Vice President Harris speaks in Mexico City. Vice President Harris says, administration will push back on attempts to suppress the vote. A Senate report finds the Capitol police knew about social media posts calling for violence at the Capitol on January 6th, including a plot to breach the Capitol. The voting rights bill faces uphill battle in the Senate.
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Over the last couple of months, we have convened some of the largest philanthropic organization in the United States who are all international in their footprint to see how they can extend the work they do in partnership with the United States government and the other friends we are bringing to the table.
Over the last couple of months, we have brought together civil society leaders both in the United States and those at Guatemala. And I was privileged to be able to meet with them after our first meeting that was virtual in-person yesterday. The work we are doing includes, reaching out through our U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, to the United Nations to elicit, to solicit support and contributions from our friends around the globe, to renew their focus on this region of the country, understanding the needs that exist here but also the capacity.
What has become clear to me during the course of this meeting and this trip is something I already knew that has been reinforced, which we all understand. People have pride in the place they`re from. People have pride in the place they`re from.
And so when we`re talking about the work that we are doing, we must approach it with an understanding of the capacity of people and not just their needs, understanding that they have pride associated with where they are from for good reason based on the history of those places, based on the culture of those places, based on the contributions that those places have made for thousands of years.
So this is the work that we have been doing. I`m proud to report that the agreements that we have reached again are the result of all of the work leading up to this week and they are very tangible and very specific. Do I declare this trip a success? Yes, I do. It is success in terms of a pathway that is about progress. We have been successful in making progress.
So as it relates to Guatemala, out of that trip we came, out of that trip with agreements to establish an anti-corruption taskforce. This was probably one of the dominant teams of my conversations. With the variety of people we met within Guatemala, including concerns about those who are in exile from Guatemala and the United States, who I`ve also met with and convened.
Out of the trip to Guatemala, we have an agreement to create a smuggling and trafficking taskforce. Again one of issues, not only there but here in Mexico, and an issue I`ve worked on for a very long time in my career before I reached the Senate and much less before I became vice president, the need to address the fact there`s some of our most vulnerable populations that are susceptible to abuse and susceptible to fraud and more horrible things as a result of the smuggling we have been witnessing.
From Guatemala, we came out of that with an agreement to create a young women`s power initiative and dedicating $40 million to that initiative. Why? I knew it before and this is not unique to this region. It is an issue in the United States as well. We need to do more as a globe. And those of us with resources need to do much more to invest in girls and women around the world.
We came out of that trip with an agreement to supply $48 million to Guatemala to support affordable housing, agri-business and Entrepreneurs. Again, I spoke of the young women that I met with who are entrepreneurs. I would tell you that one of the biggest basis for the economy in Guatemala is agriculture.
If you have ever met or known a farmer, you have met some of the most innovative people in the world because they have to adapt, because they have to be creative, because they have to be thoughtful about creating out a situation that may be unpredictable, something that is productive. So we are investing in Guatemala in that regard.
In terms of our visit to Mexico as you know I met with the president this morning, we had a long meeting both, he and I, in person one-on-one and during the course of our bilateral meeting. One of the first agreements that we reached and there was assigning ceremony is a memorandum of understanding on how Mexico, as a partner to the United States, will, with the United States, focus our resources on central America and in particular on three countries, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, where we understand the capacity the United States and one of its closest neighbors, I joke our first cousin, our Canadians are also our first cousin, how we can work together with the resources that we collective collectively have in h region to focus on Central America.
We came out of the bilateral today with the president of Mexico and his leading cabinet members with an understanding about what we are going to do in terms of an economic dialogue, which is going to include top members of the United States cabinet working together with top leaders in Mexico to see how we can expand our economic relationship understanding, again, the interdependence and the interconnection between the United States and Mexico when it comes to our economies. We have seen over the course of history that there is a direct relationship. When one is doing well, the other is doing well.
And, in fact, with pride I share that OECD just recently announced that the United States is going to see an increase in our GDP of 6.9 percent which will be the greatest growth that we have experienced in 40 years. We believe this prosperity will be shared just by the nature of it, and can be shared with our neighbors, and in particular our closest neighbors.
We talked about agreements around security, again, the point about smuggling, but also the trafficking of guns, the trafficking of drugs. We had a specific conversation about fentanyl and the need for security around the ports in Mexico, which the president is working on, understanding in large part that come from China enters to Mexico and goes north to the United States. And for those who are in United States press, you know the damage it has done when it turns into opioids and the havoc it has caused in our country, the interconnection and the interdependency.
We came out of our meeting today, also declaring and announcing today $130 million that we are going to dedicate to the labor reform movement here in Mexico. President Joe Biden and I are proud of the fact that we will be the most pro-union administration. We`ve seen, in that way we see an alignment with the leadership in Mexico.
