Major League Baseball announced it is moving the All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver in response to Georgia Republicans passing the new restrictive voter access law. GOP falsely claims Colorado has stricter voting laws than Georgia. According to NYT, Matt Gaetz is said to have sought blanket pardon from then-President Trump. MPD use-of-force experts testify against Derek Chauvin today. President Biden moves up the vaccine eligibility date.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Always great talking to you, Lieutenant General Russel Honore with his common sense answers and solutions. I really appreciate you, sir. Thank you very much.
Well, that is tonight`s REIDOUT. Thank you all for joining us this evening. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice over): Tonight on ALL IN.
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The Georgia legislation is built on a lie.
HAYES: Georgia`s governor caught using the big lie to restrict voting just keep selling the big lie.
GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): They`re boycotting and pulling games out of a state like ours yet they`re headquartered in a state that`s more restricted than we are.
HAYES: Then, as Matt Gaetz claims to see just how did the bar for public shame get set so low?
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, get out and vote for Roy Moore.
HAYES: Plus, Mitch McConnell`s revision of his new anti-corporate stance.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is to stay out of politics.
I`m not talking about political contributions.
HAYES: And my interview with the Surgeon General on the push to help vaccinate the world and today`s big announcement about vaccinations at home.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No more confusing rules. No more confusing restrictions.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Well, the Major League Baseball All-Star game has found a new home and Republicans are very angry. MLB announcing it is moving the game from Atlanta to Denver in response to Georgia Republicans passing and signed into law the new restrictive voter access law.
Republicans promptly responded to that announcement with the extended performative whining that has become a central hallmark of modern conservative politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDRA SMITH, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Do you believe Major League Baseball will live to regret this decision?
KEMP: Yes, I think they will. I mean, it`s almost comical that people here and all over the country had figured this out. They are outraged, and they are sick and tired of the cancel culture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp who has been pushing the lie that Georgia`s voter suppression law is actually designed to make it easier to vote, and that everyone who says otherwise including Major League Baseball, or Delta Airlines, and Coca-Cola is trying to cancel Georgia, I guess.
You know, the Republican Party, as we`ve said, is radicalizing against democracy. It`s happening in front of our eyes. They lost an election that had the highest turnout in recent memory. And now, they`ve set themselves doing just about anything and everything they can to make it harder to vote in the hopes, possibly misguided, that it will then help them win.
And this isn`t happening in some backroom, right? We`ve all watched it. We`ve watched them propagate the toxic big lie the election was rigged, leading to the violent insurrection that killed a police officer. That lie was itself built on decades of lies from the right about the prevalence of voter fraud. And now, Republicans in state after state are using all that to change the rules of voting.
And they are feeling the backlash because their power grab is so transparent. And having been caught in the act there attempting this Trumpian gaslighting, to lie about what they`re doing. Well, we know what they`re doing. They know what they`re doing too.
Now, it`s true. The actual particulars of the Georgia bill are not necessarily determinative of outcomes, right. I mean, they do not guarantee that Republicans will win future elections or even that turnout will go down. There`s all sorts of dynamics involved. But it is also true this is a state run by Republicans who having lost the 2020 election are trying to make it harder for to vote for constituencies they view as leaning Democratic.
And after they faced a backlash for what they are so obviously doing, then we got this histrionic response from right-wingers who see persecution everywhere. National Republicans calling for boycotts of baseball and their corporate critics. House Republicans in Georgia voting to repeal a tax break for Delta for slamming the law.
The game show host turn former president now at Mar-a-Lago calling for a boycott of Coca-Cola and other companies. Of course, when he took a photo with Steve Miller this weekend, you can see he tried to hide his own Diet Coke behind the desk. See there behind the phone? It`s going to be a tough boycott to pull off, I think.
And now the new audacious Trumpian lie from Republicans, I`ve been trotting this out all day today is that Colorado, right, Colorado where the All-Star game has moved, they went from Atlanta to Denver, that Colorado actually has more restrictive voting laws than Georgia.
Republican Senator Tim Scott tweeting the MLB is moving the All-Star game out of Atlanta which has more days of voting rights than Colorado. The wokes are at it again, folks. The wokes, the workes, the canceling works, they are everywhere.
In reality, Colorado is a national model for voter access with everyone automatically build -- mailed a ballot that can be mailed back or stuck in a convenient drop box. That doesn`t happen in Georgia. In fact, just to be clear, the law just passed in Georgia makes it so the state can`t bail out ballot applications to everyone. It reduced the number of drop boxes, so that`s pretty different.
There`s also same-day voter registration in Colorado unlike in Georgia, far less strict voter ID laws, early in-person voting, if you prefer that. There is a reason the state of Colorado ranked number two in turnout in 2020, and is not because they make voting hard.
