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

Transcript: The ReidOut, August 12, 2020

Guests: Yvette Clarke, Bina Venkataraman, Karen Bass, Valerie Jarrett, Jennifer Palmieri


Biden and Harris make first appearance together as running mates. Biden has no doubt that he picked the right person. Harris says, this is a moment of real consequence for America. Harris recalls working with Biden's late son, Beau. Harris says, Trump ran America straight into the ground. Biden outlines priorities in first appearance with Harris. Harris calls the Trump administration a failed government. Harris as V.P. could boost Asian-American turnout. Harris blasts Trump, praises Biden at first joint appearance.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And she left angry. She left mad. It was nobody more insulting to Biden than she was.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: The Democrat's new pick clearly making an impression at Trump's own briefing.

That does it for THE BEAT tonight. "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid starts now.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: It was a moment for the history books today in Wilmington, Delaware, with the debut of the Democrats' long-awaited golden ticket. One-time rivals Joe Biden and Kamala Harris shared the stage in their first joint appearance as running mates. One day after naming Harris to be the first black woman and the first Asian-American on the presidential ticket of a major party, Biden said he had full confidence in her.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESUMPTIVE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE: I have no doubt that I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America, and that's Senator Kamala Harris. Her story is America's story, different from mine in many particulars, but also not so different in the essentials.


REID: For her part, Harris painted a clear picture for voters of the choice between Biden and Trump.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): This is a moment of real consequence for America. Everything we care about, our economy, our health, our children, the kind of country we live in, it's all on the line. America is crying out for leadership. Yet we have a president who cares more about himself than the people who elected him.


REID: The choice of Senator Harris has already generated a jolt of electricity into the campaign. Black women hailed the selection of Harris as an emotional and resonant moment of being written into history, and a victory not just for Senator Harris. The #wintwithblackwomen took center stage on Instagram and Twitter last night and Biden underscored the historic significance that Harris brings.


BIDEN: This morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little black and brown girls, who so often feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities. But today, today, just maybe they're seeing themselves for the first time in a new way as the stuff of president and vice presidents.


REID: Underscoring the breadth of what Kamala Harris represents, there's also been an outpouring of support from Caribbean and Indian diasporas communities both here and abroad over the ascension of Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants.

Today, Harris reflected on her family and spoken personal terms about her relationship with her goddaughters.


HARRIS: I've had a lot of titles over my career. And certainly, vice president will be great. But Momala will always be the one that means the most.


REID: Harris also spoke about her friendship with Joe Biden's late son, Beau.


HARRIS: Ever since I received Joe's call, I've been thinking, yes, about the first Biden that I really came to know, and that, of course, is Joe's beloved son, one of his beloved sons, Beau. He would always talk about his dad.

And I will tell you the love that they shared was incredible to watch.


REID: Today's event was billed as the beginning of the battle to restore America's soul. And in making her opening statement, the former prosecutor was very clear about the case against Donald Trump.


HARRIS: President Trump is also the reason millions of Americans are now unemployed. He inherited the longest economic expansion in history from Barack Obama and Joe Biden. And then, like everything else he inherited, he ran it straight into the ground. This is what happens when we elect a guy who just isn't up for the job. Our country ends up in tatters.

Let's be clear, this election isn't just about defeating Donald Trump or Mike Pence. It's about build thing country back better.


REID: I'm joined now by New York Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, who represents the same area in Brooklyn as Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, the Reverend Al Sharpton, Host of POLITICSNATION and President of the National Action Network, and Bina Venkataraman, Editorial Page Editor at the Boston Globe. Thank you all for coming here.

And, Congresswoman Clarke, I have to go to you first. First of all, for those who don't know your mom, Una Clarke, was a legend in Brooklyn and you inherited that great legacy. I hope everyone is now Googling Una Clarke and Googling Yvette Clarke. Tell me what this means to you as someone who -- before redistricting actually represented the same district inherited that district, and just tell me what it means to you to see this woman who has Caribbean-American heritage becoming the vice presidential nominee.

