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Transcript: The ReidOut, 5/3/21

Guests: David Plouffe, Tim Miller, Ilhan Omar, Jerry Blackwell, Steve Schleicher


Trump continues to push the big lie. GOP Sen. Romney was booed for not showing blind loyalty to Donald Trump. Trump loyalists slam fellow Republicans for defending democracy. Mike Flynn flubs Pledge of Allegiance. Andrew Brown Jr. is laid to rest in North Carolina. Families of other victims of police shootings pay tribute to Andrew Brown Jr. The rate of new cases in this country has reached its lowest point, since October, and yet, there`s growing evidence that the United States may never reach herd immunity.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: He`s a super producer who`s worked with Travis Scott, Kanye and much more. When all we only going to be talking music but art. I`ll explain it all for join me on Instagram @arimelber 8:00 P.M. Eastern.

And stay tune right now for "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a very sad man. Who, you know, looking like that guy from your neighborhood who lives alone and no one trick or treats at his house because his a little weird and that one time he crashed your cousin`s wedding or even more creepily a high school prom, that guy?

Well, that guy, the GOP`s in-house Norma Desmond showed up to a Mar-a-Lago wedding party this past Thursday and kicked the cover bank up stage, spewed deranged voting conspiracies literally a half year after he lost bigly to now President Joe Biden.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I watched Arizona. There`re very interesting things are happening in Arizona, right? You know about that. And we just had a great ruling or the -- actually, the Senate, the state senate of Arizona just had a great ruling. Let`s see what they find. I wouldn`t be surprised if they found thousands and thousands and thousands of votes. So we`re going to watch that very closely.

And after, that we`ll watch Pennsylvania and you watch Georgia and you going to watch Michigan and Wisconsin. And you`re watching New Hampshire, they found a lot of votes up in New Hampshire just now, and you saw that.


REID: The cover band was like can we just go ahead and start playing `80s pop songs now? I mean, it`s sad, isn`t it? It`s frankly embarrassing for someone who once held title of president of the United States. But that rather undignified figure, fading and decrepit, though he is, is still supported by a vast swath of the Republican Party.

And those Republicans are waging war on Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the third ranking House Republican, for now at least. She`s faced huge backlash from her party for doing what she did in tweet, simply aligning herself with democracy and saying what`s true, that the 2020 presidential election was not stolen and refusing to bow down to the big lie.

Cheney was responding to Trump`s latest wannabe presidential statement, which read like one of his old tweets with mast head Photoshop on top. In that statement, he called the free and fair election itself a big lie, just as he calls the real press fake news, very gaslighting, very Orwellian, very Trump.

The truth is Donald Trump is declining in interest and performance. He`s been canceled from the White House and from Twitter. The only stage that we see him on lately is one he owns. This is the real Trump, the one he so desperately never wanted you to see, a reclusive mad king trying to relive the halcyon days of his presidency, who now is now even outshined by his own conspiracy theories, as the big lie justifies taxpayer-funded fake audits and energizes new voter restrictions without him even being in office.

And yet, this fading figure is the person that once grand old party remains obsequiously loyal to. And the question is why?

David Plouffe, former Obama Campaign Manager, and Tim Miller, Writer-at- Large for The Bulwark, join me now. And, gentlemen, thank you for being here.

Let me play one other, this is Mitt Romney, who was the 2012 presidential nominee, getting booed in his own home state of Utah at the GOP convention. Take a listen.


SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): You know me as a person who says what he thinks and I don`t hide the fact that I wasn`t a fan of our last president`s character issues. And I`m also no fan --

Aren`t you embarrassed?


REID: Listen, Tim, I`m not a fan of Mitt Romney, I`m just going to be honest, not a fan, but he has a dignity that sort of comports himself like a normal presidential figure looks like and sounds like right. He has a certain dignity just as a man. Donald Trump is ridiculous. He looks like he -- you know he`s like, smoking a cigarette, being like you know, when I was a high school senior, I was captain of the football team. Like he`s that guy at the party, and yet the Republicans are bowing to him like he`s the king. I don`t get it. Do you?

TIM MILLER, WRITER-AT-LARGE, THE BULWARK: Well, I sort of get it. That was quite the video. I mean, David was nicer to Romney in 2012 than the Republican audience was there in Utah. Look, I was down in South Carolina this week, Joy, and I went to Mike Pence`s very low key speech there, his first comeback speech and I went to events to try to answer the question what is the reason for this. And the answer is that the Republican base is desperate to take --

REID: Uh-oh, I think we just lost him. Okay, we`re going to go to Plouffe. I want really want to hear the rest of that sentence, so we`re going to fix Tim`s audio, you know, good old, the interwebs are not easy to work with.

