Manhunt underway for parents of Michigan School Shooter; Parents of Michigan school shooter to be charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter; School shooting suspect used gun bought by his father a few days earlier; 15-year-old-boy charged with murder and terrorism after Michigan school shooting; Mother of Michigan school shooter wrote an open letter to Trump on guns.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: I feel like it is real.
That does it for THE BEAT. I wish everyone a great weekend.
THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid is on right now. So, keep it lock right here on MSNBC. Hi, Joy.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: How are you doing, Ari? Have a wonderful weekend and thank you very much.
All right, good evening. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a fugitive manhunt in Michigan that continues even as I speak to you tonight. James and Jennifer Crumbley were set to be arraigned this afternoon on charges related to their son`s shooting rampage at Oxford High School on Tuesday. But they never showed up.
Their failure to appear triggered a statewide manhunt with local officials working with the FBI and federal marshals to try to track them down. The couple`s lawyers told reporters that they had left town on the night of the shooting but would be returning to be arraigned.
Earlier today, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald, in a stunning news conference, announced that her office would be charging both parents with four counts of involuntarily manslaughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAREN MCDONALD, OAKLAND COUNTRY PROSECUTOR: While the shooter was the one who entered the high school and pulled the trigger, there are other individuals who contributed to this -- to the events on November 30th, and it`s my intention to hold them accountable.
Gun ownership is a right and with that right comes great responsibility. Based on the information and evidence I have received today, I`m announcing charges against the shoot shooter`s parents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: McDonald proceeded to layout disturbing details about the days leading up to the mass murder and the role both parents played in facilitating it. According to the prosecutor, James Crumbley purchased 9mm Sig Sauer pistol for his son, the 15-year-old gunman, last Friday. Then on Monday, the day before the shooting, a teacher caught the teen searching on his phone for information about ammunition.
Here is what happened next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCDONALD: Jennifer Crumbley was contacted via voicemail by school personnel regarding that son`s inappropriate internet search. School personnel indicate they followed that voicemail up with an email but received no response from either parent.
Thereafter, Jennifer Crumbley exchanged text messages about the incident with her son on that day stating quote, LOL, I`m not mad at you, you have to learn not to get caught, end quote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Then on Tuesday, the morning of the shooting, McDonald said that the teen`s teacher discovered an alarming note on his desk with a drawing of a semiautomatic handgun pointing at the words the thoughts won`t stop. Help me. She said it also contained a drawing of a bullet with the words blood everywhere and a drawing of a person who appeared to be shot and bleeding.
His parents were immediately, immediately summoned to the school for a meeting with officials.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCDONALD: At the meeting, James and Jennifer Crumbley were shown the drawing and advised they were required to get their son into counseling within 48 hours. Both James and Jennifer Crumbley failed to ask their son if he had his gun with him or where his gun was located and failed to inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun, which he had with him.
James and Jennifer Crumbley resisted the idea of then leaving the school at that time, of their son leaving the school at that time. Instead, James and Jennifer Crumbley left the high school without their son. He was returned to the classroom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: The gun that he received was an early Christmas gift stored unlocked in a drawer in his parents` bedroom. As news broke of the shooting at Oxford High School, Jennifer Crumbley texted her son, don`t do it.
The school has come under intense scrutiny after reports surfaced that the parents had been summoned to the school to discuss their son the morning of the shooting. Today`s briefing confirmed that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCDONALD: I`m not going to give you a political answer and I`m not going to cover for anybody and I`m just going to say what I think and that is, of course, he shouldn`t have gone back to that classroom. Of course, he shouldn`t have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Even Crumbley was charged with four counts of first-degree murder, terrorism and other crimes.
Meanwhile, the Oxford community, which is 30 miles north of Detroit, has been left reeling by the murders of the four students, Hanna St. Juliana, Tate Myre, Madisyn Baldwin and Justin Shilling. And tonight, the family of Justin Shilling, who made the decision to donate his organs together with hospital staff, will line the halls of the hospital as his body is wheeled to the operating suite where he`ll make one final gift to others, life.
Joining me now is Maya Wiley, former Assistant U.S. Attorney and MSNBC Legal Analyst, Ralph Godbee, former Chief of Police for the City of Detroit and the Detroit Public School`s Community District. Frank Figliuzzi, former Assistant Director for Counterintelligence for the FBI, and MSNBC Correspondent Shaquille Brewster live in Pontiac, Michigan.
And, Shaq, I`m going to start with you. What`s the mood in the town this evening? The mood earlier today, I understand, was pretty much anger.
