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Transcript: The ReidOut, 11/16/21

Guests: Pramila Jayapal, Yamiche Alcindor, Christina Greer, Mara Schiavocampo, Madeline Davis-Jones


GOP Representative to face censure vote over AOC video. Rittenhouse jurors deliberate as Arbery case continues. Medical examiner testifies in trial of three Georgia men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery. Defense attorney asks judge to eject Reverend Jesse Jackson.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: We are not airing the video but this is just so you understand what he tried to do, putting out this actual cartoon that showed him personally killing a congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The resolution would also remove Gosar from the oversight committee.

That does it for us. THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid starts now. Hi, Joy.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: How are you doing, Ari? Thank you very much. Have a great evening.

All right, everybody, good evening. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with two cases, which will once again, tell us where we are as a country. Where there armed primarily white men can continue to take matters into their own hands and serve as judge, jury and executioner legally under the law.

There is the trial of teenage vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse, where jurors just moments ago broke for the day, and the trial of father and son Greg and Travis McMichael and their neighbor, William Roddie Bryan. They stand accused of murdering 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery in what many have called a modern day lynching. The three men claim that this was just a citizen`s arrest gone wrong. Today Arbery`s mother had to witness horrifying autopsy images of her son. She walked out.

The family has been receiving moral support from a number of faith leaders. Yesterday the lawyer for Bryan requested that Reverend Jesse Jackson be removed from the courtroom, just as they had done previously with the Reverend Al Sharpton.


KEVIN GOUGH, ATTORNEY FOR WILLIAM RODDIE BRYAN: Jesse Jackson, I believe, is still here.

He is, your honor. I think we all know an icon in the civil rights movement, not just a witness to it, he -- the personification of it. And in other circumstances, I think everybody would be happy to have their picture taken and have an autograph. But in the context of this trial, we object to his presence in the public gallery inside the courtroom.

I guess the next question is which pastor is next? Is Raphael Warnock going to be the next person appearing this afternoon?


REID: Well, the mind reels (ph). Judge denied the defense`s request to remove the Reverend Jesse Jackson from the courtroom.

Late this afternoon, the state rested the case against the three men, now comes the defense`s turn.

Meanwhile in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the jury in the Rittenhouse case had been deliberating since this morning. Rittenhouse shot and killed 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber. He also shot Gaige Grosskreutz nearly severing his right arm. Rittenhouse has pleaded not guilty claiming self-defense.

The prosecution argued that Rittenhouse was a chaos tourist who lied about what happened that night and provoke the initial interaction with Rosenbaum, which set in motion to chain of events that night in August of last year.

Since then, Rittenhouse has become a right-wing hero. Mark and Patricia McCloskey, remember them, the St. Louis couple pardoned by Donald Trump when he was president for aiming guns at Black Lives Matter protesters, well, they`ve showed up the past two days to support Rittenhouse. They claimed that the teenager who, mind you, shot and killed two people is the real victim, the victim of cancel culture.

And another weird twist, Rittenhouse actually participated in choosing the final 12 men and women who will decide his fate by pulling numbers from a tumbler like a macabre game show. The six he randomly chose became alternates. Here is how that looked like.


JUDGE BRUCE SCHROEDER, KENOSHA COUNTY, WISCONSIN: Please put them in the tumbler and rotate it and then the defendant will draw out six of the numbers.

Members of the jury, it is for you to determine whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty of each of the offenses charged.


REID: Now, there is a very real possibility that he would face an all white jury, but after that drawing, four white men, one black man and seven white women will decide whether he is innocent or not, whether he`s guilty or not guilty.

Joining us from Kenosha, MSNBC Correspondent Shaquille Brewster. Shaq, can you give us a sense of what the scene looked like in and around the courtroom today?

SHAQUILLE BREWSTER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joy, you saw a steady flow of protesters outside of the courtroom, about two dozen or so. They, about an hour or so, went around Kenosha or at least this downtown area marching in. You know, I should also notice, it`s not just protesters or people who are protesting against Kyle Rittenhouse but you also have people who are here to support Kyle Rittenhouse and say he was acting in his self-defense and saying that he was the victim in this case.

We do know that in just the past couple of moments, Joy, the court is out of session. The jury broke. They are going home for the night. They will return at 9:00 A.M. Central Time tomorrow. They deliberated or at least have been away for about eight hours today as part of their deliberations.

And we didn`t get that many tea leaves from the messages and the notes that came from the jury. We did get a sense of earlier in the day that they did asked for more copies of those jury instructions, which go on for about 36 pages.


They initially asked for a section of them and then asked for full copies of the entire instructions in. We also know that they had lunch. They had a lunch for an undetermined period of time, and they had pizza. But outside of that, we don`t really know what is going on behind closed doors but we know those deliberations will extend into tomorrow, Joy.

