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Transcript: The ReidOut, 3/19/21

Guests: Bianca Jyotishi, John Yang, Shan Wu, Jane Mayer, Raphael Warnock, Susan Del Percio, Fernand Amandi


Biden and Harris visit Atlanta after deadly shootings. Biden says, hate and violence often hide in plain sight. Vice President Harris on Atlanta spa shootings, a harm against any of us is a harm against all of us. Biden meets with Asian-American community leaders in Georgia. Son of victim says shootings were racially motivated. Anti-Asian bigotry blamed for Atlanta murders.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: You guys have done what we just discuss where people look up and Nicolle Wallace being at the White House or being on air and it`s representation for hopefully inspiring of the next generation which you guys mention.

Now, I got to hand it to Joy. So, thank you to Nicolle, Salt-N-Pepa I hope you guys have a great weekend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You too. Thank you.


MELBER: All right. Thank you. That does it for THE BEAT. You can always find us @arimelber online. THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid starts now.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the suddenly even more important visit to Atlanta by President Biden and Vice President Harris given the horrific violence that took place in that city this week.

The visit was originally planned to tout his COVID relief victory. And today, President Biden credited the state`s new Democratic senators with that success. In a few minutes, I will be talking with Senator Raphael Warnock.

But we begin with the emotional message that Biden and Harris delivered just moments ago after concluding a meeting with members of the Asian- American community in the wake of Tuesday`s deadly shooting spree, which left eight people dead, including six Asian women.

The president and vice president spoke about those shootings and addressed the fear and the trauma within the community.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Waking up each morning the past year feeling their safety and the safety of their loved ones are at stake. They have been attacked, blamed, scapegoated and harassed. They have been verbally assaulted, physically assaulted, killed.

Hate and violence often hide in plain sight. It`s often met with silence. That`s been true throughout our history, but that has to change because our silence is complicity.

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Everyone has the right to go to work, to go to school, to walk down the street and be safe and also the right to be recognized as an American, not as the other, not as them but as us. A harm against any one of us is a harm against all of us.


REID: Meanwhile, we also learned the names of the remaining four victims. They are Soon Chung Park age 74, Hyun Jung Grant age 51, Suncha Kim age 69, and Yong A. Yue, who was 63 years old. The Fulton County Medical Examiner`s Office identified all four victims as Asian women. Three of them were shot in the head. And a fourth victim was shot in the chest. Today, Congress observed a moment of silence for the eight people killed.

The four victims in the Cherokee County shooting about an hour north of Atlanta, which we reported last night, are Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xaiojie Tan and Daoyou Feng. In a GoFundMe page set up by Randy Park, the son of one of the victims, Hyun Jung Grant, said of his mother she was one of my best friends and the strongest influence on who we are today.

Joining me now is Bianca Jyotishi, Georgia Organizing Manager for the National Asian Pacific American Women`s Forum, and John Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian-Americans Advancing Justice. Thank you both for being here.

And, Bianca, I`m going to start with you first. You met with the president and the vice president today. What did you discuss with them and what were your asks of them?

BIANCA JYOTISHI, GEORGIA ORGANIZING MANAGER, NATIONAL ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN WOMEN`S FORUM: Yes, absolutely. Thank you so much for having me here, and I just firstly want to acknowledge I`m so grateful to have had a meeting with the president and the vice president to uplift the issues that we`re currently facing in our communities and especially being met with such urgency and intention, I just really appreciate that.

Our asks and our focus today was really on uplifting the voices of AAPI women in the community. Our communities, like the vice president has said and like many of us on the ground have been hearing from our people are that we are experiencing so much fear across Asian identities at this moment, fear of going outside just to get the mail or just go to work. Some of us are frontline workers.

And so, our asks today are for President Biden and for Vice President Kamala Harris are really around federal funding long-term, community safety and victim assistance services. We want these that are culturally and linguistically accessible for our people in our communities.

What we`re seeing is that a lot of our people don`t have mental health resources right now. They`re available but they`re not able to access them because they`re not able find it there the second speak their language. So, we want mental healthcare and affording service as well.

What we found was that the executive order that President Biden pushed forward didn`t do anything to stop these killings and so we want to be proactive about our approach.

REID: Was there anything in particular or did it make a difference that Kamala Harris actually has an Asian-American identity? Did that resonate in a sort of different way for her to actually be here in this moment?

JYOTISHI: I think it really does. Sorry, you`re going to see by cat work from home.

REID: That`s okay.

JYOTISHI: Yes. I think it really does. In this moment we`re really looking forward to having a vice president who does identify with our communities in this way. And not only that, we really want to see accountability as well. It`s not enough just to represent our identities. And so, I`m grateful for the support that President Biden and the vice president were able to provide today.

