Rep. McCarthy backpedals on Trump and insurrection. GOP Representative McCarthy takes credit for using Benghazi Committee to damage Clinton. Kinzinger says, McCarthy resurrected Trump politically after January 6th. House Minority Leader McCarthy schedules vote on Cheney leadership position. Support for Trump`s big lie becomes GOP litmus test. GOP using Trump`s big lie to restrict voting rights. Ohio Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan is interviewed. NBC has confirmed that according to a law enforcement official, investigators want to talk to Rep. Matt Gaetz`s ex-girlfriend who formerly worked as an intern on Capitol Hill.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: We invite you to watch the full interview, it`s up now. Go to THE BEAT with Ari on Twitter. @thebeatwithari and you can find a link to the entire digital exclusive.
As always, thanks for watching THE BEAT. "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid starts now.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a puppet show. No, no, no, I`m not talking about The Muppets, like Ernie and Elmo, they`re adorable. I`d like to talk about a different kind of puppet. The fabulous Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a puppet as a small scale usually with a cloth body and hollow head that fits over and is moved by the hand, one whose acts are controlled by an outside force or influence. Or in the case, in this case, the hand of Donald Trump, because that`s the one that`s operating the puppet in question, Kevin McCarthy, and as he shall now be known Puppet Kevin.
The seemingly hollow headed leader of House Republicans has set up a vote tomorrow to strip conservative Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney of her leadership position in a full scale capitulation to the disgraced, twice impeached former president`s big lie.
But it isn`t actually about Liz Cheney or even the former president`s bruised ego. It`s about Puppet Kevin`s ego and his craven ambition. You see, Puppet Kevin wants Liz Cheney out for saying what he said when he was kind of sort of pretending to have a spine at the January 6th insurrection.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The president bears responsibility for Wednesday`s attack on Congress by mob rioters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Now, it is important to remember how we get here, because whatever semblance of that spine quickly melted as puppet Kevin began revising history in order to pander to the MAGA faithful.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Do you believe that former President Trump provoked --
MCCARTHY: I don`t believe he provoked it if you listen to what he said at the rally.
I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility. So I think there`s -- from a whole nation, we should take this moment in time to find how we can correct ourselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And shortly after that, Kevin made his transformation complete, I tell you, down to Mar-A-Lago to beg for support in retaking the House in next year`s midterms, because that`s the thing, Puppet Kevin will say and do anything. And right now he`s doing his puppet master orange Julius Caesar`s bidding because what Puppet Kevin really wants, what he really, really wants is to be House speaker, like a lot. He`s been laying the groundwork for it since basically the day after the election.
But this isn`t his first rodeo. Back in 2015 when John Boehner had enough of the extreme right-wingers taking over and packed it in, Kevin tossed his hat into the ring and the very next he went on Fox News and told the truth for once.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCARTHY: Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi Special Committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she`s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that happened had we not thought and made that happen, so why don`t --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Oops, seems like Kevin could have used someone else pulling the strings for him back then. Because the next week he abruptly drop out of the speaker`s race, saying that that comment wasn`t helpful, probably not Kevin.
Also not helpful, rumors that an alleged extramarital affair derailed that bid. A GOP colleague circulating a letter cryptically calling on members with misdeeds to step aside, while the GOP donor was e-mailing threats to expose McCarthy and then colleague Renee Ellmers of North Carolina. Although at the time, Kevin denied that personal issues led to his decision to drop out.
It seemed that some of in the Republican circle didn`t think Kevin was fit to lead back then, which begs the question what makes Puppet Kevin fit to lead now since he`s apparently not even a real boy. I mean, aides to his own members are out telling Politico and, honestly, of course, that he doesn`t have the backbone for it.
And then there were other few rational Republicans left, like Adam Kisinger of Illinois, who said Puppet Kevin dismissed his warning about potential violence on a GOP conference call ahead of the January 6th siege in the Capitol, only to be told, dismissively, okay, Adam, operator, next question.
Okay, Puppet Kevin, it almost makes you wonder if House Republicans are trying to excommunicate the wrong member. But don`t take it from me. Just listen to Representative Kinzinger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Donald Trump was out of power after January 6th. And then Kevin McCarthy went down, probably with Scalise and put the paddles on him and resurrected him politically back to life.
And I don`t consider him to be speaking on behalf of the Republican Party anymore because he gave his voting card. He gave his proxy card to Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: I`m joined by Stuart Stevens, Chief Strategist for Mitt Romney`s 2012 Presidential Campaign and Senior Advisor to the Lincoln Project, and Michelle Goldberg, Columnist for The New York Times. Thank you so much for being here.
