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Transcript: The Beat with Ari Melber, 10/14/21

Guests: Christina Greer, Max Boot, Elie Mystal, Libby Casey


Could Steve Bannon face jail as the riot probe intensifies? Why is so-called Replacement Theory spreading in America? How much support do President Biden`s policies have?



Hi, Ari.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Nicolle. Thank you very much.

Welcome to THE BEAT. I am Ari Melber.

And we`re tracking multiple stories tonight.

Steve Bannon could face jail as this probe intensifies.

And coming up, I have my special report on a right-wing and racist Replacement Theory, why it`s spreading in America, what you need to know and how we`re going to debunk it with evidence and history tonight. We have been working on that special for you. And we have that coming up.

Then, there`s the Biden agenda, with overwhelming support for spending and a caveat.

We begin right now with the Trump ally and right-wing provocateur Steve Bannon facing now possible jail time after defying a subpoena and stonewalling these insurrection investigators, no testimony, no documents. The January 6 committee is saying they have learned from the past and they will go ahead forward and hold him in criminal contempt, saying they will not tolerate defiance of the subpoena.

And they`re not waiting around. This would be a vote on Tuesday to hold Bannon for criminal contempt. Now, if you`re looking at Steve Bannon or any of this footage that reminds you he`s had recent legal problems, that`s because Steve Bannon was indicted.

Now, that trial never occurred because, well, he called in a favor. And although him had Donald Trump had a famous falling out that had everything to do with ethics to how he dressed, then-President Trump did pardon Mr. Bannon, which means he got to skip what most citizens have to deal with.

And yet here he is basically daring the U.S. government and prosecutors to go after him again, all because he`s apparently listening to one ex-blogger in Florida demanding everyone just defy subpoenas. Trump also has said that he would like to have his executive privilege back.

Well, it doesn`t work like that. It`s a nonsense legal argument because, and I would say this about any former president who thought they could just ask for it, the executive privilege belongs to the executive. It belongs to a job that Donald Trump lost.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Merrick Garland will have, we think, based on what we`re hearing, a call to make here about whether to criminally prosecute the Trump aides who are held in this kind of contempt.

Now, charges like this have not been brought, as far as we can find, by the Justice Department in over 50 years. That`s one of those legal statistics that cuts both ways. On the one hand, it is rare, and it is a big deal to go hold someone in contempt, prosecute them and try to jail them if they haven`t committed this separate crime.

On the other hand, the reason this is rare is that most people that Congress reaches, including powerful CEOs and ex-government officials, they try to cooperate in some way or at least negotiate over how to cooperate.

They don`t announce in public that they are defying lawful subpoenas, that they think they`re above the law. That is the kind of thing that can get even a moderate attorney general -- and Mr. Garland is certainly that, as a former federal judge known mostly for his moderation and his bipartisan credentials -- it could even get him to act.

Now, one of the key investigators here Adam Schiff, who is on the committee, prodding the DOJ and sending a blunt message to Trump allies.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We need the administration again to make it clear they`re not going to let these witnesses hide behind privilege.

And at the end of the day, if the witnesses continued to stonewall, we need the Justice Department to reinforce through prosecution that, no, the rule of law is back. No one is off the table.

KARA SWISHER, HOST, "SWAY": Including Donald Trump himself?

SCHIFF: No one is off the table.


MELBER: We`re joined right now by Elie Mystal, justice correspondent with "The Nation," Libby Casey, a reporter with "The Washington Post," and Max Boot, who has served as a foreign policy adviser and policy expert for several Republicans. He now writes for "The Washington Post."

Elie, it is rare, but it does happen. Do you think that this is legally justified for individuals who don`t even pretend to negotiate, but just say subpoenas don`t apply to them, like Mr. Bannon appears to be publicly claiming?

ELIE MYSTAL, "THE NATION": Of course it`s justified. Bannon`s argument is ridiculous.

He`s claiming executive privilege, which attaches to the office of the president, not the person. He`s claiming -- so he`s claiming executive privilege from a guy who can`t assert the privilege for a guy he wasn`t actually working for over information about whether or not he could organize a coup against the government.

That`s not privileged, folks. That`s a stupid argument. Of course he should be prosecuted for failing to meet congressional subpoena deadlines. But here`s the thing, Ari. You said it. He could go to jail. Will he, though? Will he?


