IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Transcript: The ReidOut, 12/23/21

Guests: Madeleine Dean, Kurt Bardella, Karen Bass, Santa Larry

Summary

The ongoing threat to democracy; Representative Jordan on cooperating with January 6 committee, I`ve got nothing to hide; January 6 committee requests information from Representative Jim Jordan; 1/6 committee asks SCOTUS for quick action in Trump appeal.

Transcript

[19:00:00]

ALICIA MENENDEZ, MSNBC HOST: That does it for me. THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid is up next. Joy?

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: I`m trying to figure out, Alicia, what a side hair party is, because I definitely cancel it. I don`t know what it is. (INAUDIBLE) parties that not happen in my watch.

MENENDEZ: Well, you know what it is. That`s actually a list of things that the general after me is canceling. No more skinny jeans, no more side parts. They`re over it.

REID: Oh, side parts. What are they talking about? Okay. Well, we`ll talk about the skinny jeans. We`ll text about that later. We`ll negotiate on the skinny jeans.

MENENDEZ: I will wait for that.

REID: I only wear sweats now any way because of COVID.

MENENDEZ: Yes, I wear real pants. Bye, Joy.

REID: Merry Christmas.

Good evening, everyone. Happy Christmas Eve Eve. We have a lot to get to in the next hour, including a stunning guilty verdict for the ex-Minnesota cop who killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop earlier this year. Kim Potter claimed that she mistook her handgun for her taser. But jurors today found her guilty of first and second-degree manslaughter.

And I promise we are going to end this show on a happy note with moments of joy, and the real Santa, the real one. So, stick around for that.

But we begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a status report on the American republic. 2021, the year that was supposed to make up for 2020, has been a roller coaster, to put it mildly. It started with a limited audience capacity ball drop in Times Square, followed five days later by a violent attack on our nation`s Capitol, not by foreign terrorists, but by American ones. They even brought a noose to lynch Mike Pence with.

And from the moment we saw these scenes of hundreds of screaming, in some cases, violent insurrectionists storming the Capitol on January 6th, defecating on the ground, beating Capitol police with their own shields and bear spraying them all in the name of keeping Trump in power over the will of 81 million voters, we knew that nothing would ever be the same.

For the first time in 245 years of U.S. history, a defeated president of the United States had refused to leave office with dignity and participate in the peaceful transfer of hour, and instead, had provoked a violent attack on his own Capitol, on the United States Congress, and on his own vice president.

And while the January 6 committee continues its work, and just what journalists and authors and analysts have put together so far, we already know that that former president, Donald Trump, pushed for the Department of Justice to declare the elections in several key states to be invalid due to massive voter fraud as part of a strategy written up by members of his legal team, conspiracy kooks, pillow and furniture sales men, and a psi ops military guy, possibly a former cabinet member and maybe even former members of Congress, to use that big lie to try to cling to power.

We know that Trump plotted to replace unwilling DOJ leadership with people like Jeffrey Clark who were willing to go along with the big lie and the plan, that he pressured the vice president to reject his constitutional duty to certify the election and threaten to let the lynch mob have him if he wouldn`t, that he pressured governors and state legislatures in the key states that he lost to overturn the will of their own voters based on the big lie, and sent Trump electors, not Biden electors, to Congress.

And that the Department of Defense either delayed sending National Guard troops to rescue House and Senate members and their staffs and assist police who were in hand-to-hand combat with the insurrectionists for unknown and possibly sinister reasons or that they delayed sending the troops as a new justice security report states, because they feared if the Guard were deployed, Donald Trump, as commander-in-chief, would flip their mission and use our military not to save the Congress but rather to clear the Capitol and stop the certification.

We know that some Republican members of Congress at minimum sympathized with Trump`s attempts to overthrow the election and to mount a coup, or that they actively participated in some part of it. And we know that right- wing media members who currently pretend to have been down with the coup from moment one pleaded on insurrection day for Donald Trump`s chief of staff to get him to stop it.

And now, Republicans in Congress are trying to throw all the sand that they can into the gears of the investigation, including the House minority leader attempting to install a possible leader of the failed coup, Jim Jordan, on to the investigative committee itself, with Jordan, who, by the way, is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, now hinting that he will refuse to cooperate with investigation by his own branch of government about an attack on his own branch of government, while Republicans at the state level dismantle access to the ballot for people of color all over this country in order to get the coup right the next time.

[19:05:01]

Yes, it has indeed been quite a year.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania, who was an impeachment manager earlier this year, and Kurt Bardella, Adviser for the DNC and the DCCC.