REID: And real quick, Shaq, you`ve been talking to people outside of the jury, what`s the sense of people`s sort of prediction? Because I think, in general, there is a lot of cynicism, particularly among African-Americans, but I wonder if the people who were protesting against what Rittenhouse did, do they think that he will be convicted just when they were talking to you?

BREWSTER: Frankly, they don`t. And part of this is pushing that they think that they want to push and pressure the jury or pressure the court to hold Kyle Rittenhouse accountable, in their words.

We spoke to some business owners yesterday. And, you know, one thing that we heard from them, some business owners who were affected by the protests turned riots back in last August after the shooting of Jacob Blake, one thing that they said, while some of them decided to board up their windows one more time, they said that while they think Kyle Rittenhouse came to Kenosha to start trouble while they don`t have favorable opinions of Kyle Rittenhouse, they also believe that -- at least this one business owner that we talk to, that he shouldn`t be found guilty by this court or by this jury.

So, you do have a mixture of opinions there but the sense and the sense among even those who are opposed to this and who want to see him held accountable is that it`s a high bar that the prosecution is going to have to clear.

REID: Shaquille Brewster, thank you very much. You always do a great job. I appreciate you.

All right, joining me is Katie Phang Attorney and MSNBC Legal Contributor, and Paul Butler, former Federal Prosecutor and Georgetown Law Professor.

So, we`ve been doing this a couple days here, so I just want to get your sense of -- this jury has been out for a day now, and I`ll start with you first on this as a former prosecutor, Paul. Do you expect this to be a long and drawn out process? There are a lot of counts here. We`ll just put those up on. There are five counts that have to be considered here. You can see those all -- that go all the way from first degree murder all the way down to the lesser included charges, like second degree attempted and intentional homicide. What do we take from how long this jury is out and do you expect it to be a lengthy deliberation?

PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: So, we know either way it`s not a slam dunk for the jury. Sometimes jurors get the instructions. They go back in the delivery room and they look at each other and they kind of all have a sense of what they want to do.

But this is a complicated case and the judge`s presentation of the jury instructions was so confusing that I don`t blame the jurors for wanting the judge to put it on paper. Those were pages and pages. And so the jurors have a lot of work ahead of them.

REID: And, Katie, can you please explain this weird lottery? I`ve never heard of this that -- you know, where the defendant gets to basically reach into a bowl, you know, like we do our Secret Santa at home and pick his jury. I`ve never heard of that. Is that a thing?

KATIE PHANG, MSNBC LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, we know it actually unusual -- oh, we know it was actually unusual, Joy, because, normally, the clerk does that. You don`t let the defendant participate in this process. And from where I am from, the trials I`ve done, what happens is when you`re an alternate, you get excused, goodbye. So, you know who the alternates are and they`re excused.

This random like bingo that happened today was just another perversion and oddity that happened in this judge`s courtroom. And so the fact that Rittenhouse -- the judge allowed him to do this was another bizarre thing that has happened from the trial. I`m glad to hear they had pizza and not Asian lunch because I don`t know what the judge would have said about lunch today if it had been Asian lunch again.

REID: Yes. He`s had thoughts about Asian lunch, hasn`t he? They have been very interesting thoughts, that and his phone going off with like the song that gets played at Trump rallies. But we won`t go into that too deeply, Paul. But there is a mistrial motion still that`s still hanging kind over this. Can you explain how there is a mistrial motion hanging while jurors are deliberating.

BUTLER: Well, because the judge is still deciding what he wants to do. Presumably, he will decide at some point before the jury returns its verdict but there`re lots of reasons to be concerned about this judge. When he allowed Mr. Rittenhouse, an accused murderer, to select the jurors, again, objectively, by pulling names out of a hat, it was cute, Joy.

But the criminal legal system is not looking for the judge in a double- murder trial to do cute things. The public rightly expects the appearance of justice and impartiality. And on that level, this judge consistently disappoints from his joke about Asian food, to all of the breaks that he`s given the defense. There is a pattern of bias that is troubling.

At this moment, Kyle Rittenhouse is innocent in the eyes of the law, but as long as the judge appears to be tipping the scales of justice in Rittenhouse`s favor, the public may not have confidence in the process or the verdict.


REID: Well, that is a question I had too, Kate. I mean is there any recourse? This judge has done everything but, you know, offer to adopt Kyle Rittenhouse, like he seems so clearly on his side. Does the prosecution have any recourse if it seems so clear that the judge has already made up his mind that Kyle Rittenhouse -- he`s on -- it seems at least, to the layperson out there, that he`s completely on his side.

PHANG: Yes. So, the real challenge, if you`re the prosecution, is if the verdict comes back and acquittal, double jeopardy comes attached by the fact that you`ve sworn in this jury. When it comes to this particular motion for mistrial with prejudice, though, I`m glad you brought it up, because if it`s granted, then the prosecution can actually appeal the granting of that motion for a mistrial with prejudice when normally you wouldn`t have any recourse if the jury comes up with an acquittal. But then, again, if the motion is denied, then the defense can actually raise those same arguments on appeal if there is a conviction.

