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Transcript: The ReidOut, 6/17/21

Guests: Jonathan Kott, Michael Harriot, Sasha Buchert, Annette Gordon-Reed


GOP ramps up efforts to rewrite history of January 6. New video shows shocking January 6 confrontation. GOP paints January insurrection as a peaceful protest. Insurrectionist says he fell victim to Trump`s lies. Fanone says he`s going to confront anyone who lies. FBI says January 6 insurrection was terrorism. Today, President Biden signed the legislation at the White House officially making Juneteenth the 12th federal holiday to be recognized in this country and the first since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established in 1983.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid, is up next. Hi, Joy.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: How you doing, Ari? Good to see you, have a great rest of the evening. Cheers.

All right, good evening everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a blockbuster day of news. The Supreme Court, for the third time, rejected an attempt to destroy the Affordable Care act. And at last, federal recognition independence day for black Americans, President Biden signing into law the Juneteenth Federal Holiday, commemorating the day in 1865 when all black Americans were officially free from slavery.

But we begin tonight with a new lost cause, the Republican Party`s whitewashing of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, as the GOP deepens his commitment to revisionist history of the deadly insurrection. It`s impossible to overlook the parallels to another insidious effort, to mythologize a seditious undertaking, the lost cause of the confederacy in the years following the civil war and the twisted logic and outright lies that laid the groundwork for the revisionist history found in American textbooks for generations pushed by the united daughters of the confederacy.

In 1920, the UCD historian, General Mildred Rutherford, published the pamphlet, A Measuring Rod, to test textbooks and reference books for schools. In it, she warned to reject books that don`t acknowledge, quote, interference with the south`s rights as the cause and ones that label confederate soldiers as traders, and rebel and or call it a rebellion. Rutherford also advocated rejecting books saying the war was fought over keeping black people enslaved, or speaking of enslavers as cruel or unjust.

And there was the denial of the original American domestic terror organization, the Ku Klux Klan. As the new Republican noted, as the KKK terrorized and lynched black people throughout the south during reconstruction, politicians denied the group even existed and argued that whites were the true victims.

The same kind of denial and deflection and call them what they are, lies, that Republicans have pedaled that you have already heard time and time again.


REP. JODY HICE (R-GA): It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others.

REP. ANDREW CLYDE (R-GA): There was no insurrection. And to call it an insurrection, in my opinion, is a bold lie. If you didn`t know the TV footage was video from January 6, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.


REID: Except they become so brazen that they`re just say in the quiet part out loud now, like they were fake Trump supporters, according to Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): I think it is extremely important to create an accurate historical record of exactly what happened so the false narrative of thousands of armed insurrectionists doesn`t last.


REID: Standing firmly in the way of the propaganda, the very law enforcement officials who bore the brunt of the siege, like Metropolitan police officer Michael Fanone, who is speaking out about his interaction with Georgia Republican Andrew Clyde, seen here barricading himself in the House chamber during what he says was a normal tourist day. Clyde refused to shake hands with Fanone who was beaten and tazed that day. Clyde was also one of the 21 House Republicans who voted against awarding congressional gold medals to first responders, including Capitol Police.

And tonight, the Justice Department released body camera footage in the case against former Marine and retired NYPD Officer Thomas Webster, who prosecutors previously alleged wore a bullet proof vest and attacked a Capitol Police officer. Webster can be seen in a red jacket I n the video, released at the media`s request. And we should warn you, it`s disturbing to watch.

Wow, that`s some aggressive tourism.

Joining me is Jason Johnson, Professor of Journalism in Politics in Morgan State University, and Charlie Sykes, Editor-at-Large for the Bulwark and an MSNBC Columnist.

And, Jason, I`m going to go to you on this first. You know, this morning, as I was preparing to chat with my wonderful executive producer, Tina, for our sort of daily morning call, it just was -- you know, it just was hitting me as I`m thinking, where have we seen this narrative before, where you have an insurrection against the United States government that then is attempted to be covered up by the people who did it and the people who support them and the politicians who support them by either saying it didn`t happen, it wasn`t so bad, it was actually positive. It`s literally a replay in a lot of ways of what happened after the U.S. civil war, what Republicans are doing now. What do you make of that analogy?


REID: Oh, do we have you, Jason? Do I have you? Okay, I`m going to go to Charlie. Charlie, I will throw the same question to you, because it is interesting to watch kind of the same thing happen centuries later.

CHARLIE SYKES, MSNBC COLUMNIST: Except that we saw this in real-time. We know what happened. And it just happen a couple of months ago. I mean, we talked a lot about living in a post-truth world. But this is the annihilation of truth. And watching Republicans revising the history, dropping this down the memory hole is really extraordinary because it`s either a normal tourist day or it was an Antifa false flag, or maybe it was the FBI. You know, what do they believe, or do they believe on all the same time.

