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Transcript: The ReidOut, 8/4/22

Guests: Charles Booker, Julia Ioffe, Layshia Clarendon, Kim Lane Scheppele, Rula Jebreal


Hungarian autocrat Viktor Orban delivers an address to Republicans at CPAC. Brittney Griner is sentenced in Russia. The jury returns a verdict in the Alex Jones defamation trial. The Justice Department charges four Louisville police officers in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor.




VIKTOR ORBAN, HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER: We have to be brave enough to address even the most sensitive questions, migration, gender, and the clash of civilizations.

Don`t worry. A Christian politician cannot be racist.


REID: Hungarian autocrat Viktor Orban was accused of pure Nazi rhetoric by one of his own aides, but that did not prevent him from receiving the red carpet treatment by Republicans at CPAC.

Also tonight, the Russian show trial ended just as everyone knew it would, with a barbaric sentence for basketball star Brittney Griner. So, how soon until a deal gets done to bring her home?

Plus, breaking news late today in the Alex Jones defamation trial. The jury has returned a verdict on compensatory damages for his Sandy Hook lies.

We begin tonight with the future that Republicans want. Today, the right- wing lovefest CPAC kicked off in Dallas with a keynote speech that, if you didn`t know any better, could have easily just been delivered by Ron DeSantis or Donald Trump. Just take a listen.


ORBAN: I am an old-fashioned freedom fighter. Politics, my friend, are not enough. This war is a culture war.

We were the first ones in Europe who said no to illegal migration and stopped the invasion of illegal migrants.


ORBAN: We have to build not just a physical wall on our borders, but a legal wall around our children to protect them from the gender ideology that targets them.

To sum up, the mother is a woman, the father is a man, and leave our kids alone, full stop, end of discussion.



REID: Actually, that man who received a standing ovation for bashing culture wars and same-sex marriage, et cetera, is Viktor Orban, Hungary`s authoritarian dictator and current idol of the anti-democracy right, the new Vladimir Putin, just without the land grab obsession.

Orban told the crowd that liberals don`t want him there and American conservatives should join forces with him, the same Viktor Orban who, in a speech just a few weeks ago, said that Europeans should not become peoples of mixed race, leaving a longtime adviser to resign, characterizing Orban`s remarks as a pure Nazi text worthy of Joseph Goebbels.

Those comments were obviously not too racist for CPAC organizers, since they followed through with their invite, giving Orban nearly an hour to spout demagoguery, showing exactly why the current anti-democratic Republican Party sees him as a model of success, relying entirely on appeals to racism, anti-migrant paranoia and Christian nationalism.

Naturally, the twice-impeached former president welcomed the autocratic leader at his New Jersey resort earlier this week, a place that`s become a must-stop for the world`s worst leaders and their golf tournaments, saying: It was great spending time with my friend.

In fact, in 2018 speech, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon called Orban Trump before Trump. The reality is, Viktor Orban is a right-wing dream for the Republicans trying to destroy our democracy from within, as Europe`s leading defender of fascism abroad. Orban is also the continent`s biggest proponent of White Replacement Theory.

You heard him mention that invasion of migrants, which explains why the biggest promoter of the organization of the Republican Party is Tucker Carlson, so much so that he took his show on the road to Hungary for an entire week last summer, touting it as a beacon for America.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: The small country with a lot of lessons for the rest of us.

And one last thing, because the example of Hungary is so powerful, not just in Europe, but to the world, to the entire world, not simply the West, what you can do with a relatively small economy and not many people if you`re just serious about keeping your nation from being destroyed.


REID: Now, in case you have any doubt that right-wingers are fully on board with Orban`;s world view, look no further than his biggest applause line during today`s speech.


ORBAN: We have seen what kind of future the globalist ruling class has to offer. The globalists can all go to hell. I have come to Texas.



REID: Joining me now is David Jolly, former Republican congressman who now co-chairs a new third-party effort, the Forward Party, Rula Jebreal, visiting professor at the University of Miami, teaching about propaganda and genocide, and Kim Lane Scheppele, professor of sociology and international affairs at Princeton University.

And, Professor Scheppele, I am going to start with you because I know that your expertise is Hungary and this sort of ultra-nationalist Christian nationalist movement there. This guy Orban has been around for quite a long time. He had some things to say about President Obama, whose term his prime ministership also connected to.

It does seem to me that he is the foremost promoter of Christian nationalism and anti-migrant paranoia in Europe. Would I be right about that?