As Dave Weigel put it, "Here`s an easy way to tell a difference. Find a photo of Colorado voters waiting in a long line on Election Day. Any photo from the last seven years since all mail voting was phased in. Good luck."
Well, we tried. We can`t find those photos because they don`t exist. But you know, in Georgia, that`s pretty easy to find. There were long lines of vote in 2020. Remember that first day of early voting, October 12th, there are folks waiting as long as eight hours to cast a ballot. In Colorado, by contrast, voting is a breeze. You just mail your ballot, or vote in person, or drive right up. Here`s what the primary looked like last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the polling locations aren`t very busy inside because of drive-by voting. This is just a no-brainer, it seems like. This is what they`ve been doing. They`ve got this set up right here where people pull up, and then they`re able to cast their ballots right here on the spot. They just hand them over. We`ve seen it happen. It`s like four or five seconds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: At the White House briefing today, a Fox News Correspondent tried to push the lie that Colorado is just as restrictive as Georgia and it didn`t go well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the way that`s concerned that Major League Baseball is moving their All-Star game to Colorado where voting regulations are very similar to Georgia.
PSAKI: Well, let me just refer -- refute the first point you made. First, let me say on Colorado, Colorado, allows you to register on Election Day. Colorado has voting by mail where they send to 100 percent of people in the state who are eligible applications to vote by mail. 94 percent of people in Colorado voted by mail in the 2020 election. And they also allow for a range of materials to provide even if they vote on Election Day for the limited number of people who vote on Election Day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes, it`s not very similar, sir. You know, if Republicans really think Colorado is a model for them though that they would accept, I say, like let`s call it a deal with so much conflict debate over all this. So, here`s the deal. Every state passes Colorado`s ballot access laws with bipartisan support, or even better, we federalize it, right? Call it the new H.R.1, make it the law of land. Republicans vote for it, Democrats vote for it. We all agree. We sign it into law. We call this whole thing over. The All-Star game could go back to Atlanta, and heck, Donald Trump could even take his diet coke out from behind his phone.
Joining me now is the Democratic Secretary of State of Colorado Jena Griswold. Also with me, the leader of the Georgia African Methodist Episcopal Church, Bishop Reginald Jackson, a leading critic of the Georgia voter suppression law.
Secretary Griswold, let me start with you because we were just talking about Colorado. What is your reaction as the person who administers the elections in your state to be say, Republicans say that your state is more restrictive than Georgia, and to say that it`s very similar in the words of that Fox News correspondent to the Georgia law.
JENA GRISWOLD, SECRETARY OF STATE, COLORADO: Well, thanks for having me on, Chris. Very similar and more restrictive in the same time. I wonder what`s going on. My response is that Colorado has the most accessible elections in the nation. We`ve also considered the most secure elections in the nation. And what I would love to see is all voters have the same type of access that we have.
That`s vote by mail for all, early voting, same-day voter registration, automatic voter registration because the results speak for themselves. We just had the second-highest turnout in the nation during the pandemic. More Coloradans voted than ever before in a state election. And we are the second or the first highest, excuse me, for the percentage of eligible people registered.
So, I really encourage those conservative leaders in Georgia to adopt our voter election model that`s focused on accessibility and security and to leave the voter suppression behind.
HAYES: Bishop Jackson, I wonder if you would as someone who is working on this bill, if you would -- if you would take that trade. If you would -- if you would go in for universal automatic voter registration, mail-in ballots to everyone, early voting, all of that.
REGINALD JACKSON, LEADER, GEORGIA AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Oh, I would campaign for it eagerly.
HAYES: What do you -- what do you make of this? It seems to me that Republicans initially were caught a little flat-footed. I think they thought they`re going to pass this bill, it`s not going to be a big deal. It`s a big priority for us because we just lost this election than we lost the two Senate elections. They got a lot of pushback. And they`re now trying to kind of tell people they aren`t seeing what they`re seeing, that actually we did this because we want to regularize everything and we want to expand access, and we have your best interests at heart and this is all a woke mob.
As someone who`s working on this in the trenches, what do you say to that?
JACKSON: Well, you know, I believe the governor and many Republicans in Georgia are living in what I call denial. Denial, don`t even though I am alive. They have convinced them there that what that they`re saying is true. The problem is the citizens of Georgia know better. And believe me, Black and Brown people in Georgia definitely know better. And we`re doing all that we can to fight it and hopefully get it changed.
HAYES: Secretary Griswold, we`re watching this play out in Georgia where this has been an intensely contested area of political combat, right. Even in the last gubernatorial election with Brian Kemp and with Stacey Abrams, it has been recurring theme. It`s been a recurring theme in many states.