And, Congresswoman Dean, I will start with you, because just the idea that all of this that happened is surreal for me and I`m sure even more so for you since you lived through the attack, but what do you make of the fact that, to me, maybe the worst part of it is that Kevin McCarthy knowing what I just said to be true, because he said so at first after the insurrection happened, then tried to put Jim Jordan, who Liz Cheney has been saying from day one has been giving the side eye aye, making comments to him, he knew that Jim Jordan was probably part of it, if not, a leader of it, still tried to put him on the committee.

Here is Jim Jordan, unable to explain -- well, here he is talking about the January 6 committee on various occasions from October to today. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you willing to tell the select committee what you know about events leading up to, during --

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): I`ve been clear all along. I`ve got nothing to hide. I`ve been straightforward all along.

I`ve got real concerns. I think the country has real concerns about any committee that will take a document, alter that document, totally mislead the American people.

I`ve got real concerns about, you know, working with -- trying to work with any committee like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Congresswoman Dean, this is like knowing someone participated in a bank robbery and then trying to get them on the jury. This is bizarre. But your thoughts on Jim Jordan and the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy.

REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): Well, Joy, I have to tell you, I`m pleased to be with you and with Kurt tonight. And, by the way, on your skinny jean thing, I`m with you. We have to absolutely outlaw those. But thank you also for promising to end with joy, because what you and are talking about is very, very serious stuff.

The stuff of Jim Jordan sadly, he is not a serious legislator. He is a serious performer. But he is not a serious legislator, and he is not a serious American. He doesn`t care about democracy. He doesn`t care what happened on January the 6th and the lies that led up to it that he participated in, and he is running quite scared. That`s what we`re actually seeing with Jim Jordan.

You notice on my committee on our Judiciary Committee how glib he is at spewing lies. And when he is asked about his participation in January the 6th, when did he speak to the president, you spoke to him often. Surely, on January the 6th, you recall when that was? He stammers. He can`t figure it out. He is running very, very scared.

We have to make sure that the truth comes out. The January 6 committee is doing extraordinary work, has interviewed more than 300 witnesses, people who know something. And what I have said to Jim Jordan or anybody else, like Leader McCarthy or the former chief of staff, you should say, I will offer you everything I know. I`ll give you my phone. I`ll give you my documents. I`ll give you my emails because I know that we suffered the most extraordinary attack on our democracy and it must never happen again.

REID: Yes. I mean, Kurt, you know this guy, Jim Jordan. I mean, if he -- if the Republicans take over the United States House of Representatives, he is likely to be chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a man who, at minimum, was in favor of overthrowing a legitimate election and installing the loser as president, or who at worst participated or even led the effort from the Congressional side. It`s like the burglars are still in the House. Dream with me for a minute, or maybe nightmare with me. If he then gets the gavel, what might someone like Jim Jordan do with that gavel?

KURT BARDELLA, DNC AND DCCC ADVISER: You know, it`s going to be just an amazing demonstration of hypocrisy. Follow the path of Jim Jordan, someone who spent the better part of eight years when Barack Obama was president crusading about oversight, crusading about checks and balances.

All of the sudden he was for subpoenas and hearings and witnesses and documents and the path to truth was through the House of Representatives he once famously said at a hearing, which he held someone in contempt of Congress. Then Donald Trump comes into office and all of a sudden his zeal for oversight disappears.

Now, he is actually being asked to participate in understand and investigating the most horrific day perhaps in United States history, and he doesn`t want to do that. He doesn`t believe in checks and balances. He doesn`t believe in the legislative branch as a coequal branch.

But I`ll tell you, Joy, if he becomes chairman of the Judiciary Committee, all of the sudden he will find zeal for oversight. He`ll be going after Biden.

[19:10:00]

He`ll be going after the president`s family. He will be issuing subpoenas, holding hearings, making the committee a kangaroo court. If you thought Benghazi was bad, it will be like that on steroids in this guy gets to gavel of the House of Representatives. This really sets the stakes for what we`re coming up to in 2022, what really is on the line. Because these guys, they don`t care about democratic norms. They don`t care about what`s right. They don`t care about what`s true. They just care about power and how they can use it and weaponize it to inspire fear and go after their political adversaries. This cannot be allowed to happen.

REID: You know, and, Congresswoman Dean, I think that Kurt is absolutely right. I mean, I still recall Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State Clinton sitting in front of a Benghazi committee for 11 hours. She willingly went. They didn`t have to subpoena her. She went. I mean, of the fast and furious B.S. investigation, which they dragged Eric Holder before it, held the former attorney general in contempt.

The kangaroo court was in existence during President Obama`s time because he was a president with a spotless record on corruption, and they needed to create some fake corruption in order just to dirty him up. That show Republicans do business. None of it is serious. The Clinton impeachment, none of it was serious.