REP. YVETTE CLARKE (D-NY): Absolutely just elated. I just kept thinking how Shirley Chisholm is probably dancing to Calypso right now in heaven, seeing it come forth. I congratulate my sister in service, my fellow Jamaican-American. Everyone is taking claim right now, but she's a real leader. And I think that that is what -- has us all risen up so much in this moment where we need real leadership. And Joe Biden could not have picked a stronger, more diligent woman to stand by his side to bring this victory home in 2020.

REID: Yes. And, Rev, I know that when you were a young man, you were -- you were actually the youth director for Shirley Chisholm's presidential campaign back then. Tell me what it means to you to see this woman who wrapped herself in Shirley Chisholm's legacy as she ran for president, placed in this great position on the Biden ticket.

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: It certainly means a lot. I was 18 years old in 1972 when Mrs. Chisholm ran for president. And the fact is that when Kamala Harris and I went to Sylvia's Restaurant in a well publicized launch, we talked about Ms. C, that's what we used to call her. And she had dedicated her presidential campaign, Kamala Harris did, to what Shirley Chisholm started not only as the first black woman to run for president but the first black woman in the United States Congress.

And when Shirley Chisholm ran for president, Joy, you must remember she ran in '72 because we had seen that year that Richard Nixon, who had been elected in '68, was finishing his first term and being challenged to not turn back the clock on civil rights from the Johnson/Humphrey years, that was his immediate predecessors.

We're at the same point now from a Nixon the a Trump, and Kamala Harris has kind of closed that circle more that Mrs. C started by going against what Trump has done who, in many ways, has a Nixon-type of administration. And this time we made it to the vice presidential nomination and we certainly have mobilized would go further.

But there are parallels from Nixon to President Trump to Shirley Chisholm to Kamala Harris, and Kamala Harris is able to bring us another step in that trajectory of being able to assume a nation that could elect people and that will not be limited by gender or race.

REID: Yes. Donald Trump has somehow managed to be Richard Nixon and George Wallace all at the same time, which is a pretty big feat.

SHARPTON: A little more Wallace than Nixon sometimes, but go ahead.

REID: A lot more Wallace. Yes, at least Nixon was a statesman, right? Let's play a little bit with what Kamala Harris said today about the women who came before her.


HARRIS: After the most competitive primary in history, the country received a resounding message that Joe was the person to lead us forward. And, Joe, I'm so proud to stand with you. And I do so mindful of all the heroic and ambitious women before me, whose sacrifice, determination and resilience makes my presence here today even possible.


REID: You know, and, Bina, I want to bring you into this, because among the other firsts that Kamala Harris represents, she's also the first AAPI, Asian-American candidate to be vice president of the United States.

There was a piece in NBC News how she might impact the Asian-American and Pacific Islander vote. And this was from before she was picked. Both parties have largely overlooked the impact of the Asian-American vote, but it could be significant in 2020. Battle ground states, like Michigan, Texas and even Arizona, have become Asian-American populations.

And she's she talked about one of the heroic women who inspired her being her mom, who was an immigrant from India. Your thoughts?

BINA VENKATARAMAN, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, THE BOSTON GLOBE: Yes. So I have to say that the Indian-Americans listeners I'm on and the family WhatsApp groups have been exploding. Everyone wants to claim their piece of Kamala Harris. My nieces, who are seven and four, are watching the video of Kamala Harris and Mindy Collin (ph) making those as South Asian -- South Indian trait. And my grandmother actually comes from the same neighborhood in Chennai that Kamala Harris' grandparents come from.

And so I think there's a lot of pride, people wanting to claim part of that story. But I think it can even be broader than Asian-Americans. I think hers is a child of immigrants' story. Hers is a story obviously of black Americans. And I think there's an energy to her that sort of transcends those identities as well. Young voters are very inspired by the way she's forcefully advocated her LBGTQ rights, the way that she comes out on racial justice in the Senate using her voice there.

And even just from the perspective of seeing a woman of color, seeing a woman in public life who squared those sort of impossible circles, of balancing strength with warmth and likability, these impossible calculus that women in public life have to kind of master, she's done that. She's mastered squaring the circle of balancing knowledge and competence with diplomacy.

