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School Reopenings TRANSCRIPT:8/3/20, The ReidOut

Guests: Bernard Ashby, Vanita Gupta, Amy Klobuchar, Robert P. Jones

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Understood. And, Marq Claxton, we often rely on you  on these stories we have for years. I think you for joining us on what,  again, I told viewers, is a tough one.

Our thanks to Marq Claxton and everyone who joined. That`s THE BEAT. Don`t  go anywhere because "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid starts now.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: The word of the day today is Florida. Donald Trump`s  latest game of Twitter pretend involve trying to make believe that he drew  massive crowds last week in the crucial State of Florida, a state he  misspelled rather comically in tweet storm this morning. It appears Trump  is trying to spin the fact that his campaign-style speech at the Tampa  airport was so sparsely attended that most of the rows of the tarmac were,  in fact, empty. Sad.

It`s the same woeful denial that we`re seeing from Trump when it comes to  the coronavirus. Despite the fact that the rate of new cases is far higher  in the United States than in Europe and elsewhere, the president today  tweeted this unbelievable claim. Quote, with the exceptions of New York and  a few other locations, we have done much better than other countries  dealing with the virus.

And as much as Trump would like to single out New York, well, he is  ignoring the fact that Florida long ago surpassed New York as a epicenter  of the virus. It`s the latest in series of rosy pronouncements from Trump,  all of which had been contradicted by people who are actual doctors.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS  DISEASES: Many of the cases shouldn`t even be cases. Cases are up because  we have the best testing in the world.

The increases that we are seeing are real increases in cases, as also  reflected by increasing in hospitalization and increasing in deaths.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But I happen to be a believer  in hydroxy. I used it. I had no problem. I happen to be a believer. Many,  many people agree with me.

ADM. BRETT GIROIR, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF HEALTH: The evidence just doesn`t  show that hydroxychloroquine is effective right now. I think we need to  move on from that and talk about what is effective.

TRUMP: We are actually -- we are going to be, in two, three, four weeks, by  the time we next speak, I think we`re going to be in very good shape.

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: What we`re  seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily  widespread. It`s into the rural as equal urban areas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Well, rather than confront reality, however, Trump is now lashing out  at his own experts. Reacting to Dr. Birx`s dire warning, Trump said today  that, quote, Deborah took the bait and hit us. Pathetic.

Trump is also attacking Dr. Fauci for saying the shut down in the spring  didn`t go far enough to contain the outbreak. Trump tweeted, wrong, we have  more cases because we have tested far more than every other country.

Well, once again, numerous experts and fact-checkers have already shown  that Trump`s claims are simply not true. It seems that Trump would rather  ignore the inconvenient truth that the virus is winning, and he is still  insisting that schools reopen this fall.

And it comes as The Washington Post reports that public health experts are  demanding a dramatic reset in the national response, one that recognizes  that the crisis is intensifying and that current piecemeal strategies  simply aren`t working.

Joining me now is Claire McCaskill, former senator from Missouri, and Dr.  Bernard Ashby, Cardiologist and Florida State lead for the committee to  Protect Medicare.

Dr. Ashby, I want to start with you first on this question. If, for  instance, you did not test for pregnancy, would that mean that you are not  pregnant, that maybe you can avoid becoming pregnant by not testing for  pregnancy? It`s facetious question, but if you can just respond to it on  the basis of coronavirus, because Donald Trump seems to think if you don`t  trust for a thing, the thing goes away.

DR. BERNARD ASHBY, CARDIOLOGIST: Joy, thanks for having me, first of all.  I`m a Florida boy from South Florida. We`re happy. We`re proud of you, what  you`re doing, setting on big things, big things as we say down here.

REID: Yes, thank you.

ASHBY: But in terms of this whole discourse, the fact that I`m having to  respond to Trump about clinical medicine is ridiculous. Like Trump needs to  stay in his lane. Like we want to medical school for a long time, we did  training for a long time to speak on exactly what we`re experts -- we have  the expertise to speak on. And the fact that Trump is inserting himself in  academic medicine, clinical medicine is ridiculous.

And he used to say things that are completely wrong that a lot of  politicians are saying things that are completely wrong. And, frankly, me,  representing medical professionals, we are pissed off. I mean, we want  homey to stay in his lane and not speak of medical evidence-based medicine  if he doesn`t understand it. It`s insane.

REID: It is insane. You know, Claire, you have school superintendents, they  are terrified. They are frankly terrified about the prospect of bringing  children back to school when we have kids in summer camps get sick and then  go home and spread it to who knows who. There are adults in these camps or  adults at home, and some of these kids have been hospitalized.