So, in the migrant crisis of 2015, when more than a million people came from Syria and Iraq and so forth seeking safety in Europe, Orban was the one who built a wall, built a wall before Trump built a wall. He pushed people back across that wall.

He separated kids and parents. The thing that he did, actually, in 2015 was exactly what Trump went on to do later. So he has been exactly a model for Republican efforts to deal with the border. And I might say that one of the shocking things about his speech today is, here`s a foreign leader of an allied country who has come to the U.S. to meet at the convention of the opposition party.

And one of the things he said was, we must coordinate the movement of our troops because we face the same challenge. He`s recruiting the Republican Party to work with Hungary, which is not something the leader of an allied party typically does.

REID: Let me ask you this. What is the bridge between -- as you said, the policies match identically.

And even the White Replacement Theory stuff does match with Tucker Carlson, so we know what the bridge is between Tucker Carlson and him. Tucker Carlson`s father, I believe, makes some money off of him. He`s got a Tucker Carlson -- he`s got this -- his father, I believe -- there it is.

His father had -- his father, Richard Carlson, is listed as the director of a Washington-based firm that has lobbied Viktor Orban, so we know Tucker has a connection to him. But what`s Trump`s connection? How did that feeding to get Orban`s ideas into Trump, or did it?


Well, so, first, the connection with Tucker Carlson is interesting, because the Hungarian government paid Tucker Carlson`s father to make the introductions to Tucker Carlson. And then they paid Tucker Carlson to go to Hungary for that week in Hungary.

And also, with CPAC, I noticed that one of the sponsors is something called the Center for Fundamental Rights in Hungary. So it also appears that Hungary paid to get Orban onto the program at CPAC. So that`s one thing.

But there are lots of ties between the Trump circle and the Orban circle. So Steve Bannon is clearly one of them. He not only called Orban Trump before Trump, but he actually created both of them in lots of ways.

And even before that, Orban`s big electoral victory in 2010 was engineered by a pair of Republican electoral consultants called Arthur Finkelstein and Norman Birnbaum. And they engineered his 2014 campaign. So there are lots of connections.

And I suspect viewers of MSNBC may remember this character called Sebastian Gorka, who was the guy who showed up at the Trump inaugural ball wearing not a neo-Nazi uniform, but the original Nazi uniform of his father. Eventually, he got thrown out of the White House. But he still has been hanging around in Trump`s circles.

So there are a lot of ties between the Orban people and the Trump people.

REID: Yes.

SCHEPPELE: And this is a very deep and wide set of connections.

REID: And, Rula, I mean, it is literally -- it`s easily -- it`s obviously more convenient, in some sense, to sort of Orbanize party at this point than to Putinize, right, because Putin, what he`s doing in Ukraine is so objectionable and so repugnant, that it`s kind of difficult for Republicans to continue with this adoration of Putin in this moment.

But Orban is sort of a new thing for a lot of their followers. So they`re - - they have definitely clung on to him. What do you make of this connection that they`re -- that is now being drawn between Orban and the Republican Party?

RULA JEBREAL, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: Well, Orban talked in 2018 about the access of the willing, Orban, Trump, Salvini in Italy, the fascists in France, Vox in Spain.

There`s a real ideological common values, which is anti-immigration, trying to use the powers and tools of democracy to destroy it from within, exactly like my -- I believe the former speaker said, that the way they come to power is through laws. The way they hold on to powers is through laws, not through bullets or bombs.

In this moment that Putin is destroying Ukraine and bombing Ukraine, he is the one that actually gave them the tools, the propaganda, disinformation, conspiracy theories, the white supremacist conspiracy theory.


And I want to remind everybody that in 2018, when Orban talked about the access of the willing, two terrorist attack took place, one in New Zealand. A white supremacist killed 55 Muslims in a church. He cited Viktor Orban, he cited Donald Trump in his manifesto as a defender of the white race.

Another guy in Italy who was a candidate, a local candidate, Luca Traini, he went on a shooting spree. He shot six people of color. And he shot also against the headquarter of the Democratic Party.

And immediately after, people start blaming immigrants. We are seeing now as we speak, as we have elections all over Europe, especially in Italy in two months, Viktor Orban rhetoric led to an attack in Northern Italy, where a black man was killed.

