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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 6/2/21

Guests: Anne-Marie Slaughter, Ari Berman, Hunter Walker, Rochelle Walensky, Ezra Klein, Meagan Hatcher-Mays


Today, State Senator Doug Mastriano is out in Arizona trying to learn how to run a ridiculous audit and his state nearly seven months after the election. President Trump met a man who helped organize the Patriot Caravans on January 6. The Biden White House announced an all-out sprint to reach 70 percent vaccination on adults. President Biden calls out Senator Sinema and Senator Manchin for blocking his agenda.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: The survivors are amazing. Thank you, Congressman James -- Jamie Raskin and Bishop William Barber. Thank you both very much. That is tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.


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

KELLI WARD, CHAIR, ARIZONA REPUBLICAN PARTY: It is exciting to see Arizona leading the way. I think it is the first domino that`s going to fall.

HAYES: The Arizona contagion spreads.

WARD: There`s a delegation from Pennsylvania coming to Arizona to meet with our legislature. Hopefully, we`ll see some action in Pennsylvania.

HAYES: And an Arizona senator shrugs her shoulders.

SEN. KRYSTEN SINEMA (D-AZ): I`ve long been a supporter of the filibuster because it is a tool that protects the democracy of our nation.

HAYES: Tonight, growing fears over the unchecked Republican radicalization against democracy. Then why President Biden`s direct shot at Manchin and Sinema is actually a big deal. Plus, new reporting on January 6 protest organizers making the pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago. And my exclusive interview with CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on President Biden`s new vaccination push and our responsibility to vaccinate the world when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Graduation season is over in Phoenix, Arizona and guess what they`re back up to the Veterans Memorial Coliseum here June 20, 21, recounting ballots from last year`s election. Republicans in the Arizona State Senate first subpoena those ballots back in December, ballots from just one county, mind you, Maricopa.

Of course, Maricopa is the diverse home of the state`s capital that flipped for Democrats in November. And so, State Republicans targeted Maricopa County and only Maricopa County for this equal parts clownish and poisonous undertake. But while people are pointing and laughing, there is an entire authoritarian ecosystem drawing its energy as it from sunlight from this, and it is growing and it is spreading.

Now, if you`ve never seen into the world of the modern Republican Party, brace yourself for this bonkers dispatch from the far-right OAN network today interviewing the chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party Kelly Ward.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Update us on what`s going on with the audit.

WARD: Natalie, it`s great to be here. Yes, the audit is proceeding no matter what the Democrats try to do, and the leftist, and the media, and the Republicans in name only who are belittling, bemoaning, and generally throwing a fit about this audit. The audit continues. The audit has expanded.

I think it is the first domino that`s going to fall because we`re seeing -- we`re seeing little noises all -- from all around the country. In fact, there`s a delegation from Pennsylvania coming to Arizona to meet with our legislature. Hopefully, we`ll see some action in Pennsylvania. We`re seeing it in Georgia. We`re seeing it in Michigan, maybe Wisconsin, maybe Nevada.

I think the country has woken up and they`re tired of do nothing politicians or do something that`s wrong politicians, and they want to follow Arizona`s lead so that we have election integrity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is so wonderful to see because this was what President Trump said all along. The state legislature, of course, some governors, Republican governors, they`re not doing anything. They`re blocking even new election integrity bills. But the state legislators can do so much.


HAYES: OK, that`s pretty delusional, granted. But one of the Pennsylvania Republicans in that delegation visiting Maricopa County today is State Senator Doug Mastriano. Now, you may recognize him. He has been sort of the edges of MAGA world throughout the aftermath of the election.

He`s a diehard Trump supporter. He was the former President`s point man on trying to overturn the results of the election in the state of Pennsylvania. In fact, remember this? In late November, Senator Mastriano, organized a public hearing on the suppose that election fraud. The ex- President`s lawyer Rudy Giuliani participated and Trump himself called him to speak to the audience.

Senator Doug Mastriano also spent over $3,000 in campaign funds to bus Trump supporters to Washington D.C. ahead of the riot at the Capitol on January 6. You can see Mastriano and his wife here in the crowd at the Capitol on the sixth. Today, Mastriano is out in Arizona trying to learn how to run a ridiculous audit and his state nearly seven months after the election.

Now, what is going on in Arizona with the ballot recount almost seems like cosplay. It`s like a children`s summer camp where they get to pretend to be wizards and witches at Hogwarts. There are a bunch of MAGA volunteers pretending to be conducting a recount or an audit and counting ballots.

But here`s the thing. They`re doing it with actual ballots. Those are the ballots because the Arizona Republicans use the power they have over the machinery of the state to actually turn them over to a private company and volunteers. And so this audit is attacking the most fundamental crucial cornerstone of a functioning democracy.

