1/6 select committee expected to subpoena John Eastman. John Eastman caught on tape discussing attempts to overturn 2020 election. Eastman memo provided blueprint for stealing elections. Trump supporter says, when do we get to use the guns.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty.
That does it for us. We turn to THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid starts right now. Hi, Joy.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: How are you doing, Ari? Yes, we`re going to get into that case tonight too. It seems that it would be self evidence who the victims were, but we will tease it out tonight. Thank you very much, sir. Have a wonderful good night.
Good evening, everyone, we begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the disturbing and dangerous saga of John Eastman, who is the expected target of an upcoming subpoena for the committee investigating January 6th. The Trump lawyer who famously authored a blueprint to steal the election has now blown his cover, revealing himself as treacherous charlatan and an ongoing threat to democracy.
At the heart of his story is the Eastman memo revealed to the public last month that showed how close this country came to a coup, drafted in the days before January 6th that outlined a step by step plan for Vice President Mike Pence to nullify the electoral votes from up to seven states. It was a secret and likely illegal plot to overthrow Joe Biden`s presidency before he was even sworn in.
Then last week, we saw Eastman suddenly disavow his memo and declare that the plan he outlined was just wacky harebrained idea, that he didn`t really mean it.
In an interview with the National Review, the architect of the coup memo said, having Pence reject the notes was not viable and would have been crazy to pursue. However, Eastman has now undercut his little charade by candidly revealing that he was fully committed to the ideas expressed in his memo. And he says it would have succeeded too had it not been for that pesky Mike Pence.
He willingly admits this in a series of undercover videos filmed on Saturday by Advocacy Journalist Lauren Windsor at an event for the Claremont Institute, the right-wing think tank where Eastman works. Windsor approached Eastman and identified herself as a Trump supporter who had taken part in the insurrection. And here is what he said in a portion of her video that we`ve edited down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAUREN WINDSOR, CREATOR AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, THE UNDERCURRENT: And I read your memo and I thought it was solid in all of its single arguments. And I was floored that the Mike Pence didn`t do anything. I mean, why didn`t he act on it because you gave him the legal reasoning to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know. I know.
WINDSOR: All your legal reason is totally solid.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, no question. But --
WINDSOR: But, I mean, like just supported to supporter, like why do you think that Mike Pence didn`t do it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, because Mike Pence is an establishment guy at the end of the day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: In that same conversation, Eastman confirmed to Windsor and her colleague that it was indeed Trump`s intention to accompany the mob to the Capitol, and the only reason he didn`t is because the violence had already begun. He also appears to speak in solidarity with the right-wing militias that led siege, baselessly claiming that the FBI set them up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think if Trump came down like on the 6th, it would change things, it would change the calculus a little bit?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he came down?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he said he was coming down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, down to the Capitol? Yes. I don`t -- yes, I don`t know. Because the breaking of the windows stuff had already started before his speech was over. And if he got down there, then all of that would have been blamed on him. I mean, they`re still blaming him but they would have had more basis for him.
WINDSOR: But he had been planning oncoming down though?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I know, I know, I know. So, yes, look, the whole thing was a setup. The Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys had not just kind of wall flowers sitting on the side of the organization but people instigating within the association, FBI plans. These -- it was a setup. And, unfortunately, our guys walked into the trap.
WINDSOR: And so he would have gone down there if it hadn`t been for the violence?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Our guys. Now, in a portion of that video just released minutes ago, Eastman attacks the state election officials who upheld the integrity of the vote in 2020. He ominously says that they should be taken out by primary challengers who embrace the big lie and he suggests that the big lie should be the platform for Republican candidates in 2022 and in 2024.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we could have gotten the decertification, we would have Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona back in January. I met -- I saw -- Giuliani and me met with 300 legislators on January 2nd via Zoom conference call. And they all spinelessly wouldn`t do anything, right? Even though we gave them all the evidence, they wouldn`t do it.
So, look, I would -- I very much wish it were otherwise but I just -- these guys are spineless.
And now, now, if we take a bunch of them out in the primaries in 2022 and the precondition for getting elected is we`re going to fight this stuff, then maybe we got an opportunity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Joining me now is Lauren Windsor, Executive Producer of the Under Current and Project Veritas Exposed. Thank you so much for being here, Lauren. Thank you so much for being here, Lauren.
Really quick question, were you surprised how open John Eastman was in admitting that he really did mean when he put what was in that memo that he really intended it to be done given the fact that he`s denied that to the National Review?
LAUREN WINDSOR, CREATOR AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, THE UNDERCURRENT: Yes, I was very surprised. I expected him to be a little bit more shell shocked, honestly, just because of the incoming flak he described himself in one of the first videos we released.