And so there is a little bit of a window for the prosecution to be able to try to find some success. But when you also think about the fact that the judge has kind of fed the flames of the politicization of this trial, when you see people like the McCloskey`s making Kenosha a stop on the vigilante justice tour, and then you see what the judge has done, like Paul has said, it really makes you wonder where has our system gone? But I think the reality is, including the Arbery trial, having cameras in the courtroom have now allowed America to see what`s happening, what`s happening in these courtrooms because it important for them to see what is going on.

REID: And the absolute difference between the way justice is served to people of color and people who are white, I don`t know how it could be clearer than this. We`re going to talk about another case that`s going to also make that point later on in the show.

But, Paul, there is also the question of the consultants, right? One of the consultants, Joe Allen Demetrius, he`s a jury expert who has hired by the defense team. And what -- if you know that name seems familiar to you, it`s because she helped O.J. Simpson select jurors, his legal team. What role do these consultants play and how influential are they? If your family has the resources to hire a really good jury consultant, in a sense, that`s the game, that`s the ball game, right?

BUTLER: It helps. You know, some people say they`re hocus pocus and other people say that there`s a difference between whether a defendant walks or whether he goes to prison. In some ways, that process was limited because this jury selection process was so quick. It took a day to pick this jury as opposed to the two and three weeks it took in the case of Ahmaud Arbery`s killers in Georgia and the George Floyd trial -- Derek Chauvin trial in Minnesota.

And so, you know, it`s a business. The defense will hope that the juror selection experts help them get not an objective jury but a jury bias in their favor. But, again, the judge seems to be doing some of that work, so they may not even need these extra folks.

REID: It is. It is stunning, Katie, this feels like those cases in the 1950s where it was in and out, in and out, you know, somebody, white male killed someone and they were in and out fast and acquitted. That`s how it feels to me.

PHANG: Yes. And I feel like people are going to be intellectually dishonest if you`re to say that it would be the same result if it was a young black male carrying an AR-15 on the streets in the middle of what is happening. You`re being dishonest intellectually, socially, in every single way, if you were to say it would be the same outcome, he would have been dead if it was a young black male holding the AR-15.

So, when you have a situation where -- apparently, by all accounts, this is how the judge acts by the way. This is -- from what attorneys have said, this is how he is, this is how he acts. But I don`t think that`s an answer. He`s the longest serving judge in this circuit. He`s 75. Maybe it`s time that there is another judge. But, fundamentally, you don`t want to ever see the deck stacked against you either way, prosecution or defense. It`s supposed to be justice is blind and I don`t see that happening in this case right now.

REID: And he`s been reelected, elected unopposed in 2020, I understand. I don`t think he had an opponent. So, this is why you have got to vote. The judge ballot, you need to vote for that. You need to vote on that.

Katie Phang, Paul Butler, thank you both very much.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, President Biden is out there promoting his big infrastructure victory but will Built Back Better get left in the dusk? Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal returns to the show, joining me next.

Plus, Republicans are wrapping up there disgusting, despicable attacks on Vice President Kamala Harris, but that`s to be expected. What about the Biden team?


Are they setting her up to fail?

Also, in just two days, Oklahoma is set to execute Julius Jones, who just might be innocent. His mother, Madeline, who the governor refuses to talk, to joins me tonight.

Plus, tonight`s absolute worst, their defending the likes of anime violence fantasist Paul Gosar while addressing their lawmakers for helping their constituents.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: President Biden hit the road today to promote the Eisenhower-style infrastructure overhaul he signed into law yesterday, kicking off an administration-wide blitz to sell the benefits to the American people. Biden`s message today, speaking from an aging bridge in New Hampshire deemed structurally deficient, was pretty straight forward. The results are on the way.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: Clean water, access to the internet, rebuilding bridges and everything in this bill matters to individual lives of real people.


This is not something abstract.

New Hampshire and America are moving again. Your life is going to change for the better. And that`s literal.


REID: And he`s right. There are things in this infrastructure law that affect and impact all Americans, money for roads and bridges, clean water and clean energy.

Well, President Biden is out -- while President Biden is out communicating how that part of his agenda will benefit you, and it will, Democrats in Congress now have the challenge of making sure the other part of his agenda, the Build Back Better bill, with new social spending to benefit the environment and children and women and families and people of color, that that part doesn`t get thrown by the wayside.

The House is on pace for a vote later this week on the Build Back Better bill, after separating it to get the infrastructure plan through with a handful of Republicans and moderate Democrats. An updated Congressional Budget Office score to ensure it`s paid for, a demand of those House moderates, is expected on Friday.

For her part, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told members they will not leave Washington for the Thanksgiving recess without getting Build Back Better over the finish line. But one of the risks when House Democrats separated these two bills is that one would get left behind.

So now the challenge is to make sure that that doesn`t happen.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington state, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

It`s always great to have you on the show, Congresswoman.

