CDC offers new guidance for vaccinated Americans. CDC says
vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks. Hospitalizations
decline as vaccinations ramp up. Conservatives are ready to move on from
ongoing pandemic. Poll shows, Republicans are less likely than Democrats to
get vaccinated. Poll shows majority of black Americans plan to get
vaccinated. Poll shows reasons for not getting vaccinated include concern
about side effects and speed of vaccine development. Segments of U.S.
population are reluctant to get vaccinated. Trump and RNC clash over
fundraising. After a brief delay, the Derek Chauvin murder trial began in
earnest today in Minnesota. Lawyers from both the prosecution and defense
questioned potential jurors about their answers to a lengthy and detailed
questionnaire and they selected the first three jurors they intend to seat
for the trial.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for watching THE BEAT. "THE "REIDOUT" starts
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone. OK, I`m just going to warn
you. It`s one of those nights. We`ve got a lot of news to get to. One of
the country`s two major political parties has been swallowed hole by a
Florida retiree who keeps finding ways to take money from his supporters
and from the party itself.
Plus, the all-out assault on your voting rights is under way ahead of the
2022 midterms and, seriously, why is Donald Trump Jr. opening his mouth
about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry? His thoughts are almost too bizarre
But we begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the question that we`ve been asking
that I`m sure you`ve been asking for an entire year now, when will we
return to normal life? This week, we`ve got the first sign real sign that
some aspects of the pre-pandemic lives are on the horizon with the CDC
giving the green light for fully vaccinated people to gather with other
fully vaccinated people without wearing masks or social distancing. Getting
to see our loved ones again to share a meal indoors with grandparents,
parents and friends is perhaps the best thing that we`ve heard in a very
We`re also seeing reversely the grim numbers that have haunted us all year
with newly reported coronavirus cases and hospitalizations on the decline.
Now, the reason for this progress boils down to science in the form of
three vaccines. And the problem is there`s a segment of the U.S. population
that insists on rejecting science while clamoring that their so-called
personal freedom means more than the 530,000 Americans who are no longer
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was pretty natural to have a sensitivity to freedom-
loving Americans that say we`ll do the right thing. We know what to do,
just give us our freedom back and lift some of these mandates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can`t protect everyone all the time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for us to break free from the cycle of
failed experts and, frankly, unconstitutional orders.
A year later it`s time to retire or just ignore the control freaks. It`s
time to declare victory and move on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Those people are not doctors, by the way. According to a new poll,
23 percent of Americans say that they have suffered the death of a close
friend or family member because of COVID-19. And as we know, the deadliest
year in U.S. history did not have to be so deadly. And those lies that you
just heard are now feeding a staunch resistance to the vaccine among the
folks who watch and trust right-wing outlets like Fox News. According to a
pew research poll, Republicans are now 27 percent less likely to get or to
have already received a vaccine compared to Democrats.
Joining me now is Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of
Public Health, Dr. Jerry Abraham, Director of the Vaccines Program at
Kedren Health in Los Angeles, and Christina Greer, Associate Professor of
Political Science at Fordham University. Thank you all for being here.
Dr. Jha, the idea that -- the idea of masks and vaccines becoming a purely
political thing, is it hyperbole to say that we have half a million
Americans or at least that`s part of the reason why we have half a million
DR. ASHISH JHA, DEAN, BROWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Yes, Joy.
First of all, thanks for having me on.
It is crazy, right, like we have not politicized drinking and driving. We
don`t say, well, it`s freedom. We have not politicized largely like wearing
seatbelts. Like there is a set of public health things we do that are good
for us and are also good for people around us and the fact that we have
turned these things into a political issue, vaccines, masks and basic
social distancing is not just baffling, but you are absolutely right, and
it is contributing to so many unnecessary deaths and suffering in this
REID: And so, Dr. Abraham, you testified today about all of these
realities. Let`s just look at some of the reasons -- there`s a Pew research
poll that talks about why Americans say that they are not getting
vaccinated. There`s a concern about side effects which is a pretty big part
of it. Vaccines are developed and tested too quickly say 85 percent of
people. They want to know more about the vaccines, I`ve heard that from
family and friends and distrust the system entirely. Say they don`t need
it, which is weird. And just don`t get vaccine in general. And they don`t
get the flu shot, et cetera.
But one thing we hove notice is that`s less true, less and less true among
African-Americans, and this also at Pew poll, majority of black Americans
61 percent, say they do now plan to get a COVID vaccine or have already
gotten one. How do you get around those kinds of objections?
DR. JERRY ABRAHAM, DIRECTOR OF THE VACCINE PROGRAM, KEDREN HEALTH: Yes.
I`ll just say, first and foremost, I mean, what was missing on that list is
where are my vaccines? I haven`t been offered a vaccine and that is what my
community says every day in South Los Angeles, and I did not see that as a
response in that Pew study. Where do I park? I don`t have paid time off. I
don`t have child care for my children. Those are real reason, but that`s
not to be confused for hesitancy, and that`s the truth.
