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Transcript: The ReidOut, 5/14/21

Guests: Angela Rye, Pete Buttigieg, Mohammed El-Kurd, Lipi Roy, Rula Jebreal


Stefanik elected to GEO House Conference Chair; Representative Stefanik emphasizes that GOP will work with Trump even though he`s no longer president; Cheney says, GOP embrace of Trump is dangerous; Representative Cheney says, Fox News has an obligation to make sure people know election wasn`t stolen; McCarthy out of loop on January 6 commission deal; McCarthy says, concerning that scope of 1/6 commission will be limited to Capitol insurrection; Lawmakers reach deal on bipartisan January 6 commission; McCarthy says, didn`t sign off on January 6 proposal; Representative Cheney says, Kevin McCarthy should testify in front of January 6 commission; Marjorie Taylor Greene accosted Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez on House floor on Wednesday; Then-private citizen Marjorie Taylor Greene harasses Representative Ocasio-Cortez office in 2019.



ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Have a great weekend. I`ll see you back here Monday 6:00 P.M. Eastern. But don`t go anywhere right now, because, of course, THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid is up next.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone, Happy Friday. We`ve a lot to get to tonight, including the explosive news today for Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz that his friend admitted to six criminal offenses, including a charge that is central to the investigation of Trump`s little buddy himself.

But we begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the GOP`s attempt to cover up the crisis within their party. Two days after dumping Liz Cheney from leadership for refusing to repeat the big lie, House Republicans voted behind closed doors today to replace her with Trump`s supplicant Elise Stefanik. And Stefanik is already signaling that she and her party will gladly surrender their power as elected representatives to the orange-hued retiree in Florida. In fact, she repeatedly spoke of the Florida blogger as if he`s still the president.


REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): I also want to thank President Trump for his support. He is a critical part of our Republican team. We are unified and I look to the voters across America, Republican voters are unified in their support and their desire to work with President Trump.

I support President Trump. Voters support President Trump. He is an important voice in our Republican Party and we look forward to working with him.

We are unified in working with President Trump. My job representing our Republican members, the vast majority, do look forward to working with President Trump.


REID: Okay. So the problem is that blogger isn`t president anymore. He doesn`t hold any elected office and he has no vote in Congress. So there really isn`t anything to work with him on.

And yet, instead of representing their districts, which, by the way, is their job, House Republicans apparently intend to spend their time and your tax money just representing Donald J. Trump. It`s exactly what Liz Cheney has warned them not do.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY) (voice over): There are people in my party, who believe we should embrace him, who believe that he`s the leader of the party, who believe that we need to go forward, rehabilitating him. I believe that is dangerous.


REID: And to the embarrassment of Republican leadership, Cheney has only become more outspoken, since they purged her from their ranks, using her newfound platform to highlight the mass delusions of her party. And that includes this rather unwelcome reality check that she delivered last night to Fox News.


CHENEY: We all have an obligation, and I would say Fox News especially, especially Fox News, has a particular obligation to make sure people know the election wasn`t stolen.

REPORTER: But we`ve said that numerous times.

CHENEY: Fox News -- Fred I`m going to answer your question. Fox News needs to make sure that the American people, they need to make sure, that the American people --

REPORTER: No, but if you`re mentioning Fox News you have to know that this show has said that numerous times.

CHENEY: Fred, you`re doing the interview. I`m answering the questions.

REPORTER: Congresswoman --

CHENEY: We need to make sure that the American people recognize and understand that the election wasn`t stolen, that we shouldn`t perpetuate the big lie and that there`s real danger.


REID: Meanwhile, Kevin, the Trump marionette who plotted to oust Cheney, has apparently been too busy kissing Trump`s posterior to even notice a major development today, and that would be the news that lawmakers of both parties have reached an agreement about the commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection, the very commission Liz Cheney has been pushing for. But somehow, Puppet Kevin, the so-called leader QAnon club house, was completely out of the loop. Not only that, but he came out against the deal after it had already been finalized.


REPORTER: Can I read you this statement on the commission because it says that it`s going to be focused on January 6th. It says quote, the commission will be charged with studying the fact --

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Then you can`t do that.

You got to look at the buildup before, and what has gone on afterwards. Otherwise, the commission does not work and --

REPORTER: Why did your top Republican come out with an announcement then saying that they have a deal?

MCCARTHY: I don`t know. Well, you should ask him if the scope is bigger.

REPORTER: You haven`t seen it?

MCCARTHY: I haven`t read through it, no.

REPORTER: You didn`t sign off on it before Katko --


REPORTER: Is that a problem?



REID: In other words, poor Little Kevin, who nobody talks to, apparently, does not want a January 6th commission to focus exclusively on January 6th. Never mind the pro-Trump mob nearly overthrew our government and he was hiding with everybody else. Well, Kevin wants the commission also investigate the non-existent threat of so called leftist violence as well. And that may be because Kevin doesn`t want to testify under oath, maybe, about the reporting shouting match he had with Trump while that attack was under way.

