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Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on January 10, 2021

On this "Face the Nation" broadcast moderated by Margaret Brennan:

  • Chris Krebs, former CISA Director 
  • Sen. Roy Blunt, R-MO
  • Sen. Chris Coons, D-DE
  • Mayor Muriel Bowser, D-Washington, D.C.
  • Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Former FDA Commissioner

Click here to browse full transcripts of "Face the Nation."


MARGARET BRENNAN: I'm Margaret Brennan. And this week on FACE THE NATION, Washington is still reeling from Wednesday's deadly siege at the Capitol, and America is on edge, as the clock ticks down on the last days of the Trump administration. The scenes of violence and destruction are still horrifying, made even more disturbing by where and when the rioters waged their war last week.
 
PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN: An unprecedented assault on our democracy, an assault literally on the citadel of liberty, in the United States Capitol itself.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Five lives, including a Capitol police officer, were lost as a result of this national disgrace. Questions about poor preparation for an event advertised by President Trump as wild, and the disastrous response from law enforcement continue to grow. A mob of Mister Trump's followers were incited by the President himself to try and overturn the election by disrupting the certification of electoral votes.
 
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We're going to the Capitol. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: They failed; democracy succeeded. Another challenge: Punishment or at least accountability for actions. Across the country law enforcement is working to round up the extremists. Nearly one hundred have been charged so far. As for Mister Trump, congressional Democrats and some Republicans say his actions are reprehensible.
 
SENATOR PAT TOOMEY: Well, I think the best way for our country, Chuck, is for the President to resign and go away as soon as possible.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll cover it all with two key senators, Missouri Republican Roy Blunt, and Delaware Democrat Chris Coons. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and former head of cybersecurity for the Trump administration, Chris Krebs. Then, a look at the devastating surge of COVID-19, and more on that new strain of the virus. Former FDA commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb will be with us. And, finally, it wouldn't be a major Washington political story without the legendary Bob Schieffer. He and John Dickerson will both be with us today.
 
It's all just ahead on FACE THE NATION.
 
Good morning, and welcome to FACE THE NATION. It's a quiet Sunday here in the nation's Capitol, but the next ten days promise to be anything but as we get closer to inauguration day. One reason it's quiet: The President's Twitter account has been silenced forever. President Trump remains at the White House, and there is apprehension about what he might do next. He has not spoken to Vice President Pence, who is still being given the silent treatment following Mister Trump's attacks on him for not sabotaging the electoral vote process. That stinging rebuke of his loyal follower has upset even close allies of the President. We are told the President himself has privately acknowledged that Mister Pence got a bad deal, but he has not publicly condemned those who stormed the Capitol chanting "Hang Mike Pence."
 
CROWD (in unison): Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: High ranking officials discussed invoking the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, where the President would be removed by a vote from his cabinet. That option still exists. But as of now, no proposal has been submitted to the vice president. The President refuses to resign, and he plans to travel this week to highlight his work at the border. An article of impeachment will be introduced in the House tomorrow, and speaker Nancy Pelosi has asked Congress to prepare to return to Washington. 60 MINUTES correspondent Lesley Stahl sat down with the speaker Friday. We begin with a preview from tonight's broadcast.
 
(Begin VT)
 
LESLEY STAHL (60 MINUTES): What if he pardons himself?
 
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (60 MINUTES): What if he pardons these people who are terrorists on the Capitol?
 
LESLEY STAHL (60 MINUTES): Or pardons himself.
 
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (60 MINUTES): What if he does that? He can only pardon himself from federal offenses. He cannot pardon himself from state offenses, and that's where he's being investigated in the state of New York.
 
LESLEY STAHL (60 MINUTES): There is a possibility that after all of this, there's no punishment, no consequence, and he could run again for President?
 
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (60 MINUTES): And that's one of the motivations that people have for advocating for impeachment.
 
LESLEY STAHL (60 MINUTES): Won't that take more than the ten days? I mean does it actually make sense?
 
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI (60 MINUTES): Well, I like the Twenty-Fifth Amendment because it gets rid of him, he's out of office. But there is strong support in the Congress for impeaching the President a second time.
 
(End VT)
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: More of Lesley Stahl's interview will air tonight on 60 MINUTES.
 