Now, we have seen the Republican Party wage their assault on democracy in many ways before the election, the aftermath of the election, continuing day by day, right? There new restrictive voting laws being introduced in almost every state they control. There`s the increasingly aggressive use of partisan gerrymandering to create situations where Republicans can lose statewide and yet retain majority like Wisconsin is one example. The Roberts Court, of course, upholding that practice.

There are already anti-democratic structures that Republicans are leveraging to the fullest, like the filibuster in the U.S. Senate, which creates this supermajority threshold. Then, of course, there was the actual physical violence on the Capitol to overturn a free and fair election. But ultimately, what democracies rests on his legitimacy and the perception thereof.

That is what the Arizona audit is about. They are trying to destroy that legitimacy. It is what Donald Trump has gone about destroying. It`s what he started destroying when he said Barack Obama was a foreigner constitutionally disqualified from office. They have opened a Pandora`s box, and we are not going to be able to stuff everything back inside.

Listen to me. That maybe the longest-lasting, most threatened development of this radicalization against democracy, especially as it spreads across the country.


STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: Do you see this as a model? In Georgia this week, they`re going to have hundreds, if not thousands of these delegates demand Kemp have a full forensic audit like Arizona. Sir, do you think this model can work in Pennsylvania? And how would you do it? Would you start small or would you go for the whole state? In your mind, since you are the leaders of this, how do you see this playing out in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, sir?

DOUG MASTRIANO, REPUBLICANS STATE SENATOR, PENNSYLVANIA: If we were to do an audit in Pennsylvania, this is the model to use. Obviously, they`ve -- the team here leading this audit here, and especially my counterparts in the House and Senate in Arizona, there`s a lot of lessons learned additionally. So I think we could actually affect it more efficiently and more effectively based off their lessons learned.


HAYES: That was Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano, one and the same, the guy who went to Capitol on January 6 who was touring in Arizona today being interviewed by Donald Trump`s former chief strategist, the guy who got arrested on a Chinese billionaire`s yacht, and then got pardoned. So, now he`s back out doing this podcast.

Breaking the legitimacy of our elections breaks everything else. That is why this has become such a central point. It is why people like Steve Bannon have been stoking the idea that the litmus test, the thing that measures fidelity to the reactionary anti-democratic movement is signing up for this mass delusion, pursuing it through these toxic means, the big lie.

It fundamentally undermines legitimacy of American self-governance. It is what the attack we are seeing is all about. And it is going to cause levels of damage and destruction that even its advocates cannot imagine.

Anne-Marie Slaughter is a professor emeritus at Princeton, CEO of the think tank New America. She`s one of 100 scholars to sign on to this letter published by New America warning of the threats to American democracy. And Ari Berman is a senior reporter at Mother Jones. His latest piece is on how Jim Crow killed voting rights for generations, and now the GOP is repeating history.

And Anne-Marie, let me start with you as someone who signed on to that letter, who studies this and who has worked in the State Department and worked in the international sphere in which these sorts of issues arise all the time, contested elections, disputes about legitimacy. Like, what do you see happening here?

ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: I would start by saying, if you saw this happening in other countries as we do where you have an election, and then there is -- it`s certified by all sorts of people, and it`s clearly free and fair. And then a group decides to try to overturn it. That is a grave threat to democracy. And the United States and our allies, the liberal democratic world weighs in.

That is what we`re seeing here. And it`s just much harder to recognize it at home. But if this proceeds in the 2024 election when all neutral observers say there was a free and fair results, these measures would actually allow state legislators, Republican legislators, to overturn the results if it is not to their liking. And they are doing everything they can to make sure we`re not a democracy. We are an oligarchy, an aristocracy, something where a not everyone gets to vote, and a white majority is preserved.

HAYES: That point about the international comparison is important because, you know, when the story does arise, right, in some country that you don`t follow closely and you`re not an expert of, and they say there`s an election and it was certified, but then these people disputed. I always say like, I don`t actually know what the deal is here, right? I`m not following this.

And that kind of cloud of uncertainty when you`re not in it, right, as an outside observer, it can be a little hard to adjudicate. Like, OK, well, who actually -- who`s right here, right? And we`ve seen that abroad, and Ari, we`ve seen it in our own history, right? I mean, this is -- this is precisely the thing that happened in the Jim Crow South. It`s -- this attack on legitimacy through means both legal and extralegal. That was the way in which the Jim Crow, you know, state was constructed.

ARI BERMAN, SENIOR REPORTER, MOTHER JONES: That`s absolutely right, Chris. We had a multiracial democracy in the United States, and it was taken away. And that`s what people don`t realize. And the pattern between the attack on voting rights at the end of reconstruction and the attack on voting rights today is so similar it`s eerie.

