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Transcript: The ReidOut, 7/15/22

Guests: Elie Mystal, David Corn, Malcolm Nance, Rula Jebreal, Hugo Lowell, Olivia Troye


Secret Service agents are accused of possibly erasing text messages from January 5 and 6. President Biden meets Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in Saudi Arabia. Joe Manchin throws up yet another roadblock to the Biden agenda. The horrifying case of a 10-year-old girl who was raped and impregnated becomes the focus of a national debate over abortion access.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: In fact, you can connect with me and tell me who else we should have on "Mavericks" or what other artists, like Killer Mike, we should have on the program, because I love hearing your ideas at

And I wish you a great weekend.




REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): I sent, along with three of my fellow chairs, a preservation letter to the Department of Homeland Security that has jurisdiction over the Secret Service days after January 6 telling them preserve all the records. And, if they haven`t, we want to know why.


REID: The Secret Service saw everything involving Trump and Pence on January 6 and in the days leading up to it. Now potentially critical text messages could be gone forever. So what happened?

Also tonight, a pariah no more. President Biden`s very controversial meeting with the Saudi crown prince, accused of ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

But we begin tonight with new questions for the Secret Service from the January 6 Committee. Now, of the many wild revelations surrounding the January 6 attack, three of them involve the United States Secret Service.

So, first, there was the alleged altercation in an SUV after the former president`s speech that day recounted by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.


CASSIDY HUTCHINSON, FORMER AIDE TO MARK MEADOWS: Tony described him as being irate.

The president said something to the effect of: "I`m the effing president. Take me up to the Capitol now."

The president reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm, said: "Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We`re going back to the West Wing."


REID: Now, there`s also the incident involving former Vice President Mike Pence.

Shortly after he was escorted out of the Capitol by Secret Service to a waiting armored limo and reportedly worried they wouldn`t let him stay to do his job, first revealed in the book "I Alone Can Fix It," Pence was quoted as telling an agent: "If I get in that vehicle, you guys are taking off? I`m not getting in the car."

Committee member Jamie Raskin has called those remarks the sixth most chilling words of this entire thing I have seen so far. Well, now there`s a third bombshell, which could be relevant to thing one and thing two.

NBC News has learned that the Secret Service erased text messages from January 6 and the day before. The messages were erased after the Department of Homeland Security inspector general requested communications related to the insurrection. Through a spokesman, the Secret Service denied the insinuation that the texts were maliciously deleted, adding -- quote -- "The Secret Service has been fully cooperating with the inspector general in every respect" -- unquote.

Well, today, all nine members of the January 6 Committee were briefed by DHS inspector General Joseph Cuffari, who wrote to the House and Senate Homeland Security committees about the wiped text messages earlier this week.

Chairman -- committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said the inspector general indicated that the Secret Service had not been fully cooperating with them. Meanwhile, the question of what might be lost in those text messages is made more interesting, given the agents involved.

"The Washington Post"`s Carol Leonnig has reported that some of the Secret Service functioned as Trump yes-men, noting that Tony Ornato temporarily left his Secret Service job to work as deputy White House chief of staff, an unprecedented political assignment, the same Tony referenced by Cassidy Hutchinson.

He and the other agent in the alleged SUV incident, Bobby Engel, have previously spoken to the committee. And while the Secret Service disputed some of the details of Hutchinson`s retelling, "The New York Times" reports that the committee interviewed a Washington, D.C., Metro police officer, who said Trump`s departure from the Ellipse was delayed because of his anger over not being allowed to go to the Capitol, according to two people familiar with his testimony.

Now, the officer wasn`t in the SUV, but heard communications regarding the altercation and corroborated that the incident occurred. NBC News has not independently confirmed the account.

Now, as for those deleted text messages, committee member Jamie Raskin said the committee will get to the bottom of their disappearance.


REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): It`s obviously an alarming thing to learn that there were Secret Service text messages from January 6 itself and also the day before that were deleted as part of a device replacement program. We don`t know what the facts are, and we`re going to get to the facts about why that happened. And we`re going to do whatever we can to retrieve the substance of those texts.


REID: Joining me now is Olivia Troye, former homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to Vice President Mike Pence, and Hugo Lowell, congressional reporter for "The Guardian."

And, Hugo, I`m going to go to you first.


What do we know Over about the erasure of these text messages? Is it just from the 5th and the 6th? because that sure does seem suspicious if it`s just been those two days.