Joining me now are Angela Rye, Principle and CEO of Impact Strategist and Host of The on One with Angela Rye Podcast, and Michael Steele, former Chairman of the RNC and MSNBC Columnist.

And you know, Michael, my friend, you know, I`ve got to come to you first. Because I --


REID: I feel like part of the problem with poor Little Kevin is, number one, apparently, nobody talks to him, okay, and number two, that he might be worried about a commission because he might have to actually testify. Because here`s the thing, this violence that occurred at the Capitol occurred while he, in part of it, was on the phone with the former president. And so here is what Liz Cheney, who`s been doing a whole media tour had to say about that, about whether Kevin should have to testify.


REPORTER: Should Kevin McCarthy be willing to speak, testify before that commission?

CHENEY: He absolutely should. And I wouldn`t be surprised if he were subpoenaed. I think that he very clearly and said publicly that he has got information about the president`s state of mind that day. I would hope he doesn`t require a subpoena. But I wouldn`t be surprised if he were subpoenaed.


REID: That`s what he`s afraid of, right, Michael?

STEELE: Oh, absolutely. And if she could hand-deliver that subpoena, she would. And that`s the problem that Kevin has now on multiple fronts. Look, you put Stefanik in this afternoon or this morning, and she immediately does exactly what they want, and that is to stays on the talking point, no matter the question, the talking point, the talking point, that is key, deflect and move away from anything, this is part two, what Kevin and the whole investigation, we deflect from January 6th. Let`s look back at what Antifa did in the summer of 2020. In fact, if we can go back even further. We`ll do that.

So, yes, Kevin knows he`s on a particular spear here, tip of a spear, doesn`t know exactly where it`s going to stick him but he wants to avoid as much as possible getting stuck by an investigation. Liz Cheney out there, who now has, and a lot of us knew this would be the case, is going to use this bully pulpit, I mean, to go on Fox and go to call out Fox.

Two weeks ago, it wouldn`t happen. Now, this is where they are. And, you know, let`s enjoy the moment, Kevin.

REID: I mean, a week ago, two weeks ago, no one was trying to book Liz Cheney. Now everyone is booking her.

STEELE: Exactly.

REID: She has gone -- she went on Hugh Hewitt today, she was on the New Hampshire public radio, she was on Fox News everywhere now. They have raised her stature. And the thing about it is, Angela, is that you have got her sort of stature on the one side, being pro-democracy and pro- commission, and on the other side, what is looking increasingly like a cover-up of January 6th.

You got Marjorie Taylor Greene who was apparently toting somebody, who later turned up at the insurrection as part of that violent mob that ransacked our Capitol and she and he are harassing members of Congress back in 2019. So she now is somebody that you might see in that commission.

You`ve got other members, Ali Alexander, who organized the sort of pre- insurrection activity, says, yes, these three congressmen, Andy Biggs and others, helped me. This commission could actually be a serious issue, right Angela?

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Yes. And I think that`s the thing that they`re most afraid of, Joy, you know, that the honest truth is, I actually agree with Kevin McCarthy. I agree that we should be looking at the events leading up to and before the commission, the actual date of the terrorist attack, which is what I call January 6th, and will repeatedly say that because I`m still traumatized by it.

And I think that the things that we have to unpack are why the fact that, you know, the last president was able to run an election, frankly, on terrorism, on terrorizing people who are different, whether it was rooted in racism or xenophobia, uttering that what he did before he was running for office, when he called -- you know, he said the last president, our first black president was not born here, we know he was the chief of the birtherism movement. That hatred, that root of the thing should absolutely be looked into.

And I think Kevin McCarthy has to be called to the carpet on that, as well as everyone else either whole heartedly agrees with Donald Trump, or is too afraid of Donald Trump to speak truth to power, which is what this commission is doing.

We know that Congressman Thompson, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, reached this deal with his Republican counterpart. It is going to be a ten-person commission. And part of what the Democrats are proposing are building in redundancy so this kind of thing can`t happen again.

The greatest fear I have about January 6th is the fact that now we have demonstrated to the world how easy it is to get to some of the strongest and most powerful people in our democracy, and that is terrifying to me.

And $700 million of what the Democrats are requesting, sorry, Michael, one quick point, all is going to go back to pay back the National Guard to pay back the D.C. police, like all of those things. So they`re having to pay for what should have never happened, because this president, and the Republican imps on the Hill, were too irresponsible to realize that their words -- in their word is the power of life and death and we know that.

REID: And, I mean, the thing is, Michael, and I`m going to let you in here because --


REID: -- the thing that it feels like Kevin was trying to avoid was to make this year a referendum on what happened in January, to make -- to drop that down the memory hole, and say we`re just going to forget all about that and focus on -- I don`t know what their new party is. Because, you know, it`s the gut the teeny dater from Florida, and Marjorie Greene and bullying and weirdness.

