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Transcript: The ReidOut, 5/17/22

Guests: Adrienne Elrod, Will Bunch, Benjamin Crump, Garnell Whitfield


President Biden makes an emotional visit to Buffalo, where he meets with the families of the victims killed in the supermarket mass shooting. Primaries are held in multiple states. Is the Department of Justice stepping up its investigation of the insurrection? Right-wing politicians and FOX News hosts who have been pushing the Great Replacement Theory try to defend themselves.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: And I will be helping out at midnight Eastern/9:00 p.m. Pacific, anchoring, along with Steve and our experts, to take in all of these election results.

So, keep it locked here on election night in America.

And keep it locked right now, as "THE REIDOUT" is up next.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone.

We are following a number of important stories tonight, including President Biden`s emotional visit to Buffalo today, where he met with the families of the victims killed in Saturday`s racist mass shooting.

A little later, I will speak with the son of one of those victims.

Plus, polls close later this hour in North Carolina and at the top of the hour in Pennsylvania. We will have updates on some of the major races.

We will begin THE REIDOUT tonight with breaking news on the investigations into the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"The New York Times" is reporting tonight that the Justice Department has asked the January 6 Committee for transcripts of the interviews that it has conducted in its investigation. The request came on April 20, with the DOJ indicating "that some committee interviews may contain information relative to a criminal investigation we are conducting."

NBC News has now confirmed that reporting. The DOJ did not indicate the number of transcripts they wanted or if there were any specific interviews they were interested in. So far, the committee has interviewed more than 1,000 people, including many close to the twice-impeached former president.

While Attorney General Merrick Garland has received criticism about the Justice Department`s response to the insurrection, this is the latest sign of the department appearing to escalate the scope of its inquiry.

And, as "The New York Times" also points out several months ago, the department quietly detailed a veteran federal prosecutor from Maryland, Thomas Windom, to the department`s headquarters. He`s overseeing the politically fraught question of whether a case can be made related to other efforts to overturn the election aside from the storming of the Capitol.

That task could move the investigation closer to Donald Trump and his inner circle.

And January 6 Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson told reporters tonight that his committee is willing to work with the Department of Justice, but no agreement has been made yet on what will be provided.

Joining me now, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner and Barbara McQuade, professor at the University of Michigan Law School and a former U.S. attorney.

I will just ask each of you, ladies, first, Barbara, what do you think it indicates? Because we know that there has been -- this is the largest investigation in DOJ history. So we know that they`re investigating the January 6 insurrection. What does it mean that they want transcripts of interviews that the January 6 Committee has conducted?

BARBARA MCQUADE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Joy, I think this signals that the investigation is not solely related to the physical attack on the Capitol on January 6 -- that, we have known for a long time -- but is that much more expansive investigation into all of the things that the committee has been looking at.

It seems to me that it`s likely that the Justice Department has been building to this stage all along. They have got that seditious conspiracy case against the Oath Keepers. Three of them have now pled guilty and are cooperating. And so they have been building up to this point, and they`re now ready to go overt and sort of admit to the world that, yes, we are looking at all of this, at everybody, including Trump, and his inner circle.

So, to me, that`s what this signals.

REID: Glenn, yeah, this feels very significant to me, because we know that the physical attack on the Capitol, that`s been the prosecutions we have seen so far, the low-level guys, the people dressed up in crazy costumes, the people who were committing violence against police officers and inside the Capitol. That is one chunk of this.

But the committee -- and we now know, thanks to a lot of good reporting, driven in a lot of ways by Liz Cheney -- has been zeroing in on Trump, his inner circle, his family, members of Congress, people who were involved in the overall strategy behind the physical attack.

So when you see the Justice Department asking for these transcripts, what does that say to you?

GLENN KIRSCHNER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: You know, it`s interesting, because I think we have all experienced some frustration, because it doesn`t look like the Department of Justice has been investigating this the way it would ordinarily investigate even large-scale conspiracy cases, because they don`t appear to have been sort of carpet-bombing folks with grand jury subpoenas, the way we ordinarily would.

So -- but I think, if we saw the wood in front of us, and we try to discuss where we are, now, think about this. If the Department of Justice had gone after everybody with grand jury subpoenas, they probably would have been battling witness after witness after witness, these 1,000-plus witnesses. They would have been battling with Congress who gets which witness first, who has the greater priority.

Now what the Department of Justice can do is they can take 1,000-plus transcripts, and they can use that to build their criminal investigation. So, I actually think, whether this was by design, by happenstance, or some combination thereof, this might turn out to be a pretty savvy way to go about investigating the case.

And let`s not forget that the chief investigative counsel for the January 6 Committee, Tim Heaphy is, frankly, a very accomplished RICO prosecutor in his own right and when he served at the U.S. attorney`s office for the District of Columbia. So, I suspect -- suspect it has been a really savvy investigation that has been put together by the January 6 Committee.


REID: Let me ask both of you this, and I will start with you, Barbara, first.