So, for her to rise and to be selected and to be on this ticket represents, I think, really represents that that kind of hard work, but also just the empathy and warmth that she brings to the work that she does, is actually being rewarded and recognized. And I think that has great symbolic value. And I think it probably will energize voter turnout in a whole number of dimensions, including the Asian-American vote.

REID: Absolutely. I talked to Latinas who are like, wait a minute, everyone is excited here because she's an immigrant story that anybody can relate to. If you're an immigrant from Europe, from anywhere, you can relate to the story.

And, Congresswoman Clarke, and as we're going to show a picture of you and your mom, as well, New York is not a state that needs to be energized, right? There's an idea that she could deliver -- the vice presidential pick doesn't necessarily deliver a state but it does -- can deliver a constituency. We've seen Delta Sigma Theta and other members of black fraternities and sororities raising huge amounts of money, forming donor trees, like creating momentum around her.

Do you see this as something that will energize broad swaths of black voters who hadn't really been into the process and hadn't been energized after Barack Obama -- except for with Barack Obama?

CLARKE: Absolutely. Kamala Harris not only talks the talk, she walks the walk. And I think that, you know, the American people will feel her, will see her, will identify with the fight that she's putting up to redeem the soul of America. I think about the fact that, at the center of it all, it is a woman who has compassion but is also extremely strong and focused on the well-being of the American people.

Her leadership in terms of the executive position she's held from a local D.A. all the way up to the attorney general of the State of California, what she was able to do to really mitigate the damages of the foreclosure crisis by holding the line and forcing banks to think again about how they were going to treat the American people in the wake of the disaster that they created. She's already proven that she's a leader and that she will take the fight to whomever comes up against the American people.

And that's what the American people are looking for right now. We need a champion. And between her and Joe Biden, we couldn't have asked for a greater champion.

REID: Yes. And, Rev, you've done this process before. You've run for president and you know both of these players very well. Talk a little bit about the top of the ticket. What did this pick say about Joe Biden, you think?

SHARPTON: It showed a real political maturity and security. One of the most compelling things that I heard today when Joe Biden was speaking and when Senator Harris was speaking, is he said that he had told President Obama when he was questioned, what did he want was the question, and he told the president, he told the president-elect then -- well, candidate then, he would want to be the last one in the room to talk to the president if they were successful, when there was a hard decision to be made, and that's what Kamala Harris said to him.

That gave a lot of confidence to people like me, because if she's the last one in the room, when he's going to make a decision, we know from the debates that she's someone that will tell him the truth, even if it's something he doesn't want to hear. And he's mature enough to receive the truth because he picked somebody that stood up to him in the debates. And that's what we need is some grown folks back in the White House to protect this country.

REID: Yes. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Reverend Al Sharpton, Bina Venkataraman, thank you all three very, very much.

And up next on THE REIDOUT, Trump's worst nightmare. Now he's facing two Democrats and he's completely unable to define.


TRUMP: She was nasty to a level that was just a horrible thing, the way she was. I thought she was the meanest, the most horrible, most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate.


REID: She's like the nastiest person.

Congresswoman Karen Bass, who was on Biden's short list, joins me next, and her first interview since the Harris announcement.

Plus, after last night's primaries, House Republicans will soon have a QAnon caucus. Part of their beliefs, that there is a satanic cabal of baby-eating Democrats, seriously. They're deadly serious, and gaining traction on the right.

Back with more of THE REIDOUT after this.


REID: Welcome back.

When Joe Biden announced Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, he was choosing from a long list of powerful and talented women candidates. Among them, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who called Harris a tenacious and trailblazing leader, Senator Elizabeth Warren, who called Harris an inspiration to millions of women, and Congresswoman Karen Bass, who tweeted a picture of Harris and herself with the words, let's go.

Joining me now in her first interview since Harris announcement is Congresswoman Karen Bass, who, like Harris, hails from the great State of California. Great to see you, Congresswoman.

REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): Good to see you.

REID: Okay. What was your initial reaction? I know -- thank you. What was your initial to learning that Senator Harris was chosen?

