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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 2/26/21

Guest: Cori Bush, Ryan Reilly, Elaina Plott, David Ignatius, Heather McGhee

Summary:

Tonight, the House just moments away from voting on an enormous relief package to help rescue this country. The New York Times is reporting the FBI is said to have singled out a potential assailant in Sicknick`s death. Conservatives cheer on effort to overturn the election at CPAC.

Transcript:

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: I want to thank Dr. Anthony Fauci, Representatives Joyce Beatty and Brenda Lawrence from the Congressional Black Caucus, all of our other guests are amazing, amazing REIDOUT viewers, and also these fabulous people who were in our audience tonight, all of you who submitted great questions, and our great audience behind me in the Zoom -- look at them, they look so great.

That is it for tonight on tonight`s REIDOUT. Here`s my mask. I got to show you guys. I got my little readout mask here in honor of all of this. Be sure to join us on Monday. My special guest will be Stacey Abrams. Good night and stay with MSNBC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN.

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): You know, on January 6th, I objected during the Electoral College certification. Maybe you heard about it.

HAYES: Republicans celebrate insurrection as the rest of Congress works on an American rescue.

Tonight, the big vote on the COVID relief bill and how the minority party is undermining it.

Then, the New York Times reports a major break in the death of a Capitol police officer at the hands of the Trump mob.

Plus, what we learned from day one of a very Trumpy CPAC. And the Washington Post`s David Ignatius on what we`re learning about the role the Saudi Crown Prince in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi when ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. You know, one year ago, exactly a year ago, our leadership was publicly denying the coronavirus would even be a factor in our lives even though they knew at the time differently. On this very day last year, ex-President Trump told us, "You have 15 people, meaning 15 cases, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down close to zero. That`s a pretty good job we`ve done."

Here we are tonight with the House just moments away from voting on an enormous relief package to help rescue this country from the economic ruin and devastation brought about by the negligence and incompetence of that administration, their denialism, their response to the pandemic.

This one point trillion -- $1.9 trillion America Rescue Plan Act is the first signature piece of legislation, of course, that the Biden administration and the Democratic majorities in Congress. It contains $1,400 checks for millions of Americans, more for households that have kids, vaccination money to crush the virus, a boost to unemployment payments, increase child tax credits.

If it sounds like a good bill to you, if that sounds like good stuff, you`re not alone. It is wildly popular, OK. Republican mayors support it and Republican governors support it, major CEOs support it, labor unions support it, activist groups support it. More than three quarters of voters want it including 60 percent of Republicans.

It is a huge step towards improving the lives of millions of Americans, and people know that. There is however, and you might have heard this, one part of the package that looks like it will not make it through, and it is also one of the most popular parts. That`s a proposed federal minimum wage increase to $15.00 an hour. That`s up from the $7.25 we have right now.

And to be clear, this also pulls really well. A new Reuters-Ipsos poll found some 59 percent of respondents said they supported the idea with 34 percent opposing it. Just doing the math there, that`s plus 25. You get plus 25 in a poll, you`re doing pretty well, OK.

There`s also a lot of economic literature supporting the idea that raising the minimum wage would be good for the economy. But it probably won`t make it through the Senate because as you may have seen or heard last night or today, the Senate Parliamentarian ruled that the minimum wage cannot be increased through the budget reconciliation process which is a sentence you need a translator for. It almost sounds like a parody of Senate proceduralism.

The Senate Parliamentarian, she said that only some things can go through that process. They have to be germane to the budget and the minimum wage does not qualify. It`s not germane enough to the budget. OK, the Biden administration has said they`ll respect the decision. Progressives are warning, on the other hand, Biden to hold the line on the wage hike, do what they can to get it through.

But the broader issue here OK, just to take a step back, the broader issue is that over the last 10 to 12 years particularly under Mitch McConnell`s stewardship, particularly during the Obama years, the Senate stopped being a body of majority rule and started being a body in which 60 votes, a supermajority is necessary for basically everything.

And this has transformed the senate by introducing another veto choke point into American politics that already has a ton of them, and it has threatened in a dire way the functionality of Congress. And Democratic Senators, get this, represent about 183.7 million people and Republican senators represent 144 million. So, nearly 40 million more people despite the Senate being 50-50 evenly split.

Senate Republicans have not represented a majority of Americans since 1996. That was the only two-year period when that happened in the last 30 years. There are all kinds of features of the U.S. constitution and current U.S. institutions that empower minority rule that Republicans exploit, the Electoral College. And it has brought us to the precipice of a kind of Democratic unraveling.

