CDC revises COVID isolation guidance; Biden on omicron surge, these coming weeks are going to be challenging; Florida governor and surgeon general urge reduced testing; Extremists leverage insurrection to expand reach; U.S. sets global COVID daily record with over 1 million cases; Extremists leverage insurrection to expand reach; Extremists shift attention to influencing local governments; Health care workers overwhelmed by COVID surge; Senator Ron Johnson on vaccines, why do we think we can create something better than God; CDC revises isolation guidance.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for spending time with us here on "THE BEAT," as always. THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid starts right now. Hi, Joy?
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: How are you doing, Ari? Thank you very much. Have a fabulous evening.
And good evening to you, everyone. We do have a big show tonight, including breaking news from the January 6th congressional investigation that ties two known besties, Donald Trump and Fox News Host Sean Hannity together on insurrection day. You do not want to miss it. So, do not go far from your T.V.
But we begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a new year and a new record in COVID cases. The U.S. has set a global record, but not the kind to go home and brag about. The world record in COVID cases reported in a single day. On Monday in the United States, it was 1 million. As one former twice- impeached president once put it, America first. Which is why the new and current president addressed the nation today saying the government is adding new testing sites across the country while also doubling the amount of antiviral pills on the market.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Folks, I know we`re all tired and frustrated about the pandemic. These coming weeks are going to be challenging. Please wear your mask in public to protect yourself and others. We`re going to get through this. We`re going to get through it together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: There is, however, something standing in the way of the president`s message of solidarity, a party that insists on weaponizing a public health catastrophe, going the extra mile today to discourage testing. Here is Baby MAGA Ron DeSantis and his rather weird surgeon general adopting granddad MAGA`s slow the testing, slow the bad news policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): You do have people when the kind of the hysteria gets going, you`ll have certain people that will go out and will just get tested all the time at some of these sites, and that`s not a good use of resources.
DR. JOSEPH LADAPO, FLORIDA SURGEON GENERAL: Testing people that have no symptoms, are not sick and calling them cases, and making them into people who are sick when they have no symptoms.
Let`s go back to people making voluntarily decisions, living their lives, pursuing what they want and not sort of defining everything they do around whether or not a test is positive or something else like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Now, see, if you don`t test for a thing, that thing seems to just go away because people don`t know they have it. And the nasty scary statistics just fade into the background, less testing, less known cases, magic.
Meanwhile, here is a term that`s not really a term. With the one-year anniversary of the January 6th insurrection just around the corner, we are thinking a lot about what this awful and bloody bookmark symbolizes in American history and how democracy is more imperiled today than before.
NBC`s Ben Collins is reporting on a broader transformation by many of the extremist groups that participated in the Capitol siege. Over the past year, their messages have changed, shifting beyond the big lie about the election to going after educators who teach kids about racism and pushing hysterical conspiracies about vaccines and masks to prevent COVID, those being a short row apparently to government tyranny.
One of those crisis actors, according to actors, claimed in a since deleted Instagram video that we stormed the Capitol and patriots broke open the doors and we`re taking back our states. She called the day a revolution, a revolution that`s gone local.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s all about local legislation. Your local school districts and your city council board of supervisors. So, it kicked off as a national movement that now parents are realizing we need to coming to the local government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: That Don`t Tread On Me mentality isn`t just an American concept, of course. We`re seeing it all over Europe, where a similar COVID culture war is booming, tied to the rise of far right political parties just like the one we`ve got here with the elephant logo. By the way, elephants deserve better.
And what is next on let`s fight the tyranny of evil government trying to save our lives agenda, climate. Oh, yes. Experts are now warning COVID conspiracy groups may pivot to pushing climate misinformation this year, to say that government efforts to save the planet are also tyrannical conspiracies.
Joining me now is Dr. Kavita Patel, former Obama White House Policy Director and an MSNBC Medical Contributor, Dr. Mona Masood, Outpatient Psychiatrist and Founder and Chief Organizer of the Physician Support Line, and NBC News Senior Reporter Ben Collins.
And, oddly enough, even though this is a medical segment, I`m going to go to you first, Ben. Because you went out and you talked to these people, including this woman who apparently was part of the insurrection or at least allegedly, talk about this sort of confluence of January 6th big lie conspiracism and anti maskism, anti-vaxism.
BEN COLLINS, NBC NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, in the days after the 6th, these people had to regroup. They had to hide for a minute, frankly, because the FBI was on their tail. Their faces were on social media posted by the FBI and they needed a different message because they realize this was a failing one. These people were on video storming the Capitol, right? So, a lot of them went away and they came back in these local spaces.
