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Transcript: The ReidOut, 6/9/21

Guests: Elizabeth Warren, Yamiche Alcindor, Michael McFaul, Val Demings, Bernard Ashby, Dana Milbank


Laffer says, some people aren`t worth $15 an hour. Koch Org. is pressuring Senator Manchin to oppose Biden. IRS files reveal how wealthiest avoid paying income tax. Biden makes first overseas trip as president. Biden tries to clean up Trump`s foreign policy mess. Biden makes first overseas trip as president. Biden says the United States is back. Republicans in Texas are so triggered by the mere existence of the 1619 Project that on Monday, Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill that would create the rival 1836 Project, marking the date when Texas gained its independence from Mexico. The U.S. is increasingly unlikely to reach the president`s goal of having 70 percent of American adults partially vaccinated by the Fourth of July.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: So we`re keeping an eye on this but we`re glad the cicadas have not caused any more severe problems.

That`s our final thought here on THE BEAT and does that it for us. "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid is up next. Hi, Joy.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: I`m sorry, if I look traumatized, is because you kept saying cicadas and swarm and cicadas and swarm, and I`m terrified of bugs. So I`m traumatized now. Thanks for that. Thanks, Ari.

MELBER: Watch out, watch out.

REID: OK, bye.

Good evening everyone, we begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a very basic question, and a serious question. What does today`s Republican Party actually stand for? Besides voter suppression, the big lie and taking the knee to the orange guy in the diaper, probably.

Naturally, if you`re a sentient being you would look back at the past five months and try to take stock of what Republicans have brought to the table. A quick scan shows you that they`re not down for much. They don`t support investigating the January 6 insurrection. They don`t believe in making voting easier. They don`t believe making mass shootings harder to pull off. They don`t believe women should get the same pay as men. They don`t even believe that poor people, and apparently minorities deserve decent wages.

Here`s what Art Laffer, a Trump appointee economist, told Fox News.


ART LAFFER, ECONOMIST: For those people, Sandra, who are coming into the labor force brand fresh, not old timers who have been around for a while, the poor, the minorities, the disenfranchised, those with less education, young people who haven`t the job experience, these aren`t worth $15 an hour in most cases.


REID: Even on infrastructure, Republicans have made it clear that the only way that would happen is if they can make you, the tax payer, cough you have the dough, not wealthy corporations.

Can`t detect a pattern yet? Earlier today, Senator John Thune, McConnell`s top deputy, told reporters there is no scenario where even ten Republicans would come together to make infrastructure happen.

Here`s the reality. Republicans aren`t serious about working with President Biden on anything. They don`t want to give him the ten votes and the win that Democrats could take it to the next election. McConnell broadcast that last month when he told reporters that his caucus, from Collins to Cruz is, 100 percent focused on blocking the Biden administration.

And yet, with only one party that is serious about democracy or governing or anything, why do Democrats keep bellying up to the table in good faith, proposing ideas on how to improve health care, infrastructure, equality and access to voting? At a certain point, shouldn`t it become clear that Republicans love to tease Democrats and the public with a hint of compromise, only to yank it away like Lucy and the football from Charlie Brown? Meanwhile they just run out the clock. How much longer Democrats kind of keep playing along?

Joining me now, is Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. And, Senator Warren, I am so glad that you are available to be on with us tonight because I have been dying to talk to you. Because you don`t seem like the type of Democrat who is willing to sit around and chitchat with the John Thunes and the Shelly Moore Capitos for like eight months and try to get bipartisanship. You want to get things done. You`re the lady with a plan. Why are Democrats still playing along with this game?

SEN. ELIZABETH WAREN (D-MA): So, you know, I see it this way. I think that the president did the right thing. He said, I`m willing to be bipartisan, come in, let`s talk, but not to hold things up. What we`re doing now as Democrats is we`re negotiating out an infrastructure package and we need to make sure that we`re going full speed ahead. Republicans want to join us? Fine. But if they don`t, we don`t slow down for them. We need to move forward. We need to deliver on our promises. And that means now.

REID: Well, yes, because also the 2022 election, we can`t lose sight of that, Democrats ran on some stuff and people are expecting it to get done.


REID: But if it doesn`t, then they`re like, why do I keep voting for Democrats if they don`t do anything? I do have a challenge, because I`m hearing that. I have to tell you, young folks around me, people that I`m talking to are saying, I`m sick of being told I have to vote. And when Democrats get in, they say I can`t do anything because Mitch won`t let me. Do you see that sense of perception?