Now, some people are arguing Kamala Harris should use her power as president of the Senate to overrule the parliamentarian. And that may or may not be the way to go. I`m not sure Democrats have the votes. The core thing here though, lest we all get too wrapped up in Senate procedures, we need to restore majority rule and small-D democracy to American institutions or we as a nation are in a lot of trouble.

Democratic Congresswoman Cori Bush of Missouri knows the challenges of working low-wage jobs as a single mother who raised two kids. Last night, she tweeted, "People don`t care about keeping the filibuster. People don`t care about listening to the parliamentarian. People care about getting the relief they need. Do what it takes to raise a minimum wage to at least $15.00."

And Congresswoman Cori Bush of Missouri joins me now. Congresswoman, first let me start, you`re going to have a vote tonight. I think it`ll be your -- it`ll be your first vote on a major piece of legislation. There`s been other legislation, the Equality Act, but this is the biggest thing that you will be voting on. How do you -- how do you feel about that? How do you feel about where things stand?

REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): I`m ready to get it done. I mean, you know, we`ve been sitting and waiting, and I know, you know, all of these things have to happen first. Tonight, we need to get this done. The American people sent us to Congress with a clear mandate, Chris, do the absolute most we can to provide real relief to everyday people.

True COVID-19 relief means raising the minimum wage to at least $15.00 per hour. No matter what the Senate Parliamentarian says, run us our money. That`s what Saint Louis and the country deserves, nothing less.

HAYES: You -- I mean, you`re someone I think you would say, you come from a different background and a lot of folks you`re serving with. And from a different place and have different life experiences. And you know, I just from your perspective as someone I think who is closer to being a low-wage worker trying to make ends meet with kids than a lot of your colleagues, what it would mean for the minimum wage to be raised for those kinds of folks?

BUSH: It is the difference between receiving your paycheck after the end of a week or bi-weekly and having money to pay all the bills or most of the bills versus having money to pay one of the bills and then deciding how much food can I buy or do I buy -- do I buy a medication or can I buy -- you know, how -- what kind of toilet paper.

The thing is, someone had asked one day, they said, well, you know, how much -- you know, what about buying milk? Like, is that -- you know, I hear there`s this thing about buying milk. It`s the difference between somebody going where can I go get the $2.50 milk from or what food pantry can I go to get my basic -- my basic needs met, and then what do I have to go other places to get.

Like this is a real thing. What about shutoffs, you know. I know what it`s like to come home every day wondering it -- will my -- will there be a letter pasted to my door saying 10 days of -- you know, pay in 10 days or vacate. Will my electricity be off when I make it home? Will there be a note saying that my gas was turned off, you know?

If you haven`t lived like that -- you know, we`re talking about $15.00, Chris. We`re not talking about making anybody rich. This is the difference between life and death for people. People do -- look, we`re talking about communities also that have lived under decades of disinvestment. They don`t care about Senate Parliamentary procedures and a filibuster. They care that they can feed their families. They care that the lights are on and that there is heat, that there is water. They care about those things. And we owe that to the American people.

HAYES: You`re in a state -- obviously, your district is heavily Democratic. But the state you`re in, Missouri, has trended quite conservative over the last few election cycles, particularly the statewide level. It`s striking to me that in 2018, your state, again, a state that is moving to the right voted by referendum to raise the minimum wage in Missouri above the federal, not to $15.00 but I think to $12.00 in a sort of incremental fashion. What does that say to you about the politics of this issue just broadly speaking?

BUSH: It says that people know that they have needs. And it doesn`t matter if you have R or D, if you don`t have any affiliation to politics at all. People know that hunger is real. That the pain of hunger, what your -- what your body feels like when it`s hungry is real. When you can`t go to the store to the pharmacy and pick up your medications, when you have to make that decision between paying rent and getting your medications, people know that that`s a real thing. And so they understand that.

And also, they understand that we should -- it`s $15.00 where we really should be, you know. And so, we have in Missouri we`ve seen progressive issues, you know, passed in our state but not necessarily very many progressive politicians. So, that`s where we have to do the education. But $15.00, we got to bring that home.

