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Transcript: The ReidOut, 6/7/21

Guests: Nancy MacLean, Jamaal Bowman, Tim Miller, Chris Murphy, Sergio Gonzales, Tara Houska, Jane Fonda


GOP assault on voting rights threatens democracy. In 1963, MLK warned that senators will use filibuster to restrict voting rights. Democrat Senator Manchin says he won`t support voting rights bill. Myth of bipartisanship is on display in votes on protecting democracy. Filibuster reform is in focus amid GOP obstructionism. Conservative chamber of commerce is backing Democrat Senator Manchin and Sinema. Koch Organization is leading push to defeat voting rights bill. Democrat senators from red states face special challenges. Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy is interviewed. VP Harris visits Guatemala to address migrant surge.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Widely seen as a big boost for Wiley, an interesting to see police reform playing out that way. We will continue to cover all of the candidates for mayor in New York, and fairly, of course.

That does it for me. "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid is next. Hi, Joy.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Hey, how are you doing, Ari? Thank you very much. Have a great evening.

All right everybody, good evening. And we begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a question. How many days, weeks, hours need to pass before we start fighting in earnest for our democracy? I mean, really putting up a fight, making noise and giving it the urgency its fragile position deserves. And I ask because we`re already past the point of handwringing and bipartisanship, yes, that fantasy ship has sailed.

We, right now, tonight, are at the point where the big lie is positioned to hijacked our democracy by 2022 with Trump emerging albeit with wrinkled thighs, an incoherent mind that maybe even in adult diaper, back on the campaign trail under the banner of Stop the Steal with his partisan having positioned himself in state government and in the United States Congress to help him pull off in 2024 what he and the January 6th insurrectionists tried, stealing the election.

Stop the Steal is the insurrectionist Republican`s banners. Democrats, what`s yours? Because, seriously, there are plenty of folks who are terrified by what we`re seeing and, frankly, baffled by the Democrats` weirdly cordial response.

You`d think in the face of actual autocracy that things would feel a little more hands on. And it`s not just me or my friends who are saying this, people who are famous for their conservative beliefs and who have devoted their entire careers to promoting democracy abroad, including this someone I personally have opposed in the past, they are saying it too.

People like Max Boot and Jennifer Rubin and David Frum are out here sending out SOS calls, saying America, way up. Because they`re former political party is about to steal our democracy right out from under our noses.

We have got democracy scholars, 100 of them, signing a public statement, saying that American democracy is in grave danger and that suspending the filibuster to pass voting rights is vital to ensuring that we continue to be a democratic republic.

And if that`s not enough, listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in an interview from 1963, raising the same alarms when senators back then were dithering on passing federal legislation to protect civil rights and voting rights.


DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: The tragedy is that we have a Congress with a Senate that has a minority of misguided senators who will use the filibuster to keep the majority people from even voting. They won`t let the majority of senators vote and certainly they wouldn`t want the majority people to vote because they know they do not represent the majority of American people. In fact, they represent in their own states a very small minority.


REID: Did you hear that? That was 58 years ago. And we defied the odds because eventually the filibusters failed and after two more years of struggle and racist violence, we finally got a voting rights act, and yet now we`re reliving the past, verbatim.

Who else needs to say it for Democrats leader to proclaim that this is a state of emergency? You can`t say that you weren`t warned.

Enter West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who this weekend officially crushed any chance that we can save voting rights at the federal level ahead of the 2022 election.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): You know, voting is a bedrock of our democracy, an open, fair, secure voting. We used to go around the world and explain and show and observe voting procedures in a democracy. And now if we can`t practice what we preach and we`re going to basically do an overhaul, an 800-page overhaul of the voting rights or what we call For the People Act, I think there are a lot of great things and I agree in that piece of legislation, but there`s an awful lot of things that basically don`t pertain directly to voting.


REID: What we sent Manchin`s office a list of questions to find out what he specifically objects to in the For the People act and if he agreed that our democracy is in danger. His office has not responded.

Joining me now is Nancy MacLean, Historian and Author of Democracy in Chains. And Nancy, thank you for being here. I interviewed you for my book as a matter of fact, because I read Democracy in Chains and it scared the hell out of me. But as we say on the show is scaring is caring. I think it`s important for people to be real.

That last thing that Joe Manchin said about, well, you know, you can`t pass a bill without bipartisan support that changes our democracy. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, 33 Republicans voted in favor, zero Democrats voted in favor and, the 15th Amendment of the Constitution, 39 in favor and zero Democrats in favor because those were the bills that essentially gave citizenship and voting rights to the formerly enslaved. No Democrats voted for that. They were the conservative party at the time. The Ku Klux Klan Act, at 1871, again, 36 in favor, they were all Republicans , zero Democrats in favor. None of those were bipartisan. What -- as a historian, what did you make of Joe Manchin`s claim there?