WARREN: That`s right, this is too hard. Yes, you know, I just -- we can`t stand here and say, this is too hard. No. We have the majority. I know it is a little tiny, skinny, skinny majority, but it is a majority. And that means we need to deliver. We need to deliver on infrastructure.

And that means, sure, roads and bridges. It also means mass transit. It also means communications. It also means child care. It means helping women get back into the work force and it means making those jobs that are principally held by women, principally held by women of color, making those care giving jobs, good, dean, dependable, well paying jobs. We need to do that as part of our infrastructure bill. We need to be making the investment in green as part of our infrastructure bill, building a 21st century infrastructure.

And, remember, Joy, it`s not just infrastructure. Right now, President Biden this evening could sign a piece of paper and cancel student loan debts for $50,000. He could wipe out all student loan debt for 38 million Americans and substantially cut it for another 5 million Americans. Think what that would mean for people across this country. It`s an economic justice issue and it`s a racial justice issue. We`re Democrats. We ran on getting stuff done, we need to get it done.

REID: And that`s the kind of stuff for I think especially a lot of young people, that`s what they voted for and they`re waiting for that stuff to happen. But inside of your own caucus, you do have some members, who I would characterize as chamber of commerce Democrats, right? The chamber of commerce likes them, gives them support.

And you`ve got some Koch brothers Democrats. Let`s just keep it real, Joe Manchin is getting a lot of pressure from the Koch organization. They are in league with him in some way. I`m not saying how. But, obviously, he`s got connections to them. Is part of the problem here that the same kind of dark money that S-1 wants to eliminate is also playing a part in some of these Democrats saying, we`re not getting rid of the filibuster, we`re not touching it, we`re not doing voting rights, we`re not doing anything the Koch don`t want?

WARREN: Look, dark money has been washing through Washington for decades now and it has just gotten worse. And one of the things we`ve got to do with S-1, and I`m so glad you raised this, is we have to protect the vote that is a key part of S-1. But the second part is we have to be willing to stand up and drive back the corruption.

So right now, that`s a big conversation within our caucus. We`re having a lot of talk back and forth. But both pieces need to be strong and we need to go forward on them. I`m hopeful but I`m worried. And more than anything else, I am in this fight. I know it`s been a bad week on this. But when it is a bad week, that means it is time to double down and to get tougher in this fight. We must deliver as Democrats.

REID: Well, how do you do that? Because the Kochs have made it clear, there was that audio that was release in January that The New Yorker came out with, and they said, look, you know the idea of getting rid of dark money is popular with Republicans. Well, we can`t argue against this on the merits. We need to kill it. And now you see not just Republicans looking to kill it, you see people like Manchin who was a co-sponsor of S-1. People don`t realize he was a co-sponsor of this bill. Now suddenly he`s on record against it. It makes people wonder whether money is starting to play a part.

And by the way, one last thing, off for a win, these are rich folks who don`t pay taxes and they don`t want to ever pay taxes. We just had that big report come out that they pay zero. And they want to keep paying zero. And I worry that people like Manchin and Sinema are helping them.

WARREN: Well, we`re not through yet. We`re still in the middle of negotiations around this. And I`m in the fight and there are a lot of Democrats who are in this fight. And we are determined. We`re going to protect the vote and we`re going to roll back the corruption. Those are both key.

But, Joy, look, it would be foolish to deny that there are buckets of rich people out there, CEOs who say, you know what, I like the system just like it is and they want the system on stay the way it is. So, sure, there is a lot of pressure back. There`s pressure because the Republicans are in lock step with Mitch McConnell but there`s also pressure from a lot of rich folks, a lot of corporate folks who don`t want to see us make any change but that doesn`t matter.

We ran on making change. We made promises to people and it is our obligation to get out there and fulfill those promises. And if we have to go behind closed doors and talk about how to make that happen, then that`s what we`ll do. But we need to come out with an answer as Democrats. That`s who we are.

REID: Yes. And what`s the counter-leverage then? In theory, let`s just sort of play it out. I mean, as you said, you got me -- that ProPublica report is damning. You`ve got people who quit legally there not breaking the law, they just actually pay zero in taxes. Everybody out there that`s getting taxes taken out of your check, you pay more than Jeff Bezos and all these people.

WARREN: That`s right.

REID: So the incentives are so strong, what can you offer back to Democrats who say they`re for voting rights, they say they`re for reform, what is the counter-leverage on people like them?

