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Transcript: The ReidOut, 5/5/21

Guests: Angela Rye, Kurt Bardella, Andrew Weissmann, Elizabeth Warren, Val Demings, Kate Klonick


GOP is facing identity crisis in post-Trump era. Rep. Liz Cheney is under fire for refusing to support the big lie. Meghan McCain says, Liz Cheney is being punished for refusing to debase herself to Trump. Representative Cheney says, she`s committed to defending democracy, our children are watching. Rep. Stefanik has been removed from Harvard Institution of Politics Board over the big lie. Former President Bush says, GOP litmus tests mean we want to be extinct. GOP pushing moderates to sidelines in favor of Trump loyalists. Federal judge rebukes Barr over Mueller report memo. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is interviewed. Facebook Oversight Board upholds suspension of former President Trump`s account.



JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a party in moral crisis. And not just in Washington.

Let`s take a gander, shall we, at the Republican Party in, Idaho, yes, Idaho, for a glimpse of just how corrupt and rotten this party is. Last month, Republican State Representative Aaron Von Ehlinger was accused of what he called unconsented sexual contact with an adult volunteer on his staff. What that actually means is that he was accused of rape by a 19- year-old intern, which he denies.

But here`s how the Idaho statesman described the intern`s allegation. Quote, Von Ehlinger took her to dinner and then his apartment. She told the assistant sergeant at arms that he orally penetrated her despite her having said no. According to the written statement provided to police, she said she was afraid to be around him and noted that he has a gun.

The Idaho House Ethics Committee voted unanimously last week that Representative Von Ehlinger engaged in conduct unbecoming, but he resigned the same day before full House could vote to kick him out. Local police are still investigating the allegation.

Now, this story is already horrific, but surprisingly or perhaps not, given the state of the once grand old party, it actually gets worse. You see, almost as soon as the woman`s allegation became public, some of the lawmaker`s Republican colleagues and right-wing groups went after the woman, the 19-year-old victim.

The A.P. report, one Republican lawmaker shared her name and her photo with a newsletter to constituents. Another tried to get a copy of the police report. And after she testified at the House Ethics Committee about her experience, members of a right-wing group followed and harassed her, because the Republican Party doesn`t fundamentally care about this victim, this young woman, just as they seem completely indifferent to the 17-year- old girl Representative Matt Gaetz then accused of allegedly sexually trafficking.

There have been no penalties for him, and today`s GOP, he`s good to go, just as they stuffed their heads in the sand over the former president`s lies, and the fact that he himself faced more than two dozen allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment, plus an ongoing allegation of alleged rape.

Instead, they`ve chosen to just elevate his particular brand of misogyny into the very ethos of the party, elevating characters like the aforementioned Matt Gaetz, or Eric Greitens who resigned as Missouri Governor over allegations of an affair that also included him allegedly trying to blackmail the woman with nude photos. He is now running for United States Senate seat.

Now, they do, however, care when women speak the uncomfortable truth, like Liz Cheney, who they`re now trying to excommunicate from the party after House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy threw Cheney under the bus yesterday.

His number two, you know, the man who reportedly called himself David Duke without the baggage, Republican Whip Steve Scalise, publicly backed to New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik to take over Cheney`s position as Republican Conference Chair. His success in the modern GOP requires to you bend the knee to orange Julius Cesar, period.

Now, of course, the former guy is also backing Stefanik. He said that Cheney has no business in GOP leadership, because the business of leading Republicans now, at this point, is unabashedly supporting his lies about the election, and that`s it. Stefanik tweeted obsequiously, thank you, President Trump, for your 100 percent support.

Meanwhile actual President Joe Biden weigh in today on the GOP`s treatment of Cheney.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: It seems as though the Republican Party is trying to identify what it stands for and they`re in the midst of significant sort of mini revolution.


REID: And now, let me do something that I wouldn`t normally do. Since the Republican Party is throwing women like Liz Cheney under the bus, just listen to another ostensibly norm core Republican woman, Meghan McCain, sum up the current state of the GQP.


MEGHAN MCCAIN, COLUMNIST: And I`m going to be a little crass. They`re shaving her for her going on Television multiple times and saying that the election wasn`t stolen and for refusing to debase herself to Cheeto Jesus.

The message that`s being sent by the highest member of Republicans in Congress is that women like me and Liz Cheney who refuse to bend the knee to President Trump but still remain loyal Republicans, we don`t have a place in this party, we are worthless.


