ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: That does it for us on THE BEAT tonight. I do want
to tell you to make sure you check out the special hour at 10:00 P.M.
tonight, Joy Reid`s exclusive with Speaker Pelosi. And up next is "THE
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Well, America, we`re on the eve of a historic day in
this country as Washington prepares for a momentous and unconventional
presidential inauguration. Not only will Joe Biden be sworn in as our 46th
president but Kamala Harris will become the first black woman and first
Asian-American to ever serve as vice president. Meaning the deeply racially
divisive presidency of Donald Trump will be flanked by two of the most
historic administrations in American history, both of which included Joe
The president-elect arrived in a city on lockdown this afternoon, two weeks
from a homegrown insurrection sparked by the current president, yet already
exhibiting national leadership in this unprecedented moment. They began by
showing the compassion for the now 400,000 American dead that has been so
lacking all this year, holding a solemn and moving ceremony at the Lincoln
Memorial this evening, illuminating two columns of light to represent those
more than 400,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19. It was a fitting
and much belated tribute to those victims of the pandemic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: To heal, we must remember that it`s hard
sometimes to remember, but that`s how we heal. It is important to do that
as a nation. That`s why we`re here today. Between sundown and dusk, let us
shine the lights in the darkness along the sacred pool of reflection and
remember all whom we lost.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: While COVID restrictions have precluded a large turnout tomorrow,
the National Mall will have a field of flags to represent those who are
unable to attend. Incoming President Biden is also planning a show of
bipartisan unity tomorrow. At his invitation, congressional leaders of both
political parties will attend services at Saint Mathew`s Cathedral in the
morning. And then in the afternoon, former Presidents Clinton, Bush and
Obama will join Biden, who, by then, will be their fellow president, to lay
a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
And tomorrow is notable for who won`t be there. Unwilling to show his face
at the ceremony, Trump will retreat to his safe space at Mar-a-Lago where
he will mark the expiration of his one-term presidency. It`s the first time
an outgoing president has skipped his successor`s inauguration in 150
years. Instead, Trump released a farewell address in a pre-taped video late
And without irony, he is now complaining about a loss of confidence in our,
quote, national greatness. That is despite his efforts to discredit the
very institutions that make America great in the first place. In contrast,
sources tell NBC news that Biden`s inaugural address will focus on themes
unity and the, quote, need to bring the country together during an
unprecedented moment of crisis.
Tomorrow, ceremonies will take place against the back drop of a heavily
fortified Capitol with National Guard troops reaching 25,000. That is more
than triple the number four years ago and after reports that the FBI was
screening those very troops for potential inside threats.
Meanwhile, the Senate kicked off confirmation hearings for Biden`s nominees
to the Senate, defense, treasury and homeland security departments, as well
as the director of National Intelligence.
I`m joined now by MSNBC Correspondent Mike Memoli. And, Mike, no one knows
Biden like you know Biden. Could you just take a moment to talk about the
significance of this man`s journey, the first -- nearly the second catholic
president of the United States, the oldest president of the United States.
Talk a little bit about what this all means for his journey.
MIKE MEMOLI, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joy, as I`ve been speaking to a
number of former and current Biden officials, I keep hearing the same thing
which is that this is the moment that Biden was really called to lead at a
time of real urgency that is needed at this moment.
Obviously, he ran, Joy, for president twice before and didn`t see a success
in either of those efforts. He didn`t expect to be able to run in 2020. He
thought when he left the White House with President Obama, he was ending
his political career. But then Donald Trump happened. And now, the
watchword of the Biden campaign, the Biden transition and in a matter of
hours the Biden administration is really urgency. And that is the message
that they`ve been trying to convey.
And I think though today what I really was struck by as we get ready to see
the Biden administration roll out a number of initiatives, executive
orders, today though was about emotion. We heard, when I started the day in
Wilmington, the president-elect talking about his son, about how Delaware
has a piece of his heart. Tonight, what a striking scene here on the
National Mall, a real striking contrast with President Trump.
Biden advisers have always said empathy was his super power and we really
saw that on display a moment for the first time, really, have a national
reckoning of the 400,000 lives that were lost. But more than anything,
Biden feels this is moment is called for unity and that is going to be, as
you say, the theme of his inaugural address.
