Interview with Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. Kyle Rittenhouse found not guilty on all accounts.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I know that had nothing to do with me but as a 48-year-old, that hit me right here.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST, "ALL IN": No, that`s young, that`s the point. That`s young. Good for you. You`re going to do your thing. Good for you.
I`m sorry that I thought you were still running a big pharma company.
MADDOW: No, no. It`s totally fine. But I also have a 9:00 p.m. slot to sell you if you`re interested.
HAYES: We`re not going down that road in this conversation.
MADDOW: In this environment, I understand. I`ll call you later.
HAYES: Sounds great.
MADDOW: Have a great weekend, my friend.
HAYES: All right. Thanks to you at home for joining this hour. It`s really good to have you here on this Friday night. And what has been just an incredible, incredible news day.
Today, among a million other things, today for just about an hour and a half, Kamala Harris was the acting president of the United States. Now, having an acting president, this is something that has happened previously between other presidents and vice presidents, most recently when George W. Bush got put under, had anesthesia in order to have colonoscopies. Dick Cheney was acting president for each of those times for a couple of hours. Under Ronald Reagan as well, in 1985, George Bush Sr., Vice President Poppy Bush, was acting president for eight hours while Reagan had surgery for colon cancer in 1985.
Today, it was just under an hour and a half while President Biden had a colonoscopy as part of his annual physical. The White House then released a long, detailed readout from President Biden`s doctor about his health and everything they looked at in his physical. We learned, or at least had confirmed as current, the fact that the president takes a blood thinner, also a cholesterol drug. He takes over the counter allergy medicine. He has a little bit of reflux he takes Pepcid for.
The doctor said he noticed President Biden has been clearing his throat more often and so he explained in great detail how they looked into that very, very closely and from every possible angle, using tons of specialists. In the end they decided it`s just from the reflux and the Pepcid should be fine.
The doctor also said President Biden`s walk, his gait, seems stiffer than it used to. The doctor explained that they looked into that very closely too, with a gazillion different types of specialists and a ton of different types of tests of every type. And the verdict on that one is -- nothing`s wrong, really. He`s got a little arthritis in his spine. I`ve got that too.
He might have changed his walk a little bit to compensate when he broke his foot earlier this year and sometimes that can change people`s gait a little bit. But the doctor says the foot fracture healed fine, he`s fine, there`s nothing else wrong. They might want him to start wearing orthotics in his shoes which might help with his foot positioning.
And he got his contact lens precipitation tuned prescription tuned up. That`s basically it. You can read it yourself if you care to. He works out five days a week or more. Man.
The bottom line, honestly, is that we know a lot of detail about President Biden`s health. And perhaps more importantly, given what all that information is, which is not alarming in any direction, perhaps more importantly, the thing that this means today is that we`re back to having normal reports on a president`s health.
A president`s health, because he`s president, by definition, it`s not a private matter. We all get to know as a matter of, I don`t know, prying, and also potentially national security, right? Presidents` health and their checkups and their annual physicals and all this stuff, it`s basically public information. And it`s just sort of nice to return to the system where we actually get to know, we get candid, detailed reports from a doctor who doesn`t seem like a crazy person.
President Biden`s immediate predecessor, you may recall, the man who very nearly died in office when he contracted COVID and had to be hospitalized with blood oxygen levels so low, they considered putting him on a ventilator. Nevertheless, under that president we got these public facing reports about his health that were basically a joke or at least a farce.
Remember, he could live to be 200 years old. He has great genes. Some people just have great genes. The healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency, right? Never mind that he`s clinically obese, he has heart disease we don`t talk about, we`re lying about his height, and also he almost died in office from a communicable disease he may very well have spread to others.
To the extent that we`re allowed to know stuff about presidents` health, now we are back to relatively normal, not insane public pronouncements in great detail about the president`s actual health.
After her brief hour and a half long stint as acting president today, the first woman to ever have that role, even if it was for just over an hour, after that stint today, Vice President Harris spoke to reporters on the tarmac as she was due to fly from Ohio back to DC. It was brief remarks.
