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Transcript: The ReidOut, 9/1/21

Guests: Elizabeth Warren; Kathy Kleinfeld; Alexis McGill Johnson, Hakeem Jeffries, Paul Butler, LaWayne Mosley, Mari Newman, Frank Schaeffer


Texas sis-week abortion ban goes into effect. Future of Roe v. Wade under threat. Texas abortion law turns citizens into vigilantes. Illegal abortion made up 17 percent of all deaths attributed to pregnancy before 1965.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: I`m glad you covered, and we`ll be watching.

JOY RIED, MSNBC HOST: Thank you so much have a great evening, Ari.

All right, good evening everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a heartbreaking story about a 13-year-old girl, a child. Now, this young girl living in Texas faced the ultimate nightmare. She was raped by her own grandfather. And that wasn`t even the end of the horror. When she was told by her doctor that she was pregnant, she also learned that the nearest clinic that would perform an abortion was hours away across the state. Clearly, someone would have to drive her and she would have to find the money from someone to get an abortion procedure and, and, and.

The procedure this pre-teen girl was desperately seeking would have been illegal if this case happened in Texas today. In fact, just last week, one Texas woman found out she was eight weeks pregnant and it was not news she wanted. And as she told Jezebel she scrabbled to try to find an appointment with the goal of getting an abortion but clinics were fully booked.

She thought about the possibility of going out of state but couldn`t afford it. The cost of an instate abortion was already multiple paychecks. She eventually did get an appointment just hours before midnight last night when the new draconian abortion law went into effect in Texas after our conservative fever dream of a Supreme Court declined to take action. The law bans abortions after six weeks before most people even though that they are pregnant.

There are zero exceptions for rape or incest. Just take that in for a moment. Those victims have no way out. Think about that. Think about that 13-year-old girl raped by her grandfather or if one finds herself in an abusive relationship or unable to financially care for a child. Texas says, too bad. Forced birth is now the law of the land. There`s no exception even if a pregnancy is unviable unless it`s a medical emergency for the mother. Women will be forced to carry stillborn pregnancies to term. Think about that for heartbreak for a moment.

But the worst part of this new Texas law is it dispatches private citizens to act as what basically amount to abortion bounty hunters, allowing them to sue for $10,000 a piece for each abortion that the defendant in lawsuits that they filed performed or induced or aided or abetted. Imagine suing the Uber driver who drove a woman to an abortion clinic and, ka-ching, collecting $10,000. Texas Right to Life has even put up a website calling for anonymous tips on abortion providers.

So, just to be clear, in Texas, you cannot man date life saving masks to prevent the spread of COVID. You have the freedom to bring your guns into stores and restaurants and churches and even psychiatrist hospitals but women, trans and non-binary people are not allowed to make their own bodies. My body, my choice, not in Texas.

Texas clinics are now turning away patients who are more than six weeks pregnant. And according to the Guttmacher Institute, there`s going be a 20- fold increase in driving distance for Texans to reach a state where abortion is legal, something that might be impossible right now for parts of Texas that are closest to Louisiana, which is recovering from Hurricane Ida.

It seems like really slim hope to hang onto but abortion providers are still waiting on the Supreme Court to rule on their emergency application urging the justices to intervene. But their inaction so far allowing this law to go into effect, and, frankly, who`s on the conservative side on the court, well, those are terrifying harbingers of the future of Roe v Wade. As early as next month, the Supreme Court will hear a case from Mississippi that straight up argues that the case for overruling Roe, just overruling it is overwhelming.

By next summer, we could be living in our own version of the Handmaid`s Tale, where force birth is the law in large sections of the country, including for children. 11 states have triggered laws that are just lying in wait for Roe v Wade to be over turned. And more would likely follow with 97 abortion restrictions enacted in 19 states so far this year.

Joining me now is Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

You know, and, Senator Warren, you know, people think it`s hyperbolic when I tweet about the Handmaid`s Tale coming to America but I don`t think it seems hyperbolic now. Does it to you?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARRE (D-MA): No. So, you know, I lived in an America in which abortion was illegal when I was young before Roe versus Wade. And when abortion is illegal, rich women still get abortions. Women with resources still get abortions.


Women who have time and who have friends in other places will still get abortions.

So what this law is really about is not stopping abortions across the board. This is about bearing down on the most vulnerable among us. It`s bearing down on the woman or trans person or non-binary, who is working three jobs, the one who`s already stretched to the limit, the one who is a child who has just found out that she is pregnant and doesn`t know how to get organized to get herself the kind of medical treatment that she needs.

