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Transcript: The ReidOut, 9/30/22

Guests: Fiona Donovan, Rob Gaudet, Mandela Barnes, Rick LoCastro


After devastating parts of Florida, Hurricane Ian makes landfall in South Carolina. How should the world respond to Putin`s illegal annexation of parts of Ukraine? The Supreme Court welcomes Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson ahead of what is expected to be another perilous term. The right- wing`s freak-out over Lizzo and James Madison`s crystal flute is examined. Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes discusses his Senate race.


KATIE PHANG, MSNBC HOST: "Eight years would be a problem. I would be concerned about a sustained period of which some of these norms have broken down and started to corrode."

I actually disagree with Obama. I think four years was more than enough.

So, 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 as well.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pretty much, I think I have lost everything I own. And I`m trying to be brave and know that my family and I are safe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s basically just we have to count whatever money we have and whatever anyone`s willing to, like, help us with and see where we can go from here, because there`s no moving back into that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is all we had.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We lost everything. We`re with - - not one single thing.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Everything gone.

Tens of thousands of Floridians will sleep in shelters tonight following the devastation of Hurricane Ian, which has now made landfall in South Carolina.

Also tonight, Putin`s illegal annexation. He`s unhinged, and he`s dangerous. So how should the world respond?

Plus, the Supreme Court welcomes Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson ahead of what is expected to be another perilous term.

And it`s about damn time we have a discussion about the right-wing freak- out over Lizzo and James Madison`s crystal flute.

But we begin tonight with Hurricane Ian once again making landfall, this time on the coast of South Carolina, as a Category 1 hurricane, the first to strike the state since 2016. The storm, now a post-tropical cyclone, is expected to move across the Carolinas tonight into tomorrow morning.

The National Hurricane Center is warning of life-threatening storm surge and severe flooding. Just take a look at the scene in Pawleys Island. It comes after Ian and devastated several areas in Florida, leaving at least 21 people dead, thousands without a home in more than 1.5 million people still without power.

Today, President Biden said the damage there is likely to rank among the worst in the nation`s history, as communities are still reeling.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I stayed here as long as I could, until I got scared for my life and went across the street in a brick home, which the three little pigs, they build them out of block. It`s supposed to stay.

Mine is built out of sticks. It didn`t last too long when the Big Bad Wolf come along and puffed it away. But I literally watched my house disappear with everything in it right before my eyes.


REID: At least 700 rescues have taken place so far. Take a look at this dramatic Coast Guard video of helicopters airlifting people and pets from Sanibel Island.

The president spoke on these efforts today.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He said: "Mr. President, we will not rest at night until we know they`re safe and sound."

He talked about how they rescued a 94-year-old woman who had the courage to be hoisted up onto a helicopter, the wind blowing, and as well as a 1- month-old baby.


REID: Meanwhile, in Orlando, water levels are still so high, people are using boats to get from place to place.

Earlier, our NBC News team spotted an alligator swimming down the streets of a neighborhood.

MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi is on the ground in hard-hit Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

And, Ali, I know Fort Myers Beach has been hit among the hardest in the state. So give me a sense of what you`re hearing and what you`re seeing.


Joy, as you know, I was in Naples. You and I talked while I was there. Naples has got sort of better-built structures in many cases than some of the areas in Fort Myers Beach. And it didn`t have the wind effects. We had 112-mile-an-hour gusts there. Here, they had a port of 150-mile-an-hour sustained winds.

The damage, as you can see, this is a place that was sort of a charter fishing operation, a bait shop, a retail shop. Where I`m standing, all of this stuff was over me. This was a restaurant. You can see the bathrooms up there. That was an Airbnb with two apartments. That was the office for the whole operation.

And I saw the owner up there a little while ago. And I was asking him what he was doing. He said: "I`m looking for my safe." He said: "I don`t know whether it`s under here. I don`t know whether it`s blown across. I don`t know whether somebody came and stole it."

It`s really hard-hit. And Sanibel Island is not far from here. But we just went for a little drive into an area, and I was looking at a devastated mobile home park that looks like this. The mobile homes have all been destroyed. But then I came upon a bunch of shrimp -- shrimpers, people who live on boats and go out for shrimp.

They often stay on their boats during hurricanes. They lash them together and they try to live out the hurricane. A lot of the boats were destroyed. They moved from boat to boat. There was a guy who was in a wheelchair, and they helped him get from one boat. Now they`re all on dry ground. Their boats are on dry ground too, which is not where they`re supposed to be.


You can see across the road here. Look at these boats. These were all in this marina here. They`re all now on the road. And these shrimpers are saying they don`t have power. They don`t have cell signal. They don`t really -- aren`t that all that familiar with the Internet. Nobody`s come to see them, except reporters. They haven`t gotten the help. They haven`t gotten the money. They need I.D. in order to make claims, but their I.D. all went down with the boats.

