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Transcript: The ReidOut, August 27, 2020

Guests: William Barber, David Jolly, Jemele Hill, Sherrod Brown, Tara Dowdell, Anthony Scaramucci


Trump to officially accept nomination on RNC night four. Vice President Pence doubles down on law and order pitch at RNC. Vice President Pence predicts violence and chaos under Biden. Biden says, we're in Trump's America. Harris says, RNC designed to soothe Donald Trump's ego. Vice President Pence says, we will make America great again, again. Donald Trump is expected to throw a lot of red plate to his base tonight and extravagantly attack Joe Biden.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Night four of the Trump Show gets under way in just under an hour. And tonight, we can most certainly expect Donald Trump to go full Julius Caesar, basking in the glow of his supporters to gaslight the American public. Trump supporters, lackeys and sycophants have presented a fantasy land version of reality, full of dark warnings of a future under Democrats amplified last night by Vice President Mike Pence.


MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last week, Joe Biden didn't say one word about the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country. The violence must stop, whether in Minneapolis, Portland or Kenosha.

We will have law and order on the streets of this country for every American of every race and creed and color.

The hard truth is you won't be safe in Joe Biden's America.


REID: In Joe Biden's America, says the sitting vice president of the United States.

In an interview with my colleague, Andrea Mitchell, earlier today, Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden stated the obvious.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The problem we have right now is we're in Donald Trump's America. He views this as a political benefit to him. You know, he's rooting for more violence, not less, and it's clear about that. And what's he doing except pouring gasoline on the fire. This happens to be Donald Trump's America. Donald Trump's America.

You want to talk about safety, the biggest safety issue is all the people dying from COVID.


REID: Because so many of us are not safe in Donald Trump's America, which we've seen not just in the 5 million COVID cases and 180,000 deaths but also in what we should warn are graphic images out of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Even as Trump's convention has offered up its alternative reality, in actual reality, a Kenosha Police officer fires seven shots into Jacob Blake's back as he tries to get into his car while his children watched. And in reality, days later, police allowed a teenage boy with a gun to roam through the streets where he later opened fire shooting two people. When the smoke cleared, those two people were dead.

We do not know what happened beforehand or after the video stops, of course, but that is the reality of Donald Trump's America, as unrest over yet another shooting of a black man spreads across this country. Trump has led for the last three-and-a-half years. This dystopian future that was painted at his circus over the last three nights, that's a fantasy.

Well, today, in a prebuttal to the Trump speech, Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris did not hold back.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The Republican convention is designed for one purpose, to soothe Donald Trump's ego, to make him feel good. But here is the thing. He is the president of the United States, and it's not supposed to be about him.


REID: The New York Times notes that the insistence that Trump can solve the chaos unfurling while he is in charge is a bit of messaging jujitsu that has become a dominant theme of the week. Mr. Trump's ability to turn back Trump era ills that have, and it's telling, been largely out of his hands to-date, exemplified in its most absurd form by Vice President Mike Pence's closing argument last night.


PENCE: With President Donald Trump in the White House for four more years, and with God's help, we will make America great again, again.


REID: Make America great again, again.

I'm joined now by phone by Bishop William Barber, co-Chairman of the Poor People's Campaign, and author of We are Called to be a Movement, and David Jolly, former Florida Republican Congressman who is no longer with the party and National Chairman of Serve America Movement. Thank you all both for being here, both for being here.

Bishop Barber, I know that you held an event today pushing back against the convention. Give us your read on what you've seen over the last several days and what you expect to see tonight.

BISHOP WILLIAM BARBER, CO-CHAIR, THE POOR PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN: Well, you know, I'm reminded of the scriptures over and over again that talk about how lying politicians, particularly, are dangerous to the people. And today, we had clergy, but we also had a white mother there, Joy, a person of faith who spoke impassionately about the lives, about the economy, the lies about who we should really be fearing that's coming out of this convention.

And it is beyond the pale to suggest that white suburban be afraid of black people. What people are afraid of is not having healthcare, not having decent wages, not having an employment, not having sick leave. To suggest that they are protecting freedom when they are doing everything they can to suppress the vote, to talk about how the made the greatest economy but this the greatest mess we've ever had, and the fact even tax cuts that they passed did not lead to more jobs, it's just led to more buybacks of their stocks by the wealthy to boost their own pockets.

