster Preparedness who advises us on public health. He`s also a professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Good to see all of you after what was a very emotional day. Jackie, what did this committee manage to do with this first hearing? What was important about how this all began?
JACQUELINE ALEMANY, WASHINGTON POST POLITICAL REPORTER: Yeah, Chris, thanks for having me on. I think the Select Committee wanted to put the political chaos that we`ve seen leading up to this first hearing of the investigation of January 6. And to put the spotlight strictly on the first person accounts from these four heroic police officers and the traumatic experiences that they had banking on the fact that these would resonate with the American public, and then sort of breaking through this bitter political war that we`ve seen back and forth between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and minority leader Kevin McCarthy. All eyes were really trained on officers Fanone, Gonell and Harry Dunn, and Officer Hodges, as they provided excruciating and harrowing graphic details of what happened that day, as they were, as the Capitol was invaded by hundreds of rioters for known described in graphic detail, being beat with a metal rod, electrode shocked with a taser. He shortly thereafter suffered from a heart attack, a traumatic brain injury and PTSD.
And more importantly, all of these officers sort of rounded up their experiences and said that what was most disheartening to them of all were that the people that whose lives they saved had now turned against them, as Fanone said, they betrayed their oath really, in trying to downplay and minimize this verity of the events that happened on January 6, and in my opinion, you know, those officers, I think, did accomplish their goals and really telling their stories with clarity and again some really gripping detail about what just happened.
JANSING: You know, Jeremy in many ways, I mean we`d heard some of these details before we had seen some similar videos before. But there was profound impact in seeing them all in the way that they were and hearing those stories that had an excruciatingly difficult sameness to them of being under attack. What was the most important thing you heard coming out of the testimony? What struck you?
JEREMY BASH, FORMER, CIA CHIEF OF STAFF: Chris, what struck me was the very clear, very direct way that this raw and emotional testimony from these four heroes made clear that this was a domestic terrorist armed attack on a citadel of democracy. It wasn`t just a riot that got out of control. It wasn`t just a hyped up march on Washington. This was an organized, planned, well-trained, well-motivated, mob violent attack that was designed to affect the policy outcome that Congress is considering on that day, and as Officer Hodges did in reading the definition of domestic terrorism, it fits that definition to a T. And I think what came out of the hearing was that in the same way that in any terrorism investigation, you have to analyze whether or not the terrorists were inspired by or directed by a higher political authority, so to that`s going to be the main challenge here for this Select Committee. They`re going to have to analyze and they have to keep their mind open without prejudging the facts whether or not there are people high up in the government who helped plan and organize and instigate this incident of domestic terrorism.
JANSING: It`s so important Dr. Redlener because it was raw, it was emotional testimony. We did as Jackie said, here, some of them talk about PTSD, about how they`re still haunted by the things that happened to them that day, how their families are still impacted, how they thought they might die. But there was also a request to do something, they want the facts known. And you`re someone who have dealt with so many people who have been through the worst disasters of their lives. And I just wonder how important the facts are for them to be able to move forward to honor their request to help them.
DR. IRWIN REDLENER, EXPERT ON PANDEMIC INFLUENZA: Yeah, Chris. I was listening to Jackie and Jeremy. And I`m thinking that, yes, I`ve been dealing with COVID for a long time when I deal with health and public health crisis. But I`m telling you, there`s something so extraordinarily, profoundly disturbing about what happened on January 6. And so there`s the big picture, of course of how could there have been such an attack on our democracy. And then the other issue, of course, is the unbelievable bravery, and courage of these officers who went through hell on earth at a time when they thought they were not going to survive, to escape that experience, without having some form of post traumatic stress syndrome, at least, would be unbelievable. I mean, they`re -- we have to support these people but we have to support them, not just individually, we have to listen to their words, we have to understand what the meaning is and what they experienced. And it`s a very complicated long term process we`re looking at, but in the meantime, you know, hats off to these people. They stood on the front lines of an insurrection and defended our country. I don`t know what higher purpose one can have a life but it was unbelievable -- it`s unbelievable. And I hope there and I know they`re getting the help that they need. And for whatever they`re left with, whether it`s psychological or physical trauma, they need to get what they need to get, and hopefully, they`ll come out of this OK.
