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Transcript: The ReidOut, 4/9/21

Guests: Brad Paisley, Bernard Ashby, Fernand Amandi, Jon Favreau, Don Lemon


Medical examiner testifies in Chauvin murder trial. Medical examiner says police neck compression was more than Mr. Floyd could take. Medical examiner says, autopsy showed no previous damage to heart. Dr. Thomas says, autopsy would not show low oxygen. Medical examiner says police restraint was direct cause of death.


BRAD PAISLEY, SINGER/SONGWRITER: I`m thrilled to. Thanks for having me. It`s a lot fun and have fun this weekend. Get out there.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Yes, sir. You too, Brad, thanks you, Elise, thank you very much.


MELBER: Yes. We`ve all learn good penny (ph) etiquette tonight, if nothing else. Thanks to both of you.

That does it for THE BEAT. As always thanks for watching. I wish you a great a weekend. See you on Monday at 6:00 P.M. Eastern. And THE REIOUT with Joy Reid starts now.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone. We`ve got a big show for this Friday night, and in a little while talking with former Obama Speechwriter Jon Favreau. And CNN Anchor Don Lemon is here crossing the networks to talk about his new book on Race in America.

And Matt Gaetz is facing mounting pressure, the first Republican lawmaker has called on him to resign, as the House Ethics Committee says that it has opened an investigation into his conduct. There are also brand new details about the federal investigation.

But we begin THE REIDOUT in a Minneapolis courtroom, where two weeks into the trial of former Police Officer Derek Chauvin, the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy of George Floyd took the stand. Dr. Andrew Baker`s autopsy report last year ruled Floyd`s death a homicide, that Floyd died because his heart and lungs stopped functioning while he was being restrained by police, something he reiterated today.


DR. ANDREW BAKER, HENNEPIN COUNTY, CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER: In my opinion, the law enforcement subdual, restraint and the neck compression was just more than Mr. Floyd could take.


REID: The defense, however, is overlooking that finding and focusing on other contributing factors from the report, like Floyd`s heart disease and past drug use. Doctor Baker testified that while those things may have played a role in Floyd`s death, the ultimate cause is not in doubt. In fact, he said, he saw nothing wrong with Floyd`s heart during the autopsy.


JERRY BLACKWELL, PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: Did you take a photograph of Mr. Floyd`s heart still intact?

BAKER: No, I did not.

BLACKWELL: Would you tell the jury why not?

BAKER: I don`t normally photograph organs that appear to be perfectly normal.

BLACKWELL: Did you find any previous damage to his heart muscle?

BAKER: No. Mr. Floyd had no visible or microscopic previous damage to his heart muscle.

Mr. Floyd`s use fentanyl did not cause the subdual or neck restraint. His heart disease did not cause the subdual or the neck restrain.


REID: The prosecution appeared concerned ahead of Baker`s testimony given that his report made no mention of oxygen deprivation, which the prosecution has been pressing home to the jury as the cause of Floyd`s death.

They called numerous medical experts to testify ahead of Baker to make that case, including a forensic pathologist this morning, who helped train Dr. Baker. Dr. Lindsey Thomas. And she explained that it wasn`t surprising that the low level of oxygen did not show up in the autopsy report.


DR. LINDSEY THOMAS, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: The primary mechanism was asphyxia or low oxygen, and it basically is Mr. Floyd was in a position, because of the subdual, restraint and compression where he was unable to get enough oxygen in to maintain his body functions.

BLACKWELL: Are the findings on autopsy that suggests low oxygen as a cause of death?

THOMAS: No. There`s nothing on autopsy that shows low oxygen.

BLACKWELL: There`s no test that can be done for low oxygen on autopsy?



REID: Dr. Thomas added that she saw no evidence that George Floyd would have died that night, except for the incident with those police officers, a crucial point.

Now, at the end of the trial`s second week, we have now heard from 35 witnesses, including eyewitnesses to Floyd`s death, Chauvin`s former police colleagues, including the police chief, and a number of medical experts. The prosecution is expected to rest its case early next week.

And joining me, Paul Butler, Georgetown Law Professor and former Federal Professor, and Dr. Bernard Ashby, a vascular cardiologist, and lucky for us, we have a cardiologist in the house tonight.

Dr. Ashby, I want to start with you on this. Because, leading into Dr. Baker`s testimony, it feels like what the prosecution was doing was sort of setting up to almost prebut what he found in that autopsy. To say, despite what was in the autopsy, that did not mention, luck of oxygen, what you really need to focus on is the fact that all the oxygen was taken away from Mr. Floyd.

I want to let you listen then, to what they actually got from Dr. Baker, which seemed to me to just reinforce their case. Take a listen.


BAKER: In my opinion, the name is unchanged. It`s what I put on the death certificate last June. That`s cardiopulmonary Arrest, complicating law enforcement, subdual, restraint and neck compression. That was my top line then and I would stays in my top line now.

BLACKWELL: And so if you look at the other contributing conditions, those other contributing conditions are not conditions that you consider direct causes? Is that true?

