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Transcript: The ReidOut, 4/29/21

Guests: Adam Schiff, Kirk Burkhalter, Jay Fortenbery, Christina Greer


Feds raid Giuliani home & office. New York Times reports, firing of U.S. ambassador at center of Giuliani investigation. Biden says DOJ is not the president`s lawyer. In their response to President Biden`s address, Republicans went straight for the red meat for their base.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: That`s at THE BEAT with Ari, and you can see why I was doing the elbow bumps and walked around the White House grounds what we learned from these Biden`s officials. Go to to see the whole thing.

As always thanks for watching. THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid starts now.

JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, I`m Jason Johnson in for Joy Reid.

We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the FBI raid on Rudy Giuliani`s apartment and office, a stark reminder that the former president`s personal lawyer is still under criminal investigation. That probe dates back to at least August of 2019 and its focus on Giuliani`s dealings in the Ukraine, first named scandal at the center of Trump`s first impeachment, because he got impeached two times.

As The New York Times reported yesterday, investigators are also focused on the 2019 decision to oust the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. And we already know that Giuliani played a key role in her removal. The New York Times is now reporting in a breaking story, quote, at least one of the warrants were seeking evidence related to Ms. Yovanovitch in her role as Ambassador.

Question for prosecutors whether Giuliani was acting on behalf of a foreign client and pushing for her removal. Additionally, according to The Times, quote, the warrant also sought his communications with Ukrainian officials who had butted heads with Ms. Yovanovitch, including some of the same people who, at the time, were helping Mr. Giuliani`s said damaging information about now President Biden.

Meanwhile, Giuliani`s legal exposure may explain why it`s such a meltdown over Trump`s lost in November, fighting to overturn the results long after the votes were counted and certified, and that`s because Trump DOJ was actually shielding Giuliani while Trump was in office ought to, quote, block the warrants and slow the investigation according to The New York Times.

In contrast, President Biden, told NBC News that he restores the independence of the Justice Department, saying that he wasn`t even brief on the raid of Giuliani`s home. I should also --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you aware of that raid before it happened?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I give you my word, I was not. I made a pledge. I would not interfere in any way, order or try to stop any investigation the Justice Department ahead in the way. I learned about that last night when the rest of the world learned about it.

That`s not the role of the president. The Justice Department is the people`s lawyer, not the president`s lawyer.


JOHNSON: I should also say that the investigation of Giuliani could pose a threat to his former boss as well. After all, Giuliani suggested in 2019 that he has the goods on Trump, and that could be problematic to the former president if Giuliani is induced to flip.


RUDY GIULIANI, TRUMP`S FORMER PERSONAL ATTORNEY: I mean, I`ve seen things written like he`s going to throw me under the bus.


GIULIANI: When they say that, I say he isn`t, but I have insurance.


JOHNSON: So, it`s no surprise that Trump is turning to Fox News to whine about how unfair it all is.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He just love is his country, and they raid his apartment. it`s like so unfair and such a double -- it`s like a double standard, like I don`t think anybody has ever seen before.

And I don`t know what they`re looking for, what they are doing. They say it had to do with filings of various papers, lobbying filings.


JOHNSON: But what Rudy Giuliani did in Ukraine was more than just a paperwork violation. He effectively took control of U.S. foreign policy, usurped the role of American diplomats and leveraged Ukraine for political purposes.


AMB.BILL TAYLOR, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UKRAINE: The official foreign policy of the United States was undercut by the irregular efforts led by Mr. Giuliani.

AMB. GORDON SONDLAND, FORMER U.S. ABASSADOR TO THE E.U.: If we want to get anything done with Ukraine, it was apparent to us, we needed to talk to Rudy.

GEORGE KENT, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Giuliani`s effort to gin up politically motivated investigations were now infecting U.S. engagement with Ukraine.


JOHNSON: And if you learned on those impeachment proceeding, all of Giuliani`s efforts in Ukraine had one goal: to dig up or fabricate dirt on Joe Biden before the 2020 election.

But the most damning part of all of this is that the U.S. Intelligence Community has now confirmed that the smear campaign against Biden and Ukraine was part of a Russian operation directed by Vladimir Putin himself to influence the U.S. election. According to the report, the Kremlin pushed misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against President Biden to the U.S. media and some close to President Trump. In other words, Giuliani was a willing pawn in a foreign influence campaign against our country.

With me now is Congressman Adam Schiff of California, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and an Impeachment Manager in the first Trump impeachment. Congressman Schiff, thank you so much for being with us on THE REIDOUT this evening.