And then to watch Mike Pence last night on Donald Trump's behalf messed up the scripture, misinterpret the scripture, suggest that God is helping them let 180,000 people die, God helped them be inept when it came to response with COVID, God has helped get us where we are now, 30-some million people with unemployment, 50 million of people applied or so, 27 million people without health care on top of the 87 million people that are already uninsured or underinsured. I mean, it's the biggest heresy -- and I have to call it a heresy -- that I have seen in modern day. And it's dangerous, Joy. It's dangerous.

And then, lastly, to put that family up there to suggest that they have to protect themselves, and then the next day, a young white boy, all confused by all of this mess, operates in his racism at 17 and goes out and shoots people. I mean, this is some dangerous stuff, as dangerous as George Wallace and what he did in '63, and as dangerous as Governor Roberston (ph) in 1961, who declared that the freedom riders were the ones causing the violence rather than saying the Klan were the ones causing the violence.

REID: And, David, look, George Bush did mission accomplished, tried to make it look like the war was won when it was clearly not, right? I mean, politicians do mess with the truth a little bit for politics and for political reasons. There was the flight over Katrina but looked like he was in charge. That wasn't the case.

But what I've never seen anything like this at a Republican Convention, a complete reinvention of reality. If you only watch the Republican Convention over the last four days, you think there was no coronavirus because nobody felt they needed to wear a mask surrounding the president, vice president, to clap for him and even senior citizen military people were put in harm's way because there is no coronavirus.

Donald Trump -- Mike Pence last night said that Donald Trump marshaled the greatest national marshalling since World War II for coronavirus and partnered with governors of both parties, no, he didn't. He threatened governors that were Democrats and refused to use his powers.

But I think what Bishop Barber just said is the most egregious thing, because I've never seen anything like this at a convention. You had these two people, these gun slinging millionaires, we call them the McCloskeys, let's play a little bit of them from the convention.


PATRICIA MCCLOSKEY, WAVED GUN AT BLM PROTESTERS: What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country.

MARK MCCLOSKEY, WAVED GUN AT BLM PROTESTERS: It seems as if the Democrats no longer view the government's job as protecting honest citizens from criminals but rather protecting criminals from honest citizens.


REID: And now you have, as Bishop Barber said, this young man actually acts that out. They are vigilantes who were just waving guns at Black Lives Matter protesters. He shot two of them. And you have now right-wing media on the other network that's across Rockefeller Plaza from me praising him. Ann Coulter said she like her to be her president. Tucker Carlson -- they are all lauding this man now. What is happening?

DAVID JOLLY, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Yes. I thought often during the RNC, if Barack Obama reflected the audacity of hope, Trump just reflects audacity. And that's what we're seeing at the RNC, just a whole lot of audacity. Because not just the lies and misrepresentations but they are trying to present a narrative that perhaps could have been, that I think Republicans wishfully think has been the last three years.

But to your point, not only are they overlooking all of the negatives and in the case of a pandemic, nearly 200,000 deaths, and in terms of the violence in the streets that is not addressed by this president, but they also are frankly lying. When Mike Pence said that Donald Trump shut down all incoming flights from China, that is not true. When Laura Trump said we had the highest rate of women employment ever under this president, well that was as of March. It ignores the historic decline since March.

But to your point on the couple and to the issues in Kenosha, we cannot extract the element of race from all of these narratives that the Republicans are putting out. Donald Trump is telling white people that black people are coming for you. That is the message of the RNC. It is damning. He should be criticized, and he should be damned for it.

But the heartbreaking part of all this, Joy, is while the issues around race and the conversations around race are so complex and can be very hard, leadership in this moment is not. All it takes for a leader is to listen and to understand and to show empathy and to acknowledge these are tough, complex issues. But I can be the law and order president while supporting the police but also supporting prosecutors. I can also support social and racial and criminal justice for those who are taken advantage of and are victims of systemic racism.

A leader, a president who leads the nation in that direction will garner the support of the majority of the American people. And I think that's the contrast you see right now between the Biden-Harris ticket and Trump-Pence ticket.

REID: To that point, let me just play a little bit of Biden and a little bit of Senator Harris. Here is Joe Biden talking about whether or not he would go to Wisconsin. This is (INAUDIBLE).

Do we have it? Okay.

Let's go with one. Let's play Kamala Harris on an interview with Craig Melvin earlier today.


