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Pres. Trump TRANSCRIPT: 6/5/20, MSNBC Live

Guests: Donna Edwards, Steve Schmidt, Michele Norris, Madeleine Albright

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: We`re posting some of these extra artist interviews we`ve done in full length there on YouTube. You can always find more if you want it. But that`s the end of our time. I wish you a very safe weekend.

Keep it right here on MSNBC.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening. I`m Joy Reid.

Well, today was yet another day when I`m going to tell you that this was the strangest day yet in the Donald Trump Presidency. Donald Trump this afternoon invoked the name of George Floyd in the middle of a speech gloating about the latest unemployment numbers. And he did this just moments after he called on law enforcement, whom we`ve been watching respond in some cases brutally to the protests over George Floyd`s murder by police, he called them in to dominate the streets against those very same protesters.

Now, I find it hard to believe when I first heard from the producers of this hour about what Donald Trump said. You might too. So I want you to take a look at this truly bizarre moment.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hopefully, George is looking down right now and say, this is a great thing that`s happening for our country. It is a great day for him. It`s a great day for everybody. It`s a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality. It`s really what our Constitution requires and it`s what our country is all about.


REID: I`m sorry, why? Why would today be a great day for George Floyd who is very much dead with four fired police officers charged with murder and accessory to murder and with no legislation passed this far, so far curbing police abuse or any other things that went into his death? Why would today be a great day for George Floyd?

Donald Trump`s speech wasn`t even focused on George Floyd. It was largely focused on that new economic data with Trump bragging that the unemployment rate has dropped to 13 percent. 13 percent unemployment, as you may know, is still the highest rate since the great depression. Nothing to brag about, Mr. President.

At the same time, Trump dismissed questions about how or even if he plans to address systemic racism. When pressed, he said, the solution to the problem of racism is a better economy.


YAMICHE ALCINDOR, PBS NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENCE: Mr. President, why don`t you have a plan for systemic racism? And Mr. President, why haven`t you laid out a plan to address systemic racism.

TRUMP: I`d like sign this bill. It`s a very different on. And by the way, what happened to our country and what you now see has been happening is the greatest thing that could happen for race relations, for the African- American community, for the Asian-American, for the Hispanic-American community, women, for everything.

ALCINDOR: What is your plan?

TRUMP: Because our country is so strong, and that`s what my plan is.

ALCINDOR: Black employment went up by 0.1 percent, Asian-American unemployment went up by 0.5 percent. How was that a victory?

TRUMP: You are something. Thank you very much.


REID: This comes as a new ABC News poll finds that only 32 percent of Americans, only 32 percent approve of Trump`s response to Floyd`s killing, while a whopping 66 percent disapprove. That poll also shows that a vast majority of Americans, 74 percent say George Floyd`s death is a part of a broader problem of racial injustice in this country while only 26 percent view it is an isolated incident, a big change to how that kind of a question polled just a few years ago when we first heard of the movement called, Black Lives Matter.

And on the day of Trump`s bizarre, weird, braggadocios, the mayor of the nation`s capital, Mayor Bowser, literally took the fight against Trump and William Barr`s militarization of D.C. to the streets. And she did it right in Trump`s front yard.

This morning the mayor had the street leading to the White House painted with the words, Black Lives Matter. That`s the cross street above the intersection where park police and national guard troops forcibly cleared peaceful protesters on Monday night with tear gas.

Not only that, but Mayor Bowser officially renamed that portion of the street Black Lives Matter Plaza, while demanding that the troops leave her city.

I`m joined now by Donna Edwards, former Congresswoman from Maryland, and Steve Schmidt, former Republican and Political Strategist. Thank you both for being here.

Donna Edwards, I`m going to give each of you a chance to respond to the great day for George Floyd comment by the president. You first, Donna.