JANSING: Yeah. And in the search, Jackie, for truth, here`s what we heard from two House Republicans on Fox earlier this evening, a very different take on the hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM JORDAN, (R) OHIO: They`re afraid to ask the fundamental question, which is, why wasn`t there a proper security posture that day?
REP. ELISE STEFANIK, (R-NY) HOUSE GOP CONFERENCE CHAIR: We need a broad scope commission that`s focused on political violence. What the Pelosi sham commission is focused on is only January 6.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: Now, Jackie, as we know, Pelosi pulled Jordan off the committee. Do you think now Republicans are concerned after what we heard today, or are we going to continue to hear the party line?
ALEMANY: That`s really excellent question and something we`re watching closely. I think the one thing that Republicans didn`t quite calculate when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, pulled all of his members from participating in the select committee was that they`d be losing their megaphone and the opportunity to sort of infuse the hearings with their own counter messaging. And quite frankly, some of the disinformation that they`ve been propagating and as you just noted continue to propagate. I also think it`s -- puts Republicans in a challenging and politically perilous position to have to attack police officers who just delivered again, this very compelling testimony. That`s why you see people like Jim Jordan, and Elise Stefanik, sort of, you know, relying on the unanswered questions of security lapses.
But Republicans have promised that they`re going to start their own parallel investigation alongside Democrats. But we`ve seen very few details from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, he told us today that that was still the plan, but didn`t provide any details of timing or what the structure of such an investigation is going to look like. And, you know, serving the rest of these members today after this ripping testimony, most of them didn`t even watch the testimony of the four police officers, and few expressed a little appetite in pursuing an investigation. Further, you had some of the same Republicans that these officers condemned for downplaying the events of January 6, doubling down on their previous claims, and reply to getting into verbal altercation with Representative Jamie Raskin about his claim that what happened on January 6, was comparable to potentially committed by a bunch of tourists.
JANSING: So Jeremy, let`s talk a little bit about the security because one of the parts that stood out to me all of it was riveting, but it was when officer Dunn talked about getting a text message about things that had been on social media about what the plan was. And as he put it, it seemed to foreshadow what happened later at the time, though, we had not received any threat warnings from our chain of command?
BASH: Yeah, Chris, I think one of the big issues that this committee is going to have to look at is what warnings were provided to Capitol Police to D.C. Metro Police, to federal agencies, and what were the response times and I think that`s going to be investigated and analyzed so that an attack like this cannot happen again. But, you know, Chris, the broader issue that I think this committee kicked off with today was yes, they`re going to analyze the physical security posture. But the big lie was the reason why this all unfolded, is the reason why Capitol Police were outnumbered 10 to one is the reason why individuals came with bear spray and weapons and beat people with baseball bats, and people lost eyes and had fingers damage and toes damage and Officer Sicknick suffered a stroke that took his life. I mean, if it weren`t for the big lie, it would not have unfolded in a mass terrorist event the way it had. And that I think is the fundamental, the fundamental job of this Select Committee to analyze that.
JANSING: And Dr. Redlener, multiple layers of COVID news today. So I want to get to in particular, what we heard about masking, it seems like everything old is new again, this is what we heard from Steve (ph) Ducey, Republican governor of Arizona, about masking indoors, "Public health officials in Arizona and across the country have made it clear that the best protection against COVID-19 is the vaccine. Today`s announcement by the CDC will unfortunately only diminish confidence in the vaccine and create more challenges for public health officials, people who have worked tirelessly in order to increase vaccination rates." That`s Doug Ducey governor -- Republican governor of Arizona. Is his concern warranted and are you concerned about some confusion? People thought their kids are going to be able to go back to school and not mask, people who have been vaccinated have been going indoors without their masks on?