And this law says, it`s clearly trying to push in the direction, they`re going to do everything they can if you are vulnerable, if you don`t have alternatives to make sure that you are forced into carrying a pregnancy that you do not want to carry. And I just think this is fundamentally wrong. This divides people. This enables people to target abortion providers, people who give advice, people who try to help, everything to say we are going to isolate and make life as hard as possible for those who don`t have resources.

But for those who have resources, just go to Massachusetts or go to New York or go to California. Go somewhere else. And that`s going to be the kind of division we`re going to see in this country.

REID: And, you know, two things, one, you know, Michelle Goldberg was saying earlier, she was on Ari`s show and she made a really good point that the Republican Party has really embraced vigilantism as a theme. If you don`t win an elections, send the vigilantes and to just raise hell and bring a news and say, hang Mike Pence. When you don`t like abortion, send the vigilantes out to collect $10,000 bounties on women`s head.

But in addition to that Senator, poorer women are going to get abortion to. They will just going to drink poisonous stuff to get them. They`re going to hurt themselves to get them. I was reading today about a woman a nurse in other countries where woman are coming in with also sorts of internal injuries from trying to give themselves abortions. People are still going to get them, they`re just going to die trying to get them.

WARREN: And that`s the part that these folks don`t want to look at. They have constructed this alternative universe where, somehow, if we just force people to go through with these pregnancies, it will work out just fine for them. And it`s not going to work out just fine.

As you rightly say, when people are desperate enough, they will do desperate things. And that is especially true in the circumstances of abortion. You are exactly right though, Joy. How I should have described it is they are not get the medical care, the treatment that they should be entitled to as human beings.

REID: And you talk a lot about the economy for regular folks. You know, those of us who grew up as regular folks and know what it`s like to have the lights out because you couldn`t pay the bill, like people have never lived that where they don`t understand what that`s like, right? You know, making breakfast for dinner because it`s more affordable, like people who grew up understanding that you not being well-off, right?

The other thing that really galls me about what Republicans are doing in Texas is they don`t give a damn about this -- that 13-year-old girl who`s going to be forced to raise that kid. They`re not going to provide her health care. They don`t want to provide her an education. They don`t want to help her pay for college. They don`t want that kid to get health care. They don`t want to pass the Medicaid expansion. Can you just talk about -- I mean, the fact is this, they`re leaving all of these people behind that they want born but they don`t care about them when they are born.

WARREN: That`s exactly right. This is not about providing -- look at fight we`re having right now in Congress, universal child care, just a big one, child care so that mamas and daddies can go do work, right? Women have been forced out of the work force now. One out of four women who`s been forced out of the work forces said the problem is child care. So here we are, one of the things I`m fighting for, Democrats we`re fighting for is universal child care. Do the you know how many Republicans we have who are willing to help us on that? Zero.

REID: I`m guessing zero.

WARREN: That`s exactly right, zero. Nice round number there, because child care is not something that they support and want to work on. Housing, how many people do we have in this country right now who are -- who do not have homes, who have inadequate homes, substandard homes? How many mamas with little babies don`t have housing?

So what we want to do is we want to put some investment and we want to get people off the street, good for their health, good for the economy. We want these people to be able to have housing. How much Republican help are we getting on this? Zero. And we could just keep going through.


And that`s a part of what`s wrong here. It`s part of the division. It`s a part of the prey on those who are vulnerable.

You were talking earlier about the idea, this vigilantism that not only says you get a $10,000 bounty, it also insulates from liability those who target someone and turns out to be wrong.

REID: That`s right, that`s right, that`s right.

WARREN: It turns out that they were not in violation of the statute. So think what that means, Joy. That means just get out there and shoot in any direction you want. And if it lands, you get money, and if it doesn`t land, you don`t get hurt. That is fundamentally wrong.

And, by the way, this is why Congress should step up. Let`s remember that 70 percent of Americans want to see Roe versus Wade as the law of the land. The Supreme Court is not the only one who could provide that. Congress could pass Roe versus Wade.

REID: Come on, amen.

WARREN: So, everybody out there who is outraged today, help Planned Parenthood. Help those who are trying to help people who are dealing with a difficult decision. But also push your senators, push your representatives and say, it is time that our elected representatives don`t just put in judges who are extremists, who don`t support what most Americans want, you get out there, pass the laws, protect Roe, make Roe the law of the land everywhere.

REID: Amen. Senator Elizabeth Warren. Thank you. You can get an amen for every single word for that. Thank you very much.


