Slain officer will lie in honor in Capitol rotunda. House managers lay out case for impeachment as slain officer is memorialized at Capitol. Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez describes Capitol siege. Conservatives focus hatred on AOC and the squad. Trump makes his own vice president a target for angry mob. Trump attorneys claim impeachment is unconstitutional. Impeachment managers say, Trump is singularly responsible for riot. Impeachment managers say, Trump summoned a mob and aimed them like a loaded cannon.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: See you tomorrow.
For one more music footnote though before I go, if you`re on Instagram, you
can follow me @arimelber tonight. We`re doing an I.G. live with D.J. Drama.
So you can go on Instagram @arimelber. We`ll be taking your questions. It`s
way more interactive than this T.V. thing if you want to tune in.
Otherwise, don`t go anywhere. Right now, "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid starts
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone. We begin tonight`s REIDOUT
with the case for impeachment, both the legal argument and the visceral
emotional one and the toll of the devastation of January 6th. In just two
and a half hours, the remains of slain Capitol Police Officer Brian
Sicknick will lie in honor in the rotunda of the United States Capitol.
Officer Sicknick died from the injuries he sustained when he was hit in the
head by members of the right-wing MAGA mob during the Capitol insurrection
Just four other private citizens have laid in honor in the rotunda,
including two other Capitol police officers killed in the line of duty,
civil rights icon Rosa Parks and Reverend Billy Graham.
Today, House impeachment managers laid out a searing argument for why the
disgraced former occupant of the White House should be convicted by the
Senate for his role in inciting the riot that led to the death of Officer
Sicknick and four others.
With an impassioned trial brief saying simply, his responsibility for the
events of January 6th is unmistakable. Arguing the Senate can try the
former president because his conduct endangered the life of every single
member of Congress, jeopardized the peaceful transition of power and line
of succession and compromised our national security.
Adding that instead of accepting the will of the American people, the man
whose name we would love to excise from this show, Donald Trump, quote,
summoned a mob to Washington, exhorted them into a frenzy and aimed them
like a loaded cannon toward the Capitol.
Now we know that`s true from the president`s own words and video of that
day and we certainly know that the senators who will consider the case
against them were, in fact, themselves witnesses to the events of January
6th, with the Senate chamber a crime scene and many of those same senators
who incited the riot themselves and those now defending his actions
hunkered down in the same secure rooms with their colleagues.
And in a frank testimonial shared on Instagram live last night,
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared the trauma of that day,
highlighting the personal toll the Capitol insurrection took on her as she
took cover in her office and then in a bathroom, the whole time she was
gripped by the mortal fear that she might not survive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Then I hear these huge violent bangs
on my door and then every door going into my office.
There were no yells, no one saying who they were, nobody identifying
themselves and just boom, boom, boom. I hide back in the bathroom behind
the door. And then I just start to hear these yells of, where is she? Where
is she? And this was the moment where I thought everything was (BLEEP) over
I mean, I thought I was going to die.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Luckily the person at the door was a Capitol police officer who
hadn`t identified himself. And even then, she said the situation was so
intense that it was hard to tell if he even intended to help her. But it`s
especially harrowing because there`s no question of what that angry mob
would have done had they found her first. Under the circumstances, she had
every right to question who was at the door, given that since the moment
that she and the rest of the squad ran and won, they have been turned into
hate objects by the right, replacing the old Republican canard of
excessively attacking Nancy Pelosi or President Obama.
The apprentice actor turned president and his minions on the media right
have made vilifying AOC with sexist attacks and insults an almost singular
focus of the last two years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): We all know that AOC and this crowd are a
bunch of communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own country.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: AOC plus three. You know AOC? Not a
good student. Not good at anything, but she`s got a good line of crap, I`ll
tell you that.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, HOST, THE RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW: They run that party and they
run the American left and they`re not going to let some young uppity come
in here and upset the apple cart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She is a viciously dishonest person.
TRUMP: She`s got a great line of (BLEEP) that`s about it.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Someday, the AOC moment will pass. It`s too
stupid to continue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And did I mention good old Marjorie Q. Greene posed with an assault
rifle alongside image of the squad as her campaign for Congress? Her ad was
so incendiary that Facebook took it down and then a bunch of North
Georgians elected her.
Then just as with Nancy Pelosi, AOC, President Obama and the squad, the
MAGA cult leader even put a big ole target on his own vice president during
the riots -- during the rally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so.