You know, I saw that you re-tweeted. I had of a quote from Hannah Arrant, who has written about this. She said, it gets to be a point in authoritarian, totalitarian - regimes, where the truth is so battered, that people are prepared to believe that everything is possible, nothing is true. And so they prepare to believe everything and nothing. And that`s what we are seeing here.

The one through line that really strikes me as we look at what`s been happening is this through line of nihilism, that you have political party that is prepared to erase an election, deny the results of an election, revise history, erase the truth and then continues to move ahead as if nothing has ever happened. You know, that`s why the videotape you just played is so important. This is what happened.

The denial is truly extraordinary. I won`t say that it`s unprecedented. But we live in a world in which to have politicians like Ron Johnson and others say that this was just a normal walk in the park requires people to basically shut down every one of their critical sensibilities.

So, your historical analogy is interesting. But I think we are seeing something that we`ve never actually experienced in real-time like this.

REID: Well, and the difference being, Jason, that at least in the case of the civil war, it was after reconstruction crumbled, right, that`s many decades later. In this case, literally, like six months later, they are going to pretend it didn`t happen.

Let`s play that video again as we talk about this with you, Jason. In the case of this denial, not only do you have video that we watched live and now we are getting more, this is new video that has come out. You also have all the indictments in which the people who did this are saying, I went there for Trump. Trump lied to me. I did this for him. They are self- identifying as what they are. Your thoughts, Jason.

JOHNSON: Yes. They`re literally screaming about this. But I am old enough to remember, as everybody else in the panel. This isn`t new. Dick Cheney lied to America and said that there were weapons of mass destruction when there weren`t any. And then when people would show video, you said there were weapons, he would turn around. I mean, like, this kind of blatant lying by those who seek power is not new. It`s not shocking. It`s not unprecedented.

What is dangerous about what`s happening now is usually these are lies that had to do with something happening abroad. Usually, these are lies that had to do with something that was apart from the American people. They are lying about something that is having a daily impact on every single person`s life in America. That is what`s so dangerous.

And we have a party that is not only committed to the lie, because they have been committed to lies before, but they are committed to a lie that can result in people dying. That`s what`s dangerous. What Clyde -- Representative Clyde is doing, and what Ron Johnson doing, they are setting the groundwork for the next attempted coup that will result in someone being hurt. And then they`re going to pretend that didn`t happen too. I guess if the insurrectionists that are gotten in, and hung Mike Pence, they would have said, yes, Antifa did it. But because they weren`t able to get Mike Pence this time, I guess it was the FBI you know false flag of it.

REID: Or they would have said, he brought it on himself for not being loyal enough to Trump. I mean, but the worry is that there`s almost nothing that wouldn`t be said. I mean, you have Madison Cawthorn out there essentially bigging up the Vietcong at this point. It`s the Republicans flipping everything they used to believe on their head, as if they are saying, you know, well maybe Al Qaeda had a point. If anyone had said that after 9/11, you would you have thought that they would need to be committed but they`re basically doing.

Let me play for you the Officer Michael Fenone, because he, to me, has been the most compelling -- sort of one of the most, at least, but, if not, the most compelling sort of testimonies. Because he`s refusing to shut up and disappear, which is Nicolle said earlier, Nicolle Wallace said earlier, they want him to disappear. He is not disappearing. This was him talking this morning.


OFFICER MICHAEL FENONE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: These lawmakers on Capitol Hill, they feel like they can say whatever they want and they are never going to be held accountable for those words. Well, you know, your words have consequences. Congressman, you are lying about what happened on January 6th. And I`m going to be there to confront anybody who lies about January 6th.

I`m not here to make this a political issue. It just so happens that one party is lying about what thousands of officers experienced that day on Capitol Hill. I`m going to confront anyone that lies about that day.


REID: Charlie Sykes, you know, this morning Adam Kinzinger, who ratified what happen and testified to it as well, a Republican, he said that that guy used to be a Republican, that he was more on the Republican side if he was political at all. How do Republicans think that they can get away with refusing to shake the hand of a police officer who protected them, of turning on police, of turning on everything they supposedly believed in? Do they think that`s going to work on their district? Is Andy Clyde thinks that`s going to be popular in Georgia? Is that possible that those people hate police now because, well, they don`t love Trump enough?

SYKES: Well, I think what they are counting on is people won`t hear about it, that if you have a 24/7 diet of say Fox News, you may never hear that story.

But, I mean, two points. All of this just underlines how crucial it is to have an independent bipartisan January 6th commission to get to the bottom of what happened and to flush out all the lies, that`s number one. Number two, the hypocrisy of Republicans like Congressman Clyde who have wrapped themselves in the Blue Lives Matter movement, who have made their support for first responders so central to their appeal is just stunning and breathtaking.