BAKER: They are not direct causes of Mr. Floyd`s death. That`s true. They`re contributing causes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And in terms of manner of death, you found then and do you stand by today that the manner of death of Mr. Floyd was, as you recall it, homicide?

BAKER: Yes. I would still classify it as a homicide today.


REID: So this is important, Dr. Ashby, if you could just re-explain this to us in layperson`s terms. If someone is not getting air going through their body, that means their heart can`t pump and, therefore, does it make sense to you that on the death certificate or autopsy report, it says they died because they`re heart stopped working?

DR. BERNARD ASHBY, VASCULAR CARDIOLOGIST: Joy, thanks for having me, and, finally get a chance to use my models here in the background that I always have. So this is a heart, right? And the defense team made a lot of hay about the coronary artery disease that he had, which is related to the blockage of these arteries here or the narrowing actually. They weren`t actually blocked. And, basically, what George Floyd had was, you know, this disease which is plaque near the arteries in one artery here and some of the arteries had blockages about that level.

And so, essentially, what the defense was doing what was we call reaching, meaning that they were grasping for straws to find out some other way that he could have died. I mean, this is no different than him being shot and bleeding out. This threshold for tolerating a gunshot wound is lower because he has underlying co-morbidities.

And that`s essentially what you saw here, when you had a knee to the neck and he was not getting oxygen. You got a knee -- I`m sorry, knee to the back and knee to the neck, where he was not getting oxygen. And in addition, he had a knee to the carotid artery here, which could also had that plaque that I mentioned there and lowered his threshold for anoxic brain injury.

So, essentially, the defense team was just trying to come up with anything else other than the fact than what Derek Chauvin did contributed to the death, or I should say caused the death of George Floyd.

REID: Absolutely. And it does seem, Paul, because they don`t need to convince all of these jurors that it wasn`t solely what, you know, then officer Chauvin did. They just need to convince one to hang the jury, right? They just need to convince one of them that they don`t want to go along with it and raise doubt maybe in enough of them to try to get him free of this crime.

The other thing that they really tried to do is to make it sound like George Floyd was having his own drug overdose. And it`s almost as if the police officer just happened to come upon him as he was having a drug overdose and Derek Chauvin laying on top of him and putting a total of 91 pounds between the three officers on his back, that had nothing to do with it. He really was just having a drug overdose.

Let me let you listen now to Dr. Thomas. This is Dr. Lindsey Thomas, a forensic pathologist, who testified in advance of Dr. Baker. Take listen.


THOMAS: Usually, drug overdoses are accidental unless there`s evidence of intent, in which case it is suicidal.

BLACKWELL: Well, if the manner of death here has been determined to be homicide, does that, in your opinion, as a medical examiner, rule out a death by accidental drug overdose?



REID: I mean, that was really definitive, Paul.

PAUL BUTLER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. So, Joy, prosecutors don`t have the to prove Chauvin`s actions were the only reason that Mr. Floyd died, just that what Chauvin did was a substantial factor. The dispute between the prosecution and the medical examiner is about asphyxia. It`s the prosecution`s lead theory. And so far all of the other medical experts, including Dr. Thomas, have supported that.

The defense wants to act like the medical examiner and the prosecutor are in this big beef about what really killed George Floyd, but it`s really not all that. But if the defense can blow up the tension between Baker and the other medical experts, like Dr. Thomas, they hope that they can create reasonable doubt. They would say to the jury, if these well-qualified medical experts can`t agree on what killed Mr. Floyd, that`s reasonable doubt, and you should acquit Chauvin.

REID: Dr. Ashby, you watched this trial today. I did not see a whole lot of difference between what Dr. Thomas and Dr. Baker were saying. Did you?

ASHBY: I didn`t see any difference, actually. I mean, to the point that was just made, I mean, yes, there were contributing factors. But the consensus was ultimately the cardiopulmonary arrest, which is something that we all end up with, right? When we pass away, your heart is going to stop, you`re going to stop breathing. And that was the issue where they were complaining that was a heart attack. But, no, there was no difference, whatsoever, and, you know, it is what it is. I mean, Derek Chauvin definitely cause the death of George Floyd.

REID: And just to be clear, Dr. Ashby, for just a moment, since you are the expert here, you are the cardiologist on resident with us here. If you`re lying on your stomach, because one of the things that the defense tried to do was to say, lying prone is not inherently dangerous, right, as if he was just laying there on the beach? I mean, at one point, they even made an analogy of laying on the beach, which is insane because he wasn`t laying on the beach, it`s theoretic. But it is dangerous to lie prone on your stomach with like 90 pounds of weight on you pressing you down, right?

ASHBY: Agreed. And the pulmonologist, Dr. Tobin, said as much yesterday. Essentially, what you had was this gentleman on the ground in a prone position with his hands tied behind his back with a knee on his back, which limited his lung volume. So his ability to get oxygen was severely compromised. And as a result, that led to his ultimate demise.

REID: And I feel like Dr. Tobin`s testimony was so powerful, Paul, that even Dr. Baker kept referring, well, I would ask the pulmonologist that, I would ask the pulmonologist that. That would go to a pulmonologist. Well, who`s the pulmonologist, Dr. Tobin, who was so effective yesterday.

