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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, January 7, 2021

Guests: Lawrence O`Donnell, Steve Schmidt, Michael Schmidt


Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi are now leading a growing list of Democrats and a few Republicans calling for the immediate removal of Donald Trump using the 25th Amendment or they will impeach him again. Interview with Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of New York. President Trump has suggested to aides he wants to pardon himself from the final days of his presidency. Rep. Conor Lamb calls out Republicans for election lies.



And I will ask Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney what we should be looking for tomorrow now you have brought it up. I have a confession to make.

For four years, I have not known what to expect in the news tomorrow. Not for four years, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: This is why we have all aged like 30 years in the past four years. I mean, everybody that I know in the news business has developed a new physical ailment in the last four years. It is because the aging cycle accelerated to warp speed because of the constant stress and dislocation.

O'DONNELL: It used to be it just happened to presidents of the United States. We watched them age over the last four years. I think it has happened to more people in the last four years. I think you got something there, Rachel.

MADDOW: Yeah. Everybody at the news Emmys next year is going to be in a walker, just watch.

O'DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.

O'DONNELL: Well, if you were watching the House floor at 1:30 a.m., as I was last night, then you saw Conor Lamb also start a brawl on the House floor almost when he called a lie a lie. The lie he was talking about was the lie Republican members were telling about the integrity of the vote count in Pennsylvania, his state.

The lie that Conor Lamb said provoked the invasion of the capitol. Pennsylvania Congressman Conor Lamb will join us at the end of the hour tonight. We will show you the dramatic video of Conor Lamb's speech on the House floor and Conor Lamb will get tonight's last word.

Capitol police rushed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to a secure location yesterday where he remained for several hours. Joining her in that secure location was the House Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, and the Senate Democratic leader, soon to be majority leader, Chuck Schumer.

It was in that secure location last evening when Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi began discussing impeaching the president of the United States. Again. Thirteen days.

The Cuban missile crisis in 1962 lasted 13 days. It was 13 days of tension unlike the country has ever experienced with soviet missiles in Cuba aimed at the United States of America from just 90 miles off of our coast. Every day of the 13 days our lives were in the hands of President John F. Kennedy who convinced the Soviet Union to remove the missiles from Cuba.

Nancy Pelosi lived through the 13 days. Chuck Schumer lived through the 13 days. And they will never forget them. They don't want to take the risk of living through another 13 days of Donald Trump. Today, they went public with the results of the conversation they began yesterday.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Yesterday, the president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America. The gleeful desecration of the U.S. Capitol which is the temple of our American democracy and the violence targeting Congress are horrors that will forever stain our nation's history, instigated by the president of the United States. That is why it is such a stain.

In calling for the seditious act, the president has committed an unspeakable assault on our nation and on our people. I join the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the vice president to remove this president by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment.

If the vice president and cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment. That is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus.

Impeach, defeated, impeach, gone. And it's really a sad tragedy for our country. I say that I pray for the president every day and I do. Last night was the hardest day for me.


O'DONNELL: This morning, Chuck Schumer said this president shouldn't hold office one more day. The quickest and the most effective way would be for the vice president to immediately invoke the 25th Amendment. If the vice president and cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president.

Senator Schumer said he and Nancy Pelosi tried to call Mike Pence to urge him to invoke the 25th Amendment.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Speaker Pelosi and I tried to call the vice president this morning to tell him to do this. They kept us on hold for 25 minutes and then said the vice president would not come on the phone. So, we are making the call public because he should do it and do it right away.

If the vice president and the cabinet refuse to stand up, Congress should reconvene to impeach the president, plain and simple.


O'DONNELL: Today, President-elect Joe Biden said this.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Yesterday, in my view, one of the darkest days in the history of the nation, an unprecedented assault on our democracy, an assault literally on the citadel of liberty and the United States Capitol itself, an assault on the rule of law, an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings, ratifying the will of the people and choosing the leadership of their government.

All of us here grieve the loss of life, grieve the desecration of the people's house. But what we witnessed yesterday is not dissent. It was not disorder. It was not protest. It was chaos.

They weren't protesters. Don't dare call them protesters. They were a rioters mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists. It's that basic. It's that simple.


