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Transcript: The ReidOut, 10/14/21

Guests: Bennie Thompson, Daniel Goldman, Kurt Bardella, Andrea Kane, Josh Shapiro

Summary

January 6th committee to move to hold Bannon in criminal contempt. Bannon criminal referral a critical test for the DOJ. Wall Street Journal say Attorney General Garland concerned that jailing insurrectionists for extensive periods could further radicalize them. Showdown between Trump aides and January 6th committee continues.

Transcript

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: You could tell me why I`m wrong about main courses.

That does it for me. For something much more filling, sustainable, we turn to THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid. Hi, Joy.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: How are you going to say fish is a terrible main course?

MELBER: It`s just -- I`m always hungry within three hours. Is that not a failure of a meal?

REID: You`re eating at the wrong places. I`m -- I`ll get to you actually later. You need better restaurants.

MELBER: Let`s go.

REID: Okay. We`re going to work on you. We`re going fix you. Thank you, Ari Melber. We`re work on you.

MELBER: Peace.

REID: Have a wonderful evening.

Good evening, everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the criminal charges that may be in store for Steve Bannon. Today was the day that the alt-right Trump whisperer was supposed to be deposed by the select committee investigating January 6th, instead, he flouted their subpoena, snubbed the committee, and in the process put himself in legal jeopardy. He has now earned himself a criminal citation from that committee, which will be voted on next week.

Now not only was Bannon a key proponent of the big lie that inspired the Capitol siege, he was actively involved behind the scenes. As the committee points out, he was communicating with Trump prior to the insurrection, urging him to focus on January 6th. He attended a meeting with lawmakers at the Willard Hotel about decertifying Joe Biden`s election victory. And he famously hinted on the day before the insurrection that January 6th would be more than just a protest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE BANNON, FORMER CHIEF STRATEGIST TO DONALD TRUMP (voice over): All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this. All hell is going break loose tomorrow. It`s going to be moving. It`s going to be quick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Now, for all his chest-thumping around January 6th, Bannon is now hiding behind Trump`s dubious claims of executive privilege. Why? Because Trump told him to. Bannon`s lawyer wrote the committee yesterday saying, Trump`s counsel stated that they were invoking executive and other privileges and therefore directed as not to produce documents or give testimony.

Yes. But the thing is, Bannon`s no-show before the committee today has opened him up to criminal charges. As Chairman Bennie Thompson said today, we reject his position entirely. The select committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas, so we must move forward with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt. The committee will vote on that Tuesday night. Then once it passes the full House, it will go to the Department of Justice, which will decide whether or not to charge Bannon criminally.

And that`s where this becomes a critical test for Attorney General Merrick Garland, namely, will he have the guts and the common sense to enforce the lawful subpoenas of a congressional committee?

Now, the answer should be obvious. But, unfortunately, we have seen this department go soft on Trump and his supporters, including members of the MAGA lynch mob who laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. The Wall Street Journal reports that according to people familiar with the matter, Garland has told other Justice Department officials that he is concerned that jailing protesters who weren`t hard-core extremists for extensive periods could further radicalize them.

Really? Okay. So let me get this straight. Merrick Garland is scared that these people might become more radicalized? I`m sorry, what`s more radical than staging an insurrection? I mean, is Merrick Garland familiar with the well-documented disparities in America`s criminal justice system? Because if he was, it`s hard to imagine him going with that story. I mean, if only the millions of people incarcerated for actual low-level crime in this country could be so lucky.

Garland`s lean towards leniency for the MAGA faithful, hopefully not just because they`re supporters of the former president, so just that he might not actually see eye-to-eye with the select committee when it comes to punishing uncooperative witnesses. So, Mr. Attorney General, sir, please, be my guest and prove me wrong.

With me now is Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi. He is the chair of the select committee to investigate January 6th. And, Mr. Chairman, thank you so much for being here.

I am very interested to get your reaction to the apparent reluctance of the attorney general of the United States to be too hard on the people who broke into our Capitol, threatened the lives of yourself, your staff members, the speaker of the House, threaten to hang Mike Pence, brought a noose, a lynch mob. Multiple people died as a result of what happened. What do you make of the attorney general of the United States saying, oh, if we`re too hard on them, they might get more radicalized, so we shouldn`t be too hard on them?

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): Well it`s my wishes, Joy, for the attorney general to decide to expedite the process and the document that we said. Clearly, the law says he has to receive it, present it to a grand jury, indict Mr. Bannon. And so he needs to do his job. We have kept the firewall between our committee and the Department of Justice so they can`t say there was any unfair leverage or influence we were using.