SHAQUILLE BREWSTER, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And right now, it`s grief. There is a prayer vigil happening in Downtown Oxford, as you have members of the community coming together to pray and reflect on the four students who were lost and then those who were injured, some who are still in the hospital fighting. They`re improving according to the prosecutor but still fighting to preserve their life in the hospital at this point.
So, you have that tone of grief right now but you have a tone of accountability coming from the prosecutor earlier today when she filed these charges, these four charges of involuntarily manslaughter against the parents. And right now, there is tension, as well, and that`s because those parents are still on the loose. There is still a very active manhunt for the parents and that`s despite the contradicting and conflicting messages that we`ve been hearing really throughout the afternoon.
As we know it right now, it was about 12:00 P.M. when authorities started looking for these two parents. They knew there are charges were going to be filed. They just heard the press conference. They started looking to arrest these parents. And at 12:00 P.M., that search started. But despite some previous contact between the attorneys and sheriff`s department, they don`t know where they are right now.
And that manhunt continues. It mentions -- it involves the U.S. marshals, it involves the FBI. They`re looking for these parents to bring them in. That 4:00 P.M. arraignment that we expected, it just never happened, Joy.
REID: Well, that`s pretty amazing. Let me go to Chief Godbee. Everything seems to have gone wrong here. I mean, since Columbine, we`ve all understood that mass shootings, and unfortunately, in the United States because we have a gun culture happen all the time. My kids did active shooting drills going back to third grade. They`re now in their 20s. So, pretty much their whole lives they have had to do active shooter drills in school.
So, everyone knows the signs, isolated kid, issues of presenting himself a sort of violent imagery. This kid did everything possible to wave the red flag. Clearly, his parents didn`t get it because they bought him a Sig Sawyer, which basically like a glock, like it`s a serious weapon to buy for a child. So they ain`t completely missed the mark.
Do you think that the school failed? Because this kid did seem to be showing all the signs that I thought we had been taught to look for when it comes to preventing school shootings.
RALPH GODBEE, FORMER DETROIT POLICE CHIEF: Joy, I think you make some profound points. And I would say I think the school administration definitely failed those young people and they failed the shooter because things like this don`t happen in a vacuum.
And one thing that really concerns me is the number of children that allegedly did not show up for school that day, that had had appreciation for the fact that they knew something horrible was going to happen. And then for administrators not to immediately get that child some help, to send him to class, they had more than a reasonable suspicion to search the backpack, to call police, to have him committed for 72 hours for observation for mental reasons. They had so many tools in their tool box that they did not take advantage of. They may not be criminally liable but certainly there has got to be some civil liability from the school administration standpoint.
REID: And let me go back to you, Shaq, for just a moment. Because on that very point, are you hearing from people in the community from parents that there was some inkling that something bad was going to happen and that this kid might do something dangerous? Did any of the parents -- are they reporting that they had a sense that something was wrong?
BREWSTER: You know, there were definite those early reports that you heard from parents or from students, some of whom who said they didn`t go to school because they had some or they heard something or they heard about some threat.
But I`ll tell you the county sheriff, since the day after the shooting, when he was asked about this, he says, no reports have ever made it to the police department. He says this student, this 15-year-old student, now suspect, was not on law enforcement`s radar. We even heard from the superintendent who said there was no disciplinary record for the student despite the flags and the red flags that we saw in about the 48-hour period before the shooting occurred.
So, one thing the sheriff said is that there were threats that were made and investigated last month, in the middle of last month. But he said once he investigated them, he realized it had nothing to do with the school and it was the school that didn`t reside or wasn`t even in the state of Michigan.
So, he believes that there is mixing up of threats in previous situations, but, yes, there is definitely something there and there is something that is definitely a sentiment you hear from parents and from students there that there was a concern there.
And that`s, by the way, why you have the prosecutor filing these charges. She said it was the parents and the parents only who knew there was concern about the student, who knew that he thought about shooting people and then who knew he had access to a gun.
And they say -- prosecutors saying that because they knew those factors, the parents are criminally liable for the shooting.
REID: And, Frank, let`s talk about the search for these parents. The FBI is now involved in trying to track them down. We know they have roots in Florida. There were some DUI issues, so there was a record that they had at least of some DUIs in the state of Florida previously. How does the FBI then go about trying to track these people down?
FRANK FIGLIUZZI, FORMER FBI OFFICIAL: So, the FBI partnered up with the U.S. marshals who do fugitive work almost full-time. They`re great at it. And with the combined resources, you`re really going to see the high-tech environment at work here combined with what I call the crowd sourcing of crime solving. By that, I mean they`re going to appeal as they have already to the general public.
