President Biden spoke in Oklahoma today on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre. Democrat Melanie Stansbury has massive lead over her Republican opponent in New Mexico`s U.S. House race.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: All right. That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night.
"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank you, my friend. Much appreciated.
And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
You know, it doesn`t always work this way right after a holiday weekend but it`s right after a holiday weekend and the news is on full blast today. Sometimes it`s sort of a slower on ramp back into the news but not today.
President Biden today was in Tulsa, Oklahoma touring the Greenwood district. The prosperous, self-sufficient, African-American neighborhood in Tulsa that 100 years ago this week was beset by a white mob as the president said today, it was not a riot. It was a massacre.
Thousands of homes and businesses not only looted but burned to the ground. Whole blocks of homes and businesses and churches and newspapers and restaurants destroyed by a white mob that not only shot black Tulsans in the street, killing innumerable people literally enumerated people. The total death toll not known to this day from the Tulsa race massacre.
But they not only shot people in the street, they literally dropped homemade fire bombs on the Greenwood neighborhood from private aircraft. It was basically a war on that prosperous Black American neighborhood.
Incredibly, there are three elderly survivors of the Tulsa race massacre who are alive to tell the tale today. They are all obviously over 100 years old. The three of them each met with President Biden today in Oklahoma. We`ll be talking about that more tonight including speaking with a descendent of survivors from Greenwood who is now a state representative in Oklahoma, in the Tulsa area.
President Biden`s pretty impassioned speech today in Tulsa was, itself, news. As was that visit, itself.
But he did also make some news that was somewhat unexpected in the content of those remarks. President Biden said today that he expects this month, the month of June, to be a month of action on Capitol Hill when it comes to voting rights. This as Republican led legislatures and governors around the country continue to move ever more draconian bills to restrict the right to vote.
President Biden says he wants this month to be a call of -- excuse me, a month of action to defend voting rights. He is renewing his call today for the Senate to stand the voting rights act back up with the Voting Rights Act reauthorization that`s named for the late Congressman John Lewis.
He also called on the Senate again to pass the For the People Act, Senate Bill 1. This is the bill that has already passed the House. It would put a sort of proverbial floor under voting rights that no state could go below President Biden unexpectedly announcing today he has asked Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the effort to pass it, to find a way to get that thing through the United States Senate and on to his desk for his signature.
And then President Biden got blunt about why that hasn`t happened yet. He said, quote, I hear all of the folks on TV saying, why doesn`t Biden get this done? Well, he said, because Biden only has the majority of effectively four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends.
At which point conservative Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema both had their ears turn bright red and catch fire.
But again, the news there is that Vice President Kamala Harris will be tasked with hemming the efforts to get Senate Bill 1, to get the For the People Act passed. That is going to be very hard to do.
That said, for his part, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia professes now to be shocked, shocked I say, that Republicans last week would not even vote for a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack on the Capitol on January 6th. Senator Manchin keeps explaining how shocked he was by Republicans refusing to vote for that.
Whether he was -- I don`t know, it`s hard -- I am shocked that he`s shocked. But whether that has awakened Senator Manchin to the fact that Republicans are if they`re not going to support a bipartisan investigation into what happened on January 6th when their own workplace was attacked, perhaps that will awaken Senator Manchin to the fact that Republicans aren`t going to support voting rights either or infrastructure or anything else for that matter. We`ll see if he is awakened to that reality as well. That remains to be seen.
The Biden administration also this evening making more news on a different topic, when Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced that the Biden administration will not allow drilling to go forward, oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
The Trump administration had given the green light for drilling in that pristine wilderness. The Biden administration is rescinding that, hitting those brakes on those approvals. And this, of course, comes just days after some of the biggest oil companies in the world, Exxon, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell were all hit with court judgments and shareholder votes on the same day, all efforts to try to force those huge companies into a future where they`re effectively not drilling for oil anymore, let alone in protected arctic wilderness.
Some of the biggest oil companies on earth now facing serious pressure and serious binding constraints on them that are designed to force them into becoming effectively renewable energy companies. Not just drillers anymore.
So the protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coming at a time that is particularly volatile and interesting in terms of what`s happening with the big oil companies and their accountability on climate stuff super interesting, super interesting timing.