WARREN: Democracy. If we deliver, then people will show up. If we follow through on our promises, then people will come. Remember, we got Georgia when nobody thought we were going to get Georgia. And we got both senators in Georgia. And how did we do that? We did it by saying very clearly, here are our promises and delivering on those promises. We want to win Georgia again, we want to win at any of these states again, then the answer is deliver on the promise that we have made. And we have got to get out and do that. That`s -- to me, that`s what this is all about.

So you can say, I understand that there are lots of rich people pushing. But at the end of the day, most of these senators, they want to get reelected. And that means they got to go out and face the people who voted for them last time, face the people who turned out, face the people who put heart and soul on the line.

And the argument that I make right now within the caucus, and I`ll say it here publicly, is you want to win, then deliver on your promises. You want to be seen as somebody who fights for America`s middle class, then get out there and fight for America`s middle class. You want to be seen as somebody who isn`t in league with the rich guys but is really here for working families, then get out here and be for working families. Because if you do that, you put your faith in democracy and that is how it is, that people, I hope, I believe, I pray will be drawn back in and will vote again in 2022, 2024. We just got to do what we promised to do.

REID: You`re -- I mean, I hope they listen to you, Senator Warren, because that is what people are screaming at their T.V.s right now. There were promises made. Keep the promises. That`s how you get reelected. That`s supposedly the business that politicians run. We`ll see.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, it`s always a treat. Thank you so much for being here.

And up next on THE REIDOUT, President Biden on a mission to restore America`s dignity on the world stage after four years of orange humiliation.

Plus, Congressman Val Demings joins me to talk about her big announcement. She is running against Little Marco. Oh, this is going to be fun.

Plus, the COVID situation maybe improving but the epidemic of stupid is still a raging wildfire.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People have had these shots and now they`re magnetized. They can put a key on the forehead it sticks, like you can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick.


REID: THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: Remember this? This was the former president of the United States famously shoving the prime minister of Montenegro during a 2017 summit so he could be in the front line for a photo op. It was one of many embarrassments and awkward moments with world leaders both at home and abroad. So it was no surprise that Donald Trump earned a reputation of pretty much a joke on the world stage. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was even caught on camera mocking him along with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron back in 2019.

In fact, public opinion of the U.S. abroad hit record lows at the close of the Trump administration when the median and approval ratings stood at just 18 percent, according to Gallup. That`s in part because Trump expressed nothing but disdain for our allies while lavishing praise on our adversaries. He gushed that he fell in love with Kim Jong-un, the dictator of North Korea, after their failed summit. But Trump didn`t practice his love on anybody like did he did with Vladimir Putin even siding with him of his own intelligence officials after Russia hack our election.

And when it came to historical alliance just like NATO or dealing with the Middle East, Trump made a mockery of U.S. foreign policy every chance he got.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: If they want us to do the fighting, they also have to pay a price. And sometimes that is also a monetary price. So we`re not the suckers of the world.

You know, we`re protecting Germany, we`re protecting France, we`re protecting everybody and yet we`re paying a lot of money to protect.

And if it breaks up NATO, it breaks up NATO.

Now we take the oil. We should have kept the oil. Now we go in. We knock the hell out of them. Take the oil. We thereby take their wealth. We take all their wealth.

And some people like the idea of bringing Russia back in. This used to be the G8, not the G7.


REID: After four years of humiliation, President Biden is now trying to salvage our dignity and shore up our alliances, and he`s doing it at a time when democracy isn`t exactly strong here at home. Today, kicking off his first overseas trip as president, part of an eight-day international tour that will conclude with the meeting with Vladimir Putin next week, here`s what Biden told the U.S. Air Force personnel stationed in the U.K.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: At every port (ph) and along the way, we`re going to make it clear that the United States is back and democracies of the world are standing together to tackle the toughest challenges and the issues that matter most to our future, that we`re committed to leading with strength, defending our values and delivering for our people.


REID: Joining me now, PBS NewsHour White House Correspondent and the moderator of Washington Week, Yamiche Alcindor.

Yamiche, you know, my big question is, how has the January 6th insurrection and the fact that we have a major political party that is not dedicated to democracy anymore, how has that impacted Biden`s sort of sale of America is back in Europe?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, PBS NEWSHOUR, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It`s really impacted in two big ways. The first is that our European allies in NATO, in the G7, they`re a little shook up by the idea that American democracy has real deep fissures and they`re really exposed here. Not only, of course, with the Capitol insurrection but also the gridlock that followed and we can`t even get it together to have an investigation, and a bipartisan commission. Europe is looking at all of that because these alliances were built on the idea that democracy is strong. And now we`re seeing to that as being (INAUDIBLE).