REID: I`m joined now by Alexis McGill -- thank you -- Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood, and Kathy Kleinfeld, the administrator of Houston Women`s Reproductive Services.

I guess I will start with you Ms. Kleinfeld. This is sort of the sum of all fears. Talk about what this is going to mean for women in Texas.

KATHY KLEINFELD, ADMINISTRATOR, HOUSTON WOMEN`S REPRODUCTIVE SERVICES: Well, so far, it`s been pretty dramatic here. And you have a lot of really desperate women that we have seen and have been beyond the limits. We`ve had to turn away. And this has been going on now for a few days. The phone calls have just been heart wrenching and we were trying to accommodate as many women as possible before today.

Of course, we were very disappointed to not get a ruling from the Supreme Court. We woke up to that and had to face another day and face women who are desperate and need our help and we`re not able to help them. And as Elizabeth articulated, and you as well, it`s the women of means who will have access who can travel and the women without means will have access to unsafe medical care.

And it is a travesty, it`s hard to believe that it`s 2021, and we`re facing this now. It`s just a travesty, the war on women just continues. And in Texas, where they`re screaming about my body, my choice and you can`t make me wear mask and you can`t make my children wear a mask to school, obviously, don`t honor my body, my choice when it comes to women.

REID: Well, I mean, you know, Alexis, look, those of us who have been screaming for a very long time that the Supreme Court was coming for Roe and they don`t care if it`s the (INAUDIBLE). They were coming for it for a long time. And, unfortunately, too many women didn`t make this a voting issue. Here we are, we now find ourselves in the nightmare scenario because I don`t trust the Supreme Court on this, I don`t know if you do, what is the action plan for women going forward now that Texas has start of it, because you know once Texas does it, Florida is going to follow, Mississippi is going to follow, every Republican who thinks this is a good issue to run in 2024 is going to get their men and their legislatures and these men are going to do it everywhere. What`s the action plan?

ALEXIS MCGILL JOHNSON, PRESIDENT & CEO, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Look, I mean, the action plan is, as you say it, we need to be out in the streets, you know, understanding that that elections have consequences and we do have to take over these horrific state legislatures that are passing these laws that are inconsistent with where the majority of people in each state, actually. It`s not just the national average that support whether or not, 80 percent of Americans believe we should have access to safe and legal abortion.

And you know, we`re talking about 26 states that are poised to actually quickly adopt very similar bans to basically create a de facto into Roe. And so it is at the ballot box in a lot of ways. These are the same states, as we`ve talked about before, that are also trying to restrict voting rights, right? So you know it`s all --

REID: Yes. I wonder why.

JOHNSON: Yes, wonder why, right? Exactly. I just want to speak a bit to the provider piece, right, which is that what my colleague is talking about it`s also on top of the other things that have been happening, right, the mandatory 24-hour waiting period, the state mandated counseling, the forced ultrasounds, like this kind of chipping away has been happening for so long.


And I think this is finally the time where people really understand that what we have been screaming about has become a reality.

REID: I mean, women have only been able to legally refuse sex with their husbands. Marital rape laws were passed in the `90s. In the 1970s, women couldn`t open a bank account without a man. Through the 1970s, women have had very few enforceable right in this country.

Just to give you all some polling, 54 percent of Americans say that abortion should always be or mostly be legal. 42 percent said always or mostly be illegal. The number of illegal abortions in 1950s and 1960s range from 200,000 to 1.2 million a year. By 1965, the legal abortion still accounted for 17 percent of deaths, deaths attributed to pregnancy and child birth.

I`m going to give you the last word on this Ms. Kleinfeld. What can we outside of Texas do, for you? What we can do to help you?

KLEINFELD: Well, I mean, I think we -- we have to take action in every state. Because it is true, there will be test grounds in Texas and other states will follow. So everyone needs to pay very close attention even if you`re in a state like California and New York and you have progressive liberal laws. We salute you and we`re very jealous here in Texas. But, remember, the threat is very real no matter where you are. And especially in the south.

REID: These people want to take -- that`s right, they want to take up the whole. They don`t want just Texas. You have to understand that these men, these autocratic men want control of the whole country. They`re coming for California right now. They`re coming for the whole country. They`re not going to be satisfied until the whole country is Gilead. Wake up. Alexis McGill Johnson, Kathy Kleinfeld, thank you. Good luck. God Bless.

Up next, the looming crisis, millions of Americans are set to lose -- it just gets worse. Millions of Americans are set to lose their federal unemployment benefits as we head into Labor Day weekend and as evictions ramp up across this country.

