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Transcript: The ReidOut, 9/26/22

Guests: William Barber, Brooke Floyd, Karim Sadjadpour, Jason Van Tatenhove, Peter Strzok


The January 6 Committee is set to hold another public hearing. A former member of the Oath Keepers speaks out. Young Iranians risk everything to demand an end to ultraconservative religious government oppression and violence against women. The rise of nationalistic fascism around that world is examined. Mississippi`s water crisis and the Brett Favre scandal are discussed.


KATIE PHANG, MSNBC HOST: That does it for me. You can also catch me on "THE KATIE PHANG SHOW" weekend mornings at 7:00 a.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC, and stream new original episodes on the MSNBC hub on Peacock on Thursdays and Fridays as well.




REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): It will be, certainly, I think, my recommendation, my feeling that we should make referrals. But we will get to a decision as a committee, and we will all abide by that decision, and I will join our committee members if they feel differently.


REID: The January 6 hearings return this week. And there are new revelations tonight about who was talking and texting to whom before and during that attack on the Capitol.

Plus, a former member of the Oath Keepers joins me tonight, as its leader, Stewart Rhodes, gets ready to stand trial, facing allegations he helped to plot the effort to steal -- to end the transfer of power through violence.

Plus, young Iranians are risking everything to demand an end to ultraconservative religious government oppression and violence against women. And the outrage is only growing.

But we begin tonight with the return of the House January 6 Committee. We are now less than 48 hours from the committee`s next public hearing on Wednesday. Committee members remain mostly tight-lipped about what evidence will be presented, but Congressman Adam Schiff indicated it will be sweeping.

Still unclear is whether the committee will bring up a significant allegation from its former technical adviser Denver Riggleman, who told "60 Minutes" that a call was placed by the White House switchboard to a cell phone linked to someone in the mob that day.


FMR. REP. DENVER RIGGLEMAN (R-VA): You get a real aha moment when you see that the White House switchboard had connected to a rioter`s phone while it`s happening. That`s a pretty big aha moment. You get an aha...

BILL WHITAKER, CBS NEWS: Wait a minute. Someone in the White House was calling one of the rioters while the riot was going on?

RIGGLEMAN: On January 6, absolutely.

WHITAKER: And you know who both ends of that call?

RIGGLEMAN: I only know one end of that call. I don`t know the White House end, which I believe is more important.


REID: Those comments seemed to expose tensions between the committee and Riggleman, a former Republican congressman who, like Mark Meadows, was a member of the so-called Freedom Caucus.

Committee member Jamie Raskin confirmed that the committee is aware of the call.


REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): I can`t say anything specific about that particular call, but we are aware of it.

And we are aware of lots of contracts between people in the White House and different people that were involved, obviously, in the coup attempt and the insurrection.


REID: A statement from a committee spokesperson seemed to downplay Riggleman`s claim, saying: "In his role on the Select Committee staff, Mr. Riggleman had limited knowledge of the committee`s investigation. He departed from the staff in April prior to our hearings and much of our most important investigative work."

According to the CNN, the call in question was made at 4:34 p.m., shortly after the former president released a video telling the mob to go home, and lasted just nine seconds.

Still, in his interview, Riggleman, who is releasing a book on his work at the committee, said that former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows` text messages provide a road map of the evolution of the January 6 plot. In fact, according to CNN, newly obtained texts show that one of Meadows`s communications was with election denier Phil Waldron about a plot to seize voting machines in the key states of Arizona and Georgia.

Meanwhile, Riggleman`s book also includes details about Trump allies, including former adviser Roger Stone. He noted that investigators identified Stone had two calls with former Oath Keepers -- Oath Keepers chief Stewart Rhodes nine days after the attack and calls before and after the 6th with Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio.

Well, Tarrio and Rhodes are charged with seditious conspiracy for their involvement. In the meantime, we`re getting some indications of what the committee does plan to present on Wednesday.

"The Washington Post" reports that committee intends to show footage of Stone recorded by Danish filmmakers in the weeks leading up to the 6th.

And joining me now is Charles Coleman Jr., civil rights attorney, former prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst, Peter Strzok, former FBI counterintelligence agent, and Tim Miller, writer at large for The Bulwark and an MSNBC political analyst.

Peter, I want to go to you, because the committee seems to be kind of trying to downplay what Denver Riggleman had to say. And, yes, he`s not on the committee staff right now. Yes, he`s writing a book. We put all those caveats in place.

