FULL EPISODE: 1/10/21 Rep. Jayapal and American Conservative Union Chmn. Schlapp on Capitol riots

Overtime: Rep. Pramila Jayapal discusses the COVID crisis and need for economic relief
Overtime: Rep. Pramila Jayapal discusses the COVID crisis and need for economic relief
Updated: Jan. 9, 2021 at 11:22 PM EST
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Washington, D.C. – Greta Van Susteren interviewed Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash) and Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, for Gray Television’s “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren” airing Sunday, January 10, 2021. The program will also feature an interview with McClatchy White House Correspondent Francesca Chambers.

Rep. Jayapal told Van Susteren she believes “that there were people within the Capitol police and within the Capitol building that were part of helping ... insurrectionists” that invaded the Capitol on January 6. “There is no way in my mind that people could have known exactly where the rooms of the parliamentarians were for the Speaker, for the House, and for the Senate,” said the Democratic congresswoman from Washington state.

On why Democrats are calling to impeach President Trump, Rep. Jayapal said: “There is no option for us except to move quickly to remove the president. He controls the nuclear codes, he controls the intelligence agencies and he literally was part and parcel of directing these insurrectionists to take over and assault the Capitol.”

Matt Schlapp, an ally of President Trump and chairman of the American Conservative Union, told Van Susteren he was concerned there would be more violence this month based on chatter on social media channels like Parler. He also said he didn’t believe it was fair to blame the President, Sen. Ted Cruz or Sen. Josh Hawley for inciting this week’s attack.

On calls to impeach President Trump, Schlapp said: “Look, it’s going to be over in two weeks. Joe Biden’s going to be sworn in as president. His number one call is for us to unify. We cannot unify if we start with impeachment, de-platforming, canceling, trying to rebuke Josh Holly and Ted Cruz for doing what they saw as their job. We will not unify if that’s how we start this term.”

Rep. Jayapal and Matt Schlapp interview highlights are below.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal Highlights

On the attack on the U.S. Capitol and the Capitol Police’s handling of the crisis

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)

I want to be clear that this was apparently a coordinated, planned attack because there were bombs on the Capitol, live bombs. Four in total, on and off the Capitol grounds at the RNC, the DNC, and then two on the Capitol grounds. There is no way in my mind that people could have known exactly where the rooms of the parliamentarians were for the Speaker, for the House and for the Senate where Jim Clyburn’s office was, which office he —

Greta Van Susteren

I don’t even know where that is. Actually, you know what-

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)

Exactly. Most of us-

Greta Van Susteren

And I’ve been in the Capitol a bazillion times, but I don’t know where the different members’ offices are.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)

Exactly. Which is exactly my point. And so, I am very sad to say that I believe that there were people within the Capitol police and within the Capitol building that were part of helping these insurrectionists to really have a very well-coordinated plan for when they were going to come, how they were going to come and then also there are clear videos that show Capitol police opening barricades, allowing people to come in and taking selfies with some of these insurrectionists. So, I think this is part-

Greta Van Susteren

Are you saying that there were some actually involved in this? Not looking the other way, but actually involved in this enterprise?

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)

It may well be. It appears that way, both from what happened, how coordinated it was, how easy it was. Remember Greta, much to my chagrin as you know, since I’m the chair of the progressive caucus, we spent $750 billion on defense in this country. And you’re telling me that we could not protect our own Capitol, United States Capitol during one of the most important days when we were certifying the election of the next president? I do not believe that is possible without intentional action, direction from the president, from the agencies or either looking the other way, or not providing assistance.

Greta Van Susteren

When you enter the Capitol, you have to go through a metal detector, there are a series of Capitol Hill police officers staying there, inspecting much like the airport.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)

That’s right. And they’re armed. They have rifles and things like that as you know. As you go up the Capitol steps, only members of Congress are allowed up those steps. Those were the steps that were completely overtaken by this violent mob, including insurrectionists. And when you look at the damage that was done, and it breaks my heart, the Capitol building has such a history to it, but windows were broken in. I was in the gallery above the floor because there were a limited number of people allowed both in the gallery and on the floor and I was one of those people sitting in the gallery above, and so we had to take the gas mask out from under the chairs, but we were stuck in the gallery. So, the speaker and the leadership were ushered off, members of Congress that were on the main floor of the chamber were taken off, but we couldn’t get out.

And so, I was on the floor right there, looking over the banister as the Capitol police were barricading the main entry to the chamber and standing around the doors with their guns drawn. And we heard those shots fired into the chamber. And then of course, later we saw the footage of the windows that were bashed in with Capitol police standing right there, by the way, and yet all of those people were allowed to leave.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)

We do know that President Trump and his people at the Department of Defense either did not provide the authorization for the National Guard to be there or that the head of Capitol police did not take it.

But there are a lot of questions here and I think my main point is that this was a deeply troubling moment to see the rise of the Confederacy. I’m not being dramatic when I talk about these Confederate flags. A noose on the Capitol hanging there and the things that were said along the way as those insurrectionists went through.