They don`t have toilets. They don`t have water, and they don`t know where to go. And that`s just literally one area with about 50 people that I just ran into because I was looking for damage. So we`re trying to figure out, how do these people get the help they need? There was a guy.

In fact, he said to me, he said: "I know everybody`s worried about Sanibel Island." And he said: "I got no beef with that." He said: "Those people, I`m sure, came by their money honestly." He said: "I`d be lucky to make $20,000 a year. If somebody could bring us maybe a portable toilet and a generator, that`s all we ask for."

So that`s one place that`s less than a mile from where I am. And that`s the story.

REID: Wow.

VELSHI: There are stories like this all through Florida right, Joy.

REID: Real quick, Ali, before I let you go, do you have a sense the people who`ve been -- who lived in those crushed houses and buildings, where are they going? Where are they sleeping?

VELSHI: Some of them have gone to shelters.

There`s no other choice. It does not seem widespread that they understand that`s an option.

REID: Yes.

VELSHI: There are still people who are milling about some of those parks. So, we`re not quite sure.

But they don`t know. They don`t know where they`re supposed to go to register for insurance, if they have it, or payments, or FEMA. There`s a lot that`s missing in terms of information to the people who`ve been hardest hit.

REID: Wow.

Ali Velshi, look forward to watching your continuing coverage this weekend, my friend. Thank you very much. Really, really appreciate you. Thank you.

All right, joining me now on the phone is Commissioner Rick LoCastro from Collier County, Florida, which includes the city of Naples.

And we were just talking about your city briefly before we started talking with Ali Velshi about the Fort Myers area. We did see the early stages of what was going on in Naples, those horrible winds and flooding.

What`s the situation as of now for your community?

RICK LOCASTRO, COMMISSIONER, COLLIER COUNTY, FLORIDA: Well, the biggest thing that got hit in our district was with a catastrophic storm surge.

And it was Naples. Marco island is also part of my district, Isles of Capri. These are small little coastal communities. It wasn`t so much the winds, but the storm surge was horrific. I will tell you, yesterday, I spent the day driving around my entire district helping people and getting an assessment of the damage.

And the water damage is incredibly severe. Ali talking about there`s some people that don`t know where to go, I can tell you I spent most of today -- and I`m actually standing right now still in our gigantic emergency operations center. It`s a main headquarters here in that -- for the whole county. But it`s actually in my district.

Hundreds of people in here from utilities, sheriffs. We have representatives here from a hospital. And I`m former military,retired colonel. I can tell you, this is a large-scale, military-like operation, as we try to head things in the right direction.

So, today, I`m really encouraged. We have about half of the power. Half of our people in Collier County have power, which is actually a pretty big number, because 95 percent of the people in Lee County, just north of us, still don`t have power.

And, to Ali`s comment, we are working aggressively to get the word out to people as to where they can go, shelters and other places. We have a lot of not-for-profits that have reached out.

Truthfully, I will tell you, though, the communities I drove through yesterday, yes, I saw and even helped people carry their furniture totally soaked after six or seven feet of storm surge out of their homes. But there were less people than you would think, because we`re a very seasonal community.

So there`s a lot of people that are up north whose homes have been damaged beyond repair that don`t even know it yet, or maybe they got a few pictures from a neighbor. We also have people that did evacuate, so they aren`t here. So, it was -- it was -- it was less -- there were less citizens that I saw that were sort of digging out than you would think, because a lot of people did either leave or they`re not here.

So, like, I just shot out my commissioner newsletter. I have 40,000 subscribers. There are people that have e-mail capability, because they`re sending me tons of e-mails asking for help and direction and whatnot. So that`s helping to get the word out.

But we have teams that were out in those communities today passing out information on everything from where they can go, how their debris is going to be picked up...

REID: Right.

LOCASTRO: ... how they can contact FEMA.

So there`s a lot going on. It is a huge mobilized operation. I know Lee County was hit even more severely.

REID: Yes.

LOCASTRO: But there`s a lot going on.

REID: Indeed, a lot going on. Quite an understatement.

Well, we`re wishing you well. And we`re looking at those pictures of your community right now.


Collier County Commissioner Rick LoCastro, thank you so much. Really appreciate your time tonight.

LOCASTRO: Thank you very much.

REID: Cheers.

Let`s bring in Rob Gaudet. And he is the founder and director of the Cajun Navy Foundation. And he`s in Fort Myers.

Explain to us with the Cajun Navy, what your foundation does. It`s a fascinating story. And what are you guys doing now?

ROB GAUDET, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, CAJUN NAVY FOUNDATION: We are a disaster response organization.

We are, I would say, a new era of disaster response. We utilize technology and social media to, in a way, crowdsource disasters. We -- specifically, what we do is rescue. The Cajun Navy was really -- the term was coined during Hurricane Katrina. It really grew again in 2016 with Baton Rouge flooding.

