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Transcript: The ReidOut, 9/3/21

Guests: Rick Wilson, Elie Mystal


GOP ramps up efforts to undermine 1-6 select committee; GOP Representative threaten to obstruct 1/6 select committee; Turning over phone records is legal and relatively common; Gerson say, McCarthy has fully adopted MAGA gangsterism; Trump allies fighting committee request for phone records.



JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: All right, good evening everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the jihad that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the GOP are waging against the select committee investigating January 6th. Little Kevin now claims that Congress doesn`t even have the right to investigate the violent attempt to over throw the government and most laughably he`s comparing the insurrection to a bank robbery.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Should members of Congress do investigations when someone robs a bank or should law enforcement. But now what the Democrats are doing are trying to use an unconstitutional, unlawful ability to go after Americans who they think disagree with them philosophically.


REID: But beneath his bluster and lies, Kevin is clearly running scared, petrified that he might be more deeply implicated in the events of that day. Multiple outlets are now reporting that McCarthy`s phone records are also subject to the preservation requests that the committee issued on Monday to more than 30 social media and telecom companies. That means there`s a decent chance his data will be the target of a potential subpoena.

And that explains McCarthy`s panic when he`s issued an unprecedented threat to those companies on Tuesday, effectively vowing to destroy them if they comply with investigators. McCarthy is not just demanding that those companies stonewall Congress, he`s running a protection racquet, not unlike the mafia, with the threat of retribution. He`s extorting private sector companies for a guarantee of safety, which begs the question, what is he trying to hide?

Now, let`s remember, Little Kevin, is among at least a dozen Republicans to have their communications targeted by the select committee, and all star list of MAGA boot lickers who plotted to steel for steal the election for Trump. Many of those same Republicans are now threatening to sue the telecom companies if they comply with the committee, according Forbes.

Given their outcry, it appears that the investigation is on the right track. As GOP Strategist Rick Wilson said this week, their guilt is rolling off of them in waves. They`re drowning in an ocean of flop sweat. To those Republicans are not just running scarred from the committee, they are also afraid of their own.

Congressman Andy Biggs, who is also a target of the investigation, is now lobbying to expel the Republican -- the two Republican members of the select committee from the GOP caucus. He has penned a letter to Kevin saying that Congresswoman Liz Cheney and Congressman Adam Kinzinger are two spies for the Democrats. We cannot trust these members to sit in our Republican conference meetings while we plan our defense. Of course, Biggs wouldn`t be so paranoid if he had nothing to hide.

With me now, Dean Obeidallah, Host of the Dean Obeidallah show on SiriusXM, and an MSNBC Columnist, Juanita Tolliver, Democratic Strategist, and Rick Wilson, the C0-Founder of the Lincoln Project.

And the aforementioned person that I quote about the flop sweat, Rick, you know it`s funny because Kevin -- it`s almost like Kevin McCarthy, if he hung a sign on himself, saying I committed crime, please don`t hurt me, it couldn`t be more obvious, right, that he is terrified of this investigation.

RICK WILSON, CO-FOUNDER, THE LINCOLN PROJECT: It`s like the mafia who says, hey, listen, you know I know my accountant will be testifying against me but he`s got a nice house and nice family, it would be ashamed if something happened to them. You know, this -- it`s so crude and so clownish and so Putinesque that it really gives away the game of where they are headed. This isn`t a conservative political party. They are a bunch of authoritarian kleptocrats. These guys need shinier suits and slicked back hair. It really has reached to a point of absurdity.

REID: Then they should be striped like zoot suits, like with the big shoulder.

WILSON: Exactly.

REID: Like they need to go full -- like go fall long (ph).

You know Juanita, I mean the thing is, I don`t know why they think that, A, this is going to work on the companies. Subpoenas are just perfectly legal. There`s nothing wrong with subpoenas. They are going to have to comply. They`re not Donald Trump. They don`t have presidential -- whatever he thought he had immunity. No one is going to respect that. Do you think that this winds up making the committee more aggressive because it does make it look like they did something wrong?

JUANITA TOLLIVER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Joy, I sure, I hope so. Because all this did was kick a hornet`s nest and now they`re all buzzing crazy. They don`t know which way to go and they are all scrambling. And that fear that they are demonstrating with every letter they write, with every person they try to throw under the buss, should reaffirm that January 6th select committee that you`re spot on.

Don`t deter course. Don`t back anything. If anything, push harder to get what you need because the American public not only deserves the truth but anybody who is involved in helping sort of precipitate this or participate in any way, those members of Congress should be expelled and held accountable. And so the select committee should keep on going.

REID: You know, and, Dean, I`m going to take advantage of the fact that you are my friend so I know that not only you are funny and hilarious guy, great way to host (ph), you are also a lawyer. This is from the Washington Post. And they`re saying, one federal law is Kevin McCarthy citing when he threatens telecom firms.