And interestingly, that big news from secretary of the interior Deb Haaland, that comes tonight on the same night that voters in New Mexico are choosing her replacement in Congress. She was a member of the House of Representatives when President Biden tapped her to become a cabinet member, to become secretary of the interior. That means that her spot in Congress is open and needs to be filled. Polls have just closed within the last few minutes in New Mexico in the special election to fill former Congresswoman Deb Haaland`s seat since she has been elevated to the cabinet.
So, we`re going to check in on that race in New Mexico in a little bit. It is especially interesting because the Democrats can`t afford to have the seat flipped and go to a Republican. They really can`t afford to shrink their majority in the House any smaller than it is. So, that race is interesting on its own terms but particularly interesting in terms of what it means for the slim Democratic majority on Capitol Hill. Like I said, the news has hit the ground running today.
As of right now, a significant portion of America`s beef production company is shut down. The company JBS is a gigantic meat packing company. They operate in 20 different countries, according to Bloomberg today.
JBS is actually so big, they might eventually be the subject of an antitrust action in the United States by smaller producers who essentially say they`re being squeezed out of the meat production industry by giant behemoths like JBS that have eaten up the entire industry. JBS is the single biggest producer of beef in the United States.
And today, we were reminded of the vulnerability that creates for us as a country. Since this weekend, many of the largest facilities operated by JBS in this country are shut down. They`re not producing anything right now. It`s not because of COVID this time, its` because of a cyber attack, another ransomware thing.
You may recall a few weeks ago a ransomware cyberattack hit the Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States that carries nearly half the gasoline and jet fuel on the U.S. East Coast. That attack for ransom, the one on the pipeline, was carried out by a Russia based criminal hacking group called Dark Side.
For their part, this dark side group got away with millions of dollars in ransom money from the pipeline attack. The United States for our part, we had our biggest gas pipeline in the country shut down for almost a week, producing widespread, severe gas shortages in multiple states that lasted even longer than the overall pipeline shutdown did.
The Biden administration roared back at Russia over that pipeline attack, telling them essentially even though dark side was a criminal operation, it wasn`t explicitly a Russian government operation, the Biden administration confronted Russia over that, told them that essentially the Russian government was responsible for the actions of the group if Russia was giving them safe haven to operate their criminal enterprise from within Russia`s borders.
We monitored that really closely. Not only the shutdown, not only the mechanics of that ransomware attack and the massive impact in the United States but also the way the Biden administration shoved Russia back in response to it.
Russia apparently did not care about the shove back at them. And we can tell this by their actions. At the end of last week, here we go again.
It was Microsoft at the end of last week putting out a public statement about another cyberattack from Russia. This one attributed directly to the Russian government. The Russian intelligence services, the SVR, actually the same unit blamed for the huge SolarWinds hacking attack last year that attacked both private enterprise and lots and lots of government resources in this country.
In this more recent attack, SBR hackers targeted an e-mail system used by USAID, which is part of the State Department. So you`ve got the Colonial Pipeline attack by criminal hackers based in Russia given safe haven to operate as an organized crime effort in Russia. Immediately following that, we get this alert about a Russian government cyberattack targeting part of the U.S. government.
And then this weekend, Sunday, JBS meat packing calls the Biden administration and tells them that they have been hit with a major cyberattack affecting their operations in multiple countries, an attack by yet another criminal ransomware group based in Russia. Russia apparently offering safe haven to organized crime groups like this to operate within their borders and attack whoever they want to as long as the Kremlin approves of the target.
Well, as of this afternoon, this latest attack, the one on the meat packing company, has resulted in the shutdown of roughly one-fifth of America`s beef production capability. We`ll see how long that lasts.
A White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre telling reporters today on Air Force One that the White House is, quote, engaging directly with the Russian government on this matter and delivering the message that responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals. Responsible states indeed do not harbor organized crime outfits like this. They find them, prosecute them, lock them up, right?
Organized crime outfits are not allowed to operate in an unchecked, in fact, sort of government approved way in responsible countries. Russia is not a responsible country. Russia absolutely gives safe haven to groups like this, sort of gleefully -- even in the face of the U.S. government telling them off about it, even in the face of the U.S. government being targeted by those attackers. See, they`re organized crime groups that operate in Russia with the implicit, tacit support of the Kremlin or sometimes it`s just the Russian government itself and their own hackers doing it.