You had the enfranchisement of Black voters followed by violence, fraud, and intimidation to keep them from the polls. Then you had the legal disenfranchisement of Black voters through literacy tests, whole taxes, etcetera, etcetera. That`s how reconstruction really ended. And that`s how Jim Crow began.

And what`s happening today is very similar. You had new groups turnout and record numbers in 2020 to flip states like Georgia blue. That was followed by an attempt to overturn the election, an insurrection. Now, they are trying to enshrine the insurrection through "legal means." That`s what the entire 2020 -- 2021 state legislative sessions are about. It`s trying to figure out legal ways to disenfranchise voters because the illegal means failed. And that`s the lesson they took from the end of reconstruction. That`s how history is repeating itself today.

HAYES: And this question about the sort of interplay between laws and legitimacy seems important here, Anne-Marie, and something I`ve been focused on, which is there`s the legal regime, right? You can have a legal process in which all of the -- all of the laws are followed, which is what we had in the last election, right? It was certified and everyone sort of did their job in the end.

But that doesn`t -- like the legitimacy problem is in some ways deeper. It`s not necessarily a thing that can be corrected through law. The law serves as a kind of guardrail. Like, the attack of legitimacy is a deeper attack in some ways.

SLAUGHTER: Well, you`re absolutely right. And your point about the elections abroad are well taken, where those of us who are outside say, well, you know, where there`s smoke, there`s fire. It`s hard to know.

HAYES: Right.

SLAUGHTER: This is exactly why we send in international observers, why there are all these election monitors who are certified by many different countries and many different parties. And indeed, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute typically send delegations together.

Here, once you leave the realm of any kind of agreed truth where you can have, you know, people believing that our president runs, you know, a pedophile ring, you`re in great danger because the -- no amount of certification, no amount of legal, fair, normal process will suffice. And you have a group who are determined to put that cloud on the election, and then simply to push through ways of overturning what the -- what the world, the rest of the country would see as a free and fair election.

HAYES: Yes. And Anne-Marie, you made the point about the state legislatures which are key players here. Ari, you heard it in the interview, right? I mean, that was always the thing that Trump was banking on. It`s where you have some of the most like radicalized members of the -- of the Republican Party operating. And you`re seeing this now as a cause that various Republican state legislatures are taking up, Ari.

BERMAN: Of course. And the thing is, the states have already become the Republican Party`s laboratory for subverting democracy. We already don`t have a functioning democracy at the state level in places like Wisconsin and Michigan because elections are already pre-determined through gerrymandering. And then you put voter suppression on top of that.

And the overriding goal of the Republican Party and all of these states has been to subvert the democratic process over and over and over and to build wall upon wall upon wall, Chris, right, because they already have insulated themselves through gerrymandering and voter suppression.

Now, they are adding more voter suppression, and then they are adding on top of that, being able to overturn elections. So, at every step of the process, they have undermined democracy, create this feedback loop where one anti-democratic facet then entrenches another anti-democratic facet of the system.

HAYES: Anne-Marie Slaughter and Ari Berman, that was excellent. Thank you both for making some time tonight. I really, really do appreciate it.

SLAUGHTER: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: We`ve seen many Republicans marched through the gilded doors of Mar- a-Lago to kiss the ring of the exiled blogger. Eager Kevin McCarthy was there just a week after Biden`s inauguration. Here`s Ted Cruz last month enjoying a casual hang with his best bud. Then there`s this guy who you don`t know, but according to reporting from my next guest, was involved with so-called patriot caravans on January 6. Who he is and the latest on the insurrectionists, next.


HAYES: As of today, the Department of Justice says 443 people have been charged in D.C. federal court-related crimes committed at the U.S. Capitol. And the court filings are providing a clear picture of the type of people who tried to overthrow the government that day. Like Ryan Samsel of Pennsylvania who was arrested on January 30 charged with among other things, forcibly assaulting a federal agent.

Prosecutor say Samsel, here in the light blue jacket, was one of the very first Trump supporters to approach police barricade surrounding the Capitol while Trump was still speaking. They say, in the process of pushing the barricades to the ground, Samsel and others knocked over a U.S. Capitol Police Officer causing the officer`s head to hit the stairs behind her resulting in a loss of consciousness. That is her there on the ground. She later blacked out and collapsed and had to be transported emergency room.

Samsel has been in jail since his arrest. And today, prosecutors filed a motion to keep him there until his trial. Part of that is based on an extensive history of violence. In 2009, Samsel was convicted of assaulting a woman and choking her to the point of unconsciousness. In 2011, a conviction for choking and beating his pregnant girlfriend. In 2019, he had another victim recounted several incidents where he broke into her house and assaulted her. She also alleged Samsel raped her multiple times.

So, that`s just one example of some of the people that Republicans in Congress do not want to investigate. Because even though that day is over and that person is now in jail, the slow-motion insurrection is ongoing.