There isn`t. There`s a specific law stopping these companies from handing over information. Like they`re actually isn`t anything that he can do to stop the subpoenas, right?

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, MSNBC COLUMNIST: Joy, are you saying Republicans need laws? Are you kidding? They make things up. They make whatever they want. It`s fantasy to be a Republican now. It`s like being Peter Pan. Whatever you wish can come true. Come on, hold my hand, Wendy. Let`s fly.

This is the reality. Look at this, when they get the records, it`s good like the horror movie. We have traced the call. It`s coming from inside the house, clearly, the House of Representative. It`s Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan talking to Donald Trump.

This is -- 20 years ago, Joy, after 9/11 when Rick was a Republican, what did George Bush say? Either you`re with us or you`re with the terrorists. 20 years later, where are they now? You`re either with Trump`s terrorists or you`re out of the GOP. This is what we`re actually watching now with Andy Biggs and others.

It`s stunning to see. And I hope people will, I implore every one, January 6 was an act of domestic terrorism. That`s what the DOJ (INAUDIBLE). Let`s frame it Democrats like that. Republicans, Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, are you with the United States of America or you`re with Trump`s terrorist? Put their patriotism on the line day in and day out, no more ambiguity, this was a terrorist attack. FBI`s words, not mine.

REID: You know, I feel like, Rick, in a lot of ways you`re like the guy who like got out of the Hale-Bopp group before they like bought the matching beds or like got out of the Jim Jones group before they move to Diana, I like the place set up shop in Diana. You survived just like getting off, you getting out of time.

And let me read you what another guy who seems to survived the cult and freed himself somehow from it all, Michael Gerson, a former Bush speechwriter. I mean, this is not a liberal writing. This is Michael Gerson. For years, Kevin McCarthy has been Donald Trump`s fact totem, a groveler and sniveler, held in obvious contempt by the object of his loyalty. But now McCarthy is emerging as a demagogue in his own right, in his chosen response, he has fully adopted the MAGA conception of governing as gangsterism.

But, Rick, he`s not like a credible gangster. Like no one is -- people are scared of Speaker Pelosi because when she speak, you better listen to her. Nobody is afraid of this guy. Is there any possibility that that caucus is going to -- if they somehow manage to turn this nightmare into getting back the majority, are they actually going to make this full speaker? Is that something that could really happen?

WILSON: That`s the reason Kevin is doing this performative stuff. That`s why he`s saying it`s like a speeding ticket. It`s nothing big. He`s doing that because he knows that there are now a large majority of the House who are bat guano crazy. They are absolutely out of their damn mind. I swore not to curse. And I listen today. They`re out of their damn mind.

REID: They could listen to church ladies who will come for you. You understand that the church ladies listen to this show and they got, and they have got their hats on (ph) and they were waiting for you.

WILSON: Young man. But they know very well in Kevin McCarthy`s little tiny circle of allies that there`s a greater chance that Matt Gaetz or Marjorie Taylor Greene could be elected speaker for Donald Trump than Kevin McCarthy. So he is going to act like a jackass. He`s going to all these performative stuff because he thinks of himself as better and different than the rest of the people on the mutant parade that are on that list of other people getting subpoenas. Okay. He thinks of himself as much more elevated than those people and he`s not. He`s rolling around, lie down with dogs, get up with Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jim Jordon and Mo Brooks (INAUDIBLE).

REID: Listen, Juanita, I do, you know, in all seriousness, Ted Cruz was looking into this, you know, the committee on responsibility and ethics in Washington, they`re are looking into this because, you know, this is actually serious, making threats against private companies, which is not, again, not only as it not a conservative move, it`s actually a dangerous move. As much as we laugh at the idiocy of these people, they`re actually - - they still have governmental power and the idea that they are using that to try to threaten private companies to tell them you are to not comply with legal subpoenas is actually quite dangerous. And so I wonder, you know how seriously it should be taken seriously. Cruz obviously is taking it seriously.

TOLLIVER: I think it should absolutely be taken seriously, Joy. But where you can stop the seriousness is in the fact that, as Dean said, there is no legal authority that McCarthy has to issue such threats. And as Rick said, this is thug-like behavior. It`s just being delivered in a way that he thinks is elevated.

And so, what`s frustrating about all of this in my mind is where was this same energy two months ago when it was found out Trump used the DOJ to get his political opponent`s record and member of the press phone records? Why was that same energy? No one was ringing the large bells then. No one was saying Americans all across the country are having their cell phone data threatened. But now they are? It`s weak, it`s pathetic and they can`t even deliberate well, Joy.

Look at McCarthy stumbling over himself trying to get out these lies, get out of these messages that we know appeal to an audience of one, Donald Trump.


And it`s a reminder of who the Republican Party is. It`s the party of Trump. It`s the party of lies. It`s the party of violence and, frankly, it`s the party of horse de-wormer, Joy. You can`t take them too seriously.