REID: Joining me now is Angela Rye, Political Strategist and Host of the podcast, On One with Angela Rye, Kurt Bardella, Political Commentator and a former Lincoln Project Senior Adviser.

And, Angela, it strikes me that it wasn`t that long ago that Meghan McCain was also making lots of excuses for why it was completely worthwhile to bend the knee to Trump, because judges, judges, judges, right? So even she has finally found her breaking point. What do you make of the descent into the party into seeming to really kind of embrace Judge Roy Moore, these kinds of people whose crimes or alleged crimes are against women and girls?

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: You know, Joy, what`s so fascinating to me is what it takes for folks to reach a breaking point. It wasn`t Trump`s initial descent down the escalator when he announced that he was running for president, when he called Mexican people drug dealers and rapists. It wasn`t when he called for the beating and then the support of the person who assaulted a black man at a North Carolina rally, right? It was -- and that he would pay for this man`s bail.

It wasn`t -- we know all the times where he has called lawmakers, out their names, Ilhan Omar, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, our good friend, Jemele Hill, who he has turned and unleashed his MAGA mob against to ensure that they would not be able to dwell safely in their homes, in their communities and experience death threats.

It wasn`t any of that. And I hate to bring it up but I can`t get past my drama, Joy. It wasn`t even January 6th for Meghan or these other leaders for so many Republican who were die hard, they would do it for the judges. They would take one for the team. They would allow him to build that wall. They would allow him to call COVID a hoax. Hundreds of thousands of lives later, here we are and the breaking point is Liz Cheney, right?

I don`t know what it will take for this party to find its moral compass but I think it is incumbent on humanity for us in a bipartisan and even non- partisan way to tap in to what is moral, what is true, what is just. That is the path forward here. And I think that whether we`re talking about Donald Trump`s standards or Matt Gaetz, we have a problem here. Houston, we have a problem. You all need to tap in.

REID: A 100 percent. And Kurt, you know you are somebody who had a much earlier breaking point along the lines of some of the things that Angela mentioned, right, some of the real sort of -- they separated children from their parents, infants from moms who were still breast feeding. And a lot of Republican well you know, well that`s happen, there was nothing.

Let me read really quickly for you before I have a question for you. This was Liz Cheney`s op-ed, she wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post, interestingly, this morning, saying history is watching, our children are watching. We must be brave enough to defend the basic principles that underpin and protect our freedom and our democratic process. I am committed to doing that no matter what the consequences are. They`re now turning her over for someone named Elise Stefanik.

Ms. Stefanik was also a norm core Republican. This lady went to Harvard. She graduated in 2006. She got kicked out of the Institute of Politics just this year because she, the Harvard-educated, norm core Republican, decided she was cool with overturning an election using a violent siege on the Capitol, so she got booted.

Last item, before I go to you, Kurt, here is George W. Bush who was also in that same wing of the party with the two people I just mentioned. And here he is talking about the party.


GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT (voice over): You know, the idea of kind of saying you can only be Republican if, then the ultimate extension of that is it ends up being a one person party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But there are more of those people today than there in the Republican Party during your tenure.

BUSH (voice over): I hope not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Either that, or they`re louder. Right? Many members of Congress, I mean they were talking about starting a caucus.

BUSH (voice over): Yes. Well, you know, to me, that basically says that we want to be extinct.


REID: Is it Kurt, in your mind that we`ll going to have part of the party that is more neo con, more about they`re pro-democracy but also pro invading Iraq, right, and sort of militarism. That little wing of the party, the neo-cons will be one party and the rest will just be the Trump people.

KURT BARDELLA, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, Joy, I think what is really concerning here, and we`ll see this come down to a very I think public vote very soon about Liz Cheney is, the majority of people in this party, and their elected leadership is siding with the anti-democratic forces within the Republican Party. It`s not that it is just a segment of the party. It`s now becoming the entire party.

I don`t think there are enough of people who are willing to stand up to this iteration of the Republican Party to build another party at this point. I mean, for all of the conversation about Liz Cheney, or Mitt Romney, or Adam Kinzinger, they`re the outliers.

And it`s really something hearing those comments from President George W. Bush, I`ve been thinking to myself this whole time, you know, Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban, the people who wanted to do harm to our nation and to our way of life and democracy, they got nothing on what this Republican Party is doing.

The idea that a member of their party, of their leadership, whose last name is Cheney, could be purged from their leadership for telling the truth about January 6th, for telling the truth about a violent insurrection that claimed the lives of among Capitol Police officer. The fact that they won`t -- people like Cheney won`t support the great lie that this election was rigged or there was voter fraud, the anti-democratic forces are hijacking this party, purging one of the members who won`t abide by the party line. That is so detrimental and dangerous.