This weekend, a superseding indictment against a far-right militia group called the Oath Keepers was unsealed. That revealed communications where one member of the group said we want Trump to declare an insurrection and to call us up as the militia. This weekend, Trump`s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn suggested a military coup should happen in the United States.

Now, political reporter Hunter Walker reports that just over a month ago, Donald Trump met with a tech CEO who helped organize patriot caravans around the country to protests at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. It`s not really over to those over in the Capitol or their supporters. They`re regathering.

Hunter Walker wrote that story about Donald Trump and The Patriot Caravan`s organizer. He writes at the Morning Politics Newsletter, The Uprising, which I`m a subscriber to and is very good. And he joins me now. Hunter, tell us about this guy.

HUNTER WALKER, REPORTER, THE UPRISING: So, this guy is -- his name is Jeff Brain. That is his real name. He`s no stranger to political activism. In the 90s and early 2000s, the LA Times has reported he was part of this effort to have the San Fernando Valley secede from the city of Los Angeles.

More recently, in 2018, he launched this Web site CloutHub. And he`s explicitly framed it as a social media network, you know, for people who are concerned about "censorship." And what that means in practice, some of the most popular forums on the site are all about QAnon. And in the lead up to January 6, he was -- there were these patriot caravans groups, where people were planning travel, including renting charter buses to go to the Capitol protests.

And most importantly, Jeff Brain was personally participating in the main patriot caravans for 45 group. He had a message pinned at the top of it. He was encouraging people to plan to go to the Capitol. And also, this CloutHub caravan group was featured on the Web site of the Wild Protest, which is the rally that day that was run by Ali Alexander of the "stop the steal movement." And that`s the rally that occurred in tandem with Trump`s rally on the mall where they explicitly drew people to the north steps of the Capitol.

And on Jeff Brain site, CloutHub, there was a picture of Trump supporters, you know, and this obviously ran before the protest actually occurred, a picture of Trump supporters sort of en mass in front of the Capitol. It (AUDIO GAP) figured what happened that day.

HAYES: A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal was reporting on Trump`s continued ban from many of the major social media platforms and his itchiness to get out of that. Donald Trump sidelined Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. have been talking with numerous platforms as he seeks a new online megaphone.

Jeff brain, the chief executive of CloutHub, a fledgling social media network that`s become popular with conservatives thinks his company fits the bill. I imagine we don`t know exactly what he`s doing down in Mar-a- Lago, but that seems a possibility.

WALKER: Yes. So, the Wall Street Journal reported that he was there and had a brief chat with Trump about the president potentially going over to CloutHub. According to my source who provided me this photo, he was there at Mar-a-Lago seeking funding for his site. And I think that`s quite notable because, you know, Mar-a-Lago is a private club. And generally, to get in there, you need to know a member or be a member yourself.

The President and his team have not responded to me, you know, about how Jeff Brain ended up there, or what he and the President talked about, or how long they spent together. But I can tell you, I mean, I`ve been -- you know, we can get a glimpse of President Trump`s post-presidential life through Instagram, and I`ve been watching him every day almost at Mar-a- Lago. And he seems to participate in these events and fundraisers. He is often greeted by cheering supporters, and not everyone who`s there gets a picture with the President.

So, Jeff Brain somehow got in there, got close to the President. And this is in spite of the fact that earlier this year, I reported on these Patriot Caravan groups he ran, so this was a known thing. And I reported on that in conjunction with his speech at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he participated in a joint event with Matt Gaetz.

So, what I find really interesting about this is in spite of the fact he played a very active role in the organization and planning of the January 6 protests, he`s been embraced by Republicans, you know, all the way up to President Trump.

HAYES: Right. I mean, well, you say despite. I mean, I would say because of, right? I mean, what`s happened is that that has become -- I mean, Steve Bannon has said this clearly. Like, that`s essentially the litmus test, right, the sort of -- the kind of the vanguard of delusion of anti- democratic, you know, attempt at a push that represented by Stop the Steal. Like, that is essentially the canonical view of a MAGA-controlled party. And so, a person like Jeffrey Brain would be welcomed with open arms.

WALKER: Yes. I mean, I got to say, I still find it stunning. I was there on January 6 that day. I mean, it was an attack on this country. It was a literal attack on the seat of government. I`ve reported on The Uprising. People can read this at the that police records show how many people had guns that day. And yet, on Capitol Hill, we`ve seen people like Paul Gosar and Louie Gohmert repeat these lies that, you know, this was an unarmed protest, that, you know, they were "like tourists," right?

And it`s, it`s wild to me how much the Republican Party has embraced this violent attack on the country. And also, you know, how much the general public frankly has moved on from this. I mean, you know, what was the ribbon color for January 6, right? What was the slogan? This stunning attack that could have been so much deadlier happened on the country and we`re just not talking about it. And the plotters and people who are enabling them are just moving about in the open? And I can tell you, I don`t plan to let go of this story at all.