HARRIS: But I will say this about the Republican Convention, some of which I have watched, I have yet to see these people who profess to be national leaders speak about this issue of the killing of unarmed black men, brown men, indigenous men in our country. I have yet to see them speak about it.


REID: Let me just read what Joe Biden said earlier. He was asked whether or not he would go to Wisconsin, Bishop Barber. He said, yes, I would. I would consider that. What I don't want to do is I don't want to become part of the problem. And I want to make sure that it's able to be done safely and I would bring some confidence of (INAUDIBLE), I'll be going.

I mean, so you have the expressions of empathy on the other side. But with -- during this convention, I haven't heard any expressions of sympathy for people who have been shot or killed by police, from any person on that stage.

BARBER: Well, let's go even further than that. Because what I want to do is push that that is racism and responded to cops killing innocent black men but that's not the only form of racism and it's not the only form of death.

This convention is engaged in what we call necro-politics, the politics of death, necro-politics, the politics of death. And what they are not acknowledging is any of the deaths. Now, I must also say the Republicans, even those that recently said they don't like Trump, they also want to have to repent for how they have set this up because this is not new. This is Ronald Reagan to the nth degree. This is Lee Atwater, George Bush to the nth degree. This hasn't been solved for a long time.

We play these racial politics, these politics of tax-cutting, politics of entitlement, framing issues like healthcare is going to really help those people. That's been a long time.

But what we haven't -- not only have they not said anything about that, they have really not said anything about all of the people who are dying from the lack of healthcare. Joy, one study said something like 4,800 to 5,600 people die for every 1 million people that are without healthcare, even before COVID. They're not talking about the 700 people that were dying a day from poverty in this so-called the greatest economy. 700 people are dying a day from poverty out of the 140 million people who are poor and no wealth (ph) before COVID.

And the number of people that died because they went to work, because they were the essential workers, because they were the ones that we gave a hand clap at 6:00 in the evening and it may have changed, but have yet to give them guaranteed sick leave and guaranteed healthcare and guaranteed mortgage forgiveness and so forth and so on. So we have all of this death, right, all of this death that is happening.

And so they are not acknowledging the death that's on camera. They are not acknowledging the death that's not on camera, they are telling the lies and acting as though everything is okay. And that's what makes this so deadly, because if you don't talk about it, you can't face it.

And so, I would say, even to Vice President Biden, there's something more important than going to Wisconsin, it's talking about Wisconsin. It's talking about Appalachia. It's talking about the poor people that are dying in the midst of this at overwhelming rates. It's talking about the people that are going to die from healthcare and will die if we don't have healthcare for everybody.

It's talking about what's going to happen if we get to over 50 percent of the people in this country in poverty and how many people are going to die never on camera, always in the back places in life but families will be destroyed.

And we decide in this country we're going to address death, whether that's death by racist cop, death by racist and class-based healthcare, death by racist and class-based -- lack of living wages. If we have to decide, we're going to believe the first principle of the declaration of independence, that is life, liberty. Life, life. And this what we're seeing is lies that does not reflective of life. It's dangerous and it's deadly.

REID: And, David, we live in a country where Nikki Haley used Dylann Roof as an example to try to show that she had compassion for black people who have died from violence. But Dylann Roof got burger king when he was arrested, right? He was arrested peacefully. He was allowed to surrender peacefully.

This shooter in Kenosha walked around with gun and police didn't even stop him. They offered him water. He was visibly armed. They didn't mind. They thought that was fine. And he was arrested peacefully. And yet black people can't even be pulled over without being in terror for being shot for no reason, can't get into a car, can't stand up, can't sit down. You walk to the left, you get shot. You walk to the right, you get shot, no matter what you do.

And so the Republican Party over the last four days has not not endorsed that, right? If they don't endorse that, they sure had a funny way of showing it.

JOLLY: I think one thing we've learned during Trump years and during these three days of the convention is that white Republican leaders can't talk about racial justice, they can't talk about racism, and they have trouble condemning it.

And what you see them to is they defer to equality of opportunity. It's kind of this get out of jail free card that actually everybody is free to live the life they can live, and they are responsible for their own decisions. They conflate equality of opportunity with personal responsibility.

Equality of opportunity is a calling for policies to create equality of opportunities. The bishop said, to ensure that there is access to affordable quality healthcare and to early childhood education, quality education, those are policies that any party could champion, and they could fall back on them.