And I want to I want to start by acknowledging the scope and scale of this bill that passed is a big deal. I mean, it is -- Lawrence O`Donnell was pointing out the other night that there is no other president that has a T- trillion-dollar infrastructure bill investing in infrastructure in this country ever, including Eisenhower.

This is a huge deal. And so I want to acknowledge that. And I think it`s important to acknowledge that.

But you and I have talked about before that the risks of taking that monumental, important thing, and which is going to really benefit people, and cleaving off the parts that help the women and the people of color and the environment and the young people, cleaving that off, is that that big thing becomes the only thing left.

And so I wonder, as you, as the person who you did oppose separating them, how hopeful are you that the second half is going to get also to be a big F`ing deal?



JAYAPAL: Yes, Joy, it`s so great to see you.

And you laid it out, as you always do. And let me just start by saying the infrastructure bill really is a big deal. Trump said for four years that he was going to get infrastructure done.

REID: Poor thing.

JAYAPAL: He never got infrastructure done.

REID: Yes.

JAYAPAL: President Biden has gotten infrastructure done.

And it is a big deal. It`s -- like, for me, it`s money to restore the Puget Sound. It`s getting lead out of our -- getting clean water and getting our lead pipes replaced. It`s our bridges that are crumbling. It`s so many important things, public transit. It`s $380 million, by the way, for my state for public transit. So there`s a lot in there.

Now, we didn`t want to separate them because we didn`t want to leave anybody behind; 85 percent of the president`s agenda is in the Build Back Better act. But, Joy, because the Progressive Caucus stood up and said, we`re not leaving anybody behind, we went from having no Build Back Better Act, no negotiation, no text, no nothing, to now having a vote in the House this week.

It will be this week. It`ll be before Friday, because that was the agreement we made and the commitment we got. And then we have the president`s word that he is confident he can get 51 votes in the Senate. I heard him say today he`s hoping that can happen very quickly.

I see no reason why it can`t move in the Senate within a week or two of us sending it over to the Senate. So, hopefully, Joy, we will have a very big, fat Christmas present that is about universal child care, universal pre-K, the biggest investment in housing. You and I have talked about how that`s a racial justice issue.

One of the things that`s escaped under the radar that I wanted to bring up for you is that, within the climate change provisions, the Progressive Caucus prioritized what we call EJ-40, Environmental Justice 40, meaning 40 percent of all of the outlays for climate should go to the most disproportionately affected.

And the set-asides in Build Back Better that we were able to get are really fantastic for folks of color, indigenous people across this country, poor people across this country. So we are not only taking on climate change, but we are doing it with the values that are about centering those who have been disproportionately affected.

So we will have that vote this week, Joy. That`s what we negotiated. And I`m just so proud of the Progressive Caucus for never letting this go and not leaving anybody behind.

REID: And I want to talk about that for a minute, because people like Cori Bush and AOC are getting like the crap kicked out of them on social media, which isn`t the real world, but it`s got to hurt, because these are the people, they have been on this show, articulating why they have been taking this really firm stand.


And let me just play Cori Bush, because she`s explaining why she has taken the stand that she`s taken. She was on TV earlier today. Let`s play that.


REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): Being fiscally responsible also has to start with how you save lives.

And so that is the work. And so I`m just urging all of our colleagues to look at this and see what`s in these bills and decide humanity over profits, humanity over property of corporations, humanity over your own ambition.


REID: And just really quick, I want to play Senator Joe Manchin.

This is why there`s a lack of trust, I think, among the some progressive members of your caucus, because she`s saying, this is all about humanity, we have got to think about humanity, humanity, humanity, not profit.

Here`s Joe Manchin, the guy you all got to get -- win over in the Senate. Here he is.


QUESTION: Do you believe the argument that this -- BBB will lower inflation. Do you buy that argument?

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I really haven`t -- I haven`t heard any specifics on that one. They say it`s going to lower?

QUESTION: They say it`s going to lower inflation.

MANCHIN: I will have check on that one. I really don`t know.


REID: And you add to that the fact that much of what`s in the big infrastructure bill is going to be administered by the states.

So, if you`re in Oklahoma, or Kansas, or you`re in South Carolina, do you really believe that these Republican governors are going to distribute the benefits of the infrastructure bill in a way that`s going to help people of color? Come on, now.

So I think that`s the problem, right, is there`s a lot of having to trust the states. And you have got this man bill that`s going to employ a lot of mainly men. And then you have got the bill for the women, the women and the people of color that is like left to the side.

So do you have trust? Yes, you trust the president. Yes, you`re putting your trust in him. But do you trust the Joe Manchins of the world and the Kyrsten Sinemas of the world to do their share?

JAYAPAL: Well, look, I do. And it`s not a blind trust, right?

Like, this is something that was essentially largely pre-conferenced, this Build Back Better Act. That`s why we had to accept a pay -- a cut from the top-line number that we originally had. But what we did is, we were still able to get every single Progressive Caucus priority into the Build Back Better Act, are not as strong as we would have liked had we had more votes in the Senate, more votes in the House.