And so I wonder if Democrats are worried enough about what a future under the leadership of people like that with the weakness of Kevin McCarthy, if he even would get to be speaker -- it might be Jim Jordan, right? It might be Donald Trump. Your thoughts? And do you trust the Supreme Court, by the way? Because the Supreme Court now has the case before -- that Trump is trying to get him to block access to his records. I don`t trust them either. Do you?

DEAN: No. And thank you for raising the specter of Jim Jordan as chair of the Judiciary Committee. I shudder to think of a majority with the gavel in either McCarthy`s hand or Jordan`s hand or whomever they put forward. And I have to say, Kurt, I read one of your recent essays where you said Democrats have to run as though they know they will lose -- I`m paraphrasing you, Kurt -- in 2022. I don`t do that, but I`m actually taking your advice because I`d hate to wake up in 2022 having lost the majority.

With Mr. Jordan in charge of the Judiciary Committee, that will be a horrendous moment for certainly the committee, but much more importantly for the country. We have to make sure that Mr. McCarthy, who is frankly weak and a bully, that`s what bullies actually are representative of, somebody who is weak, and Mr. Jordan who cares nothing for the truth and loves to be a bully. I`ve witnessed and suffered both with both of the two gentlemen I just talked about.

We Democrats have to run. We have to run hard. And we have to make sure that we lift up the very thing that matters to America and to the longevity of democracy, and that is honesty and the truth. We will expose the truth. January 6 committee and its hearings and its report will expose the truth. And that`s exactly what people like Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Jordan are afraid of.

REID: You know, and, Kurt, President Biden has now said he does support a filibuster carve-out, which is good news, a change of position for him. But, you know, if Democrats are not able to get enough voting reform in, because the outcome of the big lie is that Republicans have used it as an excuse to enact draconian impediments to access to the ballot that are specifically targeted at people of color, at preventing people of color from doing what they did in 2020, which is voting for someone other than a Republican.

And they`re making it so hard. They`re trying to shoehorn people into long line, taking away the locations where you can vote, letting God knows who, maybe the Proud Boys are going to show up as poll watchers to intimidate voters, allowing all the -- and the Supreme Court has said, go ahead, do whatever you want. John Roberts has never been for access to the vote. He has always been against the Voting Rights Act.

So, the next step to me -- I mean, I guess the question to you is you know Steve Bannon very well. He was kind of a joke, a disheveled looking dude, he kind of ran Donald Trump around, dog-walked him around. But in the end, didn`t he kind of get what he wanted? Because if the Republicans take over, Steve Bannon is essentially writing the script for the next phase of what will not be an American democracy. Your thoughts?

BARDELLA: Steve Bannon said it out loud many times. He wants to destroy the establishment, destroy the pillars of our democracy. And that`s what he is trying to do, and that`s what he will do if Republicans are allowed to take back power.

I want to thank the Congresswoman for noting my piece in USA Today the other day, because the point I was trying to make here is we have to assume the worst.

[19:15:02]

And knowing that, we need to do everything we can while we have the reins of power to shore up our democracy, to put as many safeguards in place as possible. Because we all know the Republicans will not hesitate to tear them all down.

So, while we have the reins of power we need to do voting rights. We could do everything right. We could pass Build Back Better. We got infrastructure done. We could cure COVID. It does not matter if we can`t have our people show up to vote if they aren`t allowed to participate in democratic process. All the policies in the world won`t mean a thing if we can`t have a free and fair election. And that`s why passing voting reform and making sure that we have some sort of safeguard to democracy here has got to be priority one, two, and three in 2022.

REID: Yes, indeed. Amen and amen. Thank you, Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, Kurt Bardella, wishing you all a happy holiday, Happy New Year. Be safe out there. Thank you very much. Cheers.

And up next on THE REIDOUT, guilty on both counts. And the family of Daunte Wright gets a measure of justice for his death at the hands of Police Officer Kim Potter.

Also, with COVID cases surging and testing hard to find, there is some good news tonight about COVID.

Plus, wow, what a year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. do solemnly swear.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: I Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. do solemnly swear.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: A look back at the moments of joy from 2021, from Trump getting evicted from the White House, millions of jabs going into arms and neighbors helping neighbors after devastating tornadoes.

And gather around, kids. The Santa Claus is joining me live tonight as THE REIDOUT continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:20:55]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUDGE REGINA CHU, HENNEPIN COUNTY DISTRICT COURT: "We, the jury, on the charge of manslaughter in the first degree while committing a misdemeanor on our about April 11, 2021, in Hennepin County, state of Minnesota, find the defendant guilty.