We are a two-party system in this country. That`s how it was built, for better or worse. When one of the two parties becomes this radicalized and the core of the party`s ideology is anti-democratic, that is a very dangerous development going on, that`s going to result in more violence, that`s going to result in more attempts to overthrow our government, that`s going to result in people losing lives, just like January 6th.

REID: Well, and, you know, Angela, it feels like we are at a much more dangerous point now because you`re also seeing the Republican Party emerges a white interest party. And saying that if they don`t get their way, they`re willing to literally commit violence to overturn an election because they don`t believe people of color should have, apparently, you know, access to voting booths, right?

And so I wonder how much danger you feel that we`re in because there is still a chance -- they control a lot of legislatures. They`re going to control a lot of redistricting. They can still get power back. I wonder how much danger you feel that that places the rest of us in.

RYE: Yes, Joy, you know, it`s a lot of danger and we can start with where we started two years after Barack Obama was elected, right? We`re right back at voter suppression, right back at voter I.D. legislation, now criminalizing people who would bring water to voters.

When you have to compromise the very principles that you claim this democracy was founded upon so that you could desperately cling on to power, we`re in trouble. When you could turn a blind eye to a white supremacist and elect him, that`s when e know we`re in trouble. When you could support of not just a violent insurrection but one against police officers, law enforcement, where they will yell, blue lives Matter unless it is a white MAGA supporter taking them on trying to take their lives, right? Or perhaps there are law enforcement too that are also MAGA supporters, which we saw at the Capitol.

So whether we`re talking about voter suppression, Joy, or we`re talking about police violence in the justification they`re in, whether we`re talking about how they win elections the way that they will rig them when it is convenient through redistricting process that is overwhelmingly throughout the country dominated by the Republican Party, we`ve left justice.

And so it`s no wonder, as my good brother, Charlemagne, said for Doc (ph) the other today, against Mitch McConnell today, that you don`t want to remember a 1619 as a starting point, that you would go to a 1776 starting point. Revisionist history has always been toxic and deadly, and the fact that they would lean into that in 2021 after the very clear vision year we had in 2020, I think, says all we need to know.

REID: Well, I love that Nicole Hanna Jones last night read us the personal 1619 history of Mitch McConnell, so maybe we know it`s a little bit more personal for him than maybe he wants to get into. Angela Rye, Kurt Bardella, my friends, thank you very much.

And still ahead on THE REIDOUT, a stunning rebuke from a federal judge on former Attorney General William Barr`s handling of the Mueller probe.

Plus, Senator Elizabeth Waren joins me to talk about Biden`s big, bold progressive plans for building back better. It`s a lot of these.

And you think that the RNC spokesperson`s stubborn refusal to accept the results of the last election would be tonight absolute worst, but no, no, no, my friends. A perennial favorite is in the running again tonight, maybe more of an absolute saddest than an absolute worst. We will try to be flexible.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: Remember the former special counsel, Robert Mueller? After nearly two years of investigation, he laid out ten different ways that then- President Donald Trump`s actions represented obstruction of justice, ten examples of textbook obstruction that could be prosecuted once Trump left office. But before that report could see the light of day, Trump`s consigliore and attorney general, William Barr, intervened, declaring there`s nothing to see here.


WILLIAM BARR, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: The evidence developed by the special counsel isn`t sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice offense.


REID: That`s right. Despite the overwhelming evidence that Trump had obstructed evidence, he was never held accountable thanks to Attorney General Barr.

Now, a federal judge is saying that Barr was just ingAcnues about the way he reached that conclusion and she`s ordered the release of a secret internal memo that was created to justify the decision. In her scathing opinion, Judge Amy Berman Jackson suggested Barr did not think twice about letting Trump off the hook, that indeed it was forgone conclusion. Quote, the fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given, she writes.

In fact, Barr began with that conclusion and then had his staff prepare a legal memo to back him up after the fact. As Judge Jackson writes, that memo would support the assessment that he had already decided. That`s the exact reverse of what is supposed to happen when deciding a case.

Barr`s apparent deception reveals two system of justice in this country, one for the powerful, which can hold a president above the law if he`s the right friends and employees, and one for everyone else.

Joining me now is Andrew Weissman, former Senior Member of the Mueller Probe, and former FBI General Counsel.

And, you know, Andrew, I read the Mueller probe. It took me a long time. I`m a slow reader, so I read very slowly, but I did read it. And there was a line in it that did stand out to me. There was a lot that was memorable. This line stood out. If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. However, we are unable to reach that judgment.

