IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Transcript: The ReidOut, 7/5/21

Guests: Susanne Craig, Chris Tomlinson, Bomani Jones


Tomorrow will mark six months since the Capitol insurrection, the day Donald Trump incited a mob to attack the U.S. seat of government and prevent the peaceful transfer of power. More victims are found in Surfside, Florida, after the remainder of that collapsed condominium was demolished over the weekend. The latest controversy surrounding American Olympics athletes of color exposes the racism these athletes are encountering at every turn.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening everyone. We begin the second hour of THE REIDOUT tonight with a grim commemoration. Tomorrow will mark six months since the insurrection, the day Donald Trump incited a mob to attack the U.S. seat of government and prevent the peaceful transfer of power. They descended onto our Capitol hunting for the vice president and the speaker of the House, intended to capture and assassinate elected officials. They built gallows and chanted, hang Mike Pence.

This also means that we are six months into a vast Republican undertaking to gaslight the American people into memory holding what went down on that horrible day, a day President Joe Biden has described as the worst attack on our democracy since the civil war. We`ve heard Republicans downplay and even flat out deny the violence that left five people dead. We`ve heard Republicans, including their dear leader himself, turn the rioters into victims and martyrs, even as video showed them beating police. We heard congressional Republicans like Andrew Clyde even describing it as, quote, a normal tourist visit, and then widely reject a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack, only to stonewall the house select committee Democrats launched in its place.

What has also emerged in this past six months is a clearer picture of what happened on January 6th thanks to the government`s video evidence released at the request of NBC News and other organizations. Some of that new video shows police trying to rotate fresh officers to the frontlines of the siege.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slowly, guys. We`re rotating out. We`ve got a shield line behind you. You go behind me. You, come here. Go, go. You, go. Ladies and gentlemen, back up.


REID: Joining me now is Scott MacFarlane, Investigative Reporter for NBC 4 Washington, Michelle Goldberg, Columnist for the New York Times, and Dean Obeidallah, Host of the Dean Obeidallah Show on SiriusXM and an MSNBC Columnist. Thank you all for being here.

And, Scott, I want to start with you. You`ve been going through and poring through these cases against these insurrectionists, the people who were part of this siege. What are you learning that kind of brings together kind of what we now know about who these people were and why they say they were there?

SCOTT MACFARLANE, NBC 4 WASHINGTON INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Hey, Joy, good evening. They`re from all walks of life and all parts of the country. But in the last few days, going through the court filing, it`s becoming increasingly clear if we`re on a journey here legally, we`re still closer to the starting line than the finish line.

Our latest count is 516 federally charged accused insurrectionists. There could be hundreds more. By my count, about 2 percent of the cases, 2 percent, have gotten to a plea agreement, and just one solitary case has gone to sentencing. So, there`s a journey still to be made here.

But here is the curdle of where is the case is right now. There are three large groups of defendants all accused of being parts of far-right groups, the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys and the 3 Percenters, all accused of conspiracy, of plotting and planning, coming ready for action January 6th.

Those cases largely are in their infancy, but the Oath Keepers, that stands out Joy. The feds have won some early victories and made some progress there. They`ve secured three plea agreements from accused Oath Keepers, all three of whom have agreed to help the fed with their investigation, to flip. And the prosecutors, Joy, said there are good discussions underway with the rest of them.

REID: And just to be clear, Scott, have we discerned any ties yet to lawmakers, because we still do have Ali Alexander, who is still missing somewhere out in the world. We don`t know that he`s been captured that we know of. And he named lawmakers as having been part of it. And we just had lawmakers doing a tour of the border with one of the people who stormed the Capitol, one of the people who is apparently friendly with Marjorie Taylor Greene, a sitting member of Congress. Have any of those connections thus far been made at least in court?

MACFARLANE: Here is what we can tell demonstratively. The NBC News team here has read through the thousands of court filings, every one of them. Not one iteration, not one mention of a member of Congress by name or otherwise.

But here`s what we can tell you. We mentioned the Oath Keepers, that they`re flipping, that they`re helping the feds. Typically, in federal prosecutions, when you have defendants flip, it`s because they`re going to flip bigger fish.

Here`s the thing, Joy, right now, in terms of the charges, the Oath Keepers are the big fish. So, the provocative question is who are they going to turn over or what are they going to turn over to the prosecutors?

REID: Yes. Indeed. And, Michelle, the thing about these groups, the Proud Boys, I would say, stand out particularly as an organization that Washington Post and other reporters have talked about as law enforcement looking the other way when they were around as having weirdly sort of cozy relationships going into this siege with lawmakers. We`ve got people in the Oath Keepers that were doing things like providing security for people like Roger Stone, who were around the former president.