O'DONNELL: Yesterday, while the invasion was in progress, Donald Trump made a Twitter video lovingly asking the people who he had just urged to go to the Capitol to now leave the Capitol and go home. Donald Trump said, quote, we love you. You are very special.

He is right about them being "special." I have never seen a Camp Auschwitz hoodie before. Those words (INAUDIBLE) are a rough translation of the German words that were across the top of the main gate that every imprisoned Jew passed through on the way to their deaths.

6MWE means 6 million were not enough. You have to be very special to wear that on your shirt when you are invading the Capitol building because that means you believe that 6 million Jews exterminated in the Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz were not enough. Hitler believed that too. Hitler wanted to exterminate every Jew living in Europe.

We lost 291,557 American soldiers fighting and winning World War II, fighting Hitler and fighting Nazism in a war that was officially declared and funded and supported by the people who worked in that building that the invaders desecrated yesterday. That is the where the declaration of war against Adolph Hitler passed on December 11th, 1941, and yesterday, yesterday. Thanks to the people that Donald Trump sent to the capitol. Yesterday, Hitler got a little bit of revenge on that building by having some people that fully support Hitler's genocide invade the inner sanctums of the government that crushed Hitler and liberated his death camps.

Vladimir Putin had to be happy with this image of the American government seemingly coming apart. An Israeli newspaper said the Russian campaign's goal was never to push out a coherent pro-Trump message but instead to subvert America's democratic institutions and sow distrust. President Donald Trump was just a means to that.

Vladimir Putin can't help Donald Trump now. You could see how threatened and afraid Donald Trump feels today when he released a video finally conceding that there will be a new president sworn in on the 20th but he could not bring himself to mention the name of the president.

The video plays like a hostage video of Donald Trump forced to say what he thinks he has to say, now, tonight to try to hold on to his job, for another 13 days.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, Congress has certified the results. A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.


O'DONNELL: Leading off the discussion now is Steve Schmidt, a former Republican strategist who has left the party. He's an MSNBC political analyst and co-founder of the Lincoln Project.

Steve, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

This has been a 48 hours like nothing we have ever seen culminating as we just saw in what I guess is Donald Trump's concession speech, delivering exactly two months to the day after Joe Biden was projected and declared the winner by all the news networks analyzing the presidential race.

STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Donald Trump didn't do this alone, Lawrence. That is important to talk about this evening. There are four core elements that come together.

Of course, Trump is the vile leader of the cult of personality who has disgraced his office and incited an attack on the capitol of the United States. And for a period of hours, the capitol of the United States fell to armed extremists, right wing extremists, fascist extremists, anti-Semites, conspiracy nuts. But these people related to the black shirts in Italy, to the brown shirts in 1930s Germany.

These people are society's losers. They are on society's fringe. This is an army of the aggrieved and the inciting. But every time you see an autocratic movement come to life, there are other elements that work to exploit and manipulate the mob in the name of power that are far more dangerous than all of those criminals and terrorists that stormed the Capitol.

You always look for the coalition between the elites. Josh Hawley of Stanford University and Yale Law School who taught at Oxford, a clerk to the chief justice of the United States. Harvard law school graduate, Ted Cruz.

The cynicism, the sociopath, the ambition, the sickness in their souls to incite this. But you always will look for the elites in combination with these losers, plus the propagandists, the liars.

Rush Limbaugh today, a dying man, talking about he was offended that there have been calls to end the violence. Mark Levin, the Fox lineup, the people who have lied in the service of Donald Trump, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of time in support of Donald Trump's 30,000 lies.

And then, of course, the financers. How many corporations in this country signed statements in support of Black Lives Matter? And then also funded Mitch McConnell super PAC and Kevin McCarthy's super PAC which funded the new Jim Crow.

All of the efforts that were supported by the house Republicans were aimed at disenfranchising millions of black votes.

And, by the way, let's be clear about something. Had they been Black Lives Matter protesters storming the capitol of the United States I think there may have been hundreds of people killed.

At the end of the day, the conduct of the Capitol police is despicable. We see images of police opening the gates and taking selfies with the protesters. These are domestic enemies.