This was a thing pushed by lots of different people in the currently bifurcating Trump sphere, right? Even though Mike Flynn or Steve Bannon, they might not be close right now, they are saying the same thing. Everyone on the Trump right is saying go win local office. You know, go -- as Steve Bannon said, go village by village. That`s how you do it. And that`s what they`ve been doing.
So, this woman I talked to, Denise, you just saw a video of her there, she was at the Capitol on the 6th. She said all that stuff about storming it. 11 months later, she`s at the board of education in Stockton, California, where she lives, which, by the way, she has no children in that school district and told me said she never will. And she is changing the votes there, right, effectively. Later on after I talked to her inside that board of education, they voted alongside her against vaccine mandates. And that crowd gave them a standing ovation.
So, that`s what we`re seeing is they`ve gone extremely local. Thankfully, these people were peaceful but the Proud Boy have been showing up in the back of some of these meetings as well just to intimidate and full guard. That`s the big worry here, is that if they take over local government through sheer intimidation, that`s how you lose democracy.
REID: And so the thing that`s kind of scary, and Dr. Masood, thank you for being here, because I feel like the anxieties produced by essentially a year of lockdown in 2020 have kind of like spread out like a virus in a way to where people are starting to attach any government action, whatsoever, whether it`s on trying to mitigate COVID or trying to prevent kids from getting sick in school or climate change or trying to make sure that kids are educated by history, anything the government does to mitigate harm is now seen as a conspiracy to try to create a tyrannical, mega state. And it`s extreme but I feel like it`s playing on people`s sort of psychological unmooring because of COVID. Is that, in your view, right or wrong?
DR. MONA MASOOD, FOUNDER, PHYSICIAN SUPPORT LINE: Yes, Joy. First of all, thank you for having me. I understand and I can empathize even with the need for control in such uncertainty. I think this is a desire that is very human and very normal to a degree. But when it is important where we exercise that kind of control and when it comes to, you know, taking care of our health or our family`s well being and controlling our day-to-day lives and focusing on what is, you know, relevant to our individual lives, that`s good and even healthy.
But what we`re seeing here, which is the spread of misinformation as a way of controlling your situation, that`s when we`re going to see harm because now it`s not only affecting you, it`s affecting everyone around you and it comes with a ton of responsibility.
REID: You know, and, Ben, to come back to you just for one moment, I mean, it feels like they`re singling out people who are easy to provoke to anxiety and pricking these anxieties at every level, right? It`s, oh, maybe there is some kids buried under a pizza store or maybe the government is, you know, trying to, I don`t know, get you to take a vaccine so that they can put a mind control device inside of you, whatever the latest anti-vax conspiracy.
But it`s like all kind of -- is this all reaching the same groups of people? Is there a Venn diagram between the people who are freaked out about history teaching and freaked out about vaccines and freaked out about masks and freaked out about everything and think the election was stolen?
COLLINS: Absolutely. There is this like world of paranoia. Steve Bannon also once said, you have to flood the zone with stuff, he didn`t say stuff, he said a word I can`t say on T.V., and that`s what they`re doing. You don`t have to buy into every single conspiracy theory, but once you get down the paranoia track, once you buy into that first one, you can buy into the rest of them.
At that same school board meeting, by the way, right after Denise Aguilar talked, who runs that militia, there were two women who held a poster board and said that that health up a poster board and said that R.F. radiation from the Chrome books they sent the children home with for distance learning was giving their children Havana syndrome.
Think about that.
So -- I know. So, that`s where we`re at with this stuff. Like I know people don`t want to confront this, that it sounds too ridiculous to believe, but people are saying this in public to try to influence votes all throughout the country. We have to take it seriously, as dumb as it sounds.
REID: You know, and, Dr. Patel, thank you for being here and I`m so glad that you`re available to be a part of this. Because the problem is that there is a very real pandemic that is a very real danger to very real people. And instead of people facing that and saying, okay, what can we do to mitigate it, people are taking the mitigation of it as an attack on them and an attempt to control and an attempt destroy them. And that makes it not only traumatic for all of us who were trying to do the right thing and are also locked down because of them.
Let me show you. This is cut six for my producers. I`m sorry, I`m jumping around a little bit. This is just some health care workers and what they`re dealing with. Because it`s not like they`re not dealing with trauma, they`re the ones watching people die alone on ventilators. Take a look.
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ANNA CERRA, R.N., SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, PATIENT CARE SERVICES, GREENWICH HOSPITAL: Our numbers here remain manageable but what we`re seeing now is a workforce that is getting burned out. They are exhausted.