What I would say to my Democratic friends, though, and I don't want to be a skunk at the party but I mean this with conviction, if you're angry about what you're seeing at the RNC this week, don't get angry, get busy. Because I promise you, it's actually very effective. For the crowd that Republicans are trying to mobilize, this is an effective week for them. For the Biden campaign, get your candidate to Pennsylvania, to Wisconsin, and to Michigan. Get him there. Because that is who they are going after and that's who gave the election to Donald Trump in '16. Get Joe Biden there.

REID: Yes, don't assume that people don't like it because unfortunately there are more people than you think that actually like and condone what we're seeing.

BARBER: And Joy --

REID: Yes, I'm sorry. Yes?

BARBER: What I would say to everybody as far as getting busy, we ought to get busy. And there's a lot of conversation about what we're going to do, striking. We should have a major strike boycott on Election Day and election weekend and say we're not going to do one work but we're going to vote. We could turn loose everything. We've got to make it so that everybody goes to the polls. If you don't go mail-in, you take your lunch, you sit down if you need to, whatever you have to do, because this is serious. This (INAUDIBLE) spreading is serious, as my brother said.

REID: It is, and they're using it. And the saddest thing, they use black people to help them make the message happen and who were willing to be used, obviously. But what a week it's been.

Bishop William Barber, David Jolly, thank you. It's always great to talk to you both. Thank you so much.

And up next on THE REIDOUT, a historic protest, speaking of getting busy, by America's professional athletes fighting racial injustice, calling off games and saying enough.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action. So our focus today cannot be on basketball.


REID: The reaction from the White House, quote, if they want to protest, I don't think we care. But we already knew you don't care, Mr. President. That's not news.

Plus, the big con, worst economy since the depression and more deaths from COVID than in World War I. But Trump will shamelessly try to sell to Americans that Biden is the big threat to the American way of life. THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: Tonight, marks an unprecedented moment in American sports.

Players the from NBA, WNBA, National Hockey League, Major League soccer and Major League Baseball are choosing not to take to the court, the field, or the ice.

Their actions have changed the landscape of sports, placing the focus squarely on social justice reform in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Bucks, who play 40 miles from Kenosha, decided not to play yesterday, which started a domino effect. Tonight, all NBA and NHL playoff games are postponed. Several Major League Baseball games have been called off. And tennis has decided to pause play at a tournament in New York. And several NFL teams canceled their practices.

In the past 24 hours, we have heard impassioned pleas for change from current and former athletes.


STERLING BROWN, MILWAUKEE BUCKS: Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action. So, our focus today cannot be on basketball.

CHRIS WEBBER, NBA ANALYST: I have young nephews I have had to talk to about death before they have even seen it in a movie. If not now, when? If not doing a pandemic, and countless lives being lost, if not now, when?

DOMINIC SMITH, NEW YORK METS: I think the most difficult part is to see, like, people still don't care.

And for this to just continually happen, I mean, it just shows just a hate in people's heart.


REID: With emotion so raw, here's how Trump responded to their calls for justice, equality and compassion:


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know much about the NBA protest. I know their ratings have been very bad, because I think people are a little tired of the NBA, frankly, but I don't know too much about the protests.

But I know their ratings have been very bad. And that's too -- that's unfortunate. They have become like a political organization. And that's not a good thing.

I don't think that's a good thing for sports or for the country.


REID: Yes, the ratings for your convention were bad too.

For more, I'm joined by Jemele Hill, contributing writer at "The Atlantic" and host of "Jemele Hill Is Unbothered" podcast on Spotify.

Your witness. I'm not even going to pose a question. You go ahead and respond to the guy who lives at 1600 Black Lives Matter Plaza.


JEMELE HILL, "THE ATLANTIC": Because that is what he is right about now.

REID: For now.

HILL: He's just a resident that's there, let's hope just not too much longer.

The thing that is so bothersome about what he said is that it's funny how -- that Trump is able to use sports to further his political platform whenever he feels like it's beneficial for him, because this is the same dude who spent an inordinate amount of time criticizing Colin Kaepernick, criticizing the NFL, because it was a healthy talking point for him.

He had no problem doing that. He doesn't mind injecting himself into sports.

And so to tell athletes that they shouldn't care about the issues in this country is just, frankly, a very familiar trope that they have been told, that really black people period have been told that we should just shut up and be grateful, as if those athletes don't pay taxes, as if they don't live in America, as if they are not black in America.