Let`s talk about whether or not this was just John Eastman sort of reminiscing about what he tried to do or planning something else. At the end of that video we showed, he talked about the way that he hopes elections go in 2022 to put in place people who would willing to use the big lie, I guess, essentially use his playbook. Did come across to you that this was planning or just reminiscing?
WINDSOR: Well, he talks about, you know, doing a lot of work in the states with state legislators and in a separate video that we released today with the president of the Claremont Institute, Ryan Williams, he talks about Eastman working with state legislators in states on, quote/unquote, election integrity stuff. You know, I very much see this as an ongoing attempt to subvert future elections.
REID: Let me play that. You mentioned John Eastman, who is the president of the Claremont Institute. Let`s play that clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I didn`t mention it but he`s still very involved with a lot of the state legislators and advising them on election integrity stuff.
WINDSOR: This is the fight though. I mean, what happens in 2024 when, you know, they steal the election again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, a lot of our friends say, at Fed Soc, whatever else they say, guys, we just need to move on and look forward. John`s point has always been, look, unless we get right what happened in 2020, there is no moving on. They`re just going to still every substantive election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And we`re playing a portion of the video that you got from John Eastman. Did he get in into any more detail about what John Eastman or what the Claremont Institute might be doing actively in terms of working to implement that plan, to get people who believe in the big lie in place politically for 2022 and 2024?
WINDSOR: Well, so that last clip, just to clarify, is Ryan Williams, but it was a very brief conversation because at that point we had not yet found Mr. Eastman and so we had longer, had more opportunity to speak with him. You know, I would have tried to delve into that more but we just didn`t have time to do that.
REID: Okay. Well, Lauren Windsor, thank you very much, very interesting finds there talking to these two men. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.
With me now is Congressman Adam Schiff of California. He serves on the House select committee investigating the January 6th attack.
There is now a subpoena out for Eastman. Has there been any response from his attorneys?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): I can`t comment on what engagement we`ve had with him but I can tell you we`re very interested in his testimony. He`s obviously at the center of efforts to overturn the election. And listening to that audio and watching that video is just shocking, particularly after earlier he tried to disavow his own memo.
But, clearly, he was trying to get the vice president to overturn the election, as you say, a coup, and these are insurrectionists, in my view, wearing suits and ties, and they`re not done. They`re out there trying to strip independent elections officials of their duties or their job so they can set up a more successful effort to overturn the election in the future. And this is how democracies come to an end when the very tools of democracy are used against democracy itself.
REID: What do you make of the fact that you have the Claremont Institute sort of putting kind of the sort of faux intellectual backing behind the big lie, somebody like John Eastman, who, as you said, tried to disavow this memo but now seems very much committed to the plan that was laid out in it. he`s got this institute that is equally committed to it and they happen to also be doing things like using fake outrage over supposed critical race theory, which isn`t critical race theory, and ginning up real racial discord among, to be blunt, white Americans in order to make this all happen. It starts to feel like it`s all of a piece. I wonder if it does to you.
SCHIFF: It absolutely feels like it`s all of a piece. We had an open hearing today with the leaders of the intelligence community on diversity, equity and inclusion in the intelligence community and I don`t know that we had more than a single question from the GOP side of the aisle about any of the subject of the hearing.
And indeed, there was resentment that we were having a hearing on this, like it was some distraction from the aims of the intelligence community rather than something that`s important to strengthening the community.
But as you say, seeing the Claremont Institute, seeing these institutes giving some kind of intellectual cover to what is just a scandalous effort turn America into some kind of an autocracy, the Republican Party and its infrastructure, like that institute, are now an anti-truth, anti-democratic cult of a former president. And who would have imagined that such a thing could happen in this country.
REID: Yes. Let me let you listen a little bit of Merrick Garland. He testified today. This is him being questioned by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse on the investigation of the money behind the January 6th rally. Take a listen, please.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I`m very limited as to what I can say.
SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): I understand that.
GARLAND: I have a criminal investigation going forward.
WHITEHOUSE: Please tell me it has not been constrained only to people in the Capitol.
GARLAND: The investigation is being conducted by the prosecutors and the U.S. attorney`s office and by the FBI field office. We have not constrained them in any way.
WHITEHOUSE: Great. And the old doctrine of follow the money, which is well established principle of prosecution is --
GARLAND: It`s fair --
WHITEHOUSE: -- alive and well?
GARLAND: It`s fair to say all investigative techniques of which you`re familiar and some maybe that you`re not familiar with because they post date your time are all being pursued in this manner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: You have expressed some skepticism that Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice have been aggressive enough or intend to be aggressive enough in getting to the bottom of this slow rolling coup that clearly is not over. Do you have more or less confidence the more that you hear him give testimony?
