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Transcript: The ReidOut, 12/15/21

Guests: Josh Shapiro, Mary Trump, Judd Legum, Elizabeth Warren


Nationwide review finds minimal voter fraud; GOP pushes false claims of voter fraud; Utah lawmaker tried to obtain personal voter info; GOP lawmaker proposed an aggressive strategy for overturning 2020 election; AP review finds 475 cases of potential voter fraud nationwide; Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers subpoena personal voter info; House asks DOJ to charge Mark Meadows with contempt; Trump loyalists threaten American democracy; Don Jr. texts reveal about-face on January 6



ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: That may sound logical that U.S. murders would be linked to firearms, but that same article notes in 2020, for example, there were more homicides linked to guns, 77 percent, than ever before. It`s something many Americans are living through right now and we`re going to update you tonight on those latest facts and we will stay on the story.

Thanks for watching THE BEAT. THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid starts now. Hi, Joy.

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

All right, good evening, everyone. We have a lot to get to tonight, including the latest on the January 6th investigation following last night`s House contempt vote against Mark Meadows. In a little while, I will talk with Mary Trump about the pathology of people like Meadows who are seemingly willing to give up everything to show fealty to her uncle. And later in the hour, I`ll be joined by Senator Elizabeth Warren who today called for expanding the size of the Supreme Court in response to the court`s extremism. I`ll also ask her about Spaceman Elon Musk picking a Twitter fight with her over the notion of taxing billionaires.

But we begin tonight with the big lie, but more specifically how big the big lie is. And, okay, let`s say that you had to guess how many instances of voter fraud occurred during the 2020 election. Just go ahead and take a guess. Maybe a million? Well, you`d be off, way off. Okay. Hundreds of thousands? Still cold. Okay, what about 1,000? Nope. Because the number of proven instances of deliberate fraud committed by voters in the last presidential election is actually fewer than 475, a number that would have made no difference, zilch, zero, nada, in the outcome of a race in which nearly 160 million people voted. That`s according to the Associated Press, which did a months` long review in six battle ground states defeated by Trump. Again, fewer than 475 cases of potential voter fraud in a country where nearly 160 million people voted. You don`t have to be good at math to do the math.

The review encompassed more than 300 local offices. An election clerk for one of those offices in Milwaukee County, where five people statewide have been charged with fraud out of nearly 3.3 million ballots said voter fraud is virtually non-existent, about the same odds as getting hit by lightning. Per the AP, the cases were isolated. There was no wide spread coordinated deceit. There was no collusion intended to rig the voting. The election was not rigged. You know that. I know that. Even the Cyber Ninjas, who contaminated Arizona ballots with their grubby little cyber hands concluded that President Biden won the state by a greater margin than originally certified.

The big lie is exactly that, a big lie. And yet, it is the organizing principle of the Republican Party right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can`t move on to 2022 until we fully investigate all of the Democrat cheating from 2020.

The time for civility is over. The time for bipartisanship is over. Now is the time for fighters.

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): We aren`t going to let this election be stolen by Joe Biden and the democrats. President Trump won by a landslide.

GOV. GLENN YOUNGKIN (R-VA): I grew up in a world where you have an audit every year. In businesses, you have an audit. So, let`s just audit the voting machines, publish it so everybody can see it.


REID: Okay. That last guy who spoke there, Virginia Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin, who`s really a MAGAstan in sheep`s cloting, turns out his underaged son was caught trying to cast a ballot twice on Election Day despite being too young to vote. And there were no consequences, of course, no cries of voter fraud by the right or by Fox News and yet, Crystal Mason was sentenced to five years in prison for illegally voting. She said that she did not know that she was ineligible to vote due to her prior conviction. Mason became a casualty in the Republican war against fake voter fraud even as plenty of Republicans are getting caught casting illegal votes, like two of the three residents of the Republican-filled The Villages community in Florida who were arrested on charges of voting more than once in the 2020 general election.

And to be clear, voter fraud is extremely rare. It`s also generally detected. But similar to the anti-vax movement, the church of the big lie has metastasized, infecting virtually every aspect of American political life today. That danger hit Pennsylvania where a subpoena demanding access to the personal information 9 million voters went before a commonwealth court. My next guest was there and he`s fighting to strike that subpoena down.

Joining me now is Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is a candidate for Pennsylvania governor.

And, Attorney General Shapiro, let`s just get to this.