Tell me about the politics of this in your state. I mean, is this the site of fights? Do you think that say, if the Republicans were to take over the state legislature or state Senate in your state, that would be something they would move for, or is it sort of settled and sort of understood as the way Colorado does elections?
GRISWOLD: Well, that`s a great question, Chris. We do have bipartisan support of our election model. It was passed in 2013, and then implemented by my predecessor, Republican Secretary of State. But at the same time, there were six bills introduced this legislative session to take us backwards, to undo our vote by mail system, to force us to throw out ballots not counted on election night, to put a lot of the barriers in place that we`re seeing attempted to be put in place across the nation.
So, I think it`s really important for viewers to see that this is a coordinated attack on voting rights. There are over 360 bills in 43 state legislatures to suppress the American people. And what this is, is partisan elected officials trying to choose their voters to keep power instead of voters choosing their elected officials. It`s undemocratic. It`s un- American.
And we need urgent action both in state legislatures but also by the federal government. And what Congress can do and must do is pass For The People Act to make sure that all Americans can have their voices heard.
HAYES: Bishop Jackson, one of the points of leverage in this, right -- so, you`ve got a strange kind of political situation in Georgia. You`ve got a both houses controlled by Republicans and a Republican governor, right, so it`s all state politics essentially, entirely dominated by Republicans. But the last three statewide elections, they lost, right? They lost the both run-ups -- run-offs and they -- and they lost the presidential.
One of the points of leverage that has been exercised by folks such as yourself and others is to say to these corporations that are headquartered there from Delta to Coca-Cola and others, look, you need to speak out against this. And there`s even been called for boycotts of those corporations that they didn`t. Is that something that you`ve been entertaining? And what do you think about the wisdom of that?
JACKSON: Yes, in fact, last week, faith leaders in Georgia called for in fact, a boycott if corporations, Delta Airline, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and others did not speak out against this legislation. And we threatened to boycott which in fact was supposed to begin on tomorrow.
I`m pleased to announce tonight, that on April the 13th, we will be having a meeting with corporate executives from all across the state of Georgia and the nation. And hopefully, from this meeting, we`ll be able to get corporate leader to speak out not only in Georgia, but as a -- but as the Secretary of State mentioned, all across the country where you have more than 361 pieces of legislation trying to suppress both and in fact undermine our democracy.
So, I believe we will be able to persuade these corporate leaders to exercise corporate responsibility and do the right thing.
HAYES: It`s really fascinating politics of this particular issue at this particular moment. Secretary of State Jena Griswold, enjoy the All-Star game later this summer, I guess, and Bishop Reginald Jackson, thank you both for your time tonight. I appreciate it.
JACKSON: Thank you so much.
GRISWOLD: Thank you.
HAYES: All right, do you remember the end of the Trump administration that Trump won on that huge pardon blitz, right, from Steve Bannon, to Lil Wayne, to Kodak Black, and even Congressman Matt Gaetz proved to be very interested in pardoning as many people as possible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): President Trump should pardon Michael Flynn. He should pardon the Thanksgiving turkey. He should pardon everyone from himself to his administration officials to Joe Exotic if he has to, because you see from the radical left a bloodlust that will only be quenched if they come after the people who work so hard to animate the Trump administration with the policies and the vigor and the effectiveness that delivered for the American people. And so, I think that the President ought to wield that pardon power effectively and robustly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I remember the time being like that`s a weird thing to say. But it`s Matt Gaetz, whatever, he says a lot of weird stuff. Like, what why is he so worked up about as many pardons for as many people as possible? Why?
Well, tonight, we have some breaking news from the New York Times that Gaetz was lobbying the president for a blanket pardon for himself. Times Reporter Michael Schmidt broke that story and he joins me live next. Don`t go anywhere.
HAYES: We have a bit of breaking news tonight about Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida who is currently under investigation for the sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl. New York Times is reporting that he asked the White House for a blanket pre-emptive party in the last weeks of Donald Trump`s term.
Congressman Gaetz asked for the pardon for himself and unidentified congressional allies which some Trump associates have recently speculated was an attempt to camouflage his own potential criminal exposure. At this point, he was already under investigation by the Justice Department but it was unclear whether Mr. Gaetz or the White House knew at the time about the inquiry. Mr. Gaetz did not tell White House aides that he was under investigation for potential sex trafficking violations when he made the request.
Yes, I`d probably leave that out too. New York Times Washington Correspondent Michael Schmidt broke this news moments ago and he joins me now. All right, Michael, what did you learn about this request?
MICHAEL SCHMIDT, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Basically, it came in in the final weeks of the Trump presidency. That was a time when there was a lot of discussion going on at the White House. The President was bringing up the idea of pardons with associates and confidants, asking them, you know -- you know, would you like a Diet Coke, would you like a pardon?