SCHIFF: Well, I`m confident that they are going after those who organized or participated in that attack on the Capitol. Where I am concerned is I don`t see any action and maybe they`re just doing a really good job of keeping it confidential, but concerning the former president`s efforts to overturn the election in Georgia and perhaps elsewhere, the fact that he`s on tape trying to get the secretary of state of Georgia to find 11,780 votes that don`t exist. You know, I think if you are I or any of my constituents were trying to subvert an election that way, trying to defraud people that way and trying to get someone to join a conspiracy to do it, they would be under investigation about an indictment by now. So, I am concerned about that.
REID: Yes. And another concern here, if you put together what the Claremont Institute is doing in pushing people, particularly white Republicans, to say that the election was invalidated by the votes in particularly brown and black communities, they feel that those votes were fraudulent, you add that to what the same organization, the Claremont Institute, is doing around this fake version of critical race theory to also gin up racial animus that is directed at education.
And then listen to this. Charlie Kirk, who is an activist on the right, he had an event for his group, Turning Point USA, another pro-Trump organization, and I want you to listen to one person said at that event and this was in Idaho.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is tyranny. When do we get to use the guns? No, and I`m not -- that`s not a joke. I`m not saying it like that. And, I mean, literally, where is the line? How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, no, hold on. Stop. Hold on. Now, I`m going to denounce that and I`m going to tell you why. Because you`re playing into all their plans and they`re trying to make you do this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And People like Charlie Kirk have, you know, clearly lost control of the mob that they`ve helped to create to the point now that when you -- there`s a poll, political poll here. 60 percent of Republicans now, 60 percent of Republicans believe that the 2020 election results should be overturned. And you have people openly talking about violence in order to ensure that they maintain control of this country regardless of election results. What is your alarm level at this point, one to ten, because it feels like we`re getting close to ten?
SCHIFF: I think it`s at a ten. There has been sustained effort before the election, during the election and after the election to this day to discredit the whole idea that we can still rely on elections to decide who should govern. And if you pull that pillar of our democracy out, the edifice comes crumbling down. And what is left other than violence? If you can`t trust the ballot box, you resolve differences, then what is left but violence? It`s what led to January 6th and what may lead to further violence.
And, Joy, I think you`re absolutely right about the subtext here, which is if the Republicans lose elections, it`s because of people who are black and brown and don`t look like white America and, therefore, it`s inherently invalid and illegitimate.
Because I think the subtext is they feel that minorities should not be participating if they`re going to be decisive in an election. And, you know, I think when you look at those who attack the Capitol that day with their confederate flags and their Auschwitz T-shirts, there is no separating this insurrection from the white nationalist motivation behind it.
REID: It is frightening. Congressman Adam Schiff, thank you very much. We really appreciate you being here tonight to help us sort this out. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
SCHIFF: Thank you.
REID: All right. Well -- cheers. And up next on THE REIDOUT, President Biden`s build back better legislation seems to be shrinking again and the idea of a billionaire`s tax to pay for it has apparently hurt Joe Manchin`s feelings.
Also, Terry McAuliffe joins me on a big test for the Democrats, the very close election for Virginia governor next Tuesday.
Plus, the criminal trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, he`s accused of killing two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and it already looks like the judge is stacking the deck in favor of the killer.
And you won`t want to miss tonight`s absolute worst.
THE REIDOUT continues after this.
REID: There is breaking news on the seemingly never-ending negotiations over the Build Back Better bill.
Democrats have been back and forth with Senator Joe Manchin on a number of sticking points, including Medicaid expansion, Medicare vouchers and climate change. And Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said today that they`re within arm`s length of an agreement.
But, late this afternoon, they seemed to have lost a major part of the bill, paid family leave. While the bill isn`t fully written, so nothing is technically out, a source tells NBC that Manchin was firmly opposed to the provision. Here he is earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Paid leave, are you still talking to Senator Gillibrand?
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I`m talking to everybody. But I have been very clear, to expand social programs when you have trust funds that aren`t solvent, they going insolvent, I can`t explain that. It doesn`t make sense to me.
I want to work with everyone, as long as we can start paying for things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: On top of all of this, there are still a few issues with how to pay for the bill.
The other holdout senator, `80s armless jeans jacket enthusiast Kyrsten Sinema, surprised everyone by coming out in support of the corporate minimum tax yesterday, which Democrats likely plan to use alongside the billionaire tax of pay for the bill.
But now Manchin seems skeptical of that tax because it targets billionaires.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANCHIN: I`m supporting basically that we do everyone should pay their fair share. And I have just tried to think of it. I don`t like it. I don`t like the connotation that we`re targeting different people.