This is what the word domestic enemy means in the Constitution. This is the most despicable act that ever has been incited by any president. Now with 13 days left we have a diluted and deranged president who commands the world's most potent nuclear arsenal and he should be removed from power immediately.

This is why we have a 25th Amendment, and the vice president is duty bound to exercise his authority and power in the defense of the American republic, which remains even at this hour under continuous assault by the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump.

O'DONNELL: Just to clarify for the audience, using the 25th Amendment to make Mike Pence the acting president requires a majority of the cabinet to execute.

Steve Schmidt, a 35-year-old woman and Air Force veteran who should be home in San Diego tonight, she was shot and killed in the capitol building yesterday. One shot fired by a police officer. She was there because she believed the lie. She believed the lie that the election was stolen. She's very angry, record herself on video with a lot of anger about this.

And she believed an even bigger lie that Donald Trump told yesterday, that he was going to go down to the capitol with them. He said to the crowd he was going to go with them down there. And step into that line of fire. He wasn't there.

SCHMIDT: Cowards never lead from the front. They incite from the rear. But he was there, Lawrence. He was there in spirit. They were there in his name.

And so, it doesn't matter if cabinet secretaries are choosing to resign, White House staffers finding their principle with 13 days left and making arguments and releasing statements.

These are more like criminals fleeing the Fuhrer bunker in advance of the Russian army than principled men and women who faithfully executed their duty to the execution of the United States. This has been an immoral regime. We have seen the insanity stoked by $1 billion profit industry. And this is what we get.

This is the temple of democracy. This building, this Capitol Dome that Abraham Lincoln in the darkest hours of the civil war insisted be completed so the government of the people by the people and for the people would have a place to re-consecrate itself. What a tragic moment.

O'DONNELL: Joe Biden said today that I wish we could say that we could not see it coming.

Steve, I could see this coming for the four years of the Trump presidency. Donald Trump never once surprised me, not a minute of his life has he surprised me. And certainly, it's never surprised me since the first time he opened his mouth about President Obama's birth certificate in 2011, which I called the lie at the time. And last night, House members were getting very angry, Republican House members were getting angry at Conor Lamb because he used the word lie about what they were saying.

They were out there trying to pretend that what they were doing was not lying, exactly what Donald Trump tries to do every day.

SCHMIDT: The House Republican leader is a seditionist. I mean, I understand that many in the audience tonight will not approve of Liz Cheney's politics and will never vote for her. But Liz Cheney denounced the coup.

So, we have in the House a conservative leader, her name is Congresswoman Cheney, and we have an autocratic leader, Kevin McCarthy. A lot of companies in the country will have decisions to make about whether they want to support an autocratic movement that does violence to our institutions, that's led to the deaths of people on the basis of a lie. It is a lie. We should start calling it that, whether these members are offended or not.

We have a conspiracy theorist in the Congress. We have people that only parrot the foreign misinformation of hostile powers. It is a tragic moment in the life of the nation.

But nobody should say that they didn't see this coming. You know, one of the things that I said five years ago as he was running, and my criticism of Trump goes back to 2012 and '11 with those racist birther conspiracy nonsense.

But the bottom line with this is I said five years, that I thought that there was a real lack of imagination in the American mind for the practice of someone like Trump to bring about profound catastrophe to the country, with hundreds of thousands of people dead unnecessarily. We have this fool who stoked a civil war, in this country, who launched an autocratic movement with fascistic markers, and we watched the wholesale poisoning of American democracy. The faith and the belief in the legitimacy of the system that is required for a Democratic republic to survive.

The idea that one party must be willing to lose an election, and to try to assemble a coalition of the popular will of the people in the next election. That is how we make decisions. There are no other alternative forms of government available for us that protect the dignity of the human being and the freedom or conscience of the human.

The democratic tradition of the country is one of the great miracles in the world. The peaceful transition of power is the greatest thing that ever has been invented on America's shores. And a lot of great things have been invented in the country. What a tragic day.

O'DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, thank you very much for joining us tonight. We really appreciate it.

SCHMIDT: Thank you, Lawrence.