And it is going to be interesting whether or not they are held accountable for this because you know that their bit mantra is the Democrats hate police, they want to defund police. And here you have a political party that is turning its back on police officers who quite literally laid down their lives to protect their rear ends and will not even shake their hand. So it is the contempt, the personal contempt that`s so striking here, but in the context of a political party that has just abandoned law enforcement when it comes to this.

And, by the way, you mentioned Madison Cawthorn, Congress -- one of the trolls who is now in Congress, talking about, you know, under the Second Amendments, we can resist the federal government. And if you don`t think that we can with small arms, what about the Vietcong? This is the kind of rhetoric that I do think also people need to be held accountable for. Who does Congressman Cawthorn suggest that people shoot more police officers, soldiers, Marines, Secret service agents, elected officials? You know, he is talking about the Vietcong, who killed American soldiers and Marines as the model for what insurrectionists in this country might do to their own government.

REID: Yes.

SYKES: I mean, Joy, it`s easy to get numbed but there`s nothing normal about this.

REID: And he named the Marines and the Army. He basically bigged them up and named the Marines and the Army as the people who got taken apart.

You know Jason, Dean Obeidallah has a great column out where he says, we should just start talking about this as terrorism. I mean, it obviously is, but if that is the case, then that makes Republicans at this point terrorist sympathizers and willingly so.

JOHNSON: Joy, I remember four years ago saying, at this time slot, the four years ago, saying after Charlottesville that Donald Trump is a terrorist sympathizer. The way that he talked about what happened in Charlottesville, the guy is a terrorist sympathizer. And the Republican Party, which at that point was still somewhat divided on what happened in Charlottesville, has pretty much become hook, line and sinker in favor of a white nationalist takeover of the country. These people are terrorists. They are terrorist sympathizers. They are trying to cover for him. So that part I think is really obvious.

There are clowns out there. You`ve got your Marjorie Taylor Greene. I can`t take anything that Madison Cawthorn does seriously because the man punches trees. It`s a crazy viral video. I can`t respect the man. There`s a lot of crazy Republicans out there. But the issue is that the core of their party, they`re actual intellectual leadership like Mitch McConnell, like Ted Cruz, they too our terrorist sympathizers. And they too are serious about empowering the kind of outside organizations that one day want to take over this country and kill anyone who does not believe what they want to believe.

So, yes, I agree with Dean We have to sound the alarm. The president has to take these people seriously. They have to be held accountable because they are not going to stop until they take over the country or die trying.

REID: Yes. And Mitch McConnell, because people like him are willing to suborn terrorism in exchange for power. Go back everyone and read the way that former confederate soldiers behaved back then in the 1870s to the 1920s, exactly the same way that they`re behaving now. Jason Johnson, Charlie Sykes, thank you very much.

And be sure to tune in tomorrow. I`ll be joined by Sandra Garza, long time partner of fallen Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, looking forward to that conversation.

But up next, Joe Manchin wants to single handedly decide the future of voting rights for people of color. He`s making major concessions to Republicans, which could portend very bad things for other Democratic priorities.

Meanwhile, the heat might be getting to tonight`s absolute worst. He`s apparently got bigger priorities right now than keeping his constituents cool.

And it was an historic day at the White House.


KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Juneteenth has been known by many days, jubilee day, freedom day, liberation day, emancipation day, and today, a national holiday.


REID: Republicans claim they support the holiday while simultaneously passing laws to make sure your kids can`t learn about it in school.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: We know a lot of backdoor deals are happening all across Capitol Hill. Hey, we have seen "House of Cards."

But, this week, we got a rare glimpse into the shady underbelly of GOP politics with leaked audio released by The Intercept featuring Senator Joe Manchin, earning billionaire donors to persuade Republican Senator Roy Blunt to back the January 6 commission, in part to save the filibuster.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I need to find three more Republican -- good Republican senators that will vote for the commission, so at least we can tamp them down, where people say, Republicans won`t even do the simple lift, common sense of basically voting to do a commission that was truly bipartisan.

So, once people -- and it really -- it just really emboldens the far left, saying: "I showed you. How`s that bipartisan working for you now, Joe?"


REID: On the call, Manchin also specified some objections to the For the People Act, something we learned more about today when he released a wish list of changes to the legislation, which included making Election Day a public holiday, banning partisan gerrymandering, but requiring I.D., a list, to the surprise of many on the left, that voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams appeared to support.

But, as we know too well, Republicans going to Republican, with Senator Mitch McConnell, flanked by GOP senators, vowing to block any legislation, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says the Senate will vote to advance on Tuesday.

