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 REIDOUT" itself.
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 Biden.
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 today.
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 appreciate you.
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 tomorrow. Joy?
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 my heart.
(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 is named.
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 last Wednesday.
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 get done.
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 that means?
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 Trumpism, no?
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 Ashley.
Just well-deserved. Just a wonderful, wonderful acknowledgement of your hard work.
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 today.
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 the president.
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 Democrats.
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 our country.
(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 our responsibility.
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 thought...
PELOSI: ... and that we have to lift up its protection.
This building had not been invaded expect by the British in the War of 1812...
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 unforgivable.
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 place.
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 complaint.
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 MADDOW."
And we will be right back with more on tomorrow`s history-making inauguration.
(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 now.
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 circumstances?
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` moment.
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 strength.
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 much.
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 House.
(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 quite deliberate.
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 post-fact era.
(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.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END