DR. SHEREEF ELNAHAL, PRESIDENT AND CEO, UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: And we now have well over 100 staff out due to COVID in my hospital.
LAURA MCPHEE, CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE: I`ve not ever seen a patient here in the ICU who has been fully vaccinated with a booster, not one. This doesn`t have to happen. And I`m told it`s going to get worse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And yet, despite the fact that there are people who are -- literally, they have no lives left anymore. They are spending all of their time trying to fight these -- this illness. You have people like Senator Ron Johnson -- let`s just play Ron Johnson. This is Ron Johnson, what he`s saying despite all that is going on. This is him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI) (voice over): Why do we assume that the body`s natural immune system isn`t the marvel that it really is? Why do we think that we can create something better than God in terms of combating disease? Now, there are certainly things we have to do but we just made so many assumptions and it`s all pointed toward everybody getting a vaccine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: I can`t even imagine hearing those two pieces of sound back-to-back does to you, a doctor who is in this madness trying to fight this pandemic. So, your thoughts, Dr. Patel?
DR. KAVITA PATEL, MSNBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Joy, it`s just -- I mean, we`re trained as physicians and scientists to kind of try to actually tease out fact from fiction. That`s the whole development of a hypothesis. I`m a spiritual person. I actually believe that it was the scientists who had decades of just not giving up in that spirit to fight that led them to develop these miraculous vaccines. So, I actually don`t understand why people are not more inquisitive.
Ben and his colleague`s reporting is excellent because it illustrates what happens. You just get this kind of small voices and they reinforce myths, misinformation, to Dr. Masood`s point. But then, Joy, nobody is questioning it. I mean, I question my own colleagues. That`s actually part of what we do to take care of patients and make sure we`re doing the best thing possible.
And I think in that video, I`m glad you play those clips, it`s not just that colleagues are burned out. I`m actually going to push and say even worse than that, Joy, it`s that we`re losing any empathy that we might have because we are expected -- people won`t listen to me when I say a mask mattered, this matters. But then when they need treatments, when the surgeon general of Florida rolls into a hospital without a mask and is asking me to give monoclonal antibodies, what does that feel like? You lose empathy. And that`s what is happening.
And, by the way, Ben -- what I took from Ben`s excellent Twitter thread, his reporting, is like I need to stop doing this and I probably need to run for school office and like something in superintendent districts. And we need to stand up and the people who fight for science and fact versus fiction, we need to take more leadership roles at a local county, city, district level, and we`re not doing that in enough numbers.
REID: And you`d be great, by the way, if you did.
And so I`m going to give you the last word on this, Dr. Masood, because the trauma is real for doctors, for nurses, for people in the medical profession right now. It can`t help that the CDC changes their mind every three seconds on what it is they`re trying to do. So, one day, they`re saying, take five days, and they say, take ten days. It doesn`t help fight the misinformation when they keep changing their story. So, those of us who are trying to say, no, no, no, these are the facts, we also have to fight that. I`m going to give you the last word on this because I`m sure for people in the medical profession, this has to be just be pull your hair out absolutely infuriating.
MASOOD: Yes, it kind of goes back to the same thing that Kavita was just said right now, which was, we feel like kind of like sacrificial lambs to this pandemic. I think that`s kind of the feeling that health care workers have that not only our word, our years of training, our sincerity in wanting to care for our patients and take care of them, not only is that not enough but it is -- now we don`t feel that if the public has our back, we`re being yelled at by people that we`re taking care of. And now we wonder if the CDC has our back or policymakers have our back and that is a very disheartening for people who are literally risking their lives every day to take care of others.
REID: Absolutely. It`s infuriating on every level and we`re all running out, honestly, of figuring out what we can even do about it at this point. It`s unbelievable.
Dr. Kavita Patel, thank you for all you do. Dr. Mona Masood, thank you for all you do. Ben Collins, man, thank you for all that you do. You all are fighting the good fight.
Up next on THE REIDOUT, what does Sean Hannity know about events leading up to the insurrection? The January 6 select committee wants to find out. Surely, Sean has nothing to hide.
Also, the election fraud misinformation that Trump distributed to every Republican member of Congress through his obnoxious lackey, Peter Navarro.
Plus, the push for a filibuster carve-out for voting rights, Chuck Schumer told me last night on THE REIDOUT that he thinks he can get Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema on board. What does Joe Manchin say?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Let me just say to being open to a rules change that would create a nuclear option, it`s very, very difficult. That`s a heavy lift.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Well, despite that, he`s not the absolute worst, at least tonight, anyway. Tonight`s pick is not an actual person but completely bananas.