BASS: Well, very exciting. I mean, go, California, my junior senator from California who I worked with when I was speaker and she was D.A. in San Francisco. So we have a history of working together on child welfare reform and criminal justice. And I think she's going to do a fantastic job.

REID: You mentioned that she's the junior senator.

If they win, that will mean that the governor of California gets to replace her.

BASS: Yes, it does.

REID: You have any interest in that job?


BASS: You know what, Joy?

For the next 83 days, I have one thing on my mind. But, after that, I mean, we will see. I will keep all my options open.

REID: Yes.

This was -- I wanted to let you listen to Ari Fleischer, who is sort of a bygone era Republican voice. And here he is talking about what he thought of the pick.


ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER GEORGE W. BUSH WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I just question whether or not this is going to boost African-American turnout at all. I don't think it will. She's just not that historically exciting to African-Americans.


REID: I mean, is that -- would that be...

BASS: Does he know about African-Americans?


REID: Good question. I wonder how many he actually knows personally.

This is a collage of Instagram posts. This is just a few. But just -- I was scrolling through Instagram, and just grabbing all the stuff that I saw. And I'm going to put that up, as you tell me, what was the reaction in your -- in your circle, among people you talk to, to this pick?

BASS: Well, absolutely. People were thrilled.

And so I don't think he knows a darn thing about black folks. So he shouldn't even be commenting at all. But it's not just black folks. It's black folks, it's women, it's Asians, it's Latinos.

I think that this is just exciting all the way around. And I think that their rollout today, when they walked across that stage, it was electric. And I believe that they both are going to energize the vote. And I think that Senator Harris in particular -- the idea of having a woman vice president, the idea of having an African-American, Asian woman vice president.

And then you know what? Go, CBC. CBC has produced a president, and soon to be a vice president.

REID: Well, yes.

No, it's amazing, when you think about the fact that, of all the 45 presidents, most of them come from like the Ivy League and from other schools. And Howard University, these storied HBCUs, have not yet produced a president or a vice president. So, she would make a first for that as well.

And I want to let you listen to Joe Biden talking about the reaction in terms of fund-raising.

BASS: Sure.


JOSEPH BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yesterday, we had our best grassroots fund-raising day of the campaign, more than double our previous record. And, in doing so, we set a single-day record for online political fund-raising.

And I think I know why.


REID: You know, typically, African-Americans have -- other than the Obama campaign, when you saw people like throwing barbecues and raising $10 a person to attend, there's always been an idea inside of political fund-raising that African-Americans are not as prolific in terms of givers.

Do you think that will change in this cycle?

BASS: Oh, absolutely. I do. I'm not surprised by that.

And I think that that's going to continue. And I think it's going to be African-Americans and everybody else. People know what's at stake.

Joy, every day, I think about the fact that over 160,000 Americans are dead. The role of commander in chief, the first job is to keep the people safe. And we have a commander in chief that doesn't even care.

So, we have to think about this election. We need to think about it in honor of all those souls that were lost. Many probably didn't need to die. And we also need to think about Representative John Lewis. And we need to vote, but we need to vote really early, because they're doing everything they can, I believe, to mess with the vote, because they know he's lost support.

And I don't want to see them mess with the post office and that wind up compromising our ability to win this election.

REID: Yes. Yes, absolutely.

Donald Trump called Kamala Harris nasty and angry. He went for all the typical tropes.

I won't even force you to listen to him.

BASS: Thank you.

REID: But I'm going to let you listen to Ronna McDaniel, Ronna Romney McDaniel, who's the chairman of the Republican Party -- chairwoman.

Here she is.


RONNA MCDANIEL, CHAIR, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Joe Biden made it very clear, I'm going to pick a woman. He didn't say, I'm going to pick the best candidate. He said, I'm going to pick a woman.

And he's doing this to get the woman vote.

Joe Biden picked because she's a woman, but she does not appeal to moms and women across this country who want to see the American dream continue and don't want to give health care to illegal aliens and stop deportations.

And, least of all, we don't want to see the police defunded.



REID: Well, I guess it tells you what kind of moms that she knows.

But your witness, as a prosecutor might say.



BASS: Exactly right.