I`m not a lawyer, so I -- but my logic sense tells me that, if the DOJ is looking at something like a larger conspiracy investigation, not just the physical attack, but a conspiracy to either obstruct Congress, which I know that`s one crime that could be, or a larger, as Glenn is indicating, sort of a big RICO case, saying that there was a conspiracy to steal the election, conspiracy to attack the government, whatever that conspiracy might be, does the fact that they want transcripts indicate to you that someone that they have prosecuted and who`s now cooperating -- and we know there have been a lot of sort of high-level cooperators among organizations like, not the 3 Percenters, the Proud Boys, these other sort of big organizations.

Could some of them have maybe indicated that they did have connections and contact with some of the same people that January 6 Committee is interviewing? The Oath Keepers is who I meant.

MCQUADE: Yes, I think that`s quite possible -- I think that`s quite possible, Joy.

Three of those Oath Keepers have entered guilty pleas and have agreed to cooperate. So we won`t know for a while what it is they have said. But we know that one of them, Joshua James, was seen with Roger Stone on January 6, at the Willard Hotel. And so it is quite possible that those defendants have provided links to others.

I also think that there have been some really tremendous testimony that has already been given that has been publicly reported. We know that two aides to Mike Pence, Marc Short and Greg Jacob, have revealed some really astonishing testimony about Donald Trump`s efforts to push Mike Pence to throw the election to him.

We know about the testimony of those who were still at the high levels of the Justice Department after William Barr left, like Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue, who talked about how Jeffrey Clark had a plan to throw the election into the states.

And so getting their hands on those transcripts can be very valuable in trying to put this all together. And then, as you say, if they have got additional testimony not known to the committee, like the testimony of these Oath Keepers, they may be in a position to put together some very strong charges in short order.

REID: Right.

And, Glenn, they`re asking for transcripts of interviews conducted and that will be conducted. So, it`s intriguing, in that they obviously have eyes on the investigation. One transcript they will never get is Donald Trump, because it`s pretty -- the January 6 Committee has indicated that they`re not going to try to -- even try to call Donald Trump.

But it seems to me very hard to believe that someone like Donald Trump, who, if you talk to people like Tim O`Brien and other people who`ve been biographers of him, when it comes to anything that`s about his -- himself, he doesn`t care about anyone else, but he definitely cares about himself.

And if the idea was that he wanted to remain in power by any means necessary, it`s hard for me to believe that he wouldn`t have known what was going on. I believe Pence didn`t know, because poor Pence was meant to be a victim in this whole thing if he didn`t comply. But it`s hard for me to believe that Trump didn`t know.

So, in your mind, is it possible for the DOJ to conduct an investigation and isolate the former president out of it?

KIRSCHNER: Oh, absolutely.

There`s so much evidence that`s been reported that Donald Trump didn`t know and that he had corrupt intent. As but one example, when he was talking to some of his DOJ officials, and he was told there was no election fraud, he said something along the lines of, it doesn`t matter. Just say there was and leave the rest to me and my allies in Congress.

That screams corrupt intent. That`s important information.

Let me build on one thing Barb said. She said there`s been a lot of really important testimony that we have learned about developed by the January 6 Committee. Well, guess what? If the Department of Justice had gone first and had presented these 1,000 witnesses to the grand jury, we would get to know about none of that information because of grand jury secrecy rules.

Now we`re going to get -- on June 9, we`re going to get a really compelling view of what these 1,000 witnesses said in their sworn testimony, what they brought to the table. And it`s kind of a win-win, because the American people are going to get to see that evidence. And the grand jury is ultimately going to benefit from that evidence.

So this is not the worst way DOJ could have gone about investigating this.

REID: Yeah, and that`s a great point that Glenn makes.

And, Barb, it`s going to be interesting, because if what we`re getting is a narrative of an attempted coup against -- well, that`s what we`re going to get in June. But if this is also a crime, if there`s an ongoing criminal investigation, a RICO investigation that starts to touch some of the people who are going to be presented in these presentations that the January 6 Committee does, this is unprecedented, clearly.

What does that do to our ongoing sort of political situation if it turns out that Mark Meadows was involved in a RICO crime? What if it turns out that some of these people are being looked at by DOJ? You have also got people running for office right now that were part of the insurrection or that were involved in the Stop the Steal rallies, et cetera.


This just feels incredibly unprecedented.

MCQUADE: Yes, and not only that, but I think DOJ policy could get implicated, to the extent that we are looking for people who are on the ballot this fall.

So all of those members of Congress, for example, those who`ve been subpoenaed, Jim Jordan and Kevin McCarthy and Mo Brooks and others, who are actually fact witnesses and had some role in talking to Donald Trump that day and appearing at the rally, they have some criminal exposure here. They are at least subjects of this investigation.

DOJ has a policy of not interfering with elections. And so it could be that, if they aren`t able to charge before September 1 or thereabouts -- and it seems unlikely they`d be able to put it together that quickly -- then they would likely wait until after the November elections before they would charge anybody who`s on the ballot.

REID: Yes.