But we respond to disasters across the country, search-and-rescue. We also -- you see behind me what we call SAFE Camp. It is an installation for food, water supplies. It`s that safe place that when people are confused and struggling -- and we see this every disaster. Every disaster, we see this.

People are lost. It`s a safe place to come get food and water. And then we actually stay in communities for extended periods of time with volunteers and paid staff to help them out in whatever way we can. The holidays are coming, Christmas, Thanksgiving.

REID: Yes.


GAUDET: Thanksgiving, and we will do gift drives.

We really seek to help stabilize people`s hearts and minds. And that makes them able to deal with the chaos you`re showing on your screen right now.

REID: Yes.

And how do people get in touch with you? If somebody is in need and they`re sort of freaking out and just wondering what to do, and they`re thinking, well, maybe I can get in touch with your organization, how do they do that?

GAUDET: Yes, absolutely.

Well, look, there`s -- our Web site is an obvious place, And our Facebook page as well is quite active. We are -- there several Cajun Navy people that use the Cajun Navy name. Ours is a kaleidoscope of colors because we help everyone.

REID: Yes.

GAUDET: And with fleur-de-lis and little (INAUDIBLE) in the middle of it.

That`s -- look for that Cajun Navy page and join us on it. And we`re in Fort Myers right now with this SAFE Camp set up and serving the public here.

REID: Yes. And they need it.

Thank you so much. The Cajun Navy`s Rob Gaudet, God bless you for what you`re doing, man. Thank you very much. Appreciate you being here tonight.

GAUDET: Thank you.

REID: Let`s bring in -- cheers.

Let`s bring in Fiona Donovan, director of the relief operations for World Central Kitchen.

And you just heard some of what folks were saying there, between what the Cajun Navy is doing, what we heard from Ali Velshi, what we heard from the commissioner. People are scared and people are bereft of their belongings. But, also, people need immediate things like food.

What are you guys doing toward that end?

FIONA DONOVAN, CHIEF RELIEF OPERATIONS MANAGER, WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN: World Central Kitchen has been on the ground since Monday. And we have been serving meals yesterday and today to communities that have been just devastated by Hurricane Ian.

The degree of loss right now is immense. And people are in need of lifesaving food, water. And so we have set up public meal distribution sites in Fort Myers, and all along the coast, where folks can come and pick up a hot meal, a sandwich, get some water and have a sense of community. In times like this, when families have experienced such loss, it really helps to come together.

And what better way to do that than around a hot plate of food. So we are here to serve for as long as needed.

REID: And I will ask you the same question, is, how do people access your services? You guys are obviously dropping in.

And how do you function? Because you are dropping into communities where your workers are also experiencing the same lack of resources, electricity, et cetera, as the people you`re serving? How do you even get this done?

DONOVAN: Mm-hmm.

We have set up a field kitchen in Tampa. And so we have been cooking here and bringing our food in. We have also been working with food trucks all around the Florida area to come in and set up and cook and -- cook and serve meals to folks.

And so there`s so much need out there. We are still discovering, where can we be of the most support? Where can we offer our food and our resources? And we`re learning as we go. But we have posted on our Instagram, on Twitter where our public distribution sites are set up.

And anyone who`s in need of food who hasn`t been able to access those resources can reach out to us, and we will do our best to get in touch with you and point you in the right direction.

REID: A lot of people know World Central Kitchen from Jose Andres, who is a global hero. And all of you are heroes for what you do. So, thank you. Thank you for what you do to serve your fellow -- your fellow man. It`s wonderful.

Fiona Donovan of World Central Kitchen, cheers.

And up next on THE REIDOUT: the sickening new phase of Putin`s invasion in neighboring Ukraine, the illegal annexation of their land. How will the world respond?


THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: Today, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin declared roughly 15 percent of Ukrainian territory, some 40,000 square miles, including Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia, to be Russian territory.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): People have made this choice, and it`s a definitive choice. And this is the only path to peace. We will protect our land using all our forces.


And we will do everything to ensure people`s security.


REID: His illegal announcement comes days after Russian-backed separatists hurriedly organized sham referenda. They consequently claimed that 98 percent of citizens backed the vote.

What they didn`t mention is how they got those results, which included sending Russian troops door to door with guns, demanding a vote to join Russia, or else. Putin and his forces have suffered humiliating defeats on the battlefield. It happened again today, as President Zelenskyy announced that -- announced the retaking of more territory in the east.

In lieu of any tangible victories, the former KGB officer has ratcheted up his verbal attacks on the United States and increased his threats of nuclear war, using apocalyptic religious language to condemn the West. He did that again while hosting a highly choreographed annexation rally in Red Square.