I`m going to start -- I`m going go Tim Russert on you here. I`m going to play some of your own words back to you from the first impeachment and get your comments on the other side.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Donald Trump chose Rudy Giuliani over his own intelligence agencies. He chose Rudy Giuliani over his own FBI director. He chose Rudy Giuliani over his own national security advisors.

When all of them were telling him this Ukraine 2016 stuff is kooky crazy Russian propaganda, he chose not to believe them. He chose to believe Rudy Giuliani. That makes him dangerous.


JOHNSON: So, Congressman Schiff, I have to ask you, and I`m being very serious about this, because this is a danger to the United States and these people are still walking around free. Do you feel vindicated? Do you feel that what you said and predicted has now sort of finally coming to fruition. How do you feel about these new reports and this recent raid?

SCHIFF: Well, you know, to me, I feel sad because we had the opportunity in that first impeachment to remove the danger. And it didn`t take any great impression to see, if he wasn`t removed when the evidence was so overwhelming, that he would go and try to cheat in the next election, which is exactly what he did.

But with respect to Rudy Giuliani, you know, we -- as a result of our investigation, we learned that Giuliani was working with these corrupt Ukrainians in an effort to smear Joe Biden, that he was advancing this Kremlin narrative, that it wasn`t the Russians that interfered in our election in 2016, it was Ukraine, and Ukraine was interfering to help Hillary Clinton. That was a Russian Kremlin narrative and Giuliani was working to push it out.

I think the issue may now be, in terms of his legal exposure, he needed to get rid of Marie Yovanovitch, our ambassador, because she was fighting corruption in Ukraine, and he consider her an obstacle to getting these corrupt investigations and that against the Biden`s. But he also, you know, appears to have to had business interest in Ukraine.

And there were corrupt Ukrainian people like this former Attorney General Lutsenko, who also wanted the ambassador gone because he thought it would help him remain in power. And if Giuliani was doing any of this on behalf of these corrupt Ukrainian officials or being compensated for it and not reporting it, then he would have some serious legal problems.

JOHNSON: So, Congressman, I thought about this. This is -- you know it`s a raid on Giuliani`s house. And it`s just -- this just feels different. If you`re talking about -- this could be a counterintelligence investigation instead of just obstruction of justice. This is move from being law and order to perhaps the Americans on F.X. Like how is that investigation going to play out differently if this does sort of transform, it does something - - what we`re looking at someone who may have been under foreign influence?

SCHIFF: Well, you know, first of all, I was so glad to hear President Biden say what he did, that he`s hands off on all this stuff. He should be hands off on it. It`s great to have a president who is hands off in terms of the Justice Department. It`s great to have an attorney general who is not bringing cases or announcing investigations for political reasons or intervening in sentencings, like Trump -- Attorney General Bill Barr did with Roger Stone or to make the Mike Flynn case go away. It`s good to have an independent Justice Department, again, doing independent work.

In terms of the investigation involving Giuliani, I have to think that was predominantly a criminal investigation as to whether he violated laws, while he was working for a foreign power and not reporting it. But there will certainly be interest from a counterintelligence point of view and whatever is learned to that investigation so that we can protect ourselves if there are still other people involved in his conduct that may be compromised by the Russians.

JOHNSON: So, you mentioned William Barr. And so, we had in the previous administration a -- basically an attorney general who set things up for the president, and seem operated as his personal lawyer. I want you to listen to this sound here, because it seems like William Barr wasn`t just sort of working as Trump`s personal lawyer, but he was working as a campaign manager as well.


WILLIAM BARR, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We had established an intake process in the field so that any information coming in about Ukraine could be carefully scrutinized by the department.

That is true for all information that comes to the department relating to the Ukraine including anything Mr. Giuliani might provide.


JOHNSON: So, Congressman, after hearing that from William Barr, I mean, if the information from Ukraine was primarily being used for campaign purposes, doesn`t mean that William Barr is also somebody who should eventually be under investigation because he would have been part of the smear campaign?

SCHIFF: Well, look, I don`t know whether he should be under investigation, but it`s certainly clear, even if you look at the call record, that infamous July 25th call between Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine, trump tells President Zelensky over and over, talk to Rudy Giuliani and talk to Bill Barr. Both of them -- he implicates both of them.

And when the whistleblower files a complaint, and that complaint was withheld from Congress, it was withheld from Congress at the direction of the Justice Department, Bill Barr`s Justice Department, and, of course, we would soon find out why. So, there is no question that Bill Barr abused his office in that department and in the most destructive ways.

