GOP Senator McConnell offers short-term debt fix. Biden says, GOP playing Russian roulette with U.S. economy. GOP hoping to turn debt ceiling into campaign issue. Human infrastructure bill would improve working conditions for home care. Budget battle threatens funding for black colleges.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: I`ll tell you, Rachel Maddow is back on MSNBC tonight with Bernie Sanders, so keep it locked for that tonight. And keep it locked right now because "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid starts right now. Hi, Joy.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: How are you doing? I`m excited, Rachel, yes, Rachel, Rachel. All right, we`ll be watching. We`ll all be watching. Thank you very much, Ari. Have fun in New York City.
All right, good evening, everyone. Happy Wednesday. So, it is midweek, not a time of the week that one would normally spend gambling, we hope, and yet, we begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a giant game of poker that we are all watching play out in real-time and with very heavy stakes. There are now just 12 days until the U.S. economy faces catastrophic failure. We`re talking 2008 level recession or worse, seriously. And that calamity is being teed up by multi millionaire and corporate-backed Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, who, today, did something unusual for him in this game. He folded, offering Democrats a deal to raise the debt ceiling. But there is a catch. Per McConnell, Democrats can only do it until December and only if they agree to use reconciliation to pay for it beyond December.
Earlier today, President Biden surrounded by business leaders who are assembled to put pressure on McConnell, said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Let me be clear. Raising the debt limit is paying our old debts. It has nothing to do with new spending or what may becoming this year or other years. It has nothing to do with my plans on infrastructure or building back better, both of which are paid for but they`re not even in the queue right now.
It doesn`t have to be this way. My Republican friends need to stop playing Russian roulette with the U.S. economy. If they don`t want to do the job, just get out of the way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Now, like most of you, I do not really enjoy watching these politicians play games with our lives and with our economy and yet here is where we stand. On the one side, you have the Republican Party filled with Trump lemmings who gleefully racked up nearly $8 trillion in debt while Trump was president without batting an eye, handing out billionaire and corporate tax cuts like Halloween candy.
These guys made it rain for four years like they had an American express black card and knew just how to use it. But now that Joe Biden is president, they are in full clutch fanning outrage over the debt that they incurred and they`re now demanding Papa Joe pay the credit card bill. And that will be bad and irresponsible enough, this whole dine-n-dash politic, but it`s why they`re doing it, why they`re really actually doing it that`s going to make you really mad.
So, here is the tea. Republicans want Democrats to raise the debt limit to what would have to be around a $30 trillion increase. They want to do it, say the number, put the number out there and do it by themselves just so that Republicans can run nasty ads next year saying, look at how Democrats just blew $30 trillion, for shame, vote Republican.
Senator Rick Scott, chairman of Republican Committee, who is in charge of the 2022 elections, told NBC News he can`t wait to make the debt ceiling an issue in the midterms if Democrats raise it. When asked if the party`s campaign committee, which he chairs, will blame Democrats alone for that $30 trillion debt in ads and other messaging, he said oh, you better believe it, a point that North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis echoed today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Why do you need to have a specific number?
SEN. THOM TILLIS (R-NC): Because I`d kind of like to know how much money they intend to spend. And they don`t want to say that because I think when they do, the American people are going to be the first ones to object to it. What is it 5 trillion, 10 trillion?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: They want a number.
Now, the other side of this poker table are the Democrats who, while facing off with a completely unhinged party or actually trying to get stuff done with the build back better agenda, which again, has nothing to do with the debt limit, but they don`t want to be punished for that while paying Trump`s bills.
Here is exactly what is at stake for you and 333 million of your fellow Americans. Do you rely on social security? Well, the Republicans gambit could have delayed your payments. Do you use Medicare or Medicaid when you go to the hospital? Well, if Republicans dragged this out, it could have threatened access to care. Do you get the child tax credit that Biden just passed? Well, say goodbye to that payment. Do you have your retirement funds in a 401 k? Well, the markets would have freaked out, maybe tanked and you could have lost a huge chunk of your savings. Want to take out a loan? You would have had to pay more for that loan. And, finally, the Republicans were willing to stiff millions of service members, people that serve our United States military, they would go unpaid. Remind me again why this party should be taken seriously?
Finally, according to reports, McConnell, the grim reaper of Americans` nightmare, was also worried, this is another reason he blinked, that his reckless behavior might actually force Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to blow up filibuster to raise the debt limit, God forbid.
Now, like most things in Washington, there is no deal until both parties, both major party leaders, Chuck Schumer and McConnell, agree to it. And if they do, we`re going to be right back here at the poker table in December. Perfect.