But not only that. We have seen also how Putin and Orban and Salvini and other are coordinating. So, Putin is controlling basically the migration in Libya, the port in Libya. We have seen for the first time since two years rising of migrants who arrive in Italy. Why? Because he understand how to weaponize migration, propaganda, oil and gas and food and green and other things to dismantle democracy.

And he`s aiding and abetting all of his allies in Europe and in the United States.

REID: Well, and to bring you into this, David, I mean, the Republican Party is ripe and open for this.

I mean, there`s been this sort of -- this sort of fetishism of Vladimir Putin for a very long time. Donald Trump really pushed that. He`s now pushing it with Viktor Orban, and, of course, Tucker Carlson is pushing it.

And I see it the most, Orbanization, in somebody like DeSantis, who now has this sort of like propaganda school that he`s sending teachers to in the summer, where they teach them that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington opposed slavery and don`t bother to mention that they owned slaves, where he`s essentially forcing teachers to accept this indoctrination, where he`s now threatening to -- well, he fired a U.S. state attorney who refused to prosecute people related to abortion, where he`s doing these openly authoritarian sort of Orban-esque things and pushing what does feel like a version of white Replacement Theory.


REID: That you can`t make white children feel uncomfortable in school, you can`t say anything about racism at the workplace, that you have to sort of create this sort of white nationalist environment everywhere, or else.

JOLLY: That`s exactly right, Joy.

And let me say -- tell you something that Viktor Orban got right today. He said that the press in the United States will report tomorrow that a racist leader addressed American conservatives. And he was right, because he is racist. His policies are racist.

There is no way that Viktor Orban, who condemns a mixed-race society, can stand up and say, oh, but I`m a Christian, so I couldn`t possibly be racist.

And the through line to today`s conservative movement, I think, is both the tell coming out of Dallas, but also the moment of danger, because there is no question that the conservative movement in the United States has embraced the Great Replacement Theory. The leaders of the movement will say, no, no, no, that`s not the case.

But it absolutely is. They embraced and cheered a man who said in his remarks today that the battle lines for Western civilization will be fought in 2024 in Western Europe and the United States. And they are fought along policies that are trying to push back brown and black people.

This is not a movement to stop immigration into New England by white Western Europeans. This is a movement that says the integration of brown and black people into Western Europe and the United States is wrong. And what we saw today was the American conservative movement elevate and embrace that.

And that same movement that embrace Viktor Orban is the one that is giving currency and fuel to Ron DeSantis -- to Ron DeSantis, to Donald Trump, and to other leaders in today`s Republican Party.

REID: Very quickly, Rula, and then the professor, the irony is that Hungary was ruled by the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, but now the Muslim population is like 0.4 percent. So he`s fighting against a fictional enemy. There`s nothing invading Hungary. But he`s still pushing it.

But he`s still using Muslims as this fictional enemy, no?

JEBREAL: Yes, he is.

In the same time, he doesn`t want to teach people, and especially European students, about what Europeans, white European did to the Muslim population in the `90s. We had a real genocide in Bosnia, simply because they were Muslims, simply -- women were taken, put in camps, raped -- 50,000 -- between 20,000 and 50,000 of women were raped and kept in camps simply because we were -- they were Muslims.

They are looking actually at France that have 20 percent populations of Muslims. They`re looking at Europe that finally has people like you and me, Joy, who are being elected in parliaments, who are being actually embrace and being on television. And that is the future that they want to purge.


They want to -- basically, to keep it a white supremacist society. I mean, Viktor Orban has nothing to offer, nothing to export, I mean, his -- whether it`s the trade -- his country is bankrupt. He`s begging Europe to back to basically give him some money.

And he`s using the arguments that, oh, Europe doesn`t want to give us money and doesn`t want to bail us out simply because we are defending Christian values. Europeans in this moment are fighting between those who want to defend their values against Putin. In the same time, they are -- they`re pretending that Orban -- what Orban is doing is a minor issue.

It`s not a minor issue. This is the bottom of our democracy. And I think Republicans understand it.

REID: Yes.

JEBREAL: And they are trying to bring that kind of autocracy here to the United States.

REID: Indeed.

I wish we had more time. We`re going to have to have all your back.

David Jolly, Rula Jebreal, Kim Lane Scheppele, thank you both very much.

Up next on THE REIDOUT: President Biden calls Brittney Griner`s sentence today in a Russian court unacceptable. And it`s now up to him to negotiate her release.

The REIDOUT continues after this.



REID: Right now the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA are taking to the court for the first game since their teammate Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison.

