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Transcript: The ReidOut, 1/26/2021

Guest: David Jolly, Alex Padilla, Cedric Richmond, Adam Schiff, Patrisse Cullors


High: Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy has been hospitalized. Biden scrambles to address Trump administration`s failures. Biden uses DPA to expedite vaccine production. Biden signs executive order addressing racial inequities. Congress is making slow progress on COVID relief. Federal court blocks Biden`s 100-day deportation pause. Senate Republicans drop push to preserve filibuster. Congressman Adam Schiff of California is interviewed. President Biden moved to address discriminatory housing practices, end federal contracts with private prisons, ensure the tribal independence of indigenous people and make sure his administration combats xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, something his predecessor refused to do.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: You can find me online @arimelber across social


Thank you. We`re in this together. And "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid is up


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone. Lots and lots of news ahead

on tonight`s REIDOUT, starting with word that Senator Patrick Leahy of

Vermont, the pro tempore of the United States Senate, and the man set to

preside over the impeachment trial of the former president, has been

hospitalized tonight. We`ll have more on that coming up.

But we turn first, however, to Joe Biden`s presidency, now seven full days

old. We`ve already seen a serious turn of page. The president took several

calls with foreign leaders today, and they were notable for being

uncharacteristically opposite of what we`ve seen over the past four years.

They were friendly to America`s traditional friends and confrontational

with our traditional adversaries. Go figure.

During his final foreign leader call of the day with Russian President

Vladimir Putin, Biden replaced his predecessor`s dictator envy with

objection, Kremlin interference in our elections and confronted the Russian

autocrat over the hack of our federal government systems, election

interference and alleged bounties placed on U.S. troops, again, quite a

change of season.

The new administration has already agreed rejoining the Paris climate

agreement, ending the travel ban, strengthening DACA while reversing the

policies of the former White House occupant who remains a climate change

denier, even as his MAGA oasis, otherwise known as Florida, is sinking.

President Biden`s victory is a story about change. It`s also a story about

what he`s inherited, a country nearing collapse under the strains of the

coronavirus and racial inequities, national reeling through a violent

constitutional crisis and a Republican Party that loathes Democrats as much

as they loathe democracy and who, today, largely indicated that they would

rather look away from an attempted insurrection that even threatened their

own lives.

President Biden inherited a government still occupied by operatives of the

former president, from the Defense Department to the U.S. Postal Service,

along with the pandemic, one year in, that has killed nearly 425,000

people, more than have died of COVID in any other country on earth.

We now know what we`ve always known that the former administration had no

plan. Vaccines are missing. The economy is gutted with millions out of

work. So, yes, there is a lot of work to do.

But with Democrats in control of both Houses of Congress and the presidency

for the first time in a decade, the Biden administration is moving quickly

to turn the page. The administration is working to purchase an additional

100 million doses of each of the two FDA-authorized vaccines, providing

enough to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of summer.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: More than 400,000 Americans have already died.

More than all the people who died in all Americans who died in World War

II. This is a wartime undertaking. It`s not hyperbole. And as such, I

directed the team to be ready to exercise all the authorities I have under

the Defense Production Act and expedite these vaccines.


REID: Joining me now is Yamiche Alcindor, White House Correspondent for

PBS NewsHour. And, Yamichie, great to see you, as always.

I want to start by asking about Senator Leahy, any news that you have on

his condition or what the White House is thinking or whether or not they`ve

been in contact with him.


House official about this. White House is, in some ways, just taking in

this information, which is that Senator Leahy was taken and admitted to the

hospital out of an abundance caution. Senator Leahy, of course, was seen

today. He was out on the Senate floor presiding over impeachment where Rand

Paul was trying to stop the impeachment trial for being unconstitutional.

I think a lot of eyes are still trying to watch what happens. Of course,

one, the Senate is so, so tight with a 50-50 tie, you can`t really afford

to lose anybody, not only, of course, wishing him well to recover, but also

just for the time being, if there`s anything that you want done, you need

all 50 senators to be there. The other thing is, of course, that is top of

mind that there could be issues and complications going forward.

REID: Well, and that is the other issue, right? Because there were a lot

of executive actions, there were more than 30 executive actions taken so

far. There was another one today on racial equity. But there is this

question of how much they can get done through executive actions and how

much they need to legislate. There is that less 100 days, we`re seven days

into the 100 days when you get the most done. Is the fact that they are now

really thinking top of mind about that Senate majority changing their

strategy at all about what they intend to send to the floor?