They have just as much right to speak up as he does. And it's just funny to me that he seems to have an issue with it -- with them complaining, when the alleged billionaire ran an entire presidential campaign based off what America wasn't.

So, all good for you to complain. All good for you to say what's wrong with America, but not for anybody else.

REID: Yes, it's true that all he did was complain throughout eight years of Barack Obama.

And he also used two retired NFL players as two of the props to make it look like, look, we like black people. Look at two of them. Behold, two black people.


REID: Let me play back -- there's a long history of black athletes taking a lot of risks to stand up, and even more risks in a way than today, only because they had so -- they had so much less power, I guess you could say.

Obviously, there's Muhammad Ali, who is the GOAT. He -- my idol, Muhammad Ali, who did that.

But I want to play you Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, because when Kareem Abdul--- when Muhammad Ali took the actions that he took to let go of his -- to lose his belt, and he had to risk his belt in order to stand up against the Vietnam War, other people followed. And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was one of them.

And here it is. It's -- Muhammad Ali's actions influenced others. Basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar boycotted the 1968 Summer Olympics. At the same Games held in Mexico City, American track athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos had raised fists covered in black yellow gloves as the national anthem played after winning gold and bronze medals in the 200-meter race. That's a piece written in 2018 by our friend Errin Haines.

So, there's a long history.

HILL: Yes.

I mean, that's what people have to understand. As much as there is always a little loud minority that tries to pretend as if sports and race and politics and gender have not always mashed together, that has been the case.

And in many instances, you have seen sports move a little bit faster than society has.

Let us not forget that Jackie Robinson integrated Major League Baseball in 1947, which is well before full integration came in this country. And there's always been that unfortunate tension for black athletes of being lauded for their sports, of being praised for their ability, their athletic ability, their ability to win and to achieve in the field of play.

But yet, often, when they come home, or often when they're just existing as black people in America, they find that they face the same amount of discrimination, the same amount of disdain, despite the fact that they have often represented this country to the most -- in the most respectful and just high level of ways.

That they continue to be just the highest in their sport, despite the fact that they do all this, to then again be met with disdain and to be considered dishonorable because they dare remind America of what they're supposed to be standing for is just an unfortunate condition that they have had to deal with throughout their time in sports.

REID: Yes, absolutely.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, during the 1961-1962 exhibition season of the Boston Celtics, he -- this is one of the things that he said back in Boston.

He said: "I'm coming to the realization" -- this was in 61'-'62 -- "that we are accepted as entertainers, but that we are not accepted as people in some places, Negroes" -- remember, this is '62 -- "in a fight for their rights, a fight for survival in a changing world."

Is it depressing to you that all of these years later, you just had Ariel Atkins from the Washington Mystics say almost the same thing? She said, it's not just about basketball. We're not just basketball players. Basically, we're human beings and have to literally say almost the same thing that Bill Russell said -- I'm sorry -- it was Bill Russell, not Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- that Bill Russell said in '62.

Is that depressing to you, as somebody who covers sports?

HILL: Well, in many ways, we have seen a lot of advancement and a lot of gains in sports.

But, at the same time, there is something that is a little frustrating about continuing to have the same conversations. It's like we don't learn from history.

REID: Yes.

HILL: Like we haven't learned a single page.

I mean, look at Colin Kaepernick. It's very fitting that four years ago this week is when he first took a knee. We saw him being blackballed. We saw him being castigated out of the NFL. And everything that he was fighting for, that he was standing against turned out to be obviously true.

I mean, we knew it then. We knew it before Colin Kaepernick. And so it's like we still keep having the same conversation, which is very much reflective to where we are in America, Joy, as you know, is that we're just caught up in this perpetual flying pattern of having the same racial conversations, because black people are frustrated and tired and angry at always trying to convince people of our humanity, to convince people that we matter.

Why are we still having this discussion about our conditions? Why does it feel like such a conditional love between ourselves and America? So, it's just emblematic of what we see in sports.

REID: Yes, absolutely.

And these people are not gladiators. They're human beings. And they have every right to speak out. And they're actually very brave. And they are thought leaders.

And I'm just going to -- I don't cover sports. You do.

Going to go out on a limb by saying they probably don't care if Donald Trump is -- doesn't want to watch anymore. I'm sure that they're not really going to lose any sleep. It's just my guess.

HILL: None at all.