O'DONNELL: Up next, Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney was there during the invasion of the capitol and will be there as the House considers impeaching Donald Trump. Again.

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney joins us next.


O'DONNELL: The majority of the House of Representatives impossibly even a majority of the senate, 13 more days of Donald Trump is 13 too many.

The Senate Minority leader and soon to be Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to reach the Vice President Pence today to ask him to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the powers of the presidency from Donald Trump and immediately make Mike Pence the acting president.


SCHUMER: Speaker Pelosi and I tried to call the vice president this morning to tell him to do this. They kept us on hold for 25 minutes, and then they said the vice president would not come on the phone. We are making the call public because he should do it and do it right away.


O'DONNELL: Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi are now leading a growing list of Democrats and a few Republicans calling for the immediate removal of Donald Trump using the 25th Amendment or they will impeach him again.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: If the president and the cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment. That is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus. And the American people by the way.


O'DONNELL: Joining us now is Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, chair of the Democratic congressional campaign committee and a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

Congressman Maloney, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

First of all, could you tell us where you were and what you went through when the invasion occurred yesterday?

REP. SEAN PATRICK MALONEY (D-NY): I was on the House floor. I was near the center aisle where the protesters were trying to break through. So, I had a ring side seat.

O'DONNELL: And how long were you stuck in that position?

MALONEY: Well, we were in the House chamber until when they deployed teargas just down the hall in the rotunda. And they made that announcement, told us to get the gas masks under the seats and initially, I think a lot of us were determined to stay in the chamber and not let the protesters, those rioters take over that sacred space.

That became untenable when they were breaking through windows, was obviously on stake (ph), and the individual Capitol Police officers and staff were remarkable. They had literally, the staff, mostly, I believe had piled up furniture by the doors which gave us enough time to evacuate. They surrounded the chamber on three sides.

Those images you're showing are the speaker's lobby I believe. That was the -- that is the furniture piled up that you are seeing on the other side of the glass. That's what kept them out, was the staff acting quickly.

Those people don't get paid to do that and they were acting heroically. And their actions allowed probably 80 members of Congress and staff and others to be evacuated out of the only exit that was still available in the southeast side of the chamber. That's what -- that's what those people were being thwarted by. That's also, by the way, where that woman was shot trying to get through that entrance to the House floor.

O'DONNELL: Congressman, "The New York Times" is reporting tonight that Speaker Pelosi is going to have a conference call that apparently you will all join tomorrow to discuss next steps -- the next steps that could include impeachment. What are you advising on the call?

MALONEY: Right. Well, I can tell you, I spoke to the speaker earlier tonight. A number of us have been speaking about it throughout the day.

Look, I think you're going to see robust and bipartisan support, by the way, for not just impeachment but for pursuing a 25th Amendment removal strategy. That's important for several reasons. But if I can just make it a little harder on us, I think it's actually critically important that we box this president in for the remaining 13 days so that we can protect the American people and our Constitution.

It's critical that we also then remove him on January 20th, and it is equally important to some of us that he be held accountable after January 20th. So, we beat him on November 3rd. We need to box him now.

We need to replace him on the 20th and then we need to chase him thereafter with a new administration, with state attorneys general, with local D.A.s to make sure that he and his enablers are held accountable for what they've done.

O'DONNELL: President-elect Biden introduced his Justice Department team today led by attorney general nominee, Merrick Garland.

These are the people. Merrick Garland is the person to have the decision to prosecute Donald Trump on federal charges or not.

What do you -- do you have a position on what the way that you would like to see the Justice Department approach that?

MALONEY: Yeah. Well, look, first of all, that is an outstanding choice, and most importantly because we need to restore the integrity and the independence of the Justice Department.

So, what I can tell you is that the best way to handle it is to let Merrick Garland follow the facts and the law, and the rest of us should keep the politics of this. Joe Biden is going to do that because he's a good man and he remembers what's great about the American justice system when it isn't all (ph) messed up by a guy like Donald Trump.

So I'm not going to give Merrick Garland advice. But what I will tell you is that I expect there to be accountability. If this president's broken the law, if his family has broken the law, if his enablers have broken the law, they need to be held accountable.