He was mocked, criticized business by his Democratic rivals in the primary
for his belief that he could bring the country together and the inaugural
address he`ll deliver is going to be the first test in just whether he`s
going to be able to pull that off. What kind of message he could deliver to
a much larger audience than throughout this campaign, and whether they`ll
listen to it. A big test ahead for him, Joy.
REID: Yes. I have asked him that question with great skepticism before,
and he really does believe that he can do it. So it will be -- I think
we`ll all be rooting for him to certainly try. Mike Memoli, I hope that we
can all upon your services a lot over the next four years, because you are
the guy who knows Biden more than anyone. Thank you, sir, I really
And joining me now is my friend and colleague Ali Velshi, Host of MSNBC`s
VELSHI. And I count on you now, my friend, to give us the feel, the vibe. I
saw it for myself at the Capitol today. For those who are not lucky enough
to be able to see that in person, what is it like down there this evening?
ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: It`s surreal. It is still. It is beautiful, I will
say that. But it is empty, except for National Guard and police. There is
every kind of police around us, as you said, 25,000 National Guard. But I
will say this, the message has been clear, that this Capitol will not be
overtaken by rioters or will not be overtaken by insurrectionists and this
inauguration will go on as planned.
As you know, there were demonstrations and protests planned for Sunday and
then today and tomorrow. None of them have materialized. This city is
locked down, the concentric circles from the Capitol behind me and the
White House have been extending. There is National Guard all over this
city. It feels safe right now, Joy. It is going to be a very, very, very
unusual inauguration, but it is underway.
The vice president, Joe Biden, is at Blair House now, it is across the road
from the White House, the shadow of the White House, where Donald Trump is
spending his last night. As you know, he will not attend the inauguration.
He`ll be out of town before Joe Biden becomes the president at noon Eastern
REID: We are all counting the minutes, I think a lot of Americans are, for
that. Ali Velshi, thank you so much, be safe, I appreciate you.
Meanwhile it has been an emotional journey for Joe Biden, who, today,
marked his departure from Delaware with a heartfelt goodbye.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I`m honored. I`m truly honored to be your next president and
commander-in-chief. And I`ll always be a proud son of the state of
Delaware. Excuse the emotion. But when I die, Delaware will be written in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware was at the president-
elect`s big sendoff, and he joins me now.
And, Senator, Joe Biden talks about himself as a man of Scranton,
Pennsylvania, but whose dad had to move to Delaware, he told that moving
story at the Democratic National Convention because of needing a job and
needing new start, and Delaware is where they went. You were there as he
gave that emotional address, saying goodbye to Delaware for his new home in
the White House. Talk a little about that. What does it mean to Delaware?
What does it mean to Joe Biden? You inherited the seat he left in the
United States Senate. I just want to let you sort of wrap up kind of what
all of this means as a Delawarean yourself.
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Well, Joy, this was a powerful sendoff today from
New Castle County Airport from the Beau Biden National Guard Center. And I
think it was powerful for all of us that moment that Joe was overcome with
emotion at the combination of looking out at his grandchildren, his
extended family, those among us here in Delaware who have known him and
served alongside him, how supported him or been his friends for decades,
and contemplating the prospect that lies before him, he becomes our
president tomorrow. He takes the presidency on at a moment of enormous
challenge and peril and difficulty for our nation. And Joe is leaving
Delaware without his beloved son Beau for whom that National Guard Center
So I think there were a lot of -- there wasn`t a dry eye in the place today
as he gave his farewell address. We all send prayers and our support and
our enthusiasm for him. And as you just commented, one of the reasons for
Joe`s cockeyed optimism about the possibility of still being able to work
together even in such a divided country is because that`s how we do it in
this small state of Delaware. It`s not easy, it`s not obvious, it`s not
simple, but it requires effort and it requires willingness to compromise.
We don`t have any other choice in this moment when 400,000 Americans have
died. We don`t have any other choice in this deeply divided nation, but to
take a risk on coming together and on trying to move forward. And Joe Biden
is exactly the man for this moment to lead us forward.