REDLENER: Yeah. Chris, well, I think the governor`s interpretation is completely misguided and off base. There`s no one -- there`s no rule that says it`s only one strategy to deal with a pandemic like this. And especially since we`ve had this incredible surge due to the Delta variant, the Delta mutation, all bets are off. And people have to understand that we have to pull out all of the armaments in our shiver, in our backpack to make sure that we`ve done everything possible. The vaccination agenda is extremely critical. That must happen. And one of the reasons we`re getting these surges is that there are so many pockets in the United States that people are so under vaccinated, that they are susceptible to getting sick with the Delta variant. That is, A. And B is that yes, we do have to wear masks indoors even those people have been vaccinated. When the original ruling or guidelines came out that said if you`re vaccinate you do not need mass indoors. Well, all bets are off. Now we have a new variant that has different characteristics, different behaviors and much different ability to spread rapidly. So we need all of it. And if we don`t get all of it, we`re going to continue to see these surges after surges with possibly even other variants or mutations waiting in the wings. So this is all hands on deck now in terms of the strategies that we`re going to use now to keep people safe and keep our communities safe.
JANSING: Dr. Irwin Redlener, Jackie Alemany, Jeremy Bash, thank you.
And coming up, a top doctor in Alabama on the rapidly deteriorating situation in her state, as one health official there calls the rise in COVID hospitalizations unprecedented.
And later more stunning testimony from today`s January 6 hearing, why one of the witnesses compared that day to his deployment in Iraq. THE 11TH HOUR just getting underway on a Tuesday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SCOTT HARRIS, ALABAMA STATE HEALTH OFFICER: The rate at which the hospitalization numbers are going up is unprecedented in Alabama. Death numbers, fortunately have not crept up significantly yet. But I think past experience has taught us that that is what happens, next. Hospitals have reported that virtually all of their hospitalizations, certainly well over 95% but probably closer to 99% of their hospitalizations are occurring in unvaccinated people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: For the first time since February, the State of Alabama is reporting that over 1000 patients are currently hospitalized for COVID. Only 42% of that state`s population is partially vaccinated, merely 34% are fully vaccinated. In the past two weeks cases have surged 217% and health workers there are clearly frustrated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA THORNTON, UAB HOSPITAL ICU NURSE: That`s really sad to see people so sick and to see their family suffered. I thought that we were on the other side of it and that people may still get sick and not require hospitalization after they got their vaccine. But I was hoping that we wouldn`t have people this elegant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: For more, we welcome to the broadcast, Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo. She`s an infectious disease expert and professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is also the school`s Director of the Division of infectious diseases. It`s good to see you, Dr. Marazzo. But the numbers are disturbing Alabama adding 2667 new COVID cases. The last time as we said the state added more than 2000 in a day was in February. What`s your take with what`s happening on the ground?
DR. JEANNE MARRAZZO, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE: Well, first of all, for having us on to talk about this. To say that this is worrisome and really frustrating for us, as healthcare providers and people who`ve been out there preaching to the choir for a long time, is really an understatement. And there are several things that are really concerning. First, I think is the pace of what is happening. You mentioned the increase of several 100% over the last several days, I can tell you that just early last week in the entire state, we had about 500 people hospitalized and we are now over 1000. And I suspect that by the end of this week, we will be close to 2000. And what is so upsetting about that is that it doesn`t have to be that way. Vaccination does prevent severe disease. And almost all of these hospitalizations are occurring in people who received no vaccination. So the key is to try to get people vaccinated against this really devastating surge, which is largely here being driven by the Delta variant.
JANSING: So just to put a punctuation point on it, if everybody was vaccinated, you would have zero or near zero patients in your hospital suffering from COVID?