The verdict on count two is: "We, the jury, on the charge of manslaughter in the second degree, culpable negligence, on or about April 11, 2021, in Hennepin County, state of Minnesota, find the defendant guilty."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: The jury has spoken in the trial of Kim Potter. The former Minnesota police officer was found guilty on both counts of manslaughter in the shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in April.

She now faces up to 15 years in prison. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison says today`s verdict brings a necessary degree of police accountability.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEITH ELLISON, MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Accountability is not justice. Justice is restoration. Justice would be restoring Daunte to life and making the Wright family whole again.

Justice is beyond the reach that we have in this life for Daunte. But accountability is an important step, a critical, necessary step on the road to justice for us all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: And here`s the thing.

While it is clear that police reform is dead in Washington, DOA, juries across this country, including multiracial, but even majority white juries, are enacting their own kind of police reform, forcing accountability on a profession that hasn`t faced much of any over the centuries.

And if that should teach us anything, it`s that the first step in reforming police is voting. The people in Minnesota elected Keith Ellison as their attorney general. He has taken over several of these high-profile police cases that other attorney generals might have let slide.

Having an A.G. with a mind for criminal justice reform is how you get to these verdicts, full stop.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Karen Bass of California, who is a candidate for mayor of Los Angeles, and Katie Phang, trial attorney and MSNBC legal analyst.

And, Katie, I have been watching you on MSNBC throughout the day. So I kind of know the answer to this, but I want to let anyone who missed you earlier to get the benefit of your wisdom. Were you as surprised as I was by these guilty verdicts?

KATIE PHANG, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I was, but it`s because we get so confident that when we hear a juror note come out that that means that it`s something, that it means that it`s foretelling or even foreboding of the potential for something.

And with there being only three notes that were sent out by this jury during this trial, one of which was, Judge, what do we do if we cannot come to a consensus or a unanimous verdict, that gave a lot of us some cause for pause and some fear that we were going to get a hung jury.

And so when the guilty verdict was read, especially on count one, Joy, which was the first-degree manslaughter charge, when that was read, we knew that count two, the second-degree manslaughter charge, was going to be guilty.

We actually have found out too by a review of the verdict forms and what has been reporting in the media right now is that the jury actually came to the guilty verdict on that second-degree manslaughter charge a couple of days ago.

So, it really was whether or not they could find that first-degree manslaughter elements that the prosecution had proven to be able to carry the day. And, as we have seen through the verdicts, the prosecution certainly did their job.

REID: Yes.

And let`s just play very quickly the prosecution`s closing arguments. And I will note that these prosecutors are like three for three.

PHANG: That`s right.

REID: There was the Mohamed Noor case, which is a black officer in the same department who was found guilty of killing an Australian tourist. But they also found him guilty of murder. That`s been rolled back now to just manslaughter, and obviously Derek Chauvin.

But here`s the prosecutor making her closing arguments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEW FRANK, MINNESOTA PROSECUTOR: Consider the real value, if you will, of her reaction. She is distraught. She is beside herself. She questions how she could have done this. She collapses to the ground and admits how wrong her conduct was: I`m going to prison and I killed a boy.

[19:25:09]

Is that the reaction of somebody who thought deadly force was really necessary? Also important is what she did not say. She never said: I had to shoot him or somebody could have gotten hurt, like her fellow officers, her police family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: To stay with you for a moment. Katie, the other reason that I expected a not guilty verdict, because she`s a police officer, right?

And I always saw the Derek Chauvin verdict as sort of the outlier. Normally, police officers are not convicted of killing a civilian, particularly a black person, let`s just be clear, in this country.

But, in this case, it seemed like her tearful testimony actually hurt her take. Taking the stand, I feel like it worked against her, no?

PHANG: Yes, it did.

Especially, we all did not miss, when you were reading that verdict, she didn`t shed a single tear when that verdict was read, right?

REID: Yes.

PHANG: You had the tears, the big crocodile tears, when she was testified. We got absolutely nothing when she was told that her liberty was now gone.

REID: Yes.

PHANG: So the amazing thing that we`re seeing, Joy, is the following.

We heard from Keith Ellison about the accountability. And, by the way, until Keith Ellison got involved, just like in the Derek Chauvin trial, you only had second-degree manslaughter. You didn`t have the first-degree manslaughter, which was the more serious felony that has more time.

REID: Yes.

PHANG: It was after Keith Ellison got involved that we got the additional charge.

But, quickly, you`re seeing accountability, and that jurors are now willing to convince their peers, right, that look like them.

REID: Yes. Yes.

PHANG: And that`s the difference here.