REID: And I just want everyone know pets are always welcome on the show. Pets and kids can always interrupt any shot. We`re always happy for that.

John, let me ask you this. You know, what`s been bothering me, what`s been bothering me since this story took place is the narrative that took place and was set out by that sheriff immediately, just essentially sort of I don`t want to say dismissing the crime but sort of making it look like, oh, here was this kid who was super religious and sexually addicted and it was not about race.

I`m looking at the ages of the people who were killed. Soon Chung Park was 74 years old. Suncha Kim was 69. Yong Yue was 63. This was not, you know, victims who were young women who one would presume were somehow, you know - - it was almost sort of portrayed that they were somehow tempting him with their youth and being women and not about being Asian women. These, a lot in cases, are grandmothers, older people, middle-aged people.

How much damage in your mind did that narrative do to the truth? Because this explanation now sounds ludicrous to me given the ages of these victims who were shot point blank in the head and in the chest by somebody who obviously knew how to shoot.

JOHN YANG, PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ASIAN-AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE-AAJC: That`s absolutely right and that`s one of the things we have to talk about is there`s an Asian narrative that we need to talk about that the crimes that are happening, that the hate that is happening to our community.

There`s a women narrative that we`ve spoken about, that`s absolutely correct, and also putting these together. The reality is there is this myth around Asian American women that we have to name and that`s part of this narrative that`s developing. And we have to fight back against that.

You know the other thing about this is this is an attack against the most vulnerable in our population, women, elderly, in this case, and people working in very vulnerable industries, so we have to call that out.

The last thing I would mention is you`re absolutely right about the narrative with respect to this person. He -- they`re saying that he had a very bad day. A very bad day for me means I go home, shut myself down and read a book. I do not go out and murder eight people.

REID: That -- I will never be able to forget that line, it is so offensive.

Let me now play a little bit -- we got an interview that one of our great reporters has done with Randy Park, whose mom, Hyun Jung Grant, was one of the people who was killed. Let`s play a little bit of that interview now, please. This is Randy Park.


RANDY PARK, SON OF HYUN JUNG GRANT: You can`t say that this isn`t racially motivated. You don`t kill eight people on a bad day, let alone one.

REPORTER: How often would she tell you that she loved you?

PARK: Every night. Every night before she goes to bed, she calls me and my brother.


REID: You know, losing your mom, you know, as a young person, and I`ve been through that experience but not through murder, for God`s sakes, is a bad day. It is the most traumatizing thing one can possibly imagine. And I`m start with you first, Bianca, what can -- and I`ll ask you both to answer the question. But, Bianca, you go first. What can we outside of the community do to be supportive? What should media be doing differently? Just what should we be doing right now differently from what we are now?

JYOTISHI: I think it`s really important to approach this issue with sensitivity and empathy. There`s been a lot of narratives circling right now around the perpetrator of this violence and I actually don`t think we should be centering him in this moment. We should be centering AAPI community. And lifting our voices too often AAPI woman especially have been unseen, unheard and ignored and that`s really a lot of misogynistic and racist violence to continue.

And so it`s really important that we`re centering communities who are most impacted and centering our voices in this moment rather than pivoting to someone who -- just another white man for that matter.

REID: You know, let me read a little bit. Elie Mystal wrote a really great piece in The Nation, John. And it says the massacre in Atlanta was as predictable as white supremacy. He says there are a lot of people working overtime to try to prove that the mass shooting of six Asian women wasn`t motivated by bigotry. It was. The majority of those killed were Asian women and there is no other narrative. And every other narrative to me seems completely superfluous, you know. And yet we are struggling to have this conversation about irrelevant things like supposed sex addiction and his religion. Like who cares? This is about -- this looks a lot like the violence that we`ve seen against elderly Asian people all over the country. Looks a lot it looks a lot like that but with a gun.

YANG: That`s absolutely right. So, again, we should name it. It is violence against Asians, it`s violence against women, it`s violence against elderly. Now, look, whatever they want to do with labeling this as a hate crime for law enforcement purposes, frankly, we should not care about that. That story should focus, number one, on the victims. That`s absolutely correct. Number two, the communities need to heal at this moment. And number three, what we can do collectively, telling better narratives about all of us as Americans to make sure to prevent these crimes, these incidents, these attacks from happening again.

REID: Yes. And also remembering that white supremacy is not just a black/white issue. The people who are Asian, people who are Muslim, people who are brown, people who are Latino, white supremacy kind of covers, you know, sort of violence and even emotional violence against all sorts of communities and we don`t talk about -- Bianca, give me a last of this. We don`t talk about Asian people when we talk about white supremacy generally. And that`s part of, to me, the problem. You`re thoughts I`ll give you the last word on this.

