The Breakdown: Washington on high alert before inauguration

Plus, people around the U.S. are excited to get their first dose of the COVID vaccine and people are celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
26:35 | 01/18/21

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Transcript for The Breakdown: Washington on high alert before inauguration
Yeah. Hi everyone welcome to the breakdown I'm Diane Macedo and I'm Terry Moran Washington DC is on high alert with fewer than 48 hours until president elect Joseph Biden is sworn into office. Parts of the capital. Were evacuated this morning after a brief scare police saved about fire at a nearby homeless encampment prompted those evacuations no injuries were reported in. 25 thousand National Guard troops are being deployed in the nation's capital. To ensure a safe inauguration on Wednesday and at least 21 states have also activated the National Guard of the law enforcement warnings of possible unrest. Across the country. The increased security comes as no images from the storming of the capital showing a mob searching for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and travelers. Meanwhile president Travis facing a senate impeachment trial as soon as this week. And his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani tells ABC news why he will no longer be representing the president at that trial. ABC news also learned president trump could issue as many as 100 pardons and on his way out of office will have more on all of that and whether trump might pardon himself. In a moment. DC as we say is on high alert after that C age attack on the nation's capital as inauguration just hours away now for all the latest on the measures being taken. To protect the city and the inauguration and across the country as well let's bring cheap global affairs anchor Martha Raddatz and former deputy assistant secretary of state and ABC news contributor. Colonel Steven guinier and Martha let me ask you an embedded all over the world with American troops there are up to 25000. National Guard troops expected in Washington what kinds of duties do you think they'll be doing and given your experience. What do you make of this deployment. Bid this isn't an incredible scene down here Terry you as well have to have been all over the world so. I'm sure kid you it's well. They're just huge areas of Washington DC block top. That stealing sense that you see Dell Darren that is everywhere that is not to just stick capital and tackle right outside where we are sitting right now they have that kind of fencing around that. Around hotels. I've seen massive amounts of National Guard. Now the bulk of them are carrying weapons but they are not loaded. I think one of the things you have to remember to UC do you see that National Guard they're checking cars you all the cars are checked if you're heading into an area like the capital. There's almost no traffic today though I'm obviously it is it is a holiday. MLK day but in addition to that people just start coming into the city they know how locked down it is on Capitol Hill. They are armed I think one of the points that I think is really important American people talk about the National Guard the National Guard that citizen soldiers. Most of the people who are here right now. Got a call from whatever they were doing wherever they were doing it and whatever full time job they have to just get to DC so there's guard from all over the place. They don't get a whole lot of training in law enforcement as military police. But law enforcement they'd probably once a year get to get training in civil disturbance so this is a mission that that is at the Dicey for a lot of people but I'll tell yeah I can't imagine who would try to penetrate this city. Or attack the capital after seeing what I've seen because it's very much as you say like. The Green Zone in a rock. That's remarkable locked down in those guys coming up and doing their duty men and women out there. Let's go to the steep canyons you don't let him talk about this question put this is nation possible politicization in the National Guard. The acting to set Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said today quote. The department will vet national Guardsmen who are in Washington DC the DC National Guard is also providing additional training to service members. As they arrive in DC that if they see or hear something. That is not appropriate they should reported to the chain of command what do you make of this. Question do you think there's there's politically radicalized people in the National Guard that would they're concerned about. The united Terry to lead to elaborate on Martha's point these are folks who the military is not a day to day job. These are state malicious and in the constitution. They're actually charged with putting down insurrections so. I was never anticipated there would be would be used in the way that they've been used in the past couple years in Iraq and Afghanistan combat. They're much more for disaster response things like that. And they have day jobs and this is sort of one weekend a month for most of them and take to be called to duty in come to Washington DC without a law enforcement training. Dizzy is that concerning but it also goes to Martha's point. About the idea here that these are folks. Who live in their communities and so perhaps they'd be it may be easier to radicalize and in disarray say troops living in barracks somewhere. So this is something that that the National Guard has always been vetted for the people they're going to be very very close to the the actual inauguration itself but with 20/20 5000. Troops coming in they're gonna have a rehill job on their hands and I don't know how much they're gonna do in terms of vetting but at least they're making an effort to try to root out any bad actors. Remarkable times Martha Moore of the people carried out the attack in the capital. They're now being arrested and charged and we continue to get a better sense of what happened inside that they threw. Amazing pictures and videos so what do you make of what are we learning today. I didn't begged their videos from inside shot by a new Yorker journalists with Luke