She wasn`t asked, but she volunteered this observation on the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial today in Wisconsin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hey, guys. The verdict really speaks for itself. As many of you know, I`ve spent a majority of my career working to make the criminal justice system more equitable and we have more work to do. Thanks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Vice President Kamala Harris speaking with reports today, saying "the verdict speaks for itself, I`ve spent a majority of my career working to make the criminal justice system more equitable, clearly there`s a lot more work to do.
We`ve had eyes on a number of cities, also a number of places in Wisconsin tonight, not knowing whether there might be protests in response to the Rittenhouse verdict. We`re seeing, as you can see in these shots, considerable sized crowd in Brooklyn, New York. And there are some other protests in other parts of the country tonight.
We`ll be going live to Kenosha, Wisconsin in just a few minutes as that city continues to absorb the Rittenhouse trial verdict and now the knock-on effect of Republicans and far right groups including white supremacist groups, Nazis, militia groups, holding up Kyle Rittenhouse as not just a person who was acquitted of murdering two people and shooting a third, they`ve made him a hero on the right for admittedly killing those people and getting away with it, which raises questions about the safety of public protest in the future.
One response that I think is really very much worth hearing today in its entirety is from the family of one of the people who Kyle Rittenhouse killed. The parents of Anthony Huber put out a statement today in response to the verdict. They said, quote, we are heartbroken and angry that Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted in his criminal trial for the murder of our son Anthony Huber.
There was no justice today for Anthony, or for Mr. Rittenhouse`s other two victims. We did not attend the trial because we could not bear to sit in a courtroom and repeatedly watch videos of our son`s murder, and because we have been subjected to many hurtful and nasty comments in the past year.
But we watched the trial closely, hoping it would bring closure. That did not happen. Today`s verdict means there is no accountability for the person who murdered our son. It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to just shooting people in the street. We hope that decent people will join us in forcefully rejecting that message and demanding more of our laws, our officials, and our justice system.
Make no mistake, our fight to hold those responsible for Anthony`s death accountable continues in full force. Neither Mr. Rittenhouse nor the Kenosha police who authorized his bloody rampage will escape justice. Anthony will have his day in court. No reasonable person viewing all of the evidence could conclude that Mr. Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.
In response to racist and violent calls to action from militia members, Mr. Rittenhouse traveled to Kenosha illegally armed with an assault rifle. He menaced fellow citizens in the street. Though he was in open violation of a curfew order, Kenosha police encouraged him to act violently. Kenosha police told militia members they would push peaceful protesters toward the militia so the militia could, quote, deal with them.
Soon after Mr. Rittenhouse killed Joseph Rosenbaum, the police did nothing. Concerned citizens, confronted with a person shooting indiscriminately on the street, stepped in to stop the violence. Anthony was shot in the chest trying to disarm Mr. Rittenhouse and stop his shooting spree. Still the police did nothing. Mr. Rittenhouse continued to shoot, maiming Gaige Grosskreutz. The police let Mr. Rittenhouse leave the scene freely.
Mr. Rittenhouse came to Kenosha armed to kill. Kenosha police encouraged him to act violently and our son is dead as a result.
Ken we are so proud of Anthony, and we love him so much. He`s a hero who sacrificed his own life to protect other innocent civilians. We ask that you remember Anthony and keep him in your prayers.
Again, that statement tonight from the parents of Anthony Huber, one of the two men who were shot and killed by Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha last year.
Mr. Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges today. We`re going to have more live from Kenosha coming up in a few minutes.
I should also tell you though that there`s more to come in terms of these gut-wrenching, harrowing trials. And I mean more to come in very short order, more to come quite soon. Right now, the jury is out, we`re waiting on a verdict right now in Charlottesville, Virginia, where two dozen neo- Nazi and white supremacists and individuals and groups are facing a civil trial that accuses them of planning the violence that happened at the right wing white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
As I said, the jury is out, they held deliberations today. They`ll be back to start deliberating again on Monday and we`ll be awaiting the jury verdict in that trial.
Also, the jury has not yet got the case, but closing arguments are due to start on Monday in the trial of the three men accused of chasing down and shooting to death Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed back man who was jogging in his neighborhood. In that case, you should know the defense counsel keeps demanding, keeps moving that the judge declare a mistrial in that case.