THE REIDOUT continues after this.
REID: Late today, we learned that the House Select Committee on January 6 is seeking an interview with FOX News host Sean Hannity.
In a detailed letter today, the committee revealed several text messages that Hannity sent to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and others. And those texts raise serious questions about what was going on inside the White House.
Among them, Hannity wrote all the data for the insurrection that -- quote - - "I`m very worried about the next 48 hours" -- unquote.
In fact, according to the committee, Hannity may have had a conversation directly with Donald Trump on the evening of January 5 regarding his planning for January 6.
There are other messages that Hannity sent to Meadows that suggest that he may have discussed a potential effort to remove Trump under the 25th Amendment. A later text sent to Meadows and Congressman Jim Jordan suggests that Hannity was deeply concerned about Trump`s state of mind just before the inauguration.
Hannity said of Trump that -- quote -- "He can`t mention the election again ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And, worse, I`m not sure what is left to do or say, and I don`t like not knowing if it`s truly understood."
All of this suggests that even the most hardcore of Trump`s allies appeared to know that he was out of control.
With me now is Congressman Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, who was an impeachment manager last year, and Fernand Amandi, MSNBC political analyst and pollster.
Thank you very much for being here, both of you.
And, Congresswoman Dean, what`s really fascinating -- I will put it that way -- about these texts that were revealed by the committee is that it showed that somebody who actually is a genuine ally, the closest thing Trump maybe has to a friend -- I mean, Sean Hannity`s former executive producer became the comms leader in -- the comms director inside of the White House. That`s how kind of on the same page they were.
But he did not seem to be on the same page with this insurrection activity and seemed really worried and concerned.
Your thoughts on these texts and what they might tell us about what people really understood about Trump`s state of mind and whether he was balanced at that moment?
REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): Well, it`s strange that it would be coming from Mr. Hannity, but it is the tip of the iceberg.
These are pieces of evidence that the 1/6 Committee are putting together meticulously that will show the state of mind of a desperate despot who was meeting with people, who was trying to orchestrate whatever he possibly could remain in power, to overthrow the will of the American public.
And so he stoked it for months and months and months, and he had the help of Mr. Hannity and many others in terms of the big lie. Remember, this wasn`t a single day`s rally or protest that sent that lies to storm the Capitol.
This was meticulously, if not chaotically, planned and exercised over the course of many, many months. These lies that overtook the Capitol, sadly, are a threat to our democracy today. And so that`s why I`m glad I will be going down to Washington this week, to make sure that we remember and reflect on what happened on January the 6th.
And I call upon every one of us to recommit to our democracy, to the protection and the lifting of our precious democracy against the lies of someone like Donald Trump, who only seeks authoritarian power. That`s it.
REID: And I -- Fernand, the thing about what people who were inside of the Trump circle were saying to Mark Meadows vs. what they say publicly, their outward-facing comments, which seemed like, yes, rah, rah, this was all great, you had Donald Trump`s son trying to tell him to call it off.
You had Ivanka Trump saying, whoa, we need to stop this. You had Sean Hannity, an ally, saying, yo, this is not good. And the question then becomes, which is the dog and which is the tail here?
Because FOX News serves a constituency that obviously we know kind of what their ideological underpinnings are, right? But they also have to compete with people even to their right, the OANNs, the Newsmaxes. They`re in sort of a competitive environment to get the most MAGA, the most authoritarian audience to stick with them.
And so I wonder if -- what do you make of this? Because is -- does this look like something Donald Trump is leading or something where Donald Trump and his followers are going along with a rabid crowd? Like, what do you make of it?
FERNAND AMANDI, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, Joy, what`s clear to me -- and the Sean Hannity texts are an interesting tree. It`s an interesting little subplot in the bigger story.
But the fact of the matter is, we all watched almost a year ago, not just here in the United States, but around the world, we watched this happen in real time, when we knew what was coming. There was no question that Donald Trump and some of the people in the closest sector of the Trump orbit, whether it be Mark Meadows, Roger Stone, of course, Steve Bannon, were actively calling for the type of activities that ended up being this insurrection.
And, Joy, had you taken a poll a year ago on the evening of that insurrection and said, one year from now, none of the perpetrators of this assault on Congress, this attack on the citadel of democracy would still be held accountable, I don`t think anyone would have believed you.
And I think that is the frustration that we`re feeling, especially, Joy, when you consider that the January 6 Committee in Congress has a shelf life now. When we -- if we get to November, and there is not a voting rights bill passed, if there is not any of these perpetrators brought to justice for the crimes they committed, smoking gun before the eyes of the world, our democracy may already be lost.