Because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And later attacking Pence in real-time during the insurrection for
not having the courage to overturn a Democratic election, to which the mob
chanted, hang Mike Pence.
In their impeachment response today, lawyers for the disgraced Florida
retiree denied that he incited the riot and said the trial is
unconstitutional because he`s no longer president. They also say his
remarks at the Ellipse rally that preceded the riot were free speech,
protected by the First Amendment.
Joining me now is Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California, Chair of the
House Financial Services Committee. And, Congresswoman, it`s always didn`t
to talk with you, but I specifically want to talk to you today because you
have been where AOC is, as somebody who has been obsessively attacked by
the right, vilified, treated to sexism and racism because you`ve been an
active activist member of Congress since you`ve been there. We`re watching
you now back in the 1990s after the insurrections in Los Angeles.
Can you just tell us how you feel hearing somebody like Congresswoman
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tell that harrowing story and also your own
experience having to be in that Capitol on 1/6?
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): Thank you so much, Joy. As I listen to AOC, my
heart went out to her because I know what she was experiencing, and
particularly when she connected with the trauma that she had experienced
when she was sexually abused. And so she described in a very vivid way what
was happening with her when she heard them calling out, where is she, where
is she, while she was hiding. And as she said, she thought that this was
the end for her, that she could be killed.
I know how she felt because I have been threatened also so many times. And
you`re absolutely correct. Because I took on this president early, I called
for his impeachment early, I have been threatened time and time again.
The Oath Keepers, who were part of the domestic terrorists who came to the
Capitol and invaded our Capitol attempted to come to my office in Los
Angeles. They tried to organize other domestic terrorists to join them. My
community discovered what was going on and they turned up in big numbers
and, of course, the Oath Keepers had a change of mind when they saw that
the community was not going to stand for it.
I had to put out a notice to all of my community to say, please don`t come.
Don`t engage with the Oath Keepers. Don`t allow them to get you involved in
a confrontation because I was trying to keep the peace because I know that
if they actually showed up and there was a confrontation, it would be
And so it was not only been the Oath Keepers, as we went back and took a
look at how many times I`ve been threatened and what has happened to some
of these people, in April of 2018, a man named Anthony Lloyd Scott got
three years probation and 100 hours of community service for threatening to
kill me. Of course, the Oath Keepers, as I mentioned, who tried to come to
my office but was turned back and they are very bloody, and they are white
Also there was Richard Mel Phillips in Florida who pleaded guilty to
leaving a threatening voice mail message with my office. And so I
discovered that he was also sentenced along with several others. This
Anthony Lloyd Scott, who is a Trump supporter in California, pleaded guilty
to threatening me in a voice mail, and so he also was sentenced, and so it
goes on and on and on.
I am, of course, accustomed to being threatened, but I have to be concerned
about security and I have to watch my back and I have to make sure that I`m
not putting myself in a position where I can be harmed. I have to know, you
know, where I`m going, when I`m going. I oftentimes have security, I had it
all during my campaign. I have to make sure that I`m not allowing people to
walk behind me. I have to look out before I step out to see if there are
any, you know, strange-looking people loitering around, on and on and on.
But I and other women, minority women in Congress, are often threatened.
And we are at risk. And just as AOC was threatened that day, I was lucky, I
was locked in my office. I would not leave it even when they tried to get
me to go to where they were gathering all of the members in one room. I`m
glad I didn`t, because of the contagion that took place there and the
members who ended up with the COVID-19.
But I recognize what she was saying and how she felt. And I know how I have
to live my life. But what`s so interesting about all of this is they tried
to make themselves the victim when, indeed, they are following the
president of the United States of America who had advanced planning about
the invasion that took place in our Capitol. And even there`s information
that some of the planning came out of individuals working in this campaign.
As a matter of fact, he absolutely should be charged with premeditated
murder because of the lives that were lost with this invasion, with this
And so, yes, we are threatened, but we can`t back up. We`ve got to fight as
hard as we can to see to it that there is some justice. But for the
president of the United States to sit and watch the invasion and the
insurrection and not say a word because he knew that he had absolutely
initiated it and as some of them said, he invited us to come. We`re here at
the invitation of the president of the United States. When he rallied, he
said go to the Capitol, fight hard. This is -- take back your country. And
so if that`s not inciting the kind of violence that we have witnessed, I
don`t know what is.