HUGO LOWELL, "THE GUARDIAN": Well, so, I caught up with the chairman of the committee today, Bennie Thompson.

And he said they weren`t quite sure yet, whether or not it was just January 5 and January 6 that they don`t have the texts from or whether it was other dates in January. What they do know, though, is that those texts were lost through a device replacement program.

Now, what we don`t know, again, is whether or not this was malicious, or whether there was some sort of bad intent here to get rid of incriminating materials. But I learned today that the Select Committee met with the DHS inspector general, and they discussed whether there was any way they could reconstruct these text messages based on the other text messages that they do have using forensic tools available to the FBI and federal law enforcement.

REID: Do we know, like, how the text message sort of storage capacity works? Because, if this was my phone, I mean, if you lose -- or you update the software on your phone, that doesn`t get rid of your text messages. Your text messages are still there. They`re in the cloud. They`re somehow saved. You can retrieve them.

Is there any reporting on, technologically, cannot -- can they not just retrieve the actual text messages?

LOWELL: So, when the Select Committee spoke to the DHS inspector general, today, what they learned was that the Secret Service is supposed to back up their text messages and their e-mails that are contained on those devices.

It sounds like that the Secret Service agents in question didn`t do that. And that I believe a statute -- there is a requirement internally for them to back these measures up. And they didn`t do that. And so what happens is, when you migrate to a new device, those messages may or may not be carried through, and at least a third of those Secret Service agents in question had already migrated to those new devices when the inspector general requested all of these communications.

So I think there are some elements of this which are -- which may have just been inadvertent or kind of like incompetence, but then there may also have been instances where perhaps it`s a little bit more malicious.

REID: Olivia, this is a problem, right, because these are public record. These are presidential level records.

We know that the Secret Service was communicating with Trump about whether or not he was going to go to the Capitol. They have confirmed that. That`s part of the testimony we have seen on January 6, and that there was an upset on Trump`s part that he wasn`t going to go to the Capitol to do this unplanned -- well, now we know very much planned -- march to the Capitol with the, now we know, armed insurrectionists.

Can you take us behind the scenes a little bit about these relationships? Because it does seem like Ornato and Engel had a, let`s say, MAGA-like relationship to Trump.


And, look, it was certainly unusual to see a Secret Service person serving in such a political role in the White House. And I will tell you that those of us that worked with Tony Ornato were well familiar with where his loyalties lie. And you don`t get a position like that unless you are completely 100 percent loyal to Donald Trump. That`s just a reality.

Everybody who`s worked in the White House knows that. And so I think this is just a very interesting scenario here that we have developing. Now I guess we`re three for three, right? So -- and, by the way, we`re still waiting for Tony Ornato. He -- some of these current accounts have been disputed. But I have yet to see Tony Ornato publicly about this or under oath about this and tell his version of the story that he has apparently been telling people.

And he also has a history of apparently retracting the stories he tells people, as we have seen. So -- and one thing I will add on the technical thing, just to point out, I served as a lead person for a technical migration for the U.S. government.

And there`s one thing I can tell you, that -- maybe it`s different at the Secret Service, but at the Department of Defense and in intelligence community organizations, which are the projects that I led, we took great care, not to lose data, to maintain the data. And it was very much made clear that we would plan very far ahead for any kind of migration like that to make sure that information wasn`t lost.

And so I just find this entire thing baffling. I hope that we get to the facts of it, because I don`t know how you delete or somehow migrate phones with information on them when you know that January 6 and the lead-up to it was part of the biggest, darkest day of our country in a monumental event, knowing that there`s an investigation likely to come.

Regardless of the January 6 Select Committee, there would be accountability, there would be an investigation to figure out what happened in the national security apparatus, which we have discussed in the past. Like, was there a security failure?

I mean, all of these things would happen, and you would want to maintain those records, which is why I find this just very suspect.

REID: It is very suspect.

And, Hugo, this is the other question that -- and is there reporting on it? Because, I mean, the Secret Service is responsible for the physical movements of the president. The physical movements of the president are the subject not just of the January 6 Committee hearings, but also of what appears to be a growing and much more active Department of Justice investigation.


What he was physically doing actually matters potentially to legal cases.

So, is there any reporting on who could have authorized and allowed Secret Service to operate in a way that they were not backing up? Is there any -- were they being held responsible for making sure that they had their communications? Because, boy, is it convenient that we now cannot find out who might have been communicating in the Secret Service world when Mike Pence was saying, I`m not getting in the car with you guys and when Donald Trump was saying, take me to the Capitol.