ALCINDOR: It`s a good question. And the big question is, how are they

going to work with Congress and what are they going to get passed? Because

there is, of course, this issue where, yes, Joe Biden has now passed some

30, 35, almost, executive orders, we`re nearing that high number there. But

the big question is, real money, real change, real change in this country

comes through legislative action.

And what you see here is Joe Biden trying to push in and push through this

$1.9 trillion COVID relief package, and he`s already getting bipartisan

pushback on that. Lawmakers are telling me that right now there aren`t 50

votes for even that idea.

So there is a big question on whether or not some of these executive orders

and, really, the focus on equity is going to somehow turn into legislation

because there is so much to legislate, including, of course, one that

wasn`t mentioned today, which was policing in this country. They talked

about private imprisonment. But we didn`t see a policing bill.

Joe Biden talked about George Floyd and the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that

he died. But, again, I`m asking the White House, and I haven`t really

gotten a clear answer yet how are they going to also look at success? How

are they going to measure that? What does rooting out systemic racism

actually look like in numbers and data? That`s a critical issue when you

think about the fact that racism is something we`ve been living with for so


REID: No, it`s a really good question, and I`ve been watching the

briefings, which -- it`s refreshing just to see a briefing at all. But I

don`t feel like we`re getting a lot of specifics on timing, as you said.

What legislation is going to the floor when, whether it`s on policing,

whether it`s the specifics on the rollout in terms of the vaccine rollout?

Do you get a sense that the White House has put things in an order where

the first thing they want to see go to the floor is X? Do you think that

they`ve got that in mind, or is it just seven days in and they just haven`t

figured that out yet?

ALCINDOR: The number one thing I`m hearing is the COVID relief package.

That is what they want to see go to the floor. Lawmakers that I talked to

that are familiar with the White House`s thinking here think that they

might even break up that $1.9 trillion package to really cut off a couple

hundred billion that they can get passed. That would be dealing with

getting more vaccines, more vaccinators and more vaccination sites. So

vaccines is really top of mind that they want to get pushed.

They`re also, of course, are looking at minimum wage and other things, but

they really understand to get Republican buy-in and also to get critical

Democrats who don`t want to, at this point, take votes that might put their

tie in jeopardy. They want to focus and be seen as doing emergency relief,

and that, in some ways, means focusing specifically on the vaccine and

COVID and not so much on other things like worker wages.

REID: Good point and great reporting, as always. Yamiche Alcindor, thank

you very much, always appreciate you. Thank you.

And joining me now is Cedric Richmond, senior adviser to the president and

Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. So, let`s engage

the public then, Mr. Richmond.

On this question of what needs to go to the floor when, a lot of Americans

chose not just this president, Joe Biden, but also voted in that Georgia

election on the basis of a promise that there would be $2,000 checks in the

hands of Americans ASAP. How quickly can Americans expect the White House

to push through, to push Congress to get that money into people`s hands?


right. I think that`s why you saw us within the first two or three days in

office introduce the American rescue plan, because, one, we made


Two, what people got in December was a down payment. It was $600. We wanted

to see that number at 2,000, so we introduced legislation, and we`re

requesting Congress to hurry up and act on it, which would increase it to

1,400. It would also put out there money for vaccinations. It would put out

there money to safely reopen schools and get our kids back in school.

So we`ll do a number of things that we desperately need, including getting

another 100,000 health care workers out there to properly administer the

vaccine, mobile units to make sure we`re hitting hard to reach

neighborhoods in rural communities. And so we need Congress to act on this

plan, and we want to do it in a bipartisan manner, but this is an emergency

for the country. And so we`re stressing it and we`re talking to everybody

about it.

REID: Well, you talked about a bipartisan manner. I think for a lot of

Americans, they understand what Republicans are. They watched Republicans

for eight years under President Obama when then-Vice President Biden was a

part of that administration. They know how Republicans operate.

We just saw Mitch McConnell fight with the now majority leader for over a

week over an organizing resolution. If he is willing to try brinksmanship

with that, are we at the point now, especially given Senator Leahy in the

hospital, which just clarifies the mind about how narrow the majority is,

does the White House think it might be more prudent to just get something

on the floor now, get the $2,000 checks -- I assume you mean by 1,400,

1,400 added to the 600 to get 2,000 -- should they just start sending

things to the floor now?

RICHMOND: Look, that is a legislative strategy that some people have

advocated for, but others have clearly articulated, that if you separate it

out, then we`re going to leave families behind, like the enhanced earned

income tax credit, the doubling of the child tax credit or the increasing

of the child tax credit that lifts so many of our families that are living

in poverty out of poverty this year.