The other thing that it`s doing is that ahead of the meeting with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin is looking at January 6th and all the aftermath and seeking to exploit that, seeking to have advantages and showing people America has its own problems. It can`t be selling democracy to you when its own democracy is weak.

REID: Yes. That`s -- I think that is a huge point. Yamiche Alcindor, thank you very much. I really appreciate you being here this evening.

I want to now bring in Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia on the -- in the Obama administration.

Hopefully, you heard what you Yamiche just said, Michael, because here`s the challenge. The United States has been sort of the principal salesman for the idea of democracy since World War II. And now we can`t even have a peaceful transition of power.

I wonder how that -- just because people -- just because these world leaders know Joe Biden and have known him for decades, does that -- is that enough?

MICHAEL MCFAUL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: Joy, it`s not enough. It`s exactly right to focus on it for two reasons.

One is, he represents some of America, but not all of America. And they`re worried about those that don`t agree with democracy. We have a fight between Democrats and autocrats within the United States, not just between democratic countries and autocratic countries. That`s the first problem.

The second problem is, there`s a lot of doubt about what happens after President Biden. People don`t know, is he the last hurrah of that period that you just talked about beginning with World War II, or is this the beginning of American democratic renewal that will go on for decades?

And I think that it`s uncertain what the prediction is, and so they`re hedging their bets about that.

And just one more thing, just that -- thanks for the tour of four years. I`d forgotten about just how awful it was, how poorly our president treated our allies, and how nicely he treated President Putin.

Well, you know who is talking about January 6 right now? Vladimir Putin. He`s talking about the Democrats and the peaceful opposition that are being repressed right now by the Biden administration and his supporters. In other words, he`s still siding with President Trump to this day in this battle between those that believe in democracy in America and those that don`t.

REID: Yes.

And, I mean, we started off by playing that Montenegro -- shoving the Montenegro ambassador.

MCFAUL: Terrible.

REID: But, I mean, that -- even that was sort of a pro-Putin move, right? There was a -- this weird sort of attitude that Putin had toward Montenegro. So Trump just adopted it. He just magically pick that guy of all the people to shove.

I wonder, too, because you do have -- even in Russia, they had that sort of interregnum, where it looked for -- like a hot second during the Obama administration during the time when you were ambassador that maybe they would be able to emerge as a democracy. That didn`t last. One election later, Putin`s back. And he ain`t never leaving, apparently.

And he does, as you said, have this argument that actually democracy doesn`t work, and as does China, that autocracy is actually better. And it`s hard for the United States to argue that our system is the best when half of our polity doesn`t believe in it.

I mean, we have -- I`m not sure all Americans believe in democracy. A lot of them actually have said they absolutely do not.

MCFAUL: I couldn`t agree more.

There has never been this crisis in democratic values in the United States for a long time. And that weakens President Biden when he goes abroad to say that we need to unite the democracies of the world.

Now, I want to be clear, I applaud what he said, and the clip you just said, that we are -- we are back, we`re going to engage with our allies, and we`re going to talk about values. That is exactly the right frame. But Vladimir Putin is out there. And he`s not alone, by the way, but he`s one of the most vocal voices out there that says exactly that, that democracy is passe, democracy is dead, it`s -- liberalism has past its prime.

And we are in an ideological struggle with Russia, with China. And we need to get our own house in order in order to make that argument more effectively abroad.

REID: Yes, we know that -- I wonder if a little bit we`re fighting the last war a little bit as well. I mean, finally, the president of Ukraine is going to get his meeting with the American president, with President Biden, which is a signal, obviously, to Russia that we`re going to stand with Ukraine.

But Russia is being hyperaggressive. I mean, you have had all these cyberattacks. They`re saying it`s not them, but they always say it`s not them, right, all these cyber criminals from Russia who are acting really aggressively against the United States.

I wonder if we need to sort of rethink the paradigm of how we deal with that -- with Russia, given the fact that he`s not getting -- he`s not backing down at all. He`s getting worse.

MCFAUL: I think we do.

I think it`s right for President Biden to meet with President Putin. We always met with Soviet leaders back in the day, after all, and to see where we can cooperate. But I do think we have to get out of this reaction that we`re in, this tit for tat, they do something, and then we respond proportionally.

I think we need a grand strategy for deterring Putin that does -- not just response, but is more proactive, on the cyber side, on the corruption side, be -- having an affirmative agenda for democratic ideas, because, after all, there are people inside Russia that do believe in democracy.

We`re not -- we`re not engaging them. So, rather than defense, I think we need a comprehensive strategy of offense.

REID: Yes, absolutely.