And apparently when the U.S. government brushes them back on something like this, that just makes them do it more. President Biden and Vladimir Putin are scheduled to meet for a summit in two weeks in person in Geneva. And in advance of that summit, we`ve now got these multiple attacks against the United States out of Russia including like literally they`re attacking gasoline and burgers, right? They`ll figure out how to attack apple pie next presumably. That`s happening in the immediate lead up to this summit between Biden and Putin.
You will also remember how last week the president of Belarus sent up a fighter jet to force down a passenger plane because he wanted to arrest an opposition journalist onboard that passenger plane. Well, here is that same president of Belarus this weekend yachting on the Black Sea with his sweetheart.
We think we`re going to get engaged under the arbor -- we`ve always known we should be together.
The president of Russia Vladimir Putin hosting the president of Belarus following that international incident. As President Joe Biden is weighing what sanctions the U.S. is going to impose on Belarus for literally forcing down a commercial passenger plane full of passengers including American citizens while Biden is weighing what the West`s response should be to that, what America`s response should be to that, here is Putin inviting him out for a boat ride and a big dinner. Also offering extra flights in and out of Belarus from Russia to mitigate the fact the whole rest of the world now won`t fly any planes over Belarus anymore because a fighter jet might join your passenger flight and force it down.
Russia and Belarus announcing new military exercises together. Russia announcing they are sending Belarus a $500 million valentine. Good job sending the fighter jet to go take down a passenger plane so you could arrest and torture a 26-year-old journalist. What else do you need from us to protect you from any consequences of that?
Biden`s mad. The world`s mad. Don`t worry. We`ll take care of you. You`re our kind of guy.
And they`re not like doing this subtly to shore up Lukashenko right? They`re bragging about this, bragging about how in your face this is particularly to the United States particularly to President Joe Biden ahead of this summit in two weeks.
The deputy foreign minister in Russia just yesterday bragged to Russian state TV that before the summit with Biden, quote, the Americans must assume that a number of signals from Moscow will be uncomfortable for them, including in the coming days. Meaning oh, you don`t like these things heading up to the summit? There`s more coming. You`re not going to like it.
So, I mean, obviously, here is a challenge for President Biden and for us as a country. Russia keeps attacking us. They attacked our elections in 2016 and in 2020 both times to try to boost the chances of the Republican candidate in those elections, Donald Trump. One time he won, one time he didn`t. More on that in a moment.
They have locked up the most effective opposition leader in Russia, Alexei Navalny, and outlawed his political organization. They`ve got him in prison despite calls from the United States and lots of other countries that he should be let go.
Russia has stepped it up since they locked up Navalny. They have recently just basically outlawed dozens of other opposition groups and civil society groups and declared even big, well known groups like the group Open Russia to be undesirable.
Last night, they pulled the leader of Open Russia off a plane as he was about to fly from St. Petersburg to Poland. They pulled him off the plane and locked him up. The head of Open Russia, head of that group. That group has dissolved itself because they`ve been declared an undesirable group. Now they`ve started picking off the leaders and arresting them.
You know, as the west recoils at this totally out of bounds gangster move by the dictator in Belarus with the fighter jet and the passenger plane, here is Putin pulling that guy on to his lap not only defending what he did but protecting him from international consequences. It is not -- it is not likely to be a coincidence that Putin is doing all of this in the immediate lead up to him and Biden having their big face-to-face summit. And it will be very interesting to see how President Biden and the Biden administration more broadly deals with all of this. I have no idea what the right way is to deal with it.
And I don`t envy anybody who has the decisions to make in this case about how to respond or not or maneuver around all of these provocations. But while it will be interesting to see what our own government does here, what this new presidency, this new administration does to deal with this, look at what else Russia is doing right now.
So, the foreign minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, you remember Trump invited him into his office earlier in his presidency. Yesterday, Lavrov was asked about the upcoming summit between Putin and Biden, and Lavrov said one of the things Russia is going to raise at the summit, one of the things that Putin is going to press Biden on is what Lavrov called the, quote, persecution of those accused of the riots on January 6th.