REID: Indeed, Congresswoman. I want to note for our audience that the
speaker of the House, who also was hiding under a table with some of her
young staffers, I know a lot of the staffers who work for you all are very
young people, have issued a dear colleague letter. It`s says important to
facilitate an accurate personal record for the healing process and it`s
also clear that we will need to establish a 9/11-type commission to examine
and report upon the facts, causes and security related to the terrorist mob
attack on January 6th.
I want to thank you, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, for that and please stay
safe. Definitely, please stay safe and thank you.
WATERS: Thank you very much (INAUDIBLE) to be safe.
REID: Thank you very much.
I want to now turn to Neal Katyal, former acting solicitor general, and you
heard the congresswoman. And, Neal, I mean, the reality is you have Officer
Sicknick lying in honor in the Capitol now because he was beaten to death
by the rioters, that is the definition of a lynch mob. And the reality is
if they were willing to beat a police officer to death, imagine had they
gotten hold of one of the people who have been made negatively famous by
right-wing media and by the former president, Donald Trump, who made it his
business to turn AOC, to turn Maxine Waters, to turn other members of the
squad into hate objects. It`s a lynch mob.
So I want to just ask you about this defense for this lynch mob that the
president, the former president sent. The argument that`s being made by the
Trump side is that he cannot be impeached because he`s no longer president
and that what he said in whipping up that crowd is free speech. I just want
to note for the audience, this is the brief that they`re arguing against.
This is this thick brief which I`m going to spend the day reading, and this
is their little 14-page response, okay?
Your thoughts, Neal, on their argument.
NEAL KATYAL, FORMER ACTING SOLICITOR GENERAL: Exactly. So, Donald Trump`s
lawyers and Trump are trying to distance themselves from this horrific
attack, and it`s like the January 6th mob is the only thing Donald Trump
has ever made that he won`t stick his name on in giant gold letters. And
sadly for him, the upshot of those briefs is that this is what he`s going
to be most remembered for, Joy.
And I absolutely agree with you, the briefs today just make this really,
really stark and clear, and just starting with the writing itself. I mean,
the House brief by the impeachment managers tells a story elegantly, it`s
an ugly story, it`s an evil story, but it`s linear and it tells the reader
what she needs to know.
And the Trump brief, by contrast, is schizophrenic, it`s hard to follow, it
misspells United States on the second line of the brief. It weighs in at 14
incoherent pages. And the upshot of that brief is they`re trying to say
Trump is engaged in free speech. Give me a break. We`ve got presidents for
200 years. We never had impeachment proceedings against them because
presidents don`t say the kinds of things that Donald Trump said.
And I think the House managers captured it so well and yesterday, as you
were pointing out, AOC in an even more powerful way, a very visceral way.
And I think that`s the problem Trump has is his lawyers are trying to make
it out like he`s just some crazy guy screaming at the T.V. He is the
president of the United States when this stuff is happening.
And as Congresswoman Waters just said, while it`s happening, what does he
do? Nothing. If you were president, if I were president, any normal person
on January 6th would have been horrified and done everything possible to
stop it. This isn`t free speech, this is incitement.
REID: Indeed. And let me play you one of the more ridiculous other
arguments that they are making. This is one of Trump`s lawyers, David
Schoen. And he`s saying that video of the actual insurrection should not be
shown in the trial. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID SCHOEN, TRUMP IMPEACHMENT ATTORNEY: Does this country really need to
see videotapes? We know now apparently that Mr. Swalwell and the other
managers tend to show videotapes of the riots and people calling in, people
being hurt, police officers talking. Why does the country need that now?
This has nothing to do with President Trump and the country doesn`t need to
just watch videos of riots and unrest. We need to heal now. We need to move
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: I`m not a lawyer. You`re the great lawyer here, Neal. But this
strikes me as me telling a gang of my friends, go in there and rob that
bank. And they go in, they rob the bank, some people get killed in the bank
robbery and then I say, you know, it shows people being shot by my friends
who sent in there, I told them to go rob that bank, but we don`t need to
see that, that`s traumatizing. That`s just going to traumatize everybody.
Don`t show the video. Don`t show the closed circuit video of what happened,
because that`s just going to make people upset. Like that is not -- have
you ever heard an argument like that?
KATYAL: Well, I`ve heard it only from people really afraid of the facts,
and that`s what this guy is. I mean, they`re just afraid of showing what
happened. I`m sure he`s terrified of showing the Gabriel Sterling video,
the Georgia official of December 1st who went to the cameras and said, Mr.
President, cut it out, someone is going to get shot. Someone is going to
get killed. What does Trump do? He goes and gives a bunch more speeches and
says the kind of incendiary nonsense again and again and again.