Judge Jackson also highlighted that portion in what she did in her ruling today.

It -- I have had this question before, but I will -- I may have asked you this question before. But do you, looking back on it, think that maybe the Mueller report should have been more definitive that, yes, indeed, there was obstruction, because you all sure did prove there was obstruction?


I have written a book where I actually thought that we should have been definitive on that. And Robert Mueller`s decision that really came from a very noble place, where he was saying that should really be left to Congress in deciding whether there should be an impeachment or to future prosecutors, because he was bound by the Department of Justice rules, which is that he could not prosecute a sitting president.

What he did not anticipate was the perfidy of the attorney general. No one anticipated that the attorney general was going to take our report. And Judge Jackson was, I think, somewhat -- it was a scathing decision. But, basically, she said he lied about what we found.

And one of the things you have just mentioned, Joy, which is that it took you a long time to read, she pointed out that Attorney General Barr didn`t have time to read or even skim the report before he made his conclusion, and then had a memo to back it up.

And the other thing that was interesting about her decision is, she said, not only is this further proof of the Attorney General Barr`s misconduct, but she took to task the Trump administration for misrepresenting the facts to her. She said the lawyers before her completely misstated what she insisted on seeing. And only because she insisted on seeing the actual memorandum did this come to light.

So, we`re all going to be waiting to see what that reveals. And I think, to -- just a final point to your point is, what is the big takeaway from this, which is, will something happened to Bill Barr? Will something happened to the attorneys who the judge has found made disingenuous statements in order to prevail in this case?

And, ultimately, will something happen to the former president, where -- for me, it`s very important that something happen, because you can`t really have a system where the president is supposed to be not above the law, and then not do anything about evidence which suggests strongly that he violated the law.

REID: Well, and I think that`s the problem, because I can remember people getting very uncomfortable with the fact that I was on my former show on "A.M. JOY" saying this feels like a cover-up is coming.

And this was only just talking with people who knew Bill Barr well. I mean, he was at one point called the cover-up general by not a liberal, but by William Safire. This was in the `90s. So, he had written a memo in which he pitched himself to be attorney general, basically, saying, look, I absolve you, you haven`t done anything wrong.

So, it`s -- to me, he went in seeming corrupt-ish. And then he behaved corruptly. So, my question is, Donald Trump being prosecuted, I think, sure, he should be prosecuted. But what sanctions are there left for Barr? He`s rich. He could easily retire with all of his money.

Is he ever going to have to face up to what he did, Barr himself?

WEISSMANN: Well, one thing that will be interesting is, we have a federal judge who is strongly reacting to a document that we have not seen yet.

But she is saying that this is further additional strong proof of his being disingenuous with the public and with Congress. So I`d say, let`s wait and see. But one of the things that can happen to him, and no pun intended, is, he can have bar consequences, meaning he can be disbarred.

REID: Yes.

WEISSMANN: And there can be proceedings in that regard.

And I think he is an enabler of the former president. And, to me, that is really where we need to keep the eye on the ball. There are lots of questions here about whether we and the special counsel did our job as well as we could about, what Attorney General Barr did.

REID: Yes.

WEISSMANN: All of those are legitimate things to question.

But I think that keeping your eye on the prize is, should a president be above the law?

REID: Yes.

WEISSMANN: And if we say, you know what, you can`t indict a president while he`s in office, then you really can`t say, once he`s out of office, let`s just move on.

REID: Yes. Yes. Oh, absolutely. I totally agree with you on that.

Andrew Weissmann, thank you very much for being here this evening.

And joining me now is Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida. She was an impeachment manager during the first Trump impeachment.

And, Congresswoman, only because this is how I first knew you, as a law enforcement official in Florida, you and I both know that people like us, people who look like you and me, do not get this gentleman`s agreement that it is bad form to prosecute them for one reason or another. Powerful people get that. They get a break.

You have now seen the president of the United States, who you know was guilty -- you prosecuted him -- turns out there was collusion. Ta-da. Manafort really did share information with the Russians to help them. Turns out there was obstruction. Ta-da. Bill Barr lied about it.

I just wonder how you -- how it sits with you, as a former law enforcement officer, who you know, people who commit crimes, general people, regular folks, get locked the hell up.

REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL): Joy, it`s great to be with you.

And you`re absolutely correct. I said it during the impeachment trial, but I said it during my law enforcement career, that no one is above the law, up to and including the president of the United States.