We have very slim margins. We need Joe Manchin. We need Kyrsten Sinema. We need all the progressives. We need everybody. That`s just the reality of where we are.

And what the president did was, he negotiated with Senator Sinema, with Senator Manchin. I have spoken with both of them. I believe that the vast majority of this bill is pre-conferenced and that Joe Manchin will come along, Kyrsten Sinema will come along, because we need to deliver this. It is the president`s agenda. It`s the Democratic agenda.

And most importantly, it is about humanity. It is about helping people to get what every other country in the world has on many of these things. And it`s about delivering on climate change, right? We just came back from COP 26. We said the United States is committed to reducing carbon emissions, to being a leader in climate.

This is the bill, Joy, not the infrastructure bill. This is the bill that delivers on climate. So, I think that I do feel very good about where we are. I can`t say that would have been the case six weeks ago, had we not held the line.

REID: Yes.

JAYAPAL: But what we got was, we did get the infrastructure bill passed, and we got the commitment that we would get this vote in the House this week, and then it would quickly go to the Senate.

So, look, I just think we have to continue to deliver for people, and we`re not leaving anybody behind. And that`s -- I think that`s what the Progressive Caucus has been able to do. That`s what you have been highlighting on your show. These are jobs that are going to women, to folks of color. They are good -- people talk about the infrastructure bill as a jobs bill, and it is.

It creates a lot of good union jobs. So does Build Back Better, in fact, more jobs...

REID: Yes.

JAYAPAL: ... and more living wage jobs for caregivers, for people of color, for poor people across this country, and really investments in things that are going to pay off for the long term.

REID: Yes, exactly, that you guys have taken care of the guys. Let`s take care of the women and take care of people of color in the other bill.

So we trust you, because we love having you on the show. And you`re always giving us such great information.

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, thank you so much, as always, for being here.

JAYAPAL: Thank you, Joy.

REID: Cheers.

OK, Coming up: Is Vice President Kamala Harris being set up to fail? Publicly, the White House is rallying behind Harris after reports of alleged friction in the West Wing, but do they really have her back?

We will discuss when we come back.



REID: What happens when the FOX News propaganda machine covers a black and Asian woman vice president? Sexism, with a heaping side order of birtherism and racism, of course.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: But there`s a lot we don`t know about Kamala Harris. Most people probably don`t know she really grew up in Canada. That`s where she went to high school.

She`s not from this country in that sense. By the way, how did someone who clearly is not liked by the people around her and clearly isn`t very good at her job get so high up?

Well, we know her first meaningful job in politics was given to her by her boyfriend at the time.

FMR. REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN): She sounds a lot like Meghan Markle, to be honest with you.


BACHMANN: Both of these are very entitled people who claim constant victim class. And the fact is, normal people are fed up with this, seriously fed up with this.


REID: Isn`t Ted Cruz from Canada?

Anyway, now, that is clearly FOX News trying to Hillary Clinton their next target four years before their golden god possibly runs for autocrat -- I`m sorry -- I mean president.

But, this week, we also saw reports from multiple media outlets citing dysfunction and lack of focus inside the vice president`s office and her staff. Heavy scrutiny of Harris because of her race and gender is constant. We have seen it since the former senator ran for president.

But we also know that Harris portfolio includes a lot of tough, thorny issues either blocked, pushed to the back burner, or impossible to resolve. And that says a lot more about the people around her than about Kamala Harris.

Joining me now, Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for "PBS NewsHour" and moderator of "Washington Week," and Christina Greer, associate professor of political science at Fordham University.

And, Yamiche, I will start with you.

It was like a flood of navel-gazing stories that were sort of innuendo- based and sort of leakish-based all at once, from CNN, from Politico, from "Business Insider," just all at once, in a flood yesterday.


What do you make of that? What is going on? Because the FOX News stuff is what we expect. Of course they`re going to be racist and misogynist. That`s what -- that`s just their brand. What`s happening in terms of the White House?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, "PBS NEWSHOUR": Well, it`s a great question.

And I think there are multiple ways to answer this. The first is, I know you asked me what`s going on in the White House, but we have to, in some ways, pause for birtherism 2.0, right?

REID: Hello.

ALCINDOR: Questioning whether or not -- yes, questioning -- can you not hear me?

REID: Yes, go.

ALCINDOR: Yes, like, questioning whether or not Vice President Harris is from this country, has an alliance to America, when she is an American woman who was born here, it to me is just -- it really blows my mind that we have sort of arrived back here.

We already had this fight. We already had the stupidness. Apart from that, when you talk to White House officials and when I talk to sources, there are two things going on, which is, there are Democrats who are very worried about her staff, who feel like she`s not really being supported in the right way, that her shop sort of is still dealing with sort of the aftermath of her failed run for presidential -- for president, and that there are some real -- there`s some real dysfunction there.

