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Transcript: The ReidOut, 8/16/22

Guests: Asawin Suebsaeng, Kurt Bardella,Katie Hobbs, Peter Strzok


The fake elector investigation in Georgia heats up, with Rudy Giuliani set to testify tomorrow. New information emerges on the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. Voters head to the polls in two states, with Liz Cheney`s political career on the line. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs discusses the right-wing threat to democracy. Is President Trump`s social media platform fanning the flames of violence?




JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: He liked cool things. He saw things that he -- so, he wanted to take them. And he was pretty much able to take them, and not just on classified information matters, on all kinds of things that crossed his desk.

Some days, he liked to eat a lot of french fries. Some days, he took classified documents. He wanted them. Why did he want them? Because he could get them.


CROSS: From classified documents to french fries, Donald takes what Donald wants. And, as you heard, that`s according to John Bolton.

And new reporting tonight on the lead-up to the FBI`s search at Mar-a-Lago, who the FBI interviewed about it and how Attorney General Garland finally gave the go-ahead.

Plus, the fake elector investigations are heating up, with Rudy Giuliani set to testify in Georgia tomorrow.

Also tonight, voters are going to the polls in two states with Liz Cheney`s political career on the line in Wyoming and Lisa Murkowski facing a challenge for her Senate seat in Alaska. And gets this. Sarah Palin is trying to become relevant again. Get that sketch ready, "SNL."

Good evening. I`m Tiffany Cross, in tonight for Joy Reid.

And we begin with THE REIDOUT with a familiar place, maybe even a happy place, because Donald Trump is once again at the center of controversy, this time over classified top secret documents that led to the Mar-a-Lago raid.

Now, the judge who approved a search warrant will hear arguments Thursday over whether to unseal the search warrant affidavit. The DOJ has asked the judge to keep it sealed, while Trump wants it released.

Meanwhile, Republicans and pro-Trump extremists continue to slam the FBI and the Justice Department over their search. And now there`s another talking point floating in the ether, saying that what Trump actually did was no big deal.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): I think Mar-a-Lago is a pretty safe place. It has Secret Service protection. Sounds like these documents might have been in a safe. So, no, I`m not overly concerned about some top secret information getting leaked out.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: For the sake of argument, we`re going to stipulate that Trump did have possession of documents that were classified for some good reason, documents that, for example, we legitimately would not want the Chinese government to see.

If that is true, would it justify what happened, would justify sending a large team of federal agents to shut down the entire southern tip of Palm Beach to raid Mar-a-Lago on a weekday? No, it wouldn`t.


CROSS: OK, first, keep in mind, the first guy you heard from, Ron Johnson, thinks Listerine cures COVID. So you definitely shouldn`t be listening to him.

And the second guy you heard from, Tuckums, well, the problem is too many people listen to him. Can you imagine what any of them would say if President Barack Obama had squirreled away classified material, mishandled them, ripped them up, taped them back together? It`d be the scandal of the century.

But this is a scandal so big that "The New York Times" reported today that Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin, the White House counsel and his deputy under Donald Trump, were interviewed by the FBI in connection with the documents. You see, the FBI had questions, such as, how exactly did 15 boxes of material, some of it marked as classified, make its way from the people`s White House to Trump`s palace resort?

Sources even told "The New York Times" that while Philbin tried to help the National Archives retrieve the material, Trump told advisers: "It`s not theirs. It`s mine."

Spoken like a toddler or a dictator.

Joining me now is Peter Strzok. He`s a former FBI counterintelligence agent. And Maya Wiley, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Maya, I want to kick things off with you, because the Pats, I will call them, Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin, are the most senior people who worked for Trump who are known to have been interviewed by the FBI investigation into the former president`s handling of classified material.

Now, they were Trump`s representatives to deal with the National Archives. And when Trump said, those documents are mine, how impactful do you think their interview was when it came to the search warrant? And what exactly do you think the FBI might have learned from them?

MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I would call that evidence of intent to violate the law.

And, remember, it`s a crime. So what the FBI walked away with was evidence that Trump intended to commit a crime. Now, obviously, what that tells us is what we already knew, which is, you don`t go get a search warrant from an independent judge asking to search the home of a former president lightly.

You do it because you have very strong evidence. And to say in a warrant that was issued to cover not only documents that had national that -- marked classified right, and to have uncovered documents that were top secret, the highest level of information to protect the national defense demonstrates that they actually had what we thought they had, which was significant probable cause.


