Transcript for Reflecting on Georgia's 2 Senate runoff victories: Part 6
Today's unprecedented scene at the capitol, as a result of long-simmering tensions finally boiling over. Earlier I spoke to ABC news contributor L.Z. Granderson, Heidi Heitkamp, contributor Tara setmyer. L.Z., today's violence was years in the making. How would you describe today? Protest, insurrection, attempted coup? How did we get here? It was an attempted coup. And we got here through a lot of different routes. I know it's fashionable to blame everything on president trump. He's an easy target, who's a loud target. The truth is he's not the only target. In this current administration, he's had a lot of people complicit, a lot of people supporting him, a lot of people who knew better but didn't do better. But again, this isn't something that started with his administration. This is an essential part of the American condition. And I don't mean that lightly, and I don't mean that to be cynical. But you can go through decade after decade after decade, since the pilgrims landed this country, on this land, and fiend examples in which you will see uprisings of white people being handled differently than the uprisings of minorities. And those of us who have covered these sort of stories for a number of years, I have, I know you have, many people have -- we have now recognized that there is a very comfortable hypocrisy, to be quite frank, when it comes to how you handle citizens who are protesting, and when those protests become violent, what happens. So while I am saddened by today's events, I am not shocked by today's events. I'm actually more shocked by the members of congress who are feigning shock over what transpired more than anything that happened in the capitol today. To that point, how much blame do you place on president trump for today's events? Since he lost, he's been disseminating disinformation and conspiracy theories. Tara, you can go first. Well, I would say that Donald Trump has been telegraphing his intent here to leave office with scorched Earth behind him for quite some time. To l.z.'s point, we shouldn't be it's unfortunate, but he has been aided and abetted by a lot of people. Including the seditious senators in congress who poured gasoline on the fire that Donald Trump lit. And it's shameful and unamerican the way in which some of these elected officials have behaved, perpetuating these conspiracy theories and unfounded accusations of widespread election talked, further sowing discord and distrust with the American people about the free and fair leaks that gist took place. That is what's led to this. Donald Trump did not do this by himself, he bears a lot of responsibility. There was bloodshed today in the capitol, which is shameful, and there are a lot of people that have blood on their hands that led up to this. And I think there needs to be a considerable reckoning within the Republican party about the role that they've played collaborating in this seditious act today. Heidi, you served in that great hall. Many of the men and women and the senate and congress, those are your colleagues, your friends. Your take on today, and what responsibility do you lay at the feet of president trump? Listen, I think president trump is a symptom of a huge problem that we have in this country. A huge division, much of it based on race. He started out tapping into that very early on in his presidential run. The call and response, lock them up, build the wall, send them we heard it over and over again. And it worked for him. It gave him power. Unfortunately, all the people in congress who have enabled this have created the conditions that led to today. You know, it's interesting. Mitch Mcconnell said, I want everybody to understand that what you're doing today in voting to not approve the electoral college is not a harmless protest gesture. Guess what, it was not a harmless protest gesture, and all of those people who changed their mind, the constitution did not change today. The law did not change. The facts did not change. But they realized that what they were doing was harming our democracy. It's unfortunate that they realized this 14 days before he leaves office. My friends, we have about a minute left. L.Z., today we saw images of protesters infiltrating the rotunda flying confederate flags. On the Georgia state capital, after it elected its first black senator, we saw a confederate flag waving. What does it say about our It says in a lot of ways, we haven't changed. It is unfortunate, because there's a lot of good that has happened over the decades. Particularly over the course of this summer, this summer of racial reconciliation, if you will. A lot of corporations and sports leagues and sports teams have used their platforms and resources to try to make this world a better place. With that being said, until we can agree on the basic facts, we're always going to have this division. You call it the confederate flag, I think that is the flag of trope. Someone else says, it's my heritage. If we can't even agree on the facts, we're going to have a very hard time getting past these issues that have really handcuffed us since the founding. Heidi, one word for you to describe today? Sad. I think that our democracy has been in peril for the last four years, and probably longer before that. And it came to a head today. And I am hopeful that we've learned something from it. So sad but hopeful. Indeed. Thank you all. Coming up, the other big headline today. The Democrats taking control of what this means for the Biden administration.
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