There are real questions we all have about these vaccines, whether you are
black or brown, white or yellow, these are new technologies. It is scary.
We need to meet people where they are. We need to answer that medical
health literacy, health literacy question. We need to make sure that
Americans understand basic science. But aside from that there are real
issues. And as Dr. Jha has today mentioned, supply may soon outpace demand.
And so we will have to find those arms and we need to meet them where they
are, engage them, answer their questions and gets them vaccinated if there
are no contraindications.
REID: You know, and, Christina, there is -- while we see resistance among
African-Americans declining, you do still hear, like, for instance, a lot
of sort of chatter about the Johnson & Johnson, the J&J vaccine. People
feel that`s the vaccine being pushed on black people, that`s being pushed
on, you know, sort of the working class and that the elite vaccines are the
Moderna and the Pfizer, like that kind of thing. We had in Detroit, even a
situation where initially the mayor was like, don`t send us the Johnson &
Johnson, send us the good ones, which the science says that isn`t true,
that they`re not -- one is not better than the other, but there is some
hesitancy, right? The hesitancy is not all gone.
CHRISTINA GREER, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, FORDHAM
UNIVERSITY: Right. And I think that`s where we need to have multipronged
approach, and we needs to have as many PSAs, as many -- you know, we call
them thought leaders or people who are leaders in their various communities
to really articulate the fact, right? And the facts are this, Pfizer and
Moderna aren`t the fancy vaccine and Johnson & Johnson isn`t the ghetto
vaccine, as we`ve heard people talk about.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one shot. So for a certain population, it
might be a better vaccine for, say, homeless populations, people who don`t
necessarily have the ability to follow up and come back in three weeks for
the second vaccine.
But I think, you know, having doctors like the two who are here tonight and
several other doctors, especially doctors of color who can be leaders in
their community, who can talk to deacons at churches, janitors at schools,
who can get that message out. It doesn`t just have to be celebrities. It
doesn`t have to be politicians. It can be regular folks who have the
reputation and respect in their communities.
You know, if you belong to a church home or some sort of synagogue or a
temple, whatever it is, you know, sometimes that`s just a regular -- it
could be a teacher, it could be a housekeeper who someone that the
community respects. And if they believe that this is something for their
community, they are probably the best advocates for this.
But I think it`s all about -- Joy, you`ve been saying this from day one,
it`s all about listening to the science and the facts so that people can
make the best decisions for themselves and their families.
REID: Indeed. You think vaccines are scary? Try COVID. COVID is
Dr. Jha, you know -- and, by the way. Rachel Maddow last night talked about
the fact that her mother-in-law got the J&J. The J&J is fine. Rachel
Maddow`s mother-in-law got it and she`s fine. Dr. Jha, the other thing that
I hear more than anything else now, among people, even in my circle that
was initially reluctant, is now, I can`t figure how to get it, that I can
can`t get at it, that there`s none left. That, you know, I heard Dr.
Abraham say supply will going to exceed demand, but right now demand feels
like it`s really exceeding supply.
JHA: Yes, absolutely. And, by the way, just a quick shout out to Dr.
Abraham on that testimony today. He was unbelievable. So, Dr. Abraham,
thank you for that. I was inspired by you.
But let`s get to your question, Joy. Look, it`s so frustrating. States have
made this so incredibly complicated for people. People are spending hours
trying to navigate complex websites. It`s unnecessary. We can make this
simple and straightforward.
I do think that we are going to have a point probably late March, early
April when we will have plenty of vaccines, but we`ve got to make it easy
for people. And one of the ways you build inequity in this system is by
making it complex, by making it hard, and that`s what a lot of states are
doing and I think that`s a huge problem.
REID: And, Dr. Abraham, per your testimony, can you talk a little bit
about -- and you did testify in person. I think it`s important to note, as
well. What are people feeling like they can get back? Because I think
that`s what you kind of have to sell, what people is -- here is what you
can have back. Is that message working when you`re talking to people about
getting vaccinated, that these parts in your life can come back?
ABRAHAM: Yes, I think it was very important that I went to Congress in
person. This was essential, work-related travel and getting vaccinated,
doubly vaccinated like myself means we get back to work. We get back to
school. We get back to loving our loved ones, hugging and kissing them,
doing all of those wonderful things that we missed since before this
I think there`s a lot still we have to do. We still need to get everyone
vaccinated. But I really appreciate what Dr. Jha and all of the other
members of today`s Senate panel mentioned. There`s still plenty to do right
now and every one of those barriers must not stand in the way between
people and their vaccines. Not having an appointment, not having internet,
not having an email address or a phone or a home address, those are not
barriers that not getting a vaccine. And we must figure out why those
systems are in place and we must break those barriers down. And that`s
exactly what we`re doing in South L.A. And that`s why we`re so effective,
52,000 doses into arms as of tonight.