NANCY MACLEAN, AMERICAN HISTORIAN: Yes. I think, unfortunately, he is really living in a past that doesn`t exist anymore. It would be lovely to have bipartisanship, but this Republican Party has shown us for certainly over the last decade that they will do nothing in a bipartisan way.

I think the problem is that Senator Manchin and, unfortunately, I think some other Democratic and elected officials really have not fully come to grips with the fact that we -- there is no more Republican Party in the way that people understood that party that many people voted for, for the years as a normal, major party in our system.

What has happened is that the major arch right donors, you know most famously, the Koch network have so transformed the party and have so brought it to heal with their agenda, partly through putting dark money to elections and rewarding those who comply and penalizing those who don`t and by also by arousing the Republican base voters with a steady diet of identity agitation of misinformation, et cetera.

And so there is the constant barrage of noise, and I think he needs some of his colleagues to go and walk him through connecting the dots, that this is not an isolated instance.

You know, on measure after measure, we now have two ideological parties but every political scientist and scholar who studies this will tell you that the Republican are the most polarized, the most extreme, the most resistant to actual evidence and that they will not cooperate on anything. They have shown that most dramatically with their refusal to support an investigation into the most serious attack on our Capitol since the civil war.

Now, a party that will not do that, a party that has shown in state after state and nationally that they believe the only way they can win now is to suppress the vote, a party like that is not going to vote for any kind of voting rights. So he`s living in a world that no longer exists.

REID: Exactly, and they`re not -- and none of them are going to vote for the John Lewis -- you can call it John Lewis and Dr. Martin Luther King Act. None of them are voting for it, Joe Manchin, right.

But I want you -- you touched on something that I think it`s very important. Manchin said that he doesn`t support everything in the bill. He wouldn`t tell us on this show what is it he doesn`t support. But I suspect the part that he doesn`t support and that Krystin Sinema some of the others don`t support are the stuff the chamber of commerce doesn`t like.

The chamber of commerce has supportive of both Manchin and Sinema and some other Democrats, these Chamber of Commerce Democrats. And you talked about the Koch brothers. There was a great piece in The New Yorker about how the Koch brothers have been gone all out to stop this bill, to stop the For the People Act. Not just because they don`t like voting rights and you can explain to us why these super rich, mega rich don`t like people to vote but they don`t like the end of dark money. Dark money is in this bill too. Explain what these super rich people really want.

MACLEAN: What these super rich people really want is something so frightening that they understandably do not ask for it by name but instead they have operated by stealth for years now, steadily rigging the rules of our democracy until we are at the point now where I think about it almost as a noose.

There are so many threads in the noose on our democracy now that it`s almost impossible to count them. You know, you can start with the destruction of collective bargaining power for public sector employees, begun by Scott Walker on 2011, moved on to the voter suppression bills, that there were 180 of them in 2013, the worst gerrymandering that we`ve seen in our political history, the most sophisticated gerrymandering that enabled this Project Red Map to take control of over 30 state capitols and the court effort to use dark money to get Supreme Court judges -- justices confirmed like Brett Cavanaugh, like Amy Coney Barrett, like John Roberts.

You know, all of these has been extremely coordinated on the right. It`s part of a very, very interwoven, long-term strategy and until we understand that strategy, we shadow box.

REID: Yes.

MACLEAN: Because we cannot look at any of these issues in isolation, whether it`s the voter suppression or the attempts to make it, so that legislatures can -- state legislatures can count the vote however they choose or the efforts to undermine the independent judiciary in states like mine in North Carolina. All of these things are part of an integrated strategy that is slowly shackling and strangling democracy. And we need figures like Joe Manchin and Krystin Sinema to understand that, that`s how much is at stake.

REID: Yes.

MACLEAN: I will say people should be aware too that the Koch-backed right is up in Joe Manchin`s grill in his home state, right?

REID: Yes, a 100 percent.

MACLEAN: (INAUDIBLE) is organizing heritage, bussing in people from surrounding states, running constant ads so they are really going after him and Krysten Sinema to try to make sure that they report Democratic priorities.

REID: There you go, and that is the piece that I needed people to understand and that is why I wanted to talk to you. Nancy MacLean, thank you very much. Read Democracy in Chains, you all. It will scare the hell out of me, but you need to read.