HILL: And it's like, for every person out there talking about they are not watching, there's about 100 more that will. So, who cares?

REID: And buy all the gear too. So, sorry. Be mad, stay mad.

Jemele Hill, thank you very much. Always good to talk to you. Thanks a lot.

And up next: When it comes to the ongoing pandemic, wishful thinking, it turns out that's not a plan. And contrary to what Vice President Mike Pence said at the RNC last night, the miracle will come when science is allowed to lead, without Trump and his friends getting in the way.

Senator Sherrod Brown joins me next.

THE REIDOUT is back after that.

Sherrod Brown.



MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last week, Joe Biden said that no miracle is coming.

Well, what Joe doesn't seem to understand is that America is a nation of miracles.


PENCE: And I'm proud to report that we're on track to have the world's first safe, effective coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.


REID: The vice president promised a miracle cure for the pandemic last night, perhaps forgetting that God helps those who help themselves.

It's the type of magical thinking that we have seen at the RNC all week, with the White House staging massive rallies, so that the president, vice president and first lady can bask in an in-person sea of applause and paint a picture of a country not in the midst of a pandemic at all.

In fact, the White House, whose event this, is not officially the convention -- it's not officially the convention, by the way. That ended on Monday. Only COVID-tested people who were directly meeting with Trump and Pence. Not even everyone at the first lady's speech the other night was tested.

And at Mike Pence's speech in Baltimore, both Trump and Pence closely interacted with members of the crowd, because we must have rope line. It'll be the same super-spreader story tonight, where not all of the 1,000 people attending Trump's speech at the White House will have been tested for the coronavirus.

What could go wrong?

I'm joined now by Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown.

And we're going to put up a picture, and I don't know if you can see this, Senator -- of the White House as it is now. And people are crowded in. You can see them crowded. You know, my eyes aren't that good, but I don't see masks that are apparent. They're bunched up together. There's no social distancing there.

What do you make of this just as a message to the American people, particularly since they're using the White House to do it?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): Looks like a South Dakota motorcycle rally.

But it really is -- I mean, it's -- there's -- I mean, their whole convention this week has been nothing about accomplishment, and all about fear, trying to scare people about Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and the Democrats.

And they don't model for the country. Imagine, Joy, if Trump had worn a mask and talked about social distancing, and had the CDC doing this, doing the news conferences since March. There would be tens of thousands of Americans still living that wouldn't have been killed. We would have had -- we would have had such -- much lower levels of unemployment.

I mean, they have cared nothing about modeling for the country or letting science do its work. And I think Pence's pronouncement that we're going to have a vaccine in December is just more of that kind of thing, scare the public about the Democrats and make stuff up.

That's been the theme of the last week.

REID: And the thing is, if it was just thematics, it would be bad enough. But it appears that Donald Trump, he has this kooky belief that he thinks that, if you just don't test as much, there won't be as many of the things.

So, take fewer pregnancy tests, people won't be pregnant, and somehow that magic happens. It appears they're trying to actually make that into policy.

Here's a couple items. "The New York Times" reports that CDC director -- the CDC director has walked back new testing guidelines after an outcry, but the Web site remains unchanged. There were guidelines posted on Monday, where the agency said that close contacts of COVID-19 patients do not necessarily need a test, unless they're vulnerable or their doctor or state of public health official recommends it.

And the White House apparently pressured the CDC to do this. They acknowledged that higher-ups in the White House had some conversation with them about it.

And Dr. Fauci, Anthony Fauci, the one person people really trust on COVID in this country broadly, said he was in surgery when all of this happened. He wasn't around to be consulted on this.

Are you concerned that Donald Trump, ahead of the election, is trying to make there be less testing in America because he thinks there will be fewer deaths reported?

BROWN: Oh, I think that's clearly what he's trying to do.

He -- again, imagine if -- you look at every -- almost every other rich country in the world. We have 4 percent of the world's population. We have had 22-plus percent of the world's deaths. That's in large part because other countries have listened to their scientists.

The president's ego or the prime minister's ego has not got in the way. They have had out front and center their version of the CDC or public health department talking to the public, modeling what kind of behavior we should have all do, and listening to the science.

That the president still is meddling in the CDC and the FDA, getting in the way and coming up with all these medical theories and saying we're almost to have a -- about to have a vaccine, and we all hope there is about -- a vaccine soon.