FMR. REP. DONNA EDWARDS (D-MD): You know what, I`ll tell you, Joy, just when we think that the president can`t do any worse, he actually does worse. I mean, this was so -- I mean, first of all, he`s really not said anything to give voice to the pain of George Floyd`s family, at seeing him murdered like that. He hasn`t given voice to the pain and the anger that`s being felt not just by black America but all America. And here he does -- he invokes George Floyd`s name in the middle of touting an economy that`s still the worst that we`ve seen since the great depression. It`s really despicable.

And I think, you know, I want all of those millions of people who are out there on the streets, I want them to get their pens and to register to vote, because it is imperative that this interloper be removed from the White House. It is imperative and November can`t come soon enough.

REID: And I know, Steve Schmidt, you`re part of one group that is trying to make that happen, the Lincoln Republicans. When you think about the kind of presidents that we`ve had in this country, the oratory, the ability to speak to our pain, whether you agreed with them or not, the ability to speak across party lines to just the pain that`s being felt in the country, obviously, there`s great pain being felt here.

For Donald Trump to come out and use the name of George Floyd, to say it is a great day for him because we`re at near depression level unemployment, your thoughts.

STEVE SCHMIDT, FORMER REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: When we think about all of the great sweep of American history, Joy, and there has never been a leader who has failed more spectacularly history`s test than has Donald Trump. When we look at the year 2020, this is when it all unraveled. The country by the narrowest of margins elected a reality T.V. show host, a New York City real estate, conman, showman, P.T. Burnham Carnival Barker, and tragedy has ensued.

United States is the epicenter of coronavirus death and infection, and that didn`t have to be. As a result, the American economy is shattered with 40 million unemployed. This week, we saw the attorney general acting as an interior minister from thugocracy, ordered an attack by law enforcement on peaceful protesters, exercising their first amendment right to assembly, to speech outside of the White House. They were beaten, trampled, pepper sprayed, gassed, including an Episcopal priest.

So Donald Trump, who had previously been hiding in the bunker and apparently his ego was wounded by reports of that could walk across the street to St. John`s, the church of presidents, not for prayer, not for introspection, not to signal to the country humility, not to talk about forgiveness, not to talk about unity, but to hold the bible upside down in an act of sacrilege while at the same instinct, calling for the United States military to be turned loose on the American people in the most illiberal sentiments ever uttered out of the mouth of a president of the United States.

And so we stand at a dangerous hour in this country where civilian and military relations have been put into crisis by this president where he sought to deploy the world`s most lethal combat force into the streets of America, to turn them on to the people that they are sworn to protect and to defend.

But we`ve seen pushback. We`ve seen the righteous anger of the American people. We`ve seen the power of our rights and the First Amendment. We have seen the integrity and fidelity to the Constitution of the highest ranking retired officers and secretaries of defense who understand the importance of the American military as an institution.

What Donald Trump said about George Floyd today is something that could only come out of the mouth of a sociopath, somebody who has no respect for the sanctity of human life. A man was murdered. He was murdered on a image on T.V. that we`ve now all seen. Life was snuffed out for eight torturous minutes. And for Donald Trump to tell us that it`s a good day for that man, for his family, it`s despicable, it`s immoral and it shows the type of man and the type of character we have sitting in the most powerful office in the world with access to the most powerful military and the most powerful weapons.

And it should be frightening for all of us as Donald Trump continues his assault on American liberty, American freedom, American democracy. The protesters are fighting for those things. It`s Trump who`s threatening them.

REID: Well said. Let us look at -- or let me actually give one more person a word on this. Let`s listen to former Vice President Joe Biden, who also responded to Donald Trump`s bizarre words today.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: George Floyd`s last words, I can`t breathe, I can`t breathe, have echoed all across this nation and, quite frankly, around the world. For the president to try to put any other words in the mouth of George Floyd I frankly think is despicable.


REID: Well said, Mr. Vice President. Let`s move on to where Donald Trump`s approval rating sit right now. According to The New York Times, his approval ratings are slipping where he can`t afford to lose them, among evangelicals just a bit. Any slide with these voters for The New York Times, according to Cornerstone, his political base is problematic. And even if voters of faith do turn out for him again in large numbers, analysts said, there will not be enough of them to lift him to victory.