But to go to you for a minute, David, you did run against Mitt Romney. And so you know that even someone like Mitt, was willing to say a lot of really bizarre things, like when he said, you know may be if I was really from Mexico, maybe I can get some votes. Like, even the dignified one are willing to lower themselves because they know there`s a part of the base that just need that, right? That has this need for sort of guttural politics.

But I wonder at this point, since Donald Trump is a bit pathetic, he can`t attack them on Twitter, he can`t really hurt them, do you understand why, just as matter of politics Republicans are still genuflecting towards him?

DAVID PLOUFFE, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I am puzzled by, Joy. So yes, you know it`s only been nine years, less than nine years, you know since Mitt Romney was the Republican nominee, yet you have him being booed at state party convention. And the carnival barker cult leader, diminished though he may be, to your point, at Mar-a-Lago has basically the entire Republican Party captive, and it`s cowardice.

I mean, I`m struck by so many members of today`s Republican Party just seem fearful, afraid of immigrants, afraid of masks, some of them afraid of vaccines. But above all else they`re afraid of Donald Trump and getting on his wrong side.

And what strikes me is none of these people -- I really believe this, you know, you into politics, I`ve met a lot of people who sought office, a lot of them won. They didn`t go in there to pay all of their, basically, political capital, is bow down at knees of one leader. There`s issues there they care about. They tended to believe in the Constitution. They got there because they won there on election. And they`ve thrown all of that aside.

And my question is, is this going to change? I certainly don`t think it`s going to change through `22 because I think the successful Republican candidates in primaries, and contested primaries will be those that embrace the big lie, that suggested COVID was created by Chinese, that attacked Dr. Fauci. That`s where all the energy is. It`s not where probably the vast majority of Republican voters are, but those that drive primary are.

So -- but that is the one thing that unites most Republicans, with Cheney and Romney being notable exceptions, is they just do not wanted to do anything to get on the wrong side of Donald Trump, his ridiculous sons and, you know, Trump`s base.

REID: Okay, yes, Tim, you`re back. I`m glad you`re back, finish your sentence. You said you went down to former Vice President Mike Pence`s event, and then?

MILLER: Yes. And there some county Republican events in South Carolina, and there`s this, if you think Donald Trump sounded ridiculous, there is this man named Lin Wood that`s running for party chair down there. And he is passing of even more absurd, like almost -- it`s almost like he`s doing (INAUDIBLE), the kind of things he said. The inauguration didn`t happen, you know, that Joe Biden only got 2 percent, things -- he told me that Joe Biden wasn`t inaugurated because the sun wasn`t over his head. He`s going to get about the quarter of the vote among the Republican regulars in South Carolina.

The party is desperate for people to tell them what they want to hear, to bring the liberals down a peg, and that`s what Donald Trump plays into that Mitt Romney refuses to, God bless him, right? And Mitt Romney is still at least trying to speak to underlying principles and beliefs. He`s not just going to tell these folks what they want to hear.

And this is the lowest bar to step over, but it`s what he and Liz stepping over, and it`s putting them on the wrong side of very angry, very aggrieved, very delusional, frankly, Republican base.

REID: Yes. I mean, if Susan Collins couldn`t even admit who she voted for, right? She doesn`t dare. And she just got reelected, like you got six years. State who you voted for, don`t be afraid.

Can I just play one more piece of video, because it`s just so, bananarama, I kept to play. This is Michael Flynn who apparently can recite the QAnon pledge but not the pledge, pledge. Take a listen.


MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Listen, I`m going to say the pledge of allegiance, you`re going to say it along with me. I want you to hear, not just listen. I want you to hear every single word of the pledge of allegiance. That is our pledge to each other. That is our pledge to this country. Place your hand over your heart. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. God bless you all.


REID: I`m going to start with you David Plouffe, because you lived though -- I mean, the previous president had to live to the Tea Party. How much of this do you think is extension of that movement, that just been really ground into the bones of the party? That`s my question for you, and then I have question for Tim.

PLOUFFE: Well, it`s a great question, Joy. And yes, this did not originate with Donald Trump. The seeds were there, some of them below ground, some of them above ground. He was, of course, himself involved in the birther controversy. But I think now this has been normalized.

And what really concerns me is do we think in 2022 Republicans who might lose close House and Senate elections are just going to concede and go quietly into the night? I highly doubt it. And I think we have to look ahead to `24. So until -- and to Tim`s point, this is a very low bar, but until you see more Republican leaders saying at the very least, winners of elections win elections and we`re going to concede as we normally have been. Our democracy is in grave danger. I mean, this is one of the gravest, I think, dangers the country has faced.

