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Transcript: The ReidOut, 6/1/21

Guests: Chris Turner, Chris Matthews, Nikki Fried

Summary

Trump`s big lie presents growing threat to democracy. Four more Oath Keepers have been indicted, now 16 total. Mike Flynn seems to be suggesting that military coup should happen in the U.S. Mike Flynn backpedals on advocating military coup. Stop the Steal organizer claims GOP Representatives were involved in planning. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues his quest to become the pretender to the MAGA throne, and today, he signed a law banning transgender women athletes from competing participating in school sports on the first day of LGBTQ Pride Month. On this 100th anniversary of the two days of the terroristic violence when white mobs bombed, looted and burned the prosperous black Greenwood district neighborhood known as Black Wall Street to the ground, President Biden made history visiting Tulsa today, touring a cultural center before meeting privately with the few remaining survivors.

Transcript

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But just because history is silent, it doesn`t mean that it did not place. Only with truth can come healing and justice and repair.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on history and the truth, the president gets the last word.

Thanks as always for watching THE BEAT. "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid is up next. Hi, Joy.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Hey, Ari, great note to end on. Perfect for where I am going now. Thank you, sir, have a wonderful evening my friend.

All right, good evening, every one. We do begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a question. Will America always be a democracy? Is it baked in and certain that we will always stay that way? I mean, American exceptionalism and the genius of the founders and the brilliant Constitution they wrote with the exception of the slavery bit says we will definitely stay a democracy no matter what, right? Things like military coups and rules by junta, those things don`t happen here. Those things are for so called third world countries and part of Asian, the old soviet bloc. That kind of crap doesn`t happen to us. No. Are you sure?

A new indictment against four members of the far right military group, the Oath Keepers, which is basically concoction of military members and police who believe they may need to overthrow the government at some day, was unsealed on Sunday, charging them with conspiring to obstruct the constitutionally mandated count of electoral votes, not a surprised. That is the way that these indictments have been going.

Indeed, a total of 16 Oath Keepers have been arrested to date, representing the largest conspiracy case to emerge from the January 6th insurrection. But what`s most disturbing is that they didn`t just want to disrupt the electoral count. They intended to forcibly reinstall Donald Trump as the president. And how they planned to do that is frightening.

As one member said, quote, we are going to defend the president. You can call it an insurrection or you can call it a war, or fight. Their goal, they said, was for Trump himself to declare an insurrection and use the insurrection act and then, quote, call us up as the militia. And given the go ahead, they intended to arrest members of the Congress. In other words, the so-called Oath Keepers was prepared to execute a literal coup by current and former members of the military on Trump`s orders.

They`re not that only ones embracing that idea. This weekend, Trump`s briefly tenured former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn appeared to say a coup in this country is not only possible but actually should happen. Flynn said, as much, during a four-day conference in Texas for believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory, the latest sign that QAnon has gone mainstream inside the Republican base.

According to poll last week, 23 percent of Republicans say they believe in the premise of the QAnon conspiracy theory, that the government is controlled by group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation. I know, I know, it`s bananarama bonkers. But that`s what nearly one in four Republicans now believes.

And to that point the QAnon confab in Texas this weekend featured a vulnerable cornucopia of propaganda videos that now only embrace the core tenants of QAnon, they appeared to be designed to inspire, if not incite violence against political leaders in Washington, including President Biden. In fact, some of the imagery is so violent and so suggestive, I can`t show it to you.

Another portion of those videos also appeared to predict among other things that the United States government will be overthrown this year and that Trump would seize power. He was against that backdrop, that a person in the audience asked Michael Flynn if the recent coup in Myanmar could happen here in the U.S. and here`s how that went.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can`t happen here.

MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: No reason. I mean, it should happen, no reason. But that`s right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: It should happen here. It should happen here.

Now, if that doesn`t disturb the hell out of you coming out you, coming from disgraced ex-general who once plotted to kidnap and American resident and rendition him to Turkey where he would very likely be killed and who Trump fired after he got busted conducting his own foreign policy with Russia on the side, if that doesn`t disturb you, I don`t think you`re paying attention, especially when you unpack what actually happened in Myanmar, where democratically-elected leaders were deposed by military coup, who`s leaders claim the landslide elections was, wait for it, rife with fraud. Oh, and they locked up leader of the winning party. Lock her up. Lock her up.

And what Flynn said was pretty clear, he`s now trying to backtrack, maybe thinking about potential consequences and saying, look, there is no reason whatsoever for a coup in America, and I do not and I have not at any time called for any action of that sort, except for the time that I actually said that an answer to a question in a QAnon rally. Yes, so whatever you say, Michael.

And this comes, as we learn that Trump himself is hoping for a coup that could put him back in office. According to Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, Trump has been telling a number of people he is in contact with what he expects will be, I don`t know, some way of being reinstated in August. Are you nervous yet?

Joining me now is Michael Steele, former Chair of the RNC, and Frank Figliuzzi former Assistant Director of Counterintelligence at FBI and Host to the brand new podcast, The Bureau with Frank Figliuzzi.