When you have a black victim, normally, there`s a concern. That you have a white defendant, that`s hard enough. But when you have a white police officer, that`s even mind-blowing that you would actually have now back to back the convictions of two white police officers in the deaths of black men.

REID: Yes. Yes, indeed.

Let me bring you in, Representative Bass.

Let me first quickly play Attorney General Keith Ellison. This was his message to law enforcement. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELLISON: We hold you in high regard. And we also hold you to high standards. We don`t want you to be discouraged.

And when a member of your profession is held accountable, it does not diminish you. In fact, it shows, it shows the whole world that those of you who enforce the law are also willing to live by it. And that`s a good thing. It restores trust, faith and hope.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Representative Bass, Keith Ellison is an elected official. Attorneys general are making these decisions on what to up-charge or whether the charge at all. We have seen that go both ways, particularly in cases like Tamir Rice and other cases, where it seemed that the A.G. was not interested.

I think about the Fruitvale -- the Oscar Grant shooting, which was another case of, thought I drew my gun, drew my Taser. That also resulted in a conviction manslaughter charges. I think about the Kyle Rittenhouse judge, also an elected official, somebody who was clearly on Rittenhouse`s side every moment in that trial.

These are all elected officials. You`re running to be mayor of a very important city in this country. Is part of the lesson here -- and you worked on police reform at the federal level -- that the real police reform that`s happening is happening on juries?

REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): Well, actually, I think it`s -- it is happening on juries, but it`s also happening on the state and the local level as well.

So we might not have exceeded on the federal level, but all of the people that were protesting last year did bring about tremendous change. And I think that it`s very important. I also think that the level of understanding of people that, when the defense attorney basically said, well, she made a mistake, and everybody makes mistakes, it`s like, made a mistake?

Someone lost their life. This was an officer who had -- not only did she have 26 years experience, but, remember, she was training another officer.

REID: Yes.

BASS: And so that makes it even all the more frightening.

But I think it`s important to recognize that just because a bill does not pass Congress and make it on the president`s desk, it doesn`t mean that there`s no other avenues to change. You should know that the minute our efforts failed, we did appeal to the administration for them to go as far as they can using their authority to further some of the reforms that we were trying to have passed into legislation.

REID: What I think about is the ways in which reform are actually playing out in the real world, that you do have more and more juries who are willing to convict police, which didn`t used to be so likely, particularly when it was a black victim.

But you also have, I hope, more focus on who people are electing to be judge, who people are electing to be attorney general. A lot of times people skip these ballot questions. They go right to president or governor and skip all -- and skip everything below.

But some of that stuff below are really important, because a lot of these are elected officials who are deciding whether to charge, what to charge, when to ignore these cases, or whether to put police in this vise grip with people like what you want to be, mayor, where everybody is all on the same side. And that leaves the victims on the other side.

[19:30:12]

BASS: Exactly right.

And I really want to call attention to what the attorney general was saying, because he made the point that this is not to discourage people from becoming police officers or remaining in the force. This is about lifting up the profession, lifting up the profession, so that you gain more trust from the public.

And thank goodness the verdict is what it is, because you don`t want people to be so demoralized that they reject the police. I do have to say, though, that we -- there is another step in this process. There is the sentencing.

REID: Yes.

BASS: And I will tell you that you know communities across the country will also be afraid that maybe she will get a slap on the wrist.

REID: Yes, and that is going to be the next thing, because that has happened in some of these cases as well.

And I`m glad you said the most important word there is profession. We wouldn`t tolerate preschool teachers losing -- having this many people die on their watch or doctors losing this many people. Doctors have to have a lot of insurance to make sure they`re not killing people, because that`s a profession. Policing is a profession.

You should be good at it, and at least know your gun from your Taser, if you want to do it as a profession.

Congresswoman Karen Bass, Katie Phang, thank you both. Wishing you both a merry Christmas.

And coming up next: a mixed bag of COVID news. Good news on the new treat - - on new treatment options, but bad news on our insufficient testing protocols, amid Omicron`s incredibly rapid spread.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:35:47]

REID: With families gathering for the holidays, there is still a lot of confusion about COVID amid a surge fueled by the Omicron variant. But there is good news.

Research teams in South Africa, England and Scotland have found that Omicron results in a milder form of the virus and a lower risk of hospitalization. And, today, the FDA cleared a second at-home pill to combat COVID, Merck`s antiviral, a day after approving Pfizer`s oral drug. Merck`s pill is in use for adults with high risk of being hospitalized.

Meanwhile, the Omicron variant continues to rip through the country. The number of new cases has driven the seven-day average higher than the Delta variant`s peak in September, with the Omicron wave accounting for nearly three quarters of new cases.