Joining me now is Congressman Jamaal Bowman of New York. And I hope that you were able to hear some of that, Congressman, because this is the piece we don`t talk about. It`s easy to say Joe Manchin does not care about black people, right? He doesn`t have a lot of black folks in his state. He doesn`t need them to win. Who knows if he didn`t going to run for reelection in 2024? His numbers are deeply under water, by the way. He`s in the 30s in terms of approval, he probably can`t get re-elected.

But the question then becomes why would he do this? Because he is friendly with the chamber, he`s friendly with the Kochs, he`s friendly with big -- and those people want an oligarchy, they want a country where we can`t stop them from drilling. We can`t have universal pre-K, we can`t have universal health care, we can`t have these things because they`re rich and don`t want to pay for it.

So here`s what I want to come to you. You have Senator Raphael Warnock, a good man, a man of God, telling Politico that he spoke with Manchin. And he says, quote, I remain hopeful, I think that Joe Manchin understands, that this is a defining moment in American history and that our children are going to judge us, grand children are going to judge us based on what we do right now to preserve them for democracy.

Senator John Tester of Montana saying in look, he said in The Wall Street Journal, he`s kind like to get S done, okay? I think being on T.V. and having a gang reporters around is fine, I just like to get things done, they`re all sounding the right note. But do they understand what they are dealing with, sir, in your mind?

REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-NY): I don`t believe so. I mean, this is a historical moment for all of us. We are a part of a system that is rooted in white supremacy, and it has evolved into a system where corporate-backed actors and the wealthy elite are literally controlling Congress.

The reason why they don`t support HR-1 is not just the voting rights piece, that`s a big piece and it`s very important, and we want to past it retroactively so we can supersede what`s happening at the state level. But HR-1 also gets big money out of politics and pushes through publicly financed elections.

So I am one of a few Democrats who do not take corporate-backed money because we don`t want to be beholden to corporations, we want to be beholden to our constituents, the people that we are supposed to serve.

Joe Manchin and others are no longer beholden their constituents. They`re beholden to the Koch brothers, they`re beholden to the Chamber of Commerce and they`re beholden to the wealthy, elite overall who have control of our democracy.

This is why we can`t pass the $15 minimum wage. This is why we can`t pass common sense gun control laws. This is why we can`t pass common sense immigration reform. We are not allowed to evolve into the multiracial democracy that we are because white supremacy has its tentacles around Congress in the form of wealth inequality and the wealthy elite controlling our Congress.

Another thing, corporations within our system are considered people and money is considered free speech. That is insane. That is the system that we are currently operating within and Joe Manchin, while he speaks to being, you know, holier than though and upholding our democracy and looking to save it, he`s really upholding a system of white supremacy through wealth and equality through people like the Koch brothers.

REID: And say it louder for the people in the back, Brother Bowman, because here is the reality. You`re going to have civil rights leaders go and talk with Manchin tomorrow, maybe they`ll eventually try to talk to the diva, Ms. Sinema, who thinks that she`s also running things. If you aren`t running that, I don`t know what you talk about.

Let`s put the people -- let`s put the list up here. We`ve got people we think are opposed to changing the filibuster. We`re not really sure. They`re like open but not committed, 19 people. There are only three who are on the record opposed and you have 27 who say, repeal the filibuster.

If you`re not talking -- if those people who are open but not committed are also taking money from huge corporations that are also beholden to these huge corporations and to the chamber and they need the money too, how do you convince them that voting rights are more important than that money? Because you`re right, that money is keeping us from having health care, good schools, infrastructure, they don`t want any of that because these rich folks don`t want to pay taxes.

BOWMAN: And they want to remain in power, not just at the federal level, by their state level and city level. This is about minority rule and this is about power. You know, we have -- Republicans represent 40 million less Americans than Democrats, yet they are wielding a disproportionately amount of power. This is about power. White supremacy is about power. So that`s the other piece.

And this is why grassroots organizing and mobilizing young people who think differently and believe differently about what America should be, this is why this is critical, because people are more powerful than money, and if we can keep people organized in states across the country to push back against the corporate elites controlling our Congress, then we can threaten their seats.

And if we threaten their seats and run in the couple elections and win in the couple elections, then we can see the transformative of change that we need which is happening in the House, but it needs to happen in the Senate as well. On Charles Booker is one example of that, get people like him in there and many others can bring the transformative change that we need.