They`ve put the car description out and a photo of the car. They`re going to be looking at license plate readers at toll booths. There is high technology that some of which I don`t even want to go into because it could cause people to destroy that ability for access to law enforcement.
But rest assured, I don`t think these parents are equipped to actually disappear and evade the FBI and U.S. marshals. I don`t think this is going to go on very long. I`m not even sure I`m buying the story that the attorney is giving because he may not even know the true intentions of his clients. So, they may or may not be coming in on their own time. At this point, they have got to be declared fugitives.
And people may wonder, where is the federal nexus here? This was a local shooting. Good question. The moment you think that there is someone fleeing interstate, her come the marshals, it`s called unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, unlawful flight to avoid custody, marshals, FBI, now you have a federal charge of interstate flight if indeed they have gone interstate.
REID: It`s hard to imagine, Maya, all of this, buying that level of weapon for a child, hard to imagine that. Hard to imagine Lol-ing if your son gets caught searching for ammunition in school and your answer is to try to be their buddy and say, LOL, just don`t get caught next time, hard to imagine. Hard to imagine being told your son is drawing pictures that look like murder and the parents saying, no, leave the kid in school, it`s fine and walking away and then realizing, oh, my son might be -- all of it is hard to imagine.
So, they are being charged right now. Even with all of that, even with all of that seeming negligence, explain how they wind up with legal liability.
MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you`re absolutely right, Joy, which is part of why the prosecutor in this case had said this is an unusual case. Some people said, well, wait, are parents always going to be liable if their kids, you know, get a gun and go shoot someone? Is this going to open the door for mass amounts of manslaughter charges against parents? And her response was essentially, no, it`s because of the facts of this particular case being so egregious.
So, let me give you an example from Michigan where a mother was charged and convicted of reckless manslaughter because she locked all her kids up in their bedroom as a punishment and then went to work. House caught fire, burnt down. Did she intend to her kill children? No. Did she light the fire? No. But it was so reckless, it was so dangerous that she was criminally liable and in a sense, even though this is a very different kind of case, it`s that same kind of recklessness.
Parents have a responsibility to -- and it`s a legal responsibility for the well-being of their child. And so, really, what you`re saying is they violated their legal obligations and this is how did it and the consequences went beyond their child and they`re liable for that, those consequences.
REID: And then the idea after doing all that -- I`m going to go to you, Chief Goodbee, on this -- after doing that to then flee the scene and allow your child who committed these horrible acts to deal with it on his own. You`re running to save yourselves.
I wonder a little bit too about the politics here, a little bit. The mother at least posted this lengthy letter sort of diatribe in favor of Donald Trump when he was elected, saying she voted for him because of the Second Amendment. She`s a realtor. She said some things about the really gross comment that he made about grab them by the X and saying that she was okay with that, she`d rather that than lose her right to bear arms and such. So, he had an ideological sort of attitude toward guns.
Does that -- if you have parents like that that are so pro-gun or so into guns that they would give their kid this as a Christmas present, which I still can`t imagine, I wonder if as a school administrator you start thinking, okay, if the kid of somebody that has got those kind of like politics is acting a little off, I don`t know, is it even possible for schools to even understand that and make those kinds of connections? It`s not necessarily a connection. What do you think?
GODBEE: It`s somewhat difficult from that perspective. However, I will say, Joy, the climate and culture of a school -- a school administration would tell you this. You can walk the halls, you can tell by the social media posts. You can tell a number of things of how in control or out of control a school environment is. And just from hearing reports of what`s been reported publicly, there is a climate and culture issue at Oxford High School. And the administration did not seem to have a real handle on some very significantly disturbing acts.
And I beg to differ with the county sheriff just a bit. Even though some of the other events did not have a direct nexus to the shooting, the climate and culture will have an effect especially when you`re dealing with a young person with potentially some mental health issues but certainly very disturbed and not good parenting at all.
REID: And, Frank, when the FBI is sort of trying to figure out where somebody might flee to, do they take that kind of thing into account? Do they sort of look at their sort of -- I don`t know, the sort of ideological attitudes they have? Does that factor into how you might be able to figure out where somebody might go?
FIGLIUZZI: Oh, you bet. A part of any successful fugitive investigation is understanding the person you`re looking for, family, sentiment, ideology, where are they likely to head maybe because they feel there may be some affinity, some support there. So, yes, it does play a role, of course, successful fugitives hunters really get inside the head of people they are hunting. And that`s what`s going on now.