So, again, all of these voter suppression laws are making it harder to register, harder to vote, drop box eliminations, make it harder to vote by absentee, anti-democratic. But the big concern that I have is they want to take control from elections officials and voters and hand it over to Republicans so they can stay in total control. That`s the threat we were facing right now.

And, again, when Romney gets booed and Liz Cheney may be out by the end of the week, that tells you, they`re like two people on island. Everybody else is not like going along quietly if they`d like.

REID: That`s right.

PLOUFFE: They`re increasingly getting comfortable embracing this.

REID: You have said it perfectly. And I promise you all, I did not hear what he was going to say in the (INAUDIBLE), because, Tim, that was going to be my question to you. Because I get the sense that for regular order Republicans who go along, the Kevin McCarthy-types, this is GOTV. It`s not that they personally don`t think that Joe Biden is president and that there`s like a fake green screen where we`re pretending that he`s the president and really Donald Trump is.

I doubt Kevin McCarthy is that stupid. But they think that their voters won`t turn up, won`t vote unless they are guaranteed to win, unless they are guaranteed that black folks can`t vote, and only they get to vote and only their own friends get to vote, and unless they hear from people like Kevin McCarthy, we worship you Donald Trump, you`re really president, right? How much of this do you think is GOTV?

MILLER: Look, that`s exactly right. Just really quick for answer, that video, that Michael Flynn video for your viewers, that was at a Lin Wood event, the guy I was talking about. I wrote more about this for The Bulwark.

REID: Of course it was.

MILLER: You saw at that crowd was. I heard people are saying, he`s thinking about running in 2024. He was Donald Trump`s top national security adviser. This is such a scary staff, Joy.

But to your question, yes, look, I think it`s about probably a quarter of the House caucus actually believes this stuff, and the majority, the plurality is about half, and they`re just afraid. To David`s point, and you`re right, he is exactly right, they`re afraid, they want to make sure they`re voters can turn out. They`re going to say whatever they need to do in order to do that and they`re go along with whatever they need to go along with up to and including voting to overturn elections in order to do it. And that`s basically how the things break down.

But really quick, after 2022, those numbers are going to change and true believer numbers are going up and the rest of those numbers are going down.

REID: You`re right. And then the -- I think everyone needs to read your Bulwark column, because then the question really for Democrats is what is more powerful, checks or bananarama cuckoo bird stuff. And that`s going to be the question among just working-class voters, what`s more powerful. And you all better be really push that it`s checks because we`re in trouble if these people get power again.

David Plouffe and Tim Miller, thank you both very much.

And still ahead on THE REIDOUT, Andrew Brown Jr. is laid to rest in North Carolina, as his family demands answers about how he was killed, starting with the still unreleased body cam footage.

Plus, two members of the Chauvin prosecution team join us. We still have lots of questions about trial and sentencing including Chauvin`s long history of dangerous behavior didn`t come up.

And medical experts are now predicting the U.S. will never achieve herd immunity due in part to Republican vaccine hesitancy.

And I`ll also have a word or two for certain Fox News host who`s all worked up about something or other. I`m not sure it has anything to do with race though, right?

THE REIDOUT report continues after this.


REID: Andrew Brown Jr., grandfather, father, brother and son, was laid to rest today. Brown was shot and killed by Pasquotank County sheriff`s deputies in North Carolina on April 21st. The shooting is currently under investigation by FBI and state authorities. Family members mourned his loss and continued calls for transparence from the county sheriff`s department and demands for police reform.

Reverend Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy for brown only two weeks after he delivered the eulogy for Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man shot and killed by police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Brown`s family joins a painfully large constellation of family member who`ve lost their love ones because of the police. The family of George Floyd, Eric Garner, and Daunte Wright were there to offer their support and condolences.


TERRENCE FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD`S BROTHER: It`s a shame in America that us, as black men, we got to duck and dodge death when it`s not even looking at us.

GWEN CARR, ERIC GARNER`S MOTHER: That some people say, that oh, you`ll get over it, but you never get over it. You go on, but you don`t get over it.

MONICA WRIGHT, DAUNTE WRIGHT`S SISTER: I`m mad. I`m outraged, it happened again to somebody else.


REID: Reverend William -- Bishop William Barber also spoke at the funeral, as did Bakari Sellers and Ben Crump, lawyers for the Brown family.


BEJAMIN CRUMP, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Because Andrew cannot make the plea for due process, it is up to us to make the plea for due process.

BAKARI SELLERS, BROWN FAMILY ATTORNEY: For black folk and white folk, Democrats and Republicans all watching today, they all need to know that we`re tired of the cycle of grief that comes along with being black in this country.

REVEREND BISHOP WILLIAM BARBER, POLITICAL ACTIVIST: But Andrew was a black man trying to make it in a society where black men are born in danger.