REID: And that is the thing they fear the most, do the thing they fear. Congressman Jamaal Bowman, thank you so much for being here and preaching on this Monday. I appreciate you very much. You can get an amen from me right now.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, startling but not surprising, new reporting, we are on the same sort of train here about Mark Meadows` effort to get the Department of Justice, get this, to legitimize the most bonkers election theft theories in the final days of his boss presidency.

Plus, pop quiz, what is an AR-15 assault rifle just like a Swiss army knife. How about never? Tell that to tonight`s absolute worst.

Plus --


KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: Do not come. Do not come. The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border.


REID: Kamala Harris` high stakes first foreign trip as vice president to try to get to the root causes of mass migrations in Central America, and all that.

And Jane Fonda joins me later in the hour.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: In pushing the big lie late last year, the former president embraced a vast array of specious claims and dubious allegations, all of which were easily debunked and universally rejected by the courts that heard them.

Now "The New York Times" has revealed yet another, more covert effort by the Trump White House to invalidate the 2020 election in the closing weeks of the last administration. E-mails obtained by the time show that Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asked Jeffrey Rosen, then the acting attorney general, to examine debunked claims of election fraud in Mexico -- New Mexico and an array of baseless conspiracies.

And here`s the kicker. That included a fantastical theory that people in Italy had used military technology and satellites to remotely tamper with voting machines in the United States and switch votes.

So, it`s not just Margie Q. Greene who`s coo coo ca choo enough to believe that Jewish space lasers really exist. Mark Meadows apparently believe that Italian vote tampering satellites had been launched into orbit.

According to the report, while the acting attorney general thankfully did not comply with requests, Meadows` outreach to Rosen violated longstanding guidelines that essentially forbid almost all White House personnel, including the chief of staff, from contacting the Justice Department about investigations or other enforcement actions.

And with me now is Tim Miller, writer at large for The Bulwark.

This was, Tim, not a surprising story. Just a few details here. And I think it shows the urgency and the sort of desperation of the former president to try to stay in office, that he even considered replacing the acting attorney general with somebody who was willing to do the crimey stuff.

What do you make of this reporting?

TIM MILLER, THE BULWARK: Yes, Joy, remember when Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch met on a plane tarmac, and that was the biggest -- biggest attorney general crime of the century over on FOX and everywhere else?

I mean, this is literally the White House pressuring the attorney general to try to interfere in an election. I think it`s completely next level.

And here`s the thing, Joy. This is not just a random, oh, I got an e-mail about the Jewish space laser and just whatever theory comes up, I`m going to talk to the attorney general. This is a concerted effort. It dates all the way back to 2015, where people in the MAGA orbit were trying to make the case that there is this network -- a global network that includes the Italians and the Brits and these other countries, that were -- that are trying to stop Donald Trump.

I swear to God, it`s the same theory that`s tied to, if you remember Obamagate...

REID: Yes.

MILLER: ... where they claimed that the Italians were working together to fabricate the Russian collusion.

All of this stuff is nutty, but it is deliberate. And so I think it is extremely important, now getting to the politics of it, that the Democrats on the Hill make Meadows testify, create as much as -- pain as possible, get as much information out about this as possible.

And I was listening to Representative Bowman before this, and he`s talking about how great of a threat this is to the democracy and what that means for the bills that need to be passed. And that`s true.

But it also means how you have to act politically. And the Democrats need to act accordingly. If this is as great of a threat as it seems -- and it is -- they need to be dragging Meadows up there. They need to be using every tool at their disposal, just like Trey Gowdy did back with the Benghazi hearings, to ensure, to maximize pain, get as much information out about what exactly was happening as possible, and make the Republicans own this.

It cannot just be a story in "The New York Times." I`m telling you, the voters are not going to see that matter.

REID: You know, and the reason I like talking with you and talking with other Republicans is because I feel like disgruntled Republicans are the only people who understand politics.

I worry that Democrats are so un -- anti-theatrical. They`re not even just un-theatrical. They`re anti-theatrical. They think we will just have a coffee with our friends on the Republican side, and we will serve cookies, and everyone will get a kind of cookie they like. And you see, then -- this is how they react to literally our democracy crumbling in front of them.

I don`t get it. You have Liz Cheney out here saying that people couldn`t vote to convict Donald Trump, even though they knew he was guilty, because they were afraid they would be killed by their own supporters. Liz Cheney understands how dangerous the people at the base Republican Party are.

Can you understand why Democrats are so casual about all this and why they`re not putting Capitol Police and Mark Meadows and dragging all -- and putting all these people on TV? Do you understand it?

MILLER: I wish I could say yes, but I don`t, Joy.