Joining me now is Michael Harriot, senior writer for The Root and author of the upcoming book "Black AF History: The Un-Whitewashed Story of America," which I cannot wait to read, and Jonathan Kott, Democratic strategist and a former senior adviser to Joe Manchin, who`s now a -- with Capitol Counsel.

Let me actually start with you, Mr. Kott, because there`s been a lot of skepticism about Senator Manchin`s role, to be honest, and whether or not he`s playing aboveboard. That Intercept audio makes it certainly sound like what he`s doing is looking out potentially for the future job prospects of Republicans, trying to sort of pad and pave their way with wealthy donors, as a way to do the sausage-making of making a deal.

To me, that is called negotiating with the wrong people. He`s not talking to the people who would be affected by voting rights, to black lawmakers like Raphael Warnock, who have got to run in these elections. Why is he talking to those rich folks, instead of to the people who are actually directly affected by these pieces of legislation?

JONATHAN KOTT, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO SENATOR JOE MANCHIN: He`s certainly talking to the people directly affected by the legislation.

The thing I found out, after a couple weeks working for Joe Manchin, and certainly after seven years, is, he will literally talk to anybody. His phone does not stop ringing. Mostly, I would say 90 percent of the time, it`s from 304 numbers in West Virginia, because, if you have met Joe Manchin, you probably have his cell phone number.

But he will talk to anybody. That was one hour of his day. I`m guessing he spent another 15, 16 hours of his day talking to other people. He works the -- he works both sides of the aisle. He is talking to his moderate Republican friends. And that paid off this week, when you saw an infrastructure deal come together.

So I don`t think it`s -- he`s talking to one group of people and not the other. It`s just an example of him literally talking to everybody.

REID: Well, he -- well, not everybody, because we have tried to get him to come on the show and talk to us, and he won`t do that. And he -- he`s very selective about the TV people he will talk to. He really only goes places, I think, I would say, where he feels that he won`t have to get into more of a debate.

But I will keep leaving that to my producers to try to get him to come on. We`d like him to come on here. He won`t do it. He won`t even -- he`s said no.

KOTT: I will say, as his former communications director, he rarely said no to TV interviews, even when I tried to get him to say no, and he did everything from "The Young Turks" to "Sean Hannity."

So, he is willing to talk to anybody.

REID: Give him a call.

KOTT: But I will see what I can do. But I will see what I can do.


REID: See what you can do, because we would love to have him come on here.

Michael Harriot, I think that you and I had very similar reactions -- I read your Twitter religiously -- and to the prospect of the Manchin compromise.

Tell me what your impressions of it were. And do you think that it is a good framework to start from to get a bipartisan bill?

MICHAEL HARRIOT, THE ROOT: So, the impression of it is, it is a light version of the voter suppression bills that we have been seeing all around the country, with a few compromises thrown in that no one was asking for.

The point of the John Lewis Voting Act, the point of why we`re going through all of this, is because the Supreme Court stripped preclearance away. So, without preclearance, none of this would have even mattered.

Now, having voter I.D. -- we know voter I.D. disenfranchises people, disproportionately people of color, right? So, whether it is a national voter I.D. or some kind of form of voter I.D. is an asinine thing to do, because you`re simply saying, we`re going to compromise with a few people - - we don`t know how many -- some people`s voting right, so we`re OK with disenfranchising some people.

And so I don`t see how anyone could even feel comfortable slapping John Lewis` name on a bill that disenfranchises voters. I don`t see -- and we know, with the gerrymandering thing, computerized gerrymandering, will disproportionately affect African-American lawmakers, because what happened is, Republicans and conservatives split up those districts.

And now they`re saying, well, since those districts are not contiguous, we should just -- gerrymandering them by computer, which is a crazy idea. So, this bill -- having a national holiday is something that is good, but it is nothing that someone is asking for.

And I think we should also point out -- and this is the most important fact -- that there is no widespread voter fraud, right? So we`re trying to cure something that doesn`t exist. Why don`t you ask people for blood samples so you can prove they`re not androids? Because that doesn`t happen either.


HARRIOT: Why don`t you just ask them if you can just cut a -- give a retina scan to prove that they can`t turn invisible and go in the voting booth? Because that didn`t happen either, right?

Why -- that is more likely to happen or as likely to happen as widespread voter fraud. So he`s trying to fix something that doesn`t exist to appease Republicans.

REID: Well, and it`s not appeasing them.

So here`s what happened today, Jonathan Kott. Stacey Abrams came out and she said some good things about the bill, calling it a critical step forward, saying it`s moving the ball forward, which makes sense, because she`s negotiating with somebody who hadn`t even said what he wanted.