It`s very difficult, other than the 3 Percenters who essentially just of a radical organization, do you feel that it`s inevitable that we`re going to have to start talking about elected officials in as we talk about these cases.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think one elected official that we should be talking about right now is Paul Gosar, who did a number of rallies with Ali Alexander, seems to have been quite close to him, is also, we know, close to the white nationalistic (INAUDIBLE) and he`s refusing to disavow that association, even though this isn`t sort of nudge, nudge, wink, wink, white nationalism. It is unapologetic.

You know, actually far worse than anything Steve King said except the center of gravity in the Republican Party has moved so far-right that where they would have once expelled Steve King in order to preserve, you know, what they thought was their image, now they sort of come to accept that people like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar are part of their image.

And so, yes, I think that -- I think it`s no secret. Anybody could have seen the rally that preceded this insurrection. They could have seen the people saying, including the president of the United States, we`re going to march on the Capitol. I guess the question is whether the coordination went even beyond the already kind of quite shocking level of coordination that we`ve seen.

REID: Yes, indeed. And, Dean, you know, Benito Mussolini wasn`t like physically leading the brown shirts to do their attacks either. You know, and I talked in the previous hour about the fact that we`ve got to start confronting the uncomfortable effort, fascism. Because when you marry political violence to supreme loyalty to one leader and a willingness to attempt to overthrow the government, in order to reinstall that person in the defense of one group of Americans, namely white Americans, who this core believes ought to be in charge and on top in whatever the social configuration is, I can`t avoid that.

You`ve gone even further than that and talked about the fact that we`ve got to start talking about terrorism. Because as you`ve said, this has all the hallmarks of an Al Qaeda-like leadership that, you know, Bin Laden wasn`t on the planes either.

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, MSNBC COLUMNIST: Look, Joy, first of all, I love that you`re not timid by using the word fascism because people have to know what that means. A lot of people just don`t know what it means, not a common usage of term. By explaining it, what is really about, we understand it`s not hyperbolic. The GOP is not a political party. It is a white nationalist movement that has embraced fascism, which means, undemocratic means plus violence. That`s what we`re seeing.

Joy, to your other point, Christopher Wray, the FBI director, has testified under oath before Congress. He didn`t use the word insurrection. He said this was an act of, quote, domestic terrorism. That`s the FBI director. That`s the words we should be using. January 6th was an act of domestic terrorism incited by Donald Trump. His supporters who attack the Capitol are terrorists. It`s two plus two equals four stuff, like Ashli Babbitt, all those who attacked the Capitol are terrorists because the FBI director has said it was an act of terrorism.

Joy, if an Islamic cleric for two months after the election said the election was fraud, stop the steal, I want my supporters to go to Washington and stop the steal, and those Muslims attacked the Capitol, are you telling me that cleric would not be charged with incitement? Donald Trump would be leading, screaming for that Islamic cleric to be charged.

In what nation can a man incite a terrorist attack on our Capitol in front of us, radicalize people for two months and his punishment is he`s off Facebook for two years and he`s playing golf? And he`s repeating the same lies, their radicalized people at these first two rallies after the January 6th, the last two setters in a row, and now he`s defending the terrorists.

Intellectually, this is very hard for me to understand what`s going on in our country right now that we`re not using the term, not just fascist, terrorism, you`re either with us or you`re with the terrorists. It is that clear.

REID: You know and to underscore that, Michelle, I mean, we did have white supremacists actually march in Philadelphia the day before the July 4th celebration, and freely do so. The enemy of the far-right, in their own words, are Antifa, meaning anti-fascist. So, they are anti-anti-fascist by their own reckoning and say that is the thing to be. There is been this attempt to create an Anglo-Saxon caucus that got spoiled because that got out. It becomes really difficult.

I want to ask you about this Ashli Babbitt thing, because there does seem to be an attempt to make her the new Kyle Rittenhouse, to sort to make her into a martyr. And, you know, we do a lot of stuff on policing here and there are a lot of police who are a problem. This police officer was not a problem. He defended the lives of cowering, terrified members of Congress, who if Ashli Babbitt, who was a trained Air Force specialist, trained by our tax dollars to kill, she was a military member. If she had gotten through that door, God knows what kind of harm she could have done.

Do you -- what do you make of this attempt to turn her into a martyr?

GOLDBERG: I think it`s -- you know, there was a moment right after this insurrection when it was so raw and the revulsion against it was so intense that you saw even Republicans, Republicans in Congress but also Republicans writ large wanting to distance themselves from it. And now, I think they have a sort of double think about it, right, because it`s almost like holocaust deniers. It didn`t happen and if it did, they deserved it.

