10 Things in Politics: January 6 survivors struggle to move on

·6 min read

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Here's what we're talking about:

With Phil Rosen.

cutouts of staffers, lawmakers, journalists, and others who lived through the January 6 Capitol attack superimposed above an image of the Capitol being stormed against a red background
Getty Images; C-SPAN; Karlin Younger; Alan Chin; Marianne Ayala/Insider

1. THE BIG STORY: A Metropolitan Police Department officer's gear still burns when the officer puts it on. A staffer can't stomach watching videos of the insurrection. In ways large and small, the legacy of January 6 remains on the minds of those who experienced the Capitol riot firsthand.

Here are some of their most haunting quotes from Insider's massive oral history:

  • "Tear gas is all over everything that we own to this day": An unnamed MPD officer told Insider the fire department "came by, and they literally just hosed down all of our gear." Still, the remnants of pepper spray and tear gas continue to plague some officers each time they put on the same riot gear they wore while retaking the Capitol.

  • Lawmakers described being "demoralized" by both the insurrection and the way their colleagues responded: Here's Rep. Peter Meijer, a Republican from Michigan.

Insider
Insider
  • Many remain angry with how this could have even happened: "I can't do deep dives into this. I can't look at the videos. I can't read anything else about it, because it would just throw me into a rage," Jay Rupert, the deputy director of the House Periodical Press Gallery, told my colleagues. Rupert says he remembers beginning the day thinking: "I work in the safest building in DC. Next to the Pentagon."

One quote stands out from the rest: Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, described how some lawmakers didn't see the full extent of the riot until months later. Johnson has repeatedly downplayed what transpired and is actively blocking the confirmation of President Joe Biden's pick to oversee the hundreds of prosecutions stemming from the violence.

Insider
Insider
  • Many Republicans just want to move on: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice summed up these feelings just last week. The reality is that nearly every week brings more news about what unfolded in the weeks and days leading up to the riot. Just last night, Rolling Stone reported that Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona discussed a "blanket pardon" with January 6 protest organizers before the riot for an unrelated investigation. The Washington Post reported over the weekend about a "command center" allies of then-President Donald Trump set up at a hotel just a block away from the White House where they brainstormed how to overturn the election up to and even on January 6.

Read more from Insider's detailed oral history of the January 6 insurrection.

2. Pelosi says votes on Democrats' massive agenda will happen soon: House Speaker Nancy told CNN that Democrats were nearing consensus on how to proceed with Biden's massive social-spending plan and when to hold a vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure overhaul. Biden himself spent Sunday meeting with one of the holdouts, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who joined him and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in Delaware. Pelosi said October 31 was the key day to watch.

3. A coup appears to be unfolding in Sudan: "Sudan's interim prime minister and a number of senior government officials were arrested Monday, the information ministry said, describing the actions as a military coup," the Associated Press reports. A military takeover would be a major setback for a nation that has tried to move beyond the legacy of its longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir.

4. Facebook whistleblower claims Breitbart was exempted from certain rules: The anonymous former employee told The Post that Facebook's public-policy team - helmed by the company's vice president of global public policy, Joel Kaplan - defended "whitelisting" the right-wing news outlet Breitbart, run at the time by the former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon. Kaplan was said to have defended the move by asking an employee, "Do you want to start a fight with Steve Bannon?" Facebook has strongly denied The Post's reporting. Here's what else the latest Facebook whistleblower is saying.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks during an event at the US Department of the Treasury on September 15, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

5. Janet Yellen says inflation will remain high through next year: The Treasury secretary said the decade-high price growth would eventually slow down but Americans would have to wait until the second half of 2022 to see a major change. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has repeatedly argued the White House is understating the problem and is fueling further inflation. More on why inflation remains stubbornly high.

6. Nearly 2 million migrants were recorded illegally crossing the US border in the past year: The New York Times reports that 1.7 million migrants were found trying to enter the US illegally through Mexico in the past year, the most illegal crossings recorded since at least 1960, when the government first began keeping records. It was nearly four times the previous year's number. More on the virtually unprecedented situation unfolding at the border.

Set of the movie "Rust"
The Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Saturday. Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

7. Head armorer of "Rust" was accused of being a "bit careless" with guns: A source who worked with the armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed on a different film told The Daily Beast that Gutierrez-Reed, the head armorer on Alec Baldwin's film "Rust," was a "bit careless" with guns. Two sources from that other film, "The Old Way," said the armorer once gave a weapon to a child actor without thoroughly checking it. Gutierrez-Reed's role has come under intense scrutiny since Baldwin killed a 42-year-old cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, with a prop gun. Some "Rust" crew members have also told other media outlets of previous gun-related incidents on the set. Here's what else we have learned.

8. Booster shots may change the definition of "fully vaccinated": Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters the agency was considering whether the definition might change. Currently, being fully vaccinated in the US means a person has either both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. More on the news.

9. Most Americans in survey want major overhauls to the US economy: A majority of Americans in a new Pew Research Center survey indicated they wanted major changes to much of how the US operates. Eighty-five percent of surveyed adults said they wanted an overhaul of the country's political systems, while 66% said they wanted major changes to the US economy. Read the rest of the poll's takeaways.

10. Remembering James Michael Tyler, "Friends"' Gunther: Tyler, best known for his role as Gunther on the hit American sitcom, died Sunday from prostate cancer at age 59. Born in Mississippi, Tyler lived in South Carolina and Georgia before moving to California, where he was hired as a production assistant in Hollywood and ultimately landed his role on "Friends." More on the legacy of "the seventh friend."

Today's trivia question: Who was the first sitting US cabinet secretary to be convicted of a felony? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.

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