Donald Trump`s own son goes to a school that is not clear to reopen. His  own youngest son is not necessarily going to be back in school. When you  hear public official going along with this idea that they`re going to  reopen schools because Trump wants them to, even when scientists are saying  it isn`t safe. As somebody who was an elected officer, can you possibly  understand why someone would be more beholden to the president than to the  health and safety of their own constituents?

CLAIRE MCCASKILL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, no, especially, Joy, if  you take into account how he has botched everything. He has botched wearing  masks. He has botched testing. He has botched tracing. He has botched the  reopening of businesses and social gatherings. He is now botching the  reopening of schools and his own medical team has abandoned him. First, Dr.  Fauci. Now, Dr. Birx. Last Sunday, she said very clearly, masks should be  mandated by governors. Well, that`s the Trump line. And the admiral, as you  just played that segment, he said forget about hydroxy. It doesn`t work.

So he is alone on an ignorant island with no science. And the sad thing is,  my state, there are still a whole lot of people that are listening to him  and not wearing masks because they think it`s showing loyalty to Donald  Trump to not wear a mask and we`re having a huge outbreak in our state that  is endangering lives of thousands and thousands of people.

REID: You know, and meanwhile, Dr. Ashby, I wish he was alone on that  island. But there are people listening not just to him but to doctors who  say that sleep, sexual relations with demons can make you sick, then  saying, oh, by the way, hydrochloroquine, it will work, trust me, and  getting millions and tens of millions of people following them. You have  people who are now basically COVID deniers. Are you dealing with that in  the hospital where you`re treating these patients? And how does that impact  health professionals when you`ve got people who simply deny it isn`t real?

ASHBY: Another great question, Joy. It`s frustrating, okay? So just to give  people context, there`s three high quality randomized control trials, which  is a gold standard in medicine when we discuss research that have said that  with hydrochloroquine has no effect and potential harm. And the fact that  we are having this conversation with people who are not medical  professionals and people who, for whatever reason, are just turning a blind  eye to evidence-based medicine.

So you are referring to one physician who talked about her use of  hydrochloroquine for her patients, and her use of it for prophylaxis,  completely contradicting all the research that we have done that actually  have placebo controls that showed that it didn`t work. And the fact that  she is using her own anecdotal evidence to talk about her outpatient experience and saying that`s the way we should do it is just ridiculous.

And, again, I shouldn`t be talking about this on this show. But this is a  conversation we have amongst academics, the people that are treating the  patients. We use the best standard of care so that we could have the best  outcomes. And it`s showing patients are doing better at treatment despite  the fact that a lot of our leaders are spewing misinformation out there,  wasting my time, having me sit here and having to contradict someone that  doesn`t what T.F. they`re talking about. I`ve got to use the acronyms  because I can`t curse on air.

REID: Yes, no, absolutely. I mean, well, technically, it`s cable, but I get  you, including the governor of Florida, right?

I mean, Claire, I`m going to read to two quotes for you, Claire. This is  from the Arizona superintendent. This is a school superintendent in  Arizona, and this is in The Washington Post. And he says, every time I  start play out what it looks like going back to on August 17th, I get sick  to my stomach. It`s not safe. There`s no way it can be safe. If you think  anything else, I`m sorry, but it`s fantasy. Kids will get sick or worse.  Family members will die. Teachers will die.

One more quote, this is from the Atlanta Journal Constitution. And this was  a summer camp. The largest school district in the state reported Sunday  that 216 employees -- this is -- sorry, this isn`t the summer camp. This is  a school district, Gwinnett County. 216 employees have already tested  positive for the coronavirus and are in quarantine because of possible  exposure as they prepare for the new school year.

So teachers are not going to get sick, Claire. They are already sick. And  you have in the states of Georgia and Florida governors who are much more  interested in what Donald Trump thinks of them and what he tweets about  them than these pieces of information that are from the people that they  are supposed to be governing. I mean, you --

MCCASKILL: If you look -- yes, Joy. If you look at the economic reality of  -- if you look at the economic reality, a lot of the students, they have  multigenerational families and they`re going to be carriers. They may be  okay if they contract it. Many children haven`t been, but they`re going to  be carriers in multigenerational families and people are going to die.

And the public health damage that has been done by this president, we  respect public health officials. We revere the information they give us in  terms of protecting our health. He has taken a two by four to the public  health standards in this country.

And by the way, in the process, millions on of people are losing their  health insurance. And while he is in court trying to make sure they cannot  get health insurance or have protection from pre-existing conditions by  trying to destroy the ACA, known as Obamacare.

REID: Yes. And meanwhile, I think today was the deadline for him to debut  his great new plan for healthcare. I don`t remember seeing it.

MCCASKILL: Right, not there.