And I just add one other thing here, because we got to go back to the fact that, in that warrant, there was actually a line that was critically important that also talked about evidence, information that might lead to understanding destruction, concealment or transmission.


WILEY: That means sharing, something that could make us more vulnerable as a country.

So someone should ask Ron Johnson, the pardon seeker, whether or not that gives him pause.

CROSS: Yes. And Ron Johnson serves on the House Foreign Relations -- or the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also the Homeland Security Committee. So someone should ask him, do you take classified documents off Capitol Hill, which would be an interesting question. I`d be curious to hear his response.

Peter, very pleased to have you on the show. I believe this is our first time sharing the screen together. So thanks for being here.

I want to ask you -- because Maya just talked about the transmission and Trump sharing. Well, we know he shares because this guy almost tweeted out major secrets. I want to direct your attention to this Iran missile tweet. This is according to our own reporting here at NBC News.

An Oval Office incident from 2019 perfectly illustrates Trump`s approach to state secrets. That`s according to an ex-official. Essentially, he -- there was an image of the Iranian missile blow-up. And it was exquisite intelligence. This is all according to a former official.

And when they showed this to the president, he said, I`m tweeting it. And they essentially said, sir, we don`t want to do that, because people will understand our capabilities. His response was, I`m the president. I can declassify anything.

That blows my mind. And I do wonder, what exactly was Merrick Garland mulling over? Because we have seen how dangerous this man was to our national security for four years. Your thoughts on that?

PETER STRZOK, FORMER FBI COUNTERINTELLIGENCE AGENT: Yes, well, the scary reality is, the president has absolute authority to both classify and declassify things while he`s in office.

And what`s critical there is that he clearly is no longer in office. He was not in office immediately following the inauguration on January 20. So what you have to do is go back and look. And the biggest question in my mind is, why did he have all this information?

In your run-up, you showed former National Security Adviser John Bolton saying he thought it might be neat. In my mind, I would not be surprised, one, not just the material that the FBI recovered in the search warrant, but those 15 boxes at the National Archives got much earlier in the year, I think there`s going to turn out to be, one, highly, highly classified information, but, two, things that aren`t just things he found neat.

I would be surprised if there weren`t things that furthered his business interests, things that he could use as leverage over people, things that he could use to settle scores. It is just -- the biggest question in my mind is, why on earth, having been told repeatedly, by so many people, that he steadfastly refused to turn these things over, and instead carried them all away.

And I hope DOJ is content now, with the FBI, that they have recovered everything, but we`re just -- we`re talking about a massive amount of information.

CROSS: A massive amount, indeed.

And, Maya, I want to point out that Ron Johnson is in a very tight race in Wisconsin against Mandela Barnes there. And so it`s -- what`s baffling to me about this entire thing is that 75 million people voted for this man. Present-day, millions of people across this country remain blindly loyal to this man, whose first job in government was president of the United States, at which he failed miserably, I would say.

So I wonder, when we have the reporting from "The Wall Street Journal" that Garland was mulling this over, I just wonder, from your brilliant expertise as an attorney, how much of that should Garland have looked through the legal lens? And should he have even considered the political fallout or the political consequence?

And I don`t mean elections. I mean the violence that we`re seeing play out since this all happened.

WILEY: Well, I think the truth is that Merrick Garland is doing what he said he was going to do, which is following the evidence methodically and making sure he`s making a decision about the evidence.

So I don`t think there`s any question that he`s been doing that. I think the issue of the violence is one that we have to lay at the feet of Donald Trump himself. He has been stoking violence since he was campaigning in 2015.

He, as we know, now had foot soldiers as part of January 6, who were extremists, white supremacists. And what we have seen in TRUTH Social, the misnamed media platform that Trump has founded, is, that has become a primary source for organizing the doxxing of a judge and also the publishing of information, private information, about law enforcement agents and their spouses and children that has resulted already in a violent attack on an FBI office in Ohio.


And when we -- so, when we total all that up, there`s only one person, one group of people to lay that at the feet of. And that`s people who have said that their allegiance to Donald Trump and their willingness to believe lies has taken precedent over their willingness to protect our democracy, our safety, our peace, and our national defense.


And, honestly, TRUTH Social is the digital version of stand back and stand by. And I remember, on the campaign trail, when all the reporting was out that he could shoot a man on Fifth Avenue, and people would still support him, and so many people in the mainstream media, they were surprised by this. And so many of us look back and said, yes, that sounds absolutely accurate by this country`s history.