Also, prosecutors in Colorado announce charges against police and paramedics in the death of Elijah McClain, a young black man whose life was snuffed out. I think he was just going about his business. Elijah McClain`s dad will join me.

And tonight`s absolute worse, as the January 6th committee gets ready to expose them, their actions made clear they`ve got something to hide. THE REIDOUT continues after this.



REID: This Labor Day weekend marks both the end of summer and the beginning of paralyzing uncertainty for many Americans.

Millions of people are poised to lose their unemployment benefits on Monday, when federal pandemic policies expire after being extended twice. This comes just a week after the Supreme Court`s conservative majority struck down the Biden administration`s stopgap eviction moratorium, leaving 3.5 million renters on the precipice of eviction.

The American relief package allocated about $46 billion to help tenants pay their landlords. Unfortunately, the Treasury Department reports that only $3 billion of that money has been distributed. It`s a one-two punch for people in desperate need of help. And it comes just as the country grapples with a fourth wave of the coronavirus, where cases, hospitalizations and deaths have risen to their highest levels since winter.

As for additional unemployment benefits, lawmakers are unlikely to offer any more help because of improvements in the economy and in the labor market.

Joining me now is New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.

So, Chairman Jeffries, let`s just get right to it. We are emerging right now as essentially two countries, one in which blue states are at least trying to extend the eviction moratorium. New York`s legislature just passed -- they`re going to freeze evictions in rare special cases.

I don`t know what rare special cases are, because New York rent is high, as you know. Governor Hochul called state lawmakers back to do it. They`re going to try to extend it through January 15. And there are several states where they`re at least doing some extensions of the eviction moratoria, Illinois, California, Minnesota, New Jersey, D.C., Washington state, and Boston, just the city of Boston, and New Mexico.

So, if you`re in a blue state, likely, your legislature is at least trying to extend some help. If you`re in a red state, you not only have no protection from COVID, your schools are getting sued so they can`t have mask mandates, you might be out on the street because you can get evicted, and they don`t -- they didn`t expand Medicaid.

What is the federal -- what can be done about this at the federal level? What is going to be done?

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): Well, it`s good to be on, Joy.

We`re in this situation because the Supreme Court has, in this space, as they have done most recently with reproductive freedoms, issued an irresponsible decision or taken an irresponsible action.

And this is consistent with the Republican playbook. Republicans have concluded that they can no longer win elections democratically. And so they engage in voter suppression, they steal Supreme Court seats, and then they legislate from the bench.

And so there are longer-term implications that we`re going to have to deal with in terms of this Republican strategic approach, and we`re going to have to deal with that aggressively.

In terms of the moment that we find ourselves in related to the eviction moratorium, Speaker Pelosi has indicated -- and we have got a caucus call and gathering early next week -- that we are going to discuss what legislative options may be available to us, certainly working with chair of the Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters, who spearheaded the relief that we provided in the American Rescue Plan.


We have got to make sure that the states are held accountable for getting out the money. The numbers that you cited, Joy, are atrocious. The notion that we could have allocated about $46 billion in emergency rental assistance, and less than $5 billion have actually made it to tenants and landlords is not acceptable.

REID: Yes.

JEFFRIES: And there are perhaps some things that we can do to push that along.

REID: Let me play LaTosha Brown.

LaTosha Brown and a group of people, including Bishop William Barber, met with the speaker last week. And let me play you a little bit of what she said afterwards.


LATOSHA BROWN, CO-FOUNDER, BLACK VOTERS MATTER: We want you to use the power the people gave you. And we`re assuring her that we want you to hold the line on this infrastructure. We can`t talk about physical infrastructure in this country, and we allow the democratic, the political infrastructure to collapse.

And so, because of that, we want you to hold the line.


REID: Let me just keep it real. I think that most base Democrats understand and trust that the speaker is sincere. And she said she does this for the children. That`s why she`s in this business of politics at all.

I trust her and I believe her when she says that. You know who I don`t trust? People like Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema. I don`t trust, just based on what I have seen so far in their actions, that these are core issues for that, making sure that people get $15 minimum -- hour minimum wage, making sure they get extended unemployment benefits, making sure that these things are fixed, the Voting Rights Act is fixed at the Senate level.

I don`t trust that they believe that. But you all have leverage. So when you go to your caucus, are you going to say to them what LaTosha Brown has said? Use the leverage you have. They got that little bipartisan infrastructure bill that they love so much, that Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin love so much.