And so we took a meeting today, and I took a meeting with leading labor, activists and professionals, lawyers and people who are organizing people on the ground to talk about how we can support, understanding again the interconnection that we have between the United States and Mexico when it comes to our labor force. So this is some of the work that we have done.
The issues that are longstanding by virtue of the nature of them are never going to be sold over night. But it is important that we make progress. I remain optimistic about the potential for that progress. I also believe that if we see the capacity of the people and if we invest in their capacity, we will see great returns on our investment.
So with that, thank you all and I`m happy to take questions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Our first question will come from Jeremy Diamond at CNN.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Madam Vice President, thank you so much. Just I have a foreign policy and domestic policy question.
DIAMOND: But just to clear something up that`s been in the news for the last 24 hours or so, can you commit right now that you will visit the U.S.- Mexico border and will you do it soon?
HARRIS: Jeremy, let me tell you something. Yes, I will and I have before. Listen, anybody especially if you`re from California you know, I have spent a lot of time on the border and both going there physically and aware of the issues. But the reality of it is that we need to prioritize what`s happening at the border and we have to prioritize why people are going to the border.
And so let`s talk about what`s going on in the places that are causing the issue at the border. I think it`s shortsighted for any of us who are in the business of problem solving to suggest we`re only going to respond to the reaction as opposed to addressing the cause. And that`s just a fact, if we want -- we all know that in our lives, in our personal lives. If you want to deal with the effects of a problem, then you have to go to the core what is causing it. And so that is the approach we are taking.
When the president asked me to deal with this issue, it was about addressing the root causes of migration. And the root causes are based on the problems and the challenges that people are facing in countries like Guatemala, which is why I was there and why I spent time there.
DIAMOND: Thank you for that. You said repeatedly, Guatemala, if you wanted to provide a message of hope.
DIAMOND: But you also came with the warning. You said do not come. And you warned that would-be migrants would be turned away at the border. Why did you feel it was important to relay that message while in Guatemala? And are you worried that it may have drowned out your message of hope?
And then on the domestic policy front, Senator Joe Manchin has said that opposes the For the People Act and that he quote will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. Given Senator Manchin`s position on that and the current make up of the Senate, what is your vehicle for moving forward on voting rights in Congress and is it time for you to perhaps look outside of Congress for progress on that issue? Thank you.
HARRIS: I know our capacity to give people hope in that region and particularly the three countries in Central America. And I have no question in my mind that the work that we have done, including the agreements that I`ve announced today, much less what will come at those agreements in terms of the work ahead, is going to have a very positive impact. It may not be evidenced overnight but it will have a positive impact.
You know, when we look at what is happening in terms of the experience of people who are fleeing their home country, traveling through the entire country of Mexico to come to our border it is -- it can be very treacherous and dangerous trek. And I don`t take that lightly. I don`t take that lightly. But the reality of it is that we have to address the root causes of why they are fleeing.
And, again, I will tell you, over and over again with the people that I`ve met during this trip who represent a broad swath of people of every stature, every cohort, if you will, from the indigenous people and representatives and leaders in Guatemala to Africa descendants, to people who represent LGBTQ individual who have been the subject of persecution.
Whoever I meet, what they will say is that, ultimately, they want to be safe at home. They want to be safe economically, meaning they want to be secure. They want to have corruption addressed so that it doesn`t impede their ability to get the resources the government should provide to its people. And so that`s been the focus.
On the issue of voting rights, the legislation is critically important. And we have been -- as an administration, the president has been unambiguous that S-1, the For the People Act needs to be passed, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act needs to pass. What we are seeing around the country, are attempts to interfere with a fundamental right of the American people, which is a foundation of our democracy.
And, by the way, this is not even a bipartisan issue. From my perspective it`s nonpartisan. What they are trying to do, these efforts to suppress or make it more difficult to vote will impact a wide variety of people, whoever they voted for in the last election, early voting, vote by mail, drop boxes. Those boxes don`t have a sign Democrat or Republican.
So we`re going to keep pushing for what we need to do to push back and stop these efforts to suppress the vote and to infringe on the American people right to vote. So there`s the legislation, there is the work that we are doing. We`ll continue to do with uplifting the issue so that we can make sure everyone is aware of what is happening. And that`s about the bully pulpit. That`s about elevating public discourse around the issue.
We will -- and the president has announced this in terms of executive orders, we`re going to folks to register to vote. And continue to remind people that in this day and age, I spoke earlier about a new era. And the president talks about it all the time. Part of this new era is that debate that is occurring around the world, about the relative strength, their weakness of autocracies versus democracies. That`s real.
And one of America`s strengths has always been there. We can hold ourselves us out in the world, and then hopefully travel to places where we have some level of respect because we say that we are a democracy and we are true to our democratic values. And, again, one of the most fundamental of them, free and fair elections people have the right to vote, that it is unimpeded. So there`s a lot at stake on this issue that is about the legislation but it`s also about fundamental rights. And, so we`re not giving up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Our next question will come from Tarini Parti from The Wall Street Journal.