JYOTISHI: Yes. You know you`re absolutely right. I think too often we`re like kind of pitted against white people as like the model minority and that`s literally a piece of myth. It`s not true. And I think this is an instance of that. But it`s not an incident in silo. We`ve seen hate and violence against our people for decades now.

If we look back through our history, we had incidents like 9/11 that targeted South Asian people. I`ve been called a terrorist before. And so -- and then even looking back further, we have the history of forced sterilizations that`s targeted so many different community women and people of different genders. And we look back even further, and we have internment camps. So, we have a long history in this country of actually not being the model minority.

While we may accept certain ways, it does not at all negate the fact that we are also target and an easy target at that, especially for women who are like working class immigrants as well. Like it`s very easy for us to be painted as silent and docile, and we are anything but that. We are here loud and proud. Even though we may be holding a lot of fear and grief at this moment, we are definitely here to center the voices of the community at this point.

REID: Yes. To say nothing of a president of the United States naming a pandemic he didn`t do barely a damn thing about and labeling that with human beings of a different race and labeling them in that way so that people who think like him could target and attack them, just despicable.

Bianca Jyotishi and JohnYang, thank you very much for being here. I really appreciate it. And also, the cat, the cat can come back whenever the cat wants.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, Senator Raphael Warnock joins me following his meeting just a short time ago with President Biden.

Plus, New York prosecutors meet with Michael Cohen for the eighth -- one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight times. So how long do you think it will be before you get an alert on your phone that says Trump indicted?

And yes, it`s true. There were crimes and shenanigans in the 2020 election, yes, just not by Democrats or voters of color. Sorry. The Republican who now faces three criminal counts is tonight`s absolute worst.

And everywhere the orange man goes, COVID follows. Remember the huge outbreak last year at the White House? Well, it`s happened again. This time at Mar-A-Lago, which reports say is partially closed tonight. Whoops, THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: As I mentioned earlier, President Biden and Vice President Harris were initially set to host an event with supporters to celebrate passage of the American rescue plan. And while that event was canceled, the president did tout the plan passage during remarks that he made earlier this evening.


BIDEN: If anyone ever wondered if one vote can make a difference, Georgia just proved it 11,779 times. And if anyone ever wondered if voting can change a country, Georgia just proved it can. Because when you elected two new United States senators, you made it possible to pass the American rescue plan. Landmark legislation will not only meet the emergency we`re in but transform this nation.


REID: Now, the White House originally chose to visit Georgia because it`s now officially a swing state after decades of being reliably Republican. As the president mentioned, the Peach State booted two Republican senators in January, the day before the Capitol insurrection, by the way, and replaced them with Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the first African American and first Jewish senators.

The Democrats` new strength in Georgia was due in large part to increased turnout among young voters, African American voters and AAPI voters, groups that have recently been targeted by new onerous voting legislation proposed by Republicans.

Yesterday, a new giant voting omnibus bill was introduced that would, among other things, restrict drop boxes, limit early voting days for larger counties and add I.D. requirements for absentee ballots.

While in Atlanta, President Biden and Vice President Harris met with both senators and Stacey Abrams, the woman was rightly credited with laying the groundwork for the Democrats` victory. And on Wednesday, Abrams called on Democrats to use a filibuster carve-out for voting legislation that would expand access to voting and outlaw voter purging, a call echoed by Senator Reverend Warnock during his inaugural Senate address.

And with me now is Senator Raphael Warnock of the great state of Georgia.

And, Senator Warnock, I want to first congratulate you on that, that address that you gave on the Senate floor. It was quite good. I`m assigning it to my class to have them listen to it, because it was really thorough.

But before I get to the conversation on voting, which I want to have with you, for sure, let`s talk first about your meeting today with President Biden and Vice President Harris.

Can you give us a little bit of a readout on it? What did you talk to them about? What was top of mind, obviously, the violence in Atlanta being a part of it?

SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): Well, thank you so very much, Joy. It`s always a pleasure to be with you.

It`s always an honor to spend time with the president of the United States and the vice president of the United States. And they initially planned this trip because Georgia made all the difference in what`s happening in our country right now, our ability to get real things done for real people.

But, certainly, the violence visited upon the Asian community is top of mind for all of us. They are in our hearts and in our prayers. And it`s -- it`s a great thing that the vice president of the United States right now is the first Asian American vice president, first African American vice president, first woman.

And we saw, with this terrible tragedy, the ways in which violence gets visited upon communities of color, upon women. And I know folks are sorting through the weeds of the killer`s motives, but we know hate when we see it.

REID: Yes. And, you know...

WARNOCK: And in a moment -- yes.

REID: Go on.

WARNOCK: In a moment like this, we have just got to bind together.