What do you anticipate the kind of closings to look like? Because it does look like the prosecution is wrapping up their case. Do you think they`ve left anything out in terms of the way that they`ve tried to argue this case?

BUTLER: The prosecution has to prove that Chauvin used excessive force, that they`ve had ten police officers say that what Chauvin did violated his training and it violated the criminal law. They have to prove what Chauvin did caused the death of Mr. Floyd.

They have three medical experts who have all testified to that point. The defense is throwing every cause of death but Chauvin, as a medical expert, maybe it was a meth overdose, maybe it was a fentanyl overdose, maybe it was Mr. Floyd`s heart condition, maybe it was COVID-19. But the experts are resolute. No defense attorney, Mr. Nelson, it was your client, George Floyd, that cause -- it was your client, Derek Chauvin, that caused Mr. Floyd`s death.

REID: Yes. And, Dr. Ashby, they keep using theoreticals, right? They keep saying, if you found him in his house and he was in that condition, you`d think it was a drug overdose, I mean, if you`d found him at the beach. But you didn`t find him on the beach. You didn`t find him in his house. You found him underneath Derek Chauvin.

So I find that odd. I know for you, as a man of science, did you find it strange how many times they tried to basically pick George Floyd`s body up and put it in other locations where it was not?

ASHBY: Again, this goes back to the reaching that I mentioned. They were grasping at straws. I mean, the video is compelling in and of itself, and they`re trying to basically get away from that. Just one other point was, at one point, another officer checked his pulse. He did not have a pulse, yet Derek Chauvin maintained his knee on the neck. And so at that point, he was not a threat and he didn`t have a pulse. They are obligated to render aid at that point and they did not.

REID: And just very quickly, before I let you go, Dr. Ashby, if someone does not have a pulse three minutes from that point, is it generally possible to revive them? Because they`re also trying to make the case, well, they were just holding him waiting for the ambulance, but if you haven`t had a pulse for at least three minutes, doesn`t that essentially mean you have died?

ASHBY: Well, it really depends. Everyone has a different threshold. And, essentially, you have, you know, what we describe as a meaningful neurological recovery. And so depending how old you are, your underlying co-morbidities, the chances of them not only bringing back your heart rhythm, which you`re actually able to do with George Floyd, but his chances of making a full recovery becomes less and less over time.

So we can`t answer that. But suffice to say is that if they would have provided aid or CPR at that time, his chances of surviving would have been much higher.

REID: And they clearly did not. Paul Butler, thank you very much. Dr. Bernard Ashby with the model to make sure we get a full education, I love this. This is my favorite thing. I love to get a good education on the show. Thank you so much for doing that. I really appreciate it. You guys have a wonderful weekend.

All right, still ahead on THE REIDOUT, new developments in the ever widening Gaetz sex crimes investigation, including the first Republican lawmaker to call for Gaetz`s resignation.

Plus, you`ve heard about the progressive caucus, right? Well, looks like a new caucus of conservative Dems is forming. We`re calling it the no progress caucus and they`re prime candidates for today`s absolute worst.

And later on, CNN Anchor Don Lemon will be here to talk about his best- selling new book and how learning more about his own family history has shaped his own views on race in America. And Don will tell us who he thinks won the week.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: Last night, Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois became the first Republican lawmaker to publicly call on Congressman Matt Gaetz to resign following the revelation that he is the subject of a federal sex crimes investigation. And now the House Ethics Committee says it`s opened an investigation of its own, citing a laundry list of potential misconduct that`s been alleged publicly.

Gaetz`s office responded in a statement saying, these allegations are blatantly false and have not validated by a single human being willing to put their name behind them, unquote. However, the mounting scrutiny is already prompting defections from Gaetz`s staff.

As The New York Times revealed last night, a second senior aide resigned last Friday. This time, it`s his legislative director, a job that`s considered among the highest ranking of any congressional office. According to one of three sources cited by The Times, that aide told associates that he was interested in writing bills, not working at TMZ.

This comes after ten straight days of breaking news on this probe, which appears wider in scope than we first understood. Last week, based on the public reporting to date, we`re now aware of -- since last week, on the basis of public reporting today, we`re now aware of four different avenues of investigation, whether Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old minor, whether he paid for sex with women who were recruited online, whether he accepted paid escorts in exchange for political access or favors during a trip to the Bahamas. And the latest line of inquiry is focused on a reported conversation about running a spoiler candidate in a Florida state Senate race.

That last aspect of the probe was reported last night by "The New York Times," which notes that the line of inquiry in question is in its early stages.

Gaetz has denied the conduct under investigation. And, tonight, he is rearing its head again, after a period of relative silence, since that weirdly uncomfortable Tucker Carlson interview, in which he seemed to try to drag the FOX News host into the mire with him.

As we speak, the embattled congressman is at the former president`s Florida golf club delivering remarks to the pro-Trump group Women For America First.

Now, if that group sounds familiar, that`s because it was one of the same groups that organized the rallies that led to the January 6 insurrection.

Joining me now is former U.S. attorney Joyce Vance and Fernand Amandi, Democratic pollster and strategist out of the great state of Florida.

And, Joyce, let me start with you on this.