LOWELL: And that`s precisely what the Select Committee has been saying all day behind closed doors and between amongst themselves.

I mean, they have really pinpointed on the fact that, why is it that, of all of the days that you could lose messages, why is it January 5 and January 6, two of perhaps the most key dates in this entire timeline leading up to the Capitol attack that you managed to lose?

I mean, if you just think about for a minute the kinds of messages and the kinds of things that were going on in the White House on those two days, January 5, the Secret Service would likely have been finalizing plans and the security movements of the president and the vice president ahead of January 6.

And then, if you actually fast-forward to January 6 itself, I mean, we both have the in -- the communications between the agents on Trump`s security detail trying to prevent him from going to the Capitol, and then we also have the communications of the vice president`s security detail. Are they going to think him away from the Capitol Complex?

And was there any communication between the vice president`s detail and the president`s detail and back to Trump? And these are all really key questions and really strike at the heart of what January 6 was all about. And the fact that these measures no longer seem to exist is very, very troubling.

REID: And that`s precisely the point.

And, Olivia, you dig into this just a little bit more for us, because Tony Ornato is now not a Secret Service agent, but working in a very -- pretty senior position Trump`s staff at that point. When the vice president expresses a lack of trust -- and that`s certainly what it sounds like -- and is that what it sounds like to you, a lack of confidence in the Secret Service agents who were trying to put them in that car?

That is a problem national security-wise, but it also sounds like he might have understood that these Secret Service agents had potentially a political agenda.

TROYE: Yes, so, look, I worked very closely with the Secret Service detail for Mike Pence.

They`re completely -- they`re incredible law enforcement officers. But I will say this. One thing that I found incredibly chilling when I sat at the January 6 hearing when Greg Jacob testified, which was the general counsel to the vice president, was when he talked about that moment, and they asked him about it and he brought it up, he did say that his -- Mike Pence`s response to the Secret Service agents was, yes, but you`re not the one driving the car.

And I found that detail striking to me, because that`s saying something right there, right? That means that he`s like, yes, it`s not that I don`t trust you, who have been with me this entire journey during this assignment, but it`s more of the fact that I just -- I don`t trust that the person driving the car is not going to drive off to wherever it is.

And that goes to a story that`s been told, I think, reported by "The Washington Post" and that book "I Alone Can Fix It" where General Kellogg actually went, supposedly, and talked to Tony Ornato and said, we`re not going to move him. I know, you guys. I know what you`re capable of.

Why would he say that to Tony Ornato, a Secret Service person? What would make him say that? And I know General Kellogg well. I worked with him on a daily basis. He was actually my direct boss as the national security adviser. And I know he`s very honest (AUDIO GAP)

He may not be honest publicly, but, behind the scenes, he called things out. And Tony Ornato, apparently, when he was asked about the story, denied it -- or through his spokesperson said that it was not accurate or denied it.

So, I mean, I find it very curious that there is a certain behavior pattern that we have seen. And I think -- I think it`s incredibly important, especially for the moment they`re in -- we`re in for our country, for people to come forward and tell the truth, especially the Secret Service.

REID: Absolutely. I mean, absolutely, they should. And it`ll be interesting to see if perhaps any of them are recalled.

And, Hugo, you have been talking behind the scenes with members of the January 6 Committee. Very quickly, briefly, could we be seeing perhaps Tony Orlando (sic) and Mr. Engel recalled? Because I know they have given testimony before.

LOWELL: I think the committee is very keen on this. And from what I understand, they`re in discussions with the Secret Service about getting Ornato and Bobby Engel, who was Trump`s lead security detail agent that day, to come in and testify.

But they`re also looking at additional people. I mean, the committee chairman didn`t say exactly who are, but they seem to be looking at about a group of around five to 10 potential Secret Service agents that they want to talk to you, both about the device -- devices and the loss of the communications, but as well as kind of what they saw on January 5, January 6, and more details about Cassidy Hutchinson`s testimony.

REID: And one wonders whether the Department of Justice might have an interest in discovering why this unusual deletion of data that essentially belongs to the American people occurred. We will see.


Olivia Troye, Hugo Lowell, thank you both very much.

Up next on THE REIDOUT: President Biden said he confronted the Saudi crown prince about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Journalists did too.

How he responded -- when THE REIDOUT continues.



REID: Today, President Biden arrived in Saudi Arabia and greeted Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, with a fist bump.