MCQUADE: So it definitely does play a role in what the Justice Department is deciding to do.

REID: It`s so unprecedented, Glenn.

But I have to ask. I`m going to leave this final question to you. A lot of these people who have been subpoenaed by the January 6 Committee have told the committee to F off and laughed off the subpoenas, like they don`t have to comply with them.

It`s going to be kind of different to try to do that to the Justice Department. If you get subpoenaed by DOJ, can you pull what Bannon, et al, pulled with the January 6 Committee? Or are their lawyers going to have to tell them, bruh, you have to comply?

KIRSCHNER: Yeah, you`re not going to laugh off a federal grand jury subpoena, because, if you do, the U.S. Marshals are going to be at your door at 6:00 a.m. the next morning to take you into custody.

So, now what it will also produce is, a lot of these witnesses will just go in and plead the Fifth if they have criminal exposure.

REID: Right.

KIRSCHNER: They thought they could kind of half-step that before the J6 Committee.

Let me just finish with something Barb said, because we do have this norm and tradition that we try not to do anything in the immediate run-up to an election that could interfere with the election. But let`s not give insurrectionists an election holiday.

Insurrectionists who are running for reelection, let`s rethink that norm and tradition, because I don`t know that it ought to apply under these circumstances.

REID: Yeah, and it sure didn`t apply when Jim Comey decided to interfere with the 2016 election 11 days out and then re-interfere with it three days out.

So it ain`t always applied rigorously, let`s just say. It all depends on the situation.

Glenn Kirschner, Barbara McQuade, thank you both. I really appreciate you all scrambling to get here for this breaking news. Appreciate it.

Up next on THE REIDOUT: President Biden makes an impassioned plea for all Americans to reject the virulent racism that led to the Buffalo mass murder. The son of one of those precious victims joins me next.

Plus, the right-wing politicians and FOX News hosts who have been pushing the racist Great Replacement Theory, well, now they`re deflecting and pretending that somehow they, they are the real victims.

And polls are beginning to close in some of the five states holding primaries today. Hope everybody voted. Steve Kornacki will join us from the Big Board.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.



REID: Today, President Biden was in Buffalo paying his respects to the victims of Saturday`s mass shooting and mourning with the families.

For all of them, the pain is raw and the reality incomprehensible. President Biden reminded everyone that it was a deadly 2017 neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that spurred his run for president against Donald Trump, you know, the one where the angry marchers chanted "Jews will not replace us," Replacement Theory in real life, calling it a battle for the soul of the nation.

He referenced Charlottesville again today.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But when I saw those people coming out of the woods or the fields in Virginia, in Charlottesville, carrying torches, shouting, "You will not replace us," accompanied by white supremacists and carrying Nazi banners, that`s when I said, no.


REID: And he called Saturday`s attack venom.


BIDEN: White supremacy is a poison. It`s a poison running through our -- it really is.


BIDEN: Running through our body politic.

And it`s been allowed to fester and grow right in front of our eyes. No more. I mean, no more. We have to refuse to live in a country where black people going about a weekly grocery shopping can be gunned down by weapons of war deployed in a racist cause. We have to refuse to live in a country where fear and lies are packaged for power and for profit.

We must all enlist in this great cause of America.


REID: But that wasn`t the only goal of Biden`s speech.

The consoler in chief also spoke about the victims of the shooting. He talked about former Buffalo Police Lieutenant Aaron Salter, who worked as a security guard at the Tops supermarket and died trying to stop the shooter. He talked about Andre Mackniel, who had gone to Tops to pick up a surprise birthday cake for his 3-year-old son.

And he talked about Ruth Whitfield, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, who went to the store to pick up a few items, but never made it home.


And with me now is Garnell Whitfield, former Buffalo fire commissioner and son of Buffalo shooting victim Ruth Whitfield, and Ben Crump, friend of the show and attorney for the Whitfield family.

Thank you both for being here.

And, Mr. Whitfield, deepest condolences to you. And I just want to let you talk. I want to go ahead and let you talk about your beloved, beloved, beloved loved one who died in that horrible mass shooting.

GARNELL WHITFIELD JR., SON OF SHOOTING VICTIM: Well, first of all, thank you for having us here tonight.

REID: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: My mother was a beautiful person.

My mother -- what I remember most about my mother, what I loved most about her was the way in which she loved. She loved us unconditionally. My mother was our caretaker. She was an angel.

My mother, on that Saturday morning, had just left the nursing home where my father is in turn. My father had been -- has been there for the last eight years now. Every single day, my mom went up to that nursing home to care for her husband, the love of her life. Unselfishly, she went up there. She shaved him. She cut his hair. She washed and ironed his clothing. She did his nails. Anything he needed to maintain his quality of life, she provided for him faithfully every day.

On this day, she did the same thing. She left the nursing home, wanted to stop and pick up a few groceries on the way home...

REID: Yes.

WHITFIELD: ... and encountered this individually.

She didn`t deserve that.

REID: No, she didn`t.