This is a Republican effort. They want 9 million people`s partial social security numbers and driver`s license numbers. For what possible purpose could these Republican lawmakers need people`s personal data?

ATTORNEY GENERAL JOSH SHAPIRO (D-PA): Well, they were asked that question in court today. What was the purpose of needing that data? And not only did they not articulate a purpose in court, they made clear that they don`t feel as though they need a purpose.

The other incredible admission that they made in court today is that they acknowledged there is a real risk of those 9 million Pennsylvania voters if that information is turned over to a third party. But in response to that, they said it`s a risk that they think is worth taking. Well, go ask the 9 million Pennsylvanians who could lose their social security numbers to a third party.

We have a constitutional and statutory right to privacy here in Pennsylvania just because a group of Republican state senators want to suck up to the former president, then give him a right to go around the law in the commonwealth and compromise the privacy of Pennsylvania voters.

REID: Yes. I mean, just -- the producers put this up just a second ago. I`ll put it right back up again. There is a guy from Utah who is trying to do the same thing. This is -- the committee, this -- investigating January 6th, divulged a November 4th messages when an unidentified Republican member Congress to Mark Meadows, who is the former chief of staff to the president, and this is before states were finished counting ballots, proposing an aggressive strategy which Republican-controlled legislators in your state but also in Georgia and North Carolina and other states would send their own electors instead of potential Biden electors chosen by the voters.

It feels like where this is going, this guy in Utah, who is doing the same thing, who is a former Utah state lawmaker, tried to get the personal information, voting history of every single registered voter in the entire state and then he had to resign but tried to leverage his position as an elected -- there is sort of -- it all kind of goes together, right?

Republicans seem to want to question the elections even in states Trump won, like Utah. They want people`s personal data. They want to turn it over to some Cyber Ninjas type company and say that there was fraud. But then they also want to do this other thing where they want to say because of that fraud we claim we found, we want to negate the electors. Isn`t that the endgame here in Pennsylvania, so that next time Republicans can send their own slate of electors rather than whoever actually wins?

SHAPIRO: Absolutely. And, look, it bears repeating. We had a free and fair, safe and secure election here in Pennsylvania. There were a handful of incidents of voter fraud. By the way, Joy, they were trying to cast an extra ballot for Donald Trump in those incidents here in Pennsylvania.

But your broader point is spot on, and that is all of these things together. First, the lies, then the litigation. And I would note that there were over 40 different lawsuits that the former president, his enablers filed here in Pennsylvania. We were undefeated in protecting the right to vote here in the commonwealth.

But they didn`t stop there. The lies and the litigation led to the violent insurrection on January 6th and then they left our nation`s Capitol and didn`t stop there and instead brought the fight to the states. And that`s where the fight to protect our democracy is.

And I believe Pennsylvania is the epicenter of that fight where they`re passing voter suppression bills to make it harder for people to vote, particularly people of color to vote. And then they`re trying to do these sham audits. And today was really the first day in Pennsylvania where the rhetoric didn`t work anymore because in a court of law, they needed to produce facts and evidence and it was clear they had absolutely none.

But the thing is this is not the final chapter, Joy. It`s going to keep going because their ultimate goal here is to undermine faith in our democracy. Undermine our voting systems. Remove people from the conversation that we need to have about important issues like education and climate and job creation in this country. Their goal is to subtract. My goal is to make sure every legal eligible voter gets to participate in our democracy.

REID: Republicans in your state have made it clear that they don`t want to run straight ahead elections. They want to run elections that they always win. If you become governor, do you expect and do Republicans have enough power in the state legislature because they tried this in other states to try to undermine your authority as governor, to try to undermine the secretary of state`s authority and to essentially try to render Pennsylvania elections moot?

SHAPIRO: Let be clear, when I`m governor, I`ll appoint a secretary of state that follows the law, that upholds the integrity of our election and that has us prepared for the presidential election and others in 2024. I also won`t hesitate to use my veto pen to stop any efforts to undermine our democracy.

Look, Joy, I wash the Congress of the United States, more precisely the Senate of the United States, would actually do something to protect voting rights in this country.


But in the absence of that, the battle is going to be in the states and it`s going to be governors like, God willing, me in Pennsylvania who are going to be on the front lines of protecting the rights to vote and I`ll do everything in my power to ensure that every legal eligible vote is counted and to make sure that people participate in our democracy and aren`t excluded.