This is something we`ve been covering over the course of this week. This is the defense lawyer who said that all Black pastors should be banned from being anywhere near the trial because Black pastors, Black pastors in particular are intimidating. He has continued all week long including today with that kind of rhetoric and he`s now pretty clearly upping his game and making more and more obviously racially charged remarks in open court, even as the judge calmly keeps dismissing all these repeated motions.
The strategy of the defense counsel in the Arbery case really does appear to be to try to up the temperature, to try to up the racially inflammatory and frankly infuriating language inside the courtroom so much that it provokes a response in the community, which he could presumably then cite as a reason the trial should be called off as a mistrial.
His language started off at the beginning of the week like sort of throwing everybody back in their seats, like, is he really saying Black pastors are a problem, not just pastors, but Black pastors are the problem? It`s escalated since then. Every day this week he has used language that is not just that provocative but increasingly more provocative each day and it does, I say this not as a lawyer but as an observer, it does seem possible that what he is trying to do is stoke so much upset around that trial that he provokes something that he can use to end the trial and thereby get his client off.
I mean, we shall see, but, you know, if you think the Rittenhouse case has stoked the worst in America in the Ahmaud Arbery trial, the defense strategy literally does appear to be to provoke violence, preferably along racial lines.
It is getting uglier and uglier in that case. The jury should get that case very soon. Again, the closing arguments will begin in that case on Monday.
So we have been through a lot as a country. We are about to go through a lot more.
That said, as I mentioned at the top, there is enough news going on right now that it felt today like we`ve been trying to put ten pounds of news in a five-pound bag. Just tonight, the CDC, for example, has approved COVID vaccine booster shots for all American adults. We knew things were heading in this direction but now it`s official.
If you had your Pfizer or Moderna two shots and it was more than six months ago, it`s now time to get your third shot, it`s time to get your booster. If you had your Johnson & Johnson single vaccine shot like I did, no matter when you got that vaccine, it`s time to get that second shot, it`s time to get your booster.
I talked on the show about the fact that I did the Johnson & Johnson single shot vaccine as my initial shot in the spring. I got a Pfizer booster. It was fine. I hate needles with enough fire and fury to burn up the sun. But I did it. I got my booster. I feel much safer.
You got to do it, even if a needle makes you want to throw up, even if the word makes you want to throw up, which is true for me, you have to be vaccinated in the first instance. If you already got vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna six months ago or your vaccine was Johnson & Johnson at any point, you`ve got to get a booster. We can do this. If I can do it, you can do it.
With that recommendation, all adults get their boosters, that happened tonight. All of that stuff all happened in today`s news. I mean, plus the news that we woke up to this morning, that itself would be big enough to drive a whole news cycle or ten. I mean, when we last left our main characters under the capitol dome this time last night, the Republican leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy, had been speaking nonstop for a couple of hours, this time last night.
He had been talking for a couple of hours already, trying to delay passage of President Biden`s Build Back Better bill. This is the bill that makes it so people who take insulin won`t have to pay more than $35 a month for insulin. It extends the child tax credit that millions of American families are now getting. It gets your hearing aids covered if you`re on Medicare.
It makes all the post office vehicles and the school buses and even the trash trucks electric. It covers preschool for every kid in the country, and finally, childcare help. And, and, and, and. It`s this huge bill that is going to potentially be transformative in this country in terms of the way most American families live.
Well, this time last night, when last we left our heroes in the House, the Republican leader had spoken for a couple of hours, thereby delaying the vote on the bill. By this morning, when he finally quit, he had gone on for more than 8 1/2 hours speaking on the floor of the House, and good for him. Aside from, you know, the content of his speech, which doesn`t bear much -- shouldn`t require too much of your time.
Frankly, as a tactic, long speeches, very, very, very long speeches are a tried and true way for legislators to dramatize and draw attention to their objections to something that is going to happen anyway, and that is what he did. But he did that until after 5:00 in the morning. And then they reconvened the House in the 9:00 a.m. hour and it was clear very quickly that that part was over. Over with an exclamation point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: On this vote, the yeas are 220. The nays are 213. The Build Back Better bill is passed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: The Democrats cheering and literally jumping up and down, celebrating the passage of this huge piece of legislation that they tied themselves up in such knots about. Ultimately -- and this one on for a while. They finally calmed down a little bit, only to actually start back up again when Speaker Pelosi left the dais. She walked down to be with the rest of the House Democrats whereupon they started up again, although this time what they started chanting was "Nancy, Nancy."