So, there`s a lot. I mean, I feel like every day there`s a new line of inquiry focused on Gaetz, whether it`s paying for sex, the sex with a minor. There`s this federal investigation that`s scrutinizing this Bahamas trip. "The New York Times" reported the FBI has widened its investigation to include questions about whether a trip to the Bahamas he took with Republican allies in Florida and women -- quote -- "who were asked to provide sex for them."

According to CBS, Gaetz was on a trip with a marijuana entrepreneur and hand surgeon named Jason Pirozzolo, who allegedly paid for the travel expenses, accommodations and female escorts.

He hasn`t been charged anything as yet. But how much trouble do you think you might be in?

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: There`s an awful lot here, Joy.

And the allegations aren`t just of one crime. They`re potentially of multiple different sorts of situations. It`s hard to get a read, because no charges have been filed, of how seriously DOJ is taking this and where their emphasis is the greatest.

But the real risk for Gaetz is that, once the FBI starts looking, they`re not constrained. This is no longer Trump world...

REID: Yes.

VANCE: ... where the president can say, my personal finances are a red line, right? They can look at whatever they think is important.

The core of this, though, has to be any child sex crimes. DOJ takes that seriously. There`s an entire division inside of the Criminal Division at main justice called CEOS that focuses on child exploitation.

So, if those allegations pan out, if they can be proven with evidence, then Gaetz is in a lot of trouble there. Those charges carry some pretty heavy mandatory minimum sentencing applications.

REID: And you`re -- you`re seeing for our viewers, there is Matt Gaetz giving this speech at the Doral -- Trump`s Doral club.

And, Fernand, from what my producers are explaining to me, he`s doing sort of the usual thing. He already issued a fund-raising e-mail, fund-raising off of this, calling it a hoax, sort of echoing Trumpy language, saying, it`s all just a big hoax. It`s a partisan witch-hunt. These are actions of a corrupt establishment. You can help Trump and I fight back against the fake news media, sort of using the sort of usual lingo.

But, tonight, he`s kind of repeating that and sort of saying he`s going to keep fighting on.

In Florida, is there a sense that people are distancing from him? Kind of what`s the vibe about Gaetz in the state right now politically?

FERNAND AMANDI, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER AND STRATEGIST: Hang on a second, Joy, because I`m going to throw up looking at Matt Gaetz standing in front of a Women For America First image on our screen, the shameless gall of these projecting hypocritical Republicans.

Look, I echo Joyce`s comments. Matt Gaetz is in a lot of trouble. And having spoken to sources today that spoke to him directly, he knows it. He lawyered up today, and he got some very high-profile, big-time criminal defense attorneys. He`s also hired a crisis communications network, because the big difference between this having happened today and six months ago is that Donald Trump is no longer there with a pardon that Matt Gaetz was trying to finagle the way out in the last days of the administration.

But I think it`s important that we take a step back here and really think about this in terms of -- not of Matt Gaetz, because Matt Gaetz is the Florida scandal du jour. Every day, there`s something around Matt Gaetz. But, every day, there`s something around Florida.

And I think the way to really try and understand this is as follows. Thank God the American people eliminated the cancer that was in the White House. The problem is, that has now been replaced in Florida, and it`s metastasizing here.

The Republican project in the country is today being beta-tested in the state of Florida, or, as I call it, MAGAstan. And if you think about what is happening here, not just around Matt Gaetz -- it`s also centered around Ron DeSantis, who is now trying to engage in pay-for-play with vaccines.

There`s questions about the dubiousness of the state count. Rick Scott, the senior senator who was accused of the biggest Medicare fraud in American history, representing, and now wants to run for president. Spineless Marco Rubio, who wouldn`t know a moment of character if it bit him in the Cuban boots that he likes to wear every now and again.

What we`re seeing, Joy, again, is what happens if these Republicans run in a basically autocratic state with no legal impunity, with no accountability. And that is the big test for Matt Gaetz and for the state of Florida and for the United States, because, if this succeeds, MAGAstan will become the United States of MAGAstan.

And that`s what we have to be extraordinarily careful about with these developments.

REID: I mean, it`s an important point. I mean, just today, what Trump did, endorse little Marco -- he doesn`t call him little Marco anymore, apparently. I guess he`s not little anymore to him. But he endorsed him, with all that Russia, Russia, Russia stuff.

You have also got another Florida elections guy, Florida elections general counsel, arrested on child porn charges, the top lawyer for Florida`s commission that investigates and prosecutes election law violations facing charges of possessing child pornography.

It is sort of -- it feels like Florida is kind of a cesspool right now.

But let me play -- oh, and, by the way, this Mr. Pirozzolo just -- Pirozzolo, I should mention, Matt Gaetz had tried to get him to become the surgeon general of Florida. So, he would have been another one in office.

Let me play for you a little bit of what Matt Gaetz was saying tonight in his little public appearance.


REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): The smears against me range from distortions of my personal life to wild -- and I mean wild -- conspiracy theories.

I won`t be intimidated by a lying media. And I won`t be extorted by former DOJ officials and the crooks he is working with. The truth will prevail.