And I can give you one final example. You might recall Bill Barr, in the run-up to the election, was saying that China was the biggest threat to our elections. And when he was asked by, I think, by Wolf Blitzer on what basis do you make that claim? He says, well, I`ve seen the intelligence. Well, the intelligence community released that public report just about a month- and-half ago that said, no, China wasn`t involved the way Russia was. Russia was the primary threat, showing once again that Bill Barr was being deceptive with the American people to help the Trump campaign.

JOHNSON: This is not going to be the end of this. Thank you, Congressman Schiff, not just for this interview but what you did for this country last year. Thank you so very much.

SCHIFF: Thank you.

JOHNSON: Up next on THE REIDOUT, President Biden just finished speaking in Atlanta, Georgia, selling the big agenda he laid out to Congress last night. Republicans say the price tag is just too high, at least the parts they were awake for.

Plus, the policing crisis in America and one possible way to hold rogue officer accountable, just like bad doctors and teachers.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


JOHNSON: President Biden in Georgia tonight selling success of his first 100 days less than 24 hours after his first address to the joint session of Congress. The plan, to remind Americans that since he took office, more than a million new jobs have come back, $1,400 economic relief payments that steaming, got sent out, and roughly 143 million Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. What better place to celebrate than Georgia, which is basking the glory of its status as a battleground state?


BIDEN: We promised to deliver emergency relief to the millions of Americans who are in financial distress, and I might add, through no fault of their own. So we got out $1,400 checks to the American people and we kept that promise. 85 percent of the households in America have gotten those checks.

And I want to stop here and give thanks to both your senators, Senators Ossoff and Warnock, for making it happen, because those two votes, had we not come back and you elected them, those two votes made the difference.


JOHNSON: Earlier in the day, the Biden`s made a stop in Plains, Georgia to visit the carters. No, not B and G, the former first couple, Jimmy and Roslaynn Carter. As a first term senator back in 1976, Biden endorsed the former Georgia governor for president over a list of high-profile candidates. Now, more than four decades later, President Biden is promoting his $2 Trillion infrastructure plan and unveiled his $1.8 trillion American families plan, which would offer free universal pre-school, community college and provide childcare support among other things.


BIDEN: We had a great inflection point in history. We have to do more than just build back better. To build back, we have to build back better.

Throughout our history, if you think about it, public investment in infrastructure has literally transformed America.

Time and again, they propel us into the future. That`s why I propose the American jobs plan, a once in a generation investment in America itself.

We also need to make a once in a generation investment in our families and our children.

Trickledown economics has never worked. It`s time to grow the economy from the bottom and the middle out.


JOHNSON: Biden`s predecessor spoke about the importance of infrastructure, but none of have laid out a plan quite like this.


TRUMP: Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America`s crumbling infrastructure.

This is not an option. This is a necessity.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So much of America needs to be rebuilt. We`ve got crumbling roads and bridges, a power grid that wastes too much energy.

Democratic and Republican administrations invested in great projects that benefited everybody.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This Congress must act to encourage conservation, promote technology, build infrastructure and it must act to increase energy production at home, so America is less dependent on foreign oil.


JOHNSON: Those other crowd behind the president gets more and more diverse every year. That`s progress.

Biden`s pitch comes at a time when the country is slowly emerging from forced hibernation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His election of Georgia is no coincidence. And also, month ago, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed one of the most restrictive voter suppression laws in the country after diverse coalition of voters handed Democrats the keys to the White House and the Senate.

Joining me now is Errin Haines, Editor-at-Large for the 19th, and Nse Ufot, CEO of the New Georgia Project, and Adrienne Elrod, former Senior Aide on the Biden/Harris and Clinton/Kaine campaigns.

Nse, I`ll begin with you. Joe Biden makes a beeline for Georgia right after his speech to a joint session of Congress. What does this say about Georgia`s place not just in the mind of Democrats, but really the whole country now, when it comes to our electoral future?

NSE UFOT, CEO, NEW GEORGIA PROJECT: I think that it says that the debate has been settled and that Georgia is one of America`s newest battleground states.

I think it also says that there is an acknowledgement, a recognition that the reason that the Biden administration is within grasp of making progress on its agenda is due to black voters and voters in Georgia not only showing up in November, but making history by sending Senator Warnock and Senator Ossoff to Washington, D.C.

When we think that there are over 60 bills that have been passed by a margin of less than two votes, like, the story, the narrative, the impact of Georgia voters will -- is continuing to show up throughout the legislative agenda.

JOHNSON: And I want to follow up with this, because, literally -- I mean, like most places, we make the argument all the time, hey, your vote matters, your vote matters.