There`s people that basically, they have contributed to society. They have created a lot of jobs and invested a lot of money and give a lot to philanthropic pursuits.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: You know, when he says insolvent, when he says -- when he says it like that, he sure sounds like Republicans when they want to cut social programs or privatize Social Security, which is weird, right, because supposedly he`s a Democrat?
And let`s just be clear and fact-check Joe Manchin. Social Security is funded by current payroll taxes. And last I checked, the economy is still functioning. So, no, it`s not insolvent.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, Republicans aren`t even satisfied with watching Manchin and Sinema whittle Build Back Better down to shavings. They`re going after what`s left in the bill.
Here`s Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman on universal pre-K and child care.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. GLENN GROTHMAN (R-WI): I don`t like the idea of the government taking care of 3- or 4-year-olds. Right now, there are still many stay-at-home parents. And not only that. Even when parents don`t stay home, a lot of times, kids stay with their grandparents or other relatives.
One of the reasons the government wants to take care of these kids is to instill the government values in those children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: What is it, 1948?
Joining me now is Congressman Ro Khanna of California, deputy whip for the House Progressive Caucus.
I have to be honest with you, Congressman. This is why so many Americans don`t believe government works. Democrats...
REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Joy, I don`t know where you...
KHANNA: Sorry. Sorry to interrupt. Go ahead.
REID: No, I was just...
KHANNA: I don`t know where you find these clips.
REID: In 1950, apparently. I think we found them in 1950 and played them in 2021.
Why don`t you just have the mom -- why don`t the women just stay home and stop working outside the home? That`d solve it.
So, here`s my challenge for the Democrats. They overpromised and are now going to seriously underdeliver. There`s back and forth.
There are -- people like Kirsten Gillibrand are saying no, no, no, it`s not over yet. We`re still talking to Manchin. He`s still talking. He has pretty much said, nope, nope, nope, this ain`t the place to do it. I`m looking at stuff they do in other countries, blah, blah, blah. Don`t do it in this bill. It looks like it`s dead.
And so now what you have is, Democrats promised something big, $3.5 trillion, with all sorts of really important social spending in it. They still, for now, got universal pre-K, until Joe Manchin decides that`s no good, child tax credit, which is now only one year, meaning it does no good after 365 days, day care funding, Pell Grants and a few other things, eldercare, of course, because the elderly -- we always have take care of seniors. They vote.
Paid family leave is out. Freedom community college is out. Expanded Medicare coverage is out. Tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy are out. What`s the point at this point?
KHANNA: Well, Joy, first of all, I agree with you that there has been a disappointment in things that may be out.
But we still have to do what`s -- see what`s in. I mean, universal preschool would be a huge deal. Only 4 percent of people in this country are homeschooled. Let`s just get that fact out there.
By the way, they`re disproportionately white, 68 percent. And it costs about 2,000 bucks to homeschool your kid. So not everyone can afford that. Now, if we could get every American starting out at universal preschool, like they do in France -- every 3-year-old gets to go to preschool, and they see in France that you have an equal starting point by the time you get the first grade -- that would be transformational.
That is a significant policy that`s still in there. The child care and having that in there still will make a difference for many families. The fact that we`re going to have over $500 billion of climate investment will make a difference in this country. And Senator Murray is still talking. I know she just talked to Senator Manchin. So we`re still fighting for paid family leave.
Am I disappointed on things that are out? Yes. But if you look at what is in, which is an investment in the education and health of this country, I still think it`s making progress.
REID: What are the climate provisions specifically? Because the key one is out.
KHANNA: Well, there are massive investments in solar, in wind, in the production tax credit, in the investment tax credits, so we can start to build renewable energy in this country.
And we`re looking at a number of other alternatives, perhaps state block grants, perhaps industry standards on putting penalties on pollution. So, my understanding is that the $150 billion that was taken out by the clean electricity program, which I grant was the best course, though that has been repurposed to other avenues that will have a dramatic impact on climate.
So it`s still a bill that would move the ball forward.
REID: And how long until Joe Manchin takes those out?
Because he is devoted, personally -- I mean it. His family fortune comes from coal. He`s the biggest defender of oil and coal companies in the Congress, period. He is going to fight for his own family`s economic longevity. He ain`t going to let none of that go through.
Kyrsten Sinema appears only interested in protecting the wealthy and big pharma. You have two -- I don`t know if they`re Democrats anymore at this point. They`re not going to allow any transformational change in that bill, right? Isn`t this -- that`s not going to happen.