Dr. King, the greatest son of Georgia, said that we`re tied in a single garment of destiny, and that what affects one directly affects all indirectly. And so we have got to walk with our Asian sisters and brothers through this moment. And we have got to recommit ourselves to the kind of active peace that prevents this kind of thing from happening in the first place.

REID: Now, as a good Christian girl, I know that prayer changes things. And you are a pastor and a man of God, but you also can change things in the legislature. You now have temporal power, as well as spiritual power.

Did you talk to the president and the vice president about specific legislative fixes that, in your mind, can start to make a change for the better in terms of stopping this race-based violence and beating back this sort of surge in white supremacist violence in this country?

WARNOCK: You`re right.

There`s a Ghanaian proverb that says, when you pray, move your feet. And so we have got to move our feet. We have got to get involved. I have long supported anti-bias bills or laws here in the state of Georgia. It took us a long time to get a hate crimes bill on the books here in our state.

Thankfully, we finally have one. And I am co-sponsoring legislation right now in the Senate focused on the kind of reasonable gun reform that Americans want on both sides of the aisle, gun owners want.

But we see increasingly in our politics, unfortunately, there`s a disconnect between where the people are and where the politicians are. There is a systemic problem with our electoral system and the ways in which it has been rigged and jimmy-rigged so that people can do whatever they want, disconnected to where the people actually are.

We just passed a $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. Folks were asking us, wouldn`t it be better if it were a bipartisan plan? It was. It just didn`t get a Republican vote.

REID: Yes.

WARNOCK: But if you polled the people, it was about a bipartisan way, which is why I`m pushing so hard on this voting rights bill, because I am concerned that the people increasingly are getting squeezed out of their democracy.

REID: Well, I mean, and in your state.

I mean, they rolled back on trying to get rid of Souls to the Polls Sunday, because I guess they didn`t want that smoke. They didn`t want to have that war with the black church. But they`re still doing lots and lots of restrictions. They want to keep also no-excuse absentee, which a lot of Republican voters use.

But they`re still adding all of these I.D. requirements to vote absentee and all sorts of ways to make it harder to vote in Georgia. You have got, in Iowa, the governor there, Kim Reynolds, signing a bill that`s actually very unpopular. The polls show that the people don`t want it.

But she`s still signing that bill. Given the fact that Republicans wouldn`t even support the Violence Against Women Act in the body that you serve in, in your mind, does the filibuster have to go in order, as Stacey Abrams said, to get this H.R.1 bill, this voting rights bill through?

WARNOCK: There is no question that we are going to have a serious conversation about the filibuster. That`s going to happen.

My view is that we have to pass voting rights whether we get rid of the filibuster or not, whatever reforms come. And there are good arguments for that. But whatever reforms come, my view is that voting rights are preservative of all other rights. This is not just another issue alongside other issues.

We in the Senate, those of us who have the honor of representing the people in both houses of Congress, the only reason we`re there and able to argue about anything is because somebody voted for us to be there. And so this wholesale systemic effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans, it`s a threat to the democracy itself.

And so, while we`re discussing the filibuster, my view is that we have got to pass voting rights no matter what.

REID: Yes.

And, by the way, just for our audience to know, there are 34 states where it`s -- you have to wait longer to vote than to buy a rifle; 49 states require voters to register before voting. Seven states require a permit to buy a rifle; 34 states require voters to show some form of I.D.. Only 13 require background -- and 13 require background checks for private rifles.

So, it`s basically easier to get a gun than it is to vote.

Last question to you, sir, I know that my friend Bishop William Barber is headed to your church to preach. And I know you`re preaching this weekend. Give us a preview. What -- there`s probably a lot on your plate sermon- wise. What is going to be your sermon this weekend?

WARNOCK: Well, Reverend Barber is preaching at my church, so I get a Sunday off, Joy.


REID: You`re going to be in pews.

WARNOCK: But it is Ebenezer`s 135th anniversary.

For 135 years, our church has been bearing witness to God`s love and justice in the world. I`m privileged to preach from the pulpit from which Dr. King preached, and from which he spoke not only to his parishioners, but to a nation and helped us to understand that the call and the quest for democracy, for civil rights is a mortal issue.

And what I hope to do is to center those kinds of issues in my work in the United States Senate.

REID: Well, I think the ancestor spirits of John Lewis and Dr. King and C.T. Vivian and all are smiling on those efforts.

Senator Raphael Warnock, thank you very much, sir. Appreciate you spending some time with us this evening.

And still ahead: Investigators in New York and Georgia are gearing up for one of the most significant legal showdowns in U.S. history. Georgia is all over the place here. Will the Florida man become the first American president to face criminal charges? Duh-dah-dah.

We`re back after this.


