MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Kasie Hunt agreed it should have been impossible for law enforcement to be unaware of the threat posed by former president Donald Trump's supporters on Jan. 6 -- and said it was inexcusable that Republicans are uninterested in learning how that failure put their own lives in danger.
The "Morning Joe" host pointed to a column he wrote on Dec. 11 saying that Trump's GOP had turned into "a band of radicals who present the greatest risk to American democracy since the Civil War," bent on "either actively engaged in sedition against the United States or offering their silent support to a president furiously working to overturn an election."
That's what happened less than a month later, as Congress was set to certify Joe Biden's election win -- and Scarborough isn't buying excuses from Capitol police brass that the riot was unexpected.
"The warnings were coming fast and furious," he said. "People were warning about Donald Trump, telling the Proud Boys to 'stand back and stand by.' We were warning this threat was coming, warning about Jan. 6. Inside NBC News, we were talking to our [executive producer] about what's the footprint going to be for news operations that day. Everybody saw it coming. The police obviously knew this was coming, yet they did nothing. Isn't this something that even Republicans, even Kevin McCarthy wanted to know why it happened, why their lives were at risk, why he had to call and beg Donald Trump to call off his terrorists?"
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated his opposition to a bipartisan commission to investigate the law enforcement failures that allowed rioters into the building, where they sought out former vice president Mike Pence and congressional leaders for hanging, but Hunt said the GOP position on the insurrection had changed since Jan. 6.
"Right after it happened, for Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, even Lindsey Graham went down to the floor and said, 'I've had enough,'" Hunt said. "Then the politics changed. The Republican base didn't seem to turn on Donald Trump the way some people thought it would. Now here we are -- and I thought it was pretty significant that Mitch McConnell went out yesterday and publicly said he doesn't know if this commission can be successful."
Hunt, a veteran Capitol Hill reporter, said she was concerned about security the morning of the insurrection, and she said others seemed concerned, as well.
"I remember feeling that day, as I looked around, that there wasn't enough security for what we knew was going to happen," she said. "If you were looking at any of these forums, reading the reporting, seeing people were saying march on the Capitol, bring weapons, you could see in the crowd that the way people looked who were at the Capitol in the morning as I went inside that something was different about what was going on, and it turned out that that sort of feeling in the pit of my stomach was something that people at the top had not been paying attention to -- and they did know."
The FBI had warned Capitol police about the potential for violence at the Capitol aimed at overturning the election, and Hunt said Republicans are suspiciously incurious about what happened to potentially put their lives in danger.
"To let politics get in the way of why our government was almost overtaken seems beyond the pale," Hunt said, "and I do hope they can find out a why to find a credible group of people who can treat this in the manner that it should be treated and was treated Jan. 7."