But I watched that entire -- the entire "60 Minutes" interview. And I have to say, I can`t think of an innocent reason anyone in the White House would pick up the phone, even for nine seconds, and call somebody who was actively engaged in the insurrection in that moment.

Can you think of an innocent explanation why the White House switchboard would just happen to connect with one of the insurrectionists?



I think it is worth noting that the committee, both members specifically, like Congressman Raskin, but also broadly, were putting out these statements urging caution. So, I do take that with a certain amount of value, in terms of how we`re evaluating this information.

It seems to me that what we don`t want to do is get to focused on any one element that might be rebutted or may or may not be relevant, and instead not -- we shouldn`t lose focus of the much broader issue here, and that is that, we`re moving to the point, certainly that we`re seeing the January 6 Committee doing it, but also the FBI and DOJ and the people they`re putting into the grand jury, the people they`re charging, communications up to an at the level that are involving people at the White House.

We`re seeing text after text with Mark Meadows reporting that he not only was in contact with a lot of these January 6 members, but also his active involvement in the efforts to overturn state election results.

And so we`re seeing a variety of communications that are going now into the White House right up to next to Trump. And so, when the committee says, hey, let`s be careful and cautious about any one particular call, I think that`s worth noting, because I do think the risk is, if we focus too much on one particular call, we`re going to lose sight of the much bigger, much more concerning picture that I anticipate we`re going to hear a lot about this coming Wednesday.

REID: OK. And I think that`s fair. That is absolutely fair.

But the thing is -- and I`m going to go to you on this, Charles, and then I`m going to come back to you in a second, Peter, because what`s emerging is that you have Mark Meadows in touch with multiple people, which indicates that he`s not playing the role as Trump`s chief of staff of trying to stop this, right?

And you got a little bit of this from the previous hearings, that the role he`s playing seems to be as somebody who`s trying to help make the coup happen.

This is also some CNN reporting. Phil Waldron -- and this guy Phil Waldron, for those of you who don`t remember him, he was presented in one of the hearings. He`s a former army colonel. He has this background in information warfare. He`s a friend of Michael Flynn, an ally of Michael Flynn.

He assembled this 38-page -- 38-slide PowerPoint presentation outlining a plan to overturn the election, sent that power that PowerPoint to Mark Meadows and to Republican lawmakers, and helped draft this executive directing the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security to seize cease voting machines, worked with Rudy Giuliani to gain access to voting systems in states Trump lost.

So, this guy was very much involved in the coup plot. He`s also texting Meadows. Phil Waldron texts Meadows on December 23, well before the insurrection, that an Arizona judge had dismissed a lawsuit filed by friendly GOP lawmakers. Waldron characterized Arizona as "our lead domino we were counting on to start the cascade," referring to similar states such as Georgia.

And Meadows` response: "Pathetic."

This makes me think that this guy is somebody they probably need to hear from live. But what do you make of all of the connections that appear to lead right back to Mark Meadows?

CHARLES COLEMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Joy, I have said for a long time that Mark Meadows` testimony and what he knows is absolutely critical if there ever is going to be a concrete link drawn between the actions of many of the rioters on January 6 that were a coordinated effort to overthrow America`s democracy and Donald Trump.

He is the linchpin that is necessary in order to tie that together. We already know everything we need to know about the narrative. We know that these people were unquestionably anti-democratic. They were unquestionably anti-fair election.

What we don`t know, however, is how much of a connection Donald Trump had to the actual coordination of what we saw happen. And that`s why the criminal referrals and the notion of a criminal referral to the DOJ is absolutely paramount.

If you get a unanimous criminal referral from the Select Committee to the DOJ, it puts it squarely on Merrick Garland to actually make a decision, as opposed to not getting that referral or what that referral actually looks like, its contours, and who`s named in the referral.

So Mark Meadows is absolutely a very key figure in putting all this together and tying it up in a way that the DOJ and Merrick Garland can actually do something with, with regard to putting together an indictment and potential prosecution.

REID: And, Joy, I want to bring you in into this conversation too, because here`s the challenge, is, there`s a small group of players whose names keep popping up.

It`s kind of like the Mueller report, right? You keep hearing the same names. One of those names is obviously Roger Stone. He`s somebody who we know had relationships with members of the Proud Boys. He knows the Oath Keepers. He knows these people. He`s using some of them as his bodyguards.

Now I want to play a piece of tape. This is from just -- to confirm for my producers, I think this is November of 2020 -- November of 2020. This is Roger Stone talking about what he thinks should be done. And we know, at this point, Trump has lost, knows he`s lost. He doesn`t want to leave office.