KHANNA: Well, Joy, I don`t understand the problem they have with raising taxes on billionaires or the wealthy. Many of them are in my district, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
And, sure, I admire their creativity. I admire their innovation. I admire their hard work. They have created thousands of jobs. You know what else? They have made a disproportionate amount of wealth because of a digital transformation in the economy. And a lot of people have been left out of that wealth generation. They can afford the tax.
Many of them are raising their hand, saying, we`re open to paying this tax because we understand communities have been left out, we need to invest in education, we need to invest in health care.
So, if the congressman from the district with probably the most billionaires in the country is saying, tax us, why isn`t the rest of the country not saying, let`s tax them, so that other people have a shot? It`s mind-boggling to me.
The other point I would say is that the president has been very patient. I mean, I have -- he wasn`t my choice in the primary. He wasn`t even my second choice in the primary. But he has sat with lawmakers for hours, and he is pleading with them to come to some consensus to show democracy can work.
And that`s why, despite my frustrations, I think we will get a deal.
REID: I mean, but perhaps maybe pleading too much.
At a certain point, do you think that the negotiating in public has just been purely damaging to the party`s prospects next year?
Our Ali Vitali, our reporter on the Hill, she spoke with Senator Rick Scott of Florida, the guy who -- whose company had that giant Medicaid and Tricare and Medicare fraud, that guy? He now heads up the NRSC, because, of course, he does.
He said that he sees Sinema`s contrarian role within our party as helpful to Republicans to help them take out the other senator from Arizona, to help them take out Mark Kelly. She`s being used to take out the other senator from her state. That`s where we`re at.
KHANNA: That`s wish...
REID: Is this -- I mean, yes, go on.
KHANNA: I think that`s wishful thinking.
Mark Kelly is very popular. And he shows what, frankly, in my view, Senator Sinema should have been doing, which is get behind the president`s agenda, most of it. I mean, you can have your suggestions. You can disagree here and there. You can have your point of view.
But at the end of the day, you need a quarterback, you need a leader. And you have to have times where we follow that leader. We elected President Biden through a democratic process, through a nomination process. He`s the only one who beat Donald Trump. He`s likely the only one who may have to beat Donald Trump again.
And at some point, we have to ask as a party, are we going to come together? Do we understand the threat that Donald Trump poses and the threat of him coming back? Do we understand what`s on the line? This isn`t about our egos. It`s not about us as individuals. Let`s get behind this president. Let`s get something done. And let`s tell the American people what we`re doing for them.
REID: I`m not sure that Sinema and Manchin agree with you on that. I`m really not sure really what they are for. I don`t think it`s for that.
Congressman Ro Khanna, we shall see. Thank you very much, sir. Appreciate you.
KHANNA: Thank you.
REID: Up next -- it`s a mess.
Down to the wire. Early voting is under way in the hotly contested race for governor in Virginia. Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe joins me to talk about the race and how education and schools have become a central issue for him and his opponent.
We will be right back.
REID: Early voting is in full swing in the hotly contested Virginia governor`s race between Republican Glenn Youngkin and former Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe.
The Critical Race Theory boogeyman plays a central role in this race, as the Trump-endorsed Youngkin vows to protect Virginia`s youth from a law school curriculum that`s not taught in Virginia public schools or any public schools in the country and from the dire threat of Toni Morrison books, or really from anything factual about American history that involves white people from the past not being awesome, to try and win back the suburban vote to win elections.
One of the fake CRT battlegrounds is in Loudoun County, the richest county in Virginia, where our friend and colleague Alex Wagner from Showtime`s "The Circus" interviewed a leading Republican suburban mommy activist who`s fighting the state`s equity and inclusion curriculum.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In Loudoun County, this is the wealthiest county in the country.
There`s not a lot of racism. Do you think it`s more on the color of their skin or their actions, how they`re dressed, how they perceive, how they respect others?
If you have a kid that`s pulled over by a cop, does it really matter what color they are, or is it the respect that they give to that police officer?
ALEX WAGNER, "THE CIRCUS": So, Glenn Youngkin is your guy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. He doesn`t want to push this racism narrative. He wants to give kids a good education.
WAGNER: Education has become the flash point across the country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know why?
WAGNER: Yes, tell me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don`t mess with our kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Joining me now -- whew -- is Terry McAuliffe, Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia.
REID: Sorry. I just want to let you comment on it.
FMR. GOV. TERRY MCAULIFFE (D-VA): Hard to watch.
REID: It`s a lot.
This game is being played across the country, where Republican activists...
MCAULIFFE: It is.
REID: ... backed by some pretty big foundations, are pushing this idea that teaching about history, American history, if it doesn`t completely absolve white people from the distant past of anything bad, if it doesn`t portray them as nothing but heroic, it`s harming children.
That sounds bananas, except that now Youngkin is almost tied with you in the polls. It`s working with some Virginians.