Americans are weighing the odds on Christmas Eve eve, with long lines to get a test all across the country and the holiday travel rush already under way.

And joining me now is Dr. Uche Blackstock, founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity.

Thank you for being here, Dr. Blackstock. I did a costume change because it`s Christmas Eve eve.

DR. UCHE BLACKSTOCK, MSNBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: I love it.

(LAUGHTER)

REID: And this is my Santa, black Santa with the booster shot. He`s carrying that booster shot for everybody.

BLACKSTOCK: I love it.

(LAUGHTER)

REID: So, tell me about this, because people are really confused.

Everyone I know is really scared of Omicron, or as some folks are calling it, Omarion.

(LAUGHTER)

REID: They are scared of it, because it does seem like it`s spreading so fast. And I know multiple people who`ve unfortunately contracted COVID just in the last couple of weeks.

Is Omicron deadlier or just more spreadable, and should we cancel our plans?

BLACKSTOCK: Well, first of all, Joy -- right.

So, thanks so much for having me. I will say that the data that we have so far is preliminary. But what we see from data from the U.K., from South Africa, and from Denmark is that Omicron may be a bit milder than Delta, so we`re seeing a decreased risk of hospitalization among people who do get Omicron.

But to put that in context, both South Africa and these European countries have a higher degree of partial immunity. So, South Africa, 70 percent of people have been infected previously with COVID. And the European countries have a higher vaccination rate than the U.S. does. So we can`t really necessarily translate that to how it`s going -- what`s going to happen here in the U.S.

REID: Yes.

BLACKSTOCK: But what we see so far is an increase in cases, and we don`t see a similar increase in hospitalizations and deaths, which is good, but we still have a lot of people, as you mentioned, who are becoming infected.

We still have to worry about the vaccinated vulnerable, people who are elderly and immunocompromised, and children who remain unvaccinated, as well as the other 40 percent of Americans who are not vaccinated.

REID: And so among the people who are resisting vaccinations, I mean, there are polls that are saying -- let`s just go to this Ipsos poll. This is cut five. This is five for my producers.

Among white Americans, 36 percent are unvaccinated, 75 percent vaccinated, among black, 78 percent -- I mean, I`m sorry -- are concerned about COVID...

BLACKSTOCK: Concerned, right. Right.

REID: ... if they`re unvaccinated; 75 percent of white vaccinated folks are concerned; 36 percent of white folks who are unvaccinated are unconcerned.

But African-Americans and Latinos, if they`re unvaccinated, are still super concerned about COVID, 78 percent and 59 percent, and if they`re vaccinated, even more concerned. And the people who are just saying they`re never, ever, ever going to get vaccinated, the hardest of the hardcore are Republicans.

BLACKSTOCK: Yes.

REID: And so here is the thing. Here is their king. He went on a lady`s show -- I`m forgetting her name at the moment, but he went on her show. It was like a podcast or something.

And this is what he said about vaccines. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The vaccine is one of the greatest achievements of mankind.

I came up with a vaccine, with three vaccines. All are very, very good for. The vaccine worked.

CANDACE OWENS, HOST, "CANDACE": Yes.

TRUMP: But some people aren`t taking it

The ones -- the ones that get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don`t take the vaccine. People aren`t dying when they take the vaccine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Oops. I mean, he`s come a long way since he was literally booed in an Alabama rally for saying: I got vaccinated.

BLACKSTOCK: Right.

REID: Everybody was like, boo, right?

So, I mean, the question is, now, if he can`t even -- he`s lost control of the plot among his own people. So I wonder if him now coming out very belatedly and saying, no, no, no, vaccines are good and trying to take credit for it, which he doesn`t deserve, but whatever...

[19:40:12]

BLACKSTOCK: Right.

REID: ... does that change anything at this point? Or is it just too hardened?

BLACKSTOCK: Right.

I mean, he`s definitely motivated by ego. He wants to get historical credit for this accomplishment. But I think that he has realized he`s turned his base into a monster. He really can`t go back.

So I`m curious to see how folks like Tucker Carlson are going to really portray the story of his. The fact that Trump is saying -- and, actually, I think everything he said just in that clip was pretty accurate about vaccines, but the only way -- reason he`s doing that is because of ego.

And so I think that he has to weigh between taking credit for this historical accomplishment vs. alienating his base. And, to be honest, I don`t know if him speaking so favorably of vaccines is really going to change any opinions.

REID: Yes, I mean, at this point, Joe Rogan has more influence than Donald Trump does in terms of regular people and who they are listening to, right?

BLACKSTOCK: Right. Right.

REID: Right?