[19:05:08]

But given the timeframe that we are dealing with, Joy, we hope that the attorney general sees the importance of moving ahead with this indictment, moving ahead with locking Steve Bannon up, moving ahead with clearing the air that you can`t conduct an insurrection on the government of the United States of America and nothing happen.

So, clearly, it will be in the Department of Justice`s hand. Our committee on Tuesday evening, we will do our job, but this is just the beginning. I assure you there are others if they do not cooperate, they`ll suffer the same fate. But, clearly, because Mr. Bannon took former Trump`s advice not to cooperate, and it`s well-documented that he was part and parcel to creating what happened.

So, we look forward to our day on next Tuesday. The public is invited. It will be a business meeting of the committee. You will see all the information we have available. And the reason we will put this before the United States House of Representatives, ask for a criminal referral. If we get the votes, the speaker will then transmit that document to Merrick Garland, and he has to do his job.

REID: And here`s -- I`m going put up just for the audience. This is the people -- some of the people who have been subpoenaed so far. So, Steve Bannon, we know, he has already claimed that he is going with executive privilege, even though, let`s just be clear, the White House, the current White House is in charge of who gets executive privilege. They`ve said, no you don`t get it. You have also Kash Patel, Dan Scavino, and Mark Meadows, who was chief of staff.

There has been some postponement because of delays in delivering the subpoenas to Mr. Scavino. They`re engaging. What does that mean, Kash Patel and Mark Meadows are engaging with the committee? Can you tell us what that means?

THOMPSON: Well, it means that they are talking to our lawyers and we`re trying to set up times for them to come in and potentially give depositions or information.

REID: So, they haven`t said no?

THOMPSON: They have not said no. Steve Bannon had said no. That`s why he is getting a criminal referral.

REID: Can you imagine a scenario, sir, of anybody in Mississippi. Let`s make a theoretical case. Black Lives Matter protesters in your home state saying we`ve been subpoenaed, we ain`t coming. Can you imagine any other situation in the criminal justice system where a prosecutor would say in advance, we don`t want to be too hard on them because of their associations with Black Lives Matter? So we fear that that might radicalize them. Can you imagine that being said about anyone other than Trump supporters?

THOMPSON: Well, given the double standard that people of color in my state have had to endure for quite a long time, then that means that most black people who go into jail in Mississippi would come out radicalized. But that`s not the case.

So, clearly, I think Merrick Garland needs to rethink his position that he`s credited with having. We can`t have that. Look, January 6th, Joy, was awful. It was not a movement. People saw it in real-time. They saw it with their own eyes. And so we have been tasked with the responsibility of crafting a solution. Merrick Garland has to do his job in a timely manner in order for us to make sure that this doesn`t happen again.

Steve Bannon and anyone else can`t flout the law and expect nothing to happen. Our committee is unified on this. We`re bipartisan. And I guarantee you on Tuesday night you will see that bipartisanship.

All of us love this country. And what we saw that the insurrectionists did on January 6th should never happen. And I assure you our job is to make sure that we produce a document that guarantees, if adopted, it will never, ever happen again.

REID: Congressman Bennie Thompson, who chairs the January 6th committee, thank you so much. We really appreciate your time tonight. And we will be watching what happens next week. Thank you, Sir. I really appreciate you.

All right, joining now is Daniel Goldman former U.S. -- Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York who served as Majority Council in the first Trump impeachment.

[19:10:01]

I really have the same question for you, about the precedent -- I frankly was shocked reading what Merrick Garland, Attorney General Garland allegedly said about worrying that prosecuting these people for committing this crime would further radicalize them.

I may not -- I know that he was involved during the 1990s when we did prosecute domestic terrorists, and he didn`t worry about that. And, suddenly, I worry that the reason he is saying that is just because they are supporters of a former Republican president.

This was what Rob Reiner, Actor Rob Reiner, who is also a very strong political activist, tweeted. The only reason a prosecutor would choose not to indict Trump is the fear that if he did, he`s cult would start a civil war. But if you don`t indict a man who tried to overthrow the government, then that civil war has already been lost.

And this is what Constitutional Lawyer Laurence Tribe responded, how he responded. He said a sobering thought. So let`s hope A.G. Garland hasn`t already decided not to bring criminal charges against the probably guilty former president.

Do you worry, as I do, that he already has made that decision, and it is a political decision, that he does not want to strongly go after supporters of the former president?

DANIEL GOLDMAN, FMR. HOUSE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY MAJORITY COUNCSEL: I don`t think that he is making that decision based on politics. I actually think that what he is saying has some merit. The problem with what he is saying is that it is very selectively targeted at the Trump supporters for January 6th.