And, Stuart, it strikes me that usually what people want in a leader is that they are a leader. But it seems to me that Kevin McCarthy might be the weakest man that I`ve ever seen in politics. He`s completely feckless. He believes in nothing. He`s so desperate to be speaker that he`s allowed Donald Trump to put his hand up and sort of like Kermit the Frog flopping around. What do you make of his ascent, his apparent attempt to ascend to the speakership?
STUART STEVENS, SENIOR ADVISOR, THE LINCOLN PROJECT: Yes. Kevin McCarthy defines leadership as doing what those people you`re supposed the lead want to do. That`s what being part of a mob is. That`s not leadership. It`s almost an antithetical definition of leadership.
Look, it goes to the point I made in my book, it was all a lie. There really is no coherent governing philosophy or any moral purpose to the Republican Party. It doesn`t really perform the role of a traditional political party, which represents some sort of political view. It exists to defeat Democrats for the purpose of acquiring power for power`s sake. That`s not really a party. That`s like cartel.
Why does OPEC exist? No one asked, like what is the moral purpose of OPEC, sell oil, same with the Narco cartel. That`s why the Republican exists now.
REID: Well, and to that very point, Michelle, I mean, basically, Lindsey Graham has admitted that, right? Lindsey Graham used to say that Donald Trump is a racist and an idiot, and now he`s like, well we need him. Here is Lindsey Graham saying, okay, we need him. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): The most popular Republican in America is not Lindsey Graham. It`s not Liz Cheney. It`s Donald Trump. People on our side of the aisle believe that Trump policies worked. They are disappointed that he lost. And to try to erase Donald Trump from the Republican Party is insane and the people who try to erase him are going to wind up getting erased.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: I mean, Michelle, I`m disappointed that I can`t have cake for dinner. I`m not going burn my house down except for the cake, but that seems to be the strategy at this point. Your thoughts.
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I would say that you know, I respect Representative Kinzinger for trying to stand up to this madness even though I don`t share his politics, but I think he`s wrong when he says Kevin McCarthy doesn`t speak for the Republican Party, right? The Republican Party is, by and large, a cult enthralled to Donald Trump.
And I actually clearly think Lindsey Graham is right that if they tried, because I`m sure there`re people within the party who sort of wish they could get out from under this degrading, subservient relationship to this madman, but I think that Lindsey Graham is right, that if they try, their voters will -- they`re people will revolt.
And so I`m sure that there`s -- I think that a lot of people thought once Donald Trump was no longer in power, the people who he had insulted, belittled, degraded, forced into at least to the Senate minority would try to move on if for no other reason than their own ambition.
But, you know, he has sort of so taken away their agency and self-respect, and at the same time, I think that they rightly understand that he still maintains the capacity to destroy them if he decides to.
REID: Well, in addition to that, Stuart, the comment that Lindsey Graham made is also the babying of Republican voters. Well, they`re disappointed. They`re sad -- he admits that Trump lost. He says that they`re disappointed that Trump lost so they`re sad and they`re disappointed that he`s gone. So therefore, we have to basically tear up democracy in order to make them happy. It has treated Republican voters as children that cannot accept adult things like losing elections.
The other piece of it, I wonder how much of it you think. You use the word, cartel. Kevin McCarthy hired Donald Trump`s former White House political adviser to run his political operation. Both he and that adviser could theoretically be subpoenaed if there was a real commission with subpoena power because, you know, he was on the phone with Trump the day of the insurrection. That guy was one of the planners. How much of this do you think might be Kevin McCarthy saying, I need Liz Cheney out because she wants that commission and I don`t want to get subpoenaed?
STEVENS: Well, look, I think a lot of that is that the Republican Party is being driven to cover up. The RNC is basically a money laundering machine for the Trump crime family. And the reason that Trump needs to control the RNC is because if anybody came in who is independent and looked at that, the next step would be to call the FBI and the Justice Department.
This is what`s happened. This is not a normal political moment. We all long for normalcy and we have a normal president now and he`s doing a good job of running a normal, coherent, competent government. But we`ve never been in a position, at least since 1860, in which one of the major American political parties doesn`t believe we live in a democracy. And no one is going to be nominee of the Republican Party in 2024 who will assert that Joe Biden won a legitimate election and is a legitimate president, which means we don`t live in a democracy.
And I think that it`s our inability to imagine what we`re in and our reluctance to embrace it that is the greatest danger that we face. These are not people who look at America with the same vision that those of us who support pluralistic democracies view the country. They want to be for democracies when they win and they want to be against it when they lose and that`s not what democracy is.
