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Transcript: The ReidOut, August 10, 2020

Guests: Philip Rucker, Nancy Pelosi, Sherrod Brown, William Barber, Errin Haines


Secret Service escorts President Trump out of briefing room. President Trump signs executive orders on pandemic relief. Trump recruits well-heeled cheering section to attend press conference at his golf club. Trump says, reduction in extra jobless benefits is a great incentive to go back to work. Executive orders create confusion for states and Congress. Canada urges dual citizens to stay in U.S. Trump and Pelosi have not spoken in almost ten months. Struggling Americans beg Washington for help. Donald Trump has led a partisan assault on our democratic institutions, effectively gutting them from the inside out. President Trump says he will extend additional jobless benefits to end of year.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: And I thank you, Congressman. I want to get you on that because it's an issue that so many Americans, as you know, are worried about given what's going on in the recession and the healthcare COVID crisis. And thank you for your patients in an unusual hour. Congressman Adam Schiff is our last guest of the hour. Thank you, sir.

That does it for THE BEAT. We want to toss it right over on a very busy news night to THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Well, Donald Trump just finished another of his briefings. He was abruptly interrupted at one point when the president was escorted out of the room after shots were fired outside of the White House. But he resumed and offered little by way of actual information.

Donald Trump's it is what it is approach to dealing with the coronavirus was the same approach that he applied to the economic devastation of the pandemic, until he decided to do something that seems to amount to nothing at all.

On Friday, on a setting that would have made Marie Antoinette blush, in front of his own cheering section of people who pay six figures to sip cocktails and avoid the poors with the exception of the help at his New Jersey country club, he announced his attention to address the economic devastation of the pandemic.

He followed up on Saturday signing a series of bogus executive actions, including one to defer the payroll tax, which by the way would gut social security if the deferment ever happened and became permanent. Trump promised some supplemental relief for unemployed Americans, $400 a week, which is one-third less than the $600 they have been previously receiving before the clock ran out and Mitch McConnell went back into his shell.


KELLY O'DONNELL, MSNBC POLITICAL REPORTER: Why did you decide on $400 when previously families were receiving $600 that will be hardship for many? What do you say to that?

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: Well, no, it's not a hardship. This is the money that they need. This is the money they want. And this gives them a great incentive to go back to work.


REID: Let them eat cake.

Donald Trump's latest gambit, of course, falls in a pattern for Mr. Art of the Deal as The Washington Post points out, after failing to get deal with Congress, he went for legally dubious executive actions but only after remaining largely absent from intense negotiations for a coronavirus stimulus package. And as the A.P. notes, his end run around Congress has raised questions that his claims and his action largely amount to smoke and mirrors. It also created confusion among businesses and state officials. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called his actions unworkable.

And despite all of that, Trump is on Twitter blaming Democrats for failing to reach a deal when it wasn't grumbling about the cancelation of college football this fall. An important priority after the country passed yet another bleak milestone over the weekend. There are now more than 5 million cases of coronavirus in the United States and more than 163,000 have died. Underscoring just how bad it is, our neighbors up north in Canada are politely demanding that Americans, please, stay away, cracking down on illegal American visitors. Maybe they could build a wall.

I'm joined now by Philip Rucker, White House Bureau Chief for The Washington Post.

And, Philip, let me start by asking you what happened, to your knowledge, at the White House today that caused all that drama and the president to be whisked off stage.

PHILIP RUCKER, WHITE HOUSE BUREAU CHIEF, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, Jot. It was a pretty extraordinary scene. The president was in the middle of its coronavirus briefing and midsentence when a Secret Service agent stepped on that rostrum there and told him, we need to go, we need to get out of that briefing room. They brought him to the Oval Office.

Apparently, what happened, according to the president's telling, is that somebody, a suspect, tried to enter the White House grounds and was shot by a Secret Service agent. It's unclear where that person was shot, or what the injuries were. But Trump said that that suspect was the only injured person and said he did not feel personally endangered in that moment.

But, nonetheless, it speaks to the security breaches we've seen at this White House over the years. You'll recall at end of the Obama years, there was a fence-jumping incident and there have been other attempts as well. And so we'll learn more from the Secret Service tonight probably, but president did say a suspect was engaged and shot by a Secret Service agent.

REID: All right. Well, thank you for that update.