And so we don`t want to leave anyone behind. The $1,400 is a priority, but

also getting vaccinations in the arms of American people is just as

important. We`re not sacrificing anything. We have until March 15th before

the eviction and foreclosure moratorium expires, unemployment insurance


And so we`re looking at a deadline, but we are pushing this as hard as we

possibly can. We are calling and asking Congress to act on this

legislation. Because at the end of the day, this pandemic is not picking

people based on party affiliation, color or income level, and we want and

expect Congress to come along and help us help the American people.

And so we`re not going to compromise our values in an effort to reach a

bipartisan compromise, but we promised that we would reach out and extend a

hand of bipartisanship, but we also promised we wouldn`t sacrifice our

values on helping the American people. So, right now, we`re doing both.

REID: We`ve already seen a federal court in Texas try to block the

deportation pause that the president has implemented. You`re already seeing

a pushback there. You`ve already seen complaining about some of the

language about racial equity coming from the other side. There has been

this executive action on racial inequity, which I expect to get a lot of

pushback as well that directs HUD to mitigate racial bias, get the DOJ not

to renew any contracts with private prisons, all kinds of stuff that

Republicans like and they want to keep.

Is it worth pursuing bipartisanship instead of encouraging Democratic

senators to use the power they have while they have it, this power can be

temporary, to force these pieces of legislation through now and make up

with Republicans later?

RICHMOND: Well, Joy, the pieces of legislation, like the president called

for restoring the Voting Rights Act today, the John Lewis bill. But that

takes 60 votes. And so we`re talking about a 50/50 majority with the vice

president breaking the tie, a lot of this is going to require 60 votes.

But for those things that we can do by executive order, we`re going to do

by executive order, because it`s a priority. And when you started off

talking about whether it`s the deportation pause, whether it`s protecting

our DREAMERs, whether it`s the diversity inclusion rollback of the

embarrassing 1776 Commission. Those are things we can do by executive

order, and we`re going to do them.

And so we`re the first administration to roll out a whole of government

approach to racial equity, and it`s going to create a very intentional

movement by this administration to make sure we tackle systemic racism

across agencies and government-wide. So we`re excited about those things we

can do on our own, and remember, this is day seven, one week. I think we

still have 1,450 days left, and we`re going to work each one of them.

REID: Hopefully, you all will come back, but you can come back anyone of

those 1,400-plus days and answer some more questions. We know that our

audience loves to hear from the administration directly. So, thank you very

much, I really appreciate your time, Cedric Richmond, cheers. Thank you

very much.

And up next on THE REIDOUT, now in firm control of a political agenda, can

Democrats avoid the mistakes they made 12 years ago, hoping for kumbaya

with Republicans?

Plus, as senators take their impeachment oath, the Republicans still seem

unwilling to hold the former president accountable for his coup. Can

Democrats convince more than a handful of them to convict?

Back with more of THE REIDOUT after this.



SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): He is not the majority leader, he is the

minority leader. And he is not going to get his way. We are not going to do

what he wants, and that is universal, Rachel, in my caucus.

We will not let Mitch McConnell dictate to us what we will do and not do,



REID: In his interview last night with our very own Rachel Maddow, Senate

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed that Democrats would stand firm in his

negotiations over a power-sharing agreement with Minority Leader Mitch


About 15 minutes into that interview, McConnell jumps on Twitter to

announce that he is dropping his demand for a guarantee that Democrats

would preserve the filibuster, a total cave on his lone demand which he

tried to Twitter spin into victory.

That means that at least for now, the requirement that the majority find 60

votes to pass most major legislation will remain in place. And McConnell,

though, if he goes back to his old Obama-era ways of filibustering

everything and anything will only have assurances of two Democratic

centrists who oppose nuking the filibuster to rely on, test their patience.

And the filibuster could still die of quick death.

Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona have said, they

would honor that 60-vote threshold for now, meaning that Mitch might not

want to stand in the way of the things that West Virginians and Arizonians

want and need, or else. It`s the first of many confrontations that are sure

to come.

Now, Washington Post Columnist Eugene Robinson says that when Republicans

stand in the way, Democrats should not hesitate to exert the power that

they earned in November. He says that GOP senators have to realize that

compromise doesn`t mean Republicans win and Democrats lose, not anymore.

And Eugene Robinson joins me now, along with David Jolly, former Republican

congressman who`s no longer affiliated with the party.

And, Eugene, I`m going to go to you first.