Look, I understand what the White House is doing. The White House has a big job right now. They have to get this vaccine rollout. There -- we just saw in the preview Kamala down in Guatemala. They have a lot on their plate.

What is happening in the Senate, I`m a little bit confused about. They let the Republicans off the hook with this Friday vote right before Memorial Day weekend, where they killed the committee. Why did they hold the vote at that time? Why didn`t they kick this into next week and make sure that there was a bigger show, as you were saying, around the fact that they`re trying to cover up this domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol?

That`s -- it`s just one little tactical thing. But I think it is an example of a mind-set that is wrong. The mind-set has to be, do what is possible to create as much pain as possible and to get as much information out as possible -- this is where the politics and what is right align -- in order to hurt the Republicans for all their complicity ahead of 1/6.

And I think that that same logic applies to some of the policy questions at hand as well.

REID: I don`t get it. I really don`t understand it. It`s almost as if they don`t notice that this is happening, or they notice it, but they literally think that putting out policy papers will fix it in "The New York" -- put a policy paper in "The New York Times" and everyone will know.

No one is going to see that, unless one person, one of us on TV reads that on TV. Most people don`t read "The New York Times." They don`t -- I hope they do the puzzle, because in the puzzle this weekend. You should do the puzzle.


REID: But other than the puzzle, no one`s reading that.

Tim Miller, I`m sorry. I`m yelling...

MILLER: Certainly not swing voters.

REID: I`m yelling at the world. I`m yelling at the clouds.

Tim Miller, thank you very much. I really do appreciate you.

I don`t get it.

Kamala Harris travels to Guatemala to address immigration issues on her first trip abroad as vice president.

But, first, a federal judge striking down a California assault weapons ban, saying these deadly weapons are really just multipurpose tools, puts him in the running for tonight`s absolute worst.

Stay with us.


REID: This past weekend saw a spate of gun violence in cities across the country, which are now tragically all too common.

In Chicago, five people were killed and at least 53 were wounded in a series of shootings. In New Orleans, a woman is in critical condition after being shot in the face early Sunday. Seven others were injured. And, in Miami, three people were killed and five were injured after suspects opened fire on a graduation party at a strip mall, that just a week after a gunman killed three and injured 20 in a shooting at a banquet hall also in Miami.

The Gun Violence Archive reports there`s now been 253 mass shootings so far this year, with 72 last month alone.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in California has decided that that state`s ban on weapons of war was, as he put it, a failed experiment. In a 94-page ruling Friday overturning California`s 32-year-old assault weapons ban, Judge Roger Benitez ruled that the state`s ban on military-style rifles is unconstitutional.

Judge Benitez, a George W. Bush appointee, argued that it deprives Californians of weapons allowed in other states. But the absolute worst is how he described the AR-15, which has been used in some of America`s deadliest mass shootings, along with other military-style weapons, like the AK-47.

Judge Benitez wrote -- quote -- "Like the Swiss army knife, the popular AR- 15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment, good for both home and battle."

That, of course, is totally illogical. A Swiss army knife is a multipurpose tool that you can use to cut up an apple. AR-15s are an adapted version of the M-16 military rifle, designed with one purpose, killing lots of humans quickly.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said the comparison undermined the ruling and is "a slap in the face to the families who`ve lost loved ones to this weapon," an understatement, to say the least.

So, federal Judge Roger Benitez, for making California an easier place to do mass shootings, and doing so in a ruling that reads more like an audition to be the next president of the morally and literally bankrupt NRA, you and the blood that will be on your hands when the inevitable additional mass murders happen in that state, are the absolute worst.

And we still have a lot more REIDOUT to go, including the one and only Jane Fonda.

Stay right there.



KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to emphasize that the goal of our work is to help Guatemalans find hope at home.

At the same time, I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come.

The United States will continue to enforce our laws and secure our border.


REID: A blunt statement from Vice President Kamala Harris in Guatemala today, her first foreign trip since taking office.

Harris met with Guatemala`s president and community and civic leaders to address the root causes leading migrants to make the perilous journey north, mainly the economy, climate and food insecurity.

The vice president`s visit is -- to one of the Northern Triangle countries is part of a larger effort she`s been tapped to lead to address migration across the Southern border.

In addition to her warning to prospective migrants, Harris also announced a new joint task force to address anti-corruption efforts and to address human trafficking in the region.

Tomorrow, she will meet with Mexico`s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

And joining me now is Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. And he`s a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Assess what it is that the Biden administration, in your view, Senator, can accomplish with this trip?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Well, I think it`s important to note why the vice president went to Guatemala.