And, Frank, I do want to start with you because, you know the QAnon thing is both stupid and dangerous, right? It`s -- I don`t know what the word for it is that people actually think there`s a giant sex cult running the federal government but they do, and a quarter of Republicans believe this is true. They also like Matt Gaetz. It doesn`t make any sense. However, they`re dangerous and I wonder how afraid you are that they might try round two of what happened on January 6th.

FRANK FIGLIUZZI, HOST, THE BUREAU FODCAST: Yes, here is the thing. What you said, we should go over, the stupid part and the dangerous part. Because it`s that ludicrous part, it`s that silly part, that keeps us from seeing that this has become an actual viable threat to our democracy. It`s no longer acceptable to write this off as the ranting of some deluded people when we see what they were capable of on January 6th and we see that the desire has not gone away. When we see that the former now convicted felon Michael Flynn, former national security adviser, is actually saying, yes, we should have a military coup, yes, we should.

When we see the indictment that dropped this weekend on Oath Keepers, right, and we see the planning of what happened. And what was it, Joy, that actually kept the president from invoking the insurrection act? It was the fact, read the indictment, that no counterprotesters, BLM, Antifa, showed up and actually got into it with those insurrectionists. If they had, that would have been the trigger in their minds that would have created an all- out conflict that would have allowed the president to invoke the insurrection act.

REID: And to stay with that for just for a moment, so I`ll stay with Frank, right, because you had immediately -- some Republicans even, who immediately tried to say no, it was Antifa, no it was Black Lives Matter and try to shift it on to them, and it leads one to think that anyone who was either knowledgeable about this plot or who thought it might, may be it could happen, and we`re crossing fingers hoping that there would be a conflict, actually, to your point, really believed and hoped that Black Lives Matter and Antifa, people who were antifascists, would show up. And then the white nationalist groups and the so-called -- you know, I don`t know what they call themselves, the Proud Boys, all of these different groups, some of whom have military members in then, who could do military maneuvers, and were doing military maneuvers, they hoped they can have fight, insurrection act it`s called, martial law.

The fact that, that is a real thing, is that what Chris Wray was warning about? Is that what we really have to fear in this country 2024?

FIGLIUZZI: Yes. This has -- not only has this gone away with Trump leaving office, it has gotten worse and emboldened Trump and those around him who is now talking about coming back into power magically in August. They think it can happen.

We better pay attention. Chris Wray said publicly in testimony, what happened on January 6th was domestic terrorism. So, look, 25 years in the FBI, here is how you deal with domestic terrorism threat, here is how you said deal with any terrorist threat. You have to dismantle the leadership structure.

Yes, the FBI keeps going after and God bless them, we are way over 400 -- we`re headed to 500 indictments, fantastic. We`re seeing conspiracy charges but they can`t stop there. They have to dismantle the leadership structure. And if that means sitting members of Congress or people in Trump`s circle, like Rudy Giuliani or Trump himself, then so be it, because it will not go away if they keep inspiring and mentoring others.

REID: Michael Steele, you had Donald Trump`s friend, Roger Stone, use Oath Keepers, some of the same ones we`re now seeing these indictment as bodyguards. You have Donald Trump be claimed by Proud Boys who now basically think he`s their leader and that what he said stand up and stand back and stand by, that he`s giving them orders.

Enrique Tarrio, who`s the leader of the Proud Boys, claims he got a tour at the White House. He didn`t say he met with Trump. You have the guy who started this, Ali Alexander, the guy who organized the events who is now in hiding, saying that he got help from members of Congress to organize these events. He named them Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, Paul Gosar, who magically keep repeating all of these claptrap, white nationalist, black people shouldn`t vote stuff and all of them.

So your party is taken over by this. And you -- I remember you once telling me that Republicans felt they have it -- with the tea party, they had tiger by the tail and they thought they could just ride it and that they can ride it to power but they really didn`t know what they were dealing with. This is worse than that, Michael.

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No, it is worse than that. And I -- you can`t emphasize enough what Frank has just laid out. It`s not just the stupidity because we get lost in the stupid, right? People just kind of dismiss it. But this is dangerous. And it`s important to note that folks like Michael Flynn are manipulative at the same time they`re being dangerous. So this is all part of the narrative.

Remember, the premise of the entire operation starts in 2015 when you had folks buying this idea of deconstructing the administrative state. They have now found the tools to do that. It wasn`t just what Trump is doing administratively inside the government. It is also what had to take place outside the government. Mike Flynn is now saying the quiet part out loud. You have people who have amass an enormous amount of weaponry and ammunition over the last -- going back to 2009, 2010, in the Obama era.

So the seeds have been planted, the narrative is down being reeled out to us. And the question that we have to make real for ourselves, this is no longer about what Republicans are doing. Because we know that if anything that happened post January 6th is on the hand of the individuals not only named the folks you just listed, you know, Proud Boys, whomever, but the members of congress who have perpetuated this. And that`s why the January 6th commission is so dangerous to them, because it exposes what they have their fingers in, or what they`ve turned a blind eye towards.