And, hopefully, President Biden will remind Putin that he`s locked up Alexei Navalny, because you`re not even allowed to have -- to be in the political opposition in Russia. Here, we`re just struggling with ours saying people can`t vote, which is bad enough.

Michael McFaul, thank you very much for being here. Really appreciate you.

And up next, Florida Congresswoman Val Demings is officially launching her campaign to oust Marco Rubio from his Senate seat. And, tonight, she`s here to tell us how she intends to do it.

Val Demings straight ahead on THE REIDOUT. We will be right back.



SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): He`s always calling me little Marco. And I admit, the guy, he`s taller than me. He`s like 6`2``, which is why I don`t understand why his hands are the size of someone who is 5`2``. Have you seen his hands?


RUBIO: They`re like this. And you know what they say about men with small hands.


RUBIO: You can`t trust them. You can`t trust them. You can`t trust them.


REID: I`m so embarrassed for you.

Besides lying Ted, there`s perhaps no more shrunken figure in American politics than little Marco Rubio. Hailed by the Beltway media as the next Obama, Rubio was once the shiny, bright future of the Republican Party, ticking all the boxes, young, diverse, inspirational, Florida.

But once orange Julius Caesar cut him down to size, along with every other Republican candidate in the 2016 primary, little Marco fell in line and fell in love, supporting Trump after all that "Access" -- I mean, after that "Access Hollywood" tape came out.

And they stayed BFFs throughout his presidency, with Rubio tweeting daily Bible verses, while defending stuff like the Trump administration ripping children from their parents and using force to clear out protesters.

While he originally said that Trump bears responsibility for the January 6 insurrection, he soon came to his Trump-loving senses, calling the second impeachment trial stupid and the January 6 commission a partisan joke.

Rubio hasn`t forgotten his presidential ambitions, but he has to wait to see if his dear leader wants to run first. So, for now, he`s running for a third Senate term, where he`s gotten the extremely coveted endorsement of his former tour mentor, whom he gushingly thanked for his -- quote -- "leadership on the major issues facing our nation."

But now Rubio is facing his nightmare opponent, Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings, a black woman, impeachment-managing, Harley-driving former police chief. Demings officially announced her candidacy today.


REP. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL), SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: ... grow up in the South poor, black and female, you have to have faith in progress and opportunity.

My father was a janitor and my mother was a maid. She said: "Val, never grow tired."

Unlike some in Washington, I never tire of standing up for what I believe is right, because no one is above the law.

I`m running for the United States Senate because of two simple words, never tired.


REID: And I`m joined now by Florida Democratic Congresswoman and U.S. candidate Val Demings.

Thank you for being here.

And I remember, the last time we spoke, I remember saying, when you figure out whether it`s going to be for governor or for Senate, please come back. So I do appreciate you actually coming back.

Let`s talk about how you do this, though. I have worked on a couple of elections in Florida. It`s a very hard state to win. It`s a very narrow state. Both the Senate race and the governor`s race were super tight last time. How are you going to pull this off?

DEMINGS: Well, Joy, let me say it is great to be back with you.

And, look, we are so excited about this race. Florida is my home state. It is where I was born and raised. I love the state of Florida. And I am not willing to give up on Florida.

You know my story. I`m the daughter of a maid and a janitor, the youngest of seven children, the first in my family to go to college. I worked 27 years at the Orlando Police Department, had the awesome honor of working my way up through the ranks to become Orlando`s first woman chief of police.

I know how to fight a tough fight, Joy. I know how to stand by people when they are having their worst moments. Apparently, Rubio has forgotten one of the most important things in a race. It`s not about him. It is about the people that he is supposed to serve.

When people needed him the most, especially over the last year, when we went through some very tough times, Rubio voted against stimulus checks. He voted against help for small businesses, our schools. He voted against helping our first responders, our teachers, our health care workers.

I`m not afraid of a tough fight. Rubio is. And I am going to build the most unique coalition. I`m going to travel the state from the Panhandle down to the Keys, from Tallahassee to Miami, and talk to people about what`s important for them.

I am a unique candidate, right candidate, right time. And I look forward to this race.

REID: I got to know if you`re taking the Harley, because it`s -- the thing that the Republicans like to try to do -- I think we have a picture of you on the Harley. There it is.

The thing Republicans love to do with Democrats is to try to immediately stereotype every Democrat as, number one, a socialist. They go right for that. I don`t think they really know what socialism is, but they go for -- right for that.

