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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 9/13/21

Guests: Juan Rodriguez, Elie Mystal, Dahlia Lithwick, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Olivia Beavers


Republicans echo former President Donald Trump`s big lie in the California recall election. President Joe Biden is set to campaign for Newsom tonight in Los Angeles. Republicans vow to fight President Biden`s vaccine mandate. The new Capitol Police Chief just briefed congressional leaders on the preparations ahead of Saturday`s pro-Trump justice for January 6 rally, an event calling the rioters jailed and charged in connection with the assault in the Capitol called political prisoners.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: And that`s tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.



GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): We defeated Trump, but we haven`t defeated Trumpism. And I want folks to know that`s what`s really behind this recall.

HAYES: The huge political stakes of California`s recall election as a Republican Party radicalizes behind the big lie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whether or not you win or lose, will you accept the results of the election tomorrow.

LARRY ELDER (R-CA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I think we all ought to be looking at election integrity. Then, the thin line between anti-vax mandate and just anti-vaxx erased in real time in Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The vaccine changes your RNA, so for me, that`s a problem.

HAYES: Definitely not true, but how Republican governors are trying to square the circle on COVID vaccines. And as the newest justice standing next to Mitch McConnell claims the court isn`t partisan. The oldest justice still refuses to retire.

STEPHEN BREYER, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, U.S. SUPREME COURT: I don`t intend to die on the court. I don`t think I`ll be there forever.

HAYES: The ridiculous state of the Supreme Court when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Today is the last day of the California gubernatorial recall campaign. And you may not live in California. You`re asking well, OK, what about me? But it is the first eve of the first big political test of the post-Trump era because elections one year into a new president`s term, they are often a very early indicator of which way the wind is blowing, which way politics are forming for the new administration in the White House.

You may remember during President Barack Obama`s first year in office, it`s the last time that we had a first-term Democratic president, in that fall of that year, we saw this huge surprise upset in the race for governor of New Jersey with the election of Republican Chris Christie which, you know, foretold some troubles ahead for Democrats.

So, there are huge political stakes to tomorrow`s election and also obviously huge substantive ones. California voters are choosing who will lead the fifth largest economy in the entire world, the most populous state in the union with 40 million residents. They`re choosing whether or not among other things to continue the battle to suppress the COVID virus or to essentially wave the white flag as some pro-Trump Republican governors have done.

Those pro-trump right-wing forces are the ones behind this election. They organize a recall against Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. And on the campaign trail, the governor has been framing this race as a fight against Trumpism.


NEWSOM: Trumpism is still alive and well in this country. We defeated Trump but we haven`t defeated Trumpism. And I want folks to know that`s what`s really behind this recall. And that`s why we have to reject it and vote no.


HAYES: Now, what Gavin Newsom is saying is true but of course it is also in his interest, obviously, to frame the race as a referendum on the former president because Donald Trump lost California by nearly 30 points last year. The state has become a Democratic stronghold last voting for a Republican presidential candidate in 1988 and last electing a Republican governor in a recall race in 2006. And there`s a good reason for that.

The kinds of candidates who are getting the most traction in the current Republican Party like Donald Trump are increasingly anathema to general election voters in states like California, not to mention places like New Jersey, Virginia where Republicans held statewide office just a few years ago.

In California, the candidate that is sort of popping out is uh front runner Larry Elder. He`s a Republican, a conservative talk radio host with zero political experience, zero governing experience. He mentored former Trump advisor Stephen Miller. He`s against abortion rights, the minimum wage, and vaccine mandates.

And the polling shows that those positions are not appealing to voters in California, not surprising. Governor Gavin Newsom has been steadily gaining ground particularly since he announced vaccine mandates for health care and education workers last month and contrasted that with the flailing approaches of Republican governors in places like Texas and Florida.

The current polling average of those who want to keep him in office is 57.5 percent to 40.8 and want him to remove him according to FiveThirtyEight. Of, course those are polls and polls can be wrong. We know that. But if we were covering this race in another state, if a Democrat were running nearly 20 points behind in a weird special election in say Idaho or South Carolina, I think we`d all be saying well, you know, that`s politics, conservative states. But that is not how the Trump Republican Party were.

No, this is now automatic. This is canon. They are already screaming fraud. The twice-impeached former president put out this statement today asking, does anybody really believe the California recall election isn`t rigged? Millions and millions of mail-in ballots will make this just another giant election scam, no different, but less blatant than the 2020 presidential election scam."

That`s interesting, less blatant. I don`t know. It`s hard to get your head around that one. Larry Elder, OK, who is the leading Republican candidate has been making the same kind of bogus claims on Fox News.



ELDER: The 2020 election in my opinion was full of shenanigans. And my fear is they`re going to try that in this election right here in recall. So, I`m urging people to go to elect And whenever you see anything, hear anything suspicious, go to my Web site. We have a battery of lawyers. We`re going to file lawsuits in a timely fashion this time.