But, literally, there are people in Georgia who have a $1,400 check. They got that stimulus check because of the senators that they put in.

So, is that something that resonates? Like, when you guys are door-knocking and organizing now are people saying, yo, my vote got me this $1,400? Or does it still seem sort of an abstract concept when you`re talking to people on the ground?

UFOT: No, first of all, I want to flag that 85 percent of American families got that stimulus check, not just us in Georgia.

JOHNSON: Well, yes.



UFOT: ... A, but, also, B, I think that, yes, there is that recognition, particularly for the folks that were born in 2002 and voted for the first time in these elections.

They watched the entire country sort of make bad parodies of "Georgia On My Mind" and talk about how important their vote was specifically. And so, as a long-term electoral organizer, and a community organizer, this is the number one question that we sort of message around and talk to young people about, is the power of their vote.

And we have real live examples that hit people in their wallets, in their hearts and in their minds. And so I think the conversations have gotten a lot easier. And, quite frankly, the backlash that we are living through, that we are experiencing also talks about how critical voting is in every election.

JOHNSON: So, Errin, I want to ask you this.

I`m going to play a mash-up of sort of the GOP responses to President Biden speech last night. And I want your thoughts on the other side.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): America heard a lengthy liberal daydream. We heard about the so-called Jobs Plan packed with punitive tax hikes at exactly the time our nation needs a recovery.

SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): The president gives a nice talk about unity, but then he doesn`t -- there`s no unity. He`s -- unity for him is we Republicans just agree to spend and spend and spend.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Just saying we`re going to spend a trillion dollars on this doesn`t mean you care more. It means you`re going to spend more of other people`s money, taxpayer money, and run up the debt.


JOHNSON: So, Errin, we just talked about the value of stimulus checks to millions of Americans who were hurting during this pandemic, millions of Americans who still don`t have jobs.

Is this sort of GOP messaging that giving people money and financially supporting people is bad, is that going to be a resonant message, or are they pretty much just talking to their own people, as usual?

ERRIN HAINES, EDITOR AT LARGE, THE 19TH: Well, this is certainly among kind of the red meat kind of topics that Republicans tell to their base.

But this is an administration that, in the first 100 days, has really worked to redefine the definition of bipartisanship and what that means in this country, right? Like, for their money, they are not focused necessarily on the Republicans in Congress, who maybe don`t want to get on board with the president`s plan.

The Biden/Harris administration is instead kind of emphasizing that there are people of both political parties who support -- or no political party - - that support a lot of kind of the details of what he is trying to do and, frankly, some of the things that he has tried to deliver.

I mean, look, President Biden, after he and the first lady were down in Plains, I mean, that rally was in Gwinnett County, right, which is not somewhere that has been traditionally thought of as a Democratic stronghold.

And I think that also sends a message. He said, when he was elected, that he was going to be president for everybody, whether they voted for him or not, and that includes Republicans, many of whom are supportive of a lot of these issues, whether you`re talking about caregiving, whether you`re talking about certainly those stimulus checks and support for folks who are out of work.

Those folks are in red states and blue states. And today was really just yet another opportunity to remind people that.

JOHNSON: And Errin, the other thing that seems to occur to me is, when I hear those criticism, it speaks to this larger problem that I think Republicans have been having in really landing a punch on Joe Biden, right?

Barack Obama, they could scream, ah, he is black, basically. With Bill Clinton, they can say, ah, he`s Slick Willie. There were other ways that you could attack previous Democratic presidents.

But why do you think Republicans have had such difficulty? I mean, other than saying the guy is giving you money when you`re broke, they can`t seem to land a real punch on Joe Biden.

HAINES: Well, I mean, when you are delivering things that Americans want, it is kind of hard to make -- to make the argument.

And with him, frankly, yes, being a male of a certain age in politics, it is a little harder to kind of make contrasts, especially in the culture wars that Republicans are so bent on continuing here as an election strategy and to really galvanize members of their base.

But listen, Joe Biden is somebody who -- the guy from Scranton who has -- appeals to folks in the heartland and in the Rust Belt and everywhere in between, people who may be open to his message just because of the identity that he has, regardless of the party that they are in.

And, again, like, he talked about the need for gun reform, for example, didn`t want to offend anybody in trying to have that conversation. The way that he comes at things, his delivery, I think, is something that folks may be more receptive to.

And so that is certainly -- that delivery is something that is stymieing Republicans, at least in these early days.


So, Adrienne, Errin brings up a good point, the idea that most people are receptive to what Joe Biden is talking about.

I want to show this montage here of just how receptive or not receptive Republicans are to a lot of things that Joe Biden was saying last night.


