IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Transcript: The ReidOut, 1/18/2021

The ReidOut, Martin Luther King Jr. Day

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: That does it for me. I wish you a good Martin Luther King Day. I hope the day is meaningful for you. We`ll be back tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. "THE REIDOUT" is up next.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Happy MLK day, everyone. We are now 41 hours away from Joe Biden`s inauguration as president of the United States. And downtown Washington, D.C., has been divided up like a war torn country into a red zone and a green zone with 25,000 members of the National Guard deployed to the city, new security check points and roads blocked off. D.C. so much on edge that the FBI is vetting that the National Guard members themselves to make sure that they don`t pose a threat.

The unprecedented security comes after that deadly siege of the Capitol by insurrectionist Trump supporters on January 6th. And today, we are learning disturbing details about what exactly went on. Both The Associated Press and The Washington Post report that Trump allies and Washington insiders were behind the so-called Stop the Steal rally that preceded the Capitol Hill riot.

And a shocking video from The New Yorker shows insurrectionist rioters forcing their way into the Capitol and into Senate chamber looking specifically for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knock, knock, we`re here. Is this the Senate?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where the (BLEEP) are they? Where are they?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While we`re here, we might as well set up a government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where the (BLEEP) is Nancy?


REID: The video also depicts Trump supporters taunting the police and attempting to justify their behavior by saying they were just listening to Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are outnumbered. There`s a (BLEEP) millions of us out there. And we are listening to Trump, your boss.


REID: It is an argument other rioters have used to defend themselves. Here is a Texas realtor Jenna Ryan in an interview with a CBS affiliate in Dallas, Fort Worth.


JENNA RYAN, U.S. CAPITOL RIOTER: I thought I was following my president. I thought I was following what we were called to do.

He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there. So I was doing what he asked us to do.


REID: And it is not just Trump whose support these people claim to have, at one point, in The New Yorker video, the rioters justified their actions by claiming Ted Cruz would support them.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cruz would want us to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I think we`re good.


REID: When asked for comment, Cruz`s spokesperson didn`t exactly directly address the Trump supporters mentioning his name but said, Senator Cruz has repeatedly the terrorist attack on the Capitol is reprehensible and the criminals that carried out the attack should be prosecuted. He has been clear and consistent, unequivocal violence is always wrong, whether from left or right, and violent criminals should to go to a jail for a very long time, unquote. Again, Cruz`s flak not mentioning his boss getting name- checked by said terrorists.

Joining me now is my friend and colleague, Ali Velshi, host of MSNBC`s VELSHI, which you should not miss, and I never miss it every weekend.

Ali, talk about what you`re seeing. I was there earlier today, and I have got to tell you, I have never seen anything like it. I was at the `08 inaugural, lots and lots of security, first black president being inaugurated, this is much, much more intense. What are you seeing? How intense does it feel for you?

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: Yes, I`ve never seen -- I`ve never seen anything like this in America. As soon as this bus goes by, you can see there`s the Capitol right behind us. You can`t get any closer than I am. In fact, I`m right up to the tape here and it keeps changing through the course of the day. Intersections with new intersections blocked off. That`s a secured section behind me. There is new seven foot fence, there is razor wire on top of the fence. There is security, there is Capitol police, the Secret Service, there are buses, there is another one passing by right now. They are moving personnel around the city. These buses, this one is empty, so it`s dropped some people off.

There is a real sense that they have tightened this thing out. They are expanding the perimeter further and further from the Capitol, probably three or four hundred blocks now that people can`t get to.

The bottom line is, working so far, is there were supposed to be demonstrations yesterday that didn`t materialize, there are supposed to be demonstrations tomorrow, there are no permits for them. There are a couple of permits for a couple of random demonstrations. And then Wednesday is the day they`re trying to stop. That part seems to have succeeded. We`re not getting crowds here.

Now, the concern is whether anybody who is on the other side of this tape or the other side of those perimeter fences and the other side of the razor wire poses a threat. Officials have said there is no direct intelligence that suggests they do, but you`ve seen that we`ve seen some arrests of police officers, we`ve seen involvement possibly by Capitol police, we have also had a police officer in Virginia who was an off duty National Guard member.

So, the FBI is now taking it upon themselves to check background checks on these National Guard people. I mean, Joy, I have to say, I am little puzzled that this hasn`t been done before but I guess we didn`t really know that some of these people have these very public, overwhelming relationships to some of these white supremacist groups, to some of these far-right extremist groups. So that`s where the energy is right now.