And that is, I think, the agitation and the concern that so many millions around the country and around the world are fearing with this slow-walking process to bring the perpetrators like Trump and others to justice.
REID: And the thing is, Fernand talks about polls.
There`s an Associated Press poll out now that says less than half of Republicans say that January 6 was very violent, just 39 percent, according to this latest poll; 52 percent of Republicans say the insurrectionists were protecting democracy.
At this point, Congresswoman Dean, you have right-wing media, including FOX News, that is underpinning the big lie and convincing people, yes, the election was stolen, even when their own hosts know it wasn`t and know that what then happens that they help instigate shouldn`t be happening.
You have Donald Trump`s people circulating memos outlining how to steal the election, executing a plan that they named after a football maneuver. It seems so coordinated and so obvious and so open. Can you explain why there haven`t been any indictments as a result of what looks like a pretty open- faced conspiracy?
DEAN: Well, I will push back slightly on what Fernand said in terms of the slow-walking of this investigation. I actually don`t think that`s true.
It is frustrating to me, don`t get me wrong, that more people have not been held to account. But it is very difficult to undo a sea, a tidal wave of lies, and those who are complicit.
Having served as an impeachment manager, I know the caliber and quality of the people who are serving on the 1/6 Committee, as well as the team that is behind them. They are meticulously gathering the data and the details. They are keenly aware of the 2022 calendar. As you know, they have said they will start to have public hearings.
I think that`s what`s going to be the key. The public needs to know, evening hearings, prime-time hearings, to say, what was the truth? Shine a bright light of truth on the horror that was the sea of lies fomented by the former president, inciting an insurrection. Who was complicit? What did they know?
When you think about what was revealed -- and we talked about this as we were preparing for our impeachment trial in the Senate -- 187 minutes, the president of the United States did nothing? Not to mention the fact, why wouldn`t the Secret Service had whisked him to safety?
After all, our democracy, his own vice president was under attack. What does that reveal about the participation of a desperate, sick man to try to hold on to power?
REID: But very quickly...
DEAN: So, I don`t think (AUDIO GAP) slow-rolling.
I do worry that we get it right, we get the details to the American public, so that this never happens again.
REID: And I`m going to give Fernand last word on this, because you said a desperate and sick man.
This sounds like even Sean Hannity was worried about this guy`s mental health at this point. This guy obviously could not accept that he`d lost the election, Fernand. He obviously he was willing to do anything to try to stay in power and then cling to power like a degenerate dictator in some country that we would have put on a watch list for democracy had it happened somewhere else.
And here you have a coordinated effort of people taking his delusion and trying to turn it into an actual coup.
I mean, I`m going to give you the last word on this, because I wonder if the methodical pace of this investigation, are you concerned that it is too slow, that it is not taking -- it`s not going quickly enough?
AMANDI: Well, I mean, I trust that Congresswoman Dean`s analysis of what`s going on within the committee is as it is and appropriate.
But, yes, it`s too slow. And the other problem, as a political communicator, Joy, I know that by not focusing on this issue, making this issue the sine qua non of the discourse, that, on January 6, the Republican Party was involved in an attack on American democracy, the fault line which actually led to Congresswoman Dean and other impeachment managers to impeach President Trump an unprecedented second time.
AMANDI: The fact that that still has not become the central issue outside of politics, I think, is a concern and why the other side has kind of said, oh, my God, there have been no consequences so far.
AMANDI: We may get off again.
REID: Yes, it`s confounding.
Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, Fernand Amandi, thank you both very much. I appreciate you both.
Still ahead: Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro is spilling the beans on how he did his own research on the 2020 election and shared his findings with Trump. But what came next is even worse.
We will be right back.
REID: Peter Navarro was the former president`s trade adviser. Before that, he was, according to "TIME" magazine, a largely forgettable, failed Democratic candidate from California who was detested by his staff and disliked by voters.
Having interviewed him before, honestly, I could see why.
And yet, much like Trump, he has managed to fail upwards to a very powerful position that ultimately allowed him to manipulate democracy for personal gain. In an interview with "Rolling Stone," Navarro admits that he and Steve Bannon got Trump to help spread dossiers of disinformation to members of Congress as part of their plan to overturn the election.
Now, a reminder, Navarro is not an election expert. So those dossiers were worthless. That said, Navarro tells "Rolling Stone": "My role in the whole thing was basically to provide Congress via my reports the analytical material they needed to actually make the challenges, and the president himself had distributed volume one of the report to every member of the House and Senate a week or so earlier."