And while Putin was celebrating in Moscow, Russian forces bombed a humanitarian convoy in Zaporizhzhia, murdering 30 and wounding 88 women, children and men. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy announced that his country would make an accelerated bid to join NATO. He also pledged to retake all Russian-occupied territory.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The entire territory of our country will be liberated from this enemy, the enemy not only of Ukraine, but of life itself, of humanity, law and truth.

Russia already knows this. It feels our power.


REID: Leaders across Europe and around the world rejected Putin`s illegitimate claims and warned about the dangerous escalation the annexation represented.

President Biden had his own warnings for Putin.


BIDEN: We`re fully prepared to defend -- I`m going to say this again. America`s fully prepared, with our NATO allies, to defend every single inch of NATO territory, every single inch.

So, Mr. Putin, don`t misunderstand what I`m saying. Every inch.


REID: The Biden administration has already announced new sanctions against any individual or entity that provides support for Russian annexation efforts.

And joining me now is former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, an MSNBC international affairs analyst.

I`m so glad you`re here, Ambassador McFaul.

What is to be done? This is -- this man does not seem to be stable. He`s going around talking about the Anglo-Saxons blew up the Nord Stream pipeline, holding a pep rally with these phony leaders that were elected in these stolen territories and snatching territory and saying it`s Russia.

What can the world do about this?


This is an incredibly tragic, sad and scary day. I think it`ll go down in history as one of the worst days in Europe since World War II, annexation of territory the size of Portugal. And now he`s saying he`s going to defend it by any means necessary. This is a gentleman who controls nuclear weapons.

And then, therefore, it`s a scary day. It`s a hard day for Western leaders, President Biden, his allies and partners to make decisions. But I think the obvious is to stay the course, more weapons, better weapons, more sanctions, better sanctions. Help President Zelenskyy return sovereignty to his country.

He has pledged to do so. I think we need to help him.

REID: Now, Zelenskyy has been very clear that he would like Ukraine to join NATO. Of course, if they were in NATO, then these stolen territories would be NATO territory. And that would be World War III, right?

So, I mean, the question is, does this land grab make it harder for Ukraine to join NATO? Does it push it back even further? And what does NATO do? Because if Russia would take this, they will gobble more.

MCFAUL: It does make it harder for Ukraine to join NATO. You`re absolutely right. There are other members of NATO that won`t want Ukraine to join, because it would mean going to war with Russia because of Article 5.

That said, I -- this is not a moment to debate whether Ukraine should join NATO or not. I thought it was brilliant by President Zelenskyy to talk about it today. He continues to push the narrative, and I think was very smart to do that.

But what we need to do now is help Ukraine win. They`re not asking for our soldiers now, but they are asking for our weapons. They are asking for increased sanctions. Mr. Zelenskyy is calling for the West, for instance, to declare Russia to be a state sponsor of terrorism. So he wants us to up the ante, both on weapons and sanctions.

And I think all leaders around the world need to think about that. Putin has upped the ante.

REID: Yes.

MCFAUL: Let`s be clear. He`s upped the ante. We need now to respond in a commensurate way.

REID: Let me tell you something "The New York Times" got ahold. And this is some audio of Russian soldiers calling home to their friends, family, et cetera, complaining about the mission, talking about war crimes that even some of them have committed and calling Putin an idiot.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Hello?

IVAN (through translator) (through translator): Hi, Mommy.

YEVGENIY (through translator): We are positioned in Bucha town.

SERGEY (through translator): Our offense has stalled. We`re losing this war.

ANDREY (through translator): Half of our regiment is gone.

SERGEY (through translator): We were given an order to kill everyone we see.

VLAD (through translator): When I come home, I`m quitting. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) the army.

ALEKSANDR (through translator): Putin is a fool. He wants to take Kyiv. But there`s no way we can do it.


REID: And for those who are listening to this on SiriusXM, they`re saying: We`re losing this war. He wants to take Kyiv. We can`t do it. I`m quitting the effing army. Putin`s an idiot.

That`s the summary of what was being said.

Is Putin getting weaker at home? He does seem increasingly desperate.

MCFAUL: First of all, fantastic reporting from "The New York Times." I have listened to lots of those. Incredible that we have that out in the public domain. And I hope some of that gets back to Russia.

Second, yes, Putin promised Russians that there wasn`t going to be a war. He called it a special military operation. It wasn`t supposed to affect their lives. Then sanctions happened. That, he didn`t expect. Then he had to call on this mobilization, this partial mobilization of 300,000 men.

And I think he`s probably mobilized more men to leave Russia than to join his army.

REID: Yes.

MCFAUL: So, yes, he has his circus on Red Square tonight. And he had all of his people applauding politely, although they weren`t very enthusiastic, Joy. I listened to that speech.

REID: Yes.