HAYES: OK, lawsuits in a timely fashion. Go to In fact, Elder has been asking his supporters to go to that Web site and to sign a petition demanding the California legislature hold a special session to investigate the "the twisted results" of this 2020 recall -- 2021 recall election. The election hasn`t happened yet, just to be clear. It`s tomorrow.

Today, MSNBC Correspondent Jacob Soboroff pushed elder about whether he would accept the election results and he refused to answer.


JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Whether or not you win or lose, will you accept the results of the election tomorrow? I think we all ought to be looking at election integrity no matter whether you`re a Democrat, an Independent, or Republican. Let`s all make sure that the election is a fair election.

So, let`s all work together no matter what the results are to make sure that the results are valid and legitimate and everybody who voted should have voted. Let`s all do that together.

SOBOROFF: Is that a commitment to accept the results of the election tomorrow.

ELDER: Let`s all do that together. Let`s all work together on both sides of the aisle to make sure that the election is a fair election.

SOBOROFF: Is that a commitment to accept the results of the election tomorrow?

ELDER: Let`s all work together to find out whether or not the election tomorrow is a fair election.


HAYES: One of my favorite things on being a political reporter is when you`re dealing with a politician who has clearly been sort of media-trained to answer one question with a certain phrase and then you see it over. Remember Marco Rubio doing that in that debate? Let`s all work together. Let`s all work together.

So, we have learned since the Trump era that whether or not people perceive elections to be free and fair, right, depends a lot on whether or not the bested party acknowledges their legitimacy. And we`ve seen this disease spreading lies about fraud and scams and illegitimacy continue to increase before our very eyes even when Trump is gone.

Just next door to California, in Nevada, Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt is talking about mounting legal challenges in his election which is not until next year.


ADAM LAXALT (R-NV), SENATE CANDIDATE: With me on top of the ticket, we`re going to be able to get everybody at the table and come up with a full plan to do our best to try to secure this election. Get as many observers as we can, file lawsuits early if there are lawsuits that we can file to try to tighten up the election.


HAYES: Yes, we`re going to sue early when I lose which is a weird message. The lie has become central not only the campaign of Republican candidates but also the identity of their voters. A new polling shows that 59 of Republicans say that believing that Donald Trump won the 2020 election is very or somewhat important to what being a Republican means to them.

So, that`s the strange state of our politics. You would think the Republican Party would be running away from a one-term loser of a president who oversaw the deadliest year in American history. But because Donald Trump Has so effectively manufactured this destructive big lie about the election and fraud, he still has grips on the party. And that means that our democratic norms continue to erode in extremely terrifying ways.

But it also means that he remains a big political target in ways that are probably helpful to Democrats in races like the one taking place in California tomorrow. MSNBC Correspondent Jacob Soboroff conducted that interview with Larry Elder earlier today and he joins me now.

Jacob, just to level set on this. I mean, that`s a standard question politicians get asked and the standard answer is of course, right? Could you sense his hesitancy to say that obvious thing like yes of course?

SOBOROFF: Yes, no doubt about it, Chris. And I`m actually -- I`m glad you played that Laxalt sound as well because it brought back memories from me straight from the Trump playbook. I was in Nevada in Las Vegas when Adam Laxalt, Matt Schlapp, and Rick Grinnell, I chased the three of them to a waiting van that spirited them away when they alleged that it was an improper election in Nevada without answering a question.

And so, you know, my next question for Larry Elder was, so what specifically are you alleging is wrong with the election here? I mean, I myself was inside the LA County vote by mail processing center. Is it a vote-by-mail issue? You know, we have the largest election jurisdiction in LA, not just in the state but in the nation. I saw the vote signature verification process myself.

But it`s not about specifics. And I think that`s the point. This is not about specifics for Larry Elder. It was not about specifics for Adam Laxalt, Matt Schlapp, or Rick Grinnell when they ran away in Nevada after the election. This is about saying that the election should not be trusted ahead of the election even happening.

HAYES: Yes. And there`s also an aspect to it that I find fascinating just from a straight political standpoint which is, you know, we don`t know -- first of all,. let`s be clear, we don`t know what`s going to happen tomorrow. You know, we`ve had huge polling misses in the past, right?

But to the extent the polling is accurate, right, this has not been a successful effort. It looks like it`s -- it hasn`t been successful. And normally, the story now would be, well, what did we do wrong with the messaging we should have done this and that. But if the -- if you`re already saying the story that the election was fraudulent, then you never have to deal with the normal stuff that people do, consultants, politicians, all those folks around election that doesn`t work out.


SOBOROFF: It feels like they know that this is slipping away because don`t get me wrong, there are very serious issues to talk about -- there are many issues you and I have talked about before in California. You have the greatest economic inequality in the nation. COVID hit the state particularly hard. Wildfires driven by climate change are raging here.