This is a country that still has a lot of problems, a lot of issues with endemic corruption. But they have made a much more fulsome commitment to try to right the economic ship and security ship than the other Northern countries -- Northern Triangle countries.

And so I think part of the purpose here is to show other countries, like Honduras, for instance, that you can have a closer relationship with the United States if you get more serious about confronting economic, security and corruption issues.

That being said, Guatemala still has a long way to go. So, it was an important announcement that we`re going to be sort of pushing them to get more serious about corruption, and I think also important that the grants that Vice President Harris was announcing are mainly going to the private sector, to entrepreneurs, for instance.

It is, I think, a strong message to these governments to say until you get your acts together, you should expect to see that USAID dollars as part of the Biden administration`s ban to lift up the Northern Triangle is likely to go to the private sector once you show that you can fairly and efficiently administer private sector dollars, U.S. taxpayer dollars, then maybe we`ll think about putting money through the government.

I think that these were important messages that she was sending on this first very important foreign trip.

REID: You know, it is notable that the first clip that`s` come out of it is don`t go on the perilous journey northward and we`re going to reject people coming without prior permission. But when you think about getting close to the United States, I mean, in a country like Guatemala, in Guatemala specifically, that used to be the United Fruit Company used to run essentially Guatemala. They had something like 70 percent of the usable land. They owned it.

The 70 percent Mayan population were basically almost sort of slave plantation labor and then we overthrew their government when they spent 10 years building -- you know, just 10 years, they have a little democracy. We overthrew that joint in 1954.

At some point, do we have a credibility issue when it comes to telling governments to be non-corrupt when we essentially, they had a 30-something year civil war. That was partly the CIA`s doing.

How do we turn around and say, behave yourselves? By the way, our democracy is crumbling, too?

MURPHY: Yeah. I mean, listen, your last point may be the most important, right? We can`t be a credible interlocutor for fighting corruption when, you know, we have our own oligarchs who are increasingly in charge of the decisions being made in Washington and state capitols.

So, we have to clean up our own act which is why there isn`t any distance between the democracy reform agenda in Washington and our efforts to try to rebuild credibility of our government and our country around the world, and to try to clean up corrupt governments that often end up in people making that perilous journey to the United States without documentation.

So, yeah, we always have a credibility gap between what we preach overseas and what we practice at home, and we`re foolish to think that folk stone (ph) notice.

So, the more serious we are in Washington of that re-capturing power for the people away from the corrupt elites, the better we`ll be at convincing governments like those in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to clean up their own act.

REID: Can you tell Joe Manchin about that? Sorry, I`m not going to give to you that job.

But we would love somebody have a conversation with him about.

I want to ask you while do I have you here. There is this headline from NBC News that the U.S. has recovered $2.3 million in bitcoin that was paid to these hackers, these DarkSide hackers in the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attacks. We are increasingly vulnerable to ransomware attacks from other countries. It`s difficult. They`re targeting sectors that aren`t the good guys liek the oil sector.

What can we do about that?

MURPHY: Yeah. I don`t think we can rely on sort of this latest pattern. It looks like this might have been a very unique circumstance in which we are able to recover this ransom through the cryptocurrency system. In the future, we`re going to need a much more collaboration with the private sector and the public sector.

I`m going to be honest, over the course of the next five to ten years, you know, we`ve seen these vulnerabilities in the private sector, particularly when it comes to critical infrastructure and there`s been difficulty in getting them to share information in real time with the government about the threats that they are dealing with. We can`t really help them protect themselves from these foreign actors unless they tell us what kind of hits that they`re getting on their system.

So, we`ve got to build a better integrated system between the Department of Homeland Security and the private sector so that we get real-time information and we can share what we know with them and they can share what they know with us. Together, we can build I think a better prophylactic. But there`s been hesitancy from the private sector to sort of share with government.

REID: We can take the subsidies away until they agreed to share information that could help out national security because they do get a lot of money.

Senator Chris Murphy, thank you very much. I really appreciate you being here.

And joining me now is Sergio Gonzales. Executive director of the immigration hub and former senior policy adviser to Senator Kamala Harris.

And I want to jump back to what I was talking about earlier, because, you know, whenever we talk about this region, I can`t help, but then go into a deep dive on the history of this sort of this sort of Kissingerian foreign policy that got them where they are. I feel like there are a lot of chickens coming home to roost in the Northern Triangle countries.

Is that fair to say in your view?

You`re muted. You`re muted. Hold on a second. Unmute.


Thank you for having me back, but I think that is fair to say.