Peter, I`m curious from you for your -- through your counterterrorism lens. I`m watching this play out as an American. But I do wonder, what message is this sending to our -- on the global stage to our allies and enemies alike, as they see how incompetent this man was and how careless he was with national secrets?

I`m curious. Are people breathing a sigh of relief that he`s not in office? Or do people look at this as some sort of permanent character flaw in American political leadership?

STRZOK: Well, I think you`re getting two big thoughts across the capitals of various nations overseas.

The first, for our allies, they`re, I think, likely stunned that this level of information that he took out of the White House, that he was keeping in his personal residence -- and, again, keep in mind, the intelligence collection that the United States engages in, we get an extraordinary volume of intelligence from our allies and from other friendly nations.

We rely on that to keep America safe. We rely on that to combat the bad guys, whatever they`re doing, whether it`s Russia and Ukraine, whether it`s various terrorist entities around the world. We need that exchange of information.

But if all these nations are looking at Trump and saying, how could it be all this information was there, how possibly can they believe particularly, with Trump still in the political scene, that they can trump America -- that they can trust America in the days ahead?

Now, the second conversation that`s going on overseas, particularly in the halls of Moscow and Beijing, are, what is out there that we can recover? Who knows what Russia or China might have already done in terms of getting somebody into Mar-a-Lago, whether they`re on the staff or somebody who`s delivering food to the cafeteria, whether they`re a guess.

This represents an extraordinary opportunity for hostile nations to target, whether it`s the actual documents, whether it`s trying to get conversations. There are just a host of vulnerabilities and problems that this creates, not just now, but it casts a long shadow into the future, as far as the United States national defense posture is concerned.

CROSS: That`s quite terrifying.

I would just add to that list Jared Kushner and his relationship with the Saudis. Like, we really just don`t know what could have potentially happened with this information, which is frightening to think about.

Thank you so much, Peter Strzok, for putting that all into context for us. And, Maya Wiley, lovely to see your face on screen, my friend. Looking forward to see you in person soon, I hope.

And coming up next for you folks at home: why things are looking really bad for Rudy Giuliani. And we`re not talking about that black dye looking down his forehead. He`s preparing to testify before a special grand jury in Atlanta tomorrow.

THE REIDOUT continues right after this.



CROSS: All right, tomorrow, Donald Trump`s former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is expected to testify in person before a grand jury in Georgia.

This is after a judge ordered him to appear last week. Now, Rudy Giuliani`s attorney tells NBC News: "We will be there." It`s part of a criminal investigation looking into the attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia by Trump and his associates.

Now, prosecutors informed Giuliani yesterday that he is now the target in the investigation. So, going from a material witness to a target means only one thing, according to MSNBC national security analyst and former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi.


FRANK FIGLIUZZI, NBC NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Being named a target, your lawyer being told, hey, your client is a target, it`s really bad.

It means that the grand jury and the prosecutors are thinking, yes, we`re about to charge you. It`s imminent.


CROSS: And that`s not the only news out of Georgia regarding the Trump world`s efforts to overturn the latest election. This is scary.

So, listen up. "The Washington Post" reports that a team of computer experts directed by Trump-allied lawyers like Sidney Powell copied sensitive data from election systems in Georgia. In fact, "The Post" reports the group attempted to access voting equipment in at least three, three battleground states.

Quote: "Attorney Sidney Powell sent a team to Michigan to copy a rural county`s election data and later helped arrange for it to do the same in the Detroit area." This is all according to the records. "A Trump campaign attorney engaged a team to travel to Nevada. And the day after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, the team was in Southern Georgia copying data from a Dominion Voting System in rural Coffee County."

Joining me now is the Democratic nominee for Arizona governor, Arizona`s current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

Katie, thanks for being here.

This is very frightening to hear. What does it mean for these Trump-aligned lawyers to have access to this type of information?

KATIE HOBBS (D), ARIZONA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think -- I`m glad to see these hearings play out, because every single person who conspired to undermine our democracy needs to be held accountable.


We saw these same kinds of things playing out in Arizona, where we had months and months and months of the sham audit and folks trying to get access to the voting equipment and to our ballots, and conducting just an entirely fake review.

So, I`m glad to see people being held accountable. But we`re facing much greater challenges. And all these folks running for office -- Kari Lake, my opponent for governor, is a conspiracy theorist number one. She`s centered her entire campaign around it.

These are people who want to continue these falsehoods about our elections. They want to get their hands on the opportunity to change the rules and potentially overturn results if they don`t like the outcome in 2024.


Kari Lake has been quite the character this week. Instead of worrying about who has BDE, she ought to be worried about how to govern elections correctly, instead of promoting these big lies.