REID: And, you know, the state of Georgia is investigating what seems to be very direct and there is plenty evidence that Mark Meadows knew about it, the former chief of staff to the president knew about it. The president obviously was out there saying, I just need 11,000 votes, I just want you to help me out. Is there a similar potential case in your state? Was the attempted interference in the election in Pennsylvania after the fact, in your mind, in any way, criminal?

SHAPIRO: I don`t think this is the proper form for me to answer that directly, but what I will say is that we saw actions by eight of nine Republican members of Congress in Pennsylvania just moments after the violent insurrection was cleared who went to the floor of the House of Representatives and lied, lied about the election here in Pennsylvania.

And in the evidence that`s come out in the months since, we learned that some of those members of Congress were engaging behind the scenes with the former president, with his enablers to try to do other things to undermine our democracy. They should absolutely be held to account, potentially in a court of law, certainly by the Congress of the United States. There should be sanctions for them.

It`s one of the reasons why I`ve gone hard after the lawyers, like Rudy Giuliani and others, who came into our court, came into our houses of democracy and lied and used those lies to put fourth efforts to try and chip away at people`s faith in the systems. I`m very proud of the fact, through our efforts, we were able to take away Rudy Giuliani`s ability to practice law and that we`re continuing to work to sanction the other lawyers. Whether you`re a lawyer or lawmaker, you should be held to account for your conduct that undermined our democracy.

REID: We`re out of time but, very quickly, do you know of any Pennsylvania members of Congress who are among the unnamed members of Congress who were communicating with Mark Meadows in ways that might have implicated them in the attempted coup on January 6th?

SHAPIRO: It would seem to me that the January 6th committee has a beat on that. I think they`ll put forth the evidence when they`re prepared to do that.

REID: All right. Well, I had to try. Thank you very much. I really appreciate you. Pennsylvania Attorney Josh Shapiro, thank you very much for being here. I appreciate you.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, Mary Trump joins us on to share her insights on the weird pathology of people who are willing to give up everything for Donald Trump.

Plus, shadowy investors pump more than $1.5, billion into Trump`s media tech company which as far as anyone can tell, doesn`t actually exist.

And later, Senator Elizabeth Warren will be here to respond to Elon Musk`s latest attacks because how dare she suggest someone that rich actually pay its fair share of taxes? How rude.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: The U.S. House of Representatives voted last night to refer Donald Trump`s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, for charges of criminal contempt. That means the ball is officially in the Department of Justice`s court loving it to Attorney General Merrick Garland to decide whether to prosecute the one-time congressman that could face up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

The editorial board of Meadows` home state newspaper, The News&Observer, is now calling him an embarrassment to North Carolina. They write, it is long been clear that Meadows is a Trump sycophant. Now the question is whether his eagerness to please included breaking the law.

That brings into focus this weird pathology of Trump`s most devoted servants, from Manafort to Allen Weisselberg to Steve Bannon. Who are these theoretical men so willing to break the law to protect Trump? Meadows hasn`t even known Trump that long, just five years, and yet, he`s willing to risk his reputation and even his freedom to placate his former boss.

In contrast, nearly 300 other witnesses have cooperated with the investigation, according to the select committee. Among them are two organizers at the so-called Stop the Steal Rally`s Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lawrence, they told RollingStone they are planning on naming names. They said January 6th shattered the illusion of who they thought Trump was. Stockton told the magazine it almost feels like it`s the same feeling that you get after you`ve got conned or scammed, where you initially don`t want to accept it. He later admitted, we bought the B.S.

With me now is Mary Trump, Donald Trump`s niece and host of the podcast, The Mary Trump Show. Congratulations on the podcast.

And I want to ask you because I want to start with your cousin. Because one of the interesting revelations that we saw about the people who were emailing, sort of desperately emailing mark Meadows, saying please get Donald Trump to stop the madness on January 6th, one of the interesting ones was Donald Trump Jr., who, A, didn`t email his father directly, he too had to go through mark Meadows. What do you make of that? He`s -- let`s play it. Let`s show them real quick. This is him with Mark Meadows. This is cut four. Let`s play it real quick.


DONALD TRUMP JR., FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP`S SON: Mark Meadows an actual fighter, one of the few, a real fighter. Thank you, Mark. Kimberly?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. How does it feel to do the right thing, fight?

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): One of the president`s sons texted Mr. Meadows -- quote -- "He`s got to condemn this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough."