But with all of that, more Americans die -- 1,100, I think, died yesterday, something like that. And our unemployment rate is two, three times higher than other countries that have managed this well, with significantly more deaths than other countries.

And it's all because we haven't had -- we haven't let the medical professionals lead, and we have had a president. It's always about his ego. It's always about him.

Look at the convention this week. Look at their convention, all about Trump, nothing about accomplishments. Our -- and all about fear.

The Democratic Convention has been about workers and how Biden/Harris (AUDIO GAP) through the eyes (AUDIO GAP) workers, all workers, essential workers, all workers.

REID: And what do you -- let me just really quickly play you, before we lose time with you.

Here is the son of the president very quickly what he had to say about what Democrats say.


ERIC TRUMP, SON OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: All they can talk about, Steve, is COVID. COVID, COVID, COVID, and how Trump is a bad man.


REID: I can't understand why it is apparently annoying to the Trump family that we talk about a virus that has killed 180,000 of their fellow Americans. They are rolling their eyes that we're talking about the dead, the American dead. Your thoughts?

BROWN: Well, they know the country is blaming the person in charge that this has happened. They don't talk about unemployment -- 680,000 Ohioans this month lost their $600 a week unemployment insurance. Congress -- the Senate is doing nothing about that, doing nothing about the tidal wave of evictions about that are to happen, that is about to happen -- doing nothing about dollars to help people get back to school in safer schools.

They would rather just ignore that and create fear. And I wanted to say one thing, too. I was going to say this at the outset, thank you, Joy.

REID: Yeah.

BROWN: Thank you for the real fact-checking that you and Rachel and Nicolle do every time they -- you can't do it every time they lie, because that's all you'd do. You do it when the lying is egregious and problematic and you don't want those lies to stick. That is really good.

Coming from a journalistic family, journalism family, that is really good journalism. So, thank you for that.

REID: I take it as a high compliment. Very -- appreciate that. I will share that with Rachel and Nicolle.

Thank you very much, Senator. Really appreciate your time tonight. Be safe.

Thank you, Senator Sherrod brown. Really appreciate you.

And still ahead, when Trump was nominated in 2016, he promised peace and prosperity. How is that working out so far?


REID: Just a few short ours from now, Donald Trump is going to take his place as ring leaders of this week's circus. Four years ago at the 2016 convention, Trump promised safety to American streets.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace. The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon -- and I mean very soon, come to an end. Beginning on January 20th of 2017, safety will be restored.


REID: Now when he said safety would be restored, those who were paying attention understand he meant for his supporters, and not for all Americans. Given what we've heard so far this week, and the disasters occurring all around him four years in, from the pandemic to an economic disaster and 30 million unemployed, Trump's theme will likely mirror his vice president's, you know, make America great again, again, thing.

Lucky us. We've been given a preview of attacks he will wield against his rival Joe Biden, and Biden is already striking back. We'll have both up next and two guests who really know Trump well.


REID: Donald Trump is expected to throw a lot of red plate to his base tonight and extravagantly attack Joe Biden.

According to excerpts of his speech, Trump will lay it on thick, claiming far from unmitigated disaster, which it has been, Trump and his cronies, those who have been indicted at least, has spent the last four years undoing 47 years of damage by Joe Biden and repeated claim that Joe Biden, you know, Joe Biden, the Delaware senator from the Amtrak, is a radical extremist.

Biden responded in an interview with our own Andrea Mitchell.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We created more jobs in the last three years that he's created so far, number one. So, he inherited, like that old phrase goes, everything he inherited he has screwed up. You know, he's screwed up the economy so badly.

For the last four years, we weren't having riots, racial riots. When they occurred, we protected federal property without hurting people. We moved to a direction that made sense. He's a fiction writer in the extreme.


REID: For now, for more, I'm joined by Tara Dowdell, president of the Tara Dowdell Group, and former "Apprentice" contestant. And Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications director for Donald Trump.

I'm sorry, I was little thrown so terrified of Joe Biden and his extremism, I need to calm down and bring myself back down to level.

Let's talk about these last four days. You guys know Donald Trump well. (INAUDIBLE) had a really great piece in "The Nation", I recommend everybody to read. He talks about the way that black people were used to help make this case. But they weren't making the case to black people. They were making the case in his words to white America saying it is okay for you to vote for somebody who is hitting all the white nationalist buttons because here is a couple black people. Look at this black friend that golfs with him.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump said only one thing, tweeted only one thing about the Jacob Blake shooting. Governor should call the National Guard, I'm gong to end the National Guard, which, by the way, the governor's that's the governor's choice.