When he went back to talking again, Donald Trump, he continued to pound on these ideas that he says he's going to do, deferring payroll taxes through 2020 for Americans making less than $140,000 a year, extending unemployment benefits to $400 a week, meaning $200 less than people were getting, waiving student debt requirements in 2020, minimize evictions.

I didn't see the part in the briefing whether -- to find out whether he was asked this, but was he asked at any point whether any of that is legal for a president to do? These sound like things only Congress can do.

RUCKER: Well, you're right, Joy, and that Congress controls the rights to the purse, they control the appropriations and the spending in our government. That's how our system of government was set up. But the president has maintained this is legal. We get to see legal rationale argued by White House lawyers. I assume we will see that in the days to come because there are certain to be some legal challenges to these orders that the president signed over the weekend.

REID: Well, it would also be practicality of it. The White House does not control the purse, Congress does. How does he think that he would actually get that money? I mean, is Mitch McConnell going to slip it to him in an envelope? Like I don't understand how they -- this is one of those things that are illegal that he can't do unless Congress somehow lets him do it. And I don't think our guest, Speaker Pelosi, is going to let him do it. So, has anyone spoken to that, the fact that they cannot actually do it?

RUCKER: They have not explained, Joy, how they intend to get that money. It's worth pointing, by the way, that this is not as extensive a package as could have been negotiated by Congress. And there is a recognition among White House officials that it's a bit of a band-aid solution, that the real meaningful relief would have to come through legislation. That's the way our government works.

And there is hope at least at the White House that they try to negotiate something, but, clearly, that was not happening last week. And one of the reasons why the president wanted to act even though when you look at the fine print and the details of what he did sign over the weekend, it is not necessarily providing all of the relief that the president says it will.

REID: Yes, no doubt. Philip Rucker, thank you very much, I really appreciate you.

RUCKER: Thank you Joy.

REID: Thanks again. And Donald Trump's reliance -- cheers. And Donald Trump's reliance on executive actions is interesting given his past criticism of President Obama's use of executive orders for things like DACA.


TRUMP: I don't like executive orders. That's not what the country was based on.

Well, Obama signs his executive orders all day long because he can't get along with anybody, it's not the way it's supposed to work, as you understand.

We don't want to do the executive orders like Obama has been doing. He was supposed to get together and pass a law. He doesn't want to do that because it's too much work. So he doesn't want to work too hard. He wants to go back and play golf.

I don't even think he tries anymore. I think he just signs executive actions.


REID: Yes, irony, in trying to slip in an attempt to call the first black president lazy on top of it, perfection.

I'm now joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Speaker thank you so much for being here. We always appreciate your time.

But I want to focus on this fixation that Donald Trump shares with his Republican colleagues on tax cuts, this idea of cutting payroll taxes, which, of course, would gut social security trust fund. And then tonight, he also said that he wants to have additional capital gains tax cuts and a middle class tax cut. What would that do for people who are not employed, and therefore, not paying payroll taxes or any taxes at the moment because they're not getting a check?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Well, thank you, Joy, for the opportunity to be with you. Congratulations on REIDOUT. We're all excited about your new show. An opportunity to talk about issues of concern to America's working families, and that's not what the president is talking about.

What we're seeing is illusion. It's important to enlarge the issue to understand that what the president does is say, I'm doing things to help people, which he isn't. And then the stations pick it up and say the president is doing something to help people, and it's all about one thing, the stock market. And the market's pick it up and markets go up, and that's his question, what's the market doing.

And what the Fed and president's illusions, they are bolstering the stock market and we're saying let's bolster America's working families. And what he is saying -- he cannot forgive the tax -- alleviate the tax cut, he can only defer it. And if he were to forgive it, it would hurt Medicare and social security.

REID: And I want to show you a picture that we pulled up. This is the last time, as far as we know, that you met with Donald Trump face-to-face, and here's the photo. This is Speaker Pelosi standing while all of these men are sitting, and having to listen. I think a lot of people enjoyed that photo. A lot of women did, for sure. But that's last time you've spoken with the president personally. Is that correct?

PELOSI: Don't forget the state of the union address in the February, where I expressed my view to him very directly about the stack of lies that he had in the state of the union address.

REID: You spoke with your papers.

PELOSI: In a number of months, we'll have that table full with many more women appointed by President Joe Biden. So that's something to look forward to.