REID: Yes. Let`s jump right into that agenda because it is a big one. It`s
a lot. There are a lot of asks here. Let`s put it up on the screen. Joe
Biden`s day one agenda, going all the from pathway to citizenship, which
has already sparked some rancor on the other side of the aisle to reversing
the Muslim ban, rejoining World Health Organization, so critical for
fighting COVID, rejoining the Paris agreement, pausing student loans, no
evictions, foreclosures. It`s a big list of items. Where do you begin in
the Senate where Mitch McConnell is still there, even as minority leader,
and where people like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz have made it their business
to try to essentially destroy any of that agenda on the way in because of
their own ambitions?
COONS: Well, Joy, if you told me back in December that we would be in the
majority here in January, I would have told you, look, I believe in my dear
friend, Stacey Abrams, and all the organizing work in Georgia, I believe in
Jon Ossoff and Reverend Warnock and their capabilities, but it`s going to
take a miracle for us to win both of those seats in Georgia in a special
election. Tomorrow, those two gentlemen will be sworn in to the Senate of
the United States.
If you had told me a month ago that Mitch McConnell would be saying he is
open to voting to convict Donald Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors, I
would have said that will never happen in my lifetime. He has publicly said
that, and on the floor of the Senate, he has said that he blames Donald
Trump for summoning protesters, that angry mob that desecrated the Capitol
So I know it will take a lot of hard work. It`s going to take some
unexpected developments but I remain hopeful, frankly, because we have no
other choice. We are going to have to work hard to protect Americans who
tonight are facing eviction, who have suffered through job loss, who have
lost members of their family. Joy, we`re in the middle of so many crises,
it is hard to count them all. Joe Biden is the man who can give us the
hope, that believes in us that we can move forward. We`re going to do our
absolute best to make this happen.
REID: I don`t doubt that you will try.
Before I let you go, I want to allow you and the rest of us to sort of soak
in what the new world sounds like. This is some of the confirmation
hearings that we heard today.
Do we have that, that too? We don`t. Okay, well, we don`t have it. I really
I wish I -- oh, I guess we don`t have it, unfortunately. But this was some
of the confirmation hearings in which we heard people who actually know
what they`re doing, of being confirmed. So I`m sure that you`re looking
forward to having those people to work with.
Senator Chris Coons, thank you very much for your patience this evening and
thank you very much. We`re looking forward to seeing what you get, got to
All right, up next on THE REIDOUT, a failed presidency comes to a bitter
violent end. On his final day, Trump is still wallowing in his baseless
conspiracy theories while Mitch McConnell finally breaks with his old
partner in crime.
Plus, a preview of my exclusive interview with Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Donald Trump was a stain on our country. I don`t
think we could have sustained our democracy if he had two terms in office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID (voice over): Back with more of THE REIDOUT after this.
REID: The Trump show is coming to a sad conclusion tomorrow. And like most
things Trump from The Apprentice to Trump University, it is going out with
a whimper and not a bang. Today, he released a nearly 20-minute farewell
address making the hilariously ironic claim that he did what he came here
to do and so much more. Good to know.
In the next few hours, Trump is expected to issue more than 100
commutations or pardons. He is reportedly stewing not about the 400,000
dead on his watch but rather about the fact that President-elect Joe Biden
got cooler, more famous people, to perform at his inauguration. According
to The Washington Post, he is particularly upset that Lady Gaga, Jennifer
Lopez, Tom Hanks and other stars agreed to perform.
But the stench from his administration so foul that some folks won`t even
bother showing up for his departure ceremony tomorrow morning. Vice
President Mike Pence, soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy are all skipping the ceremony. They`re
not alone. Many former Trump officials are suddenly busy washing their hair
or combing their mustaches.
And if the private rebuke wasn`t a big enough snub, Moscow Mitch McConnell
himself today publicly accused his right up until the judges got confirmed
ally, Donald Trump and other powerful people, pro tip, that`s you, Senators
Hawley and Cruz, of feeding people lies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONELL (R-KY): The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by
the president and other powerful people and they tried to use fear and
violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal
government, which they did not like.
But we pressed on, we stood together and said an angry mob wouldn`t have
veto power over the rule of law in our nation, not even for one night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: For more, I`m joined by Ashley Parker, the brand-new White House
bureau chief for "The Washington Post," and Michael Steele, former
Republican National Committee chairman and friend of the show,
Ashley Parker, first of all, congratulations on your new gig. You know what
ASHLEY PARKER, MSNBC SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you.