I think that that's ridiculous. I believe that Senator Harris is going to appeal to the rainbow. She's going to appeal around the country, and also because, how could they possibly talk about moms, when you have a president who is not taking care of the American people?

I think she's going to do a fine job. I think she will appeal. And the fund-raising was just an example.

The only thing, Joy, though,, that it's going to be so frustrating this year, because we all are going to have to deal with this campaigning through Zoom.

REID: Yes.

BASS: So, I know I'm going to be Zooming day and night for the next 80-plus days.

REID: I know. We're all getting to know this technology.

Well, I will also note that, as you are a Californian, Senator Harris is also the first nominee from west of the Rocky Mountains. It's wild to think.



REID: ... Republicans have nominated Californians.

So, interesting. Good -- a big win for California.

Congresswoman Karen Bass, a big win for us having you on tonight. Thank you so much.

BASS: Thank you.

REID: And as Kamala Harris -- cheers -- and as Kamala Harris makes history, Trump and his allies are reaching back, back, back into history to recycle the same old sexist and racist attacks.

Two high-ranking, ambitious women, ambitious women, from the Obama administration join us next.

Stay with us.


REID: The Biden/Harris ticket brings together two powerful candidates who represent a fusion between the traditional and the emerging America.

Confronted with the reality of facing a candidate they have been unable to redefine, who Americans feel intuitively like they know, to the point where people refer to him as Uncle Joe, and a running mate who literally embodies the potential of American -- America fully embracing its status as a multiracial democracy, Trump is turning to the past, to the old mid-20th century fear-mongering about blockbusting, and unleashing a string of incoherent racist and sexist attacks that conjure up a different America, Trump's America.

This morning, he once again tweeted, "The suburban housewife will vote for him because they want safety and are thrilled that I ended the long-running program where low-income housing would invade their neighborhood."

This is his America, an America in which white suburban housewives need to fear the integration and invasion of their all-white neighborhoods, an invasion that, according to Trump, will be led by New Jersey Senator and neighbor-rescuing vegan Cory Booker, once again making clear that Trump no longer needs racism or sexism dog whistles.

And the cultural references for his attacks are weirdly stuck in the 1950s, when father knows best.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: We missed you at dinner, dear. Sorry you have to work so late.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It seemed like everybody in Springfield had insurance problems today.



REID: For more, I'm joined by Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Obama and author of "Finding My Voice: When the Perfect Plan Crumbles, the Adventure Begins," and Jennifer Palmieri, former White House communications director for President Obama and author of "She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man's World."

Two ambitious women, I shall say, and we love it. You got to love it.


REID: Yes.

JARRETT: Proudly ambitious.


REID: Yes. You love to see it. Amen. Amen. Amen.

I got to go to you first, though, Jennifer, because, apparently, Donald Trump believes that white women are cringing in their homes, cooking their husband's dinners, wrangling the kids, ceding all the financial decisions to their men, and being terrified that Cory Booker will move next door to them and bring with him all of the poors.

Is that -- in your -- in the people you know who are white married women in the suburbs, is that what they're fearing right now?

JENNIFER PALMIERI, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You know who Cory Booker is really popular with in New Jersey? Suburban housewives.


PALMIERI: You know, it's true. He is very popular among white women in New Jersey.

And so it is -- the notion of suburban housewife as a term in 2020 is ridiculous. The idea that you would put that in quotes is ridiculous. And I think the women that they're trying to appeal to are going to be pretty turned off by that. I'm sure there are some women who love Trump, have loved him to death, and they will probably have suburban housewife sweatshirts made.

But it's a losing fight. They have been trying to scare women into supporting -- into supporting Trump's ticket. And they failed. And now they're going to -- now they're trying to use Kamala Harris, and -- which is so smart how she talked about she's a Momala, right, she's a suburban Momala...

REID: Right.

PALMIERI: ... in her speech today.

And I think they are mistaken if they think that Kamala Harris is not prepared to tell America who she is exactly, and to foil them in their attempt to brand her.

Her mom always told her and her little sister Maya, do not let anyone tell you who you are. You tell them who you are. She's been planning for this moment for decades. He's decades too late.

REID: Yes. Yes.

