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Transcript: The ReidOut, December 18, 2020

Guests: Lori Lightfoot, Ayanna Pressley


Trump sulks as nation faces unprecedented challenges. Trump silent on apparent Russian cyberattack. Trump says, discussed forming cybersecurity unit with Putin. Trump reportedly considering pardons for Manafort and Assange. Fox News host attacks medical professional for saying vaccinated should still use precautions


DR. JILL BIDEN, JOE BIDEN'S WIFE: It's a surprise.

STEPHEN COLBERT, CBS HOST: It caught me by surprise as well. I did not see that one coming.

BIDEN: No, nor did I. And, you know, it was really that tone of it that I think that -- you know, he called me kiddo. And one of the things I'm most proud of is my doctorate. I mean, worked so hard for it.


That does it for me everybody. THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid is up next.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: America is under assault. Right here at home, we have had nearly 200,000 people infected with COVID every single day. We've lost more than 11,000 Americans to the virus in the past week alone. Yet millions of doses of the lifesaving Pfizer vaccine are sitting in warehouses across the country waiting for the Trump administration to tell the drug maker where the doses should go.

And if that's not enough we're learning about this hack assault by Russia on our infrastructure that is getting worse and more frightening every single day. The civilian cyber security agency in charge of that has warned us that multiple parts of our government and private industry that the attack on it poses a grave risk. Nearly a dozen agencies have been penetrated today. The U.S. government has not pointed the finger at Russia strangely enough.

And you might wonder with all of that happening, you might wonder why it's taken me so long to mention the president of the United States in this open. Well, he's missing in action. You might actually sort of imagine him wondering through the White House like Mad King George, tugging at his robe and clutching his iPad, waiting to tweet out anger about losing the election, which happened like six weeks ago. But he's still so angry and in his feelings, he's paying attention to absolutely nothing else. Still stewing over the election, rather than keeping us safe, which is something he actually took the oath of office vowing to do.

Now, what Trump, does actually care about, what he does care about is getting his revenge and pardoning his friends, pardoning his allies, including people who helped Russia and not the United States over the last several years. According to AXIOS, Trump has considered the pardon for his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and co-conspirator of 2016 DNC hack, Julian Assange. And his silence has been so deafening, it kind of makes you wonder. But, unfortunately, we'll have to wait until January 20th until there's something that we can do about it.

And yesterday, President-elect Joe Biden did warn that his administration would do something to those who are found responsible for attacking our government. And today, he spent the day remembering his first wife and daughter, both of whom were killed 48 years ago today in a car accident.

And joining me now is my friend, Nicolle Wallace, Host of Deadline White House right here on MSNBC, Jonathan Lemire, White House Reporter for the Associated Press, and Malcolm Nance, MSNBC Counterterrorism and Intelligence Analyst.

And, Nicolle, I'm so excited to have you on the show. We have been coveting you for quite some time. And I am excited to talk to you about this, just as somebody who worked in a White House who was a White House staff. You've got to be pulling your hair out watching the way that this administration is ending.

NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: You know, yes and no. And I asked Jeremy Bash, who had a role that would have, in a normal White House, a Democratic or a Republican White House, there would be daily maybe even twice daily meetings in the situation room to figure out how to respond to an attack. That's what this is.

General Hayden called Russia's attack on the 2016 election a political 9/11. Everyone that understands this phase, and I'll defer to Malcolm Nance on this one, says that this attack that is either under way or that we're just uncovering and still don't understand the extent of, is far worse than what they did to this country in 2016. And there's no indication that Donald Trump is participating in, convening or demanding a policy review, an after-action, or contemplating any action.

So, I think that this presidency will end in the opposite way that the Obama presidency ended. It was four years ago this week that then President Obama levied sanctions on Russia for meddling in the 2016 election. And I think all, for all of the ways this president was abnormal and indecent and crass and craven, I think one of the starkest difference between him and not just President Obama, but everyone else, is that when Russia attacks this country, he does nadda, nothing, zilch.

REID: And he doesn't even say anything about it. I mean, Donald Trump is not somebody who is shy about telling us all his feelings. He's all over Twitter day in and day out telling us how he feels.

In fact, Malcolm, you were name checked, so I'll bring you into the conversation, this was back in 2017, and this is after one of his notorious calls to Vladimir Putin, which we probably got no readout on because, of course, we only found out from Russia really what was discussed. But Trump tweeted, Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable cyber security unit so that election hijacking, election hacking and many other negative things will be guarded.