REID: Yes, congratulations on that. And, Christina, can you talk a little
bit about it on the other side? Because while we`re having this
conversation that`s very positive and it`s making people feel hopeful, in
the other universe, on Earth Two, they`re telling, people like Laura
Ingraham, who have absolutely no credibility, she is not a doctor, who is
she to tell people that? They`re putting people on T.V. who are not doctors
who are saying, forget everything, don`t -- you know, burn your masks,
don`t do social distancing, just do what you want.
And you`ve got playing out all over the country, governors also saying
dismantle all of the restrictions, forget the CDC, just go wild which feels
like it just going to kill more people and set us way back and I don`t know
how -- if you have thoughts about how people can break through the
information sort of bubble.
GREER: Yes. I mean, Joy, sadly, it`s the politics and the partisan
politics aren`t following the science and so many Republican governors are
putting the citizens of their state in severe danger. We`re seeing Texas is
open for business. What does that mean for people who will sadly follow a
politician with zero medical credibility and not wear a mask, not social
distance and go back to business as usual without having been vaccinated?
And so, sadly, we might see some spikes in particular areas even though
vaccinations are getting into the arms of particular people, we are so far
from herd immunity. We know that there are going to be certain stakes where
we`re going to see spikes.
And sadly, also, because the coronavirus is so odd, for some people, it
takes them out quickly, for others they have, you know, sort of flu-like
symptoms, and for some people, they didn`t even know they had COVID.
So you have Republicans who are saying it`s not that serious. I mean, you
know, not that many people have died. We have over a half a million
Americans who have died. And so, politically, when you`re trying to
politicize something that should be based in medical science, it`s really
hard to combat that because we have so many levels of government that are
competing against one another for information and for the reality of this
virus, where, for some people, it is serious.
And so, no, it doesn`t kill everyone, but it could take out your parents or
your grandparents or someone you love and we`ve seen that time and time
again. We`ve also seen many Republicans saying, well, I`ve lost loved ones
but you know, it`s not that bad, it`s just a pigment of the Democrats`
imagination to try and work against us. So, sadly, we`re still in the DJT
era of that.
REID: Yes. And a lot of these people who are saying lot of these numbers,
they have gotten vaccinated, Trump got vaccinated. So they`re talking a lot
of stuff, but they got their vaccines.
Dr. Ashish Jha, Dr. Jerry Abraham, Christina Greer, thank you all very
And up next on THE REIDOUT, the former president tightens his grip on the
GOP urging Republicans to start sending him their campaign contributions
instead of sending the money to the RNC, like a ratchet crime boss.
And then there`s Republican Congressman Paul Gosar tweeting out an image of
a sex worker along with a white nationalist motto. America first is
inevitable. It`s all very weird and creepy.
But believe it or not, Gosar is not even tonight`s absolute worse. We`ve
found people even worse. I give you a hint that involves the royal scandal.
The big reveal is coming up. THE REIDOUT continues after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): There`s something about Trump. There`s a dark
side and there`s some magic there. What I`m trying to do is just harness
To me, Donald Trump is sort of a cross between a Jesse Helms, Ronald Reagan
and P.T. Barnum. I mean, it`s just this bigger than life deal. He could
make the Republican Party something that nobody else I know who could make
it bigger, he can make it stronger, he can make it more diverse and he also
could destroy it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: For once, Senator Lindsey Graham is not entirely wrong. I mean Trump
is a lot like Jesse Helms and P.T. Barnum like that, not exactly untrue.
There is a dark side to the former president. But whatever magic that he
sees it`s really just open, goofy racism and corruption. And while not
making the Republican Party stronger, Donald Trump is definitely making it
more like a family, though it`s the kind where he might as well be
considered the Don.
How else can you describe it when the Florida retiree is threatening to sue
his own party for using his name to fundraise? And last night and, again,
an hour ago, Trump sent word to his MAGA devotees, that`s a nice party
you`ve got there. If you want to see it succeed, send your money directly
Looking at the fine print, none of the money goes to any organization
directly affiliated with the Republican Party. By the end of last year,
Trump`s Save American PAC was able to pocket more than $31 million from
supporters, which Trump can pretty much do whatever he wants to with.
You might think that that would anger the Republican Party, taking money
from their coffers and setting them up to have to beg Trump for cash, but
no, no, no, it appears they don`t think it`s a big enough tribute to the
head of the family. In fact, Republicans are adding money to Trump`s
pockets by moving part of their upcoming spring retreat to Mar-a-Lago, so
that Trump will speak. And, of course, they will be paying him for using
his club. And something tells me he won`t be giving them a friends-and-
And remember this. While one major political party is on the cusp of
delivering lifesaving relief for millions of Americans, the other is
focused on kissing the ring of the Florida Don.
Joining me now is Adrienne Elrod, former senior aide on the Biden/Harris
and Hillary Clinton campaigns, and David Frum, staff writer at "The
Atlantic" and former speechwriter for George W. Bush.
David, thank you for being here.