REID: I mean, we played in the last hour, I mean, Jim Jordan when he thought, you know Donald Trump couldn`t hear him and it was him and some other MAGA people going. You know, I`m not going to be in town on September 18th. I don`t think I`ll get until the 19th. And, you know, even Ron Johnson like dropping the like of cuckoo bird mask when he thinks that Donald Trump can`t hear him saying, I mean, Donald Trump really did lose. I mean they understand that this stuff is B.S. They know it is true, but the fact that they are willing to play along anyway is actually quite dangerous. Because the hard cores that show up on September 18th, those are the people we actually have to worry about trying to get a gun magazine through the airport or acting absolutely wild and crazy and defecating in the Capitol. It actually turns out that even if you don`t believe something, you can prompt dangerous people to do dangerous thing, Dean.

OBEIDALLAH: Absolutely you can. And that`s what Donald Trump did on January 6th. Joy, every time I talk to you, I plead with someone to wake me from this nightmare. We watch Donald Trump literally radicalized you for over two months, lying about the election. He pick the date, he said January 6th, be there, it will be wild. He gave them a speech saying, we`re going down there, we`re going to stop the steal. We can`t let this happen. He does it and he`s not charged. And we don`t hear the Democrats calling for him to be criminally prosecuted.

And Democrats, I`m not saying chant lock him up. I`m saying Donald Trump is still radicalizing people. We had a guy two weeks who drive a pickup truck in North Carolina with bomb-making material. Donald Trump -- and I`m pleading with -- please repeat after me, America. Donald Trump is the Osama Bin Laden of January 6th. I call him Donald Bin Laden for a reason. Without Donald Trump, there is no January 6th.

And Democrats who think it`s political to call for prosecution, it`s not. It is not partisan to call for prosecuting someone who incited a terrorist attack. It is patriotic. So be patriots, my fellow Democrats, and call for him in a nuanced way to be criminally prosecuted or we`re going to see more terrorism. DHS warned us last month. There`s an increase of chatter by people on the right. We got the pickup truck guy. September 18th, they are coming back to the scene of the crime. And this is playing out in front of us and no one is being charged. It`s unbelievable.

REID: Yes. I mean, unlike bin Laden, he`s also the son -- he`s also the itinerate son of a builder that inherited all his money.

You know, Rick Wilson, this is the thing that I have to ask you as somebody who has been in the business on the other side of the ad wars, and you guys are really good at this stuff. At what point is there a tipping point where enough independents throw up their hands and do what you did and say, I can`t be part of this anymore? I know personally a lot of Republicans that have already done it besides you and others. At some point, does this jump the shark, this sort of fake gangsterism, the bounties on women in Texas, putting money on the head that are going to end up also being white suburban girls, right, that, at some point, does it jump the shark?

WILSON: Yes. The yeehaw (INAUDIBLE) they want to established on in Texas to report women for seeking an abortion, it`s going to have an eventual blow back. Because you know what, an awful lot of suburban women who are not hyper political, who are not overtly political, are going to say, enough of this crap. And it`s not just about choice and abortion. It`s also about the pranks about COVID that DeSantis and Abbott and other Republican governors are doing that are putting the kids of suburban Republican women in danger, independent leaning women in danger.

You are going to see a division between them. You will see people making a choice between the Trump hottie and America. You will see them making that choice. They made that choice in 2020 by a narrow margin, by 40,000 votes nationally. But I think the Republicans may be setting themselves up for a backlash here that is beyond because, look, their base is starting to shrink. It is sort of starting to contract. As it contracts, it`s like a dying star that becomes hotter and crazier. And there will be gettable votes out there and the suburbs in particular among educated female voters, among independent leaning male voters that Democrats can pick up.

And they don`t have to convince these people to become super hard core progressives, they just seem to be say, hey I don`t want to be with the crazy guys who are storming the Capitol. I don`t want to be the COVID truther or the COVID deniers and the anti-vax truthers and all the crazy. You can divide them that way politically.

REID: I think-- right. That feels right to me, Juanita. Because at a certain point you just want your kids to survive. And if they are saying, I want to let your kids get COVID, I want to let COVID into the elementary school, I don`t care that the pediatric units are full of children who are sick and dying, like at a certain point, I feel like, you know, people I know are starting to call Florida DeSantis Stan (ph), right?


And these are not radically liberal people, they`re just sick of him, because they feel like he`s turned that state into sort of an outlay nation full of children in ICU.

Do Democrats understand how to take advantage of this, and I don`t mean in a crass way, but to wake voters up to the urgency of denying these people power? And I mean at the local level from school board on up.

TOLLIVER: well, I think, Joy to that point about local impact, it`s really about the negative harm that people feel in their everyday lives is going to change their voter behavior. And we heard just Rick just walk through that. And we also saw it in 2018 when suburban women also turned away from Trump and the Republicans. So I think we can expect a degree of that.

But for all the messaging in the world, Joy, none of that counteracts the voter suppression tactics we`re seeing across the country that will ultimately give Republicans a leg up in elections at the local, at the state and at the federal level.