You know, you have a significant number of Republicans. There was a recent morning consult poll. There`s a significant chunk of Republicans who still believe that it was Antifa who stormed the Capitol. There`s actually a slight majority of Republicans who blame Democrats in Congress for the insurrection, at least for inciting the insurrection, which makes no sense whatsoever. And the number of Republicans who blamed Donald Trump, who believed that this movement was representative of Trump`s movement has declined quite a bit in the last six months.

And so, again, you sort of have Republicans I think of two minds. On the one hand they want to disavow it and distance themselves and pretend they had nothing to do with it. But at the same time, this martyrology around Ashli Babbitt is immensely telling that, really, their hearts are with the insurrectionists. And they think that what they were trying to do -- as Donald Trump certainly thinks what they were trying to do -- is good and just, and that the only problem that it didn`t succeed.

REID: Yes. And, Dean, you now have a lot of Republicans who filed to run in 2022, echoing the very big lie that brought those very people to the Capitol. Do you think that Democrats -- I asked this in the previous hour, I`ll ask it again. Are Democrats alarmed enough about this? This terrifies me. I don`t know if they`re alarmed enough about it.

OBEIDALLAH: No. They should be watching your show every night, Joy, to understand the stakes and understand how to frame this, because it`s about framing. Democrats don`t grasp the fierce urgency of now. Martin Luther King talked about it with voting and civil rights. We`re talking about for our democracy sustaining, and prevailing and enduring going forward. Those are really the stakes right now.

You have -- the GOP, they`re not fearful of Donald Trump, they agree with Trump. They`re at his rallies cheering. You have people at his rallies interviewed afterwards saying that if Trump is not reinstated, there will be a civil war. I don`t hear Republicans denouncing those people.

So we`ve got a situation where Democrat should be out there saying January 6th was an act of terrorism that is incited by Donald Trump. You are either with us or against us. I brought about this for MSNBC Daily Play, begging Democrats to use a term -- we`re in the 9/11 20-year anniversary. Use that language, it`s visual, terrorism (INAUDIBLE) people. Insurrection is more intellectual, people debate it. Democrats are not doing a good job in making it clear this can`t be politics as normal in our nation.

REID: Yes, and I should note for our audience that Bennie Thompson, who`s the head of this new commission, was on with Ali this weekend. And he was asked when he was prepared to subpoena the former president. And he said he`s prepared to subpoena anyone who`s identified based on the fact and circumstances. Jim Clyburn, who is the House majority whip, has said that he wouldn`t like to see a former president testify, but if it comes to that, he would be down with it.

Let`s go back -- and I want to end this just on the legal cases with you, Scott. What should we be looking for? You noted 516 total cases. Is there sort of a commonality that kind of gives us a sense of where they`re going? And if they`re flipping people, my question is flipping people to what end, right? Is -- are we talking now about essential naming these three groups, the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys and the 3 Percenters, in essence, as domestic terrorist groups, because they seem to be the focus?

MACFARLANE: Flipping to what end is a great question, Joy. We haven`t seen people flipped and then named in new cases. But here is what the FBI director has said unequivocally to Congress. There are hundreds more investigations in addition to those who are already charged, leaving open the possibility there could be hundreds more arrests.

But I want to add one point. We talk about January 6th. This hour is the sixth-month anniversary of what happened at 7:00 P.M. D.C. time January 5th. Somebody left live active pipe bombs at this hour at January 5th. There have been no arrests, Joy. In fact, there have been no suspects detailed in that case.

REID: Yes. That is another sort of open thing. That and the Ali Alexander missing in action, where the hell is this guy, there are so many unanswered questions. We need more than just a commission. We need a lot more to find out what happened.

Scott MacFarlane, always thank you so much. Michelle Goldberg, Dean Obeidallah, you both are great. Thank you so much.

Up next in THE REIDOUT, did Donald Trump just admit to the serious charges facing his company? That would be dumb, right? But didn`t he just do that?

Plus, Texas Republicans decide that a history museum, get this, is no place for a discussion of Texas history, absolutely not.

And the growing outrage over the suspension of track star Sha`Carri Richardson, if it`s a dumb rule, why not just change it right now?

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: The disgraced, twice-impeached former president was back out there over the holiday weekend on his revenge tour just days after his company, the Trump organization and CFO, Allen Weisselberg, were indicted for an alleged tax scheme and a caveat, we`re playing sound of this guy because, normally, we wouldn`t, but we`re going to do it tonight because he actually admitted it.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: They go after good hardworking people for not paying taxes on a company car, company car. You didn`t pay tax on car or a company apartment. You used an apartment because you need an apartment because you have to travel too far where your house is. You didn`t pay tax. Or education for your grandchildren. I don`t even know. Do you have to put -- does anybody know the answer to that stuff?

OK? But they indict people for that.


REID: Apparently, Trump still talks like Marilyn Monroe, breathily and weirdly.