Joining me now is former Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, host of the Al Franken podcast, who is currently on a comedy tour across America, Errin Haynes, Editor-at-Large for The 19th, and Sahil Kapur, NBC News National Political Reporter.
Sahil, I`m going to start with you, because we actually called you and we asked you to call us and talk to the producer who is working on this segment and kind of walk us through the way that it works on Capitol Hill, because I think we don`t do that enough in this business, is sort of explain this to people. Have I accurately described the Republican position, that they would, like Democrats, to use reconciliation, put the debt limit in reconciliation so that there has to be a number attached to it so that they can take that number, 30 trillion, 32 trillion, 33 trillion, whatever that number is that they have to raise the debt limit and run ads against them next year? Is that accurate?
SAHIL KAPUR, NBC NEWS NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: That is certainly a part of the strategy, Joy. And the fact the chairman of the Senate Campaign Arm Rick Scott said as much is notable. They want Democrats to take full ownership for the level of national debt, which is rapidly approaching $30 trillion right now.
And it`s worth noting, of course, that $30 trillion is a thoroughly bipartisan venture, both parties have racked up this debt. And it`s not, I should say, not a completely unprecedented position for the minority party to say the party in charge should vote by themselves to raise the debt limit, but it is unprecedented to say that the minority will filibuster their attempt to do that.
The Democrats who were in the minority in the Bush era made Republicans raise the debt limit on their own but they also didn`t filler buster, and that`s precisely what Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, is demanding now.
Now, the party leaders have what we believe is a tentative agreement to do a short-term extension, a short-term increase, I should say, in the debt limit through December. That would avert a catastrophic economic calamity on October 18th, which is the doomsday date that treasury has set. But details are still being worked out. As we know, the devil is in the details. And if things go well, it could be announced as early as tonight.
My colleague, Garrett Haake, reports that one of the holdups here is that they need some technical details from the Treasury Department in terms of how much money the government is going to need to stay open until December and then there are other fine print matters that, if the two parties agree, could get resolved soon.
REID: So, now, if the two parties agree, that`s where the sticking point is. And, Senator Franken, I want to go to you on this. Because here is the thing that I think is going to really anger people. It angered me when I finally -- when I`m like, oh, the reason that Republicans want reconciliation to be the vehicle is that they know the parliamentarian wants a number, that they won`t let things like immigration through and other things through because they need a number, a dollar amount. They want to take the dollar amount that the debt ceiling is, whether it`s $30 trillion, which has been spend for like 20 years, 30 years, back to Reagan and they want to say, aha, Democrats spent $30 trillion, boom, and then blame that on built back better.
That is so disingenuous and so nasty and so ugly that I think Americans need to know it. My question is, do the Democrats have enough strategic brilliance or strategery thinking to figure out how to counter that? And if they -- if you could give them some advice, how do you think they should counter it?
FMR. SEN. AL FRANKEN (D-MN): I think what McConnell was worried about is that this is a game of chicken and McConnell blinked because Democrats could have just changed the rules. You are right. The parliamentarian could dictate that. But then I don`t think Mitch wants Democrats fiddling with the rules because once you start doing that -- and they were backed into a corner in the financial markets and Wall Street was saying, don`t do this, and former defense secretaries were doing this, everybody is saying don`t do this. Ten years ago, we didn`t -- we didn`t default but we came close and our credit rating went down for our bonds.
So this was a game of chicken and Mitch blinked. And so I think that he was afraid that we would just procedurally change the rules and once we get used to that, there is a lot of different things that we can do, including on the Freedom to Vote Act, which is, of course, as you`ve covered many times and emphasized, is voting rights is an existential threat to our democracy. And Joe Manchin was one of the co-authors of that with Amy Klobuchar and others.
And wouldn`t you know maybe we could do that through -- we can`t do reconciliation because it isn`t money involved but if we start changing the rules, then we could change the rules on that and that would be very significant in terms of our voting rights and democracy.
REID: And therein lies the point, Errin Haynes, because the Democrats, up to now, have been saying, we don`t want to use reconciliation for the debt limit, we don`t want to do it, we don`t want to do it, it will take too long. My mind was breaking because I`m like, why don`t you want to do it, because if you use that vehicle, you could do all these other things. We have got police reform.
You wrote a great piece today in The 19th about home care workers who would like to see the build back better plan include them and give them descent wages, et cetera. If the Democrats were to actually change the rules, they could do all the things they promised to do. But they don`t want to do it because they know that if they use reconciliation, they`re going to get tagged with that $30 trillion. It`s a devious, devious thing Republicans have done. In your view though, do they need to just say, take the chance, bite the bullet and do all the things that you`re promised to do?