REID: Dr. Ashby, you`ve also got -- the president and his party are putting  everything sort of into the idea that there is going to be a vaccine by  October, that that will be their October surprise, that fallout (ph) with  the vaccine. But there have been a lot of concerns raised that rushing a  vaccine through could actually make people sicker. Are you concerned about  that that something will be rushed out and they will say, well, this is the  vaccine, and much like hydrochlorine, it will do more harm than good?

ASHBY: So I think you`re getting at a very big issue that`s not talked  about with the public`s distrust of the vaccine and the process by which  it`s being developed. There is not enough dialogue with the public about  the process and developing the vaccine, what goes into it, what are the  components and how is it actually going to be distributed.

People have an inherent distrust of government and inherent distrust of our  healthcare system based on rational thinking. Because if you look at our  history, there has been a lot of things, especially for black and brown  that people that have been completely devastating to our communities.

But, with that said, we`re here, like folks like me, we have a lot of  medical professionals, people of color, people from the same neighborhoods  who are actually involved in this process, who are supervising and making  sure that we`re holding the governmental and our healthcare system  accountable. And so we need to actually trust the science but also trust  the folks who are out there in our communities, investing in our  communities, protecting them.

And this is one more point. The lack of testing right now is incredible.  The average wait time in South Florida is at least five days. And the fact  we can`t get a test within 30 minutes, which is ideal, right, not even a  day, is insane. And he keeps saying that our testing is impeccable, it is  great. It is not, okay? It defeats (ph) the purpose. If we cannot get the  result within a certain period of time, it defeats the purpose. So testing  is not okay. So he needs to stop saying that and fix it. Thank you. Sorry,  I`m angered.

REID: Absolutely, very well said. Former Senator Claire McCaskill, Dr.  Bernard Ashby from 305, my former home, the 305, thank you both very much.  Please stay safe out there.

And up next on THE REIDOUT, the all out White House assault on the  integrity of our elections.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For states who have never done this universal mail-in  voting, it will be a disaster.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A universal mail-in voting system that is completely  rife with the potential for fraud, cheating.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Always a mail-in ballot  system, mass mail-out ballots are going to be more at risk of fraud.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, is there anything that the president and friends  won`t do to suppress the vote?

And tonight`s craziest thing in the world, well, think about how odious  you`ve got to be for Senate Republicans to refuse, even hold a hearing for  you. The Trump, well, he gave him a job any way.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: In 2016, it was Vladimir Putin caught meddling in our elections to  help elect Donald Trump. This year, Americans are facing meddling from  Trump himself. And unlike Russia, Trump is trying to interfere Americans`  constitutional right to vote in plain sight. The latest example is Trump`s  threat to bring a lawsuit to stop a bill the Nevada legislature just  passed, expanding mail-in voting. He called it an illegal late night coupe,  which is not true.

Meanwhile, the president`s pick to leave the U.S. postal service is making  changes that are causing delays in mail delivery and fueling concerns of  what it could mean for this year`s expected surge in mail-in voting. And  just last week, Trump threatened to delay the election entirely, something  he does not have the power to do.

Joining me now is Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of the Leadership  Conference of Civil and Human Rights. And, Vanita, lucky you, I`ve got a  sound bite of Donald Trump just a moment ago. Thank you for being here. He  is now being -- it`s been floated to him whether or not he might try an  executive order to stop mail-in voting. Here he is answering that question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Universal mail-in ballots is going to be a great embarrassment to  our country.

REPORTER: Would you consider an executive order on this?

TRUMP: Well, I have a right to do it. We haven`t gotten there yet, but  we`ll see what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: He doesn`t have the power to do that, right?

VANITA GUPTA, FORMER DIRECTOR, DOJ CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION: I mean, he can  try to do it. It`s going to get shot down in court. Of course, you know, I  mean, the lies continue. Five states have been using mail-in ballots or  absentee voting for many, many years without a single glitch. Hundreds of  millions of voters have been able to vote this way.

And just by the way, I have noticed this change among the administration.  They are starting to use this term, universal mail-in ballots. Most states  that are moving to prepare for the November election are not moving to a  universal mail-in ballot system. They are moving to create options for  voters to be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote amid a  pandemic.

So what they`re doing is they`re trying to put in place voting by mail with  the kind of guard rails, like prepaid postage stamp, trying to get -- there  is a big push to get states to change their rules if they haven`t already,  to make sure that any ballots that are received on or before election day  will be counted, especially given the attacks on the U.S. postal service,  which is resulting in delays, but also to have in-person early -- in-person  expanded early voting so that you can have polling places that are open for  two weeks at least, 20 days, in advance, and to allow for people who, for  whatever reason, people with disabilities, Native American voters who may  not be close or have U.S. postal addresses to be able to vote and have  expanded online voter registration.

So this is -- the president can make these threats. Several states have  been using this system. There has been study after study that has shown  that these elections can take place with no scandal, with no problem. 