REID: Well, that is the thing that`s scary. I mean, you know, Michelle, if somebody like, you know, Ms. Stefanik, Representative Stefanik, who is pretty much garden variety, you know, Paul Ryan sort of Republican, is willing to completely lie and flip, and she`s completely changed her entire mind about Trump, about everything else, and just repeat the words because that`s the way to get power, then it truly is just a naked quest for power.
We don`t even know what power for what. Because they don`t believe in democracy, they don`t believe people should vote, they don`t seem to believe in anything other than just holding power to hold it. I wonder where that leaves us as a democracy, if one of our party as Stuart said, is now that.
GOLDBERG: Well, I think it leads us to very possibly a repeat of the attempt to steal the election with much more sophisticated groundwork being (INAUDIBLE). You know it`s -- Donald Trump didn`t get away with what he tried to do in 2020. But there`s no -- that`s no guarantee that he or whoever the nominee is doesn`t get away with something similar in 2024 once they have passed all these restrictive voting laws, once they have taken away power from local election boards and quite likely once you have somebody like Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House, which is very, very possible, if vote because of redistricting and because of just the sort of typically enthusiasm gap when you`re among whoever`s party has the presidency.
And it`s still it`s very hard for me to imagine that a house with Kevin McCarthy and Elise Stefanik in leadership that they are going to accept electors that show that a Democrat has won. And so I think that we should - - you know, people really geared up before 2020. It was a lot of kind of planning and war gaming, what to do if they tried to steal the election. I think that even though people are exhausted, I know they want to tune out, I know people want to just kind of relax and disengage a little bit, but that kind of work needs to be going on now because all of this signals that they`re going to try to do it again.
REID: Well that`s is I think the biggest fear, Stuart, is that the next time around, the people who stood up to this have been purged and sanctioned and punished. So the next time there`s a presidential election, let`s say Joe Biden wins, he wins by 8, 10 million votes then you might have a House of Representatives that says nope, or you might have states that say we don`t care what the people said, we`re going to go Putin on you, the puppet show is going to run this country no matter what you say, then what are we going to do?
STEVENS: This is how modern democracies die. It`s usually not in traditional coups. It`s not like Allende Chile being deposed. It`s at the ballot box and it`s in the courtroom. And it`s a slow, gradual process. Look at Hungary. Look at Viktor Orban. This didn`t happen overnight. Look at even Putin. This didn`t happen overnight. This is what is happening in the United States of America. This is what the Republican Party wants. This is what they are methodically going about trying to accomplish.
And I got to tell you, this is not like a fun thing for me to say because I spent years working in this party but this is what it`s become. And I know these people. And as bad as we think they are, they are worse. And we should accept that they are at war with what we consider the American experiment. And if we don`t engage in this war, they will win.
REID: Yes, it is frightening. I mean, it`s sort of funny to write them off as puppets but they`re also -- it`s pretty terrifying as well. Stuart Stevens, Michelle Goldberg, thank you both very much.
Up next on THE REIDOUT, Republicans launch an all out attack, speaking of that, on the voting rights bill, while simultaneously pushing their voter suppression bills all across this country.
Plus, as President Biden pushes the radical idea that the people who worked the hardest in this country deserve a little help, Republicans reflexively push back with their old standby, that the average person is lazy and that helping them just makes them lazier.
And on this episode of Friends, federal investigators want the talk to Matt Gaetz`s old girlfriend as the deadline draws near for his former wingman to accept a plea deal.
THE REIDOUT continues after this.
REID: The guiding beliefs of today`s Republican Party seem to be serving the few, the wealthy and Trump. The last time the public was given the choice, 81million voters, 7 million more than the Trumpers resoundingly said no to that.
To be clear, the historic election was the most secure election ever, according to the Trump administration`s own cyber security expert. But the Trump tribe doesn`t deal in facts. Instead, when the party without ideas confronted electorate that doesnƒ_Tt like their message, they change the rules of the game.
Take Arizona, for example, where the state Republican Governor just signed into law a bill today that would purge infrequent mail voters. Republican legislatures across the country seizing on Trump`s big lie have introduced more than 360 bills making it harder to vote. 55 of those bills are working their way to their governor`s desk. Five have already been signed into law. These laws disproportionately affect voters of color, young voters and foreign working class who can`t easily time off to stand in line of the DMV to get two pieces or three pieces or ten pieces of I.D. or to stand in line for hours to vote.
There`s one thing that would stop this tidal wave of voter suppression, the For the People Act, which creates a national standard to ensure that you have a right to vote but also helps to reform campaign finance and congressional redistricting to wring some of the corruption out of our elections process.