I want to tell our viewers, in Detroit, I remember, in 2016, over 75,000 votes went missing in Detroit. So I know,right now, we`re saying this is all the big lie. But this kind of nefarious interference with the election process has long been a GOP tactic.

Right there in Arizona, the -- Mark Finchem, who is running -- who was on Capitol grounds January 6, he won the GOP nomination for secretary of state; 12 out of 13 candidates in Arizona believe the big lie, 54 out of 87.


CROSS: And he`s now the sixth election denier across the country to win the Republican nomination.

This is quite a scary thing happening in Arizona. How do you plan on navigating this should you go on to be the governor of that state?

HOBBS: Well, it`s imperative that I win this race to help stop this.

I have done everything I can as secretary of state to continue to fight for the will of Arizona voters, to protect their freedom to vote and to protect the integrity of our elections. But if these folks get their hands on the levers, there`s no telling what they`re going to do.

So we have to stop them. Democracy`s on the ballot. They`re going to -- they`re coming back in 2022 better prepared than they were in 2020. And they have got their eyes on 2024.

CROSS: I`m just curious from you. This is a question I have been asking a lot of guests on my show and certainly here on THE REIDOUT.

We have seen the political tantrum turn violent in this country. We have seen people lose their lives, people willing to die for this. And so, when you have the GOP, which has essentially merged with right-wing extremists, and you have random acts of violence in the street, as evidenced by the gentleman who tried to attack the FBI office in Cincinnati on Friday -- we saw a similar incident that happened again on Monday -- and then you have people infiltrating the system.

And so if they`re bleeding democracy by 1,000 cuts, I`m just curious to hear from you, do you think democracy survives this?

HOBBS: It is up to us to make sure that it does.

But you laid out such a clear case of what we`re up against in this election. These people are dangerous. They are using their positions of power to mislead people into committing these really terrible acts. And people`s lives are at stake. It is really dangerous.

And my campaign is going really well, but you see what we`re up against. And I need folks to join the, so that we can stop this in 2022.

CROSS: And so, again, if you`re a governor, you will have to navigate people who are diametrically opposed essentially to democracy. I`m just curious about your personal safety as well, because we don`t have the same level of security in some of our state legislatures and individually elected officials across this country.

In D.C., the United States Capitol, there are over 30 law enforcement agencies on ground. How concerned are you about the political violence that we have seen play out?

HOBBS: It is certainly one of the most daunting things about being involved in politics today.

As governor, I will be afforded a personal security detail, but now I`m having to navigate these threats that continue to escalate as we get closer to the election. And I have had different levels of private security that we have had to engage to keep me and my family safe.

CROSS: How frightening.

Well, we will certainly be watching the race. And please do continue to stay safe, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. Thank you very much.

And still ahead: Every new revelation about Trump`s apparent mishandling of classified documents is making his supporters angrier at the FBI, of course, and his social media platform is fanning the flames. We`re going to talk more about that on the other side of this break.

Don`t go anywhere.



CROSS: All right, yesterday, Donald Trump made the questionable claim that he will do whatever he can to help bring the temperature down after the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago.

But as "Rolling Stone"`s Asawin Suebsaeng reports, it`s his social media network, TRUTH Social, that has become a haven for private, doxxed information, and not only about authorities involved in the federal aid, but actually of their families.

TRUTH Social users have doxxed the judge who signed off on the warrant with ominous calls to action, including -- quote -- "Make him famous" and -- quote -- "Go get him, Florida," as well as an CIA agent involved in the Warrens.


Now, after a former White House aide posted the name of that agent, as well as the names of his wife and child, their social media accounts and the school the child attends, TRUTH Social did remove the post, but the verbatim text of that post spread across the platform with zero apparent attempt and moderation by the company.

In fact, TRUTH Social`s terms of service has no specific prohibition against doxxing, Though shortly after publication of the "Rolling Stone" piece, they removed posts mentioned in the story containing addresses and contact information for Judge Reinhart and that FBI agent.

And a reminder of who`s actually running through social. The CEO is none other than Devin Nunes. You guys remember him. He was the long Trump ally and former chair of -- get this -- the House Intelligence Committee. You can`t make this stuff up.

Joining me now is the co-author of that very "Rolling Stone" piece I referenced, senior politics reporter Asawin Suebsaeng, and my friend, my pal Kurt Bardella. He`s an adviser to the DNC and the DCCC.