ERRIN HAYNES, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE 19TH: Well, joy, I don`t know if they are there yet, right? I mean, you did see, as Senator Franken said, you saw Mitch McConnell blinking today. You saw defense secretaries, former defense secretaries from both parties signing a letter urging the GOP to really get with the program, invoking the most bipartisan of issues, right, support for our military. Nobody wants to head into reelection looking like they don`t support the troops, especially with Republicans kind of already poised to go on offense on things like Afghanistan in 2022, right? So, they maybe would have lost some of that leverage depending on how this goes. So, Republican obstruction is, at least on this issue, may be on hold for now.
But, Joy, I think it`s really important that you laid out the stakes for voters and for your audience on what it means if the debt ceiling is not raised. Like what happens if this does not happen? And that is something that increasingly you are starting to see administration doing, laying out the stakes around the debt ceiling but also around what happens if build back better does not happen.
And that`s exactly what I was trying to get at in my story, which thank you so much for highlighting that that`s up on 19th News right now. I mean, you`ve got people like Senator Joe Manchin saying that his number is $1.5 trillion but he still doesn`t say exactly what the policy priorities are that he will support, right, like this is the thing that matters to the American people who voted for, you know, a lot of the policy priorities that are in that proposal. This is what we should be trying to layout even as we try to continue to figure out what price tag, right, that Democrats are going to ultimately settle on to get this done.
You know, my story focuses on the proposed $400 billion that`s in build back better that could help right or wrong dating back to Roosevelt`s new deal, right, which excluded the mostly black and brown women who are were then domestic workers from labor protections like the ability organize or earn a living wage. We have gotten our concern that HBCU funding might be on the chopping block, another priority of black voters who helped to deliver Democrats in the White House and Congress in the middle of a pandemic.
So what is at stake for voters should be the focus now. It`s what seems to be the focus before maybe Democrats go nuclear. If they can get across to the American people and kind of continue to have that pressure from places, like Wall Street, maybe more folks coming out of the wood work like defense secretaries past coming out trying to lean on folks to do the right thing, I think that`s kind of the strategy that we`re seeing, you know, in this phase of this process.
REID: And here is the thing, Senator Franken. I`m going to come back to you on this because I think those are really good points because there are two separate things that both have to get done. Democrats have a whole raft of policies that, again, have nothing to do with the debt limit. The debt limit is past spending. It`s the black card that they`ve all been using to spend.
Then they had these other sets of priorities that they -- you know, logically, they`re based things they should do through the reconciliation process and just blowup the filibuster, get rid of the filibuster and do it, but then we also have this additional deadline. If they push this down the road to December and then Mitch McConnell gets to do this again in December, to me, that doesn`t incentivize them to do any of those other things you just heard Errin Haynes talk about.
So, in your view as a former senator, would it be better if they used the reconciliation process to just actually change the rules? Could they theoretically say, I`m going to put in the reconciliation bill, I don`t know, a provision that says I`m going to index the debt limit to whatever, index it to whatever the spending limit was in the last be? Is there a way to do that so that Mitch McConnell can`t have this card to play again in December?
FRANKEN: I think Mitch was afraid they would be forced into doing that. They feel forced to do it. This though gives us time to pass build back better. What is great about this is that it gives us the time to get Sinema and to get Manchin and to get all 51 with the vice president on board on a package and if we tell the American people and keep telling the American people what`s in it.
Medicare negotiating with pharmaceuticals, pretty much everyone in the country is for that. We pay three times as much for the same pharmaceuticals as Europe does. The child tax credit, that would be the largest tax cut for the middle class and the works class and low income people that we`ve ever had, universal pre-K.
There are so many elements of this that are so popular and we have to emphasize what is in it. But what I like about this is this gives us time to focus on that. Right now, we had 12 days to figure this out because defaulting on the debt is catastrophic and so we could not have allowed that and that`s when we could have changed the rules to do it just to save our economy, really justified in doing that.
REID: Absolutely. And last question, very quickly, Sahil, do you know whether Democrats are going to take the full deal? Is it now in writing? Is it a done deal?
KAPUL: It`s not a done deal yet last I checked just moments ago, Joy, but they are negotiating. And the fact that party leadership on both ends has gone quiet suggests that there is real negotiating going on. What Democrats red line, I`m told, is that they will not agree in any form or fashion to do the next debt limit increase in reconciliation, as Senator McConnell suggested in his statement.
And Democrats are kind of going around saying, well, McConnell caved, McConnell blinked and this is a victory, one thing McConnell, for his own part, gets is that Democrats now will put a number on this and pass it, themselves with their votes. There won`t be a Republican filibuster but they`ll put a number and Republicans will try to say they should put a number again when this comes up again in December. It looks like, as you point out, Joy, we`re going to be doing all this again in a couple months.