We want to go now to Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt. He is the head of the congressional committee overseeing the inauguration and the outgoing chairman of one of the two committees investigating what went wrong with security last Wednesday. Good morning to you, Senator.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT (R-Missouri/@RoyBlunt): Good morning, Margaret.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator, we have received sad news this morning from Capitol Hill Police that another officer has died. It's described as an off-duty death. Do you know if there's any connection to the events of this week?
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: You know, I don't know. I-- Officer Sicknick, now Officer Liebengood, both the-- their lives were end-- ended this week. I'll be interested in finding out if there was a connection with Officer Liebengood. But, mostly, I'm interested in reaching out to both of these families. These are people we saw every day, particularly Officer Liebengood, who was very much assigned to the Senate side of the building. And, you know, you have that loss. You have four other deaths of people who got involved in something that they absolutely should not have gotten involved in. And it was a tragedy even if it had been limited just to that.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: But then when you see this all over the world, you-- citizens of the United States storming the Capitol of the United States, certainly something I thought I would never see. And I'm glad we got back into the Capitol and got our work done that day where we were supposed to get it done to send that signal. But the signal around the world couldn't have been more helpful to our adversaries--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: --than it was. It was a sad and terrible day in the history of the country.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: I think we agree with you on that, Sir. I appreciate your kind words about these particular officers. I have to ask you, though, about some of the images that have been projected around the world as well, which are of some of those officers appearing to remove barriers for rioters to allow them in. There are reports that some actually gave information on where to find certain congressional offices. Is there any indication of involvement or complicity from members of the Capitol Police?
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: No, no. And I resent any sense that the Capitol Police didn't push back, fight back valiantly get out there and stand between first the building and then the people in the building that they're there to protect. Now, Senator Klobuchar and I have announced we're going to look into this, both the planning and whether the support was imminent. Certainly, the support from the DC police was quick and incredibly helpful. I know the mayor's coming on later today. They were here.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: They were here almost immediately when asked to be. I think we have to think about why the National Guard didn't get here quicker, but the-- the Capitol Police fought back. You can do anything with looking at film, not knowing what you're talking about. I do know when you're overwhelmed in law enforcement, one of the things you do is try to step back and regroup--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT:  --rather than get yours-- let yourself get surrounded. Senator Coons is on later. He and I formed the Law Enforcement Caucus when we came to the--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: --Senate ten years ago. We-- we see these officers often. We reach out more than most members do to them. They are-- put their lives on the line every day--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: --particularly last Wednesday. And I deeply resent any suggestion that these officers didn't do everything they could do.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Two Republican senators have now called for the President to resign. Should he?
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: Well, it would be up to him, but my-- my view would be what the President should do is now finish the last ten days of his presidency.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: So no?
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: No.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Your fellow Republicans have been quite critical, including Liz Cheney, including Mitt Romney, who called this an insurrection and said that the President was directly involved. Justice Department affidavits have individuals saying they came here because the President told him to-- them to. Is the President a danger to the country?
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: Well, I think the President's decisions and his actions that day and leading up to that day on this topic were clearly reckless. I said that very early in the evening on Wednesday, that this was a tragic day for the-- the country and the President had some-- had involvement in that. But--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Are Republican leaders going to hold them accountable in any way for it?
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: Well, I think the country is the-- the right way to hold Presidents accountable. The President should be very careful over the next ten days that his behavior is what you'd expect from the leader of the greatest country in the world. Now, my personal view is that the President touched the hot stove on Wednesday and is unlikely to touch it again. And if that's the case, I think-- we-- we get-- every day, we get closer to the last day of his presidency. We should be thinking more about the first day--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: --of the next presidency than the last day of his presidency, in my view. And I'll be there on that day as the chairman of that event seeing the new President sworn in. The-- President Trump says he's not coming.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: I hope Vice President Pence does, and I was proud to see the vice president step up as I was standing there right with him as one of the four members of Congress that count those electoral ballots and do what the law required us to do.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right, but your fellow Missouri Senator Josh Hawley was on the other side of that. Do you think that he was complicit, along with the five other senators who continued to propagate this lie, that there could be a change to the outcome of the election on Wednesday?
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: Well-- well, I only have one vote in the Senate, which is my vote. Now I did-- the day Senator Hawley announced he'd be contesting those electoral votes, announced that I would not be. When Senator Cruz said he had a plan to put in case-- put back in-- in place a commission like the one formed in 1877--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: --I said that wouldn't happen. I'm not-- I wasn't interested then or now in spending a lot of time on things that can't happen--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: So no sanction?
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: --just like the impeachment-- just like the impeachment of the President, to remove him from office clearly is not going to happen between now and the last day he's in office. And that's another thing--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you don't support-- you don't believe he has committed an impeachable offense?
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: I don't think there's any-- that's not really the question. The question is--
 
MARGARET BRENNN: Well, it's my question.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: --is there any-- is there any-- well, I'm giving you my answer. Is there any likelihood that he could possibly be removed between now and January the 20th? And if there's no additional ensuing event my-- my belief is there is no possibility of that.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: And so, as Nancy Pelosi just said, and as Jim Clyburn said--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: --earlier today, this is more of a long-term punishment of the President--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: --than trying to remove him from office. That's when--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: That's right.
 