HARRIS: Where are you?
TARINI PARTI, NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: I`m at the back, ma`am.
HARRIS: Okay, there you are.
PARTI: Vice President Harris, in your conversations on this trip, have you made any commitments to expanding legal pathways for migrants, including work permits or for asylum seekers to apply from their home countries? And related to that, did you come to any agreements with President Lopez Obrador on Mexico taking back more asylum-seeking families who are turned away from the U.S. on the basis of Title 42?
HARRIS: So we had discussions that were about the need, for example, to re-examine travel restrictions. And there was an announcement after my meeting with President Lopez Obrador that you may be aware of, where we are setting up the working group to actually address that and figure out how we can move forward in that regard.
There was a discussion about also what Mexico will do in terms of increasing its temporary work visas for people entering Mexico through our southern border. There were no promises made or any commitments but we did have the discussion.
HARRIS: We did not discuss Title 42.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Our next question will come from Maria Fernanda at Univision.
MARIA FERNANDA, REPORTER, UNIVISION: Thank you, Madame Vice President. For me, it`s an honor because I actually got to vote for the first time as a nationalized citizen, and I voted for you.
HARRIS: Thank you.
REPORTER: So my question is what would you say to these women, those mothers and also women of color on both sides of the border, farmers, many of them who I see every day, as a message of hope but also as what will you do for them in the next coming of years?
HARRIS: That`s a great question, and thank you. I -- it was actually the subject of both days and a priority for me to convene women leaders to talk about exactly this issue. And, again, this is not unique to any one region. We can look around the world and see that there is still so much work to be done to fight for the equality of women, to fight against the disparities that exist in every sector, be it education or the economy, and to your point, to give people hope in the process of doing that.
What we saw in Guatemala, for example, where -- and, actually, there`s a theme, that is in the United States, in Guatemala and here, access to capital, big issue. Are women given equal access to capital, to the financial resources they need to invest in their own entrepreneurship in a way they can achieve economic, health and success? It`s an issue that we have discussed in the United States. In fact, I`m working on this as to relates to our CDFIs, our community banks. But it is an issue here as well.
So the work that we are doing in terms of our women -- young women empowerment, which, you know, young women of every age in Guatemala is about a number of things including looking at issue of access to capital. The conversations that I had there included that women -- if they don`t have collateral, we`re not given a loan, but because of certain customs and the way things work out, they may not have title to the collateral that otherwise would be the basis of the loan.
There were discussions about the interest rates that are being charged. Here, we talked just in this room with women entrepreneurs about a very similar issue and what we can do to also use technology to get direct relationships with these women and connect them with financing institutions.
This is some of the work I have been doing in convening the CEOs in the U.S., including folks like MasterCard and Microsoft, who are interested in growing the capacity in terms of digital health of those women, so that we can do online banking. It`s called fintech, right financial in technology.
I will also say that, in my experience, having done this work for many years, there`s a direct connection between that and what we see in terms of violence against women. So, it is a fact that a woman will endure almost any abuse, if it means making sure her children are fed, and there`s a roof over their head.
And one of the best ways we can ensure that women have power and agency in those situations is to make sure they have economic independence, so they can make the choices about where they are, and they don`t have to accept a false choice of either feeding their children or enduring abuse.
And so, when we look around the world, we know that that is true and that these issues are connected. And so let`s see the interconnection, because part of the focus for us in this region is about violence. We talk about safety and security.
Well, when we do that, let`s also always remember the violence against women and children, and usually disproportionately so. And so there are many avenues through which we can address that. And economic empowerment is one of them.
So thank you for that question.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our next question will come from Monica Alba at NBC.
MONICA ALBA, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Thank you.
Madam Vice President, yesterday, you said you didn`t want to focus on grand gestures as it related to potentially visiting the U.S.-Mexico border. And, today, just now, you have stated more definitively that you will be going.
So, can you help us understand how this trip in particular to Guatemala and Mexico helped shift your thinking on that position in particular? And now that you have seen the root causes of migration and where that journey begins for many, how soon will you go to see where it ends for many of them as well?
HARRIS: The issue of root causes is not going to be solved in one trip that took two days.
This is an issue that is longstanding, is in many cases generational. It is not a new issue for the United States to feel the effects of those root causes on our shores. It is not new for us to experience that people will come to the United States if they are fleeing situations where they cannot feed their children.
So this work is the work that must be done with a commitment to going deep and making the commitment over a period of time, knowing that nothing that we can do will address it overnight. So, that is my perspective on this issue.
And I am committed to doing what is necessary in the time that we have to deal with the complexities of this. It would do a disservice to the issue itself, the issue at the border, it would do a disservice to the issue itself if that is the issue that concerns some to address the root causes, as though it`s something that can be dealt with overnight.