MCFAUL: But this is now a deeper thing in Russian society. And I think he -- if it goes on long -- and I think it will -- he`s going to have trouble keeping people in support of his barbaric, senseless war.

REID: Let`s talk a little bit about something you tweeted about.

And if this is an A.I. attack. This is something that is probably going to be the norm for a lot of folks who upset certain barbaric countries. And you -- don`t talk about this attack. Just explain it. Explain what happened.

MCFAUL: So, for several weeks now, somebody -- and I want to be clear, I don`t know who this person is, right? I don`t have access to intelligence.

But somebody with that number has been calling very senior Ukrainian officials and former officials and trying to get on Zoom calls with them, sometimes successfully. And they look like me and they sound like me speaking Russian with an accent. So, yes, this is a deepfake.

They`re trying to -- they`re asking questions that would be to try to create tension between the Biden administration and the Zelenskyy team. Those are the kinds of questions they`re recording. And finally, today, it happened one more time. And so I just wanted to warn the world: That`s not me.

REID: Sunlight is the best disinfectant. So I`m glad that we had you tonight, so that you could talk about that. And, hopefully, everybody will get this clip and send it out and make sure that people understand, deepfakes are real.

MCFAUL: They`re real.

REID: We are living in a real new, very frightening era.

Ambassador Michael McFaul, stay safe. Thank you very much.

And still ahead: U.S. Senate candidate Mandela Barnes goes all in on defending Wisconsin women`s reproductive rights, while highlighting Senator Ron Johnson`s abysmal record on the same.

Lieutenant Governor Barnes joins me next.



REID: Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, who is known for saying a lot of off-the-wall things, especially with respect to the coronavirus and the January 6 attack on our Capitol.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): By the way, standard gargle, mouthwash has been proven to kill the coronavirus.

The fact of the matter is, this didn`t seem isn`t like an armed insurrection to me.

On January 6, I never felt threatened, because I didn`t. Had the tables been turned and President Trump won the election, and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned.


REID: He`s a senator.

Now, of course, it`s fitting that Johnson would downplay the events of that day. The House January 6 has since revealed that he was essentially the bag man in the effort to push a slate of fake electors on former Vice President Mike Pence.

Johnson addressed that this week in an interview with NBC`s affiliate in Wisconsin.


JOHNSON: I had no involvement. I received either three texts, and I sent two texts or the other way around. I mean, my involve -- my lack of involvement was seconds` worth of texting.

QUESTION: But that`s still involvement.

JOHNSON: But I -- I was -- I was texted that there had -- something had to be delivered to the vice president. I didn`t know what it was.


REID: Maybe he was too busy gargling the mouthwash that gets rid of coronavirus.

Now the Tea Party senator who plotted to overturn the 2020 election is running for reelection, with the midterms now less than six weeks away. And make no mistake, Ron Johnson is staying true to the kinds of comments that we have come to know him for.

Back in May, before the Supreme Court`s Dobbs decision, Johnson said overturning Roe v. Wade might be messy, but not that big of a change. Abortion wasn`t going away, after all.

Well, so much for that. We`re now coming up on 100 days since the unelected right-wing theocrats on the court ripped away 50 years of reproductive rights. As for the other rights potentially on the chopping block, Senator Johnson is also content to reverse progress. He recently said he`d oppose a bill to codify same-sex marriage protections, after he originally said that he had no reason to oppose it.

Joining me now is Johnson`s Democratic opponent in this very close Senate race, Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes.

And, Lieutenant Governor Barnes, given all that I have just said, one would think that this race wouldn`t be that competitive, because this Tea Party senator has shown himself to be a really odd man.


And yet the polls show that not only is this race razor-thin. In some polls, he`s ahead. What`s going on in Wisconsin?

LT. GOV. MANDELA BARNES (D-WI), SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I will tell you, we have seen an unprecedented amount of dark money coming into this race.

They`re lying to distract from Ron Johnson`s failed record. As you mentioned, he`s a person who says all kinds of wacky things. But the reality is, what he`s doing in Washington is no joke. He`s selling out the people of Wisconsin left and right.

He`s putting the health and safety of women, he`s putting women`s lives at risk from his dangerous positions on abortion. Ron Johnson is too extreme for Wisconsin.

But there`s a whole lot of money out there that wants to keep him in office, continue to take us backwards. But we`re running a real grassroots campaign, despite the fact that we`re being massively outspent 2-1 on television right now, some of the most ridiculous ads you will ever see. Our grassroots enthusiasm can`t be matched, however.

REID: You`re both state...


BARNES: And...


REID: Yes.

Well, I was just going to say, you`re both statewide elected officials. So people have elected you both statewide. So, it`s not that it`s not possible for a Democrat to win here.