Russia and Vladimir Putin are now prepared to champion the cause of the pro-Trump mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6th to try to stop the counting of the Electoral College votes in the last presidential election. Russia says that they are being persecuted. They are very concerned. They`re going to make an international incident out of the U.S. prosecuting the people who took part in that attack saying that is persecution of the political opposition and should be a source of international scandal.
Of course, they`re doing that. Of course, they are.
But meanwhile, you know, here`s what`s become of the candidate they tried to help against Biden in this past election and against Hillary Clinton in the election before that. Meanwhile, here is what`s become of him and the movement that is still supporting him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIDNEY POWELL, ATTORNEY WHO CHALENGED 2020 ELECTION RESULTS ON BEHALF OF TRUMP: As far as I know, this is the first case of abject fraud in obtaining a coup of the United States of America. So it`s going to have to be dealt with. It should be, but he can simply be reinstated, that a new inauguration date is set.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
And Biden is told to move out of the White House and -- and President Trump should be moved back in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was from a QAnon conspiracy theory conference held this weekend in Dallas, Texas. The woman speaking there in the little vest, that`s Sidney Powell, the pro-Trump lawyer who filed lots of lawsuits after the election seeking to have the presidential election results thrown out, making wild allegations of supposed fraud in the presidential election, every single one of which was thrown out by every single court in which those allegations were heard.
But, you know, it doesn`t matter. In Republican circles, it doesn`t matter that the fraud claims aren`t true. They are the preferred reality.
MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Trump won. He won.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
FLYNN: He won -- he won the popular vote. He won the popular vote and he won the Electoral College vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That`s retired General Mike Flynn, who was Trump`s national security adviser. He twice pled guilty to lying to investigators about his secret contacts with the Russian government. He was nevertheless pardoned by Trump before he could be sentenced.
The Trump administration apparently planned to bring Mike Flynn back into government if they had won a second term. The "New York Times" reported in February that Trump told people in a second term, he would make Mike Flynn White House chief of staff or director of the FBI.
Sure. Why not? He seems like he`s totally together.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I`m a simple marine. I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can`t happen here.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
FLYNN: No reason. I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That`s right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: No reason why there shouldn`t be a military coup here. There should be a military coup here. Should be a military coup here to force Joe Biden out of the White House and reinstate Donald Trump as the rightful president of the United States.
General Mike Flynn has since tried to walk back those comments, basically denying that he made them, but there they are. We heard what he said.
"The New York Times" reporting today Trump has in fact been telling people recently that he, himself, expects he will be reinstated as president by August of this year. August of this year, 2021 just like Sidney Powell said he would be. I don`t know if he thinks it`s a military coup that will get him there like Mike Flynn is suggesting or just enough Cyber Ninjas audits of enough states or maybe Russia will help him out since he is being so persecuted with all of his followers in the January 6th mob that tried to stop the counting of the electoral college votes. Quite persecuted they are.
I mean, even as he insists that he is the rightful president and Joe Biden was only put in the White House by this imaginary fraud, former President Trump has been invited to speak this weekend at the Republican Party state convention in North Carolina. The president has confirmed he will be there. The North Carolina state Republican Party wants to hear from him more than they want to hear from any other Republican.
Again, he claims to be the rightful president of the United States who has only been forced out of office by fraud and he should be reinstated and he expects to be by august. After the QAnon conference in Dallas this weekend including the call by his national security adviser for a military coup to reinstate him as president, after the success of that event this weekend, President Trump also apparently made plans to make another appearance himself next week at the next Trump election fraud conspiracy event after he does the North Carolina Republican Party event, he is going to do this thing.
That`s the guy from the pillow company and the address by President Trump at this event next Saturday is newly added to the flyer for this event. An earlier flyer did not include President Trump. The new one does. And he`s being billed as our real president. Says he will appear by JumboTron among all these other right wing personalities who are making their living now selling Trump supporters on the idea that President Biden isn`t really president and Donald Trump is going to be reinstated and they can all make it happen.
And if they mount a violent attack again to try to make it happen, well, at least Russia will have their back to try to save them from being persecuted by the tyrannical Biden administration.