HAYES: All right, Hunter Walker,, take a look. Thank you very much.

WALKER: Thanks so much.

HAYES: Coming up, an interview I`ve been looking forward to for a long time. Dr. Rochelle Walensky is the director of the Center for Disease Control. She`s here to talk about the big new federal push to get the last 10 percent of adults vaccinated to get to that 70 percent threshold and much more, next.


HAYES: Back in March, you might remember, President Joe Biden gave his first primetime speech. It was about COVID. We were actually in D.C. that night at Lincoln Memorial. In that address, he laid out his plan for a relatively normal summer, right, highlighting the Fourth of July as the date we could look to with some sense of hope that a post-pandemic future was just around the corner.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we do our part, if we do this together, by July the Fourth, there`s a good chance you, your families and friends, will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day. July 4th with your loved ones is the goal.


HAYES: At the time, the country was still averaging around 56,000 COVID cases a day, 1500 deaths a day. Only about 10 percent of the country was fully vaccinated then. So, Biden`s goal of backyard cookouts with friends and family seemed feasible but definitely ambitious. Now, more than two months later, we are seeing some of our lowest numbers since the very start of the pandemic.

Over 40 percent of the country is fully vaccinated, about 63 percent of adults have received at least one dose. The President is shooting for that number to be at 70 percent by July 4, which is why today, the Biden White House announced an all-out sprint to reach that goal.


BIDEN: We`re announcing a month-long effort to pull all the stops, all the stops to free ourselves from this virus and get to 70 percent of adult Americans vaccinated. It was going to take everyone, everyone, the federal government, the state governments, local, tribal, and territorial governments, the private sector, and most importantly, the American people to get to the 70 percent mark. So, we can declare independence from COVID- 19 and free ourselves from the grip it has held over our lives for the better part of a year.


HAYES: To get 70 percent of adults with first dose by the fourth and another 16 million we need to get the shot within the next month, just over 500,000 a day. With a steady decline in demand for the vaccine, coupled with uneven vaccination rates across the country, there`s some worrisome trends that could really obstruct efforts to get there.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky is the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and she joins me now. It`s great to have you on the program. So, this is what we`ve seen. We`ve seen this peak in daily vaccination and then a decline. Now, that`s understandable partly because of the dynamics of demand here and supply.

But right now, we`re sort of coming down into this range where, you know, we`re headed towards 500,000 a day. What, what does today`s announcement mean in a practical sense? What changes today to arrest that decline to get us those 16 million shots in the next month?

ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR, CDC: Good evening, Chris. Thanks so much for having me. First, let`s just celebrate this extraordinary time where we have three very safe, very effective vaccines and it`s -- and we have enough of them distributed in all corners of America and now to be able to give to the American people.

So, this is going to be a huge push through the month of June to reach that 70 percent threshold. And that means America working together. That means faith-based organizations and community-based organizations and businesses and athletes and celebrities and really everybody chipping in to do their part to make sure that we can reach people where they are.

HAYES: Is that -- so, what I`m hearing is that this is a messaging push as opposed to an infrastructural push. Like, the vaccines are out there, the infrastructure is there in a physical and logistical sense. And you think the obstacle here is just -- is essentially message.

WALENSKY: I think it`s actually a push in all directions. We are -- we are pushing at the infrastructure. We`re trying to work with businesses to make sure that folks have time off. There are lots of businesses that are giving people time off. We are putting in mobile units and pop up clinics to reach people where they are. We have trusted messengers in all corners of the United States.

So, not only is it messaging but it`s making sure that we get to the people. We understand why people may not be you know rushing to get the vaccine now. And understanding that will help us deliver them the information that they need so that they might want the vaccine tomorrow.

HAYES: Yes, I`m glad you mentioned the day off. There`s a very good piece in New York Magazine by Sarah Jones where she just interviewed folks who had not gotten it or delayed. And one of the things she said is, you know, she cited the Kaiser Family Foundation poll and found this reporting. Half of adults who have not been vaccinated say they`re worried about missing work because of side effects. The problem here is pervasive inequality, not misinformation about vaccines.

There are tens of millions of people, I think, who are just worried that -- you know, that second shot, it knocked me out for a morning. I was kind of laid up. I did my show that night, but you know, I was lucky enough to have that scheduling flexibility. Are you as the head of CDC, would you like to see employers give people a day off if they needed to get that shot?

WALENSKY: Absolutely. And the day off to -- you know, if it`s inconvenient for them to get it during working hours to actually get in, and if they`re feeling unwell the next day, the day off to make sure that they`re feeling better and can come in the next day. We`re working with employers, we`re working with childcare centers so that you have access to childcare if you can`t take your kids as you`re trying to schedule your vaccine.