The bill is passed. Nancy Pelosi got it through the House with the slimmest of margins to spare. And now of course it goes to the Senate, where, we`ll see. I think it is news and important to know that the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Pramila Jayapal, told us confidently here on this show last night that this bill is going to pass the Senate and that she has personally been speaking with the senators who will make the difference as to whether or not this passes, and you know who we`re talking about.
She told us that some things will probably come out of the bill, perhaps some other things will go into the bill. It will change in some small ways. But she told us last night confidently that the vast majority of this bill has been, in her words, pre-conferenced, which means pre-agreed-to by senators, including with conservative Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, the two who have been derailing this process all along and slowing it down for months. She says they`ve already pre-agreed to almost everything in the bill and the things that will be added to it or will come out of it are small compared to what will stay.
Hearing that from Pramila Jayapal, she`s been trustworthy, and her assessment of these things along the way has been true. We shall see. But the Democrats celebrated today. The president celebrated it today, right after he got out of his colonoscopy, the poor guy.
It`s just been a really big news day. And we`re going to talk about a lot more of these things over the course of this hour. I just want to give you one other thing in addition to today`s news. In addition to all that other stuff and a total surprise, something we have been covering now for months and months and months. And it feels like it`s finally going to get done.
You know the post office guy left over from the Trump years? Nobody has ever had to know the name of the postmaster general before. This is a technocratic job. It has never been a high profile job because it has not been a controversial job before until the Trump years when we got Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major Trump donor, major Republican donor, with no post office experience whatsoever. He has distinguished himself by, among other things, being under FBI criminal investigation for allegedly using the company he previously ran to gin up hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal Republican campaign contributions, which among other things appeared to have positioned him to get this post postmaster job.
He has also distinguished himself by maintaining personal financial investments himself with companies doing business with the post office, while he`s been running the post office. That doesn`t seem good.
He`s also distinguished himself by doing everything one human could conceivably do to sabotage the actual post office so it doesn`t work anymore, including ordering the irreversible physical destruction of multimillion dollar custom built mail sorting machines. He actually came up with a plan, a ten-year plan by which he promises he will make the post office provide fewer services and be permanently slower and be permanently more expensive. And that`s not if the plan goes wrong. That`s if the plan works.
This year, he`s instituting a special Christmastime extra rate hike on top of the price hikes he`s already pushed through. A Christmas season rate hike just for this year, to make your holiday season this year that much harder. That`s on top, I should mention, of what his changes did to the post office last Christmas, when last holiday season on-time nonlocal mail delivery dropped in this country to its lowest recorded performance ever, 38 percent on time, last holiday season, under Louis DeJoy.
Thirty-eight percent on time. If you were a student, you could add 30 points to that and it would still get you an "F."
Louis DeJoy is like a little bit of boiled shrimp sewed into the hems of the curtains when the last crew left the White House. A little bit of sugar poured into the gas tank, right? A little rich top soil they carefully blended into the ground coffee before they closed off the place and left the keys to the Biden administration, heh, heh, heh.
And the reason they were able to leave him behind -- what`s that smell? -- is President Biden cannot fire Louis DeJoy. That`s not the way the post office is structured.
The White House has repeatedly made clear they would like to. They think he is not the man for the job. But the way it`s structured, it`s not the president who appoints that person. It`s the post office board of governors who hires and fires people for the postmaster job.
Now, the president puts people on the board of governors but he can`t directly do what they do.
Well, today, on top of everything else that happened today in the news, today in a surprise move, President Biden made the changes to the postal board that apparently are finally going to clear the way to getting rid of that guy. "The Washington Post" broke the news this afternoon, explaining it in I think the clearest terms. They said, quote, President Biden on Friday, today, announced plans to nominate two new officials to the U.S. postal service`s governing board replacing key allies of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
The move was a surprise to postal officials and even to members of Congress according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The move casts doubt on Louis DeJoy`s future at the postal service and potentially gives the panel two crucial votes to oust him. He can of course only be removed by the board. Surprise.