And before Democrats started to tune in and pay attention, before folks like the President of the United States showed up at events like the one that I`m at tonight, this was a much closer race in a 2-1 Democratic state.

But everything about the way that Larry Elder seems to be behaving, to me says this is an election that`s slipping out of reach, an election that might have been within reach just a couple weeks ago but they no longer feel that way.

HAYES: As someone who`s on the ground there, what changed in the terms of the dynamic? Was it just people paying attention? Was it sort of leaning into referendum on COVID, Donald Trump, etcetera?

SOBOROFF: You can see it behind me. The message is, this is a Republican recall and Larry Elder, the opponent, the front-running Republican opponent of Governor Newsom will be to the right. And that`s a direct quote on Donald Trump. That`s what Gavin Newsom says.

And I think that there is an all-out effort by Democrats, national Democrats. Bernie Sanders recorded a message. President Obama recorded a message. We saw Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar come out here over the course of the last couple of weeks. I think people were not paying attention here in California. People were rightly disenchanted with the way things have been going over the course of the last 18 months in California. Governor Newsom said that to me directly.

But I think that the governor has done an effective job of painting what the alternative would be, and Larry Elder is that alternative.

HAYES: Yes, Jacob Soboroff, great reporting out there. Great interview today. Thank you so much for making a little time for us.

SOBOROFF: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: We`re now less than an hour away from the last big campaign push for Governor Newsom before tomorrow`s recall election. President Joe Biden will be joining him in long beach making his first trip to California since taking office.

The biggest Democratic names have been pulling all the stops for Newsom, Vice President Kamala Harris, of course, former senator from California, that`s her home state, campaigned alongside Newsom on Wednesday of last week. And former President Obama recorded this campaign ad.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hello Californians. you`ve got a big choice to make by September 14th. Governor Newsom has spent the past year and a half protecting California communities. Now, Republicans are trying to recall him from office and overturn common sense COVID safety measures for health care workers and school staff.

Your vote could be the difference between protecting our kids and putting them at risk. Helping Californians recover or taking us backwards.


HAYES: Juan Rodriguez, the campaign manager for California Governor Gavin Newsom`s anti-recall campaign. He joins me now from Long Beach, California where Joe Biden is going to join the governor later tonight.

I noticed one in that ad and much of the messaging for the campaign, there`s been a lot of talk about COVID and COVID restrictions. How central does your campaign want that to be on the minds of voters?

JUAN RODRIGUEZ, CAMPAIGN MANAGER, NEWSOM`S ANTI-RECALL CAMPAIGN: It`s absolutely central. I think from the moment we started the campaign, Republicans have tried to discuss this campaign about being -- you know, how the governor has led throughout the course of the pandemic.

And front of that, you know, we`ve had ads talking about the governor`s restrictions on mask as well as talking about vaccine uh mandates across the state. And what we`ve seen is voters across the state and frankly all over the country believe in science and believe the public health outcomes of California has done throughout the course of the year. So, it`s been central to our messaging.

HAYES: What`s the -- if you had to say what the governor hasn`t gotten right on COVID, what would it be?

RODRIGUEZ: Convincing Republicans that the science behind mask and vaccines works.

HAYES: Do you think California schools should have been more in-person? I know there is a lot of criticism of that. Obviously, California has San Francisco and Los Angeles. It`s a huge unified school district. Those students were out of school for a very long period of time compared to some other states. Are you worried about the edge -- the learning loss in in those big school districts?

RODRIGUEZ: You know, from the beginning of this pandemic, one thing the governor has been pretty clear about is a desire to get kids back into classroom. Learning loss is something that you`ve seen across the country. And for that reason, he`s been really focused on working with public health officials to make sure that we update our classrooms, to make sure that we are following the guidance and are doing everything possible to protect our students so we don`t have the same public health outcomes that you see in states like Texas and in Florida.

HAYES: There`s been particular focus among Latino voters in in California in the run-up to this. Now, again, that category is amorphous in many ways for a million reasons which of course you know. It does seem that there`s been some change in the -- in the polling at least. The latest poll, 66 percent of Latinos said they would not vote to recall Newsom.

That`s a from a few weeks ago. It`s a shift from previous polls that were tight. Does that track with what you guys have internally? What do you -- what do you think has caused that?


RODRIGUEZ: Well, listen, I think from the beginning, we`ve focused on building up a pretty like robust field operation. We`ve sent over 31 million text messages. We`ve had close to 25,000 people on the streets heading into Geo TV weekend. And our message has been simple. We`ve been focused on, you know, raising up awareness by just informing people that they have a ballot in the mail and they can turn it in or they can vote at an election site near their home.

