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Some Republicans are rewriting history about January 6

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
Image: Capitol riot
Rioters attempt to enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Eric Lee / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — One storyline from Wednesday was House Republicans voting Liz Cheney out of leadership.

The other was a group of House Republicans at a House Oversight Committee yesterday either minimizing or even defending the actions of those who stormed the Capitol on January 6.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., said federal law enforcement was “harassing peaceful patriots” as it searches through photographic evidence of those who might have committed crimes on that day.

Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., added: “It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others.”

And maybe most jaw-dropping of all was Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., who compared those who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6 to a “normal tourist visit.”

“There was an undisciplined mob. There were some rioters, and some who committed acts of vandalism,” Clyde said. “But let me be clear, there was no insurrection and to call it an insurrection in my opinion, is a bold-faced lie. Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol, and walk through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures, you know.”

He continued, “If you didn't know that TV footage was a video from January the sixth, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.”

We’ve said before that Democrats and Republicans have no shared political memory of Jan. 6.

But it’s now gotten worse: Members of Congress are now gaslighting the American public about what happened on that day.

A reminder, per NBC News: “More than 440 people have been charged so far with participating in the attack. Many have ties to right-wing extremist groups, the FBI has said. Five people died in events related to the attack.”

“Prosecutors have said some of the hundreds of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol were prepared for battle, wearing helmets and tactical gear. Several were seen on video or in photos carrying baseball bats and other weapons. The riot left the halls of Congress with broken windows, vandalized walls and ransacked offices.”

What Liz Cheney told Savannah Guthrie

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., sat down with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie for an exclusive interview immediately after Cheney’s ouster Wednesday from the House GOP leadership.

Some of the highlights of what Cheney told Guthrie:

On whether she’s the leader of the opposition-in exile in the Republican Party: “I intend to be the leader— one of the leaders — in a fight to help to restore our party, in a fight to bring our party back to substance and principle. And in a fight to make clear that we won't participate in the really dangerous effort that's under way.”

On whether this is a battle for the soul of the Republican Party: “This is the, I think, opening salvo in that battle. And it's a battle we have to win, because it's not just about the Republican Party. It's about the country.”

On House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “He is not leading with principle right now. And I think that it's sad and it's dangerous.”

What President Biden told Lawrence O’Donnell

And here were highlights from MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell’s interview yesterday with President Biden:

On vaccine hesitancy: “[Americans are] showing up. All this stuff about vaccine hesitancy; the truth of the matter is more and more and more people are getting the vaccine. And so, I’ve never believed that there would be a large percentage of Americans who wouldn’t get the vaccine.”

On infrastructure negotiations: “I want to get a bipartisan deal on as much as we can get a bipartisan deal on. And that means roads, bridges, broadband, all infrastructure. But I’m not giving up on the fact that we have, you know, 2 million women who are not able to go back to work because all the day-care centers are closed… So I want to know: What can we agree on? And let’s see if we can get an agreement to kickstart this. And then fight over what’s left and see if I can get it done without Republicans, if need be.”

On whether he can work with Kevin McCarthy and Republicans after they ousted Liz Cheney: “What I always saw [when working in the Senate] is you take the most positive things someone says in your direction and try to work with that tomorrow. And you try to ignore anything that isn’t part of what you're trying to work with tomorrow.”

On Biden’s schedule today

He delivers remarks on the Colonial Pipeline at 11:50 am ET, and then he meets with GOP senators at 1:30 p.m. ET to discuss infrastructure.

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

10 months: The last time average, daily Covid-19 deaths were this low in America.

About 140: How many officers were injured in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, which Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., compared to “a normal tourist visit.”

0: The number of CDC advisory committee votes against recommending the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for people 12 to 15 years of age.

$1 million: The maximum prize from a weekly drawing the state of Ohio will be offering to residents ages 18 and older to incentivize getting vaccinated.

Tweet of the day

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world

Consumer prices jumped over the past year more than any since 2008.

Brad Parscale is advising Jim Renacci as he weighs a gubernatorial primary challenge.

The Colonial pipeline is restarting and it will take “several days” for full service to return.

And in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy picked up an endorsement from feminist leader Gloria Steinem.