So on top of that messaging and reminding people of the harm that Republicans are doing across the country, whether it`s related to COVID, whether it`s related to voting rights, whether it`s related to reproductive rights and abortion care, this ultimately comes down to voter turnout and who actually can access the ballot easily.

REID: Who can vote.


REID: Wouldn`t it be nice, Dean, if we had a party that had the cajones get rid of the filibuster and actually do something about it? I`ll give you the last word on that.

OBEIDALLAH: We would like this too. You know what`s remarkable? When you watch America, it doesn`t seem like Democrats control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representative. It feels like Republicans control everything because Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema refuse to get rid of the filibuster so that we can save our democracy. Guys, put the democracy over the filibuster. Please.

REID: Well, before we go, I want to do a quick show of hands. Raise your hands if you think Mitch McConnell would nuke the filibuster in four seconds if he had the opposite situation. Okay, thank you. We all raise all

OBEIDALLAH: 100 percent.

REID: Okay thank you. Hello it`s a 100 person. He would have done it already. he would it done it before we get to commercial break.

Okay, hello. Thank you Dean Obeidallah, Juanita Tolliver, Rick Wilson, the church ladies love you, man.

WILSON: Thank you Joy.

REID: Up next, THE REIDOUT, the Supreme Court shadow docket giving victory to the far right in the dead of night. Justice Kagan correctly calling the action of his right-wing colleague on the court, impossible to defend.

Plus hospitals are having to deal with unvaccinated getting sick from the quack remedy being suggested online and by their right-wing heroes.

And in tonight absolute worst, I`m going to expose the fallacy of the Republican`s core message to voters. Don`t miss that.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.



REID: Late tonight, abortion providers in Texas got a small reprieve after a brutal week in the courts, with the Travis County District Court granting a temporary restraining order stopping the right-wing group Texas Right to Life from bringing lawsuits against Planned Parenthood and other Texas health clinics while litigation over the state`s six-week abortion law continues.

This news comes in several states are planning to pass their own versions of that bill now that they know the Supreme Court will let them circumvent Roe v. Wade.

The court`s late-night decision has highlighted the issue of the shadow docket, where the court makes emergency decisions. As "The New York Times" points out, the court spent less than three days dealing with the Texas case. There were no oral arguments before the justices. The majority opinion was unsigned and one-paragraph-long.

In her dissent, Elena Kagan wrote that: "This court`s shadow docket decision-making every day becomes more unreasoned, inconsistent and impossible to defend."

Along with the Texas case, the Supreme Court overturned President Biden`s eviction moratorium and required the administration to restart Trump`s remain-in-Mexico plan, which makes asylum seekers await their cases in Mexico.

The frequency of shadow docket cases have increased over the past few years, and they have tended to favor conservative priorities. According to "The Washington Post," the Trump administration had positive rulings in 28 out of the 41 emergency applications from their DOJ and were only outright denied four times.

Those rulings include Trump`s travel ban, the ban on trans people serving in the military and the go-ahead for the administration to execute people with lethal injections.

The Senate Judiciary Committee announced today that they plan to hold a hearing on the shadow docket decisions.

And with me now is Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for "The Nation," and Melissa Murray, NYU law professor and an MSNBC legal analyst.

And, Elie, I want to start with you, because I know you have written a lot about -- both of you have talked a lot about the shadow docket stuff.

This is what Steve Vladeck wrote in "The Washington Post" about this shadow docket that most people don`t even really know much about.

It says: "The ruling of a Texas case justified its nonintervention by flagging procedural questions. But the very same 5-4 majority in April had reached out to block California in-home gathering restrictions on religious liberty grounds, despite a far more serious procedural roadblock, the fact that the court lacked the power to issue the order in question."

It feels in a lot of ways like the court is using the shadow docket the way that Republicans use these local government orders and these sort of laws to try to get through legislation like what they`re calling the sue thy neighbor bill in Texas what they can`t get by asking the majority. You know what I mean?

They`re not getting it from the majority, so they just sneak it through in sort of sneaky ways. Is that a wrong way to look at it?

ELIE MYSTAL, "THE NATION": Well, they`re also cowards, right?

Like, let`s not forget that like the dripping, flaming cowardice of not even being able to sign your name to the opinion ripping away 50 years of constitutional protection.

The shadow docket is supposed to be for emergencies, right? So, like, aliens come to Earth, and Biden`s like, oh, no, we should just stop them. And the court is like, oh, we have to decide really quickly. Shadow docket. Like, that`s what it`s supposed to be for.

There was no emergency here. Roe v. Wade was a 50-, 60-year-old law. Planned Parenthood v. Casey was a 30-, 40-year-old law. There was no emergency reason for them to throw it out.


And for them to throw out that law because they don`t know the law, they`re the Supreme Court. They`re literally -- we literally have them so they can make these decisions. And they were like, oh, this is too complicated, so we`re going to throw away 50 years of law?