I want to start with you, because it does -- we were talking about this
when we were prepping for the show today. It feels like Donald Trump, he
isn`t fleecing the Republican Party, so it`s not a con them. He`s actually
gotten them to essentially become a mafia of sorts, where they have got to
pay him, where they can`t use his likeness for free.
At least they at least they say they can`t. But he says, no, you can`t. He
has another statement out tonight. You`re wasting your money. They`re
RINOs. Another statement out tonight. If you really want to help the
American people, you need to send the money to me, send me the money, and
then I will save the country.
And where essentially he`s eaten the Republican Party up and in a sense
made it like the mafia. Is that hyperbole to say?
DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, "THE ATLANTIC": Well, I was talking just this
afternoon to someone who is in regular contact with the post-presidential
And, according to my friend, here are some things that are true. Trump
desperately wants to be president again. He never understood how much he
liked the job while he had it. But now that he doesn`t have it, he wishes
he had it again. And the one bit of criticism you can give him that he will
hear is that he wasn`t focused enough on what matters.
And, clearly, since the impeachment and the trial and the new
administration, he has been very focused on one thing, which is just what
you said, making sure that the streams of money in the party flow to him.
And, so, Adrienne, if you have got these two things working together, you
have got Trump saying, I will help you with this one thing, voter
suppression, you need to pass -- you need to not let H.R.1 path. So you
need to make sure that you suppress enough votes and pass enough bills to
make it so that it`s almost impossible for me not to win, right? And that`s
being done. Check.
And then on top of it saying, send all the money to me. It is a
stranglehold. And it`s what`s odd to me is, it`s one Republicans don`t have
to be in. They`re choosing to be in it.
ADRIENNE ELROD, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, you`re exactly right, Joy.
And, look, I mean, this is the problem the Republican Party has had since
Trump became the nominee in 2016. They leaned into him. They sort of fought
him off before they weren`t quite sure what to do with him. And then once
he became the nominee, they just went for it and leaned straight in.
And we knew this would come back to bite them. We knew that they were going
to have a series of challenges in the long term, maybe some good short-term
gains, but a series of challenges in the long run. And now you`re seeing
that come to fruition. He is the Republican Party`s cash cow.
If the RNC and NRCC cannot raise money off of Donald Trump, how are they
going to raise money? It`s not like Mitch McConnell or Kevin McCarthy have
anywhere near the fund-raising prowess that Donald Trump has.
So, if he tells his donors, hey, listen here, you got to give to me and not
to these party committees, they`re going to be in some real trouble.
REID: Well, I think that is clearly true.
I mean, David Frum, it`s both sad that, right, just as stimulus ticks are
going to be going out, Donald Trump has got his eyes on them to have these
people send their money to him. Just when they`re getting their stimmies,
they`re going to probably be sending him to him.
And then you have got like five Republicans who are the old-school-type
Republican retiring. And Adrienne`s point, you`re probably going to have
five mini-Trumps running. You have got one guy who may be running in
Missouri. His name is Eric Greitens.
He actually used to be the governor, but he resigned after sexual
misconduct allegations came out. He`s an ardent Trumper. He`s thinking
about running again. The allegations include that he tried to blackmail a
woman who was having an extramarital affair with using a naked photo he
took her without our consent.
But that guy probably has a shot. And so what you do is, you replace the
sort of old-fashioned Republicans with that. And then what is the party?
Are we really looking at -- Jelani Cobb wrote, the Whigs used to exist.
They`re gone. The Federalists used to exist.
Is this a death spiral?
FRUM: Well, the Greitens story is such a terrible human tragedy.
This is a guy -- I know him a little bit -- who one would have thought was
once the future, a former Navy SEAL, a former Rhodes Scholar, a person of
education, someone who was interested in Greek philosophy, someone who
wrote books on the importance of supremacy of character, and who won a race
to be governor of Missouri at a young age, I think the first Jewish
governor of Missouri.
And that he would -- that this remarkable person would succumb to scandal
in the way that he did, which is so offensive and upsetting and tragic, and
then say the solution for me, who once studied the Greek philosophers, is
to become the Trump of Missouri.
REID: It`s amazing, Adrienne, but, also, that describes Josh Hawley, who
has got an Ivy League education and all of this sort of highfalutin
education that he now pretends that he`s the working man`s guy, but he`s a
very highly educated guy.
But they all become Trump, right? In the end, they think that the only way
to do it is they all try to be him. I mean, even people like Ted Cruz, who
he has belittled and mocked his own -- he can`t even defend his own wife.
It`s more important to defend Trump. Lindsey Graham. I mean, they`re all
just going to turn into him.
And then I ask again, is there another party on the other side of the
Democrats, if this is the performative sort of role, and this is what they
want to be?
ELROD: Well, Joy, over the past however many years, we have always seen
times where we thought, well, maybe this is really the time where you could
see a third party make a big stand. Of course, in `92, with Ross Perot
garnering 20 percent of the vote, that was an area where we thought, well,
maybe we will see a third party take shape.