On why Democrats want to impeach President Trump so close to the end of his term

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)

On the sixth, there was the most violent and destructive assault on the Capitol since the War of 1812. And these were violent insurrectionists who came in with arms and with the intent to overturn the election. That was expressly said at multiple points. And they shot their way through the Capitol, including firing shots into the chamber of the floor, they disrupted the entire process and we should just be very clear, they were incited and fueled and assisted by the president of the United States. It is inconceivable that we did not completely secure the grounds of the Capitol

And so, this president, as we are doing our investigations, we are finding out what help was denied, but also what role the president played in directing those insurrectionists to come to the Capitol. And he is still calling them good and loyal patriots. So, this is absolutely untenable. The safety and the security of our democracy and our country is on the line and it can not go unanswered,

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)

There is no option for us except to move quickly to remove the president. He controls the nuclear codes, he controls the intelligence agencies and he literally was part and parcel of directing these insurrectionists to take over and assault the Capitol.

On Sen. Hawley and the cancellation of his book deal

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)

Somebody will publish that book. I don’t think it’s going to be an exercise of preventing free speech. Josh Hawley will get that book published or he can publish it on his own. But I think it’s a reaction to the role that he played in encouraging people to believe that this election was fraudulent. And I have to say, seemingly only for his own political benefit. That is truly unacceptable and I think we have to call out the enablers and the people who were complicit in Donald Trump continuing to do everything that he did that led up to this. They are also complicit.

Matt Schlapp Highlights

On the attack on the U.S. Capitol and President Trump’s role

Matt Schlapp, Chairman, American Conservative Union

I think no matter what your politics are, whenever you start taking on cops and running them over, and the tragic news that one of the Capitol Hill cops died, it’s just way over the line. It shouldn’t be accepted. These people should be prosecuted.

Greta Van Susteren

Why did this happen? Did the president provoke this?

Matt Schlapp, Chairman, American Conservative Union

I don’t believe it’s fair to say that Ted Cruz or Josh Hawley or Don Jr. or Donald Trump incited this with their words. I do believe that it’s fair to say there’s a lot of passions out there. I know I feel emotionally bound up, and I know a lot of Americans do, maybe on both sides, but I know the people on my side do.

On the potential of more MAGA violence in D.C. this month

Greta Van Susteren

A lot of people on Twitter have morphed over to something called Parler and there’ve been some tweets indicating there might be trouble again in the city ... Do you expect there’s going to be violence on January 19th in D.C.?

Matt Schlapp, Chairman, American Conservative Union

Let me just say, I’m concerned about it. We all need to think about the words that we choose. Using words akin to warfare is what we’re used to saying in politics. We keep saying, “It’s a battle,” and, “I’m ready to fight.” The problem is when you deprive people of their constitutional rights and of their ability to have a political speech when you curtail it, it can result in really bad things.

On Democrats for the impeachment of President Trump

Matt Schlapp, Chairman, American Conservative Union

They can’t have it both ways. The Democrats can’t call for unity and then cancel us from social media accounts, deprive us of our voice digitally, make our email systems not functional, de-platform us. If you impeach the president, if you disenfranchise Republican and conservative voters in states like Nevada and Georgia and others if you shut us down, if you prevent people from talking, Greta, it will not result in more unity, and it won’t result in more harmony.”

On a divided GOP

Greta Van Susteren

There seems to be a problem within the Republican Party right now. I mean, even Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, says that she may leave the party if the president doesn’t resign.

Matt Schlapp, Chairman, American Conservative Union

Lisa Murkowski did not come to the Senate as a Republican. She lost her Republican primary, and she came as an independent, and she caucuses with the Republicans, but she’s probably the most irregular in Republican you can count on, so she’d be the first one, of course.

Donald Trump got stuff done for almost everybody in the party, but no question he’s controversial. Right now, right now, it’s easier to walk away from him than to stand with him.”

On Cabinet members resigning

Matt Schlapp, Chairman, American Conservative Union

Elaine Chao, Betsy DeVos, two women I have a great respect for and have worked with for over 20 years …

This is a moment like I’ve never really seen in our country... people are going to make decisions. They’ve got to look at their own conscience. They got to go inside their own heart, and they got to do what they think the right thing to do is.

I think Vice President Pence tried to do that. I do think Mitch McConnell tried to do that. I think the president has tried to do that. I think Josh Holly has tried to do that. I think Ted Cruz has tried to do that. I’m speaking on my side. I’m sure there are Democrats who have done the same thing. Look, it’s going to be over in two weeks. Joe Biden’s going to be sworn in as president. His number one call is for us to unify. We cannot unify if we start with impeachment, de-platforming, canceling, trying to rebuke Josh Holly and Ted Cruz for doing what they saw as their job. We will not unify if that’s how we start this term.”

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About Greta Van Susteren:

Greta Van Susteren is the Chief Political Analyst for Gray Media and host of Full Court Press. Ms. Van Susteren is a veteran of Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNN. Her prime-time Fox News Channel Show, “On the Record,” was number 1 in its time slot for 14 1⁄2 years. Before joining Fox News, she hosted CNN’s prime-time news and analysis program, “The Point with Greta Van Susteren,” and co-hosted the network’s daily legal analysis show, “Burden of Proof.” Her legal analysis for CNN’s coverage of Election 2000 earned her the American Bar Association’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Journalism. She continues to host the weekly 30-minute program “Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren” on Voice of America, which broadcasts exclusively outside of the United States.

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