HAYES: Senator Thune, I saw a number of Republicans who -- Republicans are, I think the entire Senate caucus opposed minimum wage. I don`t think it would get a single vote either in the -- in the House. Maybe I`m mistaken. Senator Thune who`s the minority whip, you know, he was saying, "I started working busing tables at the Star Family Restaurant for $1.00 an hour and slowly moved up to cook, the big leagues for a kid like me to earn $6.00 an hour. Businesses in small towns survive on narrow margins. Mandating $15.00 minimum wage."

Historians have pointed out that $6.00 in 1979 is like $23.00 today. But it was interesting to me he said kid because I think there is a conception a lot of people have and a lot of Republicans have sort of fed into that these are all teenagers making the minimum wage. What`s your response to that?

BUSH: Not at all. Not at all. We`re talking about adults. We`re talking about middle-aged adults. We`re talking about our elders. You know, and regardless of the age, when I show up to work and I do a job, pay me my money. Pay me a wage that is decent because the work that I`m doing is decent.

If I`m stocking shelves, you want those shelves straight, so you need to pay me a wage to make sure that I can hold my head up high enough and hop up on the ladder to be able to make sure that the products are set up on the shelf right. If I`m cooking your food, make sure that I`m mentally OK and physically OK to be able to cook your food because you want to eat that, right, you know?

So, it shouldn`t matter the age of the person. And what he said is unbelievable, his words, because the thing is if -- you know, I worked for $5.35 an hour. I remember getting $0.10 merit raises. It`s not raise, it`s $0.10 merit raises. But you know what, it kept me in a position of poverty, it kept me hurting. Why do we want others to have to go through that? I don`t -- and the fact that I don`t make that money now, I don`t want others to go through it.

Like, what type of elected official says I have it, you know you have to fix it yourself. No. No, no, no. Take care of your people and that`s what I`m doing. That`s what Saint Louis deserves. That`s what this country deserves.

HAYES: All right, Congresswoman Cori Bush who will be voting on this relief package -- the House version does have the minimum wage increase in it. We`ll see how that ends up. Thank you so much for your time. I really, really appreciate it.

BUSH: Thanks for having me.

HAYES: All right, at CPAC last year, a Trump impersonator got kicked out for running around with a woman thrown over her shoulder and interrupting a Mike Pence speech. I don`t know if you`ve seen this footage. It turns out that was comedian Sacha Baron Cohen who was filming his new Borat movie which subsequently came out. So, when I saw this image of a literal golden idol of Donald Trump being wheeled around, my immediate thought was surely it had to be a bit. Surely this has to be Sacha Baron Cohen back at CPAC.

Well, we did some research and we will tell you the whole story next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Tonight, a breakthrough in the homicide investigation into the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick during the Trump mob insurrection of the Capitol on January 6th. The New York Times reporting the FBI is said to have singled out a potential assailant in Sicknick`s death. Citing law enforcement officials, the Times reports, an investigators suspect his death was related to an irritant like mace or bear spray that he had inhaled during the riot, and that investigators have now pinpointed a person seen on video of the -- of the riot who attacked several officers with bear spray including Officer Siknik.

They have not yet named the suspect. The news comes just days after the arrest of a reTIRED NYPD officer named Thomas Webster who the FBI says was caught on police bodycam attacking a D.C. Metro Police Officer with a flagpole during the insurrection.

I want to bring in Ryan Reilly the Senior Justice Reporter at HuffPost. Ryan, this is The New York Times reporting, the Justice Department not commenting on it. But it has been a strange source of mystery that you and i have talked about, the total lack of information about what exactly the cause of Officer Sicknick`s death was, what led up to it. It appears like maybe there`s some breakthrough here.

RYAN REILLY, SENIOR JUSTICE REPORTER, HUFFPOST: It does. And I mean, these attacks on police officers haven`t been really focused on or really resolved in a lot of cases. So, today, HuffPost broke a story where we identified the person who we`ve seen actually tasering Officer Mike Fanone who was with the Metropolitan Police Department.

And he was wearing a red MAGA hat, and we actually zeroed in on him. And the amazing thing about this is the FBI actually received a tip about this, received multiple tips about this more than a month ago but had not actually followed up until we actually went through and contacted the bureau. And only then did they follow up with the key witness in this case.

And this is someone who could have killed an officer. This was someone who -- you know, this officer was abducted into the crowd. He talked about you know how he cried out. He thought he was going to die. He thought, you know, that he was -- he was thinking he wasn`t going to see his four daughters again.