Kurt, I`m going to start with you, because, listen, this is not just the fringe folks. The GOP has essentially merged with extremists. I try to make this point as often as possible.

It`s not their -- just their base voters, but their funders, their candidates. In fact, Monica Crowley -- she`s a former public affairs official in Trump`s Treasury Department -- took to Twitter to declare: "This is it. This is the hill to die on."

The New York Young Republican Club issued a lengthy statement condemning the continued persecution of Trump by totalitarian Democrats. His statement not only called for a total disintegration of the FBI, but also suggested that acting beyond merely voting out the former president`s enemies was required.

I`m just curious, Kurt, from you, where do we go from here? Because that violence only increases with this political temper tantrum that we have already seen turn bloody more than once.

KURT BARDELLA, DNC AND DCCC ADVISER: Yes, I think it`s -- you`re right, Tiffany.

I mean, everyone needs to understand that there is no division between the so-called establishment of the Republican Party and the fringe of the Republican Party. They are one and the same.

And the tactics that we`re seeing them employ are blessed and endorsed by the mainstream Republican Party. They are knowingly putting a target on the backs of law enforcement, they are unknowingly putting their families in harm`s way. And if anything tragic should happen to any member of our law enforcement community, these people have blood on their hands.

These people should be held liable. These platforms that are spreading their personal contact information should be held responsible. And let`s be very clear. Devin Nunes was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He knows all about sensitive information. He knows all about secret information. He knows and understands the value of identity and contact information.

So, for him to preside over a platform that is knowingly putting the sensitive and personal information up for other people to make these agents targets is unconscionable, and it, frankly, should be criminal.

And if anything goes wrong, if anything happens, no one can sit there going, oh, my God, we never saw this coming. How could this happen?

We know exactly how it happened. And it was deliberate.

CROSS: Absolutely. I think that`s such a great point to make, Kurt. It was delivered.

Asawin, great reporting from you. I think social media -- we have already seen how social media plays such a crucial role. In 2016, we saw the Russians infiltrate our democracy through the pathway of social media, specifically targeting black voters.

But now that Trump has engaged in these essentially Twitter wannabe platforms, I`m just curious from you how you think that could potentially be weaponized when it comes to misinformation. "The Washington Post" did great reporting that TikTok will be a major place of misinformation. We know TikTok is owned by a foreign -- a person from China.

So I`m just curious your thoughts. What do you think?

ASAWIN SUEBSAENG, "ROLLING STONE": Well, you have mentioned the term Twitter wannabe earlier in terms of what Trump`s attempt at building a social media empire, a MAGA social media empire is right now.

It`s TRUTH Social. And at its very best form currently, it`s a Twitter wannabe, unfortunately for Trump, nothing more at the moment. So in terms of how much a player it`s going to be in terms of online radicalization, I mean, that kind of has to do with how much popularity it`s going to gain. And, right now, that`s a little bit questionable.

But what we do know in terms of the level of MAGA-related popularity that it does have, is that, in recent days, ever since the FBI raid on Trump`s home and private Florida club in Mar-a-Lago, TRUTH Social had become a haven, in the way that other social media platforms and more, shall we say, mainstream social media platforms have not become, for this type of doxxed information on not just FBI personnel, the magistrate who signed off on this, but also their families.


As you pointed out in the intro, the school that one of the kids went to was bandied about there and allowed to be left up for days, and was not taken down until we reached out to TRUTH Social, which, again, is under Trump`s control, since he`s the head honcho there. He`s one of the founders. It`s his company. They didn`t take it down until after we reached out for comment and until after we published the story last night

And, look, like, to make sure we weren`t being completely unfair, because there are a lot of things that happen on a lot of different social media platforms that aren`t necessarily the fault, shall we say, of the people who own them, we did a quick search on Twitter, a longer -- we did a search on Twitter just to do one-to-one comparison between TRUTH Social and

And we couldn`t find any of the same doxxed the information that we were describing earlier about the FBI personnel or their families. So, take that for what you will.

CROSS: Yes, I think that`s a really good point to make.

Kurt, this is one of those times where I have to point out, this party, the Republican Party, which is now essentially the MAGA party, they purport themselves to be pro-life. That`s their term, not mine, anti-choice.

But I just wonder how they reconcile that, that they are the party that is allegedly pro-law enforcement, pro-life, yet here they are putting the information of a child out there, a child and the school this child attends, on the heels of yet another mass shooting that took the lives, that claimed the lives of so many children.

I just wonder how they navigate their own thought process and they`re disillusioned with themselves.