We have never seen anything quite like this, where you have got the
combination of social media, different forms of communication, and then
somebody like Trump, who, frankly, is so different than what the Republican
looked like -- looked like about 20 years ago.
So this could actually be the time. And, look, if he amasses a fortune with
his PAC, which -- especially if he won`t let the RNC use his name, I see no
reason why he wouldn`t -- he will be able to substantially fund some of
these challenges. That`s why you`re seeing moderates like Richard Burr, Pat
Toomey, even to an extent Richard Shelby -- I can`t believe I`m kind of
calling him a moderate, but compared to some of these other guys you have
got in the Senate, he is certainly more of a mainstream Republican.
You`re going to start to see some of these challenges. And if these guys
start winning who Trump is endorsing in a Republican primary, that`s going
to spell huge trouble for the Republican Party as we know it.
REID: You know, David, I have been thinking a lot in the last several
weeks about the John Birch Society, and how long it took for Republicans to
finally dismiss them and get rid of them, because they realized they were
making them lose elections.
Donald Trump has a losing streak like none other. He not only lost the
presidency. He caused them to lose the United States Senate. He hasn`t
grown the party. At some point, is there a John Birch Society exclusion
moment do you see in the future?
Or does a section of the current Republican Party just break off and maybe
form its own thing?
FRUM: No, I think, in politics, you learn through pain.
And so what is going to happen is 2022 should be a good Republican year.
They`re the party not of the president. And the normal ballot question in
the second year of the president`s term is, is everyone happy or does
anyone have any complaints? And people say, yes, I got some complaints.
FRUM: The catering isn`t all it could be. Yes, we got complaints.
Donald Trump is going to insist, never mind your complaints about this guy.
Does anyone have any complaints about me? Let`s talk about me. That`s
always the Donald Trump input. So let`s talk about me.
FRUM: And when it`s smart not to talk about me, he still insists you talk
And so if Donald Trump -- if he makes 2022 a referendum on Trump, the
Republicans are sunk. If he makes it a referendum on Biden, they could pick
up yards. And every Republican knows this, but doesn`t dare say it.
REID: That`s the problem, is that they`re too cowardly to go after a
retiree who can`t hurt them in any way. It is bizarre.
Adrienne Elrod, David Frum, thank you both. Really appreciate you.
REID: It`s weird.
Up next: Georgia Republicans are making an aggressive push, as we were
just talking about, to suppress black voters, a direct response to
Republican losses there in November and January. And they`re doing it in
the same week civil rights icon Vernon Jordan is remembered. Ah, the
We will be right back.
REID: Today, civil rights icon Vernon Jordan was remembered in a memorial
service in Washington.
Former President Bill Clinton spoke and Vice President Kamala Harris was
among the dignitaries and civil rights leaders in attendance for the
service at Howard University for Jordan, who passed away this week at age
The service came one day after Georgia, the state where Jordan fought to
register voters as field director for the NAACP, passed yet -- passed yet
another draconian voter disenfranchisement bill. The Georgia bill
eliminates no-excuse absentee voting and requires I.D. for those permitted
to vote absentee. It comes just a week after the Georgia House steamrolled
through an equally suppressive bill, restricting ballot drop boxes,
requiring more I.D. for absentee voting and limiting weekend early voting
As "Mother Jones" notes, these laws are Georgia`s most restrictive voting
laws since the Jim Crow era.
Former President and former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter weighed in today,
saying in a statement -- quote -- "As our state legislators seek to turn
back the clock through legislation that will restrict access to voting for
many Georgians, I am disheartened, saddened and angry."
Of course, it`s not just Georgia racing to disenfranchise Americans. On
Monday, Iowa`s Republican governor signed into law a Republican-backed bill
slashing early voting there.
Meanwhile, less than a week ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a
voting rights bill, H.R.1, to expand access to the ballot. But, naturally,
sore loser that he is, the disgraced, twice-impeached Florida man, whose
big lie is being weaponized by these statehouses to push suppression, has a
plan to undermine it and is making voter suppression his brand.
The Daily Beast reports the former president has made it clear that he
wants election crackdowns to emerge as one of the defining legacy of his
And from his home base in Florida, he`s told advisers he wants to help
rally support for state GOP voting restrictions, because, of course.
Joining me now is LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter.
And, LaTosha, just -- Donald Trump, the former president, appears to want
his legacy to look a lot more like George Wallace, before George Wallace
had a change of heart. Like, he wants to be Jesse Helms in the American
memory, not Jimmy Carter, who is like known for building houses for the
What does it mean to have a former president say that he wants his post-
presidency brand to be voter suppression?
LATOSHA BROWN, CO-FOUNDER, BLACK VOTERS MATTER FUND: You know, it`s
indicative of who he is.
He built his entire presidential career on being a divider, of being a
liar, of being someone who actually aligned himself with white supremacists
and was a racist. And so I think that he has told us who he is. As my
grandmother would say, if someone tells you they are, believe them.