So, it was something that was being openly discussed. And at this time, Gaetz went to the White House and asked for this blanket pardon. A blanket pardon for something like this would have been extraordinary, even by the standards of the Trump pardon. So, if you remember, Trump gave pardons to all sorts of allies and donors and such. But in the -- in the case of Gaetz, he had not been charged with a crime.
So, it would be essentially the ultimate get out of jail free card. He`d be giving you a clean slate on all of your past acts, like the sort of the pardon on steroids, if there was a way of saying it. And White House aides realized that this was highly problematic and would set a bad precedent, and they`ve had a sort of odd overture to it, and it didn`t really go anywhere.
HAYES: Yes, I mean, so just to take our minds back, and you did some great reporting about this at the time, and a lot of people as well. I mean, we`ve got this White House that`s like this almost as kind of like bizarre for pardons, right. We know, there`s huge, like six and seven figures of campaigns.
SCHMIDT: Yes, there was a market for pardon.
SCHMIDT: There`s a market for pardons.
HAYES: A market for pardons, right. So, there`s a lot of pardon requests. There`s also the time reporting that you and others New York Times with all their publications about the president thinking about pardoning himself or his family in this kind of pre-emptive blanket way, right? Not people who`ve already been charged, but kind of like pre-emptive and blanket why. So, that`s in the air at the time that we understand Gaetz is sort of proposing this.
SCHMIDT: And what is going on at that time, the federal investigation and Matt Gaetz is accelerating. They`re beginning to do interviews with witnesses. They`re starting to talk to people. They`re starting to take overt acts, the type of things that, you know, would give off clues to people that something is going on.
The other thing is that in August, last August, his associate had been indicted for sex trafficking of a minor. Someone he had spent a lot of time with, someone, you know, who he knew -- he knew a lot about his activities. And we now know that Gaetz is under investigation for having a relationship, for having, you know, sexual relations with that same girl.
And so, Gaetz knows that on the public record in August of last year is the indictment of this guy for sex trafficking a minor. If Matt Gaetz was paying attention, this was widely reported in the Florida press at the time, he would have had some hint that something like this was going on around.
HAYES: This is an incredible reporting, Michael Schmidt. And thank you so much for scrambling to join us after breaking the story. I really appreciate it.
SCHMIDT: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: All right, Carlos Curbelo, former Republican Congressman from Florida and Alexandra Petri is a columnist at the Washington Post where she recently published an opinion piece on Matt Gaetz titled, "This should not happen more than once." And I want to talk about that great column. I`m a huge fan of Alexandra`s writing.
First, let me start with you, Carlos. Here`s what I`m puzzling through about this. And they -- it seems like the sources here are pretty good, right? How do you think that`s going to play when the news comes out if you get your way? Like, nothing to see here, everyone. I just got a blanket pardon from my buddy, Matt Gaetz in Congress. Like, that`s going to raise some red flags, it would seem to me.
CARLOS CURBELO, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN FROM FLORIDA: Yes, Chris. If Matt Gaetz did indeed talk to the President or to White House officials about a blanket pardon, it indicates that he was probably worried about something and that something was already underway, and he knew about it.
And look, Matt Gaetz is kind of a perfect example of how people who get caught up in Trumpism and Trump world in a lot of ways their lives get ruined. And they faced major issues. Matt Gaetz, when he arrived in Congress, was someone that a lot of Republicans were hopeful, would speak to a younger generation of conservatives.
He`s someone who advocated for cannabis reform, for example, was good on criminal justice reform, told Republicans they needed to pay attention to environmental issues. And then, you know, rather than being a mouthpiece or the voice of younger generations of conservatives, he became the mouthpiece of Donald Trump and he kind of got contaminated in that world.
And look, he deserves his day in court. He deserves to clear the air here to explain what if anything happened, but right now things don`t look good for him. And that happens to a lot of people who get caught up in Donald Trump`s web and in Donald Trump`s attitude and mentality and arrogance.
HAYES: Yes, I mean it does appear that he had some interest in younger generations. Alexandra, do you -- what do you think about the fact -- and your column was about this, sort of the behavior of this guy in his -- the reporting about sort of, you know, showing nude pictures or videos of women that he had been with around on the floor, that this was something that like, people were just like, scoring into like the Matt Gaetz experience, and not apparently raising many objections.
ALEXANDRIA PETRI, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Exactly. I think, there`s something to be said that hanging over all of this is the Donald Trump`s shadow and some of the echo of the laughter of Billy Bush. Because there`s this moment when people decide that you know, what`s normal behavior. And I think, when your colleague comes up to you on the floor of the House and shows you a nude photo, the fact that this is something that happened, apparently, not once, but multiple times means that the first time it happened, it went way better than it should have.