I mean, this was an officer who could have been killed in that crowd and said that people were saying kill him with his gun. There`s evidence out there and it`s been public for more than a month that they identified this person who, you know, tasered him during this assault. And he wasn`t even on that list of people the FBI were sort of looking for. And it wasn`t until, you know, they got a little, you know, a little bit of a kicked that they actually followed through with the witness here.

So, I mean, the scope of this is just overwhelming I think, and that`s the thing you sort of have to remember. You know, I --

HAYES: Yes, that --

REILLY: Yes.

HAYES: No, I mean, I remember when Officer Fanone, when we first saw that video, people thought that might be Sicknick, right. But what we later learned is that a bunch of police officers were assaulted in a whole variety of ways with a whole variety of implements. And tracking who did what is -- has been a real process.

REILLY: Yes. I mean, it`s an astonishing amount of work. And I think that - - you know, one thing that, you know, I have to remember even after, you know, a decade now covering the bureau is that the FBI has this reputation as this sort of extraordinary crime-fighting bureau. And you know, it is a really, you know, high-tech, you know, bureau but they are still -- it`s still made of human beings and it`s still this mass bureaucracy.

And, you know, you sort of have this idea of oh, they must be working on something behind the scenes, but this is just such an astonishingly large investigation with, you know, I mean, thousands of pieces, millions of pieces of evidence, right, and you know, hundreds of suspects and hundreds of thousands of tips.

And it`s just organizing that in some fashion that is just this overwhelming task, I think, for the bureau. And you know, it`s not one that necessarily, you know, a bureaucratic institution is equipped to sort of organize very easily. This isn`t something that they`re sort of set up to do.

HAYES: Yes. We`re going to see -- we`ll be following these developments very closely. I think we`re up to 300 arrests if you`re not mistaken. Ryan Reilly who`s been one of the best reporters on this beat, thank you very much.

REILLY: Thanks for having me.

HAYES: And as investigators continue to arrest and charge the January 6th rioters, the big lie that prompted the attempted insurrection was being celebrated at the annual gathering of conservatives known as CPAC. This image captures the unofficial theme this year, the idolatry of the twice impeach former president. The man who the mob attacked the capital for who`s going to give his first post-presidential speech at CPAC this weekend.

To be clear, that is actually real it. Is not some stunt for the next Borat movie, just pure irony-free Trump idolatry? The Orlando Sentinel spoke to the artist behind the statue who said he tried donating it at Trump`s residence in Mar-a-Lago on the former president`s birthday but was stopped by Secret Service. I think that makes some sense.

He said, he hopes it ends up in Trump`s presidential library someday. It`s a piece of Americana, he said. It certainly is. It`s going to go down in history. Now, movement of conservative these days is really indistinguishable from that statute, from the worship of Trump. I mean, there`s a reason people have been comparing the statute to the biblical golden calf.

Worshiping Trump also, of course, means pushing the big lie about the election. The chair of the group that organizes the conference, Matt Schlapp, told the Washington Post that the idea that we`re going to come up with some kind of conservative platform at CPAC, it rings a little hollow. Schlapp adding, right now, half the country feels cheated by the media coverage of the election, so we`re going to go back and cover the facts that most people in the media canceled.

There`s lots going on there. What he`s saying is the whole point of the conferences this year is to try to basically keep trying to con America into believing trump won, that the election was stolen. And that played in the room. Just listen to the crowd`s reaction with Senator Josh Hawley brought up his efforts to overturn the will of the American people.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAWLEY: You know, on January 6th, I objected during the Electoral College certification. Maybe you heard about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: One speaker even went so far as to suggest the insurrection itself was not a dark day in American history but a grand celebration of unity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WAYNE DUPREE, HOST, WAYNE DUPREE SHOW: If Joe Biden wants to talk unity, there was unity there on that day because America is sick and tired of being pushed down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: CPAC is not some fringe gathering. This is where the Republican Party is. In addition to Hawley, today`s speakers include Don Jr., Tom Cotton, Marsha Blackburn, many other prominent Republicans including Ted Cruz, made a joke about going to Cancun while his state suffered and called mask rules dumb, and mocked Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for fearing for her life during the violent insurrection.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): We stand together and defend liberty, defend the constitution, defend the bill of rights of every American. In the immortal words of William Wallace, freedom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: While, the unofficial theme of CPAC was the worship of Donald Trump, the official theme of the event is America Uncanceled which was undermined before it even began when CPAC canceled a speaker for anti-Semitic and other comments.