I mean, these challenges in Central America are long, intractable problems, right? And we heard it a long time ago and the fact that this administration has committed itself from the beginning to addressing these issues is really important because these solutions are not going happen overnight. I also think that you`re right and Senator Murphy was right.

What we do in this country is watched very closely by our regional partners and allies and that`s especially true for the southern hemisphere, and I want to say, on that note the fact that Kamala Harris, and I don`t think it has been covered very much, or being covered by the pundit world (ph). The fact that Kamala Harris is visiting there as the first woman, female vice president, the first woman of color, to visit that region, herself a child of immigrants, that speaks as well to the people of those countries.

REID: It does, but at the same time, as you said, they can see and they can get on the internet. They can see on TV, what we are dealing with in this country is that we have oligarchs that are attempting to take control of our country just like oligarchs like the United Fruit Company took their country basically hostage and turned it into a giant plantation, right, and then they had a civil war. All of these outgrowths of autocracy, they`re still dealing with them and so no wonder they have a lot of corruption and climate degradation and so they`re doing the only thing they can think of, a lot of these moms and dads and saying get my kid out of here, right?

Are we in a moral position to judge what is the decisions being made by a Guatemalan mom when we helped create the mess her kids are stuck in?

GONZALES: Absolutely not, and I think the problem that we`ve had with our foreign policy with regards to migration in the southern border is that we considered it a crisis at the southern border when it`s not a crisis at the southern border and it`s a crisis in central America, but I actually believe -- and I give a lot of people and the American people a lot more credit with empathizing with the situation in which a mother chooses to separate from her child, self-separate and send her child hundreds of miles north because she fears her child will go hungry and it is going to be killed by a cartel or she`s going to have to send her child away with the hopes that her child will have a better life in the United States.

REID: You`re right. And I think it is, as you said, the symbolism of having a mom -- a mom of color up there talking, you know, about these situations. I think it is important. What general impact do you think that Kamala Harris has had, thus far, as vice president both symbolically and practically?

GONZALES: I think that there`s been a lot of progress made in just a few months. This announcement was made back in April. So, we`re not talking about a lot of time. But already, I think there`s been a really multi- faceted approach which recognizes the complexity of the issue.

And she`s announced partnerships with businesses and philanthropies and that`s extremely important because you have to start building economic opportunity, allow people to believe that there`s going to be the opportunity to have a job, the opportunity to make a living in order to pay for food because industries like (INAUDIBLE) have been wiped out because of two hurricanes.

REID: Yeah.

GONZALES: I also think that the administration (INAUDIBLE) legal pathways for immigration, which is really important, so people can legally come to the United States.

REID: Yeah, absolutely. I think we should also note that Harris announced that the U.S. is going to be providing 500,000 coronavirus vaccines to Guatemala and that is hugely important and a very good thing.

Sergio Gonzales, thank you very much. We appreciate your time.

And up next, actress and activist Jane Fonda joins me as environmental and tribal groups protest plans to replace an aging oil pipeline that could endanger sensitive tribal areas in the Upper Midwest.

Don`t go anywhere. We`ll be right back.


REID: Activists today protested against the ongoing construction of the Enbridge pipeline at the headwaters of the Mississippi River in northern Minnesota. Per organizers, around 2,500 people attended the protest. As around two dozen protesters occupied and locked themselves to equipment at one of the pipeline pump stations earlier today.

The Department of Homeland Security helicopter attempted to disperse them. The oil pipeline which runs from Canada to Wisconsin is meant to replace an aging pipeline that runs a similar route.

Pipeline company Enbridge says the new pipeline is needed to improve safety and the current pipeline is corroding and can operate at only half capacity. Opponents say that the pipeline which will cross the Mississippi River violates tribal treaty rights to the land and will exacerbate climate change.

I`m joined by actress, activist and author Jane Fonda who spoke at the protest today, and Tara Houska of the Couchiching First Nation. She`s a trial attorney and former adviser on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders.

I want to start with you, Ms. Houska.

I understand there`s a lawsuit trying to appeal a decision by tribal groups and environmental groups who want to overturn -- I think we`ve lost her. I think we have lost her.

TARA HOUSKA, TRIBAL ATTORNEY: This is happening right now.

REID: Oh, are you there?

HOUSKA: This is happening right now.

REID: That`s perfectly okay. We`re going to watch what`s happening behind you. I know these protests are still ongoing.

Tell us what the tribe wants to see happen, as we`re looking at what`s going on behind you.

HOUSKA: What the tribes -- pardon?

REID: What do the tribes want city happen regarding this pipeline?