We do know that the Mueller report concluded that the collusion, the obstruction from the president and his enablers was sweeping and systematic. We started the Mueller investigation out, I had the utmost confidence in Director Mueller and his team. I had little confidence in William Barr, but that little confidence suddenly went to zero when he stepped on the stage the day of the press conference and gave a summary of the Mueller report, basically saying there was nothing to see there.

I thought that was odd. But now we all know that that was not odd. That was just a plain lie about the facts, alternative facts, I guess you can say, and that Mueller -- now the judge who is reviewing this is now calling him out and talking about a pattern, a pattern of dishonest behavior from the person who sat as attorney general, William Barr.

REID: And it just goes on and on.

It feels like there is a cadre of powerful men of low character who ran amok in this country for four years, and nothing`s ever going to be done to them, Trump on down.

Let me play for you very quickly Andrea Mitchell, our great -- my great colleague here, interviewed a guy named Igor Novikov. And he actually was listening on a call with former Mayor, former U.S. attorney Rudy Giuliani, who was Donald Trump`s lawyer at the time.

Take a listen.


IGOR NOVIKOV, FORMER ADVISER TO UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY: It was all about a smear campaign on then not even a candidate Biden, Joe Biden.

So, basically, first request was multiple investigations. So, he wanted Burisma investigated. He wanted the situation with the ex-prosecutor general Shokin investigated.

And he was especially interested in getting Ukraine to make a public statement, and possibly back it up, this crazy allegation that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that meddled in 2016, which is obviously ridiculous. But that`s what he wanted.


REID: Having been an impeachment bandage, do you believe, just looking at this now from sort of 30 feet -- 30,000 feet up, that anyone that was involved in the crimes that you prosecuted as an impeachment manager will ever pay for them, including Rudy Giuliani, who was involved in his own way?

DEMINGS: Well, Joy, as you said in the beginning, if it was you or me or your ordinary John or Mary, they would be prosecuted.

And if we are who we say this -- we are in this country, and if we really all do believe that no one is above the law, then they should, they must -- I agree with your former guest -- they must be prosecuted. We can`t simply say, well, he can`t be prosecuted simply because he`s the sitting president, although he engaged clearly in 10 incidences of obstruction...

REID: Yes. Right.

DEMINGS: ... and then, once he`s out of office, say, nothing to see here, we`re not going to do anything about it.

REID: Still can`t get him.

I am out of time, but I am not -- I cannot let you get off of this show. You tweeted out a great video from when you first ran for Congress. And it seems to me that you wanted to tell us something.

So, you`re here on the show. Would you like to make an announcement about your future in the state of Florida? Are you running statewide, and for which office?

DEMINGS: Well, what I will tell you, Joy, is that I am seriously considering a statewide run.

One thing Florida needs, for sure, we need leaders who want to represent all Floridians, leaders who don`t pick winners and losers based on your ability to pay to play. And so we are continuing to figure it out. We`re talking to a lot of different people, hearing from a lot of different people.

I`m excited about the future. I would just invite your viewers to go to to know -- to learn more about me and my...


REID: Jonathan Capehart and I are like -- we`re, like, wrestling over who`s going to get you to make the announcement on our show.

So, I -- well, come back. if you want to make the announcement.

Jonathan, don`t -- Jonathan, don`t listen, I want her to come back and announce it here.


REID: Thank you very much, Congresswoman Val Demings. Really appreciate you very much.

Up next, we are -- there are so many things, oh, my gosh, that I want to talk with Senator Elizabeth Warren about.

But let`s not wait just a second. Let`s not waste a second. We`re going to take a real quick break, and then we`re going to get this rolling right afterwards.

We will be right back.


REID: More than 100 days into his administration, President Biden has unveiled an aggressive populist agenda that polls show is popular with the middle and the left.

In March, Biden passed the American Rescue Plan, which included a child tax credit that would slash child poverty and put a floor under millions of families.

Just last month, President Biden unveiled an infrastructure plan that would help rebuild America`s roads, bridges and train tracks. It would also invest in American families by offering free universal preschool, free community college, childcare support and paid leave.

The spending would be offset by increasing taxes on corporations and the mega-rich.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re not going to deprive any of these executives their -- their second or third home, travel privately by jet.

It`s not going to affect their standard of living at all, not a little tiny bit.

But I can affect the standard of living of the people I grew up with.


REID: According to a new Morning Consult/Politico poll, nearly 60 percent -- that`s right -- roughly three out of five voters support the plan.