Quote: "We need an Oval Office address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand."


REID: What is that about?

MARY TRUMP, AUTHOR, "THE RECKONING: AMERICA`S TRAUMA AND FINDING A WAY TO HEAL": Well, obviously, they were really happy with how things were going until it got out of control, and they wanted to distance themselves from it.

Donnie is a weak person. And this always amazes me, because I always thought that Donald was the weakest person I have ever known in my life. But it turns out that he has a very real skill in attracting even weaker people to him, which is, I guess, what happens with bullies who are given more power than they merit, unfortunately.

So I think that whole thing was just Donnie realizing that he had made the wrong bet, and also recognizing that he holds no sway with his father, and that he was not going to have the backbone to deliver a message to Donald that he knew his father did not want to hear.

REID: You know, I mean, and I think about -- it`s a bit pathetic. I`m sorry, Donald Trump Jr. -- I mean, because there is this sense that he will kind of do almost anything to get his father`s favor, which he seems to only shower on Ivanka and not on anyone else.

But what does he get out of it? Like, what is he getting out of any of this?

M. TRUMP: He made his decision a long time ago to go all in, to -- instead of being an independent person, with a life independent of his father, he was going to toe the party line and run the errands and be there as a supporting character, in order to be at least adjacent to the money and power.

We see how that`s worked out for him, because you`re right. I don`t think he`s gotten anything out of it. And very much like his father the people who are his supporters are people that he wouldn`t be seen dead with outside of politics, right?

What is more worrisome is that it extends far beyond Donnie to almost the entirety of the Republican Party at this point.

REID: Yes.

Well, and that is where I want to go next, because -- let`s say a couple of. Let`s play -- this is five and then one.

Let`s start with Lindsey Graham. This is a man who is an entire United States senator who just got reelected. He got six years to play. Donald Trump can`t touch up. Here`s him. Let`s play him first, and then Kevin McCarthy, the man who wants to be speaker of the House of Representatives.

This is the two of them doing the two-step.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): All I can say is, count me out. Enough is enough.

I would just say to my Republican colleagues, can we move forward without President Trump? The answer is no.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The president bears responsibility for Wednesday`s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.

These facts require immediate action by President Trump.

What I talked to President Trump about, I was the first person to contact him when the riots was going on. He didn`t see it. What he ended the call was saying -- telling me he will put something out to make sure to stop this. And that`s what he did. He put a video out later.


REID: These are people with independent power, but they are terrified, it seems, of Donald Trump and willing to still do his bidding when he can`t do anything to them, people like the Sean Hannitys of the world. He`s got to show. He`s rich. He drives on private jets. He doesn`t need Donald Trump.

So, the weak people, the people in the family that are afraid maybe they will be thrown out, I guess I get it. But what about these powerful men. Andrew Clyde, he`s an entire congressman, who was barricading the door, he was so terrified of the people who were trying to get in, who then later said, oh, it was just a tourist visit.

You ever barricaded the door against tourists? What about the powerful people, ostensibly, who give in? What is that about?

M. TRUMP: It`s complicated. And it`s not about any one thing.

Obviously, as I said earlier, some of them are just weak. And people who are weak in that way crave external power to give them some sense of identity. So, again, it says a lot about them that the person, the powerful person they choose to cling to is somebody like Donald Trump.

On the other hand, we also have people who are -- just have authoritarian personalities. They are followers. They like to be the us in the us vs. them, right? And Donald is really good at manipulating that.


I think finally, though -- and this is the most troubling issue that we`re facing in this context, because I believe -- I believe that so-called Trumpism has moved beyond Donald, and it does -- the movement doesn`t need him anymore.

And yet the movement is about undoing our democracy, because Republicans don`t want democracy. If democracy in America is strengthened, they lose.

REID: Yes.

M. TRUMP: So, they are deciding -- they are making a very calculated choice here to go all in on the big lie that the election was stolen, the second big lie that January 6 was no big deal.

They are going all in on brazening out the accusations that are being thrown at them based on factual evidence, based on documentary evidence. And that`s an instance in which I don`t believe they`re afraid of Donald. They`re just doing what he`s been doing his whole life, and getting away with it.

REID: You`re absolutely right.