It particularly works in a state like Florida, where people have described the pitch that`s typically made, particularly to Florida Latinos, to Cuban Americans, as F`ing crazy, meaning the conspiracy theories, calling everyone a communist, trying to accuse Democrats of being communists, the QAnon stuff.

That`s all particularly lethal in Florida. And, ironically, that kind of politics actually helped Trump a little bit, not even a little bit, a lot, with Hispanic voters in Florida. How do you counter that stuff?

DEMINGS: Well, I counter that, Joy, by just reminding the voters of who I am.

You`re absolutely right. I ride a 2003 Harley-Davidson motorcycle. I intend to be on that motorcycle quite a bit. But it`s really about reminding people who I am, my record as a police chief. I was appointed chief when crime was at an all-time high in Orlando.

By bringing the community together, working with the community, reorganizing the department, disbanding some dysfunctional units, standing up some more functional units, we were able to reduce violent crime by over 40 percent. The bottom line is, everybody counts, but everybody is accountable.

And just to hear what you just said -- and I know that Rubio will try to do that and his enablers -- it just shows us all that desperate people will do desperate things.

REID: Yes.

And the other issue -- and I experienced this in 2004, the first race I worked on -- is, it`s a challenge to sometimes get the maximum sort of impact of the African-American vote in Florida. There are a lot of unregistered voters.

It was similar in Georgia a long time ago, before Stacey Abrams went in and started to really register voters. How do you take advantage of the fact that you will have a natural appeal to particularly black women, who are the -- carry a lot of the burden in terms of voter turnout? How do you maximize that turnout?

DEMINGS: You know, Joy, I am already very excited about the response that I have had, before the launch, but certainly after the launch.

This race is about everybody. This race is about leaving nobody behind. This race is about not picking winners and losers based on their ability to pay to play, like Rubio has done.

As I said, we`re going to build one of the most unique coalitions. And I know black women are already excited, but every woman will be excited about this candidacy. This is the first time in Florida history that an African- American woman, the daughter of a maid and a janitor -- my dad used to go to work seven days a week to make ends meet for our family -- will be running for the U.S. Senate.

This is exactly what about -- the American dream is all about. And I`m really excited about it.

REID: You know, and that biography is going to be very difficult for Rubio to characterize in the way that Republicans typically want to do it.

But what is going to be your primary case against him? Because he`s sort of an entrenched figure right now. The media has fallen out of love with him because he sort of fell under Trump`s boot. But what`s the main case against why he shouldn`t just stay in office?

DEMINGS: Joy, I could take the next 40 minutes and talk about all of the reasons.


DEMINGS: But let me just go here.

I was in the Capitol on January 6. I was there to watch the peaceful transfer of power, when we know all hell broke loose. What we thought was just people demonstrating turned out to be an angry mob. Found myself crawling around on the floor, donning a gas mask.

Now, we have an obligation to find out what happened, who was involved, how that happened, who funded it. You know that the chairman of Homeland Security, Bennie Thompson in the House, and the ranking member, Representative Katko, have been -- negotiated -- or negotiated for months to come up with an independent commission to investigate.

Who would not want that? But Marco Rubio voted against it because he doesn`t want -- obviously does not want to know the truth. We know that, wherever the political winds are, that`s where you will find Marco Rubio.

And so this is about protecting our democracy, Joy. Everything that we care about and everything that we say that defines who we really are as a nation is caught up in what happened on January 6.

So, if there are those that are listening who believe in this campaign and would like to take this journey with me, I just asked you to visit my Web site,, and let`s get this done.

We can do better.


REID: And last very quick question.

Don McGahn, we finally have his testimony. What do you make of the fact that it`s taken this many years to find out stuff? I mean, it`s not surprising, what he said, but that he was pressured to try to push out the special counsel.

DEMINGS: You know, Joy, as someone who served on the Intel Committee and certainly on Homeland Security, it comes as absolutely no surprise.

I think the shame of it all is that it took this long to get down to the truth. We know, we knew back then, we now all know that he was pressured, and that pressure could have resulted in criminal charges for him and the president.

But we need to continue to get to the bottom of it. We need to know the truth and hold those who violated the law accountable. Everybody counts, but everybody`s accountable.

REID: Well, I wish you the best of luck.

I want to thank you again for coming on this program to talk about your run out of the gate.

Congresswoman, for now, Val Demings, we will see where you go from here. Best of luck. Thank you very much.

And up next, did you know that schools in Texas are rated 41st in the nation of quality? I mean, how else would you explain this question from Congressman Louie Gohmert on land management?


REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): Is there anything the National Forest Service or BLM can do to change the course of the moon`s orbit or the Earth`s orbit around the sun? Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate.