REID: Right. And, again, everybody, again, focused. They`re doing it to run ads, not because of some high conservative principle, something that matters that`s deeply held, some Reaganite principle, they`re doing it to run ads. That`s embarrassing. It is embarrassing for a first world democracy.
Senator Al Franken, Errin Haynes, Sahil Kapur, thank you all very much.
Up next on THE REIDOUT, okay, have you seen this man? The January 6 Committee is looking for Dan Scavino, one of four Trump aides facing a deadline tomorrow to comply with subpoenas that. Committee Member Jamie Raskin joins me next.
Also, the right-wing misinformation machine, Fox goes all-in on whiter replacement theory, but it`s not just immigrants of color the Trump party is targeting.
Plus, what we`re learning about the big telecom company behind the far- right`s new favorite cable news channel, OAN.
And 40 years ago, Secretary of State Alexander Hague said, I am in control here at the White House, after President Reagan was shot. Nope, that`s not how it works. Today, another politician is claiming power that she doesn`t have and trying to do really bad things with it. She is tonight`s absolute worst.
THE REIDOUT continues after this.
REID: Tomorrow, the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection and the role of the Trump White House in trying to overturn the presidential election will face its first real test from the orange pied piper and his lemmings.
Four of Trump`s closest aides and associates, former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and his deputy, Ron (sic) Scavino, former Defense Department official Kash Patel, and former strategist Steve Bannon, are facing a subpoena deadline to turn over e-mails, call records and other documents related to the Capitol attack. And they have been instructed to appear for depositions next week.
The former president has been thumping his chest, saying that he will invoke executive privilege to fight the subpoenas and prevent his aides from giving any information to the committee.
This should come as no surprise to anyone, as the past administration gleefully defied subpoena after subpoena, while squatting in the White House, hiding behind executive privilege.
However, only a current president can decide what is protected by executive privilege, making that defense as worthless as a degree from Trump University.
Joining me now is a member of the January 6 select committee, Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
Congressman Raskin, thank you so much for being here.
I have to start with the sort of interesting missing person case of Mr. Dan Scavino. Apparently, he cannot be found. He is hiding from the process servers. To your knowledge, as of this evening, has he been located?
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): To my knowledge, no, but I don`t know because I haven`t been in touch with people on the staff today.
But I have had Republicans come up to me on the floor and say, go look for him in his mother`s basement. I have heard Republicans say, just go try to find him at Donald Trump rallies. Wherever Donald Trump goes, you will find Dan Scavino.
So I don`t know. He`s aware that we`re looking for him. And he should call so he can be served, if he hasn`t been served.
REID: That`s fascinating.
Let`s talk about what will happen if the ones who aren`t hiding still don`t show up. Let me let you listen to Chairman, your chairman, Bennie Thompson. He was asked what will happen if someone just simply defies the subpoenas, the ones who are not hiding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): Well, the only thing I can say is, the committee will probably, to those who don`t agree to come in voluntarily, we will do criminal referrals and let that process work out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And so while I put up a list of the 15 total subpoenas that are out there, can you just explain how that would work?
Let`s say there are criminal referrals against -- let`s say Steve Bannon says he`s not coming or Kash Patel says he`s not showing up, and this criminal referral happens. Can you walk us through what that process looks like?
RASKIN: Well, I`m not certain that the chairman has decided specifically what we`re going to do. But there`s a process for getting criminal contempt.
That is turning the information over to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and trying to get the Department of Justice to demand that these people appear in court and be jailed, until the point at which they cooperate with the congressional subpoena.
It could be civil contempt, or it also could be inherent contempt of Congress, where we design our own process for hauling these people in and perhaps finding them until they`re willing to cooperate. But I don`t know what makes them think they`re better than anybody else in the country. All of the rest of us have to cooperate when we receive a subpoena.
In fact, what makes them better than the hundreds of people who stormed the Capitol, broke the windows and assaulted federal officers?
RASKIN: Those people have had to comply.
And so, somehow, they think they get some kind of magic immunity from Donald Trump? And I know that`s a guy who has been surrounded by armies of lawyers for his entire life and acts with complete lawlessness and impunity.
But even he has to face with the law, which catches up with him. I mean, think about the Trump University case where they defrauded all those people. They ended up having to pay millions of dollars. Think about the House of Representatives twice impeaching Donald Trump.
So the law is going to catch up with all of these people. And I think that they`re just making a really bad mistake to cast their lot with Donald Trump, because, in the final analysis, he will cut these people off, and they`re going to be facing the law. And their families have to deal with the shame of the disrespect they`re showing to the rule of law and the government of the United States.