Because, as you pointed out, this is a criminal referral.


MYSTAL: This is Congress referring criminal charges to the Justice Department, which then has to have its own process, trial.

The last time we did this 1983, Rita Lavelle, I believe was her name, the EPA administrator who was criminally indicted for contempt, she got off at the jury trial. So just because the Congress is willing to do this does not mean that this will result in Steve Bannon actually facing consequences for his blatant and flagrant refusal to follow the law.

MELBER: Well, you know what you sound like, Elie?

Like a nuanced and informed lawyer, making the point that, in the rare times where this does happen -- and Max can speak to this -- even getting the -- as Elie said, think of it like a hot potato. It`s hot because you say, look, we have done everything we can in the Congress. We`re literally publicly referring this as a potential crime.

Then the DOJ gets hot potato, Max, and they say, we`re going to look at this very closely. But there are a lot of reasons why they don`t love that kind of case. The counsel here just gave us one, which is sometimes that kind of case you lose, because, as I emphasized briefly in the lead, Max, it is not a separate crime.

It`s not like you stole something and you defied the subpoena. You`re just on what would technically be called sort of the process argument, although, Max, doesn`t process matter? If people start getting away with defying Congress, especially in an insurrection investigation, doesn`t that undermine the oversight they need to do protect democracy?

MAX BOOT, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, of course, it does, Ari.

But I agree with the with the analysis you just heard that I am not so confident that the rule of law will actually prevail here, even though the right and wrong of the situation is pretty clear.

I mean, more broadly, just to zoom out a little bit, Ari, I think there has been this hope in anti-Trump circles, in which I include myself, for the past five-plus years that, sooner or later, all of the apparent infractions of the law, committed by Donald Trump and his cronies would catch up with them, and, before long, that they would all eventually be frog-marched away in handcuffs, including Trump himself, for -- you can name a variety of potential offenses, many of them financial, for which he`s being investigated in the state of New York.

But I have to say, after more than five years of this, I don`t have a lot of confidence that the law is ever going to catch up to Trump and his cronies, that they have done actually a pretty effective job of obstructing justice. And, of course, Trump had a lot of power to do that in office simply by pardoning people like Steve Bannon, putting pressure on the Justice Department with pliant A.G.s like Bill Barr and others.

But, even now, I don`t see a lot of appetite on the part of the Biden administration to use the full extent of the law to go after Trump and his henchmen like Steve Bannon, because I think they`re afraid of the political blowback. They`re afraid that this will just turbocharge the Trumpist movement, and they will claim that they`re being persecuted by the deep state, this is all a political plot, and then it`ll blow up on their face.

And so I just see -- as you noted, Merrick Garland is a centrist. He has a very moderate reputation.

MELBER: He is.

BOOT: He was very centrist as a judge. He seems to be pretty centrist as an attorney general.


BOOT: So I just don`t have a lot of confidence that Garland and the Justice Department are going to go throw the book at Bannon or Trump or anybody else.


Appreciate the point you`re making. And, as mentioned, you have a lot of experience at the upper echelons of at least the old version of the Republican Party, but also pushing back on the Trump era.

Now, Elie, Max also refers to the idea that the prosecutors of the DOJ would be looking at the political blowback out there. Prosecutors claim not to do that. Some do it. James Comey famously gave a lot of thought to how the political reaction would be and the perception of him. And, as you know, that`s why he`s such a hero, Elie, a hero.

MYSTAL: Yes, look...

MELBER: No I just wanted to get the joke.

And I got to get Libby in. I just thought Libby`s a straight, objective reporter, so I wasn`t going to throw a political joke at her.

Libby, that`s my one consideration.

But, yes, James Comey said he was a hero because he said that he thought a lot about how things and he would be perceived.

And so I bring that creative tension, though, as a subject to you, Libby, because we just got told by one guest what should happen, by another what will happen. What does your reporting suggests?

LIBBY CASEY, "THE WASHINGTON POST": So who`s making this political, right? If you defy a subpoena, and you`re saying you`re doing it because Trump`s lawyer told you to, you`re doing it on his direction, that`s what`s making this a political decision.

And President Trump has not gone away, right? The former president is still out there. He`s still perpetrating the lie that January 6 was not an attempted coup, that it was not an attempt to overthrow the way that government is done and has been done in this country.