REID: No, no, no, Congressman. The National Forest Service cannot alter the moon`s orbit or the orbit around the sun. And despite how dumb you sound, Louie, you`re actually not tonight`s absolute worst. We`ll tell you who is, next.


REID: Republicans in Texas are so triggered by the mere existence of the 1619 Project that on Monday, Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill that would create the rival 1836 Project, marking the date when Texas gained its independence from Mexico.


GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): To keep Texas the best state in the United States of America, we must never forget why Texas became so exceptional in the first place. The 1836 Project promotes patriotic education about Texas and ensures that the generations to come understand Texas values. Project 1836 is now law in the great state of Texas.


REID: Everyone around him looks so awkward.

First of all, patriotic education is literally what China called its propaganda efforts after the Tiananmen Square Massacre. So, great branding on that one, Texas.

The bill calls for the project to promote the history of prosperity and democratic freedom in this state.

Okay, so let`s talk about what the democratic freedom actually entails, shall we? Since there`s no mention of slavery in the bill.

Texans love to remember the Alamo. But what actually happened in 1836 was that Texas residents decided to break from Mexico so they could continue to own slaves. Mexico had abolished the vile practice.

Slavery was also a major reason why Texas remained its own nation for nine years and after it did finally become a Texas, Texas seceded from the union along with the other southern states because of slavery. Slavery. That`s something that was only added to the Texas curriculum if 2019. 2019.

And while the bill does mention Juneteenth, it`s worth nothing that the holiday`s origin are a far from a proud moment for the Lone Star State, since slavery in the state ended a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation since no one bothered to tell those enslaved people that they were free for two whole years.

Here`s the thing. As an investigation by the "Texas Monthly" points out, the version of Texas history taught in school is often sanitized and there is nothing in the bill that suggests Texas won`t continue to whitewash history. Meanwhile, another bill is waiting on Governor Abbott`s desk that would ban the teaching of critical race theory, which I should note is only actually taught in law schools.

The bill includes language that the school may not require, or make a course the concept that the advent of slavery constituted the founding of the United States or the true founding of the United States. Except that it does, it`s in the actual Constitution.

Texas already ranks pretty low on education, 41st in the nation. So it might not want to limit its students` learning. And even worse, Texas affects when the entire nation learns about since Texas is so big that publishers found it was profitable to take a book crafted to appeal to Texas and market it largely unchanged in other states.

So, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, for your promotion of Texas` great fairytale history to make your state`s students literally dumber because they`re less informed, you are tonight`s absolute worst.


REID: The U.S. is increasingly unlikely to reach the president`s goal of having 70 percent of American adults partially vaccinated by the Fourth of July. As of this week, close to 64 percent of adults have received one shot while the pace of new vaccinations is dropping.

Vaccine hesitancy is one of the government`s biggest hurdles along with anti-vaxxers becoming increasingly legitimized in our airwaves and even in our government.

Like this physician who amazingly told Ohio state lawmakers a very not true thing, that the vaccine causes people to turn into magnets.


DR. SHERRI TENPENNY, PHYSICIAN: Is it a combination of the protein, which we`re finding has metal attached to it. I`m sure you`ve seen the people on the Internet of people who`ve had these shots and now, they`re magnetized and put a key on their forehead that sticks. They can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick, because now we think that there`s a metal piece to that.


REID: Joining me now is Miami cardiologist, Dr. Bernard Ashby, and Dana Milbank of "Washington Post" who`s demonstrating.

OK. Now, that actually was my first question and now I have to go to you, Dr. Ashby, because now I`m actually upset.

I am in the Pfizer sorority. I ain`t got my magnets. Nothing is sticking to me. I see things sticking to Dana. I feel like I was robbed. And Dr. Sherri Tenpenny is licensed in Ohio and she`s the author saying no to vaccines. Where are my magnets?

DR. BERNARD ASHBY, MIAMI CARDIOLOGIST: Joy, what`s going on, first of all?

REID: I want my magnet.

ASHBY: Yeah, exactly. I want to know where she went to med school at. Disneyworld? I mean, come on.

I`m mad that I even have to comment on this, but it would be funny if the implications weren`t so serious. And what we`re having -- what we`re dealing with now at the onset of the vaccine distribution, we had a supply and demand issue. Now we have plenty of vaccine and we`re trying to convince folks to take the vaccine because it`s in their best interest.

And what`s particularly disturbing is that a lot of the folks who predicted Armageddon and, you know, zombie apocalypse, they were wrong and we`re still not holding them accountable. And so, we have Dr. Goof Troop (ph) over here saying things that are completely false and actually putting people`s lives and putting our country in danger. And I don`t even know what to say. It`s frustrating, to say the least.