SENATOR ROY BLUNT: --the politics take over and the protecting the government is left behind.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. We'll see if you have a different answer in the new Congress. Sir, thank you for your time this morning.
 
We turn now to the mayor of Washington, DC, Muriel Bowser. Madam Mayor, thank you for joining us this morning. I know you have put this city under public emergency until the day after inauguration. There are about six thousand National Guard troops who will be here. Those members, some of them will be armed. Do you think the city is prepared now for what's about to come?
 
MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER (D-District of Columbia/@MayorBowser): Well, I will tell you that given the events of last week, that this inauguration preparation has to be different than any other inauguration with only ten days to go. Today, I'm-- I'm requesting from the department of-- the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, that they take additional steps, including expanding the length of the time that this national special security event is in place, which is-- we're asking it to be extended from January 19th, back to January the 11th. Further, I am asking that they extend the perimeter of their coverage area for this national security special event, which is the inauguration, to include the Capitol. Later today I'm going to send a letter to the President of the United States asking to-- that he declare a pre-emergency declaration for the District of Columbia that will allow for further federal coordination.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: There were pipe bombs that were discovered in Washington at the Democratic National Committee and at the Republican National Committee. Who planted them? What do you know?
 
MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER: I know that the FBI is investigating that and we should take it very seriously. I think what we-- we have seen is real domestic terrorism in our nation's capital, and-- and that's what we need to call it. Who we saw charging the Capitol building were trained people in-- in many cases, former military, former law enforcement. I think we may find other-- other trained people, trained at marching and surging and sieging buildings. So we have to take it seriously. We too, have to take seriously how we're spreading our resources. That's why we're very focused on making sure that the federal government is providing enough coverage for federal facilities, including the-- the Capitol, but many federal buildings across the district so that other law enforcement, our-- our law enforcement can focus on other threats across the district's eight wards.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. Madam Mayor, there's a lot of finger pointing, as you know, about exactly how this happened on Wednesday. Back on January 5th, you sent a letter to the Pentagon and the Justice Department saying the district is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployments without immediate notification and consultation with the police if such plans are underway. Do you think this letter played a role in the underreaction?
 
MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER: No. I-- I-- what I know is that the district prior to that had already requested federal support, and had been granted it in the form of the DC National Guard. And the DC National Guard had been deployed and received its assignment. What we called-- that letter calls attention to the federal government or other federal policing agencies and asks the federal government to coordinate with us if they were going to be on DC streets. That letter has nothing to do with the-- the Capitol or other federal facilities.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Did your police officers here expect the FBI and Homeland Security to warn them about this event? I mean, was there more federal warning that you expected to get that you did not?
 
MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER: I think that we always work hand in hand on these events, as we will on the inauguration, on gathering intelligence. Certainly we gather intelligence locally, but the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have vast resources and the ability to keep us posted each and every day. I have asked-- and the Department of Homeland Security and will further discuss with the FBI how they can enhance those intelligence-sharing activities with us directly.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Before this event happened Wednesday, the leader of the Proud Boys was arrested almost immediately after he arrived here in Washington. And he had high-capacity magazines on him. He landed here with weaponry. So was there no indication that there was something more than just a political rally being planned?
 
MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER: Well, certainly we were on the lookout for-- for weapons and we-- we saw him with this magazine that could carry bullets, but we're always on the lookout for weapons. And, in fact, the demonstration zone that we established prior to this event, we made clear to anyone in the public that--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm. Okay.
 
MAYOR MURIEL BOWSER: --they cannot carry weapons in those zones.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Madam Mayor, good luck. Thank you for your time.
 
FACE THE NATION will be back in a minute. Stay with us.
 