And so, to me, Joy, this is just about him trying to set up a situation to  sow seeds of confusion and fear, so that, if he loses in November, he can  try to delegitimize a completely valid election. 

REID: Yes, an excuse me.

And you mentioned the five states that already use universal mail-in  voting, meeting all of its on mail -- in the mail. Colorado, Hawaii,  Oregon, Utah, and Washington state already vote this way and have done for  quite a long time. I don`t recall it being a problem in the past. 

This is what the Nevada law is doing. It would guarantee mail-in ballots to  all registered voters. It would mandate a minimum number of in-person  polling places, and it would allow non-family members to return completed  ballots.

That last thing I want to talk to you about. Do you recommend -- because I  have had some people ask me whether or not it would be better for people to  fill out their ballot at home, and then drop it off at their polling place. 

Is that the safest way to make sure that your absentee ballot -- ballot is  counted?

GUPTA: So, there`s a lot of different ways. States are doing this in  different ways. 

Some of them, you have to send it by mail back. Some of them, you have  secure drop boxes and collection methods. And some of them are doing what  Nevada is proposing doing. And there`s a securitization process to make  sure that the person who signed the ballot is the person who is having  their vote counted. 

And so states have a lot of experience in dealing with this. And, as you  mentioned, though, the five states that you mentioned are ones that have  had this in place without a glitch for many years. But there are many other  states that have been trying the system out as well with the same result. 

And so I think the important thing is to make sure, especially amid a  pandemic, where there are people with compromised immunity -- they won`t be  able necessarily to walk into a polling station and feel comfortable  handing in their ballot -- that there are these secure alternative methods,  tried and true, by states already to allow people to vote amid the  pandemic. 

And this is especially important right now, because we, unfortunately, have  a president who seems intent on kind of weaponizing COVID and weaponizing  the very infrastructure by which we are going to be able to vote, meaning  the U.S. Postal Service here.

So, states have to be able to create these options for voters. And then  there`s going to be a massive voter education effort that is going to be  required to make sure voters know exactly how they can exercise -- exercise  their vote. 

REID: Yes. And they`re going to -- and that all has to be done in 91 days. 

So, hopefully, people will jump on that very soon. 

Vanita Gupta, great to talk to you, always. Thank you very much. 

And joining me now, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

And I will ask you this question, Senator. Thank you for being here. 

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): Thanks, Joy. 

REID: You were a prosecutor in Minnesota. 

Thank you. 

Have you ever prosecuted anybody for saying, hi, I am Amy Klobuchar, and  I`m here to vote, when you`re Amy Klobuchar? Have you ever prosecuted  somebody for that?

KLOBUCHAR: No. 

And what we have done, though, is, we have reviewed these cases. When I was  the county attorney, we actually got all the voting cases in. And we would  assiduously go through each one of them, because, sometimes, you would have  people with the same name voting.

And 99 percent of them turned out to be husbands, fathers and sons with the  same name. And the very small incidences of -- I remember one case we had  where a guy said he went out and did that. And so, of course, we did take  on the case, because that`s what you do. 

But, as we know, in the state of Oregon that has had vote by mail for  decades, they have had 0.000001 percent fraud in all those years. And, in  fact, to me, having just been at a briefing with the Trump intelligence  people about election security, this is one solution, because we will have  paper ballots, Joy.

And it helps on that front. And it certainly helps because I don`t think  that we should be putting voters in the hospital. I think we should be  putting ballots in the mailbox. And that`s why we`re working so hard this  week -- my bill got passed in the House, it`s part of the HEROES Act -- to  get the funding, so that we can help voters vote. 

And please note, Mitt Romney is a big fan of ballot by mail. And so are  many Republican secretaries of states and governors.

(LAUGHTER)

KLOBUCHAR: The president is pretty much standing alone. 

REID: Right, because Mitt Romney gets elected by mail, because they vote by  mail completely in Utah. And they manage to elect a Republican every time.

KLOBUCHAR: That is correct, Joy.

REID: There is -- yes, 

Let`s -- let me read you a little bit of this "New York Times" article  talking about these mail delays. I think there`s a lot of concern about  this man who is now running the Postal Service and seems to be deliberately  slowing down mail delivery. 

And this is the quote: "Erratic service could delay the delivery of blank  ballots to people who request them. And in 34 states, completed ballots are  not received by Election Day" -- this year, it`s November 3 -- "are  invalidated, raising the prospect that some voters could be disenfranchised  if the mail system buckles."

Is there anything planned by Democrats? And can you get any Republicans?  Can Mitt Romney be convinced to go along with doing something to protect  the post office? It`s in the Constitution. Can the Senate protect it?

KLOBUCHAR:  Sure. 