And that thing ain`t going to become law if the House doesn`t put it through. Is the leadership of the House willing to say back to the Senate, we will give you your infrastructure bill when we get For the People Act, when we get reform of policing, when we get a $15-an-hour minimum wage, when we get a fix to the rent moratorium, when you give us the things that help the American people, when you pass the bigger infrastructure bill, $3.5 trillion?

When we get that, then you can get your infrastructure bill. Are you all willing to do that?

JEFFRIES: Well, we have said consistently that we are committed to a parallel track approach.

That means the bipartisan physical infrastructure bill, which is important in terms of investing in our crumbling bridges, roads, tunnels, airports, mass transit system, and broadband, but is insufficient in terms of turning things around and building back better, which is why we need to move the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act that`s going to invest in...

REID: But I mean all of it.

I mean, are you -- will you guys -- and I`m sorry to push you, but we are short time. And I just need to know, yes or no, are you are willing to say we want all of it, the $15-and-hour minimum wage, we want to fix the moratorium on rent, we want to fix all of these issues that your base voted for, and you give us all of that, and then you can get your $1.1 trillion infrastructure bill?

JEFFRIES: Well, I don`t want to speak for the entirety of the caucus, but I think it`s pretty clear these are all things that House Democrats have already moved in one form or the other.

And we stand behind our legislation aggressively. And we`re going to continue to fight for working families, middle-class folks, those who aspire to be part of the middle class, and, certainly, the poor, the sick, the afflicted, the least, the loss, and the left behind.

And we believe that this is a bicameral legislature, meaning it`s not just the Senate`s voice that should matter here. The House will speak for the people.

REID: Amen.

Well, I think people agree with that. And if you -- listen, if you all hold the line, LaTosha Brown said that she has you in the streets. And you should believe her when she speaks, because she speaks very truthfully.

So, I`m just saying you guys have the backative in the streets if you all are willing to hold that line. Just putting that out there. And I think Barber -- Bishop -- I`m not going to speak for Bishop Barber, but I think he agrees with that too.

Thank you very much, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. Appreciate you.

Still ahead: A Colorado grand jury hands down indictments in the death of Elijah McClain, the young black man who died in police custody on his way home from the store in 2019.

Elijah`s dad joins me next.

Stay with us.



REID: Today, a Colorado grand jury issued a 32-count indictment against three Aurora police officers and two paramedics involved in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain.

The charges include manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and second- degree assault. This comes nearly two years to the day after the three officers stopped the 23-year-old as he walked home from a convenience store after a 911 caller reported he looked -- quote -- "suspicious."

The officers grabbed McClain and put him in a choke hold. Paramedics call to the scene then injected him with the powerful sedative ketamine. He was declared brain-dead at a nearby hospital and taken off life support less than a week later.

This is the first time any of those involved in McClain`s death have faced any punishment.

Joining me now is LaWayne Mosley, Elijah McClain`s father, Mari Newman, the McClain family`s attorney, and Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor.

Mr. Mosley, I want to start by issuing my condolences to you and to your family. I grew up in Colorado, so I know the area where you live very well. It`s so shocking to me to think what happened to your son. My kids are his age. So I feel so deeply for you.

So, I would love for you to just -- before we get into the horrors of the case, just tell us about Elijah and what he was like. I know he played the violin.

LAWAYNE MOSLEY, FATHER OF ELIJAH MCCLAIN: A people person, a people lover, just energetic, spunky, sparky, loved life.

REID: Yes.

I`m not going to read you the police association, the police union statement, but it was pretty disgusting. I`m just going to be honest.

And it accused your son of violently resisting arrest. Was that -- does that even read to you at all as something that your son -- that even sounds real about your son?


He spoke clearly. We can hear everything going on. He didn`t do any of that. That wasn`t -- that`s not his character. And that`s not his nature.


REID: Yes.

MOSLEY: So, he don`t even know how to use a gun or any of that stuff.


REID: Did he have a fear of police?

MOSLEY: All blacks in Colorado got a fear of police.

REID: Yes. Yes, sir. You`re absolutely right. I mean, growing up there, I can tell you that is accurate.

Let me go to you, Ms. Newman.

In addition to the police union, which is not -- it`s -- it`s what they always say, right? But we know that there was actually an independent probe of what happened. I`m

just going to look at this, read this a little bit: "An independent investigation slip solicited by the Aurora City Council concluded that police had no legal basis to stop or use force to detain this young man and that responding paramedics sedated him with the powerful sedative ketamine without conducting anything more than a brief visual observation."

We have seen a lot of these cases come and go. I have covered a lot of these Black Lives Matter cases. How hopeful are you that this indictment means that there`s going to be justice in this case?