So I think now it`s incumbent on us as citizens, Joy, to really ratchet up our concern here, to Frank`s warning, and to be clear about the dangerousness of what is unfolding in front of us, not just focus on the stupidity of it. Oh, yes, child, this that or other, other, or you know cabals here and there, this is an underground thing that is becoming commonplace.

REID: It`s becoming common place and I have to say, Frank, back when I -- I had a day side show and there was a lot of reporting that we did on ISIS. I used to watch those ISIS videos, and I want to know what I was reporting. I didn`t feel like I could talk about it if I didn`t seen it. These videos that they show, which we`re not going to show them, they looked a lot like those ISIS videos. They even had with a soundtrack on them, that I think was meant to sound vaguely Middle Eastern. It was pure propaganda videos meant to incite people that looked very much like those terrorist videos. Am I way out of line for saying that?

FIGLIUZZI: They sound a lot like violent jihad recruiting videos, you`re right. And, yes, no one`s being beheaded but we are hearing and seeing on social media people being -- demanding that people be hung, right, that people beheaded. It`s out there, and it doesn`t take much to recruit people into a movement. It takes a heck of a lot to get them out of the moment. It takes repeated exposure to sunlight and truth.

And something Michael said worth repeating, this is so much bigger than politics and the Republican Party and whether we`re going to have a healthy two party system. I don`t have dog in this political fight. I work 25 years uphold and oath to protect and preserve in defend the Constitution. This is much bigger than politics. It`s about the future of our democracy and what it looks like moving forward. We need a national effort to call this out for what it is, at the attorney general level, at the White House level.

REID: Last question to you, Michael, does Mitch McConnell and Kevin, do they understand that? Do they know it and they`re willing to play ball with it, because they think they`ll get power in exchange? Because we`re talking about destruction of our democracy, we`re talking about the Myanmarization of our politicians. Do they know that?

STEELE: Yes. I think, you know, you cannot be anything but clued into what`s going on. They`ve had the conversations. They know what is going on. We have reporters on our air come on and talk about what they`re saying to them privately, and so forth. So they`re more than aware. And that`s what makes this so dangerous. That`s what makes it so problematic. Is that the men, especially the men who could stop this aren`t stopping it because they`re either cowards or they`re complicit.

REID: Yes.

STEELE: And that`s the space we`re talking about right now.

REID: Yes. I don`t know they all follow (INAUDIBLE) on Twitter but he has said if you don`t think that Donald Trump would burn this country to the ground to avoid the consequences, the legal consequences that are staring at him, the future with the tax issues and the legal issues, if you don`t think he would let this country burn to save himself and seize power back, that`s the only way he`s truly safe, if he`s back in power, you are not paying attention. It is stupid but it`s also dangerous.

Michael Steele, Frank Figliuzzi, thank you both very much. Caring is caring.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, Democrats temporarily block effort by Texas Republicans, this is the other front to make it easier to overturn elections. We`re on the same theme here, whether they disagree, whenever they disagree with the results. This is the same story basically in a different venue. Pay attention, because this is how democracy dies.

Plus, my pal, Chris Matthews, here. Perfect night for him to be here for his very first television interview for his brand new book, This Country, My Life in Politics and History, and, boy, do we have a lot to catch up on, Republican cowardice on the insurrection, how President Biden is doing, Puppet Kevin McCarthy and a lot more. Do not go anywhere, Chris is coming up.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: Just a couple hours ago, Joe Biden became the first sitting president to commemorate the 1921 Tulsa massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history.

During those remarks, he slammed the Republican-led attack on our voting rights, after sharing what civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis said to him while on his deathbed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know what John said? He called the right to vote precious, almost sacred, he said the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democratic society.

This sacred right is under assault with incredible intensity like I have never seen.

Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed the For the People Act to protect our democracy. The Senate will take it up later this month, and I`m going to fight like heck with every tool at my disposal for its passage.

We`re going to overcome again, I promise you, but it`s going to take a hell of a lot of work.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: The president also announced the Vice President Harris will lead a push for voting protections in response to the recent ballot restrictions in several states, like Texas, where a Republican-sponsored bill, if signed, would contain some of the most restrictive voting measures in the entire country.

It would eliminate 24-hour voting and drive-through voting. The bill also prohibits Sunday voting before 1:00 p.m., a direct attack on the Souls to the Polls Sunday get-out-the-vote campaigns used by, you guessed it, black churches.

It would also make it easier for a judge to overturn an election without requiring any evidence whatsoever that fraud actually changed the outcome of a race.

So, you can see why Texas Democrats on Sunday stirred up some good trouble, staging a last-ditch walkout in order to prevent a vote from being held before the midnight deadline.

Joining me now is Texas state Representative Chris Turner, the Democratic Caucus chair who organized the walkout.

I first want to thank you and your colleagues for showing us the meaning of fight. I think there are some Democrats -- no disrespect to the Democrats in Washington, but they might have needed that demonstration. So I want to thank you for that. That`s just me talking here.

I want to ask you about one of these provisions. A guy called -- a guy named Travis Clardy, who`s one of the bill negotiators, he claimed the 1:00 p.m. Sunday start time, the gutting of Souls to the Polls, was just an error, and that he looks forward to fixing it in the special session.