So, what`s going to happen is, right, we will see this gathering on Tuesday evening of this committee, remember, seven Democrats, two Republicans, but all appointed by Speaker Pelosi. We do anticipate that they would then pass this along to the House.

The House votes on it, and then it goes to the Justice Department. Now, you bring up great questions about Attorney General Garland. But what can we look at as indicators?

Well, the administration at this (AUDIO GAP) from this committee to get information from the National Archives. Trump had tried to claim executive privilege and block those materials. The Biden White House said, nope. Have at it, basically.

So we can look at that as an indicator. The question is, though, even if this follows through, even if you would play this out the entire way, and Steve Bannon is put behind bars, I mean, can Steve Bannon do that, right? We`re looking at a fine of $100,000. We`re looking at a month to a year imprisonment.

What this does send, though, is a signal to other people who are being called before this committee, who might not be ready to die on that sword, right? They might not be able to benefit sort of politically or financially, as Steve Bannon might be able to, in terms sort of the media world he lives in Mark Meadows, Kash Patel, people who have not been deposed yet before this committee, they haven`t been interviewed yet, even though they were supposed to be.

But we do have a sense that there is some movement, right? They`re not outrightly defying this. We are getting indications from the committee that that`s advancing forward a little bit. So this may also be a warning from the select committee to other people who might not be willing to push this to the limit to try to work with them to either get documents.

The bottom line, though, is, even if this follows through, even if the attorney general moves on this, this committee may never get what it wants from Steve Bannon. They may never get the information they want from him. And it could also take a very long time, which is exactly what the committee does not want to happen.

MELBER: Elie, how about that point, that Meadows is not going full Bannon?


No, I mean, what we know from the committee is that he`s cooperating in some way. We don`t know that Meadows is actually doing what he`s been asked to do, right? And that`s why I think Congress should use its other power. It`s not criminal contempt we need. We need inherent contempt.

If you or I ignored a subpoena from a court, we would be in jail. We would not pass go. We would not collect $200. We would go to jail, because courts have an inherent contempt power. They can jail you until you follow their rules.

Congress has the same power. Now, they haven`t used that power since 1927. But when they used it in 1927, Supreme Court said, yes, of course, Congress can arrest people who do not follow subpoenas. Steve Bannon doesn`t need to be referred to a committee on Tuesday to go to the Justice -- no, Steve Bannon needs to be in jail by this weekend under Congress` inherent contempt power.

And then we would be having something. Then we would be having a conversation. Then it`s go time.


MELBER: Yes. Now we`re in deep, deep law school land, but, hey, here we are.

When people see "My Cousin Vinny," that`s when the judge holds him in contempt. He goes to jail that day. I mean, that`s how real that is. That`s the level of what technically you`re referring to, which is that inherent power, which is different, of course, than a process that adjudicates and finds you guilty and the whole rest, which is the type you`re referring to, which has been the more traditional use of it in the modern era.

The panel stays here.

We did want to look at another scene that did play at this Republican rally in Virginia. Bannon was a headliner, along with Trump. People pledged allegiance to an American flag that had allegedly been carried on January 6.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I also want to invite Kim from Chesapeake. She`s carried an American flag that was carried at the peaceful rally with Donald J. Trump on January 6.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Face the flag. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.


MELBER: Max, your thoughts?

BOOT: Well, it`s bizarre, and it`s frightening, Ari, because what you`re seeing is this process of the terrorists who attacked the Capitol on January 6 being glorified as freedom fighters.

I mean, that is what is going on, because, increasingly, the Republican Party is an authoritarian movement. And, increasingly, they approve of what happened when these Trump terrorists stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the election.

You see it in the polling, where more than 60 percent of Republicans believe that Trump was the lawfully elected president in November, even though he lost by millions in the popular vote.

You see it in the approval that Donald Trump retains among the Republican base. There was just a new poll out that showed like 67 percent of Republicans want Trump to run for president again, even though, every single day, he denies the outcome of the last election, which is the fundamental prerequisite for having a functioning democracy.


If the losers don`t respect the outcome of the election, you don`t have a functioning democracy. You have a struggle for power by any means necessary. And that is how the Republicans are looking at it.