But he also was following the lead of his two adult failsons, Don Jr. and what`s his name, in saying, what`s the big deal, to try and spin the FOX News audience to Trump side.


ERIC TRUMP, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: Crime is rampant. People are leaving the city in record numbers. It`s dirty. It`s disgusting. New York is no longer what it is.

And they have an entire district attorney office and attorney general`s office that`s focused on $3.5 million to take down a political opponent? This is a farce. It`s a disgrace that they spent millions of dollars and years. Instead of prosecuting actual murderous thugs on the streets of New York, they go after their political enemies.


REID: Unfortunately, people dodge taxes all the time,and this is unfair is actually not a solid argument in a court of law. Sorry.

And, according to "The Washington Post," the Trump Organization provided a road map for its own indictment, keeping internal spreadsheets that tallied the payments that were being hidden. Prosecutors treated the spreadsheets as the accounting equivalent of a confession.

Joining me now, Joyce Vance, former U.S. attorney, and Susanne Craig, investigative reporter for "The New York Times."

And, Joyce, I love the fact that they essentially wrote their own indictment with spreadsheets. Your thoughts?

JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, this is an absolutely fascinating sort of commentary tour for the top executives at the Trump Organization to be making right now.

Of course, they haven`t been indicted jet. Allen Weisselberg is the one who`s indicted in this particular indictment, at least so far. But it`s hard to figure that there aren`t criminal defense lawyers for any number of people who`ve been out there just face-palming as they hear this sort of commentary.

What you expect from the owner of a company when there is an indictment like this is either to deny that any of the misconduct occurred or to express outrage, right? I`m shocked that there`s gambling in Casablanca.

This sort of approach, saying, well, gee, it`s not much of a crime, is it, is really unusual and probably won`t play well if it ever has to play in a courtroom.

REID: Yes, it`s sort of, I only robbed the Five and Dime argument It`s not like I robbed like a rich company like Walmart. Like, that doesn`t help you if you rob the Five and Dime.

And to stay with you for a moment. Joyce, this is one of the things that Trump argued: "Never before, never before as New York City and their prosecutors or perhaps any prosecutors ever anywhere criminally charged a company or person with fringe benefits."

Leona Helmsley`s ghost would like to have a word. She was literally convicted on tax evasion and hiding fringe benefits, including renovations on her Connecticut estate, which were billed to the Helmsley businesses and not reported.

So, Joyce, just to be clear, folks do get prosecuted for this in New York and elsewhere, right?

VANCE: People do get prosecuted for tax evasion in both state and federal systems.

This is a strategy, though, Joy, that we have seen Trump use before, right? This notion of not an important crime, people don`t get prosecuted for this is like an instant replay of what happened during the Mueller investigation, when Trump dismissed obstruction of justice as a process crime, oh, it`s not something that people should worry about.

And so here he is again appealing to the court of public opinion, thinking that somehow that will help him with federal prosecutors. And while that might have worked for someone who was cloaked in the protection of the presidency, it will be very interesting to see if public outrage by his base will have any impact on what is now the indictment of Allen Weisselberg. I sort of doubt it.

REID: Yes. You`re right. It shouldn`t in a normal country.

OK, Susanne, let me bring you in here. The indictment, let me read a little bit of a quote regarding these spreadsheets -- spreadsheets: "For certain years, the Trump Organization maintained internal spreadsheets, tracked the amounts it paid for Weisselberg`s rent, utility and garage expenses. Weisselberg received the benefit of these payments. And the Trump Organization internally tracked and treated many of them as part of his authorized annual compensation, ensuring that he was not paid more than his pre-authorized fixed amount of gross compensation."

You have had a good look into sort of the Trump tax sort of weird world. Is this a common way that the Trump Organization paid people? Is it the tax returns that revealed all of this, or literally is it these spreadsheets?

SUSANNE CRAIG, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": I think that what we`re seeing and what the documents in the indictment that we see are very much internal work product of the Trump Organization. So we didn`t have sort of visibility into them when we looked at his taxes, but they have got a lot of documents that they`re now putting together.

And, right now, these are allegations. They`re in an indictment. They may make it into court one day. But any time you hear two sets of books, I mean, wow. I think it`s not a good starting point.

And ,as a journalist, you always want documents. Like, this was a very document-based indictment. And witnesses are, can be great, but they`re unreliable. Documents are there, and you can`t -- you can`t impeach the character of a document. You can argue about its veracity, and you can debate it.

REID: Yes.

CRAIG: But it`s great, when you`re a prosecutor, to go into a case with this many documents, which they seem to have.

REID: And, Susanne, Michael Cohen, who was on the show last week, talked about there being millions of documents, millions, that he said, just having worked there and been Donald Trump`s lawyer, that he could say there were.


REID: And he also testified before the grand jury.