But at that picture, I was at that moment pointing to him and saying, with you, Mr. President, all roads lead to Putin. And, of course, that's what's happening now again, Putin's interference into our U.S. elections to benefit his good friend, Donald Trump.

REID: And just for a civics lesson for those who don't follow this day in, day out. Congress appropriates money. Power of the purse is in the hands of the speaker, is in the hands of the House of Representatives. Donald Trump is proposing to do things that are fiscal, that are actually in your purview, in the House's purview. Could you ever envision a scenario where Democrats in the House would agree to allow Donald Trump to cut into the payroll tax or to pass additional capital gains tax cuts for the rich when there's still no money for the people who have depending on the extra $600 in their unemployment?

PELOSI: Well, no I can't envision a situation. But here it is, in middle of pandemic, three months ago, we passed the HEROES Act in House of Representatives to meet the needs of the American people. At that time, Leader McConnell pushed the pause button. And during that pause, 3.5 million more people were added to the list of those infected. And over 75,000 more people have died once they pushed pause button.

Last week, they came up with some meager proposals and the president then over the weekend did even less to give an illusion so that the market would go up and people would think who are not paying attention that he might be doing something.

But let me just say this, we have children who are food insecure in our country. In our bill, we had $60 billion, in their bill, they had $250,000. And to go to his country club there where he wants to give a tax break, a capital gains tax break again to the high end, they didn't have money for children who are food insecure but they did have a tax deduction for business lunches that cost half a billion dollars to give.

So this is -- I think it's important to note, as you're giving your history lesson, the difference between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to meeting the needs of the American people. It shouldn't be partisan that we would feed our children. It's shouldn't be partisan that we'd not allow people to be evicted because they're caught up in a pandemic. It shouldn't be partisan that the president of the United States would say to people in the course of a pandemic, uncertainty about health and schools and uncertainty about money in their pockets, guess what I have for you, a cut, a benefit cut.

REID: Yes, it's pretty shocking. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, we really appreciate you up there fighting the good fight. Thank you so much for being on tonight. I really appreciate your time.

PELOSI: My pleasure and congratulations to you again. Thank you.

REID: Thank you so much. Thank you, madam speaker.

And next up on THE REIDOUT, millions of Americans, as we were just discussing, struggling for survival amid failures at the top.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't need to be innocent incentivized to go back to work. I want to go back to work. I want to go back to work so much. Pandemics, they do end. I'm asking for enough help to get to the end.


REID: Senator Sherrod Brown and Reverend William Barber join me on the coming catastrophe for American families.

Plus, fear and loathing as Joe Biden's high stakes V.P. search heads into overtime.

And Trump's Mt. Rushmore, presidential heads made out of solid rock, maybe he does belong.

Back with more of THE REIDOUT after this.


REID: As Donald Trump issued legally dubious directives from the comfort of his fancy country club in New Jersey in front of an audience of adoring high roller members, thousands of Americans across the country are worried how they're going to pay the rent or even buy food.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My message to Washington, D.C., is stop bickering with each other. Meanwhile people are starving. People did not get that money on Friday. They just got $240 from Arizona. What is that going to do for anybody?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will have no unemployment soon and I don't have a job and I don't know when I'm going back to work. So it really stress me out, how can I provide for them? Because being a single mom is really hard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Going from $600 to $200 and people already need money, and there's already a need, unemployment, people, their checks are backlogged, school, kids, I mean, it's just a mess.


REID: And while Rome burns, Senate Republicans like Ted Cruz of Texas took to Twitter to mock Democratic Senator Ed Markey, who offered to increase federal assistance to the unemployed. Cruz, who has lost roughly 8,500 fellow Texans to the coronavirus, tweeted, why be so cheap, give everyone $1 million a day, every day, forever and three soy lattes a day and a foot massage, we have a magic money tree, we should use it.

For now, for more, I'm joined by Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio. And I want to give you an opportunity to respond to Ted Cruz, because that seemed to be a pretty callous, pretty ugly tweet when people are -- when you just saw the suffering that people are facing in this country. Your thoughts on Mr. Cruz.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): It's an ugly tweet. It's an ugly time. It's an ugly Senate. I mean, Speaker Pelosi -- and I'm honored to go after her and before Reverend Barber, two super stars in our country. But considering what Speaker Pelosi passed bill in May, we thought we would be working on this and getting the $600 a week and taking care of emergency rental assistance, helping to open schools safely and get billions of dollars to schools to do what they needed to do to fix, to reconfigure the classrooms and school busses and all that, and McConnell just felt no such emergency.