The second thing is -- and I talked to a source just a few minutes ago who said, when you break a glass ceiling, you are going to get cut, meaning that this is also sort of part of what happens when you rise to the top, especially when you`re the first woman vice president. You`re going to have a lot of incoming.

And, also, this person said, when you`re vice president, you get handed the stuff that is hard to do. Joe Biden also had his own issues with sort of not being able to finish and to make headway on some of the issues that he had as vice president.

But I think that, if you marry those two things, I think there is some real dysfunction, some real anger at her from her staff, some real dysfunction within the White House. But I think there also is this case where people feel like she`s being targeted because she is first.

REID: And the thing is, Christina, there`s a sense that, on the one hand, it`s obvious that, when you put a black woman, particularly a black woman with immigrant heritage, that triggers all the things on the right, right?

And it`s obvious that they always want to have another Hillary Clinton. That`s their wheelhouse is to just constantly attack some powerful woman that they are afraid might be president one day. So, again, that`s why I said that is expected. That is their brand.

But the thing that I hear from folks who love Kamala Harris and were so excited for her to be president is that they look around and they go, hey, hang on, hang on a second. How did she get handed all the things that wound up getting junked?

The White House has essentially backed off on voting rights. That`s her portfolio. The White House has essentially backed off on police reform. Tim Scott basically threw that over the side. That`s gone. That is in her portfolio. She gets handed the talking point, don`t come, and now immigrant -- supporters of immigration are attacking her.

She was echoing the White House policy, but she`s the one who got to say that. It`s like she keeps on drawing the hand of things that don`t have public support or that are impossible. Your thoughts on that?


I mean, I wrote a piece in "The New York Times" this summer that said, it`s a trap. I mean, literally, every policy issue that we have not been able to resolve as a nation, Democrats or Republicans, is on the docket of Kamala Harris, whether it`s immigration and the border, whether it`s policing, voting rights, you name it. The list goes on and on.

I essentially, said she has the portfolio of, give it to Mikey, right?


GREER: And it`s one of those things where she can`t win, I mean, literally, no matter what she does.

If she somehow makes some headway on this, there are going to be a significant number of Democrats and almost all Republicans who are going to be displeased with her. So -- and part of it is the trap of being a vice president.

But we also know she`s also a black woman in the workplace. And so she`s always had these issues of personnel talking out of school. We can talk about whether or not these are credible conversations, or if it`s just this issue of a very powerful black woman who is given a portfolio, and she`s trying to do her best, knowing that Joe Biden may or may not run.

We know that, if Joe Biden decides not to run, Kamala Harris will not be the heir apparent. We know that every single random senator, governor, member of the House, mayor, you name it, male, will try and throw his hat in the ring and leapfrog a vice president.

REID: Yes.

GREER: And we will have a pretty significant Democratic primary situation.

But I think some of -- we need to be fair. Some of these critiques may -- policy critiques -- may be something that we want to look into, especially if Joe Biden decides not to run in 2024. But we know that the attacks -- John McCain was born in Panama, as far as I`m concerned. I believe that`s the case.

REID: And Ted Cruz, ain`t he Canadian?

GREER: The birtherism 2.0.

And, obviously, she`s an immigrant of not one, but two parents. She`s a woman. She`s child-free. She`s all the things -- she`s married to a Jewish American. She`s all the things that the Republicans fear. And we see them resulting in these, like, really insidious, insulting attacks that they have had since day one.

And, unfortunately, she has to do her job, while also deflecting from that.

REID: Yes.

And, Yamiche, does the -- and I wonder, when you talk to sources, do the Democrats understand the potential for huge backlash here? Because if the black woman gets left holding the bag, they will be like, well, wow, she should have picked transportation secretary or been the attorney general, because those are the places where she could have actually shined.


Attorney general would have been a good gig. And maybe she would actually prosecute some folks and go after him, whereas what we have now.

That the backlash if she gets thrown under the bus will be huge among black women, and they need black woman to vote for them.

ALCINDOR: That`s right. That`s absolutely right.

And when I talk to Democratic sources, as well as some White House sources, they understand that who she is, as the first black woman to hold this position, as the child of immigrants, that she is the face of the Democratic base. She is, in some ways, what the Democrats talk about when they talk about the future of their party. She is this meshing of cultures.

She is someone who is experienced, who is in some ways claiming her power. The problem, though, is that, when you actually talk -- mostly, when I`m talking to pollsters, there is this issue of sort of her sort of popularity among African-Americans.

Let`s remember, there was this Democratic primary, and Joe Biden got more support among black people than she did. I mean, it`s something that you have to talk about when you talk about Vice President Harris.

REID: Yes.

ALCINDOR: So, that doesn`t mean there`s not going to be a backlash. That doesn`t mean that black women in this country aren`t like, you better treat this black woman right in office.

But there is this real, I think, conundrum that she`s going to have to deal with, when I talk to Democrats. It`s her issue to fix if she wants to be president of the United States. It is going to be something where she`s going to have to really endear herself to black people, and not just say, of course, I`m African-American. Of course, I understand and went to Howard, but, also, what are you going to do? What do you have to show for me?