But I want you to be comforted that he was a man, a father of seven, a nephew, a cousin, a son, a brother, a grandson. He was a man!


REID: Joining now is Reverend Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network and host of MSNBC`s "POLITICS NATION."

And, Rev., I -- as I think about this funeral, I think about black public grief and the fact that going all the way back to Emmett Till, it`s like we have had to display our grief to the world in order to have our humanity acknowledged.

At a certain point, do you feel like these displays of grief are moving laws, are moving policy, or are they more a catharsis for the family?

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST, "POLITICS NATION": Certainly, it`s a catharsis for the family. And that`s needed because there`s real pain.

The question is why we keep going through these expressions of grief, without seeing legislation and policies changing what we`re grieving about.

So, many of us are talking about, we`re tired of displays of black pain, but we need to talk about why we are feeling that pain. And that is because we are not instituting and executing and enforcing laws that would remove what the pain is.

When you can, in the last year -- we are less than a year from when George Floyd was lynched by knee. And you have had any number of cases all the way to now today, literally, where we bury another person killed by police, and if you go from Breonna Taylor, to Ahmaud Arbery, to Rayshard Brooks, or to Daunte Wright, all the way through, some even after the conviction of Chauvin.

So, rather than just analyze black grief, analyze what is causing the grievance.

REID: And the thing is, I -- I`m -- look, I moved back to New York, back to Brooklyn in 1988.

You have been on this message about police brutality, about racial profiling through president after president after president. We have watched the president of the United States, Barack Obama, publicly grieve and sing "Amazing Grace" at the funeral after the massacre in Charleston.

What do you think it`s going to take for us to go from the empathy people express for people like Andrew Brown Jr. and like George Floyd to finally actually getting something done?

SHARPTON: There must be strong federal laws that gives oversight over state laws. That is why it is so important we have a strong George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed by the Senate that has already passed the House.

We sat in the back of the bus for decades...

REID: Yes.

SHARPTON: ... until there was a Civil Rights Act of `64. We couldn`t vote until there was a Voting Rights Act of 65.

So, yes, when you came to New York in `88, I was fighting. I was black in `88. I`m black in `21. And we still don`t have a law that holds police accountable that disproportionately kills blacks, unarmed blacks, at that.

REID: Yes, absolutely.

Look how long we had to fight for anti-lynching laws. The -- it`s exhausting. But thank you for reminding us that this activism is not a couple years` work. It`s lifetime work. And thank you for doing it.

Reverend Al Sharpton, my friend, thank you so much for being here.

And joining me now is Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

And this is your district, Congresswoman. We have now had these two -- in your district, you had the George Floyd case. And then, of course, you had the young man Daunte Wright, who was also killed in your district. And these things were happening on top of the Derek Chauvin trial.

So, I will ask you the same question. Dealing with these compounded moments of black grief, how do you deal with that, as a policy-maker, and how can we deal with it better?

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): Yes, I mean, that`s a really good question.

And I think it`s one that we all are -- we are all struggling with and continuing to deal with. I think there is a lot of emotional exhaustion that many of us who are black lawmakers and black people in public service are experiencing because, every single day, you know that there are ways to transform the justice system, the policing system.

And you have to have conversation with people who want to turn a blind eye to the injustices that exist within our systems, who continue to insist that this country is not a country that is racist, that our systems don`t have racism embedded in them. And the just sheer exhaustion that it takes for you to continue to plead for your humanity and for your dignity to be recognized by your own colleagues is really a stripping process of one`s decency really every single day.

REID: Yes.

I mean, we -- I mean, I have a story here in front of us that the Columbus police -- we know that there`s the Ma`Khia Wright (sic) right -- Columbus police for -- quote -- "running amok," use of force, overuse of force. Columbus officers are now banned from using those kinds of methods of -- quote, unquote -- "non-lethal force."

You can go on and on and on. I know you have introduced new legislation to try to deal with this, because it is like a ping-pong game. It`s like every city -- we could talk about 20 cities tonight if we had time.

You have a piece of legislation that you would like to see go forward. Can you tell us what that is?

OMAR: Yes.

I mean, as Reverend Al Sharpton was just expressing, it is really important for us to recognize that the criminal justice system is not adequate to prosecute itself and to investigate itself.

It`s been very evident that, whether we see the off cases where the DOJ is invited in or the FBI comes into investigate, those are cases that grab national headlines, right? They`re not cases that many of us hear about in our own communities, where there is never going to be justice for those families.

And so it is important for there to be a federal oversight board that does proactive investigations every single time that there is a life lost in the custody of police officers, every single time that there is bodily harm caused by the police, and to not just be where family members and the community is pouring out into the streets demanding for there to be oversight over the loss of their loved ones or the injury that has cost their loved ones.