He finally offers an anemic proposal that did (INAUDIBLE) for everybody. He does it the week that unemployment is expiring. He does it the week that moratorium on evictions is expiring. He does it the same week that literally dozens and dozens of moratorium on water and electric shutoffs are about to expire in the middle of a pandemic.

I mean, it's both -- it's both cruel, but it's also stupid policy. And Ted Cruz is one of them, but are so pretty much all the spineless Republicans in the Senate. None of them have stood up. And none of them have pushed McConnell to do the right thing.

REID: Well, both McConnell and Ted Cruz happen to marry very wealthy women, so they're fine. I guess they don't have a problem with things that are going on, because they're going to eat very well.

Let me show you a picture. And I asked the producers to pull this picture up, because, to me, it exemplifies the attitude that we have seen toward -- toward people who are struggling.

In this case, this was Melania Trump climbing into a motorcade back in June of 2018 wearing this notorious jacket that says: "I really don't care. Do you?" And this was after visiting a detention facility at the border, where men, women and children were being locked up and mistreated, and we now know also being subjected eventually to the threat of the coronavirus.

And then you had Donald Trump doing this, I don't know what you would call that, in New Jersey, because he had a cheering section of the super rich to cheer him while he said, yay, I'm going to give you guys more tax cuts for capital gains and things.

You serve with the congressional version of Trump. Is it just because they're rich, and they just don't relate to regular people? Or is it that they have some sort of ideological disdain and it seems almost hatred for the poor and the struggling?

BROWN: And it's got to do with race, as you know, Joy. Well, it's all of that.

I mean, there are plenty of wealthy people in the Senate that still have compassion and still want to do things. But when I hear so many of my Republican Senate colleagues mock, as Senator Cruz did, but also say, oh, it's terrible that we're going to give $600 a week to these unemployed workers, it's way too much money, these are people that are millionaires and decamillionaires and billionaires in the president's Cabinet saying, we can't do that.

They're OK with big tax cuts for rich people at the country club. They're OK with big -- with bailouts for Wall Street. But $600 for worker -- there are 600,000 Ohioans that are unemployed, 600,000. We're going to take hundreds of millions of dollars out of our state out of their pockets because we haven't renewed the $600.

So it's bad -- it's terribly cruel.

REID: Yes.

BROWN: But it's also bad economics, because there will be less purchasing power for Ohio businesses and Ohio consumers to buy products in Ohio. So, it's such a -- it's so mean-spirited.

And it might be this too, Joy. One of my favorite Lincoln quotes, he used to say, I got to get out of the White House and get my public opinion bath.


BROWN: And I don't think very many of my Senate colleagues, Republican colleagues are getting out and talking to anybody.

And I'm not getting out personally, because my...

REID: Yes. Yes.

BROWN: I'm very careful.

But I'm talking to people on the phone all the time, from school board members, to small business owners, to presidents of the YWCA around Ohio and homeless shelters, and all of that, that people are talking about the challenges and the poverty, and the fact...

REID: Yes.

BROWN: One of the most telling things about the pandemic is, there has not been a huge increase in people falling into poverty because of that $600 a week.

Wait about a month. If we don't do that, it's the kind of thing that people are going to face.

REID: Yes, we're out of time.

But is anybody that you're out there talking to or talking to virtually complaining that their priority is to have kids play for free Big Ten football? Is that their priority for the average person?

BROWN: That's the priority of some far right-wingers who want to change the subject.

So, it's clearly not what -- it's not -- it's not on people's minds. We just...

REID: Yes.

BROWN: We need to focus and get this money out the door to families who are unemployed and to keep them in their homes and to get -- have enough money to open schools safely. That is just crucial in the next two weeks.

REID: Yes, absolutely.

BROWN: Thanks.

REID: Senator Sherrod Brown, who's always great on these issues, thank you so much. Really appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.

And, meanwhile, earlier today, the Poor People's Campaign held a digital sit-in and call-in to Senator Mitch McConnell's offices, demanding action a coronavirus relief package.