REID: Yes.

ALCINDOR: Because, really, sending her to the border to say, don`t come here, and her not forcefully, at least at the beginning, talking about sort of the Haitian migrant crisis and other things that I think left a bad taste in some people`s mouths, that...

REID: Yes.

ALCINDOR: That really can hamstring her, even though, of course, she did push back as those images.

But I think there`s some people who want her out there more talking more about black people`s issues.

REID: Yes.

Well, we shall see. This is going to be a conversation, because this is a conversation people are having, at least in my circles. So it`ll be interesting as it continues.

Yamiche Alcindor, Christina Greer, you guys are great. Thank you very much.

And up next: Time is running out for Oklahoma death row inmate Julius Jones, with the governor so far refusing to grant clemency in a case riddled with problems right from the start.

Jones` mom joins me to talk about the case ahead of Thursday`s scheduled execution.

Stay with us.



REID: There is not much more that you can say about how different the criminal justice system is for white and black people in America than if you look at the Kyle Rittenhouse and Julius Jones cases.

On one side, Rittenhouse has lucked out with a judge who seems to openly favor his team. On the other side is Julius Jones, tried for murder more than 20 years ago, and who barely even got a defense, with a lawyer who called zero witnesses, provided zero defense arguments, and has since admitted that he was inexperienced and basically had no idea what he was doing.

In both cases, only one black juror was chosen. But while there is a very good chance Rittenhouse will get acquitted, Julius Jones faces execution in just two days. Jones, who is 42 years old, was convicted of murder and then sentenced to death in 2002.

But his team says evidence that would have exonerated him was never presented to the jury, with CNN reporting that several jurors have come forward and indicated that this evidence might have changed the outcome of the case.

The case is so murky that a parole board has called for clemency twice, suggesting that Jones may be innocent, with parole board chair Adam Luck staying in September: "I believe, in death penalty cases, there should be no doubt. And, put simply, I have doubts in this case. I cannot ignore those doubts, especially when the stakes are life and death."

This comes as Oklahoma`s zeal for execution is facing renewed scrutiny after it botched its first execution after a six-year moratorium. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt would have to be the one to make the call to stop Jones` execution.

Jones` family and supporters went to Stitt`s office yesterday, asking for a meeting, which they didn`t get, though the governor has met recently with Jones` legal team.

I`m joined now by Madeline Davis-Jones, Julius Jones` mother, and Mara Schiavocampo, journalist and host of the "Run Tell This" podcast.

And, Mara, I`m going to start with you, my friend, because you alerted me to this case. I had heard the name, seen it on Twitter a couple of times, but didn`t know the story.

It`s not a very well-known case. Walk us through how Mr. Jones has gone through this ordeal and what kind of a trial he received.

MARA SCHIAVOCAMPO, HOST, "RUN TELL THIS": Yes, so this is a case where we have the really unique circumstance of the parole board now having voted not once, but twice to commute his sentence from death to life in prison.

So, why did they take that extraordinary step? What led them to that? Well, there are a lot of doubts about Julius` guilt in this case. For one, you have a college student -- Julius was a college student at the time that this crime was committed -- who had an alibi. He said he was home having dinner with his family at the time that this crime took place.

And his family has corroborated that alibi. He did not match an eyewitness description of the shooter. And one of his co-defendants who actually took a plea deal in exchange for his testimony reportedly later confessed to others that he was the actual shooter. And that man walked free after serving 15 years.

So, you have this extraordinary circumstance where all of these doubts not only led the parole board to their vote twice now, but also the victim`s own girlfriend, who was with him at the hospital as he laid dying from that fatal gunshot wound, testified in Julius` defense at the most recent parole board hearing.

That`s how extreme these circumstances are. And yet, here we are two days out from the scheduled execution, and the governor has not yet even responded to his own board`s recommendation to commute this sentence.

And it`s important to note that commuting the sentence is not a pardon. It doesn`t notify the jury`s verdict. What it does do is make sure that an innocent man is not executed.

REID: Yes.

And, thank you, Ms. Madeline Davis-Jones. Thank you for being here. And I want to apologize for forcing you to have to relive this live on TV.


But talk to us a little bit about your son. What is his state of mind? What is his state of hope at this point?

MADELINE DAVIS-JONES, MOTHER OF JULIUS JONES: Well, his state of mind, at this point, he`s hopeful. He believes.

And the last time I talked to him, he was in good spirits. He encouraged me. And he`s just trusting and believing in the system and in the lord, just believing that the truth will set him free.

REID: You wanted to speak with the governor. He did not speak with you? What would you like to say to him if he -- if the governor was willing to talk to you?

DAVIS-JONES: At this point in time, I just like for him to look at, as the House told him, to look at the facts, to actually look at them, and to choose truth, grace and mercy on my son, because my son is innocent.

And every morning, I can wake up. And when I go to sleep at night, I know where he was. He did not do this.