There is a thing that Democrat -- that frustrates Democratic voters, that,

when Republicans win, they say, we win, F your feelings, we`re doing

everything we want. And they find some magical way to get what they want

done, and that, when Democrats win, they go, oh, please, Republicans, won`t

you be our friends and compromise with us? What do you need? How can we

give it to you?



REID: It is frustrating.


REID: Now Democrats have the power. I`m with you. What would you advise

them to do right now, with just the 50 votes that they have got in the



Well, first of all, they got their organizing resolution, right? So they`re

going to organize the Senate and name the committee chairs and move

forward. And I would advise them to move ahead with the big COVID

legislation in regular order.

They don`t have to do anything rash right now, but they should keep that

threat in abeyance. And that threat is very much still there, by the way,

with Manchin and Sinema. In politics, never actually means maybe, and -- as

you know.


ROBINSON: And it depends on the situation. It depends on the


But, look, they have just watched a years-long master class in the use of

naked power by Mitch McConnell. And he`s been really good at it. And you

saw what he did to Merrick Garland. You saw what he did with Amy Coney

Barrett. You have seen what he did with all those judges that he pushed


He had the power. And he used it. And Democrats watched this for years,

must have learned something. That`s how you run the Senate. And that`s how

Chuck Schumer needs to run the Senate.

And Mitch McConnell knows he lost last night. He came out with a tweet

today, further statement saying, well, if they go ahead and get rid of the

filibuster, we`re going to scorch the earth. And I guess he would.

But that was -- to me, that was a sign of weakness. That was a sign that,

gee, I`m -- I don`t run this joint anymore. He does. And I think everybody

should keep that reality in mind.

REID: Oh, no, I immediately thought that.

David, as soon as I saw that tweet at 9:14, I`m watching the Rachel Maddow

interview. Fourteen minutes in, suddenly, he pops up on Twitter like, uh,

so here`s what I`m going to do.

It`s like, dude, you`re admitting you lost.


REID: But you`re trying to spin it. And at least some journalists picked

up and went, well, OK, I guess he won.

He tried -- one thing I will give Republicans credit for is, even when they

lose, they say they won. Even when -- Donald Trump actually got almost

nothing that he said he was going to do. He did not repeal Obamacare. He

did not build a wall.


REID: But they spin it like they win it.

And Democrats don`t do that. Can you just explain a little bit of that DNA

of -- is it fear? Because, look, right now, the state parties are cuckoo,

right? They`re terrified of their own voters.

JOLLY: Sure.

REID: They`re afraid their voters will actually blow up their homes and

hurt them. So the state parties are absolutely bananas.

Is it because of fear that makes them so, like -- I don`t know. What is it?

Explain it.

JOLLY: Look, I mean, Republicans have demonstrated in the last decade that

they play cutthroat politics in a way that Democrats simply don`t.

And whether you have got to play cutthroat or not, look, the baseline to

all of this we`re about to see play out in the Senate and with Joe Biden,

Joy, is the only way, the only way Joe Biden`s agenda passes through the

Congress is if Chuck Schumer does an end-around the legislative filibuster

by either eliminating the filibuster or by using the reconciliation


There is no pathway to getting 60 votes in the Senate for Joe Biden`s

agenda. So, Schumer and the Democrats need to accept that and then make the

political calculus that they think makes the most sense for them.

And that political calculus is an interesting one. Did you -- did Democrats

sweep everything based on an ideological platform, or was there are a

segment that was just trying to get rid of Donald Trump? And even if it

wasn`t a full ideological platform, is it worth it to move through

Democratic priorities and then -- and then test those priorities at the

ballot box the next time?

You can look at the Affordable Care Act as an example of Democrats pushing

through something that some would make the case ultimately lost them the

Congress in 2010, but I think every Democrat would probably say it was

worth it. We got it done.

Schumer needs to make the calculation, what is it worth, what agenda is

worth the public clinical calculus, and then forget about the 60-vote

majority, because you`re not getting there, so just play hardball.

REID: Well, I mean, and the bottom line is, in the short term, the

Affordable Care Act lost Democrats the House, but I would argue it then won

them much, much more, because defending Obamacare became a calling card of

the Democratic Party once people realized what it was.

JOLLY: That`s right.

REID: Even in Kentucky, they threw a governor out who said, I`m getting

rid of Obamacare. And people are like, get rid of Obamacare!

Oh, wait, you mean my health care? Hold on a second.


REID: Well, hold on. Don`t get too crazy, right?

ROBINSON: That`s right.