Your thoughts?

STATE. REP. CHRIS TURNER (D-TX): Well, first off, thank you for having me. It`s an honor to be with you.

And all 67 members of our caucus led on this and made it possible to defeat this bill. So all credit to all members of our Democratic Caucus in Texas.

The provision in that bill, I spoke at length on the House floor Sunday night about that, because it is a direct attack on Souls to the Polls. And many churches in Texas and across the country have a time-honored tradition of engaging to get out the vote after Sunday worship.

And, obviously, changing the start time from the morning to 1:00 p.m. is an attempt to cut off access to the polls after church and create a line once the polls actually do finally open at 1:00 p.m., both of which have a suppressive effect on right to vote.

REID: Yes.

TURNER: And what -- I talked about this extensively, as said other members on the House, of course, that night.

Not once did a Republican say, oh, it was a typo.

REID: Right.

TURNER: So, that`s a little bit of revisionist history, I`m afraid.

REID: Yes, they did the same sort of squeal and retreat in Georgia when they tried to do the same thing there.

The most terrifying aspect of this bill -- and all of it is bad -- is the idea that a judge could simply say, I overturn this election, don`t have to prove any fraud to change the outcome. This is straight-up tyranny.

I wonder how, in your view -- I don`t know you`re a lawyer -- how can that be legal?

TURNER: Well, I`m not a lawyer. But I agree with your analysis. It is terrifying to think that a judge could overturn the election without any evidence, essentially.

And it`s important to note that this language, this provision had never been seen before until this final version of the bill was filed some time on Saturday. And so neither the House nor the Senate had considered this at any point during the legislative session. It came out of nowhere.

And it was just one of the many outrageous aspects of Senate Bill 7, which is why it had to be defeated.

REID: Yes.

The governor, Governor Abbott, who, in theory, would benefit from this provision, meaning he could stay in power as long as he wanted, because a judge could simply say, no, he won, even if, let`s say, Beto O`Rourke runs against him and beats him, he says he`s going to sign it.

Not only that. But in this special session, he`s also threatening to fine you all -- fine you all for walking out, fining the House Democrats. My understanding is you guys make like $600 a month, so it`s not like he`s going to -- I mean, what do you make of his threats?

TURNER: Yes. That is true. That is our salary. We do receive a per diem during session.

But, look, I think it`s absurd. The legislature is a co-equal branch of government to the governor. So, the idea that the governor can zero out the legislature is absurd. And so I don`t know what the governor is talking about.

But, look, let -- the governor should be calling a special session this summer to address the -- our skyrocketing rate of uninsured in the state of Texas, address real reforms to our historic winter storm and the grid failure that we suffered just a few months ago.

Those are the things that the governor should be focused on, not on passing more vote suppression bills and not worrying about legislative appropriations. So, that`s what I hope the governor will return us to focus on.

REID: But the challenge is that he doesn`t have to do that.

The problem with sort of these authoritarian-style governments, it means you don`t have to take care of the people, you don`t have to give them heat when there`s a winter storm, you don`t have to do anything for them, because they can`t vote you out. They can`t get rid of you. You`re in there, and you stay there forever.

And that`s what Texas is starting to look like. You have had attacks on the press, kicking out reporters, so they couldn`t observe what was happening. This is like straight-up authoritarian. It is what people in Washington, Republicans, want to duplicate.

So, my question to you is, has there been any pushback from industry, from business? Are you going to see some of the same reactions that we saw when Georgia tried this?

TURNER: Well, I hope so. And I think that is the right question to ask.

And I will say, in Texas, we saw American Airlines, Dell Computer and other companies come out a couple of months ago with strong statements in opposition to these vote suppression measures.

But we need to see more businesses do that. And we need to see them keep up a sustained campaign against further efforts to pass anti-voter legislation like S.B.7...

REID: Yes.

TURNER: ... because, as you say, the Republicans will bring it back. It is wrong. And we need to defeat it.

REID: I -- and last question, very quickly. Would H.1 help you? Would that bill, S.1, help you guys in D.C.?

TURNER: Absolutely.

And we need the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. We need a strong federal Voting Rights Act to protect voters in Texas and across the country from these suppressive efforts.

REID: I think it goes without saying.

Texas state Representative Chris Turner, thank you all for fighting for our democracy.

(CROSSTALK)

REID: And still ahead -- cheers -- Chris Matthews is here.

I`m going to talk to him about his new book, "This Country," and so much more.

There he is. Cannot wait.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: Given the continued onslaught on voting rights and the Republican Party`s eagerness to whitewash the events of January 6, more than 100 scholars who study democracy for a living have issued a frantic warning.

They write that anti-voting initiatives "are transforming several states into political systems that no longer meet the minimum conditions for free and fair elections. Hence, our entire democracy is now at risk."

And time is not on democracy`s side, given how Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to block the Biden administration at every step. Another hurdle, the eight or so Democratic senators, including Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who are so far refusing to touch the Jim Crow relic, the filibuster, even to save American democracy.

And who better to talk about the state of American politics than my friend and former colleague Chris Matthews, who has a new -- sweeping new memoir about his life in and out of politics? The book is called "This Country," and it is out today.