And this is -- oh, this is actually -- I`m sorry. This is before the election happened. This is before the election happened. Sorry. Thanks. My producers corrected me in my ear.

Here is Roger Stone. Go.





STONE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) the violence. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) the voting. Let`s get right to the violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s get right to it.

STONE: Shoot to kill. See an Antifa, shoot to kill. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) them. Done with this (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


REID: All right, Tim, I mean, you`re up.

This is before the election even happens. Roger Stone says "F the voting. Let`s get right to the violence."

TIM MILLER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, Roger Stone has been a pernicious and criminal element of Donald Trump`s team going all the way back to 2015.

I know Peter can talk about this going back to the Mueller report. But Dr. -- or Roger Stone was -- has obviously been kind of an outside heavy, if you will, for Donald Trump dating back to even before he ran for president this last time. It`s clearly the case this time.

I think one of the things that we could hear more about from the January 6 Committee or Riggleman, et cetera, is the extent of the conversations he was having with active White House people. We know he was coordinating with the Proud Boys. We know he is in the extended circle of Donald Trump and that he was meeting with Bannon and some of these other characters at the Willard on the day of January 6.

And so to the extent that you can directly connect him, obviously, that makes an impact. But there`s a lot that we already know just about his criminal impact in Trump`s orbit.

REID: And, Peter, Stone pops up as an anti-small-D Democratic figure in 2016 and 2020. This is somebody who doesn`t seem to believe in democracy.

He doesn`t seem to believe that -- in elections. He simply believes in having his preferred person in power, regardless of elections, regardless of what outside help he has to get, even if it`s Russia. It doesn`t matter.

What do you make of that tape, that, before we even cast a vote, he was already saying: "F the elections, let`s get right to the violence"?

STRZOK: Well, it clearly shows, Joy, that there was some anticipation that, one, there would be violence and that, two, it was part of potentially a plan that people were envisioning as a way to protest or upset or somehow cause change within the electoral results.

I think it`s really interesting that, based on what he`s saying in that tape -- he`s clearly also looking at a phone, presumably at messages that are being sent back and forth. I`m very curious what the committee and certainly what the FBI and DOJ are able to recover, because I have no expectation that Roger Stone is ever voluntarily going to talk, much like I don`t have much of an expectation that Mark Meadows would.

But the goal of what DOJ is doing -- and you pointed out in your run-up that Stewart Rhodes` trial starts this week for seditious conspiracy, the goal is to build cases where you have some sort of criminal case against people like Roger Stone, against people like Mark Meadows, and present to them a choice.

Look, you can cooperate, work down the charges, maybe get no jail time, or, if you don`t cooperate, you`re going to go to jail. And that`s the way -- when you get to this level, that`s what you`re going to need to do to get people to flip to talk about specifically what I think we`re all interested in.

What did Trump know? What was Trump doing? What was Trump saying? And the only way you`re going to get that is from people like Roger Stone, people like Mark Meadows. So it doesn`t surprise me. I completely agree with Tim. I mean, Stone has a history of not only advocating for violence, just racist, misogynistic, horrible, hateful statements and behavior.

This is absolutely what we have seen in the past. And it doesn`t surprise me at all to hear these sort of statements coming from him

REID: Can we just play this tape again?

Just -- so, just to set it up again, this is in November of 2020. This before the election took place. Let`s play it again.


STONE: Excellent.


STONE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) the violence. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) the voting. Let`s get right to the violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s get right to it.

STONE: Shoot to kill. See an Antifa, shoot to kill. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) them. Done with this (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


REID: So, Charles, this is CNN exclusive footage. We should make sure we credit them for that.

But this is going to allegedly be played by the committee. We`re going to see this again tomorrow. It says "A Storm Foretold" at the top, which sounds like QAnon talk.

What would you make of it, just from a prosecutorial standpoint, if you`re looking at Roger Stone as part of a conspiracy?

COLEMAN: Well, clearly, Joy, on one hand, if you`re thinking about the connection that Stone has to the rioters or anyone else, you want to know who he was in touch with, because it helps frame the narrative around intent that makes very clear the intent that Roger Stone had and likely communicated to anyone who was on the ground, so to speak, and participating in the January 6 riots.

If you look the other direction, meaning where they were getting the directive from, that`s where you have the opportunity to link it to someone higher to understand, exactly where was this ideology developed, who shared it and how was it communicated, and who else shared that sort of point of view that he was in touch with?