They have hardened the perimeter around the Capitol and around the White House. Now, they`re trying to figure out whether anybody inside is a threat. Joy?

REID: Yes. It is remarkable because I do remember seeing a militaristic display like that in Baltimore and we`ve seen them when Black Lives Matter is rallying. I think for a lot of Americans, they are just not used to seeing that when the people who are being secured are basically whites and conservatives. So it`s pretty -- I think for a lot of people, pretty stark. It looks like a war zone, for sure.

Ali Velshi, stay safe, my friend. Thank you for great reporting. I really appreciate you.

VELSHI: Thanks, Joy.

REID: And I am joined now -- cheers. I am joined now by Congresswoman Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, one of the nine House impeachment managers, and former CIA Director John Brennan.

I want to jump to you really quickly, Director Brennan, because this is unusual. It does look like -- kind of like Iraq, right? And what do you make of, given your career and what you`ve seen in your career, the fact that we have to secure our Capitol from our own citizens? I just am curious what -- how you feel about that.

JOHN BRENNAN, MSNBC SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, as you said, Joy, this is something that I and my other national security colleagues for many years would see overseas in various war torn countries and other countries that are struggling along the democratic path. I never thought that we would have to go to such lengths today to try to protect our Capitol and our political leaders from what is basically a domestic insurrection on the part of so many individuals who responded unfortunately to the crying (ph) call of Donald Trump and other individuals in the government and Congress who have called upon them to try to undermine our democratic processes, specifically the election of Joseph Biden.

And so, therefore, I think the steps that are being taken are very, very important, they`re very prudent, and we need to make sure that all measures are undertaken in order to ensure the safety and security of those who will be gathering on Wednesday to welcome the new president of the United States.

REID: Before I get the congresswoman in, when you saw the incursion, sir, what you saw -- I mean, it did look like an Eastern European capitol falling. It did look like sort of the end stage Mobutu or something. Do you believe -- how close do you think that those lawmakers came to being really harmed or maybe there being kidnappings or maybe having someone killed?

BRENNAN: Well, I think it was only because of the heroic actions of some of the Capitol police officers, as well as the Secret Service and others to try to get individuals out of harm`s way. But as we watch the footage of individuals who were just running rampant in the chambers of the House and Senate and came very, very close to members of Congress, and who knows what these individuals might have decided to do if they were able to get their hands on members of Congress.

It is appalling. It is something that should trouble and deeply disturb all Americans. And, hopefully, we will never ever again see a repetition of this very, very unfortunate event.

REID: You know, and, Congresswoman, you were one of the people victimized by this. They were looking for people who do what you do for a living, who are members of Congress. It sends chills through my bones and blood listening to them scream, where is Nancy? It appears that these people really did expect that Speaker Pelosi would be on the other side of that door when they were smashing through the glass and one of the rioters was shot on the other side of that door were members of Congress. You just think about how close people like yourself came.

When you then hear somebody like Lindsey Graham sending a quite officious letter, when you see him sending a letter to Chuck Schumer and essentially demanding that impeachment be canceled, and then you look at this footage, he says the Senate should vote to dismiss article of impeachment, once it is received in the Senate, we will be delaying indefinitely, if not, forever the healing of this great nation if we do otherwise. Being a victim of this yourself, what do you make of it when he writes that?

REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): Joy, thank you for inviting me tonight, I very much appreciate it. It is also an honor to be with John Brennan. Thank you for your service to our country.

Let me talk about how we got here. A deadly virus has spread across this nation and it is a virus of lies. That`s where we are. And so I`m ashamed for Lindsey Graham. I am shocked, but I guess I shouldn`t be, that he learned nothing, that it is the president who incited this mob attack, this insurrection against a joint session of Congress.

Let`s all remember something. This was House and Senate, this was not any ordinary session day where one was in and the other wasn`t. It was House and Senate. It was also his own vice president. And this mob came and came to assassinate Nancy Pelosi, they came to hang the vice president of the United States. They hunted down members of Congress and, of course, they also hunted for members of the press. I was up in the gallery with your own colleagues. It was a terrifying day. Let`s not forget how we got here. It is from the infection of lies.

REID: And let me play for you one of your fellow Democratic Congress members. This is Steve Cohen of Tennessee, saying that he saw names who he saw giving a tour, and he`s not saying that these people were necessarily involved in the insurrection riot, but take a listen to him.


REP. STEVE COHEN (D-TN): Taking a group of people for a tour sometime after the 3rd and before the 6th.

We saw her (INAUDIBLE) and she had a large group with her. Now, whether (INAUDIBLE) we might have had a large number of people coming to be with her on this historic occasion and she`s wanting to give them the opportunity to have a tour.