And they`re not listening to doctors. They`re not listening to Fauci. They`re listening to Joe Rogan, right? I mean, Aaron Rodgers, that football player, he told him, well, the COVID conversation is all wrong.

BLACKSTOCK: Right.

REID: Why aren`t they talking about nutrition and lifting weights, and, like, doing Zen stuff, and that`s the way you can do it. I had COVID. Joe Rogan told me how to cure myself.

Like, that`s where we are. And that`s a wealthy NFL player with access to the best doctors.

BLACKSTOCK: Right. Right.

REID: So I wonder if we are at a point where we`re just going to have to live with the fact that there are a certain number of people from a certain specific demographic, political demographic, who are just going to keep dying and filling up hospitals, and the rest of us have to kind of adjust our lives accordingly.

BLACKSTOCK: I know.

I mean, I do feel like we`re at an impasse. And I feel, at this point, only the vaccine mandates will help. And those are being held up in court,. And who knows what`s going to happen in terms of, will they survive legal challenges? And so most of those unvaccinated, as you said, are Republican. They are rural. They have lower incomes, less formal education.

This is the Republican base. And it seems, from the polling, that they don`t want to change, that they don`t want to take these vaccine, even though, as we`re seeing, people are still getting infected and still dying.

REID: Yes, and I -- and, unfortunately, there are a lot of young black folks out there that are also following it too, and they`re not Republicans. They`re just -- they just don`t trust the system.

And so these are two groups that it`s very worrying.

But, anyway, merry Christmas. Wishing you a very safe and happy holiday. Thank you, Dr. Uche Blackstock. Cheers.

And up next: OK, I am so excited. It is almost time for my favorite interview of the year. And you guessed. It`s Santa Larry. Santa Larry is here, everybody.

Hi, Santa Larry. Woo-hoo!

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:47:03]

REID: Yes, the great Santa shortage of 2021 made it difficult for every kid to meet Saint Nick this year.

Luckily, Santa is on TikTok, and took the time out of his very busy schedule to pay us a visit from the North Pole Studio.

And joining me now is Santa Larry, who is just Santa. He just is.

SANTA LARRY, PROFESSIONAL SANTA CLAUS: Hello.

REID: Oh, my goodness.

Hello, Santa Larry.

SANTA LARRY: Hello, Joy.

REID: Thank you for coming.

SANTA LARRY: Merry Christmas.

REID: Merry Christmas to you. And thank you for coming for our annual visit. I always appreciate you coming through.

And so I have to ask you, Santa Larry.

SANTA LARRY: Yes.

REID: Given that it`s been such a difficult year, but the supply chains are easing up for Rudolph and reindeer -- and the reindeer and the sleigh, what is the gift that most kids are -- the thing that most kids are asking you for?

SANTA LARRY: Oh, Joy, children are asking for Barbie dolls, Nintendo Switch, puppies, ponies.

One child asked me for a pony, and he wanted me to take it to his paw-paw`s house because his paw-paw had a bigger yard.

(LAUGHTER)

SANTA LARRY: And some children asked for things of clothing. And one child says he only wanted his mother to get some rest.

And I was thought that was just wonderful.

REID: Aw.

And I understand you brought your favorite picture of a of a kid getting to meet you, a child getting to meet you. Let`s see it. Let`s put that picture up, so we can see, and you tell me the story behind this amazing -- oh, my gosh, look at this pretty baby.

OK, give us the story.

SANTA LARRY: Yes, her name is Ivy Adams (ph). And she lives up in Northern Plano, Texas, area.

She came out to Dack`s (ph) for dinner with Santa Claus. And we had a lot of children there. And I have seen thousands of children over this summer or over this holiday season. And I picked her as the best picture of all children this season.

She looks a doll.

REID: She looks adorable.

SANTA LARRY: Yes.

REID: She does a dolly she. Does look like a dolly.

OK, well, I understand. And, listen, Santa, you have changed with the times. You have always been modern. You always stick with all of the modern trends. You fit in, in every era that you have existed in.

SANTA LARRY: Yes.

REID: But you apparently now have gone super modern because you`re on TikTok, Santa, I understand. We`re going to show a little video.

Officially, you`re on TikTok. So let`s play a little bit. Let`s see it. And Santa Larry, you are @americasanta1. I am now following you on TikTok.

Question one, will you follow me back @MSNBCJoy? And question two, why TikTok?

SANTA LARRY: Joy, I like TikTok. And it was another platform to get the word out about Santa Claus and help spread joy and happiness throughout the year.

[19:50:03]

And, yes, I will follow you back. and I have followed you back. And thank you so much for all that you do.

REID: Oh, I love it.

SANTA LARRY: And, Joy, I want to share something with you. Joy, I want to share something with you.