That -- that is craven. That is cowardice. That is the court trying to do something, while avoiding "The New York Times" headline Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. That`s what they were trying to get away with. That`s -- all these people have been, oh, Texas abortion law severely weakens Roe, that`s what they wanted people to say, not the truth...

REID: Yes.

MYSTAL: ... which is that Roe v. Wade, as of right now, is dead letter law, if Texas and Iowa and Florida and Missouri and Arkansas and Indiana can just ignore a woman`s right to choose.

REID: And I feel like that that is what they got, right, Melissa?

They -- and I -- that`s how I feel, that they`re trying to get away with implementing very unpopular right-wing ideas that they believe in because of their own reading of Christian -- of the Christian faith, and they want to do these things. But to do them through our normal case would be really bad headlines for the Roberts court.

And so they`re just doing it in a sneaky way. It feels almost like Bush v. Gore. And it`s working with some people.

Let me let you listen to Rich Lowry. And you had some thoughts on him before, but he seems to have bought their plan and said, see, they didn`t overturn Roe. Here he is.


RICH LOWRY, EDITOR, "NATIONAL REVIEW": People are acting as a Roe has been overturned. I would welcome that outcome. And it may eventually be in this Dobbs case, but it hasn`t been overturned yet at all.

This is a procedural ruling that clearly was the correct one. There was no harm here yet.


REID: So that`s a conservative activist pretending he`s not seeing what happened because it`s the better P.R. strategy.

You had some thoughts on Twitter, saying you had been on "Meet the Press" to respond to that. Well, you`re here now, sister. Respond.


MELISSA MURRAY, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: So, I appreciate the opportunity to say forthrightly that that take is absolutely absurd, and really has no business being broadcast on mainstream television.

This was a procedural ruling. That is absolutely correct. But procedural rulings have substantive implications. As Elie said, this particular procedural ruling effectively got -- went away with two, three decades` worth of Supreme Court precedent. Roe is effectively dead in Texas. Casey is effectively dead in Texas because of these rulings.

And it is, as you say, working on the shadow docket, the court can do things that it would not be able to do on the merits docket, where there`s far more attention.

The silver lining of this entire week, which has been absolutely insane in terms of legal developments, is that now at least the public has some inclination about what happens on the shadow docket, that, although this is supposed to be something for emergency, expedited, time-sensitive appeals, it`s actually being used for more and more substantive, consequential litigation that gets decided without the benefit of full briefing and oral argument, and without a lot of elaborate explanation, the kind of explanation that in a democracy the public deserves.

REID: Yes.

I mean, we have seen a lot of responses to what`s happened in Texas. You have Lyft and Uber saying they`re going to cover their legal fees for drivers sued under the Texas abortion law. They`re going to donate a million dollars to Planned Parenthood, Lyft is.

I mean, you`re seeing people have to find ways around the fact that they know that now they can be sued. That, like, builds in the idea that Lyft drivers and Uber drivers could soon be sued because they took a woman to a clinic to get -- to end a pregnancy.

It`s insane to think about it. But I can remember, I`m old enough to remember, Elie, when Republicans used to accuse the Democrats and liberal- leaning justices of legislating from the bench. And they were mad about things like, I guess, like Brown v. Board or the early 1973 abortion really in the first place, things on race and things on equality.

In this case, it feels like, between gutting the Voting Rights Act, the way that John Roberts` court did, gutting Roe v. Wade, they`re -- they know that this is not what the majority of the public wants, but they`re finding a way essentially to legislate.


I mean, look, you`re absolutely right. I just want to quickly add Rich Lowry is trash. And everything he said was wrong completely.

In any event, yes, you`re absolutely right. They are legislating from the bench. There is no more big version of legislating from the bench than overturning the Voting Rights Act, which was passed by a voice vote in Congress 93-6 in the Senate and signed by George W. "Doesn`t care about black people" Bush.

All right, like, that`s the Voting Rights Act. And they gutted that from the bench. That is judicial activism. And you`re right. The reason why they`re doing that is because they`re broadly unpopular. People do not like these laws. The American public does not support a ban on abortion rights.

It`s like -- well, you look at all the polls. They`re -- basically, people are in the middle, like, oh, abortion should be legal sometimes, but illegal other times. That`s the law now. That`s the actual law right now, if people would just look at it.


Republicans can`t overturn these laws through popular votes, so they use it. This is why McConnell stole a seat from Barack Obama...

REID: Yes.

MYSTAL: ... why they push forward an alleged attempted rapist who likes beer, and why they were so eager to get Amy Coney Barrett on the court, they couldn`t wait for Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be buried properly.

Like, this is why they have tried to control the courts. And now we are, as Winston Churchill might say, or Al Gore might say, we are living in a time of consequences. We are living in a time of consequences, when our when our fundamental inaction and inability to stop Republicans from taking over the court now has consequences on the American people and on our rights as citizens.