One more piece, this is a poll in May that shows Donald Trump`s support among evangelicals declined 15 percentage points since March. Now, this was before the church photo-op in which, as Steve Schmidt said, he held a bible upside down and didn`t bother to open it to see what is inside. It`s at 62 percent, down from 15 percent, from 77 percent.

But, Donna, you know, I still look at that. And that is white evangelicals, let just be clear because he`s not got the support black evangelicals. But when you at the fact that he still has nearly two-thirds of evangelicals with him, at least he did before he held the bible upside down, what does that say to you and does that concern you?

EDWARDS: Well, I mean it does. Because it says that there is at least a smaller minority of this country who looks at Donald Trump and still believes that he is an acceptable leader. On the other hand, I look at the numbers of disapproval and I see people on the streets and it tells me that the largest swath of the American public has long since lost confidence in this president. They do not believe that he is a righteous leader and that they are -- they`re done with him.

And so I have to believe that even if he maintains that very small percentage, that third of the electorate, that that is not going to be enough for him to win re-election. I know that he must feel that because the things that he is doing now, it`s like throwing everything you can at trying to fix a problem and he can`t fix the problem because he is the problem.

REID: Yes. Let me let you, Steve, listen to Senator Lisa Murkowski, who seems is to be struggling greatly with her support for the president, which at least in terms of impeachment remained at least through then. Here she is talking about whether or not she feels she can support him for re- election.


SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK): I thought General Mattis` words were true and honest and necessary and overdue.

REPORTER: Can you still support President Trump then? Is that something you`re struggling with?

MURKOWSKI: I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time.


REID: So can you take us inside that struggle Steve? You know, you and I were following the opposite side of the 2004 election. But you, even though you are a -- you`ve been a loyal Republican, I`m assuming most of your adult life, you broke from that. Something about Donald Trump made you and other Never Trump Republicans walk away. What would be the struggle at this point? Given what he has done, including what he has done to the Christian religion by what he -- that stunt he pulled, what is the struggle about?

SCHMIDT: I don`t know, Joy, and I am cold hearted and unsympathetic to this argument. We saw the American president direct violence against peaceful protesters this week. We`ve seen the president lie to the country nearly 20,000 times. We`ve seen the president divide the country and incite violence. We`ve seen a level of incompetency and ineptitude in the handling of this historic pandemic that defied description but include standing in front of the nation when tens of thousands are dead, talking about his ratings, or telling the American people that it`s a good idea to ingest bleach or household disinfectants.

We have seen a president preside over the shattering of an economy. We have seen a president race bait, demean, disgrace his office, to desecrate the bonds of affection that exist between us as Americans. He has completely, utterly failed in the execution of his duties. He has attacked our institutions. He has no fondness for liberal democracy. He doesn`t understand the American ideal and idea.

And the notion that you would struggle with the question of four more years of this or President Joe Biden is extraordinary to me. I can`t fathom it. I can`t process it. She is a smart, intelligent woman. She`s tough as nails. She has stood up to Mitch McConnell in the past. She stood up to the Republican machine.

But the idea that, as we saw this week, the GOP senators walking by in this geriatric shuffle, unresponsive to Trump`s ordering violence against the American people, unresponsive to a defense secretary, and legendary four star general saying that the president of the United States is a threat to the American Constitution. It is beyond my comprehension how these United States senators elected to some of the highest offices in the land could sit in the Senate lunch and the subject of what`s happening in this country doesn`t even come up.

It is a shameful and despicable abdication of their duty. It is a shameful chapter of cowardice in the political history of the United States. She shouldn`t have a tough time. It`s an easy decision. It`s the choice between a good man and a bad man, a moral man versus an immoral man, a patriot versus somebody who is desecrated our freedoms and ideals by his assaults on American people.

The choice between Trump and Biden isn`t a difficult one. It`s a choice between precipitous decline in the chance of a restoration and recovery from these tragic events. That`s what the election about. And she shouldn`t be sweating it in the way that she is. It`s not a troubling decision. It`s an easy one.