And that`s the real problem. Some of this stuff you can say if you were an
alien landing from Mars, the statements by themselves might look like
speech. The problem is they come in a context of Trump egging this on and
after he`s been warned by the Georgia election officials, no less, someone
is going to get shot. It`s going to be a fascinating trial, but it is going
to be a trial with evidence. And that`s why Donald Trump has a lot to fear.
REID: Yes, indeed. Some of that evidence is the person who`s lying in
honor in our Capitol right now, because these people are also cop killers.
I think that they may not want to have to address that either, but they`re
going to have to.
Neal Katyal, thank you very much. I really appreciate you being here this
And up next on THE REIDOUT, as we were just talking about, you heard it,
you`ve seen the briefs, the little one and the big one. It`s now time for
Republicans to decide, are they going to be the party that has some honor
or are they going to be the party of bizarre conspiracies and Marjorie Q.
Greene or what?
Plus, Senator Sherrod Brown joins me on the Democrats` plans to go big on
COVID stimulus, even if it means going it alone.
And reversing Trump`s sinister policy, the most sinister policy, the
separation of migrant kids from their parents at the southern border, kids
like nine-year-old Alvaro (ph).
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How old are you going to be?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you hoping to get anything for your birthday?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think you`re going to get? Or what do you
want to get, buddy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My dad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: THE REIDOUT continues after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Based on your conversations, are more of your members supportive
of Greene or Cheney?
REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): Well, first of all, I have rejected those
statements by Marjorie.
And I think we`re going to be talking tomorrow in conference. We`re going
to have an in person meeting in the Capitol where we`re going to be talking
through a lot of these issues internally. Look, first of all, we`re very
united in our opposition to the devastating economic hits that President
Biden has been doing in his first two weeks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: In normal times, that would not have been a tough question for
Republican Congressman Steve Scalise to answer.
You have two conservative lawmakers in the same party. One voted to uphold
her oath and hold the president accountable. The other espoused conspiracy
theories that a plane did not, in fact, hit the Pentagon on 9/11 and that
the deadly school shootings at Sandy Hook and Parkland were actually
Now, of course, these are not normal times. And for this Republican Party,
you`re more likely to face repercussions for following the Constitution
then for following QAnon.
In fact, more House Republicans have been outspoken on the dire need to
remove Congresswoman Liz Cheney from House leadership for voting to impeach
then to denounce Marjorie Q Greene for her dangerous lies.
In a rare move, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell jumped into the
House Republicans` infighting, defending Cheney, calling her "a leader with
deep convictions and the courage to act on them," and adding that: "She is
an important leader in our party and in our nation."
And while not mentioning Greene by name, which would count as courage in
our present dystopia, he also said -- quote -- "Loony lies and conspiracy
theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country, and lawmakers
who embrace them are not living in reality."
Well, apparently, that did not sit well with the congresswoman from not
living in reality North Georgia, who fired back: "The real cancer for the
Republican Party is weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully."
Joining me now is David Frum, senior editor at "The Atlantic."
And, David, I feel like it crystallizes, like chef`s kiss perfect
crystallizes the state of the Republican Party, that the guy defending the
party for not expelling the lady who thinks that Jewish people have lasers
that they aim at California is also the guy who said that he`s David Duke
without the baggage, and then got put in leadership, because that`s a thing
that happens in the Republican Party.
So, I feel like the answer to his question is obvious. Of course they`re
going to support Marjorie Greene over Liz Cheney, right?
DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, "THE ATLANTIC": Well, let`s look at this
without ethics, without morality. Let`s just look at this the way a
professional politician would, very coldbloodedly, from the point of
gaining, holding and using power.
Republicans have a terrible trap. And it`s expressed by a pair of polls
from the state of Georgia. In the state of Georgia, Joe Biden`s approval
rating is now in the high 50s. The feel -- support for President Trump and
the feelings about the Capitol coup are in the low 40s.
It`s pretty obvious what Georgia public opinion is. But among Georgia
Republicans, 85 percent support President Trump and majorities are in
defense of the attempted Capitol coup.
And so Republicans are in this whipsaw between the voters they have and the
voters they need. And that`s the thing the DCCC -- I never remember how
many C`s to use -- is using right now, because that ad so many people who
watch this program I have seen where they are identifying people with
QAnon, that`s running in swing districts like Ventura County in California,
like South -- Miami Beach in South Miami, where Republicans got lucky in
2020 and could get unlucky in 2022.