Are you worried that that sort of white grievance politics is going to be hard for you to overcome?
MCAULIFFE: Joy, we`re going to win this race.
We already had -- 800,000 people have already early-vote. We`re shattering all records. I think people are waking up to say, oh, my goodness.
And, as you mentioned correctly, we don`t teach Critical Race Theory. It`s never been taught in Virginia. This is a made-up, racist dog whistle that really Glenn Youngkin has used from day one. And it really sickens me.
What he is doing is getting parents fighting parents, parents fighting teachers. He`s using our children as political pawns in a campaign. When I was governor, I put a record investment in education. I have got a big plan to take Virginia to the next level on education.
His plan, literally, 43,000 teachers would be cut. So, he can`t talk about real issues, the nuts and bolts of education, because his plan is horrible. Three independent studies said 43,000 teachers would be cut. He wants to bring the Trump-Betsy DeVos model here to Virginia. That`s not what we want.
But think what he did two days ago, his closing ad for his campaign, not health care, not education, not job creation, like mine are. His is about banning books written by a preeminent African-American woman who is a Nobel Prize winner. And that`s his closing ad. Think about that, to ban a woman, Toni Morrison, beloved book, which is a true story.
That`s his closing ad. But he opened his campaign and, for eight months, all he had, Joy, was election integrity. That`s the only thing he had on his Web site. So he is a Trumper. He`s been endorsed seven times. Trump announced today he`s coming into Virginia.
Hallelujah. Let`s get him in here.
Steve Bannon is doing a rally on Friday. So it`s just a dog whistle after dog whistle, dividing it. I try to unite people. I was a very successful governor, record job creation, record investment in education. I try to bring people together. I have got a couple dozen Republicans who have endorsed me.
Why? I bring people together. I`m a uniter. Glenn Youngkin Youngkin is a divider.
But what has happened in the last couple days, he`s against a woman`s right to choose. He said last week he`s not for gay marriage. Really? In 2021?
MCAULIFFE: He said last week that humans are not responsible for climate change. Really? I mean, this is what we`re dealing with.
REID: Well, so you said, hooray, hallelujah, Trump is coming in. But one thing he does do is gin up enthusiasm among his base.
Do you have an equivalent enthusiasm among your base?
REID: Because are black Virginians, brown Virginians, Asian Americans, your base, younger people, as enthusiastic as the Trump base...
REID: ... is about finally creating...
REID: ... a "Andrew Jackson is the greatest hero of all time" curriculum in schools?
Like, are they as enthusiastic?
MCAULIFFE: Yes. They are.
REID: And how do you know that? I mean...
MCAULIFFE: And, as I say, 800,000 are...
MCAULIFFE: Well, 800,000 people have already early-voted.
We are shattering every record in Virginia history. This will be the biggest turnout in a non-presidential year. But, listen, young people, they don`t want a governor who is against gay marriage.
I was very proud. I`m the first governor to perform a gay marriage after the Supreme Court ruling. I was a brick wall. I kept my 16 women`s clinics open. I received all the awards from NARAL and Planned Parenthood.
We don`t want a governor who`s going to ban abortions, who`s against gay marriage, who doesn`t believe humans contribute to climate change. And that`s the issue in this campaign.
So, our folks are really fired up. But, also, as you know, Joy, I restored more voting rights than any governor in American history. And, if you remember, I got sued, taken to the Supreme Court.
But you know what? There`s 277,000 people can vote here in Virginia that could not vote eight years ago. People remember what I did as a governor leaning in, lifting everybody up, giving people second chances, righting the wrongs of the past.
Glenn Youngkin gets tossed out of his private equity firm, and he decides to run for governor. Well, running for governor is not a consolation prize. He knows nothing about our state government. He`s got all the Trump people working for him.
All he does is recite. He said the other day we should audit Virginia`s voting machines. He`s dangerous. It is dangerous for Virginia. We have made great progress. I created 200,000 jobs last time. Personal income went up 14 percent.
I can tell you, none of these companies, Joy, will stay in a state or be recruited to a state with someone like Glenn Youngkin as governor, who puts walls up and discriminates against women and gays and everybody else, for that matter.
REID: Well, we shall see.
This all comes to a head on Saturday. So, we will be definitely keeping an eye on it.
Terry McAuliffe, thank you very much. Really appreciate you being here tonight.
MCAULIFFE: Thank you, Joy.
Tonight`s "Absolute Worst" is still ahead, but up next: Welcome to America, where a judge can officially label the men shot by Kyle Rittenhouse as rioters and looters, but definitely not victims.
The right`s fascination with right-wingers who choose violence -- after the break.