REID: Brother Steve Schmidt, I got to say, I`m with you on that. I don`t understand it at all, sir. I truly don`t. Steve, thank you, always. Donna Edwards, always thank you, thank you, thank you.

Coming up, the violent response to protest as Trump created an environment in which this behavior by law enforcement is considered acceptable in the ranks.

Plus, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright weighs in on Donald Trump`s autocratic bid (ph). You do not want to miss that.

And the latest on the pandemic, yes, there is still a pandemic, and the CDC says, that new cases aren`t coming down as quickly as expected.

We have got so much more to get to. Please stay with us.


REID: Welcome back.

Protests continue tonight throughout the country, with no sign of letting up.

Tomorrow, in the nation`s capital, the D.C. police chief expects one of the largest gatherings that we have had in the city.

Earlier today, the city of Minneapolis announced that it would ban the use of choke holds by police and require police to report and intervene any time they see an unauthorized use of force. This comes amid of slew of disturbing images of police brutality that have flooded social media.

In Buffalo, reporters from the local public radio station WBFO captured police shoving a 75-year-old man, who then fell and cracked his head. The individual was hospitalized. The two officers captured shoving the man have been suspended, and prosecutors are investigating the incident.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo weighed in earlier today.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): You see that video, and it disturbs your basic sense of decency and humanity. Why? Why? Why was that necessary? Where was the threat?


REID: In Indianapolis, this disturbing video captured by a bystander shows Indianapolis police striking an individual who had allegedly broken the citywide curfew.

NBC could not verify what happened before this video was shot.

Meanwhile, in Louisville, people took to the street to celebrate the life of Breonna Taylor, who would have turned 27 today, had police not burst into her home after midnight and shot her to death back on March 13.

On Saturday, the second of three services for George Floyd will be held in his birthplace in Raeford, North Carolina. On Monday, the final service and burial will be held in his hometown of Houston, Texas.

The Floyd family lawyer said that former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to attend.

And for more, I`m joined by Maya Wiley, professor at The New School, and Michele Norris, "Washington Post" contributing columnist.

Thank you both for being here.

Maya, the scenes that we have seen of the way that police are treating people during these protests are shocking to a lot of Americans, not to African-Americans, not to people who have been afraid of police for a long time, for good reason.

Why is it, in terms of a law -- you worked for a mayor. You worked for the mayor of New York City. Why is it that police feel -- seem to feel so comfortable doing that? And why can police officers, even if they get, let`s say, fired for bad behavior in one precinct simply pick up and move to another town and keep being police?

MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, you`re pointing, Joy, to exactly the kinds of reforms that we need that protesters are actually in the streets demonstrating for.

So, the first answer is that we have often in this country not enough transparency, not enough of sunlight into complaints against police officers and whether and to what extent police departments are disciplining misconduct.

And that is really important, because, if police officers learn that their actions do not have consequences, then they continue to engage in the actions if they feel justified.

And the other part is that that culture, that internal culture that discipline requires is -- is about silence, is about protecting fellow officers,. It is about us vs. them. There is a phrase in the New York City Police Department informally used, better to be tried by 12 than carried by six.

It is this mentality that it is better to use force because your life might be in danger, rather than be pulled before a jury. And the problem with that kind of mentality, the reason that you need leadership, particularly police department leadership, to say, no, that is not right, and to say, and we will sanction misconduct when it happens, is because it becomes, if we think we`re in a dangerous situation, no matter how illegitimate that belief or feeling might be, we are justified in doing what we do.

And we have to shift that.

And only by barring bad behavior, creating consequences, making sure the public sees it and knows it and has some ability to say, you`re still not getting it right, and until we have police leadership, which we`re starting to see in various parts of country that recognizes that it has to change, that we are no longer in a world where they can say, with all of their vast resources, that they can`t pinpoint a few problem people, a few people who might be doing wrong in a vast sea of people who are just peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights, that is what we need in this country.

REID: And, Michele, I wonder if, for the media, there has also been a presumption police are the authority.