And, Valerie, this is going to seem familiar to you. Axios wrote that they wanted Biden, that the right, the Trump people, wanted Biden to pick somebody who would be an avatar for the far left and unimpeachable proof that Biden was the radical leftist puppet they're trying to brand him as.

In the eyes of several senior Trump advisers, Harris didn't particularly help that endeavor. And I laugh at this story, because I still am old enough -- I'm old enough to remember when Joe Biden was the perfect pick for one Barack Obama, because here's what they were doing to President Obama, that then Senator Obama, they tried to depict him as this spooky, scary black man who wasn't really American.

They even darkened his picture to try to make him in their mind look scarier. That's what they tried. And Biden was the antidote. And now they want Biden to be scary, and Kamala Harris, the Momala, to be scary.

Your thoughts on this strategy?

JARRETT: I think it's a flawed strategy. It didn't work with President Obama either time they tried it, I might add. And I don't think it's going to work now.

And I think Jen has it right. Our country has moved way ahead of where the current administration's philosophy is. I think what people who live in the suburbs are worried about is whether they're going to be able to send their kids back to school, whether or not there's going to be a vaccine.

They're deeply and profoundly troubled by how this entire process has been mishandled at the federal level, and 165,000 people who have died around the country and their families are devastated, whether they have lost their jobs, whether they're essential workers or their partners are essential workers, and they're going into harm's way every single day, early on without any protective gear.

That's what I hear from my friends who live in the suburbs.

REID: Yes.

JARRETT: And so I think -- and I loved -- I loved you showing the show from back in the '50s. I mean, what could be better?

And he is time-warped back then. And I think the shockwave that is going to come if the momentum that we saw today by the announcement of this incredible ticket with the two of them together for the first time, when that momentum continues, as I am sure it will, because they're going to work hard at it. I think this is going to be a real wakeup call for not just President Trump, but for many of those who are participating and perpetuating these racist and sexist tropes, which just don't work anymore.

REID: Yes. Yes, absolutely.

And, Jennifer, you're -- as a former coms person both for -- in the White House and on the campaign for -- and for Hillary Clinton, how do -- it makes no sense to me for the communication strategy to say that both Biden is a tool of the left-wing radical left, but also that Kamala Harris is a cop, but also the left-wing.

Like, they can't decide whether they're going to portray them as leftists, mean -- mean leftists or mean right-wingers. Like, I don't know what they're saying, but they're trying to say both, that they're of the left and they're also against the left.

PALMIERI: Yes. They have a very fractured message.

And they have -- so, it seems that they have not landed on the best way to go after Kamala. And I really do believe that -- I mean, I am a white woman. I am talking to my two black friends. You all know far better than me. All your life, you have had to define who you are, right?

So, President Trump is not going to catch you. And I think that this is why he's never really been able to define her, and particularly during the primary didn't quite know what to do with her.

So, you see a fractured message there. And they have had -- the Biden campaign, amen, all praise be to them, because they have had a phenomenal rollout, a great pick. It's a generational pick.

Joy-Ann, you set it up in the beginning about kill they're sort of the personification of the future of the country uniting.

But Trump is good at fractured messages. They are good at taking some messages and delivering them discretely through digital means to particular populations. So, don't be surprised if they're going after Kamala Harris as -- for being tough -- for a tough prosecutor, Biden on the '94 crime bill.

REID: Yes.

PALMIERI: I know those ads are running -- and trying to dampen enthusiasm.

And they could be successful by a fractured message that's operated on many different levels. So, I know that the Biden campaign is aware of that. They're attuned to it. But, in some ways, that can work.

REID: Yes.

I mean, and one of the ways they're trying to do that, Valerie, is to try to question Kamala Harris' blackness, which is, again, also going to be familiar to you, having worked on the successful Obama campaign in 2008, trying to somehow say, well, she's not black because her background is Caribbean American.

Your thoughts?

JARRETT: That -- well, I don't think it's going to work to have the people who look like President Trump defining who is and who is not black.

She defines herself as black. The black community defines her as black. And that is what is important.