The much-anticipated interaction was being scrutinized to see if the president would bring up MBS` role in ordering the murder of "Washington Post" journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

NBC`s Peter Alexander managed to directly shout out to the crown prince before his meeting with Biden.


PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Jamal Khashoggi, will you apologize to his family, sir?


REID: There was no response to the question.

But President Biden later said he confronted the crown prince about Khashoggi`s murder.


QUESTION: What was the Crown Prince`s response to your comments about Khashoggi?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He basically said that he -- he was not personally responsible for it. I indicated I thought he was.

He said he was not personally responsible for it and he took action against those who were responsible.


REID: He also shared that he had no regret saying the kingdom should be made a pariah because of the brutal slaying of "The Washington Post" journalist while he was in Turkey.


BIDEN: I don`t regret anything that I said. What happened to Khashoggi was outrageous.


REID: Joining me now is foreign policy analyst Rula Jebreal.

Rula, my friend, I want to start with this fist bump thing, because it -- we were just talking about it before we came on, is, there was a sense that President Biden didn`t want a handshake photo with MBS. But, instead, he did this, which I`m not sure conveyed the message he wanted to convey.

What do you make of it?

RULA JEBREAL, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: Well, Joy, last month, the crown prince went to Turkey. He wasn`t in good term with Erdogan.

And his press agency released a picture with Erdogan almost bowing to the crown prince. This crown prince has been seeking -- or let`s put it this way. This dictator has been seeking legitimacy, using oil and gas in the midst of a war in Ukraine, a genocidal war, to blackmail the West into granting him legitimacy and protection to his rule.

But, above all, he wants immunity. He wants legal immunity. He want President Biden never to criticize him. He wants to continue bankrolling Kushner and Donald Trump. He wants to continue interfering in America`s election with total impunity.

REID: And, I mean, that kind of does lead, right, that he`s in -- he`s investing suddenly money in the former president`s on and in Steve Mnuchin, giving them billions of dollars, $3 billion in total between Mnuchin and Jared Kushner.

He`s got this golf tournament thing that he`s investing all of this money in, which is sort of competing with the sort of American-based golf league. It is like -- it is as if he is trying to buy his way into being something other than viewed as the North Korean dictator is.

But my question is, why is the West playing ball? Because, obviously, the president went there and had these meetings because of the crisis of oil prices, which they would like very much for Saudi Arabia to solve. After us, they`re the next -- they are in the top three producers of oil.

What do you make of this need to try to get Saudi Arabia to produce more oil, vs. the moral imperative of being honest about who they are?

JEBREAL: Well, we know who Saudi Arabia is.

The president himself multiple times was actually elected. Progressives elected the president because, unlike Donald Trump, everybody in the United States wanted an America that is rule-based international order, that is more about the international legality, about morality, about freedom of the press.

And then we have a moment in this time where we have Putin, who has huge leverage and who`s squeezing people left and right because of the economy. And not only that.He doesn`t care if he`s burning fields with grain. He doesn`t care if people really suffer.

But President Biden actually cares. He needs to get reelected. He needs Democrats to be reaffirmed in the midterm. So this is the compromise that we always find ourselves in between interests vs. democracy. We always choose interests, sadly.

So, when people like Joe Manchin -- and we never talk about this -- they want to dismiss the issue of climate change. This is where it all -- it comes all together. This is where it`s all aligned. Once you dismiss that, you`re not only dismissing the issue of climate change and alternative energy sources. You`re dismissing democracy itself.

And, today, we have seen this clearly. We have seen this clearly. Today was a sad day for journalists. It was a sad day for democracy. It was a sad day for Democrats. And, above all, it was a sad day for all of us, Joy, who believe that somehow a progressive president, yes, can still keep and protect America`s interests, but he doesn`t have to sell somehow America`s values.


Today was a divorce from that promise.

REID: And the challenge is, I mean, President Biden, this is what he said about gas prices. He says there`s been a real change. Gas prices are coming down every single day. People are asking -- Peter Alexander of NBC asked, well, will we see the impact of the visit? He says, maybe not for a couple of weeks, but we`re going to see it.

I mean, there was this imperative in this trip to assure Americans that: I`m here to bring your gas prices down.

And it feels like that`s the politics that Biden is stuck with.

JEBREAL: That`s what MBS was telling him from day one.

MBS gave multiple interviews to America`s media. In "The Atlantic," what did he say? He said, President Biden needs to think about his interests.