HAYES: What about this question of inequality? It is -- it is a state with -- by many measures the highest levels of inequality. It`s a state that does have fairly high taxes relative to other states in terms of top income earners but of course unhoused folks and billionaires sort of next to each other has become in some ways a sort of national image of parts of California. How central a problem does the governor see that? And does he bear responsibility for that -- for the persistence of it?

RODRIGUEZ: Yes, the symptoms of inequality are something I think you`re seeing in California, you`re seeing in other states. Over a year ago, we were anticipating close to a 54 billion dollar budget deficit. How California has fared, thanks to the work that the governor and the legislature have done. We`ve dedicated close to the $100 billion surplus and putting it back into communities and particularly the hardest-hit, helping small businesses, and providing the golden state stimulus.

I think what you will see tomorrow with this election outcome is the governor leaning in on his record both in how he`s letting those communities get back up on their feet and how he`s managed throughout the course of the pandemic. But inequality is something certainly that we`re going to have to be dealing for a very long time. And I think the governor here in California is -- has his leadership on display on what you can do right.

HAYES: All right, Juan Rodriguez is the campaign manager for Governor Gavin Newsom, of course, the incumbent they are attempting a recall, the last day to vote tomorrow. If you`re watching this and you live in California, you can still vote. So, go do that. Thank you Mr. Rodriguez. I appreciate it.

There`s an emerging strategy among some Republicans where they won`t come out -- well, it`s not even emerging, they`re doing it for a while. They won`t come out as anti-facts because they know vaccines are good. But acknowledging that would go against the right-wing culture words, so instead they`re going with anti-vaccine mandate, fine line.

The problem is you can`t really separate the two. And no one failed quite as much as Florida governor Ron DeSantis today. You do not want to miss it. That`s next.




CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: You say it`s a personal choice, in fact, to attend school in your state of Nebraska, children must be vaccinated against a number of diseases. Let me put them up on the screen. They must be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella, hepatitis B, and chickenpox. Why is it that they`re not so objectionable and such a violation of personal freedom but Biden`s vaccine mandates are?

GOV. PETE RICKETTS (R-NE): Well, for all those that you just listed, there`s a long history that parents have had the opportunity to see how those things have been implemented.


HAYES: Now, as Republican governor of Nebraska getting pushed in the fundamental political contradiction, Republicans have been trying to kind of dance around when it comes to vaccines, right? There`s a loud militant part of the party`s base, hardcore COVID anti-vaxxers who believe the shots are bad, they`re part of some global conspiracy, you know, I will not take it no matter what.

Those folks have the most energy, they yell the loudest. They`re not a majority. They`re not even a majority of Republicans as far as we know. Most Republican voters are not in that category. Certainly not Republican politicians like governors like Ricketts. All of whom, every single one of them were vaccinated.

Governors understand, I think, the efficacy and safety of vaccines, why they`ve taken the shot. And if you gave him truth serum in private, would likely all tell you yes, everyone should get vaccinated. That would be good. We would save lives.

But any Republican governor with aspirations for higher office can`t really lean into that simple message because if they are too vocal about their support for vaccines, they risk a backlash from the hardline fringe of the party. So, the way they have tried to square that circle is to mostly just stay silent. They`ll occasionally give support for the vaccines to kind of just get on the record. Like, yes, you should get the vaccine, but also, standing up against vaccine mandates which kind of allows them to have their cake needed too. Oh, I support the vaccine but not mandates.

In that same interview with Fox News, Nebraska`s governor said he plans to challenge President Joe Biden`s vaccine mandate for large companies in court. In Texas, Republican Governor Greg Abbott banned vaccine mandates in the state last month. In Florida, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is now threatened to fine local officials after the city of Gainesville passed a vaccine mandate for city employees.

That`s in addition to his notorious and ludicrous attempt to stop cruise ships, cruise ships of all places, from imposing vaccine requirements for everyone who gets on the ship. That was ultimately struck down in court, thank God.

Now, Republican politicians and their allies and right-wing media know what they`re doing here. Just to be clear, they are cynically mobilizing the energy of the anti-vax movement for their own political benefit. But I can`t remember an example of this entire illusion being quite as flagrantly shoved in the faces of everyone as today in Florida.

Governor DeSantis, who much like Donald Trump, got vaccinated in private and who plainly harbors presidential ambitions and therefore cannot risk alienating his base, held an event today to protest local vaccine mandates in Gainesville, right? No mandates. And it featured a number of city employees who were refusing the shots.

And surprise, surprise, his anti-vaccine mandate event quickly turned into something of a well, anti-vaccine event.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Thousands and thousands of people could be losing their jobs not because they haven`t performed well, in fact many of them performed heroically, but simply because of a very intrusive and I think illegal policy.

DARRIS FRIEND, EMPLOYEE, CITY OF GAINESVILLE: The vaccine changes your RNA, so for me, that`s a problem. So, I`m here with you folks. We don`t want to have the vaccine. It`s about our freedom and liberty. It`s not about the vaccine. They`re taking away our freedom and liberty little by little. It`s -- they`re using a vaccine for cover.