Chris Matthews joins me now,

Christopher, so good to see you, sir.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, AUTHOR, "THIS COUNTRY: MY LIFE IN POLITICS AND HISTORY": Oh, Joy, I`m glad to see you in that seat. You have certainly earned it.

And when I left, I`m glad you came.

Thank you so much for having me on tonight.

(LAUGHTER)

REID: Thank you so...

MATTHEWS: I spent -- my life -- the glory and the chance of my life has been on the inside of politics. I have been on the inside, flying around Air Force One with a president fighting for his life politically.

I worked for the speaker of the House, Tip O`Neill, every morning with him. And I love American democracy.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: And I have seen it at its best. I have seen deals being made, in the best sense.

And I have seen something terrible happening lately. And it`s -- and I saw -- you didn`t. You aren`t as old as me to see firsthand the people fighting the bring down the Berlin Wall, so they could have votes in Germany...

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: ... so they could actually vote for democracy, or to see apartheid torn down by an election in South Africa. I was there with Archbishop Tutu when he got the vote...

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: ... for the first time in 60 -- at the age of 62. He yelled: Yippee. I`m voting.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: You have to treasure this democracy.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Maybe the Democratic Party should change its name to democratic party lowercase.

REID: Yes, maybe.

MATTHEWS: This is the party that believes in democracy, believes in democracy.

REID: Maybe.

MATTHEWS: And I...

REID: Well, Chris, I got to ask you, because you did this biography, and you went through all these jobs.

One job you left out -- and it is on page 83 of your book -- it is, you also worked as a Capitol Police officer.

MATTHEWS: Right.

REID: And I did want to ask you...

MATTHEWS: Sure.

REID: ... what was your reaction?

As somebody who worked on that Capitol, not just working for the speaker at that level, but working as a Capitol Police officer, what was your visceral reaction to that insurrection on January 6?

MATTHEWS: I felt violated. I felt the place I`d worked in and people I worked with, devoted their lives to, including the police officers.

And to see these people come in there and basically mess and massacre the place -- desecrate is a good word. It`s a religious term, but it`s appropriate here. They wanted to desecrate it. They wanted to climb on ceilings and put up signs, and they wanted to wear stupid costumes and act like crazy people to show their contempt.

And they were looking for human beings. And God knows what they would have done if they got those human beings, including Mike Pence, Mr. Vice President. They were looking for you.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: And they were looking for the speaker. And they were looking for -- to do what with? Were they going to tar and feather them? Were they going to kill them? Were they going to make fun of them?

What were they going to do? They were looking for them. And it was the police officers in the end and the staff people that got them and -- out of danger, and out of danger.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: And I`m telling you, that`s a scary thing.

And then I hear about a high-ranking general who took the oath to this Constitution talking about -- I don`t know when he`s going to explain himself. I don`t know how to explain using the word should in the same preposition with military coup?

What are you talking about? And they were cheering the -- what they thought he meant and what he probably did mean.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: And this is not -- this is what`s really scary. Nobody was shocked by what Michael Flynn said the other day.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Nobody was shocked. This is a continuum.

And one advantage of being away from daily television, being on it, and having to talk every day about what happened that day, like I was in the Peace Corps in Africa. You see a pattern developing.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: I`m in the Peace Corps in Africa, and I`m watching the bitterness grow at home against the Vietnam War. I -- you can sense it by catching the dots on the screen.

What are the dots on the screen in the last several months? Well, you had a president who -- start with, who said a previous president was an illegal immigrant, he was not president, he couldn`t be, he was here illegally, he snuck in the country, an absurd, awful racist comment.

And then you have a president, former president now, thankfully, thankfully, who calls this president illegal, who says he`s not president.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: He`s got two-thirds of the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, saying that Joe Biden`s not president.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: It`s gotten to be worse. And it`s worse. And they go from relying on the Electoral College, because they can`t get a popular vote.

They lost the popular vote in `16 by almost four million. They lost it again in `20. They think it`s cute to win by the Electoral College. Of course it`s constitutional.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: But now they don`t even believe in the Electoral College.

Trump doesn`t even believe he lost in the Electoral College.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: You know, democracy, as Jefferson taught us -- with all Jefferson`s false, slavery and the rest, he did give us, all people are -- all men are created equal. He did give us a goal, ironically, a goal.

REID: Yes. So, let...

MATTHEWS: And this crowd doesn`t understand democracy.

If you ask the average Republican who likes Trump, do you really want the majority to rule in this country? Simple question.

REID: Clearly not, yes.

MATTHEWS: Including minorities, do you think the majority of American citizens should rule this country, a simple democratic vote question? Do you think they`re going to say yes?

REID: No.

MATTHEWS: No, they`re going to say, let`s reduce the number of minority voters. Let`s reduce the number of young voters too while we`re at it.

And you have been in politics, and you have followed it more, as much as I have, despite being different ages. And I got to tell you, what was the biggest goal of our lives? Get out the vote.

REID: Right.

MATTHEWS: We were thrilled for people to vote. We begged them for months - - on this network, begged them for months before each election...