And I think another point I would want to make here, Joy, is that she doesn't have to defend herself alone. And I think, for too long, women who have been attacked with racist, sexist tropes have had to just kind of suck it up and deal with it, because they thought if they -- they didn't want to complain, they didn't want to look weak. And so they just kind of powered through it.

We certainly saw Secretary Clinton have to deal with outrageous attacks, on nothing to do with policy, purely on appearance or made-up stuff.

And the difference here is, is that there is now a group of women who are going to hold them accountable. And we wrote a letter to the press before the announcement of who the nominee was, because we wanted to send a message that we're not going to tolerate that kind of behavior from the press or from anybody else.

We're going to hold people accountable. We have another letter coming out now that we have a nominee, now that Senator Harris has been named. And we want to use our voices in defense.

There is safety in numbers. And we're going to be absolutely relentless about calling it as we see it. And we think that is going to resonate, not just with women around the country, who are sick and tired of these double standards...

REID: Yes.

JARRETT: ... sick and tired of women being described as mean or nasty or whatever, but I think a lot of men are fed up with it as well.

REID: Absolutely.

And I will note that Kamala Harris absolutely. I will note that Kamala Harris has a secret weapon also at her disposal whose name is Karine Jean-Pierre.


REID: Valerie Jarrett, Jennifer Palmieri, thank you, my friends. Appreciate it, very much. Great to see you both.

Up next, how QAnon conspiracy theories are finding their way for the dark recess of the Internet into mainstream American politics. Yay!

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: Republicans got a terrifying glimpse of the future of their party under Donald Trump last night in Georgia. That's where QAnon candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene won the GOP primary runoff, all but ensuring she'll be elected in the deep red congressional district this fall. That's worth repeating that QAnon is a far right conspiracy theory whose adherents believe a deep state of Satan worshippers and pedophiles are plotting against Donald Trump.

Not only that, but "Politico" uncovered hours of bizarre or racist videos that Greene posted on social media. Among other things, she claimed Muslims are invading the government. She described black people as slaves to the Democratic Party and she alleged that George Soros, who was Jewish, was secretly a Nazi.

So it's no surprise that Trump today welcomed Greene into the party with open arms. He tweeted: Congratulations to the future Republican star Marjorie Taylor Greene. Marjorie strong on everything and never gives up, a real winner, exclamation.

Well, the problem is, this isn't an isolated incident. According to a list compiled by Forbes, there are at least 13 Republican candidates who have cited QAnon whose name also be on the ballot this November.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, history is not Donald Trump's strongest subject. Surprise.

Stay with us.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When they gaze upon Yosemites, towering sequoias.

Your foreign competitors move their factories to prevent a level playing field and to avoid liability, shifting production to Thailand.


REID: Given Trump's frequent blunders, it's a wonder that he and his Republican cohorts still have the nerve to question Joe Biden's mental acuity.

Here's what his campaign said about Biden and Kamala Harris in video -- in a video last night.


AD ANNOUNCER: Voters rejected Harris. They smartly spotted a phony. But not Joe Biden. He's not that smart, Slow Joe and Phony Kamala.


REID: Wait a minute. Trump calling anybody slow is the height of hypocrisy. Here's a short refresher.


TRUMP: They sacrifice every day for the furniture -- future. To measure and other measures taken by Iran. A lot of work has been done, a lot of -- if you look at some of it. By an anonymous -- God bless the United States.


REID: Trump's grasp of the English language may be weak, but nothing tops his pro-found ignorance of American history.


TRUMP: We understand the disease. Nobody understood it because nobody has ever seen anything like this. The closest thing is in 1917, they say, right? The great pandemic as certainly was a terrible thing were they lost anywhere from 50 to 100 million people, probably ended the Second World War. All the soldiers were sick.


REID: Nope, nope, nope. I cannot believe -- I cannot believe that I have to say this. But the job of a president's staff is to make sure he doesn't look like an idiot. First of all, the great influenza pandemic ended 19 years before World War II even began. Secondly, it is the 1918 flu pandemic that he's referencing, not 1917.

And, yet, Trump has made that mistake dozens, if not hundreds of times, and nobody in the White House has dared to correct him. This is the same Donald Trump He said he was surprised to learn that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.