BARDELLA: Well, as my friend Congressman Eric Swalwell says, you can`t be pro-cop and pro -coup at the same time. And that`s exactly what they are.

They walk around and masquerade with this term pro-life. But, again, we just saw in Florida somehow a child is not mature enough to have an abortion, but is mature enough to be forced to carry a baby to term. They say that they`re pro-life, yet they -- all of them, every single one of them, voted against the biggest climate change package we have ever had in our in our country`s history to try to make sure that we have -- are able to preserve life going forward.

They vote against that. They say that they`re pro-life, but they put law enforcement and their lives, their family`s lives in jeopardy. Time and again, we see them say one thing and do another. They are not concerned with life. They`re just concerned with trying to score cheap political points. They`re concerned with trying to -- quote, unquote -- "own the libs."

And they don`t really care what wreckage is left in their wake. They are a destructive force in American politics. They are basically a domestic terrorist cell operating within America. Their goal is to end democracy.

One of their leaders, Steve Bannon, has said very clearly multiple times that his goal is to tear everything down, to burn it all down.


BARDELLA: That`s what they`re trying to do. When someone reveals themselves to you, it`s best to take them at face value. And time and time again, they have shown us who they are.

CROSS: Time and again, Kurt. Thank you so much for that.

And, Asawin, great reporting. And I know you do a great Bernie Sanders, Asawin, so we will have to have you back real soon, so I can hear that impression. Thank you both for being here.

SUEBSAENG: I do a better...


SUEBSAENG: I will try.


CROSS: OK. Well, next time. When we have more time, we will have to get both of those impressions and let the viewers decide. But thanks so much for being here.

And straight ahead: two factions of the Republican Party facing off tonight in primaries and a special election. We will get the latest from reporters on the ground.

And, finally, I get to share the screen with MSNBC`s own Steve Kornacki. I`m so excited about that.

That`s coming up next.




REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Today, no matter what the outcome is, this is certainly the beginning of a battle that is going to continue, is going to go on.

And, as a country, we`re facing very challenging and difficult times. We`re facing a moment where our democracy really is under attack and under threat. And those of us across the board, Republicans, Democrats and independents, who believe deeply in freedom and who care about the Constitution and the future of the country, I think have an obligation to put that above party.


CROSS: All right, well, in a few hours, we will know what the future holds for Liz Cheney, as well as Sarah Palin and Lisa Murkowski.

Now, Cheney, who is looking for a third term, has become Trump`s prime target, because she is one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him over his role in the Capitol insurrection, and she is, of course, vice chair of the January 6 Committee. It is bipartisan.

Cheney faces Harriet Hageman, a former friend and supporter. Hageman jettisoned Cheney for the big lie and for Donald Trump. Hoes ain`t loyal.

In Alaska, voters approved an initiative that established a nonpartisan pick one primary election system and a ranked-choice general election system. The top four candidates advance to the general election, almost guaranteeing that senior Senator Lisa Murkowski will face Trump-backed Republican Kelly Tshibaka and Democrat Pat Chesbro.

Tshibaka voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial. And Palin is looking to replace Don Young as the state`s lone congressional representative in a special election and later for the full term in November.

Let`s get into this.

Joining me now is NBC News correspondent Vaughn Hillyard in Wilson, Wyoming, and NBC correspondent Ali Vitali in Anchorage, Alaska.


Ali, I`m going to go to you first.

This race with Lisa Murkowski is quite interesting, because I remember, in 2012, she became the first U.S. senator in more than 50 years to win an election a write-in campaign, as she established an unassailable lead over the Tea Party movement candidate at that time...


CROSS: ... who was, of course, Joe Miller.

I`m curious to see how this race plays out in Alaska now. What have you got for us?

VITALI: Yes, you and me both, Tiffany, because Senator Murkowski is no stranger to tough circumstances around a reelection campaign.

And what`s interesting here in Alaska is that Senator Murkowski and Sarah Palin are trying to answer the same question, which is, how powerful is Donald Trump here? The thing is, they`re hoping for different answers to that question.

When you talk to Sarah Palin supporters, they`re voting for her because of the role that Donald Trump has played in many cases. When it comes to Senator Murkowski, though, I asked her if she thinks she fits in this Republican Party.

And maybe just half-an-hour ago or so, I will show you what she just told me. Listen.


SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK): We can ask the rhetorical question about, what really is the Republican Party nowadays? I have never believed that a party, a political party, should be the party of one individual. I just don`t believe that.

VITALI: It feels like it is right now.