mogul Stan are extraordinary I mean it is. In the moments between those riotous pictures we have seen you see one of them going through Ted Cruz is desk and other members desks. Hot looking for whatever they can find there's one point in the video. That they misunderstand something they find on Ted Cruz is desk and they say he's against us he's against us. And when of the evidence does not an owner is a good guy so indebted to those videos are amazing. The other retailers say it's also too is one of the reasons they're getting the National Guard is there are a lot of veterans in side. The big capital who took part been the storming of the capital. I was intrigued by one part from The New Yorker video there is a man and I'm forgetting is David easily it is a former lieutenant colonel in the air force two was arrested. For storming the capitol that you hear him in there as they're going as the others are going through the senate gallery and destroying stuff. He said you can't do that you can't do that although we keep saying this is an information operation maybe you can ask Steve standard outlet what he was talking to Americans tonight and that doesn't make much sense to me either whatever they were trying to do in that that he. He was clearly trying to actually calm the situation with in the senate gallery and have them not. Destroy property. But again he's already been arrested and a disturbing about those veterans and it every single bay Terry there's just more alarming video about. How close they got to members how close they got take the vice president pennants and what a massive failure. That security was on Capitol Hill that. So Steve very quickly to end at pick up on Martha's point to threats from. From members military veterans and this threat that we heard about potential drone attacks is is there and threat from the air came. Here. He had Terry you know after 9/11 the DUS spend hundreds of millions of dollars. Surrounding Washington DC with layers of the air defense if you look closely enough. You can see surface to air missile systems around Washington DC but those were to shoot down the kinds of airplanes that were used in 9/11. Since then the technology would drones to be able to take small drones that are usually plastic very difficult to detect. And we see nicest we've seen this who teach used Jesus assassination devices so hard to detect. Hard to shoot down they're using lasers are using things to jam the cut control. Two community control of these drones. But this is a real threat because you know they. You know lone wolf kind of attacks and you can do a lone wolf kind of attack. With a drone and it's a very very difficult thing to defend so times have changed in Washington DC and something very cheap. And in effect is very effective but inexpensive like a drone has now become a major. Threat. At 9/11 the threat was from overseas this is the threat from our own Martha Raddatz steep canyons thanks for that. And at least 21 states have activated National Guard troops to protect their state capitals from possible unrest ahead of the nine series today. In Michigan offense now surrounds the capital building in the state legislature canceled this week session. Due to credible threats ABC's Trevor all is in Lansing with the latest Trevor what were the protests like there and what. What have you heard so far from protesters and about these credible threats. A dang good afternoon they were a lot more reserved and some of the other demonstrations that we've seen and interestingly enough these protesters you were here yesterday I'd seen -- drug begrudgingly accept the inevitable that come Wednesday Joseph Biden he's going to be the next president now that might not seem like much of the concession. But that is a pretty big change from all the other prior stop the steel events that I had been to in the past. Having said that this is a very small sample sizes was originally billed at exit billed as a very large demonstration and it did not turn out that way. And the people that I talked to had a number theories as to why that was we know a number of far right groups were posting on social media they believe they yesterday's event was going to be some sort of set up or false flag event. That if I was going to be infiltrated by people on the far left or and teeth in order to make trump supporters look bad. And that might have been one of the reasons that people stayed home and that's certainly what they get there were only about twenty or 25. Crow truck demonstrators here yesterday. They were substantially. Outnumbered by the amount of law enforcement call for Michigan state police and from the National Guard. Who was not shy about their presence they closed off several streets here around the capital they were constantly rotating and just making sure everyone was aware that they were there watching over this event. Now today it is significantly scaled back that presents but they assure me they are staying on high alert maintaining an eye on any threats through inauguration day and well beyond. Tech Diane there is going to be. He heightened police presence here at the Michigan State Capitol until at least in mid February. And we have heard a lot of concern that something could happen after an inauguration day of security teams let their guard down. But Trevor looking back. Last April there was a large armed protest inside the capitol there in Michigan where it is legal to carry those protesters were allowed in at that time. How does security dare compare he now and then what are lawmakers saying because some of them expressed fear back. Yes and it sensed and Diane we had that alleged plot to kidnap governor Gretchen -- as well see you can imagine a lot of the lawmakers here in Michigan are on edge is this is unfolding. They did recently the state commission decide to band open carry of firearms with the in the capitol building so that is at least one step towards safety measures but. They didn't go as far enough as some people would like because you could still. Conceal carry Woodson within the Michigan State Capitol as well and we're hearing this from some fairly prominent Michigan officials including the secretary of state that they