And so I think he has been very consistent with that. What is really
disheartening is that here we are, 56 years after the voting rights
movement. The week, the very week that we celebrating Bloody Sunday, when
black people were actually beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and here we
are literally facing these draconian bills that actually look like a
snapshot of the Jim Crow era in 1965.
REID: You know, I watched the Vernon Jordan memorial today. It was a
beautiful memorial. I mean, President Clinton spoke.
And you think about he did the expansions of Motor Voter. Presidents
normally want to enhance democracy. We`re seeing the opposite now. But what
does it mean for Georgia, the state that has -- the state you worked so
hard in, that Stacey Abrams worked so hard in, that just had an historic
election, its first black senator, its first Jewish American senator, after
all that history, for the response of the state legislature to be, let`s
make sure that they can never do it again?
To you, as an activist and an organizer, what does that do to you? Does it
make you angry, more determined? What does that do to you and your
BROWN: You know, I`m angry, I`m frustrated, I`m upset, but I am certainly
I think that part of what we know historically in this country, whenever
there has been black progress, there`s always been this group of -- there`s
been a white backlash and this group of people who sought to actually stop
the progress that`s been happening.
I think what we saw in 2020 was actually a response to the voter
suppression that happened in 2018. Part of what I think racists often do is
they underestimate the power and the determination of black voters.
And so it makes me extremely upset, more so than just looking at the
legislature and what happened in Georgia. The lieutenant governor hid out
in his office. Five of the Republican senators kind of excused themselves
and didn`t have the courage to stand up for it.
But then it`s very upsetting also that Georgia, that it tries to pride
itself as being, in Atlanta, the city to busy to hate, it`s not too busy to
suppress. And so you have got a multinational company like Coca-Cola there
that has a brand, a $74 billion brand value, that did not use its power to
the extent to be able to bring this to -- on one hand, say that they`re for
racial equity, and not leverage their -- leverage their political power to
put pressure to make sure that that didn`t happen.
So they had the opportunity, but they still do have an opportunity to stop
REID: Do you think that is what it`s going to take?
Are there going to have to be discussion of boycotts? I mean, Tyler Perry
Studios is down there raking in hundreds and hundreds of billions of
dollars for the state of Georgia. Coca-Cola is down there. Delta Airlines
is down there.
Are we going to start talking about boycotts directed at states and
directed at companies who don`t stand in the way of this or who perpetrate
BROWN: You know, I think that companies have the opportunity. I think this
is a prime opportunity for those companies that have said that they are
committed to racial equity and justice, that this is the time to affirm
that, to stand with the community.
I don`t believe that the protection of democracy should solely fall on the
backs of black people, that constantly it is not our burden to bear, that
we all know that democracy is good for business. And so I think that we
have got to put pressure on all kinds of levels.
We have to -- literally, those who seek to undermine democratic efforts in
the state, we have got to hold them accountable, just -- not just in the
legislature, but also their businesses, the whole ecosystem. This is not
the burden for black people to bear, although we have been attacked and
we`re targeted, that this actually restricts.
What`s really ironic, Joy, is that the expansion of the voting rights -- of
the absentee ballot voting was actually by Republicans. Republicans
targeted and created this bill...
BROWN: ... for rural white people that they felt like could vote.
And when black people turned out in record numbers, that was not
necessarily the outcome they expected. And so now they`re saying, oh...
BROWN: ... we don`t need this anymore.
REID: Yes, and going after the black church in such a direct way, saying,
oh, we will just get rid of Sunday voting, as if no one can see what
LaTosha Brown, you`re doing so much. And I know that you have got other
stuff that we could have gone on about. There`s things happening in Alabama
when it comes to black judges being targeted that you raised to me today,
and we`re going to be following up on that.
So, thank you always for keeping us up to date on what`s going on regarding
what`s happening in this country. Really appreciate you.
And up next: Jury selection is now under way, as former Minneapolis police
officer Derek Chauvin goes to trial for the murder of George Floyd. And
that`s not the only big legal story.
Stay right there.
REID: After a brief delay, the Derek Chauvin murder trial began in earnest
today in Minnesota. Lawyers from both the prosecution and defense
questioned potential jurors about their answers to a lengthy and detailed
questionnaire and they selected the first three jurors they intend to seat
for the trial.
First is a white male who says the criminal justice system is biased
against racial minorities statistically. But he added that, quote, in my
opinion, all lives matter equally and that should include police, unquote.
The second juror said her uncle is a police officer, but that she can be
fair. Pool reporters described her as, quote, a person of color.
And the third is another white male who says he has no personal opinion
because he hasn`t examined the viewpoint of the law. This comes as a former
federal prosecutor Paul Butler made the case in a "Washington Post" op-ed
that the jury must include African-Americans if its verdict just to have
Jury selection remains ongoing despite a looming appellate court decision
over whether a third degree murder charge will be reinstated which could
delay the trial.