And I wonder if, in going through and your looking, as just from a journalistic standpoint, at the way the Trump Organization operated, what Michael Cohen and others who have worked for Donald Trump have said is that, essentially, this was a way of underpaying people, of paying people relatively low salaries, and essentially compensating them with presents, presents for them, presents for their kids, a house to live in, that kind of thing.

Did you find that kind of thing with -- when looking sort of at the sort of internals of the Trump Organization, particularly the stuff that Mary Trump provided?

CRAIG: We didn`t see so much that, because we had the tax return information.

And so they`re -- this is now what they actually didn`t tell the tax man.

REID: Yes.

CRAIG: But this is -- what it what it had the effect of doing is just reducing the amount of taxable income that the IRS could go after. So you`re getting all these perks on the one side, and they`re -- just the way they`re being accounted for is not fully reflecting the taxable income.

And I have to say, like, when I heard those remarks on Saturday, I heard two things. I heard one Joyce was just talking about, which is that they`re going to try and minimize this, and oh, yes, but it`s small ball.

But the other thing I heard, which was very interesting, and I think it`s some of the contours of the legal defense that you`re going to start to see them present, which is, he needed an apartment to stay in New York.

REID: Yes.

CRAIG: And so we gave him that, that these were actually -- some of them were legitimate.

I don`t think we`re going to have an argument where the grandchildren`s tuition is, but I think, on some of the bigger items, they`re going to argue that these were legitimate expenses. And there`s going to be a debate about that, should this end up in court.

REID: And if you were a lawyer, Joyce Vance, representing Don and Eric Trump, not that they`d pay you, so you may not want to be their lawyer, but let`s say that you were.

Would you advise them to keep talking? Because it does seem that the Trump Organization is pretty much a family business. And one might assume, if you read Mary Trump`s book, that Donald Trump and his father were in this habit of being, like, live in this apartment for free or for cheap.

It`s a thing that they kind of did. If you were Don and Eric, would you talk on TV? Or would you advise them to talk if you were their lawyer?

VANCE: If I was in the position of being their lawyer, Joy, I would give them the same advice that I would give to anybody else who`s under investigation in a criminal case. Don`t go out in public and run your mouth.

If you`re going to talk with prosecutors or investigators, do it with your lawyer president or, better yet, through your lawyer, with you not being in the room.

This is just really insanity. But you have to wonder, does this signify that they believe that they are so untouchable, that they can get away with anything, that they really believe that, by catering to the court of public opinion, they can outrun the courts of the state of New York?

It is really baffling to see this kind of conduct.

REID: If I had to guess, I would guess the answer to that is yes, Joyce, they do believe that. They have -- the dad got away with it. Donald Trump has gotten away with it his whole life. They probably do believe that.

So, we shall see how it plays out.

Joyce Vance and Susanne Craig, thank you both very much.

Still ahead: Remember the Alamo? Well, Texas Republicans want you to remember it, as they remember it in their bedtime stories, not the way it actually went down. A shocking suppression of facts and free speech in the Lone Star State -- next on THE REIDOUT.


REID: OK, you know how Republicans love to rage against censorship and cancel culture?

Well, they don`t actually walk it like they talk it. Take a look at what`s happening in Texas. State Republicans, led by Republican luminaries like Governor Greg Abbott, who can`t even manage the state`s electrical grid, forced the abrupt cancellation of a book event at a state history museum because they didn`t like what the book says.

"Forget the Alamo" examines the role slavery played leading up to the Battle of the Alamo. Now, naturally, the mere mention of slavery triggered the fragility of Republican leaders, who just happened to be on the board of the museum.

Now, Abbott didn`t have the courage to publicly condemn free speech, but his deputy, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, carried the bag. In a tweet, Patrick said: "I told staff to cancel this event as soon as I found out about it and called it a fact-free rewriting of Texas history."

Just let that sink in. The lieutenant governor of Texas, an entire state, proudly announced that the Texas state history museum was no place for history? Yeehaw.

Joining me now, Chris Tomlinson, columnist for "The Houston Chronicle" and co-author of "Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth."

And I have to read your response to Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, because actually I retweeted and commented on it, and then literally like D.M. me and come on my show. That is one of the reasons that you`re here, is, I was like, I need to book you immediately.

You wrote back: "Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick takes credit for oppressing free speech and policing thought in Texas. Bullock Museum proves it is a propaganda outlet. As for his fact-free comment, well, a dozen people, professional historians, disagree." And you hashtag, of course, forget the Alamo and Texas legislature.

Please tell me the story of how your book event with your co-authors, Bryan Burrough and Jason Stanford, got together other than canceled.

CHRIS TOMLINSON, CO-AUTHOR, "FORGET THE ALAMO: THE RISE AND FALL OF AN AMERICAN MYTH": Well, Bullock reached out to us as soon as they found out we were doing this book.