REID: Like, so, I mean, can we just talk for a moment about the fears of

the Republican Party?

I just started talking about the state parties. Oregon`s Republican Party

called the U.S. Capitol riot a false flag. That`s the party itself.


REID: You have Arizona Republicans throwing Jeff Flake, who`s not even in

power anymore, and Cindy McCain out, and getting mad at the governor.

Like, the state parties have lost it, and they`re all beyond the former

president mad.

What do you think those incentives wind up doing to Republicans and to


And I will start with you first, Eugene.

ROBINSON: Well, I mean, I think you`re absolutely right that some of these

state party officials are literally afraid of their constituents.

And the Republican Party at the grassroots is a Trump cult of personality

at this point. And the elected officials are still trying to deal with

that. I mean, some of them are pandering to it. Others are getting out of

the party.

I mean, they`re trying to deal with this party has become.

REID: Yes.

ROBINSON: And this is going to be something for Republicans to try to work

out over time.

But I agree with David. In terms of the Democrats, do reconciliation on the

COVID package, get it through.

REID: Yes.

ROBINSON: And then move to the next thing. Just move to the next thing.

And if it`s got 50 to pass with votes, plus Kamala Harris, do that. And

then move to the next thing.

REID: Just do it, and move to -- and...

ROBINSON: Just do it.

REID: Right.

And I wish I had more time, but we`re out of time, because, David, you have

to come back, though, because I`m doing a whole segment on your -- on my

former state in your state, because...

JOLLY: All right. Very good.

REID: ... lord Jesus have mercy on Florida, because -- lord have mercy.

We`re going -- we`re talking about this. You have got to come back.

JOLLY: You got it.


REID: Eugene Robinson and David Jolly, whew. Be safe, David. Whew.


REID: Still ahead -- Florida.

As senators are sworn in for the impeachment trial, Republicans are also

busy putting on a stunning display of hypocrisy and hubris.

That`s next.


REID: The second impeachment trial of the former president is effectively

under way.

Today, all 100 senators were sworn in, with Democrats in the majority, as

would-be jurors to hear the case against the now retired MAGA cult leader

and full-time Florida man for inciting an insurrectionist riot in a Senate

chamber that was, in effect, a crime scene.

The trial won`t start until two weeks from today, but Republican senators

are already back on their, well, you know. The majority of them, 45, to be

exact, voted in favor of a motion from Kentucky Tea Party Republican Rand

Paul to dismiss the trial as unconstitutional.

Those voting with Paul included Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Only five Republicans joined Democrats in opposition to the motion, which


Today`s vote is a litmus test for what we could see when senators finally

vote on whether to convict, except they were already saying it out loud.

The man who will forever be known as little Marco Rubio tweeted this

morning that the "waste of time impeachment isn`t about accountability."

Not surprisingly, Florida`s Mr. Cellophane felt differently when

Republicans were obsessing over Benghazi in 2013.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Because this is not about politics. This is about

accountability. Someone needs to be held accountable for what`s happened

here. But it`s also about preventing this from happening in the future.

This is not about hurting anybody politically. This is about getting to the



REID: Oh, really?

I`m joined now by Senator Alex Padilla of California, who will consider the

case against the former president.

And, Senator, I feel like Senator Rubio is just one example that I could

pull from, but it seems to me that they have flipped the Benghazi standard

on its head for the former president.

How -- do you think that this is going to be a legitimate, real trial? Or

do you think Republicans have already made up their mind to let the former

president off the hook?

SEN. ALEX PADILLA (D-CA): So, look, Joy, I think you bring up a great

point, right? Republicans can`t have it both ways.

They`re in this job to execute the oath of office that we have all sworn to

do, to uphold the Constitution of the United States against all enemies,

foreign and domestic. And while, yes, we have a formal trial ahead of us,

the whole nation, the whole world saw in real time on television the

insurrection, the violent insurrection, the deadly insurrection in our

nation`s capital, absolutely instigated by Donald Trump and his enablers.

REID: You know, what`s really sort of madness, if you think about it, is

that the people who will be voting, including yourself, sir, were the

victims of this attack.

The former president sent a riotous mob into the Capitol to hurt people,

some of them to maybe do worse. They had a noose. They had a hangman`s

noose and were chanting, "Where`s Mike Pence?" "Produce Mike Pence." They

were demanding to have Nancy Pelosi. They were going to hurt people, if not

-- and five people died.

I wonder if you, in conversations with -- other than the five who voted to

go forward today, only five of them could see their way through to say that

it should even happen, a trial.