His -- actually, why did he give Kushner and Trump all of this -- lavishing them with money? He`s not only trying to influence the election or bankroll the next presidency. He`s actually sending a signal to everybody: This is how we -- you deal with Saudi Arabia. You shut up about human rights, democracy and dignity. You basically deal with us in terms of transaction.

This is -- we know who MBS is.

REID: Yes.

JEBREAL: When he was a teenager, Joy, he used to send bullets to judges to intimidate them. Today, he`s using oil and gas. He`s using corruption. He`s using money.

And, above all, he`s using our -- this moment of crisis because of Ukraine to blackmail Democrats.

REID: Yes.

JEBREAL: And he`s succeeding so far.

REID: Unfortunately, it appears that you are correct.

Rula Jebreal, always a pleasure. Thank you very much, my friend.

JEBREAL: Thank you.

REID: And up next, I spoke with Malcolm Nance, another good friend and friend of the show, who just returned from fighting in Ukraine, about the threat to democracy that`s posed by domestic extremist groups here in the U.S.

Stay with us for that.



REID: The work of the January 6 Committee is essential, not just to hold the people accountable who planned an all-out assault on our democracy, but to ensure that it never happens again.

In his new book, "They Want to Kill Americans," Malcolm Nance details the threat America faces from the far right -- quote -- "Over time, as they continue to reject the 2020 election, they will merge into an active American insurgency. The armed contingents could well join into an alliance of physical resistance forces to threaten and agitate for the largest armed rebellion since the Civil War. Then they will attempt to return to power. The urge to return to a place of normalcy to forget about Trump and his followers, though emotionally understandable, is the worst possible response that we can have to potential future dangers."

And joining me now is Malcolm Nance, author of "They Want to Kill Americans: The Militias, Terrorists, and Deranged Ideology of the Trump Insurgency."

Malcolm, my friend, welcome back to the United States. I`m going to get to that in a minute.

I feel like I`m burying the lede, because I know you just came back from Ukraine. But I want to get to this book first, because, as usual, you are - - you are a little Nostradamus here with the things that you write, because one of the things that we have seen in these hearings is that groups like the Proud Boys, the 3 Percenters and the Oath Keepers, Kelly Meggs of the Oath Keepers actually sent out like an e-mail or a Facebook post saying, hey, we`re coming together.

That`s what you`re predicting in your book.

Talk a little a little bit about that.

MALCOLM NANCE, FORMER U.S. NAVAL INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: Well, it`s not so much a prediction anymore.

I mean, as you recall, on November 6, 2020, I was on "Real Time With Bill Maher," and when everyone was on the show preaching kumbaya, let`s get together and try to understand the Trump voters, I said, I have some bad news for you. They are going into insurgency.

And insurgency is not an insurrection. An insurrection is just one action that takes place during that insurgency. An insurgency is a broad campaign, which may involve political actions and resistance in the halls of power, moving the debate from the halls of power to the street, political violence, terrorism and destabilization.

That`s what an insurgency is. And I labeled that insurgency what I could clearly call it now, which is TITUS, which stands for the Trump insurgency in the United States. It`s well under way.

And one of those statements that you had read a little earlier, the one about normalcy, that was actually written before January 6 as part of the documentation that we had in the book. But there was this urge to return to normalcy after the November 2020 election.

And we saw where that got us; 62 days after I made that prediction on "Bill Maher," the United States government had an attempt to overthrow it. But all of those players were talking to each other, were communicating publicly in these forums.

And I had -- what January 6 Committee has just recently released, I had written in this book a year ago, but this insurgency has very long legs. We have only seen the start of it.

REID: And what`s interesting is, you have seen the far right pivot from mainly anti-black sentiment and Nazi-ish sentiment and the kinds of things we saw in Charlottesville...

NANCE: Right.

REID: ... to a real fixation trans people in particular, but LGBTQ people in particular.


And so I have started -- stopped calling it, like, conservative or far right even. It`s sort of anti-modernist extremism. It`s everything about the modern world that they hate, whether it`s racial progress or progress for queer folks.

How does all of this fit together in one ideological movement? What is it that they ultimately want the country to look like, other than a white ethno-state or whatever it is they want?

NANCE: Well, the hallmark of the TITUS, the Trump insurgency of the United States, is to return America to an alternate variant of what they think America is.

And I`m paraphrasing Thomas Ricks, who said that there`s an entire class of elder -- older and middle-class white people like him who would rather see America destroyed than to have it redefined through equality, or diversity, or sharing, which is absolutely ludicrous.