Well, today, the Democratic-controlled Senate Rules Committee began marking up the legislation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell believes the bill is so dangerous to his ambitions, he actually joined the meeting, making his own case against the bill, an exceptional move for a party leader.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The Democratic Party on its own wants to rewrite the ground rules of American politics for their benefit.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): This legislation, to use a phrase that has been popularized on the media recently, is Jim Crow 2.0.
SEN. BILL HAGERTY (R-TN): I think this is an attempt to change the rules while you have this slimmest majority and put in place a system that`s going to make it much easier to hold onto that power. Again, I will go back to what I said earlier. This is something I would expect from communist China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised floor consideration of the bill.
What is not clear is what happens when it fails to get the 60 votes needed to become law.
Joining me now is Senator Alex Padilla of California, a member of the Rules and Administration Committee, and Janai Nelson, associate director counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Senator Padilla, Ted Cruz says a lot of stupid things. He does a lot of stupid things. But I personally, as a person of color, as a black person, am beyond offended that he would dare use the word Jim Crow, when his party is literally a Jim Crow party at this point, trying to suppress the votes of people, including in his home state.
I`m going to let both of you respond to him, starting with you, Senator, your colleague Ted Cruz.
SEN. ALEX PADILLA (D-CA): Oh, my God.
Like you said, it`s beyond offensive. It`s beyond enraging, not just as a member of the Senate and a person of color, a voter of color in the United States of America, but as a former secretary of state in California, where we know how to protect the security and integrity of our elections, but increase access to the ballot.
Imagine that, helping people vote easier. It`s what really upsets me, the hypocrisy of our Republican colleagues, who say they want to make it easier to vote, but harder to cheat. We have already done the second part. Voter fraud is exceedingly rare in America. But they forget about the first part. They have no interest in making it easier for eligible people to vote.
That`s what S.1 is all about. We can modernize our elections, strengthen our democracy, and create a baseline for voting rights across the country. And, clearly, they want no part of it.
REID: You know, and, Janai, you work for an organization that has been fighting against Jim Crow, including Jim Crow voting laws, which were specifically designed to stop black people from being able to vote.
What -- Ted Cruz`s state, they sued to try to overturn the votes of other states` elections. Ted Cruz could give a damn about Jim Crow. He`s never raised one concern ever in his entire life that I have ever heard about Jim Crow or racism or discrimination.
What do you -- what do you make of his little comment there?
JANAI NELSON, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND: Well, listen, it would be comical, if it wasn`t so appalling and if so many people wouldn`t be deeply misled by his misinformation and disinformation.
Listening to the hearings today and listening to the opponents of the For the People Act, I couldn`t tell whether this was just projection or just inconceivable delusion, or both. Jim Crow 2.0 is the tidal wave of the over 360 voter suppression laws that are pending in state legislatures across the country.
That is absolutely not what the For the People Act intends to do. As the senator said, the For the People Act intends to expand democracy, expand ballot access, expand voting opportunities for all Americans.
But like their predecessors, the voter suppression laws that we`re seeing being erected across the country in Senator Cruz`s state of Texas, in the state of Florida, where we have sued, in the state of Georgia, where we have sued, we see laws that are so similar to their historical predecessor, where, as soon as African-Americans were able to exercise political will following the ratification of the Reconstruction Amendments, the laws were enacted, Jim Crow laws, to prevent them from exercising that power.
That is exactly what we were seeing following the unprecedented turnout in places like Georgia that delivered the first Jewish senator to the U.S. Senate, that delivered the first black senator since Reconstruction to the Senate, and in places like Florida, where Georgia -- voters turned out in record numbers and used vote by mail.
And then we saw the state legislature engage in an assault on vote by mail, engage in an assault on providing sustenance to voters as they wait on long lines. That is Jim Crow 2.0. And that is what we need to name and not be misled by the co-option of those words in support of hyperpartisanship and a co-jacking of -- a hijacking of the history of this country.
REID: You know, it -- Senator Padilla, it seems like these things are all fairly obvious to anyone who`s paying attention to what`s going on.
What is Jim Crow is the filibuster, very directly, right? It was used specifically to stop any legislation that would allow black people to vote. But yet Chuck Grassley has told a constituent that they have got Joe Manchin locked down, not only against not using the filibuster, but against this bill.
Joe Manchin did meet with the president today. The president hosted Manchin and Sinema. Is Joe Manchin going to vote for this bill? And if it doesn`t get 60 votes, then what`s plan B?
PADILLA: Yes. Look, I think that remains to be seen.
As Senator Manchin has said with other issues and other pieces of legislation, before entertaining using the reconciliation process or anything else, he wants to see a genuine effort at bipartisanship.