Bishop William Barber is the co-chairman of The Poor People's Campaign and the author of "We Are Called to Be a Movement."

And he joins me now.

Bishop Barber, I want to start. We have a lot of concern by people like Jim Jordan, who might want to stay away from the whole football issue, who had some issues as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State, but he's out there saying, we need football. You have other people saying, football is the priority. Lots of people tweeting. Ben Sasse wrote an entire letter about it.

It struck me, as I read those tweets and saw that there was this letter from Ben Sasse, that the people who go to play football in college on scholarship generally come from families with no money.

And without those scholarships, they couldn't even go to college. And there was this big concern that they get out on the field and run and jump for the entertainment of rich people.

Meanwhile, their families might not be able to afford food. I don't know if it struck you that way, but that's how it struck me.

REV. DR. WILLIAM BARBER, PRESIDENT, REPAIRERS OF THE BREACH: Well, it showed me that that's the way in which many of these people feel about the before.

It has its roots rated in racism, when they talk about, if they give people money, they're going to be lazy. And that's the same thing slave masters and racists said about black people. Or they're just good for sports.

But here's the ugly, and I want to say damnable thing that Americans are learning. And that is that racists are liars, but they're also learning that racist are thieves.

And so if you have someone who commits racism, not only will they hurt black people, but they will hurt all Americans, because they will steal your health care, they will steal your unemployment, and they will literally steal your life, if you allow it.

We released a report the other day -- I mean, just this morning, that said the Senate is in play, and poor folk have the power to make the play, because 34 million poor and low-income people who are eligible did not vote.

And we have found that, Joy, that a lot of them didn't vote because of problems with transportation and illness and not having -- but also because they never hear the issue.

But in these states, Joy, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Arizona, Minnesota, Maine, Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Ohio.

If just 1 to 19 percent of poor and low-wealth people were registered to vote, move around an agenda, and vote, they can fundamentally change the United States Senate and change the presidential race.

That's where we're putting our attention on. We have to build power in this community, in this country, because that's all they understand.

REID: Yes.

And I -- and that is an important point, because people will blame poor for not voting. But, as you said, first of all, there's having an issue to vote on, and there's also the logistics of it.

We're seeing this attack on the post office, where, if you go into a post office anywhere in the country, whatever the demographics are, you will find the post office is disproportionately staffed by people who are black and brown, right?

And so there's this unyielding attack on it, as if the only thing the post office does is deliver ballots, when it also turns out that the post office delivers medicine and people's paychecks and people's Social Security checks.

And so, if you break the post office, rural people won't get any mail, because that's not a lucrative route for the United States -- for FedEx and these other private companies.

So, what do you make of the fact that this attack on the Postal Service is being done narrowcasting Donald Trump's reelection, and not looking at all these other ways in which primarily poor people are going to be affected?

BARBER: It's being done by Trump, being allowed by McConnell and Republicans.

And it is an all-out attack, a war against the poor. The poor people were already in a depression even before COVID. But this is about really an annihilation, if you will. We had 43 percent of the company in poverty before COVID. It's upwards of 50 percent, and headed higher now, because of the way we have not responded properly.

And what do you have? You have McConnell being silent. You have Trump trying to undermine your access to the ballot. We have 30 million more people unemployed, 27 more people without health care. And what does McConnell want? Two-hundred-some-odd billion dollars for tax cuts and $25 billion for a plane the Pentagon doesn't even want. And he wants to protect corporations from liability.

Just a few minutes -- hours ago, we had 200,000-plus people come online for a Moral March for McConnell to challenge his mayhem, his meanness, and his madness, and make thousands and thousands of calls.

People are sick of this. They are starting to recognize that these folks have a disdain for the poor and low-income. It doesn't matter what your color is. There is an all-out war against the poor and an all attempt to steal and filter more money to the greedy. And they don't care what they use.

That is why we did this report. And that's why we're organizing poor and low-wealth people all over this country, and saying to any political party that really wants to win, poor people now make up 25 percent of the electorate, 25 percent of the electorate.

It's political suicide not to organize that group and speak to their issue, and talk about living wages, and health care, and how you're going to deal with the issues of voter suppression that hurt not only black people, but poor people as well.

But if you mobilize that group, if you mobilize that -- they can fundamentally shift the elections and the power in this country, both in the Senate and the presidential level and at the governors level.