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: ... get out and vote. Vote. Vote. We said it to everybody.

If you are -- whatever you are, a conservative, whatever, get out there and vote. We wanted everybody to vote. And then they voted. And they said, it doesn`t count...

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: ... in the 2020 election. It doesn`t count. Our guy lost.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: And, by the way, Trump knows he lost. He lost by four million votes. He lost the Electoral College. He lost in the same states he happened to squeak in, in `16.

He lost Pennsylvania. He lost Wisconsin. He lost Michigan.

I`m sorry, Mr. President. You`re not Mr. President anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: And you got to wake up.

(CROSSTALK)

REID: Let me ask you this. You...

MATTHEWS: You were talking about that Texas guy.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: I love this guy down there, Senator Chris.

The thing is, Democrats have gotten to be better politicians. I mean, I can tell you, I`m doing bragging right now, like I did in the book.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: You know what I did when the Republican leader opposed our immigrant -- our infrastructure bill back in 1982 right before an election?

Well, he said it was a bunch of big-spending, leaf raking jobs, you know the thing they always say. So I called up the chief engineer of his hometown, Peoria, Illinois. And I asked the chief engineer, who happened to be a Democrat, which was my luck.

And I said, give me the name of all the bridges below safety standards in that Republican leader`s district, all the dangerous bridges. Give me all the dangerous ones. He gave me the list of the addresses, the names of the bridges.

Tip O`Neill got down on the floor of the House and listed all the dangerous bridges in the home district of the Republican leader. And he was scared to hell. He went racing to the back of the floor...

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: ... and tried to -- we won that vote. We won 26 seats in the next election.

Why don`t the Democrats go to Kentucky and count the bridges below safety standards? Why don`t they go out there?

REID: Well, Chris, hold on, because I don`t think that -- here`s the problem.

(CROSSTALK)

REID: I`m not sure that would work. I`m not sure that would work.

And I do want to ask you about this, because when you talk about stuff like that, and the way that you used to be able to achieve bipartisanship by cajoling people with infrastructure pressure...

MATTHEWS: No, by scaring people too.

REID: Or scaring people. It doesn`t work anymore.

This is the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump holding up the Bible pretending to be a Christian. Christians are completely impervious to it. People like Mitch McConnell don`t care about bridges in Kentucky.

MATTHEWS: And...

REID: What they care about is power for Mitch McConnell.

So, I wonder, would they -- they can see the QAnon thing, just like you can see it and I can see it. What do you think is happening with them and with people like Joe Manchin, who are saying, we don`t care; we just won`t change it?

MATTHEWS: Right.

Well, you have had more recent experience with this crowd.

But I got to tell you, usually, local politicians think all the politics is local. And when they hear that the school bus at 3:00 this afternoon is going running across that dangerous bridge, they get some calls from the parents.

And I do think that`s how you get the people. You get them when they`re at home. And then they say, this isn`t about ideology or left vs. right. Are you going to fix that damn bridge or not? Are you going to fix it? Because, if anything happens to that bridge, it`s your fault.

So, I think old politics does work sometimes, if you get them.

I don`t know what the life of -- Kevin McCarthy embarrasses me. He embarrasses me, because I think, having become leader, he is capable of leading, at least conceptually.

But the great thing about Reagan -- and this is an odd thing to say for me -- and the great thing about Tip O`Neill is, when they led, they led.

REID: Yes.

MATTHEWS: And if they said, let`s do this thing, let`s fix Social Security for good, their people followed.

Is Kevin McCarthy a leader...

REID: No.

MATTHEWS: ... or a follower?

And I think that`s a question. They -- why don`t they pick leaders to lead Republicans? It seems like a smart move, but they don`t want to do it.

REID: Well, what about Joe Manchin? If you were Chuck Schumer right now, what do you think you could say to somebody like Manchin, who loves the filibuster more than he apparently loves democracy?

MATTHEWS: Well, you`re being optimistic here. I think I caught you as an optimistic. Do you think he and Sinema are only two that aren`t against getting rid of filibuster?

REID: No, of course not.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Have you chatted with Dianne Feinstein lately?

REID: Oh, no, I think they are standing in front of at least nine of other, there`s at least nine of them, and they`re letting Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin stand out in front and take all the bullets. But I think that`s pretty clear. They`re just covering for other people. But --

MATTHEWS: Here`s the question, OK, you ask this. You got voting rights coming up. It has to be passed by legislation. And under the current law, you had to get cloture, filibuster could kill it. You know you have to do police reform.

You had to do guns, what else? You got to do infrastructure. You had to do -- except you might be able to get infrastructure without getting cloture, without get rid of the filibuster, but everything that Biden has been talking about needs 60 votes right now unless you get rid of the filibuster.

REID: That`s right.

MATTHEWS: Are you willing to go to the next voters` polls next November with nothing?

REID: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: But that is also Mitch McConnell`s goal. He wants the Democrats to get nothing done, that`s why he`s using the filibuster, so that he can go to the regular middle of the road deciding voter next November and say the following -- crime`s up, inflation is up, the border is not under control.