MARI NEWMAN, ATTORNEY FOR FAMILY OF ELIJAH MCCLAIN: Well, we`re very hopeful that this indictment leads to convictions, and, even more importantly than that, that this indictment serves as a message, not just here in Colorado, but across the country, that nobody is above the law, that officers can no longer act with impunity, meting out racist and brutal treatment of people.

And so we`re very, very hopeful that this is part of the change that needs to happen, not just here in Colorado, but across the entire country.

REID: Yes.

And, Paul, my friend, we have done so many of these cases together. But in this case, as you just heard Mr. Mosley say, thank God that now we can have evidence of what actually happens in these cases, right? And I apologize against to Mr. Mosley even reading this, and I -- due to the pain that this will cause, this is causing you.

But we know that Elijah`s final words, we know what they are. He said: "I can`t breathe. I have my I.D. My name is Elijah McClain. That`s my house. I was just going home. I`m an introvert. I`m just different."

And he apologized to them, said: "I have no gun. I don`t do that stuff. I don`t do any fighting. Why are you attacking me?"

This was a shy kid, a young guy who`s just scared and who was just asking to be left alone. Does that, the existence of that evidence prevent the defense in this case from trying to do to Elijah McClain in death what they tried to do to George Floyd?

PAUL BUTLER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: First, Mr. Mosley, I`m so sorry for your loss. May Elijah`s memory be a blessing.

REID: Amen.

BUTLER: And may it help bring about the transformation that we desperately need in policing.

And, Joy, defense attorneys will try everything. And they won`t get away with it, I hope. They don`t have the quality of videotape in this case that we had in the Derek Chauvin trial because, supposedly, the video cameras dropped to the ground during the encounter with Mr. McClain. That`s what the police claim.

We know, though, that every first responder on the scene failed Mr. McClain. They violated his rights. And they are criminally responsible for his death.

REID: And I guess I have to ask you, Mr. Mosley, are you surprised that there were paramedics involved in what happened to your son?

I think that part of the case did shock m. Did it shock you?

MOSLEY: No, they all were guilty, so all of them. I wish it was a few more, but...

REID: Yes.

MOSLEY: ... they were guilty.

REID: And, I mean, I guess, Ms. Newman, I will throw that to you as well, because one would think that, once help arrives, that that person is supposed to help. They didn`t help him. They hurt him.

NEWMAN: You`re exactly right, Joy.

And the reason that the paramedics came to the scene is because those officers had subjected Elijah not to one, but two carotid choke holds. And so the medics came because they were supposed to be providing him with obviously necessary lifesaving medical care.

Instead, what they did was exactly the opposite. They subjected him to additional force, weaponizing a very dangerous medication, which ultimately was among the causes of his death.

REID: And, OK, so, Paul, we`re going to be following this case, obviously. And you helped us so much in following the George Floyd case.

Walk us through how this goes and how this timeline is going to look. And should we expect this to go in the direction the George Floyd case did? Because that was surprising to me. Normally, these cases don`t result in conviction for police officers. That was one of the few.

Walk us through what should we should look for and expect as this case rolls out.

BUTLER: So, prosecutors have to prove that the actions of the defendants caused Mr. McClain`s death. Like with George Floyd, the defense is going to blame everything and everybody but the police and paramedics.

The police association is already claiming Mr. McClain died of a preexisting heart condition. But, Joy, again, if we look at the evidence in this case, we know that the paramedics failed to follow basic medical protocols.


Mr. McClain was in handcuffs when they injected him with ketamine. They didn`t conduct any physical examination. They didn`t even ask him any questions. And after they shot him up with this powerful narcotic, they didn`t even bother to check his vital signs or properly monitor him.

So, Joy, again, they claim that the cameras fell on the ground. So we don`t have the high-quality video. But we have that haunting audio, where Elijah McClain, like George Floyd before him, narrates his own death on police audiotape. He tells the first responders that he can`t breathe and that he`s an introvert and he`s different.

But they treated him the way first responders treat too many black people, like someone who has no rights they are bound to respect.

REID: Indeed.

BUTLER: And now, after two years, they finally face some consequences.

REID: Well, we will be following this case.

And, Paul Butler, we`re going to be calling on you a lot to help us do that, so thank you.

Mari Newman, thank you very much.

Mr. Mosley, we will be praying for you and your family. Thank you. You`re in our thoughts. We really appreciate you being here tonight.

All right, tonight`s absolute worst is still ahead.

But first: how the religious right is messing with women`s rights, voting rights, and our rights as vaccinated Americans to finally be done with this freaking pandemic.