REID: And the thing that`s odd is that they would believe him, despite all the cases that he`s lost about his failure to gain reelection, when he says, oh, don`t worry, I used to be president, so I can invoke executive privilege, when there`s another president.
The fact that anyone would believe that that has any legal force, I`m not even a lawyer, and I find that shocking.
But I want to play something else that I do find shocking as well. This is the former Vice President Mike Pence, who was the subject of the anger and rage that sent a lot of those people into the Capitol, and even brought a noose.
Here he is talking about what you all are trying to do to investigate a crime that was also a crime against him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know the media wants to distract from the Biden administration`s failed agenda by focusing on one day in January.
They want to use that one day to try and demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: The fact that this man was actually threatened by those people who stormed the Capitol makes it seem -- and also that he had a role, because his role in finishing and certifying the election was the point and what was what drove the rage.
He seems like a logical person you all might want to interview. Do you anticipate that attempting to call Mike Pence would result in you all having to go to court with Mike Pence`s lawyers, that he might fight a subpoena? Just can you anticipate that?
RASKIN: Well, I mean, I can`t predict any particular sequence of events with respect to this or that witness. I mean, I`m still, I guess, trying to recover from the shock of that little clip you showed.
I mean, here, Mike Pence was facing a mob that was chanting "Hang Mike Pence." They`d set up, like, gallows outside of the Capitol. And this was a coup, not against the president, but by the president against Mike Pence, because, for that one day, he decided not to follow Donald Trump, but to follow the Constitution of the United States.
And now, like a sycophantic flunky, he clearly returns right to the cultish fold of Donald Trump. I mean, it`s just amazing to me to see that.
But they all want to sweep it under the rug because they want to view it in purely partisan political terms. Luckily, not all the Republicans feel that way.
We have got a strong bipartisan committee that is determined to get to the truth about the worst violent assault on the U.S. Capitol since the War of 1812, an attempt to overthrow the counting of Electoral College votes to basically oust Mike Pence, kick him out of the way, and then deny Joe Biden his rightful majority in the Electoral College, which he won, 306 Electoral College votes, in order to force the election into the House of Representatives for a so-called contingent election, where we`d be voting not one member one vote, but one state one vote.
And they knew that they could win that. So they just needed to destroy most of the electoral process. And now Mike Pence, in his desperate effort to curry favor with the right wing in his own party, is trying to cover the whole thing up. It`s just pathetic.
REID: It is pathetic. And it`s shocking.
I will join you in the shock. When I saw the clip for the first time too, I was equally shocked.
Jamie Raskin, Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you so much for being here.
I will suggest one other potential witness I would love to see called. You don`t have to take my advice, but John Eastman. That memo was terrifying. And I think it`s a -- it was a practice session for what we might see the future. I`m just going to throw that name out there for you.
Thank you, Congressman.
REID: Up next on THE REIDOUT -- cheers.
Tuckums leads the charge to bring white nationalism into the mainstream, driving -- diving headfirst into a pool of white supremacist tropes.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: The entire purpose of the Democratic Party`s immigration policy is to change the population of the United States in a way that guarantees they win every election going forward.
This is effectively electorate packing. It`s an assault on democracy. It devalues your vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Why does he always look so confused?
Replacement theory continues to be a fearmongering tactic on frozen chicken hair Tucker Carlson`s white power hour on FOX.
This is the conspiracy theory among white nationalists that people of color and immigrants will replace the white race and thereby eradicate its political power. In short, the black people are coming. Make haste.
Tuckums, along with other conservatives, like Steve King and creepy old man giggity giggity Gaetz, are doing their own version, claiming that Democrats are vying to replace white voters with black and brown voters.
Now, you will likely not be surprised that Replacement Theory is also deeply rooted in misogyny. A 2019 "New York Times" piece reported the most pressing concern among far right members is falling birth rates, meaning white women are not making enough babies, because they`re spending too much time competing with men at the workplace and leaving their kids at day care or, God forbid, voting.
With scholar Kathleen Belew saying: "For people in the white power movement, everything is framed through reproduction and gender."
Given the right`s obsession with Replacement Theory, it should surprise no one that members of the GOP, some of whom have the support of alleged sexual predator Donald Trump, have also been accused of violence against women.
Joining me now is Joan Walsh, national affairs correspondent for "The Nation," and Anthea Butler, religion professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of "White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America."
I want to start with you, Joan, on this, because that 2019 article, which I`m going to -- I`m going to tweet it out. And I recommend everybody take a look at it, because it makes that connection between this sort of they`re all coming to get us, white genocide, Replacement Theory, anti -- sort of racist theory, and their attitude toward women, where they say, our women aren`t doing their job, and, therefore, they need to be controlled.
JOAN WALSH, MSNBC ANALYST: Yes.