After Trump was elected in the 2016 election, the man who served as deputy national security adviser for President Obama did some traveling. He left the U.S. for a while. In part he says to try to understand the effect that a change changing America has on the world but also pretty clearly I think to get some perspective on the madness we seem to be stewing ourselves in at the time.
He says this, quote: Sometimes conspiracy theories are the darker musings of those kept out of power in a society. Sometimes they`re fueled by those in power to keep a society distracted. But the Trump years went beyond even that. Conspiracy theories were a driving force behind the government itself, connecting to the most potent grievances of those who felt excluded even though their guy had won, shaping the subject matter of the national discourse and radicalizing individuals inclined to prejudice.
Once people choose to exist in an entirely separate reality it`s no easy task to bring them back especially when every turn of national events can be framed as a validation of their grievances. We will be living with the residue of that radicalization for a long time.
As I traveled outside the country I saw how what was happening at home was leading others to reassess America itself. In 2017, he says, I traveled to Tokyo to give a talk on foreign policy. I sat in a windowless room in the hotel`s conference area flanked at a horseshoe arrangement of tables by the vice presidents of major Japanese corporations.
Tensions were particularly high with Japan`s nuclear-armed neighbor North Korea so I expected their questions to be about that. Instead they asked what had happened that summer in Charlottesville, Virginia. Who were these people marching through the streets? Why had Trump said there were good people on both sides?
What they were really asking, I sensed, was a more fundamental question. Is that you? Is that America?
I offered the usual explanations for the 2016 election, the combination of the criticisms of the Clinton campaign, the news media, the bizarre twists that coalesce to elevate Trump, the fact that there had been no massive shift in public opinion to the right but rather a radicalization on the right. I watched them listen skeptically.
These men lived in cold reality, numbers on the balance sheet. They couldn`t indulge an America that was experimenting with insanity. Their entire lives had been shaped by American power. We provided for Japan`s defense and nuclear deterrent. We implicitly steered its foreign policy. We wrote the rules of global capitalism that had allowed them to thrive.
We developed the technologies that were reshaping how their companies managed information. We shaped the culture of international business that led us to be sitting there wearing business suits in a hotel conference room that could have been anywhere. They could tolerate acts of temporary insanity -- the invasion of Iraq, for instance. They could weather the results of our excesses, the financial crisis for instance.
But they could not gamble o know a country that had elevated someone like Trump, who praised fascists marching in the streets and steered the national discourse into the depths of conspiracy theory. That was more dangerous than North Korea, and nothing I could say was going to convince them otherwise.
That`s from the new book "After the Fall" by Ben Rhodes that comes out tomorrow.
Ben Rhodes joins us live here next. Stay with us.
MADDOW: He was teaching a class on the global authoritarianism at the time and says, quote, I was anchored in a belief that all of these pro democracy movements somehow needed to coalesce. As I walked the class through a syllabus based upon country after country that had drifted to the nationalist authoritarian right, Hungary, Turkey, Russia, China, India, Brazil, it was glaringly obvious how interconnected these right-wing nationalists were.
They used common tactics, common narratives, and common conspiracy theories to legitimize their role. Many of them shared common forces of financing, corruption, and even political consultants.
Isolated, the resistance movements that gave me hope would likely fail -- meaning if they stayed isolated. But if they were connected, perhaps some of them could succeed. That would require an America that came to its senses while recognizing how much had gone wrong. America had helped shape the world we lived in before descending into the cesspool of the Trump years. We now had a government that was busy radicalizing a huge swath of American society, with pockets of the country turning to violent white supremacy or a QAnon conspiracy theory positing that America is secretly run by a cabal of child sex traffickers.
At precisely the time that progressive forces around the world were under siege, America absented itself from the defense of the most basic propositions that had once defined it in the eyes of the world, the idea that individuals are entitled to a basic set of freedoms that should be applied equally to all people.
The idea that Democratic governance will compel a society to organize itself around a common set of facts. The idea that people of different races, religions, and ethnicities can peacefully co-exist by forging a common sense of identity. The lifelines offered to those who struggled for those things in their own spaces -- validated by the results that America, itself, could produce. We did big things. But we have lost our grip on that lifeline.