BIDEN: And it`s time to grow the economy from the bottom and the middle out.


BIDEN: American Jobs Plan creates jobs replacing 100 percent of the nation`s lead pipes and service line, so every American can drink clean water.


BIDEN: We need to protect the sacred right to vote.


BIDEN: It`s time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans to just begin to pay their fair share, just their fair share.


BIDEN: We`re on track to cut child poverty in America in half this year.



JOHNSON: Adrienne, I have to ask you.

It`s like I get certain policy things that Republicans sit for. But, like, ending child poverty, they don`t clap. Joe Biden could have said, hey, we`re going to stop clubbing baby seals. They wouldn`t clap for that.

What is the strategy of a party that seems to just want to say no, even for policies that, polling-wise, seem to be universally popular?

ADRIENNE ELROD, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, Jason, I think that montages that you just showed right there literally sums up the Republican Party today.

There`s a bunch of people out there who -- their constituents want this. We know. We have seen polling from the Biden administration and from various news organizations that have shown that a majority of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, support what Joe Biden has done so far in his first 100 days and support what he laid out last night in his speech.

But yet you cannot get basically one Republican in the House and Senate to support it, even though that is what their constituents want.

And I think Errin made a really smart point earlier, which is how the Biden administration is redefining what bipartisanship is. It doesn`t mean that just because you can`t get any of these representatives in Congress who are Republicans to support your legislation doesn`t mean that it is bipartisan, because it is -- it is supported by a majority of the American people, including Democrats, Republicans and independents.

So, again, I think it shows, it sums up exactly what the problem is with the Republican Party these days...


ELROD: ... and also sums up how popular this legislation is and why Biden and his Cabinet are going out and selling it.

JOHNSON: It seems crazy to me that we have a Republican Party where more of them voted to impeach Trump a second time than clapped for ending childhood poverty.

Thank you, Errin Haines, Nse Ufot, and Adrienne Elrod. Thank you so very much this evening.

Still ahead: You need a license to become a teacher, a lawyer and, in some states, even a florist. And if you turn out to be bad at any of those jobs, you lose your license. So, why isn`t that the case for bad police officers?

That`s next. Stay with us.


JOHNSON: For many jobs in this country, you need a license.

Makes sense that you need a license to practice law or medicine or to teach, but even hairdressers need them, as do florists, strippers, and even fortune-tellers in some states. They should have been able to predict that.

In those jobs, if you violate professional standards, your license can be revoked.

Then there`s the police; 46 states require a license for certification, but in about one-third of states, a criminal conviction is required for an officer to lose their certification. We all know how unlikely those convictions are, which brings us to the police shooting of Andrew Brown in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

Today, the Pasquotank County sheriff released the names of the seven deputies put on administrative leave and noted that the four who didn`t fire weapons would be reinstated to active duty.

The situation is still under investigation, so we don`t know if it will result in criminal charges. But a close reading of the sheriff`s own use of force policy suggests it certainly wasn`t great policing.

At a court hearing, yesterday, the district attorney claimed that body cameras show the Andrew Brown Jr. made contact with deputies while reversing his car, then moved forward, prompting them to open fire.

If that`s to be believed -- and remember, we don`t know if we have to believe these people, because we haven`t seen any video released publicly - - the sheriff`s own policy advises against opening fire in those circumstances.

The actual local policy says -- quote -- "Shots fired at or from a moving vehicle involve additional considerations and risks and are" -- emphasis -- "rarely effective."

I`m joined now by Jay Fortenberry, Elizabeth City State University assistant professor of criminal justice and former police chief of Edenton, North Carolina, and Kirk Burkhalter, professor of law at New York Law School and former NYPD detective.

Thank you all so very much for joining me this evening.

Look, I`m going to start with this, I have said this publicly. I`m in favor of abolishing policing as it exists in modern times. But I do recognize that different policies work better in different places.

So, I want to start with this question, Kirk.

We have found out that the use of force suggestions for the local county said that it`s not a good idea to necessarily shoot at a police car. But, at the same time -- we`re going to play this sound right now -- the local attorneys are saying that Andrew Brown backed into people.

So, I want to get your thoughts on this after we listen to the sound.


HARRY DANIELS, ATTORNEY FOR FAMILY OF ANDREW BROWN JR.: If that`s your position, show the tape.

We already know, if that was the case, then the media attorneys would not have to make an argument to show the tape, the tape would already be shown. And that exonerates the law enforcement officers, the media would have already seen the tape.

In Columbus, Ohio, the tapes was immediately shown.