REID: They need to be constantly controlled.
And so now we have these kinds of candidates running. And two of them have Trump`s backing.
A woman who had an affair with Republican Senate candidate in Missouri, Eric Greitens, said that he sexually assaulted her and blackmailed her with nude photos. The estranged wife of Army veteran Sean Parnell, the leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania, twice took out temporary protection from abuse orders against him.
The ex-wife of Herschel Walker, the football legend who`s the front-runner of the GOP nomination in Georgia, claimed in divorce records that he was physically abusive and threatened to murder her. Walker and Parnell have Trump`s endorsement.
WALSH: Well, I think the Replacement Theory, Joy, is just the perfect intersection of racism and misogyny.
And I just want to note that I was with you on the morning when we learned about Charlottesville, when we heard those Nazis in khakis chanting "Jews will not replace us." And we were both like, "Huh?"
And then we got to know better that there`s this insane theory out there that does overlap with, we don`t like black people, we don`t like brown people, and we really think the white women are letting us down.
So, you have got this Venn diagram of replacement theorists, Nazis, Tucker Carlson, incels, and I wish we could just throw a tarp on it and ask someone to come take it away.
REID: Yes, I mean, and, unfortunately, we cannot.
We are stuck with it in our politics, Anthea, because that -- what used to be a fringe -- when Joan and I were sitting there literally going, oh, "Jews will not replace us" is a thing now, right, that people are saying in khakis, we then started to really sort of zoom out and see that this movement is broad. You can take it back to Gamergate in 2014.
And it is sucking in a very particular group of people. They are targeting white evangelicals as the people they feel are vulnerable to this. And then they think that is going to spur them to the polls and of this terror of replacement. It`s coinciding with far right-wing evangelicalism.
ANTHEA BUTLER, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Yes, it is.
And, as a matter of fact, Joy, one of the things I think is really important about this is, you look at the statistics about white evangelicals right now, they are the least likely group to want to welcome immigrants, which flies in the face of what their Christian doctrine is supposed to be, that you welcome the stranger, right?
You`re supposed to do that as a Christian. But they`re not listening to what Scripture says. What they are listening to is what the Republican Party says.
And so I think it`s important for people to realize that this is not just some simple little thing that Tucker is talking about in order to get some bold agenda for 2022. It`s a lot worse, and it has historical antecedents even before all of this.
So, if you start to bring the dots together, and we look at people like Anders Breivik in Norway and others, all of these people around the world are talking about Replacement Theory. This was part of Marine Le Pen`s campaign.
And so what Tucker is doing is just repurposing this for the American public and for white evangelicals who are afraid that people are going to come across the border and either impregnate their daughters, because that`s something they have always been afraid of, or come back and replace them and be able to vote, which is just a flat-out lie.
I mean, the Mother Emanuel massacre, Joan, involved a person who had a mania and a terror, again, of losing women to black men, right? There was a misogynistic piece to what he did. We have seen these other killers do it.
I wonder how women, you think -- because suburban women are the thing that both parties are both going after, particularly white suburban women. Do you think that this at some point starts resonating, oh, there is this desire to control us, and that that`s where this anti-abortion mania -- do people start making those connections, in your view?
WALSH: I mean, I hope so, but I don`t think they have yet.
I mean, obviously, I think even suburban women -- or including suburban women, are very upset about the Texas abortion insanity and other laws. So, I think they`re getting it. But I don`t think they have put it together yet.
But, as Professor B, as I know her, just said, I mean, it`s this line. The Christchurch, New Zealand, massacre maniac, the El Paso massacre guy, their manifestos were shot through with Replacement Theory, but also articulating that it`s not just immigrants replacing us, or black men taking our women. It`s just the failure of white women to reproduce and also to bestow their sexual favors on these guys who feel like they`re not getting enough.
REID: Yes. Yes.
WALSH: And, now, I don`t want to say that includes Tucker, because I have no idea.
WALSH: But it is interesting that he keeps going back to this over and over and over again. So...
REID: He absolutely does.
And, I mean, you think about it, Professor B, that we`re talking about a party that embrace Brett Kavanaugh with everything they had. They would do anything to get him on this dream court, despite the allegations against him by a high school friend, the same thing they did with Clarence Thomas. They don`t care about things that involve the abuse and harm of women.
They clearly didn`t care about it with Donald Trump. They embraced him. He`s got, what, two dozen accusers. And now you have got these candidates who are going to run with Trump`s backing with those histories of abuse.
I wonder how we`re supposed to respond to that in our politics.
BUTLER: Well, I think we respond to this way.
First of all, you stop coddling evangelicals when they tell you they`re all about morality. They`re not about morality. Morality is a shield. Morality is a way for them to get power. So, what is good for them is not good for you.