I think it`s generally true that black and brown people across the country who are put in jail for extensive narcotics, nonviolent offenses and other minor offenses, as you point out, go to jail and they are radicalized. I think we need a lot of reform as it comes to our system.

The bigger issue, I think, for Merrick Garland right now is what he is going to do with Donald Trump and what he`s going to do with Steve Bannon. And the reason why it is so important is that if he does not open an investigation, and we have no reason to believe that he has, into Donald Trump and his activity in the lead-up to January 6th, and including January 6th, about all of his efforts to overturn the election, and then if he also does not enforce the Steve Bannon subpoena, by criminally charging Steve Bannon with contempt of Congress, then I fear that his actions will ultimately lead us to fail to understand what exactly happened on January 6th. Because if he doesn`t enforce the subpoena for Steve Bannon, and everyone who comes after him, then the January 6th committee is not going to have time to get to the bottom of what happened.

And then on the other hand, he could do it himself if he looked into Donald Trump`s actions and those around him, the lead-up to January 6th. But by all accounts, his investigation is focusing just on the rioters and not on the senior White House officials, including the former president.

REID: And despite -- yes, the disparities are obvious. If these had been - - and, by the way, like 95, 96, 97 percent of Black Lives Matter protests were entirely peaceful. We`ve seen instances where you`re at infiltration by white nationalists. And I`m not sure any of those have been arrested and prosecuted for coming in. We saw the guy who broke the glass in Minneapolis who had all black on. I don`t even know that guy has been arrested and prosecuted, even though he`s been identified as a white nationalist. There is a pattern here where if you support Donald Trump, or if Donald Trump is involved, this attorney general doesn`t take a whole lot of action.

Sarah Kendzior, she tweeted a pretty brutal thread about Merrick Garland late last night. And she listed some of the things that he has done or failed to do. He defended Donald Trump in a personal lawsuit against E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of rape. He asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit against William Barr relating to the beating and gassing of protesters in Lafayette Square, a terrible ;precedent. He refused to release the OLC memo that William Barr used to clear Trump of obstructing justice. He appealed the ruling the Dems had won, seeking to exposed corruption at the Trump Hotel. He wants to implement a 50-year delay, 50 years, on when courts can consider releasing materials from federal grand juries.

At what point does Merrick Garland go from protecting the presidency to looking like he is just simply defending Donald Trump because he thinks that going after Donald Trump in any way will make his supporters sad and will make them mad and might make them violent when they`re already violent?

GOLDMAN: Well, I think he has been very clear that domestic violent extremism is the number one problem. He created a task force to address it. He has doubled the number of prosecutors who are investigating domestic violent extremism. There are over 600 people who have been charged for January 6th, the insurrection.

[19:15:04]

So, yes, he has a lot of institutional concerns that he has to be aware of, and I can`t go line by line and address each of them. But there is no question that the Department of Justice recognizes the seriousness of domestic violent extremism and has been quite active and aggressive in charging everyone for January 6th.

I think the biggest problem that you`re pointing out is less about prosecuting Donald Trump supporters and more about actually seeing the facts, seeing the evidence and investigating the former president and those around him for trying to subvert the election and overturn the will of the people. And that is a really dangerous precedent.

There is obviously a lot partisanship and political concerns involved with doing that. But at some point, we need to take a stand against this anti- democratic behavior. And from what I see in the public sphere, there is a lot of evidence to investigate.

REID: Yes. Saving our democracy is a big job. We`re going see if he is up to it. Because, you know, you can`t save our democracy and also worry about the feelings, the delicate little feelings of MAGA supporters and try to give them exculpation from justice, shield them from justice just because you think they might become even more dangerous. That`s why they`re dangerous, because they`ve been getting away with this stuff for far too long. Do something, Merrick Garland. I would like to be wrong, I would like to be wrong this time, but I`m worried. Daniel Goldman, thank you very much.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, the gospel of Donald Trump is built around one grievance that he just cannot accept that he lost and his feelings are hurt.

Plus, a REIDOUT exclusive, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who was been at the forefront of the battle against the big lie, joins me in his first national television interview since launching his campaign for governor.

Plus, the high price that a black Maryland school superintendent paid for simply stating that racism exists and Black Lives Matter, that superintendent, Dr. Andrea Cane, joins me.

And tonight`s absolute worst, taking a stand for something destructive isn`t courageous, it`s indulgent, and probably deadly for some of the people who look up to you.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:21:29]

REID: It is now the dogma of the Republican Party that the insurrection was good, it was great.