Look, Democrats are trying. But if Republicans are going to continue to choose conspiracy theories over truth, there`s only so much that we can do.
But protecting fundamental voting rights, advancing a much-needed infrastructure package, tackling climate change, passing immigration reform, there`s plenty of candidates for what will finally break the back of the filibuster.
REID: Do you think that your fellow Democratic colleagues understand that, if they don`t pass this bill, we may never get another free and fair election again? Does Joe Manchin, do they under -- do Democrats understand that?
PADILLA: I think that`s increasingly clear, absolutely. A lot of issues that we`re passionate about that, as President Johnson once upon said, voting rights are the -- is the right that protects all other rights.
If our democracy -- the bedrock of our democracy is undermined, we`re in a whole world of hurt. And that`s what we`re fighting for with S.1.
REID: When you look at the way -- which party controls state legislatures, Janai, it`s mostly Republicans. They control 29 state legislatures. Democrats control 20 from the Northeast and the West. There`s one that`s split. There`s one that`s nonpartisan.
They could easily essentially write black, brown and young and working- class voters out of existence. What happens if they -- if this bill doesn`t pass?
NELSON: That`s why we are at an unprecedented moment of crisis in our democracy.
The assault on the right to vote, the manipulation of institutions of governments for anti-majoritarian partisan entrenchment has never been more acute, especially when you consider the demographic flux, the actual potential that we have to finally realize a true multiracial, multiethnic power-sharing democracy.
But, as we know, there is a diminishing minority that is deeply disturbed and concerned about that very realistic possibility and will do anything to thwart it.
And I`m glad that you raised the filibuster. The filibuster is a significant obstacle to getting the For the People Act and its companion legislation, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, passed. Those are two necessary pieces of legislation to ensure that we do not entrench an imbalance of power for generations to come.
NELSON: It is imperative that these pieces of legislation get passed now.
REID: Well, we shall see what happens.
I think that this -- what you see here on your screen is what Republicans fear in the voting booth and they`re going to do everything they can to make sure it doesn`t happen, including Stephen from "Django Unchained," AKA, Ted Cruz, who`s working to stop fellow people of color from voting, which is amazing.
Senator Alex Padilla, Janai Nelson, thank you both very much.
Still ahead: After decades of trickle-down economics not trickling down, the Biden administration is going to try something totally radical. They`re going to -- OK, are you ready for this? -- give the breaks to working people, instead of rich people.
Bonkers. Am I right?
We will be right back.
REID: OK, you know the whole bit where the Republican Party claims to be the party of the working class?
Yes, it`s a scam. A rebranding exercise for the party of Gilded Age industrialists and the Koch brothers, who somehow have convinced most of the white working class that tax cuts for the rich magically trickle down, when, in fact, they never do.
Meanwhile, you know what Republicans hate? When regular people get money, which is clear, because did you notice that, as soon as American workers began receiving benefits from the American relief act, the stimmy bill and extended unemployment insurance that zero Republicans voted for, Republicans around the country started complaining?
With Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson saying today that the relief is discouraging U.S. workers from rejoining the labor force.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON (R-AR): Human nature kicks in. Do I want to get the same amount of money by going to work every day and working hard? Do I want to get that amount of money by sitting at home?
And so we want to avoid that inclination of human nature.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Human nature. Yes, OK, that conservative party line about people not wanting to work because it`s human nature, it`s the same old narrative projected onto poor people and people of color every time that benefits go to anyone but corporations and the wealthy, while the rich, who devour their tax cuts and quarantine on yachts, are considered by Republicans to be the ones who really work hard.
They`re the makers. And, you, you`re the takers.
But the Arkansas governor isn`t the only one waging this war. At least nine Republican-controlled states are ending the $300-a-month supplement provided under President Biden`s Rescue Plan. And this list is likely to grow.
Joining me now is Ohio Congressman and Senate -- U.S. Senate candidate Tim Ryan.
And, Tim, there is this thing where Republicans say, you know, the average person`s inclination is just to be a lazy bum, and if you give them any money, they`re just going to stay home.
But the people that benefit from like the 300 bucks, you`re talking about waitresses and people who work at Amazon, people who do the hardest, stand- on-your-feet-all day jobs. They`re like the least lazy people in the world.
These other people are making money off their money and sitting home on a yacht. How do you make sense of the -- of working-class people being consistently fooled by them?
REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH): Well, the reality is, we have got to start showing them that we are here to cut them in on the deal, that we`re here to help them.
And I think we`re starting to take those steps. I think you saw it with the rescue package. You mentioned the unemployment benefits, the tax credit for children, making sure that families can be lifted out of poverty, those families that are out there working hard every single day.