So, Donald Trump and all the rest of these people can sleep with who they want to as many times as they want to. They can do things that they`re not supposed to do, according to their religious beliefs. But the fact of the matter is, is that it doesn`t matter.
And I think people really need to understand, when we start to look at the numbers about rape, incest, when we start to look at things about domestic violence, we need to count in religion into all of that and how religion plays a part in the political atmosphere of what is acceptable for these men to do and what is not acceptable for these men to do.
And women tend to lose always. Always, they lose.
REID: Yes, we need to start voting on these issues. It`s very important.
Joan Walsh, Anthea Butler, my friends, thank you so much.
Tonight`s "Absolute Worst" is still ahead, as a Republican official finds a new or more evil way to put her constituents in danger.
But, first, the backstory of how the former Cheeto-in-chief`s favorite ultra-conservative news network was created. You do not want to miss it.
We will be right back.
REID: A stunning new report from Reuters revealed that far right news network OAN wouldn`t even exist if AT&T executives hadn`t seen an opportunity to create a new conservative TV network in 2013.
John Shiffman reports that AT&T has provided tens of millions of dollars in revenue for OAN. And the network`s accountant testified last year that, without a deal made with DirecTV, which AT&T owned at the time, the network`s value would be zero.
So here`s why this is the big deal. OAN is a massive proponent of misinformation, from peddling hydroxychloroquine, to Russian conspiracy theories, to absolutely enabling Trump`s claim that the election was stolen. They quickly became the mango Mussolini`s favorite network, tweeting about them more than 100 times.
Reuters points out that the network`s online audience soared after a competitor, FOX News, affirmed Biden`s victory and, once again, after the insurrection. One of the insurrectionists even brought an OAN flag with them to the Capitol on January 6.
The violent rhetoric went beyond the insurrection. Reuters reports that a self-described regular OAN viewer accused Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold of treason for certifying Biden`s win, warning her that punishments for that crime are hanging and lethal injection.
In a statement today, AT&T said that they never held a financial interest in OAN`s success and do not fund OAN, and also noted that DirecTV is now a separate company outside of AT&T.
But they didn`t respond to the testimony quoted in the Reuters piece that the inspiration to launch OAN came directly from AT&T executives.
I`m joined now by Angelo Carusone, president and CEO of Media Matters For America.
Long time, no speak, Angelo. It`s good to see you.
ANGELO CARUSONE, PRESIDENT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: Yes.
REID: Let`s talk about this.
I saw this today on Twitter, honestly, and went, ooh. Give us this backstory. Media Matters has a bunch of headlines. So let`s put them up.
Watch how OAN host relentlessly fund-raisers to spread the fraudulent Arizona -- quote -- "audit" nationwide. OAN`s months-long campaigns against COVID-19 vaccines are a cesspool of anti-LGBTQ hate supported by cable providers and streaming services.
What the what?
CARUSONE: Yes, I mean, look, One American News` notion is that FOX News is a part of the liberal media. So that tells you everything you need to know about One American News.
I mean, that was their organizing principle. That`s how they got started. That`s what they were. What makes this story significant is that, basically, AT&T at the time came to them and dangled a real, serious business partnership.
One was possibly investing and buying a chunk of the company, but the more tantalizing thing was to say, look, we will guarantee you revenue. We will guarantee you enough revenue that, even if you do not run commercials, even if you have almost no viewers, you will still be a profitable company as long as you exist and take this deal.
And that`s what started in 2013. They basically said, we will put you on most of our six million customers at the time. We will pay you a fee for your channel that is so outrageously high. At that point, it probably would have been about 18 times what market value was, if you could have attributed market value for it, which I think probably should open them up to maybe some shareholder litigation.
But, ultimately, that was the start. And if you`re One American News, and somebody offers you basically a guarantee, why wouldn`t you take it?
REID: And it`s not -- just to make everyone understand, this is not a normal news network, first of all, being founded because some AT&T exec said, you know what we`d love to have? Another right-wing news network.
That is bizarre, in and of itself, and AT&T`s involvement. The Daily Beast reports that Donald Trump`s campaign had veto power over this network`s stories.
REID: The former mayor said in a deposition -- so he had to say it under oath -- that Christina Bobb, who volunteered for the Trump legal team after the election, had to run her stories by the campaign.
That is clearly not a news network.
CARUSONE: That`s right.
And, look, we remember during the beginning of -- we`re in -- we`re still trying to claw our way out of this pandemic, in large part due to misinformation that came out of the right-wing media. And when FOX News stopped playing -- wasn`t playing the same game -- they were still being terrible, back in March and April of 2020.