REID: And just to make that exact point, running on the 2022 ballot in
Georgia will be Raphael Warnock, who has to run again for reelect, Kemp,
the governor, who`s being vilified by Trump as not flipping the election,
because he didn`t flip the election, and Marjorie Greene.
They`re all going to be running at the same time. So, Georgia is going to
get to have a referendum on whether they prefer the pastor of Ebenezer
Baptist Church or that lady in terms of who symbolizes Georgia.
But I want to play for you, because I think you make a great point --
speaking of cruelly and viciously and just coldly using power, here`s Mitch
McConnell, Senate minority leader.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Well, with regard to the former president,
we`re going into an impeachment trial next week. We`re all going to listen
to what the lawyers have to say in making the arguments and work our way
President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations
of irregularities and weigh his legal options. This process will reach its
resolution. Our system will resolve any recounts or litigation.
We`re going to have an orderly transfer from this administration to the
next one. What we all say about it is, frankly, irrelevant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And the point that`s made there is that the first thing that he`s
responding to is that is the answer to the question, should he have spoken
up earlier about the big lie about the election?
He doesn`t even answer it. He skips that question and goes on to something
else. He gave, the Rob Portmans of the world who voted with Trump 99
percent of the time, who excused him, who pretended they didn`t hear when
he said, who pretend they can`t read when Twitter happens, isn`t the
problem that the party itself has laid down for the far right for so long,
they don`t know how to stand up anymore?
FRUM: Well, McConnell is caught in a very specific quandary.
Marjorie Green comes from the extreme upper left hand corner of Georgia,
the greater Chattanooga metropolitan area, an exurban district. And, of
course, she won in November of 2020. Her corner of the state is one of the
places where the vote -- voter turnout dropped most between November of
2020 and the run-off in January 2021.
I mean, there`s a real argument that she helped to cause the loss of the
Senate in -- the two Senate seats in Georgia and helped to cost the
Republicans the Senate majority.
And McConnell, that has to be driving him crazy. On the other hand, he`s
worried now about even further losses if he drives people like that away.
So, it`s really -- he`s got his fingers and one of those Christmas finger
traps, where you keep pulling and there`s no way out.
REID: Yes. There is no way out.
And we are now confirming, NBC News has confirmed Ms. Marjorie Taylor
Greene is currently meeting with the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy.
I`m not sure if he`s giving her a high-five, a hug. I don`t know, but I
highly doubt that he is reprimanding her. Just my guess.
David Frum, thank you very much. Really appreciate you being here.
And up next: Congressional Democrats are pushing ahead with a nearly $2
trillion COVID relief package, even if they have to pass it with zero
Republican support. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown joins me next on THE
REID: As politicians debate the finer points of coronavirus relief,
Americans are suffering, like this out-of-work West Virginian Pamela
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAMELA GARRISON, WEST VIRGINIA RESIDENT: Senator Manchin and Senator
Capito, I`m not just calling on them. I`m calling them out.
I am demanding that our kids have food, shelter, that we -- to help our
whole -- our whole state, besides our whole nation. Lift us up out of
poverty. I just want you all to join us and call your senators and get mad
about this, people. This is unjust.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: As the White House pointed out last week, more than 10 million
Americans are unemployed, 14 million renters are behind on their rent
payments, and 29 million adults, along with at least eight million
children, are currently struggling with food insecurity.
I`m joined now by Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, incoming chair of
the Senate Banking Committee.
And, Senator, I don`t want to just pick on Joe Manchin, but he is her
senator, this woman who just spoke. You just heard her speak. And he has
said that he is for reconciliation, but he does not support raising the
minimum wage to $15 an hour. He`s quibbled about who should be getting the
stimulus checks, whether it should be limited.
He`s -- and he`s carping and spending a lot of time getting in his feelings
because the vice president of the United States went on TV in his state
without his permission. Apparently, she needs his permission.
Are all the Democrats on the same page as to the need and the scale of the
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): Yes.
Joe Biden spoke to the caucus, to the Democratic Caucus today. So did Janet
Yellen. They both said, go big. Janet Yellen was on longer. She took us --
questions for probably half-an-hour. She said over and over, we have to go
big. There`s -- there`s no -- it`s better to overdo this than underdo it,
overshoot than to undershoot it, whatever term she used.
But, over and over, she kept coming back to going back. And that means
money. That means some unemployment extension benefits. It means this --
the direct payments. It means significant rental assistance dollars. It
means help for small business.