And so I think it`s important that people look at it from both sides. Number one, who was giving Stone instructions that was going to guide him in this way to frame it, so that he was saying what he was saying?

And then, number two, who was he actually communicating that to? And what did they do? So, when you look at it from both sides, it really has a lot of usefulness as a prosecutor, if you`re thinking about how to put together a case or a narrative -- a narrative around a clear intent that Stone is communicating during this taping, where it came from, and ultimately what happened with it, and how you can make him responsible, as well as whoever actually originated, responsible for what happened on January 6.

REID: Last word to you on this, Tim, because here`s the problem, that all the characters we`re talking about are mainstream parts of the Republican Party right now and are still mainstream parts of the Republican Party.

They are still sort of the thinkers, if you want to call it, that behind Republican politics. What is the party to do if there`s no one standing against this? I don`t see a single voice in the party that is opposing this, which is, I presume, their strategy going forward to.

MILLER: Well, I know that Liz Cheney is the voice.


REID: Other than Liz Cheney.


REID: Yes.

MILLER: She was -- yes, you`re right. I mean, she was literally in an interview. I was with her in Austin this past weekend, does this interview where it sounds as if she will be supporting the Democrat for governor in some of these governor`s states where they`re insurrectionists.

And that`s where we`re at right now, because she`s not welcome, despite her position. So, look, I think it shows you the hubris. I just have to laugh at the hubris, the fact that there`s this Danish documentary crew following them with these people.

I mean, this is how the -- we had the Alex Holder documentary. They truly feel like they`re above the law. Mark Meadows is sending these texts. December 23, the Electoral College has already met.

REID: Right.

MILLER: All this stuff is already done.

And so all of the -- just the hubris of all of these guys to feel like they`re above the law, they can continue to push this, and I think that you`re exactly right. It seems so obvious that there should be people speaking out. It`s why the Liz Cheney thing is so courageous, but also frustrating, because it`s like, why doesn`t everybody sound like her?

It`s so obvious that this is wrong.

REID: Yes.

MILLER: And yet the state of affairs, she`s being pushed into the arms of the other party.

REID: Well, there`s one more, Adam Kinzinger, just Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney. That`s it. You have got a party of two.

And, by the way, the people who were involved in the insurrection taped it and put it on their social media. That`s how confident they were that they could get away with it, incriminated themselves. And now they`re shocked they`re getting in trouble.

Charles Coleman, Peter Strzok, Tim Miller, thank you both -- thank you, all three, very much.

Up next on THE REIDOUT: Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, whose really name -- his name is really Elmer -- Elmer Stewart Rhodes goes on trial tomorrow. He faces years in the slammer for his role in the attempt to violently overthrow the democratically elected government on January 6.

A former member who quit the Oath Keepers joins me next.



REID: Tomorrow, jury selection will begin in the seditious conspiracy trial of five members of the Oath Keepers, including the extremist group`s leader, Elmer Stewart Rhodes.

Prosecutors will attempt to paint a picture of the extreme lengths that Rhodes and his followers were willing to go to keep Donald Trump and the White House both on and before January 6. According to his indictment, Rhodes` call to arms began just days after the 2020 election.

On November 5, Rhodes privately messaged a group of Oath Keepers, writing: "We aren`t getting through this without a civil war."

Five days later, he went on Alex Jones` Infowars show to announce that he had armed men stationed outside Washington prepared to go in to prevent Trump from being removed from office. In the first couple of days of 2021, court documents say Rhodes spent more than $15,000 on guns, including an A.R. platform rifle, magazines and other equipment.

And on the day of the insurrection, you can see them they`re entering the Capitol in full military gear. Since Rhodes formed the Oath Keepers in 2009, it has grown to be one of the largest anti-government groups in U.S. history, as the group`s former spokesperson told the January 6 Committee back in July.



And I can tell you that they may not like to call themselves a militia, but they are. They`re a violent militia. And they are largely Stewart Rhodes.


REID: Joining me now is the man that you just saw, Jason Van Tatenhove. And he is the former spokesperson for the Oath Keepers and the author of the forthcoming book "The Perils of Extremism: How I Left the Oath Keepers and Why We Should be Concerned about a Future Civil War," which is out in February.

It`s good to talk to you again, Jason.

Let`s get right to this.

I want to just read you a little bit of what prosecutors are going to do in this trial that starts tomorrow of Elmer, who calls himself Stewart Rhodes.

"Prosecutors plan to call as many as 40 witnesses over a projected five- week trial, draw from 800 statements by those charged and summarize tens of thousands of messages, hundreds of hours of video footage and hundreds of phone calls, location and financial records, according to the original proceedings. Three Oath Keepers members have pleaded guilty to the seditious conspiracy charged and are among more than a dozen potential informants in the case."