REID: Joyce, as Fernand mentioned, he has loaded up with some pretty pricey lawyers.

But would you advise somebody who is under -- being scrutinized by the feds and under investigation to do a lot of talking? Might it be wiser for him to, I don`t know, shut up?

VANCE: It`s surprising that his lawyers let him continue on tonight to give this speech. I`m sure that they counseled him about what he could and couldn`t say.

Here`s the real risk, Joy. If Matt Gaetz gets indicted and ends up going to trial, he will undoubtedly hear some of these public appearances, whether it`s the Tucker Carlson interview or this speech he gives tonight. Prosecutors are going to play those back for the jury. And he will end up condemning himself out of his own mouth, because many of the denials that he`s now issuing will likely be stuff that prosecutors have plenty of evidence to prove, if he`s indicted and if they go to trial.

This is dangerous. Gaetz`s lawyers need to tell him to stay at home, like everyone else during the pandemic, and stay out of trouble.

REID: Yes, indeed.

And if you`re being accused of basically abusing a child sexually, you might just want to actually go quiet and take that seriously.

Joyce Vance, Fernand Amandi, thank you, friends. Have a wonderful weekend.

Still ahead: Conservative Democrats are hunting the mythical beast known as congressional bipartisanship. They`re sure it`s out there somewhere, even if the last known sighting was decades ago. But, until they track it down, they will happily serve as roadblocks to the entire Biden agenda.

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau joins me on that next.


REID: When it comes to legislation, President Biden said this week that inaction is not an option.

But if Prime Minister Joe Manchin has his way, it`s definitely going to be on the menu. Yesterday, in "The Washington Post," the prince of Appalachia was unequivocal about his opposition to changing the filibuster.

He also made it clear that he was done with budget reconciliation as a work-around for Democratic legislation. Senator Manchin wrote that: "The filibuster is a critical tool. And there is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster."

The former member of ALEC, the shadowy free market organization, told CNN that the January 6 insurrection solidified his opposition.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Something told me, wait a minute. Pause. Hit the pause button. Something`s wrong. You can`t have this many people split to where they want to go to war with each other.


REID: So, seeing a horde of Trump fanatics lay siege to our Capitol made you want to work even more with the people who pander to them in the Senate? Huh.

I should remind you that Manchin has tried this act before. In 2013, he and Republican Pat Toomey tried to pass a watered-down gun bill, but it ultimately fell six votes short of 60.

Now he`s trying again, but this time with a Republican Party that`s controlled by, as former Senator -- for Speaker of the House John Boehner put it, a bunch whack jobs.

Manchin`s not alone in his quixotic quest. Arizona Senator and one-time progressive Kyrsten Sinema also adamantly opposes changing the filibuster.

Earlier this week, she told "The Wall Street Journal": "When you have a place that`s broken and not working, I don`t think the solution is to erode the rules."

What the senators are choosing to ignore, as they chase this mythical bipartisan beast, is that the current batch of Senate Republicans have shown no interest in compromise.

Just take, for example, the For the People Act, a bill that would expand voting rights, reduce the influence of money in politics, and limit partisan gerrymandering.

Here`s a taste of what the Republicans think of the bill.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): This is the biggest power grab since I have been in Congress. It will take away every state`s ability to run free and fair elections.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): It is a profoundly dangerous bill.

SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): Everything about this bill is rotten to the core. This is a bill as if written in hell by the devil himself.


REID: We reached out to Senators Manchin and Sinema and we asked them to provide us with a list of the 10 Republicans who will vote for an infrastructure bill or a voting rights bill or really anything. And we got no response.

We also invited both senators to defend their positions on this show. They declined.

And, so, Senators Manchin and Sinema, the No Progress Caucus, you two, you are tonight`s absolute worst.

And with me now is Jon Favreau, co-host of "Pod Save America" and former speechwriter for President Obama.

And you tweeted something very similar to my feelings, which is, Kyrsten Sinema is out there being like, I support H.R.1, I`m all for that.

I`m like, show me your 10 senators, then. You and Manchin put out a list. Show me your 10 senators. I defy them to do it, because I don`t think there are two.

JON FAVREAU, FORMER HEAD SPEECHWRITER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think President Biden and Chuck Schumer sort of need to do that, too. They need to invite them to like come up with your version of this legislation that would attract 10 Republican senators, and then show me who those senators are, because, if you can`t do that, then the people that are the source of gridlock in Washington aren`t necessarily those Republican senators.

FAVREAU: It`s you two.

REID: Correct.

FAVREAU: Because you both have the power to pass through this legislation, which, by the way, has broad bipartisan support throughout the country.

At Crooked Media, we did a poll with Change Research, and we found that something like between 70 and 80 percent of people support the For the People Act. They overwhelmingly support some of the specific provisions, which, by the way, some of those provisions are about taking the partisanship out of politics, right, just for example, on gerrymandering, right?

Right now, you have partisan gerrymandering where the party in charge of the statehouse can draw congressional districts and essentially pick their voters. The H.R.1 bill, For the People Act, would make sure that there`s an independent nonpartisan commission.

So, if Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema like bipartisanship and don`t want partisanship in their politics and in elections, they should want to pass the For the People Act.