And there have been Republicans in the past that have wanted to help the  post office because they`re very, very important in rural areas. 

On the election front, by the way, Roy Blunt is working with me. Every  single day, I talk to him, three times today, in trying to figure out what  this funding should be on elections. Very important.

On the Postal Service, $25 billion were included in the House bill. We are  pushing for this. Senator Schumer is going to be talking with the  postmaster, someone who had been appointed by Donald Trump, as not only  making problems when it comes to getting the funding, but also putting  rules in place that have made it really hard for mail to be delivered. 

And that`s why you`re hearing reports in the last few weeks of late mail,  regardless of voting. We have to get this fixed before the election. 

REID: Yes. 

And let me ask you. Very quickly, I want to jump over and ask you a  question about the Democrat that`s running, obviously, Joe Biden. 

There`s been a lot of talk about his veep search being a bit of a mess at  this point.

KLOBUCHAR: Really?

REID: It`s quite messy and pitting women against women, black women against  black women. 

What do you make of all this? You pulled yourself out of the running, and  you said that he thought that it should be a woman of color. What do you  make of what`s happening right now, in terms of the Chris Dodds of the  world saying, we don`t want someone too ambitious, and that sort of thing?

KLOBUCHAR: Yes, I think that he actually put out a statement after that.

But let me just start -- Dodd did, clarifying that. 

But let me start with this. First of all, it`s a historic moment. That`s  why I have said that repeatedly, that I think it`s a historic moment, where  we can put a woman of color on the ticket.

Secondly, these women are all qualified. They`d be great. Every woman he`s  considering is qualified for this job. 

And I hate these negative attacks. But I think that, in the end, he`s going  to make a good decision. I don`t know who it`s going to be, but it`s going  to be someone that we`re going to respect and be proud of on the ticket  that will bring experience and competence and compassion to the ticket. 

And one other thing I`d add is, on this issue of ambition, I`m glad that  these women, they all have ambition. We need more women of ambition running  for office. And every woman that goes to work every day, including you,  Joy, who wouldn`t -- by the way, congratulations on your new show --  wouldn`t have had this show...

REID: Thank you. 

KLOBUCHAR: ... without ambition. Ambition is a good thing. 

REID: Yes, absolutely. Ambition is a good thing. To all the little girls  out there who are watching, just keep that in mind. 

Senator Amy Klobuchar, thank you very much. Really appreciate you being  here with me. 

And with just 91 days to go, just 91 days until Election Day, you can go to  Vote.org to quickly find out everything thing that you need to know about  registering to vote or making sure that you are still registered, how to  get a mail-in ballot, early voting, where your polling place is, and much  more.

So, please check it out and make sure that you`re registered. And we will  be bringing you lots of updates on how to exercise your right to vote as  well right through Election Day. 

And next on THE REIDOUT: The clock is ticking -- tick, tick, tick -- on  Trump`s sinking campaign, and Republicans are getting worried.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "JAWS")

ROBERT SHAW, ACTOR (singing): Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish  ladies. Farewell and adieu, you ladies of Spain.

(SCREAMING)

(END VIDEO CLIP) 

REID: Gruesome. 

Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

REID: Well, time is not on Donald Trump`s side. 

The clock is ticking to Election Day -- tick, tick, tick -- and Republicans  are sounding the alarm. According to the Associated Press, Trump is  privately reassuring Republicans anxious about his deficits to Democrat Joe  Biden, noting there are three months until Election Day. 

The AP adds that Trump`s tweet last week threatening to delay the election  drew a rare rebuke from Republicans, many of whom quietly warned the White  House that it could be interpreted as an admission that the president was  losing and could hurt their chances of retaining the Senate.

And they warned that time is running out. The first state to hold early  voting, the vital battleground of North Carolina, begins the process  September 4.

But Biden also faces a time crunch of his own. With just two weeks until  the convention, where he will formally accept the Democratic presidential  nomination, he has yet to name a running mate.

We will tell you what`s causing the holdup next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

REID: Joe Biden pledged to choose his running mate by the first week of  August. Well, it`s the first week of August, and we`re learning more about  where the former V.P. stands on his decision. 

NBC News reports that, according to sources close to the process, Biden  planned this weekend to drill down on vetting materials, with the goal of  narrowing the list down to three or four candidates. But several factors  stand in the way of a public announcement, which aides said is unlikely to  come this week. 

According to "The Washington Post," Biden has extended his vice  presidential search by as much as two weeks, intensifying the jockeying and  lobbying between allies of the women who hope to join his White House. 

Some longtime Biden allies worry the process has become messier than it  should be, pitting women, especially black women, against one another. 

And joining me now is Heather McGhee, board co-chair for Color of Change,  and Robert P. Jones, founder and CEO of the Public Religion Research  Institute and author of "White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in  American Christianity."