But it was pretty clear that her team is the team. She`s not on the home team. She was with the visitors.


REID: She is not on the home team, she was with the visitors. He is speaking of Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert, who is QAnon curious. Do you feel safe around people like her and around Marjorie Taylor Greene, who are members of the QAnon cult? Do you feel safe around them?

DEAN: I won`t speculate at all on that because I did not see any of it. Obviously, the investigations will reveal a lot. What I`m focused on, and you know I have the honor to be named among the impeachment managers, I`m focused on behavior of this president, his constitutional violation of his oaths.

Think of the week that we are in, it`s strange rhetorical setting. It was four years ago this week that the president of the United States swore his oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. What we have seen is a president fail to do that in historically dangerous ways.

And yet we also have this Wednesday a new president will take that same oath of office. Where I am is that I have the solemn duty to be among the nine impeachment managers with Jamie Raskin as our lead and we will go forward in the Senate to say that this president must be held accountable.

I`m so mindful that today is Martin Luther King Day. I was a little girl when Martin Luther King lived and died and was assassinated. I used to teach writing. I never let a semester go by probably a week go by without teaching some of his beautiful wise words.

And so I call upon the members of the House and, of course, the members of the Senate most importantly to remember his words. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort, convenience but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.

I know of no greater challenge to this country and the selfish ambitions of a single man, contrast that with the march on Washington in 1963. What were people there marching for? Economic justice, civil rights, voting rights. What were the people, mob, insurrection coming to the Capitol for a few weeks ago? They were coming for the narcissistic power grab of a single man. What a contrast.

Let`s live up to Martin Luther King`s ideals and his beautiful words.

REID: Very eloquently said. I want to play the person who led the last impeachment. This is Congressman Adam Schiff who was indeed quite eloquent as well in his closing of the first impeachment of Donald Trump. Here he is talking about what he thinks should happen when Trump is no longer in office. And then I have a question for you, Mr. Brennan.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): There is no circumstance in which this president should get another intelligence briefing, not now, not in the future. I don`t think he can be trusted with it now and in the future he certainly can`t be trusted.


REID: And, Mr. Brennan, former Deputy Director of National Security Sue Gordon wrote an op-ed saying the same thing, saying, my recommendation as a 30-plus year veteran of the intelligence community is not to provide briefings after January 20 with the simple act which is solely the new president`s prerogative. Joe Biden can mitigate one aspect of the potential national security risk posed by Donald Trump, private citizen.

We`re seeing that Donald Trump plans to use all of the sort of festooning of the power of the presidency to give himself a party before he is gone. Are you concerned that if he still gets intelligence briefings, all of that will be for sale? Do you believe he should be cut off from access to intelligence briefings when he is no longer president, regardless of whether he is convicted?

BRENNAN: I certainly do, Joy. I don`t think he was ever to be trusted with this nation`s secrets and intelligence, and I see no earthly reason why he should continue to receive any type of intelligence briefings after he leaves the White House this Wednesday.

The Secret Service can ensure that any security related matters are going to be brought to his attention, but I would be very concerned about his continued access to intelligence because he has not used it while he was in office, he has disrespected it and the members of the intelligence community, and who knows what he might do with that information. I think that he`s very clearly as somebody who is just out for his own good in his own objectives.

And so having additional intelligence made available to him, I think, would be very foolish and inconsistent with our national security requirements.

REID: Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, John Brennan, thank you both. I really appreciate your time this evening. Happy MLK Day. Please be safe.

And up next on THE REIDOUT, President-elect Biden lays out an ambitious agenda, including undoing Donald Trump`s most destructive policies while Trump`s top priority is freeing his cronies from prison with pardons.

Plus, yet another moment of reckoning for Republicans, they allowed Donald Trump to hijack their party. Will they now hand the keys to the QAnon caucus?

And the same people trying to overturn an election by calling black votes fraudulent are tweeting about their favorite MLK quotes that they don`t even begin to understand.

Back with more of THE REIDOUT after this.


REID: The 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, when he first steps foot onto the -- into the Oval Office on Wednesday, is ready and eager to jump-start a vaccine rollout plan that includes scores of new vaccination sites and a pledge to administer 100 million doses in his first 100 days.

Meanwhile, we`re seeing a very different, but predictable use of taxpayer money by the twice-impeached one-term current president, who will not be attending his successor`s inauguration, choosing instead to depart for Florida. In an unprecedented move, it leaves the White House`s chief usher to greet the new first family, but not before throwing himself a send-off at Joint Base Andrews, where he will finally enjoy the fawning pageantry autocrats like Kim Jong-un demand.