REID: You`re going to have -- you`re going to have a lot of 7:00 -- you`re
going to have a lot of 7:00 hours intruded upon by this very show.
REID: So, thank you so much for being here.
I am amused, I have to say, by this Trump going away party that no one
wants to come to. It starts tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. They`re so
desperate for a crowd, they`re saying people can bring five additional
Jeff. But everybody`s saying no. John Kelly, no. John Bolton, no, Mitch
McConnell, no. On and on and on. No. Even Mike Pence.
What is the thinking inside the White House? Are they going to force, like,
low-level staff to, like, put on a suit and tie and go, so he can have a
crowd, or what?
PARKER: Well, it`s not just that people say no.
Look at the people who the invitations are being sent to just underscores
the state of things, right? You have Anthony Scaramucci, who has disavowed
the president. You have John Kelly, a former chief of staff, who has said
that if he was still in the Cabinet, he would invoke the 25th Amendment.
You have Mitch McConnell, who has said he is open to the impeachment of
Donald Trump. These are sort of not your top-notch party guests for
traditional festivities. And then they`re saying no.
I was talking to a senior White House official today who was saying they`re
not planning to attend either. This logic was a little bit different. It
was, why would I stand in the freezing cold for many hours in advance to
say goodbye to someone who I have been in the room with hundreds of times
over the course of this administration?
Now, inside the White House, they do think people will show up. But there`s
certainly a kind of funny invite RSVP thing going on with who they`re
choosing and what their responses are coming in.
REID: Listen, former Chairman Steele, I don`t know if you can even --
maybe Mike Pompeo will be there to make sure that no one is woke or that
nobody, like, dishonors the slaveholders.
REID: I don`t understand, like, what this is going to look like.
But it seems like it`s going to be sort of America`s most embarrassing
people. And that kind of is what Trump is complaining about even about his
inaugural. He got, like, bands no one heard of. And now Biden is getting
like Lady Gaga and them. It sort of -- it kind of is the final pastiche for
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh. Oh. We went with the
pastiche. OK. All right, we can do that.
REID: I just wanted to say the word pastiche once.
STEELE: We can do that. Oh, OK. You`re going to whip out some quasi-French
on me. All righty.
STEELE: First off -- first off, let me just say congrats to my buddy
Just well-deserved. Just a wonderful, wonderful acknowledgement of your
PARKER: Thank you.
STEELE: Secondly, Joy, you said something leading into this about Trump
saying something about he did what he had to do in his 20-minute goodbye
He did. He did exactly what he set out to do. People need to remember, he
started the conversation in 2016 with Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus
telling us they were going to deconstruct the administrative state. And
they have spent four years wrecking every feature of our republic and every
underlying pillar of our constitutional principles and ideas.
So, yes, they did what they set out to do. And the country has now returned
the favor with the biggest, most powerful send-off and salute they can by
saying, bye-bye, bye-bye.
STEELE: And the idea that he`s sitting here worrying about -- talking
about who`s not showing up or who`s coming and all this other stuff, he`s
going out the way he came in, with a whimper.
Folks did not show up in the droves that they claimed in 2016 when he said
hello, and folks aren`t going to show up in the droves that he wants when
he says goodbye.
That is the quintessential definition of the last four years.
REID: Well, it -- and it is amazing when you talk about what they set out
to do, Ashley.
I mean, he had a very specific list of things he wanted to accomplish,
build a wall Mexico would pay for, repeal Obamacare, grow the economy,
build -- bring back manufacturing, bring back coal, all of this stuff. None
of that actually happened.
But I wonder if, when you`re talking with folks on Capitol Hill, he did
accomplish something for people like Josh Hawley, who nobody knew who he
was, that he`s sort of laid out a groundwork for how you could acquire
power without accomplishment, right?
You had Josh Hawley today trying to block the Department of Homeland
Security nominee for incoming President Biden, the one Latino guy, trying
to block him, because of caravans and he doesn`t like DACA, and so
Alejandro Mayorkas should not be able to be confirmed.
Like, he sort of laid a groundwork for that, right? I guess, is that what
Republicans are thinking?
PARKER: In certain ways.
As Michael said, he`s leaving with a whimper, but it is still very much,
for now, at least the Republican Party -- the Republican Party of Trump.