REID: We could talk -- talk to you about this all day.

But I do have to ask you about your experience in Ukraine. You went there to support the fighting forces in the most direct way, my friend.

What did you learn about the capabilities of the Ukrainians and the possibility that they can ultimately defeat Putin`s illegal war and occupation?

NANCE: Well, interestingly enough, I will be going back in about 10 days to fill my -- fill my duty working as part of the Legion Battalion.

But what I learned on the ground is exactly what I had predicted on air on this very channel, that I know at what we call Z-plus three -- that`s 72 hours after the beginning of the invasion -- I was on with Chris Jansing. And I -- and she said, well, what do you think is going to happen to the city of Kyiv?

I said, nothing`s going to happen to the city of Kyiv. They will never take that city. They don`t even have the resources to take that part of the country. The Ukrainian army had let major forces run out extremely long fuel supplies and logistics trade.

And they slaughtered them, slaughtered them. And then when the tanks were running out of fuel, they have what we call a Javelin fest, where they bring out every Javelin missile and destroy every tank. What I learned is what I learned before the war, is that these people, if invaded -- and they were invaded -- were just going to go full Cossack on the Russians.

The Russians are afraid of the Ukrainian soldier. That`s one thing that I have learned. Some of the units don`t have as much discipline as the main force army. But the main force army is a NATO-level lethal force, which is why Russia has shifted to these tactics away from (INAUDIBLE) in which they get wiped out completely, to marching artillery through and destroying utterly every town, village, field and then incrementally bringing up tanks.

REID: Yes.

NANCE: And they`re trying to attrite the Ukrainian forces. They are not going to win. The Ukrainians are going to win.

I`m going back to help them win. And I will see you all on victory over Russia day.

REID: All right, well, I -- be safe, stay safe. Make sure that you stay in touch.

Malcolm Nance, one of my faves, I really appreciate you. Thank you so much for being here. And best of luck with the book.

NANCE: My pleasure.

REID: Malcolm Nance, everybody.

Up next: Republican Congressman Jim Jordan is not sorry he doubted reports of a 10-year-old girl`s -- a 10-year-old rape victim`s struggle to end her pregnancy.

Plus, Joe Manchin throws up yet another roadblock to the Biden agenda, because that is what he does, and more.

Stay with us.




SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): It was disgusting that prominent Republicans, the attorney general in Ohio, a member of Congress from Ohio, that they mockingly said that -- that girl who was raped didn`t exist.

They have not apologized. They should apologize to the family, and they should apologize to the public that they mocked the -- even the existence of this 10-year-old girl who was raped. And then they should also say to the citizens of Ohio that we have got to protect her rights.


REID: That was the senior senator from Ohio, Sherrod Brown, hammering his state`s attorney general and a number of his congressional colleagues for dismissing the existence of a 10-year-old Ohio girl who was forced to travel to Indiana for an abortion after being repeatedly raped by a 27- year-old man.

Before news that her abuser was arrested, Ohio Republicans questioned the veracity of the story and, by default, of the existence of the girl. The state attorney general said there was not a damn scintilla of evidence.

The Republican chairman of Hamilton County called it a garbage lie. And Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan tweeted that it was just another lie.

Now, today, none of these people have offered an apology. Jim Jordan, he just deleted the tweet like it never happened, because here`s the thing about Jim Jordan. He is real good at ignoring abuse. Jordan has been accused by at least five men of turning a blind eye to the sexual abuse of possibly more than 1,000 athletes and students when he was the assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State.

When those men spoke out, he did what Jim Jordan always does best, which is attack them.


Joining me now, Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for "The Nation," and David Corn, Washington bureau chief for "Mother Jones" and author of "American Psychosis: A Historical Investigation of How the Republican Party Went Crazy," which is coming in September.

Well, given that title, I`m going to go to you first, David Corn.

I mean, these guys went all in calling this a lie, calling out President Biden saying it was a lie. But Jim Jordan is particularly egregious, because you would think, given his history, the fact that George Clooney is a movie about what happened at Ohio State, that you would be a little more sensitive to these ideas of rape and molestation of children.

But, nope, he went in. Your thoughts?

DAVID CORN, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, "MOTHER JONES": Well, I can tell you`re very surprised by that, Joy.

And it`s an honor to be here and to flash the cover of the book for the first time. I just got the copy of the cover.