If you remember, it was the Trump administration that was giving a day pass for the One American News network`s correspondent, Chanel Rion, who has then asking those questions that the administration wanted.
So to your point about editorial influence, they weren`t just vetoing stories. They were actually involved in shaping the stories. And that shows the significance of what this network represents, right? It`s that the idea was to create a political force.
And Trump used it as a cudgel against other right-wing media to drag them along with the narrative maybe that sometimes they would have not been fully embracing.
REID: You mentioned the fact that they -- that AT&T basically guarantee that they could still be relevant, and they could still be profitable without ads. They run few commercials, according to Reuters, compared to its competitors.
It`s reliant on these fees from cable, from DirecTV, et cetera. Instead of commercials, it inoculates them from advertiser boycotts faced by counterparts like FOX News. So there`s no way to boycott them because they don`t have any ads.
CARUSONE: That`s exactly right. That`s right.
I mean, FOX works the same system. FOX is disproportionately high. That`s how they`re able to operate so much with impunity. It sort of ties into your last segment, like, why is Tucker so bad? In large part, it`s because FOX News doesn`t need any commercials either. They would have a 90 percent profit margin, even if they didn`t have commercials.
What makes this story so significant is that FOX News basically worked the system. They did it over the course of 15 years. It was this intentional strategy. In this case, AT&T just kind of parachuted in and said, here`s your golden ticket.
And what`s worse is they signed a deal that basically said to One American News -- and this is it shows that they were invested in One American News` success. The terms of their deal, one, renew automatically, unless they pull out, which that means that, this year, even after all of the insurrection, all that violent stuff that you referenced before, AT&T renewed with One American News, knowing full well everything that they had done over the previous year.
They didn`t have to. They made that active decision. And, second, it says if you ever sign another deal with a cable provider, it must be on our terms, which are really high. And what that basically meant is, it kept One American News from getting a lot of pickup. And the way that they offset that was by giving them more money.
But what that means is that it kind of became exclusive to AT&T. So if you are a person who doesn`t like FOX, and you`re in the fever swamps, you switch to AT&T in order to get it.
That is scandalous. And I hope AT&T has to answer some questions about it.
Angelo Carusone, thank you very much. Really appreciate you and Media Matters.
CARUSONE: Thank you.
Don`t go anywhere tonight. That`s "Absolute Worst" -- whew -- is up next. It`s a Republican. It gets worse, as a Republican official goes rogue on vaccine mandates, putting all of her constituents at risk.
We will be right back.
REID: The ruby red state of Idaho is proving just how bananas the right- wing takeover the Republican Party is.
One local GOP board is backing an anti-Semitic troll for a school board post. Another local board supported a doctor who called the COVID vaccine fake for the seat that he now holds on a health board.
Meanwhile, the state is in the midst of one of the worst COVID surgeons in the country. Last month, it allowed hospitals to ration care. Morgues are running out of space. And health care workers are getting threatened by COVID deniers.
So, today, with that crisis unfolding, Republican Governor Brad Little was off grandstanding with other GOP governors at the Southern border with Mexico, because, well, that will help. And while he`s away, Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin took advantage of a provision making her the acting governor by issuing an executive order banning schools from requiring proof of vaccination.
Governor Little said that he was going to reverse it as soon as he got back today. She also tried to deploy the state`s National Guard to the border while he`s out of town. The commanding general denied that request.
You see, it`s not the first time that she`s gone rogue with performative nonsense. In May, when Little was at the Republican Governors Association meeting, McGeachin banned mask mandates. He rescinded that order as well.
And Governor Little isn`t great at handling COVID. Idaho`s vaccination rate is abysmal, and he`s openly contemplated legal action against President Biden`s vaccine rule for employers.
But Lieutenant Governor McGeachin is trying to out-MAGA him for the Republican nomination for governor next year. So she met with the orange man about indoctrination in schools. And she`s called for all 50 states to conduct an Arizona-style election fraudit.
Oh, and, last year, she appeared in a video, Bible and gun in hand, slamming Idaho`s COVID rules, while a fellow elected official said a pandemic may or may not be happening. She`s also spread COVID misinformation in her own newsletter, which inspired her hometown papers editorial board to call her a humiliation and a colossal embarrassment.
So, while both the governor and lieutenant governor waste Idaho citizens` time on harebrained theatrics, for playing GOP sociopathy oneupmanship, perhaps to the death of our own constituents, Idaho Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin, she is tonight`s "Absolute Worst."
And that, in fact, is tonight`s REIDOUT. There was a whole lot of it today. We had a lot going on. And I`m glad that you hung in there with us for every single word of it.
Whew. I`m tired. I think I might need to just go and sit back, relax and watch "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES," which starts now.