We help a lot of pensioners who would have their pensions cut in half, people who worked hard, did everything right, made sure they were made whole. And we`re going to continue to do that, because the problem right now is that there are people that go to work, primarily women, who have taken it on the chin during this pandemic, but they don`t have any childcare, right?
I mean, they -- the kids are doing virtual learning. Childcare centers are closed. And this is a burden on the parents, which primarily the women get hit with. And that`s why we`re working on some of these issues that are going to be key to lifting up those workers and cutting them in on the deal.
REID: I mean, we`re seeing, as you said, the stimmy, the -- it was very popular. Everyone I know that got in on it was -- is -- they`re very happy that they actually got a break, for once, people who actually pay taxes.
REID: Because big corporations don`t pay tax. They pay zero. And people who actually -- actually put out all the tax money are like, wow, I finally got something back.
Biden is sitting at a 63 percent approval rating, right? But there is a concern that you have heard some businesses say, well, we can`t get people to come in and take this job at a retail place or at like a Subway sandwich shop.
Is it logical to you that, if somebody is offered the opportunity to take a few extra weeks and not risk their health and their life working at that Subway for minimum wage, and then have to find a way to fork out for childcare, which is really expensive, find a way to fork out for transportation, which is really expensive, and if they say to themselves, you know what, I`m not going to risk my health and then drain my bank account for childcare, when I`m only getting like seven bucks a hour?
Is it irrational for people to make that -- just because people aren`t rich, is it unfair -- is it is it unfair that they`re being rational? Shouldn`t these businesses just pay people more, just pay them more? Wouldn`t that be the best answer?
RYAN: We got to get wages up. We got to do the $15 minimum wage.
When you look at things like universal preschool, that would save the average family about $13,000, when you look at what we want to do for childcare, where, if you`re a little bit above poverty, you wouldn`t pay anything, but it would be capped at 7 percent of your income, so that everybody could have affordable childcare.
We`re talking about rewarding work. You also need the programs and incentives in place for people to go to work. And that`s what we`re trying to do. And the reality of it is, Joy -- and you know this better than anybody -- if you take the minimum wage in 1968, and index it for inflation, it would be $24 an hour.
RYAN: And we`re fighting to get us to $15. That just shows how far the middle class has fallen, and poor people still out there slogging.
So, we have got a lot of work to do. But everything that we`re trying to do is to rectify this. And, just quickly, this pandemic has pulled the veil back on so many structural problems that we have had, broadband, access to health care. You go right down the line.
And we have got to act. Wages. Where a CEO in the late `70s made 35 times what the worker is making, now they`re making 300 times what the worker is making? These are structural problems that we`re beginning to start the process of fixing.
REID: How do you message this? You`re -- you probably you may in the Senate be facing J.D. Vance, who was born broke, but is now a hedge fund, moneyed, very wealthy guy funded by hedge fund money.
And he`s one of these guys who thinks, oh, childcare, that`s just elites don`t want to take care of their own kids, as if he`s like, everybody should be June Cleaver and stay home. Some people need to work.
How do you message against him?
RYAN: All I can control, Joy, is what I talked about.
I`m talking about fighting like hell to cut these workers in on the deal. We have got to reinvest back in our country. We`re in a very competitive global economy. And if we want to be successful, we have to invest into our people. And that means health care, education, good schools for our kids, making sure, at the bare minimum, our kids aren`t drinking water that has lead in it.
I mean, these are some basic problems. But if we want to be competitive as a country, if we want to succeed and rebuild the middle class, and start providing upward mobility in our society, we got to start cutting workers in on the deal and that starts with making these basic investments. Not a bunch of rhetoric that they try to climb their way over.
We got to focus on taking care of people and workers, whether they`re white, or black, or brown, gay, straight, or they work in manufacturing or the service industry. We`ve got to cut these workers in on a deal.
REID: Do you think that the states that are pulling back the $300 extra benefit are doing the are wrong thing, the right thing? What do you make of states that are -- you know, we`re going to put them up there -- the states that are saying we`re going to take this money away?
RYAN: The smart move would be to move that money to child care. If you`re going to cut the benefit, move it to child care and you will see a number of workers who will then be able to go back to work.
You know, there`s always people that don`t want to work, but the vast majority of people want to go out. They believe that work carries dignity, like the president talks about, like Senator Sherrod Brown talks about. There is dignity in work and people want to go work.
But like you said, if you`re kids are not going to get taken care of -- I mean, this is real -- I think this shows, Joy, more than anything, how absolutely disconnected from reality so many of these politicians are. What the average family is going through, what the average are going through in the last year, they don`t even get it.