So, when something happens, it is the police to whom media go for the statement. And the statement is believed almost always without a whole lot of question, typically. Right?

I think about the Walter Scott case. I used to teach this case in a class that I was teaching, in a media class on race, in which, initially, the police came out, and they said that Walter Scott -- this is the man who was shot in North Carolina -- that he had tried to get the officer`s Taser and that is why he was shot.

Lo and behold, thanks to video, a very brave young man who happened to catch the entire murder on tape, it turned out, nope, Walter Scott had run from the officer. The officer simply shot him in the back, squared up and shot him, then walked up, and he -- and the second officer dropped a Taser to make it look like he committed a crime.

And police are believed even by the media. Do you think that something has fundamentally changed now, because we watched George Floyd`s murder from start to finish, and it is undeniable, and so they can`t hide behind that anymore? Is that the change?

Or is it because it is now non-black people who are bearing a lot of the brunt of the violence that they`re taking in the streets, at least the protesters, I mean?

MICHELE NORRIS, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think it is both of those things.

REID: Yes.

NORRIS: And it`s interesting that you -- you mention the Walter Scott case, because that was reported.

I remember that -- when that happened that day. The first news stories that came out were very different than what we learned when we actually saw the video.

REID: Yes.

NORRIS: And that applies to what we just saw in Buffalo with the older man who fell down.

The police said that he tripped, that he was not pushed. When you watch that video -- you had said that people of color aren`t shocked by these videos. I have been a person of color all my life, I have been black all my life, and I`m still shocked by what I see.

And I`m disappointed by how it is often reported in the first round if we don`t have the video to prove it, if we don`t have the video to prove it. And that is what is leading to the change in the polling that we`re seeing. For the first time, white Americans are saying that they believe in larger numbers that discrimination has something to do with the very aggressive policing that we`re seeing in the black community.

But that is still only about half of the country. It has gone from 36 percent to now around 54 percent. So, that still means that half of the country, half of white Americans, at least, watch these images and don`t believe that there is an aggressive kind of policing, an aggressive brand of policing that is targeted at African-Americans in particular.

And I don`t know how you can`t come to that conclusion when you look at the daisy chain of deaths that we have now seen. We have seen black death on small screens with alarming regularity. And you would think that that would start to convince people that there is a problem in the way we are policing black bodies in this country.

REID: Yes, you would think.

Well, we will -- the change is slow, but it is change, at least somewhat, in people`s perceptions.

Maya Wiley, Michele Norris, thank you both. Really appreciate being able to speak with you both tonight.

NORRIS: Thank you.

WILEY: Thank you.

REID: And up next, former U.S. Secretary of state Madeleine Albright joins us to discuss Trump`s recent behavior, which is straight out of the autocrat`s playbook.

And we are back right after this short commercial break.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Putin has been a very strong leader for Russia. He`s been a lot stronger than our leader. That, I can tell you.

The Chinese, Tiananmen Square, I said, they put down a violent viciously, horribly, strongly.

QUESTION: What do you make of the North Korean leader?

TRUMP: And, at a very young age, he was able to assume power. A lot of people, I`m sure, tried to take that power away. So, obviously, he`s a pretty smart cookie.


REID: Welcome back.

Well, that was Donald Trump on the strength of authoritarian leaders like Putin and Kim Jong-un.

As "The New York Times"` Max Fisher points out: "Trump has come closer this week than at perhaps any point in his presidency to reproducing some of the same traits of the strongmen rulers for whom he has long expressed admiration. Trump`s unapologetic calls for force, his efforts to position the military as backing his political line, and his warnings of an us-vs.- them internal threat that must be put down swiftly, all follow, whether he knows it or not, a playbook used by the very strongmen he has praised."

Or, as "The Washington Post" puts it: "The White House is now so heavily fortified, that it resembles the monarchical palaces or authoritarian compounds of regimes in faraway lands."

I`m joined now by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who has a new book out called "Hell and Other Destinations."