JOHNSON: So, it seems to me -- and, as Ben Crump said once, it doesn`t take an 8-year-old -- that if the police are saying that Andrew Brown backed into them and created an immediate danger, why wouldn`t they release the video to the public for that to be the case?

Is there any justification for sitting on that video?

KIRK BURKHALTER, NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL: I actually can`t imagine why there wouldn`t be a justification in this particular climate.

So, I think police departments do have to think about the climate. Certainly, you want police departments to be objective. But we are in a climate where many segments of this country are losing trust in the police departments. And I think it`s their responsibility to regain that trust.

If a simple thing as releasing this video will help them to achieve their mission, that should be done. So, you touched on this, that there`s a lot that we don`t know. And when the video is not released at this particular point, it allows for incredible amounts of speculation.

And the district attorney made a statement that, hey, you can`t ask people to not smell a skunk once you wave it at them. However, let`s take that a step further. Nothing will change that skunk from being a skunk or a bed of roses. It is what it is.

Show the people the video. Be transparent. And I think this was -- has been a misstep in -- with regards to this investigation.


And also, when we do finally see some part of the video, if it`s -- if it`s redacted so much, it looks like Morse code, then people still won`t trust what the result is.

Mr. Fortenberry, so I want to ask this question. I wrote a piece in The Grio. I talked about the idea of decertifying or delicensing police, right? There are standards that other professions are held to. If you -- if you`re a schoolteacher, you can lose your license even if you don`t break the law. If you`re a schoolteacher, and you buy beer for the state-winning championships, you could lose your license.

If you are an exotic dancer, you can actually lose your license if you don`t use the right kind of body paint.

In North Carolina, there have been about 1,000 officers who have lost their license over the last 30 or 40 years. Do you think delicensure might be an effective way of handling these kinds of cases? Because the law may not find that any of these officers broke the law, but they certainly have no trust in the community after this.


When officers lose trust, when they break code, when they break that ethical boundary, they can no longer police anymore. That`s one of the things we talk about in policing all the time.

You have to have high ethical values. You have got to maintain those ethical values. And there`s got to be consequences for it. I think a national database of officers, so they can`t switch agency to agency, would be a great idea.

You have got a lot of times officers -- and this happens a lot in North Carolina -- an officer can resign, in light of being fired, and turn around and get a job somewhere else. So, they take the problem somewhere else, instead of firing.

And a lot of times, the chiefs are hesitant to fire them because it`s easier to let them resign. You don`t have to worry about backlash. You don`t have to worry about appeals and things like that.

But, yes, most definitely that`s one of the things we have got to do in policing today. We have got to get rid of the bad cops. I think most cops are good. I think most cops want to work with good cops.

I was talking to a friend of mine who`s a police chief. It`s actually Edenton. You said Edenton. That`s OK.

JOHNSON: I`m sorry.


FORTENBERRY: But Edenton, North Carolina.

But we were talking about it. One thing that`s got to be abolished in policing is the blue wall of silence. You have probably heard about that before, you know.


FORTENBERRY: So there`s been a tradition where cops look out for other cops, even though they know they`re doing the wrong thing, and that`s got to stop. You know, cops got to turn each other in. There needs to be consequences for that as well. If you`re involved in something and you don`t need help, that`s got to be a consequence.

JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC HOST: So, I want to take this to Mr. Burkhalter, because that`s something else. This idea of wandering officers, right? You know, Mr. Fortenbery said, hey, we should have a national registry. But this is a serious issue.

Many police officers who are allowed to resign, instead of being fire from one place, they just go up the street, they go to another part of town, the most famous might be Timothy Loehmann who as a police officer who`s basically let go of the Independence Police Department in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, went 15 minutes up the road, got a jot with the Cleveland shop and shot Tamir Rice.

My question for you is, you know, what kind of resistance do you think there would be to a national registry of police, and what kind of consequences would you have to put on the local departments to make sure that they respect, they, if this guy got delicensed in this state, we can`t let him or her move to this other state and do the same thing.

KIRK BURKHALTER, NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR: Well, I think it`s certainly, it`s a good question. I think there`s certainly will be some resistance from the unions and so forth.

And we have to remember a couple things. One that this is -- I loved being a police officer, but it was a privilege and a job, not a right. I did not have the right to be a police officer.

The other way this can have some teeth is to tie it into the Edward Burn Fund. Edward Burn was a police officer her in New York City that lost his life in the `80s. He was tragically assassinated and there is now a fund named after him, and this is where police departments receive millions and millions of dollars from the federal government.