In a new book, "Persist," Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren argues that the pandemic has afforded us a rare opportunity.

She writes: "The door to change opens just a crack. What had been impossible becomes hard, but maybe possible. That`s the moment to fight with everything you have got," which is what Democrats are going to have to do in order to get past the Grim Reaper of legislation, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): One hundred percent of my focus is on standing up to this administration. What we have in the United States Senate is total unity from Susan Collins to Ted Cruz in opposition to what the new Biden administration is trying to do to this country.


REID: Senator Warren joins me now.

And, again, her new book is called "Persist."

And, Senator Warren, thank you so much for being here. I always love to get the opportunity to talk with you.

I have to say that, for a lot of voters, including some of the voters in my own households who are young, young folks, they wanted an Elizabeth Warren, they got Joe Biden, and they still got -- they still got Elizabeth Warren in terms of policies.

Are you -- have you been surprised how much like your policies Biden`s policies are?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): You know, I think of it this way.

Look at all that has happened in the last year. You talked about the pandemic, a racial reckoning, an armed insurrection. And we got a new president. We passed an historic Rescue Plan.

And that means, just like I was talking about in the passage you read, the opportunity is there, the opportunity for change. Most of the time -- you know this -- the doors are locked tight, but not at this moment.

So what I talk about in the book is the personal stories, why policy is so personal, how it touches every one of us. I talk about childcare from the point of view of a mama who couldn`t get it and nearly couldn`t finish her education, nearly lost her first job.

I talk about being a teacher and a planner and a fighter and a learner and a woman. And, in doing that, I talk about my own passion for change, but I hope bringing in a lot of people on that, including a lot of people in your household.

REID: Well, it`s interesting, because I was lucky enough to do the headliners for you for NBC. And I learned a lot about you through that.

I went in thinking, this is a lady who`s from Massachusetts. Like, no, this is actually a lady from Oklahoma. This is a lady who`s herself, you are -- you come from a very working-class background. The stories about your mom are very much a part of who you are as a politician.

And childcare, having been somebody who had to pay for childcare who could barely afford it and really needed it in order to go to work, in order for my husband and I to be able to make things work, I`m kind of stunned at how very wealthy people are attacking the ideas on childcare specifically like the ones that you`re advocating.

I want to play for you one particular rich guy, a venture capitalists, Yale Law School grad, J.D. Vance, who has got bestselling books and movies made off of -- lots of money. He wasn`t born rich, but he`s rich now.

Here he is talking about childcare.


J.D. VANCE, AUTHOR, "HILLBILLY ELEGY: A MEMOIR OF A FAMILY AND CULTURE IN CRISIS": They want strangers to raise their kids, but middle-class Americans, whatever their station in life, they want more time with their children, even if they`re working.

They want the opportunity to spend more time with their kids, and not be forced to send them to day care. And so what this policy really represents is an effort to subsidize the preference of our ruling class over the preference of our middle and working classes.


REID: Want strangers to raise their kids.

Your thoughts?

WARREN: I first have to start with, I`m just not sure what planet this guy just landed from.

He has clearly never been a mother who is trying to finish her education or trying to get that first job or trying to go for the promotion, and is struggling, between everything else you got to do, trying to find childcare.

Look, I talk about this in the book. I tell the stories about what it was like, how I had my dream job. I was a special education teacher. And then I got fired when I got pregnant.

So, here I am. I`m at home with a baby. I get this crazy idea that I`m going to go to law school. And you know me. I make a list for everything I got to do and the tuition and how am I going to pay for it, even down to the mileage on the car, so I know what my budget is. I can do this.

But you know the part that nearly broke my back? Childcare. Childcare. Every place I looked, either the place was five towns over, or it cost way too much, or it had a waiting list that was years` long.

Childcare is not there. I came within days of not being able to go back to school because I couldn`t find anyone to help me with a not-yet-2-year-old. I was almost knocked off the track. And then it happened again when I got my first big full-time teaching job afterwards.

And here`s the thing: we talk about infrastructure. We talk about roads, bridges. Why do we invest in those?

Is that about somebody`s preference to ride on them? No. We talk about infrastructure so that people can get to work.

REID: Right.

WARREN: So that businesses can get their goods to market.

You want people to go to work? Then invest in childcare, invest in early childhood education, so that all of our mamas and daddies and all of our babies have real opportunity in this country.

REID: You know what? When I hear you talk about this, versus when I hear somebody like J.D. Vance who actually wants to be a United States senator and has hedge fund billionaires backing him to try to become a senator from Ohio, is that I don`t know how they`ve forgotten what normal life is like. But most Americans agree with what you`re saying and they`re living a normal life and having these struggles.