Joining us now is Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. He`s on the oversight committee that`s been investigating DeJoy and his handling of the Postal Service. Congressman Krishnamoorthi has been calling on the postal service board of governors to fire Mr. DeJoy for months now.
He`s also been calling on President Biden to replace members of the postal service board, which President Biden did today, so that the new board could replace Mr. DeJoy. He also introduced a bill called the Delivering Envelopes Judiciously On Time Year-Round Act, which is as awkward as it sounds, except that it`s called the DEJOY Act, to fix the things in the postal service that Louis DeJoy has deliberately broken.
Congressman Krishnamoorthi, I really appreciate you being here. Thank you.
REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D-IL): Thanks, Rachel.
MADDOW: From the DEJOY Act to your involvement in the oversight committee`s oversight of this matter, to your direct pleas to President Biden to please replace members on the board of governors so DeJoy can be gotten rid of, you`ve been really, really, really focused on this, perhaps more than anybody else in government. Did you know that president Biden was going to do what he did today?
KRISHNAMOORTHI: I didn`t. But, you know, my pleas really came from my constituents, Rachel. We`ve received more complaints, thousands of complaints about slower mail delivery and raised prices than perhaps any other issue that we talk about in government.
And now we`re on the verge of the holidays, and unfortunately the postmaster general is taking the joy out of the holidays too. It was time to call for his removal.
And once Mr. Blum refused my plea to remove Mr. DeJoy, I asked that the president also remove Mr. Blum, who is the chair of the board of governors, which he announced today.
MADDOW: What sort of timeline do you think that people should expect here? As you say, your constituents have been giving you more feedback on this than any other issue. A lot of Americans, people who run small businesses, people who just use the mail for normal bill-paying and correspondence, a lot of Americans, millions of Americans, have been really mad. And it is apparently all by design, it`s what he set out to do and what he`s done.
If you can speak directly to Americans who have been mad about this, who have been hurting about this, what can we expect as a timeline in terms of getting rid of him and charting the progress of undoing what he`s done?
KRISHNAMOORTHI: First of all, it`s not going to be done until the holidays. Mr. Blum has until the end of the year to complete his term. So I hope that everybody sends their holiday cards and packages early this year, because unfortunately, even first class mail is slowed by 30 percent at this point.
However, in the New Year, I`m hoping that the new chair of the board of governors conducts a vote with regard to Mr. DeJoy and relieves him of his duties. And so I`m very hopeful that happens sooner rather than later in the New Year.
MADDOW: Let me also ask you about the huge news today out of the House, the final passage of the Build Back Better bill, at least in the House. It will head now over to the senate. A lot of people I think looking in from the outside are -- who support the legislation are happy that it finally got there. But I think are a little spooked at how difficult it was, how long it took, how much fighting there was among Democrats to get this far, to get to this point today.
Now that you`re there, now that you got this legislation across the finish line, I know you`re a strong supporter of it, how do you feel about how this went and any sort of lessons learned?
KRISHNAMOORTHI: I think the biggest lesson is unfortunately the Republican Party has become the party of no with regard to so many priorities of our constituents, whether it`s affordable childcare or investing in workforce training or investing in universal pre-K or even fighting climate change. And so, we have to basically come together as a caucus and do the hard work of governing the country.
The only challenge is to make sure that as we do that hard work, you know, no individual group of people take it upon themselves to exert their leverage and make it harder for us to get to a final passage of such an important piece of legislation. But now we`re there, Rachel. I say this BBB Act gets a triple a rating from most of the constituents I talk to, given what`s in there. I say the triple AAA stands for addressing America`s aspirations. And people are really excited.
MADDOW: Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, again, who has been sort of playing point on this issue about Louis DeJoy left over from the Trump years, still helming the postal service, doing a job that is infuriating and inconveniencing millions of Americans of every stripe, it now looks like he may be on his way out, something the congressman has been calling for. Sir, it`s been a huge day today, thanks for helping us to talk about it and understand it at the end of this long day.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: All right. We`ve got much more ahead tonight. Stay with us.