And, increasingly, we see Republicans preparing for a coup in 2024, purging anybody from the Republican Party who might stand up for the rule of law and the Constitution, and you see them basically approving any means necessary to gain power.

And Trump is holding Ashli Babbitt as this wonderful martyr of his movement.

MELBER: Right.

BOOT: It`s a very sinister thing. It`s the kind of authoritarian messaging that we have seen in other countries, and it never ends well.

MELBER: Yes. Right.

And it`s a clear effort to make support for, as you call it, the January 6 terrorism, and the courts have called it a range of felonies, a type of litmus test for right-wing Republican politics. That`s happening. People need to see it. It needs to be addressed. You have to look at the reality of it.

I want to thank Max, Libby, and Elie for kicking us off tonight.

And coming up, the special report I mentioned. This is on something called Great Replacement Theory. It`s white nationalist junk science, but it is coming here to America, which is why we have a fact-check. That`s next, plus an update on the Biden agenda.

Stay with us.




TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: This may be a lot of things, this moment we`re living through, but it is definitely not about black lives.

And remember that when they come for you. And, at this rate, they will. The Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World.

But they become hysterical because that`s what`s happening, actually.


MELBER: They will come for you and replace you.

This is an elaborate conspiracy theory that is gaining traction right now on the American right. It`s a white supremacist claim, and it is that non white immigrants will replace the electorate, the presumably more white electorate.

Now, this matters because it`s racist and dangerous and influential, with proponents trying to hide and launder and dress up a hateful dogma in a kind of pseudo-intellectual policy framework, peddling warnings about the replacement of white people as some kind of policy discourse on immigration or cultural heritage.

Our special report right now explores this history and exposes this fraud, with an eye on an ugly, terrible history that we all know about. You even learn about it in grade school. And it has proven, history has taught us, it is not effective to ignore or minimize these kinds of ideologies and this kind of hatred, this kind of racism and this kind of anti-Semitism when it crops up, as it repeatedly does in many societies with any level of diversity, be it religious or racial.

And it`s especially tough when economic times get hard and community harmony frays.

Now, this Replacement Theory that I`m going to tell you about right now fixates specifically on immigration. It starts with a claim to an allegedly neutral position, the claim that, well, most countries set limits on immigration, and that can include some type of standards for who is admitted to the country.

OK, true enough. Then it pivots into white supremacist racism, arguing that countries like France or the U.S. are inherently white, so immigration limits must patrol against any racial minorities or foreigners to stop them from -- quote -- "replacing" the allegedly current white residents.


CARLSON: Replace the current electorate with new people, more obedient voters from a Third World.

PROTESTER: You will not replace us! You will not replace us!

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS: This is a purposeful resettlement.

CARLSON: White Replacement Theory? No, no, no, this is a voting rights question.

INGRAHAM: It`s going to be millions of illegal immigrants into the United States.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Yes. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re coming to a neighborhood near you.

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK (R-TX): We are being invaded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re coming to our backyard.

CARLSON: It`s your country. You own it. You pay for it. You were born here. It belongs to you.


MELBER: This theory is a new spin on some very old types of arguments, some of which do remain so discredited that even these proponents insist they`re not actually endorsing those other things, those other ideologies, that other type of white supremacy or Nazi ideology.

Now, Donald Trump did say there were good people at that infamous Charlottesville rally, as the neo-Nazis openly chanted against replacement. And many right-wingers do traffic in this direct kind of hate.

But this is what`s important about this particular thing tonight. The history of hate shows that it also rises in more insidious and even subtle and sophisticated garb.

From Europe to the U.S., white-dominated societies have wrongly claimed that nature or testing or science provide some sort of distinctions for elevating a white ruling class and excluding others, America, built on a system of racial slavery, Jim Crow racism continuing long after the legal end of slavery itself.

For immigration, the U.S. limited immigrants from a wide range of countries. Congress barred people from Asia in the Chinese Exclusion Act in the 1880s. It sought other ways to limit Irish, Catholic and Jewish migrants.

And when people did try to challenge that blatant discrimination, the courts upheld the rules. An Indian man, Bhagat Singh Thind, tried to find one loophole by asserting under law that he could be counted as maybe Caucasian because he was from North India.

But the Supreme Court left no doubt, ruling against him, stating -- quote - - "The physical characteristics of the Hindus render them readily distinguishable from those seen as white."