That`s from a new, beautifully written book by Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser to President Obama. It`s called "After the Fall: Being American in the World We`ve Made."
I said a moment ago it comes out tomorrow. Today is Tuesday. It actually just came out today and it is about a lot but has this urgent question at its core about figuring out why even us, why the United States started to bend with all the other parts of the world toward authoritarianism under the president that came after Barack Obama.
Ben Rhodes joins us now to talk about it.
Ben, congratulations on this. Thanks for being here.
BEN RHODES, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks so much, Rachel.
MADDOW: So I read the book and I took notes throughout. At the end of my notes, I just wrote in sharpie. I`ve been talking notes with pencil. I wrote, took out a sharpie and write on the bottom of it, this is a dark book.
Because I feel like you grappled really honestly with a lot of trends in the world from which, A, we are not immune and to which, B, there is no easy answer. I feel like you are in a pretty dark place in terms of where the world is going and where we are.
RHODES: Well, I put it this way, Rachel. Look, when I peeled myself up off the ground after the 2016 election, I kind of went abroad looking for answers. Sometimes you can see more clearly what`s happening here abroad. And the starting point for me was I was talking to a Hungarian opposition figure and I asked him how has your country gone from being a democracy to a single party autocracy basically in a decade?
He said to me, well, it`s quite simple. Viktor Orban, our prime minister, was elected on a right wing populist backlash to financial crisis, packed the courts with right wing judges, redrew the parliamentary districts to favor his party, change the voting laws to make it easier for his supporters to vote, enrich some cronies on the outside who bought up the media, created a right wing media machine that supported Viktor Orban, and wrapped it all up in a nationalist bow of us versus them. Us is the real Hungarians. Them is immigrants, Muslims, liberal elites, George Soros.
And he is talking and I`m thinking, well, he could be describing what`s happened in America over the last decade with the Republican Party. And, oh, by the way, you know, Viktor Orban, he got that playbook from Vladimir Putin. I think what I needed to reckon with was someone in a position of power honestly. Because if I can talk to people like Alexei Navalny, talk to people like the Hong Kong protesters and that Hungarian situation.
I had to resolute, how did America become part of this trend? What did we do to contribute? But also, what could we do to get out of it?
And I did find some hope in all those progressive movements that I allude to, particularly young people stepping forward that there is a pushback here. There`s a chance to steer the pendulum back in the other direction. But I was -- I was going to be honest. That`s not preordained in any way.
MADDOW: Well, and that`s -- that`s the part of it that I feel like is very important. The way you go through and you talk to -- you portray the rise and talk to people who are involved in the resistance against him and the same thing with Putin and the resistance against him and the same thing in China and the incredibly moving third portion of your book on the Hong Kong protesters.
It made me feel like I learned from the way that you learned it about the authoritarian playbook and the way all of the authoritarians do. Not exactly the same but they all do basically the same things to not only get power but consolidate it and work very hard on never giving it up. I don`t feel there is an antiauthoritarian playbook that is as tested and as effective and I feel like the lessons aren`t -- other than sort of this longing for a little bit more solidarity among different people who are resisting different authoritarians in different parts of the world, I don`t know that they`ve got a -- they`ve got a playbook that works other places, too.
RHODES: Well, I think what you see is different playbooks in different places. Part of the argument I`m making is we have to learn from one another. In Hong Kong, where they really had an asymmetry of power with the communist party they were setting up to. First that tells us we keep hearing of the attractiveness of the Chinese model of governance. One city in the world had a chance to opt in and the entire city basically tried to opt out.
What they did through this creation of a culture of protest is create an identity that was very much rooted in the defense of democratic values. What Alexei Navalny did that was so innovative is center his argument in anti-corruption, that essentially the key vulnerability of the authoritarians in Russia and this country is corruption. And that`s, of course, the weak spot he exposed of Putin. That`s also what some of the opposition did in Hungary as well.
They, too, were blending some of this idea we have a national identity as proud Hungarians without it being inconsistent with democracy. I think if you look across that it does implicate us Rachel because the idea is they need us to succeed as Americans not in our foreign policy. But where we`ve come up short of our ideal only underscores how important it is to be uncompromising in the defense of the idea that a multiracial, multi-ethnic democracy made up of people from everywhere can succeed.