We have to change this narrative.

REID: Yes.

BARBER: We have to build power, because these folks, as you said, Joy, they would shut down the post office to stop our political power being exhibited, if they could get away with it.

REID: Absolutely.

Well, hopefully, Joe Biden and others are listening, because it only takes a little money to get out there and start to organize these voters. As you said. We're talking about 34 million people. So, hello?

Bishop William Barber, it's always great to talk to you, my friend. Thank you very much. Really appreciate you.

BARBER: Thank you.

REID: And still ahead: If Joe -- thank you.

And still ahead: If Joe Biden is looking to build the suspense around his V.P. selection, speaking of Biden, well, it's working great.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: The Democratic National Convention begins one week from today. And the wait continues for Joe Biden to pick his running mate.

The presumptive presidential nominee spent the weekend huddled with his family in Delaware. Those close to Biden say a final decision could come at any moment.

And, as he prepares to lock in his choice, NBC News has learned Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer met with Biden in person last week.

And for more, I'm joined by Errin Haines, editor at large for The 19th, and Cornell Belcher, Democratic pollster and strategist.

And, Errin, I'm going to start with you.

You wrote a piece that is great reading, and I recommend everybody check it out.

And you write that black women insist that Biden "write us into history." And you write: "The racial and gender attacks against some of the potential female picks, along with Biden meeting Governor Whitmer, was met with anger and frustration by many black women strategists, activists, organizers, and voters, who have reached a point where they believe choosing a black woman vice president is no longer a recommendation, but a requirement."

And you wrote that not long before a piece came out from a lady named Pamela Pugh, who serves as the state board of education vice president, who had some issues specifically with Governor Whitmer on some issues, including Flint and Benton Harbor Schools.

What is the temperature? Take the temperature for us of black women on the idea that Whitmer might race ahead of some of these senators and other figures?

ERRIN HAINES, EDITOR AT LARGE, THE 19TH: Well, Joy, I think, if we're talking about really any other white woman than Elizabeth Warren, it's certainly not that black women do not plan to vote for Joe Biden.

And I want to be clear about that, because I have said in my reporting over this presidential cycle that black women have been the vanguard of the Democratic Party, the most loyal and consistent voters of the party. They're the voters that made Joe Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee, and many of them tell me that they certainly plan to vote for him in the fall.

But the issue for them is, rather enthusiasm, right, like whether Joe Biden's vice presidential pick is somebody that can galvanize and energize that Democratic base to get them to not only go to the polls themselves, which we know black women are going to do, but to do what they also usually do in an election cycle, which is to bring their sorority, their church, their community, their -- all their family members to the polls with them.

And so what I heard in the earful that I got from so many of those black women organizers, voters is that they plan to vote for Joe Biden in November regardless, but whether he puts a black woman on the ticket is really going to make the difference between whether they show up or show out.

REID: Yes.

I mean, and, Cornell, the specific beef that people have, at least the people that -- or the woman who wrote this op-ed -- is that she's not ready to be president, that she's another untested governor, that it'll be politically expedient to put her in, an unvetted, unready vice presidential candidate, but also saying that, in specific issues, she hasn't been sensitive to concerns of black Michiganders, including Benton Harbor and Flint.

What do you make of the fact that there is still this pull and push within Biden world to try to seem to hunt for anybody other than one of the black women? That's what -- I think, for a lot of people, that's what it feels like, when, if you look at the history, if you go through Michigan itself, New Jersey and Virginia, the history has been that the winning ticket has included a black running mate.

Like, that's been true even for Gretchen Whitmer, for Governor Phil Murphy in New Jersey, for the governor of Virginia.

CORNELL BELCHER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: And, look, I think, when you look at the presidential elections, Joy, tell me what was the last time we had a more successful ticket than -- in modern times when we had when it was in fact a diverse ticket.

I will wait. Tell me the last time we had back-to-back majorities with a ticket that was that was all white and all male.

But, look, I'm not here to tear down any of the women candidates, white or black, because I think they're all fantastic.

But I would make this point, is that, from a strategic standpoint, having a diverse take and putting an African-American woman on that ticket makes all the strategic sense in the world. And I don't know how I'm even having to argue with people that having an African-American woman on the ticket is a strategic imperative.