Then he says what he wants. She comes out, she says, this is a good start. At least that`s going somewhere. OK.

Here`s what Mitch McConnell said after not like -- it`s like two seconds after she said it sounds like a framework that we could start with. Here`s Mitch McConnell. This is cut two.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): A revised version produced by one of the Democrats yesterday, which has been endorsed by Stacey Abrams, in what is of extraordinarily dubious constitutionality, would remove redistricting from state legislatures and hand it over to computers.

Equally unacceptable. Totally inappropriate. All Republicans, I think, will oppose that as well.


REID: And let`s just be clear, Mr. Kott. It doesn`t matter what Stacey Abrams would have said. If she had said the bill is -- the idea is terrible, he would have said, that`s why I don`t like it either. I -- there`s nothing -- it`s not about her.

This is just about him. Is there any point to having bipartisan conversations about voting rights, when you just heard Mitch McConnell say you will get zero Republican votes?

KOTT: I think that`s just a challenge that Joe Manchin is happy to accept. And he`s going to work tirelessly to see if he can get any of his colleagues to come on board.

REID: But has he ever -- let me ask you, has he ever succeeded?

Because he couldn`t get it on gun reform. He hasn`t been able to get it on anything else. Has he ever actually delivered 10 Republican votes for anything, ever?

Can you name one thing?


KOTT: I think, like, six months ago, he negotiated a bipartisan COVID deal that got billions of dollars to the state.

And he just this week...

REID: I don`t think that was all him. That was on him? He gets the credit for that?

KOTT: I`m not saying -- I`m not saying it`s all him.

You`re asking times that he`s negotiated and been part of deals. That`s one of the times he was part of it. He`s part of a group of 20 senators that just came out with a bipartisan infrastructure package.

REID: How many Democrats voted for that big COVID relief bill that gave people the stimmy? How many Republicans voted for that?

I mean, they didn`t vote for it.

KOTT: No, I`m talking about the one that passed in -- no, I`m talking about the one that passed in December.

REID: The one that Trump did, with Trump, right? Because none of them voted for the -- none of them voted for any -- they won`t do -- if it`s Trump, they will do anything.

I mean, they would lay down in front of a truck for Donald Trump. Easy to get Republicans to vote for something Trump`s going to sign.

KOTT: Sure.

REID: If the bill was to lock their mothers in the basement, they would vote for that.

Last word to you. But -- and I`m not just trying to argue with you.

KOTT: Yes, I know.

REID: But last word, Michael Harriot.

If we -- if the -- if, at the end of the day, we wind up with a bill that just does the voting stuff, and just does the stuff that will protect the actual ability to vote in 2022, so Democrats can get that far, and then move from there, would that be a win, in your view?

HARRIOT: I think so.

I think what we need, what is most important is preclearance and the ability to stop these states and these districts from gerrymandering and disenfranchising black voters. And I think that is the most important part.

And if it`s done, it won`t be via Republicans. Republicans won`t sign on to anything.

REID: Yes.

HARRIOT: I don`t know why we`re on these fruitless efforts. And Joe Manchin isn`t going to get it done, because he`s never, ever done it.

REID: Yes, it`s not -- I think it`s just impossible to do.

But, Michael Harriot, Jonathan Kott, thank you both for being here. Really appreciate the debate.

And still ahead: the two big rulings from the Supreme Court today on adoptions by same-sex parents and Obamacare. Does this finally put an end to conservative efforts and obsession with killing the Affordable Care Act?

I know, silly question, right?

We will be right back.


REID: Killing the Affordable Care Act has been the great white whale of the Republican Party.

Eleven years later, and more then 30 million people insured later, Obamacare lives on. Today, the Supreme Court made crystal clear they want nothing to do with getting rid of the Affordable Care Act. By a vote of 7- 2, the justices moved to dismiss the latest challenge.

Republican attorneys general argue that, without the individual mandate, which was already struck down, the entire law is no longer constitutional. The justices didn`t exactly actually rule on the question of constitutionality. Instead, they found that none of the states or individuals challenging the mandate had the legal standing to sue.

In a separate ruling, the court unanimously ruled in favor of a Catholic charity that wouldn`t allow same-sex foster parents. While it was a loss for LGBTQ advocates in Philadelphia, it was a very narrow ruling that only applied to the specific case, without larger implications for future cases.

The narrowness was a surprise for court watchers, given the conservative majority`s string of favorable rulings on religious -- rulings for religious minorities, carving out essentially a protected class.

And joining me now is Dr. Kavita Patel, former Obama White House policy director, and Sasha Buchert, senior attorney for Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest organization dedicated to advancing the civil rights for LGBTQ people and individuals living with HIV.

Thank you both for being here.

I want to start with Kavita Patel on Obamacare.