need to do more the secretary of state sent out right. Right now that capital is not safe. And as you mentioned you know they have that sends up around the capital right now that's the plan for inauguration day they'll have heightened police through February but. A lot of these officials are not convinced that this is ever going to be safe for sure indefinitely until more changes are made Diane. I'd check are all there Lansing Michigan thanks chair and what countries as well there are fewer than 48 hours left in president trumps term as we said and as he prepares to leave the White House ABC news has learned that the president's. Personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani will not. Be part of the trump impeachment trial legal defense team because Giuliani is a witness in the case CBC's senior editorial producer and through one of the great reporters on this administration jobs tend to G joins us now from Washington with more from inside the trunk camp. But John since Rudy Giuliani's not only part of the president's defense team. So what is his legal defense team look like to expect present term to take the stand that kind of thing. Terry Immelman your guess is as good as mine is who would actually does and Donald Trump in the while the senate should the trial actually move forward in this and it. It Rudy Giuliani was seen as frankly the best option many attorneys it represented the president. Over the course the last four years remember this is not a president new to controversy he has a special counsel investigation. And impeachment trial before. All of the attorneys cherry that were involved in those two process he's. Have been very clear that they get knowing intention. Participating. In another round of Donald Trump's legal troubles so the question is who's going to be left the other turning it babe approach. Alan Dershowitz been missed Harvard professor but he has not been sign on board yet. Either so it really is a question of who's going to be laughed. That would step forward represented Donald shortening he mentioned the sale pardons that is something the president very much has been talking about he's been urged members of his family members of Trump Organization up in New York. It's your little girl legal troubles over the last several years to insulate but he's also been told by lawyers in the White House cherry that should the president actually. Give himself party. It's an admission of guilt and we know that there are worse so many cheese is right now some are criminal but others civil and president could open Dudamel himself. Just civil exposure analyst Judah. Can from 68%. I've the American people oppose the president pardoning himself which may not even be legal but. Turning to inauguration day the president this president president Donald Trump Hillary the first US president more than a 150. Years as Andrew Johnson widely considered one of the worst presidents ever. Who will not take part in the peaceful transition of power. His successors inauguration trumps requested our military style standoff so what they're gonna look like. Will get the red carpet at the marine and apparently a couple of thirty five's you're gonna flyover chewed Sherrie this is gonna be awful trump spectacle Wednesday morning you would think he is in some ways. What the inauguration and at what looked like happening actual clock over the capitol in some way east but this is Donald Trump's and he wants. The full military Blair 21 gun salute. And completely ignore the fact that Joseph Biden is about to cheek office back in Washington the president will shopper from Marine One leaving the White House. Early Wednesday morning evil Nazis access. She sure is cherry or one of the things any is. Let's call it standard tradition if you will. Will Donald Trump believe notre joke by Kenya when Barack when Barack Obama left he left notre Donald Trump knows that you. Their differences but Donald Trump said it was one of the nicest knows unit received one of the most touching letters he bragged about it weeks. I wonder if we're gonna see Donald Trump pre acquisition if you wanted my guests. I would say probably Donald Trump us so far has not had anything to recognize Joseph Biden as president even. After those awful attacks over the capital area the president she now. We get videos saying that he would support but peaceful transition powerless each of these today has not saying Joseph Biden's name and next president in the same sentence. It's I can't imagine leaving a nice knowing that's for sure Johnson to chief thanks very much for that. Search for the country isn't airing is nearing 400000. American lives lost the krona Parse their growing concerns. In shortages in the US when we come back how the incoming administration. Helping to speed things up on day one. I've. So that I would. In many parts of. And now drill again. To get started a Finnish giant. You know people learn a little bit leery about her debut this. Here and seeing guess you're no Holmes not only idea OK you go for main. 19 feeling this and then one day is having had a case of Americans of being tired and doesn't really imperative that. The fact that I just yeah you know days months. For. Actually having killed in. Respirator or whatever might be down so it's on all that seemed to me has been a no brainer as I mentioned before. This is crazy and it really is crazy. But it's still in effect is very disorganized settlement date and make it. They have an appointment puts it make an appointment. Command given that nonprofit. How how to order a powerful and that with a back the bad news. Welcome back we're hearing from Americans all over the country getting or trying to get. The call that vaccine as the US death toll nears 400000. But so far only about a third of the available vaccine doses have been administered. For more on this let's bring in infectious disease expert an ABC news medical contributor doctor Todd Allen actor Aaron hello again so. On the one hand we have the CDC saying only about a third of distributed vaccines have been administered. On the other hand we have pleases a Dodger Stadium for example saying they're about to run out so what's going on. I know how