That`s my perspective.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And our last question.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) Reunification Task Force report that your administration put out? Only seven...
HARRIS: I`m sorry, on the what?
QUESTION: On the Family Reunification Task Force that the Biden administration put out, only seven children separated by the Trump administration have been reunited with their families so far; 2,100 still are waiting.
So I want to know if that came up in your conversations here. And if it`s your sense that hundreds of these may never be reunited at this point. And will your administration potentially support those separated families to pursue a path to U.S. citizenship?
HARRIS: I believe that was a cruel policy to separate children from their parents, and many of them very young children.
And the president feels the same way. And we, as an administration, have made it a high priority to reunify those children with their parents. And the way that policy was carried out when it was carried out, and now we`re coming in after it happened, is, we have got to locate people.
We have got to find people, literally find people. And we cannot give up on that. And it`s going to take a lot of work, but that work is worth it. And we will continue to do it. We will continue to try.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And our last question will come from Tamara Keith at NPR.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: All right, everyone, that is Vice President Kamala Harris in Mexico City for her first solo foreign tour. She visited Guatemala. She visited Mexico. She held meetings with the president of both of those countries.
She`s now giving a press conference, about a good 25 minutes in. It was almost a 30-minute press conference, in which the vice president discussed policy extensively, policy ideas, and agreements and commitments that she was able to achieve during this visit.
It`s been a very monumental two days. She`s gotten a lot done. I want to go through some of these policies.
But I do want to say one thing. This is a perhaps unpopular opinion in the business right now, but I think we need to have some perspective. There are seven countries in Central America. There`s another dozen countries and two sort of territories in South America. We`re talking about 433 million people in South America. It`s something like, what, 44 million people in Central America.
The United States` Southern border with Mexico is not the only important issue that matters to the world. Those seven countries have a long history with the United States, much of it troubling. The United States used much of Central America as essentially a giant plantation.
Google the United Fruit Company. We have a long, sordid, torrid history with this region. The history does not begin at the border, where people are showing up. That is not the only important thing that matters.
There`s a whole history that long precedes people arriving at the border between Mexico and the United States. And to reduce what we just heard, 10 minutes of that, to, are you going to the border, to me, strikes me, personally, as missing a huge opportunity. We have this huge opportunity to understand the reasons why the things that preceded that happening.
Let me go through some of the things that the vice president said.
And I think this is an important line that she had. She said most people -- and this is true, because anyone who`s ever lived anywhere knows this -- do not want to leave home. When people flee their home, they are either fleeing harm, says the vice president, or they know that to stay at home means that they will be unable to meet the basic needs of their family.
People want to stay home. She talked about the pride that people have in their homes. Their homes are a history. They are the link to their family, to their grandparents, their great-grandparents. There`s a whole history. We talk about Guatemala, the great Maya of Guatemala, 70 percent of that population, who were basically enslaved on plantations by the United Fruit Company.
Why are people from bear coming here? Because the hope was deleted from much of that region by us, by things that the United States and our corporate interests did that preceded people -- people aren`t just showing up here because they want to go and live in Texas, and not be able to vote, if they ever can become a citizen, OK?
I just feel like I have to say that. I`m going to throw that in.
Let me go through a couple of the things that the vice president talked about. She talked about some of the agreements that she was able to reach while she was in these two countries in Guatemala.
She said that they are going to create an anti-corruption task force, because one of the outgrowth of our policies, including overthrowing the democratically elected government that was in place for 10 years -- in 1954, around the same time we were doing this in Iran, we were overthrowing the government there, because they wanted to do their own thing and not be subject to our economic needs.
We overthrew that government. We threw it out. The CIA threw them out. They have had a corruption problem ever since. There`s deep corruption in the region, in part because of our policies. The outgrowth of our policies had an impact. And we need to remember that and know that history before we approach telling people, don`t leave.
She said they`re going to form an anti-corruption task force. They`re going to create a task force on smuggling and trafficking, which is very important. A lot of people are trafficked and fall into a lot of dangers when they`re making these long journeys.
A young -- a task force on young women empowerment, $40 million being put into that, to help empower young women, particularly young women entrepreneurs, $48 million for affordable housing and agribusiness. This is very important. These are largely agricultural economies.
And if we can help people to actually make money and earn money and be able to earn a living safely, without being set upon by gangs, and set upon by criminals, and caught up in the sort of war on drugs, which, again, also is related to the needs of people here and the desire of people here to do drugs, right, or addiction, we can try to help people stay home, because, again, people want to stay home.
In Mexico, she talked about creating partnerships, economic partnerships, because of the linkage between the U.S. and the Mexican economies. They are very linked together. They are, Canada and Mexico, our two largest trading partners, so creating some kind of relationships to try to increase the economic stability of Mexico, which is another driver of people leaving.