I mean, I think about Mitch McConnell, who`s clearly not afraid, right? He showed sort of utter contempt, openly seeming contempt, but he`s willing to use Trumpism and that sort of ghosts of Donald Trump to get what he really wanted, which was to basically take over the Supreme Court and put it in the hands of the far right.

And these guys, they`re willing to do anything. You`re right. Most of them probably despise Donald Trump, but they`re going to use him and his base to get what they want, which is power. It`s frightening.

Mary Trump, thank you for always coming and just being so open and blunt. We need it in this world today. Thank you.

And still ahead: Orange Julius Caesar hires a man who once sued a fake cow to run his alleged new media tech company, which is obviously just another grifty boondoggle.

What could possibly go wrong?

We will be right back.



REID: Last October, the 45th president, who lost to President Joe Biden and was banished from social media for inciting a violent attack on our democracy, decided that he would create his own social media company called the Trump Media and Technology Group, because once a grifter always a grifter.

The company is supposed to launch a social media app called Truth Social. Yes, you heard that right. Jabba the orange, known for his prolific history of lying, is launching an app that will seek to dispense the truth through and stand up to big tech, like Twitter and Facebook, who won`t let Trumpy play.

Judd Legum, author of the independent newsletter "Popular Information," has peeled back the layers on Trump`s latest fraudulent venture. And, oh, boy is it a crock.

Now, it shouldn`t surprise you that, like most things that Trumpolini puts his nubby little fingers on, this company seems to be a bit like a yucky sandwich, full of baloney. Legum notes the company claims to have used a proprietary technology to build out their apps. That basically means that it was supposed to create an original social code to build out the infrastructure for their site.

Well, that ain`t true. As usual, the only product they have, Trump seems to have ripped off from somebody else`s company. And the people he ripped off are looking into their legal options if he doesn`t cease and desist.

Legum also points out that, a month after announcing the launch of the company, TMTG promised to host a soft launch of the site. They wanted to show off all the fancy bells and whistles that they developed. Well, that didn`t happen.

Nearly three months later, this is what the site looks like. You can -- you can see it here, but you cannot click on any of the links, because they don`t work. More troubling is the fact that the company does not publicly disclose who are the diverse group of institutional investors funding this venture.

That`s kind of important, given the fact that the man who did his best to shred American democracy wants back into the White House. So, call me old- fashioned, but it might be good to know who is funneling cash into his company and directly into his pockets.

And here`s the kicker. Guess what social media expert he`s hired to run this company. Soon-to-be-former California Congressman Devin Nunes, who knows considerably less about running a tech company than the fake cow that he sued, who actually is pretty boss on Twitter, especially at clowning Devin Nunes.

Joining me now. Judd Legum, founder and author of the independent newsletter "Popular Information."

Judd, your thread was epic about this new social media company. I have to put it in scare quotes, because it doesn`t exist. But all -- when I started reading just the first tweet, my first question was, how was Trump getting money off of this? So, please answer that, because Trump is just getting money off of this, right?


I mean, there`s a lot of money involved. In fact, if you look at the current imputed valuation, what it will be worth when all these deals closed, it`s over $10 billion already. And it`s through these things that you might have heard about in the news called a SPAC, Special Purpose Acquisition Company, essentially a blank check company that exists to take another company public.

The interesting thing here is, it`s a shell company, which is now taking another company which is little more than a shell public. So there`s very little there. There`s no technology, as you mentioned. There`s no customers. There`s no revenue.

Before we learned about Devin Nunes, there was no staff that had been identified publicly. We only knew a few people by their first names. So, despite the fact that there`s not much behind it, Trump is poised to make a huge profit on this, really on the backs of retail investors, who have poured money into this stock since it went public, based on, presumably, their affinity to Trump.


REID: And just to make clear, so you have two kinds of investors.

You have like the original investors, the people who are the sort of board of director level, big-time investors, who put lots of money. We don`t know who they all are.

But if this SPAC company takes over this shell of a pretend social media company, and then they decide to flip it and immediately sell, all the institutional original investors would get their money. But the little guy, the little MAGA person that`s responding to Trump`s e-mails asking them to buy a red hat, those people who put in little bits of money would be stuck with the bag, right, because those little people...

LEGUM: That`s right.

REID: And, apparently, those include Marjorie Taylor Greene, right?

Marjorie Taylor Greene put a bunch of that money -- she`s on the little investment side.

LEGUM: That`s right.