And now he's fallen completely silent and, in fact, is thinking about pardoning at least two people who were involved in helping and boosting Russia rather than the United States. He's already given Michael Flynn a free pass, but now also talking about Julian Assange and Paul Manafort. You're thoughts, Malcolm.

MALCOLM NANCE, MSNBC COUNTER TERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST : Well, Vladimir Putin, when he saw the tweet at the time must have laughed his head off and then turned to his advisers from the Russian intelligence service and said, hey, can we make this unit happen? Because the things will be guarded for Russian intelligence, and that's what's happening, is that the Russians took this seriously. They knew the United States would be disarmed, would be decapitated from the presidency and all of his political sycophants inside these agencies designed to protect us.

Of course, the Russian know that the day-to-day agencies, the National Security Agency, U.S. Cyber Command, Cyber and Infrastructure Security, that they would continue to do their job but without any leadership whatsoever, they can only stretch so far. So the Russians carried out a cyber Pearl Harbor on us.

You know, when we talk about this about two weeks or about five or six days ago, it just looked like it was an initial fishing attack. Now, it appears that it was an all government campaign by Russian intelligence to have a Christmas shopping spree in order to place every type of hack, backdoor crack that they could do inside the United States government before their sycophant, Donald Trump, left office. Donald Trump is as much responsible for this hacking as the Russian intelligence officers themselves. And believe me, Vladimir Putin, he must be going on A.A. with all the champagne and vodka that he has to drink when Donald Trump gets involved.

REID: You know, and, Jonathan, it is a weird time for the White House to just have sort of fallen silent, right? There hasn't been a robust sort of voice from inside the White House about this, so really almost about anything else.

And instead, we're getting this back and forth over whether the Department of Defense is going to even cooperate with the incoming Biden administration. That's now, well, depending on which reports you read, they're either saying, oh, this was mutual, we want to stand down, and the Biden team saying no, we didn't want to stand down, we want to interact, we need to get ready to come in. And you have this sort of quiet, almost lazy White House happening right now. What in the heck is going on?

JONATHAN LEMIRE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: And the president has largely abandoned his job, Joy. He was not seen this week in public, not a single public event at the White House from President Donald Trump at a time of true national crisis, where 3,000 people a day are dying of COVID-19 amid this very dangerous hack that we're learning more of by the day, this assault, cyber assault by Russia.

And the president's silence, the White House's silence, it's sort of ending his term as it began. It was indeed the Obama administration sanctioned Russia for election interference but this administration, the Trump administration, has not lifted a first thing Russia, its entire four years, the president's entire four years in office. In fact, he stood by him in Helsinki and said that -- President Trump said he's sided with Vladimir Putin over the conclusions of the United States' own intelligence agencies when it came to that election interference. And since then, we have seen very little efforts for this administration to try to curb Russian aggression. And this is just the latest example.

And you're right. One of the other ways that this president and his team are not doing their job is not fully cooperating with the transition. The Pentagon claiming that the incoming Biden team, they say, the Pentagon, that it was just agreed upon holiday. The Biden team pushed back strongly against that today in call of reporters, saying they had agreed to no such thing and suggested that national security was being jeopardized by this delay in the transition. And certainly, the lack of leadership from the Oval Office on all of these matters is striking.

REID: You know, and, Nicolle, instead we're getting reports out that Donald Trump is talking to confidants about whether he can restart The Apprentice. Like the calls he's making right now are about whether he can get a T.V. gig when this is all over.

And talking about pardoning people, I mean, think about the statement that it would make to pardon Paul Manafort, who got seven and a half years, two convictions, one in D.C. on in Virginia, conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice, convicted by a grand jury of tax and bank fraud.


REID: Julian Assange, who basically helped hack into our election in 2016 to put Trump in office. And then maybe I don't know, Jared Kushner for funneling money to the president's kids through some crazy side organization or Rudy Giuliani for potential perjury. I mean, the kind of people that he's talking about pardoning, they make quite a statement.

WALLACE: I mean, I was thinking at two things, listening to you with The Apprentice, to the pardons, and it is the whole Trump sandwich cookie, right, from the asinine and ludicrous and foolish aspirations now, someone who is still in office leading a country that's under attack from the coronavirus and Russia at the same time. And he's tweeting his thumbs and Googling whether The Apprentice might still have an audience, on the other hand thinking of pardoning really, really bad guys.