How do we get past the fact that Republicans have said, we`re going to stand in blanket opposition to getting people what they need and what they`re all saying, at least in the polls, that they want. How do we get past this? Because I don`t -- I can`t count 10 Republicans that are going to go along. I don`t know if you can.

WARREN: So -- so, here`s the part to remember. And that is, who is out of step here? When we talk about childcare, it`s Democrats, Republicans, independents, all of us need childcare.

When we talk about canceling student loan debt, it`s Democrats, Republicans, independents who need that student loan debt burden eliminated.

When we talk about raising taxes on the wealthy, a wealth tax, it`s Democrats, Republicans and independents who support a wealth tax in America.

Do you know who is out of step? Is the elected Republican officials in Washington.

REID: Right, yeah.

WARREN: So how do we change that? It`s the inside/outside game. We do what we can with the Democrats in the Senate and we get a real wind in our sails from the outside. I talk and persist about getting in this fight, because it is personal.

REID: Well, I -- first, I love the name of the book. And, of course, we had to call it "Persist", because that is one of the things that -- that moment when you had to face down Republicans who wouldn`t let you read, you know, Dr. King`s widow`s words (INAUDIBLE). It is a strange thing.

But I do want to ask you one thing about -- speaking of words and communication -- I have to ask you this, because we have seen now Facebook get back in the news. We`re going to speak with somebody about this in another block, but I`m curious what you think about their power, about their power to -- it seems they had more power to stop the threat of Donald Trump than the federal government did, than the FBI did.


REID: Than anyone did. They were the only ones who`ve been able to stop the threat of him.

What do you make of that?

WARREN: So, you asked the question the right way. Look, I am really glad that I don`t have to get up every morning and wonder what Donald Trump has tweeted when most people were asleep. But that`s not the issue here.

The issue is that we now have this corporation that is so giant, that is so powerful, it even names its review board, "the supreme court". Are you kidding me? No, these are not folks who are somehow confirmed by Congress. These are not people who were elected by the public. These are not people who you even know what their names are.

This means we`ve got a corporation more powerful than government. And there are two things we need to do about that. The first one is we need to break up corporations of that size. We need to break them up so we go get more competition in business and we need to break them up because they exercise too much political power.

Then part two, is we need to actually put in some government regulations that protect us. Government regulations that really go to the question of making sure that we have an opportunity in this country to have a democracy that functions, and that we can actually hear the truth from people.

REID: You know, I cannot wait now to dig into this book. It is called "Persist."

Senator Elizabeth Warren, you tell so many wonderful stories. You`re such a great story teller that I`m sure that they`re going to get -- readers will get a lot out of your book as well. Thank you so much for taking some time to spend with us this evening.

WARREN: Thank you. And be sure to read it, because you`re in it.

REID: Okay. Now, I want an autograph in it, too. Whenever we can see people again and I`m vaccinated, you`re vaccinated, we`ll figure it out.

But thank you so much. Really appreciate it.


REID: All right. Have a wonderful evening.

OK. Now as Rick Wilson once said, they either hate us or you hate them. But at this moment, I almost -- I almost kind of pity `em. Tonight`s absolute worst is straight ahead.



SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): I`ll tell you what I really think of Donald Trump. This man is a pathological liar.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): He`s a jack ass. He`s a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Donald Trump is a con artist.

You know what they say about men with small hands -- you can`t trust them. You can`t trust them. You can`t trust them.



Remember the 2016 primary? When Florida man`s Republican opponents at least pretended they had principles? Well, that obviously changed once he got elected. But now even though he`s out of office and puttering around Mar-a- Lago, grabbing every available mic and not even pretending to support the right wing cancellation of Diet Coke, there is a beautiful love fest between the Republican castrati (ph), as Charlie Sykes overtly call them, and their dear leader.


GRAHAM: You get an all expense paid trip to Florida to play golf with President Trump and Lindsey Graham and we`re going to have a hell of a time enjoying President Trump`s company.

RUBIO: We did a lot of positive things today, very productive time and a very good working relationship. President Trump is the most popular and most influential Republican in America. I think he`s still be that in `22 and `24.

CRUZ: There are a lot of voices in Washington that want to just erase the last four years. They look at Donald J. Trump and they look at the millions and millions of people inspired who went to battle fighting alongside President Trump. And they are terrified. And they want him to go away.

Let me tell you this right now. Donald J. Trump ain`t going anywhere.