The ceremony may include a color guard, military band, a red carpet, a 21- gun salute, and perhaps even a flyover by Air Force fighter jets, all on your dime. You`re welcome, taxpayers.

The bizarre dictator cosplay will occur before noon, so that Trump can depart on Air Force One, a plane that loses that designation the moment Biden takes the oath.

And then, and only then, will this horrific, deadly reality show that sought to violently destroy our democracy finally fade to black.

Joining me now is Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

And, Sherrilyn, I don`t know if it`s just me, but, in a sense, I know that Donald Trump is going to film his big departure so that he can use it for some marketing, cheap purpose down the road. And I`m almost like, do it, man and just go away, because there`s so much work to do, that I feel like it doesn`t matter if he and Melania have tea with the Bidens.

I don`t know if I`m alone. But do you feel like the urgency really is just go, however, you need to go, and let`s get on with the work?

SHERRILYN IFILL, PRESIDENT, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND: Yes, Joy, I`m not at all interested in the ceremony and the pretense that this is normal.

REID: Yes.

IFILL: There is no -- there has been no peaceful transfer of power. January 6 put paid to that.

there is no courtesy, and none -- and, in any case, we wouldn`t want Trump to be maskless around the president-elect and the vice president-elect and the first lady. And so, really, honestly, I don`t see the upside of even pretending that this is an important thing to happen.

Moreover, there`s just work to be done, as you pointed out, so much work to be done. And we have got to get on with it.

REID: Absolutely.

You`re my Caribbean American sister, so you understand that all I want them to do is have a big bottle of Dettol and clean the whole White House out, so we can move on.

There is a lot that Joe Biden has said that he wants to get on with in terms of his first day, rejoining the Paris agreement, which is important, extending the ban -- the Muslim -- I mean, ending -- sorry -- the Muslim ban, extending restrictions on evictions and foreclosures, extending the pause on student loan payments, a mask mandate.

Those are listed in his first things.

Do you think that there should be a sixth thing, meaning getting the John Lewis Voting Rights Act passed? It feels like, with a short window to get a lot done, protecting the vote feels super urgent right now, after the insurgency.

What do you think?


No, it is. It`s critically important. And I will say, by the way, we were a Comet family.


IFILL: But it is critically important.

And there actually -- there are actually two bills. There`s H.R.1, which is the For the People Act, and then there`s H.R.4, which is the John Lewis Act. And we`re already taking a look at both of those, and they need to move.

Frankly, I think H.R.1 is the broader piece of legislation that covers a variety of voting matters. It may move first, but both of them should be given the highest attention.

Your guest, John Brenner, the former -- Brennan, the former CIA director, said what we saw on January 6, is something that he`s seen with countries on the path to democracy. And I think we have to recognize that this country is still on the path to democracy.

REID: Yes.

IFILL: Voter suppression did not start with Trump. It`s been around for quite a long time. And we have to get on with urgency to the democracy issues that have left us so vulnerable.

So, yes, I think moving both of those pieces of legislation has to be added to the list.

REID: And so there`s a couple blocks.

So, the COVID piece is huge. I mean, we`re talking about potentially half- a-million people could be dead of COVID by February, which is horrifying to even think about those numbers of dead and Americans being like -- sort of waving it off.

But when it comes to the mask mandate piece of this, how much latitude in the federal law do you think that President Biden is going to have? And how much fight might he end up in court to try to institute a mask mandate?

IFILL: Well, to the extent his executive order covers federal agencies, federal property and federal buildings, I think he will be on absolutely solid ground.

I think the most important thing is doing exactly what he`s done, which is use the bully pulpit, take away the kind of sting of the political from the wearing of masks. But even more important than that, Joy, is the vaccine, and addressing what we`re already seeing as the racial disparities in the provision of the vaccine.

We are not part of that death cult of people who thought it was OK to let their grandparents pass away and be sacrificed. We love our elders. We want them to be healthy. We need to get this vaccine to black communities, particularly in the rural South and in our cities.

And that really has to be the highest priority, not just saying we have a vaccine, but ensuring that it is delivered into the arms of those who are disproportionately vulnerable to COVID, infection and COVID death.

And that`s black and brown people in this country. So, we`re going to be looking very closely to see what that looks like.

REID: You know, and Sherrilyn, despite all of the sort of terror that we have been sort of living under and the disgust, I think, frankly, that so many of us have felt over the last four years about the things that have been done in our name by this president, there`s -- something extraordinary is going to happen.