Having a diverse ticket is in fact a strategic imperative. And when you look at some of those battleground states, Higher Heights a poll of voters in the battleground states, and, by 27 points, voters in the battleground states who weren't for Trump agree that it was more important to have an African-American woman on the ticket than -- by 27 points more so than agreed it was having a white woman on that ticket.

And particularly when you look, even among white women, 48 percent agreed it was more important to have an African-American woman on the ticket.

REID: Yes.

BELCHER: And when you look at -- look, what did Obama do? And John Kerry got 43 percent of the white voters and lost by three million.

REID: Yes.

BELCHER: Barack Obama, in 2008, got 43 percent of the white vote, and won by nearly nine million.

Diversity is a strategic imperative.

REID: Yes.

And I will note that now we have had more than 100 black male leaders also sign a statement, also in solidarity, calling for a black woman vice president. So it's a pretty loud and clear and pretty definitive call that's being made to Joe Biden.

We will see if he hears it.

Errin Haines, Cornell Belcher, thank you, guys, very much.

And, by the way, a quick reminder. We are 84 days from the election. So, get registered. Sign up for your mail-in ballot. And please get ready to vote. Go to to find out the deadlines in your state.

And up next: I can't believe I even have to say this, but, no, Donald Trump does not belong on Mount Rushmore.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: OK, remember when in the middle of the pandemic, Donald Trump flew out to Mt. Rushmore to deliver Fourth of July speech in front of historic backdrop?

Well, according to "New York Times", that spectacle was part of an effort from South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to please Trump, who had actually told the governor he aspired to have his image etched on the monument.

A White House aide even followed up with Noem to ask, what's the process to add additional presidents to Mt. Rushmore?

Actually, there is no process to do that. The monument which, by the way, is on stolen Native American land, is, quote, not suitable for additional carving.

At first, Noem said, she thought he was joking.


GOV. KRISTI NOEM (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: I said, Mr. President, you should come to South Dakota sometime. We have Mt. Rushmore. And he goes, do you know it's my dream to have my face on Mt. Rushmore?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He (ph) should be aware that --


NOEM: Well, I started laughing, and, you know, he wasn't laughing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'm sure he's serious.

NOEM: So, he's totally serious.


REID: OK. But despite the fact "The Times" reports that Noem greeted Trump at Mt. Rushmore with a four-foot replica that included a fifth presidential likeness. His.

This is not the first time that leaders in America and around the world have gone above and beyond to flatter Trump. "The Times" reported in 2017 that on first trip abroad as president, leaders were actually told to be sure to compliment him on his Electoral College victory.

It's also not the first time Trump has gotten enthusiastic about a project involving his likeness. According to former aide recording his voice for Disney's hall of president was a duty that filled the president with unusual boyish excitement.

Trump, of course, denied the report about Mt. Rushmore, but then tweeted, sounds like good idea to me.

He also tweeted a photo of himself posing next to the monument, as if his face like merged into it.

I can't believe I even have to say this, but Trump, the president who has failed incredibly in so many ways, not the least of which is his lack of a response to greatest health crisis the country has faced in 100 years does not belong on Mt. Rushmore, even if Mt. Rushmore belonged there.

We'll be right back.


REID: As we've seen over the last four years, Donald Trump has led a partisan assault on our democratic institutions, effectively gutting them from the inside out. He's interfered in the administration of justice, flouted the rule of law and co-opted the military for domestic use. On top of that, he's restricting voting access to undermine free and fair elections, the very bedrock of this country.

And yet, in a stunning interview yesterday, Attorney General William Barr is claiming it's really the Democrats who want to tear down the system.


WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: The left wing has really withdrawn and pulled away from the umbrella of classical liberal values. The left has essentially withdrawn from this model. And really represents Rousseauian revolutionary party that believes in tearing down the system, that what's wrong with America today has to do with the institutions we have and we have to tear them down.


REID: Well, despite Trump's abuses of power, which were documented in the Mueller report and during impeachment, Barr claimed without irony that it's the Democrats who are power hungry. And he couched his attacks in religion terms as if all Democrats are godless heretics.


BARR: They're interested in total victory, and that's -- it's a -- it's a secular religion. It's a substitute for religion, and they have shredded the norms of our system to do what they can to drive them from office or to debilitate his administration. And I think it's because of the desire for power. They want to run people's lives so they can design utopia for all of us, and that's what -- you know, that's what turns them on. And it's -- it's the lust for power.