When they talk to you outside of these five, do you think that your fellow

members are too afraid of their own constituents to go forward, or that

they ideologically think it`s OK for the former president to have tried to

overthrow the election?

PADILLA: Look, honestly and sadly, it`s a mix, right?

Is it facing a constituency? Is it standing up to the Trump base within the

Republican Party? I don`t know.

But let me make it one better, Joy. It`s not just that the members of the

Senate, along with the House members that voted on the impeachment in the

last couple of weeks, are the victims of what happened on January 6. The

trial itself is happening at the scene of the crime.

If there`s any doubt, just look outside the window, because the physical

impact of January 6 is still there.

REID: Well, yes.

And when I went in to do an interview with the speaker, you could -- you

could still feel it, right? There are windows that are still broken. It`s

shocking to me that this is going to take place, as you said, at the scene

of the crime.

Do you think -- in your view, is it right that -- two of the people aren`t

victims. Two of them are perpetrators, to be honest. Josh Hawley and Ted

Cruz participated in what happened. Do you think that they should be

allowed to sit through this trial? Or do you think they should be expelled

or censured?

PADILLA: Look, absolutely, I have been saying from the beginning, nobody

is above the law. Donald Trump must be held accountable. But it does not

end with him.

He`s had far too many enablers both in the White House while he was there

and throughout his administration, including the two members of the United

States Senate that you just named. So, there must be consequences all


REID: And you`re a newer -- newer to the United States Senate.

As you just walk around and deal with these senators, do you get the sense

that there is an equal agreement between the two parties on the importance

of democracy?

PADILLA: I certainly don`t sense that, not in the last couple of weeks, as

a conversation has been around impeachment.

But look at the last four years, and, frankly, a lot longer than that, when

you talk about fundamental faith in our democratic institutions. Is our

democracy inclusive and representative or not?

You look at the voter suppression activity that took place, not just in the

2020 cycle, but over the course of our nation`s history, and the tactics

that Republican leaders are taking yet again in state after state across


So, sadly, Joy, the answer is no, which means it`s both my opportunity and

responsibility, right, as the face of California, representing so many

other constituencies in California and throughout the nation, to be the

physical representation in the United States Senate, to say, no, this is

our country, too, and we deserve a seat at the leadership table.

It`s one of the many, many things that incited...

REID: Yes.

PADILLA: ... so many people on January 6.

They want to have a debate as to who`s an American, and this is a chance

for our democracy to show its resilience.

REID: Senator Alex Padilla, who I cannot believe is the first Latino

United States senator from California, congratulations on that. It has been

a long time coming, sir. And I think that America is better for having you


Thank you very much.

And up next: The strategy for this impeachment trial, it should be pretty

straightforward, right? You just heard the senator. Just roll the


If a picture`s worth 1,000 words, well, these pictures, coupled with the

former president`s words, well, will that ensure a guilty verdict? You

would think.

Congressman Adam Schiff, who led the last impeachment trial, joins me next.



REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): He has betrayed our national security and he will

do so again. He has compromised our elections and he will do so again. You

will not change him. You cannot constrain him.

He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What`s right matters even

less. And decency matters not at all.


REID: Joining me now is Congressman Adam Schiff of California, chairman of

the House Intelligence Committee, and the lead impeachment manager from the

first impeachment trial of the former president. I hate to say you told us

so, but you did, sir.

And I wonder just what you make of this coming trial. I mean, your Thaddeus

Stevens-like eloquence could not convince more than one United States

senator on the other side, on the Republican side, to convict when it seems

so obvious to so many people that the former president was guilty.

What do you think might be said differently given that the scene of the

crime is where the trial is taking place?

SCHIFF: Well, it`s a very different trial, very different facts, and as

you point out, all these senators were really witnesses to the crime. But

even so, you know, I think what we learned in the first trial is we thought

that, you know, the hearings in the House which were so well-publicized

meant that the senators would be very familiar with the facts.

When we got to the Senate, we learned that that was not the case, that many

of them only knew about the facts of the president`s Ukraine scandal

filtered through Fox News or Breitbart or these other, you know, highly

politicized news presentations by Sean Hannity and the like. So when we

showed them the actual evidence, a lot of them were quite stunned that it

was as powerful and overwhelming as it is, and I don`t think we should

assume that all these senators have seen all the video, that are familiar

with everything the president said in that speech, know what the president,

for example, said to the secretary of state in Georgia. And it`s -- of

course, all of this is part of a pattern.