So that legal ground was clear for Congress to go further. In 1924, there was a bipartisan consensus for an immigration crackdown. Here`s a "New York Times" headline about it. A new immigration bill passed overwhelmingly, 62- 6. And you see there, a ban on Asiatics made operative. That was 1924.


Just one year later, "The Great Gatsby" came out, a book mocking rich white elites. And, by the way, it shows the villain talking up the kind of white supremacy that also would later animate this Replacement Theory.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: If we don`t watch out, the white race will be utterly submerged. No, that is so. It`s up to us, who are the dominant race, to watch out, or these other races will have control of things.


MELBER: So it`s certainly not a question of if it can happen here.

It`s whether it will happen here again fully. It was only within the last 70 years that U.S. immigration rules ended those direct limits I showed you under law on people from Asia. It`s only in that time span that the U.S. dismantled legal quotas and other limits amidst explicit pressure from civil rights protests in the 1960s.

Having a president who even publicly embraces a diverse immigration approach is a relatively new feature in American life. In 1998, then- President Clinton, a lawyer who knew the history I just briefly showed of America`s immigration laws, saw what was coming, and he tried to urge America to face these changing demographics head on, to welcome them.

He tried to urge people to see all of this as a source of strength and unity. He basically was trying to talk to white Americans about deciding what to do, since this has always been a nation of immigrants.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, largely because of immigration, there is no majority race in Hawaii, or Houston, or New York City.

In a little more than 50 years, there will be no majority race in the United States. What do the changes mean? They can either strengthen and unite us or they can weaken and divide us. We must decide.


MELBER: Decide.

And how do people decide? How do people make decisions? Well, by their own experience, right, their emotions, maybe sometimes reason, but also by reacting to cues from who they see as leaders, influential voices, social circles.

On the right, those sources more openly embrace raw hate these days, and this year now embrace it`s dressed-up cousin, Replacement Theory. But there`s also this emerging younger American demographic, an electorate that`s embracing a more diverse population and more cosmopolitan mixing or whatever you want to call it, people just existing together.

But they`re pitted against this retrograde group, reaching backwards for anything that might stop the change or justify it with this junk science. The people trying to stop the so-called invasions from abroad might be surprised to learn this Replacement Theory itself is from abroad.

As an idea, it`s an immigrant. It`s a non-American concept from abroad. Now, that`s not by any means one of the largest problems with Replacement Theory. It`s just an ironic side note. And not only that. It`s from a country that many conservative Americans have spent years mocking, a nation that clashed so much with the Republican Bush administration, they even once retitled french fries freedom fries.

I`m talking about France. Now, this is a serious issue tonight. If it were a different topic, we might run a clip of the evil french race car driver from "Talladega Nights," a comedy that really mocks anti-immigrant and specifically anti-French sentiment on the American right.

But this is too serious to do that. Maybe another time.

But Replacement Theory is from France. I`m serious about that. Conservative writer and right-wing politician Renaud Camus, who you see here, he literally lives in a 14th century castle with a 10-story tower, quite the real estate. You can see his lifestyle right there.

And he drew on much of the ugly history I just explored with you to, in his view, warn white people in France or other white-majority countries have what he sees as a -- quote -- "great replacement" of their original population with newer arrivals, mostly from Africa, those immigrants that he is afraid of.

This is one face of modern white supremacist pseudoscience, claiming to draw on books or policy and flipping concepts of human rights and crimes against humanity back into a supposed attack on a white ruling class who he argues, who he alleges, who he warns are about to become the victims.


RENAUD CAMUS, CONSERVATIVE WRITER: It`s a change of people and of civilization.


Great Replacement is the darkest thing which can happen. I think the crime against humanity in the 21st century is the Great Replacement.

QUESTION: You think it is the crime against humanity of our times?

CAMUS: Yes. Yes. Yes, very much so.

The question is, is it time now for white Anglo-Saxon English-speaking Americans to be substituted (INAUDIBLE) as Indians were?


MELBER: By English-speaking, he again means white.

Camus, under the First Amendment, has the right to share his words across the United States. The issue is not censorship.

But many are drawing on his words to do crime, hate crimes, violence, murder. Now, we`re deep into this special report with all the history. We have not spent much time on the history of the Nazis and the Holocaust in Europe.