And I just -- it got me to thinking about all of these interactions that you have when people get to decide what`s normal behavior because, you know, in our lives, we just go around, we do things, we see how the people, we do them for respond. And we put together this picture of like how to be in the world.
And whoever was on the receiving end of that, which admittedly a startling thing to get in your office. I don`t want to underestimate the trauma of that. But whoever got that said, he laughed, or maybe he gave a backflip or he did something that made the locker room a little bit bigger and create - - it took two people to create the environment where Matt Gaetz felt like it was comfortable to keep doing this.
HAYES: Well, that`s --
PETRI: And so, I think -- yes.
HAYES: Yes. And I think that`s part of the broader issue here, right, which is that everyone like -- you know, now you`re getting all these behind the scenes anonymous quotes about like, the guy was always kind of a jerk, and he was a kind of a pig or he was a frat boy or is this or that and ridiculous. And Trump people saying, I`m talking to him for 20 seconds, he knew he was not a serious person. It`s like, well, have you met who you worked for?
But you know, Carlos, this is like -- this is the deal, right, go along to get along? Like, he was in good with the President, and that`s it. Like, it doesn`t matter what that guy`s character is and it doesn`t matter if he`s an effective legislator. Like, none of that matters. And it`s still not going to matter to the people in this district even as the Trump people kind of keep studiously quiet about this.
CURBELO: Well, Chris, Donald Trump certainly lowered the standards significantly in our country. And look, Matt Gaetz never showed me any images, nor talk to me about any experiences he may have had. And I haven`t heard from anyone who did have those kinds of interactions with him.
But I can tell you this, relevant to what we just heard, there`s a lot of room for improving the culture in Congress. And by the way, that`s across party lines. I think, you know, we need to do a lot to raise standards in this country. And if our leaders don`t raise their own standards, and don`t act in ways that set a good example, we can`t really expect very much else for the country.
So, yes, voters need to raise their standards and pay attention to some of this stuff and actually care about people`s character. But our leaders really, the onus is more so on them.
HAYES: Yes. For me, Alexandra, you referenced Trump in that -- in the infamous Billy Bush tape. But to me, the real breaking moment was the Roy Moore campaign where here`s a guy where you find out that multiple, you know, underage girls, a 14-year-old at court for a custody hearing, gets hit on by a prosecutor who`s 32. And then allegedly, she says, like, sexually molest her later. And it was like, you know what, we need that Republican seat. Like, you know, if that`s not too much to break the backs of people, then I don`t think anything is.
CURBELO: That`s right. And he almost won that primary.
HAYES: Go ahead, Alexandra.
PETRI: I was -- I was -- I like to believe that there`s something that will break best. I feel like whenever people come across something, or they`ll say, well, you know, after Newtown, they`ll never be going. But I like to - - I like to believe there is something some point at which people will say, well, we can mend it from this place. We may not be starting at a great point, but we can mend it from here.
And so, maybe it`ll trickle up instead of trickle-down. Maybe it won`t be, you know, Congresspeople sitting there having more respectful discussions, but just individuals having more respectful discussions and eventually getting those people in Congress instead of the people who are currently there. And very slowly over time, humanity will improve, or maybe not.
HAYES: Well, that`s optimistic. You know, we do the best we can. Carlos Curbelo and Alexandra Petri who is a really astonishingly talented writer in the Washington Post, you should check her out. Thank you both. I appreciate it.
Coming up, another big day at the murder trial for Derek Chauvin, more critical police testimony for the prosecution. Phillip Atiba Goff is here to talk about today`s use of force training testimony ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: I found it completely discouraging to find a bunch of corporate CEOs getting in the middle of politics. My advice to the corporate CEOs of America is to stay out of politics. Don`t pick sides in these big fights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Corporate CEOs in politics perish the thought. As he pointed out last night, it was pretty rich for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to tell corporate CEO to stay out of politics considering this is the same Mitch McConnell who is arguably corporate America`s biggest champion over the last several decades.
Now, today, he repeated his warning but added an important caveat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: So, my warning if you will to corporate America is to stay out of politics. It`s not what you`re designed for. I`m not talking about political contributions. Most of them contribute to both sides. They have political action committees. That`s fine. It`s legal. It`s appropriate. I support that. I`m talking about taking a position on a highly incendiary issue like that and punishing a community or a state because you don`t like a particular law they passed. I just think it`s stupid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: My word. Now, everyone get that? Mitch McConnell wants corporations to keep giving him money. He just doesn`t want them taking public opinion on laws and stuff. I mean, there`s no one more invested in corporations being involved in politics than Mitch McConnell. That`s really not an overstatement. In fact, getting corporations political access has been one of his life`s great projects.