So I don`t know what`s they`re going to run on. But now, it feels like, this year is going to be about what happen on January 6th. The referendum next year is going to be about January 6th. Because not only as Liz Cheney demanding it, that commission is going to go all throughout this year, could end to this fall, and we are going to get the truth. They cannot avoid this topic.

STEELE: They can`t. And Angela puts her finger on a very interesting, little slippery slope for the Republicans, particularly some of the 149. I want to see the cell phone records of Marjorie Taylor Greene. Now that we know that someone that she was stalking AOC, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, prior to, it was at the event, I want to know, are we all like Kevin McComicon (ph), you know, we are talking during this, because there were some reports earlier on that there were some communications of some of these insurrectionists being directed from inside the Capitol. So I want to get into that.

REID: That`s right.

STEELE: So there`s a lot of information out there, if this commission is stacked up the way it should be and stocked with the power it needs, and the subpoena power is one of them, that`s a very important power, to Angela`s point, yes, this could get ugly really quick, and Kevin knows it.

The fact that he`s standing there and apparently is telling people he didn`t know that this had been signed off on, and that his Republican counterpart was -- Republican member was agreeing with his Democratic counterpart on the deal, yes, right, Kevin. It doesn`t look like that. And the reality of this is, this thing gets ugly quick.

REID: Yes. Let`s play this. We have this. And CNN first reported on this. And this is a video that has since been deleted, it was recorded in 2019, and this was before Marjorie Greene was a congresswoman. According to CNN, she visited congressional offices with associates, including a man named Anthony Aguero, who would later enter the Capitol during the January 6th insurrection.

She also calls Ocasio-Cortez crazy eyes and does a lot of other stuff, man off camera, you know, demands a confession. So let`s just play this video real quick.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, I`m an American citizen. I pay your salary through the taxes that you collect from me through the IRS because I`m a tax paying citizen of the United States. I`m a woman. I`m a female business owner. And I`m proud to be an American woman. And I do not support your socialist policies and I do not support your murderous abortion policies.

If you want to be a big girl, you need to get rid of your diaper and come out and be able to talk to the American citizens instead of us having to use a flap.


REID: Sister Angela, as somebody who worked at the Capitol, who knew people -- I mean, you and I we`re texting on January 6th. You are looking for people. You had friends that were trapped to there on that building. The fact that this woman was stalking a U.S. congresswoman, took a person who then turns up as part of that insurrection right up to Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez`s door, meaning that she was showing somebody who later participated, you know, the geography inside that building, your thoughts on that.

RYE: You know, I am so curious to know who elects these loony bins. Like, you know this isn`t even a partisan issue. If this was a person on the other side of the aisle doing this, I would be like, who put this fool in office, right? And there have always crazy people on Capitol Hill, but she`s a whole different brand of crazy. I`m supposed to be using my words to heal, but I think part of this is calling out what it really is. She scares me, Joy, because there are no limitations.

For her to, right, and somebody like Cory Bush, speaks volumes.

REID: Yes.

RYE: For her to be someone constantly coming at AOC, who speaks truth to power, even when folks don`t agree with her own policy, she has some very common sense ways of looking at things.

And the one thing I can say for sure is if Marjorie Taylor Greene`s negotiation strategy around legislative language, around amendments is going to be talking through a flap and following people in the hall and stalking them and harassing them, they`re not going to get anything done.

So part of what we should be doing in this time, where redistricting is happening, and there might be a little gerrymandering going on, because it`s a census year, following the census year, this is what happens, we might want to pay attention how we draw these districts so these fools don`t get in office with a badge and a voting card to harass people even further.

REID: Yes. And in some case is guns and refuses to go through the M.D.s. I can tell you that working -- where I work right now, somebody like that would be in H.R. in five seconds and nobody would feel comfortable working with somebody like Marjorie Greene. She would not be allowed to work here, not for five minutes. She would be in H.R.

I really would like to know, and I think we`re going to try to find out going into next week, is there some system where people who don`t feel safe around that woman, particularly given her connections to people who were part of the insurrection, the terrorist attack on our Capitol, how is she still there? This is my question. Angela Rye, Michael Steele, we`ll keep up with the story. Thank you both very much.

STEELE: All right.

REID: And up next on THE REIDOUT, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg joins me on the gas shortages and the threat to our infrastructure that cause. Will Congress finally do something about it?

Plus, are we really about to go mask-less? Our new freedom is making some people a little nervous.

And, oh, my goodness, the criminal offences Mike Gaetz`s wing man, Joel Greenberg, admitted to are staggering and they`re depravity. Remember Greenberg`s attorney said, I`m sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling comfortable. You think?