And Paul Butler joins me now, former federal prosecutor and Georgetown law
professor and my friend.
Paul, does it annoy you as much as when these pool -- no offense to the
journalist, but refused to tell you, they say person of color and they just
blanket that out there and do not tell you whether there is a black juror
which visually people should be able to figure out or maybe they need more
diversity so they can visually figure it out.
But you wrote that there needs to be a plaque black person on the jury, an
African-American juror for it to be legitimate, we still don`t know if
that`s the case.
PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: That`s absolutely right. The people have a
right to a jury that reflects the diversity of the community. Minneapolis
is about 20 percent African-American.
The jury pool is about 12 percent black and, Joy, I`m very concerned that
when prospective black jurors honestly answer that they`ve had bad
experiences with cops or that they know that the cops in Minneapolis use
excessive force against black people, that they will be struck from the
jury, even though acknowledging bias and the criminal legal system. It`s
not an opinion. It`s a fact.
REID: And isn`t it true that these cases are won in voir dire, that the
cases basically won based on who gets excluded and who gets let on, right?
So, when these questioners go through, and here`s some of the questions. Do
you believe our criminal justice system works? Why and why not? Have you
helped support or advocated in favor of the police? Have you participated
in protest about police use of force and brutality? How favorable,
unfavorable are you about Black Lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter?
Those things, the last question especially is really relevant, when those
questionnaires go through, what happens to those questionnaires?
BUTLER: So, Joy, under the law, jurors are supposed to use their life
experiences and their common sense when they evaluate evidence and the fact
is many African-Americans have different experiences with the police than
white folks, for example, but the experiences of African-Americans are just
as valid as the experiences of any other Americans.
It`s not a basis to exclude them from the jury. Two of the white jurors who
were selected today said that they had concerns about whether the police
treat black people fairly, but it`s actually common for lawyers to accept
an answer from white jurors and when a prospective black juror says the
same thing for the lawyer to strike that juror.
REID: And I think it`s important for the media for that reason to just
tell us if the juror is black. Sorry, find enough diversity in your press
pool to be able to look at that person and tell us if the person is black
because telling a person of color does not tell us if there are black
jurors, and you could end up with no black jurors, and we would know,
because we just -- that happened during the George Zimmerman trial and it
Let`s talk about the likelihood of conviction. I`m very cynical about these
cases as you know, Paul. We`ve talked about this before.
We looked at 2014 to 2020, a bunch of really high-profile cases from
Michael Brown to Eric Gardner, some of which happened on tape. Eric Gardner
was killed on tape saying "I can`t breathe," Tamir Rice, little boy, killed
on tape. You saw it. Freddie Gray, you saw him dragged like a rag doll and
thrown in the back of a truck. Walter Scott, you saw him like murdered. He
was the only one convicted, but he`s only convicted in a federal trial. The
jury hung in South Carolina despite the evidence, both when you see a
It`s so rare. What does it actually take to convict a police officer in
killing -- for killing -- particularly killing a black person when people
don`t sympathize with the dead and they sympathize with a cop?
BUTLER: It takes jurors who are willing to listen to the evidence that`s
presented in court, and especially not to give police officers a break.
Sometimes jurors say, well, I think the cop did it, but he`s just trying to
do his job so I don`t want to punish him. And then there they`re
sympathetic to defense like what we`re hearing from Chauvin.
We know his defense will be to put George Floyd on trial and make it sound
like he`s responsible for his own death so they`re going to claim that
Chauvin didn`t actually kill George Floyd, but that Floyd died from natural
causes and illegal drugs in his system and they`ll say that Chauvin that
Mr. Floyd resisted arrest and that Chauvin used reasonable force in
So, Joy, that`s character assassination, but it`s a typical defense
strategy when officers are charged with using excessive force. They put the
victim on trial and too often that works.
REID: And it works because the use of force, the Google use of force
guidelines and find out how broad they are and the American people have
given police broad power to use force and that`s why it`s hard to convict
Let`s go to another suspect. You`ve got this pipe bomb suspect in the case
of a whole different level and whether they`ll face justice. We`ll see.
Videos taken blocks from the Capitol included an alleyway near the RNC
where you now can see this pipe bomber walking through.
What are the chances of -- is this -- how useful is this information to
catching this person?
BUTLER: It`s extremely useful for all of its flaws and its inability to
communicate with the D.C. police and Capitol police what was going down on
January 6th. Despite all those flaws, the FBI remains the world`s
preeminent law enforcement investigation. It`s quite good at tracking down
bad guys. It`s already tracked down about 200 of the 800 people who were
involved in the insurrection.
And so, catching this guy won`t be the difficult part. Charging him,
prosecuting him, and getting him convicted, that will be the challenge.
REID: That`s the thing that`s so crazy. It`s harder to convict somebody
for leaving a pipe bomb than it is to convict a police officer for killing
someone on TV.
Last one, this QAnon shaman who`s staying in jail, is that a good sign that
he might actually be facing justice for real?