MARRAZZO: You know, you can never say near zero because some people are clearly -- remember, the vaccines are 94 to 95% effective. So you`re always going to have a small percent of people who are not going to be totally protected. We also have people who have immune compromised, right? We have organ transplant patients, we have people who are on dialysis, they don`t respond as well to the vaccine. But in general, all you have to do is look at other states like Vermont, for example, right, which have achieved astonishing levels of vaccine coverage. And they`re not seeing anything remotely like this. And in fact, if you graph the rates of vaccination coverage with the hospitalization rate, you`ll see that there`s a completely inverse correlation. So I think there`s no question.
Also, when we look at the people in our hospital, who are ill, we know that most of them are not vaccinated. Probably less than three, over 97% are not vaccinated. So I think the evidence is quite strong.
JANSING: So you`ve been saying this other doctors have been saying this, federal health officials have been saying this, some politicians have been saying this and yet, Alabama remains at the bottom, I think in terms of vaccinations in the entire country. I can`t imagine how frustrating that is, how do you turn it around?
MARRAZZO: Well, I think there are several things that have to happen. First of all, we have to recognize that at its best science is the ultimately nonpartisan effort, right? I mean, even governor Ivey and her op-ed in the Washington Post today made it very clear that the vaccine was an achievement of science. And it really is the sort of intervention where politics, political preference, opinions about certain personalities have no place. And unfortunately, the whole debate about COVID was politicized from the very beginning. It was really unfortunate and really has tainted our ability all along, to discredit misinformation, and to get true evidence-based scientific communication out there.
What we need to do now is revisit the evidence base for the vaccine, try to reframe it for people to say, look, over 162 million people in this country have received the COVID vaccine, we are not seeing any common safety signals. The benefits, so overwhelms any of the risks. And the benefit is not just to you personally, but it`s to everybody around you, your family and your community. So I really think trying to reframe this as a completely bipartisan, non-political issue, we got to start caring for each other, take it more seriously. We really want to go back to normal, right? It`s just everybody had this little taste of it the last several months, and it was just so tantalizing. And the only way we`re going to be able to do it is to cut down the rate of viral replication in the community, shutdown these mutants from continuing to form and really protect people who are most vulnerable to the worst outcomes of this really devastating infection.
JANSING: It is worth before we go, quoting your Governor Kay Ivey, in that op-ed, you mentioned who said the unvaccinated folks are being lied to, and that is just plumb sad. Thank you so much, doctor. We really appreciate you Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo.
MARRAZZO: Thank you. Appreciate it.
JANSING: Coming up, why one of today`s witnesses is urging Congress to investigate the hitman. He says sent attackers to the Capitol on January 6, when THE 11TH HOUR continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GONELL: In January 6 for the first time, I was more afraid to work at the Capitol than my entire deployment to Iraq. The rioters call me traitor. A disgrace and shouted that I, I an army veteran, a police officer should be executed.
DUNN: If a hitman is hired and he kills somebody, the hitman goes to jail. But not only does the hitman go to jail, but the person who hired them does. There was an attack carried out on January 6, and a hitman sent them. I want you to get to the bottom of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: More of that deeply emotional testimony tonight from the officers who defended the U.S. Capitol from violent Trump supporters on January 6.
Yet Republicans who opposed investigating the insurrection in the first place, use this first day of testimony to blame Democrats for the violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEFANIK: The American people deserve to know the truth that Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility as Speaker of the House for the tragedy that occurred on January 6. And it was only after Republicans started asking these important questions that she refused to seat them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: With us, Don Calloway, Democratic strategist and founder of the National Voter Protection Action Fund, and Mark McKinnon, former adviser to both George W. Bush and John McCain. He is of course, among the co-hosts of The Circus on Showtime.
So Don, NBC Jonathan Allen posed a question today that I think gets to the heart of the matter. And it`s this, what will Republicans defend, if not themselves, the constitution and Capitol? Do you have an answer for that?