And what all those people have in common, Assange, Manafort, Jared, is that they have worked against American interests. Julian Assange has worked against the state that Donald Trump ostensibly leads. Paul Manafort was prosecuted by the state, not by Democratic prosecutors, as Donald Trump tried to brainwash his own base into believing. Paul Manafort was prosecuted by the United States of America.

So, it is -- the pardons people should look at it as Donald Trump's final betrayal of the country that he was supposed to lead for four years. He never saw himself as less than or even equal to the country he led. And the reason it was such a searing experience to watch these four years, if you spend any time in government, is that he never gave a bleep about the government. And what is the government? The government is there to serve the people.

So, he is going to leave with fantasies about reality Television Shows and his own has-been B list celebrity career while doing lasting, permanent, final damage to the state that he was supposed to lead.

REID: It is searing to see that happen. And, you know, Malcolm Nance, I know that you have thoughts specifically and particularly on the Manafort and the Assange pardons. Can you just lay out for us what that would mean to pardon particularly those two men, if that's what Donald Trump does?

NANCE: Let's talk about Julian Assange first, because, you know, he had a movie and a lot of people see him as some sort of social media hero. He had the single largest release of classified information right up until Edward Snowden stole all of the documents that he had from the CIA and the NSA. Assange put his American co-conspirator in poor health to put him in prison and got off essentially scot-free.

He put himself into isolation in England. No one told him to go to the Ecuadorian Embassy. Now, he is to be held accountable for that. It was the Trump administration that wants to extradite and charge him by getting Julian Assange off. He will have cleaned the Russian Laundromat that actually carried out the 2016 attack on the United States.

Paul Manafort, he's a convicted criminal. The man stole tax money not just from the United States. And to be quite honest, the only benefit that I can see coming out of this entire disgraceful episode is that Letitia James will be sitting there waiting for Manafort for all of the tax fraud that he did against the state of New York.

REID: Yes. And I think all these pardons will just amplify the state cases. I know that people are saying that earlier on Nicolle's show, which we never missed. So, thank you very much for being here, Nicolle Wallace, my friend, I really appreciate it, Jonathan Lemire, as always, Malcolm Nance, always great to have you guys on the show. Thank you. Have a great weekend, everyone.

All right, and coming up after the break, we are going to dig into is this constant media manipulation on the right about the vaccines that is turning Trump's own supporters against the very thing that could save their lives. We've got exactly the right person to talk about this. You're going to want to hear it. We're going to talk about it right after the break.


REID: U.S. politicians have begun to receive the coronavirus vaccine, with Vice President Mike Pence, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all receiving their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine today. Pence, who called the vaccine a medical miracle, televised his vaccination, which President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden will do on Monday. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, are expected to receive vaccinations the following week.

The public show of support for the vaccine could not come soon enough with the U.S. reporting a record number of coronavirus cases, death and hospitalization and the country facing a storm of controversy -- of conspiracy theories. The New York Times has reporting that online misinformation campaigns have shifted from voter fraud to the vaccine. It's gone beyond social media with NBC reporting that anti-vaccination groups are successfully targeting local media outlets in order to get coverage of their protests.

But it reached a new level last night, when Tucker Carlson, whose Fox News boss, Rupert Murdoch has already gotten the vaccine, opened his show by arguing to his millions of viewers that questions raised about the vaccine deserve to be heard.

He also went after Dr. Vin Gupta, who got his vaccine on THE TODAY SHOW, for saying that Americans shouldn't expect to be able to travel and stop social distancing immediately after they receive their vaccines, something an expert like Dr. Anthony Fauci, who Carlson also attacked because, of course, have consistently been saying.

And joining me now is Dr. Vin Gupta, Critical Care Pulmonologist. And I'm so glad that you are available to come on tonight Dr. Gupta, because, you know, all of us on the team watched that rant by Tucker Carlson in horror. A lot of people listen to him.

And it strikes me that, if he listens to his own advice and somehow catches the rona, he can call up Donald Trump and say, hey, let me get some of that sweet, sweet Regeneron, and he will be fine, and the Rushtons (ph) will be fine and all the Richie Riches is will be fine. But the people who watch Tucker Carlson, they won't be fine.

So, let's just go through some of these lies. He said that -- he basically implied that states like New York that have put in more restrictions actually have more cases of coronavirus.

We're going to put up some data here that shows that New York may have had more cases of coronavirus total, because they had earlier outbreak. But, in fact, in terms of new cases, Texas and Florida are doing worse off.