It means opening up our schools. We have not -- Mitch McConnell simply
refused to support public education really for his whole career, but
especially now in terms of dollars to schools. And you can`t really get the
economy going again unless schools are open for children, because of
parents who work a lot, all of those things.
And we have got to go big. There`s just no question that`s the right way to
REID: So, let`s just -- to be clear, the Republican -- what they put up
was -- is actually sort of insulting to the American people. They`re saying
only $1,000, but they want to stop at those making $50,000 a year.
They only want to throw in $300 for unemployment, down from the $400. They
want no -- no federal eviction moratorium, so go ahead and people get
evicted at will, no change to the minimum wage. That plan is dead, right?
The Biden plan is what you guys are going to vote on?
BROWN: Yes, we`re going to vote on it.
I mean, it`d be great if Republicans really wanted to do bipartisanship,
but they don`t. They -- we -- I was here, early time for me in the Senate,
in 2009 and `10. And they negotiated, and they slow-walked, and it cost us
getting Medicare at 55. It costs us from doing the Recovery Act right. We
have paid for it. Our economy has paid for it.
The American public`s paid for it for a decade. You could argue we paid for
it politically too. That`s obviously of lesser importance to the country.
But it`s clear they are really good at slow-walking. They are really good
at feigning bipartisanship. But -- and they`re really good at delay. And
the longer we delay -- they forget about the suffering out there that you
started that with, the lady from West Virginia.
I mean, people are hungry. People -- we`re going to see a wave of evictions
in the middle of a pandemic in the middle of the winter if we don`t act,
and if we don`t act decisively and go big. The Republican chair of the
Federal Reserve, Jay Powell, wants us to go big.
Most economists wants us to go big.
BROWN: The governor of West Virginia, a Republican, wants us to go big.
BROWN: It`s Republican House members and senators and these interest
groups that say, oh, no, you got to do less. Well, they`re wrong.
REID: Well, does go big mean $2,000 or $1,400? Because that`s starting to
confuse folks, when people were, like, tweeting at Joe Biden that...
BROWN: To me, going -- yes, I could be -- I mean, I`d like to see us do an
additional $2,000. I know that`s -- but...
REID: It should be $2,000, yes.
BROWN: Sure, it`s the $2,000 total.
But, I mean, there`s so many other things there. The rental assistance is
really, really important, keeping people, so they don`t fore -- so, people
-- keeping them out of foreclosure on their homes, keeping -- making sure
there`s money for schools, so that students can go back to school in
It`s -- all of those things are what going big means. And Republicans just
don`t want to go big. They want to slow-walk. They want to restrict
government. They want to make -- they want to show that government can`t
Well, back in March, when we did the CARES Act, we showed government works
in this country. Twelve million Americans stayed out of poverty because of
what the Congress did. Then Congress did nothing for eight months.
And, by August, when all the benefits were starting to fall away. thousands
of people a day were falling into poverty in this country. So, we know what
works. We know going big matters. We know the Biden plan will work for this
country and will defeat the virus and will get the economy back on its feet
much more quickly.
REID: And I know that one of the things that`s happened is that you have
seen this phenomenon of people who are desperate, who are taking, like, the
last bit of their money and trying to play that game that they had on
Reddit where you go in and try to short -- to beat the stock shorters. And
we have seen a lot of that happening.
Are you concerned that that -- that the level of desperation is going to
mean that people are going to suffer even more if they lose money when the
bad guys jump back in and the hedge funders win in the end?
BROWN: Yeah, the damage by not doing enough. One of the things Janet Yellen
today said, this could scar the economy for a generation. It will mean --
it will mean more suicide -- it`s already meaning more mental health
problems for people, problems for our children, missing a year of school
and all the socialization and the academic learning that come with that.
People -- well, people that lose their homes, what that means for them for
the next decade. Everything goes upside down, all of these kinds of things.
It`s why we need to go big and why Biden is right about this, why Democrats
are going to stick together from Bernie Sanders to Joe Manchin. We`re going
to stick together and we`re going to do this right.
REID: All right, we`re going to keep an eye on Manchin, though. So thank
you very much. We appreciate you, Senator Brown.
BROWN: Thanks a lot, Joy.
REID: OK. Still -- cheers.
Still ahead, reckoning with the previous administration`s most
indefensible, monstrous policy -- the forced separation of migrant children
from their parents. President Biden has a plan to put things right, but can
We`ll be right back.