What do you expect -- what would you anticipate the defense might be? Because it seems pretty clear what the plan was.

VAN TATENHOVE: I think it`s very much going to be, these were just words, we were just acting tough. We really didn`t mean it, and a certain amount of some of the tactics we saw with the prosecutions against the Bundys and some of these other things that were going on.


And watch what Trump`s been doing and what he`s going to be doing legally, because I think we`re going to see some parroting there as well.

REID: Do you -- knowing these people, knowing Elmer Rhodes, how serious do you think they were about overthrowing the government?

VAN TATENHOVE: I think they were absolutely serious.

I think, if things had gone just a little bit differently, we would be living in a different reality right now. If you look at his words and his messaging that he was putting out just the night before at the speeches, with what was has been released with the prosecution, the messaging that was happening, specifically, like, on Signal and behind the scenes, I think that`s really where we see where his state of mind was.

And if things had just gone -- if Trump had walked down to the Capitol Building, I think Stewart`s actions would have been completely different.

REID: And do you get the sense that what he was doing -- and keeping in mind for our audience that you were not involved at the time, but just from knowing this person, what`s the likelihood, in your view, that he would have done this without some sort of connection to someone like a Mark Meadows, to the White House, that he was doing this freelance, completely without any knowledge of the Trump team?

VAN TATENHOVE: Oh, no, I think they had lines of communication open with the Trump team going back to the campaign.

I think that there were -- they were actively trying to open those lines both from the militia side and from the White House side, from the campaign side. I think that they probably connected up a while back.

REID: I`m going to...

VAN TATENHOVE: So, I think without that type of...


VAN TATENHOVE: Without that type of connection, he may have showed up as like a protest, but nothing like he was there, because it seemed like he was getting messaging, like he was taking orders from Trump.

REID: Let me play -- I don`t know if we still have it. This is -- asking my director, downtown Sterling Brown, do we saw this video from the CNN video? Do we have that? Can we play it again?

We don`t have it. OK, well, we won`t play it for now.

We know that there is video now that is going to be played by the January 6 Committee. And it shows Roger Stone before the election even happened saying: "F the voting. Let`s get to the violence."

That was the attitude before the election even happened. In your view, was that the same attitude that Stewart Rhodes had?

VAN TATENHOVE: Yes, I think so.

I mean, he was talking about how we don`t get out of this without a civil war. I mean, this is the messaging he`s been putting out there time and time again since the early days. It`s just it`s gotten more and more extreme and more and more violent.

Before, he was talking about what would be termed a cold civil war, but, really, I mean, he`s talking about a hot civil war now. And that`s part of the messaging. That messaging has ratcheted up over time. And we saw that with a culmination of January 6.

REID: And would he have needed to believe that the election was really actually stolen? Or did he just not believe that the people who voted for Joe Biden were legitimate and should have their way?

VAN TATENHOVE: I don`t think he cared either way.

I think -- yes, I think that, mostly, he just doesn`t like the left side of things and wanted to see Trump, who gave him a road to authority and authenticity as a clandestine militia leader, he wanted to see him stay in power.

REID: Let me play this video. I think we do have it now.

Here is Roger Stone before the election.




STONE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) the violence. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) the voting. Let`s get right to the violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s get right to it.

STONE: Shoot to kill. See an Antifa, shoot to kill. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) them. Done with this (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


REID: Roger Stone saying: "F the voting. Let`s get right to the violence."

What was the relationship, as you know it, between Roger Stone and Stewart Rhodes?

VAN TATENHOVE: Well, we know that there was some sort of communication going on, because Oath Keepers were providing security the day before.

And it is my understanding that, way back during the campaign, Roger Stone, from my thought process, is probably the one who was reaching out to these militia leaders and trying to open lines of communication. So he probably was one of the major players when it comes to some of these extremist groups and backwater communication to the White House.

REID: Jason Van Tatenhove, thank you very much. Really appreciate you being here again. Thank you. Really appreciate you tonight.

Still ahead: Nationalistic fascism is on the rise, not just here, not just here in America, but around the world as well.

More on that and how the forces of freedom are fighting back -- next.



REID: One hundred years ago, Benito Mussolini came to power in Italy. He led a march on Rome flanked by the fascist armed squads known as Blackshirts in a deliberate show of force designed to intimidate Parliament, seizing total control over the Italian government.