What do you make of this conspiracy theory that's out there that, the more you do to stop coronavirus, the more coronavirus you get?

DR. VIN GUPTA, NBC NEWS MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: It's so hard to rationalize with fact and reason anything he says.

And, I mean -- and so there's a lot to unpack here, Joy. Thank you. And good evening.

What I will say is, what he's doing is, he's accusing those who are focused on science-forward policies that were fearmongering. And it's really dangerous here.

What he's done on vaccines, for example, Joy is, he's basically -- all I was saying was simply what you just paraphrased, which was after that second dose of the vaccine, don't get your guard -- don't let your guard down. You still have to socially distance. You still have to mask for a period of time.

The reason is, it's for the individual who got vaccinated, it's for their benefit and the benefit of their loved ones, because we yet do not know if the vaccine will prevent transmission of this virus. We just don't have the data.

We're developing that data now. And we should hope -- Moderna has some signs that it's actually going to eliminate transmission, in addition to severe -- and mitigate against severe infection. But we -- there's no definitive evidence. And public health experts on the right, on the left, you name it, on both sides of the political aisle are saying the same exact thing.

So, for him to take him at me and say that I'm suggesting that the vaccination essentially is not effective in normalizing life is complete distortion of truth, and it's wrong. And, frankly, it's irresponsible.

And so what I would say here, Joy, is, for anybody watching out there, the vaccination is broadly safe, it's broadly effective, it will save your life, it will save the life of your loved ones, and it will keep you out of the ICU.

REID: And I have to apologize even for having to make you sort of, in theory, debate an entertainer, since he in court says that he's not a news show. But people listen to it like it's the news or the Rushtons (ph), et cetera, because people do listen to them.

And I hate for you to have to debate them, but -- and that would include Ted Cruz, who I'm not even sure if Ted Cruz has an expertise. This is me, not you, saying that. But he went after you too by name, saying: "This is a bizarre, lunatic, totalitarian cult," he said. "It's not about vaccines are protecting people's lives. It's instead profoundly anti-science and only focused on absolute government control over every aspect of our lives."

This is him tweeting at you and attacking you personally.

And what the right is saying and the conspiracy theories they're putting out are that the vaccine idea is not about saving lives at all. It's about exerting government control over individual Americans.

What is your response to that?

GUPTA: Well, Senator Ted Cruz has -- is an elected official, and he has a responsibility to protect the public interest and public health.

In theory, Tucker Carlson should be beholden to the same ideals. They're distorting this conception of freedom.

See, Joy, you and I and others that believe in science and are messaging on science view freedom as the ability to live a long, healthy life, for your loved ones to live a long, healthy life. That's how we can see the freedom and the ability to actually be free of this pandemic by the by the middle to end of summer, hopefully, so you can start planning vacations, have a normal holiday season.

We don't want any sort of totalitarian lockdown. The fact that Senator Ted Cruz is referring to me and those who are just paraphrasing what the surgeon general, the incumbent surgeon general is saying, what the current FDA incumbent is saying, what the current CDC leaders are saying is obviously distortion of the truth.

And they're looking for attention. They're not looking to protect the public's interest.

REID: Yes, indeed. And they're making a lot of money doing this.

This is another conspiracy theory out there. And this is going to sound ludicrous, so, again, I apologize.

You got the vaccine. You did on "The Today Show." Are you now being tracked by the government? Do the vaccines contain tracking devices that will allow the government to track people? And I feel stupid asking that, but is that true?

GUPTA: No, not at all.

And I will say this again. Not at all. And, unfortunately, we're going to have to continue the message on this.

To all your viewers out there, Joy, across the country, this vaccine is broadly safe, and this vaccine keeps people out of the ICUs.

Senator Ted Cruz and Tucker Carlson and those who are propagating this myth of some form of distortion of the truth, they haven't cared for patients in the ICU. They have likely probably not had a loved one in the ICU or somebody who's fallen ill from this virus. Otherwise, they wouldn't be talking like this.

This keeps your loved ones and yourself out of the ICU. We have 3,300 people died in this country just from COVID-19 yesterday. This virus is in the worst space that it's ever been in our country's history right now.

We need to be vigilant. We need to not travel for the holidays, and we need to get vaccinated and just keep our guard up for a few months afterwards, and we will have a normal summer.

REID: Yes.