We had spoken to their program manager months in advance. Once we had the publication date of June 8, we talked to them again. They said, yes, we want you hear. And we had a lot of demand for speaking, including one from the Writers League of Texas.

So,we thought, let`s do a joint event. Let`s get these two groups together. We`re going to do it virtually anyway. And the Bullock said, OK, we will supply the Web site, we will register the attendees, and we will make this happen.

Then a right-wing extremist group called the Texas Public Policy Foundation starts tweeting about it. They are particularly incensed by the content of our book. So, we checked in with the Bullock. And they`re like: Oh, yes, no problem. We have we have done controversial stuff before. Besides, "The Wall Street Journal" had an SMU history professor talk about how great your book is.

H.W. Brands, U.T.`s history professor, he said, all this stuff about slavery, this is old news. The most interesting part is the modern part of our book. And then the lieutenant governor drops the hammer. He either calls up the Bullock director and says, no, you have got to pull out. We get a call from our publisher. This is off. Writers League of Texas says, oh, we can scramble, we can get you on a Zoom call.

And we`re like, no, there`s not enough time. And that`s when I went to Twitter.

REID: And a wise thing to do. In this modern age, the thing to do is go public, go to Twitter.

And so what is the status now? Are you going to be able to discuss your book? I know Texas has now put in this thing called The 1836 Project, creating a nine-member committee to promote patriotic education, patriotic history. They basically want to limit the way that historical events are taught.

Essentially, they have to be taught in a way that, I guess, bigs up and sort of make us a hagiography of Texas history, not a real history. Are you going to be allowed to discuss this book in the state of Texas?

TOMLINSON: Well, I mean, clearly, I`m standing in Texas. I`m talking to you.

We`re hoping to do some book events at private bookstores. But I have got some real questions about how far this ban goes. Am I banned from state universities? The Texas Book Festival is held on state property every year. I`m on the board of advisers. Am I not going to be able to discuss my book there?

I have got a lot of questions for Governor Patrick. And we`re talking to some attorneys who have some questions too about his attitude towards the First Amendment.

REID: Right. The First Amendment is supposed to prevent government from pressuring Americans on the basis of their speech, or intervening in the use of free speech. So that seems like a pretty straightforward case.

Let`s talk about your book itself. What is the premise of the book that is so terrifying to the old 1836 Project folks?

TOMLINSON: Well, we make the argument that the myths that were taught to people my age and younger, frankly, in Texas schools are hurtful to the growing plurality of Hispanics in Texas.

It paints a picture of freedom loving Anglos fighting against dark-skinned people for liberty. It completely ignores the role that slavery played in motivating this, because we point out the inconvenient fact that Mexico, as a multicultural society that had just overthrown Spanish Colonial rule,was trying to outlaw slavery.

The -- President Santa Anna said, before he crossed the border into Texas, "I am going to go free the wretched souls held in bondage in Texas."

And to say those things in Texas is apparently -- is going to get you slapped down.

REID: Yes. I mean, well, it`s the same way that they don`t like to talk about the fact that, in the War of 1812, the British were offering freedom and land to any enslaved Africans who would join the crown`s fight against the Americans at the time, and that the British governor of Virginia was offering to completely free all the slaves through his own emancipation proclamation. We don`t get that history either.

And do you believe that, at this point, the goal of the government of Texas is to suppress history? Because part of this 1836 law says they have to give deference to both sides. What would be the deference that one could give the other side in an argument where slavers and -- slaveholders were fighting a war to hold on to their slaves?

What deference could you give to that as a journalist? What -- how do you do that?

TOMLINSON: You know, I don`t know. And that`s the problem.

This all grew out of a column I wrote about Texas needing to rebrand itself. And we cannot have the image of the long, tall, white cowboy fighting and enslaving people of color as our brand anymore. But unfortunately, conservatives, particularly, you know, Governor Abbott, Governor Patrick, their identity is caught up in this mythology. Governor Patrick has a collection of John Wayne memorabilia in his office to give you an idea of where his politics are.

REID: Yeah, don`t read the interview in which John Wayne called himself a white nationalist. He might not like that, because he might find that not to give deference to both sides.

Thank you, Chris Tomlinson. I`ve already ordered your book. I can`t wait to get it and read it. Thank you so much for accepting my Twitter invitation. I appreciate you and good luck with the book.

Thank you very much.

All right. Up next, more victims are found in Surfside, Florida, after the remainder of that collapsed condominium was demolished over the weekend. A live report is next.


REID: Search and rescue efforts resumed today in Surfside, Florida, after pausing this weekend so crews could demolish the remaining part of the Champlain Tower South. Authorities said it would allow them to get into previous inaccessible areas. Within the past hour, the death toll rose again to 28, as more victims were found in the rubble, 117 remain unaccounted for.