And what we`re seeing with Republican Party is, as crazy as we thought it was, it`s getting even crazier after January 6. And they used to talk about abortion bans, right, but with exceptions. Now they don`t want exceptions. And now they even want to deny what happens as a consequence of these bans.

I mean, this is about the autocracy, theology. It`s about controlling women. It`s a war on women, and it`s a war on sex. And, in war -- I think this is how they see it. In a war, there are casualties. And that casualty may be a 10-year-old girl who has to be forced to give birth.

They are not relenting here. They`re not saying, oh, we need to rethink that these incidents really happen. They want to deny these incidents, because they take away part of the moral foundation for these laws that they enthusiastically support.

So they can`t allow there to be these such cases. And if they want to -- they do want to, in a Soviet way, Photoshop them out of the picture, out of the debate. And it`s just a sign of how far extreme they have gone over a long journey of 70 years now or so.

REID: And the thing about it is, it wasn`t even just Ohio politicians.

It was not just "The New York Post" that raised questions about the story. It was "The Wall Street Journal," which then had to issue corrections, saying, whoops. I mean, this is "The Wall Street Journal" was like -- the Murdochy "Wall Street Journal," they were like, oops, sorry about that.

We appreciate our obligation to correct the record on the case. It`s terrible, one country the needs to find" -- dah, dah, dah, dah.

And what you have now is the party of Eric Greitens, who is alleged to have tied a woman up in her basement, and of Herschel Walker, who was alleged to put a gun to the heads of two of his ex-wives. And you could go on.

They`re bringing abusers in. And the people they want to criminalize are people like this doctor.

This Indiana -- the Indiana lawyer who represents the doctor who actually helped this child has now issued a cease-and-desist letter to the attorney general, named Todd Rokita, saying: "Please cease and desist from making false and misleading statements about alleged misconduct by Dr. Bernard in her profession, which constitute defamation, per se. Moreover, to the extent that any statement you make exceeds the general scope of your authority as Indiana`s attorney general, such a statement forms the basis of an actionable defamation claim."

Elie, I`m going to use on this.

It`s at the point now where this doctor is now having to potentially file a defamation suit against the attorney general in her state.

ELIE MYSTAL, "THE NATION": This is the dystopia that Republicans want.

One of the key lies in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women`s Health decision was alleged attempted rapist Brett Kavanaugh`s contention that the case would remove the Supreme Court from the abortion issue and debate.

It will now -- it will not. We will see these kinds of things, these kinds of actions, these kinds of lawsuits, this kind of suffering all across the country because the Supreme Court ripped a constitutional right entirely right out from under the rest of us.

And this kind of thing will continue to happen. Joy, you brought up "The Wall Street Journal" and its ghoulish amplification of these lies. But I don`t want to let other organizations like "The New York Times" off the hook, which says things like, debate rages about 10-year-old rape.

No, there is no debate. There are ghouls who are doing this to women, girls and pregnant people. And there are people who are trying to stop them. And as long as the media keeps trying to play both sides, keeps trying to normalize this dystopia, it will be wrong.

What we need to do is to understand what`s happening, because, if you remember how we got to the point where we had a right to an abortion in the first place, it was because women and girls and pregnant people told their stories and told of the horrors.

And, unfortunately, we`re going to need that again, so that people understand what`s at stake.

REID: And the other thing about it -- and thank you for putting it that clearly.

And, David, the other thing is that there also -- I think, Republicans, they want the win, but they don`t want the consequences, because then they never -- they don`t want to admit -- they didn`t want to admit this story because they don`t want to admit that they believe 10-year-old rape victims should have to give birth.


But then they turn around admit that they do. Here`s a bunch of them, saying, eh, yes, the other 10-year-old should have to do it.


DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Will the state of South Dakota going forward force a 10-year-old in that very same situation to have a baby?

GOV. KRISTI NOEM (R-SD): In South Dakota, the law today is that abortions are illegal, except to save the life of the mother.

GOV. TATE REEVES (R-MS): There`s a lot of effort, particularly in Washington and other places, mainly by the Democrats, to try to talk only about the really small, minor number of exceptions that may exist.

REP. WARREN DAVIDSON (R-OH): So let`s say someone who is raped, you don`t know you were raped for two months?



REID: And this is after an anti-abortion activist literally lied to Congress saying, oh, no, no, a 10-year-old having an abortion wouldn`t be an abortion.