If Alexei Navalny, he told me I know the danger I`m in. I`ve been poisoned. When the cell door closes behind me, I know they can do anything to me. But he refused to succumb to a circumstance in which his government was lying and was corrupt and was making power about something claimed only for the few.
If he is willing to make that kind of sacrifice, if the Hong Kong protesters are willing to make the sacrifices they did, how can we not do more to stand up for our own democracy when we are the country that was suppose today figure this out, Rachel? And we still have the solution. It`s written right there into our founding documents.
MADDOW: Yeah, seeing -- seeing the American flags flying among the Hong Kong protesters literally on the cover photo on your book, hearing you write about these people who are in resistance movements around the world writing to you with concern asking how America is in the depths of our -- the worst of the COVID pandemic and the worst of the Trump administration, it`s really, really moving and I think important piece of work.
Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser, the author of "After the Fall: Being American in the World We`ve Made" -- congratulations on this, Ben. Thanks for being here to talk about it.
RHODES: Thanks so much, Rachel.
MADDOW: All right. We have much more tonight. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One hundred years ago, at this hour, on this first day of June, smoke darkened the Tulsa sky, rising from 35 blocks of Greenwood that were left in ash and ember, razed in rubble. Less than 24 hours -- less than 24 hours, 1,100 black homes and businesses were lost.
My fellow Americans, this was not a riot. This was a massacre.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: President Biden speaking in Oklahoma today on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre. The attack is likely the single largest event of race based violence in our country`s history.
White Tulsans destroyed the city`s Greenwood district, a self-sufficient African-American neighborhood known as Black Wall Street, all in all killing hundreds of black Tulsa residents, displacing thousands of people, leaving the neighborhood a smoking ruin.
Our next guest tonight is someone uniquely positioned to speak both to Greenwood`s history and its present. One of the near casualties of the Tulsa race massacre was a black owned newspaper called "The Tulsa Star" based in Greenwood. Among other things it reported on the overwhelming number of lynchings that terrorized that era.
I say "The Tulsa Star" newspaper was a near casualty because although the paper was destroyed, headquarters was destroyed by the white mob that day, members of the community salvaged what they could and revived that paper. They renamed it "The Oklahoma Eagle" and you can still read "The Oklahoma Eagle" today.
One of the people who bought and continued that paper was a man named Edward Goodwin. He and his descendents stayed in Oklahoma after the massacre. They rebuilt what they could of the community.
Now his granddaughter is a state representative in Oklahoma. Her name is Regina Goodwin. And she joins us now. She represents the state`s 73rd district, which includes Greenwood.
Representative Goodwin, thank you so much for joining us tonight. I know this is a very somber day.
STATE REP. REGINA GOODWIN (D), OKLAHOMA: It is, Rachel. Thank you for having me and just covering this issue. It means a lot.
MADDOW: Let me ask you how you felt about President Biden`s visit today and his remarks and how it was received in the city.
GOODWIN: Well, first of all, to have a president of the United States actually come to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the first time in our history to address this issue says a lot, first of all, about President Biden. And it is special to us as Tulsans because we know this story, these lives that we continue to remember, the incident we continue to remember, it`s significant that he has the compassion to come to Tulsa and to talk about the massacre that occurred a hundred years ago.
So, it means a tremendous amount to bring this kind of national, international spotlight on Tulsa, Oklahoma, and particularly, the fact that he got to share time with Ms. Lessie Benningfield Randall, at 106, Ms. Viola Fletcher at 107, Mr. Hughes Van Ellis, who served this country, the fact he spent time with them, three survivors that quite frankly deserve justice and by God`s grace are still with us. S it means a lot.
MADDOW: I was struck by president Biden today talking about the economic, long-term ramifications of the destruction of Greenwood, talking about the loss of generational wealth, the businesses that were never handed down, the property that was never handed down, the families that never had the opportunity to build on what had been built up in that community.
What did you make of his discussion about what we can do now to address the racial wealth gap? He is talking about inequity in housing, small business finance, really granular, specific things.