A lot of that will be electronic. Let`s check the records. Let`s go right now. I`m sure search warrants have already been issued for all of their social media, their computer systems, all of that is being scrubbed now. Where are the indicators? Where are these folks headed?
REID: Yes. We`re going to definitely stay on top of this. Shaq, please holler. Send us up the Bat Signal if you`ve get any more information and we`ll just come right back to you. We`re going to stay on top of this story. I have to just say, as an editorial comment, that a gun is not a toy. It`s a very serious piece of equipment that has only one purpose, to kill people and kill things. And that is not a toy to give to a child who is troubled. Shocking, all of this, but, you know, you need to be with your kid if your kid is in trouble. That`s where you need to be, with your child. Just my own personal opinion.
Thank you, Maya Wiley, Ralph Goodbee, Frank Figliuzzi and Shaquille Brewster. Don`t forget to holler if you`ve got anything new, Shaq, if there are any new developments, as I said, in this Michigan school shooting. We will absolutely bring them to you during this hour.
And up next on THE REIDOUT, the strange authoritarian world of Ron DeSantis, deploying his own paramilitary force and issuing confidential executive orders. He`s America`s post-Trump authoritarian in waiting.
Plus, as Kevin McCarthy lies about an apology from Lauren Boebert, five Democratic caucus chairs call for Boebert to be stripped from her committee assignments. One of them, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, will join me.
And tonight`s absolute worst, the party that claims to be pro-life proved time and time again that they`re anything but.
THE REIDOUT continues after this.
REID: So, there`s just always been something off about Ron DeSantis, from the very moment that he put his infant son in a MAGA onesie so he could properly kiss the ring of King Donald while running for governor of Florida.
And it got even weirder and more problematic after he took office, like when he signed a bill making it harder for felons to regain their voting rights after the people of Florida had overwhelmingly passed an amendment restoring those rights, basically throwing in a poll tax, or when he signed an anti-riot bill that granted immunity to people who -- get this -- decided to drive their cars into protesters who are blocking a road.
A judge wound up blocking that law, but DeSantis filed an appeal in federal court. Also, because blocking the nonexistent Critical Race Theory in public schools wasn`t enough, DeSantis turned his focus to higher education, mandating that public universities survey so-called viewpoint diversity on campus, AKA, inquire into how liberal their views are.
And he`s still extremely devoted to his dear leader, or at least to pandering to his dear leader`s base, announcing plans last month to create a state office to investigate so-called election fraud, despite the fact that Trump won Florida.
So all that is why his latest action, creating a civilian military force under his control, is alarming; 22 other states and Puerto Rico have state National Guards as well. So it`s not unprecedented.
But there`s just something about the way that DeSantis talks about bypassing the federal government that is worth paying attention to. Here he is yesterday, with that same child who wore the MAGA onesie along for the ride.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): We also want to make sure that we have the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible.
And some of that will require us to be able to have access and be able to use support in ways that are not encumbered by the federal government or don`t require federal government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Joining me now is Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried, who is also running for governor of Florida, and Fernand Amandi, Democratic pollster and strategist and my pal.
I`m going to start with you, Fernand, on this, because you and I reacted to this -- the image, first of all, with the child standing there, which definitely had some Fidel kind of weirdness to it. It was weird, but also just the fact that -- like, we had exactly the same reaction this morning.
So I just want to let you react for the rest of us. When you saw this announcement, your thoughts were what?
FERNAND AMANDI, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER AND STRATEGIST: Well, my thoughts were, this were -- this was what my parents and grandparents and great- grandparents were warning me about, that, if we ever saw these types of moves happen in the United States, we need to be on high alert.
Because what you now have is this governor openly defying the federal government and saying, I want to have a private militia force that I assemble that is accountable only to me, not to the Pentagon, outside of the chain of command that has a paramilitary capacity.
And let`s be clear here, Joy.
I`m really upset with folks in the media that are saying, oh, well there`s precedent for this in 23 other states. Florida hasn`t had to mobilize this function since the World War II period, and it was disbanded precisely because it was only needed because there was a deficit of potential troops that could assist in the duties of the state.
What is happening is that this is now a series of actions by a wannabe authoritarian in Ron DeSantis, someone who, as you outlined earlier, has made it very clear he has a callous attitude towards life, as you saw in his administration of the pandemic, where we have now seen nearly 60,000 Floridians pay with their lives because of his policies.
You have seen here in the Sunshine State, where law demands every public document be made public, he has had to be sued because he doesn`t want to give public information. You will hear the Cabinet official Nikki Fried say in just a second he`s canceled Cabinet meetings.