REID: The Trump administration was the most openly hostile to immigrants
in decades. So it`s no surprise that the man who called Mexican migrants
murderers and rapists would embark on a campaign meant to demonize and
terrorize immigrants and asylum seekers. He stranded 10,000 asylum seekers
in Mexico, forced to live in squalor.
Aided by his proudly xenophobic henchmen, Stephen Miller, the former
president went about intentionally detaining and separating families. The
goal was to inflict maximum trauma by caging babies, toddlers and
effectively orphaning innocent children, in hopes that the word would get
out and other would-be migrants would be terrified into staying away.
Like so much about the Trump administration, the cruelty was the point.
My colleague, Jacob Soboroff, spoke to one of the victims who remains
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Are you hoping to get anything for
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: Yeah.
SOBOROFF: What do you think you`re going to get or what do you want to
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: My dad.
SOBOROFF: You want to get your dad for your birthday. That would be a nice
present, huh, bud?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Almost immediately after taking office, President Biden has set
about undoing that damage. Last week, the Justice Department rescinded a
memo that established a zero tolerance enforcement policy for migrant
border crossings. That policy resulted in thousands of family separations
because children were not allowed to stay with their parents while they are
Lawyers say they still have not reached the parents of 611 children who
were separated during the previous administration.
Today, the current president signed executive orders to reverse his
predecessor`s policies on asylum seekers and refugees. He announced that he
would establish a task force charged with reunifying families separated by
a policy that can un-ironically be described as evil.
And the newly confirmed secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
and the first-ever Latino immigrant to serve in a cabinet post, Alejandro
Mayorkas will head the task force with the attorney general and the
secretaries of state and health and human services playing supporting role.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m not making new law. I`m
eliminating bad policy. We`re going to work to undo the moral and national
shame of the previous administration that literally, not figuratively, that
ripped children from the arms of their families, their mothers and fathers
at the border with no plan, none whatsoever, to reunify the children who
are still in custody and their parents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: First Lady Jill Biden is also expected to play a role. It`s quite a
departure from the previous first lady, who visited the epicenter of the
family separation crisis while wearing a jacket that read "I really don`t
care, do you?"
Overcoming the stain on American history is a daunting task. After the
break, how President Biden plans to do it.
Stay with us.
REID: President Biden has made it clear that m inauguration is a top
priority for his administration. Just hours after being inaugurated, he
sent Congress an ambitious immigration bill that will create an eight-year
path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, boost border security and
increase funding for Central American countries if they help to address the
root causes of mass migration.
And late today, the president announced new orders reviewing his
predecessor`s immigration policies while also making clear he plans to
reunite migrant families who are separated by the barbaric policies of the
For more I`m joined by Maria Hinojosa, president of Futuro Media and author
of "Once I was You". And, Jacob Soboroff, MSNBC correspondent and author of
"Separated: Inside an American Tragedy".
Two great friends who have written two great books.
I`m going to start with you, Jacob. Having seen this policy break families
apart up close, just from your point of view, how coherent is the Biden
policy response and do you think from what you`ve heard about it so far, it
SOBOROFF: It doesn`t go as far as advocates and families and lawyers would
like, Joy, but I have to say, it is a historic first step on a historic day
that is literally four years in the making.
I mean, we all know at this point that the deliberate cruelty of this
policy was set into motion almost immediately, on the first days of the
Trump administration, and after separating 5,500 children, torturing in the
words of the Physicians for Human Rights, from their parents
deliberatively, for no other reason than to scare other people from coming
to this country, we are now seeing what President Biden`s promise is going
to look like.
And one thing I will say I was surprised by and I have been -- the White
House will tell you, badgering them for details about this is that the
attorney general will set on this task force in addition to the secretaries
of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services and other important
organizations and members of the U.S. government.
And what that signals is accountability could be an important piece in all
of this. When you heard that the president of the United States president
Biden called this criminal as he was running for office there`s were
questions about whether or not he really meant it. This sent a strong
signal but not a definitive answer that may very well be the case.
REID: Maria, there`s policy that took place in this country but number one
it didn`t work because people kept coming because there are broader issues
internationally in Central America that continue to draw people despite the
terror inflicted on the children and families here but then there`s also
the Mexico part. You and I have talked about this, because they`re going to
need a partner, they`re going to need Mexico, which has not always -- they
seem real friendly with Trump.
How friendly are they with Biden and will they help?