That March occurred in October 1922, meaning we are just weeks away from the 100th anniversary of this infamous coup d`etat.


And yet, this week, neofascism won big in Italy, with Giorgia Meloni poised to form Italy`s most right-wing government since the Second World War. Maloney is the leader of the hard right Brothers of Italy, a party with roots in the postwar neofascist Italian social movement.

The party`s flag features a tricolor flame popularized by Mussolini. The election poses a danger not just to Italy, but to the rest of the world as well, at a time when, here in America, we debate often and loudly about the creeping rise and national security threat of fascism and the dangers posed by cultlike leaders who rise to power spewing racist and xenophobic beliefs.

Those same type of leaders are solidifying power in other parts of the world, where the march toward fascism is boldly, defiantly taking hold. Take Russia, whose bloody and terrible war is justified by Vladimir Putin`s obsession with power and with restoring a discarded old order, an obsession that`s now forcing his own people into military service to try to take over Ukraine.

Failure to appear for military service will be punishable by up to 10 years in prison. And so Russian men are now hiding, fleeing the country and, according to "The New York Times," breaking their own arms to avoid being called up.

The Kremlin`s conscription drive is facing protests, with dozens of Russians detained at anti-mobilization protests in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Protesters can be heard chanting "No to war" as they are arrested.

All of this as four Russian occupied areas of Ukraine began forced participation in sham referenda on joining Russia. People are being forced to vote at military gunpoint to validate Moscow`s annexation of the territory it occupies.

Both the mobilization and the swift violent nature of the referenda may reveal a deteriorating position for Russia, and growing anti-war protests can only signal trouble for Putin`s war.

Meanwhile, in another part of the world, a powerful wave of dissent led by young women is taking a stand for freedom and modernity.

Stay with us.




OMID DJALILI, ACTOR: This is Iran`s George Floyd moment. And I hope that people continue to speak out against this outrage.


REID: British Iranian actor Omid Djalili, who we should note is not in Iran, makes the case that international attention is crucial for movements to succeed, likening the monumental impact of George Floyd`s death to another death in police custody, this time in Iran, where 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman, died in the custody of Iran`s morality police.

She had been detained for violating Iran law requiring women to wear headscarves fully hiding their hair. For nearly two weeks, the streets of Iran have erupted in protest over Amini`s death, morphing into anti- government rallies and wider calls for freedom and women`s rights.

Women are leading the charge, cutting their hair and burning headscarves, walking the streets without wearing their hijab, in very public acts of defiance. In response,authorities have cut off Internet access, WhatsApp and Instagram, while accusing Western leaders of trying to violate Iran`s sovereignty.

Joining me now is Karim Sadjadpour. He is senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

I`m so excited to talk with you, Karim. Thank you so much for being here.

Let`s get into this, because this has been extraordinary to watch. Friends of mine who have -- who are from Iran, have -- still have family there have been saying to me, this is different. This is not like -- the Green Revolution was what -- felt monumental.

How, in your view, is this different?

KARIM SADJADPOUR, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE: Certainly, Joy, as you as you put it, what`s different about this is that it`s young women who have been leading these protests.

And there`s been a beautiful slogan that you have heard from the protesters in Persian. They say (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE). It means: "women" -- (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) -- "Women, life and freedom."

So, this has been unique. And it`s men standing alongside their women as well. And so virtually every facet of society has been outraged by the idea that a young 22-year-old girl with her life ahead of her could be killed simply for showing a little bit too much hair.

REID: Yes.

And I`m just going to read -- this is from Samira Mohyeddin. And she`s journalist who was born in Tehran. She writes: "The green movement in 2009 had spokespeople and was very organized. As a result, that made it very easy to put down. The current iteration is proving difficult for the government of Iran to put down because they don`t know who to go after."

And the other piece -- and I have heard you say this before, and I would love for you to just talk about it with our audience. This is also a reaction against the gerontocracy in Iran. It`s a right-wing religious movement that isn`t that old. I mean, this is since I was in junior high school. I think, only in 1983, I believe, was this law passed after the 1979 revolution that forced women to completely cover, right?

This isn`t new. Iran was a normal, modern country.


In fact, right after the religious zealots took power, Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, one of the first things which all these Islamist groups do -- and we saw this most recently in Afghanistan with the Taliban...

REID: Yes.

SADJADPOUR: ... is to go after women`s freedoms, segregate men and women in schools, limit their professional opportunities.


And they`re obsessed with the headscarf and the veil. And the parallel I sometimes make are antiquated judges we sometimes saw in the West that would blame sexual assault victims by saying that they were wearing improper clothing.