DON CALLOWAY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: White supremacist, patriarchy. That`s about it. I mean, that`s, at this point, what the party exists, that is the unifying theology of the party. It`s not small government, it`s not Christianity. So Ted Cruz or Rick Santorum will be their standard bearer. It`s not equal opportunity.
There`s no governmental theory, or, you know, or fundamental operating principle other than the preservation of white supremacy, patriarchy. And what we`re seeing around the country is an effort to restrict other people`s ability to participate in government so as to preserve and proliferate white supremacy, patriarchy. At this point, it`s the only animating principle of the national state and local Republican Party.
JANSING: And if another key question Mark McKinnon is how could this happen? I want to plate for you this from my Lieutenant General Russel Honore on this network earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. GEN. RUSSEL HONORE, LED JAN. 6 SECURITY REVIEW: It`s my personal opinion that the database was complicit in the planning. And that delayed response that occurred in bringing in both federal assistance to the Capitol that day. He was complicit because the last I heard from him, he told them to go to the Capitol and raise hell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: After you listen to the testimony, do you come to that conclusion, Mark?
MARK MCKINNON, FMR. ADVISER TO JOHN MCCAIN AND GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, the conclusion I come to is how important it is that Liz Cheney is on this Commission, and that she has a backbone of steel, and that nobody else in the Republican Party with the exception of a couple others, like Adam Kinzinger, apparently, have had a loss of backbone, which is so unfortunate.
But I mean, the key that Honore was talking about and that Cheney testified about today or talked about was the importance of knowing every moment, not just what happened at the Capitol, but what happened at the White House. She wants to know every call, every meeting, every conversation that happened in the White House. And that`s what Honore who is talking about is that, you know, where was the executive branch complicit? What did they know? When did they know it? And what did they do about it?
And I think that is going to be very revealing. And I think that`s a big reason why Republicans like Elise Stefanik and Jim Jordan didn`t want these hearings to happen.
JANSING: So Don, do you think that that testimony gives some sort of impetus to getting those answers? Do you think it resonated with the public? Did it change anything?
CALLOWAY: It did resonate with the public. I thought it was an extraordinarily powerful hearing. I sat, and you know, I`m, as my wife would say, emotionally unavailable, but I was substantially moved. Listening to these burly, tough guys talk about how they were at their wit`s end, both physically, and mentally and emotionally on that day. These people were attacked.
And these are gentlemen who have actually been to the front of war. The gentleman who we`re picturing right now is an Iraq War veteran. These are people who have seen the worst of the worst as police officers on the street. I was substantially moved.
I was also extraordinarily disappointed by the Republican sideshow led by Elise Stefanik and her leadership colleagues on the front end. But it`s Speaker Pelosi in all of her wisdom, she is a slide character. She knew better than to give those nutjobs that platform of that nationally televised hearing to spit that craziness that she was somehow responsible for the insurrection. So, I think it worked out extraordinarily well for Democrats and testimony was very powerful.
JANSING: You know, it`ll be interesting to see whether it does change minds, Mark. Obviously, before the testimony today, there was still a brand new poll that showed 33 percent of Republicans surveyed say they`re pessimistic about their party`s future.
Is that enough to convince party leaders to change their strategy because tonight conservative media, their approach was to question the credibility of officers who testified today call them crisis actors and mock the emotion of members of the committee.
MCKINNON: Well, I would argue, Chris, that that`s part of the reason why Republicans have so little faith in the future their Publican Party. It`s exactly that because they`ve become a party of disinformation resisting. And ironically, as we saw in the hearings today, Republican Party supposed to be defending the constitution about defending the men in blue, and then we have clear testimony, clear, clear testimony from those involved from Iraq war veterans, that they were being attacked by domestic terrorists. And that`s by the exact definition of what a domestic terrorist is in the United States code of law.