MARIA HINOJOSA, NPR`S "LATINO USA" HOST & EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Well, look,
the situation is that Mexico needs to help undo again these hurtful,
torturous policies of the Trump administration. Look, this gets into very
intense Mexican politics right now which, of course, it`s very
geopolitical, but in its simplest form, the Mexican president, Andres
Manuel Lopez Obrador was very happy to cooperate with Donald Trump in
making Mexico the entire wall.
So, Joy, I`m still getting phenomenon calls from people who I have reported
on who are stuck in Mexico, who are trying to get here for claims, for
refugees. This is not a question of like -- this is not a good time to come
to the United States. Maybe you should wait. This is not we`re trying to
get things in order.
This is not a choice for people. That`s what we need to understand. This is
not an immigration question.
People who are coming here now from Central America are desperate, Joy.
They are desperate. They are people who don`t have a choice, they`re
running for their lives.
So as Jacob says this is a historic day. This tone is so important, but it
needs to go further, Joy, because what`s radical is not what Biden may do.
What`s radical is what`s been done until now, I mean, taking women`s uterus
and the babies from their parents.
And, you know, David, that State Department piece is important because you
have a lot of -- part of the search is going to have to be international.
They`re going to have to find out if parents were sent back to places like
Honduras, if they`re stuck in Mexico, are they in Guatemala, is the child
in the United States?
Like the match for the 611 -- it is going to be an international challenge.
SOBOROFF: I think it`s going to go beyond that. I think that that number,
you know, started, 545, then it was 628, and then it was 666, now at 611,
children whose parents have not been reached by the U.S. government to this
day, over three years after the separations began but talk to the ACLU.
They will tell you that number is probably 1,000 parents and children who
It`s an important subgroup that the Biden administration has not yet
committed to bringing back to this country. Parents and children who were
separated, who experienced the same trauma as the still separated children,
yet now remained deported in their home country without an assurance today
from the Biden administration that they will be brought back. And, one
thing I will say, in addition, Joy, is this is all playing out while
parents and children are being deported today.
The Biden administration signaled to stop expulsions of unaccompanied
migrant children. Well, those deportation flights are leaving literally
today, as you and I and Maria all talk to each other.
And so, there are a lot of policies that intercepted this policy. Different
ways that people can be separated that are still ongoing to this very day
and the administration needs to answer for those as well.
REID: Yeah, and, Maria, I mean, that`s the issue, right? This immigration
policy has to also presume, we are presuming that it`s making it more open
for people to come. That`s not 100 percent clear. You have the Biden
administration saying they want to stem migration but at the same time
erase the evil that happened.
Just talk from your point of view about how realistic that is and how much
better that`s going to be. I mean, obviously, it`s not the evil policy but
HINOJOSA: Joy, if we can figure out how to send a man or a woman to the
moon, then you have to be able to tell me and Alejandro Mayorkas, Mucho
Carino (ph) and Julissa Arce (ph) who is going to be -- who is going to be
Vice President Biden`s wife`s chief -- I`m sorry. The first lady`s chief of
staff, Julissa Arce, the lawyer Afro-Dominican.
We know they have the best of intentions but this goes way beyond those
numbers and I would say to Jacob and to the ACLU, this is much, much more.
We`re going to get into some very complicated territory here. You have
parents here in the United States who have now taking these children and
fostered them. They`re going to have to return the children to their
We have created the government of the United States and not just the Trump
administration because, of course, this is going on for Democrats and
Republicans, have created a humanitarian crisis. It is an international
So there`s no patience now for, well, it will take sometime or we have to
figure this out or another commission. No! All of the emphasis, they need
to stop it now and frankly, I would go even further -- that Joe Biden needs
to make a much larger statement, a national day of mourning and healing,
something that makes it clear this can never, ever happen again.
REID: Yeah. Indeed.
Maria Hinojosa, Jacob Soboroff, thank you both for all of your incredible
reporting and journalism on this.
Okay. So thank you both but we want to end on a positive note.
This is the second day of Black History Month, and here is a fact I bet you
didn`t know. On this day in 1897 that one of the greatest and simplest
kitchen utensils was patented, and I`m talking about the ice cream scooper.
Do you know who you have to thank for that wonderful invention?
A black man by the name of Alfred L. Cralle was a porter in Pittsburgh
hotel when he came up with the brilliant idea, calling it an ice cream mold
and disher. A hundred and twenty-four years later, the design still holds
And that is tonight`s REIDOUT. And go get some desert and watch Chris Hayes
because he`s coming up next.
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