HAYES: Oh, man, so much going on there. So, clearly, someone told him to make the argument that it`s not about the vaccine, it`s about freedom. But before he could get to that part, he had to say that it alters your RNA, which it does not, just to be very clear since we put that on our air. COVID vaccines do not alter your genetic code at all. That is false and dangerously so.

Take another look at Governor DeSantis there as he`s saying that. He is not a stupid man. He is an incredibly shrewd political operator. He understands what this man is saying. To an audience with his imprimatur standing up there is complete nonsense, he probably even understands it is dangerous destructive nonsense. But what does he do during that press conference? Absolutely nothing. Just complete and total abject cowardice and weakness.

Later, a spokesperson told a local reporter the comments do not reflect the Governor`s "opinion." Interesting, so the governor`s opinion is that they don`t alter your genetic code. So, there you go.

Next, the governor of Florida, you`ve got the guy giving the most wildly inaccurate anti-vax talking points to a massive audience. And that in a nutshell is why we are where we are as a country. There are dozens of Republican governors pulling similar stunts as their state`s battle COVID. And as Sheryl Gay Stolbergpoints out in a sweeping new piece, these governors come from some of the states with the strictest vaccine mandates in the country. She joins me next.



GOV. TATE REEVES (R-MS): If you look at history, every single time tyrants have tried to place an emphasis on their individuals in their country, they`ve always said, oh, we`re doing it because it`s in the best interest of our citizens.

The fact is we have a representative democracy in America and if the president wants to do this, then he should get the elected representatives to vote on it.

STUART VARNEY, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK HOST: Governor, did you just call the President of the United States a tyrant?

REEVES: I did not, Stuart. What I said was if you look back in history, that this is nothing but a tyrannical-type move by the president.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Republican Governor Tate Reeves in Mississippi is upset over the president`s COVID vaccine mandate. He says he will sue to stop it, calling it unconstitutional and terrifying.

He declared on Twitter, we still believe in freedom from tyrants even though as Sheryl Stolberg points out in the New York Times there is a deep inconsistency in that argument. Mississippi has some of the strictest vaccine mandates in the nation, which have not drawn opposition from most of its elected officials. Not only does it require children to be vaccinated against measles mumps and seven other diseases to attend school, but it goes a step further than most states by barring parents from claiming religious, philosophical or conscientious exemptions.

In fact, every single state in our nation has some kind of legally mandated vaccine for children to go to school and yet, there are nearly two dozen Republican governors who have vowed to block President Biden`s vaccine requirement.

Sheryl Gay Stolberg Washington correspondent for the New York Times, author of the aforementioned piece titled GOP seethes as Biden mandate even in states requiring other vaccines joins me now.

Sheryl, can you lay out a little bit -- I thought it was a great piece of reporting how this has been received in states.

SHERYL GAY STOLBERG, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, as you mentioned, Republican governors are really up in arms over President Biden`s vaccine mandates in particular, his requirement that businesses with a hundred or more employees either mandate vaccination or require mandatory testing.

But what those governors are not telling you is that their own states require vaccination and have vaccine mandates as you read in the intro every state in this country has vaccine mandates for kids, some have them also for certain adults and health workers and some of these Republican states have some of the toughest mandates in the nation.

Mississippi which has one of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the nation has one of the highest, if not the highest childhood vaccination rate.

HAYES: That`s interesting. I mean, clearly, obviously, requirements are a huge lever here. There`s two big differences here, right? Just to sort of give the argument that folks make, right?

One is that, well, it`s children as opposed to adults and the other this is new and those are not new.

STOLBERG: Right, so a couple of things about that. First of all, all vaccines were new at one point and when some of those other vaccines like for measles and mumps, etcetera were new, there was pushback over vaccine mandates but over time, they became accepted.

The second thing that Republican governors will point out and correctly so is that the president does not have authority to issue a national vaccine mandate but President Biden has not issued a national vaccine mandate. He is grounding his mandates in federal law, notably the workplace safety law that established OSHA which guarantees federal health and safety standards for workers, so these are -- these are grounded in law.

HAYES: Yes, and it`s -- one thing that`s striking about that is that the regulated entities here do not mean -- do not seem to be the ones flying into fits of histrionics, so you`re seeing a lot of Republican governors and officeholders saying this is tyranny. They`re not actually the regulated entities, this doesn`t tell states they`re doing -- they have to do anything. It`s in -- you know, employers with a hundred employees and I`m sure some employers don`t like it but, by and large, you have not seen some huge rebellion.

STOLBERG: Right and in fact, some employers do and I can share with you a forthcoming study by The Rockefeller Foundation, it`s going to be released at midnight tonight. They surveyed more than 1,100 employers and they found that 93 percent -- 93 percent, more than nine out of 10 are either requiring vaccination or strongly encouraging it.