REID: There appears to be growing momentum in the criminal investigation of Donald Trump`s financial dealings, led by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance.

Just today, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen sat down once again with prosecutors in the DA`s office, his eighth interview of this investigation. Prosecutors have also put mounting pressure on Trump`s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, in a reported effort to turn him against his boss.

Now Weisselberg`s ex-daughter-in-law, Jennifer Weisselberg, is speaking out in an interview with NBC News. And she`s also talking to prosecutors.


QUESTION: How many times have you specifically talked with the Manhattan district attorney`s office?



WEISSELBERG: And it`s not over.


REID: Jennifer Weisselberg, who`s married to one of Weisselberg`s sons, ended in a contentious divorce, said her former father-in-law`s intimate knowledge of Trump`s financial arrangements would make him a valuable witness to prosecutors.


WEISSELBERG: Allen Weisselberg is defined by what Donald thinks about him, by -- about saving him money, regardless, every day, proving his worth by doing that, creatively.

QUESTION: What do you think he could tell investigators?

WEISSELBERG: Everything they would ask.


REID: In a possible effort to induce his cooperation, Vance is now looking into Weisselberg`s adult children and the tax implications of an apparent - - of an apartment that Trump provided to Jennifer and her former husband rent-free for seven years.

Meanwhile, there have been several recent reports that Vance is scrutinizing more of Trump`s real estate holdings. "The New Yorker"`s Jane Mayer reported last week that, according to a source, "prosecutors` questions have become very pointed. They`re sharpshooting now, laser- beaming," the source added. "It hit me. They`re closer."

And all of this signals that, if Trump is intent on running again in 2024, he may have to do so from a prison cell.

Joining me now is Jane Mayer, chief Washington correspondent for "The New Yorker," and Shan Wu, who is a former federal prosecutor.

Thank you both for being here.

And, Jane, I`m going to start with you.

How serious is this investigation getting for the former president?

JANE MAYER, "THE NEW YORKER": You know, I think it is quite serious.

They have got some of the best lawyers in the country working on this investigation. And while Trump may not be on the national scene anymore, I think he`s very much in the sights of the DA at this point. You can see that they`re -- they`re working intensely.

They have got millions of pages of his tax records, eight years` worth of them, and they`re just poring over it and trying to look at every single angle. So I think it`s quite serious.

REID: Yes, stares in Berlusconi. He may want to look at South Korea, Italy, other places. They have prosecuted former presidents.

Mr. Wu, thank you so much for being here.

I want to play Jennifer Weisselberg.

So, she`s pretty close to the center of gravity here. Her ex-husband was one of Weisselberg`s sons. And here she is talking about how Trump used gifts to exert control over people. Take a listen.


WEISSELBERG: They control people by compensating you with homes and things. Then it`s hard to leave an organization when, for example, they pay for my children`s tuition, or they`re compensating a gift, such as the apartment.

It`s not easy to walk away when they provide your home.


REID: Mr. Wu, this reminded me a lot of when I read Mary Trump`s book. And she talked about how the family would live almost rent-free, but have almost no other perks, because they were so dependent on Trump.

Where might the crimes be in the way that he doled out money? Or is this just drama around what the real crimes are?

SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, the crimes would be in the valuation.

For example, they can exert pressure on the family members if they properly reported this on their taxes. Were they treating it as a business expense? That`s whether exposure comes.

And I will tell you,Joy, I have defended white-collar criminals and I prosecuted them. If they have your family members, that`s a lot of leverage on the potential defendant. It`s a lot of leverage on Mr. Weisselberg to cooperate. And that`s a very powerful tool to use, that they`re potentially putting his family members under duress.

REID: Yes, indeed.

Tim O`Brien, Jane, I used to have him on a lot on my weekend show, and he would say all the time, if they ever get Weisselberg to flip, that`s when Trump is really sunk. And here is -- it`s not the Weisselberg, but it`s a Weisselberg. It`s the former daughter-in-law.

Here she is, again. This is another piece of this interview. And she says that her father-in-law actually didn`t like being at the forefront of the company once Trump became president. Take a listen.


WEISSELBERG: I think when he was handed that company, along with Don Jr. and Eric, it was not comfortable for him to be shoved into the limelight.

I never understood if he was uncomfortable with that or if he didn`t want to have to be so vulnerable, when I think it`s clear that they don`t follow the law or the -- or rules that apply to most of us.


REID: Jane, just in your reporting, give us a sense of sort of the -- take the temperature of the reticence level of someone like Cy Vance, who is -- he`s turning -- he`s almost out, finished with his term, or the level of potential aggression that might produce in terms of trying to produce a prosecution.