And by the way, every last (AUDIO GAP) those rioters who came into the Capitol who's on tape, who's on social media, they need to be identified, they need to be prosecuted. There were not enough arrests yesterday.

This is absolutely not something that we can just move away from. There needs to be accountability for what those people did. And the president and his enablers on the Hill also have to be accountable.

Last point, the Republicans on the Hill who have been aiding and abetting this incumbent and who last night -- a majority of the House Republican Caucus voted to, in effect, set aside the Electoral College vote. That was last night, early in the morning we were still doing this and even after that riot. And that destruction they would have set aside the results of the Electoral College.

Every Republican in the House and Senate needs to be held accountable. They need to be identified. You are either with the American constitutional system or you are with that mob. And there is no middle ground right now.

O'DONNELL: Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

MALONEY: Thank you, Lawrence.

O'DONNELL: After this break we have a breaking news report from "The New York Times" tonight about Donald Trump talking about pardoning himself. This is new reporting by "The New York Times". Michael Schmidt broke that story for "The New York Times" and will join us next.



PETER ALEXANDER, NBC CORRESPONDENT: On the pardon power, do you believe that you are above the law and that you can pardon yourself?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No. No. I'm not above the law. I never want anybody to be above the law.

But the pardons are a very positive thing for a president. I think you see the way I am using them. And yes, I do have an absolute right to pardon myself.


O'DONNELL: That was Donald Trump thinking out loud about pardoning himself about a year and a half into his presidency.

And tonight, our next guest Michael Schmidt is reporting in "The New York Times" along with Maggie Haberman that Donald Trump is thinking out loud about pardoning himself more urgently these days. "The Times" report says that "President Trump has suggested to aides he wants to pardon himself from the final days of his presidency. According to two people with knowledge of the discussions, Mr. Trump has considered a range of preemptive pardons for family including his three oldest children -- Donald Trump, Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump -- for Ms. Trump's husband the senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, and for close associates like the president's personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. Mr. Trump has told advisors how much he likes having the powers to issue clemency has for weeks solicited aides and allies for suggestions on whom to pardon.

Yesterday the White House counsel Pat A. Cipollone warned Mr. Trump that he could face legal exposure for the riot given that he had urged his supporters to march to the Capitol and fight beforehand.

According to people briefed on the discussion, the president had appeared to White House aides to be enjoying watching the scene splay out on television."

Joining us now is Michael Schmidt, Washington correspondent for "The New York Times" and an MSNBC national security contributor.

Michael, so the pardon talk, specifically about self-pardon, sounds like it is becoming increasingly urgent to Donald Trump.

MICHAEL SCHMIDT, MSNBC NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Look, Donald Trump has a very good sense of legal problems. This is something he has had dating back many decades. And he knows that he has a very unique power in the pardon power. And that he and his family members could easily be potential targets for what has gone on in this administration after they leave.

Some of the president's -- sort of the folks think that there is really no downside to it, to letting court some day decide whether to honor it. You would never be able to go back and get it back if you don't do it.

And Donald Trump has used his power in highly unusual and extraordinary ways throughout his presidency. And certainly a self pardon would be that. The Justice Department does have a policy on the record, a one-sentence -- two-sentence policy that says that the president can't do this. But the president is not bound by that.

The president can do basically whatever he wants in this area. And a judge down the line would have to decide whether to honor it.

O'DONNELL: There has been some question about whether Donald Trump might go for a more secure version of pardon, which is to have Mike Pence pardon him the way Richard Nixon had Gerry Ford pardon him. The trouble is the president has to resign, Mike Pence has to become president to have that pardon authority.

But then Donald Trump would be getting a pardoned issued by a president, not himself. And that would be on more solid legal ground. Is there any talk of that in the White House?

SCHMIDT: I haven't heard any talk of that. but I think you'd also have to think about Mike Pence in this situation. And we just saw Mike Pence unwilling to go along with the president's outlandish claims about the constitution and what his own vice president could do.

And I find it hard to believe -- well, I don't find anything hard to believe anymore. But I think it might be a bit of a stretch to think that Pence would go to that length for the president to simply become the president to pardon the president.