That was the messaging last night at a festival of Trumpism in Virginia, under the guise of a rally for a Republican candidate for governor Glenn Youngkin, where this actually happened:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I also want to invite Kim from Chesapeake. She`s carried an American flag that was carried at the peaceful rally with Donald J. Trump on January 6.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I ask you all -- I ask you all to rise and join us as Mark Lloyd leads us in the pledge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Face the flag. I pledge allegiance to the flag.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: It is idolatrous and deranged. They are now worshipping this totem to the insurrection.

But in the end, the religion of Trump really just boiled down to the fact that decrepit old orange Julius Caesar simply cannot accept that he lost the election. And his followers have built an entire religion around that pathetic fact.

Youngkin himself was not there for the call to worship. And, today, he distanced himself from the pledge that he called weird and wrong.

But at the event led by man of many shirts and unanswered subpoenas Steve Bannon, his twice-impeached former boss phoned in to support Youngkin and lied about the election, as did an Arizona State representative who was a leading proponent of that state`s fraudit.

If mango Mussolini would just wake up and say, I lost, it could just be over. But no, no, no, no.

So they`re prepared to take down the entire Republican Party in his honor. A Michigan right-wing radio host told followers to give power to the Democrats if Republican lawmakers don`t review Trump`s election, the one he clearly lost. And Trump says Republicans won`t vote in 2022 or 2024 if they don`t make solving his big lie their top priority.

You know what? Yes, do that. Do that in fealty to your false idol, that one guy who lost an election, a true believer. They wouldn`t say no, would they, right?

I`m joined now by Democratic strategist Juanita Tolliver and Kurt Bardella, adviser to the DCCC, who is also consulting with the DNC in the Virginia governor`s race.

Juanita, I grew up in church. And the way I understood the Gospel is that there was one God. But, apparently, in the Republican Party, there`s a new one. He`s been replaced by Donald Trump. And his symbols include golden Donald Trumps that they bow down to at CPAC and a flag flown at his insurrection that they now pledge allegiance to.

Your thoughts?

JUANITA TOLLIVER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: This undying faith is what is going to continue to consume the GOP, because they`re so thirsty to tap into the energy of his base. There`s so thirsty for it.

And that threat that you mentioned Trump making as far as, hey, my voters won`t turn out for you in 2022, or the radio host saying vote for Democrats, I`m sure Democrats are hearing that like, I guess we will take it, right? Like, give us the power, please, I think.

But it comes down to Trump yet again flexing on the GOP members who tethered their party to him all for the sake of self-preservation, all for the sake of potential control of Congress. And what they`re going to get back is this consistent blowback.

[19:25:02]

And I`m sure they`re pissed to think about the fact that they`re going to go into the 2022 midterms talking about the 2020 election? This is still a look backwards. And they`re going to do it because they always fall in line. They all have that fear, as you said, as though Trump is some form -- type of deity to them. They`re scared of him. They`re too afraid to cross him.

And this is only going to continue for the foreseeable future, because no member of the GOP has a backbone to stand up to this man. They have shown this time and time again. This is who they are. This is who they align with. And it looks like Youngkin is no different, frankly, right?

He might not have been in the room. But these are words that he believes. This is stuff he said in the GOP primary in Virginia. And he`s just tapping back into that, because, even though he wasn`t in the room yesterday night, he`s still been doing radio with Seb Gorka. He`s been out on the stump with Virginia Senator Chase, who we know repeats these same lies.

So expect Democrats to hit that drum, roll that same playback you just show, Joy, because they know that`s going to help Democrats turn out and they know it`s going to turn off independents and swing voters across the commonwealth.

REID: Yes.

I mean, Kurt, the thing about a god is that they are invisible when they`re not in their golden idle form. So when Trump is not in his gold form at CPAC, where he can see them, he`s invisible. And so Mr. Youngkin may want to put out a little statement saying, well, that was weird and wrong, but he`s now probably got to like coil himself in a ball and wait for their invisible god to hit him, because he can -- even without Twitter.

If Trump were to come out and be like, F. Youngkin, he would panic because he needs those voters, right? He needs the freak vote. He needs the religion vote. And he thinks he can also somehow get the regular moderate normal people vote. So where does he go from here? Can he withstand that was weird and wrong, or is he eventually going to have to take the knee?

KURT BARDELLA, DCCC ADVISER: Oh, come on, Joy. We have seen this play over and over again. He`s going to take the knee, just like Lindsey Graham did, just like Marco Rubio did, just like Ted Cruz has done, just like every single person who was a part of the Republican Party establishment now.