So, we`re working in all sectors of the United States to make sure that people -- the reasons that people may not have gotten the vaccine already are no longer obstacles for them. And that may be everything from I can`t get there, Lyft and Uber can help you get there. To I don`t have access for childcare for my kids, to I can`t get the day off, I need help scheduling. So, really, in every single way, we are trying to make it easy, and we`re trying to give the information that people need. I really don`t understand how the science moved so quickly. We`ll give you the information to understand how that happens as well.

HAYES: All right, I want to talk about the international context right now. I don`t have a good picture of the concrete number. You guys in the administration did an amazing job of tracking the numbers on doses, on their ministration. The CDC Web page for this data is way, way better than it was. How many doses have we shipped internationally? Like, do we have a number for that? What have we actually put out into countries, physical doses to put into arms across the world?

WALENSKY: So, the first thing I want to just convey is we very much understand and embrace, no one was is safe until everyone is safe. And the President entered -- reentered the WHO on his first day of his presidency, and we are engaged globally. We have a commitment and a plan to share 80 million doses of COVID vaccine by the end of June. And we`re working through the logistics of that plan.

And what I would say is that`s really five times more than any other country. Over the weeks and months ahead, what we really would like to demonstrate is the United States not only is sharing, but is also working to increase vaccine production here and increase the capacity for vaccine production across the United States.

HAYES: But respectfully, honestly, like a plan is not enough. I mean, people are dying every day across the world. You know that probably better than anyone. You`re living this full time. Like, the test for the administration when it came in, in a domestic context, was like how many shots you get into people`s arms, and the clock was ticking. And to the credit of the administration, frankly, your administration move very quickly to get shots in arms.

It feels like the same urgency is not there. I`ve been hearing 80 million doses. I`ve been hearing we`re working through logistical issues weeks and weeks have gone by and we haven`t shipped doses.

WALENSKY: Yes. I want to be very clear to say that we have been -- first of all, here in the United States to this day, we have suffered the most deaths of anywhere in the world. We needed to put on our own oxygen masks before we were able to help others. And now, we are actively doing that. We are engaged at CDC specifically with 60 other countries. And we have been working not just in deploying vaccine, but in deploying technical assistance in deploying and training people on the ground in doing investigations, and also in the work that we will need to do to vaccine -- to provide vaccine support once we have the vaccine.

So, it`s not just the vaccine that we`re needing and wanting to supply, but also the technical assistance that we are, you know, providing to many corners of the globe.

HAYES: So, I`m totally open to there being complexities that I`m not understanding. So, I just -- I`m trying to get to the bottom of what I`m not understanding, honestly, because there`s tens of millions of AstraZeneca doses sitting somewhere. They`re not going into arms. There are people dying by the day in India and Nepal and I don`t -- I know things are more complicated than like, just get them the doses, but why? Why are they more complicated? Why aren`t those doses in people`s arms?

WALENSKY: So, we are working as an interagency to make sure that those doses can get out of the United States. We`re working closely with the FDA to make sure those services can safely get out of the United States and we`ve secure a plan for how they will be distributed.

HAYES: Are you confident that we are going to see the curve that we`ve seen in this country happened in other countries this year? There`s been worry that we`re looking at this extending into 2022. But we`re seeing what mass vaccination does. We`ve seen it in Israel, we saw it in the U.K., we`ve seen it in our own country. Are you confident we`re going to see more countries follow that trajectory, that sort of downward de-exponential curve in the next six months?

WALENSKY: You know, I don`t think we as the United States are going to be able to cover this around the world alone. I think that what we intend to do is set an extraordinary example for how we want others to work with us to provide the same in kind support and donation. We as the United States want to set that example. And with that example, and others leveraging their resource as well, I think we can bend the curve. It`s going to take some time to do this around the world.

HAYES: All right, Dr. Rochelle Walensky who has a very difficult and very, very important job at the Center for Disease Control, thank you so much. Come back on the program anytime. I really appreciate it.

WALENSKY: Thank you so much, Chris.

HAYES: Next, a warning shot from President Biden to the two Democratic senators set on defending the filibuster no matter the cost. Where the party goes from here, coming up.


HAYES: President Joe Biden`s public appearances almost never really surprised me. I think that`s usually by design, right? The entire ethos of this White House would be calm and steady and non-chaotic. Yesterday, the President said something that really didn`t surprise me quite a bit.


BIDEN: I hear all the folks on TV saying why don`t Biden don`t get this done? Well, because Biden only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends.


HAYES: Oh, damn, with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends. That`s apparently a reference to West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema. Now, his characterization of their voting record is not actually true at all. They have so far voted with Biden 100 percent of the time. You can imagine they would be not so happy with him saying that.