And he did provide a road map for getting quick and easy attention, if you
look at some of the few prominent congresspeople newly elected who are
QAnon supporters, and sort of a way of tapping into that populist base of
sort of getting that positive reaffirmation by being highly controversial.
You`re seeing some people in the Republican Party publicly desperate to
move away from it. And while he was president, there was a huge circle who
privately would tell reporters: I don`t like this tweet. I don`t like what
he`s doing. I think this is unacceptable and atrocious.
And then you ask them when the cameras are on or when it`s on the record,
and, well, they didn`t see the tweet, and they`re not going to criticize
So, it`s sort of unclear where the party is going to go from there. You`re
going to have your Ted Cruzes, your Josh Hawleys. And you`re going to have
people who -- like those Republicans who voted for impeachment in the
House, and we will have to see what they do on the Senate side.
REID: Yes, absolutely.
And for the party -- and this is something I know you are concerned about,
Michael Steele -- the other sort of big thing that he revealed is that what
the base of the party cares more about than policy or even taxes or
whatever is this idea of trying to undo political correctness.
You have Mike Pompeo, as I mentioned, wailing on about wokeism and
multiculturalism and saying, why are you so mean to people who own slaves?
Be nice to them.
You have this 1776 Commission, which is a laughable attempt to sort of rip
off the 1619 Project with a new version of history that says, no, slavery
was fine. It`s all good. Don`t say mean things about our founders.
Like, that is what people care more about, right, is that people are too
woke on campuses. That`s the thing they care about in the Republican base.
STEELE: Look, this -- no, and I agree with that, Joy.
And there is a legitimate concern about the degree to which and the extent
to which some of this wokeness gets played out when it comes to
conservatives and center-right individuals around the country. And it`s a
fair argument to make.
But this idea that you`re now going to come back around and deny American
history and deny the facts as they existed then and as they exist now is
where you lose legitimacy.
We can be a party that speaks truthfully about our history, but also has to
acknowledge that truth.
REID: Yes, indeed.
But if the legacy of Trump is one thing, it`s making the Republican Party
the anti-woke party. That seems like what they really care about.
Ashley Parker, congratulations again. Michael Steele, thank you very much,
my friend. Appreciate you.
STEELE: You got it.
REID: And up next: a sneak peek at my exclusive -- cheers -- my exclusive
interview with Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
You will hear her thoughts on Trump, on Biden, and the road ahead for
We will be right back after this.
REID: Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not holding anything back.
Earlier today, I sat down with her inside the U.S. Capitol, a building that
has been transformed since a MAGA mob attempted an insurrection. Speaker
Pelosi called them terrorists, and she described Donald Trump as a stain on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: He`s not going to greet the incoming president, which may be
appropriate, since he tried to undo -- undo the election.
But we now have, for the first time in our history, something other than a
peaceful transfer of power.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): That`s right.
REID: What does that mean for us writ large?
PELOSI: Well, I do think that we`re bigger than all of this. Donald Trump
was a stain on our country.
I don`t think we could have sustained our democracy if he had two terms in
office, for what he was doing to our institutions, or what he was doing to
our Constitution. He dishonored it.
What he did to our people, he denigrated people, newcomers to our country,
diversity in our country. He denigrated -- dishonored the Constitution,
denigrated our people, degraded our environment from sea to shining sea,
God`s gift to us, and beyond that. He degraded that.
And he, again, dishonored our values, who we are as a democratic country.
So, he, in every respect, was unworthy to be president, did not respect the
office that he held, and certainly did not respect the office the rest of
us hold as well.
I respect the office of presidency, of the president, more than he did, for
how he mistreated it.
So, in any event, he`s gone. We have to let -- we have to -- how can I say
it? It`s not lessons learned, because it was so evident all along what a
disgrace he was. But to find out how we can bring people together, that`s
And, again, nobody better than Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to do that.
REID: So, Madam Speaker, I will admit that it is -- it`s something for me
emotionally to be in this building knowing what happened here.
For you, do you -- is there something about it that it feels different
after what happened?
PELOSI: A difference in resolve, that it is vulnerable, which we never
PELOSI: ... and that we have to lift up its protection.
This building had not been invaded expect by the British in the War of
PELOSI: ... and now by the instigation of the president of the United
States for insurrection onto the Capitol. That`s what makes it so tragic.