Dealing with drugs and smuggling, obviously, our opioid addiction problem in this country, a very, very big deal that needs to be dealt with across borders. And $130 million for labor reform, this is huge, very important, dealing with labor issues in Mexico that also make it easier for people to work, earn money and earn a living there.
So, that is part of what happened.
Let me go to New York Congressman Adriano Espaillat. He`s the vice chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. He`s the only former undocumented immigrant in Congress. And also Maria Hinojosa, anchor and executive producer of Latino USA and founder and president of Futuro Media.
I want to apologize for my lengthy rant, and go to you, Congressman, first.
Your thoughts on what we heard from the vice president?
REP. ADRIANO ESPAILLAT (D-NY): Right on target, Joy.
I think that we have to take a deep dive to find the root causes. Migration is not an easy subject. It`s a complicated and complex one. It involves environmental issues. It involves violence. It involves the history, as you well put out.
And ever since -- not since JFK`s 1961 Alliance for Progress have we even attempted to take a deep dive. We went in there, and we reaped the fruits of capitalism, as we called it. And now -- and we abandoned the place. And we call ourselves the leaders of the hemisphere, but, in fact, we`re not providing the leadership that these countries are looking for.
So, I think that her going there and taking the first step, take a deep dive, and find out what must be done to build public-private partnerships, to make sure that climate issues are addressed by young people, that women`s issues are -- nobody likes to leave home. Nobody likes to leave a great beach, a great palm tree for cold weather.
People want to stay with their families. But that -- it requires investment. And you`re talking about over 80 -- over $80 million that she talked about in this first trip. So, this is, I think, a good first step for our country to take a deep dive and really understand, what`s forcing a mom to travel thousands of miles with her small children to the border?
What is forcing a dad that sees a very young adolescent male, son, get threatened by a gang and tell his young son, go save your life, go to the United States of America? What is happening there that we can really address? I think this is a great first step.
And, Maria, my friend, listen, we -- yesterday, I was moved by your post. You posted on social media your visceral reaction to the sound bite. I think this is one of the other challenges. You know this as well as I do, as a journalist, that we get caught up in a sound bite. And there`s not a lot of context to it.
What we got mostly from the Guatemala trip was: Don`t come. And that was sort of what it was boiled down to.
I think this was a little bit more contextual. And we got a little bit more of the vice president`s thoughts. So I want to let you react to what you heard this evening.
MARIA HINOJOSA, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, LATINO USA: I think that`s probably because there was extraordinary blowback by hearing the vice president, daughter of immigrants, say to refugees: Don`t come.
So I think there was a pause and just like, OK, wait a second, legally, refugees can come and should come, because, I don`t know, that`s basically the Statue of Liberty, stone`s throw from where I am, that`s kind of what she`s saying. That`s what we advertise.
OK, yes, Joy, you`re right. Today was better. I`m very happy to hear that there`s going to be such extraordinary investment. Of course, when I wrote down in my notes, I said to the congressman, why would a woman leave?
Well, if the United States is going to fund the police that are part of the cycle of violence and the impunity, and the United States is going to say, we`re going to help by now helping security, that does not help the woman who is a victim of extraordinary domestic abuse. Femicide is what they`re escaping.
And so for me Joy, yes, yesterday was a gut punch. It was like, OK, here we go. Here we go with the Democratic Party. Certainly, it`s not like having white supremacists in the White House. But this was a disheartening -- it`s a disheartening moment yesterday, and, today, more hopefulness, but we need much more context.
REID: Yes, I mean, we have a long relationship, and it`s got to become a lot more integral, because we do need to try to improve the economies.
If we can do more to improve the economies and to improve the sense of stability -- but we got to understand a lot of folks out there have a lot of doubt, based on the history. As Jose Antonio Vargas, our mutual friend, says, they are here because we were there.
Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Maria Hinojosa, thank you both for rearranging your schedules and being here with us tonight.
All right, up next on THE REIDOUT: A damning new Senate report on the January 6 insurrection reveals major intelligence and security failures.
The details after the break.
REID: Now to the insurrection that nearly decapitated our government.
Two Senate committees today released a joint report on the events of January 6, revealing major intelligence and security failures.
But, before we get to that, let`s just pause for a moment to remember how that day sounded and looked and felt.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIOTERS: Treason! Treason! Treason!
RIOTERS: Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!
CROWD: Stop the steal! Stop the steal! Stop the steal!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s take a seat, people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: The Senate report finds the Capitol police knew about social media posts calling for violence at the Capitol on January 6th, including a plot to breach the Capitol. The online sharing of maps of the Capitol complex`s tunnel system and other specific threats of violence. They knew the would- be insurrectionists were prepared to bring guns and were prepared to use them. They knew they discussed plans to surround the Capitol complex and seal off the exits to trap lawmakers inside.
But none of that information filtered down the rank and file officers who would actually be defending the Capitol that day. They were left to fend for themselves against an onslaught by domestic terrorists. And without adequate protection or defenses, they were completely overwhelmed.