REID: I hate to -- I am a skeptic, so I just don`t know that I believe them when they say they`re for these bills.

I`m sorry. Joe Manchin, his state is poor. It`s largely white and very poor. There are a lot of people who are sort of locked in the coal industry, with sort of no upward mobility beyond that. And I find it hard to believe him when he says that he`s for a bill that would actually change that and make their lives better, because, if you were for it, you would pass it.

And you can pass it because there are enough Democrats. They have to show me that they believe in any of these bills.

To your very point, there`s a Morning Consult poll that shows 65 percent of all voters strongly or somewhat support the infrastructure plan, which would help West Virginia, would help Arizona; 42 percent of Republicans support it.

The Gallup poll shows that Republican identification is at a low not seen since 2012. Only 40 percent of adults identified as Republican or Republican-leaning. It`s a nine-point difference.

Right now, the Republican Party is extremely unpopular. But these senators are saying they only care about protecting Republican senators, not Republican voters.

I don`t know how you get through to people like that.

FAVREAU: I do think, on the American Jobs Plan, that Joe Manchin is just trying to, like, make us go through a routine right now, right?

Like, he wants to get caught trying. He complained about the reconciliation process in that op-ed. He did not draw the same line in the sand on reconciliation as he did on the filibuster, fortunately. He did say he just doesn`t -- he doesn`t prefer reconciliation, but he wants to go through the motions of bringing the Republican senators to the White House, trying to compromise.

And then, when the Republicans inevitably say that they don`t want to compromise with the White House, because they don`t really support infrastructure or a jobs bill, then perhaps Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema can say, OK, we tried bipartisanship, it didn`t work, so now we can go through reconciliation.

At least, that`s my hope and read on the situation so far. But you`re right. It is -- yet again, we have another very broadly popular bill, in the American Jobs Plan, that is bipartisan in nature because a whole bunch of Republican voters like it.

REID: Yes. Yes.

FAVREAU: So it should be right up Joe Manchin`s ally and Kyrsten Sinema`s ally.

REID: You would think.

Let me play John Boehner, because you were -- you were a speechwriter for President Obama during the era when John Boehner was speaker. I remember asking President Obama, do you really think that Boehner wants to work with you, or do you think that he`s just lying to you?


REID: And he sincerely did believe Boehner wanted to, but he was like hostage to this group of like Tea Partiers.

Here`s John Boehner on "CBS Sunday morning."


JOHN DICKERSON, CBS NEWS: You call some of these members, political terrorists?

FMR. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH): Oh, yes, Jim Jordan especially, my colleague from Ohio.

Hey, I just never saw a guy who spent more time tearing things apart, and never building anything, never putting anything together.

DICKERSON: And then there`s Senator Ted Cruz, who Boehner says is the ultimate false prophet.

BOEHNER: I don`t beat anybody up. It`s not really my style, except that jerk.

Perfect symbol of getting elected, make a lot of noise, draw a lot of attention to yourself, raise a lot of money, which means you`re going to go make more noise, raise more money. And it`s really -- it`s unfortunate.


REID: Wait. Before I get to my question, this is one more clip. This is my favorite clip ever of John Boehner.

Like, play number five, please.



BOEHNER: Take it from me. You will never know where you will end up. That`s freedom.

I will raise a glass to that any day.

P.S., Ted Cruz, go (EXPLETIVE DELETED) yourself.



REID: That`s not even part of the book.

Ten years from now, or 20 years from now, or whenever, when our current Senate majority leader retires and writes a book, is he going to saying the same things about Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, because it feels like he is as hostage to them as Boehner was hostage to the Tea Partiers?

FAVREAU: That`s my new ringtone, by the way, is that last clip of John Boehner.


REID: It`s the only clip you need.

FAVREAU: No, I -- yes.


FAVREAU: I remember that President Obama used to tell us a story, which is, when they were trying to do immigration reform, he spent a lot of time talking to John Boehner.

And John Boehner said: Look, I actually want to do immigration reform, I want to pass this bill, I want to work with you on it. My caucus doesn`t want to. I have a bunch of people in my caucus who are -- just don`t like immigrants. They`re very against immigration reform. And if I push them on it, they will oust me a speaker and they will elect someone as speaker who is more right-wing than me. So, I want to work with you. But I`m just stuck.

And that was the dynamic, even though a lot of people in the Obama era said, oh, if only Obama goes to drinks and plays golf with John Boehner more and Mitch McConnell, everything will get done.

REID: Right. Yes.

FAVREAU: But John Boehner and Mitch McConnell were basically telling him, like, no, we`re not going to work with you, because our caucus doesn`t want us to, and our base is radicalized.

REID: Well, and not only that, but the person that people of -- even including in the media, were demanding that President Obama have dinner with, today, he flipped out about Biden just having a commission to study expanding the court.

"Today`s announcement is a direct assault on our nation`s independent judiciary. And this is just another exam of liberal" blah, blah, blah, blah.

Like, he literally loses his crap because he wants to be able to stuff the judiciary with who he wants in it.