I mean, I just have the wonderful notes here about your mom. Ms. Ruth was 86. She was always immaculately dressed, per your family.


REID: She was sharp, always looked great. And she, as you said, took great care of her wonderful family.

And it says here that you are considering taking some action in response to the death of your mom. What -- do you want -- either you can describe that or you could have Ben describe that.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR FAMILY OF RUTH WHITFIELD: Joy, I`m so grateful to the Whitfield family, Garnell, and his brother and sisters, for saying they`re going to use this pain and they`re going to use this anger to try to achieve positive change, to give a proper legacy to Ms. Ruth Whitfield.


CRUMP: She was a person of love. And she`s not going to let this act of hate that find her legacy. That`s what she instilled in her children.

And so we are looking at bringing a lawsuit against the gun manufacturers and holding all of those accountable, Joy, who had anything to do with this massacre of black people.

You see, Joy, that we want to hold this individual accountable for his hateful act, but we also want to hold those people accountable that get at the root of the hate, all of these Web sites and these cable news personalities who talk about these race replacement theories and so forth.

They may not have pulled the trigger, but they certainly loaded the gun to have this 18-year-old white supremacist go and, in his words, try to kill as many black people as he could.

REID: Yeah.

And, Mr. Whitfield, I wonder, in -- and I apologize for have to make you talk about this in your grief, fresh grief, at that, but do you -- who do you hold responsible for this? I mean, I read through this just crazy manifesto by this shooter that references that he was -- he was online, bored, sitting home reading white supremacist stuff, and that`s where he picked it up, on 4chan and other places.

But we also know that Rupert Murdoch has an empire, part of which is using Replacement Theory...

WHITFIELD: Right. Yes.

REID: ... the Great Replacement Theory, to profit on FOX News, on Tucker`s show, in some of their newspapers, like "The New York Post."

Like, the Murdoch empire was actually profiting from selling this stuff. Do you hold them responsible in any way?

WHITFIELD: Absolutely.

As Mr. Crump said, this young man may have pulled the trigger, but he was birthed by this system. Whatever -- whatever he built himself up to come up with these theories and whatever drove him to take this action ought to be called into question and held accountable.

I`m not sure about what those things were. That`s why we`re working with Mr. Crump. But we certainly understand that the problem is much bigger than this young man. He did not act alone. He did not act alone.

REID: That -- that -- yes.

WHITFIELD: And that`s what they want us to think.

REID: Yeah. That`s the...


CRUMP: And we`re investigating every aspect.

REID: That`s the big question, Ben, because you have everyone from Elise Stefanik, who literally was putting out campaign ads on Facebook, where somebody who`s online would be more likely to see it, touting the same Replacement Theory.

And she`s now claiming that`s not what she was saying. But she literally said it again yesterday, that Democrats are plotting to replace real Americans with immigrants. I mean, this has been a relentless campaign. Tucker is just one person, but he`s the most prominent one and the most prominent person on FOX.

Are these people -- the First Amendment is real. Is there any way to hold people like that accountable? And then also the parent bought this AR-15 for this 18-year-old?

WHITFIELD: Absolutely.

REID: Who`s responsible?


And, Joy, like I said, there are many accomplices to this massacre. And we`re investigating to see how we can hold any and all of them responsible, not just for the sake of trying to call them out, but to try to prevent this from happening again.

If we don`t do something to stop this radicalized -- radicalization of these young insecure people to go out and commit senseless acts of violence, how many more Buffalo, New Yorks, how many Parklands, how many more Charleston Mother Emanuel Church shootings, the Jewish synagogues in New York, how many more innocent blood is going to be shed because they are indoctrinating these young white supremacists with all of this racist garbage?

REID: One might call it grooming.

Garnell Whitfield, our deepest, deepest condolences to you on the loss of your beautiful mom.

WHITFIELD: Thank you.

REID: And thank you for taking some time to share more about her. She seemed absolutely lovely.


REID: And, Ben, my friend, Ben Crump, thank you, as always. Cheers.

And up next: Polls are closing in North Carolina and will close in about 30 minutes in Pennsylvania. Steve Kornacki standing by at the Big Board with the latest.

We will be right back.



REID: ... North Carolina, and we are a half-hour away from the polls closing in Pennsylvania`s pivotal primary elections.

My colleague Steve Kornacki, NBC News national political correspondent, has the latest from the Big Board.

Steve, take it away.


North Carolina, we expect to start getting some numbers, hopefully in the near future here. The marquee race in North Carolina is the race for the United States Senate. What you`re looking at here is the Republican primary here.

This is an open seat currently held by a Republican, Richard Burr. He`s not running for reelection. Republicans trying to hold this seat. The dynamic to keep in mind here in this North Carolina race, this is one of those races where Donald Trump has made an endorsement. Congressman Ted Budd, Donald Trump has endorsed him. He has led in the most recent polls. He`s also got the backing of the Club for Growth. That`s a conservative group that`s been spending a fortune in races all across the country.