And, Madam Secretary, thank you so much for being here.

What do you make of Donald Trump`s comportment, from his clear desire to use the military as his own sort of private police force, and to recruit them into his service, personal, to this photo opportunity?

I`m going to show -- I`m going to put it up, him clearing the streets of Washington in order to walk across the street, away from his bunker, and hold up a Bible upside down in front of a church, and to just create that.

And he did -- he made a video of it. It was a video that he then tweeted out from the White House account.

What did you make of that?

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, I have to say, you said, very correctly, that he seems to have taken a page out of an autocrat`s playbook. And the clips that you played of the admiration that he has for the worst leaders that are able to control their societies is proof of it.

I do think that what we saw has been an absolutely outrageous use of power and a complete misunderstanding about what America is about. I came to this country when I was 11 years old. I had been through World War II, and then we escaped communism. And so I know what autocrats are about.

And I think that what happened in terms of -- and I was -- by the way, I was watching television when the park right in front of the White House was cleared out and tear-gassed. And I`m so familiar with that area, because I worked in the White House. I have walked across Lafayette Square. I have been to St. John`s Church.

And kind of seeing all of that take place, under those circumstances, by somebody who doesn`t understand at all what the Constitution is about, and so I am very concerned.

And -- but I do think -- and I want to point this out -- is, there have been stunning contrasts here. I`m very proud of the mayor for what she did and to decide to call it Black Lives Matter Plaza.

And also the rector of the church I go to, Gini Gerbasi, was in front of St. John`s at Lafayette Square giving out help to the people. And I think that what has happened is, Trump has made a joke of things that are vital to the functioning of American society.

And I think that all he knows how to do is insult people and has no sense about what an honor it should be to be president of the United States. And he has misused the office.

And I`m just stunned beyond belief, I have to tell you. It is nothing that I ever thought I would see in the United States. And I think we have to use this as an opportunity to deal with the systemic racism that has gone on and to honor the death of George Lloyd (sic).

REID: And do you -- what do you make of the fact that you now have generals, military generals -- I believe there are three or four that we can now count, including his own former secretary of defense -- who are condemning him, and in the case of his -- the former secretary of defense, likening him in some ways or relating him to the way that the Nazi regime behaved, and saying that we shouldn`t behave that way, and say he`s a threat to the Constitution?

What do you make of that?

ALBRIGHT: Well, I think it was a very important statement.

These are people that have been highly respected in the military, the highest level. I think they were appalled, frankly, by how this kind of spun out and embarrassed. But, more importantly, they made clear the importance of the relationship that the American people have with the military we respect, but not to all of a sudden start being the ones that see themselves as the violent control over people that are trying to show their views peacefully.

REID: Yes.

ALBRIGHT: And so their statements, I think, are very important. I applaud that they said them.

But I think we have to keep very, very careful watch about a lack of understanding by the president of the -- of what the military is about. He keeps talking about "my generals" and wants to have parades and show off how he fits in with those people that he admired at the -- in those clips that you showed.

REID: Yes.

ALBRIGHT: And the statement this morning blew my -- I couldn`t believe it, absolutely couldn`t believe it.

REID: Yes.

ALBRIGHT: It was a level beyond which one could go.

REID: Let me let you listen to some of international -- some of the international leaders respond to Donald Trump`s comments, as you just mentioned, about George Floyd.


POPE FRANCIS, LEADER OF CATHOLIC CHURCH (through translator): Dear brothers and sisters in the United States, I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days.

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I was appalled and sickened to see what happened to him.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: We all watch in horror and consternation what is going on in the United States. It is a time to pull people together, but it is a time to listen.


REID: And we have had -- according to "Foreign Policy," hundreds of former national security officials have condemned Donald Trump`s response to the protest.

Here`s a little bit of that. More than 280 former senior U.S. diplomats and military leaders rebuked Donald Trump over his plans to use U.S. military units to control protests across the country in a letter shared with "Foreign Policy" on Friday, saying: "There is no role for the U.S. military in dealing with American citizens exercising their constitutional right to free speech, however uncomfortable that speech may be for some."