HOUSKA: The three Ojibwe nations are suing against this project because it directly violates the indigenous (ph) right to harvest wild rice and it passes the Ojibwe (ph) territories. It`s very, very clear in the law, perfectly clear, this is an illegal pipeline and it`s not in a similar route. It`s actually in a completely new route.

It`s in an untouched area, 100 wetlands, 200 bodies of water. This is a new pipeline.

The solution to an old aging one is not to build a brand-new one through a new place. The solution is to clean up the old mess and move on from fossil fuels.

REID: Yeah, absolutely.

And, Jane, let me bring you in here because you`re using your platform to highlight this issue. You alerted us and that`s why we are -- have the two of you on.

I feel like this is a story about America`s constant subordination of our freedom and the freedom of our first nations to big oil. Big oil just runs this country. We`re enslaved to them.

Is that a wrong way to read that?

JANE FONDA, ACTRESS & ACTIVIST: No, I think it`s absolutely correct. Big oil has a stranglehold on our government, and while President Biden has done some wonderful things, and we`re so grateful to him that he has rolled back some of the Trump policies when it comes to drilling and more fossil fuel development, but there`s still too much that he`s doing that needs to be stopped. He has the power to stop this.

Let me just give the big picture for a second. We are confronting a looming catastrophe. Climate scientists are virtually unanimous that we have nine years to cut our fossil fuel emissions in half in order to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius, no higher than that if we want to avoid catastrophe.

Even the conservative International Energy Association that usually supports new fossil fuel development is saying no, this is it. We cannot, cannot do any more development, no more drilling, fracking, or mining of new fossil fuels. We can`t even burn what we have already developed, because we`re going in the wrong direction.

Fossil fuel emissions are rising, and we have to cut them in half. Otherwise, it`s a catastrophe. Otherwise, we`re compromising the future of our children and grandchildren.

This pipeline would bring double the amount of tar sands oil from Canada, as Tara said, across pristine land, under water, that is very, very precious and pure, headwaters of the Mississippi. It has to stop, and Biden, President Biden has the power to do that, because it was -- the permit was given as the Trump administration, the lame duck administration was on its way out, and the proper environmental impact work wasn`t done.

They haven`t really studied the impact this would have on climate, the impact it would have on the water, and of course, the flies in the face of environmental justice.

Three things the Biden administration has said they are in favor of. He wants to be the climate president, so he must, must call on the Army Corps of Engineers to pull the permit and take a second look at this.

REID: And, Tara Houska, I mean, the indigenous people have paid the price over and over and over again for hundreds of years, to the United States deciding we want more land to put people on, we want more land to build pipelines on, we want more land for whatever we want it for, and now, you know, can you just speak from your point of view of the affront of taking this pristine land and attempting to run yet another oil pipeline through it, given what we have just heard regarding the risks of climate change?

HOUSKA: Defenders all over the globe led by indigenous people, we are 5 percent of the population globally, native people. We`re holding 85 percent of its biodiversity. They`re coming for the last sacred places on Mother Earth, and we are defending them. We have been defending them.

And more and more allies and folks of other walks of life recognize this is the one home that we have, the one shared place we have. This is more than just an affront to climate science. It`s an affront to future generations that have a right to live. It`s an affront to tribal nations who have been here since before the United States.

It`s an affront to all of us who are no longer going to be sacrificed. This is theft of land, but that`s this country is founded upon. And it`s time for a different, time of new era of justice and equity.

REID: Hey, can you -- can you show us what`s happening behind you and tell us a little bit about this protest that we`re hearing that`s behind you?

HOUSKA: Yeah, sure. So what you`re seeing is -- you`re seeing massive Enbridge line three pump station. This is the amount of infrastructure actually needed to electrify line three and its tar sands sludge they`re sending from Alberta down through to the Mississippi headwaters to the plant to the shore of Lake Superior. That`s what you`re looking at.

Young people scaled the fences of this pump station this morning and locked every last bit of last equipment they possibly could. There`s blockade actually up the road from where I`m standing. There are hundreds of people here who have been here holding space.

REID: Very quickly.

HOUSKA: It has to change and we have to be willing to make the sacrifices to do it.

REID: Indeed, Jane Fonda, what can we do? How can we help?

FONDA: You can call or write President Biden. You can go to And you will find out exactly what to say and what to do to pressure President Biden to call upon an ending of this pipeline.

REID: We will do that. We will make sure we put that on all of our social media. I put that on my social media as well.

Jane Fonda, thank you so much.

Tara Houska, thank you, bless you. We`re rooting for you.

That is tonight`s REIDOUT.