STOLBERG: So, you`re not hearing a lot of pushback, a lot of screaming from the business community. And in fact, some of the major business organizations support what President Biden is doing.

HAYES: Finally, I mean, the subtext here, right, the background reality is that vaccination rates are lower in parts of the country that are more conservative have voted for Trump at higher levels, just as a matter of correlation, not cause.

But you know, Charles Gaba has been running these charts, a bunch of people have been pouring through this data, you find this very intense correlation. And it`s pretty clear that these political leaders feel the need to sort of speak to that sentiment in a certain part of their constituency.

STOLBERG: That`s right. But you know what else? The political leaders themselves have been actually encouraging people to get vaccinated. Governor Reeves of Mississippi who you saw before has encouraged people. The governors of Alabama and other states, other Republican governors who are pushing back on these mandates have actually encouraged vaccination.

And there`s some thought that really what Biden is doing is giving them cover, right, by requiring it. He`s basically taking the heat off Republican governors, they don`t have to push constituents to do it. The big bad president of the United States can be the -- you know, can be the bad guy.

HAYES: Yes, it`s funny, when you think about requirements -- I mean, one of the things there`s been all these fights about, you know, vaccine shaming and persuasion, to the extent it`s required, right, it just stops being a kind of discourse and just starts being what people have to do.

STOLBERG: Yes, and what public health experts will tell you is that in a pandemic, individual liberty kind of takes a backseat to the collective, to the community. And then unless everybody is vaccinated, it`s like nobody is vaccinated because you need high levels of either vaccination or natural immunity to prevent an infectious disease from spreading.

So, it`s really important and getting vaccinated is something that we do for the collective. And that`s the public health theory behind it.

HAYES: Sheryl Gay Stolberg, great reporting. Thanks so much for joining us.

Next, the threat level of the Capitol with protective barriers going back up ahead of another pro-Trump rally, police make a disturbing discovery near the DNC headquarters. What we know about the man with the machete after this.



HAYES: Earlier this morning, a man was arrested in Washington D.C. for possession of a slew of prohibited weapons, things like machete and a bayonet. They found them in his truck, which was parked outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee.

I`m going to go show you some images of his car and what they found but I should tell you, ahead of time, his truck had a number of really disturbing white supremacist symbols all over it.

The U.S. Capitol Police say an officer noticed this Dodge Dakota around midnight outside the DNC. It had no license plate, just a U.S. flag image in the plate holder where -- and here`s where it gets really disturbing, swastika is painted on the side mirror. Another one inside the driver`s door by the window.

Capitol Police say the man had a machete and bayonet, both legal weapons in D.C. along with a number of knives. The suspect, a 44-year-old man from California allegedly told police he was on patrol and expressed white supremacist ideology is set to face a judge tomorrow morning.

This all comes as Capitol Police are already on high alert. Today, the new Capitol Police Chief just briefed congressional leaders on the preparations ahead of Saturday`s pro-Trump justice for January 6 rally, an event calling the rioters jailed and charged in connection with the assault in the Capitol called political prisoners.

Today, when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was asked if he thinks any members of his caucus will attend the rally, he responded, I don`t think anyone is.

Olivia Beavers is Politico`s congressional reporter and is covering the lead up to Saturday`s rally. In her most recent piece, she reports that Trump-supporting members of Congress will not attend and she joins me.

Now, I saw that reporting, I want to ask you about it because I was actually surprised. First, just tell us what the event is and why the briefing today from Capitol security.

OLIVIA BEAVERS, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, POLITICO: So, there is a former Trump official who is planning this rally basically to claim that some of the rioters were arrested on January 6, our political prisoners because they`re being somehow treated unfairly in the federal court system.

There is no evidence to support that they`re being treated unfairly. But you still have a group of, you know, Trump supporters coming and protesting, suggesting that the riot that led to 600 arrests was somehow predicated on fairness.

So, that`s what we`re expecting to see Saturday. And officials are bracing for the potential for violence. So, we are seeing the fence -- a temporary fence going back up around the Capitol, should things get out of control.

HAYES: So, what was the briefing today from and who got the briefing?

BEAVERS: Top congressional leaders. So, you saw Speaker Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, all four of them received a briefing about the potential the threat of the rally.

Pelosi and Schumer both walked out and said that they believe that they feel much more prepared for this compared to January 6 where we know that the intelligence reports suggested that the -- that the intelligence wasn`t being shared properly, and that led to the security failures.

I also talked to Mitch McConnell walking in and I asked him, I said do you think that leaders should be encouraging their members not to be attending this and I didn`t get a response.

But those are the questions you saw Kevin McCarthy saying that he doesn`t think any of his members are. They`re not entirely speaking out against the event or saying don`t attend the event, but they are trying to kind of, you know, basically be a little bit more quiet ahead of the rally without upsetting the base or members by speaking out against it.