I mean, his primary pet issue has been for decades destroying everything related to campaign finance reform, using an extremely aggressive theory of the First Amendment protection and speech that you cannot restrict the spending of corporations on advertising or independent expenditures, because you are therefore infringing on their First Amendment rights to speak, to speak publicly about politically contentious issues. That`s the heart of the theory.
In 1997, nearly a quarter of a century ago, Republicans blocked the passage of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. At the time, The Washington Post reported "McCain-Feingold is dead says Senator Mitch McConnell, longtime leader of the opposition forces. It is not going to pass ever, he claimed."
Well, McConnell was wrong about McCain-Feingold becoming law, but he did everything he could to get rid of it, including becoming the face of the case challenging the law, duly named McConnell verse FEC, which made it all the way to the Supreme Court but failed.
Eventually, McConnell emerged victorious in 2010 in the Citizens United case when the conservatives in the Supreme Court found along with McConnell`s argument, right, that spending for political ads during campaign season are in fact free speech, which means basically, you can form an entity for the purposes of impacting election and just spend unlimited dollars, right.
So, there`s now no longer any spending limit. So, we get super PACs. The First Amendment lets there be that. McConnell`s devotion to corporate interest is paid off for him specifically. Just days before the 2020 election, he was leading all senators in competitive races and campaign donations from S&P 500 CEOs. Notably, not a lot of Democrats at the top of that list.
Now, a few corporations have just said they oppose a Republican law, haven`t even done anything. And Mitch McConnell says they should just shut the hell up and keep the money flowing into his campaign coffers because Mitch McConnell`s theory is this. Money is speech, but speech is not speech.
And that`s because none of this was ever about speech from McConnell or any other Republicans now taking umbrage. It was always about power.
HAYES: Once again today, police officers were the star witnesses for the prosecution in the murder trial of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Officer Nicole Mackenzie, a medical response coordinator at the Minneapolis Police Department, Lieutenant Johnny Mercil, the use of force instructor with the Minneapolis Police Department who`s trained hundreds of officers, and Sergeant Ker Yang, the Minneapolis Police Department Crisis Intervention Training Coordinator. They all testified that Chauvin did not act the way he was trained to act, or the way it was supposed to act.
For example, Sergeant Yang pointed out that officers are trained to use a critical decision-making model that should have helped de-escalate the situation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KER YANG, WITNESS: When we talk about fast-evolving situations, I know that they`re -- they do exist, they do happen. But a lot of the time we -- converse of that is that a lot of time, we have the time to slow things down and reevaluate, reassess, and we go through this model.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Lieutenant Mercil then took the stand to testify that when Derek Chauvin put his knee on George Floyd`s neck, it was not an authorized restraint.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this MPD authorized restraint technique?
JOHNNY MERCIL, WITNESS: A knee on the neck would be something that does happen in the use of force. That isn`t unauthorized.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And under what circumstances would that be authorized? How long can you do that?
MERCIL: I don`t know if there`s a timeframe. That would depend on the circumstances at the time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which would include what?
MERCIL: The type of resistance you`re getting from the subject that you`re putting your knee on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so if there was, say, for example, the subject was under control and handcuffed, would this be authorized?
MERCIL: I would say no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Phillip Atiba Goff is co-founder and CEO of the Center for Policing Equity, a professor at Yale and he joins me now. And Phillip, I thought of you today as I was watching some of this testimony, because I know you`ve been very involved in officer training, particularly around a bunch of these issues.
And as someone who has spent a long time doing that, I`m curious what you thought of watching this sort of series of officers involved in training saying this is not what we trained to do.
PHILLIP ATIBA GOFF, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, CENTER FOR POLICING EQUITY: So, I mean, part of what I felt like I was seeing was the profession of law enforcement saying, please don`t pin all of this awfulness on us. We`re different from this. I mean, think about what we`ve seen in the last couple of days. We saw the police chief say, yes, that`s not OK. We saw the training officer who was responsible for Chauvin`s training and say not OK. We saw an expert from LAPD say not OK.
We saw several other officers say not OK. That`s an unusual thing for a trial like this, in the same way that seeing police unions come out almost in unison last summer and say, this is not what our profession stands for, this is disgusting, it doesn`t represent us, was unusual.
And part of the question is what that will do for this particular trial. But part of the question is whether or not the rest of us believe that writ large of the profession. And that`s not going to be decided at this trial. That`s going to be decided going forward in terms of how we manage public safety.