And telling that story, I think, to the senators is important, but maybe

even more important, telling that story to the American people is

important, to try to protect our country from someone like this ever

occupying office again.

REID: Well, I mean, I think you make an excellent point, right, that

Republican senators are probably taking in the same kind of news sources as

their voters. And so, you`re right, they may not have seen it all in sort

of linear fashion and looking through it.

I wonder if you -- if you were involved in this -- this particular trial,

do you expect to see members of the Justice Department, the current and

former, called? Because we now have information that Donald Trump was going

into the Justice Department, thinking about switching out the acting

attorney general, trying to impact the election from multiple angles,

whether it was from Georgia or from the Department of Justice.

Would you expect to see people called both from Georgia and from the DOJ?

SCHIFF: You know, I have every confidence in Jamie Raskin. I think he`s a

brilliant lawyer, and he has a wonderful team. So they will make those

right, strategic decisions.

And, you know, the challenge for this team, and we had a similar challenge,

is not the scarcity of evidence but the overwhelming abundance of it and

trying to figure out what`s the most important thing to communicate to

these senators and also to the country that`s watching. And so, they`ll

have to decide, is that the most powerful evidence or do we want to spend

time on that, or is it better to be focused on certain things that are very

simple, that are very easy to communicate, and with those decisions, as I

said, I have every confidence in this team.

REID: And you were so -- you know, so wise about talking about the

potential jeopardy to the country if there was an acquittal, and there was

an acquittal. And we did see, as was prognosticated by yourself and other

impeachment managers, this president then go after governors, tried to go

after our democracy itself and try to undermine it.

In your view, what is the big risk if there is no conviction this time?

SCHIFF: That`s a great question, and it goes to the heart of this tragic

procedure we saw today where senators contrary to the text of the

Constitution, contrary to the logic of the Constitution and history

essentially voted you can`t try a president once they left office. We`ve

tried people once they left office before.

The risk is this: if a president is going to essentially try to overturn

their election defeat, that will always happen at the end of their term. If

they succeed, they become president for life. If they fail and were to hold

there was no repercussion, you can`t try them, you can`t disqualify them,

then we can expect that will happen again. So, the profound danger here is

that Donald Trump or someone just like him runs in four years and loses and

tries to cheat again, and maybe this time, they`re successful, because,

Joy, we came really close to losing our democracy.

If it wasn`t for a handful of brave elections officials and judges who had

true independence, we might have lost our democracy.

REID: Yeah, indeed. And, you know, I have to ask you this question as the

chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Your thoughts on seeing the

fact that we did have the current president have a very different kind of

call with Vladimir Putin and rebuke him for the allegations of, you know,

putting bounties on our troops and rebuke him for the mistreatment of pro-

democracy protesters.

Just what did you make of that, and what do you think that change is going

to mean for our national security?

SCHIFF: It means the world, and, Joy, I can`t tell you how grateful I was

to see a U.S. president acting like a U.S. president. Joe Biden

communicated, you`ve got to stop meddling in our elections, there are going

to be consequences. You know, I`m going to raise with you and confront with

you these reported bounties on the heads of our troops, this major Russian

hack, and other activities like the poisoning of Navalny, this Russian

opposition figure.

But the president also said, look, we need to also find our mutual

interests. Our mutual interest is in the extension of the new START Treaty.

That`s exactly what a president should do. It puts our values first, our

interests first.

Gone are the days of a president being the sycophant of a dictator like

Vladimir Putin.

REID: Yeah. And isn`t it weird that normal stuff is like revolutionary

now? It`s sad that`s where we are, but, yeah, it was a good day today.

Congressman Adam Schiff, thank you. Really appreciate you. Thank you very


And up next, President Biden`s executive orders addressing racial

inequities includes policing reforms and an end of federal use of private

prisons. Those are good first steps, but is it enough?

Stay with us.


REID: A coalition of 81 million diverse Americans elected President Biden,

and now it`s time for him to deliver. So far in the face of an obstinate

Republican Party, he`s using his presidential authority to deliver at least

incremental change.

Today, he moved to address discriminatory housing practices, end federal

contracts with private prisons, ensure the tribal independence of

indigenous people and make sure his administration combats xenophobia

against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, something his predecessor

refused to do.

Before signing the new executive actions, President Biden made clear that

racial equity benefits every American.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For too long, we`ve allowed a

narrow, cramped view of the promise of this nation to fester. You know,

we`ve bought the view that America is a zero-sum game in many cases. If you

succeed, I fail.

If you get ahead, I fall behind. If you get the job, I lose mine. Maybe

worst of all, if I hold you down, I lift myself up.