Today, many of the speakers seem to want to cancel Congresswoman Liz Cheney for voting to impeach Trump. Don Jr. who tried and failed to get a laugh by dubbing the conference TPAC, as in Trump PAC, I guess, also workshopped a type five attacking Cheney.

DONALD TRUMP JR., SON OF FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP: Speaking of bombing the Middle East, have you seen Liz Cheney`s poll numbers? No, seriously, Liz Cheney and her politics are only slightly less popular than her father is at a quail hunt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Just drop-dead hilarious stuff. Elaina Plott is covering CPAC as National Political Reporter for the New York Times and she joins me now. Elaina, I thought the Matt Schlapp quote was so, you know, honest, transparent that this is not about policy. It`s not about like some conservative ideology. It`s like we want to re-litigate our grievances. Has that been your experience on the ground there?

ELAINA PLOTT, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: It has, Chris. And what`s interesting is it`s not even about necessarily an opposition to the current administration or, you know, Democratic policies at the moment. Congress is of course debating a massive stimulus package right now. It was not mentioned at one point in the events today, and I was there beginning at 7:00 a.m.

Nobody mentioned it at all. And everything I would say was largely rooted in hoping to re-litigate the presidential election. But even that, I think as I say, it is sort of charitable. Because I think the idea that the election was "rigged" as one of the speakers put it today has just become canon with the Republican Party`s base.

HAYES: Yes. It`s so fascinating. I want to just hone in on this. I mean, right now there are members of Congress -- I just talked to Cori Bush who`s in Washington D.C. They`re going to vote on this package tonight in the House. There`s a bunch of Republican House members who are in CPAC who sign their proxy voting forms so they can proxy vote, saying that they can`t be in Washington because of the public health emergency. They`re down in a convention center in Orlando. And no one`s talking about the single biggest policy issue on the table in America right now.

PLOTT: Yes. I mean, the extent to which the pandemic or the coronavirus was mentioned at all, it was usually framed as a way of making fun of pandemic- related restrictions. So Ted Cruz made fun of the idea of wearing masks in restaurants. He did that even after as, you know, I`m sure you saw two CPAC organizers had to suspend events for a bit to go on stage and remind people to wear their masks.

The Hyatt Regency which is hosting the conference here in Orlando does have rules that masks have to be worn at all times. So, it was interesting to see the organizers try to frame their plea as an appeal of sorts to private property rights and the rule of law and kind of trying to couch it in whatever rhetoric they thought might actually, you know, do some good.

But ultimately, they were met with tons of boos and jeers, people yelling freedom. And so it was a bit for naught.

HAYES: I think -- do we have that? I think we actually have the clip of that moment, if I`m not mistaken. Let`s just take a look since you described it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please, everyone, when you`re in the ballroom, when you`re seated, you should still be wearing a mask. So, if everybody can go ahead work on that. I know -- I know it`s not the most fun --

CROWD: Freedom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have the right --

CROWD: Freedom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Yes, that -- I feel bad for that young woman trying to get the crowd to comply with that. I`m also struck by -- as I was watching some of the speeches today and some of the highlights, you know, the idea of America Uncanceled is the theme, that so much of what they`re railing about was about things that aren`t even political in a sense or have to do with governing.

Like, they`re mad that there`s a disclaimer on the Muppets, and that`s a big thing to talk about, or Mr. Potato Head, or whatever cultural grievance. But nothing that like you could write a bill to deal with. Is that -- that seems to me the thrust of much of what the sort of grievance and anger has been throughout the first day.

PLOTT: Well, to me that`s been such a huge thing -- theme of the Trump era on the right which is that they are -- you know, it`s very popular right now to assure the base that you will fight. Less clear, however, is what they want to fight for. I mean, speakers, you know, had many opinions on what they should be fighting against.

But as you said, it wasn`t, you know, whatever amendment so and so recently put forth, even the idea of opposing something like ObamaCare feels kind of quaint in this way. These were as you said, large-scale cultural grievances that animated President Trump, and that I think CPAC, at least based on my reporting, has only affirmed that this will continue to define the future of the party as you showed in a clip Donald Trump Jr. tried to rebrand it as TPAC.

It didn`t quite land but I can report that there is still sort of that reverence of Donald Trump here and Ted Cruz and a number of other speakers said quite clearly that Donald Trump is still the leader of the Republican Party. And because of that, this sort of apolitical, more gauzy, cultural grievances steeped in things like race and identity are continually -- going to continue to be the momentum behind the party rather than anything even slightly more granular.