To sum it up, the report is pretty damming even if much confirm what is we already knew. However, the most glaring omission, by far, is the Senate report doesn`t address the question of motive. It doesn`t explain why the mob descended on Washington that day. It doesn`t explain what led them to shut down a co-equal branch of government or what motivated them to try to overthrow a duly president by force. And all those questions are crucial to preventing this from ever happening again.
Meanwhile, the big lie has only gained in popularity among Republicans since January. In fact, according to a poll last month, nearly three quarters of all Republicans now believe the ludicrous assertion that it was left-wing protesters who were actually responsible for the insurrection which they believe was an effort to, quote, make Trump look bad.
All of this highlights the dereliction of duty on the part of Republicans who blocked the nonpartisan commission that could have carried out a thorough investigation of January 6 and all the events that led up to it. There made a post even though the main perpetrator Donald Trump is already promoting round two, a second attempt a coup in this country.
Trump has fully embraced the ridiculous QAnon reinstatement theory he can make magical return to office by August. Despite the fact that there`s no constitutional mechanism that would make that possible, none, zip, zero.
Joining me now is Malcolm Nance, MSNBC counterterrorism and intelligence analyst, and Butch Jones who spent more than 36 years as a Capitol Police officer.
Officer Jones, I have to go to you first on this.
There is so -- we have one report but it doesn`t get into the why that it happened. What do you make of the findings that were there, that Capitol police were essentially left completely unprotected and unprepared?
BUTCH JONES, RETIRED CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER: The number one, I think that Capitol police made a mistake in not being prepared. But in that mistake, you have to also recognize that the sergeant at arms of the Capitol, sergeant at arms of the House are responsible for making sure that Capitol Police have the necessary back up, the necessary equipment, the necessary whatever to take care of the demonstration.
To me is the pot calling the kettle black because if Congress is not going to have a independent audit of what happened, we will never find out the real reason of January 6th. And to blame Capitol police for this, I take it an assault against the police department.
You got Mitch McConnell, you have the congressman from New Orleans, you have -- I can`t think of his name -- McCarthy get 24/7 security year round, and they still voted not to protect the police officers that protect them. I think it is a disgrace that Congress is not held responsible or held accountable for what they do.
And let me play, this is Senate Majority Leader Schumer on the point that we still need an independent body to answer those same questions that you just heard Officer Jones bring up. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Well, we do believe there ought to be a commission to go forward. They almost assiduously avoided the words, two words that are vital to finding out what happened on January 6, Donald Trump. Republicans reportedly didn`t want any mention of him at all. And to find out, I think we should find out if other members of Congress participated in this as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And this is still the point, Malcolm. We still -- we still don`t know, you know, basic questions. Ali Alexander has said that members of Congress helped him in planning. He`s now in hiding.
There`s so much that we still don`t know whether members of Congress gave tours in advance. We had panic buttons ripped out.
Can you explain this? I mean, let`s go -- let me give you one more pie of information and I`ll let you go at it. Across the country, per "The New York Times", a rising class of Republicans have embraced the idea the election itself is illegitimate. Meaning, they have taken in the big lie as their new orthodoxy.
To build a campaign for the modern GOP, most candidates must embrace or at least not openly deny conspiracy theories and election lies. They must commit to a mission of imposing greater voting restrictions, making it easier to challenge or even overturn elections, and Trump is gearing up to do this again.
Your thoughts, Malcolm?
MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC COUNTERTERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, first, let me give my props to Butch for spending 36 years in the Capitol Police. You know, I spent all that time in the military. And, apparently, your job was a little more dangerous just as dangerous as mine was in Iraq at some point.
This is ridiculous that we`re even here having a discussion about whether an investigation is appropriate. Let me tell you, what happened on January 6th, I`ll go to your point, Joy, is we told any terrorist who ever wants to take the Capitol, how to do it. What capacity they could infiltrate their way in. We talked on the very flight of January 6th on this program about there being murder cells within that group. And now we`re finding out people did go into the Capitol with the intent to commit murder. We have officers who witnessed those statements.
So, that being said, you know, the entire process that has gone on since the Capitol has been fed by, as we all know, the big lie. I just finished a 120,000-word book on this is the big lie has over taken the entirety of the Republican orthodox. QAnon without the control Q now controls the Republican Party.
So, Donald Trump believes all these rumors about, you know, about the count in Arizona and other states that he thinks will put him back in power because being a liar is the hallmark of advancement in the Republican Party. Charlie Sykes actually has a great term for it, right? Disinformation competition. You have to be a greater liar than the next person to advance in the Republican Party so they start making fantasies up. It is a party of delusion.
REID: Yeah. It`s also been described as late stage Bolshevism, that old party from the 1970s. It sort of feels like that as well.