And then to start shaming people. Put that money to child care and you`ll see millions of workers that will be able to go back. But let`s remember, there`s still eight million less jobs today than year ago. So, we`re not out of this mess by a long shot.
REID: Pay people, give people money, then they can afford to go back to work. And, by the way, you know, what they`re out of touch, because they`re so rich, they haven`t taken care of their own kids or driven their own cars for years. They are wealthy, affluent rich people who think that everybody else is lazy and a bum.
And I wish that more working class people would catch up to what the Republican Party really is. Good luck on your race, Congressman Tim Ryan. Thank you for being here.
And up next, important new developments in cases involving police shootings of unarmed black Americans.
Plus, an update on the ongoing sex crimes investigation into Congressman Matt Gaetz.
Stay with us.
REID: Today, the family of Andrew Brown Jr. was finally allowed to view some of the police body camera footage of Brown`s death at the hands of local sheriff`s deputies in North Carolina. They were limited to just under 20 minutes of the nearly two hours of body cam video.
But it was enough to confirm for family that Brown was murdered.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GERARD FEREBEE, ANDREW BROWN`S SON: My father did not deserve to die at all. He did not deserve to get killed. In no way, shape or form, he did not pose any threat at all. Come court, there`s no way that this could be justified. There`s no way possible.
KHALIL FEREBEE, ANDREW BROWN`S SON: He wasn`t in the wrong at all. What`s in the light -- what`s in the dark will come to light. He`s going to get his justice because it wasn`t right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Brown was shot five times, including once in the back of the head by police as he drove away after they tried to detain him. While the district attorney claimed the shooting was justified because Brown hit one of the officers with his car while in reverse. Only one of family`s lawyers said the video tells a different story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE LYNCH, BROWN FAMILY ATTORNEY: At no point did we ever see any police officers behind his vehicle. At no point did we ever see Mr. Brown make contact with law enforcement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: He also added there were so many police officers unloading their weapons on brown`s car that they found it difficult to count how many shots his vehicle was hit by.
We have update on other families searching for justice in their loss of a loved one. In Georgia where Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed last year, Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill repealing the Civil War era citizens arrest law that`s being used as a defense by those who killed Arbery. Now, mind you, that law was first passed in 1863 as means to round up escaped slaves and it was later used to justify the lynching of black Americans.
Arbery would have turned 27 years old and his mother said that she viewed the laws repeal as a birthday present for her son that would hopefully protect others from a similar faith.
Meanwhile in Kentucky, a preliminary internal report from the Louisville Metro Police Department into Breonna Taylor`s killing determined that none of the officers at her apartment should have returned any gunfire the morning of March 13th, 2020. According to the report, the officers violated department policy because they could not guarantee they could avoid hitting someone who didn`t pose a threat.
And instead, the officers unloaded 32 shots into the apartment and hit Breonna Taylor six times. That report contradicts Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron who said the officers were justified in their use of force.
And now, one of those officers is writing a book on the horrific event to profit off of the killing of Breonna Taylor.
And in Minnesota, city leaders in Brooklyn Center could vote on a proposed overall of policing in their community as soon as this weekend in response to the killing of Daunte Wright exactly one month ago. The plans include calls for an unarmed civilian traffic enforcement department to handle non- moving violations such as expired license plates, as well as sending unarmed mental health professionals rather than police to help people experiencing behavioral health crisis.
Stay with us. Up next, an update on Matt Gaetz, next.
REID: The clock is ticking, tick, tick, tick for Joel Greenberg, the indicted associate of Congressman Matt Gaetz for whom Gaetz reportedly used to call his wing man. If Greenberg he`s going to formalize a deal with prosecutors, he needs to do so before Saturday. That`s the deadline for him to notify the court that he intends to change his plea.
And there have been plenty of signs that Greenberg intends to do just that, especially since he faces a mandatory of 12 years in prison and possibly decades more if he`s convicted on all counts in his sentence to the maximum for "The New York Times".
Last month, Greenberg`s lawyer said he expected his client to strike a deal strongly hinting he`d be willing to flip on Gaetz.
Then there was reporting from "The New York Times" that Greenberg has been providing investigators with information since last year, including about Gaetz`s activities. And "The Daily Beast" reported that in a failed bid to obtain a pardon, Greenberg even penned a confessional letter that implicated Gaetz in some of the conflict -- the conduct under investigation.
Now, of course, Gaetz continues to deny any wrongdoing since he`s never paid for sex, and, you know?
Meanwhile, NBC has confirmed that according to a law enforcement official, investigators wants to talk to Gaetz`s ex-girlfriend who formerly worked as an intern on Capitol Hill. It comes after CNN reported that her cooperation, along with Greenberg`s, could be the final steps if the DOJ decides whether to charge Gaetz himself.