We will be right back.



REID: The religious right is a powerful voting bloc in this country, shaping elections, legislation and Supreme Court nominees.

But what the religious rights says about its most famous rallying cry abortion, well, it often isn`t true that the Bible forbids abortion. That`s a lie. That abortion is murder, that legal abortions are dangerous. Nope, none of that is true.

This movement, in fact, is so full of misinformation that it`s very origin is also a lie. Back in the 1970s evangelical Christians were largely apolitical, and religious conservative political activists like Paul Weyrich wanted to change that.

Dartmouth historian Randall Balmer in his off-cited piece for Politico wrote: "The hypothetical moral majority needed a catalyst and a standard around which to rally. The galvanizing issue was not abortion. It was, in fact, an organized fight to protect Christian schools from racial integration."

Religious leaders blamed President Jimmy Carter for IRS actions at the time that removed tax breaks previously enjoyed by private schools that failed to integrate. And a movement was brewing.

But, as Balmer notes, defending school segregation wasn`t the best look. So evangelical leaders searched for a more palatable rallying cry, which would become abortion.

Joining me now is Frank Schaeffer, director and author of several books, including "Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God."

Frank, it`s great to see you again.

Unfortunately, whenever I call upon you, it`s for dark and difficult reasons.

But I just -- for people who don`t know who Paul Weyrich is and aren`t familiar with him. Let me just play him real quick. This is a very short sound bite. Let`s let him -- let him be heard.


PAUL WEYRICH, RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ACTIVIST: Now, many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome, good government. They want everybody to vote.

I don`t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people.


REID: And I`m the one who normally says Weyrich, but it`s Weyrich.

But tell us about him. Who was this guy?

FRANK SCHAEFFER, AUTHOR, "WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD": Well, it`s interesting you mentioned Professor Randall Balmer from Dartmouth. I just interviewed him on my podcast last week, "In Conversation With Frank Schaeffer."

And Randy and I talked for over an hour about the part my family played back in the `70s and `80s. My evangelists, father, Francis Schaeffer, and I went all around the country, including, by the way, our biggest stadium appearance in Dallas, Texas, where we helped found the evangelical wing of the pro-life movement that is so much in the news now.

Who Paul Weyrich was a Roman Catholic activist who tried to involve evangelicals in building a right-wing coalition based on racism. He wanted to cash in on the hatred that many white evangelicals had for the U.S. government because it was questioning the tax-exempt status of all-white academies that were a reaction to integration.

And then they turned to the abortion issue as another piece of red meat with which to enrage their followers. Now, when we went out to pitch the -- quote, unquote -- "pro-life movement," which, in fact, was fake family values, thinly veiled misogyny, keep women in their place movement -- that`s what it was -- it wasn`t about abortion -- Weyrich and others decided that they could take that energy and bring new voters to the Republican Party.

Here`s a point most people don`t understand, Joy. When we went out, the Reverend Billy Graham, the evangelist, and Dr. Criswell, who at that time was president of the Southern Baptist Convention, pastor of First Baptist in Dallas, and president of Dallas Theological Seminary -- you don`t get any more conservative evangelical than that -- he was pro-choice, not ambivalent, but pro-choice.

Our first job as right-wing activists -- and I was my dad`s nepotistic sidekick, and I have spent the rest of my life repenting from the fact that I did so much harm to so many people by helping to energize this anti-woman movement. It was not anti-abortion, anti-woman movement.

When we went out, evangelicals were the people who wanted no part of this. And we had to talk them into this crusade. And now fast forward 40 years, and we have a situation in Texas right now tonight where the American Taliban, because that`s what it is -- there`s not an American evangelical right-wing movement -- there is an American Taliban -- is weirdly similar in so many ways to the Middle Eastern Islamist terrorists.


And here`s another weird one. Do you know, a few years ago, some of the Islamic terrorist activists in Pakistan and other countries were murdering vaccine doctors and nurses who were coming in to try to vaccinate against polio, with some mythological conspiracy theories about how this was part of the U.S. government plot.

Think about this tonight, Joy. The evangelical voter in Texas who backed Donald Trump is now also the voter who is calling vaccines some sort of government conspiracy, and wanting to stop Joe Biden`s program to deliver our country from the COVID virus.

There`s a weird convergence of factors here, whether it`s "Handmaid`s Tale" and taking away women`s rights, or whether it`s the anti-vaccine movement that has grown out of this weird fascination with conspiracy theories and misinformation.