President Obama had this to say. He says: "The ruling reaffirms what we have long known to be true. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. Now we need to build on the Affordable Care Act and continue to strengthen and expand it."

Getting rid of that landmark 100-years-in-the-making reform to health care has just literally been the obsession of Republicans for a long time. Three times, and they`re out. What does it mean for health care in this country that it has stood the test of time?

DR. KAVITA PATEL, MSNBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, Joy, I think it means that everybody wants to have accessible health care that`s affordable.

I don`t think that`s even a partisan thing to say. I think everybody kind of can unanimously say that. How we get there has been this insane kind of division. And I will be honest. Ever since Republicans kind of started with their mantra of repeal Obamacare and kill Obamacare. I thought that this was -- oh, surely, they`re going to come up with something that`s better.

And never, in 10 years since then, have I seen even one provision that could amount to something that I could objectively say improves upon the health care for Americans. So, third time`s a charm. As the president himself said, this is a BFD.

I can`t emphasize enough how much I want to move on, because we do have a lot of work to do. We have got to repair the health care system. We have disparities that persist. We have people who are dying who do not have access to Medicaid because their states have decided to block attempts to expand access.

So, the president`s right. President Obama`s right, Senator Schumer, Pelosi. I hope they all make good on that in Congress.

REID: Yes.

No, you`re right. And the fact that so many states are still refusing to expand Medicaid is shocking and a dereliction of duty to these citizens who live there. I`m surprised people don`t vote all those people out who are refusing.

Sasha, and I added spice to your name. It is thought of Sasha Buchert. I see a name with a T at the end and I think le francais.

So, I`m going to go back to your real name, Sasha Buchert.

Tell me about this other ruling, because, when I first read it, it sounded to me like it was a big loss for the LGBTQ community. But my producers, being much smarter than me, they really sort of disabused me of that. So it`s not a total loss.

Can you just tell me, in your view, what does it mean, this ruling in Philly?

SASHA BUCHERT, LAMBDA LEGAL: Yes, it`s troubling.

The ruling is very narrow and focuses specifically on the contract at issue in Philadelphia that allowed for an exception for the nondiscrimination rules that were in place. But it only applies to that specifically.

So I think what`s most important to keep your eye on here is the fact that this -- is to focus on what this does not do. This does not create a general, gaping license to discriminate for religiously affiliated entities that choose to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

We know, every child deserves a family. We know that there are over 400,000 kids out there in the foster system. And we know that same-sex couples are seven times more likely to adopt than other couples. And it`s just reprehensible that there are these moves to try to discriminate against these safe and loving families, so deeply concerning.

But the thing -- the ruling, in itself, should have never happened. They should have just affirmed the two lower courts, but it`s very fact-specific to Philadelphia and doesn`t apply to other agencies.

REID: And just for those who don`t follow SCOTUS stuff, it was a unanimous ruling, which also seemed surprising.

And it means that people -- were you surprised by the way that it was unanimous? I will ask you that.

BUCHERT: Yes, I was.

We expected to see at least a couple of dissents in the case.

REID: Yes.

BUCHERT: I think that again, because of the specific, narrow tailoring to the specific contract, I think that that`s probably why it was unanimous.

But we were surprised.

REID: And, Dr. Patel, the thing that sort of -- sort of connects all this together is, there is all this litigation about the human body that`s happening, right, whether -- what one can do to one`s own body and for one`s self, that winds up in the courts, it`s an uncomfortable thing for a society to do.

Whether or not you can actually get health care, whether or not you will have to, you know, go bankrupt in order to treat yourself if you have cancer, whether or not your state can provide with health care, whether or not you can have an abortion, whether or not, you know, a trans child is fully -- human child who can do other things like living children get to do in school.

It -- does it make you uncomfortable that so much of this bodily autonomy is under the auspices of nine unelected people?

DR. KAVITA PATEL, FORMER OBAMA WHITE HOUSE HEALTH POLICY DIRECTOR: Yeah, it`s concerning when you think about how much of reproductive rights, women`s health, to your point, LGBTQ health, we have had to leave up to the courts.

I mean, Joy, we have had to do that on the basis of race, too. I mean, we are dependent on these interpretations. You will recall some of the previous Supreme Court decisions about the ACA had to do with religious organizations not wanting to provide birth control or reproductive services. As a physician, it troubles me greatly that all I try to do is look at the person in front of me and their health. It troubles me incredibly that not just nine justices, we are seeing state legislatures who have zero or health care background getting into this.

That actually is even more concerning. You are seeing this play out now in every single state. It aligns, Joy, with the same states that want to take away voting rights. It`s taking away rights from all of us, including me as a doctor who wants to take care of the person in front of me.

REID: And yet, guns, as many as you want, everywhere you want. It is a -- it is a strange, strange era.