REID: On the night of August 25, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, amid the unrest caused by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, teenage vigilante and wannabe militiaman Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old armed with an AR-15, shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz.
Rittenhouse, who lives in Illinois, not Wisconsin, and was a Trump devotee and a hardcore fan of police, had gotten a ride to Kenosha from his mom, only after a local militia, the Kenosha Guard, put out a public call to arms on its Facebook page. He was arrested two days later and charged with multiple felony counts, including homicide, attempted homicide and being a minor in possession of a firearm.
Just six days after the shooting, Trump himself, who I will remind you at the time was the president of the United States, defended Rittenhouse, suggesting the shooter was acting in self-defense. And, almost immediately, Rittenhouse became a cause celebre for the MAGA cult.
A legal defense fund created in his name brought in millions of dollars in donations, including from a former child actor from "Silver Spoons," which paid his $2 million bail. While out on bail, Rittenhouse was captured on video at a Wisconsin bar wearing a T-shirt that read "Free as F" and flashing the white power sign with a bunch of giddy white nationalists, as one does.
So, naturally, he now finds himself in front of a judge with a sympathetic ear. That Kenosha County judge, Bruce Schroeder, refused to issue a warrant for Rittenhouse`s arrest after he appeared to be violating the terms of his bail. And, yesterday, he decided the three men Rittenhouse shot can be labeled as rioters, looters or arsonists if the defense can prove it, but they should not be called victims, because he said it`s a loaded word.
Elie Mystal of "The Nation" is probably right when he says: I hope everyone is prepared for Kyle Rittenhouse to go free.
With me now is Will Bunch, national opinion columnist for "The Philadelphia Inquirer," and Paul Butler, former federal prosecutor and Georgetown law professor.
Paul, I`m going to start with you, because, at this point, it appears that the deck is stacked in favor of Kyle Rittenhouse, because that judge does seem to be very much on his side. Do you expect Kyle Rittenhouse at this point to go free?
PAUL BUTLER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I think this is a very difficult case for the prosecution. And the judge is not making it easier.
It`s unusual, but some judges in self-defense cases have concerns that -- people being described as victims, because they think that might prejudice the jury.
What`s different in Rittenhouse`s case is, the judge`s double standard. The same men who cannot be called victims can be called looters and rioters and arsonists, even when they have never been charged with those crimes, and when the two people who Rittenhouse killed will never have a chance to defend themselves.
Joy, the judge went so far as to say that the defense attorneys can demonize the three men who Rittenhouse killed, if they think that will score points with the jury.
REID: Will Bunch, we -- I asked it for you tonight because I saw your thread. I think a lot of people saw your pretty epic thread. We can put it up on the screen so people can see it.
And you wrote about some of the history of this judge, Judge Schroeder. I mean, he did everything but say, when the looting starts, the shooting starts, at this point. Talk a little bit about this judge.
WILL BUNCH, "THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER": Yes.
Yes, Joy, Judge Schroeder is kind of a classic example of the kind of law and order judge that came out in the `80s, and a really tough judge. There was an amazing story in the early 2000s, where there was a huge backlog of cases in Kenosha County because so many defendants requested not to have this judge that it tied up the entire legal system.
And there was good reason for that. His only -- his only major high-profile case was overturned by the state Court of Appeals. There was a case very recently just within the last year or two involving retail theft in which he was accused by an appeal -- the appeals court of public shaming the person who was found guilty of this case, because his order said that if she were to go into a store again, she would have to identify -- she would have to identify herself to the management as somebody who`s getting convicted previously of retail theft.
Even back in the `80s, he was making headlines for requiring sex workers to get AIDS tests. So he`s kind of an impulsive, headline-grabbing judge. And this is a case, the entire nation is watching this case. We`re all on edge about an increasingly violent society, the number of violent threats coming from the right wing, from school boards to election officials.
We just had an event last night with Charlie Kirk, where the questioner said -- quote -- "When do we get to use the guns," right?
BUNCH: And this is the increasing dialogue on the right.
And I think people are looking to this Kyle Rittenhouse case to see, what are the limits on political violence in this country?
BUNCH: And the omens are just not good at all.
REID: The omens are not good.
I want to play -- this is a bit of a montage of FOX News supporting Kyle Rittenhouse. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?
JEANINE PIRRO, HOST, "JUSTICE WITH JUDGE JEANINE": Kyle Richardson -- Rittenhouse has been villainized here, and he`s been demonized. And I think it should be just the opposite.
PAM BONDI (R), FORMER FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: This kid was out there trying to help people. Were people killed? Absolutely. But, again, we don`t know yet. You have got a little boy out there trying to protect his community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Paul Butler, does the prosecution here have any recourse to ask for a new judge if they feel this judge is biased?