The institutional investors, whoever they were, the people behind this SPAC, they paid about $10 a share for a portion of this company. It`s now trading, now that it`s -- now that these shares are trading public and people know that it`s going to merge, it`s planning on merging early next year with the Trump media company, it`s now trading today at about $50.

So, that means that they`re -- the retail investors are now paying about five times. Then, what Trump did -- and this was really remarkable -- is he got another huge institutional investor or investors -- we don`t know their identity -- we may learn them at some point -- to kick in another billion dollars.

And the deal that he cut was, you will get as many shares of this stock as 40 percent off the retail price of the stock. So, it`s really just designed to allow these institutional investors to come in, give Trump the billion dollars, and then flip those shares immediately, which isn`t the way it normally works, but they can immediately flip those shares into the public market and collect a 40 percent premium.

So, everyone -- all the big-time people and Trump look like they`re in for a big payday. The retail investors are not looking so good.

REID: I mean, this sounds like a lot of what Trump did.

I mean, his company, which if you watch "The Apprentice," you thought it was this big company -- it was like 14 people in an office building and they`re basically signing licensing deals and putting Trump`s name on things. They get a lot of cash, or they`re like, we`re going to sell you all these beautiful condos, and there`s no condo.

Like, it feels like this is sort of Trump -- sort of typical Trump. But my question, is it legal? Because Trump got away with doing a lot of things like not paying taxes for a long time. Some of that`s catching up. Is what he`s doing legal?

Because I know there is an investigation, at least one investigation, including the SEC, about whether this stock-flipping is actually legit.

LEGUM: Well, the SEC is investigating, and I -- and there are some technicalities that they`re concerned about.

I think the reality is -- and this is what it`s exposing -- is that the regulations around SPACs and how this whole thing operates are very weak.

REID: Yes.

LEGUM: And Gary Gensler, who`s the SEC commissioner, came out and said that.

So, I don`t know if any of these investigations will go anywhere, just because you can get away with almost anything. I mean, if you look at the investor report that was put together for this company, it says almost nothing. It basically says, Netflix makes a lot of money. Disney+ makes a lot of money. Facebook makes a lot of money. If we just created a network that was a quarter of the size of those, we`d also make a lot of money.

But there`s nothing that explains, how do you get from A to B?

REID: How?


REID: It`s amazing.

You can get people to literally invest in anything, as you said, if you can get people that are dumb enough put money in. But the dumb people are not the people who are the original investors. They`re going to get their money back. And Trump is obviously going to get a lot of money, going to get a billion dollars for himself.

It`s the little Marjorie Taylor Greenes who are throwing their money in there who are going to get left holding the bag. But she`s doing what she wanna.

Judd Legum, thank you very much. Thank you for the reporting that you did on this.

Everybody should check out "Popular Info."

Earlier today, Senator Elizabeth Warren called for expanding the Supreme Court, arguing that it has become extremist and a threat to our fundamental rights.

She joins me next to discuss that, as well as her Twitter fight with the richest man in the world over, what else, paying taxes.

But, before we go to break, a quick update on the case of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis cop convicted of murdering George Floyd earlier this year.

Today, Chauvin pleaded guilty to federal charges of violating Floyd`s civil rights. Federal prosecutors are asking for a sentence of 20 to 25 years on the new charges, which would run concurrently to the 22.5-year sentence he`s already received -- he`s already serving.

Members of the Floyd family, including his brother Philonise, were in the courtroom today and later spoke with the media.


PHILONISE FLOYD, BROTHER OF GEORGE FLOYD: We came here, just like we did before. We just wanted accountability, because we can never have justice because we can never get George back.



REID: We will be right back.


REID: "TIME" magazine has named Elon Musk person of the year, which is actually an insult to any number of people who should have been named person of the year, because Elon Musk is -- I mean, he`s the worst.

His company Tesla`s trillion-dollar market value well exceeds its revenue. It only reached its first full-year profitability last year, has long relied on sales of emissions credits to keep its bottom line afloat, and was nearly -- and was recently ordered to pay more than $100 million for a racist hostile work environment.

But, this year, Musk leapfrogged the other billionaire space cadet, Amazon`s Jeff Bezos, becoming the world`s richest person. He`s also opposed to the Democrats` Build Back Better bill that would help women and children families. And he wants to get rid of all government subsidies, like the ones that helped him build his empire.