Wherever you touch it, the evangelical movement is no longer the one that my dad and I tried to talk into radicalism, and, sadly, were too successful in doing back in the `70s. Today -- and I want to say this again -- there is no evangelical political movement. There is a new American Taliban, and their goal is theocracy, which means to take our religious beliefs, which for them are Old Testament law, not Christianity, and force secular Americans, non-evangelical Americans, progressive Americans, women, people of color into that box.

And this is not hyperbole. This is happening right now tonight in Texas. This is happening right now with the people dying of COVID, children dying of COVID, because pro-lifers have seen fit to stand against Joe Biden`s vaccine as a way to own the libs.

And their price is to be literally bioterrorists. That`s where we are tonight, Joy. It`s not back where we -- I was in the 1970s trying to talk Billy Graham -- I was with him at Mayo Clinic when we had that conversation, or Dr. Criswell, into taking a stand.

So, Dr. Balmer from -- when he talks about this right-wing movement to sort of fuse the anger of anti-integration with the beginnings of this thing called the anti-abortion movement, is totally correct.

REID: Yes. Wow, it`s frightening.

And I`m just going to put this up before we go. I`m just going to show this photo once again. We have showed it on the show before. Remember, the anti- mask sort of wing of the far right that you`re seeing now, they were pro- mask at a time when it wasn`t even necessary, because AIDS had nothing to do with airborne viruses.

But they were like, put your kid in a mask. Let`s just remember who we`re dealing with.

Frank Schaeffer, I have to bring you back on. We got to talk more about this, because this is a terrifying subject, but important for folks to know.

Frank Schaeffer, thank you very much, sir. We appreciate you always.

SCHAEFFER: Thank you for having me.

REID: Cheers.

And, you guys, don`t go anywhere, because tonight absolute worst is up next, as Trump loyalists threaten to punish companies who turn over phone records related to the insurrection.

Should we tell them that, by trying to obstruct a congressional investigation, they`re the ones in legal jeopardy? Nah.

We will be right back.



REID: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans are threatening major U.S. companies if they cooperate with the bipartisan committee investigating January 6.

On Monday, the committee sent sweeping request to 35 telecom and social media companies, asking them to preserve records in advance of a potential subpoena. Those requests cover materials related to the attack of January 6, and includes the records of lawmakers who`ve been implicated in the -- quote -- "Stop the Steal effort."

Now little Kevin is in a panic. After all, members of his caucus were involved in January 6. So he`s lashing out at those companies. And, unbelievably, he`s threatening their very existence, saying if they turn over private information, they are in violation of federal law and subject to losing their ability to operate in the United States.

He then vowed retribution, saying a Republican majority will not forget and will hold them fully accountable.

Now, we should note that, despite McCarthy`s intimidation tactics, there`s nothing unlawful about complying with a congressional probe or a potential subpoena.

As Greg Sargent writes in "The Washington Post": "Subpoenas targeting private entities are in fact routine in congressional investigations. McCarthy`s line is utterly bogus."


Not only is McCarthy flat-out lying. He`s proving himself to be just as extreme as the GOP`s QAnon congresswoman, Margie Taylor Greene, who threatened the same thing last night with Tuckums.


REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): These telecommunications companies, if they go along with this, they will be shut down. And that`s a promise.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Good. I hope they`re afraid of you. They should be.


REID: Yes, you don`t even have committee assignments.

Remember, these are the same people who claim to be small government conservatives, the defenders of the free market and American enterprise.

Yet they`re more than willing to use the power of government to control corporate behavior if it suits their interests, especially when their interest is their own self-preservation.

You see, look, Kevin knows that he`s likely a subject of the investigation that he`s trying to derail. After all, he spoke to Donald Trump during the insurrection and could be a material witness in the case.

Likewise, Margie Green is among the Republican lawmakers whose phone records might be subject to a subpoena because of her involvement in the -- quote -- "Stop the Steal Rally." They`re trying to save their own skins. In fact, they`re the ones who may have run afoul of the law, not the telecom companies they`re threatening to destroy.

As the federal statute makes clear: "Whoever corruptly endeavors to influence, obstruct or impede any congressional inquiry or investigation could face up to five years in prison."

Their attempt to bully private sector corporations into defying a congressional probe would certainly seem to fit that description.

See, the thing is, innocent people don`t really act like this. So, apparently, whatever`s in those phone records is so damaging that they`re willing to risk the crime of obstruction to keep them secret. That`s what makes Kevin McCarthy and his pal Margie Green tonight`s absolute worst.

And that`s why the select committee must call their bluff and fight tooth and nail to get the materials they are seeking.

And that`s tonight`s REIDOUT.