It`s been an interesting dynamic. In some places, like we saw in Ohio recently, the Club for Growth has been at odds with Donald Trump. That is not the case in North Carolina. What that`s meant is, there`s been a ton of money. There`s been Trump`s endorsement behind.

But, meanwhile, the former Republican Governor Pat McCrory, who is also in this race, he has had a ton of money spent against him. Third candidate here tried to get the Trump endorsement, Mark Walker, failed. He`s sort of been distant third in the polls.

As the numbers come in here in this race, the key to keep an eye on, besides who`s leading, is 30 percent. There is a 30 percent run-off threshold in North Carolina. You got to win. You got to get above 30 percent.

In this Senate race, it certainly seems likely the winner will get more than 30. But where that really comes into play in North Carolina is a race, a congressional race, that`s gotten quite a bit of national attention.

You know who this is? Madison Cawthorn, freshman Republican. He has drawn a whole host of challengers in his district. It`s Western North Carolina. It`s one of the most scenic congressional districts in the country. But it`s going to be one of the most eventful primaries tonight.

Cawthorn has gotten himself in a boatload of trouble recently, got a bunch of challengers. There`s a local state senator here, Chuck Edwards,who may be best position here to give Cawthorn a run tonight. We will see. But this is where that 30 percent number -- if I can write that down again, this is where that 30 percent number really comes into play, because, if Cawthorn can finish with the most votes tonight, and even if he just gets 31 percent, he gets renominated, and, in a district like this, he`d be in very good shape to get reelected.

But if he falls short of 30, and he gets forced into a run-off, he might have some money issues, just given what he`s had to spend here late in this campaign. And, again, given the momentum that`s existed from his opponents to try to take him out, a run-off, they would dearly love to get Madison Cawthorn into a run-off. So we`re going to be keeping an eye on Western North Carolina and that Republican primary.

And then, as you say, less than half-an-hour from now, the Keystone State in Pennsylvania, we have got a couple of marquee races there. This is the biggest one, though, the Senate race on the Republican side here. Again, you have got that dynamic, Donald Trump endorsing Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Oz`s unfavorable ratings with Republicans -- we have seen this in poll after poll -- he`s got a lot of high negatives with Republican primary voters. So it`s an interesting test. He might be a hard sell with the Republican base. Trump has tried to make that sale with the Republican base. We will see if Trump is able to.


Also, the other two key candidates to keep in mind here in the Senate race, David McCormick. He`s a hedge fund -- a wealthy hedge fund guy who grew up in Western Pennsylvania, moved to Connecticut, moved back. They put the home county of the candidates on the ballot in Pennsylvania. They don`t do that everywhere. He`s the only one in this Republican Senate race who`s going to list Western Pennsylvania, Allegheny County, as his base, McCormick is.

So that`s one of the things we`re going to be looking at. Is there an East/West divide? About 30 percent of the vote here in this primary is going to come from Western Pennsylvania. And then, of course, there is Kathy Barnette. She has surged in the final week of this campaign. She herself didn`t bring a lot of money to this campaign, but she got an endorsement from the Club for Growth late in this campaign, one of those places where the Club for Growth is at odds with former President Donald Trump.

So we will see here how this one all shakes out. There have been Republicans, certainly, Republican establishment types, Donald Trump himself, who have been sounding an alarm in the past week saying they don`t think Barnette could win the general election in Pennsylvania.

And the stakes here in Pennsylvania in terms of the general election, it`s currently, this seat, this Senate seat, it`s Pat Toomey, a Republican. He`s retiring. He`s not running again. So it`s an open seat, but it is held by a Republican right now.

This is the Democrats -- probably their best pickup opportunity in the country. When you look at that 50/50 Senate, where Kamala Harris is breaking the ties right now, Pennsylvania is at the absolute top of the absolute must-win list for Democrats.

And that is the other thing that will be resolved here tonight in Pennsylvania, but we will be looking to -- we will be looking here to see the Senate race on the Democratic side, the lieutenant governor, John Fetterman, he suffered that stroke the other day, Conor Lamb, congressman from Western Pennsylvania, Malcolm Kenyatta, a state representative from Philadelphia.

Fetterman his lead in all the polls. We do want to see votes today. Did -- the news of his medical condition, did it have any effect? But I would note that, in Pennsylvania, on the Democratic side, a lot of votes were cast by mail early.

And I am being told -- let me just go check back here. We may have our first results in from North Carolina. We do. We have a scattering of results in here from North Carolina. So you can just see, it`s a very small amount.

Pat McCrory -- we`re talking about 10,000 votes -- Pat McCrory actually out to the early lead here. One thing I would point out, Mecklenburg County, this is where Charlotte is, accounts for this. Pat McCrory, the former mayor of Charlotte, this is his political base.

The other thing to keep in mind is that, in North Carolina, the sequence of the vote reporting is, it`s the early vote, it`s the absentee vote that`s generally going to be counted first, and then the same-day vote.