Very few topics are clarified with comparisons to Nazis. But neo-Nazis compare themselves to Nazis. They are the modern Nazis. They say so. They are the ones quoting Camus in their marches. That 2017 right-wing rally in Charlottesville was the moment in America that many people first heard a direct reference to this Replacement Theory.


PROTESTERS: Jews will not replace us! Jews will not replace us!

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You also had people that were very fine people on both sides.

PROTESTERS: You will not replace us! You will not replace us! You will not replace us!


MELBER: Those neo-Nazis take this replacement hatred literally, as do some recent white supremacist mass murderers, like the gunman who killed over 50 people in a New Zealand mosque in those attacks, or the El Paso shooter who killed over 20 people in a Walmart, some of the worst documented hate crimes in modern history.

Those murderers invoked this conspiracy theory by name. The El Paso shooter wrote a diatribe claiming to defend the U.S. from cultural and ethnic replacement, and stated that this theory made him target Latinos because the Hispanic community was not their target before -- quote -- "I read The Great Replacement."

Camus says that he condemns that violence. He also said after the New Zealand mass murder that he still welcomes how his ideas are spreading, noting he does not object to people seeing the what he calls ethnic substitution that`s in progress in his country.

No, he says, to the contrary, he does not object to that notoriety to those followings.

Ideas and prejudice and hate, they spread in all sorts of ways. Those neo- Nazis know that many conspiracy theories and justifications against Jews and gay people and racial minorities spread for many, many years before the 1940s.

Today, some of this can be tracked even more precisely in real time. Google has this mountain of data on what people search. And people are noticing this, right now, this year, more than before. We can show it to you.

Google has the data that shows, you see, the interest in Replacement Theory pretty stagnant in over a decade period there, even during really around the 2019 shootings, some greater interest. And then the largest spike in Google trends is this year. It`s right now. It`s after Trump`s leaving office. It`s 2021, the term pushed on FOX News.

And if some people had not heard much about it yet or thought much about it yet, FOX anchors are changing that, putting it out into the bloodstream, getting people Googling, thinking, talking about it, deciding whether or not this is something that can justify something.

And then, even though I just showed you most people aren`t aware of it, the same FOX anchors claim that people were already preemptively upset about the term`s use.


CARLSON: That the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term replacement.

INGRAHAM: This is a purposeful resettlement of -- it`s going to be millions of illegal immigrants into the United States.

CRUZ: Yes. Yes.


MELBER: This is what those influential voices and leaders are pushing.

There, you had, of course, a senator and the number two presidential candidate in the Republican Party, Ted Cruz, to Donald Trump nodding along.

So, the claim goes from the fringe to the hate groups to what passes for mainstream conservative opinion, and then moves into the halls of power, where Ted Cruz and other members of Congress and now some Republican officials are either nodding along or literally invoking the exact theory link to all this hate.



PATRICK: The revolution has begun. We are being invaded. And they`re not invited.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re replacing natural-born American, native-born Americans to permanently transform the political landscape of this very nation.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz: "Tucker Carlson is" -- all caps -- "CORRECT."

The so-called Replacement Theory.

PATRICK: Illegals who are here who are going to take our education, our health care.


MELBER: There`s nothing new about white supremacists than claiming to be the victim, while attacking less powerful groups. Hate crimes are generally on the rise in the U.S. right now, along with rising overall crime rates during the pandemic.

We also have the division of an insurrection we just lived through and a movement bent on justifying all of this.

You take it together, and the stakes are high. The challenges are not new. America and many societies have beaten these ideologies before. There are evil, irredeemable people in this world, as there were in past generations, as there may be in future generations.

But if you look at history, as we have here a little bit together tonight, massive movements that change countries and start wars do not need a majority to act only on racism and evil. They actually tend to do something very different. They tend to build on that core, perhaps, but then offer junk science and other theories and other claims to say that certain groups are inferior, to scapegoat, to use an old word, to say that this or that policy is actually a good thing to protect and improve something good, the society.

And they do that so other people -- some might be in on it, some might be ignorant -- other people come along and start to think, well, maybe this is all OK. And that`s how you really get more people on board.

The ideas and premises matter. If they didn`t, then even the neo-Nazis would not really bother quoting these faraway authors in castles, would they? It is very literally a war of ideas and ethics.