But both of them are on the record opposing the repeal or the reform of the filibuster of the 60 vote threshold, which is why, one thinks, Biden said what he said. He seemed to be implying that Manchin and Sinema`s resistance to changing the filibuster functionally puts them in league with Republicans and Republican`s project to obstruct and destroy the Biden agenda.

Well, today, Senator Sinema made that literal by appearing next to Republican Senator John Cornyn and reiterating her opposition to majority rule in the Senate.


SINEMA: As folks in Arizona now, I`ve long been a supporter of the filibuster because it is a tool that protects the democracy of our nation. To those who say we must make a choice between the filibuster and X, I say this is a false choice. The reality is that when you have a system that`s not working effectively, the way to fix that is to change your behavior, not to eliminate the rules or change the rules, but to change your behavior.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you`re not going to budge on the filibuster?



HAYES: So, this is the fork in the road for Democrats, right? The Biden agenda, the climate future, the integrity of American democracy, do Democrats use the power that a majority of Americans had entrusted them with to repair the country, or do they give in to minority rule and allow the forces of reaction to further degrade American democracy? It`s the fundamental choice here.

Now, President Obama has jumped into the fray with his thoughts on what Democrats need to do about the filibuster and the repercussions if they do nothing. That`s next.


HAYES: You can argue that almost no one on the planet knows more intimately or more painfully how Mitch McConnell, plus the Senate filibuster can obstruct the governing agenda than Barack Obama. In fact, the former president just sat down for a great interview with Ezra Klein and he talked about how 30 percent of senators and the country they represent can block an agenda. Take a listen.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The filibuster, apparently, if it does not get reformed, still means that maybe 30 percent of the population potentially controls the majority of Senate seats. So, if you say that 30 percent of the country is irreconcilably wrong, then it`s going to be hard to govern.


HAYES: It is going to be hard to govern. It is hard to govern. So, what do we do about it? Joining me now, New York Times op-ed columnist, hosts of the Ezra Klein Show podcast, Ezra Klein who interviewed President Barack Obama about how the country went from Yes We Can to MAGA. And Meagan Hatcher-Mays, she`s director of democracy policy for the advocacy group Indivisible.

Ezra, let me start with you because you conducted that interview and I want to follow up on that question because it`s a little ambiguous in the interview about whether he saying, you basically have to just deal with the fact this is the reality and understand that you have to figure out how to persuade and mobilize a huge supermajority to get things done, or whether he`s saying the filibuster has rendered the country ungovernable. It was a little ambiguous between the two.

EZRA KLEIN, OP-ED COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Obama deals in paradoxes. Throughout the entire book and a big part of that interview is his willingness to say something is true, and also the opposite is true. So, I think two things are true here. One is that Obama has evolved tremendously on the filibuster. I remember having this argument during his presidency, and he was not ready to give up on it then.

But since then, he has said very clearly going back to the eulogy he gave at the John Lewis Memorial. If the filibuster is getting in the way of our democracy, then it is time for it to go. At the same time, Democrats cannot get rid of the filibuster if Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin will not let them and probably a couple others beyond that.

So, given that, you have to figure out how to govern within that context. And there are a lot of the advice Obama gives Democrats in our conversation is about what don`t you say? What do you do to work in a pluralistic way with people who you don`t agree with? And how do you calm their anxiety so you are able to win the amount of power necessary to govern in a country that requires supermajorities?

HAYES: Meagan, I think -- I mean, I think Sinema and Manchin are wrong. They`re wrong about the filibuster, they`re wrong about its effects, they`re wrong about its history. They`re just wrong. And like, if anyone wants to know what it looks like to have a, you know, a Senate-like body that doesn`t have a filibuster, just go to a state. They have them there. It works. It`s fine. You don`t need supermajorities.

That said, what is the leverage here? I mean, this is part of the problem. You can see Joe Biden. His exasperation is palpable in that statement, because he`s just saying, was he got over Sinema, was he got over Joe Manchin, it gets elected into R-plus 30 state. How do you get them to move?

MEAGAN HATCHER-MAYS, DIRECTOR OF DEMOCRACY POLICY, INDIVISIBLE: Right. I think a lot of us are just waiting for Joe Manchin to just say what you want. Is it a bridge named after you or whatever, whatever that leverage is. Like, we`ll do it. We`ll put it in the -- we`ll call it the Joe Manchin infrastructure package, whatever. And we just haven`t seen a lot of energy from Joe Manchin one way or the other. Until last week, he seemed genuinely upset that this January six Commission bill was filibustered. And it ultimately, you know, went down, even with bipartisan support.

So, I think for Joe Manchin and possibly for Krysten Sinema is just a collection of additional receipts. And I don`t think you could ask for like a crisper more pristine receipt than a bipartisan bill to establish a commission to, you know, investigate an insurrection going down even with Republican votes. I don`t think you could ask for a crisper receipt than that.