The team released a statement earlier, saying: "While we knew it was never the legal process that was going to bring our friend home, today`s verdict is a sobering milestone in the 168-day nightmare being endured by our sister B.G."

It comes after an emotional day in the Moscow courtroom. The judge rejected the wrongfully detained player`S final plea for leniency and her apology on charges she brought less than a gram of cannabis oil into the country in February.


BRITTNEY GRINER, WNBA PLAYER: I never meant to hurt anybody. I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population.

I never meant to break any laws here. I know everybody keeps talking about political pawn and politics. But I hope that that is far from this courtroom.

I made an honest mistake. And I hope that, in your ruling, that it doesn`t end my life here.


REID: Griner`s lawyers say they plan to file an appeal.

Meanwhile, President Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken are also speaking out. The president called Brittney`s sentence -- quote -- "unacceptable," writing: "I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends and teammates."

The administration is facing growing pressure to reach a deal with Moscow on a prisoner swap. They are reportedly still waiting for a substantive response from the Kremlin to the offer they made in June.

Tonight`s game started with a powerful 42-second moment of solitude. Both teams huddled together as fans in the stands chanted, "Bring her home."


CROWD: Bring her home! Bring her home! Bring her home! Bring her home!


REID: Joining me now is WNBA player Layshia Clarendon.

And, Layshia, thank you so much for being here.

I wonder what your reaction is? And I don`t know if seeing it just now is the first time you have seen Brittney`s statements today. But what`s your reaction to this sentence?


I saw the news earlier this morning and just broke down in tears. Although we knew it was coming, it`s still sobering every single time you see it and picture B.G. and see B.G. over there, your heart just breaks to know she`s been away from her family, her friends, and to know that this league is not the same.

So I`m getting a little choked up honestly just watching that footage, because she means so much to every single one of us.

REID: Yes, I want to read a little bit of the agent, the statement from Brittney`s agent, Lindsay Colas.

She tweeted this today: "Today`s sentencing of Brittney Griner was severe by Russia`s -- Russian legal standards and goes to prove what we have known all along, that Brittney is being used as a political pawn. We appreciate and continue to support the efforts of the president and Secretary Blinken to get a deal done swiftly."

How hopeful are you and your friends in the WNBA that a deal is going to happen? Because it does feel like a nine-year sentence means that Russia is setting the stakes pretty high.


We are very hopeful. I think we have to be for B.G. And we`re also calling on the entire global sports community, because this isn`t only about B.G. It`s about all of us. I have played in Russia. I have played all over Europe. So many of us travel for competitions. It`s our job. It`s our livelihood. It`s what we do, representing our country.

So the fact that someone could be wrongfully detained like this and used, we`re just calling on every single person and holding out a lot of hope that we can unite together to get B.G. home, to get Paul home, to know that this is just about getting an American -- two Americans home safely, who just need to be back with their family and with their friends.

REID: Yes.

CLARENDON: And we`re just holding -- really holding on to that really closely.

REID: It`s not lost on me and on many of us that the reason that some of you, great players in the U.S. travel overseas and play is monetary, that there is a pay disparity between the NBA and the WNBA.

And so a lot of talented players like yourself do go overseas, go to places like Russia and play. And Brittney has made it very clear that she actually also was very much interested in boosting Russian basketball, Russian women`s basketball. She was doing something for them. She was making their league better.

What do you make of -- this cannot encourage others to do this. Is the is the era of people traveling and playing away, particularly in authoritarian states, over?


I think it`s definitely questionable on Russia. And it`s flooding, I think, a lot more of the other European markets because of exactly what you said. We have to go play over there to make money while we can in our crime. And we also are global citizens. So B.G. cares about Russia. She cares about her team.

A lot of these players will sign multiyear contracts to stay with their team because they love it. They`re treated well generally. They build relationships. It`s just like them playing domestically with their teams.


But when your safety becomes threatened and your livelihood, a place that was home, where your team always took care of you, traveled you privately, took really good care of you, now you`re kind of questioning, what does it look like? What does our safety look like to just move throughout Europe, to move throughout these other places that for, so long, we could do freely?

REID: Yes.

CLARENDON: It`s definitely putting -- and other players are already not signing back with Russia. So you`re going to see different markets start to get flooded.

REID: Yes.

Yes, that makes absolutely, 100 percent sense.

Layshia Clarendon, thank you so much for taking the time to be here. I know this is a difficult night. So thank you so much. I appreciate you.