When you listen to the justification from Iran`s religious leaders about why women should wear headscarves, it`s partly because they think -- they claim they will incite men if their hair is uncovered.

REID: And so this -- do you think that this is sustainable, in the sense that it might shake that gerontological leadership?

Because these people who led that revolution are now in their 80s. These are old men. And these are young people in a country that is predominantly young.

SADJADPOUR: So, this is a regime which is not sustainable, Joy.

And it`s proven incapable of reform. It`s now in its 43rd year, and it`s still killing women for not covering their hair in year 43. And we know from some of the great philosophers, political philosophers, like Tocqueville, Machiavelli, that the most dangerous moment for any bad government is when it tries to reform.

So, Iran`s supreme leader, he`s 83 years old. He is totally committed to the status quo. And they`re not amenable to reform. And so what that means is, essentially, it`s an all-or-nothing proposition. Either they crush people, and they stay in power, or the system falls.

And, unfortunately, we have seen this many times before, that they are able to successfully crush popular will. And it`s too early to assess this time. The bravery of young people is certainly enormous. But we have to say the odds are against them.

REID: And do you think it`s important -- we`re doing this story because we`re fascinated by it. And I think these women are so brave, and I have great respect for them.

We played an actor in the very top who`s British and Iranian. He said that the attention helps. Do you think that`s true? Because they`re cutting off Telegram and cutting off WhatsApp and trying to cut these young people off from the outside world. Do you think that the outside attention actually helps sustain the movement?


The outside attention is really critical in shining a light on people. People want to feel that the world is with them. Over the weekend, Elon Musk has voiced support for getting his Starlink Internet kits into Iran to inhibit the Iranian regime`s ability to simply shut off the Internet, so they can kill in the dark.

So, absolutely, I think outside -- outside solidarity, condemnation is critical. And, Joy, I would argue this is one of those few moments in international geopolitics where it`s a pretty black-and-white moment.

REID: Yes.

SADJADPOUR: It`s like South -- apartheid South Africa.

REID: Yes.

SADJADPOUR: No one -- even Iran`s allies in Moscow, Pyongyang and Beijing, no one is going to defend the persecution of women for showing too much hair.

REID: Absolutely. I mean, and women around the world do want individual liberty and autonomy. And that is everywhere, not just in Iran.

Karim Sadjadpour, thank you so much. Really appreciate you being here.

And up next: encouraging signs that legislators may finally be ready to actually do something about the ongoing water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi.

More on that and the latest on the Brett Favre scandal -- after this.



REID: Mississippi is the poorest state in the country, but that didn`t stop Brett Favre from allegedly treating it and the state`s welfare fund like a bank for his pet projects.

The Associated Press reports that, two years after he secured millions of dollars from that fund for his daughter`s college volleyball team, he would back, back to the Republican governor, Phil Bryant, to ask for more money for another facility for the University of Southern Mississippi`s football team. But the request went nowhere.

Neither Favre nor Bryant has been charged with any crime. And Favre has claimed that his fund-raising efforts were honorable.

Now, it is disgusting, but not entirely surprising, that the state`s Republican governors and their state legislatures have consistently failed Mississippi`s most vulnerable, including the people who live in the state capital, Jackson, long neglected by the state, with low-income citizens living in squalid conditions with no access to clean water.

Congressman Bennie Thompson, who represents the city, has accused state leaders of intentionally withholding resources. Maybe Brett Favre could send a text to get some action.

According to Politico, House appropriators are considering sending the city $200 million to finally address the city`s crumbling, dysfunctional water system. In the meantime, a group of Jackson residents are seeking class action status in order to file suit against current and former city officials, accusing them of ignoring the water system for years.

Joining me now from Jackson, Mississippi, is Bishop William Barber, co- chair of the Poor People`s Campaign, who just led a Moral Monday march in the state capital, and Brooke Floyd, a Jackson resident and activist who is demanding that the state government do more.

Thank you both for being here.

And I want to start with you, Brooke.

My notes here say that you and your twins live in a suburb of Jackson, that you don`t drink the tap water because your doctors warned you about the lead levels. This sounds like an ongoing, long, systemic problem.

What do you make of this idea of suing the city? Is the city to blame or is the state?

BROOKE FLOYD, RESIDENT OF JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI: I actually live in Jackson. I`m a resident of Jackson.

And, no, this is a problem that has been going on for decades. And I believe that the citizens have every right to sue the state of Mississippi for neglect in not repairing our infrastructure years ago.