frustrating this sounds die and of course it is so important way out of his. Pandemic is going to be through masking a true. Vaccination and vaccination role already has been challenging so far the first mightily getting the vaccine. Has really been incredible and his scientists to investigators all the volunteers in the trial date here. Handed the batons was we have. Captain Carey does the next mile we have two runs out. Ouster the problem is limited supply excessive demand and unpredictable. Quantity of distribution. Black B Inge infrastructure investment can't we need to cook collaboration between the feds and the states those of the things we need to do to get this right. Spinal that Mara about the unpredictable quantity of distribution because it seems like right now I mean we do we do we have more vaccine and is being administered so it feels like. That surplus of vaccines is in the wrong places. Right so imagine this is a national department of public health is waiting to receive the vaccine the may get word a few days before that you're gonna received as many thousand doses now at this point you have to try to coordinated it to get here until all the spots. You don't around the stage and point you also want to make sure that the patients are actually showing up all coordination is challenging not to mention look at our system so far. We have come they actually metered roughly about two thirds of our health care workers but the question is why hasn't been a hot. 100% at this point three remembered there's still vaccine. Hesitancy not only go we didn't communities outside her front line providers but with. Frontline providers as well of their meeting people saying we have I'm gonna wait a little longer to live next vaccine clinic so there's a lot of I inconsistencies here. And the nineteen is promising to distribute 100 million vaccine doses within his first 100 days in office. How ambitious do you think that is and how much will it help if they can pull it off given the current backlog. Right so remember history. Okay dig deep in the past in 1950s when we had to roll of the polio vaccine and started slow but it got duster let me tell you were also doing better. Okay hand if we can keep. I do believe that the one million doses a day for the first three months I didn't think that's reasonable its ambitious but we can do this we just have to run faster and we need more companies that entered the game I'm really hoping that the Johnson and Johnson's single dose vaccine comes through that's gonna make things a lot better for us. I attach attack hours straight to happy thank you. Well in addition thanks in addition to Max adding a hundred million Americans in his first hundred days in office president elect Joseph Biden is vowing. To reverse the trump administration's travel ban on certain Muslim majority countries to rejoin the Paris climate accords to implement our mass mandate on federal property nationwide. Had to address the economic impact of the pandemic is all. The first ten days but first comes the inauguration will be a ceremony unlike any in recent memory. Eight are now runs the director talent on the Biden inauguration committee she joins us now thanks for being with us so what do we expect to see on Wednesday. Well now we are in the in going greatly to me or we can marry. Are in. Earth's. He's warrant and he. Men's. We're just not. People are not we didn't cleaning and enduring. We want to create sabres are. So we are encouraging people. To be the city. Look. Where everyone in our current world battery. Andy card. Number. Deer or. Grocery where you would. I mean it's sealed the swearing and and Wednesday. Are we getting. For art and now. We're X. We are certain albums earned. Them. Later it. Me. Or. Our. Ports. NBC news. As well. EI. There are and where. People can be that we won an error. And it may Harry RE. And. And it uniting your already planning for a large virtual components all of this because of the pandemic but how did the attack at the capitol. Affect the planning. She didn't injure and his partied in. We've been working with our air in secret sir. A lot of work his inauguration well. Going could be selling Gary when the security place. We at. The eighty extremely. And of course we know president trump will not to attend the inauguration of vice president Mike Pence will be in attendance how important do think it is. For vice president pence to be there. Very important and it's an odd race. It is bringing people. It's. Consistently. Else. Being in the east are shelling. This administration who. It's conditioning. Our new administer it needs. It's very important. Wednesday. Start. Absolutely Ater an hour on thanks for being weather's good luck to you. To all of us says this transition takes place and ABC news will have complete coverage of the inauguration of Joseph Biden and Connell a Harris that's. This Wednesday at 7 AM eastern right here on ABC news alive and finally. On Thursday that the nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we wanted to pay tribute to the legacy of Doctor King. His words are still so inspirational to so many people around the world and especially this time is worth taking a little time today to hear them once again. Listen. Brands. Its. Top yeah. With a heavy index and inequality of the world got confused where to help us today. Green light active teen. How extreme meaning it means rain we're seeing team there's an issue not who gets credit card number yeah. This is not Armenians and money for me it's. We need. Yeah. You are there animals flew at. CNN. Me lol it's. I don't know why you don't mind seeing okay yeah. Are. A little man all I. You'll want him and when that while our own. Yeah. Eight. Me. Because there fourth and fifth graders from various states in the country in the annual ML OK calm oratory competition. I think we could use them in day in the adult role it has assured owner of pretty soon as soon as possible that doesn't for hear us here on the breakdown. I'm Terry Moran and I'm Diane estate Ellis you back here tomorrow at 3 PM eastern have a great day everybody.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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