That can be used as a carrot or a stick. There is no reason why police officers should be able to travel from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. If you are not ethically and morally bound or good enough to serve in one jurisdiction, how could you possibly be good enough to serve in another?

JOHNSON: Right, in another.

Thank you, guys, so much. Trust me, we will have you back because this is an important conversation. Thank you, Jay Fortenbery, and Kirk Burkhalter.

Up next, Biden`s address last night was aspirational and uplifting. Republicans` response was downright embarrassing. We`ll run through the worst of them, next.


JOHNSON: In their response to President Biden`s address, Republicans went straight for the red meat for their base. Literally in the case of Kevin McCarthy who once again repeated the outright lie that Joe Biden is trying to control America`s meat intake.

Meanwhile, Sean Hannity went to tried and true direction of pretending that Joe Biden wasn`t really all there mentally.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HIOST: It`s not totally clear that the very weak, very frail, cognitively struggling Joe Biden really seems to have a grasp on the real state of our union. You watch -- I call it the Biden shuffle. It`s the little baby steps that he takes as he walks, and the little elbows, it looks like it`s an effort.


JOHNSON: And in case you missed this point the first time around, he put it up in this graphic questioning in all caps, who is in charge? Keep it classy, Sean.

Maybe Hannity would have been more worried about the wellbeing of Ted Cruz who appeared to fall asleep during Biden`s address. Ted snooze later said it was boring, but radical.

McCarthy went in a similar direction attempting to be hip by tweeting, this all could have been an email. I`m sorry, does he remember how long the last president tended to speak or that he hated using the e-mail.

And speaking of the Florida man, the former president appeared today to complain that Biden didn`t thank him enough in his speech.


TRUMP: Obviously, they`re very ungracious people. I did the vaccine. They like to take the vaccine. If I weren`t president, the vaccine, you wouldn`t have a vaccine for five years, three to five years.


JOHNSON: Some on the right did go after Biden`s actual policies but in perplexing ways. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted that: federally funded school from age 3 to 20 doesn`t sound like education, it sounds like indoctrination.

Y`all, she went to a public school.

And then there`s conservative J.D. Vance who`s eyeing the open Senate seat in Ohio. He tweeted that universal day care is class war against normal people. You know, normal people who have kids.

Past polling has shown that most Americans, you know, normal people included, wouldn`t say no to more affordable child care. So Republicans clearly need to work on figuring out what they actually stand for.

Senator Tim Scott was tasked with the responsibility of laying out his party`s priorities to the Republican response last night, but he failed to base those priorities on reality. That`s what we`re talking about, next.



SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): I have experienced the pain of discrimination. I know what it feels like to be pulled over for no reason, to be followed around a story while I`m shopping. I`ve also experienced a different kind of intolerance. I get called Uncle Tom and the N-word by progressives, by liberals.


JOHNSON: Senator Tim Scott, one of only three black Republicans in Congress, tried to give his party cover in delivering the response to Biden`s presidential address, saying explicitly that America is not a racist country, even as he addressed his own experiences with racism.

He also went on to condemn those who would use race as a political weapon. Vice President Kamala Harris was asked if she agreed with Senator Scott.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don`t think America is a racist country, but we also do have to speak truth about the history of racism in our country and its existence today. It does not help to heal our country, to unify us as a people to ignore the realities of that. And the idea is that we want to unify the country, but not without speaking truth and requiring accountability as appropriate.


JOHNSON: Joining me now is Jelani Cobb, staff writer at "The New Yorker" and Dr. Christina Greer, both doctors, Dr. Christina Greer, associate professor of political science at Fordham University.

Dr. Greer, I`m going to start with this because this was a big thing yesterday.

You can criticize Tim Scott all you want. You can say that Tim Scott is sold out. You can say Tim Scott was lying or dishonest, but nationally, Uncle Tim was trending on Twitter last night. To me it was reminiscent of people referring to Condoleezza Rice as Aunt Jemima during the Bush administration.

Twitter eventually shut down the Uncle Tim hashtag. But just from your perspective historically, racially and politically, what do you think about the fact that that was trending last night, and do you find it as problematic as I did?

CHRISTINA GREER, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR: Yeah, I definitely found it problematic. But I mean, I think it`s also one of those things where on social media the internal conversations that many black people have about Tim Scott and the Republican Party have now made their way to the public discourse.

I mean, let`s be clear. Looking at Tim Scott`s response, we know that he`s carrying the water not just for the Republican Party and see two other black colleagues, but he did so under the Trump administration. So, that`s where the lack of respect comes from.