Officer Butch Jones, do you -- would you trust an investigation of what happened as Republicans -- I don`t want you to be partisan about it. But if they are sympathetic to this, is what Malcolm has said, would you trust an investigation that part -- that members of that party were involved in?
JONES: No, I wouldn`t, and it`s because we the people need to put more pressure on Congress and make them be responsible.
Congress got a blank check. They do exactly what they want to do. By showing you they`re not going to investigate what happened January 6th is saying they don`t care about our democracy because Donald Trump don`t want them to care about our democracy. So, until we show them how important our vote is, not the day after election but the whole term and put pressure on Congress, everybody needs to call their member of Congress and say, we want this investigation.
Not ask them, but tell them. And until these people put a little pressure on Congress, Congress got a blank check. Nobody answer for Congress. And to me, how you`re going to sell anything if Congress don`t have to answer to the people.
REID: Yeah, it is a problem. Let me play for President Obama talking about this sort of grievance politics. He did a CNN interview yesterday. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: I also think there are certain right wing media venues, for example, that monetize and capitalize on stoking the fear and resentment of a white population that is witnessing a changing America and seeing demographic changes and do everything they can to give people a sense that their way of life is threatened and people are trying to take advantage of them. And we`re seeing it right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And that would be bad enough, Malcolm, if we also didn`t have things like the Army not telling the truth initially that Michael Flynn`s brother was on a phone call when they were deciding not to send in National Guard and help those Capitol police officers out, if we didn`t have public officials -- if we didn`t the minority leader of the House refusing to allow an investigation to go forward.
How much danger do you feel we`re in of having a second round of what happened on January 6th if Donald Trump will win, if Donald Trump is not magically reinstalled in office in August?
NANCE: Well, we`re in critical danger. I mean, I think it was November 6th I went on Bill Maher`s show and said that what we should expect is an insurgency now that the Trump, the Republicans have lost, and his people believe America is only "them." And the other 60 percent need to be dominated.
And you know what an insurgency is? It is a sustained political and paramilitary series of insurrections. It`s where they take the fight that would be carried out in the halls of Congress out on to the street. Little did I know that within 60 days, it would manifest itself, but it`s gotten worse since January 6th. It really has, because they`ve all fed into the delusion now.
You can -- again, you cannot be a member of the Republican Party without believing the base, and what they believe is true. You can no longer be decent. You have to be a person that is ready to have a war over Donald Trump.
REID: Yeah. It is a scary situation with one of our great political parties, former great political parties falling into that hole.
Malcolm Nance and Butch Jones, thank you both very much.
Meanwhile, this is the other big story today. Senator Joe Manchin, after making his objection to voting reform very clear in an op-ed state paper, his home state paper, he sat down with civil rights leaders today to discuss his position. He said it was a good meeting that gets us nowhere closer to justice.
I want to be crystal clear at one fundamental point in today`s political discourse, however, America`s democracy is we just discussed under the Republican Party, full stop.
And today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who not only opposes the transformative election reform bill called the For the People Act, announced he opposes the John Lewis Advancement Act. It would restore the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court gutted in 2013.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: There`s no threat to the voting rights law. It`s against the law to discriminate in voting on the basis of race already, and so I think it`s unnecessary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Now, let`s be real. It`s not that shocking that the senator from Kentucky who once proudly posed before a confederate flag opposes the John Lewis Act. What is surprising is that a number of moderate Democrats including Senator Manchin are willing to help Republicans do this.
It was Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who in his letter from a Birmingham jail in 1963 pointed out the Negroes` great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen`s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice.
Flash forward to 2021, when Manchin says he has a very respectful and informative meeting with civil rights leaders, he told reporters, I don`t think anyone changed their positions however. I guess you didn`t read that letter from Birmingham, because order is clearly still far more important to Senator Manchin than justice.
I`m joined now by Reverend Al Sharpton, host of "POLITICS NATION" on MSNBC and president of the National Action Network, and Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, both attended today`s meeting with Senator Manchin.
And, Rev, I want start with you.
It sounds like Manchin walked out of that meeting, thank you very much but I`m not doing anything to save democracy. Your thoughts?
REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK PRESIDENT: He clearly walked out of the meeting holding his position, and we clearly walked out of the meeting holding ours. This is about saving the democracy and the right to vote that people died for to get in the first place.
Let us not in any way pretend that we and the black community and in other communities suffered, blacks and whites died in the South to get the right to vote, for Medgar Evers to Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner.
And what we`re talking about here is the fundamental right of having our vote not diluted and not in any way impeded by what we`re seeing going on in 47 states, and that`s what we said to Senator Manchin today. And to say that the process of trying to preserve the filibuster, which we talked about today, has in itself a racist beginning, that is what the filibuster has been used for, to use process over what the country is supposed to stand for, when you have the vice president of the United States preaching democracy down in Mexico and Central America, is, in my opinion, absurd.