TRUMP: The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge. Our army manned the airport, it ran the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do.

Abraham Lincoln, most people don't even know he was a Republican, right? Does anyone know? A lot of people don't know that.

Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody that has done an amazing job, and is being recognized more and more, I notice.

I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later, you wouldn't have had the civil war. He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War.

Is Donald Trump an intellectual? Trust me. I'm like a smart person.


REID: Yeah, sure you are, Donald. It's another reason that Trump has struggled to define his opponent. That is coming up next.


REID: Donald Trump is questioning Joe Biden's fitness for office. But by every visible measure, Biden appears more alert and far more active than Trump ever was.

On Saturday, Fox News captured Biden biking at a state park in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. He even answered a shouted question from his bike.

Compare that with Trump who can't even handle a short walk down a simple ramp, and it's a pretty stark contrast.

I'm joined now by Jason Johnson, journalism and politics professor at Morgan State University, and Howard Fineman, MSNBC -- I mean, NBC News analyst.

Thank you both for being here.

Jason, your -- you teach at a college. You teach the young people. In your mind, which of the two of them, Donald Trump or Joe Biden, seems to have more acuity, more mental acuity?

JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, my pretext for all my students this fall will be person, woman, man, camera, TV, and if they can do that, I know they're at least as smart as the president.

Look, here's the thing. Joe Biden demonstrated that he literally can ride a bike and do something else at the same time. Like, I have always thought the argument that Joe Biden has lost a step or has some sort of mental deficiency was just a complete lie. It makes absolutely no sense. It's Republicans just projected.

What's important to remember is that no matter how much they spout this nonsense, every single time Donald Trump opens his mouth, he looks worse. There is nothing Joe Biden can say that is more foolish or incoherent than Donald Trump in the middle of a substantive interview.

REID: You know, and, Howard, it's weird because every time that Donald Trump or his son or his friends try to do this attack, it just calls more attention to the times when he slurs his words, to the weird like bruise thing that was on his hand and people were talking about, what is that, to the way he was dragging his foot when he was walking. He keeps calling his attention to what he thinks are bad things about Joe Biden but those things just seem to call more bad attention to him.

HOWARD FINEMAN, MSNBC NEWS ANALYST: Well, let me talk briefly about Joe Biden. I was teaching for the last few years at the University of Pennsylvania, which Joe has a relationship with, and I was teaching a journalism seminar and I invited him into my class with about 25 students and he just blew the doors off the thing. And these kids responded to him and to his force of intellect and passion in a way that surprised me.

And he said at the end to them as he was on his way out the door, he said, look, you 25 kids, you are at an Ivy League school, but don't think you can isolate yourself from the changes in America and your responsibility to deal with it. You can't build a wall high enough. You can't make enough money. You can't do anything to avoid your responsibility to embrace America.

And I think by picking Kamala Harris, he showed that. She's dynamite. She's going to be the defining story of this campaign. And Joe Biden's inference will be the second defining story because he's the guy who played in the band with Barack Obama, and he's the guy who then turned around and picked a woman of color to be his help mate.

It's a story of America today. It's the story of America of the future. And if you think the suburban women of America are going to reject that, I think you're totally wrong. We go through periods of division and unity. We're headed into a period of unity that I think Joe and Kamala have a chance to achieve.

REID: Well, and, you know, Jason, just from a historic standpoint, there is a certain LBJ-JFK feeling about the ticket, right, where you did have Lyndon Johnson to balance out JFK who represented the new generation. And that's kind of how this feels, right? It does feel like, you know, Biden has given himself an LBJ moment here.

JOHNSON: Yes. I mean, they balance each other out. They make a lot of sense one way or other. For once, we don't have this sort of Batman and Robin situation. These are more like Storm and (INAUDIBLE).

I mean, these are two functional people who can both actually be president, and that's something we actually be excited about as opposed to somebody who's a junior partner.

FINEMAN: Yeah, well said.

REID: Yeah, indeed.

Jason Johnson, Howard Fineman, thank you both, my friends. Appreciate it.

That is tonight's REIDOUT.

And "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.



Content and programming copyright 2020 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2020 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.