And for those of us who believe in civilization and equality -- and there are many of us, many of us -- it is always better to pay attention, to think, to face it down, and wage and win this war of ideas first to forestall any alternative.


MELBER: Welcome back to THE BEAT.

We took a look at Replacement Theory.

And I am now joined by Fordham Professor Christina Greer.

Thank you for being here. What do you think it`s important for Americans to understand specifically about this type of ideology, this type of white supremacy, hatched literally in this French castle, that is increasingly being Googled and repeated and make its way into the walls of -- into the halls of power here in America?

CHRISTINA GREER, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: Well, first things first, Ari. Thank you for that segment. It was beautifully laid out.

We`re a nation of reluctant immigrants. I mean, we have had laws that have restricted immigration for hundreds of years. And so, sadly, this is not true -- or this is not new.

MELBER: No. Yes.

GREER: What is really frightening about this particular moment, though, is that the GOP has decided to cast their lot with an openly blatant white supremacist ideology, something that we have not seen so aggressively in the past few decades.

And so, right now, you have Republicans who, just a few years ago, when Donald Trump would spout these racist terms and try and make them norms, you had so many halfway decent Republicans saying, well, I don`t really think he means that, I`m not exactly sure.


And so they would dance around the topic. We`re now in a moment, Ari, where it is abundantly clear what so many leaders in the GOP believe. And so they have cast their lot with white supremacy. To be a part of the Republican Party right now, to look at what the leadership has said, is to actually say that you support white supremacy.

Before, we were saying, well, not every Republican believes that. Right now, we can actually affirmatively say that, if you are in the Republican Party, you are actually saying that you believe that your leadership, who is anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim -- the anti-Semitism is rampant.

We know that the work of Jonathan Greenblatt at the ADL has been telling this, telling us this for five years. We know that Sherrilyn Ifill at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund has been saying this about the anti-black sentiments coming from not just our former president, but now so many leaders in the Republican Party, who are supporting the likes of Tucker Carlson, who are supporting the likes of folks on FOX News, who are now competing with OAN, which is a blatantly white supremacist organization, news organization, that is spouting this type of hatred that makes it more dangerous for people like you and me to walk down the street.

To say nothing about going to the ballot box when, we`re trying to vote and exercise our American principles.

MELBER: And why do you think it is so vital to some of these individuals, as we showed, to go this far, which is, as we showed, very far, and then still hide and spin?

We have shown what Camus is, and he`s not someone Americans are generally thinking about, but you have got neo-Nazis chanting him, so we need to learn about it. And then Camus says English-speaking when referring to the American experience. There are plenty of people from all walks of life and diversity who speak English.

He very clearly from his writings means white. And he`s even dodging. And then FOX is saying, oh, the replacement word bothers somebody.

No, it doesn`t bother anyone. It`s just we`re fact-checking what it means and what it`s drawn on and why mass murderers use it.

GREER: So, Ari, this is the interesting rub between what`s going on right now.

You still have some members of the GOP who want to hide behind this racist rhetoric and others who are perfectly happy with just having it out in the open. For many people, American means white. It does not mean the Ari Melbers and the Christina Greers of the world.

And so where we are right now, we have to think about white supremacy and anti-black racism and anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments as a global phenomenon. We know that, in post-Nazi Germany, when you couldn`t fly a swastika, you flew the Confederate Flag.

We know that, on January 6, we not only saw flags with swastikas on them. We saw many Confederate Flags, and they`re conflated. And for many people, they mean the same thing. And they have the same mission, that America should be a country for whites, by whites, only whites, and immigrants and people of color are only here to be in service industries, and never interact in any sort of leadership positions or in housing and education. You name the policy.

And so we`re at a really critical and, I would argue, frightening moment, because these people who were once on the fringes in the past few decades, who pushed them out to the fringes, Donald Trump pulled them into the mainstream.

And we have people who are not standing up to the Republican Party, saying, this is absolutely unacceptable. We have a few people who are just like, well, that`s not really my party and I don`t really agree.

We`re not at the moment now where you can sort of sit on the sidelines and say, well, there`s certain members of my party who are aggressive, who don`t like immigrants. If you are being quiet right now, you are actively supporting this white supremacy and this terror that has plagued our nation for the past few years in ways that we hadn`t seen in generations.