Thank you both for being here. 

And, Heather, I will go to you first on this weird dynamic now that`s  developed, where different people are lobbying for different women, black  women, to be Biden`s running mate, but pitting them against each other in  this weird sort of public fight that they`re not having, that their  surrogates are having. 

HEATHER MCGHEE, NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, it`s a lot.

And, to be honest, it really -- all of this noise needs to quiet down,  because this is the most consequential decision he will have made so far,  putting the person who could be the first female president a heartbeat away  from the presidency.

And he`s got amazing choices, right? That`s very clear. He`s got the choice  of -- you have got Elizabeth Warren, who holds the best in terms of the  groups that are the least enthusiastic about Joe Biden, like young people.  You have got Susan Rice, which would be an amazing sort of getting the band  back together. 

You have got a sleeper candidate in Karen Bass, who`s strongest on issues  of criminal justice reform and health care, exactly the issues that are  most important to voters right now. And then, of course, you have got the  superstar campaigner in Kamala Harris.

All of this, Ed Rendell and Chris Dodd leaks that are really not on message  with what Joe Biden was trying to do -- and I think he needs to come out  and say, these are the reasons why I said I want to pick a woman, and  before we even announce the woman, here`s why shared leadership and a real  partnership and balanced leadership with a woman is really important to the  future of this country. 

REID: Yes. 

And, as Representative Jim Clyburn, he was quoted in "The Washington Post"  saying, nobody`s trying to quit to pit Gretchen Whitmer vs. Elizabeth  Warren against each other. It`s just these particular women, which I think,  for a lot of people, is a problem, and is pointed out.

I want to bring Robert into this. 

Robby, great to see you. 

So, meanwhile, on the other side of this, you have got Donald Trump sitting  at a deficit to Joe Biden. I think we overdid it a little bit with the  "Jaws" clip, trying to make the point that they`re trying to reassure  everyone that everything is fine, but everything is actually really not  fine with his campaign. 

And you have got -- for instance, in North Carolina, Biden, if you believe  the polls, is up by four points over Donald Trump. And you will recall,  basically, Joe Biden already won North Carolina with Barack Obama in 2008,  when the Biden -- the Obama-Biden ticket won there.

You have got Georgia showing Biden one point up over Donald Trump. And that  was a poll -- a YouGov poll. And you can go on and on and on through all of  these races, Arizona, all these other states that are now in jeopardy. 

What do you think is happening among white voters in particular in the  South? Because for that movement to happen, at least some white voters have  to be moving. 

ROBERT P. JONES, PUBLIC RELIGION RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOUNDER AND CEO: Yeah,  that`s right, and you know, what I would say, we are seeing some movement,  particularly among white women, and particularly among whites with a four- year college degree, and recent polling at PRRI, we have favorability  numbers for both of these candidates, if you look at white Americans with a  four-year college degree, that is 23 percent of the population, Biden`s  favorability is at 60 percent compared to Trump`s favorability that is now  down to 29 percent among these key group. 

White women, Biden is at 52 percent, Trump is only at 35 percent. And so,  you know, if you`re the Trump administration looking at these numbers, I  mean, these are key numbers that are, white women, you know, he won in  2016. These are key numbers that, you know, he really does have -- have to  win. 

And he is still holding on to white evangelical protestants. But we`re  actually seeing, particularly among white Catholics. White Catholics are  down to 36 percent favorability toward Trump, and this is a group that he  won by nearly two-thirds in 2016. 

REID: Well, just to stay with you for a moment on the white evangelicals,  you do have Jerry Falwell now putting up a tweet saying he will only wear a  mask if it`s got the black face image of the Virginia governor on it, from  when the Virginia governor was in high school or college. And he`s --  that`s now caused a backlash against him. You have a lot of black folks  that attend that university, Liberty University, calling on him to resign. 

Do those kinds of controversies end playing -- pushing evangelicals away  from Trumpism, or are they just so locked in that really, the only place  Biden can go fishing for votes among white voters is among white Catholics  and college educated white voters? 

JONES: You know, we`re seeing zero movement among white evangelical  Protestants. And this has been true throughout Trump`s presidency, whether  we`re talking impeachment, you know, you name it comments, that grabbing  women by their genitals during the elections, and none of it has made a  difference among white evangelicals. Their favorability numbers today are  nearly two-thirds. It`s about where they were in 2016. It`s where they were  through all of 2019. 

You know, we interviewed more than 50,000 people on this number in 2019,  have a very solid view of this, and they haven`t moved. But here`s the one  thing to say about white evangelicals. There are fewer of them in this  election cycle than there were in 2016, they dropped down to 15 percent,  and in a key battleground states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania,  white Catholics are as big or bigger than white evangelicals in those key  battleground states. 