When he talks about growing up in a one-bedroom house, ask yourself, why did you grow up in a one-bedroom house? Because your party doesn`t believe in equality. Ask yourself why your grandfather didn`t know how to read, it`s because your party actually defunds education.

Ask yourself why it is that you went to failing schools, because your party doesn`t value education, especially for black youths, especially for people in the South.

So the fact that Tim Scott tried to make it an individual conversation when it should be a larger institutional problem that his party is part of and one of the main reasons why we have such inequity explains why this Uncle Tim hashtag was trending and explains the frustration also that many Democratic Christians had when he`s trying to weaponize Christianity in a way that lots of Democratic Christians are like what are you talking about? We can actually believe in Christ or whatever the indoctrination is without actually having policies that destroy not just our country, but so many people across the world.

JOHNSON: So, Jelani, I want to continue with this because, to me, you can make the criticism that basically Tim Scott has sold his soul to conservative Republican Party that has oppressed him, oppressed his family one way or another, but a lot of people don`t necessarily understand why referring to him as Uncle Tim is offensive. To me, it has to do with the idea that no outside community has the right to dictate what black authenticity is. But it might be even deeper than that.

What are your thoughts?

JELANI COBB, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: There`s a lot to it on many levels. But let`s start with Tim Scott even before this last incident, he wrote a month or so ago that, quote-unquote, woke supremacy was worse than white supremacy or as bad as white supremacy. And it was an astounding say to say.

And, you know, I responded on Twitter saying I`ve been in a room with Tim Scott exactly once, and that was at a commemoration for the nine people who were murdered in the basement of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, by the white supremacist Dylann Roof. That is a kind of embarrassing of a position to take.

The most charitable version of what you can see in Tim Scott was that he was trying to grease the wheels of whatever kind of political reform or police reform we`re going to get in this bill. He`s trying to build up political capital that will allow him to bring some of his Republican colleagues along. But even in that light, it`s indefensible to make these comments in the context of how many -- I`ve lost track of how many black people have been killed, unarmed black people have been killed this month in encounters with police.

And so if he wanted to have this debate about whether or not America is a racist country, I mean, I disagree with him and Kamala Harris. Yes, this is a racist country. When we look at the institutional outcomes, every single major institution that we have has a racial disparity in what the outcomes are in relationships are with. So, if that doesn`t qualify you as a racist country, then we just simply don`t know what racism is.

JOHNSON: When Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg can say we literally have racism baked into our highway system, I really don`t think Tim Scott is in much of a position to criticize him.

Speaking of his bill, Jelani, so Tim Scott was saying, hey, look, I had this bill and the Democrats stopped it. What I noticed about his sort of police reform bill is it just collected information. It collected data on use of force.

I don`t need another register of dead black bodies. I want to hear consequences.

What did you think about his suggestion that he was at least a starting point and that the Democrats were stopping him because they were too woke for what he was putting forward?

COBB: Yeah, woke as this he wanted to actually tackle the issue of chokeholds, which his bill did not address. And people would say, look, this is a nonstarter. We need to have a federal ban on chokeholds.

There was also the simple fact of qualified immunity, which is at the heart of all this. The lawlessness that we have within law enforcement is abided by the fact that people know there won`t be consequences for their actions.


COBB: And so, yeah, those were significant obstacles. It was disingenuous to say this is simply about wokeness. Those were substantive policy differences that doomed that bill.

JOHNSON: Dr. Greer, so even in the wake of this, some of the lawyers for Andrew Brown, they went to Washington, D.C. They had conversations with Lindsey Graham. They had conversations with Tim Scott. Do you think Tim Scott is trying to position himself as a dealmaker on police reform? Do you think this is something that he thinks will help him long-term politically? Or do you think it`s actually a well-founded belief?

Because again, I have difficulty believing a guy who can on one hand say I`m tired of being pulled over by the police, I`m worried about it, is going to be serious when it comes to police reform.

GREER: Right. I have no idea what`s in the heart of Tim Scott, just to put that out there. But let`s be clear, that entire party is being held hostage by Donald Trump because none of them can plan for their future in 2024 until the former president decides whether he wants to get off the sidelines or not.

I think also, Tim Scott is their poster boy. Here`s their one. So if they`re going to talk about a racial issue, he`s the one. Give it to Mikey, put him out front, let him talk about policing and cops and whatever it may be.

And so, he`s willing to do that. He`s always been willing to do that and that`s how and why he`s the one who gave the rebuttal.

JOHNSON: Thank you. Thank you very much, Dr. Greer. Thank you very much, Jelani Cobb, for joining our show tonight.

Joy will be back tomorrow night with a special guest, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.