And Ron DeSantis, I`ll just note, said right in his introductory remarks this morning, that, you know, basically the threat from the left right now is too urgent, too severe for conservatives to waste time with "academic" discussions about policy.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (on camera): That is striking. Elaina Plott great, great, great download for us today. Thank you so much for coming on the show.

PLOTT: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia approved the mission that ended in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Why are we just getting this newly released intelligence report today and what is the Biden administration going to do about it? David Ignatius from the Washington Post is here to talk about it ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): I rise to speak on a topic I`ve often spoken about on the floor. We`ve been at continuous war since September 14, 2001 when Congress passed an authorization of military force to go after the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks.

The conflict has been going on so long that many are somewhat immune to it. I heard a high schooler recently say, war is all I have ever known. It`s the status quo. It`s the background music to daily life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: That was four years ago in 2017, and here we are in 2021 and very little has changed. That background music is still playing coming on two decades now.

And today, Tim Kaine released a new statement about the latest airstrikes in Syria undertaken by the new Democratic president saying, the American people deserve to hear the administration`s rationale for these strikes and its legal justification for acting without coming to Congress, demanding a full briefing.

The Pentagon says last night`s bombing on the border with Iraq targeted Iranian backed militants, and that it was retaliation for a mid-February rocket attack in Iraq which killed the U.S. contractor and wounded and American servicemember.

In this, the modern era of the war on terror, and even actually even a little before the war on terror started, strikes in the Middle East and Central Asia were kind of bizarre ritual for incoming presidents usually within their first month.

Again, before 9/11 but 27 days into his presidency, George W. Bush launched an attack on Iraqi radar sites. Just three days into his first term, President Obama ordered a drone strike in Pakistan. President Trump was in office for all of nine days before he launched a Special Forces raid in Yemen.

Now, 37 days since his inauguration, President Biden launched his first strike in the region. Here`s what the President said about it today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS REPORTER: Mr. President, what message are you sending to Iran?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You can`t get -- you can`t act with impunity. Be careful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: It`s not -- it`s not wild eyed or unreasonable, OK. There has been a series of rocket attacks against American personnel in Iraq that that`s something that really happened. There was a determination that they would escalate unless there was some kind of disturb -- deterrence that was restored. And so, the U.S. government kept these facilities and the details of that one exchange, it doesn`t seem crazy.

But that, of course, is the whole problem of the forever war. Each individual action or reaction has some kind of plausible justification.

But when you add them up in the aggregate, you get a kind of collective madness, which is us at war for 20 straight years. Conducting military activities in dozens of countries, forever in perpetuity. Presidents just coming into office and ordering strikes and bombs and squads.

The only solution is to decisively break with the legacy as hard as that is. Bring American troops home and stop bombing other countries.

Beyond the situation with Iran and Syria, the Trump administration left President Biden with a lot of ugly things to deal with in the region, particularly the Trump embrace of a Saudi regime that we now know for certain, authorize the murder of a Washington Post columnist. That shocking report is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Just over two years after the brutal murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the U.S. is publicly blaming the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for his death and dismemberment.

Jamal Khashoggi, who had been critical of the regime in Saudi Arabia walked into the Kingdom`s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2nd, 2018. He was told to come to deal with some paperwork, and he was never seen alive again.

Turkish intelligence capture recording of the killing shared it with the U.S. government. And suspicion immediately fell on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, a close close ally of the Trump administration.

But Trump kept dissembling, even releasing a bizarre statement full of explanation points. It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event. Maybe he did and maybe he didn`t. OK.

Tonight, we finally have the official public report confirming of the conclusion, the CIA reached almost instantly after the assassination that Jamal Khashoggi`s gruesome killing was approved by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

David Ignatius is a foreign affairs columnist at the Washington Post where his latest piece is titled Biden stood up for Jamal Khashoggi. What happened to him should never happen again.

David, what`s the significance of this report being released?

DAVID IGNATIUS, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST (on camera): Well, Chris, releasing the report that names the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says he approved the operation is a kind of accountability. It names him, it shames him, it brings this to light.

But the obvious question then is, if the CIA found that he was responsible for this killing of our Washington Post colleague, why isn`t he being in some way punished for that?