So, last piece of advice to Chuck Schumer, the one thing I used to say about Boehner is that Boehner should say to those Tea Partiers, keep playing with me. I`m going to go to that lady, Nancy Pelosi, and she`s going to get me the 40 votes you won`t give me. You will be irrelevant.

Are there a couple of Republicans, Susan, Murkowski, somebody that Schumer could go to and eliminate the importance of Sinema and Manchin, in your view?

FAVREAU: I think -- I think the challenge there is, Manchin and Sinema have gotten really tight with Collins and Murkowski. Like, all of these -- some of the more moderate Republicans, if you want to call them moderate, have sort of joined forces with Sinema and Manchin and some of these more moderate Democrats.

And they`re trying to schedule this gang of 21. They haven`t even been able to schedule the meeting yet with the gang of 20, who is supposedly trying to save the Senate, which bodes well for that.

But I do think that they`re all very cozy with each other. But I -- look, if I was Chuck Schumer, I would challenge Manchin and Sinema to say, OK, you want this bipartisan, you want 60 votes, show me the 60 votes and show me the piece of legislation that gets 60 votes, and I`m willing to compromise.

But if you can`t do that, then we`re just going to have gridlock. And the American people, both Democrats and Republicans, are going to be very upset that nothing got done in Washington. And whose fault is that going to be?

REID: Yes, it`s going to be theirs.

And, by the way, the piece of legislation that would pass would be a voting bill that guarantees that Republicans always win elections. That`s the only thing that they would actually sign on to.

FAVREAU: Right, exactly.

REID: Jon Favreau, thank you very much for being here, man. Have a great weekend. Appreciate you.

FAVREAU: Thank you.

REID: All right, and up next: Don Lemon.

Don Lemon is going to be here to talk about his bestselling new book. And we will get his reaction to Tucker Carlson`s outrageous defense of replacement theory.

You won`t want to miss that.


REID: George Floyd did not have to die.

The ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin has made that very clear. And it was made very clear in this new book by Don Lemon, "This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism."

And in it, CNN anchor Don Lemon writes about Floyd`s death in deeply personal terms. The book opens with a James Baldwin-style letter to his nephew written on the day George Floyd was killed, May 25, 2020.

"Dear Trushaad, today, I heard a dying man call out to his mama, and I wept for the world that will soon belong to you."

He goes on to add: "Watching this shocking footage, I and every other black man I know saw the insensibly sluggish murder of ourselves. In agonized real time, I saw blue holidays` `Strange -- Billie Holiday`s strange fruit hanging from the poplar tree. I had to close my door and cry.

CNN anchor and my friend Don Lemon joins me now, author of "This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism."

You can see how nervous I am interviewing you on TV, because you`re also one of my idols.




REID: So, you see I flubbed the intro. But you know I love you, Don.

LEMON: No. No. No.

REID: OK, let`s talk about this.

LEMON: Joy, I know it is that, whenever I interview someone I know, I get really nervous for some reason. And I don`t know why, because I want to be -- I want it to be perfect for them.

REID: I don`t know.

LEMON: You know what I mean?

REID: Exactly. Exactly.

And I should just call you and redo the intro for you.



REID: ... on the phone.

So, let`s talk -- let`s talk about this trial, because you cover it. I cover it.


REID: We cover it every day.


REID: You write so beautifully in this book, opening talking about the George Floyd -- the murder of George Floyd.

And you talk in his book about you know -- what the subtitle is "What I Say to My Friends About Racism."

What do you say to your friends about this trial?

LEMON: I say that it has been deeply emotional. It is traumatic. And I think we all are reliving it over and over and over every time we see that video.

And, as you know, when we`re putting together our shows, there is this thing that we do in our head about how much of that video to show. How much of it is exploitative and how much of it is necessary to educate and inform the audience?

But it is that video -- the video is the reason that we`re here as a nation. And I think the video is the reason that we are at this inflection point in society now, because we were all sitting last summer in our homes in quarantine with nothing to do but watch George Floyd`s death over and over and over.

REID: Yes.

LEMON: So, I think it`s just -- it`s trauma that we keep reexperiencing.

And can you imagine being the family in that courtroom?

REID: No, not at all.


REID: And this book is brilliant.

I`m going to let you all know that not only is Don Lemon brilliant on television, a great journalist.

You`re also a brilliant writer. It`s beautifully written.

And you talk very frankly about white supremacy. And you get a lot of -- you get a lot of trouble for it, I get a lot of trouble for it, talking about white supremacy openly. And I think it`s the way to do it, to be blunt about it.

But you write about the system of white supremacy. And you say that you`re not talking about cartoon white supremacy, hooded villains marching with ropes and torches, but the entrenched socioeconomic system that statistically favors white consumers, white businesses, white stories, white iconography.

How do you talk across the racial divide about race in a way that gets folks who are not black or not people of color to understand that?

LEMON: Well, I think -- honestly, I think I do a good job of it in the book.

But I do believe -- I think you`re -- it`s right. You`re right, Joy, is that you just have to do it. We cannot be more concerned about grievance, right, that people become aggrieved by the possibility that they may have a racial blind spot, to put it mildly, or they may have some unconscious bias, to put it in the middle, or they just may, in fact, be bigoted or racist, which is the most extreme.