MADDOW: This was the scene outside a courtroom in Kenosha, Wisconsin today when Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges for killing two men and shooting another last summer in Kenosha during protests of police shooting of a man named Jacob Blake. There was a burst of celebration when some of Rittenhouse`s supports when the verdict was read. There are groans and screams of disappointment from others in the crowd. That`s what it looked like outside.
Inside the courtroom, the family and loved ones of the two men Rittenhouse killed, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, they reacted to the verdict with tears. Joseph Rosenbaum`s fiance said, in this case I don`t feel like the victims` lives matter.
Mr. Rittenhouse shot those three people last summer over the shooting of Jacob Blake. Today, Jacob Blake`s uncle spoke to reporters outside the courtroom. He said he was disappointed with the verdict, but also that he was not surprised by it. He said in his view the judge put his hand on the scale from day one in favor of the defense, in favor of Kyle Rittenhouse.
The NAACP legal defense fund put out a statement that said this in part today. Quote, we should not forget these killings took place amid protests in Kenosha. The history of protest is integral to the fight for racial justice in this country and there remains a concerted attack to encroach on this right. Rittenhouse`s conduct must be understood within an environment in which armed militias and vigilantes are acting to silence protesters.
And tonight, we have seen protesters back on the streets in Brooklyn in the largest numbers but also some in Chicago and also some in Kenosha in response to the verdict that came down today.
Joining us now is Shaquille Brewster, NBC News correspondent. Shaq has been at the Kenosha courthouse since the trial started. He was there to see the crowd`s reaction today when the jury delivered its verdict.
Shaq, thanks for being here, I know it`s been a really, really long day.
SHAQUILLE BREWSTER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Thanks for having me, Rachel.
MADDOW: What is it like in Kenosha right now? The town saw those weeks of protests last year, including the violence that resulted in this trial. Supporters and protesters of Rittenhouse have been back in Kenosha for this trial. What`s the atmosphere been like?
BREWSTER: Well, really, Rachel, despite the fears, and concerns, and anticipations as we watched the deliberations stretch into four days, more than 48 hours the jury was in that courtroom deliberating, Kenosha is calm tonight. And that is much to the relief we watched the we watched the deliberations stretch into four days, Kenosha is calm tonight. And that is much to the relief of many people here in this community. We mentioned and we`ve been talking about the National Guard that has been on standby, the schools that switched to virtual learning in anticipation of this verdict.
And you`re just not seeing that real reaction here on the streets. I`ll tell you, in my conversations with protesters and demonstrators over the course of the week and especially today, which by the way, on the courthouse, you mentioned the moment when the verdict was read, on the steps of the courthouse, you had people demonstrating against Kyle Rittenhouse and people calling for his acquittal.
The conversation I had with those who were disappointed with this result, those calling for his conviction, they said they expected this result. They were resigned, after watching the trial, this was not a surprise to them. And I think that goes into the reaction that you saw. There was definitely disappointment you saw on the steps, even among Jacob Blake`s uncle Justin Blake.
But it wasn`t true surprise. I think that is partially explaining why you have that more muted feeling here in Kenosha right now, and this feeling that so many people have told me they`re just tired, they`ve gone through a lot the past 15 minutes with the shooting of Jacob Blake, the shooting that then led to this trial, and now this trial. They`ve gone through a lot. And they`re just tired. They`re exhaling right now, as one reported to me, and that`s the feeling you have outside the courthouse.
MADDOW: I have to tell you just anecdotally, that resonates. Because there`s cameras in the courtroom, and that`s a controversial thing, because the whole country has been riveted by this trial, in large part because of the way the judge ran the trial and the judge`s own statements and at times outbursts and the way that the trial ran in a way that was surprising to a lot of people.
But the conclusion, based on the way the trial was run, was that it would be almost unimaginable for Rittenhouse to be convicted, at least of the most serious charges. So, I think anecdotally that resonates, in terms of the why the response has been what it has been. I don`t know anybody who didn`t expect this acquittal today.
But, you know, Shaq, I wanted to ask you about the victims` families. We saw Joseph Rosenbaum`s fiance today say in this case I felt like the victims` lives don`t matter. What else have you heard, if anything, from the families of the two men who were shot dead by Mr. Rittenhouse?