And let`s be clear. This is the Republican Party establishment now, the Steve Bannons, the Donald Trumps, the Josh Hawleys. All of these right- wing, racist, authoritarian wannabes is the establishment Republican Party.

And Glenn Youngkin is first in line wanting to be a part of them. I don`t care what he said in that statement.

If you want to put out a real statement that addresses this, then go out there, Glenn, and say: I don`t want a single person who applauded when that flag came out to vote for me. I don`t want a single person who participated in Charlottesville to vote for me. I don`t want a single person who believes in the great lie to vote for me, I don`t want a single person who thinks that the domestic terrorist who participated in January 6, I don`t want them to vote for me.

Do that Glenn. Go out there and make that statement. And then you can say that you`re different from Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. But until you do that, you are just one of their acolytes. You are just one of their enablers. You`re just one of those people marching in the army that is determined to undermine democracy.

And let`s make no mistake about. If we do not elect Terry McAuliffe and the rest of the Democratic Party slate, they will use states and positions like the secretary of state attorney general, lieutenant governor, governor`s office to hijack democracy in 2024.

It`s not just about what happened with the big lie in 2020. They are telegraphing that it is their intention, it is their purpose, it is their mission to use the instruments of government in elections like this to impact and steal the election in 2024.

REID: And if you all are in Virginia, and you don`t believe that, I have a big bridge to sell you.

If Youngkin gets in, the pressure on him to steal the election and do whatever he can to steal it in 2024 will be enormous, and he will fold like a Romney.

Let`s move on to Kyrsten Sinema. Why is she in Europe, Juanita? Why is she in Europe, when she should be here trying to help the people of Arizona? Can you explain it to me? What`s she doing in Europe fund-raising?

(LAUGHTER)

TOLLIVER: Joy, now you know I have no clue what she thinks she`s doing, especially when the whole state of Arizona is watching her, right? They are coming for her, Joy.

So while she`s out here traipsing around Europe, fund-raising, and ignoring true opportunities to invest not only in Arizona, but across the country, a true opportunity to realize Biden`s agenda, people are seeing her, and people are frustrated.

I saw the Data For Progress poll today that said, among Democrats who voted in the primary in Arizona, 70 percent disapprove of what she`s doing.

And, honestly, as a strategist, I`m looking forward, OK, what could she possibly do to dig herself out of a hole of 70 percent disapproval over the next few years if she is part to blame for tanking Biden`s agenda, if she`s part to blame for taking Democrats` agenda, if she contributes to this failed leadership that we`re seeing, where Democrats have the full range of not only Congress, but the White House?

[19:30:13]

I don`t see her doing anything to potentially recover from that, even though her reelection is three years off.

REID: Oh. At this point, a stale slice of bread with a pink wig and funny glasses could beat her in a primary. That`s what she needs to understand.

(LAUGHTER)

REID: She`s probably got another job lined up, because I don`t think this is going to be her job for very long.

Juanita Tolliver, Kurt Bardella, pink wig, funny glasses, stale slice of bread, that`s your candidate in 2024, Democrats.

Up next in a REIDOUT exclusive, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro joins me for his first national television interview since announcing his campaign for governor in that critical battleground state.

You do not want to miss it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: As the January 6 committee continues its fight against the assault on our democracy, the same fight is happening in states across this country, where Republicans are falling all over themselves to bow down to their dear leader and spread the gospel of the big lie.

In Pennsylvania, where Republicans are trying to obtain private personal information on all seven million state voters for their "investigation" -- quote, unquote -- Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed a motion today to have the courts block that move, saying -- quote -- "Pennsylvania`s fundamental rights are under attack. These senators are using their position of power to demand voters` personal information, all so that they may continue to lie about our elections. It is time for public officials to move past the big lie and to start reminding the public that our elections are accurate, fair and secure."

[19:35:12]

And joining me now is Pennsylvania`s attorney general, Josh Shapiro, in his first national interview since announcing his run for Pennsylvania governor yesterday.

Thank you so much for being here, Attorney General Shapiro.

I, at this point, am a one-issue voter. I`m not in the state of Pennsylvania, but I am a one-issue voter, democracy, because I am very worried about it.

JOSH SHAPIRO (D), PENNSYLVANIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: That`s right.

REID: And I wonder if, as you are campaigning, how high does saving democracy rank on your list of priorities?

SHAPIRO: Well, Joy, democracy is on the ballot.

And it is the central issue in my campaign. Everything else is built on the foundation of people counting in our system and having their voice heard in our system. That`s why it`s so critical.