REID: You know, Melissa, and what scares me is that, despite the fact that, as Elie says, there are large majorities who still want democracy, who still believe that everyone should be able to vote regardless of race, regardless of age, regardless of what state they live in, that everyone should have equal access to the ballot, they believe that, when somebody wins an election and somebody loses, that should carry, you shouldn`t be able to just flip an election and give it to you want, the things that the vast majority of people want, women to have liberty, personal bodily liberty -- most people want that.

But that, between Republicans, who don`t respect the rules and the laws, and who are willing to cheat and willing to do whatever it takes, and now the courts being on their side, and there now being a solid majority of them who want to enact hyper right-wing, basically, a certain type of evangelical rule over us, which is Talibanism, right?

This is our sect, and you will live by our sect, whether you want to be a part of it or not. That scares me, because if the court is willing to do that, where do we go from here if we don`t expand the court? I can`t think of what else we do other than expand the court.

MURRAY: I think this is a critical issue. It is an issue that Democrats should have been banging the drum on for the last 20 years, and they never did.

We saw the Democratic National Convention last summer. They talked all about the Violence Against Women Act. They talked about the Voting Rights Act and immigration. No one said anything that all of those legislative measures had absolutely been gutted in 5-4 decisions of the United States Supreme Court.

We have to take the court seriously. We`re in a moment now we have the Senate by justice sort of hair`s breadth. And we need to be moving. We need to be putting judges on the bench, in the same way that the Trump administration did.

The Trump administration did absolutely zero on their domestic policy except put judges on the bench.

REID: That`s right.

MURRAY: And they did it at every level of the federal judiciary.

REID: And they`re stacked now to essentially suborn our democracy to their very particular version of right-wing evangelical Christian -- what they call Christianity.

And they`re going to force the rest of us to live under those rules. That is no different than Talibanism. And we`re just watching it happen like it ain`t happening. It`s happening, guys.

Wake up, everybody. Democrats, wake up.

Elie Mystal will be back later.

Melissa Murray, thank you very much. It`s great to have you on the show.

Still ahead: the dangers of COVID misinformation being spread by the right, as ivermectin overdoses strain already overtaxed hospitals.

We will be right back.



REID: We are heading into Labor Day weekend, and people are itching to get out and celebrate the final weekend of the summer.

But if you`re not vaccinated, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is urging you to stay your behind home. That warning comes as a new variant known as Mu was designated by the World Health Organization as a variant of interest.

Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters that it`s not an immediate threat. Currently, the Delta variant continues to ravage the country, finding willing hosts among the unvaccinated.

According to "The New York Times," the number of daily reported deaths has more than quadrupled since the beginning of August. And just yesterday, Florida broke yet another record for the state`s largest single-day increase in deaths.

Meanwhile, Georgia has the second highest number of hospitalizations in the country, behind Kentucky. Ohio, a deeply conservative state with a low vaccination rate, is suffering from a critical shortage of beds and staff. Health providers in that state are preparing to follow crisis standards of care, which calls for giving scarce resources to the patients most likely to survive.

So, things are clearly bad, but they`re being made even worse by people who have refused to take the vaccine, and instead are swallowing horse paste. The emergency room in one rural Oklahoma town is being overwhelmed by people overdosing on ivermectin, the horse deworming medication.

It`s gotten so bad that gunshot victims, gunshot victims are having to wait to be treated. By the way, the pharmaceutical company that produces ivermectin, Merck, had to tell people that there was no scientific basis or evidence for using ivermectin when it comes to COVID.

Despite that, these folks would rather eat the horse deworming medication than just take the free shot.

With me now is Dr. Lipi Roy, medical director of COVID isolation and quarantine sites for Housing Works in New York City and NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins.

And, Dr. Lipi Roy, I got to tell you, it has to be frustrating. I`m not even a clinician. And it`s so frustrating to me to hear people who are willing to take a horse medicine and drink that because they think they`re evading big pharma, and it`s made by big pharma, and it`s not for COVID.

How frustrating is it for you that people are now taking up hospital beds because they chose to drink or to consume ivermectin, instead of getting the shot?


DR. LIPI ROY, MSNBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, so, happy Friday, Joy. Good to see you.

I want to make sure your viewers understand that inappropriate administration of medications can have a constellation of harmful side effects.

In the case of ivermectin, which, by the way, to be very clear, is not FDA- approved for the treatment of COVID-19 -- it is FDA-approved to treat parasitic infections, such as river blindness, malaria, but not COVID-19. There are active clinical trials being run right now.

But ivermectin, especially when it`s -- when people are overdosing on it, can cause a lot of serious side effects, including seizures, coma and death. People need to just really stick with the evidence-based medications, treatment.

And, yes, the gold standard right now is prevention, which is the vaccine, Joy. That`s the message that people need to know.

REID: And the reason we have you on here, Ben, in a segment -- in a COVID segment, where normally we would have two doctors, is because people are listening more to social media, which you cover for us so brilliantly at NBC News, than they`re listening to people like Dr. Lipi Roy.