And the people that are that are pushing these conspiracy theories are, by and large, wealthy. A lot of them are congenitally wealthy or born rich. They're always going to be rich.

Are they going to be able to get to the front of the line to get the vaccine? There are stories out now about people offering to donate big amounts of money. If I donate $25,000, will that help me get it, if I donate it to some -- to the Cleveland clinic?

Can people buy this vaccine for cash, as some of the very people who are saying don't take the vaccine, maybe they will be pushing to the front of the line to try to do? Can you buy the vaccine?

GUPTA: In theory, no, Joy.

But, of course, there's things that happen in the shadows that who knows. But the policy is such that vaccine supply right now only goes to those in that 1-A group, front-line health care workers, those who live in nursing facilities. That's exclusive to the case.

So, if there's leakage there, and there's some malfeasance happening, I can't speak to that. But, no, that should not be happening. To reassure individuals here, that next phase, that next group is going to include more essential front-line workers, not just those that work in hospitals.

It's hopefully going to include individuals who have chronic conditions, are more vulnerable to a bad outcome if they get exposed to the virus. We're going to go about this in the right way. And the majority of people believe in that. And it's just on us to continue to message on science and to really push back against the Tucker Carlson of this world.

REID: Yes, I hope the Amazon workers and the people who work in retail and in meatpacking places, they should get it first, before TV commentators who make a lot of money telling people things that aren't true.

Dr. Vin Gupta, it's always great to see you. Thank you so much. Really appreciate you. Happy holidays.

And still ahead, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is here. She will be here to share her thoughts on that botched police raid that left a Chicago woman standing naked as police searched the wrong apartment.

Stay with us.


REID: Not a day goes by in this country that we are not reminded of the serious problem that black folks have at the hands of police.

Newly released police body camera video from the Ahmaud Arbery case shows Arbery was still alive when police first arrived after he was shot by three men who chased him in a Georgia neighborhood back in February. But as he lay dying in the middle of the street gasping for air, the first responding officer did not -- did not even bother to try to provide any immediate help.

In New York, a watchdog report found that police there badly mishandled the summer's George Floyd protests, indicating the police were undertrained, were unprepared and had engaged in excessive enforcement that only heightened tensions with demonstrators.

And this week, we learned about a Chicago case from last year in which police raided the wrong home and terrorized an innocent black woman Anjanette Young, who was handcuffed while naked by a group of male officers, who milled around for half-an-hour while she stood there handcuffed and humiliated.

Young joined me earlier this week and talked about how she feared for her life.


ANJANETTE YOUNG, SOCIAL WORKER: The guns were pointed and drawn in I was fearful for my life. And I actually thought that, if I made any type of wrong move, that they would shoot me.


REID: Joining me now is Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

And, Mayor Lightfoot, thank you so much for accepting our invitation. I'm really glad to have the opportunity to talk with you.

I want to play one more bite just from this interview with Ms. Young, because I think this is an important setup to a question, I would really like to ask you. Take a listen.


YOUNG: It didn't feel like any man in there cared anything about me as a woman or a female. They didn't even view me as in, this could be my mom or my sister or my cousin or any female that they cared about.

They didn't care about what was happening to me.


REID: And, Mayor Lightfoot, that was heartbreaking to listen to, but it wasn't surprising.

There are an -- there are a lot of police forces that have a lot of problems. But the Chicago police have a particular reputation for callousness, for disregard of human life when that life is black.

Do you feel that the Chicago Police Department, just on balance, not every single officer, but, on balance, treats black life with respect?

MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D-IL), CHICAGO: Well, I'm answering that question and reflecting on -- again on Ms. Jones' pain.

And let me just say, watching that again -- I saw it for the first time on Tuesday morning and I haven't seen it since then -- it just takes your breath away. And seeing her well up in response to your question is absolutely painful to bear witness.

Look, I'm the mayor of the city, but I'm also black woman. And I have had numerous conversations this week with my sisters, with my black girlfriends. And I know that, if I wasn't mayor, that could be me. That could have been somebody coming in my house in the middle of the night in front of my child.

She was treated with utter disrespect. There's no question about it.

It's part of the reason why I have directed our police superintendent to make sure that every single police officer, 13,400, see that video, hear her pain and her anguish. There's a larger problem here, Joy, and it's not just those officers in that video.

If we forget get the humanity of the people that we are sworn to protect, to honor, to serve, there's a larger problem. And the problem certainly lies within the police department. That seems abundantly clear, which is why we instituted changes in the search warrant policy that were not in effect in February of '19, before I became mayor.