I think that we wanted to make it clear to him as he says we will continue talking, but we want to also talk to others in the Senate, because Jose Williams and John Lewis and others have fought for this, we are the children or the second generation behind that, we must preserve the right to vote and we`re not going to back up in anyway, shape or form on that demand, which is our God-given right as citizens in this country.
And, Derrick Johnson, Elie Mystal wrote a great piece in "The Nation", I recommend everybody read it, and points out that Joe Manchin laid out in this whole op-ed that he opposes the bill, he didn`t say one word about why. He didn`t say what specifically in the bill he doesn`t like, he didn`t name one provision he didn`t like.
Did he lay out in this meeting anything specific about the meeting that he doesn`t like?
DERRICK JOHNSON, NAACP PRESIDENT AND CEO: No. We didn`t talk specifics about the bill. We did make the case that protecting voter rights is not a partisan issue. This is not about Democratic versus Republican. This is about protecting the Constitution, and the right to vote.
The civil rights organization, NAACP, we`ve been in the same place for 112 years. We fought against southern Democrats in the `30s, `40s, `50s and `60s, all on these issues, and we fight against Republicans now. So, to make this a partisan question, that`s because Republicans say we don`t agree with it, that`s asinine to say the least.
We will continue to put forth towards the solution to ensure our rights to vote is protected.
REID But, Rev, you know, as Elie points out, Manchin made is clear he doesn`t have a specific objection, although Chuck Schumer says he`s going to lay out his specific objections, he has essentially said the fact Republicans don`t like it is good enough for me. That`s all I need to know. They don`t like it, therefore, I don`t like it either.
So, I don`t know how you get anywhere with someone like that. Did it come up in the meeting that he used to support reforming a filibuster. It`s on his website that it says he used to, you know, a few years ago thought it was fine about the filibuster.
Did anybody bring up his own history and ask him to defend his current position?
SHARPTON: We brought up the fact they have gone around this 60-vote filibuster on other occasions and they ought to do it about this bill, Senate bill 1. They ought to do it around the John Lewis bill, and around the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act. If you can`t do it now, then why did you do it in the past? And what could be more critical than now?
The other thing I think was that it`s striking today is before he could get down the hall from the meeting, Mitch McConnell said that Manchin may say he`s for the John Lewis bill. We`re not going to even support that. And he said it`s not necessary.
Well, over 40 states are trying to change the laws. But if it`s not necessary to deal with voting rights, then why is it necessary for them to change the laws? It is some oxymoronic logic that McConnell is saying that I don`t even care what Manchin is saying. I`m rebuffing that we`re not even going with the John Lewis bill that Manchin is saying he would go with.
REID: Yeah, absolutely and he uses, it`s disingenuous, it`s against the law to discriminate on the basis of race. Yeah. That`s why the Southern states said, you can vote if you`re black. You just tell me how many bubbles are in this bar of soap. Definitely vote. You just have to tell me how many coins are in this giant jar. If you can`t do that, you can`t vote. Not race, we`re just trying to have election integrity.
He`s acting obtuse when he`s a southerner and he`s not. He knows exactly what he`s doing.
And, Derrick Johnson, is it now time to take this to a different level? Because talking to Manchin, I guess that`s nice. There are other Democrats, there might be up to ten of them that are against having these reforms.
What`s the action plan that we need to be thinking about right now? What do we do? Because none of this is going to pass. Not even the John Lewis Act. None of it.
SHARPTON: The focus has to be on the Senate. Unfortunately, we`re stuck in this quagmire that there is no court action we can take at this juncture. This is a legislative process. So, we must as forceful as possible go beyond Manchin and talk to as many members as we can to try to get to a solution.
Protecting one`s right to vote is paramount, and the John Lewis Reauthorization Act would not address the harm done over the past two months by state legislative bodies across country. It won`t address that. It would only a look forward measure.
So we have to be as forceful at possible with as many members at possible, be it Democrat or Republicans, to come up with a solution. Because (INAUDIBLE) mean that our votes will be suppressed, and if that`s the case, we need to take even more drastic measures, as we identify those measures.
REID: Rev, is the only solution to be, you know, make Manchin irrelevant by winning more seats in 2022? Winning maybe Wisconsin and Pennsylvania? The only way to solve this is to render the man irrelevant?
SHARPTON: You must render not only Manchin, but any of these Democrats or Republicans irrelevant. That`s next year. But you must be able to really galvanize the base to understand what they`re doing. They are robbing us of what was fought for, with bloodshed and death to give us, and we should not allow that, and we must in a non-violent but direct way deal with conversation or confrontation non-violently, but we cannot have on our watch in our generation votes taken from us and they`re doing it in broad daylight.
REID: Yeah, gentlemen, please keep us to up to date when you meet with the next of the recalcitrant senators, who think there are about 10 of them.
Reverend Al Sharpton and Derrick Johnson, thank you both very much.
That is tonight`s REIDOUT.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" stars now.