Where are they getting this idea that they should go out and go to the feed store and pick up something and drink it?

BEN COLLINS, NBC NEWS SENIOR REPORTER: Yes, they`re getting it from podcasts. They`re getting it from Facebook. They`re getting it from insular groups that are -- really, frankly, just don`t trust the government.

What you have to think about when you`re thinking about a large section of politics right now, and specifically with Donald Trump supporters, is think about what the government is saying, assume it`s a cabal made to hurt you, and do the opposite.

So what`s the opposite here? It`s don`t take the vaccine and take a therapeutic that people are sort of guessing works. There`s no proof that it does work. In this case, it`s ivermectin. The problem is, we`re up to 80,000, 90,000 prescriptions of this stuff out there.

So people who need it can`t get it. So they`re going now, all these people who are trying to get some, and now it`s so overpriced. It`s hundreds of dollars, instead of tens of dollars, where it used to be. They are going to the feed store instead. They`re taking five times the amount that`s regular for a person, because that`s meant for horses, and they`re getting really, really sick.

REID: And people like Joe Rogan who are out there saying, hey, I took it, like, who has COVID, and he`s very popular -- younger people are listening to people like him.

There was that 30-year-old activist in Texas who treated himself with ivermectin, rather than getting the shot and doing the normal things that you would do. He is now dead at 30, leaving young children and a pregnant wife.

Do -- are you seeing evidence that people actually turning up dead from doing this and the stories of people dying and people getting sick from trying these other drugs or having any impact on the -- in these -- world, these feeds, in these Facebook feeds?

When they see the people are dying, does it change their mind?

COLLINS: It`s not falsifiable.

The stuff -- the problem with this sort of thing is, people don`t go back to share their failures in these spaces. This is sort of a widespread extremist problem that you have. People who are, for example, incels, once they are no longer incels, once they have got a girlfriend or once they have got a job, they don`t go back to the incel board and be like, hey, guys, I got a job, everything`s fine now, it`s OK.


COLLINS: It doesn`t happen that way.

With ivermectin, it`s kind of similar. With the people in the ivermectin Facebook groups, they don`t go back because they`re embarrassed.

REID: Right.

COLLINS: If it didn`t work for them, if they got COVID anyway, if their family got sick or died from it, and they treated them with ivermectin, instead of bringing them to the hospital, they don`t go back and share that. They`re too embarrassed to deal with it.

So that`s the problem with these spaces. They`re so insular, they`re so closed off from actual medical reality, that they never see the reality themselves.

REID: So, Dr. Roy, is the answer now going to be that hospitals should all go to that clinical, that emergency sort of standard of care, meaning that you -- do you -- should hospitals be prioritizing children, because they can`t help being unvaccinated, people who have gunshot wounds and cancer and the things that are unpreventable, and nothing that you could have done about it, and rather than allowing the ivermectin people to take up all of these beds?

Because it feels like, at a certain point, there are limited resources, human resources, care resources, and actually physical resources. And it feels like people who have other issues are just getting crowded out.

ROY: Yes, so, look, what happens in hospitals is that, when a patient presents, they are triaged in the waiting room, and the people who are most clinically unstable, say, low blood pressure, low heart rate, they`re bleeding profusely, they`re the ones that are going to be prioritized.

REID: Yes.

ROY: So, irrespective of cause, those are most unstable, the respiratory distress, regardless of the cause, they`re the ones that are getting prioritized.

But what`s happening is the people that are getting sickest the most are the people that -- with COVID-19 and who are unvaccinated.

REID: Yes.

Let me ask you really quick before we -- before I let you go, we had a couple questions that folks asked me coming in. People are wondering, should they get the flu shot, in addition -- because now there`s the question of -- if you are a vaccinated and you`re trying to do the right thing, is it important to also get the flu shot now?


ROY: One thousand percent. Please, please, please get the flu shot.

Remember, influenza is a different virus that causes flu. So please get that. It`ll also reduce your risk of getting hospitalized and reduce the burden on health care workers that are taking care of COVID-19.


ROY: They can`t take care of influenza as well. Get the flu shot.

REID: And a last question. There`s some now back-and-forth on whether people should be getting these boosters. Do you have an opinion that?

ROY: Yes, I do. So I have mixed feelings, actually.

Look, I`m someone who`s eligible to get the booster shot in a month or so. But the problem is that it`s -- when the rest of the world, the majority of the world is still unvaccinated, and we know that new variants emerged in communities with low vaccination rates, that`s going to be a problem, because Delta came from other countries, right?

REID: Right.

ROY: So, it`s in our best interests, Joy, right, to have everybody get vaccinated.

REID: Yes, absolutely.

And, look, you all, if we are already on Mu, that means we breezed past Lambda, which was here for a hot minute. We`re going all the way through that alphabet. And we`re already on Mu. It`s getting worse and worse and worse. This is terrifying.