Dr. Kavita Patel, Sasha Booker, thank you very much.

And still ahead, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annette Gordon-Reed is here, and she will me to talk about Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday.

But, first, a Republican governor pursues of his dream of becoming Trump 2.0 regardless of what`s best for his state`s residents. Tonight`s absolute worth is straight ahead.


REID: Western states are going through an extreme heat wave right now. About 40 million Americans have endured triple digit heat and more than 50 million have been under excessive heat warnings this week, according to "The Washington Post". It`s so hot that doctors are literally warning of burns from asphalt. It`s not officially summer yet. The West is also experiencing an intense drought, the worst in at least 20 years.

It should go without saying, but all of these extreme weather events, it`s because of climate change. It`s only going to get worse if we continue to do nothing to address them. New research from NASA shows that the Earth is now trapping an unprecedented amount of heat with one scientist saying that the Earth is warming faster than expected.

And the while this heat wave is life threatening by itself, America`s infrastructure isn`t set up for extreme weather. In February, problems with the Texas power grid left millions freezing. Now the Texas grid operator is asking Texans to conserve electricity.

Governor Greg Abbott signed two bills last week that he said would fix the flaws that led to February`s catastrophe. But experts say the reforms didn`t go far enough and don`t acknowledge the realities of climate change. In fact, Gregg Abbott actually met with a climate skeptic before the cold snap.

And he clearly has other priorities in mind than keeping Texans safe from the elements. Along with passing the 1836 Project last week, which glorifies the year Texas got its independence from Mexico so it could lone slaves, he signed a bill banning critical race theory, which is not even being taught at Texas K-12 schools, and one that would ban abortion if Roe versus Wade is overturned.

And today, he signed seven, that is seven gun rights bills, plus a bill stopping people from registering to vote using commercial P.O. boxes.

The most egregious maybe is his new protect. Abbott announced yesterday that he is putting a $250 million down payment on a project to, yeah, build the wall, because 2016 will truly never end.

And he`s not just spending tax dollars on this project. He`s also Texans to donate to the project, and volunteer their land for construction. Not to mention that he hasn`t given direct relief to the Texans affected by February`s power crisis.

So, Greg Abbott, for having all the wrong priorities, you are once again, tonight`s absolute worst for asking your constituents who are currently dealing with an environmental crisis to donate money to a stupid project so you can look extra Trumpy ahead of a possible primary challenge from the right.

We`ll be right back.



REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-TX): On this vote, the yeas are 415 and the nays are 14. The bill is passed.


REID: After a -- after a hard fought effort, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee presided over a vote in the House last night that was years in the making, the vote to designate Juneteenth a federal holiday, celebrated on June 19the that commemorates the day in 1865 that all black Americans in every corner of this station were officially free from slavery. And while the bill passed overwhelmingly in the House, there were still 14 Republicans who apparently didn`t think that that landmark occasion was worth commemorating with a federal holiday.

Today, President Biden signed that legislation at the White House officially making Juneteenth the 12th federal holiday to be recognized in this country and the first since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established in 1983.

And here`s the president.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: By making Juneteenth a federal holiday, all Americans can feel the power of this day and learn from our history. Great nations don`t ignore their most painful moments. Great nations don`t ignore their most painful moments. They don`t ignore those moments in the past. They embrace them.


REID: While Juneteenth will now be commemorated nationwide, there`s a catch, in some red states, it could soon be illegal to teach what the holiday is about. That`s because Republican state legislatures in a dozen states are now aiming to dictate how historical and modern racism in America are taught. That includes the state of Texas where Juneteenth was first celebrated.

Governor Abbott signed a law this week intended to ban critical race theory from being taught in public schools, even though it`s not being taught in any K-19 curriculums anywhere, including in Texas.

Joining me now is Annette Gordon-Reed, history professor at Harvard University, and author of "On Juneteenth" which I was kicking I didn`t bring it to get it signed. I had your book. I did a Barnes and Noble run recently and I got a copy.

Talk to me about what this means. I was happy for Sheila Jackson Lee. I know she`s fought for this for a long time. Beyond being a warm and fuzzy sort of acknowledgement of the country and the end of slavery, what does it mean?

ANNETTE GORDON-REED, HARVARD UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR OF LAW & HISTORY: Well, it means that we can actually begin a discussion about it. One of the great things about this holiday is it`s tailor-made for history, because people have to know what happened, when did it happen, why did it happen that way.

And I think the people -- every sort of celebrations I`ve seen, institutions who did it, they always have an educational component. I mean, I -- this is the United States, it will be co-modified in some way.

REID: Yeah.

GORDON-REED: But I think people who are serious about it will write her on that and will continue to make it a holiday, where we talk about the past, some really hard things about the past.