This is a former president of the United States. There are huge political implications if he were to be indicted. It would be sort of a nuclear bomb going off in our politics. How much, just in your reporting, does that weigh on what might happen here to Donald Trump in terms of what he might have done on tax fraud or insurance fraud or messing with the money?

MAYER: I mean, people who are close to him or formerly close to him, people like Michael Cohen, his former lawyer, have said that Cy Vance`s investigation is the thing that keeps Donald Trump up at night.

And, I mean, and already there`s talk -- it`s interesting -- in Trump`s circles in Palm Beach among some of his friends that he`s desperate enough, or at least they are, to have given some thought to the idea that they might actually have the governor of Florida try to defy any sort of warrant there might be eventually for Trump`s arrest.

They have talked about the possibility that they might deny an extradition request. I think it`s probably pie in the sky. The extradition requests are really something that`s just kind of paperwork almost that the governor has to sign.

I spoke to the state attorney in Palm Beach about it. And he said -- he said, who knows? They thought that it was just paperwork really on January 6 to ratify the vote of the Electoral College, and anything could happen.

But there is talk about these kind of extraordinary scenarios that could swirl around Trump in the future. I mean, and, if that happened, he wouldn`t be able to leave Florida.


MAYER: I mean, again, I think it`s unlikely, very unlikely, but it`s interesting to me that people are talking about things such as this.

REID: That`s illegal, right, Mr. Wu? You can`t just deny an extradition treaty. This isn`t like when Congress called Donald Trump or his people to testify. You can`t just ignore it, right?

WU: Right.

And I think it really shows the amount of desperation that Trump is feeling. He`s been obfuscating for years, trying to avoid this. He`s tried everything. And now he`s really run out of options here.

REID: Yes.

WU: Basically, if you have got your lawyer is going to testify against you, maybe your accountant, and they have got your taxes, that is three strikes in you`re out, Joy.

REID: Yes.

WU: So, that is a very serious problem for him. And this talk about sort of almost like the bribery that`s gone on over the years for the family members buying that loyalty, that can certainly work for a long time.

But you know when it doesn`t work, is when you`re facing a grand jury subpoena or when your family members are facing jail. That money ain`t going to do the trick anymore.

REID: Yes.

WU: So, these folks are very likely to cooperate to save themselves at this point.

REID: Chickens roosting.

WU: That`s right.

REID: Jane Mayer, Shan Wu, thank you both very much.

Still ahead: a special Friday edition of the absolute worst.

Plus: "Who Won the Week?" Much chicanery, tomfoolery and shenanigans to report on ahead, including from our very own little banana republic of Florida. Oh, Florida.

So, you don`t want to move. Stay right there.


REID: Republicans love to cry about voter fraud, voter fraud when they lose elections, even when they have no proof. But there actually was a case of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

And, no, it has nothing to do with Trump.

A former Florida Republican state senator, Frank Artiles, was arrested and charged with multiple third-degree felonies this week. He`s accused of planting a fake candidate in a state legislative race to help defeat the incumbent Democrat.

Alex "Pedro" Rodriguez, who has the same last name as the Democratic candidate, said in an affidavit that Artiles offered to pay him $50,000 to enter the race -- quote -- "Artiles explained that the strategy was simple. Artiles would run as an independent candidate with the same last name as the incumbent candidate, in an attempt to confuse voters and siphon votes from the incumbent. Rodriguez would not be involved in any part of the campaign, nor would he have to participate in any decision-making."

And the strategy worked. The Republican candidate, who the state attorney said had nothing to do with this scheme, won by 32 whole votes, with the fake candidate winning more than 6,000 votes.

Now, amazingly, that`s not even the part that got Artiles in trouble. It was the false paperwork and the allegedly illegal campaign contributions.


KATHERINE FERNANDEZ RUNDLE, MIAMI-DADE, FLORIDA, STATE ATTORNEY: Running a ghost candidate like Alex "Pedro" Rodriguez is not a crime in Florida. These things are not crimes.

Is it an attack on our democracy? Is it a dirty political trick? Sadly, Frank Artiles knew he could manipulate Florida`s election system.


REID: So, Frank Artiles, for propping up a sham candidate and almost getting away with it, you are the absolute worst.

But he`s far from the only Florida man to warrant our scrutiny.

Up next: Former absolute worst winner Ron DeSantis is all of a sudden acting very super, duper confident for the governor of a state that`s still very much in the throes of a pandemic.

Plus, there`s Matt Gaetz, who appears to be rooting for a foreign leader over our own president. Nice.

And then there`s the former president, whose Florida country club reportedly has a scorching outbreak of COVID.

Much more after this.


REID: Oh, Florida, the land where a Republican state legislature was able to prop up a fake candidate and successfully take out the Democratic incumbent.