BUTLER: I think so. Look, the judge -- Judge Lambert, I`ve appeared before
him many times. He`s a no-nonsense guy who does not come to the courtroom
So, he looked at this Jacob Chansley guy. Remember, Joy, this is a man who
demanded organic food and went on a hunger strike until he got it. This is
the same guy --
BUTLER: -- though, who wrote a note in Mike Pence`s chair in the Senate
that said is justice is coming, it`s only a matter of time.
On social media, he posted about hanging government workers who he called
BUTLER: And now he says he shouldn`t be held in jail because of his
bizarre QAnon beliefs. The judge let him have it, joy. He said that that
request was so frivolous as to insult the court`s intelligence. I would
have said, it`s white privilege on steroids.
REID: Yeah, then he got a "60 Minutes" interview. What was that about?
Paul Butler, thank you. Really appreciate you. All right. Thank you.
And still ahead, moment you`ve all been waiting for! It`s almost time to
crown tonight`s absolute worst.
REID: Oprah`s interview with Meghan and Harry had not even aired yet in
the U.K., and British chat host and former "Apprentice" contestant Piers
Morgan was already shocked and outraged that Meghan was dare to accuse the
royal family of racism.
Thankfully, one of his guests reminded him how ludicrous that was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SHOLA MOS-SHOGBAMIMU, AUTHOR: The royal family as an institution is
rooted in colonialism, white supremacy and racism. The legacy`s right
there. So, you`re now surprised that a comment will not be made by several
members of the royal family about how dark --
PIERS MORGAN, TV HOST: It`s not several members, actually. No, no, you
can`t spew lies --
MORGAN: Are we allowed to engage in any of this?
MOS-SHOGBAMIMU: Let me finish.
MORGAN: Well, you`re not stopping.
MOS-SHOGBAMIMU: You are now outraged that Harry and Meghan have the
audacity to speak their truth, then you should be at the actual outrage of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Well, this morning, Morgan walked off the set of "Good Morning
Britain" after his co-presenter, Alex, dragged him to the foot of the
ALEX BERESFORD, TV PRESENTEER: I understand that you don`t like Meghan
Markle. You`ve made it so clear a number of times on this program, a number
of times. And I understand that you`ve got a personal relationship with
Meghan Markle, or had one, and she cut you off.
She`s entitled to cut you off if she wants to. Has she said anything about
you since she cut you off? I don`t think she has, but yet, you continue to
MORGAN: Okay, I`m done with this.
BERESFORD: No, no, no --
BERESFORD: Oh, do you know what, that`s --
MORGAN: Not mine, see you later.
BERESFORD: I`ve been --
MORGAN: Sorry, can`t do this.
BERESFORD: This is absolutely diabolical behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
He has since quit the show. And while Piers was busy throwing a fit before
he quit, the all-white teeny bobber Trump fan club was getting equally
historical about the interview.
Let`s start with Charlie Kirk, the right wing provocateur called Prince
Harry who spent time in the British army with two tours in Afghanistan a,
quote, beta male, because he dared to -- wait for it -- support his wife.
Perhaps he would like him to be more like Ted Cruz.
But then there is spray on hair aficionado and migrant child capturer
Stephen Miller, who tweeted: It`s not about you, but about your country.
A reminder, his media past boss was Donald Trump.
Then there is racial irony YouTuber Ben Shapiro who called Harry spoiled
before moaning about how challenging it must be for ailing Prince Philip to
watch his grandson called the institution a repository of bigotry. I guess
Ben wasn`t watching attention when Prince Philip asked aboriginal
Australian if they were still throwing spears.
Apparently, Don Jr. noticed that all the MAGA kids were doing it and felt
left out. So, he decided he absolutely had to jump in, because let`s be
real, what else does he have to do except hope that his daddy with one day
pay attention to him?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, JR., SON OF DONALD TRUMP: Why was there no questioning?
Again, didn`t seem like she was hiding from the press, didn`t seem like she
wasn`t buying with full disclosure, meaning if you`re marrying into the
British royal family, you probably understand that there is some stuff that
comes along with that that isn`t always going to be awesome.
(END VIDOE CLIP)
REID: Is it possible for a person`s chin to actually go in?
By the way, failed so never even watched the interview. Perfect.
And to Bethenny Frankel, the lady from one of the "Real Housewives" shows,
who make skinny wine or something, she hasn`t even seen the interview but
felt necessary to share with her followers in advance that she had zero
sympathy for the duchess. She later apologized for her opinion.
And there`s another like super-rich media lady waxing about it, too, but I
can`t remember who this is.
But all these folks and their ignorance make them the absolute worst. And
you know how I know they`re the worst? Because the queen, herself, issued a
statement acknowledging the full extent of how challenging the last few
years have been for Harry and Meghan, saying the issues raised,
particularly of race, are concerning. Oops!
Let`s call it the queen`s gambit.
And that`s tonight`s REIDOUT.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
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