He wants the old Republican trick of three issues all about your opponent, all negative, with nothing else to talk about. That`s what they want. That they get -- they`ll get that if we have no program, if there`s no agenda, there`s nothing passed.

What`s Biden going to say? Well, we`re not so bad on inflation. We`re not so bad on crime. We`re not so bad on the border. It`s all playing defense.

You can`t win playing defense. You got to pass stuff. So far, COVID relief was very smart. The economy, if it`s coming back, it is coming back, it`s because of that.

If they get real instruction -- you know what, I don`t like the word infrastructure. I like the word construction, build.

REID: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: As New Yorkers used to say, replace the smell of decay with the smell of construction.

REID: With the smell of construction.

MATTHEWS: Very clean move. Very clean move. People like what they feel.

REID: Classic Chris Matthews staying. So, we got a little bit of time left. I definitely want to get in a final bit about the book.

You talk about everything, including, you know, leaving here, which -- you know, it was not originally planning on doing. But tell me about that. Tell me about what you -- you know, what is sort of the upshot of that for you?

MATTHEWS: Well, the reality of the upshot is, having a lot of people come up say miss you personally. They like you but they miss -- they miss me and good company together. And they also said things, I liked how you didn`t let them get away with anything, which I love too.

But I think the reason -- I know the reason I left, somebody reported that I complimented someone -- I actually use the right words here, I commented, remarked on somebody`s appearance in the makeup room and I shouldn`t have done that. Nobody has to come defend me.

And, by the way, I kept all my friends, but nobody needs to defend me, I did something wrong. So, I`m going to move on from that. I accept it, I took ownership of it, using a nice modern phrase, I took complete ownership. I did not deny it, I lost my show over it. That`s it. So that`s the truth.

The good news never had two years to sit down and write about my 70 years, which is to talk about an incredible life where I`ve been so lucky to have, be on the inside of American politics looking out, for Air Force One with Jimmy Carter fighting for his life against Reagan, Tip O`Neill fighting against Reagan from the backroom every day, being on the Berlin Wall and the communist side when the wall was coming down, and having a guy said to me when I asked him, what does freedom mean to you?

You know what he said? Talking to you.

REID: Wow.

MATTHEWS: Freedom is great. Democracy is great.

And being with Archbishop Tutu, the great leader in South Africa, walking with him to the polls first time in his life at the age of 62 he gets to vote. It`s amazing experience to work within democracy and to see parts of the world fighting for democracy like Nelson Mandela --

REID: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: And bringing down Berlin wall, I got to see it all in one lifetime. I want to share with the people who watched my show so faithfully all those years. That`s my --

REID: Well, and you do a brilliant job. Here`s my copy, my autographed copy. I`m so glad --

MATTHEWS: You said it`s love letter to the American people, American government, you`re so right. Thank you.

REID: Hey, listen, let me tell you something. Yes, my blurb is on the back, because one of the friends that you kept is me and I`m so grateful for that, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Thanks for that.

REID: You gave me break before anyone else in this business. I love you, my friend. I thank you so much for coming on tonight.

This book is great y`all. You really should check it out. You learn a lot. We share a love of the continent of South African history and you`ll learn a lot about Chris. It`s a fantastic book. Chris, thank you, my friend. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

MATTHEWS: Joy Reid, thank you. Thank you so much.

REID: Thank you so much.

The book is here. It`s called "This Country". You should check it out.

Still ahead, another Democrat is jumping into the race to challenge Florida Governor Ron DeSantis next year. Nikki Fried is here to explain why she thinks it`s so important to get rid of Ron DeSantis. And that`s next on THE REIDOUT.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MATTHEWS: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues his quest to become the pretender to the MAGA throne, in true Trump twinsy fashion. Today, he signed a law banning transgender women athletes from competing participating in school sports on the first day of LGBTQ Pride Month no less. Last week, he signed a law to issue fines to social media companies that ban political candidates. He complains that they`re censoring conservatives.

DeSantis also continues his derelict handling of the pandemic and he`s fighting with one of the Florida`s biggest industries because freedom? The CDC gave the cruise industry the OK to resume sailing out of Florida`s ports starting July 1st. Ron won`t exempt the industry from a law that he signed banning businesses from requiring proof of a COVID vaccination. Defending rights of COVID spreaders is on brand for guy not so low key positioning for 2024 run, touting his refusal to actually confront the pandemic.

But, first, he`s up for re-election next year and now, he has a Democratic challenger, Florida Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, Florida`s only statewide elected Democrat officially joined the race today.

And Nikki Fried joins me now.

Thank you very much for being here, Ms. Fried. Congrats on jumping into the race.

NIKKI FRIED (D), FLORIDA AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER: Thank you. Tank you.

REID: Thank you. I did politics for a hot minute in Florida, worked on a couple of races. Florida is a very difficult state, A, for any Democrat to win statewide, and for any woman to win. I have nightmares still about the Alex Sink race.

What makes you think you can beat Ron DeSantis? I know you are already elected statewide. But what makes you think you can do it?

FRIED: Well, thank you again, Joy, for having me on tonight. I would be remiss to not also recognize the 100th anniversary of Tulsa massacre.