Your thoughts, Tara? Is that the way he operates?

TARA DOWDELL, PRESIDENT, THE TARA DOWDELL GROUP: Oh, that is 100 percent the way he operates. Trump is trying to have it both ways. He is going to engage in fearmongering as he's been doing racist, divisive fear mongering while at the same time saying he's done more for the people he's inciting violence against, that he's engaging in fearmongering against, non-white people and in particular black people.

But he's trying to basically, yes, appeal to white people, particularly white women in the suburbs, particularly college educated white people. But he's also trying to appeal to a percentage of black men. And you can see it on social media. You can see it on other channels where you have bots and activities trying to hopefully either get them to vote a percentage, a small percentage, or alternatively not to vote at all.

REID: Yeah.

DOWDELL: But at the end of the day, what Trump does and what he will do tonight is he's going to accuse Biden and Harris of what he's done, what he's doing and what he's planning to do.

REID: Yeah.

DOWDELL: That's what he's going to be.

REID: The big reversal.

Anthony Scaramucci, what's weird is that it's the Democratic convention that has had the crossover appeal. You've now got 300 members of the former Bush campaign, more than 100 members of the McCain campaign, nearly 3,000 members of Mitt Romney's campaign all for Biden. So, it feels like the campaign that's trying to reach people that are not already in their base are the Democrats. Am I wrong?

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Yeah, no question. And they're doing a very good job of that. And I predict there will be more of that to come. Some of the Trump people do not want to come out until October, until they can have maximum impact, joy. But just back to the other statement, he put more African-Americans on stage during the RNC than he's put in the cabinet, the west wing or any top-level job inside the administration.

So it's just very high degree of hypocrisy. But he has always gotten away with this. The entire life, the gaslighting, the hazing, the lighting has caught up with him in the COVID-19 crisis. But that's their bet, gaslighting and lying. I don't think it's going to work.

REID: And, Tara, you are a business owner. I mean, both of you guys know the business world well. April had 25 million jobs lost. You can't hide that. It is not like people can be fooled into thinking they have a job when they don't have a job.

If people aren't getting their checks, they aren't getting their mail, they aren't getting their packages, these are things you can't hide. I am astounded to the extent to which the Republicans think they can make a new fake world where there is no COVID, you are getting your mail and everything is great when it is obvious that it's not, but they're trying.

DOWDELL: The Republicans are going for what we call in politics the big lie, doubling down on the big lie. The thing that you can disprove but they believe if they say it enough that it will penetrate. And in some instances, unfortunately, the big lie does work because there is no accountability for Trump from the Republican Party.

But, look, I am a small business owner, and I will tell you this. I am getting all of my checks late from the clients that pay me by check, and I am not the only small business owner in this situation. And it is incumbent upon Democrats to continue to make sure that people know what Trump is doing.

My mother is not getting her medication. I know many people who are not getting their medication. These are the real world impacts of who Trump is and what a corrupt person he is. And, so, we need to not let him off the hook. He's doubling down on the big lie and we need to double down on the offense of all the damage he's causing.

REID: Yeah, and Anthony Scaramucci, the thing that galls me the most of anything and I've said it so many times, they're now using the White House to put on this show, the people's house, that's owned by the American people. And they're bringing a super -- a COVID super spreader event, there it is. There's the COVID spreader event, just because Trump so desperately needs applause. I mean, your thoughts?

SCARAMUCCI: Listen, it's sad, but hopefully there is a beautiful mosaic, very colorful group of people that will come together, including Republicans like myself, that are going to oust him from the White House on November 3rd. And remember, these three words bother him the most, Joy, so keep using them -- poor, weaker and sicker. That's what he's left America -- 31 million people unemployed, 178,000 have passed, 250,000 will likely die by November 3rd and he's destroyed our alliances.

So poorer, weaker and sicker, keep using those words, drives him bonkers.

REID: And here's the thing about those words, they're accurate. I mean, that is actually what's true.

Tara Dowdell, Anthony Scaramucci, thank you both for being here.

That is THE REIDOUT tonight.

Tomorrow, my guests will include Bill Maher and Mary Trump.

But after the break, I'll be back with Rachel Maddow and Nicolle Wallace for the final night, deep breaths, of the Republican big show.


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