HAYES: Yes, so, this is interesting. I would have figured (INAUDIBLE) so we`ve seen Marjorie Taylor Greene, I think Paul Gosar and Matt Gaetz, doing things like showing up the Department of Justice at some point, sort of demanding to see the political -- the "political prisoners". I would have guessed they would go to this. It strikes me that there was some back and forth in that caucus about this as maybe not a great look to attend.

BEAVERS: Well, you know, I don`t know if there have been any kind of formal issuing of don`t attend for McCarthy. There haven`t been as far as I`ve heard.

But that case, I would -- we mentioned him, I have contacted his office repeatedly. There are some who are not telling me that they are not going to attend. But Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn, who have both been sort of on the forefront of claiming that there are political prisoners, do not intend to go.

I think that there is always a risk politically if this does turn violent. Lawmakers want to be very careful about not having their names attached to it, especially after what we saw with January 6, despite the organizer promising that they`re working very closely with law enforcement to ensure that there is not violence.

But one thing that I do think is an underlying problem for Republicans that this rally just underscores is that part of the base is just -- they still believe the January 6 is justified, they still believe the election is stolen. And that is where these Republicans are being put in uncomfortable position.

HAYES: Olivia Beavers, who covers Congress very well, thank you very much, appreciate it.

BEAVERS: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Fresh from undermining Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett is outraged or concerned people see the court as partisan.

Elie Mystal and Dahlia Lithwick on the call that`s coming from inside the House right after this.



HAYES: For the last number years, conservatives in the Supreme Court have among many other things allowed, unlimited dark money in political campaigns. They`ve gutted the Voting Rights Act in one crucial provision, essentially rendering it moot, dramatically weakened in another. They made it much harder for unions to collect dues.

Most recently, they declined to block Texas`s near ban of abortions, which is currently in effect and preventing, according to one estimate, one in 10 women of childbearing age in the U.S. from exercising their constitutional right to an abortion.

But whatever you do, it is important, says the court`s newest justice that no one perceive the court as acting in a partisan matter, no matter what it is actually doing.

As the Associated Press reports, "Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett expressed concerns Sunday, the public may increasingly see the court as a partisan institution. Justices must be hyper-vigilant to make sure they`re not letting personal biases creep into their decisions, since judges are people, too. Barrett said in a lecture hosted by the University of Louisville`s McConnell Center."

Wait, that McConnell? Oh yes, it continues. Introduced by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who founded the center and played a key role in pushing through her confirmation in the last days of the Trump administration. Barrett spoke at length about her desire for others to see the Supreme Court as nonpartisan.

Yes, both she and McConnell are not dumb. They both know what they`re doing.

You may remember, Amy Coney Barrett`s nomination was so rushed, the Trump White House held a COVID super spreader ceremony announcing her selection before Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had even been buried.

And Barrett voiced these concerns in an event where she was introduced by Mitch McConnell, who of course, completely blocked Barack Obama from appointing a Supreme Court justice 10 months before his term was up, only to turn around and push Barrett`s nomination through in the waning days of Donald Trump`s first term.

Justice Barrett expressed concern, people might think the court has become too partisan. Imagine that.

Elie Mystal is a Justice Correspondent for The Nation, Dahlia Lithwick is a Senior Editor and Legal Correspondent at Slate and they both join me now.

I feel like this event was designed to produce the reaction we`re going to get it, so I feel a little bit baited here. But I also feel like I have to take the bait, Dahlia. And to me this is, actually, there`s there`s a deep point here.

You know, there was a reason that Roger Ailes chose, you know, we report, you decide and fair and balanced for Fox News, because it actually was an important part of the branding to have it be the fact that like, we`re not conservative, we don`t have a point of view. This is just -- this is just the truth. And I think people on the court understand that same principle.

DAHLIA LITHWICK, SENIOR EDITOR AND LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, SLATE: I`m actually kind of glad, Chris, that we`re just bracketing the insane onion quality of, you know, standing at Rick`s cafe (PH) giving a speech about how there`s no gambling going on, because that`s just straight-up trolling, right? I mean, let`s not waste our time.

One thing that I really, really noticed and I think kind of got lost in the irony today is the way in which she went to an event as you said, it was a Mitch McConnell event and the press was not advised that it was happening, there`s no recordings of it. A handful of reporters that were there were allowed to take notes. They were moved to the back of the room according to Jess Clark who reported it for a local paper.

And then, she slammed the press, then she said that the press misrepresents what the court does. It is the most astonishing lack of self-knowledge to get up and say that you shouldn`t listen to reporters, you should read our incredible (AUDIO GAP) and just don`t trust the press because they`re lying to you, trust me we`re nonpartisan, is next level cynical.