Joining me now is NBC news correspondent, Megan Chesky -- Morgan Chesky, so sorry. What is the latest?


Right now, you can see crews staying busy. This is a 24/7 operation here. As you mentioned, they are able to go deeper into that rubble because of the demolition that took place yesterday that officials say was highly successful. The remaining force fell right on top of its current footprint. And just to ensure it didn`t compromise the current search efforts, they put a large thick rubber mat over the area they had been searching so any debris fall that direction, they would be able to knock it off pull that mat back and go back to the layer they were working in.

Now, as a result of this demolition they`ve been able to move heavier equipment inside the interior areas and go into the areas that they have not been able to access before. We`re now on day 12. I spoke to a FEMA search and rescue worker today. I said, what do you tell the folks who realize how far we are now regarding a chance of survival? And she said, we tell them what we believe, and that is we are holding out hope for a miracle.

Of course, people jeer are pointing to other instances where people have survived instances longer in these collapses, but this is absolutely a search and rescue mission right now. They are not calling this a recovery mission just yet, the families of the missing staying at a nearby hotel.

We did reach out to get their thoughts on the demolition. They were briefed prior to it taking place. And many of them understand that this was just a necessary step in the process to try to go deeper into the pile. We know that as it stands right now, about 40 percent of the debris that`s above ground as since been removed and we know that`s about 4.8 million pounds of concrete, an incredible job that`s already been done but still lays ahead of them and all this with a careful eye on tropical storm Elsa, as it churns its way towards Florida.

While it is expected to go to the western side of the state, there is a concern that a lot lightning and/or wind could pose an issue here. Any time a lightning strike happens within two and a half miles of this area, crews have to pause for 30 minutes before getting back on top of that pile. And they know more than anyone just how precious every second is, Joy.

REID: Wow. Morgan Chesky, thank you very much. Really appreciate that.

All right. Well, coming up the latest controversy surrounding American Olympics athletes of color exposes the sneaky little racism these athletes are encountering at every turn. ESPN`s Bomani Jones joins me next.


REID: In an Olympic year when black women athletes are posed to become the faces of Team USA, gymnast Simone Biles and Jordan Chiles and sprinter Allyson Felix to name just a few. The biggest topic right now is the star athlete who potentially will not appear at the games.

Sprinter Sha`Carri Richardson, the 21-year-old American track star, following her one-month suspension after testing positive for THC, the chemical in marijuana.

Richardson has accepted the suspension. She won`t appear in her solo event, the 100 meter dash and told the "Today" show she takes full responsibility for her actions. But a lot of people are questioning why weed, of all things, which to my knowledge has never made anybody faster, is keeping her out of the games.

Richardson`s punishment comes amid a host of arbitrary rules and criticisms seemingly only directed at black women athletes, including a ban by swimming`s governing body of the soul cap. A swim cap designed for natural black hair. And hammer thrower Gwen Berry, the daughter of an Iraq war veteran, mind me, who`s facing calls to be removed from Team USA from the MAGA crowd for protesting the national anthem at the Olympic trials.

As for Sha`Carri Richardson, fans want to see her run in Tokyo. A Move On petition "Let Sha`Carri run" calling the marijuana rules arbitrary and outdated. It has already gotten nearly half a million signatures.

Joining me is Bomani Jones, sports journalist and host of the ESPN podcast, "The Right Time with Bomani Jones".

Always great to talk to you, Bomani.

OK. Do we have the clip of Sha`Carri Richardson on the "Today" show? Let`s play that really clearly.


SHA`CARRI RICHARDSON, U.S. TRACK AND FIELD SPRINTER: As much as I`m disappointed, I know that when I`m on the track, I represent myself, I represent a community that has shown me great support, great love and so I apologize for the sense that I need to know how to control my emotions, stating here I just say don`t judge me because I am human. I`m you. I just happen to run a little faster.


REID: I mean, Bomani, her mom had just died. She found out from a reporter. What is going on here?

BOMANI JONES, SPORTS JOURNALIST: Well, I mean as far as the suspension itself, it`s kind of textbook and hard to get around. If you fail that test in that time when she did, these are what the consequences are. This is not one that I think the drug testing people had the luxury of being able to be like, okay, let`s act like we didn`t happen. That was not going to be it.

To me, it seemed to be an unfortunate confluence of circumstances for her, something incredibly traumatic happened to her and she went to a familiar coping mechanism that happened to have consequences. I don`t really feel so much that the suspension she`s dealing with is her being picked on.