But it is within the responsibility of an actual board that does these investigations proactively every single day.

REID: And do you have co-sponsors? Do you think that you -- this can pass, that it can actually also get through the Senate?

OMAR: Yes.

Well, what we`re hoping for is to push it to be part of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act negotiations that my colleague and mentor Congresswoman Karen Bass is leading. She`s expressed interest in trying to bring it up as a next step, because we know that the Justice -- George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is a transformative piece of legislation.

But many of the cases that we have seen, with Daunte Wright and others, show us that there are further guardrails that are that are needed. And in order for us to transform these systems, we have to have strong guardrails first.

REID: Absolutely.

Well, I have to have you back, because I wanted to also ask you -- I`m out of time, but I know that you`re also working on issues in terms of refugees and refugee resettlement. And I know that the Biden administration, they reversed course, maybe partly because they heard you saying, you might want to reverse course.

So I want to congratulate you on getting that done. But I want to have you back to talk about that issue as well.

So, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar...

OMAR: Promises made, promises kept.

So, it`s good.

REID: What did you say?

OMAR: I said promises made, promises kept.

All we...


OMAR: ... for is that promises are kept.

REID: Amen. That`s what -- that`s what good politics is about.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, thank you very much. Really appreciate you being here tonight.

All right, and still ahead: Should Derek Chauvin`s long history of dangerous police work have been brought up at his trial? Will it come up at his sentencing?

We will ask two members of the prosecution team that put him away or that at least got him convicted.

That`s next on THE REIDOUT. Stay with us.


REID: Next month, a judge will set in for Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts against him, including secondary unintentional murder that has a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. But, under Minnesota guidelines, the presumptive sentence for someone with no criminal record like Chauvin would be 12-and-a-half years, and, with good behavior, he could be out in eight.

That would mean Chauvin could get less than one year for every minute he squeezed the life out of Floyd`s body. However, prosecutors are asking the judge in the case to give Chauvin a more severe penalty.

In court documents filed Friday, prosecutors argued that there are five aggravating factors, any of which would be grounds for a harsher sentence.

The document cites Chauvin`s abuse of power while inflicting gratuitous pain with other officers on a vulnerable George Floyd while in the president of minor children.

And joining me now are two of those prosecutors, Jerry Blackwell and Steve Schleicher, two fantastic prosecutors.

I watched the trial every day that I was able to, and I think that you all -- you did a great job of telling a story. But there was one part of the story -- and I will start with you, prosecutor Blackwell, Mr. Blackwell -- I know you`re not a prosecutor in your normal life, so I will just call you Mr. Blackwell -- wasn`t included, that we found out sort of kind of toward the end of the trial that Derek Chauvin also has been a menace before.

He has a violent history as a police officer of choking a teenager for 17 minutes and leaning on him for 17 minutes, other use of force cases, at least 22 internal investigations.

May I ask, number one, why that wasn`t allowed to come in? And will that be used as more evidence of why he should get a harsher sentence at his sentencing?

JERRY BLACKWELL, CHAUVIN TRIAL PROSECUTOR: Well, let me answer the first part of that.

We had to make a strategic decision ourselves as to whether we were going to bring in any of those other incidents. We saw the video. We felt that, when the jurors see -- were able to see that video, it would pierce their consciousness, in, of and by itself.

So, we focused on what happened in what I call the 9:29 as the main thing. And then our focus in the trial was to keep the main thing the main thing, and then not to delve into so many of the other incidents that then would bring their own kind of proof issues and so on, and trying to introduce those, where the defense would be able to respond to them.

It`s hard enough to convict a police officer, even with video of this sort.

REID: Yes.

BLACKWELL: And we didn`t want to leave any sort of argument where they could argue about something other than the conduct that everybody could see that George Floyd was subjected to.

So, we made a decision just to keep focused on Mr. Chauvin`s conduct as it related to George Floyd, and make that the main thing and have the whole trial centered just on that.

REID: So, going forward, do you think that you will make that same decision in the sentencing?

BLACKWELL: Well, will we? You know...

STEVE SCHLEICHER, CHAUVIN TRIAL PROSECUTOR: In our sentencing, as you pointed out earlier in the segment, I mean, we have pointed to different features of this particular offense that could give the judge the ability to give a harsher sentence if the judge chooses.

REID: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: Now, the attorney general has made it clear he`s not out for revenge. He wants accountability. He wants a fair sentence.

But this is not a revenge sentence. But, again, focusing on the conduct at hand, this isn`t a defendant -- when they`re sentenced before a judge, this isn`t a St. Peter at the pearly gate kind of experience where you examine everything they have done in their life, right?

REID: Yes. Right. Yes.