REID: And is Jackson -- has the leadership in Jackson gone to the state?

Because I understand they have gone back and forth to the state. And we`re seeing Brett Favre get millions and millions of dollars, and Jackson seemingly get nothing.

FLOYD: Our mayors, as far back as I can remember, have asked state leaders for assistance in repairing our aging infrastructure. They have not received it, not received a large enough amount to offer the repairs that we needed.

And so here we are. Our system failed. And we are still going to experience this in the winter months if it is not completely repaired. All they have done is done some patchwork, OK? The state has not fixed it yet. So, that is why we are here today. That`s why we are demanding that our water systems be fixed, that our pipes be fixed, that our children are no longer exposed to lead and copper and bad things in their water, because we deserve clean water.

REID: Bishop Barbara, I remember when you launch Moral Mondays in North Carolina, and this was the denial of health care to the residents there. You are relaunching that in Jackson, Mississippi, in Mississippi.

Your thoughts on this decision-making about where to spend money, on sports facilities that Brett Favre and his daughter benefit from, not on Jackson.

REV. DR. WILLIAM BARBER, CO-CHAIR, POOR PEOPLE`S CAMPAIGN: Well, it`s hard for me not to say what Nina Simone said about Mississippi.

But the bottom line is, you see all of this thievery that`s alleged to happened between the government and far, and yet there`s people here. And not only are they stealing money, allegedly. They`re stealing poor folks` money, the money that comes from poor people.

We look at what`s going on with this family, we look at the fact that the mayor has had a plan. Jackson has had plan. They have lied on this city. We look at the fact that the city voted to tax itself to fix it, and then the state government and the governor blocked them from using their own money to fix the problem.

What you have here is a group of folk who were intent, they want privatization. They want to own the city. They want to own the airport. Seemingly, they want to steal the money. They don`t want poor people to have anything.

But what`s happening is, poor and low-wealth people of every race, creed and color are standing up, because this water is hurting black people and women and men and the disabled and Latinos and white people. And this Moral Monday is the first. When we started in North Carolina, it was 70 people. They have 10 times, 20 times more people that here. And this is just the first.

What we`re not going to do is be silent. What they`re not going to do is allow them to do patchwork and then get it out of the media and continue to do the same old, same old. People are tired of having to wash their babies in poisoned water and don`t know what is in it. They`re tired of it.

And it happens year after year because the state and the governor has been more interested in blocking fixing what needs to be fixed than helping to fix what needs to be fixed. But the state, the federal government, the Corps of Engineers, all of them should get in here and do this.

My sister, sister Mallory, just said, if this was anywhere else, if this was in an affluent community or an affluent city, this would not be happening. This would not be happening. It`s happening here because of that. But people are standing up and deciding that they`re not going to be silent or quiet anymore on these matters.

REID: And, Ms. Floyd...

BARBER: And they have been organizing for years about this. This is not just something just starting. These people have been organizing for years, Joy.

Yes, what was the question?

REID: No, indeed.

I was just going to ask, Ms. Floyd, if you could just describe for us what it is like to live in a city, because we saw this with Flint, a city without water, a city where you don`t have access to water that comes out of your tap.

FLOYD: It`s frustrating.

It`s overwhelming as a parent. When the water is gone, schools are closed. Your kids are at home. They`re learning at home. I know that this whole country dealt with that during the pandemic, but this has happened before the pandemic. Our children were at home for long stretches of time because the water lines broke.

Our water system is broken. It is broken. And so this is boiling water after you have gotten home from work having just to wash the dishes, getting bottled water to brush teeth, to wash babies` faces because you don`t want them to accidentally ingest the water.

BARBER: That`s right.

FLOYD: This is a time-consuming, frustrating, money, costly. You name it. It runs the list of things that are inconvenient, as well as unfair.

I mean, the list goes on. We -- it`s immoral. It`s sinful. It`s not OK. And it`s not right.

REID: And...

BARBER: And, Joy, one thing before you go.

What is also the issue, the same people here, that same government, they are blocking living wages. Fifty percent of Mississippians make less than a living wage. They block health care in this state.

So, during the pandemic, people died because they didn`t have -- didn`t have health care, and that -- and they`re also poisoning the water.

REID: Yes.

BARBER: That`s why people are coming together, because they`re tired of it.

REID: Yes.

BARBER: And it must change.

REID: Indeed.

Bishop William Barber, Brooke Floyd, thank you both very much. Much appreciated.

That is tonight`s REIDOUT.