MURKOWSKI: Well, and if it is that, if the Republican Party chooses to go in that direction, I think they leave behind a lot of Americans. And I think that that`s unfortunate.


VITALI: And so what you hear from her there is her saying effectively what you hear from Congresswoman Cheney as well, which is that this is not their Republican Party.

Cheney, at least, where Vaughn is, looks like she`s about to be ousted from it anyway. But for someone like Senator Murkowski, at least in tonight`s primary, decision day looks like it`s going to fall in her favor. All she has to do is make the top four here and she will advance to that November primary, where they will really have to ask the question, is she still able to represent Alaska as its senior Republican senator?

And then, of course, for Sarah Palin, her win is anything but assured here, but she would be continuing on the term that was vacated by the late the late Congressman Don Young in March. And then, of course, she would come up on the ballot again in November as well, Tiffany.

CROSS: Going to be a very telling midterm.

If people define the party, and the party doesn`t define the people, I think the Republicans have essentially made their choice...


CROSS: ... which brings me to you, Vaughn, because Liz Cheney, I mean, all eyes are on this race tonight.

And we have heard a lot of sound from Democrats saying that they`re voting for her, something we never thought we`d hear, certainly during the Bush administration. What`s the latest where you are?

VAUGHN HILLYARD, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Tiffany, this ultimately -- you`re right. This comes down to voters.

This is the voters` selection. And, today, Liz Cheney`s neighbors here in Wyoming, a population of just about 300,000, they`re about to roundly oust her from office here and instead choose Harriet Hageman, the Trump-backed election denier, who has propagated the conspiracy theories that Donald Trump has brought to the forefront of American politics here.

And I think the Alaska race is important with Lisa Murkowski, because she was really the one target on this greater purge list of Donald Trump`s entering this primary season here. Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, Bill Cassidy, they`re not up for reelection. And that`s where these House races were so significant, because, ultimately, it was voters at the congressional district level who are going to get the option to choose a Trump-backed challenger or their incumbent Republicans who voted to impeach him.

And you saw Tom Rice in South Carolina lose to a Trump-backed challenger. You have already seen Peter Meijer in Michigan. You saw Jaime Herrera Beutler just in the last few weeks losing in Washington state. You saw four others, instead of taking on Trump-backed challengers, they announced retirement.

And then that`s where you have got Liz Cheney here. And, ultimately, what we`re going to be looking to today is what that margin is between her and Cheney, because if you`re looking beyond 2022, Donald Trump, in the middle of, I mean, frankly, legal chaos here, layers of investigations, ultimately, the voters, they`re still siding with the candidates who he is going around the country campaigning for.

This is the Republican Party that folks like Liz Cheney, while they may be talking about their own 2024 run, or even Asa Hutchinson and Larry Hogan may be talking about another wing of the Republican Party, right now, the Republican voters, they`re selecting those Trump-backed candidates over them.

CROSS: Vaughn, before I let you go, just a really quick follow-up.

I have seen some voters talk about Liz Cheney as though they already know the outcome of this election, but they`re looking to her to do more potentially in 2024. Have you heard anything like that on ground there?


Allies that I have talked to have said that she`s looking to ultimately, whether she`s in office or not, mount an effort and -- quote -- "do whatever it takes" to keep Donald Trump from getting back into the White House. That is -- that could include, I`m told, a 2024 presidential run, but it could also be setting up a super PAC or an outside organization to try to mobilize Republicans that were part of the old GOP, if you may, any way Liz Cheney sees best fit in 2023 if, in fact, she is not able to serve another term in Congress.


CROSS: All right, we will keep our eyes open.

Thank you, Vaughn and Ali.

And I`m joined now by MSNBC national political correspondent Steve Kornacki. And he is there, of course, at the Big Board.

Steve Kornacki, so happy. It is my first time sharing the screen with you. And I`m thrilled to do it, sir. So, I`m very excited to see what you have got for us. Break it down for us, wherever you want to start. We can start in Alaska, if you like. But if you have another thing in mind, go for it.

STEVE KORNACKI, NBC NEWS NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I got Wyoming teed up, so we will start right there.

CROSS: Let`s do it.

KORNACKI: A little bit more -- a little bit more than an hour from now, we should start to get the results from this Wyoming race.

Now, one thing I`d caution everybody on right away, 9:00 p.m. Eastern time, that`s when the polls will close out in Wyoming. If 2020 and how the vote counting went is any indication, it could be very slow. In that first hour when polls closed back in 2020, there weren`t that many results here.