GOODWIN: Yeah, you know, he did point out that we had about 32 percent home ownership in 1921. It`s about the same now a hundred years later, yet when you look at our white counterparts they`re about 57 percent home ownership.
And so, the differences are dramatic. And, yes, he is absolutely right. He is in a position where he can do quite a bit as it relates to grants, as it relates to home ownership, loans, as it relates quite frankly to people having land. You have to have land first of all to build on. So, land was lost, taken, stolen during that day. And when you come into that north side community when you look at the gentrification happening in Tulsa, absolutely, right policy implemented properly we can do more in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
So, I`m glad he`s giving thought to it. The next thing you got to do is put action behind it. So we stand ready. We continue to do the work we can here in Tulsa and certainly national, federal help would be greatly appreciated. Reparations, absolutely, are due, and it can come in many forms.
MADDOW: Oklahoma State Representative Regina Goodwin who represents the state`s 73rd district which includes Greenwood, it is an absolutely somber commemoration today but really important moment for the country. Thank you for being with us tonight on this night of all nights.
GOODWIN: Rachel, thank you so much for having us. Thank you.
MADDOW: All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: When President Biden named Deb Haaland to be rescued harry of the interior she made history as the first Native American cabinet secretary in U.S. history. She also lets historically created an open seat in Congress.
And tonight is a special election to replace her. Now, Republicans desperately want to pick up a seat in the House. Democrats don`t want to lose one because of how small the Democratic majority already is in the House of Representatives.
Polls have closed now in New Mexico`s first congressional district. Let`s check in with Steve Kornacki to see what we know.
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Rachel. Well, we know a lot, and this happened in just the last five minutes. What you`re looking at the screen, it`s a lame slide here and it`s significant because I think the question right now is shifted not to who`s going to win this race but to how much the Democrats are going to win this race.
Let me take you through what`s just happened in the last few minutes. You see Melanie Stansbury, she`s the Democrat. Mark Moores, he`s the Republican. You see a two-to-one edge here for Stansbury. Essentially, what just happened is, we got the early vote/the absentee vote. We got it from the big county that makes up the overwhelming bulk of this district. We knew Democrats was going to do well with this big chunk that just came in.
We didn`t expect necessarily would be this well for Democrats. So, a 32- point advantage here with Stansbury. It certainly exceeds what the Democrats did with the early absentee vote in Bernalillo County. That`s Albuquerque, back in November. It certainly puts Stansbury to win this by a decisive margin.
And this is where margin I think becomes key because I think that the storyline that everybody was looking at in this district. It was not necessarily which party would win but would the Democrats win by a convincing margin.
Let me give you two benchmarks here. Joe Biden`s victory margin back in November was 23 points. That`s one of the reasons Democrats felt safe putting Deb Haaland in the cabinet and taking the shot in the special election. Biden won by 23. Deb Haaland who was on the ballot in a house race last November, she won by 16 points.
Look, coming into tonight, Republicans` dream scenario was they win the seat out right. What Republicans wanted to do was to get the margin, if they lose to get the margin south of these two numbers. If they can get it into single digits or below how the Democrats did in both races in November, they would say hey look, there are some backlash to Biden and momentum of Republicans. We have seen these elections the important of midterm storms for opposition parties. So, that really was the Republican goal. Getting it under the Biden and the Haaland numbers from back in November.
Looking at what we are seeing right now. And again, this is like what you`re looking at, it`s like two-thirds of the vote that you are going to get from the entire district. That`s what we`ve already got in here. The rest of the votes should be Republican friendly.
How Republican friendly, if it breaks the same way it did the rest of the way back in November, Democrats would land right here, 23 points where Joe Biden did. If the remaining vote that comes in, these were votes that were cast and same day election. If they are considerably more Republicans this time than they were back in November, that`s possible. Even if they are, I think it is going to land -- I think you are looking at a range of 16 to 23 right here.
And, honestly, Rachel, that`s what Democrats were hoping for coming into this.
MADDOW: Steve Kornacki, thank you my friend. I had a set of questions to ask you but you answered them one by one as if you could read my note. Thank you very much, Steve.
KORNACKI: I know there. Thanks, Rachel.
All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: Thanks for joining us tonight. I will see you again tomorrow night.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL".
Good evening, Lawrence.