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: Relief is on the way to Americans in the South, as the Colonial Pipeline company says that it has restored full service in sending out much-needed fuel supply to tapped-out gas stations.

It comes after a U.S. official confirmed that the company paid Eastern European hackers nearly $5 million in ransom. There are still long lines and high gas prices, as the supply makes its way through the 5,000 miles of pipeline.

In some states, there are still a large percentage of gas stations that remain completely dry. This is happening as the Biden administration continues its talks with Republicans on the president`s big infrastructure plan.

President Biden says those talks have been productive, and he`s expecting another one next week.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Very, very good meeting. It was great to be back with so many of the colleagues that I had served with in the Senate. And I am very optimistic that we can reach a reasonable agreement.

But even if we don`t, it`s been a good faith -- there`s a good-faith effort that has been started.


REID: Join me now is Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Thank you for coming back. We always love talking with you.

And let me start with this pipeline issue, because, first of all, I have never been more happy that I bought a -- that I leased a hybrid. I just recently got a hybrid, and thank God for that.

But, I mean, has this incident made you think differently about the way that the transportation package should be put together? I mean, you have got this Koch brothers-allied company paying ransom because they were attacked by a cyberattack and couldn`t bill people.

It feels like maybe, I don`t know what, need more regulation, maybe need more public, less private, less sort of Koch brothers private ownership. What do you -- has this made you think differently?

PETE BUTTIGIEG, U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Well, the first thing it shows us is just how important infrastructure is.

Here, you have a piece of infrastructure owned by a private company that most people hadn`t heard of a week ago, and a cyberattack on that private company disrupted lives up and down the Eastern Seaboard. It`s also, of course, shining a light on the importance of cybersecurity and resilience.

We are only as strong as our weakest link. And it`s one of the reasons why the president`s executive order this week on cybersecurity, I think, was important, an important step. We have got more work to do, not just from a policy perspective, but, frankly, as a society, to be more resilient and to be harder targets for this -- these cyber-threats.

But I will say also that it has shown how the administration can come together and draw different elements of are different levers that all of us could pull to get something done. From the get-go, the president was instructing all of us to figure out how we could minimize the impact on the American people, how to make sure we were using the different resources we had when gas wasn`t flowing through the pipeline, how to make sure it was moving and trucks or over the water or anything else we needed to do.

And I was really proud to be part of a team that snapped into action so quickly, even as the work continues, because, even though gas is flowing through the pipeline again, clearly, we`re not back to normal yet.

REID: I mean, but do you think -- as somebody who was a mayor, as somebody who is now in charge of our transportation infrastructure and trying to get some plans together, should private companies be paying ransom? I mean, doesn`t that just set the stage for other bad actors to understand how they can just get paid off of what you said is a largely privately owned infrastructure system?

You have had that happen. You had what happened in Texas, where another private entity failed completely. Millions of Texans had to go freezing cold, other than Ted Cruz, who flew out of the country, or tried to.

But, I mean, should these companies be paying -- that wasn`t a ransom situation, but should these companies be paying? Or should there be some other solution?

BUTTIGIEG: Yes, the problem with paying ransom is, of course, it creates an incentive for those kinds of attacks to continue.

REID: Right.

BUTTIGIEG: But when you`re in that situation, you`re facing an impossible choice between possible further damage and destruction or paying that ransom, which is why the best solution, the best answer is never to be in that situation in the first place.

REID: Yes.

BUTTIGIEG: And that`s why we have got to make sure we have the right reporting, the right accountability, and the right security, so that this kind of situation can`t happen again.

Look, these kinds of attacks are going to increase, not decrease.

REID: Yes.

BUTTIGIEG: And I think it`s part of a bigger example or a bigger pattern, where threats that we weren`t talking about a couple of years ago, like global public health threats, like cybersecurity threats, and, increasingly, like climate threats, all three of those have visited the American people in a very blunt way in these recent months and the last year-and-a-half.

And it shows what it`s going to take to keep America safe and secure for the next 50 years is not just doing all of the traditional things we were doing for the last 50 years.

REID: Well, and I think this is -- this incident and others have made people really start to think in a broader way about what infrastructure is.

The bill -- the Biden plan -- and I`m just going to put it up on the screen so people can see it -- it`s $621 billion for the things we normally think of as infrastructure, roads, bridges, electric vehicles, care for the elderly, and disabled Americans, another $400 billion, safer drinking water -- you think about what happened in Flint -- a modernized electric grid -- you think about what happened in Texas.

Broadband access, all those kids who are having to learn at home because of COVID. Revitalizing manufacturing. Affordable, sustainable housing.

Has -- have the events in recent weeks helped you make the case to Republicans and to people like Joe Manchin that they do need to think a little bit more broadly about what infrastructure is?

BUTTIGIEG: I think they have served as a reminder of the bigger picture here.