SCHLEICHER: We`re looking at the conduct that occurred on the ground at the time and the features of this conduct that may make it more serious and would give the judge the ability to...

REID: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: ... (AUDIO GAP) a higher sentence, if possible.

The presence of children...

REID: Yes, let me -- yes.

SCHLEICHER: Oh, go ahead.

REID: Well, no, I wanted to -- no, you make a really excellent point, Mr. Schleicher.

I want to stay with you for just a moment, because you had a great line. You both had some really memorable lines. But, at the end, when you said, well, what`s the motive? The motive was pride.

And I know -- I think one of the most searing pieces of evidence in the trial was the face of Derek Chauvin, the sort of blank look that he had on, even in the court. He didn`t have any emotion, whereas I contrast that with Mohamed Noor, Officer Mohamed Noor, who got 12-and-a-half years.

I believe this was for third-degree murder and manslaughter -- and secondary manslaughter. This is him at his sentencing, Mohamed -- Officer Mohamed Noor.


MOHAMED NOOR, FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER: I have owed Ms. Ruszczyk`s family an apology for a long time. I did write them a letter while in jail. And now I apologize in person for taking the life of such a perfect person who is dear to them and so many others.

I caused this tragedy, and it is my burden. I wish, though, that I could relieve that burden others feel from the loss that I caused. I cannot. And that is a troubling reality for me.


REID: I have one more -- so, one question first to you, Mr. Schleicher, and then I have one more question for Mr. Blackwell.

If there is no expression of remorse, will that wind up factoring in, in this case? And could it wind up factoring in the other three officers who are going to go on trial in the George Floyd murder?

SCHLEICHER: I don`t think that -- in terms of what happens in the other cases, I really can`t comment on those.

REID: Sure.

SCHLEICHER: Those are matters that are going to be dealt with later this summer.

As far as whether an expression of remorse would assist the judge in determining what the proper sentence would be here, that certainly is something that a judge could find persuasive. I think that an expression of remorse or acknowledgement is something that the community, the family, the whole system would find helpful.

But we just don`t know. We don`t know what his strategy is going to be.

REID: Yes.

SCHLEICHER: And we don`t know what Judge Cahill will find persuasive.

The -- sentencing a defendant, deciding what number of years in prison to sentence a defendant for criminal conduct, is the hardest thing that a judge does. And I do not envy the judge in this case having to make that decision, because it`s very complicated.

REID: It`s very complicated. And there`s a lot of implications, I think, for society.

Mr. Blackwell, I have to come back to you for just a moment. I read some things about you that are very fascinating. You are not a prosecutor. You have been a defense attorney.

And my understanding is, you worked on a posthumous pardon and for a guy called Max Mason in a case that involved lynchings. There were people who were lynched in his case. Six black circus workers who were accused of raping a white woman in 1920, they were lynched by a mob and a mock trial was held. Max Mason was the only one sent to prison.

You -- talk a little bit about sort of what inspires you to sort of get involved in these cases. I know you did in this one for free, and also took time off of your beekeeping to do it.


BLACKWELL: No, the beekeeping is just alternative way for me to be stung, so, you know, doing the lawn.

But Max Mason posthumous pardon, we knew we were coming up on the but max mason posthumous pardon, we knew we were coming up on the 100-year anniversary of the tragedy in Duluth, Minnesota, and people don`t think of the Great White North as place where these tragedies take place. But this is what was one of the worst in the nation`s history, with 10,000 of the locals, they`re present for this in a town that had a population of 100,000.

So, as this commemoration was coming up, I learned more about the story of Max Mason, the young circus worker from Alabama, being only person convicted of this fictitious rape of a white woman. There were 10,000 onlookers to those that murdered him, none were convicted of doing anything to anyone.

And it was just a wrong that I felt needed to be righted, his name needed to be cleared. There was a stain, frankly, hovering about the state that needed to be addressed also. And it seemed to be worthwhile for me and my law firm to get involved in.

REID: Absolutely. Well, both of you are both members of what was definitely a dream team. Jerry Blackwell, Steve Schleicher, I don`t know, Mr. Schleicher, if you can be compelled to do some beekeeping with your new partner in prosecution but we`ll see. Let us know if you do join in. Thank y`all both.

And still ahead, is reaching heard immunity out of the question? With so many Americans turning a public health concern into a partisan political issue?

Plus, a few words for a certain Fox News host about his obsession with race.

We`ll be right back.

Be right back.


REID: So just for the record, I don`t spend a lot of time watching Fox News or the B.S. factory as CNN`s Jim Acosta colorfully dubbed them this weekend. Personally, I prefer my news and information to be grounded in reality, rather than monetizing my amygdala to keep me on edge and buying My Pillows and gold.