I think Joe Manchin, especially, is maybe possibly looking for an off-ramp. I mean, he`s made really strong comments about not wanting to get rid of the filibuster. Krysten Sinema, you know, she`s an enigma even to people living in her states. But she is going to be subject to some of the same restrictive voting laws that Arizona is passing some of these awful voter suppression bills that are happening.

Ultimately, she`s going to need to decide do I play a role in keeping my own job by passing before the people act or making D.C. a state? Do I play a role in that? I think ultimately, neither of these two are going to want to go down in history as the two very specific people that blocked democracy reform and other really critical pieces of legislation from passing.

HAYES: Well, and that`s a great -- that`s a great way of putting it, Meagan. And I think, Ezra, this is really what the debate is about. Because I think they`re -- I honestly think Manchin and Sinema`s cases, and probably a few other senators aren`t speaking up, it`s not even really a political calculation. Like I think they believe it. I think they believe a very wrong thing. It`s a wrong thing. And they believe it. That`s a problem. Humans do that a lot.

And so, the question, I think, and the differences is that some people, I would count myself among them, like view what we`re at as this like very perilous, it could go either way moment for American multiracial democracy in the 21st century. And I think they don`t. I think they -- it`s like, you win some elections, you lose some, you get some bills and you don`t. And I don`t know how to move someone from one place to the other. What do you think of that?

KLEIN: I have so many thoughts on that, Chris. Let me say two things. One is, I group Manchin and Sinema into very different categories. Joe Manchin is doing a tremendous service for the Democratic Party. He does lots of things I don`t like but the guy is winning an impossible seat, without which they do not have a majority and keeps voting with them over and over and over again. So, the fact that Joe Manchin is not getting rid of the filibuster in a state where most of the people voting their lean Republican, that doesn`t shock me actually.

Sinema, enigma is a great word for it. Grandstander is another good word for it. Whatever is believed here, doing so little work to understand the history of the institution you`re actually in with the political dynamics around you, I find a little bit appalling.

But this goes to your other point, Chris. I think people want me to say there`s a strategy here. You know, people like to have hoped peddled to them. I don`t think the filibuster is going away this session. I just don`t. I know people don`t want to hear that but I don`t. That doesn`t mean things can`t pass.

I mean, Sinema and Manchin are both showing willingness to vote within budget reconciliation packages for things that look or could look like the Jobs Act or other kinds of infrastructure bills, given what happened with the Rescue Plan. So, I don`t think that means there`s no agenda. But in terms of getting rid of the filibuster, the Democrats have gone further on this than I expected. But in a 50-50 Senate with a couple of senators acting where they are, I don`t think there`s leverage, and I don`t think there`s really an obvious path.

HAYES: So, I think -- I think I tend to agree with you as a predictive matter, but I will say this. Your point about reconciliation, I think, is key one, right, which is that the fallback position here where it`s like, well, then it`s like, we`ll come back to actually just passing the thing you think will be best for the country.

And there`s this great story in the New York Times, Meagan, about the object lesson of when they did that a month ago. They got all 50 votes, they passed a big COVID package. They didn`t whittle it down, they didn`t negotiate it down. We`re going to probably hit 70 percent of adults in vaccination. We have pushed the curve down. The country is opening up. And here`s the results from that.

The impact in December COVID Relief Bill and the American Rescue Plan Act, so right, the last two bills that got passed. Food insufficiency down -- went down over 40 percent. Financial instability went down 45 percent. Reported adverse mental health symptoms down 20 percent. This is from census data, surveys of people who got this relief. It`s like, look, if you get the 50 votes to pass your agenda, you could do a lot of good.

HATCHER-MAYS: That`s right. I actually -- no offense. I disagree with Ezra on this one. I do think the filibuster is going to go. I think there`s really just a stark choice facing us. Do you want to do stuff or do you not want to do stuff. And not doing stuff in this instance means letting our democracy fall. That`s really how stark -- that`s where we`re at. We`re at the edge of a cliff and Republicans are ready to push us right over.

At the end of the day, I really just don`t think these two are going to want to be the ones named in history books as the ones that let that happen. And I think it`s really not that complicated. Just do stuff people like. There is no constituency. In the United States for an arcane Senate rule. There is a constituency for campaign finance reform, for you know election security, for vote by mail. There is a constituency for that stuff.

Theirs is not anyone -- there is no single-issue voter who`s single issue is I love weird old rules that make no sense.

HAYES: Well, that I agree with. That`s why I think it`s a matter of principle which makes it more difficult. Ezra Klein and Megan Hatcher-Mays, that was great. Thank you both.

That is ALL IN on this Wednesday evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.