CLARENDON: Thank you.

REID: Cheers.

And let`s bring in Julia Ioffe, founding partner and Washington correspondent for Puck.

And I will ask you the same question. It definitely feels like this long sentence -- the prosecutors had asked for nine-and-a-half years, they gave her nine -- sounds like Russia is saying, no, we`re putting these stakes really high. We have seen three-year sentences for other detainees.

This is a long, long sentence.


And I think, in part, it`s because of all the attention we`re paying to the case over here in the U.S. Brittney Griner was initially as soon, as she was arrested, a high-value hostage, a high-value prisoner, that I think the Russian government understood, immediately, they could extract a lot from the U.S. government in exchange for her freedom.

But now they can get a lot more. And so that`s why you saw a nine-year prison sentence, instead of probation, instead of even a six- or seven-year prison or even an eight-year prison -- prison sentence. They`re cranking up the dial so that they can extract as much as they possibly can from the situation.

And according to my administration sources, they are really dragging their feet. They`re conveying through various means that they are in no mood to make a deal, that they are taking their sweet time, that they don`t care how long this takes, that they`re not the ones who really want this, that it`s the U.S. who wants this, that it`s the U.S. who has to put more and more sweeteners into the deal to get Brittney Griner out.

And I would say to your -- I would say to your previous guest, even before Russia invaded Ukraine, the State Department put out a notice saying that all Americans should leave Russia. I would really advise against WNBA players going to Russia now, no matter how good the paycheck.

It is a really -- even before the war, it was a dangerous place to be. And especially now, it is a very dangerous place, no matter how good the money.

REID: Yes, clearly. They`re taking hostages.

Let me play what Brittney said in this apology in court. It was very heartbreaking. Here it is.


GRINER: I want to apologize to my teammates, my club, the fans, and the city of Ekat for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I brought onto them.

I want to also apologize to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organization back at home, the amazing women of the WNBA, and my amazing spouse back at home.


REID: I just -- I take nothing that a hostage says as real. I don`t even accept that she did what they are claiming she did.

What do you make of the fact that she felt that she -- I mean, it was a way to get a message to her friends and family, obviously, but what do you make of that apology?

IOFFE: I mean, to me, it sounds real, but I think -- I think she`s in distress...

REID: Yes.

IOFFE: ... that she`s been -- it`s been six months she`s been in a Russian prison. She doesn`t speak Russian. Conditions there are terrible. She doesn`t know when she will ever get home, if it`s going to be really in nine years, or it or if it`ll happen sooner.

She doesn`t know if it`s really because of the vape cartridges or because she`s been taken hostage. Like, I don`t think you can underestimate the psychological stress that she`s under.

REID: Yes.

IOFFE: And I think that`s what you`re seeing here.

And I think she`s coping with it by doing what she -- as she says, that I was taught to take responsibility.

REID: That`s right.

IOFFE: I was taught to -- right.

And I think that`s how she`s dealing with it. But it`s so much larger than these vape cartridges and it`s so much larger than her taking responsibility. And I don`t think this has anything to do with her embarrassing anybody.

REID: Very quick. I agree. And, very quickly, Donald Trump attacked her the other day. What do you make of that, the fact that he called her a spoil person and loaded up with drugs? The fact that a former American president attacked her, what does that do to the dynamic here?

IOFFE: I didn`t know he did that. But, I mean, does it surprise you that he attacked a black woman who was in a horrible situation, and that she`s imprisoned by his BFF, Vladimir Putin? I`m not surprised. Are you?

REID: No, I`m not surprised, but still somehow disappointed and disgusted.


Julia Ioffe, thank you.


REID: Yes. That`s all you can be with Donald Trump.

Thank you very much. Really appreciate you, Julia.

Still ahead: The jury has reached a verdict in Alex Jones` defamation trial. And remember those texts his attorney mistakenly handed over to opposing counsel? Yes. The January 6 Committee says they would just love to have a peek at those.

We will be right back.


REID: Late this afternoon, Alex Jones was ordered by a jury to pay $4.1 million in compensatory damages to the parents of a Sandy Hook victim who sued him for defamation.


They had asked for $150 million, but the lawyer for the parents, Mark Bankston, said he was pleased with the verdict. This is just one part of the trial. Tomorrow, there will be a hearing on punitive damages.

Bankston said he expects the family to receive more than $9 million in total. The trial has been quite the wild ride so far. The right-wing conspiracy pitchman was admonished by the judge multiple times for lying.