However, according to "Media Matters", "The Root", "Crooks and Liars" and others who watch Fox News so you don`t have to, at least three times in last month, well, Tucker Carlson took time off from badgering strangers in parks and bouncy houses to demand they show him their unmasked faces, to refer to me as the race lady.

The race lady? Why he called me that? I mean, I used to run track in high school, but I mean, honestly, I`m not that fast. So, what else could it be? Hmm.


TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Watch the race lady on MSNBC, Harvard educated but totally oppressed.

An absurdly racist claim, says the race lady from Harvard.

Joy Reid, the racist lady over at MSNBC.

Here`s the race lady from MSNBC finally putting her Harvard degree to work.

Oh, wait a second, Harvard-educated race lady, now you`re really confusing us.

Well, Joy Ann Reid, the race lady over on MSNBC took a quick break from haranguing Whitey yesterday.


REID: Did he say Whitey? Oh, honey, honey, Tuckems (ph), is this really about me fixating on race or is it about you fixating on race? I mean, when you recently went off on me for continuing to mask up post-vaccine while jogging in crowded Central Park, you weirdly, as you did in that montage, threw in my attending Harvard.

Now, I don`t know, maybe I`m sensitive to this stuff, but it felt like dog whistle. I mean, did you want to go and they reject you? And you think, oh, they let the race lady in, bleh, affirmative action, bleh.

Well, listen, let me cheer you up, OK? I got into Harvard, and, OK, Yale, Vassar and University of Denver, too, because I had really high GPA and fantastic SAT scores. And that`s how affirmative action works, love. Schools search for smart people from diverse backgrounds so these schools won`t be as dry as the major sports leagues were before they desegregated. See?

Just because, you know, maybe you didn`t have great grades and great test scores and needed your girlfriend`s daddy to help you get into college, doesn`t mean you don`t have amazing people in your life who love you. I mean, you got lots of money, right? Let`s fix for everybody.

And, you know, you had fun at Trinity after, you know, you were bought in right? By the way, what was the Dan White Society? You know what, moving on.

Just because the CIA rejected your application, I mean look, things turned out fine for you. You had a great career over here at MSNBC -- oh, actually that didn`t work out. Look, you were great on CNN, though, until Jon Stewart kind of humiliated you. But it`s fine, you`re fine. Things are going great for you.

Back to the whole race thing, just saying, I`m not one who spools out of my neighborhood changing like I`m some segregationist housewife from the 1950s. That would be you, Tuckems. And I`m not the one spouting a conspiracy theory that white people are going to be replaced by a Democratic Party conspiracy to import nonwhite people to outnumber them, a theory that was also mouthed by the Charlottesville tiki torch Nazis. That would also be you.

And the reason I continue to mask up in crowded places is because I don`t know how many people in those crowds that I`m jogging around didn`t hear about the court case where your bosses said that your show isn`t news. So, they listen to you like you are the news.

And I don`t trust that people who listen to you, Tuckems, are taking precautions against COVID rather than freaking out about a piece of cloth and busting into Target to cough on the cereal boxes like they`re 17th century colonizers touting measles blankets with them.

Like you and your friends and the B.S. factory are keeping us steeped in COVID sickness and rage and paranoia, and the ways in which you lil` Tucker, are making America worst are why I will continue to keep my mask on in a crowd.

And we`ll have more on your endless COVID hell, that the endless COVID hell that the Tuckers of our country who, by the way, are the absolute worst, are helping to create.

And that is next.


REID: There is mixed news today in the fight against COVID. The rate of new cases in this country has reached its lowest point, since October. And the FDA is preparing to approve the use of the Pfizer vaccine, in adolescents, by next week. And yet, there`s growing evidence that the United States may never reach herd immunity.

According to "The New York Times," there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable, at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever.

That`s because new variants are spreading too easily and vaccination is proceeding too slowly for herd immunity to be within reach, anytime soon. As we know, vaccine hesitancy is deeply rooted in a person`s politics. Among those who say they`re unwilling to take the vaccine, 44 percent are Republicans, while just 8 percent are Democrats according to a CNN poll last week.

Yet, we have seen the country eager to get back to life, as normal. This weekend, more than 50,000 people gathered at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, including, many without masks. And while that`s fewer people than in past years, it was still the largest crowd to attend a sporting event since the beginning of the pandemic.

Additionally, 80,000 municipal workers in New York City returned to their offices today. And the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut announced that starting o may 19th, restaurants, offices, retail stores, theaters, museums, barbershops, amusement parks and gyms, and fitness centers will all be allowed to operate at full capacity.

Joining me now, Dr. Kavita Patel, former Obama White House policy director and MSNBC medical contributor.