This is a man who is acting and telling us in clear language, give him control and give him power, and he will do everything in his power to keep it at all costs. And I think it`s a chilling moment for America, for the Republican Party, and, for those of us in Florida, I think reason for genuine concern.
REID: Well, and the thing is, because, right, it`s the accumulation of everything together. This is a guy who is saying you can run over protesters with your car, you can be in the streets and protest, but it`s illegal to protest if I don`t like what you`re protesting about. But if you`re on my side, you`re fine.
He is an extreme authoritarian, Nikki Fried. And he`s somebody -- this guy has secret executive orders. That isn`t normal. Florida law has this sort of weird thing where they can have -- Florida has the sunshine laws, where you`re supposed to able to get information from your government.
This guy has passed, first of all, more executive orders than any other governor. In Georgia, they have had 505 with the most executive orders. It`s Georgia, Florida, Colorado, Rhode Island, and New Mexico. So he`s number two in five.
But he is passing executive orders that you can`t get, that people have to sue him for. And then there`s this other thing that I wonder if this might be part of why he`s making this secret military of his own. The defense secretary of the United States, Lloyd Austin, has ordered the National Guard that they have to get vaccinated or they will lose pay.
The governor of Florida has made noises about unvaccinated police feeling they should feel free to move to Florida. Do you think that what he`s doing has something to do with trying to create sort of, I don`t know, a vaccine- free force?
I can`t get to the bottom of it. But what do you think?
NIKKI FRIED (D), FLORIDA COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE: That this is horrifying.
That was my first reaction. Joy, when you were going through all of those headlines, each one individually is scary enough. When you put them all together, and then you see this last action, where he`s not only forming his own army, but it`s that -- an army that is not accountable to anybody, not to the people of our state, not to the Constitution.
And he`s asked our legislature for $100 million to fund this. This is a time when families are struggling. Parents are trying to make the hard decisions of whether to put gas in their tank or buy another loaf of bread.
And so, yes, I do think that one of these issues is, he`s asking for these individuals to come down from New York unvaccinated. And now he`s going to employ them here in the state of Florida.
So, this is -- should be -- and alarming not to just the people of our state, but the entire country, that the governor, who is unhinged, who is going out of his way to show that he is an authoritarian dictator here in our state, believes that he is above the law, doesn`t listen to the legislature, doesn`t communicate with the legislature, as Fernand just said, has canceled almost all of our Cabinet meetings, doesn`t believe that he`s accountable to the Cabinet, the people.
This is an individual who believes that he is running for president in 2024. And so he is taking his eye off the ball on what is happening in the state, the issues that are impacting our state, and now this last move.
If we didn`t say it before, and if the people of our state haven`t been listening already, this should be the most alarming action and scary action that he has taken thus far in his administration.
REID: And, Fernand, you know, this is a guy who labeled a Democratic National Committee member who is named Thomas Kennedy, labeled him a known agitator, or had the FDLE do it.
So, is he sort of investigating his political enemies? If he would do that, and then he gets his own little police force or military force, like, there`s almost nothing he can do. He is running for reelection. Nikki Fried is running against him. Should we expect that the reaction if he doesn`t win to be similar to the reaction that Trump had when he didn`t win?
AMANDI: Well, not only should we expect it. He may very well have his own private militia ready to enforce whatever he interprets as the law.
He just convened a special session now, Joy, in this past month of November to basically reinterpret and relitigate what federal law on vaccine mandates were. And you talk about what he did there with Thomas Kennedy, he`s also declared that war and his office has on the free media and on the press.
You have reporters like Grant Stern being physically removed and accosted attending his press conferences. You have seen him in his office and his pit bull trolls go after the Associated Press and basically allow folks in his office that are being paid on -- with taxpayer funds to spend their day demonizing members of the press and sending digital mobs after them.
Again, this -- these are not the actions of an innocent, good-faith after making a rational decision to help fortify the state at a time of need. This is a wannabe dictator literally taking a page out of the dictator`s playbook, which is putting together a paramilitary militia accountable only to him.
REID: I think -- and this is the time when the media needs to see what we see. Take history into account. What he`s doing there is not normal. It is not what 20-other-some-odd states are doing. It is different.
And people are starting to call it DeSantistan. He is setting up something down there that ain`t right. And people need to pay attention to it.
I appreciate both of you being here. Nikki Fried, Fernand Amandi, thank you both very much. We will stay on this story as well.