If we don`t learn from the past and study the past, we are going to be destined to have it done again in the future. And that`s really kind of also part of my campaign is that the people of our state want something new. They have seen time and time again for 24 years Republicans have run our state and have not listened to the will of the people, whether it`s constitutional amendments, and then what happened even this actual cycle in the session is that the Republicans under Ron DeSantis` leadership has taken away people`s rights to vote, has suppressed their opportunity to protest, has made his number one priority signing and passing the social media bill.

And so the people of our state are tired. They`re tired of this type of leadership in our state that is not listening to the people. When we take that message to the people to try something new, they`re going to buy it because they know that the Republican Party only wants status quo and only protect the top 1 percent in the corporations of our state and not listening to the people. And when we get that message out, people are going to understand that Ron`s only using them to get to the 2024 presidential election.

REID: Let me ask you this, because you did mention that voting law. You know, we`ve seen a series of these in Texas. We`ve seen them in Georgia and Florida as well.

Are you concerned even if in theory you`re able to get more votes than Ron DeSantis, the way that Florida has now structured its laws, they would just overturn and not allow any Democrat let alone you to win? Can you get Democrats past all the hurdles?

FRIED: Yes, and I do because what I have seen on the ground throughout the entire state is the people of our state is are going to rise up against this. They know the system is corrupt. They know the system is designed to break their will. And if we don`t break the system, then we`re going to continue having Republicans dominate our state.

So we need the people of our state to understand we`ve got you. We`re going to back you up. But we need them to understand the system that`s operating in the state -- whether it`s unemployment system, our healthcare system, our education system, our voting system -- is designed to keep them down. So the system is rigged. The system is corrupt.

And I`m asking the people of our state to stand with me, to vote with me so that we end this corruption of 24 years of Republicans running our state. So we`re going to get our information out there. We`re going to work with our supervisor of elections, and we`re going to overcome this very suppressive voter suppression bill.

REID: Do you think that cruise ships should refuse to dock in Florida because of these rules about COVID? And a lot of people are afraid to get on a cruise ship if they don`t know people are vaccinated.

FRIED: You know, this is a huge problem. The cruise line industry is one of our largest industries here in the state of Florida, not only bringing tourists into our state but thousands upon thousands of jobs, and Ron is once again being very egotistical, bullish on this issue.

When the cruise line industry just wants to make sure people are safe, get jobs back working on the cruise industry, and they have threatened if the governor does not work with them, they`re going to leave the state of Florida and that would be an absolute --

REID: They won`t dock here. But do you --

FRIED: Yeah.

REID: But do you think they should, should they refuse?

FRIED: I think that`s an important issue for us to be talking about because I do think that if the cruise line industry can`t get themselves back up and running and they want to protect their patrons and the people that are working on these ships.

REID: Yep.

FRIED: And this is something that they`re fighting for and they should look at leaving if they`re not willing to be -- if the governor is not willing to work with them.

REID: Last question. In order to get to the general, you got to get to the primary first. Charlie Crist is on that ballot, too. He`s polling ahead of you at least in one poll that we`ve seen. How do you beat Charlie Crist? He`s a pretty formidable politician and historically (ph).

FRIED: You know, Joy, you and I have known Charlie for a long time.

REID: I know.

FRIED: His time in statewide elected office has come and gone. The people of our state want something new. They want something different and that is exactly what we`re going to give to them.

So I`m asking all of your viewers to stand with us. If you live here in the state of Florida, vote with us. Go to my website, nikkifried.com. If you`re interested in giving a campaign contribution, we would be greatly appreciative.

For the people that don`t live here in the state of Florida, please go to our website. It is all hands on deck. This is something that we as a country need to do to get Ron DeSantis and the Republican Party out of Florida.

REID: Nikki Fried, thanks for being here. And by the way, since you did mention Tulsa, you should look at Rosewood, Rosewood in Florida. Same story, two years earlier.

Thank you very much for being here. Really appreciate your time.

FRIED: Yup.

REID: Cheers.

And up next, President Biden marks 100 years since the Tulsa race massacre, speaking of race massacres.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REID: More than 300 black Americans killed by white mobs in the Tulsa race massacre were finally recognized by an American president today. On this 100th anniversary of the two days of the terroristic violence when white mobs bombed, looted and burned the prosperous black Greenwood district neighborhood known as Black Wall Street to the ground, President Biden made history visiting Tulsa today, touring a cultural center before meeting privately with the few remaining survivors.

Commemorating those two days of horror, President Biden gave moving details and as he does so well, empathetic remarks, shedding much needed light on one of the worst and largely erased atrocities of American history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My fellow Americans, this was not a riot. This was a massacre.

We do ourselves no favors by pretending none of this ever happened. We can`t just choose to learn what we want to know and not what we should know.

(APPLAUSE)

We should know the good, the bad, everything. That`s what great nations do. They come to terms with their dark sides.

I come here to help fill the silence because in silence, wounds deepen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REID: What he left out, though, is what should be done for those living survivors and that robbed community? Something to think about.

That`s tonight`s REIDOUT.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.