We`ve lost sight of what President Kennedy told us when he said a rising

tide lifts all boats. When we lift each other up, we`re all lifted up.


REID: For more, I`m joined by Patrisse Cullors, political strategist and

co-founder and executive director of Black Lives Matter.

Patrice, always great to talk to you.

So, let`s dig into it. The executive actions that we saw today on equity,

including restoring collective bargaining and worker protections for

federal workers, it goes all the way through getting rid of that silly 1776

commission and having a COVID task force on making sure there`s racial

equity in terms of the vaccines, et cetera, when you see those executive

actions as an activist, what`s your reaction, is it enough?


DIRECTOR: Well, I want to just say that it`s a nod towards much of the work

that has been happening across the country, organizers and advocates have

fought for many of these directives in this executive order. But we know

it`s not enough. We are literally dealing with 400 years of white

supremacy, 400 years of anti-black racism.

And so there`s so much more to do. And we will push this administration to

do it.

REID: And we know that the emancipation proclamation was an executive

order, right? So executive orders can have power, but they`re also not as

permanent as legislation. The given the fact that there`s such a razor-thin

margin in the United States Senate, are you concerned that anything that

President Biden and Vice President Harris enact now can just be overtaken

when the inevitable backlash happens, whenever the next person that`s like

the former president gets in and they take it even further? Are you worried

that it will all be whisked away?

CULLORS: Absolutely. I mean, I think we need to go beyond executive order.

It`s great that this administration is using executive order to undo much

of the Trump era. But we have to have legislation. You know, we`ve been

talking about the BREATHE Act with the movement for black lives and Black

Lives Matter for the last six to eight months.

This is federal legislation that will look at reinvesting into black

communities, communities that have been divested from for decades. We need

to look at that. We need to look at that now.

REID: I`m curious what you think. Black Lives Matter protests were the

subjects of just thousands of arrests. Nothing like what we`ve seen with

these MAGA insurrectionists who have been arrested by the dozens.

I wonder what you make of the fact that the one black guy, you know, the

one black guy who decided he was going to go MAGA with the rest of them, is

being held, his name is Emmanuel Jackson. He was allegedly wielding a

baseball bat. He turned himself in. He`s still being held pending trial.

Whereas you have the woman who allegedly stole the laptop belonging to the

speaker of the house is on home release and cautioned because she

apparently still logged on and got online when she wasn`t supposed to. You

have others that were accused of violence against police officers, et

cetera, who are chilling at home awaiting trial.

Your thoughts on that?

CULLORS: Well, it`s rather simple. We have a criminal justice system that

actually discriminates against black people in particular. It`s a criminal

justice system that allows for white people, white passing people to get

away with often murder.

Let`s talk about George Zimmerman. And so this is not surprising to me.

It`s why this administration has to look at police violence in particular

and mass incarceration as key components to upending.

REID: We know that Joe Biden as a human being opposes the death penalty.

Would you want to see something like a moratorium on the death penalty? And

just -- what do you think criminal justice reform in general should look


CULLORS: Absolutely, there have been advocates and organizers trying to get

a moratorium on the death penalty for years. Here in the state of

California, Governor Newsom called for a moratorium on any deaths and the

death penalty in particular. But I think we have to go further and imagine


We know that police and prisons are the most invested in social service in

our cities, states and in the country. So we have to re-imagine and

reinvest into black communities. We need to pour dollars into housing

infrastructure, into healthy food infrastructure, into adequate education.

All of these places that have been completely divested from in black

America in particular.

REID: Has the White House or anyone from the Office of Public Engagement

reached out to talk to leaders of Black Lives Matter and maybe bring you

all into the White House for a conversation about all of this?

CULLORS: Yeah, we -- the minute that President Biden was declared the

president, we sent an email and a letter to him and now Madam Vice

President Kamala Harris to sit with us. Their team has contacted us. We

have sat with the transition team. We`re still looking forward to meeting

with the president and madam vice president of the United States. We think

that`s important. And we have been reached out to by other people in their

cabinet as well.

REID: Yeah. And what do you think black lives matter, the movement, looks

like very briefly under this president as opposed to the last one? What is

the movement going to look like?

CULLORS: I mean, very different in that we are not fighting fascists and

don`t have to spend all of our energy every single day trying to challenge

irrationality, but I do think we will be pushing this administration.

REID: Yeah.

That`s how it works with activism, and indeed. Patrisse Cullors, thank you

so much for being here, really appreciate you.

And "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.




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