The president has openly expressed that he thinks, as you were showing in that clip before, that he can pardon himself. The president thinks that presidential powers allow him to do extraordinary things.

So I don't think he would be deterred by that. Maybe his lawyers would say you would be better off to have Mike Pence do this. But I think that at this point Donald Trump probably wants to stay president as long as he can.

O'DONNELL: Yes. The challenge to the self-pardon would come only if Donald Trump was charged with a federal crime and then Donald Trump's lawyers would walk in a federal court in Manhattan where he was basically an unindicted co-conspirator in the Michael Cohen case. And they would hold up the pardon, give it to the judge and say, Judge you have to dismiss these charges, he has been pardoned.

That would send the pardon case on an appeal that could take it and probably would take it to the United States Supreme Court where we would find out how this court feels about a self-pardon.

SCHMIDT: And the Trump allies say ok, might as well just do it and let the courts make a decision about it.

The interesting that I found in working on this story is I spent some time talking to Jack Goldsmith, the professor at Harvard Law School who's sort of a pardon expert.

And what he said to me is that if Trump pardons himself, he is just kind of baiting the Biden Justice Department ever more into having to investigate him. He said the Biden Justice Department is not going to want it to stand that the president can pardon himself because it really, truly does say that the president is above the law because there is a Justice Department policy that says you can't charge a president when he's in office and if a president can then pardon himself, then there is no way to hold the president accountable.

So that the Justice Department under a President Biden would want to try and knock that out. And the only way to knock that out is to investigate the president, prosecute the president and take him to court. And if the president pardons himself, that is a potential possibility.

O'DONNELL: Yes. I was quite struck by that quote in your piece by Professor Goldsmith where he said the self-pardon would make it more likely that the Biden team prosecutes Trump. I wonder if Donald Trump is circling that quote in your report, Michael.

Michael Schmidt, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.

SCHMIDT: Thanks for having me.

O'DONNELL: Thank you.

The truth hurts. That is what Conor Lamb said to Republicans on the House floor last night who almost got into a brawl because of what Conor Lamb said about them in his speech at 1:30 a.m.

We will show you the video of that speech and Congressman Conor Lamb will join us for tonight's LAST WORD.


O'DONNELL: At about 1:30 a.m. as I was watching, our next guest, Conor Lamb rose to speak on the House floor. When the day began he intended to deliver a speech defending the vote count of his home state of Pennsylvania which was being challenged on the House floor last night by 138 of his Republican colleagues.

Congressman Lamb did not deliver the speech that he had planned to deliver before the Capitol was invaded.


REP. CONOR LAMB (D-PA): I wanted to layout all this evidence, Madam Speaker because I thought it was a sign of respect for my colleagues, for all of the Americans out there who don't know who to trust.

I was raised on that. I was raised on that respect, which makes this a hard speech for me to give. Because to do this with any kind of honesty means admitting and declaring in this House that these objections don't not deserve an ounce of respect. Not an ounce.

A woman died out there tonight and you are making these objections. Enough has been done here today already to try to strip the Congress of its dignity and the objectors don't need to do any more.

We know that attack today, it did not materialize out of nowhere. It was inspired by lies, the same lies that you are hearing in this room tonight. And the members who are repeating those lies should be ashamed of themselves, their constituents should be ashamed of them.


O'DONNELL: As tradition has it in the House of representatives, you are not supposed to call a lie a lie if a House member says it. And so Conor Lamb proceeded with his speech. As he proceeded a Republican House member from Virginia rose and asked to have Conor Lamb's words taken down, meaning removed from the congressional record.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi overruled the request saying look, you said that about me every single day so just hold your tongue. And at that point it appeared that a physical confrontation was developing between Democrats and Republicans on the floor. But Speaker Pelosi somehow kept control of the House.


LAMB: One last thing to say Madam Speaker and I thank you for your patience. All people need to know -- all they need to know tonight, Madam Speaker.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There will be order in the House. There will be order in the House.

There will be order in the House.

The gentleman will clear the chamber. The gentleman will clear the chamber. The gentleman will proceed.

LAMB: Thank you, Madam Speaker. The truth hurts.

But the fact is this, we want this government to work more than they want it to fail. And after everything that's happened today, we want that more than ever.