He then adds this telling nugget about what the plan was for January 6, which Trump was in on: "Trump wanted only peace and calm, so that we could meticulously implement the Green Bay Packers` sweep play, and thereby remand the votes back to the states and, in all likelihood, then move the election into the House of Representatives because of the substantial fraud that was visible."
Now, I want to be crystal clear. There is no legitimate evidence to support Navarro`s claims. In fact, report after report and court case after court case have proven the opposite.
What he is admitting to is a presidentially sanctioned coup to overturn the will of the people. And he apparently is cool with that.
Joining me now, Christina Greer, associate professor of political science at Fordham University, and Glenn Kirschner, former federal prosecutor and an MSNBC legal analyst.
And, Glenn, I`m going to start with you on this.
You now have Peter Navarro being, what, the third or fourth person to make a memo -- he said there was more than one volume, so he wrote like a book - - to say here is how you can Green Bay Packers the election, basically disrupt the certification, and then somehow scare the vice president or convince him to send it all back to the states and make the Congress decide the president.
There`s like multiple people who have admitted or there`s evidence that they tried to do that. This seems to me to be a straightforward conspiracy that starts from the White House and goes through other parts of government.
How in the world is this not a criminal conspiracy at this point?
GLENN KIRSCHNER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: You know, Joy it is. It`s a conspiracy, plain and simple, because you can now add Peter Navarro to the other list of conspirators, like Jeffrey Clark and John Eastman, the inciters who were part of the conspiracy, like Mo Brooks and Don Jr. and Rudy Giuliani, and so many others.
And it really is strange, because it feels like all of these people are trying to be the most valuable conspirators, I guess, not MVPs, but MVCs.
And their willingness to play into Donald Trump`s corrupt narrative is mind-boggling. When you look at the reporting about what Navarro did, and he is no election law expert, he surfs the Internet, he puts together some memos about some debunked election fraud theories, and then he gives them catchy titles.
I love the reporting that he named these memos things like "The Immaculate Deception, "The Art of the Steal," and in case that was too subtle for Donald Trump, he titled one, "Yes, Trump Won."
And then he reportedly waltzes into the Oval Office, presents them to Trump, and Trump says, let`s run with those and distribute them to all of the Republicans in Congress?
And, Joy, the reason this isn`t just lunacy or corruption, the reason it`s a criminal conspiracy is because we have to view all of this conduct against the backdrop of Bill Barr, Donald Trump`s own attorney general, announcing there was no fraud undermining Joe Biden`s win, and Donald Trump`s own administration official Chris Krebs and his own Department of Homeland Security announcing most secure election in U.S. history.
That`s what makes this more than lunacy, more than corruption. It makes it criminal.
REID: Well, I mean, Christina Greer, it`s sort of Mussolini lunacy, right?
I mean, there`s the part of it that is clear that Donald Trump was desperate to stay in power, was -- could not handle emotionally, mentally the idea that he`d lost the election, and would have you taken any advice at all that would have kept him in power.
He is listening to the pillow guy, Michael Flynn, who`s breakfasting with the Kremlin. He`s listening to this guy, who`s a trader adviser, who has no experience. Any idiot that walked in there with a memo that said, here`s how you can stay in power forever, sir, he was going to listen to it.
And then you had people like Sean Hannity, who seemed to be implying that he thought maybe Trump`s cheese had slid off his cracker.
CHRISTINA GREER, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: Right.
I mean, we hear all these whispers from Republicans about maybe a bridge -- this is a bridge too far. But, then again, when these lily-livered Republicans had time to vote for it, they -- 147 said that the election was stolen, and they agreed with the president.
You have Mike Pence, who has all but disappeared. This is his president calling for his demise on January 6. I mean, I miss Glenn terribly in our green room chats, because we have talked ad infinitum about the fact that President Trump doesn`t read. He takes pride in that reading.
Remember? He always said: I don`t need to read. I just know things.
So the fact that you have to give him these big titles to gas him up, further, I think, just is indicative of the type of mental state that the president was always in, but, obviously, the embarrassment that he suffered.
He`d suffered embarrassments before losing money. This is losing power. This is, the grift is up. I think he was also a little fearful about what could happen with the January 6 Commission or when people started to look into some of the financial dealings that he and his children engaged in, in four years, enriching themselves in ways that we still have yet to fully uncover.
And so -- but -- and yet, Glenn, tomorrow, I am assuming that it will be a big nothing coming out of the Justice Department. Merrick Garland is going to step out, walk out to a camera and say, everyone in this department are fine people doing a fine job. Thank you very much. Have a nice day.
I do not understand that. Do you?