REID: Well, that`s inconvenient because tat`s going to be illegal all over the country. I mean, we`re at a moment where there are a lot of Republicans who have made their cause celebre doing the opposite and saying that we`re not to talk about history that makes anyone who is white uncomfortable, to say anything sort of cast aspersions on slave owners, to make them something other than benevolent and beneficent people to say the Founders were sort of innocence on race and that they really had this master plan that they were going to end slavery -- they had slaves, but they had this master plan.

If you`re not saying that, they`re saying, well, it should be illegal to teach anything but that. How can that be happening at the same time we`re getting a Juneteenth holiday?

GORDON-REED: Well, it`s the American dilemma. It`s a conundrum. There is a push-back. It`s a push-back against all of the efforts over the past -- really since the `50s to bring a more realistic vision about the America -- about America`s beginning, slavery and so forth.

So I think a lot of people are self-conscious about the strides we`ve made in doing that in history. You know, I don`t know what`s going to happen with this. I mean, there will be push-back.

Teachers are very -- my mother was a high schoolteachers. They`re creative people. The Texas Constitution -- the Constitution of the Republic of Texas explicitly talks about race, explicitly talks about people of African descent saying they can`t be citizens. It promotes slavery, all those things.

You can`t teach that topic. How are you going to talk about 1836?

REID: Right.

GORDON-REED: And it`s right there in the document.

So, I mean, if you give people the documents, you read it, the questions will arise naturally, because we`re right here -- wee didn`t-up just invent talking about race.

REID: Yeah.

GORDON-REED: They talk about race a lot in the 18th and 19th century. They put it in their laws, and letters, policies, sermons, you name it. It was always there, and we didn`t just invent this.

REID: You`re absolutely right. The confederacy was all -- all of their secession documents went right to race and slavery.

GORDON-REED: Absolutely.

REID: There is this obsession right now, with taking everything that talks about race, probably including your book. It`s probably soon going to be labeled critical race theory. You`re at Harvard --

GORDON-REED: Yes, yes.

REID: -- where Derrick Bell, of course, was one of the people who actually --

GORDON-REED: And my classmate Kimberle Crenshaw.

REID: And Kimberle Crenshaw who we are desperately trying to get on the show.

Your book is not critical race theory. Your book is about Juneteenth.


REID: But they`re trying to label anything that makes them feel uncomfortable as a critical race theory.

This is from a guy named Christopher Rufo is at the says the goal is have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think critical race theory, we decodify the term and we recodify to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans.

Basically using critical race theory as a brand name.

GORDON-REED: Oh, absolutely, it`s a distraction. You`re right. No one is teaching critical race theory, K-12.

REID: Just to be clear, can you just repeat? What is critical race theory?

GORDON-REED: Critical race theory talks about the influence of race in American laws, even things that don`t have to do specifically that they`re not talking about race. They often have a racial component to it. They have a racial impact and it permeates law. And so, that`s what people are thinking about.

That`s what Derrick Bell and Kim write about and others.

REID: Who`ve been law professors at Harvard.

GORDON-REED: A law school professor. This is not K through 12 material, but they`re saying is, anytime you talk about race, you`re talking critical race theory. Not everybody who talks about race are critical race theorists.

REID: What are you -- I mean, Fox News has mentioned nearly 1,300 times in the past three and a half months. This is now going to be used to get out the vote in 2022.

GORDON-REED: Absolutely.

REID: And as historian, it seems like a perversion of the idea of history to just take something and slap a label on it when it isn`t true.

GORDON-REED: It does, but it happens all the time. I mean, people use history in that way, or seek to use history for political ends, and they see that this is an inroad into -- making inroads into making people frightened about the new inclusiveness and new understandings about history.

REID: How are you going to celebrate Juneteenth?

GORDON-REED: I`m going to have red soda water.


GORDON-REED: And I`m going to have barbecue brisket.


GORDON-REED: I`m not going to be able to barbecue it myself. I live at an apartment. But we will get some.


GORDON-REED: And we`re going to have a good time.

REID: That sounds good. We keep trying to plan the grand REIDOUT barbecue. We got a lot of friends on the show that we always talk to, friends at WNBA, et cetera. If we could pull this barbecue off, you`ve to the to come. We will make sure that we cater -- we will cater you some brisket. We will make sure that that brisket is available.

Would you come if we do the barbecue?

GORDON-REED: I would absolutely come.

REID: Well, I wish you a happy Juneteenth. Thank you so much for being here.

GORDON-REED: Thank you for inviting me. Thank you so much.

REID: Thank you very much.

All right. That is THE REIDOUT. That is Annette Gordon-Reed, and that`s THE REDIOUT.