REID: You know, absolutely. And, you know, we joke about this lady. What`s her name? Dr. Tenpenny. Don`t let her treat y`all if you`re in Ohio.

But I have also encountered people who won`t take it for not goofy reasons, why? They don`t trust it. There are a lot of black folks. I mean, if you look at who`s not getting vaccinated, African-Americans, our vaccination rate is the lowest other than Republicans who are resistant. We`re really in trouble here.

What do you say to people who say I don`t want to get this vaccine? What do you say to convince them?

ASHBY: I mean, it`s not so much about what I have to say. It`s what they have to say.

I think the most important thing is to listen and learn and actually understand their perspective. But it`s hard to ignore the ubiquitous amount of information/disinformation out there. I mean, I said it before and I say it again, it`s been the misinformation Olympics.

And what we have to do is combat that and give them information, but also understand where they`re coming from, because a lot of black folks understand that historically and now, today, our health care system fails them in ways that the pandemic has revealed to the world.

And so, we have to address those issues, that address the fundamental issues in our government, in our history. I heard last segment talking about critical race theory. That`s important because that validates a lot of what we lived. That`s our everyday life.

And so, you have to at least connect with that so you can then give them the appropriate amount of information so they can make good fundamental health decisions that`s in their best interest and their community`s.

REID: And, you know, Dana, it would be bad enough if it was just the random quack, but you also got people in politics. You got Marjorie Taylor Greene. This is what she said recently.

Let`s just play it. This is her on America`s war room with Steve Bannon.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): It`s a bioweapon. We need to be very clear about what was the intent of COVID-19 and these viruses that they experiment with like some sort of Dr. Frankenstein experiments.

These are bioweapons. There`s no other reason to create a virus that makes people sick, spreads so quick and kills people. I don`t believe in that type of so-called science. I don`t believe in evolution. I believe in God.


REID: Marjorie Greene believes a bioweapon. Her proof is because she doesn`t believe in evolution. Your witness, Dana.

DANA MILBANK, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: You know, she frequently leaves us with no words, that fine woman. But the problem is it`s not just her. It`s not just the usual loonies. You have half of the Republicans in Congress won`t get the vaccine. You`ve got Tucker Carlson on night after night telling people teh vaccine kills them.

You know what kills people? Listening to Tucker Carlson, because they`re not going to get vaccinated and they will die as a result of taking this advice from Fox News and from the Republican leadership.

You know, the skepticism among black Americans is very understandable given the history the doctor was just talking about. The skepticism among Republicans, 40 percent of whom won`t get the vaccine is a case of malpractice by Dr. Greene, Dr. Carlson and the magnet doctor.

REID: Well, in addition to that, you`ve got Lindsey Graham saying if the lab leak theory is true, it exculpates Donald Trump from all -- the whole way we think about he dealt with coronavirus would change. Your thoughts on that, Dana?

MILBANK: Well, my witness against that is Donald Trump himself. Fifteen separate times he said how much he trusted China and Xi and what a fine and transparent job they are doing. So, if he believed in this lab theory, of course, he never met a conspiracy theory he didn`t like, but if he actually believed in it, why was he praising China`s transparency and honesty for months as people were dying in this country from COVID-19?

REID: Yeah, and I`m going to give you the last word on this Dr. Ashby, give me the quick elevator pitch. Somebody is hesitant to get the vaccine, but you really believe they should get it. Elevator pitch.

ASHBY: Point-zero-five percent severe reaction to the vaccine. So we had 150 million plus folks who have gotten the vaccine in the U.S. and .05 percent is the number.

Look at the mortality rate, look at the death rate, look at the rates in our elderly who got access to the vaccine initially. They are dying less.

And so, outcomes matter and we have to get to the point and if your check out our website at Community to Protect Healthcare --

REID: Yeah.

ASHBY: -- we have some great talking points that you can use with your family.

REID: Listen to Dr. Ashby.

Dr. Bernard Ashby, Dana Milbank, thank y`all very much.

Well, y`all, despite vaccine hesitancy all over the United States, recovery is actual ahead of where President Biden said it would be months ago, which leads us to our moment of Joy".

A slice of normal life returns. Thanks to vaccination, Broadway is back, set for a September reopening with Jimmy Fallon, Lin-Manuel Miranda and a star-studded cast reminding us exactly why the show must go on.


REID: That`s the show.

Go watch Chris Hayes. Bye.