Joy, I want you to know I announced my candidacy yesterday. As you said, this is my first national interview. But the first thing I did today was take our campaign bus down to Mother Bethel in the city, Philadelphia, the oldest AME church in the nation, a church where voting rights and efforts to expand civil rights happened in the walls of that church and inside with the leaders there.

Great leaders came and preached and made a change. And I thought it was critically important that we go and remind ourselves of the history of the progress we made, and make darn clear, here in Pennsylvania, the birthplace of our democracy, that we will not go back.

And so I have made democracy and voting rights the central issue in my campaign for Pennsylvania governor.

REID: Right now, your state Senate is trying to obtain the personal information of every voter in the state.

I`m assuming that they have much more interest in the voters in Philadelphia, let`s say, and places where there are lots of black voters, and that they want to -- quote, unquote -- "attempt these audits" that are happening in places like Arizona.

What I worry about in these governor`s races is that, if Republicans win in these races, you`re going to see every place Republicans have control of the governor`s office, or of the state Senate or the state House attempt to use those offices to force Donald Trump or whatever -- whoever he anoints to be the president, regardless of the outcome of the election.

Do you see in what Republicans are doing a real threat of that in the state of Pennsylvania?

SHAPIRO: Oh, without a doubt.

Joy, there`s about a dozen Republicans seeking to run against me. And they are all singing from the same hymnal. They`re all trying to pass these far right litmus tests. They`re all pandering, and, by the way, pandering out of weakness and promoting the big lie.

They would all appoint secretaries of state that would undermine voting rights and no doubt do the bidding of the former president. What is at stake in this election is the very foundation of our democracy, our voting rights.

And there is a clear contrast between me and whoever the Republicans nominate for governor. And we cannot afford to go backwards. We`re also battling not just who I`m running against, but a Republican legislature, who, by the way, in Pennsylvania have put forth the same bills that have passed into law in Georgia and Texas to restrict voting rights.

And but for the veto pen of our current governor, those things haven`t passed here in Pennsylvania. But make no mistake. As governor, if they come for your voting rights here, they come for your reproductive rights, if they come for your right to organize, I will not hesitate to use my veto pen to protect the good people of Pennsylvania and protect the progress that we have made over the years.

We cannot go back. And there is a stark choice in this election.

REID: And I think about the -- what they call the Brexit states, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, that flipped to Biden by narrow margins in 2020.

Many of these states have mixed power, right? The legislators or parts of legislatures are in different hands from the governor.

SHAPIRO: Right.

REID: But it is having Democratic governors that is a failsafe against that.

I wonder, as you go out and talk to voters, are voters seeing that? Do they understand that this is the year when, if you care about democracy, there really isn`t another party left? They all have fallen to Trump. All the Republicans have gone into his camp, into his religion.

Do voters know that?

SHAPIRO: It`s the first issue...

REID: Do they say that to you?

SHAPIRO: It`s the first issue people raise with me. They raise it with me as their attorney general, and they raise it with me now as a candidate for governor.

And I have spoken loud and clear on this. When I visited with the pastors today at Mother Bethel, it was a serious topic of our conversation. When I was in a hair salon in Southwest Philadelphia today, people came and talked to me about voting rights.

All across this commonwealth, people are focused on protecting their rights, protecting the gains they made, making sure their voices can be heard, because here`s the thing, Joy. We don`t fix health care, invest in our schools, deal with the infrastructure we need to connect people via broadband from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, to West Philly unless we have a dialogue and representation that includes everyone.

[19:40:18]

And when you start to take away people`s right to vote, and take people away from the table, then we can`t come up with solutions to these pressing problems, just solutions to these pressing problems.

What they`re trying to do, Joy, here in Pennsylvania and across the country, the Republicans, the people running against me, the people pushing the big lie, they`re trying to say that certain people don`t count. They`re trying to write certain people out of our democracy.

And I refuse to let that happen here in the birthplace of our democracy.

REID: I wish you luck, Attorney General Josh Shapiro. You have always been very good about coming on, and we really appreciate you sharing the information you did today.

Best of luck in your campaign. There`s a lot at stake.

SHAPIRO: Thank you so much, Joy.

REID: Thank you so much.

All right. Whew. Our "Absolute Worst" is still ahead. Yes, there`s more.

But up next: Yet another educator was chased out of her job as a casualty of this phony right-wing panic over Critical Race Theory.

We will talk to former Maryland superintendent Andrea Kane, Dr. Andrea Kane, about what happened after she wrote an e-mail mentioning racism in the wake of George Floyd`s death.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:45:31]

REID: Today would have been George Floyd`s 48th birthday.