Look, roads and bridges are definitely part of the story. And as we`re seeing right now with what`s happening around Memphis, we have a lot of concerns just around the conditions of our roads and bridges. But that`s not all of the story.

Here, you have a piece of infrastructure most people don`t think about those days. People don`t always think -- certainly aren`t thinking about cyber in the traditional model of infrastructure. But here it is in our faces up close and personal when it doesn`t work.

And I think the broader point here that connects all these things as infrastructure is, when they don`t work, you can`t go about your life in -- nor the life of your choosing...

REID: Yes.

BUTTIGIEG: ... whether it`s because you can`t get gas, or because you don`t have power, or because your drinking water may not be safe, or if it`s because you can`t get childcare, or you can`t get care for an aging parent.

These are all things that keep you from living the life you want to live. They`re all things that could keep you out of the work force. And so they`re all things that we need in order to have a stronger economy. That`s why infrastructure is the theme of this plan, but jobs is the point of this plan. That`s why it`s called the American Jobs Plan.

REID: Yes.

BUTTIGIEG: And all of these things make it possible for us to have the kind of economy that we really need.

REID: It seems sort of self-evident, but yet you have a lot of pushback from Republicans, who only want to spend like $800 billion, which wouldn`t even get you much more than just the roads, bridges, et cetera.

They don`t believe all these other things are infrastructure. And then you have even got some Democrats who are apparently open to using user fees, instead of taxing big corporations, some of whom pay nothing in taxes after they get all their deductions.

To me, and I think the folks who think like I do, user fees means that the American people pay twice, because we already pay taxes. And so why should -- why should regular, ordinary Americans have to pay again through tolls and other user fees, when big corporations don`t even pay taxes, and they`re getting off the hook in that situation?

BUTTIGIEG: Well, especially when we don`t even have to go there with the user fees to raise the dollars we need to do this plan.

People keep saying, is it affordable? Well, the way you can tell it`s affordable is that the president`s jobs plan is fully funded, while not even raising corporate tax rates to the level that they have been at for most of my lifetime, right?

I mean, most of my lifetime, it`s been 35. The president is calling for it to be 28. So, it`s not high taxes. It`s regular taxes, closing the loopholes, these other things that make sure corporations pay their fair share, especially, as you rightly pointed out, when you got some of them paying zero on billions in profits.

So it`s absolutely affordable. And, importantly, we can fund this whole thing without having to turn to anything like a tax on people making less than 400,000 bucks a year. Now, obviously, Republicans view that corporate tax cut that they did a few years ago as very important to them. And that`s why the president has said, OK, if you don`t like our way of paying for it, let us know your way of paying for it.

And that`s part of what`s going on in this back-and-forth. But I can tell you one thing he`s not going to be very interested in is anything that would raise taxes on ordinary Americans.

REID: Yes.

Well, hopefully, they will -- he -- the president will keep that all the way through, because, to me, user fees is the tax. So, we will keep this conversation going.

Secretary Pete Buttigieg, thank you very much for being here. Have a great weekend. Appreciate it.

BUTTIGIEG: You too. Thanks for having me.

REID: Thank you. Of course.

And up next: You wouldn`t think the whole Matt Gaetz-Joel Greenberg sexual misconduct scandal would get any grimier, but it just did.

Stay with us.


REID: Well, things just got very uncomfortable for Matt Gaetz.

As you know, the Florida congressman and MAGA bro is under investigation over whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel with him. According to court documents filed this afternoon, Gaetz`s former confidant and wingman Joel Greenberg is set to plead guilty on Monday to six of the 33 charges filed against him, including a count of sex trafficking of a child.

He, in turn, agrees to cooperate fully with the United States in the investigation and prosecution of other persons and to testify before any court or grand jury proceeding.

According to the court filing, Greenberg spent more than $70,000 in 150 transactions to pay women for sex. A statement of fact signed off by Greenberg said -- quote -- "Greenberg was involved in what are sometimes referred to as sugar daddy relationships, where he paid women for sex, but attempted to disguise the payments as school-related expenses or other living expenses that he paid for in part with a Venmo account. One of those women was under 18 for part of the time Greenberg paid her for sex acts with him and others," the filing said.

The filing also said Greenberg would offer and supply the minor and others with ecstasy, which Greenberg would take himself as well and would sometimes pay the minor extra to take the drug.

Greenberg will plead to charges of identity theft, stalking, wire fraud and conspiracy to bribe a public official.

Now, what does this mean for Trump`s little buddy and one of the Republican Party`s leading trolls? Well, Matt Gaetz has not been charged with any crime and has repeatedly denied the allegations. But it does signal Greenberg could be a very important witness against Gaetz if prosecutors find that he had sex with the same 17-year-old girl who Greenberg is accused of trafficking.

It also signals that Greenberg has something damning to offer in exchange for a lighter sentence, which is how it works. He`s scheduled to appear Monday morning in federal court in Orlando. And we will be following this story very closely, with our airsickness bags in hand, and we will bring you the latest next week.