But when Ron Johnson says in July, "I`m fully supportive of what the Supreme Court did," meaning overturning Roe v. Wade, "obviously confirmed the justices that handed down that court decision," his definitiveness seems like it would be more helpful, because you have seen abortion, whether it`s in Kansas or Upstate New York, be very powerful in motivating women voters.

Are you seeing that at all on the ground yourself?

BARNES: Well, I`ll tell you, here are the facts and the reality.

Ron Johnson celebrated the Dobbs decision. He said that, if women didn`t like the 1849 criminal abortion ban we have in the state, they can just move. That is the worst position you could ever take. It is so callous.

But people are responding in kind. I have seen an energy like I have never seen before in this state, a lot of folks who`ve never been active in politics before stepping up, showing up -- showing up to rallies, asking how they can get involved, how they can get engaged.

And we`re getting ready to kick off our Ron Against Roe Tour, because Ron Johnson needs to answer to the people for his dangerous positions on abortion. And, like I mentioned before, we are getting massively outspent.

If folks can go to today to help us out, it will go a long way to help us expand the majority, to codify abortion access and the right to choose into law once and for all.

REID: Let me ask you this, because the attacks on you, yourself -- and just to be clear, this is a state that Ron Johnson won 52-47. He beat Russ Feingold twice in 2010 and 2016. He got just above 50 percent of the vote both times. So he`s not a super, super popularly elected senator, but he`s pretty much ensconced.

But he`s attacking you now, despite the fact that he opposes -- ending Medicare and some of his other views, about yourself tweeting liberal things, saying, I guess, you like AOC. You called her my president, saying progressives who move to the center are compromising their integrity.

That counts now as a scandal for you. And it`s actually, I suppose, hurting you with Wisconsin voters. Why do you suppose that is? And what is your response to that?

BARNES: That`s not even the reality.

Ron Johnson is saying whatever to distract from his failed record. When we had an opportunity to have 1,000 good-paying jobs in Wisconsin Oshkosh Defense decided they wanted to move their jobs to South Carolina, Ron Johnson said, we have enough jobs here.

When we had an opportunity to improve people`s quality of life, every step of the way, Ron Johnson has been adamantly opposed to it. He tried to send fake electors to Mike Pence. We`re talking about a guy who tried to overturn an election. If you want -- if he wants to compare that to some tweets, that just shows how wildly disconnected he is from reality.

Ron Johnson can`t be trusted to protect people here in Wisconsin, especially women. He can`t be -- he can`t be trusted to protect American democracy, because it`s just not his thing. And he`s proven it over and over again.

REID: And then I guess my final question to you would be, are you concerned that Wisconsin is a state that has become so anti-progressive that just identifying you as progressive and identifying you with past positions that are progressive will be enough to keep Ron Johnson in office?

BARNES: I`ll tell you, we have Senator Tammy Baldwin, right, the first openly gay member of the U.S. Senate elected.

And I will tell you another thing too. As I travel Wisconsin, this isn`t about labels. It`s not about left or right, red or blue. This is about the people who`ve been at the top because of senators like Ron Johnson, Ron Johnson specifically, and everybody else has been left behind by his policies.

Over two years -- or two years in the U.S. Senate, his biggest achievement was the tax plan that he orchestrated, $215 million in tax deductions for two of his biggest donors at the same time he voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. And now he`s coming after Social Security and Medicare.

He`s compromising people`s retirement security. Ron Johnson has been in it for himself, doubled his own wealth and is hell-bent on making everybody else`s life worse.


Well, we will be watching.

Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, thank you much for your time. Really appreciate you.


REID: Cheers.

All right, "Who Won the Week?" is still ahead.

But, first, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is welcomed to her seat on the U.S. Supreme Court as it prepares to start a new term that is loaded with incredibly important cases.

We will be right back.


REID: Today, news from the Supreme Court that we actually welcomed.


The Supreme Court hosted a formal investiture ceremony for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first black woman to serve on the court. Here she is descending the Supreme Court steps with Chief Justice John Roberts. Justice Jackson has been a member of the court since June, meaning today was purely a formality.

But, nonetheless, it was a historic moment reflecting the promise of America, with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in attendance. Justice Jackson is joining a court packed with conservative justices, for whom ending abortion rights is only the beginning.

The court`s new term begins Monday, with justices taking up cases involving gerrymandering, affirmative action and election law. As these threats to democracy and freedoms loom, there`s been another pro-Trump ruling in the Mar-a-Lago FBI documents case. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, who`s overseeing his challenge to the FBI`s seizure of documents belonging to the government, says Trump is not required to back up his claims of planted evidence, essentially negating the ruling of the special master that she appointed, at the Trump team`s request.

Joining me now is Errin Haines, editor at large of The 19th, and Melissa Murray, MSNBC legal analyst, law professor and former law clerk to Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

I want to let both of you react, Errin, you first, to Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, what that means for the country and what that means for the court?