REID: Please do.

SANTA LARRY: All year, I have been spreading Joy.

I have been making this here for you, Joy. I just got through painting it.

REID: Oh, my goodness, I love that so much.

That is the best thing, because I was in fact named Joy because I have a big sister and I was the December baby who was basically her present. So, yes, that`s my name. It`s really Joy-Ann, because -- that`s because I`m Caribbean.

But, yes. Oh, I love that so much. That is awesome.

Well, I have to ask you, Santa, is there something that Santa wants for Christmas?

SANTA LARRY: Oh, Joy. I would love for our country to have peace, happiness, harmony.

I want all the children to be happy, to have a place to live. And I just want the -- I just want the world to be joyous. You know what I mean?

REID: Yes, it`s true.

And it`s difficult because we are in a situation where people are mostly angry, mostly sad, mostly fighting.

SANTA LARRY: Yes.

REID: And so what can we do, just as individuals, to be more like Santa, to spread more love and more joy?

SANTA LARRY: I will tell you, it`s all about showing respect and care. And I always say that.

And you show a little respect and care for your fellow citizen, I think our country can get back on track. We`re doing good. We`re -- America, you`re still great.

REID: We are. We`re -- you know what? We`re doing great right now because we have Santa from the North Pole.

SANTA LARRY: Yes.

REID: Give us a ho, ho, ho, just so that we can get in the spirit.

SANTA LARRY: Ho, ho, ho, ho!

(LAUGHTER)

REID: I love it. Oh, my gosh. I love you, Santa Larry.

Thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate you.

SANTA LARRY: Joy, what do you want for Christmas this year?

REID: I already got it, you being on THE REIDOUT. I got it.

SANTA LARRY: Oh, well...

REID: So, I`m good.

SANTA LARRY: I`m going to finish up with our song. Are you ready for our song?

REID: Do it.

SANTA LARRY (singing): Joy to the world. Joy is here at MSNBC.

REID: Woo-hoo!

Thank you, Santa Larry. I appreciate you.

And do not forget to follow Santa Larry on TikTok. He is @americasanta1, the number one, OK?

Up next -- that was awesome -- our 2021 "Moments of Joy." Yes, there were in fact some "Moments of Joy" in 2021. No, really, I swear. You will see.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[19:56:52]

REID: OK, 2021 you made your presence known. You`re bookended by a literal insurrection and a variant that brought the pandemic roaring back.

But here`s the thing. 2021 wasn`t only about COVID and America`s democratic decline. From "Moments of Joy" to black girl magic, some good did happen, like that insurrection, it failed. Jon Ossoff and the Reverend Raphael Warnock painted Georgia blue. We marked a new beginning, inaugurating a new president, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

And alongside new leadership, the voice of a new American era took the national stage, Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANDA GORMAN, FORMER NATIONAL YOUTH POET LAUREATE: The new dawn blooms as we free it, for there is always light, if only we`re brave enough to see it, if only we`re brave enough to be it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: The nation`s first black and Asian woman vice president, Kamala Harris, swore in the country`s first openly gay Cabinet secretary, Pete Buttigieg.

And in a major legislative achievement, Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill.

But what kept us going just as much as that aid, the moments of humanity, like Jimmy Finch, who drove from Tennessee to Kentucky to set up a grill and feed people devastated by the worst tornado in the state`s history.

We saw accountability for the murders of Daunte Wright, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. We had some epic fashion moments, such as AOC`s "Tax the Rich` mermaid gown at the Met Gala. We met the new kid on the block, Ji- Young, who made history as the first Asian American Muppet on "Sesame Street."

We saw young people triumph, earning their degrees, from Jennifer Rocha returning to the fields where her family works in her cap and gown, to Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion becoming Meg the graduate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Megan Pete.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: And then, capping off a big year for the labor movement, a Starbucks location in Buffalo became the first company-owned store in the U.S. to be represented by a union.

Here`s the moment that workers learned that they had enough votes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: But, no doubt, the best thing about this year was a vaccine that prevented millions from hospitalizations and death, allowing grandparents to hug their grandkids for the first time in almost a year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I saw the new guidelines, I was very excited, because I have been dying to hug my grandkids.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m sure every grandparent has felt this way. It`s like we been out there in oblivion, just so separated from the people we love.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: Oh.

Listen, it is a tough time right now. We know that you`re all tired and hurting and facing difficult decisions about the days ahead. And we are not here to be Pollyanna about 2021 at all.

But good has a way of showing up, proving that kindness and resilience can always prevail, even at a time like this. So, be safe out there, REIDOUT fam. We love you. And happy holidays.

And that is tonight`s REIDOUT.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.