MAYA GUERRA GAMBLE, DISTRICT COURT JUDGE: You must tell the truth while you testify. This is not your show. Do you understand what I have said? Yes or no, do you understand what I have said?


I believe what I said was true. So I don`t...

GAMBLE: Yes, you believe everything you say is true, but it isn`t. Your beliefs do not make something true. That is -- that is what we`re doing here.


REID: And nothing can top the moment yesterday when Jones found out that his lawyers had accidentally sent the entire contents of his phone to the lawyer for the Sandy Hook parents, revealing that he had lied under oath when he said he didn`t have any texts about Sandy Hook on his phone.

But the implications of those texts go much further than his trial. They contain -- quote -- "intimate messages with Roger Stone," according to the lawyer for the parents, who said the January 6 Committee had asked him to send them the texts, and that he would do so unless the judge ordered him not to.

The judge gave Jones` lawyer time to go through the documents and mark what he wants to keep confidential, but said she would not seal the entire contents of the phone. The committee has been trying to obtain Jones` text messages for months, saying they could be relevant to understanding his role in helping organize the rally before the insurrection.

And joining me now, Joyce Vance, professor at the University of Alabama School of Law, and a former U.S. attorney and our friend.

And so, Joyce, I am going to start from the top, and then I will get back to the January 6 stuff. I just want to remind people what Alex Jones was saying that got him sued. Take a look.


JONES: I don`t know what really happened with Sandy Hook, folks. We have looked at all sides. We played devil`s advocate from both sides. But, I mean, it`s funny as a $3 bill.

There`s been a cover-up. And Anderson Cooper got caught faking where his location was with blue screen.

If children were lost in Sandy Hook, my heart goes out to each and every one of those parents and the people that say they`re parents that I see on the news. But the problem is, I have watched a lot of soap operas and I have seen actors before.


REID: OK, make it make sense to me why this family only got $4 million. They asked for $150 million. And also what about the second part of the damages?

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: So I think the second part of the trial, this punitive damages phase that will take part tomorrow, is the answer to your question, Joy, because the $4 million in damages today, those are compensatory damages.

That means that if the families prove up losses, for instance, the need to move, the need to have security, much of the medical care and mental health care that they needed after that, they actually prove that financial amount of damages and they`re compensated.

Tomorrow, the punitive damages, that`s about something different. Where today was about compensating victims, tomorrow is about punishing the defendant. And it`s tough to imagine a defendant who is more richly deserving of punishment than Mr. Jones.

REID: Thank you for explaining that, OK, because I think a lot of us on the $4 million went, what? So that makes it make a lot more sense. Thank you.

Now, Jones` wife, whose name is Kelly, she has tweeted about the subpoenas and the texts. And she said this: "Definitely will subpoena this info," she will, "another stunning and unbelievable attorney gaffe by Alex Jones` attorneys. I`m truly grateful to those who`ve spoken with January 6 and the investigator."

She`s saying that she wants to speak to them as well, because she`s in a divorce with him where he`s also apparently lying about his money. Is there any way to objectively prove how rich this guy is? Because we know he`s made a lot, up to $800,000 a day.

VANCE: So it`s an interesting question, because one of the legitimate considerations for the jury tomorrow in the punitive damages phase of the trial is, how much money is Jones worth?

Because you can`t really punish someone without reference to what their total assets are. So we may see a little taste of that tomorrow. But, certainly, this phone will put people who are interested in looking at his assets and other facets of his personal life much closer to learning the truth.

REID: He`s been on his show, which I cannot understand why he`s still doing his show, and claiming he doesn`t have as much money as the leaked texts say he does. I can`t believe he`s still doing his show. That seems really dumb. I don`t know his lawyers are, but they don`t seem very smart.

Last thing. This is Bennie Thompson`s statement on subpoenaing these text messages: "He -- Alex Jones reportedly helped organize the rally at the Ellipse on January 6 that immediately preceded the attack on the Capitol, including by facilitating a donation to provide what he described as 80 percent of the funding. Jones has repeatedly promoted unsupported allegations of election fraud and implied that he acknowledged about the plans of the former president with respect to the rally."


Do you think that Alex Jones could be in some legal trouble? Because there is a grand jury on this as well. And what do you expect to come from the committee requests for his texts?

VANCE: Well, let`s just start with what`s in front of us right now. Will the committee be able to get the phone?

