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Transcript: The ReidOut, 2/3/2021

Guest: Maxine Waters, Neal Katyal, David Frum, Sherrod Brown, Maria Hinojosa


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

last month.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

right-wing supremacists.

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.


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.


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



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).


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How old are you going to be?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you hoping to get anything for your birthday?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think you`re going to get? Or what do you

want to get, buddy?



REID: THE REIDOUT continues after this.



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.


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.


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

through it.

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.


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




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.


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



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.

REID: Yes.

BROWN: The governor of West Virginia, a Republican, wants us to go big.

REID: Yes.

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

it work?

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



JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Are you hoping to get anything for

your birthday?


SOBOROFF: What do you think you`re going to get or what do you want to

get, buddy?


SOBOROFF: You want to get your dad for your birthday. That would be a nice

present, huh, bud?

BOY: Yeah.


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

in custody.

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.



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.


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

previous administration.

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

will work?

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?


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.

REID: Yeah.

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

remain separated.

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

your thoughts?

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

humanitarian crisis.

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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