And I would be remiss if I didn`t ask you about it. I mean, you`re going to see the first black woman vice president, an HBCU grad, who`s going to be sworn in by Sonia Sotomayor, who is the first Latina member of the Supreme Court. They`re going to use Thurgood Marshall`s Bible.

There`s so much sort of significance to this moment that`s coming. Have you had a -- have you been able to even take two seconds to reflect on that?


REID: Because there`s so much work, obviously, that you`re in the midst of as well. But I would love to get you to just reflect on that for a moment.

IFILL: Yes, it`s actually been a struggle. But I`m determined to do it, to hold on to what is really the historic nature of this moment and some of the joy of this moment, even as we fight -- face the challenges ahead.

Senator Harris, now former Senator Harris, is about to be the first black woman vice president, first vice president of South Asian descent. She will be sworn in by Justice Sotomayor using Thurgood Marshall`s Bible.

This is -- this is the kind of thing that elevates us, that helps us understand that, no matter what, we are moving forward, despite what we`re facing.

That`s why today at LDF, we launched a scholarship program for the creation of a new cohort of civil rights attorneys based in the South, because we, too, want to speak something positive into this moment. We know that we have to litigate and we have to advocate, and it`s not always pretty, and it`s difficult and challenging.

But we also want to speak something positive into the future of who we are as black people. We want to be serious about power and equality. And we`re not going to turn back. It`s MLK Day. And so it`s important that we -- I`m so glad you brought up the historic nature of Kamala Harris` ascension to the vice presidency.

We can`t let that go. It`s hard-fought-for, these wins.

REID: That`s right.

IFILL: And we have to acknowledge it and acknowledge the many people who came before, in this case, the many black women, Shirley Chisholm and so many others, who came before to make this pathway possible.

And we have to rest at least for a moment in acknowledging the extraordinary nature of what we`re about to see.

REID: Absolutely.

The heroic Sherrilyn Ifill, who has Thurgood Marshall`s old -- that is how significant you are, sister. I`m glad that you`re going to steal a little joy from that day, because I`m sure going to. We`re going to not let that be taken away from us.

Thank you.

IFILL: Absolutely.

REID: Please send us the link to that and scholarship info, so we can post it on our social.


REID: Thank you very much, and cheers.

And still ahead: Will the Republican Party press ahead as the party of Trump, catering to extremists mired in misinformation? Can the GOP find its way back to reality, or is it already too late?

Stay with us.


REID: When Donald Trump ceases to be president at noon on Wednesday -- does it feel like I`m counting the seconds? -- left in his wake will be a Republican Party whose DNA includes open support for domestic terrorism, white grievance, and authoritarian tendencies, completely disconnected from reality.

What was once fringe is now the modus operandi of the Grand Old Party. With a little over 40 hours left in his term, both "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post" are reporting that Trump is still pushing the big lie that he won the election.

And he`s not alone. A new NBC poll shows that about three of every four Republicans do not believe that Joe Biden was legitimately elected president. Another poll from "The Washington Post" and ABC shows that 56 percent of Republicans think Trump deserves zero blame for the Capitol insurrection.

Another 66 percent of Republicans say Trump acted responsibly. And 51 percent of Republicans say that their leaders did not go far enough in nullifying the election.

In "The Atlantic," Republican Senator Ben Sasse writes that what happened January 6 was "the blossoming of a rotten seed that took root in the Republican Party some time ago, and has been nourished by treachery, poor political judgment, and cowardice. When Trump leaves office, my party faces a choice. We can dedicate ourselves to defending the Constitution or we can be a party of conspiracy theories, cable news, fantasies, and the ruin that comes with them."

Poor political judgment and cowardice. Did he -- did he say that into a mirror?

Anyway, while Donald Trump remains wildly popular with everyday Republicans, he`s deeply unpopular with, well, basically everybody else. According to Gallup, only 34 percent of Americans approve of the job that he`s doing, the worst polls of his presidency.

For more, I`m joined by my pal Dean Obeidallah, host of the eponymous "Dean Obeidallah Show" on SiriusXM and also a columnist for MSNBC Daily.

And, you know, I`m so glad you`re here today, Dean, because you do what I used to do. I used to do talk radio. And I can remember talking to some people who were real way out there who would do -- because we would open our lines and let them call in. And they were whew.

And that was back in the old George W. Bush, like regular Republican days. How madcap is it? Because I know you talk to these people. How thorough is the rot among just regular Republicans that -- just from what you`re hearing on the radio?