When I talk to my parents who are in their early 70s, they thought that these battles have been fought and won, right? They -- my father integrated his high school in Miami, Florida. He thought that those battles were over, by and large.

The fact that we`re still fighting these super racist ideologies in the 21st century and having the rest of the world look at us, not just about January 6 or Charlottesville are Dylann Roof or Kyle Rittenhouse, people who have just been unleashed on this nation to wreak havoc, terror and beyond anti-Semitism, anti-black racism, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant sentiments, in communities small and large across all 50 states.

MELBER: Professor Christina Greer, really appreciate your perspective and erudition here. Thank you.

GREER: Thanks, Ari.

MELBER: Coming up: There is news on the Biden jobs agenda, including a public reaction that is cheering some at the White House.

Stay with us.



MELBER: The White House says it`s time and is pushing liberals to go ahead and get action on Biden`s jobs and spending agenda, while a new poll shows both the opportunity and the challenge, strong support among, for example, non-college white groups for many Biden proposals, lowering drug prices, expanding Medicare.

Meanwhile, 29 percent of that same group, which many politicians have an eye on, depending on their states, believes this plan will help them. It`s a gap that shows where part of the public is at.

I`m joined by Washington bureau chief for "Mother Jones" David Corn.

What`s up in Washington?

DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Ari, a president has two jobs in terms of his public-facing work. One is to get stuff done. The other is to tell a good story.

You really can`t have one without the other. Donald Trump just told stories. His stories were lies, best economy ever, going to deal with health care, all that sort of stuff. And his people at least thought that.

But Biden has become mired down -- and I`m not sure it`s through any fault of his own. And people looking at Washington from afar see a mess. They see Democrats squawking at each other. But they also see Republicans throwing a wrench into the system.

And all they see is sort of, it`s not working the way I want it to work. And they blame the guy in charge, even if a lot of that is not his fault.


So, let me ask you the question that comes up a lot, because you`re an expert down there in the Capitol. People say, why does it seem like the Democrats do more negotiating in public?

CORN: Well, I mean, the Republicans in the past have, but Republicans don`t care about getting things done, right?


They want to stop government. They want to cut back programs. There`s nothing they want to really move forward on even when they`re in charge, I mean, except tax cuts, right? But other than that, what else did Trump care about the Republicans getting done through legislation? Very, very little.

The Democrats want to legislate. And it is a very difficult process, particularly with a 50/50 Senate. And so, yes, they are -- they know, if have any chance in 2022, they have to get this done, the infrastructure bill and the human infrastructure bill.

And I think, within the next month or two, that`s going to happen. But, again, you don`t want it to be at the end of such a bloody process that the people that these provisions are helping that people support individually don`t feel like it`s going to help them. They don`t see the gain.

MELBER: Yes, that makes sense.


MELBER: We`re running over on time.

Do you have a Dylan quote or anything before I let you go?

CORN: No, I would just say this is what happened in the Obama years, that they didn`t tell the story well.

And so the song would be, won`t get fooled again.


CORN: Not by Dylan, but by The Who. They got to learn the lesson from back in those days.

MELBER: Well, that`s a great George W. Bush -- that reminds us that he had some speaking issues, but it is in a song, David.

J. Cole samples that Bush malapropism, if you will, so it made its way into popular culture. Won`t get fooled again.

David Corn always on the spot for us.

When we come back: Donald Trump just lost a key court proceeding that may force him to be deposed.



MELBER: This is new, and it`s a new loss for Donald Trump in court, a judge ordering him to give a videotaped deposition as soon as this Monday.

It stems from a case about an alleged 2015 incident, when Trump`s private security punched a protester, according to the claims. The individual was peacefully trying to protest Trump`s immigration policies.

The videotaped deposition would be used as Trump`s testimony during any trial. And this would be Donald Trump`s first deposition since becoming president in 2016.


MELBER: We covered some serious stuff on the show today, but I want to let you know something I tweeted this week that`s not important, but I feel passionately about, which is, fish is almost always a terrible main course.

I said this because I felt that way. And we got thousands of responses. So, if you do want to enter the more idle space of social media, you can always find me @AriMelber, and you can tell me why I`m wrong about main courses.

That does it for me.

For something much more filling, sustainable, we turn to "THE REIDOUT WITH JOY REID."