Physical things don`t mean as much to me. They are symbols. But the impact
on democracy, the impact on the people who work here, that is almost
REID: Well, you know -- and we spoke a little bit as we were preparing to
walk out here about the maintenance staff, who are largely black and brown
folks who then had to come in after all of this and clean up after it.
It`s so disrespectful to these people, but also to this, to this grand
PELOSI: Well, the injustice of it all.
But I have to salute the custodial staff. They, every single day, make this
the place it is for us to do our work, for visitors to come, for press to
cover, for staff to serve.
And they do it quietly and visibly and the rest, until this mob of
terrorists, instigated by the president of the United States, violated,
vandalized, vandalized this building.
The custodial staff rose to the occasion. They restored it all without
But there is an injustice there that must be corrected, that these
terrorist slobs would come in here and desecrate this place, and that these
good people had to clean up their mess. It just -- the injustice of it all,
it really makes me very angry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: As you can see, she kept it real.
And there is a lot more from my interview with Speaker Pelosi, including
her reaction to that shocking video released this week of a member of the
mob openly hunting for her inside the halls of Congress.
The full interview airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern right after "RACHEL
And we will be right back with more on tomorrow`s history-making
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m a proud Democrat.
But I will govern as an American president.
KAMALA HARRIS (D), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: While I may
be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.
BIDEN: Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end here and
HARRIS: Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a
country of possibilities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Tomorrow, the man who made his first run for the
presidency in 1988 will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United
States, with a goal of restoring the soul of this nation. Joe Biden will
enter the White House with former Senator Kamala Harris at his side. And
she will make history as the first woman, the first woman of color, and the
first woman of south Asian descent to be sworn into the second highest
office in the country.
And joining me now are: Valerie Jarrett, former White House senior adviser
to President Barack Obama, Reverend Al Sharpton, president of the National
Action Network, and host of "POLITICS NATION" here on MSNBC, and NBC News
presidential historian Michael Beschloss.
But I want to start with you, Valerie Jarrett. You know a little something
about history and about a presidency steeped in it. I want to play a clip
of something that aired earlier this year -- earlier this week. And this
was a group of members of Kamala Harris` sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha
Incorporated, reacting to how Biden and Harris are going to govern, on the
point of how black women are sort of experiencing this moment.
And this was an interview by my good friend, Tiffany Cross. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRENDA GOLDEN MITCHELL, HARRIS SORORITY SISTER: I`m hoping once they`re in
office, as they begin to introduce their platform to America that people
who did not vote for them will see that they really are for the people.
ELAINE WITTER, HARRIS SORORITY SISTER: I think they will just have to show
by doing and I think that will convince them.
KARYN UPSHAW, HARRIS SORORITY SISTER: For years before when the other
administration won, lot of people were not happy, but we have to move on
and not create a divided country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: You know, Valerie, when you think about an historically black
college, black women sororities like the links which Kamala Harris is a
member of, this is like a moment, joyful moment. Can we still recapture
that kind of joy and that kind of history given all of the rest of the
VALERIE JARRETT, FORMER OBAMA WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISOR: Oh, absolutely,
Joy. First of all, good evening. I think what you just played is more
relevant an important. People are listening in a way perhaps they didn`t
listen years ago. So, I think this is Vice President-elect Kamala Harris`
She`s joined by a person who I know so well, Joe Biden, soon to be
President Biden. I get Goosebumps just watching the video you played of the
two of them, what a breath of fresh air is coming to Washington.
So, yes, Joy, it has been a dreadful nightmare the last four years, but the
hope and willingness to reach out to say I will be president for all of
America, to have our sorors to talk about the importance of bringing our
country together I think is a very important data point.
And it is also a teaching moment for America. People will learn who the
links are, who are the AKAs, who are the Deltas. It`s going to be a new
vocabulary, and I think it shows inclusivity of America which is our
REID: Yes. And as Tiffany who host the "CROSS CONNECTION" on MSNBC wrote a
book it, it`s a good reason to hire journalists of color so they explain
all of that to folks who don`t understand it. You know, I want to ask you a
question that I asked the speaker earlier, Valerie. It is this. They`re not
going to get a note, the Bidens or Harrises from the current president.