Know that. Know that the people watching at home. We want this government to work. We will make it work. They will not make it fail.


O'DONNELL: Congressman Conor Lamb will join us next.


O'DONNELL: Here's more of Conor Lamb on the House floor last night.


LAMB: I wanted to point out to all these great lovers and supporters of the Pennsylvania legislature that it was the Republican Pennsylvania legislature that would pass a Republican bill that they all voted for and supported, that setup the system under which we just ran the election.

And that the reason the president lost was because he was not as popular as other Republicans in our state. He got fewer votes than all of them.


O'DONNELL: Joining us now is Congressman Conor Lamb, Democrat of Pennsylvania. He's a former Marine and a former federal prosecutor. Congressman Lamb, thank you very much for joining us last night.

I was watching on C-Span so as not to miss anything on the floor when you came on. What happened? The C-Span camera doesn't show us what happens when all those members started moving across the room, moving toward each other.

Were Republicans coming at you? Were they going at someone else? What was going on?

LAMB: I don't know what their intentions were, but when they crossed the center aisle, they ran right into a man named Colin Allred who used to play linebacker for the Tennessee Titans and is a good friend and good man. And they didn't move any further past him. So I think they changed their mind real fast when they saw who was in their path.

O'DONNELL: I noticed, Congressman Swalwell sitting behind you and others kind of get up and sort of ran, I mean they moved faster than you see people move in that chamber in the direction of where the Republican seemed to be going.

And this was all because of you using the word "lie" and saying what they were doing was lying.

LAMB: Yes, I would say it was all because of their own actions and how thin-skinned they turned out to be. I don't think there's anything they could say about me that would cause me to run over to their side of the room like that.

But, you know, that was what they chose to do and how they chose to react. And they were trying to hide from the truth, you know? That as you probably saw, you know, if you watched my speech, that was a difficult thing for me to say and a hard speech to give because I actually do respect a lot of those men and I think there are good men on the other side of the aisle.

But last night was a night where it was obvious that they were blinding themselves to the reality of the situation that we were in. And what the story they were telling had done.

I mean, that story regardless of who invented it, propagated it the most, who's most to blame -- anyone telling that story last night was contributing to the violence that happened there yesterday. It's just how it was and it had to be said.

O'DONNELL: You had hours to think about what you were going to say. You had a speech planned that was going to be all about the details of the Pennsylvania vote, details that have been lied about nonstop by Donald Trump and others.

When you have the time to think about this and you got up there, how did that invasion of the House and what you experienced during the day, the danger to your colleagues and yourself, how did that affect what you had to say when you stood up?

LAMB: I think it meant that, you know, I had to -- I had to try to address the feelings that we were all having about -- to me about the way the institution was just completely desecrated by those people yesterday. I mean that was the feeling I had, you know.

And a lot of the younger members of Congress who were there, we ran for office in the Trump era. We knew this wasn't going to be pleasant. We knew that Congress is not a popular institution and was probably at an all-time low.

But we believed enough in it to try to rebuild it. And after what we saw yesterday, you know, I wanted to communicate to people exactly how low the whole thing had sunk and exactly how dedicated we were to coming back stronger than ever in rebuilding Congress and making it work.

And to do that, I just thought it required honestly about what was going on, and those men needed to hear it. And you notice they reacted very differently to my speech than others that said similar things to them because I'm not someone that would normally say that to them.

I avoid trying to call anyone a liar in this business because my own constituents have told me when two politicians start calling each other liars, they assume everybody's lying.

But last night was a moment of truth based on what had -- I mean, our Capitol was invaded. It was a moment not for Democrats and Republicans but for Americans to defend the very place that we were.

O'DONNELL: You said the truth hurts. I imagine the experience of that day hurt also.

LAMB: Look, I think it hurt a lot of people. Anybody watching at home, I mean people revere this nation's Capitol. They still believe in our form of government. They really do. It doesn't matter who they voted for in November.

We just had a record number of people vote. You know, 155 million in the middle of a pandemic. And so again, I really don't think, you know, you have to be very partisan to look at yesterday and be insulted the way we would be if we'd been invaded by a foreign power.


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