Still ahead: House Democrats demand that Lauren Boebert be stripped of her committee assignments for her vile, bigoted attacks on Ilhan Omar. Raise your hand if you think little Kevin McCarthy would even consider agreeing to that.
Yes. Yes, me neither.
We will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I think, when somebody does something that is wrong, they apologize.
Lauren Boebert apologized publicly, and then picked up the phone. She called Congresswoman Omar. She said: I want to personally apologize to you.
And that`s what she did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: No. No, she didn`t know. No. Uh-uh. Little Kevin, you got that wrong.
Lauren Boebert did not apologize publicly. And she didn`t do it privately either. She did tweet that she apologized to anyone in the Muslim community who might have been offended by her comments, implying that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who is a Muslim, is a terrorist suicide bomber, comments that we now know she`s made on multiple occasions.
It`s like her shtick. But she never offered any type of direct apology to Representative Omar. Even Boebert acknowledges that.
And, as of yesterday, the congresswoman has continued to attack. Representative Omar during her MAGA media tour of the fringe right, trying to build up her cred among the orange-haired faithful`s followers.
All along, Congresswoman Omar has simply requested a public apology be made to her. But that seems to be too much for Lauren Boebert.
And, as for little Kevin, this is yet another example of the kind of leader that you would be, because, rather than using this moment to condemn those comments, you, little Kevin, have shown your caucus and the public that there really are no consequences for anything that your members do or say, whether it`s spewing Islamophobic remarks, or sending out videos depicting the killing of Democrats.
Joining me now, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington state, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
I just want you to sort of dream with me for a moment -- maybe it`s nightmare with me -- a future in which that guy, Kevin McCarthy, who essentially -- I can`t even call him spineless. He`s sort of like a bucket of goo. You can`t even pick it up because it`s just goo. There`s nothing there.
He doesn`t have any ability to stand up to these people, this peanut gallery, who are now literally putting Representative Omar`s life in danger. What would it be like with him as speaker?
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): No, it`s intolerable, and it cannot happen.
And that`s why in our statement that several of us chairs of the different caucuses, the Black Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, Asian- Pacific American Caucus, and Equality Caucus, put out, we said, Kevin McCarthy is either unwilling or unable to control his caucus.
And that shows that he cannot be in leadership of his caucus, much less in leadership of the House of Representatives.
But, Joy, it just -- it goes to the fundamental broke-ness of the Republican Party today. They do not even have basic decency. They can`t even have a conversation about what is right and wrong. It is wrong to call a member of Congress a suicide bomber. It is wrong to joke about that publicly. It endangers her life. It endangers the lives of Muslim Americans that work on the Hill, because there are so many people that can`t even tell the difference, unfortunately.
They see a woman in hijab, they think it`s Ilhan Omar. Everybody`s life is at risk. It endangers the lives of Muslim Americans across the country, because people hear this coming from members of Congress, and they suddenly decide they`re going to do the same thing in their communities and issue death threats or go out and actually enact violence.
I mean, I got my start organizing after 9/11 protecting Muslim Americans and Sikh Americans and others who were attacked after 9/11. And I am very sad to say, Joy, that we are, unfortunately, in the same place.
But, this time, it is being stoked, promoted, encouraged, and condoned by the leader of the House Republicans when he says absolutely nothing or he sticks up for these people and says he`s going to reinstate them on committees, the ones that we have taken off of committees already.
And the thing is that he`s now essentially made it clear that it`s not a bridge too far for your own family to say that you`re a white nationalist. That`s fine. It`s not a bridge too far to have been in league with the people who attacked our Capitol, besieged our Capitol, defecated in our Capitol, and defecated on our democracy. That`s OK.
It`s not too far to do a gunshot ad that is targeting the speaker of the House. It`s not OK to make a fake anime video that depicts you killing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and launching knives at President Biden. Nothing is off -- but isn`t that because, Congresswoman, in order for him to get to the speakership, he needs their votes?
And their votes could keep him from being speaker. Isn`t it more likely that one of these members of this peanut gallery, these freshmen, will end up in leadership if he becomes speaker?
JAYAPAL: Well, that will happen, because, obviously, he`s going to have to promise them more and more and more in order to get their votes.
And let`s just be clear that any -- if Kevin McCarthy and these people are in leadership, what are they going to be doing, Joy?
JAYAPAL: They`re certainly not going to be doing what Democrats have done all year. I mean, we have brought down unemployment to 4.2 percent. We brought it down by two points.
We created -- under President Biden`s leadership, we created six million new jobs in 10 months. We cut child poverty in half. We are now going to provide universal pre-K, child care, all of these things.