And the thing we have seen in Republican primary after Republican primary so far this year is, the same-day vote has been the vote that`s more closely aligned with Trump. The Trump-aligned, Trump-endorsed candidates have done better in the same-day vote than in the early vote.

So we`re getting some of the early vote reported out here in -- throughout North Carolina. Again, that is McCrory`s base right there, where you see his gold pop up right there. That probably explains why statewide he has the number he has right now. But it`s very early. It`s a scattering.

And I will just check to see if we have any -- that is also -- it looks like a little bit potentially coming from that 14th -- from that the district.

And I think they want me to wrap, but I just wanted to show you. That`s the beginning in the Cawthorn race.

REID: Real -- real quick, before I let you go. I know we`re out of time.

Can you just go to the Democratic Senate race too to see if -- where is Beasley`s standing in this early bid? Because that looks like that would be the...

KORNACKI: Yes, I mean, she`s the overwhelming -- she`s the overwhelming favorite to win.

And let`s see. Yes, I say overwhelming favorite, this is about what we would have expected.

REID: Yes. So, we will be -- OK. That`s what we would be looking at...

KORNACKI: So, she is...

REID: ... Beasley v. whoever.


KORNACKI: Who wins that Republican nomination, that`s right.

REID: Very interesting.

Steve, you don`t make too many plans for tomorrow night, my friend. Thank you very much. I really appreciate you.

KORNACKI: You got it.

REID: Excellent. Steve, cheers.

All right, of course, Steve will be tracking developments at the Big Board throughout the night on MSNBC. And you know you love it. He`s got the khakis, and he`s ready to party.

We will be back in a sec.




REID: All right, joining me now to break down tonight`s big races is Will Bunch, national opinion columnist for "The Philadelphia Inquirer," and Adrienne Elrod, former senior aide on the Biden/Harris and Clinton/Kaine campaigns.

Thank you both for being here.

I`m going to start with you, Will. You`re my Philly guy.

Talk to me about this PA Senate and gov -- these Pennsylvania Senate and governor`s races. Give me some prognostication. What`s going to happen?

Well, I think you`re right.

REID: Just tell me the results.


WILL BUNCH, "THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER": I think -- yes, I wish. A few minutes . Polls close in about 10 minutes.

But, yes, Steve is right. The race to watch definitely is that Republican Senate primary,and particularly the surging Kathy Barnette. Can she catch up to Mehmet Oz and his endorsement by Trump and his -- the hectoring by Sean Hannity on Mehmet Oz`s behalf.

It`s a 50/50 tossup, I think. But it does seem like, in the final days of the race, undecided voters are breaking for Kathy Barnette. And if I really had to bet my last 20 bucks, I probably would bet it on the candidate who is getting the undecideds at the end there. It`s quite a story.

I mean, Oz and David McCormick spent much of their wealth destroying each other. And she came in as this unknown, but kind of relatable "I am you" -- that`s her motto -- campaign. And it`s really caught on. So that`s the race to watch.


I think there`s not going to be as much suspense in the other races. I think -- I think, on the Democratic side, in the Senate race, I think Fetterman is pretty much a lock. He`s got a huge lead. I think the stroke and the good news that he`s going to recover and that he`s had a procedure has kind of locked in his lead for that.

REID: Yes.

BUNCH: On the Republican side, though, it`s Doug Mastriano, who is a Christian nationalist, a QAnon-adjacent, big lie supporter, sent lots of buses down to January 6, roamed the Capitol grounds.

He poses a real threat to the whole concept of democracy here in Pennsylvania. It`s going to be a big national story when he gets the nomination, because this is the state where we wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

And whether our votes are going to count in 2024...

REID: Yes.

BUNCH: ... is going to be all on the line with this gubernatorial election.

REID: Let me bring you in on that, Adrienne, because how would Democrats message a campaign?

Let`s say it`s Barnette is the Senate nominee and Mastriano is the gubernatorial nominee, who would then appoint the secretary of state. You would have a black Senate candidate who would be able to allow far right Republican voters to say, see, we don`t -- we have no issues with race, we`re going to vote for that lady.

And you would have Mastriano. And, also, she defied Trump. So she wasn`t Trump`s candidate. And then Mastriano, who is promising to deliver Pennsylvania for Trump or whoever, no matter how the vote goes.

ADRIENNE ELROD, FORMER STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, HILLARY FOR AMERICA: Yes. Yes. I mean, Joy, this is sort of a dream scenario for Democrats if both of those candidates have been winning, and it certainly looks like it`s moving in that direction.

I mean, a Fetterman-Barnette matchup is exactly what Democrats want and exactly what we need in order to flip this seat. I never thought, Joy, that we would be...

REID: Can I stop you just a second?

ELROD: Sure.

REID: Because if Fetterman has to deal with that story that he pulled a gun on a black man, and she`s black, and has actually made comments about systemic racism being real and actually really angered a lot of the Republican base by saying that, is that as simple?

Because I also think that Dr. Oz is not necessarily a walk for Democrats. He`s famous. People just like voting for famous people.

ELROD: Yes. Yes.