If this was another country, Madam Secretary, and you were observing it as secretary of state, what would you make of it? Would this seem like a democracy to you, the way that Donald Trump is operating in the United States?

ALBRIGHT: If I were observing it, I definitely would not think it is, and that the people that he`s chosen to admire are the ones that really dictate the way he believes or the fact that he even understands what a democracy should be.

I don`t think -- he doesn`t understand the Constitution, from what I can tell. And I really do think -- I can`t tell you how proud I was to sit behind a sign that said the United States. At the moment, I think we are not just an embarrassment, but also a danger to other countries.

And we do -- are not going to be able to deal with the problems that are out there which know no borders, the virus and the kinds of issues going on. And it is appalling.

REID: Yes.

ALBRIGHT: And I think that we need to understand that the United States, this is not America.

And I think we need to listen to what the demonstrators are saying, what the discussions are. We need to sort out how we deal with what is a real departure from what people have seen as America.

And so it is a very hard time. And a propaganda stunt that has really dismantled some of the various aspects of our Constitution is very, very bad.

REID: Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state, thank you very much. Really appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.


REID: And up next: the latest on the ongoing pandemic.

We are flattening the curve -- thank you, ma`am -- but the CDC is worried that efforts so far may not be enough to really drive down the rate of infection.

Stay with us.


REID: Welcome back.

Well, over the last 11 days, tens of thousands of Americans have taken to the streets, and even into a church, as a result of the outrage over the police killing of George Floyd.

It comes as the country is still facing the threat of the coronavirus, which has already infected nearly two million people in the U.S., and taken the lives of more than 109,000.

The CDC is now forecasting the death toll to rise to more than 127,000 before the end of the month.

This morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned about the threat of new outbreaks caused by the massive crowds.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR: The congregation of large crowds at a time and in an area, a geographic area, where, clearly, there is active infection, transmission, it`s a perfect setup for further spread of the virus, in the sense of creating these blips, which might turn into some surges.

People running back and forth, taking their masks off, being close in proximity, that absolutely poses a risk that there might be spread of infection.


REID: For more, I`m joined by Dr. Lipi Roy, an internal medicine physician.

And, Dr. Roy, BuzzFeed has already reported that more than 11,000 people have already been arrested at these protests. And there is a concern that people who are put into then overcrowded detention facilities and police stations might be at risk of COVID.

And then on top of that, we have had tear gas that has been used on protesters, whereas as they`re breathing that in and then coughing that out. "The New York Times" says that: "Along with the immediate pain that could cause watering eyes and burning throats, tear gas may cause damage to people`s lungs, and make them more susceptible to getting a respiratory illness. According to studies on the risk of exposure, the gas can also incite coughing, which can further spread the virus from an infected person."

Do you expect, two weeks from now, we`re going to be talking about a new set of outbreaks from these protests, coming from these protests and the arrests?

DR. LIPI ROY, MSNBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Good evening, Joy. It is good to see you after so many days.

Yes, I -- the concern amongst many of us in the medical and public health communities is that there will likely be an increase, if not a surge, in cases in hospitals all over the country that have faced these protests.

And, yes, the tear gas, it`s -- in addition to just severe mucosal irritation, eyes, throats, there is a study actually done by the U.S. Army in 2012 that showed that, days after exposure to tear gas, people were at increased risk for developing infection.

But I also just wanted to say that there is nothing like a pandemic to expose the existing cracks in the U.S. health care system. I said that before for coronavirus, but it applies right now regarding decades, if not centuries, of racial inequities.

And we`re seeing that now. And I just want to be very clear, as a physician, that racism is a public health issue, if not a crisis. And I want to make sure that the families of Mr. George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and multiple other people who just -- whose deaths were not captured on camera, that I convey my sincere condolences, and we all need to act, including the medical community, to make sure that we correct these wrongs.

REID: Yes, I mean, it is ironic that the killing of these black people who have done nothing, that their murders are now prompting, in places where there already were spikes of COVID-19 that were disproportionately affecting black and brown people, that then there`s another risk to them.