What are the Republicans promising you? Nothing but hatred, discrimination, the big lie, and a continuation of policies that benefit the tiniest, wealthiest group of people in this country.
And I think that that`s -- it`s a depressing day, though, Joy, where -- or set of days or years. I don`t know. It`s a depressing reality that we can`t even go into Congress and be safe in our workplace.
JAYAPAL: That we can`t even have somebody who will call out right from wrong.
I mean, Lauren Boebert did not apologize to Ilhan. She gave a very half- hearted apology, public apology, without ever saying she was sorry to the person she called a suicide bomber and joked about.
JAYAPAL: Very difficult to watch those videos, because she`s joking about it.
JAYAPAL: And she`s actually taking this violent rhetoric, anti-Muslim rhetoric, and turning it into a fund-raising machine.
REID: Yes, she is.
JAYAPAL: It is funny for her.
REID: She thinks it`s funny. And if they get in leadership, that`s all they`re going to be doing, trolling, trolling and trolling. They don`t have an agenda, other than trolling and authoritarianism.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal -- and spreading hate -- thank you very much. Really appreciate you.
And don`t go anywhere. We have got a very special extended edition of the "Absolute Worst" straight ahead, with a deep dive into conservatives` blatant, intentional hypocrisy when it comes to the sanctity of life.
We will be right back.
REID: Welcome to the new Gilead right here in the United States of America.
Women are not welcome here. Correction: Women who do not exist solely as vessels for a fetus are not welcome here, which is why the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday about reversing a nearly 50-year precedent on abortion rights, something that Republicans have been thirsty for since their modern movement to ban abortions began.
Now they`re armed with a conservative supermajority on the court. And one justice, Amy Coney Barrett, who seemed to suggest adoption could relieve the need for abortions, because safe haven laws allow women to choose not to be a parent, had her say it.
And here it is.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
AMY CONEY BARRETT, U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: It`s also focused on the consequences of parenting and the obligations of motherhood that flow from pregnancy.
Why don`t the safe haven laws take care of that problem? It seems to me that it focuses the burden much more narrowly. It doesn`t seem to me to follow that pregnancy and then parenthood are all part of the same burden.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
REID: Safe haven laws aim to protect abandoned newborns.
But Justice Barrett fails to address that women would still be forced to endure unwanted childbirth and full pregnancy terms, pregnancy, which many of the men in the Republican Party may not realize does come with risks.
The U.S. has a high maternal mortality rate, one of the highest among developed nations, and black women are more than three times as likely to have a maternal death than white women. Pregnancy and the common complications that arise can be difficult for any woman, but especially for those without health care, family support, or an employer that offers sick leave, which brings us back to Gilead.
Republicans love to say that they`re pro-life, but the more accurate term is that they`re pro-birth, because, once that baby is born, they stop caring. And depending on the color of your skin, they may not even see you as fully human.
If they did care about children after they`re born, they would be supporting universal health care, social services, food for kids whose families can`t afford it, fully funding education and gun reform, so kids don`t have to do mass shooter drills at school. They would support the Build Back Better agenda, which invests in housing in the environment and acts as the biggest expansion of affordable health care in a decade.
Alas, not one Republican voted for that bill. But pro-life, really? The more appropriate slogan, in my humble opinion, is anti-choice, as the same party passes regressive policies that harm women, children and families by taking choices away from them.
Or maybe it`s pro-death, as this party does nothing about kids getting massacred in classrooms, while siding with a virus that mutates and has killed nearly 800,000 Americans, and even children. You don`t get to be a death cult while waving the pro-life flag, especially when the flag was never about abortion to begin with, or about orchestrating -- it was only about orchestrating a rallying cry to politicize evangelicals, which is why the pro-life lie by a death cult party is the "Absolute Worst."
And up next, a guest who knows how the anti-abortion movement really started, because he was there.
REID: The GOP is rife with hypocrisy. But one of the more stunning examples is their so-called pro-life stance, while women and children are literally dying of COVID in red states.
That`s because the anti-abortion movement was never about life, but yet another rallying cry churned up by the fake outrage machine to win elections.
Joining me now is Frank Schaeffer, director and author of several books, including "Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God."
Frank, it`s always great to talk with you.
You were around at the beginning of the creation of this, this -- what`s now called the pro-life movement. But, I mean, it really wasn`t about abortion initially.
Can you just walk us through the -- I mean, the far right, the Christian right didn`t care about abortion. They cared about desegregated schools -- I mean, about their segregated academies not being able to get federal funding. And then they shifted. How did the shift happen from worrying about not getting segregated academies federal funding to abortion?