Essentially, there are no sanctions against him as a result of this finding. And unfortunately, I think it`s pretty clear that the Biden administration for all of the criticism that Joe Biden had made of Saudi Arabia has decided that it`s just too risky to U.S. interests to sanction the person who is likely to be King of Saudi Arabia for many years to come.

And that`s a great disappointment for people who knew and loved Jamal Khashoggi. That in the end, although, there`s a kind of accountability, there are no significant sanctions against the person who by our own account approved the killing.

HAYES: Yes, I mean, there was always -- you know, there it was -- there was always this sort of phrasing around the time that this happened, I remember very -- I remember covering it, it was -- it was such a shocking and appalling story, enraging.

There was always the phrasing well, you know, MBS would have had to have known, right? Things like this. I mean, what this intelligence has been saying is like, he didn`t -- you know, it wasn`t like in the air, it was a key -- someone said, like, green light and Mohammed bin Salman said, you can go kill this person?

IGNATIUS: Look, Chris, unfortunately, the report, the version that we have is actually thinner than I expected. It says that he approved the operation to capture or kill Jamal Khashoggi. But it doesn`t say specifically, that he ordered the killing.

And there`s a lot of evidence that you`d expect that our intelligence agencies would have that is not cited in this report. So, in that sense, it doesn`t move us a whole lot further, it`s really more analytical than it is evidence of specific orders and decisions.

Perhaps, there are additional details that the CIA has that it wasn`t prepared to declassify, but there really isn`t much more here than what we knew almost two years ago.

And in that sense, I think there`s more that it would be good to know about what exactly what we know about what happened.

HAYES: You mentioned the fact that there are no sanctions being directed at Mohammed bin Salman, there are other people in Saudi Arabia that there will be some sort of travel restrictions or sanctions aimed at. And you talked about the kind of balance here of interest.

I mean, you know, there`s a real question here about what the U.S.-Saudi relationship looks like going forward. And whether some kind of break with the kind of very, I think, flawed and pathological codependence of these two nations over many decades is on the horizon, or whether what today`s signals is that we`re going to continue down this path?

IGNATIUS: Well, the language that Secretary of State Blinken used today, which other administration officials have been using is that this is an attempt to recalibrate the relationship but not rupture it.

Rupturing the U.S.-Saudi relationship, I think that probably would be harmful to U.S. interests. But that doesn`t mean that we have to give a in effect a waiver to somebody who are our own evidence says, authorized to killing. That person should be subjected to greater sanctions. You`d think they should be disallowed from traveling to the U.S., there should be a visa ban on him. There should be something that says we really won`t allow this going forward.

I think in the end, there was a decision the U.S.-Saudi relationship is so important to U.S. security at a time when we really are at a standoff with Iran that people decided to be careful. And that`s a -- that`s a disappointment to people who loved and worked with Jamal Khashoggi.

HAYES: David Ignatius, thank you so much for coming on the show this evening.

IGNATIUS: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Tonight, the House is poised to vote on the COVID relief bill that millions of Americans are desperate for but Republicans are lining up against it. Heather McGhee on the exclusionary tactics to the right, which she calls drained pool politics. I`ll explain.

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HAYES: Sometime in the next few hours, the House will vote on President Joe Biden`s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. And while the bill has overwhelming Democratic support, it`s wildly popular. Republicans are dead set against it.

And in part, because they have honed the kind of politics in which denying good things to everyone, including their own constituents is worth it as long as they can exclude the right people.

In the excellent new book The Some of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, author Heather McGhee looks at how a white majority turned its back on government once it became strong supporter civil rights.

Perfect example, sort of metaphor for the book, which is incredible and I cannot recommend enough. The public swimming pools, right? Like the one you`re seeing right there. All across the south particularly. At one time, a symbol of government provided public good, right? A great thing for the people.

For years, these pools were segregated and when black families sued and they won the rights to swim in those pools, many cities and not just in the south, rather than integrate them, just drained those pools. Got rid of them, so that no one could use them.

A half century later, we are still suffering from what McGhee calls drained pool politics. And Heather McGhee joins me now.

Heather, I have said this in multiple venues; on Twitter, in the podcast we did. The book is incredible, extremely vitally important book for everyone to read. Please, please, please do it. You can read it if you`re watching us talk right now.

And this metaphor, I had been haunted by the metaphor, the drained pool since you brought it up. I didn`t know the story. Why is it -- what does it say about our politics, that story?