But Musk isn`t just the world`s richest person. He`s one of the most thin- skinned people on social media. And, this week, he tried to come for Senator Elizabeth Warren, who tweeted: "Let`s change the rigged tax code, so that the person of the year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else."

I mean, the senator is correct. This year, ProPublica got receipts. Its investigation found that, in 2018, Musk paid nothing in federal income taxes and less than $70,000 in 2015 and 2017.

Well, Elon wasn`t happy, so he did what he always did and stomped his little feet and insulted Senator Warren, calling her an angry mom and referring to her as Senator Karen.

So, for so many reasons, being a freeloader and a selfish and disrespectful one, and for misappropriating black vernacular for misogynistic purposes, Elon Musk is the "Absolute Worst."

Meanwhile, Senator Warren has better things to do than fight with Junior Birdman on Twitter. In a "Boston Globe" op-ed, Senator Warren called for expanding the Supreme Court by four or more seats, writing that the current court threatens the democratic foundations of our nation.

Joining me now is Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

And, Senator, I`m going to go ahead and -- well, let me first play Pramila Jayapal, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Congressman -- and Senator Sherrod Brown.

Here was their thoughts on Elon Musk being person of the year. Take a look.

Oh, I will tell you what they said.

It says: "It`s time for Elon Musk to pay his fair share in taxes."

Sherrod Brown said: "A billionaire who`s been found guilty of illegal union busting by the National Labor Relations Board should probably not be `TIME`S person of the year.

So, those were their thoughts.

I want to just give you an opportunity to respond to Elon Musk attacking you on social media.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): The world`s richest freeloader evidently has a very thin skin.

But you know the part that really makes me angry about this? It`s on behalf of every public school teacher, every waitress, every computer programmer, every street cleaner who actually paid taxes. And that means they paid more than Elon Musk did in federal income taxes.

And that`s just not right. And it means the system is broken. I, along with many others, am trying to fix that.

But the days when these guys not only get to rake it all in, but then rub everybody else`s nose in it, while they head off into outer space and declare how they did this all on their own, when they were subsidized by the federal government and subsidized by every waitress and by every public school teacher who paid their taxes, this is wrong.

And Elon Musk needs to eat a big dish of that.

REID: He needs to probably use his big money and by himself some self- esteem, because apparently he gets sad when people say mean things about him being -- not paying taxes.

Let`s talk about the Supreme Court. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who I believe has become the conscience of this court...


REID: ... she made a statement about what they`re doing when it comes to abortion rights.

And she said: "Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?" And she says, "I don`t see how that`s possible."

You have called for expanding the Supreme Court and called it essentially corrupt. Explain, first of all, why you think it should be expanded and whether you think it`s possible to expand it, given the way the Senate is now

WARREN: I didn`t come to this easy.

The problem we have got is first that Mitch McConnell hijacked this court. He stole a Supreme Court seat, so that President Obama didn`t get to name someone. And then he crammed through a nominee just weeks before President Biden was elected.

But this Supreme Court`s response to that has not been to try to restore its own integrity, to try to put some balance back in the court, but instead to lean into the extremism.

And so now we have got a court -- it`s not just one opinion. We have got a court that, over time, is taking out the basic notion of the rule of law, the idea that we decide something, and we pretty much stick with that. It takes a long time before we make change, but not for this court.

This court is there to undercut long-established rules that protect unions, to take away people`s right to their day in court, to take away voting rights. And now we have watched them. They`re right on the edge of saying in basically the Roe vs. Wade decision, nope, we`re just going to turn that around.

This court has lost the respect of the American people. And the only way I believe that we`re going to rebuild that is we need to bring in more justices. We need to get some balance back in this court.

REID: And how, pragmatically, could that be done?


Because let`s just say, I mean, others have come -- Elie Mystal is on the show a lot and talks about the fact that there should either be 14 of them or 15 of them. Put enough of them on their Sunday so that three or four people can`t simply decide for the rest of the 326 million Americans how we`re going to live and that we`re going to be forced to live under this far right sort of religious dictum.

But how could you get that done? I mean, Joe Manchin, he doesn`t even want to expand the child tax credit to help the poor people in his own state. His state has something like, what, 20 percent of people who don`t have their natural teeth because they don`t have dental care. He doesn`t want to expand dental care for his own people in West Virginia.

How are you going to get 50 Democrats even to agree to make that change?

WARREN: So, I look at it this way.