Dr. Lipi Roy will be back later.

Ben Collins, man, thank you very much.

Up next: calling yourself the pro-life, pro-family party while spreading COVID misinformation and restricting women`s rights is just the absolute worst. Yes, I`m looking at you, GOP.

We will be right back.



REID: So, you can`t call yourself a pro-life party if your policy goals are to allow the maximum number of people to die of COVID, including children, by banning mask mandates in businesses and schools and raising doubts about vaccines, especially if your policy ideas bring death to your own stars and spokespeople and activists.

Republicans are America`s most unvaccinated and vaccine-resistant group. And they are driving COVID cases and deaths, including among their own children and other people`s children, and are largely responsible for the overwhelmed hospitals that we`re seeing today.

That`s not pro-family, and it`s definitely not pro-life. You can`t call yourself a pro-life, pro-family party if your policy goals are to put bounties on pregnant women and to force teenage girls to give birth after getting pregnant as a result of incest and rape.

That`s literally the plot of "The Handmaid`s Tale." But pro-life, it is not, especially if your other core policies are to oppose giving those children you demand to be born health care, if you oppose giving their parents a living wage, so they can afford to feed them, and you oppose funding free lunches at school if their parents can`t afford it.

You can`t call yourself pro-life if your policy goals are to allow polluters to despoil the Earth and wreck the environment, so that more people die as a result of increasingly violent storms and hurricanes and floods and wildfires. That`s literally a pro-death policy that includes being real cool with the death of the planet.

And if your voters overwhelmingly vote to reelect a president who was morally responsible, through his own inaction and lies, for the deaths of more than a half-a-million fellow Americans, and you`re still plotting to put him back in office and spreading dangerous lies about the election that the FBI says are fueling domestic terrorism, even after members of your dear leader`s cult stormed our Capitol, bringing treason flags and nooses and hunting lawmakers, including the 5-foot-tall woman speaker, while chanting "Hang Mike Pence," you are not pro-life.

If you continue to demand that more American troops keep dying in forever wars, so military contractors can keep raking in the dough, that is not pro-life.

The Republican Party has a lot of things, anti-democracy, anti-voting, anti-history, anti-facts, and deeply opposed to anti-racism. What they are not is pro-life.

Just asked Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi, who told supporters at a fund-raiser that Southerners` belief in eternal life makes them less scared of COVID.

OK, that is a demonstratively pro-death statement. And the Republican Party has now revealed itself to be loudly and proudly the pro-death party.

And for that, they are tonight`s absolute worst.

"Who Won the Week?" is straight ahead.

Stay with us.



REID: Well, folks, once again, we made it to Friday, thank God.

And it is now time to play our favorite game, "Who Won the Week?"

Back with me, Dr. Lipi Roy and Elie Mystal.

Dr. Lipi Roy, who won the week?

ROY: So, look, as an addiction medicine doctor, I was very supportive of International Awareness -- Overdose Awareness Day and pro harm reduction organizations.

But, as a doctor, as a woman of color and a doctor to disenfranchise an underserved women, I found the Texas abortion laws heinous. Any law that forces pregnancy and motherhood derails that woman`s economic -- educational and economic opportunities.

So that`s why I thought these TikTok hacktivists were brilliant. They bombarded the Texas whistle-blower Web site with fake tips and reports, including over 700 of Governor Abbott himself getting illegal abortions. Texas lawmakers are getting a taste of their own medicine, Joy.

REID: Don`t mess with them TikTok kids. They are something else. I love it. I love it. That`s a good answer.

All right, Elie Mystal, I`m going to guess you`re not going to say Rich Lowry. Who do you think won the week?

MYSTAL: Justice Sonia Maria Sotomayor.

She wrote the dissent. We just talked about how the Republican majority was so craven and ludicrous, they couldn`t even sign their names to their decision taking away women`s rights to choose. But you know who could sign her name? Sonia from the block signed her name.

REID: Yes.

MYSTAL: She wrote a dissent that will stand, I think, for posterity of the shamelessness with which her colleagues acted.

And, look, at the end of the day, people like Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett will be remembered as the deployable hurdles on the path towards justice in this nation, whereas people like Sonia Sotomayor will be remembered as a person who in real time saw the evil and did what she could to fight against it.

I think she won the week because her decision will stand much longer than these Texas anti-abortion wing nuts.

REID: Oh, this 6-3 court is going to go down Dred Scott road, the Dred Scott road in terms of their reputation. You`re absolutely right.

Well, I have needed to have off-the-news entertainment to keep me sane during all of this madness. So, I`m going to pick somebody who directed a movie.

And my post is Nia DaCosta. Nia DaCosta won the week. She became this week, with $22 million in the bank from August 27 to 29 for her film "Candyman," the first black woman director to debut at numero uno, number one. Nia DaCosta won the week.

Thank you, guys, very much. Thank you, Lipi Roy, Elie Mystal.

That`s tonight`s REIDOUT.