I mean, well, it`s like you said. Well, first of all, shout out to anybody who knew what investiture was before this week. I had to look it up, because I`m not a legal expert, as Melissa is.

But, yes, I mean, that ceremony was today. Like you said, she already took the sworn oath back in June. But I really think, for people who do recognize what a historic moment this is, there are not enough moments featuring Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson that the American people will not be following along with. And today was another one.

So, she officially took her history-making seat on the far right end of the bench. And I mean, that literally, not ideologically.

REID: Yes.

HAINES: And, yes, on Monday, she`s going to hear her first cases. We may hear her weighing in for the very first time.

And they are cases that are consequential for our society, for our democracy, cases dealing with the environment, dealing with voting rights. And you do now have, again, four women on the Supreme Court. And, obviously, as you mentioned, she`s the first black woman to serve on the High Court.

REID: Yes. And there she is with her college sweetheart and her husband.

And, Melissa, is it bittersweet for you, as somebody who clerked for Sonia Sotomayor, to now have these three women, one Jewish, one black, one Latina -- they essentially will likely be spending a lot of their time in -- arguing in the minority for the protection of rights that are maybe slipping away?

MELISSA MURRAY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: No, Joy, I mean, it is a transformative moment.

Obviously, this is an historic appointment. But, as you say, it comes at a time when not only is the court hobbled by claims of legitimacy. It`s likely that Justice Jackson`s power as a justice is going to be limited by the fact that she`s part of a three-justice minority.

It is the case that this is a liberal wing that is entirely composed of women, I think reflecting that the party that nominated them is really the party that has emphasized and tried to support the idea of a multiracial democracy, even in the face of the other side of the court`s efforts to make that more difficult.

REID: Yes.

And how bad is it going to get, Melissa? I mean, I`m looking at some of the cases that are coming up, two cases of race-conscious admissions at Harvard. And I`m wondering if Ketanji Brown Jackson, Justice Jackson, will want to recuse because she`s actually got some ethics and morals.

You have got a case about whether businesses can deny services to same-sex weddings, a case about the legality of federal requirements, giving Native American families priority to adopt Native American children, a redistricting case, as Errin mentioned.

How bad should we expect this to get? There`s Alabama`s discriminatory congressional map. What should we be bracing ourselves for here?

MURRAY: Well, buckle up, buttercup. This term is going to be as consequential and as cataclysmic as last term.

There may not be a case like Dobbs that overrules an embattled precedent like Roe vs. Wade. But we will definitely see the likely ending of affirmative action in higher education. We`re going to see the continued hobbling of the Voting Rights Act.

And we, of course, will see more assaults on nonwhite communities. So, the Brackeen case, which focuses on the Indian Child Welfare Act, is enormous and has real questions about indigenous sovereignty in this country.

So, it`s a blockbuster of a term, just like last term was a blockbuster of a term.

REID: Yes.

And, Errin, I have termed sort of what the right is overall trying to do is repeal the 20th century. They see it as an abomination. All of the rights that were passed for women, for people of color, for immigrants, they see it all as an abomination. And they do want to return to the era before we had this sort of push toward a multicultural democracy. It`s very clear that that`s what they want.

But they`re doing it, as you mentioned, amid a crisis of legitimacy. You have Amy Coney Barrett now joining Clarence Thomas in having a spouse that`s in the business. Amy Coney Barrett, a year after she joined the Supreme Court, her husband Jesse Barrett`s boutique Indiana firm, SouthBank Legal, opened its first ever Washington office.


We don`t know what he`s going to be doing lobbying. You have got Clarence Thomas, whose wife obviously was an insurrectionist, is an insurrectionist, still believes in the insurrection.

How do we even trust a court where the spouses are getting involved in politics?

HAINES: Yes, I mean, you saw Ginni Thomas sitting for that four-hour interview this week.

Like you said, it was behind closed doors, although we may get to see some of that testimony in an upcoming hearing. But, according to reports, like you said, she maintained that the 2020 election was stolen. But then she also said that she didn`t discuss her activities to overturn the election with her husband, Justice Clarence Thomas.

And, at this point, it`s really not about Ginni Thomas being on the honor code. It`s the appearance of a conflict that`s really at issue. And this does matter, because we just had a Gallup poll out yesterday that reported that 47 percent of U.S. adults say that they have a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the judicial branch.

And that`s a 20 percent drop from just two years ago, a 7 percent drop last year.

REID: Yes.

HAINES: And it`s the lowest and Gallup`s trend by six points. I mean, this is the lowest it`s since the Watergate era, when they first started asking this question.

And so this does matter, as we kind of contemplate Americans` confidence in the Supreme Court and how that can be improved.

REID: Yes.

And, Melissa, I mean, Judge -- mullah Alito says that we`re not allowed to criticize him, I guess. We`re not allowed to say the court is illegitimate. But that is the feelings of the majority of Americans at this point, that this is just six politicians making right-wing law.