REID: Ha, lust for power. Hmm. This is far from the politically neutral language we've come to expect from past attorneys general.

And if his right wing ideology wasn't clear enough, just wait and hear how he described the Black Lives Matter movement. And that is coming up next.



BARR: They are a revolutionary group that is interested in some form of socialism, communism, or essentially Bolsheviks. Their tactics are fascistic. What they do is they hijack these demonstrations and they provoke violence and they have various tiers of people, from the sort of top provocateurs down through people who are their minions and sort of run the violent missions.


REID: Attorney General William Barr would have you believe that the Black Lives Matter movement is just a vehicle for anti-fascist boogey man Antifa, another nondescript violent agitators who are somehow also fascistic.

Despite Barr's claims, "The Washington Post" reports there have been no arrest of solid proof connecting Antifa, which again stands for anti-fascist, to violence at Black Lives Matter protests.

To the contrary, only members of the far right, the Boogaloo boys, have actually been arrested for inciting violence, including charges of murder. In other words, the guy who's job it is to know better appears more concern with blaming leftist groups and Black Lives Matter group of looking into his own ideological backyard.

I'm joined now by Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor.

And, Glenn, I find it very ironic because fascism involves the reverence for a secular leader, who's almost needed in a god-like fashion. That actually literally describes the way that William Barr threats Donald Trump.

What do you make of his accusations against the left?

GLENN KIRSCHNER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yeah. You know, his statement yesterday to Fox News, it was a painful 40 minutes to watch and it was a really study in propaganda. I frankly think it would make Kim Jong-un blush. And before I move on, Joy, congratulations on THE REIDOUT. I am so excited about it, to have you in the 7:00.

REID: Thank you.

KIRSCHNER: So, but, you know, when you talk about Bill Barr making statements bashing Antifa and far-left wing extremist groups, as he put it, he last did this on June 4th at a press conference when he stood up and hen really did bash Antifa and kept repeating radical left wing groups. And you know what he declined to say, he declined to say that one day before, on June 3rd, his Department of Justice actually indicted three members of the Boogaloo organization.

And it caused me to go back and pull out that DOJ press release from June 3rd. It says that, you know, today we are announcing three alleged members of the Boogaloo movement have been indicted for a conspiracy to cause destruction during the protests in Las Vegas and possession of an unregistered destructive device, a Molotov cocktail.

You know, you scratch below the surface of anything Bill Barr says and the propaganda comes bursting through.

REID: Is it -- I mean, we -- the suspension of disbelief required to think that he doesn't know what his own Department of Justice knows. He said in this interview that Russia would have no interest in seeing Donald Trump being re-elected because he's been tougher on Russia than anybody. Like he's sort of -- you know, he's pretending that he doesn't know that Russia is trying to attack the election. He's claiming it is the Black Lives Matter organizations that are violent and scary when there have literally been people arrested in all black, breaking windows and going into these movements.

Is it ignorance or is it ideology do you think with him? Because he's also in the past talked about academia and popular culture destroying religion.

KIRSCHNER: I don't think it's ignorance. I think it's ideology. I think he would like to create a theocracy where everyone in this country worships his god and attends his church and practices his religion.

So I really think he has a goal and I think his goal really involves two priorities. One is creating a theocracy, making this an inhospitable place for all other religions or people who choose not to practice religion. And I think he's also looking to consolidate power in the chief executive because he has this notion of a unitary, all powerful executive as king, which fortunately the Supreme Court just shut down.

But when I was watching his interview broadcast by Fox, I really think the mother of all disinformation was the attack he made against the left for being cowards. And here's how he couched it. He said, you know, the left are filled with cowards because they're afraid to buck party orthodoxy. They're afraid to voice any opinions for fear that the leadership of the left will criticize them and walk away from them and then they won't win reelection.

And I'm thinking, what kind oft projection is that? Because isn't that exactly why the right, the cowards on the right have remained silent, for fear of an angry tweet from Donald Trump? You know, I think the propaganda that Bill Barr tried to feed us in yesterday would make Putin blush.

REID: Indeed, and bone spurs, cowardice, a study.

Glenn Kirschner, thank you very much. Really appreciate you being here.

That is tonight's REIDOUT.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


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