HAYES: Yes, that`s a great point and exactly what I was thinking of as I was watching this today. So, on the first point, it does strike me that, you know, look, we know police are star witnesses in almost every prosecution. That`s how prosecutions work. And in fact, the degree to which police are truthful is a site of much research, contention, suspicion, I think, by a lot of lawyers who are -- lawyers for criminal defendants.
But police tend to have a lot of credibility. And when you have a situation where you have a number of police sort of who`s who lists saying, this person who is a fellow cop did wrong, you got to imagine that`s going to land in a certain way with a jury.
GOFF: Yes, absolutely. You hope that it lands with the jury. I mean, by the time that the prosecution rest its case, I think we`re going to be able to count the number of Minneapolis P.D. officers who haven`t testified against Chauvin on one hand, right? Like, it`s almost a caricature that everyone has stood up and said, this is wrong.
And this is after a week, where literally everyone who saw it said, this was not right. There`s no version of the world where this is OK. And yet, I am reminded that if we didn`t have video evidence of it, if all of the minutes and seconds, there are so many cases where exactly this way, it goes the other way.
These kinds of defenses work and have historically worked way more often than they land officers in jail. And that`s part of what we`re witnessing is a rare event because it happened to be captured on camera that the world could see immediately afterwards.
HAYES: Yes. And that second point, right. So, the question here of how anomalous is this. And I think -- I think there`s sort of two answers to that as someone who`s reported on this a lot and talked with you a lot about this, right? Like, clearly, this is one of the most utterly despicable acts that I`ve ever seen a police officer did.
It is also the case, as I listened to these, you know, this is how we train, we try to slow things down. I have witnessed as a reporter, I have seen on tape countless examples of police officers using their body and using force and speeding things up and cracking people`s skulls in ways that could not possibly have comported with the training as reflected in that courtroom today.
GOFF: Yes. And so, you got to -- you got to wonder if George Floyd goes to the hospital and is paralyzed for life, but didn`t die, are we having the same conversation? If George Floyd is psychologically traumatized by the terrible decisions of an officer, are we having this conversation?
You know, so I get that we really care as a nation what happens to this officer and the other three officers, right, in terms of who was around watching as this man slowly lost the breath -- the breath that would keep them alive. But there really is a shadow trial here, which is the rest of the darn country. And what are we going to do not to hold all of ourselves accountable, but to prevent the next one, right?
So, what I hope that we`re going to be hearing is not just all the things that Chauvin did wrong. We saw enough. Everybody, literally the entire Minneapolis Police Department saw enough. My question is, are we going to start talking about what we`re going to do to prevent the next one?
Are we going to talk about the places where law enforcement doesn`t need to be because there`s no amount of training that`s going to prevent somebody who`s having a very bad day from doing very bad things, and then appealing to the sympathies of folks who didn`t see that stuff on tape when somebody else dies.
I`m looking to the folks in Minneapolis and the activists there. I`m looking to folks in Berkeley. I`m looking at the folks in Ithaca who are dismantling their police department because they so don`t want folks there for low level issues, for a $20.00 bill that should never be a death sentence. That`s what I`m hoping we`re going to get on the other side of this and not just guilty or acquitted for one individual officer.
HAYES: Phillip Atiba Goff, great to have you on tonight. Thank you.
Next, President Biden`s big vaccine announcement. My interview with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy about the push to help vaccinate the rest of the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No more confusing rules. No more confusing restrictions. My message today is a simple one. Many states have already opened up to all adults. But beginning April 19th, every adult in every state, every adult in this country is eligible to get in line to get a COVID vaccination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: President Biden announced today that every American adult will be eligible for the COVID vaccine in less than two weeks. The President also said that we`re on pace to meet his accelerated goal of getting 200 million shots in arms during this first 100 days. It`s truly incredible.
I mean, the U.S. vaccination rate is almost five times the world average right now. Nearly 1/3 of Americans have now received at least one shot, about 19 percent of the country is fully vaccinated. We`re averaging about three million shots in arms every single day.
The President already announced last month we have enough doses to inoculate every American adult by the end of May. And that`s without the tens of millions of AstraZeneca doses that are waiting for emergency FDA approval.
So, here`s an idea. Why not give those extra doses away? Why not use them to vaccinate the world. Not only would it be an incredible gesture of goodwill, but it would also help us and it would help other people crucially, because the World Health Organization keeps pointing out until everyone is safe from this virus, none of us are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WHO: Some countries are racing to vaccinate their entire populations while other countries have nothing. These may buy short term security, but it is a false sense of security. The more transmission, the more variants, and the more variants that emerge, the more likely it is that they will evade vaccines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I`m joined now by Dr. Vivek Murthy. He`s the Surgeon General of the United States. And Surgeon General, it`s great to have you on. First, let`s start with the sort of domestic situation as outlined by the president today. You know, vaccine production and supply seems very good. Outreach seems very good. We`re vaccinating a lot of people. There`s concerns about case numbers rising, particularly variants in Michigan. How do you assess the balance between those two trends right now?