The answer would seem to be yes. They have issued legitimate subpoenas for information that`s on the phone. Jones apparently either wrongfully withheld it in the first round of interviews with the committee, or perhaps he will now say that there`s some sort of Fifth Amendment privilege issue. That would have to be litigated.

But the short answer to that is, those are not compelled statements, any materials or texts on his phone, and those will very likely be turned over to the committee. It`s tough to imagine a scenario where that stuff gets held up in court.

The fact that this was an inadvertent disclosure is -- sorry about that, but bad luck. The lawyers turned it over. And there was no effort to claim that there was an appropriate area of these materials that needed to be clawed back within the time provided by Texas law.

Jones should be out of luck here.

REID: And you have been on and listened to me pound the table and complaint about Merrick Garland over and over and over, and you have always assured me, be patient. Things are happening.

It now appears that, of course, you were right and I was wrong. Give us a very quick comment on the pace of this investigation as you see it now.

VANCE: Well, I think, Joy, the conversations that we have had had focused on our hope that we lived in a world where the Justice Department would hold a former president who plotted a coup accountable for that.

There were concerns, legitimate concerns, last year when we didn`t see signs of investigation, the signs that we`re seeing now. But, at this point, it looks like DOJ is very focused. Of course, now the most recent news we have heard is that Trump`s lawyers are beginning to negotiate with the Justice Department over whether there can be some assertion of executive privilege that will keep some witnesses from testifying.

DOJ looks ready to me. They look committed and ready to go.

REID: Joyce Vance, senior officer of talking me down, I appreciate you being on the show always and providing such calm and brilliant reason.


REID: We appreciate you. Thank you.

And coming up next: justice at last for Breonna Taylor. The Justice Department is charging four Louisville police officers in connection with the killing.

We will be right back.



REID: The state of Kentucky is literally a metaphor for the law of consequences.

The devastating floods that took the lives of at least 37 people were, at least partially, a consequence of neglect, because even though the most powerful Republican in Congress, Senator Mitch McConnell, hails from Kentucky, it remains one of the poorest states in the country.

Its infrastructure, especially in some of the areas hardest hit by the floods, has fallen into a state of decay, due to the coal mining industry. "The New York Times" writes: "The landscape that was built to serve this work was fragile, leaving the people here extraordinarily vulnerable, especially after the coal industry shuttered so many of the mines -- shuttered so many of the minds and moved on. What remained were modest unprotected homes and decaying infrastructure and a land that itself in many places had been shorn of its natural defenses."

And when it comes to the shooting death of Breonna Taylor by police in Louisville, the thing that has just gnawed at people is that there have been no consequences for the police officers involved. Taylor, a 26-year- old emergency room technician, was killed by police during a botched middle-of-the-night raid on her apartment two years ago.

Now, at last, it appears there will be consequences. Today, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Kristen Clarke, head of the DOJ Civil Rights Division, announced federal charges against four former and current Louisville Metro police officers in connection with her death.


KRISTEN CLARKE, ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The indictment alleges that by preparing a false affidavit to secure a search warrant for Breonna Taylor`s homes, defendants Jaynes and Meany willfully deprived Breonna Taylor of her constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

And we allege that Ms. Taylor`s death resulted from that violation.


REID: The charges also include unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction.

This will be the first time any police officer is held accountable in Taylor`s death. The only previous charges involved the firing of shots into a neighboring home, and, even then, the police officer was acquitted.

And don`t go anywhere, because after the break, Charles Booker, the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in Kentucky, will join me to discuss the consequences of all things happening in Kentucky.



REID: Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor, has long sought justice and accountability in the senseless death of her daughter.

After today`s announcement by the DOJ of charges against four officers for violating Breonna`s civil rights, she had this to say:


TAMIKA PALMER, MOTHER OF BREONNA TAYLOR: Yes, what we have been seeing on day one, you`re all learning what we have been seeing was the truth, that they shouldn`t have been there and that Breonna didn`t deserve that.

Breonna made a post that said, take me to a place that I can`t even imagine. Breonna has taken us all to a place that we can`t even imagine.


Today is overdue. But it still hurts. I have waited 874 days for today.


PALMER: And it`s here now.



REID: Joining me now is Charles Booker, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Kentucky and author of "From the Hood to the Holler."

And it`s so good to see you.

And I first met you when you, as a state representative, were out in the streets marching for Breonna Taylor and yourself and other activists. I know Tamika Mallory was one. And there were many, many activists who were in the streets in Kentucky demanding justice.