KIRSCHNER: I would like to see more. I would like to hear more. I think there are things Merrick Garland can say without compromising a single investigative detail, if he could just reassure the American people that they will hold everybody accountable, wherever the evidence leads, regardless of their power, their influence, their connection, regardless of whether they`re current or former politicians.
We`re on it. American people, we`re on it.
And I would like to hear something like that. Look, as a prosecutor for 30 years, I would never tell you who I was indicting tomorrow or who I was investigating today.
KIRSCHNER: So I don`t expect we will hear any anything like that.
But I think we need to be reassured that this is still the law firm of we, the people, and that they`re going to hold all these people accountable, rather than looking for political outs.
REID: And so then give me the or what, Christina Greer, because if there is no action coming out of DOJ, or at least if people don`t feel confident, then what?
GREER: Well, I think, Joy, first things first. We have got to get on the other side of January 6.
I think a lot of Americans are just holding their breath and a little concerned, right?
GREER: We saw last year a million -- I mean, just millions of Americans watched on television to see hundreds and if not thousands of people storm the Capitol with swastikas and Confederate Flags.
GREER: And we saw police relatively helpless.
And now that we read the reports, they were definitely helpless as they were calling, saying, what should we do?
GREER: So, once we`re on the other side of January 6, hopefully, as Glenn mentioned, the Justice Department will reassure the American people that they are taking this very seriously, and Congress will actually get that commission and the report to the American people, sooner, rather than later.
REID: Yes. One can only hope.
Christina Greer, Glenn Kirschner, thank you both very much.
And up next: Senator Joe Manchin is apparently unmoved by the pleas of his fellow Democrats to protect voting rights. Does this spell doom for free and fair elections?
Stay with us.
REID: Conservative Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is throwing cold water on Senate Democrats` plans to change Senate rules to advance voting rights legislation if and when Republicans continue their obstruction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Let me just say that to being open to a rules change that would create a nuclear option, it`s very, very difficult. It`s a heavy lift.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Manchin said his absolute preference would be getting a rule change agreement with buy-in from, you guessed it, Republicans, the same Republicans who`ve now blocked even beginning debate on voting rights legislation not once, not twice, but three times.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said today that Manchin knows Democrats won`t get any Republican cooperation. So it would seem that Manchin`s position hasn`t moved at all, unsurprising, since even Senator Schumer couldn`t nail down Manchin`s stance or fellow holdout Kyrsten Sinema -- holdout Senator Kyrsten Sinema`s here on THE REIDOUT last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Can you tell us any evidence that you -- that Manchin or Sinema has given publicly or to you that they care more about voting rights and the democracy continuing than about the filibuster? Because I haven`t seen any evidence that they actually have more support for voting rights...
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): What I can tell you this, Joy.
REID: ... and democracy than they do for the filibuster.
SCHUMER: Yes, what I can tell you this is, they have made even public statements that -- particularly Manchin -- that we -- he wants to get voting rights done and wants to figure out a way to do it.
REID: But what -- but why should we believe that? Why should we believe that?
SCHUMER: Now, let me just -- let me -- let me just finish.
REID: They haven`t taken any action.
SCHUMER: Let me -- well, we have got to keep pressing them and pressing them and pressing them until they do. There is too much at risk here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Joining me now, LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Madam.
LaTosha, it`s always great to see you.
I will ask you the same question that I asked Director Schumer or -- I should say Majority Leader Schumer. Do you see any evidence that Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema care more about voting rights than they do about the filibuster?
LATOSHA BROWN, CO-FOUNDER, BLACK VOTERS MATTER: I see absolute evidence of the opposite, the absolute opposite.
He has not shown -- even today, this interview, it was so disingenuous, and I think it`s dishonest, at most.
To say that you`re concerned about the nuclear -- a nuclear option of passing this without Republican support, what about the nuclear option in which we have seen voter suppression laws all across this country to actually marginalize black voters? What about that nuclear option?
What about the fact that Republicans are literally leading the effort in the charge of voting suppression? So now you`re going to go to the wolf in the henhouse and say, listen, let`s talk about how we`re going to protect voting rights.
And so I think he`s being very disingenuous. He`s shown an abundance of evidence that he is not supportive of voting rights. He says one thing, but his actions have not shown anything.
So, for all of these goodwill Republicans that he speak of, where are they? He hasn`t had a press conference with them? He hasn`t show a list. He`s shown no evidence that he`s able to deliver what he says that exists or what he wants to see. I think it`s a stalling tactic.
I think he`s being disingenuous. And I`m actually being very nice at using that term.