If you had to leave a note, given all your experience, and as you said,
knowing Joe Biden yourself, having worked with him throughout the Obama
administration, knowing former Senator Harris, VP-elect Harris, what would
you put in a note to them as advice?
JARRETT: Well, first of all, the reason why I`m going to be able to sleep
well tomorrow night better than I slept in four years, is they don`t
actually need the note. They have prepared their entire life for this very
moment and what makes them special I think as public servants is their
commitment to be public servants.
This is about us, the American people. That will be the truth north, it
will be what they focus on every single day, and won`t that be refreshing
after what we`ve been through. My only advice to them is follow their true
north which I am very confident that they will do, and to recognize that
this moment goes by very quickly.
I was looking earlier today at photos I took four years ago. And in a way,
feels like a lifetime ago, another way feels like just seconds. So,
treasure every moment.
REID: Valerie Jarrett, who knows a thing or two about the exercise of
presidential power in office and who is such a great person in your own
right, and so, thank you so much for being here this evening.
JARRETT: Thank you, Joy.
REID: I think the sound America will hear across the country will be the
sound of snoring and deep sleep. (INAUDIBLE) people sleep. Thank you so
Let`s go on to Michael Beschloss and Reverend Al Sharpton.
You know, this is going to be and I`ll start with you on this, Michael.
This will be the sort of silence and quiet that we anticipate tomorrow with
all of those tributes to the dead which we haven`t been able to have that
catharsis over the past year given all the people that died from COVID and
the quiet and flags rustling and all of that.
In a sense, do you think that might be more meaningful than a big crowd?
MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, NBC NEWS PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Oh, I think it will be
more meaningful because it takes account of the moment. If we tried to
imitate a normal inauguration with a big crowd, pretending there was not a
pandemic, or if we tried to take chances with security, pretending there
was not a domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol and Congress on the 6th
of January, that would be counter.
So, if we`re having a ceremony of unity, reconciliation, which I am sure
tomorrow will be, you have to have one that`s a little bit in tune with the
moment. We Americans just as our friend Valerie was just saying, we have
been through four years of a daily, hourly assault on our democracy, a
president who hates democracy, has a lust for power, topped it all off on
the 6th of January by trying to take down our Congress, overturn a free
presidential election, and take down our democracy.
That was a near death experience. We can`t just pretend this is just a day
like any other.
REID: Yeah, indeed. And, Rev, they could have just asked you before
Americans decided to put that man in the White House, you know Donald
Trump, you know exactly what he was. You and I talked about this before.
But now that America knows, right, if you look at the country is on the
wrong track, 73 percent. Seventy-three percent, we remain divided over the
next four years. All the polls make it clear that at least most people have
woken up to really what they, you know, the buyer`s remorse I guess for
those that didn`t vote for him. I wonder then how you think that Biden
should move forward, you know?
I mean, you have run for president, you know they have difficulty. He`s a
huge task ahead. This is a deeply divided country where two sides don`t
just not get along, they hate each other.
AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, "POLITICS NATION": Biden has a real situation
that no one has faced in many decades. We are dealing with a pandemic which
is why I think it was appropriate and inspiring in many ways, what he and
vice president-elect Harris did, paying tribute to those we lost.
We shouldn`t forget tens of thousands of people that died and many of us
feel needlessly if we had a president that really had listened to the
scientists when he was given the information. He has a divided country. And
he`s coming in after the very capitol of the United States was under siege
to stop an election certification.
Let`s not forget, they didn`t just have a fit or riot, they came to
interrupt the election certification, the Electoral College certification
of the president, which was an attempted coup d`etat. To be able to come
together, bring all of that together and unite is an awesome task. But
guess what, when you look at all of the adversity, politically and
personally that Joe Biden has had to deal with and overcome, things he
couldn`t see coming, if you look at Kamala Harris who had to do the same as
a woman, as a woman of color, who was always down in her career, they were
built for this moment and I hope they rise to the occasion.
And there are going to be those of us that are advocates that are going to
want to put the agenda of our constituencies up front and they were
prepared for all of that. I`ve seen Joe Biden at eight years there with
President Obama who had to deal with all kinds of adversity. I`ve seen
Kamala Harris and know her well having to deal with it. I think they`re
built for this moment, if anyone is built for this moment. But let`s not
underestimate the gravity of the moment.