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, MSNBC DAILY COLUMNIST: First of all, they`re in Congress now, Joy.

I mean, it`s not like they`re just calling me.


OBEIDALLAH: They`re running. They`re elected to office.

Look what you have. Marjorie Taylor Greene, she is typical GOP. I mean, this delusion that somehow she`s an outlier, she was anti-Muslim, saying that Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are part of an Islamic invasion, should go back to the Middle East. That`s long been a Republican platform point.

She`s called Black Lives Matter a Klan movement, literally equated it with the Klan, just like Trump and Republicans have done. And she plays white grievance politics. She said -- I`m not kidding -- literally said, the most discriminated group in America are -- wait for it -- white men, so -- and not even white women. White men.


OBEIDALLAH: So, look -- so, when they call my show, they`re parroting that, the most extreme of the party, the ones who will call a progressive talk show.

And many of them, you give them facts, it doesn`t matter. Either they will tell me I`m wrong, or they will just switch to another topic. That`s what we`re dealing with. There`s no fact. People go like, why don`t you tell them this? I have told them this. I have told them that. Nothing changes. They`re not going to change their mind.


OBEIDALLAH: You have got to get -- these are people believe Hillary ran a child sex ring at a pizza parlor. What can I say to them to change them? Nothing.

That is the GOP.

REID: Yes.


REID: And the best part about the pizza parlor thing is that they said it was in the basement, and the place doesn`t have a basement.

And just in case people don`t think that Dean is overdoing it, let`s just put up the list of just some of the House Republicans who support Trump. OK, this is just a list of some of them. And that is just a few.

And we`re going to put up a list of the House and Senate Republicans who are Trumpers. There they are. So, these are regular order Republicans who think all of these sort of madcap things.

But I want to take advantage of your other thing that you are that people don`t -- may not realize. You`re a great comedian, hilarious guy, but, also, you`re a lawyer.

So, Dean, when you have people saying, I think -- let me just play it real quick. This is cut three, for my producers.


REID: These are some of the Capitol rioters. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED RIOTER: Hawley, Cruz. I think Cruz would want us to do this.


UNIDENTIFIED RIOTER: So, I think we`re good.


REID: I mean, these guys are a problem. These guys have a problem, right?

I mean, first of all, if they`re mentioning Hawley and Cruz -- and Hawley and Cruz, we`re both pumping up this big lie that the election was stolen - - do you think they face any potential criminal liability? Does this increase Trump`s liabilities, since they`re all in the same group? And can these people actually benefit from blaming the members and throwing them under the bus, legally?

OBEIDALLAH: Well, if Joe Biden had made me the first Muslim attorney general in this country`s history, I would have prosecuted Hawley and Cruz.

But I think legally, look, it sort of adds a flavor to what`s going on. Because someone said someone inspired me to do something bad, does it legally make you responsible? It`s not as straightforward as that.

The case with Trump, though, I mean, the language from his speech -- and I think people have got to take a step back. The language from his speech on January 6 was very clear: Someone`s got to do something about this. Talking about Joe Biden winning. Someone`s got to step up.

Oh, there was no peaceful option. This was on election eve. The only place to go was walked to the Capitol, like he said, and do something violent. There was no other reasonable interpretation. So, I think Trump faces the greatest potential criminal liability for what went on.

But, Joy, can I just say quickly, that NBC poll you pointed out to, 90 percent of Republicans, just about, approve of Trump`s job handling now, now, in the new poll, after the insurrection.

REID: Yes.

OBEIDALLAH: After the insurrection, 138 members of the House came back, after hiding on the ground, and voted not to certify the election results.

And when they had a chance last week, only 10 Republicans in the House out of 211 voted to hold Trump accountable.

This is the GOP. And I don`t really fear for them.

REID: Yes.

OBEIDALLAH: I wrote up for MSNBC that we`re going into a world of fascism.

And I don`t mean that over the top. I mean that academically, using violence to achieve political goals. And we should all be alert to this.

REID: Yes, we absolutely should.

And I promise you, if he were to run tomorrow for election, he would get the same number of votes. I don`t think he`s lost more than a couple dozen voters from all that`s happened, I mean, even with nearly 400,000 people dead.

Let`s just face it. The Republican base doesn`t care. This is who we`re dealing with.

OBEIDALLAH: Yes. They love him.

REID: Dean Obeidallah, you`re great. Thank you so much. Be safe out there. Cheers.

OBEIDALLAH: Thank you, Joy.

REID: Right. And up next, on -- thank you.

On MLK Day: a look back at a speech delivered by Dr. King in 1967 that seems even more relevant today.