BREWSTER: Yeah, you read earlier in your show that really compelling statement from the family of Anthony Huber, who really just said, expressed their disappointment at the result. There was another statement from Rosenbaum and from Gaige Grosskreutz who was injured in the shooting with Kyle Rittenhouse. And in that statement they say that night in Kenosha, Gaige Grosskreutz and Anthony Huber acted heroically, they sought to end violence, and that while today`s verdict may mean justice delayed, it will not mean justice denied.
That is the sentiment you heard from the families as they were leaving the court. One thing to point out, Rachel, is these are families who have expressed frustration over the course of the trial that they didn`t feel like their loved ones were being defended or represented in the courtroom very well. I mean, at one point you even had the prosecution go after Rosenblum, who was a victim here, who lost his life in that shooting. And he said something along the lines. A Napoleon complex, he was going after someone who was even smaller than him.
That language, it was hard for the family to sit there. Of course the prosecution did that because that was part of their case, that was part of what they thought would work for the jury. But the families definitely had to go through a lot. It`s definitely a heartbreaking experience for them, and to see them and their reaction.
As the verdict was being read, they were crying and holding each other as that moment happened. It is definitely a situation where you don`t have any real winners here when you acknowledge the fact that two people did lose their lives and one person was seriously injured.
MADDOW: Yeah, and the consequences in terms of what this is going to mean to the country in terms of how people are able to safely protest, or even angrily protest but legally protest against things, the idea that this is going to have an effect in terms of whether or not feel safe and able to do that. Also, the prospect that there could be civil suits that happen that follow up on this criminal case. There`s a lot still to come. This is going to resonate for a long time.
Shaquille Brewster, NBC News correspondent, with us from Kenosha tonight -- Shaq, thank you. Thank you as always.
BREWSTER: Thank you.
MADDOW: All right. We`ve got more ahead. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Okay, this is something you should see. As you know, this week the house took this very rare step of voting to censure one of its members, Republican congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona, censured and stripped of his committee assignments because he posted a video online which showed him killing Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In the lead-up to that vote this week, it was pretty compelling, a pretty compelling presentation.
Among other things we saw very powerful speeches from the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and from Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez herself, talking about the consequences of normalizing violence against members of Congress, particularly in this environment.
It should also be noted in that lead-up to that vote we also heard from a number of Republicans who defended and excused what Congressman Gosar did. Colorado Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert took it one step even further.
She didn`t just defend Congressman Gosar but she decided to take that moment to attack some Democratic members of Congress with unfounded conspiracy theories and she did it from the House floor. And here`s the thing I really want you to see. I want you to see this response to what Congresswoman Boebert did. This is from a leading anchor at 9 News Denver back in Colorado. Just watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KYLE CLARK, 9 NEWS ANCHOR: Representative Lauren Boebert launched an Islamophobic attack against fellow Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on the House floor today, suggesting that the congresswoman from Minnesota is involved in terrorism, calling her a member of the jihad squad, and repeating an unsupported smear that Omar had married her brother.
REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): The jihad squad member from Minnesota has paid her husband, and not her brother/husband, the other one, a million dollars in campaign funds. This member is allowed on the Foreign Affairs Committee while praising terrorists.
CLARK: It`s time we acknowledge something, that we hold Lauren Boebert to a different standard than every other elected official in Colorado. We hold Congresswoman Boebert to a far lower standard. If we held her to the same standard as every other elected Republican and Democrat in Colorado, we would be here near nightly chronicling the cruel, false, and bigoted things that Boebert says for attention and fundraising.
This is not about politics, assuming politics is still about things like taxes, national security, health care, jobs, and public lands. This is about us as journalists, recognizing that we`ll hold a politician accountable if they say something vile once, but we won`t do it if they do it every day. Our double standard is unfair to all the elected officials in Colorado, Republicans and Democrats, who display human decency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Remarkable commentary about Congresswoman Lauren Boebert that she`s facing back home in Colorado.
Joining us now is 9 News Denver anchor Kyle Clark. He`s the managing editor and anchor of "Next with Kyle Clark", where he made that commentary this week.
Mr. Clark, thanks for making time to be here tonight, I know you have a really busy night.
CLARK: Rachel, thanks for the invitation.