But what I also know, over the course of this week, and didn't -- into the details, that other people saw that video and treated it as standard fare.

REID: Well, I mean, there's search warrant policy, and then there's just the policy of the way that police interact with individual black people.

The Laquan McDonald case was another case in which the interaction was instant and was violent. In this case, it was not only violent. It was humiliating. It was in disregard of her humanity. There's a pattern that also includes the inability of victims and of people who are interested in these cases being able to get evidence of that.

So, you had the Laquan McDonald case. You had the mayor at the time -- it was not your mayoralty -- withhold the video. In this case, Ms. Young states that she had a very difficult time getting that video as well.

And you, of course, were brought in, as somebody who people felt was going to change things. Why was it so difficult for Ms. Young to get hold of that video?

LIGHTFOOT: It shouldn't have been. It absolutely shouldn't have been.

She was the victim. And I have been very, very clear. And we're going to change and write new policy. When a victim asks for information about something that happened to them, particularly at the hands of the police -- but it doesn't stop with just the police -- they should be able to get that information without having to file a FOIA request, without having to have a lawyer.

And that was a mistake. And we have to correct that mistake. Ms. Young has unfortunately been revictimized over and over again since at night in February of 2019.

And, unfortunately, she's not the only person to whom this has happened. It is a systemic problem. And we're working to fix that.

But, Joy, back to your original question, how do you train people to be decent human beings, to put themselves in the position of the person that they're acting upon? What that says to me...


REID: Can I -- I don't mean to -- yes.

I don't mean to interrupt you but get one way that you could do that is that you don't train them do that at all. You take away their liability protection. Do you believe that the police department in Chicago, that individual officers in the department should not enjoy broad liability protection?

If you're afraid of being sued, you might behave yourself a little bit more.

LIGHTFOOT: They don't enjoy broad liability protection, Joy.

You know this. The city of Chicago over the last 10 years has paid out almost a billion dollars in settlements, judgments and attorneys' fees related to police misconduct. So, there's proof-positive right there that there's a level of accountability.

And -- but can I finish my other point, which is this?

REID: Sure.

LIGHTFOOT: We have got to do a better job of who we allow to be police officers.

We have got to do a better job all along the way in their career of holding them accountable. If you don't have common decency and respect, you cannot be a police officer. Police officers can only be effective if they are viewed with legitimacy, if they act with legitimacy in the way in which they deal with individuals.

Our police superintendent said this, this week, and he's 100 percent right. No matter what the circumstances, when you go into somebody's home, which, under our system of laws, is sacrosanct, you must treat them with respect, period.

And that didn't happen. And so it's a larger systemic problem along the way that we have got to correct. And it starts with who we recruit, who we allow to be police officers, and how we train them, and, of course, a level of accountability that we have.

REID: Indeed.

And we are out of time, but very quickly, do you -- will the officers involved in this be fired?

LIGHTFOOT: Look, there's an internal investigation is going on that is independent. I don't want to step on that. But my full expectation is, every single person and the officers who touched this, who were responsible for getting that search warrant, they have to be held accountable, period.

REID: We hope that you will come back and keep us updated on this case.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, thank you very much. We really appreciate you taking the time. have a great weekend. Cheers.

And up next: Republicans are lining up to support Trump's fantasies about election fraud, while trying to blow up COVID relief negotiations with outrageous demands.

And to that, we say "What the Duck?"


REID: As I said last night, Congress has two choices for the remaining 33 days of the Trump administration, also known as the lame-duck session, start working hard or hardly be working.

And, true to form, Mitch McConnell's Republican senators are working very hard at doing the latter, at least for you, to which I heartily ask what the actual duck?

Yes, that's right. They are kicking the can down the road on a COVID relief package and funding the government for another two days.

And Donald Trump certainly isn't helping, since he's still all in his feelings over losing the election. Instead, he's tweeting his praise for the newest entrant into the Senate's antebellum caucus, former football coach and Alabama senator-elect Tommy Tuberville, who suggested that he might join his fellow Alabamian in Congress Mo Brooks in contesting the Electoral College results on January 6, because why not waste more of Congress' time?

Tuberville told Alabama's Yellow Hammer News he's going to do his due diligence and get Mo's side of it. He also said he would do -- quote -- "background work, like I did when I was coaching."