REID: It`s the arms of angel music for me and those degrading displays of affection. Lord and Jesus.

While Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and especially Ted Cruz who I`m pretty sure Trump hates, because everybody does, are tonight`s absolute worst.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The board has found that the suspension of former President Trump was necessary to keep people safe and that the actions of the former president encouraged and legitimatized violence and constituted what the board has termed a severe violation of the Facebook rules.


REID: Sorry, Florida man, it looks like you won`t be able to return to our Facebook newsfeed anytime soon.

Joining me now is Kate Klonick, assistant professor of law at St. John`s University.

And, Kate, thanks for being here.

I wonder when I heard this news today, I thought to myself, it`s too little too late in a way, or maybe it`s not too little but it is definitely too late. What do you make of the decision and the fact that it only happened after the violence Trump had been whipping up for over, you know, maybe four years even finally happened?

KATE KLONICK, ST. JOHN`S UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR: Yeah, that`s a great point. I mean, I think that there is a sense this was too little too late. But it t is the start of something much broader. It is the start of basically a period that we have been building towards for the last couple of years, particularly Facebook, that is going to start holding these companies accountable through quasi private and quasi public type of board that has legal expertise and draws on international human rights law.

And so, this is really a moment of tremendous accountability generally for Facebook. I would look at it in that sense and not maybe the narrower sense of what happened with Trump and his followers in January.

REID: Well, you know, I did speak with Senator Warren just a short time ago and wanted to get her take on it. You know, she agreed that it is striking that a private company like Facebook -- you sign up and you agree to the rules of how you`re going to use their platform. You break the rules, you can get banned. They`re a private company, this is not a First Amendment issue.

But it is striking that a private company were the only ones who had the power to stop the threat of Donald Trump. Not the FBI, not the security agencies who we pay a lot of tax money to. Do companies that are private like this, are they more powerful in a sense than the government? And isn`t that a bit of a problem?

KLONICK: Oh, my gosh, they are absolutely more -- I have committed my entire scholarly agenda to this idea that, yes, these are tremendously powerful companies that are much more powerful than any government.

You cannot have one government shut down Facebook. It`s a trans-national private corporation. And it`s simply much bigger than any one country can possibly control.

But that is actually why this is so important today. I think that a lot of the remedies that are being bandied around and I saw part of Senator Warren`s segment, are not incorrect but they`re just a little outdated. And they speak to like a time and place when these types of transnational private corporations didn`t have this type of unbreakable power over public rights.

So, you have kind of two choices. You can try to break them up. I`m certainly not necessarily against that solution. Or you can try to regulate them, which I think is harder and more narrow.

But you can try to democratize them and hold them accountable from like -- for the public rights that they manage and govern on, through a new type of accountability, a new type of system.

REID: You know, it`s hard. They are not just big corporations. They are invasive corporations that are tracking you, that are trying to figure out what you like, what you don`t like. And they -- you know, they selectively said, OK, we won`t let Trump get at you.

But hey had QAnon littering Facebook. And then at the same time also, without Facebook, you might not have known about some of these police killings. So, it`s a democratizing access when we in the media used to have to rely on the police.

It is very -- it is a complicated issue. But they do seem to be particularly invasive. Do you see any change in that any time soon?

KLONICK: Yeah, no, I don`t. I think that they`re here to stay. And I think they`re going to keep being invasive. And I think that the best thing that we can possibly do is keep putting kind of the screws to them and holding them responsible for the hard decisions they make or refuse to make, frankly. And that`s exactly what this decision was about today.

I don`t think it blocks the way for future regulation necessarily. It`s just -- we are throwing everything, including the kitchen sink at this problem. And so, I think this is just the kitchen sink.

REID: And do you think -- this is a board of 20 people. You know, they are going to reassess in six months. When they reassess, is this guy going to get back on?

KLONICK: I think quite possibly. I think that you`re going to have a hard time making a case under international human rights law and the ideas of proportionality that a permanent ban of anyone is okay. But there might be some type of rule that Facebook comes up with or a system of rules that give them -- that they think would give them the power to do this. The board might say it`s okay.

REID: Yes.

KLONICK: We really don`t know. But it is -- but it is possible.

REID: Yeah. And for those people who dropped Facebook, if you are on Instagram, you`re still on Facebook. They own a lot of stuff. They`re very evasive indeed.

Katie -- Katie Klonick --

KLONICK: Yeah, WhatsApp, too.

REID: Indeed. Thank you very much for being here. Really appreciate you.

That is tonight`s REIDOUT.