We will be right back.


REID: The surprising announcement by the CDC that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in public has left a number of politicians, citizens and businesses a bit confused.

Some states have eagerly embraced the new directive, while others are leaving their mandates in place. Companies like Target, Kroger, and Home Depot will continue to keep mask mandates in place.

But a majority of states, like Virginia, Michigan, Nevada, Kentucky, and others announced plans to implement the new mask-free guidelines immediately or in the coming weeks.

Since the pandemic started, more than 588,000 Americans have lost their lives to this virus. To date, roughly 47 percent of Americans have had at least one vaccine dose, and nearly 36 percent of Americans have been fully vaccinated.

While the country is headed in the right direction, not everyone is on the same page when it comes to the new rules.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think, obviously, for some spots, if it`s touching go, and local guidance says you wear it, you can put up with it for a little bit longer, but I think it`s long overdue.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I already go to outdoor restaurants. I go to indoor restaurants. I take my mask off. I do feel comfortable.

QUESTION: Do you think you`re going to get your mask, or no?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to keep it.

QUESTION: You`re going to keep it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I`m going to keep my mask.


BUTTIGIEG: Just a precaution?


REID: Joining me now is Dr. Lipi Roy, internal medicine physician and the medical director of COVID isolation and quarantine sites for Housing Works in New York City.

Dr. Lipi, the last guy is most of my friends, who say, oh, you know what? The CDC thing hit me kind of fast, and I don`t trust all these people out here in the store. I don`t trust these people in the Walmart. I don`t know which of these people is vaccinated. Keeping my mask on.

What do you make of the guidance? Do you think -- did it seem premature to you?

DR. LIPI ROY, INTERNAL MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: Yes, so, first of all, Joy, it`s so great to see you. You`re looking radiant, as always.

REID: Oh, thank you.

ROY: So, yes, so it seems like this new CDC guidance, which effectively states that fully vaccinated people can essentially be unmasked both indoors and outdoors, but, as you can clearly see, this has prompted a rather fractured response amongst the public, right?

There are those that really are relieved at the sense that they can move a step closer to normalcy. But then there are those who are -- have legitimate concerns. Some of them feel that the data was rushed, that this decision was rushed.

What about kids? What about people that are going to go around who are not vaccinated and not wearing masks? I mean, so -- and what about the effect - - response to variants? So, there`s a lot of legitimate concerns.

Let me break this down as far as the science. So, Dr. Rochelle Walensky clearly stated that the CDC decision was based -- was firmly rooted in science. So the data shows that, based on case numbers, infections going down really nicely, and hospitalizations and deaths, in concert with a vaccination rates going up, looking at real-world data, these vaccines have been proven to be highly effective at reducing asymptomatic transmission of the virus from a fully vaccinated people.

In addition, they`re looking at cohort studies. They have looked at nursing home studies, and, again, real-world data. This is why the CDC has came up -- come up with this guidance.

And, by the way, it is not rushed. The CDC has been looking at this data for many, many months.

REID: Sure.

ROY: It`s been an accumulation of data, as Dr. Fauci has also repeated.

REID: So, here`s the thing.

I think, for a lot of people, they say to themselves, this -- it`s almost like they`re too specific and nonspecific enough. They`re like, you can attend a salon, you can go to a museum or a mall, you can go to religious worship.

Well, aren`t people going to be singing there? Because I thought that they told us earlier that, if people are singing, they`re exhorting and that could be spreading droplets. Just then go to indoor events with vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

A, how do we know who`s vaccinated and who`s unvaccinated inside the restaurant? How do we know there`s not anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers all crowded around us, and we`re all together? And what about kids? Kids can`t even be vaccinated.

I guess the reason people are nervous is that they`re saying, it`s not that we don`t trust the science. It`s that we don`t trust these other people; 36 percent ain`t herd immunity. We have to now trust that everyone around us has been doing the right thing.

And a lot of them basically are addicted to FOX, and they don`t do the right thing.

ROY: Yes, so, all of those concerns are legitimate. And I get those questions.

I guess the way I look at it is that it`s almost -- what the CDC is saying, based on this science, is that it almost doesn`t even matter if the people around you are vaccinated or not. What they`re saying is that, when you get fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you`re able to actually protect the people around you, because this recent data has shown that asymptomatic transmission is severely reduced once you`re fully vaccinated.

So, I think that`s the key to remember.

REID: Yes.

ROY: And to address the point about children, so, again, really key point there, so, with kids, again, the previous CDC guidance is that children in homes around fully vaccinated people need not wear masks.

Outside of that, though, they do need to continue wearing masks and practicing distancing. But the good news is, Joy, that, by year`s end, by the end of 2021, we believe that children of all ages will be able to get vaccinated. That data is really -- they`re working on that right now, Joy.