Well, he certainly knows something about blowing a lead, just like the Republicans he's joining in the Senate, who stalled talks over a COVID relief package at the one-yard line today -- you see what I did there -- arguing over whether struggling Americans deserve a paltry $600 or $1,200 and trying to block Joe Biden's ability to extend economic relief through the Federal Reserve.

With me now, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Lawrence O'Donnell, host of "THE LAST WORD" right here on MSNBC.

Thank you both for being here.

I got to go to you first, Lawrence, because we ought to talk Senate for just a moment.

You have got Pat Toomey, who has basically term-limited himself, he's not running for reelection, leading a Republican push that would cut the Federal Reserve's ability in its lending authority, basically kneecapping the incoming Biden administration's ability to provide additional relief through the Fed.

You have got Ron Johnson, when he's not busy running after Hunter Biden and trying to find his laptop, et cetera, or doing election conspiracy theories, dismissing $1,200 stimulus checks as mortgaging our children's future, when these both voted for the draconian tax cuts that robbed us of a trillion dollars.

You got Ron Paul -- you know what? Let me just let you listen to Ron Paul. Here's Ron Paul yesterday.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): Hmm, let me think about it.

We're going to print up money and give it to people who haven't lost their job. What could be dumber as an idea?


REID: Rand Paul. I sometimes mistake him for his equally weird father.

The Senate is essentially at this point willing to let the government damn near run out of money because they don't want to give anybody, regular people any money. Explain how this works. You know the Senate.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Well, this is simply what Republican control of the Senate is about.

If we -- if there were Democratic control the Senate, it would be operating just like the House at this point, just like Congresswoman Pressley is going to -- has voted for much bigger relief packages than this that the Senate has ignored.

I -- Joy, for the last week, I have gone back word for word to Steve Schmidt's description of the Republican Party. He says that it is an organized conspiracy to preserve the power of the elected officials in that conspiracy.

And that is it. It is -- every single thing you look at it, it comes down to nothing but that.

When I worked in the Senate, I believed people like Mitch McConnell actually had some policy beliefs and they believed in a smaller government than I did, and they believed in smaller funding for bills like this, and it made sense to me on a policy level.

That's gone, because they showed, with Donald Trump, they don't believe in any policy whatsoever. And so they need to deliver something to those two Senate candidates in Georgia, who can claim they got it for Georgians. That's the only thing that's in it for the Republican Senate.

But they don't actually care about anything other than those two individual senators getting reelected. And they need to give them something. But they absolutely don't want to deliver what Congresswoman Pressley and the Democrats in the House have already delivered.

REID: But you know what? And I agree with you. They are interested in preserving power.

But, Congresswoman Pressley, the Occam's razor way for any politician to preserve their own job, right, is to deliver for the vast majority of the people who are going to vote. And if you think about what people need right now, people are losing their homes, they're losing their jobs, people are unemployed, people are hungry going into the Christmas season, right?

And what Republicans are out there arguing is, well, if you give people too much money, it's going to make them not want to go to work. If you let people have stimulus, then that's going to make them lazy.

They're arguing Ayn Rand, sort of ephemeral issues, rather than talking about things that would actually help people. And I don't understand how that even gets you reelected, unless, oh, yes, gerrymandering. No one can vote you out. It feels like a vicious cycle.

REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MA): Absolutely, Joy.

And it is more of the same from this GOP-led Senate, who continues to carry the corrupt, cruel and callous water of the Trump administration. They are completely disconnected and removed from the hardship that American people are experiencing every day, hardship that has been caused by a pandemic that Donald Trump allowed to rage out of control because of his willful criminality, which has created great economic hardship.

At this point, these are not even stimulus checks. These are survival checks. My constituents need these monies to remain safely housed. We are looking at an eviction tsunami, at the threat of a tent city throughout this country, in the midst of a second surge of a pandemic.

Families need these monies to remain safely housed, to purchase groceries, to purchase diapers, to purchase formula, to purchase inhalers; $600 does not even cover one month's rent.

And the fact -- the reason why -- I want the American people to understand this. This is only a part of the negotiations, direct cash relief, because of what the Democrats have been fighting for and what progressives have been fighting for, for the last eight months is direct cash relief and reoccurring payments.

It is the Democrats who have been fighting for rent and mortgage cancellation, eviction foreclosure moratoriums, for worker protections. It is the Republicans who have been obstructionists at every turn for the last four years of any progress. They have been obstructionists in voting rights in the Emmett Till anti-lynching bill, in an infrastructure bill, in reducing the cost of prescription drugs.