Look, I definitely don`t think it`s a walk for Democrats. But we have got to look at the numbers in Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton, as you know very well, Joy, narrowly lost Pennsylvania in 2016. President Biden narrowly won Pennsylvania in 2020. So it`s a marginal district.

But the voters of Pennsylvania are working-class moderate voters, and I don`t think they`re going to be turned on in the general by somebody who has the extremist views as Kathy Barnette.

And, look, I do think that John Fetterman, should he be the nominee, is going to have to answer some of these quite tough questions. That`s what political campaigns are all about. He`s going to have to answer some of these questions.

But ultimately, Joy, when you look at the big picture here, you look at Georgia, where it looks like Herschel Walker is going to be the nominee for Republicans, you look at what`s happening in Pennsylvania, Republicans cannot get out of their way.

This is traditionally a cycle that the party not in power of the White House does better. I think the House is -- Republicans have a much better shot in the House. But when you look at some of these Senate seats, Democrats are looking pretty good, from New Hampshire to Arizona, to even to an extent Wisconsin, and, of course, in Pennsylvania.

The Trump MAGA folks just can`t get out of their own way. And when you have some of these primaries where you have a Trump-endorsed MAGA candidate, and then someone who`s even going more to the right of the Trump-endorsed MAGA candidate, that`s where you have got some real problems for Republicans.

REID: Let me ask you if you agree with that, Will, because how -- would it be that simple, that a Barnette-Mastriano, those two on the ballot, would make it that much easier for Democrats, or no?

BUNCH: Look, Joy, you and I both remember 2016 very well.

And we remember how the Hillary Clinton campaign salivated against the prospect of running against Donald Trump, that they were going to use his sexual history and all his -- all his other past scandals, and they would destroy them.

And, instead, all these rural voters came out of the woodwork, and Donald Trump won Pennsylvania by 44,000 votes in 2016.

REID: Yes. You never know.


BUNCH: There are voters out there who want to stick it to the system.

REID: Yes.

BUNCH: They`re mad about -- they`re mad about gas prices. They`re mad about inflation.

And you can tell them, look, this guy Mastriano, he might not count your votes. They say, oh, we don`t care about that. We want change. We want the...


REID: It`s -- yes.

BUNCH: So I think Josh Shapiro, who is the presumptive -- he`s the attorney general and he`s the presumptive Democratic nominee...


REID: Yes.


BUNCH: ... running against Mastriano.

REID: Yes.

BUNCH: He`s run ads that kind of subtly have tried to promote Mastriano...

REID: Yes.

BUNCH: ... that he wants this opponent.


REID: Yes.

BUNCH: And I always think you should be careful what you wish for.

REID: Be careful what you wish for.


REID: I want to note that Cheri Beasley is going to be the North -- the Democratic North Carolina Senate candidate. Charles Booker is going to be the Kentucky United States Senate candidate.

It`s going to be a historic year for African-American candidates, no matter what happens.

Will Bunch, Adrienne Elrod, thank you both very much.

ELROD: Thanks, Joy.

REID: Up next: the right-wing`s almost unbelievable reaction to the mass shooting in Buffalo.

We will be right back.


REID: Republicans in the right-wing echo chamber over at FOX News would very much like you to forget about how some of them were spouting the same Replacement Theory excrement cited by the Buffalo shooter in his manifesto.

In Buffalo today, President Biden called Saturday`s shooting what it was, terrorism driven by hate, while Mitch McConnell was asked if he has any personal responsibility to speak out against the ideology repeated by some members of his caucus.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Well, certainly, the episode, this horrible episode in Buffalo is a result of a completely deranged young man who ought to suffer the severest possible penalty under the law.


REID: Yes, apparently, Mitch would still rather benefit politically from that dangerous rhetoric than condemn it, something he dodged two more chances to do.

Over in the House, the two -- and there seem to really just be two Republicans who care about democracy continuing to exist in America, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger -- have called out Republican leadership, like Elise Stefanik of New York, the third-ranking House Republican who replaced Cheney. She`s unhappy, Ms. Stefanik is, is that people remembered her campaign committee ran Facebook ads essentially parroting Replacement Theory last fall, warning of a permanent election insurrection.

She tweeted a statement yesterday referring to the Buffalo shooting as tragic and included a statement from a senior adviser attacking the media, saying, well, she`s never advocated for any racist position.

But right after that, she wrote: "Democrats desperately want wide-open borders and mass amnesty for illegals, allowing them to vote."

That`s Replacement Theory, lady, a dressed-down version, takes out some of the trigger words, but it is a complete double down on using the Great Replacement conspiracy theory for politics.

Then there`s FOX News, which didn`t have the guts yesterday to mention the theory that they have been promoting, especially in prime time. Instead, the network`s most watched offender, Tucker Carlson, named who he thinks are the real victims of the Buffalo massacre, his perpetual victim viewers.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: So, what is hate speech? Well, it`s speech that our leaders hate.

So, because a mentally ill teenager murdered strangers, you cannot be allowed to express your political views out loud. That`s what they`re telling you.