(ANNOUNCEMENTS)
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: We want to go now to Delaware Democratic Senator Chris Coons, who joins us from Wilmington. Good morning to you, Senator.
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS (D-Delaware/@ChrisCoons): Good morning, Margaret.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Is the Capitol safe?
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: I pray and hope that it is. It is more urgent than ever that we flood the zone around the Capitol with federal resources to ensure the safe transfer of power to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris in ten days when virtually the entire Congress will be assembled again and when these two next elected leaders of our nation will be inaugurated.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: You're close to the president-elect who tweeted yesterday, "Our president is not above the law. Justice serves the people--it doesn't protect the powerful." What does that supposed to mean? Does he support potentially prosecuting President Trump?
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: Well, Margaret, President-elect Biden is focused on the enormous challenges that will face him when he becomes president ten days from now. It is up to Congress in the next ten days, to work to ensure the safety and security of our country, to press successfully, hopefully, for President Trump to resign, or for Vice President Pence to enact what he can do under the 25th Amendment. President Trump, by his actions over the last two months since the election, has lost the right to be President and by the actions this past Wednesday and his failure to take any responsibility or show any remorse for it of significance--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: --I think he doesn't deserve to be President anymore.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, he won't be in ten days, regardless of what happens. Should he be prosecuted after he leaves office? You sit on Senate Judiciary. Do you think that would be appropriate?
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: I think there needs to be accountability for his actions. Whether that comes through the New York attorney general or the U.S. Department of Justice we'll have to leave for now. But many of my Republican colleagues are now calling for healing and for us to come together.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: I'll tell you that there can only be reconciliation with repentance. And I think the single most important thing that Republicans in Congress who helped facilitate this widespread conspiracy theory that somehow the election was stolen and the most important thing that President Trump can do in these remaining ten days is to stop those lies and to persuade their followers and supporters that President-elect Biden is the duly elected President of the United States. That's what Mike Pence certified on Wednesday night once we returned to the Capitol. That's what Senators Blunt and Klobuchar certified. That's an important next step if we are, in fact, going to have any healing.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: You just heard Senator Blunt, who is in Republican leadership, decline to say if there'd be any sanction for the senators who stood on the floor even after the siege and continued to protest the certification of the election. Should there be consequences for them?
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: I've called for them to resign, and, Margaret, what I'll be looking for in the coming days and weeks is whether they take any accountability, whether they take any actions that will actually persuade some of their many voters and supporters and constituents that they know what they did was wrong. In the case of Missouri, Senator Blunt's home state and Senator Hawley's home state, the two major newspapers, former Senator Danforth, one of the major supporters of Senator Hawley, have all denounced him.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: The papers have called for him to resign.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: And I think that's the sort of public indication that he's done something profoundly wrong here that should be followed by action from those in Congress who helped instigate this tragic event on Wednesday.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Would you vote to convict the President if the House does impeach him?
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: Yes.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: And what would that serve, because, as you know, the argument against it from Republicans is that it would be furtherly-- further divisive to the country and that it would derail President-elect Biden's legislative agenda.
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: Look, I understand the concerns that just as President Biden takes over responsibility for leading our nation through this tragic pandemic that we might be distracted by weeks in the Senate by a Senate trial. That's why I have called for President Trump to do the right thing finally and resign--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: --or for Vice President Pence to secure the next ten days through the 25th Amendment. Margaret, we have two pandemics raging through this country right now. One of them is this COVID-19 pandemic and the other is the pandemic of division and distrust. The way to deal with them is by telling people the truth--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: --that vaccines work, that we need good role models in terms of masking and social distancing, and that this was a free and fair election where Joe Biden was elected. We need folks who are willing to stand up and tell the truth in Congress.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Domestic terrorism is not technically a federal crime. The president-elect has called these attackers domestic terrorists. Should this be a federal crime?
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: Yes, and I am encouraged that already a hundred individuals have been arrested and charged with both state and federal offenses. Look, we narrowly avoided what could have been an even more tragic night. When I saw the images of folks rioting through the Senate chamber with zip ties and with weapons, a crowd chanting "Hang Mike Pence." That is truly chilling. This wasn't just a disruptive riot. This was an attempted coup, the most significant in the history of our republic, because the purpose of these rioters was to interrupt the--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.
 
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: --certification of the vote that Joe Biden is the next President. This was an alarming and tragic event.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Senator, we're glad you're safe. We thank you for joining us today.
 
And we will be right back with a lot more FACE THE NATION. Stay with us.
 
(ANNOUNCEMENTS)
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Just ahead, two of the best in the business will be with us, former FACE THE NATION moderators John Dickerson and Bob Schieffer. Both have some thoughts and analysis to share. We'll have that ahead on FACE THE NATION.
 
(ANNOUNCEMENTS)
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll take a look at the role of social media and cybersecurity, and we'll talk with former FDA Commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb ahead.
 
(ANNOUNCEMENTS)
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. For more context on some of the online discourse that fueled the assault on the Capito we want to go now to the former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Chris Krebs. Good to have you back with us.
 
CHRIS KREBS (Former Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency): Hey, good morning, Margaret.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: The Wall Street Journal has reported that the FBI and Homeland Security never issued a threat assessment to local law enforcement here in DC about what happened on Wednesday ahead of time. Given that there were explicit online conversations about storming the Capitol, how is it possible that this was not a known threat?
 