And then there`s the state`s totally incompetent governor, who`s been acting like he thinks he deserves presidential consideration after fiddling while more than 30,000 of his state`s residents died in the pandemic, because Florida.

With me now is Fernand Amandi, Democratic pollster and strategist, and Susan Del Percio, Republican strategist.

And, you know, Fernand, I got to give you Frank Artiles first, because we both know who that is real good. What`s going on in our -- in my former state and your current state?


FERNAND AMANDI, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER AND STRATEGIST: It`s like we always laugh about because Florida. It`s like a meme. It`s a hashtag, because things happen here that don`t seem to happen anywhere else in America, Joy.

But, look, the truth of the matter is, Donald Trump and the Republicans were right. The election in 2020 was rigged, except it was the Republicans that were doing the rigging here in Florida. Now they were caught red- handed.

And we laugh about it, because I guess what can you do but cry? But the truth is, I think that we`re on the brink of a heck of a scandal here, because, Joy, Florida watchers like you and others know this isn`t just a one-off. This stuff has been happening and going on, this chicanery in Florida, for years, especially in my hometown, the 305.

So, I think the indictments are going to be coming fast and furious. And Mr. Artiles right now is sitting at Turner Guilford Correctional Center on a Friday night. He wants to be out by Monday morning. So I anticipate somebody is going to be turning state`s witness real soon.


REID: He`s going to be like, I can give evidence. I got people to give you.

Susan Del Percio, let`s not leave Alabama out, because we don`t like to leave any state out. All states matter.

Mo Brooks has decided that maybe he should run for Senate. And guess who his new buddy is? Stephen Miller. Here`s a little post where he`s like, I`m going to for Senate. And Mo Brooks, who`s pro-insurrectionists, has now teamed up with the guy who wants to basically torture migrant children. That`s his career path.

Jefferson Sessions was his former host. And now he`s got a new host.

Your thoughts?


Well, that`s about par for the course when it comes to Mo Brooks. I mean, it`s not surprising that he wraps himself in the flag of Trump, not of this country, but of -- only of Trump.

And Stephen Miller, my gosh, like, is there anyone creepier and worse to be around and the most decent human being you have ever come across?


DEL PERCIO: He`s just like you said. His goal was to hurt migrant children.

He wanted to inflict pain on them by separating them from their families. That`s crazy.

I would just like to say, though, New York does give Florida a run for its money when it comes to dysfunction and its elected officials. We`re pretty unique.

REID: Yes, except that you know what? You can get a COVID vaccine real easy in New York, and you can`t get it in a whole lot of other states.

So, I`m going to give Florida -- I`m going to give New York that.


REID: Let`s talk about...

DEL PERCIO: I was going to say, unless of course, you`re really rich.

REID: Florida...

DEL PERCIO: And then you could just go to be one of his donors, DeSantis` donors, and he will get a shot.

REID: Oh, yes.

DEL PERCIO: So, there`s that

REID: oh, yes. If you`re in Florida, you just need to be rich, and know the governor.

Let`s talk about another person. You did a lot of talk radio, Fernand. You and I have that in common.

Dan Bongino has a -- we`re doing this as a lightning round, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the way we`re structuring this.

Dan Bongino, who I`m not sure what he does for a living, but he`s on FOX News all the time for some reason. I`m really not sure who or what he is. But he is now upset because he says that Biden, not only does he think he`s a terrible president. He thinks he`s bad for talk radio, because he says he`s boring. He`s boring. He`s too boring for talk radio.

Your thoughts, Fernand?


AMANDI: Well, Joe Biden may be boring, but Dan Bongino is certifiably insane and I think belongs in a padded room.

And what`s really horrifying about a guy like that is at one point, he was a Secret Service agent tasked with protecting the life of the president of the United States.

REID: Was he?

AMANDI: Exactly right.

So, we may...

REID: Stop. Stop.

AMANDI: No, I`m not making that up. That`s right. Somehow, he got past the Secret Service vet.

But I think Mr. Bongino needs to stick to his day job, because I don`t anticipate he will be experiencing Rush-like ratings when it comes to his taking over that seat.


REID: He and Dr. Ronny Jackson are the biggest, "Oh, my God, thank God we survived that" people that I know of, right?

They both had these really important jobs with proximity to the president of the United States. And you`re like, whew, we dodged -- whew, thank God we made it through those.

Let`s talk about -- back to Florida. Let`s go back to Florida. It`s so much fun to be in Florida.

Matt Gaetz. I`m giving this one to you, Susan. There is this weird thing that`s been happening in the Republican Party really since Barack Obama was president, this sort of falling in love with Russia. It`s like Ronald Reagan is being spun in his grave. Like, there`s this adoration for Russia, this sort of hero worship of Vladimir Putin.