REID: Yes.

And so I guess, then, the final, I guess, question would be, for people who -- let`s just show this gym. This was in Miami, and this was on our on our air this morning. And I saw this. And it kind of gave me anxiety, like, watching all of these people all like sort of mushed together. People are sweating. Everything is flying everywhere.

But what you`re -- and now we have heard Bill Maher has -- was vaccinated. And he also has gotten COVID. There`s been small cases of prominent people. Remember, the Miami Dream got it, but she was unvaccinated.

We`re still hearing about people getting it. But what you`re saying is that, if you`re vaccinated -- because, just as much as we worry about getting it ourselves, we also don`t want to spread it to our loved ones, so that, if you`re vaccinated, you won`t be at risk of giving it to someone else.

Is that what you`re saying?

ROY: Yes, I`m really glad you brought those cases, as -- those famous cases, like, say, Bill Maher.

I just tweeted about that last day when he came out positive. So, my own patients are saying, all right, Doc, why should I get the vaccine when I know people got the vaccine still got infected?

The key point to remember is that these are what`s called breakthrough cases, where you get a vaccine, but you can still get the virus. We know that, that the CDC never lied about that.

REID: Yes.

ROY: You can still get the virus.

The key point is that your risk of severe illness, hospitalization and depth are significantly reduced once you get the vaccine. That`s the key point to remember, Joy.

REID: Yes. And, finally, I guess we`re now -- are we at the point we`re going to have to live with going forward that there will be a certain percentage of Americans who are just going to be prone to get COVID because they`re not going to protect themselves in any way, and they`re just going to be around, well, until they get sick?

ROY: I mean, look, I -- short of mandating the vaccine, I don`t see how -- I mean, yes, look, there`s going to be a certain percentage of people that just will not get the vaccine.

I`m dealing with this within my own organization, dealing with my own colleagues. God knows we do the education advocacy every single day, but there are people that just won`t get the vaccine. And, yes, I`m hoping that number will continue to decline, not just in the U.S., but worldwide, because, remember, this is a global disease outbreak.

REID: Yes.

ROY: But, yes, I mean, of course, I`m praying that those people don`t get sick, and that number will go down.

But time will tell. I`m just hoping that more and more people will get the vaccine, Joy...

REID: Yes.

ROY: ... because, clearly, the data is showing that it`s safe and effective, Joy.

REID: And I`m praying even more for the hourly workers and restaurant workers and clerks who have to deal with people who are going to be even more belligerent now, and saying, Biden said I don`t have to wear a mask, and they have still got -- getting minimum wage, have to deal with those people.

So, hopefully, people will be kind to the folks who are working hard to keep our stores and everything else open.

Dr. Lipi Roy, my friend, thank you very much. Have a great weekend.

And up next: A Palestinian man is forced from his neighborhood after speaking out against the actions of Israeli forces. And he joins me next.

Stay with us.


REID: Violence continues to escalate at the border of Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Rockets continue to fly over Gaza this morning. Israeli forces and artillery remain in place at the Gaza border, moved in last night, as Israel stepped up its assault.

Overnight, Israel launched airstrikes toward what its military said were a series of underground tunnels and bases used by the militant group Hamas. More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in the violence, including dozens of children and eight Israelis.

And we also want to give you an update on a young man whose situation is at the heart of the current escalation.

On Tuesday, my colleague Ayman Mohyeldin interviewed Mohammed El-Kurd, whose Palestinian family is being forcibly removed from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem.


MOHAMMED EL-KURD, SHEIKH JARRAH RESIDENT: The Israeli occupation forces are not stingy in the level of force they use against unarmed civilians.

What`s happening to us in Sheikh Jarrah is ethnic cleansing.


REID: It was one of several interviews that he did with American media, speaking candidly about the forced displacement of Palestinians.

And, the next day, video posted to Twitter showed El-Kurd himself being forcibly removed from his neighborhood by Israeli Defense -- Israeli Defense Force members, who pushed aside a woman and aggressively shoved El- Kurd outside the metal barricades surrounding his community.

On Twitter later, El-Kurd said that he was fine and unintimidated by the incident.

And, Mohammed El-Kurd, the young Palestinian man you just saw in those videos, joins me now, alongside my friend Rula Jebreal, who is a foreign policy analyst and visiting professor at the University of Miami.

And, Mohammed, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate your time.

I first want to ask, what happened when you were marched out of your neighborhood? And have you been able to return home?

EL-KURD: Hi, Joy. Thank you for having me.

I believe what happened was a tactic of intimidation. But, as I said on Twitter, I`m unintimidated. The Israeli authorities have historically detained, brutalized and even assassinated Palestinian dissidents like Ghassan Kanafani, like (INAUDIBLE) which is what fascists do.