REID: And one of the Republicans out there that -- one of his friends, is literally -- Mitch McConnell, who is the head of the Republicans in the United States Senate -- has basically said that everything that you`re out there fighting and fighting against is just not true, that why would any state want to overturn an election? That`s not going to happen.
What do you say to Mitch McConnell, who`s saying that all the alarms that are being raised by voting rights activists like yourself are just not real?
BROWN: No, he knows it`s a lie.
They have become the party of lying. And so they know that what is happening right now, the voter suppression laws is out there. The evidence is out there. We`re looking at S.B.202 in the state of Georgia, right now, it is actually harder for me as a voter in the state of Georgia. I have less voting rights protection and less access to voting in the state of Georgia now than I did last year this time, where we`re looking at what they`re trying to do in rural counties as we speak right now in the state of Georgia and closing polling sites, and one of the rural counties, to close all of the polling sites, and only one.
The restriction of really being able to try to get rid of boxes to be able to vote in absentee boxes. He knows this. This is a strategy that the Republicans have used, and they used lies to cover what their efforts to -- actually put it out front, like there`s some integrity around it.
I mean, and, by the way, if Georgia`s not doing anything, because -- in your state, they`re being sued over the gerrymander districts and over this law. So, obviously, there are lawsuits happening for something.
Raphael Warnock said something I think is interesting, that he said, a lot of these same people that are out there saying, oh, I loved John Lewis, he was a great person, a great friend of mine, I love s, voting rights, support voting rights, they`re going to be right up there trying to get on the pulpit on King Day saying how much they love voting rights and love John Lewis, and literally spit in the face of John Lewis` memory by standing against voting rights.
It feels like that`s where Manchin and Sinema are going. Is that -- what do you make of that?
BROWN: I think that exactly.
And I think we have to call them out. I always talk about, this is a play- by-play book. There are three strategies they have always used. The first has always been to restrict access to the ballot, right? The second has always been to create a culture of fear. And so, as we come on the anniversary of January 6, we know that that was part of the insurrection, and to continue this culture of fear.
Now, the third thing is to weaponize the administrative process, as we`re seeing in -- here in Georgia, we`re seeing in redistricting in Georgia and Texas and all across this nation. So, they`re -- not only are they being disingenuous and they`re lying, but they really have an alternative motive, and that is to undermine democracy and to marginalize the voters in this country.
Rachel Maddow made a really great point last night. And she said that part of the votes in the Senate are about your legacy and about history. And there are some folks that are going to go down like Strom Thurmond. And maybe they just don`t mind. It looks like that is where some of -- including a couple of Democrats -- might be headed.
LaTosha Brown, thank you very much. Really appreciate you, as always.
And stick around for tonight`s "Absolute Worst," because, if you thought your commute was a pain in the tuchus, you ain`t seen nothing yet.
We will be back after this.
REID: OK, if you want proof that there is no government conspiracy to steal your rights or oppress you, just note that the government cannot even organize itself to handle a snowstorm.
That is the unfortunate case in Virginia for thousands of drivers stranded in their cars overnight on a stretch of I-95 just south of the nation`s capital that is still being cleared out right now.
The first Mid-Atlantic storm of the year dumped more than a foot of snow on the region, leaving some drivers stuck for more than 24 hours, some without food or water, after a multivehicle crash Monday afternoon blocked traffic in both directions.
Caught in that gridlock was Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, who tweeted this morning that he started his normal two-hour drive to D.C. at 1:00 p.m. yesterday. He finally arrived at the Capitol today, 26.5 hours later.
Fortunately, no injuries or fatalities have been reported. But even in a snowstorm, some on the right still managed to find a conspiracy and emphasize their special little victimhood, with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network posting this now-deleted tweet, in which he moaned: "How come black lives matter, but not storm -- snowstorm driver lives?" or whatever.
Unsurprisingly, Twitter ratioed the hell out of that one, little old tomfoolery from him, including former Obama aide Tommy Vietor writing: "Some tweets are so forced and stupid that you wonder if they`re performance art." Dadaism lives.
Now, I should also note that the severe winter weather even temporarily impeded the commander in chief. Returning to D.C. yesterday, President Biden couldn`t deplane from Air Force One for nearly 30 minutes because his staircase got stuck in the snow.
So, back to my original point. Settle down, QAnon Joes. You don`t have to worry about a cabal of deep state -- deep state operatives plotting to take away your rights as part of a massive conspiracy between -- befitting a Dan Brown novel. The government just doesn`t have the range.
And it goes without saying, being stuck in your car, trapped on a highway for an entire day is definitely the "Absolute Worst."
And that is tonight`s REIDOUT.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.