REID: Right. And, you know, for, Heather, benefits (ph), 15 percent of the  population let`s say are white Evangelicals. That is equal to the number of  African-Americans. I mean, these two votes cancel each other out in a lot  of ways.

Is there a sign there is one pick that Biden can make for VP that could get  the turn out among African-Americans to max out? 

HEATHER MCGHEE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, the most important thing  honestly, that Joe Biden and the Democrats can do to ensure high voter turn  out is the attack voter suppression and make sure that African-American  population which is absolutely fired up and feels as many parts of the  American people do, like this is one of the most consequential elections.  But the Republicans are backed in the corner and so, they feel like their  only way out is to, you know, skew the electorate and attack the very  foundations of democracy. 

And so, all the litigation that`s going on around the country to make sure  that people can vote by mail, to make sure that people can vote in person  safely, to make sure there are enough polling locations in African-American  neighborhoods, that`s frankly more important than any of the polling has  shown, any VP pick would be.

All of these women are strong with African-Americans, including I`ll say  the one woman who is still on the short list who is not African-American.  She has high favorability with black voters, but it`s really about whether  our votes will be counted and not so much about who is on the bottom of the  ticket. 

REID: All right, we shall see. Heather McGhee, and Robert P. Jones --  Robert, I have to come you come back to talk about the book and  congratulations and good luck on that.

And the craziest damn thing in the world is next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

REID: The Trump administration and his campaign continue to hire people who  have said the kind of crazy damn things that we cover here. 

Take Trump`s newest senior campaign adviser, Steve Cortes. 

As "The Daily Beast" flagged today, he recently said the problem wasn`t  that Trump was veering toward fascism. It`s that it wasn`t fascist enough? 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

STEVE CORTES, TRUMP ADVISER: If Trump were the fascist that they pretend  that he is, wouldn`t he have cracked down much, much harder on the unrest  in the American streets?

To be quite honest, when, you know, there were people being bloodied, cops  being attacked, businesses being smashed, I could have used a tad bit more  of a fascist Trump to be honest. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

REID: Ha ha, fascism humor. 

But that`s not even the craziest of Trump`s recent hires. Take retired  brigadier general and Fox News regular, Anthony Tata, whose Senate  confirmation hearing for a top Pentagon job was canceled after it became  clear he would haven`t enough votes to make it to through the Senate Armed  Services Committee due to his history of making, yep, super crazy comments.  These include his calling Islam the most oppressive, violent religion I  know of, unquote, and describing President Barack Obama as a, quote,  terrorist leader. 

He also threatened former CIA Director John Brennan with execution, telling  him, quote, pick your poison. 

You know it`s bad when the committee run by Trump sycophant Republicans  won`t even confirm his nominee. 

But the administration didn`t give up. Instead, over the weekend, they  appointed him to a different Pentagon rule, one that does require Senate  confirmation, and that is today`s craziest damn thing in the world!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: As companies like Lord & Taylor and Men`s Warehouse go bankrupt under  the pressures of the pandemic, Donald Trump is attempting to control the  profits of other private companies. On the one hand, there is photo company  Kodak, which Trump gave a $765 million government loan to expedite domestic  production of drugs, including, of course, hydroxychloroquine. And on the  other, there is popular social media app TikTok which Trump threatened to  ban on Friday. 

He`s now saying that Microsoft can buy TikTok as long as the U.S.  government gets a piece of the action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Whether it`s Microsoft or  somebody else, or if it`s the Chinese, what -- what the price is, the  United States could -- should get a very large percentage of that price  because we`re making it possible. 

Nobody else would be thinking about but me, but that`s the way I think. And  I think it`s -- I think it`s very fair. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: OK. Joining me now is Stephanie Ruhle, MSNBC anchor and senior  business correspondent. 

And, of course, nobody else would think that, Stephanie Ruhle, because only  mob bosses think that. The government doesn`t get a piece of the action.  This isn`t -- you know, this isn`t a crime family. It`s supposed to be a  president.

STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC ANCHOR AND SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I was sure  you were going -- I was sure you were going to say this conversation was  going to be the craziest thing you heard all day, so I was sitting waiting  going, this has to be the craziest. But, yes, yes, this is your second  craziest thing that you have heard all day, yeah, right here. 

REID: Yeah, I mean, you -- if a company, Microsoft, wants to buy another  company, TikTok, that has nothing to do with the president of the United  States, and the government doesn`t get a piece of the action, right? That`s  not the way it works. 

RUHLE: It`s not the way it works. But more than that, it undermines what  the president was originally saying, right? Last week, this was about  national security. This was about data. This was about unfair practices and  the Chinese, right? That`s how we started this dance. 