Sean Hannity said -- he read that Vladimir Putin`s hostile -- that they`re calling out the president. He said that. And here`s what Matt Gaetz had to say back. Here it is. This is a little conversation with them.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: I read this that Vladimir Putin, hostile regime Russia, hostile actor, is calling out the president.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): Putin and Biden, it would not end like "Rocky 4." I don`t think the American would prevail.


REID: Why do they all have the same haircut?

Your thoughts, Susan Del Percio?


DEL PERCIO: I -- that, I don`t know. I definitely have no opinion on the haircuts.


DEL PERCIO: But what I what I do know is that people like Congressman Matt Gaetz actually hate Democrats so much that they are willing to go and root for Russia.

That is absurd. And it just shows you where their thinking is. They`re not thinking. They just say, oh, if it`s anti-Biden, I`m for it. Doesn`t matter what it is.

REID: Yes.

DEL PERCIO: Doesn`t matter what the policy is. It doesn`t matter who the world leader is. If I could be against Biden, I`m going to do it.

REID: All right, well, you know what? We made it to Friday, and we`re going to get in there. We`re going to get in there that Donald Trump has COVID at his place. But that`s a whole `nother thing.

Before we go, we made it to Friday, so you know what that means. It is now time for -- yes, that`s it -- "Who Won the Week?"

And since you have much better looking hair than anybody on FOX News, Fernand Amandi, I`m going to let you go first. Who won the week?


AMANDI: Joy, you`re going to kill me now on...

REID: People love your hair, dude.

AMANDI: Twitter is now going to kill me for that one.


AMANDI: But I will tell you what.

There`s a lot of talk now about the NCAA Tournament and a lot of inequities that we`re seeing, unfortunately, between the men`s tournament and the women`s tournament. And one of the big things that was going on is the women`s tournament in their bubble for March Madness, they didn`t quite have the equipment, the stellar fitness and training equipment that the men had.

So, lo and behold, the good corporate citizens at Dick`s Sporting Goods, who has shown a tremendous social conscience, said, you know what, we`re going to end that disparity. And Dick`s Sporting Goods offered the workout and the fitness equipment for the women. I think it`s fantastic.

And, as far as I`m concerned, I`m watching the women`s tournament this year. I`m done with the men`s tournament.


REID: I love that. I love that.

Yes, Dick`s Sporting Goods, even on, like, gun policy, they have kind of emerged as like a sort of -- a little bit of a hero here.

All right, Susan Del Percio, who also has very lustrous hair, very lustrous hair, who won the week?



DEL PERCIO: I think the Bidens` dog Major won the week. He has gone from the doghouse back to the White House.

After a little nipping incident which they say, because he`s a rescue dog, new people excite him, he`s getting a little training, but he will be able to go back to the White House. Who says you can`t go home again?

REID: That is wonderful.

Right. And you know what? The FOX News people were actually, like, even attacking him, attacking Major. It`s like, you guys really are reaching when you`re trying to attack the dog. He`s a dog. OK? He nipped somebody.

Anyway, all right, so he`s back. Thank you. I`m glad Major is back. Welcome back to the White House.

My pick for "Who Won the Week?" is Ozlem Tureci, who is the Turkish-German scientist behind the world`s first widely used COVID vaccine. Now, you may have heard of it. It`s called the Pfizer vaccine. And millions of people around the world have gotten their shots since December, 100 million in this country so far. We have already made it.

She and her husband founded the German company BioNTech, so you have probably heard of them. We love that they are, like, Turkish and showing that the brown folks are out there doing their thing. And that success might be just enough for them.

But they`re also using that same mRNA technology to try to fight cancer, which is huge. If they can do that, that will be big, big, big.

So, they won the week. I`m giving Ms. Tureci -- her name is Ozlem Tureci. She won the week.

Final word to you. I`m going to give it to you, Fernand.

Are you going to stay far from Mar-a-Lago? How far away will you stay? Because they do got COVID over there. Because you`re in Florida.

AMANDI: Well, listen, we call it Governor -- we call him Governor Ron Death-Santis for a reason.

I mean, there should be hazmat tape around Mar-a-Lago right now.


AMANDI: It`s a scary situation.

And I got to tell you, hopefully, the good folks of Palm Beach County will do what they have to do, social distance, because we`re on the brink of turning this thing around, thanks to Biden and the Democrats.

So, hopefully, Mar-a-Lago does what they got to do.

REID: Yes.

And stay off the beaches, for God`s sakes, down there in Florida.

Fernand Amandi and Susan Del Percio, hair commercials for both of you. Hope you both get national campaigns.

That is THE REIDOUT tonight.

You can catch me again tomorrow morning on "THE CROSS CONNECTION WITH TIFFANY CROSS." That begins at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.