What did it mean to see Kristen Clarke and Merrick Garland standing up there today saying, yes, this was in fact a crime against this young woman?

CHARLES BOOKER (D), KENTUCKY SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Joy, it`s good to be with you again.

And this day is a day that many of us was unsure would ever come, but we never stopped calling for. And to see this moment of accountability for a life that represents so many of us -- when Breonna`s was busted down, all of our doors were busted down.

This moment of accountability means so much. It`s reminded that, when we organize together, when we stand together, when we cry out for justice, when we work together, change is possible. And it`s a good step forward.

REID: I have to -- I immediately thought of and asked my producers to pull this sound bite, because when I watched the press conference today, I immediately thought of Daniel Cameron and what he said when he declined to call what happened to Breonna on a crime and said the only crime was that officers accidentally shot bullets into the home of one white neighbor, not even the other neighbors, just the one white neighbor.

Here is what he said back then about the decision not to indict.


DANIEL CAMERON (R), KENTUCKY ATTORNEY GENERAL: Detective Cosgrove and Sergeant Mattingly were justified in returning fire because they were fired upon.

I understand that as a black man, how painful this is. The criminal law is not meant to respond to every sorrow and grief. And that is -- that is true here.


REID: Let me read you what he said today.

"As in every prosecution, our office supports the impartial administration of justice. But it is important that people not conflate what happened today with the state law investigation undertaken by our office. Our primary task was to investigate whether the officers who executed the search warrant were criminally responsible for Ms. Taylor`s death under state law."

It shocks me that the attorney general of the state of Kentucky would believe that it was not his job to investigate whether the warrant that allowed those officers to kick in this young woman`s door and bust in and kill her and shoot her boyfriend, whether that warrant was legal.

So he`s essentially saying, oh, I`m only responsible for what happened when the door got kicked in. I`m not responsible for the rest.

Does that sound like the impartial administration of justice to you?

BOOKER: Well, it`s horrific. It is once again a sign that justice failed in that moment, and it`s on his hands.

He`s choosing to play politics, at the expense of representing the people of Kentucky. And it`s disgusting.

I applaud the officials in the DOJ for standing up to uphold justice and not shirk away from that responsibility. But Kentucky`s attorney general failed at that. And, thankfully, the investigation continued, and the accountability we need is moving forward.

REID: You`re from Kentucky. Rand Paul`s from Kentucky. I know you have talked a lot about Breonna Taylor and talked to her family.

Have you ever heard anything from Rand Paul about what is happening in this case?

BOOKER: We haven`t heard much from Rand Paul on pretty much anything that affects our lives.

We`re dealing with the flood. We have experienced a tornado. We`re seeing the height of racial tension, this pandemic. And Rand Paul is never there. And so, even in this moment, no one expects to hear from him, which is why I`m going to replace him.

But I had the chance to put my arms around Ms. Palmer today and squeeze her tightly and listen to her just whisper out: "We finally got some accountability for my daughter."

And all of us deserve to be safe in our homes. All of us deserve to live out our dreams, just like Breonna wanted to. And I`m going to go to the Senate and make sure we secure a better society for our country.

REID: Have you heard from Mitch McConnell? Has he said anything about this case?

BOOKER: I have not heard any response from Mitch McConnell either.

And it really is a shame.

REID: Yes.

BOOKER: This is bigger than politics.

REID: Yes.

BOOKER: We all need to stand up together to say that justice is due and everyone deserves to be safe and, when injustices are committed, that there is accountability.

And I am ashamed for our leaders in the U.S. Senate. But that`s also why I`m doing my job now.

REID: Absolutely.

And, just very quickly, how are the people in your area doing with these floods, these horrific floods?

BOOKER: Folks are absolutely devastated.

We have seen homes washed away, livelihoods lost, places that I have worked in community that have been destroyed. But, in the face of the pain, we`re seeing great strength, tremendous resolve, and that`s what Kentucky is all about.

My campaign has been leading efforts to provide relief. We`re standing up for our family, no matter party. This is bigger than any divide. And I`m proud of what Kentucky is showing even right now.

I`m in Western Kentucky.

REID: Yes.

BOOKER: And we`re helping with relief from the tornado as well.

REID: Yes.

BOOKER: And I`m asking everyone watching, join us. Go to

REID: Yes.

BOOKER: Help us in this work.

REID: Thank you very much, Charles Booker. Always appreciate having you on.

That is tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.