FRANK SCHAEFFER, AUTHOR, "WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD": Well, sadly, it happened in large measure because of the work that my father and I and Dr. C. Everett Koop, who became surgeon general for Ronald Reagan did, in bringing a film series that I wrote and directed, based on a book that C. Everett Koop and dad wrote called "Whatever Happened to the Human Race?" to millions and millions of evangelicals.
Now, what will surprise you and many viewers is to understand that, when we took that series out, many evangelicals were pro-choice. In fact, Dr. Reverend Billy Graham, the great evangelist, Dr. Criswell, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, these men refused to participate in our seminars when they had been avid followers of my dad and our work before that.
And I was dad`s nepotistic sidekick. Now, introducing me tonight, you mentioned a book, "Why I`m an Atheist Who Believes in God." But after that came out, I have spent the last six years writing an apology to women and families in America that we damaged called "Fall in Love, Have Children, Stay Put, Save the Planet, Be Happy."
And the reason I have done that is that my family unleashed the rabid religious right on women, when, in fact, evangelicals were evenly divided and even a little bit pro-choice.
So one of the lies the religious right tells and one of the lies the Republican Party tells is somehow that part of evangelical theology, the theology of people like Reverend Billy Graham, Dr. Criswell, the editors of "Christianity Today" magazine, who also in those days were pro-choice, has always been like the Catholic Church on this issue.
It has not been.
SCHAEFFER: So, the first lie is, evangelicals, as I point out in my book "Fall in Love, Have Children," was that evangelicals somehow were pro-life. They weren`t.
They were like other Americans, many shocked by women having to go to back- alley abortions, a lot of people, like Dr. Graham, for instance, who told me -- I was in the meeting with him at the Mayo Clinic with my dad. And we met in Billy`s room where he was undergoing a checkup.
And Billy said: "I can`t preach to women, and tell them what to do about this. Men don`t get pregnant. How dare I do that?"
SCHAEFFER: So he was reasonable on it.
So the first lie, Joy, is that we come from a place where we have acted as if this is part of Christian theology. It is not.
SCHAEFFER: And the second thing is, is that my family, sadly, as I talked about in the book, went out of its way not to stop abortion, but to put women back in their place.
This was a misogynistic movement. I was part of it. And that`s why I have spent the last six years writing an apology and what I hope is the most pro-family, pro-child, pro-woman book out there.
And I will tell you something. You cannot be pro family unless you are pro- choice.
SCHAEFFER: Because if women are treated like nothing more than incubating vessels, second-class citizens, and this horrible burden that nature and evolution or God or whoever the creator was puts on women, if this is not balanced by the right to choose, we cannot have an equal society.
Women cannot have careers. Women cannot have lives. And so I am so sorry for the part I played. I am so sorry, on behalf of my father, for the part we played. We were a misogyny team. We were not pro-life.
REID: Let me read a little bit. This is from your book.
And it says: "My version of pro-life was horribly unfair. I soon found myself shilling for the anti-abortion movement that the pro-life juggernaut would become as it linked arms with far right misogynists."
But I want to also talk to you about the sort of bigger picture here, because this movement now is not just against abortion. They also are coming for birth control eventually, for RU-486 and other ways to prevent pregnancy.
But they also don`t say anything about child poverty, the lack of health care, the lack of education. Mississippi is 50th in almost every category for caring for children. And that`s the state that`s deciding that they want to end abortion. But why isn`t pro-life also about keeping people alive once they`re born?
SCHAEFFER: Because pro-life has always been about containing women.
Look, I was brought up in a household, Reformed Calvinist, fundamentalist Christian household, that believed and taught me to really be a jerk by divine right. You`re in charge of women, and they`re supposed to obey you.
SCHAEFFER: There are still women and men in this country that believe that.
And one of the things that I talk about in "Fall in Love, Have Children" is that this view of women almost smashed my marriage.
SCHAEFFER: My wife, Genie, and I have been married 52 years now. I got her pregnant when we were 17 and 18.
REID: Yes. Yes.
SCHAEFFER: We were a teenage pregnancy, as I describe.
SCHAEFFER: And the fact is that my learning curve is the learning curve that the evangelicals have refused to take.
SCHAEFFER: And they are not pro-life.
SCHAEFFER: They are anti-woman.
REID: Indeed. Indeed. And I wish we had more time.
Frank Schaeffer, thank you so much. And thank you for writing that apology. We appreciate you.
That is tonight`s REIDOUT.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.