That is the sort of tragic, sort of horrible irony of all this.

Even before that, you had -- on top of that, you also just had Memorial Day weekend, where, before this all happened, you also had people coming back out there, states that are reopening.

Have we kind of reached a perfect storm for COVID-19 to make the summer even more hellish?

ROY: You know, that is a great question, Joy.

Earlier, I Professor Eddie Glaude, who`s been a frequent guest on MSNBC, talk about how he`s from the Gulf Coast and hurricanes. And I can relate to that. I did my medical training in New Orleans.

And he talked about the fact that, right now, we`re in the eye of the storm. All of these different issues, these different scenarios are coming together.

And, look, I kind of have mixed feelings here, because a part of me is actually really inspired by seeing these protests and especially seeing all these young people protesting.

But, on the other hand, as a public health advocate and doctor, I`m really concerned because, right now, we have not contained this virus. It is out there. And the concern that I specifically have is that the young -- it`s the young people who may actually get the -- carry the virus.

They won`t be the ones getting severely sick and dying. They`re going to inadvertently then go back home and transmit this virus to older relatives, older people, people who are sick. And those individuals will go on and, unfortunately, get sick and die. That is what I`m worried about.

But I really want young people to remember that, look, you can still be an activist for social justice and public health, but do so from home. You can go online, you can donate, you can e-mail your local mayors and the Congress members and senator.

As President Obama recently said, you can -- change happens at the local level. So that is the key messages I want to send, both about social justice, Joy, and about public health.

REID: Mm-hmm.

And what should people be doing if they`re out in these crowds? You can`t social distance, because there are people so close to you. What would you advise people who are determined to go out there and march to do to keep themselves safe?

ROY: Yes. Well -- yes, yes, I`m so glad you asked that, Joy.

I -- trust me, I get that sense of, I don`t think there is anybody out there right now in our society who just doesn`t feel profound frustration and anger. And I understand that need, that urge to go out and protest.

My first recommendation would be, you can be an activist from home. But for those who still want to go out, please, by all means, cover your face, your nose and cover your eyes. There is a new recommendation now to cover your eyes, because it is mucosal protection.

And, as best you can, keep the distance, again, as best you can. Try not to shout and yell, because, when you do that, that is going to spread the respiratory droplets and the virus even more, Joy.

REID: OK. Dr. Lipi Roy, valuable advice. Thank you so much. Really appreciate you, your advice.

ROY: Thank you.

REID: Hopefully, people will take it. And thank you so much.

And still ahead: Protesters are taking to the streets, as we just discussed, to make their voices heard. We`re going to bring you some of those voices, the voices of protest.

That`s next. Stay there. Stay right here.


REID: Welcome back.

For more than a week, we have been glued to our screens, watching people protest for justice and human rights around the country and the world.

Take a listen to just a few of them.


UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace!

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace! No justice, no peace!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since I was 12 years old, I have been fighting for justice, for the understanding that black lives do truly matter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it is absolutely abhorrent that, at this time day and time, we`re still having to go through this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At 19 years old, nothing has changed. We`re still fighting for the same thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Black people have been fighting this fight for years, hundreds of years. And it`s a shame that, in 1962 to 2020, I`m still seeing the same thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want change. And you can see that from all of the people here. All races, all creeds, all people are here with this one message. And I think that`s beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t want (INAUDIBLE). I want them to have a purpose, have a life, be free, be people, be happy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I ask for all law enforcement to please, please hear our cries.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Lean on me.

You sing.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS (singing): When you`re not strong. I will be your friend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Everyday, I have been hunted as prey. My people don`t want no trouble. We have been on a struggle. I just want to live. God, protect me.


REID: We will be right back.


REID: Thanks for watching.

I will be back here at midnight for MSNBC`s continuing coverage of the nationwide protests.

And please be sure to tune in tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Eastern for "A.M. JOY." Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will be my guest.

Don`t go anywhere. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" is up next.