So it`s not a surprise to me that Republicans losing faith and 41 percent is a lot, Chris, compared to recent numbers we`ve seen the Republican Party. So something`s going on out there. And I agree that that this testimony is so powerful and compelling, and I wish we could just mandate. We get over the issue of mandating, massive mandate that just everybody in America, every citizen has to see this testimony of these individuals and these officers because I think that would change minds quickly.
JANSING: You could not turn away from it. That is for sure. Don and Mark both sticking around. Coming up this sobering conclusion some are making about the state of American greatness. When THE 11TH HOUR continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW DOWD, FMR. CHIEF STRATEGIST TO BUSH-CHENEY CAMPAIGN: All those people that were like let`s get back to normal like whether it`s the pre- pandemic or pre-Donald Trump, let`s get back to normal. I don`t want to get back to normal. Back to normal was still a country that still needed a whole bunch of work and this moment in time, extending it over five years but especially on January 6, is a very purposeful moment for us all because it shows us who we are as a country. We`re not as great as we thought we were.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: Stark assessment there on this country in this moment in history.
Still with us Don Callaway and Mark McKinnon. So Mark was just a month ago. 21 Republicans voted not to honor the officers who defended the Capitol on January 6, with Congressional Gold Medal. What else does that tell us about where we are in this moment in this country?
MCKINNON: Well, it tells me that the Republican Party has clawed its way to the bottom. And, you know, the notion that I mean, I think we saw clearly today why Nancy Pelosi chose not to have Jim Jordan and Banks, a couple of Republican members of caucus on the committee, because they did -- they did today exactly what they would have done if they were on the committee, which is make ridiculous charges, like that Speaker Pelosi somehow had something to do with this and try and flip the deck of this narrative.
So that`s all they`re interested in doing it. They`re not interested in investigating the insurrection. They`re interested in erasing the investigate it. They`re interested in erasing the insurrection.
JANSING: And Don, I want to play you some more from Officer Dunn in today`s hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DUNN: I told him to just leave the Capitol. And their response, they yelled, No, man, this is our house. President Trump invited us here. We`re here to stop the steal. Joe Biden is not the president. Nobody voted for Joe Biden.
One woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled, you hear that guys? This nigger voted for Joe Biden. Then the crowd, perhaps around 20 people joined in screaming boo, fucking nigger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: Those words, adding to say the least a whole new level of haunting insight into what Capitol Police officers and I say officers plural of color were forced to endure that day.
CALLOWAY: Yes, I think it`s important to remembering here that despite what Tucker Carlson and other pundits on the right who choose to -- who would choose to try to erase this event from the public memory despite what they would say it`s important to remember that this is a quasi-legal (INAUDIBLE). These gentlemen were under oath. And they testified on the pains and penalties of perjury, meaning that they placed themselves in criminal jeopardy if they do not tell the truth. That means that the things he said were true, that means that they did call him F nigger. That means that they did say that they were invited by President Trump to stop the steel.
Not only as President Trump, the hitman that the officer so aptly describe them. Not only is he liable for what happened in terms of their personal injuries, as well as the injury to our national psyche, but the Republican members of Congress, the Republican members of the thought leadership, the extent that there is any thought or leadership, all of them are responsible for miseducating and misguiding the people who went to the Capitol whether or not they believe they had a righteous purpose.
I believe that they were guided there by Republican leadership, who was committed to this misinformation. And who certainly knew better, was an extraordinarily sad day in America. But I`m glad that these gentlemen were courageous and honest in their testimony. And we can only hope that the testimony we start today, the harshness of the language serves as something like the cameras dead when we saw water and dogs being turned on actual people in Birmingham and Montgomery.
We hope that these images and these words can be translated into living rooms so that people can see and understand the actual orders, and choose to do better, choose to behave differently, choose to make this country live up to the promise of what it could and should be.