REID: Indeed. Reverend Al Sharpton and Michael Beschloss, thank you very
much. Appreciate you guys being here this evening.
And up next, the end of an era. My parting thoughts as Donald Trump
prepares to exit stage right, hopefully for the last time. You won`t want
to miss that.
REID: Well, America, here we are. Tonight is the last episode of this show
with Donald Trump as president of the United States. That was a close call.
But American democracy has survived 1,461 days of his tenancy in our White
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This American carnage stops
right here and stops right now.
Get `em out. Get `em out. Get `em out.
We have low energy Jeb Bush.
Lyin` Ted, and little Marco.
As I say, crooked Hillary. Crooked Hillary.
I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are. They are the
enemy of the people.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
REID: This awful, disastrous presidency will come to its ignominious end
tomorrow at noon.
By this time tomorrow, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., the one-time vice
president to America`s first black president, will be the president of the
United States. And Kamala Harris, a black and Asian-American woman will be
the vice president. History made.
You might have noticed if you watch this show on a regular basis that I
have not referred to the soon-to-be former occupant of the White House with
the honorific president, with the exception of when it slips in through the
occasional quote from another media source. That omission has always been
My parents were immigrants. I deeply respect the office of the president
and all that it, well, used to convey.
But from the day that he threw his hat into the ring and rode down that
escalator in his tacky New York tower, Donald Trump has not spent one day
acting like an American president. He literally doesn`t work. He spent most
of his presidency playing golf.
It`s abundantly clear he never wanted the job. He just wanted the glamour
of the job, the marketing. To be clear, we`ve had 45 American presidencies,
some good, some great, some terrible. But we`ve never had a president quite
like Donald J. Trump.
No American president, not even the truly venal ones like Andrew Johnson or
Andrew Jackson or racist Woodrow Wilson, or freaking Richard Nixon, was
elected with a help of a foreign power, not of them, let alone a hostile
foreign power like Russia. And none them have been as servile as Trump has
been to the Kremlin and to Vladimir Putin personally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He just said it`s not Russia. I will say this, I don`t see any
reason why it would be.
Russia, if you`re listening, I hope you`re able to find the 30,000 emails
that are missing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: No American president has used the office so openly and directly for
personal profit. Now, other American presidents have stolen children from
their parents. I mean, a dozen of them owned, exploited and enslaved humans
after all. And presidents like Andrew Jackson made slaughtering indigenous
people and separating them from their land a dark art.
But Trump found a way to combine every rotten trait of our worst presidents
into one stinking mutated hulk. The Muslim ban and migrant child caging
were like the 1980s Chinese Exclusion Act meets (INAUDIBLE), the racist
immigration act of 1927 meets the internment of Japanese Americans by FDR.
Trump`s criminality, self-dealing and corruption make Dick Nixon look like
white Santa. Santa is black.
And the 400,000 dead from coronavirus certainly recall the lies Woodrow
Wilson told about the Spanish flu. Trump a bit short of Wilson`s 675,000
person death toll, not that he didn`t try.
No president has ever launched an insurrection against this country until
Donald Trump did it, while lying so much that he personally ushered in the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The fake polls, the fake everything.
The whole Russian thing was an excuse for the Democrats losing the election
and it turns out to be just one excuse.
Obamacare is a disaster. It`s virtually dead.
The most popular person in the history of the Republican Party is Trump.
Can you believe this?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: This man is a confederate apologist worse than even Andrew freaking
Johnson. His fellow racist one-termer who got one impeached one fewer times
than Trump did. He`s our most un-American president and will certainly be
ranked as our worst president.
But it`s highly likely that Trump won`t be our last awful president. His
very presence and the fact that a, let`s say it, ridiculous man like this
became president of the United States at all and then won even more votes
when he lost the popular vote for the second time during his re-election
effort, that fact is proof that as rotten as Trump is, and he is rotten, he
can happen again.
I don`t know who needs to hear this, but this is who we are, at least in
part. Let`s just take this last four years as a warning.
And that is tonight`s REIDOUT, the last one with Trump as president. I will
be back at 10:00 p.m. Eastern with my hour-long interview with Speaker
Nancy Pelosi. You don`t want to miss it.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
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