When they`re questioning and voir direing to get a jury, anybody who listens to FOX News is probably a fan of Kyle Rittenhouse. How do they make sure that this doesn`t wind up being a jury that essentially approximates the Emmett Till jury back in the 1950s?
BUTLER: The defense has the difficult job of finding jurors who are objective. And the prosecutor also wants to find jurors who can be unbiased. But that will be difficult with this judge.
And, Joy, a not guilty verdict would be a call to arms for anyone who wants to police a Black Lives Matters March. If Rittenhouse is found not guilty, the message is that badges are no longer required for self-appointed law enforcement officers at Black Lives Matters protests.
And if a 17-year-old kid who shot three people with a gun he`s not even supposed to have can get away with this, then anybody can who wants to attack a protest -- well, at least anybody white.
REID: George Zimmerman, Ashli Babbitt, Kyle Rittenhouse, these are three cases, Will Bunch, that the right-wing has elevated these people into heroes.
The idea of shooting at a black person or of shooting or of defending somebody who is violently attacking the Capitol to overturn an election in which black people got their way in terms of the votes, the person they voted for won, and now somebody who shot to white Black Lives Matter protesters, much like the Charlottesville situation.
It feels like their danger here is that the right is, in sort of encoding this idea, as Paul just said, that they want to have a legal bubble around the idea that you can commit violence to get your way in a very white nationalist way.
I mean, there`s two concerns. One, as you mentioned, it`s just the legal concern of establishing this legal precedent that will really encourage other vigilantes going forward, if Kyle Rittenhouse is found not guilty.
And the other thing, which I think is just as important, maybe more so, what you just alluded to, is this whole mythmaking machine now on the right of heroes, martyrs.
A couple things recently, we had Trump himself videotape his tribute to Ashli Babbitt, who you just mentioned, somebody who was involved in an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and was about to breach the Senate chamber and was shot, which was tragic.
But here we have Trump, the leader of this, even making her into a martyr. We had the incident of Virginia with that flag from the January 6 insurrection that was venerated...
BUNCH: ... much as the Nazis -- I hate to say it -- had the Blood Flag from the Munich Beer Hall Putsch.
We`re seeing that. And it`s really alarming to think of...
BUNCH: ... Kyle Rittenhouse hitting the hero territory.
REID: Yes, it`s a frightening development.
I wish we had more time. Will Bunch, Paul Butler, thank you both very much.
Tonight`s "Absolute Worst" is next. We will be right back.
REID: The newly leaked Facebook documents are providing even more evidence of how the social media giant has allowed hate speech and right-wing misinformation to thrive, especially in the aftermath of George Floyd`s murder last summer, when the disgraced former president posted, "When the looting starts, the shooting starts."
The Associated Press reports that Facebook knew it escalated situations and its internal analysis found that, after that post, violence reports increased fivefold and complaints of hate speech tripled.
But Facebook left it up. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it didn`t violate policy and Facebook should enable as much expression as possible. But Facebook`s own internal controls were 90 percent certain it did violate platform policy on violence and incitement.
"The Wall Street Journal" notes Facebook was coddling right-wing news site Breitbart around the same time last summer by placing it on its News Tab feature. An employee wrote on a message board its headlines were -- quote - - "emblematic of a concerted effort at Breitbart and, similarly, hyperpartisan sources, none of which belong in News Tab, to paint black Americans and black-led movements in a very negative way."
In fact, a second Facebook whistle-blower told "The Washington Post" last week that a top policy official once defended a white-list exempting Breitbart from rules prohibiting false news reports, saying -- quote -- "Do you want to start a fight with Steve Bannon?"
The official denied the existence of the list.
All this is essentially just confirming what we already knew. Facebook can be great, but it has also become a cesspool of conspiracy theories, anti- vax information and QAnon and the rest. And who could fix it once and for all? Mark Zuckerberg, of course.
But he`s slammed reporting on the documents as a coordinated effort to paint a false picture of the company, as opposed to more than a dozen credible news outlets reporting on documents provided to the SEC and Congress, ones that show Zuckerberg routinely choosing growth over safety, personally agreeing to comply with Vietnam`s demand to censor dissident posts to remain active in its market.
This week, he said the platform plans to retool and focus on a younger audience going forward. After all, it`s already radicalized enough grandmas.
It would seem Mark Zuckerberg is either so myopically, ideologically opposed to stopping the worst elements on Facebook of some -- out of some hyper-libertarian absolutism vibe, or he`s singularly -- so singularly focused on growth and profit, that he refuses to do anything at all.
Either way, it makes him tonight`s "Absolute Worst."
And that`s tonight`s REIDOUT.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.