JANSING: And time will tell Mark whether or not today`s testimony and what happens going forward about January 6 has an impact, a lot of people obviously looking to what 2022 will bring but I`m looking at the front page tonight of the Texas Tribune and I`m going to read you the headline, which is in a major upset against a candidate backed by Donald Trump, Jake Ellzey wins runoff for Fort Worth area congressional seat. Is that indeed a major upset?
MCKINNON: Well, yes, unquestionably it is. I mean, Trump went all in on his endorsement. And he lost and this, you know, this is sort of a Man Who Would Be King moment where we see the mortal scratch and that he believes. Well, Donald Trump bled tonight in Texas, and that sends a big signal across about to lots of Republicans everywhere, that he`s not bulletproof anymore. And maybe the pendulum is starting to swing.
JANSING: So you do think that this has implications that this does send the message beyond this one district in this one state?
MCKINNON: Oh, I think it does big time, because I think there`s lots of other races across the country now they`re trying to read, you know, just how important is Donald Trump`s endorsement? How much do I need to kiss the ring and, you know, john says, maybe not so much.
JANSING: To be continued. Again, I always like to read my Texas Tribune before I go on the air at 11:00 at night. We are grateful to Don Calloway tonight paying tribute to Morehouse College. Go Maroon Tigers. Yeah. And Mark McKinnon, thank you as well.
Coming up, the greatest of all time talks about the decision that rocked the Tokyo Olympics, when THE 11TH HOUR continues.
JANSING: Tonight it`s unclear whether decorated gymnast Simone Biles will continue competing at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The 24-year-old superstar shocked the world when she pulled out of the team gymnastics final today. Biles said she was not in a good place mentally to continue competition. The latest tonight from NBC News correspondent Tom Llamas.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
TOM LLAMAS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, the images showing the six seconds that changed everything. Simone Biles mid vault suddenly bailing out early landing hard, her face filled with worry. And then the sudden exit pulling out of the competition. USA Gymnastics initially describing it as a medical issue, but Biles later revealing this.
SIMONE BILES, OLYMPIC GYMNAST: I`ve just never felt like this going into a competition before and I tried to go out here and have fun and warm up in the back when a little bit better. But then once I came out here, I was like, no mental is not there. So I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself.
LLAMAS: Sharing more with (INAUDIBLE).
BILES: Physically, I feel good. I`m in shape. Emotionally, that kind of varies on the time in the moment. You know, coming here to the Olympics, and being the head star of the Olympics is not an easy feat. So we`re just trying to take it one day at a time and we`ll see.
LLAMAS: The four time gold medalist stayed in the arena to cheer on her teammates who kept competing with grace and grit bringing home a silver for Team USA.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s really proud of all three of us because it`s really hard losing a teammate especially someone so amazing.
LLAMAS: For days, Biles had hinted the pressure was getting to her. That shaky start during qualifying, leading to this post on Instagram. I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times. I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn`t affect me. But damn, sometimes it`s hard.
Her Rio teammate Aly Raisman weighing in.
ALY RAISMAN, OLYMPIC GYMNAST: There`s only so much that someone can take you know, she`s human and I think sometimes people forget that.
LLAMAS: Tonight, Biles with this message for other athletes facing the same struggles.
BILES: I say put mental health first. It`s OK sometimes to even sit out the big competitions to focus on yourself because it shows how strong of a competitor and person that you really are.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
JANSING: Whatever she decides for herself, we are all on Team Biles. And this light note, Team USA swimmer Katie Ledecky winning her first gold of the games in the very first running of the women`s 1,500 meter freestyle. Teammate Erica Sullivan winning this silver. We`re back with more of THE 11TH HOUR after a quick break.
JANSING: The last thing before we go tonight, a reminder you can watch THE 11TH HOUR anytime you like. Just download the MSNBC app on your phone or tablet, or download THE 11TH HOUR podcast from your favorite podcast app, listen whenever you want to.
And that is our broadcast for this Tuesday night with our thanks for being with us. On behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of NBC News, good night.