So, while the expectation is certainly that Liz Cheney is in deep trouble, that Harriet Hageman is poised to win this state, the polling has certainly suggested that in the run-up to today`s primary -- two polls, both have put Hageman ahead by more than 20 points -- it may take a while just to get any results even when the polls close.

Of course, that was 2020, the pandemic election. Maybe things will be a little bit faster this time. But Vaughn was alluding to this as well, here, the broader context for what`s happening in Wyoming, these, the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump following the events of January 6.

And we have gone through most of these primaries. As Vaughn mentioned, there are four who simply chose not to run. Maybe they figured they didn`t have much of a change in the primary. So, four retired. You see Rice in South Carolina lost. Meijer in Michigan lost. Herrera Beutler in Washington lost. There are only two who`ve gotten through primaries so far.

That`s David Valadao out in California`s Central Valley and Dan Newhouse in Washington. By the way, some big asterisks on both of those races. Valadao, that`s the one Republican primary here where Donald Trump didn`t get involved. He didn`t endorse anybody. He didn`t get involved. So, maybe that had a big factor in how Valadao got through.

And Newhouse, one of those top two primaries. Democrats, Republicans, everybody runs on the same ballot. Top two advance to the general. It was very split opposition there. Newhouse got 25 percent of the vote. That was enough to squeak into the general election. Very different dynamic here in Wyoming, obviously. This is essentially a one-on-one race. So that is why Cheney is such an underdog coming into this.

The other races tonight to keep an eye on, it`ll be the wee hours of the morning East Coast time, we will start to get some numbers out of Alaska. The key here, this is the special election for Alaska`s lone congressional seat. This is Sarah Palin`s comeback attempt. And what it`s going to be here is three candidates on the ballot, and they`re doing ranked-choice voting.

So folks say, here`s my first choice, my second choice, my third choice. The most likely thing -- there`s suspense here, but the most likely way this will go is, the one Democrat, Mary Peltola, will monopolize the Democratic vote and come in first in that initial round of voting, and the Republican vote will be split between Palin and Begich.

And then the question will become, who is second, who`s third? Because third place will be eliminated on the spot, and it`ll all be over. Second place would then advance in that ranked-choice run-off against Peltola. And it would be the second-choice voters of the eliminated candidate who could decide it.

So it really could be the suspense here, the race for second in Alaska tonight.


It`s interesting, Steve, because the races are often won on the margins, as you know. And the Alaskan Native vote is instrumental there. And if Peltola is victorious, she would be the first Alaskan Native to come to Congress. But, based on the math there, we will see what happens.

So, thank you, Steve. A delight sharing the screen with you.

KORNACKI: You got it.

CROSS: And coming up next -- thanks, Steve -- why President Biden seeing the Inflation Reduction Act -- or signing, I`m sorry, the Inflation Reduction Act into law today truly is, all together now, a big freaking deal.

We`re back in a sec.



CROSS: All right, today, President Biden signed into law the historic $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Inflation Reduction Act does so many things that, for so many years, so many of us have fought to make happen.

And let`s be clear: In this historic moment, Democrats sided with the American people, and every single Republican in the Congress sided with the special interests in this vote.

Today, too often, we confuse noise with substance. Too often, we confuse setbacks with defeat. Too often, we hand the biggest microphone to the critics and the cynics, who delight in declaring failure, while those committed to making real progress do the hard work of governing.

But with unwavering conviction, commitment, and patience, progress does come.


CROSS: I will just quote the former President Obama, who tweeted: "This is actually a BFD."

But I do understand this bill will not impact inflation overnight or help stabilize soaring rent prices that many of you out there are battling or put cash in your pocket. But it does mean lower drug costs for those on Medicare, cleaner air in the long term, lower health care premiums for millions, and cheaper power bills.

Most significantly, this is the most robust investment in climate action in American history. And, additionally, the president announced that millions of Americans will finally be able to buy hearing aids over the counter after the FDA finalized a new rule just this morning.

This all marks a turnaround for the president, who has been able to notch a string of legislative victories. In the past two months alone, Biden and the Democratic-led Congress have boosted investments in domestic manufacturing of semiconductor chips and expanded health care benefits for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits.

The president and his Cabinet secretaries are set to hit the road in the coming weeks in an effort to sell these victories ahead of the midterms, where control of both the House and the Senate are very much up for grabs.

And that does it for me. That`s tonight`s REIDOUT.

Be sure, please, to watch the premiere of "ALEX WAGNER TONIGHT" at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. I will be watching.

Alex, good luck. And welcome to the team.

But, first, "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.