But even more so, the Israeli occupation forces arbitrarily placed Palestinians in administrative detention without trial, shoot to kill or disable. Just today, seven Palestinians were killed in the West Bank after they were shot in the upper body, in the head by the Israeli terrorist forces shooting them.

The -- yes.

REID: And are you OK? Are you able to return home?

EL-KURD: I`m fine. I managed to get my way back home. And I will always find my way back home.

REID: OK, well, that is good to hear.

And, Rula, can you just sort of give us a bigger-picture explanation of what`s happening here? Because these -- what are being called evictions, it doesn`t feel like it`s the right word for it. What is happening in terms of the homes that people like Mohammed El-Kurd have in East Jerusalem?

RULA JEBREAL, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: So, Jewish supremacy is the main goal of Israel apartheid government.

And I say the word apartheid because former Prime Minister of Israel, two of them, Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak, security services, head of the Mossad, and many others, used this word, saying, in absence of any political solution, we will be entering apartheid.

We`re already in a -- we`re already living a project of ethno-religious exclusion and purity. This is what happened after years of Bibi Netanyahu incitement, weaponization of religion and weaponization of race, where it doesn`t matter democracy for even Palestinian who live inside.

What matter is their ethnicity. What matter is their race, their religion. And it`s basically this stage, where the occupation is metastasized everywhere, not only in Gaza, or in the West Bank or East Jerusalem, but also inside Israel.

What you`re seeing, Joy, is what we have seen here in America with the white supremacists with -- under Jim Crow, but also what you see it. If you can see these images of somebody like Mohammed, who is a young man from occupied East Jerusalem, taken from his home like this, expelled from his home, not because he doesn`t -- the home doesn`t belong to him, because of who he is, because of his ethnicity.

We know this phenomena very well. And the heartbreaking part is that we can connect this phenomenon to things that happened recently in American history. When you saw the mosques being gassed -- where worshipers are gassed, or people marching in the streets now, as we speak, in Haifa, in Acre, everywhere, saying, "Kill all the Palestinian, kill the Arabs, bomb them to oblivion, we have the right to kill them all," we have seen this force, whether on January 6.

We have seen this kind of politics when they put kids in cages in the United States. We have seen this before. And the most heartbreaking thing, Joy, that the United States subsidize this ethno-nationalist project of exclusion and purity.

We subsidize the atrocities that are taking place.

REID: And, well, let me ask you this, because it feels like this is sort of the endless, never-ending conflict that -- I said yesterday in the interview that we did yesterday that the Resolution 242 dates back to 1967.

There`s been this talk of a two-state solution forever and ever and ever and ever. It doesn`t feel like it`s going that way. It -- just bigger picture, Rula, is that dead? Are what we looking at now the continuation of this forever, meaning an occupation forever, and there never being a two- state solution? Is that dead as an idea?

JEBREAL: We`re -- Netanyahu killed it. He said, any peace deal with a Palestinian, not only -- he incited against the man that sign any kind of agreement or thought of any diplomatic agreement, incited against him, Rabin. He was killed by Jewish extremists.

Today, these Jewish extremists are in Parliament. They`re legislating. Now we have this supremacist movement everywhere spreading, in the judiciary and everywhere. Not only it`s dead. It`s buried.

The reality on the ground, that we have a one-state reality. And what you`re seeing is the consequences of a lack, an absent of any political solution. Netanyahu doesn`t want a political solution.

Not only that. He wants not only to wage a war on democracy and exterminate Palestinians. He wants to come back and tell Joe Biden, don`t interfere in my business. But he`s willing to come here and lobby Congress against any signature policy. And he`s willing -- and one of the things that we didn`t pay attention to, the radicalization in Israel, it`s actually coming here.

The main newspaper editor in chief, yes, "Israel Hayom," he was Bibi Netanyahu`s somehow surrogate. Guess what? He was at January 6 insurrection.

What happened there, the authoritarianism and the -- what Mohammed called fascism, it`s coming back here.

So, if we stand for democracy, it`s not only in the United States. We need to uphold democracy everywhere.

REID: Mohammed, you live -- this is your community. What do you want to see happen, the bigger picture in terms of -- I mean, you`re a young man. You`re one person. What is the solution, in your view?

EL-KURD: My -- I think the solution begins with calling things by their name.

Joy, people often speak about two sides. And they`re absolutely correct. There`s two sides. One is a fascist apartheid regime with one of the world`s most lethal armies and the region`s only nuclear power, while the other is -- while the other side is minuscule in comparison.

Sadly, these (AUDIO GAP) get to articulate, even propagandize the narrative of their assaults on our life.

But the myriad of social media footage has been proving to us that it is not self-defense to bomb and carpet-bomb residential neighborhoods, media buildings. It`s not self-defense. I think context matters here.

REID: Well, we have got to go. Our -- my time is over. I have to go into the next show.

Mohammed El-Kurd, thank you very much for being here, Rula Jebreal.

That is tonight`s REIDOUT.