CHRIS KREBS: So, you know, I'm sure that the ensuing investigation will get to the bottom of what happened. I-- I think to a certain extent we may have had some negative learning from the summer's protests and riots and maybe there was an overreaction in the wrong way that led to some of the-- some of the breakdowns here. But, again, there's an investigation. But to be clear, you know, we-- at least when I was there, we certainly anticipated physical violence as the ultimate manifestation of the President and the campaigns' and his attorneys' and his supporters' claims that the election was rigged or stolen. And, you know, those claims continue. The latest dog whistle is election irregularities.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
CHRIS KREBS: So, those that are promoting these-- this narrative, these conspiracies have to stop. They have to denounce these-- these claims.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: I mean, Homeland Security warned back in October that right-wing groups may use political rallies and they actually pose a direct threat in terms of action. But then during the Black Lives Matter protests this summer, you know, the homeland security secretary was on this program and others touting the fact that the federal government could put federal agents in cities, whether mayors or governors wanted them there or not, that they had the power to do more. So, you know, why not do more if within the agency there were the threats that you just highlighted? Whose fault is that?
 
CHRIS KREBS: Again, the investigations will get down to it. The-- and particularly in the District of Columbia, the federal authorities on federal land, like the National Mall, like the Capitol grounds, have even greater authorities than they would in-- in any American city. So, clearly, there was some sort of coordination and preplanning breakdown. You know, what I would be thinking about right now is what happens on the 20th--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
CHRIS KREBS: --what are the protections that are going to be in place. But-- but there is an opportunity here, I think, to-- to prevent further-- further bloodshed. And-- and I don't know if the President is capable of doing it, but he has to resign. He has to tell his supporters that he lied to them, that this was all his own fraud. He has to come out. We have to set an example for the rest of the free world that attempted coups, which is what this was, will not be tolerated. And there has to be an accountability. So whether it's the Twenty-Fifth Amendment push, whether it's an impeachment, the President needs to be held accountable for-- for supporting and really inciting the activity of this past week.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: And our reporting shows that he has no intention to do that, to resign. We know, though, that he does plan, and our CBS News team is reporting, he does plan to speak tomorrow. But we're told it's going to be to blast big tech for decisions like what Twitter just did to ban him. We also know Apple, Amazon, Google, they have blocked the Parler app, which has also been used as a forum to plan these kind of events. What is the impact of that?
 
CHRIS KREBS: Well, look, I think at this point, particularly after Wednesday, the President's legacy is a heap of ashes. There's-- there's nothing redeemable at this point, given the fact that he incited this attempt to overturn democracy, a fair and free election. The-- there is an opportunity, though, for a redemption story. Again, he can resign. He can tell his supporters that it was all a long-- a big con and that he is sorry. I don't know if he's capable of doing it, but that's the best way to prevent further violence, to prevent further erosion of confidence in democracy--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
CHRIS KREBS: --over the next four years. And every single Republican on the Hill that continues to support these erection-- election irregularities has to do the same thing. They have to denounce it and they have to come back to the middle.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: And, yet, on the issue of cyber and social media, which you've spent a lot of time thinking about, a lot of conservatives are speaking out not against the President and his use of it, but against the idea that Twitter is censoring somehow conservative thought. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is likely to run in 2024, is out there tweeting "This is un-American and a tactic of the left." Is this a free speech issue?
 
CHRIS KREBS: No. The First Amendment doesn't apply to private sector organizations. That-- that's not how this works. That's government in-- impeding speech and the-- and the ability to hear. And that's not what's happening here. These are companies that have their-- their own ability to enforce their-- their standards and their policies. I think there was a legitimate public policy interest over the last four plus years in-- of maintaining the President and his voice on Twitter and-- and other platforms. But-- but, clearly, what is-- what he has done has-- has exceeded any reasonable public--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
CHRIS KREBS: --policy interest. Now, the-- the-- the hard part is in, you know, implementing these standards--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.
 
CHRIS KREBS: --globally, consistently. Other foreign leaders, for instance, you know, they need to be consistent. They need to probably take similar action.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Understood. Chris Krebs, thank you for your time.
 
We asked senior national correspondent Bob Schieffer to take a look at reaction to the last week's-- sorry, Mark Strassmann to take a look at events around the country. Here is his report.
 
(Begin VT)
 
(Crowd protesting)
 
MARK STRASSMANN: Vengeance is ours, sayeth the mob. And they're still saying--
 
MAN #1: I'm really glad it needed to happen.
 
MARK STRASSMANN: --days after mega-mania rampaged through an American sanctuary. Was the moment heroic or horrific? Partisans got in each other's face.
 
MAN #2: You all (EXPLETIVE DELETED) bunch of terrorists.
 
MAN #3: No, we're not.
 
MARK STRASSMANN: But for some Trump loyalists, it's an inflection point.
 
GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS (R-Florida): You can be disappointed in whatever, but you can't just go in and ransack public places like that.
 
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Count me out. Enough is enough.
 
MAN #4 (Oreo Express): You are a traitor, Lindsey Graham.
 
MARK STRASSMANN: Trump die-hards turned on Senator Lindsey Graham after that.
 