The first part is that we have to start building the momentum for this. And the way we do that is we call it out. Remember, the United States Congress decides the number of people sitting on the court. And the United States Congress has changed that number seven times in the past. We can do it an eighth time.

And if we can`t get all 50 votes together to do it right now, well, that`s what the election of 2022, in part, should be about. It`s time for us to say, we have to restore not just some integrity in Congress and in the White House, but we also need to restore some integrity in the United States Supreme Court.

And this is a way to do it for which Congress has full constitutional authority.

REID: It feels like a lot is going to have to get built into the 2022 election, given the fact that Manchin and Sinema exist.

Do you think that part of the challenge here is that people on the right, they vote on the court? The court is their voting issue. They will look past everything Donald Trump did because they wanted to seize the courts. And they got them.

Have Democrats erred in not making the court central to campaigns?

WARREN: I think Democrats have not paid nearly enough attention to what`s going on in the court, as one right after another has been stripped away, as one longstanding law after another has just been gutted.

But I believe that, with the Roe decision, all of that may change. I listened to that argument and watched how people responded all across this country. And I think people have just -- there just comes a tipping point where they say, you know, I wanted to believe in an independent court, I wanted to say that that`s a court that`s going to be separate from politics, but no longer see that.

They see a court that is an extremist court way out of touch with what most Americans want. Remember, more than 70 percent of Americans want to see Roe as the law of the land. Remember that the question that gets asked with every one of these people when they`re nominees is, what are you going to do with decisions like Roe?

And they always, I can`t talk about a specific one...

REID: Right.

WARREN: ... but I believe in supporting established law. That was Roe.

And now they`re indicating that they`re ready to pitch it overboard. I think that that is going to be a giant wake up call for people all across this country. And that`s going to come out just a few months before the next round of federal elections, November 2022.

REID: And let`s also -- I couldn`t -- I would be remiss if I didn`t ask you, since I have a United States senator here, is voting rights going to pass before the end of the year, and is Build Back Better dead?

WARREN: So, I am very hopeful that we are going to get this across the finish line on voting rights.

Remember, we now have all 50 Republicans -- all 50 Democrats. All 50 Republicans are opposed.

REID: Yes.

WARREN: But all 50 Democrats are signed on to the exact details of what we need to protect the right of every American citizen to vote and to get that vote counted, to get rid of gerrymandering and to beat back dark money. All 50 of us are there.

We have just got to make it across the filibuster question.

REID: Yes.

WARREN: And there are a lot of different ways we could do that, a lot of creative ways we could do that.

Do keep in mind, Joy, the United States Congress just created an exception to the filibuster...

REID: It did. It did.

WARREN: ... literally in the last two days, when we all said, oh, yes, we`re going to raise the debt ceiling and make it filibuster-proof.

REID: Yes. Yes. Yes.

WARREN: Let`s do it one more time and get voting rights across.

That is the single most important thing we can do.

REID: And I`m out of time.

But I will also note that there was no Manchin objection to spending a whole lot of money on defense, and that passed without any objection, anybody worrying about inflation. So, we can do Build Back Better too, I would say.

WARREN: Yes, ma`am.

REID: Let`s do both.

Thank you very much, Senator Elizabeth Warren. Always appreciate you being here. Thank you.

And still ahead, an update on those deadly tornadoes, as President Biden gets a firsthand look at the terrible aftermath.


Plus, my thoughts on the passing of groundbreaking author and activist bell hooks.

We`re back right after this.


REID: Rescue and recovery efforts are still under way in multiple states, after last week`s devastating tornadoes that left cities and towns across five states in complete shambles and at least 88 people dead.

The victims range in age from 2 months to 98 years old. At least 100 people still remain unaccounted for. For survivors, now begins the process of rebuilding their lives.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s hard for us. Everything we had in the house is gone. I`m just lucky we`re here alive and everything.


REID: Earlier today, President Biden got a firsthand look at the utter devastation in Kentucky.

He visited two towns hit hardest by the tornadoes and told residents, "We`re here for anything you need."


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The government`s going to cover 100 percent of the cost, 100 percent of the costs for the first 30 days for all the emergency work.

I promise you, you`re going to heal. We`re going to recover, going to rebuild. You`re going to be stronger than you were before. We`re going to build back better than it was.

We got a lot to do, but the American people are ready to do it. This is the United States of America. There`s not a darn thing we can`t do.

Thank you.


REID: And thank you for joining us tonight.