The more important thing is the actual act of racism itself, and so I think, once you get people to understand that, that they should take more stock in the actual act of something than the possibility that someone may think that they are something.

And that`s hard to get across. But I think, if you`re honest with people, and if you have relationships with them, if you experience their humanity, then you`re able to have those conversations.

I know people always say it`s very difficult, and, quite honestly, especially white people. They say it`s very difficult to have -- these conversations are difficult. I don`t want someone to think that I`m a racist.

Well, initially, they may be difficult, but, after a while, especially if you have a friend, and if you`re white, who looks like me or you, looks different than you, and you have -- you -- they can rely on you to be honest, and you have trust and support, then the conversations become easier and easier and easier. And then they flow like water. And you don`t have to worry about someone deeming you to be racist or something that you would rather not be called.

REID: Yes.

LEMON: It just becomes about the experience and making it better.

We`re not going to fix it, never.

REID: Yes.

LEMON: We`re not going to fix sexism, any of it. But we can make it better.

REID: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

I have to show you this, because, speaking of that, I mean, there are a lot of people who are getting what they think is news from shows that themselves consider themselves entertainment, and not news.


REID: And so I want to play for you just a little bit of Tucker Carlson.

He did something that I thought was clarifying. I`m kind of glad he did it. He just openly embraced this thing called replacement theory, which is a lot of the fears that white Americans have that -- the browning of America, the fact that more anchors look like you and me, the fact that they`re seeing more black and brown and LGBT and different people in public life means they`re just being replaced as sort of the core American.

And he just went out and said it. He just -- he just embraced this theory last night. Here he is.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term replacement, if you suggest that the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World.

But they become hysterical because that`s -- that`s what`s happening, actually. Let`s just say it. That`s true.

So, I don`t understand why we don`t understand this. I mean, everyone want to make a racial issue out of it, ooh, the white replacement theory.

No, no, no, this is a voting rights question. I have less political power because they`re importing a brand-new electorate. Why should I sit back and take that?


REID: So, he said that on Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Republican Party, who -- people who watch the show, 81 percent of Republican voters are white, according to Pew Research Center; 59 percent of Democratic voters are white.

The Anti-Defamation League, that leader of it, called that white supremacist and called for him to resign, to be -- they`re saying he -- Tucker must go for saying that.

When we live in a country where that kind of rhetoric is extremely popular with a lot of people and people embrace it, to go back to your book, how do you talk to folks about racism, when they`re taking in that kind of content?

LEMON: That`s -- he is, in fact, promoting that.

He is doing -- it`s no different than what the lawmaker -- I`m sure you reported it -- from Mississippi said about woke college voters, that they shouldn`t be registering woke college voters. And it is what Professor Robert Pape says from the University of Chicago about the people who actually were the insurrectionists on January 6, that they weren`t Proud Boys or mostly neo-Nazis, that they were just mostly regular Americans who were concerned about this replacement thing.

So, I think that you -- again, you can`t coddle people. There are people -- there are people who can change and who want to go along and who want don`t want to move the country back to a place and a time where we did not have equality and equity for marginalized people, for people of color and for women.

And that is what Tucker is promoting there.

So, I think you have got to be honest with people.

REID: Yes.

LEMON: If you start, Joy, as I do, from the history of this country, teaching the right history of this country, then I think we will -- we will be operating on a place of truth, and you won`t get insurrectionists and you won`t get people thinking that replacement -- this replacement -- whole replacement thing is something that needs to be promoted.

You have got to start with honesty.

REID: Got to start with the history and the honesty.

The book is called "This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism." It`s a brilliant book.

All right, Don Lemon is not going anywhere. It`s a hostage situation right now.


LEMON: Oh, wait. Oh.

REID: Because, up next, I`m going to ask him my favorite Friday question and yours, "Who Won the Week?"

Stay with us a few more minutes.


REID: Well, folks, we made it to Friday, so you know that -- you know what that means.

It`s time to play "Who Won the Week?"



REID: Back with me Don Lemon to play the game.

Don Lemon, who won the week?

LEMON: For me, it is Martin Tobin from the Chauvin trial...

REID: Yes.

LEMON: ... who is an expert in pulmonology, and who talked about how George Floyd had the life really squeezed out of them.

He -- and I think he did it with -- even though he`s a medical doctor, he brought us...

REID: Yes.

LEMON: He did it in humane terms. And we got to see the humanity of George Floyd through it, through his testimony.

REID: He was brilliant.

Well, I was going to pick the "Verzuz" Zaddies because they came on and became like stars on "Verzuz."

But I decided not going to be the "Verzuz" Zaddies.

It`s is going to be Don Lemon.


REID: You won the week, my friend, because earlier this week -- last week, with our friend Tamron Hall, you talked about you and Tim starting a family.

LEMON: Oh, my gosh.

REID: So, not only do you win by starting a family.

There you are. That`s your engagement party. There`s adorable Tim. That`s his sister.

But I will be your baby-sitter. Who doesn`t love that?

Thank you, Don Lemon.

That`s tonight`s REIDOUT.