MAN #4 (Oreo Express): Welcome to the new America, Lindsey.
 
MAN #5 (Oreo Express): (INDISTINCT).
 
MAN #6 (Oreo Express): This is the rest of your life.
 
MARK STRASSMANN: This video shows the first family Wednesday morning, right before the President's inflammatory speech.
 
DONALD TRUMP JUNIOR (@DonaldTrumpJR; internet video): I think we're (INDISTINCT) a couple of seconds here, guys.
 
MARK STRASSMANN: A couple hours later, the mob trampled the Constitution, and Rosanne Boyland of Kennesaw, Georgia.
 
JUSTIN CAVE (Victim's Brother-in-Law): The President's words incited a riot that killed four of his biggest fans.
 
(Crowd protesting)
 
MARK STRASSMANN: Protesters also stormed the Washington State governor's mansion. More protests in Arizona, Florida, Minnesota,2 and the Kansas statehouse.
 
CROWD (in unison): Stop the steal. Stop the steal.
 
MARK STRASSMANN: Talk of more violence now scuttles across social media. Our American ideal is still at risk. Democracy or ochlocracy, rule by the mob.
 
Mark Strassmann, CBS News, Atlanta.
 
(End VT)
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: And we're joined now by our resident presidential historian John Dickerson. Good morning, thank you for coming in.
 
JOHN DICKERSON (CBS News 60 MINUTES Correspondent/@jdickerson): Good morning, Margaret. Great to be with you.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: You know, it was just two weeks ago Gallup poll said that Donald Trump is the most popular man in America. And now we're talking about calls for his resignation inciting an insurrection. I mean, does all of this end when he leaves office?
 
JOHN DICKERSON: You know, the President's son and son-in-law said that it's no longer the Republican Party, it's Donald Trump's party. So I think of your question in two ways: what happens to Donald Trump, and what happens to the political market he created that future Republican politicians are going to try to appeal to? After the election, the President said the-- the election was stolen. Republican lawmakers knew that was a lie. They knew there was a cost to that lie. But because of the political market Donald Trump had created, what Donald Trump said was true was true, and those lawmakers worried about blowback. So instead of a healthy political market, where facts, reason and tradition operate, this is a market where facts are whatever you want it to be. Persuasion didn't matter. Demonization mattered. So that fills up a rally crowd, right? Politically, it cost Republicans the presidency and the House and the Senate. Governing wise, the founders told us this was a terrible way to work where you have the-- the standard for the presidency to be just what the rally crowd likes.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
JOHN DICKERSON: The standard should be the one Mitt Romney said, which is sometimes you honor your voters by telling them the truth. So, what standard survives? Is-- is there reflection about the choices that were made? Does somebody stand up now against lies? Or does the market that Donald Trump created exist? And if that's the case, then this insurrection was just an inconvenience, and that market exists, and Donald Trump will have a big role in that in the future.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: There is still fear of that market?
 
JOHN DICKERSON: Absolute fear. Absolute even after-- I mean, perhaps even more, given what happened on the 6th of January.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, right. Because Republicans have seen the muscles that can be flexed.
 
JOHN DICKERSON: Exactly.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: When it comes to, I mean, some of the extraordinary things we-- we heard and we saw this week, you know, the President has, yes, he told people to go home. But then he said, we love you. You're patriots. He has not come out and said anything about the chance calling for his vice president to be executed, John?
 
JOHN DICKERSON: You're-- you're exactly right, Margaret. This to me was there are a lot of ways in which the President contributed to what happened on the 6th. But the example of what he was willing to trample in order to get his way is clearest in-- in the grotesque treatment of his vice president. He-- he says loyalty is the most important thing. No one has been more loyal to this President than Mike Pence. He has wagered his entire repetition defending the President. How was he repaid? The President said he could stop the count in Congress. He knew that to be a lie. When Mike Pence didn't do that because he couldn't it, the President said he lacked courage. He put a target on the back of his vice president. And what happened? As sure as night follows day, those-- those rioters said hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. What gave them the idea that Mike Pence had done anything worthy of a hanging? Well, the President of the United States told them that, the person to whom Mike Pence was loyal. That's pretty low.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: And he tweeted blasting Mike Pence while the siege was happening, and, yet, we haven't heard a-- a separation from the President. I mean, how do you put the genie back in the bottle at-- at this point?
 
JOHN DICKERSON: You'd-- I don't think you do put the genie back in the bottle because that political market is still operating that I was--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.
 