MURRAY: Well, it`s interesting that Justice Alito took to the hustings to disclaim this idea that the court has somehow lost its legitimacy.

Again, if the court has lost its legitimacy with the public, it likely is the product of his own writing.

REID: Correct.

MURRAY: He was the author of the Dobbs decision that came out in June, laying waste to 50 years worth of precedent.

And Americans are simply drawing conclusions. This was an opinion, a decision that had been upheld for years. And then, suddenly, there`s a 6-3 conservative supermajority on the court made up of three justices who were put on the court for the express purpose of overruling Roe, and then it happens?

REID: Yes.

MURRAY: Americans aren`t stupid. They know what`s going on, and they can put two and two together.

REID: And they know a lie when they hear it, because all of these justices lied and said stare decisis, stare decisis, and they didn`t mean it.

Errin and Melissa are going to stick around, because, guess what? We`re going to make a turn for the positive and play "Who Won the Week?"

And that is right after this break.



REID: TGIF, baby. It is time to play our favorite game, oh, yes, "Who Won the Week?"

Errin Haines and Melissa Murray are back with me.

And you know what? Let me go to Melissa Murray.

Melissa Murray, who won the week?

MURRAY: I think the January 6 Select Committee won the week when they brought in the spouse of a sitting Supreme Court justice to testify. This has never happened before. Who knows if it`ll happen again.

But, if they won the week, then that means John Roberts lost the week, because he definitely did not want this in the news cycle.

REID: Right? I mean, I`m just figuring -- I`m trying to figure out -- anyway, I -- we won`t say any more comments about this lady, because there`s something off there. There is something very much off there. But we`re interested to hear what she testified to.

All right, Errin Haines, it falls to you to tell us who won the week.

HAINES: All right. I`m going to let Melissa finish, but I got to say that would be Melissa Viviane Jefferson, AKA Lizzo, OK?

In case anybody missed it, she was in Washington on tour earlier this week, got on stage and literally played the flute, the James -- from James Madison from 1813 when she was in town. Library of Congress invited her to come and see the flute, play it. She took them up on her offer -- on their offer.

And the rest, as they say, is literally history, right?


HAINES: So I`m here for black people being American artifact-adjacent.

I just spent some quality time today with Ben Franklin`s copy of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia. Shout out to the American Philosophical Society. I mean, P.S., democracy belongs to all of us, people.

REID: How dare you? I feel like you`re going to -- the next thing you`re going to do, because you`re from Philadelphia, you`re going to go try to bring the Liberty Bail, aren`t you?

You all, all -- all you all trying to get near artifacts?

HAINES: I`m available...


HAINES: ... to American history at all times.


REID: Well, I have to tell you, I love you, Melissa, but, tonight, I have to side with Errin Haines.

My vote as well is Lizzo. Lizzo won the week.

And I have to tell you guys the backstory, because it`s -- it`s not just that she played at this concert and played this historic flute. My hairdresser Coco (ph) and her mom were there. That was their Mother`s Day present. They had a wonderful time. It was empowering.

But it`s the freak-out. It`s the freak-out on the right...

MURRAY: That`s true.

REID: ... that makes it chef`s kiss sweet.

Let me just give you all the backstory. The Library of Congress reached out to Lizzo when they learned that she was coming to D.C. for this concert. She is a classically trained flutist. She visited the Library of Congress and played multiple flutes there.

The library has the largest flute collection in the world. Let`s play that. Let`s play it.





And this was the reaction of the right. Instead of enjoying the sounds and enjoying what she did with the concert -- play the concert now. Just put the concert up, please, my wonderful director.

They went: "This Lizzo-flute controversy is a perfect example of what I have termed Face Tattoo Phenomenon: the phenomenon whereby someone does something deliberately controversial in an attempt to draw attention, and then acts offended when you notice."

You had another person who said basically that she was denigrating white history. She was denigrating white history by playing a flute that not a single soul on the right knew existed. They didn`t know that flute existed even when, beating the slaves, James Madison was playing it himself. They didn`t even know it.

MURRAY: Can I change my answer? Can I change my answer, Joy?

REID: Yes, you can.

HAINES: Come on. Come on in.

REID: Yes.

MURRAY: I`m going to overrule myself, like the court did.

REID: Amen.

MURRAY: Carla Hayden, the librarian of Congress, won the week.

REID: Hallelujah! Play that flute any time you want.


HAINES: A black woman is running the Library of Congress as well. I mean, just saying.

REID: Chris -- we all in Chris Hayes` show, so we`re going to stop now. I got to stop.


REID: But we`re going to stop. Errin Haines, Melissa Murray, we love you guys both.

Have a great weekend.

That is tonight`s REIDOUT.