HEATHER MCGHEE, AUTHOR "THE SUM OF US" (on camera): The story of the drained pool really stands in for the way America turned its back on the formula that created the greatest middle class the world had ever seen. Some of the greatest public investments and infrastructure that was the envy of the world.

And instead, since civil rights, which of course was the last time the majority of white people voted for a Democrat for president and voted for the party of the New Deal.

Once it became also the party of civil rights, we`ve had rising inequality, we have had a gutting of our public infrastructure and goods, a retreat from the very sense of the public by the majority of the white voting public.

And that has been something that has cost trillions of dollars in economic growth, its cost in increases in poverty. And in my book, I talk about how there is a cost for everyone from the zero-sum thinking that progress for people of color has to come at white people`s expense.

HAYES: Right, because no one got to swim in the pools. The idea that, you know, you have this thing, and rather than share it, it`s like, let`s not have it. And then, you see this reflect in public opinion of this polling data in the book, right?

65 percent of white people in 1956 believed the government ought to guarantee a job to anyone who wanted one and to provide a minimum standard of living in the country. White support cratered for these ideas between 1960 and 64, from nearly 70 percent to 35 percent, and has stayed low ever since. Are we still in the shadow of that transformation?

MCGHEE: We really are. I mean, we have to remember that we need the government to do its job to invest in our people in order to address economic inequality.

And that, in fact, the corporate faction that has really ruled politics for two generations now and delivered sort of manufactured poverty and concentrations of wealth could not be succeeding without the majority of white voters voting for the Republican Party time and time again.

So, you take the COVID relief bill, which is more popular than basically anybody in Congress. And yet, the right wing is already saying we`re going to use the zero-sum politics.

The Republican Congresswoman from South Carolina said, I see Joe Biden opening up the border instead of opening up our schools, how is that taking care of our children? Right? That`s that clear zero-sum. This bill, white voters is not for you, even though of course, it obviously is. This bill is for brown and black people.

And so, they feel confident in voting against pandemic relief, because they know that white resentment of the idea of government that would put them shoulder to shoulder with black and brown people is going to be enough to keep them in power.

HAYES: One of the things I like -- love about your book and my takeaway from it is also about how people on the left reconceived a building multiracial solidarity for better government and for everyone to thrive. That -- and you talked a little bit about, like, the discourse of privilege and how privilege is absolutely present, omnipresent in American life. But there are a lot of white people who don`t feel particularly privileged.

And you talk about ways in which stitching people together in a common struggle across race so we can all get better things from our government.

MCGHEE: The book was written along a three-year journey where I talked to hundreds of people. And the most inspiring and hopeful people were people who had really rejected the zero-sum paradigm. They had linked arms across lines of race and organized for things I began to call the solidarity dividends. The idea of things that we can gain only together that we simply can`t do on our own. And that racial resentment in the drained pool politics has stopped from becoming more widespread.

Things like cleaner air when a multiracial coalition took on a big polluter. Things like overturning a right-wing governor`s Medicaid expansion veto with a multiracial coalition in one of the whitest states in the country.

You know, we really do have to recognize that the multiracial anti-racist coalition that we saw in Georgia, for example, is the key to delivering on the promise of addressing inequality, and really recommitting to public goods for all of the public, no matter what their color.

HAYES: You really see that this moment too when like the dividends of a functioning government are so obviously life and death for so many people. I mean, it`s the whole story of the book because it is disproportionately hitting black brown indigenous folks, it is disproportionately crushing. But it`s also terrible for everyone. And if we had a functioning government, that would be better for everyone.

MCGHEE: That`s right, from the drained pool politics of the Texas power outage to the pandemic response. If we had a public health system, if we had universal health care, if we didn`t have the right wing politics that said that basically, a disease that hit first and worst in black, brown and indigenous communities was not going to bother and never going to reach white America and red states, right? This is a blue state problem for those other people. That was the rhetoric from the White House that zero-sum and you see what it is cost this country.

You know, I truly believe that this whole right-wing playbook is also really aided by the rule rigs of our government -- the rigged rules of our government, right. I mean, obviously, we could have a $15.00 minimum wage which is popular across the country.

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: Right. We have to --

MCGHEE: (INAUDIBLE) of the filibuster, right?

HAYES: Restore majority rule. Heather McGhee whose book is called The Sum of Us, thank you for making time tonight. It`s a great book. Please go check it out. That is ALL IN on this Friday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with Ali Velshi in for Rachel. Good evening, Ali.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END