Joining me now is Glenn Kirschner, former federal prosecutor.
I guess the sort of obvious question, Glen, would be -- would prosecutors go to the trouble of trying to talk to this former intern and spending all of this time playing all of this through with Greenberg if they didn`t intend to move on the congressman?
GLENN KIRSCHNER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yeah, that`s a great question, Joy. This has the feel -- when I heard the reporting about how the investigators are now going to a former girlfriend/Capitol Hill intern of Matt Gaetz, here`s what that feels like to me. They have gotten everything they could get out of Joel Greenberg and it`s really important to understand that the prosecutors never would have made a plea offer, a plea deal to Greenberg that, as you said, will be expiring this Saturday, so he`s got to let the court know what he`s going to do.
They never would have made him that plea offer unless they had debriefed him, interviewed him, investigated what he had to say about the criminal activity of others and they were able to corroborate it and potentially use it against other targets like Matt Gaetz. Now we`re going to know soon enough whether Greenberg is going to accept that plea offer, but it feels like they`re now going to these other potential witnesses like Gaetz former girlfriend to see whether that helps corroborate the incriminating information that Greenberg obviously gave the prosecutors in order to get this plea offer that he`s got.
REID: Let me tell you something, Gaetz doesn`t seem to be too bothered. He`s going around like everything is fine. This is him on Friday. He`s at The Villages with Marjorie Taylor Greene who ironically is part of a -- or is an adherent to a cult that believes the Democrats are sex traffickers of children, but she doesn`t seem to be looking at Gaetz going, hey, was that girl 17?
Anyway, here he is on Friday making a joke.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): I already know how CNN`s going to report it. Matt Gaetz has wild parties surrounded by beautiful women in The Villages. So, just get ready for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Ha, ha, ha, he`s gross.
Should he be a bit more worried about, you know, given that Greenberg`s lawyer says, yeah, we`re giving him something, these prosecutors?
KIRSCHNER: Yeah, it feels like Gaetz believes that the best defense is a good offense. And you know what? That kind of bravado may play well with the residents of The Villages but that will not play well with the jury when and if he is charged and hauled into court. You know, he should keep laughing it up while he has the opportunity because everything that we`ve seen from Greenberg and from others sure looks -- and let`s remember, Joy, this investigation was opened under the Bill Barr Department of Justice, right?
KIRSCHNER: So, if you`re a Donald Trump loyalist and whatever you`ve done is a bridge too far for Bill Barr, it seems like you`ve got a world of trouble coming your way.
REID: It could be that Gaetz sort of just likes young looking girls. I`m grossed out even talking about him. I`m sorry if I look cringey but -- is it a defense if he thinks the young looking teeny bopper looking girls he`s dating, he thinks they`re over 18. That if in his own mind, he`s not fully aware of their age? Does that matter from a legal point of view?
KIRSCHNER: There are lots of criminal offenses on the books, both federally and locally, because some of this could have violated the state laws of Florida. Some of them require a specific knowledge of the victim`s age and some do not. There are some what colloquially we`ll call a statutory rape offense where you don`t need to know the age.
But here`s the thing. Look at some of what Joel Greenberg is indicted for. It includes things like misusing his official position to go in and gin up false IDs, false Florida driver`s licenses. Now, it doesn`t spell out that he was doing that for under aged girls to make them seem like they were women, but it sure has that flavor when you read through the 33 federal felony charges indicted against Greenberg.
So if Gaetz is any part of that, you know, he may not have much of a defense that she looked older than she was.
REID: Whew, sorry that I have to bring you on to talk about this stuff. You know, we are where we are. Glenn Kirshner, you`re great. Thank you very much. Appreciate you being here tonight.
All right. Well, last night, we ended the show with the latest on the tensions between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Tonight, those continue to escalate. Just hours ago, the Palestinian group Hamas launched more rockets near Tel Aviv which struck a suburb. NBC News reports that at least 30 Palestinians including 10 children and 3 Israelis have been killed amid the ongoing exchange of airstrikes and rocket fire.
And the confrontation shows no sign of abating anytime soon, despite attempts by Egypt to broker a ceasefire according to "The Associated Press."
There`s appears to be the most intense fighting between Israel and Hamas since the 2014 war. And while the U.N. secretary general called for an immediate end to the spiraling escalation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, earlier, it will take, quote, time to complete the mission. No word what the mission is or whether the U.S. will weigh in more strongly.
The conflict was ignited by the threatened expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem, which sparked protests and clashes with police. And we have updates on that as well.
And does it for us on tonight`s REIDOUT.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.