JOHN DICKERSON: --talking about. People are still fearful. And, you know, we still have some number of days to go in which all-- a lot of this free-float-- floating anger is still out there. The President is still saying that the election was stolen.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
JOHN DICKERSON: And that gives energy to that free-floating anger.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Well, he doesn't have a social media platform on which to propagate that now, which is why there's going to be so much more focus on if and when he finally speaks to us. We know he is planning a speech tomorrow, and again Tuesday to make some public remarks. But, I mean, it's hard to find any kind of silver lining--
 
JOHN DICKERSON: Yeah.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: --at the end of this week. But there are those who-- I mean, I-- I certainly noticed how diplomats that I follow are trying to explain this to the rest of the world as they watch--
 
JOHN DICKERSON: Right.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: --beacon of democracy look pretty dim this week.
 
JOHN DICKERSON: Yeah.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Have you found any hope here?
 
JOHN DICKERSON: Well, when the U.S. Capitol is a crime scene, it's pretty hard to find hope. But hope is the power to be optimistic when times look desperate. And there was already a test of democracy before January 6th. It was to hold an election in the middle of a pandemic.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
JOHN DICKERSON: And what happened? The country, Republicans and Democrats turned out in record numbers. People stood in line, there was no violence and the states changed all their procedures to accommodate this. And it succeeded. And they did recounts and they were challenged. And those local officials did what is the central attributive character. They did what they were supposed to do. They didn't do the easy or political thing. Pressure, pressure, pressure, they did-- they kept the faith. Then, who else kept the faith? All the local officials in those states, then the courts. All of these challenges came, people with the political interests, nevertheless, did what their job told them to do, not what was politically expedient. The Department of Justice didn't go after the President's opponents as he would have liked them to do. The military kept their faith, not doing what the President would like them to do. And then Congress, after the grotesque experience on the 6th, nevertheless, got together--
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
JOHN DICKERSON: --held the vote. It took place. There is hope that can be accessed. What we need is a leader who can grab that hope. The stage is ready for them, somebody else to step up.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: John Dickerson, thank you--
 
JOHN DICKERSON: Thanks, Margaret.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: --for your thoughts. Good to have you here.
 
We'll be right back.
 
(ANNOUNCEMENTS)
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: In addition to the political turmoil in these final days of the Trump administration, vaccine distribution remains problematic. The CDC reports nearly seven million first doses of the vaccine have been received. That's only thirty percent of the total distributed across the country. Meanwhile, infections continue to soar. Thursday was the deadliest day yet. Almost forty-two hundred people died from COVID-19. There have now been over twenty-two million cases and more than three hundred and seventy-two thousand are dead.
 
We want to go now to former FDA commissioner Doctor Scott Gottlieb. He sits on the board of Pfizer and Illumina, a company that is working on sequencing some of the new virus variants. He joins us from Westport, Connecticut, this morning. Good morning to you.
 
SCOTT GOTTLIEB, M.D. (Former FDA Commissioner/@ScottGottliebMD): Good morning.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: There are more people in this country hospitalized with COVID now than during the spring and summer combined. How much are these new strains from the U.K., from South Africa, contributing to this surge?
 
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Probably not a lot right now. We're-- we don't know for sure because we're not doing sequencing at a-- at a big enough scale like the U.K. is to really detect these variants. We're looking for the U.K. variant right now, but the method that we're using to try to detect the U.K. variant wouldn't necessarily spot the South African variant. So, right now we think the prevalence of the U.K. variant is about 0.2 to maybe 0.3 percent of infections. And that's based on data that Illumina has helped develop. With the South Africa variant, we don't think it's very prevalent here in the United States, but we could be missing more of those infections. So we don't think that these new variants right now are contributing to the surge of infection that we're seeing. We think this is a post-holiday bounce, but the bottom line is that we need a better system for detecting these things so we can have an adequate public health response.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: And how resistant are they to current treatments?
 
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, they-- they appear more fit, meaning that they spread more easily, both of these variants. We've done some initial analysis with the U.K. variant, particularly with respect to the vaccines and the monoclonal antibodies, and the medical products that we have right now do appear to be effective against that U.K. variant. There's more concern around the South African variant because that variant has mutated the spike protein, the protein that's the target for our vaccines and our antibodies in a way that could defeat at least the antibodies and perhaps make the vaccines less effective. We're going to have data on the vaccines in the next couple of weeks. Pfizer, the company I'm on the board of, is working on developing some of that data. So, we'll have a better answer on that question. But it just goes to show you that these viruses are going to evolve. I mean this virus has been running through the world, around the world, racing around the world largely unchecked. It's been under some selective pressure with the widespread use, for example, of convalescent plasma. So it's inevitable that we're going to see these kinds of mutations in this virus. And this is probably going to be a constant struggle. We're going to have to update our vaccines and our antibody drugs and other therapeutics regularly to keep up with these new variants as they emerge.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: The White House task force told some state governors this week that there may be a new American variant of this virus. Then the CD-- said-- C said yesterday. Basically, they're still trying to figure it out and it could take weeks or months to identify. Is there something that is making this surge worse right now other than our own bad behavior?
 