In the wake of his murder, Dr. Andrea Kane the school superintendent in Queen Anne`s County, Maryland, used his tragic death and the subsequent calls for reform as an opportunity to start a conversation on racism within her community.

Her decision to invite a complicated dialogue prompted a ferocious and hate-filled backlash that was so overwhelming, it led to her departure. That campaign was spearheaded by a parent, Gordana Schifanelli, who launched a Facebook-driven campaign to get Dr. Kane fired.

According to "The New York Times," which viewed a post in a group chat belonging to her group, the Kent Island Patriots, Schifanelli wrote: "Dr. Kane needs to end her contract and go. The children must know that those individuals who died in police custody were criminals, not heroes. Our children must never feel that their white skin color makes them guilty of slavery or racism."

That same group became a forum for racist attacks. Schifanelli`s lawyer and husband, who is now a member of the school board, told "The New York Times" that Schifanelli was horrified by those racist comments and threatened to remove the members responsible.

That said, the group itself has since been banned by Facebook earlier this year. After the Kent Island Patriots had installed their preferred candidates on the school board, Dr. Kane left the district.

Joining me now is Dr. Andrea Kane, former superintendent of schools for Queen Anne`s County, Maryland, and a professor of practice in educational leadership at the University of Pennsylvania`s Graduate School of Education.

Thank you so much for being here, Dr. Kane.

I read your story in just absolute horror at what you went through, all of the things that you went through as superintendent, trying to bring -- bring to light racism, which is endemic to our country.

I mean, this is where -- Maryland is where Harriet Tubman was enslaved. Let`s just keep it real.

DR. ANDREA KANE, FORMER SUPERINTENDENT, QUEEN ANNE`S COUNTY, MARYLAND, PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Right. Right.

REID: This was a slave state with a long history of discrimination.

Talk a little bit about how it was received when you sent that e-mail. For those who have not read that story in "The New York Times," what happened?

KANE: Well, first of all, thank you for having me.

It was a typical letter. So, superintendents send letters to the community to keep them updated all the time. And I was the same way. I sent a letter. And I included a lot of information about things that were happening in the district.

But then I also felt compelled to talk about what was happening in terms of the racism that our country was experiencing and how we ought to talk with our children about the images that they see on television. In the same letter, I asked the community to extend grace to one another, to listen to each other.

And I gave them some tips that I had collected from a scholar, Tyrone Howard, about how we ought to deal with this and how we ought to help our children make meaning from this. And it was not well-received at first by a handful. Initially, I did get a lot of thank-yous from teachers and from parents to say, you`re shining a light on this. It`s important. We need to talk about this.

And then the hate started. And it was vile. It was absolutely vile. We were called -- as black people, called everything, animals, and they talked about how we needed to be all killed. And it was just ridiculous.

So, I -- at that point, a community group, the Sunday Supper Committee, they launched a campaign in response to the -- Ms. Schifanelli`s campaign to say, hey, let our children talk about race. This is happening across the country, and burying our heads in the sand isn`t going to make it go away.

REID: Yes.

And this...

KANE: And once -- and -- go ahead.

REID: Well, I was just going to say that there is this -- the irony, first of all, of using racism and racist attacks to demand that people stop talking about racism and insisting there is no racism. That`s kind of ironic.

But I want to let people listen to hear how Ms. Schifanelli sounds. This is her on FOX News. She actually got a little famous and is now actually a candidate for lieutenant governor with a Trump supporter who showed up at the insurrection.

Here she is. This is Gordana Schifanelli.

[19:50:02]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GORDANA SCHIFANELLI, PARENT: I think it`s a victory for Queen Anne`s County children, because, at the end of the day, it is all about the children.

And the entire platform was no politics in school, no political indoctrination of children in elementary schools. There is no systemic racism against anyone in our public schools. And we cannot make one up just because it is politically fashionable at the moment.

We cannot use children as social justice warriors.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: There is no systemic racism.

People who want to believe that just have really taken over all over the country and are going after people like you, because they demand that we rewrite the history of this country to say there is no racism past or present.

In your view, in leave -- as you left Queen Anne`s County, did you feel like you were able to make a difference to get people to realize that that`s not true? Do you think the reaction do you prove that you were right?

KANE: I think that it did make a difference.

And I say that because I have gotten e-mails and text messages to say: Thank you. What you did made a difference.

Now the question becomes, is it going to continue? And probably not. But I know that I made a difference. We have done professional development on culturally responsive teaching, cultural relevance, equity on a regular basis since I arrived in Queen Anne`s County.