Yes, it is. So, which is it? They don`t -- they want to deny that what they`re doing is to force 10-year-olds to give birth, and then they also admit oh, yes, actually, that`s what we want.

CORN: Well, that`s right.

I mean, they are fanatical. They`re fanatics about this. It`s hard not to go to the cliche of this being Gilead from "The Handmaid`s Tale." They want to force young -- I mean, how about a 9-year-old? How low will they go? I mean, biologically, there is a limit. But...

REID: This girl was 9. David, this girl was 9 when she was raped. She was 9. She`s only 10 now.


CORN: So, look how far they`re going to go.

Now, they`re politicians, most of them, and they know that, what, 60, 70, 80 percent of the public, depending on how you ask it, support the Roe decision and support to some degree of a right to abortion.

And most, I think 80 percent supported not overturning Roe and having a total ban. So it`s a tremendously minority position. You see polls turning towards the midterm elections probably as a result of this. So they want to have their theology, their theocracy imposed on the rest of us, and they don`t want to have to pay a political price.

Now, for -- this started really 50 years ago, as soon as Roe happened with the rise of the new right. They started this campaign, and they never really thought they would catch the dog...

REID: Yes, they got it.

CORN: ... that they would get fully what they want.

REID: They caught it.

CORN: And now that they do, they have -- they realize that they can`t do it and still be fans of democracy, because, as a democratic principle, the public, the country does not support this.

REID: Yes, exactly.

CORN: So, therefore, they have to be authoritarian. They have no choice.

REID: Very quickly -- very quickly, Elie, the House did vote to restore abortion rights in a bill that they passed today, but that goes nowhere in the Senate.

But even if they passed it, wouldn`t the Supreme Court just overturn that?

MYSTAL: Yes, the same people who just ripped out a 50-year-old precedent will also, I believe, destroy any codification of Roe.

As long as we let conservatives control the Supreme Court, the rights and responsibilities of the American citizens will be at the beck and call of the conservative Christian fundamentalist movement, as opposed to secular democracy.

REID: Yes, unfortunately, sad, but true.

Don`t go anywhere, OK, because we`re going to turn this thing around. We`re going to do what we call a hard turn. After the break, Elie and David are going to play my favorite game, "Who Won the Week?"

And that is next.



REID: In every corner of the galaxy, and maybe even beyond, the weekend is finally here, which means it is time to play my favorite TV game, ah, yes, "Who Won the Week?"

Back with me, Elie Mystal and David Corn.

Elie Mystal, who won the week?

MYSTAL: Oh, black women testifying before the Senate. Woo-hoo!

I mean, we have had Senate hearings about Roe v. Wade. Khiara Bridges, Melissa Murray, Michele Goodwin, these people took it to the senators. They were out here like...

(singing): Strumming my pain with his fingers.


MYSTAL: They were just killing them softly the whole time. It was great. It was enlivening.

Listening -- listen to black women. They know what they`re talking about.

REID: And they were so patient.

I mean, as people were like, can the camera go through the stomach to the uterus? No. No, Senator, that`s not possible.


REID: David Corn, can you tell us, in your view, who won the week?

CORN: Well, I`m not going to -- I promise I won`t sing.

And it`s hard to get good news these days. I`m going with Stephen Ayres. He was the Trump fanatic who was arrested on January 6. He believed the big lie. And he testified this week, very moving testimony, that he now sees that he was conned. He did his own research. He took off the blinders and saw that Trump was lying to him and everybody else. And he regrets having listened and having followed Trump.

And what`s great about this is that it shows a MAGA extremist can deprogram himself and free himself from the Trump cult. That`s good news.

REID: Now, he did say he doesn`t believe it as much. So I need him to come on my show and tell me he wouldn`t vote for Trump before I believe that.

But I`m going to give it to you. It`s good to see him make a turn, but I don`t know if it was a full turn. It might have been like a three-quarter turn.

Well, I`m going to give you my "Who Won the Week?." My "Who Won the Week?" is in the galaxy far, far away. I think we`re going to put it up behind me. It`s going to be fabulous.

Ah, yes, the images from the James Webb Telescope, and it is a $10 billion, gazillion-dollar program that is administered by an HBCU grad. His name is Gregory Robinson, a graduate of Howard University.

And this thing has found the most incredible images from all around the planet, just showing how huge the galaxy is, how small we are, and insignificant, but also significant in our own way. We all won the week. Space won the week.

Elie Mystal, David Corn, thank you.

And that is tonight`s REIDOUT.