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Yeah, I don't think so. And the people I've spoken to don't think so. There is a variant in the U.S. that has become the predominant variant right now that's different than the original infection. But that's inevitable that you're going to see evolution in the strains that are circulating. There's no evidence to suggest that it's more fit, more transmissible. And we don't think this South African variant and the U.K. variant are very prevalent here right now. But the game has changed on the vaccine, to go back to the discussion you were having at the top of this-- this hit. We really need to get this vaccine out more quickly because this is really our only tool, our only backstop against the spread of these new variants. If we can get a lot of people vaccinated quickly, we might be able to get enough protective immunity into the population that this stops spreading at the rate that it is. So, we need to acknowledge that it's not working. We need to hit the reset and adopt a new strategy in trying to get out to patients.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: I mean there's only ten days left to the Trump administration, but they started to acknowledge that the federal plan has some problems because they told states to maybe broaden out who they make the vaccine available to. The President-elect now says he's going to do what you've been talking about, which is release all available supply as soon as he takes office. But does releasing supply solve the problem here if it's really about uptake?
 
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Well, it's a distribution issue right now. It will be a supply issue in two or three weeks, maybe if they can get the distribution right. Right now there's forty million doses sitting on a shelf somewhere. So the feds say it's with the states. The states say with-- it's with the feds. It really doesn't matter to the patient who is not getting access to the-- to the injection. You have forty million on the shelf. We have fifty million Americans above the age of sixty-five. So, we have supply to push it out to that population more aggressively. I think we need to take an all of the above approach and push it out through different channels, including the big box stores, including federal sites that the Biden administration is talking about standing up. We need to try everything right now to create multiple distribution points. A lot of senior citizens aren't going to want to go to a, you know, a stadium to get an inoculation. They're going to want to go to a pharmacy, a local pharmacy or a doctor's office. So, we need to provide more opportunity for people to get a vaccination where they're comfortable getting it.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Mm-Hm.
 
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: But we do need to get these out more aggressively. Right now, you're right, it's a distribution issue. It will become a supply issue once we get the-- the logistics down, right. And we don't have that right now. We aren't doing a good job getting this to patients.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Was the siege of the Capitol this week potentially a super-spreader event?
 
SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Of course. I mean there's going to be chains of transmission that come out of that kind of mass gathering and the crowd wasn't adhering to what we know are good practices in terms of mask wearing and other things. And I think-- I think they deliberately eschewed those things. So, yeah, we're going to see chains of transmission come out of that kind of a gathering, for sure.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be watching it. Doctor Gottlieb, thank you for your time this morning.
 
We'll be back in a moment.
 
(ANNOUNCEMENTS)
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: During this administration there has been no shortage of historic yet excruciatingly painful events. But even the most seasoned Washington veteran journalists were shocked by the attack on the Capitol, incited by our own President. As we worked on putting this broadcast together, we knew there was one voice we had to hear from: Bob Schieffer. And he joins us to reflect on the end of a volatile four years. Bob.
 
BOB SCHIEFFER: Margaret, America has never experienced anything like the Trump presidency.
 
(Begin VT)
 
BOB SCHIEFFER: It is ending as it began--in chaos, controversy, and confusion. He told us America was broken, and only he could fix it. His reign mirrored his own chaotic life. He lurched from one crisis to another, from financial windfalls to bankruptcies, from tabloid scandals to audacious lies. He introduced us to a bizarre cast of characters, from porn stars to the crackpots and clowns who inhabit the dark fringes of American politics. Some, like Rudy Giuliani seemed to melt before our eyes, as his hair dye trickled down his cheek during a news conference. Most he touched were diminished by the experience. Others, who sought power by riding the back of the tiger, wound up inside. He played down the pandemic and found kind words for Vladimir Putin put and Kim Jong-un, but seemed determined to drive a wedge between America and our traditional allies. Yes, the stock market went up, but the nation's deficit and national debt ballooned to record levels. As we saw in those awful scenes unfolding in the Capitol, we came to understand that the man who had a manic desire for power had no real understanding of the power he possessed, or what happens when it is misused. He will be gone soon, but he showed us America was not broken; he was.
 
(End VT)
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: Bob, thank you for sharing your thoughts. It's so good to have you here.
 
BOB SCHIEFFER: Thank you, Margaret.
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: We'll be right back.
 
(ANNOUNCEMENTS)
 
MARGARET BRENNAN: At the end of a tough week, we want to say thank you to the journalists who covered the historic and horrific events, and thank you to the first responders who rushed to protect them, lawmakers, and everyone at the Capitol. Thank you all for watching. Until next week, for FACE THE NATION, I'm Margaret Brennan.  

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