And you know what? There is this sort of back-and-forth, right? Because the reward for getting vaccinated is supposed to be a return to normal life. But I think there are a lot of us, who aren`t -- aren`t so much worried about our bubble, because our bubble are all doing the right thing. We are worried about the people who are refusing to do the right thing, and still make us vulnerable.

The idea that we`ll never get to herd immunity is terrifying, to me, honestly. What do we do if we get don`t get to herd immunity? Are we just going to have to live with a certain politically-charged population that just is COVID vulnerable and can spread it forever?

DR. KAVITA PATEL, MSNBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Joy, no. I mean, you are absolutely right to be terrified. And -- and ironic, that like our country has the most vaccine available. We have enough for everyone, aplenty. We are going to add 12 to 15-year-olds. And yet, we are still going to see these resistant patterns, 28 percent of police officers in Columbus, Ohio, are vaccinated.

That leaves, as you can figure out, 72 percent who do not want to be vaccinated, even though they were eligible for months. So, I do think we need to get into the next phase, where we are talking about requirements, especially for critical settings. We still have four in ten healthcare workers who have refused the vaccine and they cite the same reasons, not the political ones.

So do we need to work, at first, with people who have concerned about safety because I just can`t give up. I am not going to concede that we give up on herd immunity. Joy, we have worked too hard, lost too many people to concede on that point.

REID: It`s -- you know, we -- Joe Biden, when he said he is going to do 100 million vaccines. Like he`s doubling that. Look, we`re doing a good job.

You look at countries like India where it`s just devastating. And we`re not -- we`re not at that level, yet. But are we going to end up there? Because younger people are getting it. Older people seem to be okay.

But are we in the risk of going in the direction that India and some countries in Europe are going? Is it going to get that bad?

PATEL: It could and I think that`s why everybody asks me, you know, Doctor, why are you so cautious and still wearing? I do what you do, Joy. I am still wearing a mask when I am kind of among account crowds and it`s exactly for this reason. I don`t know who is vaccinated. I don`t know where they come from and where they are going. And I don`t know the immune status of people around me.

REID: That`s right.

PATEL: So the reason we have to care about everyone being vaccinated is because these mutations are just looking. Viruses are just looking for a place to reproduce. It`s that simple, and they don`t care what politic, what color, what state you live in. So, you`re right that this is a concern.

And so, we -- look, in public health, we have done a terrible job at this. I think we need to figure out what is getting into people`s kind of psychology. And for those people who are aligned on the political reasons to not get vaccinated. It`s one of the reasons I do think we are going to have to requirements.

I`m not going to go to a restaurant where people can just come in and put my children, who cannot be immunized at risk, because they`re too young.

REID: That -- and then, and people sort of get mad about it but the reality is, I don`t want to be exposed to people who are taking the risk of getting COVID because that exposes my godmother who is 87, that exposes my auntie who is in her 80s, my immune-compromised cousins, exposes my children, my husband, and I ain`t doing it.

So, it`s going to get to the point where people are going to group themselves, politically, to stay away from people who, politically, are deliberately exposing themselves to COVID.

Do you think, I mean, I want to put up this Candace Owens. Normally, I would not give her any shot (ph) at all. But she did this tweet a year ago saying like, ha, ha, ha, India has only 169 deaths. It`s -- but it`s ten- times more deadly than the flu, bro.

That kind of misinformation, even a year later, I still hear people saying that. It`s just the flu.

How do we convince people who are convinced that it is not that serious and so they are willing to take the risk? What can we say to them? What can we say?

PATEL: I -- I think we have to say what I have seen. What I know you`ve witnessed. That healthy, young people are dying. They can die from this.

But we have a vaccine that can prevent their death and that, if you don`t understand what I am talking about, putting a very rigid plastic tube down into your mouth and having a machine help you breathe. It`s having tubes coming out of all parts your body because you can`t actually eat anything. And I have seen this. But I think, all the doctors we have talked to and worked with have also seen it and it`s that dramatic.

And then, I think it has to get do down this to, Joy. It`s not about you. Like this is the one time we need people to step up, do their part, because one person`s action can actually help the whole community. It`s not about you and you need to get over it. It`s for everyone.

REID: Amen. If this was measles or Ebola, you wouldn`t even ask a secondary question. Come on, people. Do it for the community. Dr. Kavita Patel, thank you very much.

And before I go, I should note that NBC news corrected its story on Rudy Giuliani. While the FBI was concerned that Giuliani was a target of Russian spies, they did not warn him of that threat as NBC News originally reported.

The story had been updated to reflect that the FBI did, indeed, prepare a briefing Giuliani. But that briefing was not given, according to a second source familiar with the matter, because of concerns that the briefing could complicate the criminal investigation into the former New York City mayor.

And we`ll continue to follow this story.

That is tonight`s REIDOUT.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.