REID: With me now, Charles Blow, columnist for "The New York Times" and an MSNBC political analyst, and Dean Obeidallah, host of "The Dean Obeidallah Show" on SiriusXM.

Charles, can we spare a moment for the real victims? Because, apparently, the real victims are Tucker Carlson and his viewers, and also J.D. Vance, who also declared himself to be the real victim.

Your thoughts?


CHARLES BLOW, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it`s really interesting to me, because I don`t believe that Republicans are ever going to walk away from the idea of replacement.

They may -- this idea of replacement and Replacement Theory are slightly separate. There may be people who might walk away from the idea of calling it a conspiracy that Jewish people are behind or calling it a conspiracy that Democrats really are changing policy to make sure it happens.

But the idea itself that white people are afraid of being replaced or being outnumbered is real. And it is ancient in this country. It animated the horrors of slavery. It animated the terror campaigns of Reconstruction. It animated the rise of Jim Crow. It made a reemergence during the civil rights movement.

This guy James Burnham writes his magnum opus called "Suicide of the west" in 1963, in which he says that liberalism is -- what did he call it, an ideology of Western suicide, because they would not go along with his idea of white nationalism.

And we keep hearing people on television now talking about, well, this was -- lived on the fringes of the Dark Web. No, this lived in the intellectual chambers. This lived in the ivory towers. Burnham was not on the fringes. Burnham went to Princeton. Burnham helped found "The National Review." Burnham was the chair of the philosophy department at NYU for a very long time.

Pat Buchanan comes right behind him in 2012, writes this book called "Death of a Superpower," which he said -- calls white liberals who are cheering the transformation of the country ethno-masochists, and having a diseased heart.

These are not on the fringe. This is not new. This is very old. This is very entrenched in conservatism. And it animates their voters. They are never going to walk away from that, because there`s a whole set of Republican voters who believe that white people are the fathers and the mothers of the modern world, and if you were to take America away from them, you are taking away something that they created on their own.

That`s what they believe.

REID: And this is the challenge, Dean, because it`s -- the sort of soft- pedaled version of that is still the same thing.

And Mitch McConnell does his, oh, and just doesn`t answer it. But he knows that that`s a substantial share of the base, whether they`re the wild and woolly ones or just the regular ones. He knows that that anxiety is why people had such a bizarre reaction to President Obama.

Your thought. I mean, John Gibson was on FOX in like 2006 saying people need to have more babies in Europe in the United States because they`re under -- they`re not keeping up with immigrants, who are having more babies. Your thoughts?

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, MSNBC DAILY COLUMNIST: First of all, this panel is probably giving some people white anxiety right off the bat.

REID: A hundred percent.

OBEIDALLAH: There`s a Muslim and two black people on it. So they`re probably freaking out right now, going, look, it`s here. They have replaced us.

The reality is, Tucker Carlson took the Great Replacement Theory that Charles talks about and mainstreamed it. He put it on national TV nightly, over and over and over again, so people on the fringes felt emboldened. They go, well, if he can talk about it, we can talk about.

It`s why Matt Gaetz or Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar and others on the right have embraced it. And let`s take a step back. Imagine, Joy, a Muslim American radio host, like me, or other most Americans in the media said that Muslims are going to be replaced by white people. They want to destroy our culture, our civilization, and then Muslims committed terrorist attacks against white people citing that philosophy.

What do you think would happen to that Muslim American? You think they would stay on the air? They would be in prison. There would be drone strikes against them.

But Tucker Carlson can literally radicalize people, and the right won`t talk about it. Let`s remember, Donald Trump said, you got to say the thing. It`s radical Islamic terrorism. If you don`t name it, you can`t solve it.

They won`t say white supremacist terrorism. I dare you, Republicans say it, white supremacist terrorism. You won`t, because it`s your base, and we all know it.

REID: And this is the case, despite the fact, Charles, that it`s something like 78 percent of the murders that were committed against -- well, here it is.

These murders connected to political extremism in -- from 2012 through 2021, white supremacy was responsible for 55 percent of them, 14 percent anti-government, 6 percent other right-wing. Islamist ain`t even close.

BLOW: Not at all.

I mean, this is staring all of us directly in the face. And, as Dean was pointing out, no one wants to say what it is. And I don`t think that even - - I know Republicans don`t want to say it. I don`t think that even liberals, Democrats say it enough...

REID: Liz Cheney says it more.

BLOW: ... that young white men -- yes.

Young white men, this group of them, a small group of them, but a group of them, have become domestic terrorists. And they are young. Most of these men -- I was looking at all the ages -- they don`t even crack 30, right?

We always think about them as old people. These are young white domestic terrorists.

REID: Yes, who are being radicalized -- who are being radicalized online...

BLOW: Right.

REID: ... and, yes, I`m sorry, on cable news.

Charles Blow, Dean Obeidallah, we got to have you guys come back and talk about this some more. Thank you both very much.

That is tonight`s REIDOUT.