And that was absolutely critical. I put different initiatives in place to ensure that equity was a part of what was happening in schools, equitable practices, with ensuring that black, brown and poor children who were in advanced placement classes, in addition to the way we looked at our data, the way we analyzed our data.

All of our administrators had a equity goal, as did I. So, we were we were well on our way to doing what needed to be done for students in the district. And I receive a lot of thank-yous, even now, from teachers about that.

REID: Yes.

Well, I can tell you that just reading about some of the young people that were -- they had not seen a black woman with the kind of power that you had before you. And that, just in and of itself, inspired them. And you inspired so many people.

And I just want to thank you for standing up for the truth and for real history. And you took a lot of hell for it. But I just want to thank you for doing what you did in Queen Anne`s County. Thank you.

KANE: Thank you so much.

And my story, while horrific, this is happening across the country.

REID: All this country. Amen.

KANE: It`s happening to black superintendents, black women, black men across the country.

REID: Amen. It truly is.

KANE: And we have to rally around that.

REID: Amen. Amen. Amen. Thank you so much.

KANE: Thank you for having me.

REID: I appreciate you, Dr. Kane. Thank you.

OK, before we go to break, we wanted to give you an update on the residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan, the majority black community water had abnormally high levels of lead in it for at least three years. Some residents didn`t know that there was a problem until the state issued an advisory last week.

Today, Michigan`s lieutenant governor announced that the state would replace all the city`s lead pipes within the next 18 months. That`s a long time to be without clean water. But I guess it`s faster than their previous five-year plan.

Up next on THE REIDOUT: tonight`s "Absolute Worst," a group so dedicated to their anti-vax and pseudo-oppressed agenda, they`re co-opting the legacy of one of the greatest athletes and activists of all time.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:57:18]

REID: The new anti-vax poster child, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, went on Instagram Live on Wednesday to ramble -- I mean speak -- for the first time since his team told him he was barred from playing until he got the shot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KYRIE IRVING, BROOKLYN NETS: You think I really want to lose money? You think I really want to give up on my dream to go after championship?

In order to be on the team, I have to be vaccinated. I chose to be unvaccinated. And that was my choice. This is not a political thing here. And it`s not about the NBA. It`s not about any organization. It`s really about my life and what I`m choosing to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Irving went on to say more, a lot more, telling fans that he is taking a stance against those who have lost their jobs over vaccine mandates.

But then a new development emerged. Irving`s anti-vax tirade was somehow compared to -- wait for it, oh, just you wait -- to the activism of the greatest of all time, Muhammad Ali, with Knicks alum Stephon Marbury saying Ali would be proud.

OK, OK, who`s triggered right now? Because I am, for sure, all the way triggered. Triggered Knicks fan right here.

Now, I have probably mentioned this before on this show, but Muhammad Ali is like literally my personal hero, my favorite athlete of all time. I was obsessed with him in boxing growing up, only to become further captivated by who he was outside the ring, an international icon and lifelong fighter for human rights and equality, which is why I`m going to do my very best to purge this comparison from the Internet`s for good.

Kyrie Irving is not the modern-day Muhammad Ali. He`s a famous person using his famous person platform to put others at risk of a deadly airborne disease that has wreaked havoc on the human race and disproportionately on people who look like Kyrie Irving.

Muhammad Ali, on the other hand, took a political stance as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, saying that he refused to go to war and "shoot my brother or some darker people or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America."

Ali risked going to prison because of his stance, prison.

Now, here`s the other thing. Muhammad Ali supported vaccines, even doing a PSA encouraging them for New Yorkers in 1978.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MUHAMMAD ALI, PROFESSIONAL BOXER: The law says, if your kids don`t have their shots for dangerous diseases like mumps, measles and polio, they aren`t getting in the school.

The law also says they must go to school. So you have no choice. Get your kids their shots.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: So, no, no, Kyrie Irving is the literal opposite of Muhammad Ali.

He is a person who once said the world is flat and who is now being used as a pawn for the alt-right and MAGA army, like Ted Cruz, who`s praising him for his incredible courage, but who called Colin Kaepernick a rich, spoiled athlete for taking a knee against police killing people who look like Kyrie Irving.

Hey, professional Karen, Laura Ingraham, should Kyrie Irving shut up and dribble or not?

Being a contrarian does not make you an intellectual. It does not make you a hero. It will certainly does not make you anything near the greatest. In fact, it makes you and those using you as an anti-vax celebrity pawn the "Absolute Worst."

That`s tonight`s REIDOUT.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.