Don`t go anywhere. We will be right back.


REID: So today, being MLK day, we have been subjected to the annual ritual of politicians, some of whom have proven to be the enemies of voting rights for nonwhite Americans, soberly quoting Dr. King`s "I Have A Dream" speech. Apparently, the only King lines they know. Hey, Lindsey Graham.

But those politicians would do better to pay attention to the later King who painted a less rosy picture of America, a country that then as now was ridden with what King called the triple evils of racism, militarism, and the neglect of the poor, so much so that King`s words are as relevant today as when he spoke at the National Conference on New Politics in Chicago in 1967.


MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., CIVIL RIGHTS ICON (voice-over): The white backlash of today is rooted in the same problem that has characterized America ever since the black man landed in chains on the shores of this nation. This does not imply that all white Americans are racist, far from it. Many white people have through a deep moral compulsion fought long and hard for racial justice. Nor does it mean America made no progress in our attempt to cure the body politic of the disease of racism, or that the dogma of racism hasn`t been considerably modified in recent years.

However, for the good of America, it is necessary to refute the idea that the dominant ideology in our country even today is freedom and equality, while racism is occasional departure of the norm on the part of a few bigoted extremists. Racism can well be that corrosive evil that would bring down the curtain on western civilization, said that some 26 civilizations have risen upon the face of the earth. Almost all of them have descended into the junk heaps of destruction, the decline and fall of these civilizations according to Toynbee was not caused by external invasions but by internal decay. They failed to respond creatively to the challenges impinging upon them.

If America does not respond creatively to the challenge to banish racism, some future historian will have to say that a great civilization died because it lacked the soul and commitment to make justice a reality for all men.



REID: With America reeling from the siege of our Capitol, which was meant to try to overturn an election tip by the very voters, the very kinds of people that King fought for, the question was, what work do we still have to do? And we`ll discuss that with two expert voices next.

But before we break, take a look at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. which is lit up right now with what`s called a field of flags, presented by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, 56 pillars of light representing all 50 states in the U.S. territories in honor of Americans unable to travel to Washington for the inauguration.


REID: Over the weekend, Senator-elect Raphael Warnock, the man who inherited the pulpit at Dr. King`s spiritual home, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, one year ago today was welcoming appointed Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler to the pulpit, months before she became his Senate opponent and denounced the vision of racial, political and economic liberation and justice that he inherited from Dr. King. That Reverend Warnock spoke to the work America still has to do.


SEN.-ELECT RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): There is a sense in which the world is in flux. When that happens, there are always those demagogues who are trying to scapegoat other people, stirring up the worst types of stereotypes and creating all kinds of division, age old racial and religious resentments, divisions that blur our vision.


REID: Joining me now is Bishop William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People`s Campaign, and Michael Eric Dyson, distinguished professor of African-American studies at Vanderbilt University and the author of "Long Time Coming: Reckoning With Race in America."

And, the Reverend Dr. Dyson, I have to make you refer to the bishop. You know, the bishop ranks higher in this instance. I will defer further, go first to the bishop.

Bishop Barber, you know, Bernice King --




REID: We`ve got to -- we`ve got to defer.

So, Bishop Barber, Bernice King had a tweet I thought was perfect because all of the Republicans are out here, let me quote the 1963 march on Washington speech. I have a dream. They all are quoting it.

Bernie King said, please don`t act like everyone loved my father, she tweeted. He was assassinated. 1967 poll found he was one of the most hated in America, most hated. Many who quote him now and evoke him to deter justice today would likely hate -- may already hate the authentic King.

It is a thing that annoys me, every King Day, that he is misused. This is a man who wanted justice. He wanted what you wanted, the Poor People`s Campaign. That`s what he wants.

What are your thoughts?

BISHOP WILLIAM BARBER, THE POOR PEOPLE`S CAMPAIGN CO-CHAIR: You notice they never quote the agenda of March on Washington, $2 minimum wage, which would be $15 today, and complete and full Civil Rights Act.

We must be note -- be honest, we can`t deal with innocence. What we saw happen at the capitol two weeks ago is the result of a long history, many corporate leaders, Republican politicians and religious nationalists have sewn politics of race-driven, class-bait (ph) division that was cynically named 50-some years ago positive polarization. They actually said, Richard Nixon and others, we`re going to do this deliberately to divide the country in half.

And what we know is the strategy of feeding and seething intentional race class division into the body politics spilled over into inevitable violence, idea of white supremacy, and Dr. King told us every time there`s a possibility for white, black and brown, poor and lower people to come together, the forces, he says aristocracy does this.