If no other reason then, she`s worth a whole lot of money to a whole lot of people. Like she was about to be the star of the 100-meter dash of this, right? The look, everything else. She was somebody that NBC was going to put out there and get Americans to watch in the Olympics. I feel like everybody involved with some measure of power, I don`t think there`s anybody that likes this as the outcome.

REID: But here`s the thing. You know, the Olympic committee seems like they`re quite an arbitrary entity and can pretty much do whatever they want. This is a 21-year-old. My youngest child is 21. I can`t imagine any of my kids being under this pressure.

Her mother just passed away. She finds out in an interview with a reporter. She`s depressed. It doesn`t seem like any of these athletic leagues whether it`s the Olympics or whether it`s the U.S. Tennis Association has any interest in trying to deal with black women except in a punitive way.

Am I reading too much into that?

JONES: Ii don`t feel like this is the example of that. I think that there`s certainly room for empathy for her. Again, I don`t think anybody -- when I hear her apology, the worst thing to me is she feels like she has to apologize to us when she certainly does not. I haven`t seen a great deal or a measure of judgment. There seems to be a lot of understanding about how those things could come together and lead her to where she is.

But on this one in particular, things are arbitrary but not really with the drug testing policy when it comes in as a dead letter positive. Like once that happens, I don`t know how much flexibility you have.

Now, you do have examples of other cases where we`re talking about somebody that`s just too big to fail. Lance Armstrong, for example, with the corrupt cycling body just threw out positive results for him.

REID: Exactly.

JONES: I even talk about this now after the fact.

But I don`t think that the argument is if you throw out Lance Armstrong`s drug test that we`ve got to do it for everybody.

REID: Hold on. Why isn`t that the argument? Why isn`t that the argument? I mean, you`ve seen -- what was the swimmer`s name who also tested positive. There is a swimmer, what`s his name? Brian Phelps. You people, it is arbitrary.

JONES: Well, Michael Phelps --

REID: Michael Phelps.

JONES: -- Michael Phelps got caught -- Michael Phelps got hit hitting a bong at a frat party and did not actually test positive and was suspended for longer than Sha`Carri Richardson. I feel like we`re trying to make comparisons and it`s going into a snowball that I don`t think is accurate.

So, for example, I think what`s happening to the swim cap is absolutely antagonistic to our black people and their excuse is just ridiculous, the idea that nobody has ever done this. Y`all have been trying to keep us out of the water for hundreds of years. You don`t even wanting us go into the water in the holiday inn.

No, you have not seen a swim cap like that, in that case, right? But that and Gwen Berry, but the USOC already said they were okay with that measure of protesting. So that becomes just political issue of those people aligning against people they would align against otherwise.

This seems to me to be a completely separate situation from each of those which is separate from one another. The common theme is black women and the common them in life generally for black people and black women specifically is being picked on and antagonized by people.

I just don`t know if you tested positive right at that time if this is the one that speaks to the antagonism against black women, especially in a sport like track and field, where I mean, that`s out there, right? It just so happens that they`re going down to a white woman. But generally speaking, I mean, it`s going to be a black woman that wins the 100-meter dash all likelihood as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Like this is an event that the machine has decided we can`t have the hundred meters. They gave up on that one a while --

REID: Well, and I will note that Sha`Carri Richardson may be able to compete in the 4X100 relay which she may be able to get a medal if she`s allowed to do that.

I have to feel and maybe because as a black woman and somebody who has to deal with, you know, black hair styles and all of the issues that we have, but the swim team, when you combine the fact that they`re literally telling black women you cannot cover your hair in the water the way you need to to protect it, you`re not able to compete. You go into attacks of the daughter of a war veteran saying you can`t have a thought or belief about Black Lives Matter.

It does feel like an accumulation of arbitrary rules that are being used only against black women. It is ruining my Olympics vibe, Bomani. It`s making me not want to watch. I know a lot of people who feel that way.

JONES: Yeah, I guess to a degree I understand that. Like, I can understand how it feels that way for anybody when all of these things come together but I really do think in the three cases we talk about, with Gwen Berry, I think they are story is more interesting because she -- there`s reason to question whether or not they purposely antagonized her by playing the national anthem while she was at a medals stand at an event where they were not playing the national anthem because it`s the American Olympic trials. You`re playing the same song all the time.

They said they played it every day at 5:20 but she was on the medal stand at 5:25. That seemed absolutely like an aggressive play against her and somebody trying to show her up. We`ll never know definitively whether that was the case but that seems 100 percent to be the case there. So we`ve got this in some days. It`s just hard for me to buy into that. Like if you can find be a counterexample of somebody else failing a marijuana test and getting to compete, I can ride it with you. I don`t have a counterfactual that says that.

REID: Well, I`m not even getting into the Nigerian team they`re trying to throw on. It`s just a hot mess.

Bomani Jones, thank you for being on.

That`s tonight`s REIDOUT.