When really we know the president hates TikTok because of all those young  TikTokers who, quote-unquote, sabotaged a bunch of ticket sales when he had  a rally in Tulsa. But now, here we are today, and we`re not talking about  national security. We`re not talking about China. 

But the president is saying, oh, Microsoft is going to get themselves a  sweet deal and the U.S. government wants a piece of it. So, the bigger  issue is, what exactly is the president doing? Or more importantly, is this  just a distraction? 

Joy, there are a lot of very important things happening in the world,  whether it`s the drop in GDP, people losing their unemployment benefits,  the fact that we`re expecting another 25,000 small businesses to go under  by the end of the year. And oh, by the way, we have a pandemic spreading.  But, no, the president has made TikTok front and center. 

REID: Yeah, and, by the way, thank you for mentioning that because we know  businesses, both of us do, that are under intense pressure because of the  drop in sales and people coming into the stores and into their shops, into  their restaurants. 

Meanwhile, Kodak, you and I have been talking about this. We`ve been  texting about this. Thank God I have your cell phone number because I don`t  understand this stuff and I`m glad to be able to talk to you. 

Donald Trump announced $765 million financing for Eastman Kodak, a company  that we all know make cameras. Now, all of a sudden, they are going to be a  drug company. Kodak on Monday granted the executive chairman -- its  executive chairman options for 1.5 million shares. 

One day later, the administration of Donald Trump announces this deal. In  the days that followed, the stocks soared, making those additional options  now held by executive chairman Jim Continenza worth tens of millions of  dollars. 

What the heck is going on with this deal? 

RUHLE: What the heck is going on? And a big portion of those shares are  immediately vesting, which means he can sell them right away. Now, these  additional options were not part of his compensation package that was  public record. It wasn`t something that was in his contract. But it was  just based on some sort of agreement that the executive chair got that on  Monday. And then Tuesday, the government announces this deal. 

Now, here is why this deal stinks. Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy in  2011. Yes, it`s a storied company with a huge American brand that  squandered it. In the age of digital, they lost their groove. 

They filed in 2012. They tried to get their groove back and failed. They  tried to get into the cryptocurrency space. But even in the last year,  executives have been guiding Wall Street saying, we might not be able to  continue much longer. They issued a deal in the spring because they didn`t  have enough money. 

So, here we are a company with no pharmaceutical experience. Yes, they`ve  got experience in making chemicals that had to do with developing film. No  experience. 

So if this administration wanted to say, we`re too dependent on getting  drug ingredients from China, we want to bring it here, that makes a lot of  sense. Guess what we have though, Joy? All sorts of viable drug companies  that could do this. 

REID: Right. 

RUHLE: Eastman Kodak sure ain`t one of them. 

REID: That`s -- that`s my problem with it. And you -- you have been  tweeting about how this is a collateralized loan. Peter Navarro told Fox  Business that the loan is fully collateralized by assets and performance  contract so it`s (INAUDIBLE) taxpayer. 

How can it be collateralized by assets if they`re bankrupt? 

RUHLE: Bingo. Well, they`re bankrupt in 2011. They have made their way out.  But tell me what those assets are. I mean, I say it tongue and cheek, but  is it abandon photo mats and parking lots? If you were to say to me, well,  Stephanie, they have very valuable patents. Really? Where were they? 

Because the stock was trading at 2 bucks -- let`s say it again -- $2 a  share before they announced that deal. So it`s unclear to me where they  have all of these valuable assets. 

It`s also unclear to me why we`re not hearing about this from more  lawmakers. I know it`s a little bit tricky, right? If you`re Chuck Schumer,  if you`re Governor Cuomo, Kodak is located in your state, right? It`s in  Rochester, and they are going to create some jobs. 

REID: Yes.

RUHLE: But every lawmaker out there should be on the side of at the very  least, asking questions, as well as the SEC. 

REID: Well, and the other question is -- exactly. This is taxpayer money  that`s going to a company that doesn`t make drugs when there are drug  companies. I think we had a doctor on last week that said if there were no  drug companies in America, then this would make sense, to create one using  the powers of the presidency and this, you know, this Defense Production  Act. But there are lots of drug companies. 

Does this stink to you as something that is some kind of a deal that Donald  Trump is going to make money in? Because I -- I truly don`t get it,  honestly. 

RUHLE: Listen, it stinks to the high heavens. But is it premature to  officially link the president or the executives of this company or their  very large shareholders to the Trump administration? It`s premature to say  anything like that. 

REID: Yeah.

RUHLE: But it is not premature to be asking the question and start digging.  I promise you, Joy Reid, this story is not going away and we will continue  to dig. It don`t make sense. 

REID: Please stay on it. Stephanie Ruhle, I appreciate you, my friend. 

That is tonight`s REIDOUT.

And "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now. 

  THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY  BE UPDATED. END