REID: We have a tape of Mr. Jones at his clemency hearing.

Do we have that? Do we have the tape of that? Can we play it?

I don`t -- OK, I don`t hear it, but I will just read what he said.

He said: "I want the family to know that I do recognize their loss. I hope that, at some point, they can heal and to keep cherishing their loved one, I hope this board gets the chance to really examine who I am and not the fear of what people have been talking about me. This is not about hatred. This is about the truth. And the truth is that I did not shoot that man. I did not kill Mr. Paul Howell. I was not involved in any way. I wasn`t present. I didn`t even know that he had been killed until after the fact."

Mara, you have been covering this case for a really long time. And I wonder if there is an outcry locally, because we haven`t seen it nationally, about Mr. Jones, leading so close to this execution.

SCHIAVOCAMPO: Yes, there has been a tremendous amount of public outcry. A lot of it has been focused on the immediate area where he is serving his sentence and where they`re preparing to carry out that execution.

But it is starting to get some more national attention, thanks to a lot of celebrity attention. Kim Kardashian this morning tweeted extensively about the circumstances.

But I don`t think, Joy, that it`s getting the attention that it deserves to get...

REID: Yes.

SCHIAVOCAMPO: ... when you have a circumstance where the parole board has taken the really unique step of voting to commute a sentence twice.

And the governor has not yet responded, and we are two days out from the scheduled execution. It is a really extreme circumstance. There is no reason that Julius Jones` name should not be trending right now.

REID: Yes.

SCHIAVOCAMPO: People should be talking about this.

REID: I hope that people will talk about it. Please tweet about this. Please talk about this. Please call that governor.

Governor Stitt, this is something that you could do to show your humanity. Please do not kill this man. It`s wrong.

I want to thank you, Ms. Madeline Davis-Jones. Thank you so much.

Mara Schiavocampo, thank you for bringing this case to our attention.

And we will be right back.

DAVIS-JONES: Thank you.

REID: Thank you -- with tonight`s "Absolute Worst."

Don`t go anywhere.



REID: The House GOP Conference had a meeting today where several outspoken Republicans dressed down 13 members of their caucus that have done something that they find unforgivable, unacceptable.

No, those 13 Republicans didn`t participate in the insurrection, nor did they pose an active threat to democracy. No, they are the 13 Republicans who supported the infrastructure bill, voting for better roads and bridges in their congressional districts. And for that, they`re in the hot seat for daring to give Joe Biden a win that everyone gets to drive on and use.

The House Freedom Caucus continues to valve retaliation against them, even introducing a bill to remove one of them, Congresswoman John Katko, from his position on the Homeland Security Committee. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy even referred to the motion -- referred the motion to the Republican Steering Committee.

But he also said in that meeting today that those 13 members will not be punished by the party because -- quote -- "Now is not the time."

Hmm. Do you know else the Republicans aren`t going to punish? Paul Gosar. After nine days of complicit silence, Trump`s little Kevin finally spoke publicly about the appalling video Gosar tweeted out to his base of right- wing extremists. That`s the video in which Gosar indulges a sick fantasy of murdering a Democratic colleague, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

It was inflammatory enough for Twitter to label it hateful content. But all little Kevin had to say was -- quote -- "He took the video down and made a statement that he doesn`t support violence to anybody. I called him when I heard about the video."

Conspicuously absent from McCarthy`s statement was any actual rebuke of Gosar for his conduct, not a word. In fact, behind closed doors, McCarthy appeared to defend Gosar and his decision not to punish him.

According to Politico -- a Politico, McCarthy told his members that they should be united on this, falsely claiming that Democrats don`t punish their own. In other words, McCarthy defended Gosar and his violent fantasy porn more vigorously than he defended the 13 Republicans who simply want better roads for their districts.

And the thing is, it should be easy to condemn Paul Gosar. After all, he`s one of the congressmen implicated in the planning of January 6. He`s defended the insurrectionist as -- quote -- "peaceful patriots." He`s openly cavorted with known white supremacists on more than one occasion, and he`s tweeted memes used by neo-Nazis.

But, no, no, no, the House GOP refuses to hold Gosar accountable. And that`s why the Democrats are voting on a bill tomorrow to not only censure Gosar, but also to remove him from the House Oversight Committee, according to NBC News.

While Republicans give Gosar a free pass in Washington, Liz Cheney is being exiled from her party in her own state. Over the weekend, the Wyoming state Republican Party voted to stop recognizing Cheney as a Republican, not because she`s not conservative enough or even Trumpy enough -- she has a 90-plus percent pro-Trump voting record -- but, rather, because she opposes the big lie and thinks elections should count.

It`s all damning evidence of just how backwards and weird and extreme this Republican Party has become. They actually are more in favor of someone tweeting out a meme killing one of their colleagues. They think that`s OK, but voting for infrastructure is bad and unacceptable, because that goes against the party line.

And that is why they`re the "Absolute Worst."

And that is tonight`s REIDOUT.