VIVEK MURTHY, UNITED STATES SURGEON GENERAL: Well, Chris, it`s good to be with you. And you`re right that we`ve made tremendous progress in the vaccination front. You know, we`ve delivered vaccines to millions of people, over 107 million people have had at least one shot. And we`ve seen, particularly in the elderly population or seniors 65 and up that 75 percent of people have gotten one shot. And we`ve seen deaths in nursing homes plummet.
That is all very, very good news. And the pace is only going up in terms of vaccines per day. But we are in this race, a race against the variance. And we are seeing the B117 variant, the very first time the U.K. spread more rapidly and overtake the larger proportion of cases here in the United States.
We know that variant is more transmissible and it may also be more deadly. So, this is a cause for concern. And what we`ve got to do right now is vaccinate as quickly as possible. So, if you`re watching out there, and if you get a chance to get vaccinated, make sure you take that shot. And also we`ve got to make sure we wear masks and continue to avoid indoor gatherings until everyone is vaccinated.
HAYES: I want to talk about the global situation because right now the U.S. is way ahead of almost any other large country in terms of vaccinating. We`re doing a very good job. We`ve been a laggard in our COVID response in many respects. We`ve got 100 million AstraZeneca doses sitting around. There`s not even an emergency use authorization for the vaccine, right? We`ve got countries that are much poorer than U.S. desperately trying to battle this thing.
Should the Biden administration, the U.S. be prioritizing vaccinating the rest of the world very soon in the next three months or so when we hit 75 to 80 percent vaccination of our own population?
MURTHY: Well, Chris, you`re raising a critical point here, which is that if we really want to get over this pandemic, it`s not just how quickly we vaccinated Americans, it`s how quickly we help the rest of the world get vaccinated. Because let`s look at what we`re seeing in Brazil, right now, where we`re seeing just on checks spread of the virus.
And whenever that happens around the country, including here in the U.S., we see greater chance of variants emerging and those could be at some point variants that evade our vaccines, evade therapeutics, and it puts us in a difficult spot.
The President has been very clear that he wants the United States to be a leader when it comes to helping the world get vaccine. It`s part of the reason that U.S. is the biggest donor to COVAX, which is going to help lower-income countries purchase vaccine. It`s why the United States has reentered WHO and is re-engaging in that global diplomacy which is so important.
The job`s not done yet. We`ve got a long way to go to help the rest of the world get vaccinated. We got more work to do at home as well.
HAYES: There is one specific thing that we could play a role in doing. And I realize this might be outside your portfolio in terms of the policies that you take, but I`m going to ask you, as a member of administration, which is, you know, a lot of countries are asking for the right, essentially, to manufacture the vaccine themselves. And it would require the World Trade Organization waiving patent protections, right.
So, that`s -- you know, you would -- the WTO would have to intervene to say, look, this is a special case. There`s lots of countries in the world that could produce vaccine if they actually had the intellectual property if that were waived. The U.S. and other European countries have been essentially blocking that. I mean, why shouldn`t we be letting countries around the world benefit from this incredible innovation?
MURTHY: Well, Chris, I do think that we have to be thoughtful about how we ensure that countries around the world have adequate supply and access to the vaccine at affordable prices. We`ve got to do that in a way that respects laws as well. And that is part of the discussion, the debate that`s underway.
But listen, one of the lessons that we`ve learned from COVID and frankly, it`s a lesson that we learned from Ebola as well, is that we cannot be safe here at home unless we are secure as a global community. And that means investing in the health and well-being and the infrastructure in other countries.
That means not just access to vaccines, but it means good surveillance systems in other countries, it means good healthcare systems and infrastructure so that we can tackle illness once it -- once it, you know, surfaces. These are all critical parts of the global plan to address future pandemics. And that`s where we`ve got to focus our efforts now as well.
HAYES: Surgeon General of the United States Vivek Murthy, thank you so much for your time tonight. I really appreciate it.
MURTHY: Thanks, Chris. Good to see you again.
HAYES: You too.
HAYES: The nationwide vaccination effort is a uniquely collective experience we`re having as a country. So, this week on my podcast, I wanted to really dig into all things vaccine. There was no one I`d rather talk to than vaccine expert Dr. Peter Hotez. You may recognize him. He`s been a guiding voice over the last year.
And on this week`s episode of Why Is This Happening? Dr. Hotez lends his expertise to explain everything from the very basics of vaccines like what even are they, to the impact they`ve had on the world. An episode you don`t want to miss so make sure you download it wherever you get your podcast and don`t forget to subscribe.
That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.