And make no mistake, Joy, your audience, the same forces of reaction that killed Dr. King erected gallows on the National Mall and ransacked the Capitol on January 6th, and those are the same forces and same mentality that burned our churches, destroyed our bodies. We have to understand it is hypocrisy to say you love the dream of Dr. King, but you keep the dream for real locked up and only produce the nightmare of poverty, the nightmare of militarism, a nightmare of racism, the nightmare of denying health care and the nightmare of religious nationalism and false distorted morality of religious nationalism.

REID: Yeah, indeed.

And, Reverend Dr. Dyson, wrote many books on Dr. King. I mean, he was very explicit, as Bishop Barber said, in wanting to have a minimum guaranteed income for people. And just denouncing the Vietnam War, breaking with Lyndon Johnson over it and demanding that there`d be true equality. This was not a guy singing the happy America song at the end of his life, he was angry.

Talk a little about the king people don`t want to talk about.

DYSON: Right. Absolutely right.

And in that speech you played at the beginning, they had trouble with the microphone. So, Dr. King said, can y`all hear me? And, clearly, 60 years later, still don`t hear it.

The inability to hear what Dr. King was saying. He talked about the triplets of racism, of militarism and economic inequality. And these were plagues that continue to tag our nation with vicious particularity.

Make no mistake about it, Dr. King was critical of the critical embrace of American exceptionalism. Doctrine of exceptionalism that says we are better, morally superior, that we will police the nations of the world, make them bow down and subordinate to our own beliefs about American democracy when we couldn`t practice them here at home. The internal dimensions of contradiction that Dr. King underlined, he said as a result of that, I`m not going to simply speak out against the people who are here in my country who are committing violence. He talked about the young men and women engaged in, quote, rioting, which he said was the language of the unheard, he said. But the bombs of Vietnam explode back here at home.

So, he tied together a global perspective and international awareness of violence in this country and indeed the world to what was going on here. And, of course, the hatred we saw unleash at the Capitol, we know had black people been righteously protesting against the vicious limits imposed on us arbitrarily by a police state that continues to disrespect our bodies would have been arrested if not killed and shot as you yourself eloquently pointed out.

But these white supremacist insurrectionists embracing evangelical piety in the name of god of whiteness, the real god when you say white evangelical, they`re more white than evangelical. White evangelicals in the 1800s prayed to god to help give them imagination how to block black people from voting. That`s what they did then. That`s what they`re doing now.

The shenanigans and the mistreatment to which black people are subjected by their white brothers and sisters who call themselves Christians means that many of us, as Dr. King said, I wonder who your god is, I wonder who you pray to at night that allows you to go out into the area, lynch a black person, come back and say benediction.

That`s what King spoke out against continually and would so today.

REID: And, Bishop Barber, in this case if the President-elect Joe Biden came to you and said layout a King-ian agenda, what would you put on the agenda?

BARBER: Well, you know, we actually have. We met with the domestic policy team, even before president-elect was president-elect, and laid out a 14 point agenda and we started with the basic moral premise. You know, Isaiah 58 tells us the only way to heal a nation is repairing the breach. Our own Constitution says you have to establish justice if you want to ensure domestic tranquility. And what we said is it has to be real and has to be five areas to focus on and then we gave specific policies.

One, you have to deal with systemic racism. We can`t accept systemic racism, violence in policy, voter suppression, and violence against our bodies. But we also can`t accept poverty and low wealth, 105 million poor people in the country. We can`t accept that (AUDIO GAP).

We have to have health care and all those things and many more in order to have a true healing of the breach.

REID: Hopefully they are listening.

Bishop William Barber, Michael Eric Dyson, thank you both very much. Be safe on this MLK Day.

And before we go tonight, I do want to say a few words about the passing of somebody named Pinky Modeste. She`s on the left in the photos that we`re going to show you. You may not know her name.

But if you`re glad Joe Biden and Raphael Warnock, Jon Ossoff flipped Georgia, then you owe Ms. Pinky a debt of gratitude. She`s one of the black women volunteers in Georgia who worked tirelessly to empower black voters who delivered Georgia for Joe Biden and the Democrats. And unfortunately she died this week from COVID-19 which Donald Trump never tried to control, which is out of control in her state of Georgia.

Pinky Modeste devoted the final years of her life to the King-ian mission of securing the rights of all people, and she succeeded. Rest in power, Good Lady.

And that is tonight`s REIDOUT. Thank you all for joining us. Happy MLK Day to all. Be safe, wear a mask.

And "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.