MADDOW: I feel like as soon as I saw that, I wanted to talk to you about it because I feel like you have hit something that has been driving me crazy for a long time, which is the last point you made, if -- we`ll hold a politician accountable if they say something vile once but not if they do it every day. And the reason, of course, as you know, the reason we don`t do that is because of the word "new" in news, it becomes the same old same old thing, with people who have made that their stock in trade.
I wanted to know if you felt like you had a proposed solution to this, in addition to just the diagnosis.
CLARK: I don`t have a proposed solution. We have some ideas. And we`re engaging our community in Colorado to find a better way forward. But it seemed to me like we could no longer wait to acknowledge the problem until we had a solid solution, because the problem, the fact that we will hold an elected official accountability if they say something vile once but as long as somebody is willing to make it their personality, we`ll just kind of bake it into the cake, that is deeply corrosive to the way that our communities function, the communities that we serve. And even if we`re not sure what the answer is, we need to acknowledge the double standard so that we can do something about it.
MADDOW: Right. And I do think it`s really smart of you and really insightful to point out this is unfair to people who comport themselves in a decent way. If they said something once that was vile, all the attention, all the opprobrium would come down on them, whereas all you have to do to avoid that is to say it all the time.
It also creates I think a sort of cycle in which members of Congress, other elected official officials, people in the public sphere who realize they benefit from being always over the edge, in the words that you put it, cruel, false, bigoted things. Those folks know that they create a dilemma for the local news, for the national news, to whether or not to even cover these remarks, whether or not to play them, because, I mean, even if your commentary, playing Congresswoman Boebert`s speech, you in effect repeated the claims she made against Congresswoman Omar which are false claims, but you can`t talk about and criticize what she said without also advancing the thing that she`s trying to spread.
CLARK: And I think, Rachel, the elected officials who do this, and there are very few of them in Colorado at least, know exactly what they`re doing.
That it doesn`t matter, if we put something on television and say it`s false, they still have the ability to get it out so the trick for us going forward, and I think the challenge for a lot of local journalists covering elected officials and members of Congress is to figure out how do we report on what they`re saying if it`s cruel or false or bigoted without just relentlessly amplifying it, but also without simply ignoring it?
So for us at 9 News, the NBC station in Colorado, we`ve gone public with the double standard to acknowledge how it benefits politicians like Congresswoman Boebert, who is willing to say things that aren`t true or bigoted or are cruel, and at the same time is unfair to all of the other public servants who choose to hold themselves to a higher standard.
MADDOW: And in so doing, you`ve started a really important conversation that`s important not only in locations where there are individual politicians playing that game, but for all of us who are trying to think about how to responsibly, accurately, and effectively cover what is literally news.
Kyle Clark, KUSA anchor, the managing editor of "Next with Kyle Clark" -- Kyle, I really appreciate you making time to join us. Congratulations on starting this conversation. I think it`s brilliant and I think you`ve done a great job. Thank you.
CLARK: Thank you.
MADDOW: And we`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Heads up. This Monday, we`re going to have a Supreme Court day. Monday is the first decision day where we`ll get rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court for this term.
Now, the most high-profile case in which we`re waiting for a ruling is the Texas abortion ban. The abortion ban which has been in place since September in Texas. It is possible that we could get a ruling on that on Monday. It`s only the following week that the Supreme Court is going to hear arguments on a Mississippi abortion case which is designed to just wholesale overturn Roe v. Wade altogether. So this is all going to happen fast now.
For what it`s worth, this was the new "Washington Post"/ABC News poll that came out on the subject this week. Americans believe the Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade, uphold the right to abortion access by a more than 2-1 margin.
Support for abortion rights cuts across all demographics and divides. The pollsters wrote, quote, majorities of men and women, young adults, and seniors, whites and racial ethic minorities want Roe to be left in place. The findings are steady across under, suburban, and rural residents. Americans do not want Roe v. Wade overturned. They want abortion rights upheld by the court.
Nevertheless, abortion rights are teetering on a knife`s edge like never before. These important cases pending before the court, we could get that one decision as soon as Monday morning. Watch this space.
MADDOW: Man, what a day. What with a week it has been. This is going to do it for us, at least for this second. I`ll see you again on Monday night.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" where Zerlina Maxwell is in for Lawrence tonight.
Good evening, Zerlina.