HAYES: That is such a great point too because my first thought when I saw this, I was like, oh we -- because I produce a, you know, make a television show. I was like, we should get the video of that then, it`s like, oh, well, there`s no video of that, it doesn`t exist.


HAYES: Because again, like, she can get this message out and she can stand next to Mitch McConnell in the photos but video is a bridge too far in terms of this like, crazy bit of gaslighting, Elie.

ELIE MYSTAL, JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, THE NATION: Yes, but then look at what the press actually did. Dahlia is exactly -- actually right. But then, look at what the press did, they gave her what she wanted. Because the A.P. as you just headlined, just dutifully copied her notes, sent out her press release, put out that headline without the context of her dripping hypocrisy in the headline. That headline should have been a partisan hack afraid people might notice hackery, that would have been an accurate headline but the press didn`t do that, did they?

And this is -- Amy Coney Barrett`s entire career is built on the press being unable or unwilling to call her out when she`s coming, or even accurately report her views and her intentions on the court.

In her first year on the Supreme Court, as you pointed out, she`s taken away labor rights, she`s taken away voting rights, she`s taken away abortion rights, she promised to do this to get the job. And yet, the mainstream media refused to call her out on it then and even today as she stands there and basically spits in their face, they still write the headline that she required, that she desired them to write.

That`s the real -- you know, those people need to -- need to also like grow up and take some personal responsibility for what they`re doing to the country.

HAYES: Let me just make this point, I don`t know who wrote the headline. The piece itself I thought was quite good and was pretty clear about the inherent hypocrisy intention here just in terms of the writing.

But I also think that like, here`s the thing, Amy Coney Barrett saying this, it`s not just like conservatives say this. This is -- this is like dogma for liberals as well. Like, that the court is not partisan and that, you know, look at all these -- look at all the 9-0 decisions on like, obscure questions of statutory interpretation with the Railroad Commission or whatever, like, what do you people talking about? They`ll cite that chapter and verse.

And then, as part of that is Breyer going around selling his book, being like, who, me retire? Here`s what he had to say recently, which also made me kind of lose my mind. This is Bryer on not intending to die in the court. Take a listen.


STEPHEN BREYER, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT: I don`t intend to die on the court. I don`t think I`ll be there forever. But I`ve said a few of the considerations previously, there are many factors, in fact, quite a few. And the role of the court and so forth is one of them. And the situation, the institutional considerations are some.

And I believe I can`t say I`d take anything perfectly into account. But in my own mind, I think about those things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, why didn`t you retire?

BREYER: I didn`t retire because I decided on balance, I wouldn`t retire.


HAYES: Dahlia, what do you think about the I don`t intend to die on the court?

LITHWICK: I mean, and I feel like we`ve talked about this before, Chris. I think that we have to just accept that the nine justices live in a world in which they believe they`re magic. They`re wizards. And they are oracular. And they are just brains in vats, that`s how they sleep at night.

Because if they believe they were political hacks, they would run for Congress., right? So, they believe this. And I think the question that Elie`s asking, certainly the question that I`m asking is, why are we spending so much time repeating this? I mean, why do we keep saying, wow, I guess we must believe them, because they tell us that they really get along at the lunch table. So, there`s nothing political going on. Like they`re not stabbing each other with shrimp forks in the eye. And I just think it`s such a bizarre conversation, like, you want to believe your magic. Awesome, have at it. But why do we have to collude with that? And why is it that we`re expanding energy talking about that instead of the fact that the court is just decimating as Elie has said, voting rights, reproductive rights, you know, union rights in front of our very eyes? Isn`t that the conversation we should be having?

HAYES: Elie?

MYSTAL: Look, do you require a duck to be self-aware that it`s a duck before you call it a duck? I mean, is that really the level that we`re at? Because that`s where the press seems to be.

Unless the duck says, quack, quack, I`m a duck, then we can`t call it that. If the duck think he`s actually rich, and you know, is a media mogul like Scrooge, then the media has to say Scrooge today, you know, wanted some bread. Like that`s how they report it. It`s very frustrating.

But the other thing that I want to bring up before we go, is there`s another person in the story that can stop what we saw from Barrett last night. And that is Chief Justice John Roberts, as the great Julius Campbell said in Remember the Titans, attitude reflects leadership.


MYSTAL: And John Roberts can say, you know what, Barrett, we`re not doing that because you know what, I do care about the -- looking political, and so, you`re not going to go to the McConnell Center.

Brett Kavanagh, you`re not going to go to the federal society dinner. We`re going -- Stephen Breyer, you`re not going to go on Fox News. We`re going to be above the fray.

And if John Roberts said that, they`d do it. But he doesn`t, does he?

HAYES: Good point.

MYSTAL: Because he is just as complicit in this as all the rest of them

HAYES: Elie Mystal, Dahlia Lithwick, thank you both. That is ALL IN on this Monday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.