And if they can approve a $740 billion NDAA, I don't want to hear about a deficit, because the only deficit is a deficit of empathy, and their abdication of responsibility to lead and to provide the American people for real relief for the hurt that they are experiencing.

Georgia, do your thing.

REID: It's pretty amazing.

PRESSLEY: I know we're asking a lot from Georgia, but do your thing, Georgia. Do what you do.

All eyes are on Georgia. Mitch McConnell, Loeffler, Perdue, they are the Bonnie and Clyde of corruption. They are all the same. We need to regain control of the Senate. Georgia, do what you do.

REID: I could not have said it any better. So, I'm just going to leave it right there.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, thank you so much.

Lawrence O'Donnell is going to stick with us, because we have got an important conversation to have after this break, because there's a great thing that Lawrence does. Its kids in need of desks. It's exciting. It's something that we and my family participate in every year.

It's on the other side of the break. We're going to talk a little bit more about it.

Stay right there.


REID: This pandemic has shown us how many things we take for granted, none more important than education.

But now, for a moment, imagine showing up at school, and there were no desks for you to sit at, so you had to learn and concentrate while sitting on the floor. That's a sad reality many students around the world face in school every day.

My colleague and friend Lawrence O'Donnell, now for the 10th year, is actually doing something about it for girls in Malawi, with the K.I.N.D. Fund, a partnership between MSNBC and UNICEF.

And Lawrence is back with me.

And, Lawrence, I love this, that you do this every year. We give our desks every year as well. But this year, I did the scholarships. So, explain the difference, because you can do the desks, or you can do the scholarships. Explain.

You can actually do both.


O'DONNELL: Well, we added the scholarships -- the scholarships for girls' component a couple of years into the program.

And it's because the girls high school graduation rate in Malawi is half of the boys. It's a phenomenon that occurs elsewhere in the world. And public high school in Malawi is not free. There's a small tuition. But any tuition is too expensive for most families.

And so that's where we step in. And we supply the tuition to get the girls through every year of high school that they can stay in high school. And it's a very direct result of your giving. You see it right away.

I mean, when I'm over there, it is so moving to see the girls. We have now gotten more than 10,000 girls to be able to stay in high school, on the way to graduating from high school.

We have Joyce Chisale, who is now starting medical school. College and medical school are combined in Malawi. She's going to be doing that starting this academic year. And we tracked her from her second year of high school. She was sent home from high school because she couldn't afford the school fees. We heard about that. We got her back in, in a couple of weeks.

And she's just a fantastic student. And she's representative of so many girls in Malawi who are on this scholarship program. And I agree with you, Joy. I'm so glad you chose scholarships this year. I'm always torn about which way do I go with desks or scholarships.

REID: Yes.

O'DONNELL: I tend to split it.

But the immediacy of the effect of those scholarships is very, very powerful to see.

REID: Well, and people, I think, just -- it's hard to get your head around, because we do have public school in this country. But it's not like it's a universal thing.

Around the world, in a lot of countries, including on the continent, you have to pay to go to school, which means that particularly girls, when a family has to make the choice whether the boys or the girls, if they can scrounge up the money, they choose the boys.

And so you have this underrepresentation of girls being able to get a basic high school education. And what does that do to the economies of these countries?

O'DONNELL: Well, one of the struggles with the Malawi economy is, they don't have a tax base that could finance a public high school system, without asking for some kind of tuition.

So, it's the third or fourth poorest country in the world. And so, it fluctuates between three and fourth. And so you don't have a tax base that can fund the system that you want to see there. And then the challenge of asking for tuition is, so few kids can afford that, so few families can afford it.

And in a family of five, they might have the tuition for one of the kids.

REID: Yes.

O'DONNELL: And so the need is so phenomenally great and relentless. And the input, that cash infusion of paying those school fees, is such an immediate life-changing thing for girls, to go from a second year of high school dropout, who then has no job prospects literally for the rest of her life.

That girl will be married by the end of what would have been, say, her second or third year in high school, because it's the only way she can continue and survive in that world.

REID: Yes.

O'DONNELL: And so, it changes the lives of these girls instantaneously.

REID: Yes.

And if people want to give, where do they do that?

O'DONNELL: You go to MSNBC -- It's up there on your screen.

You can make the phone call to 1-800-4-UNICEF, but You can donate in the name of anyone on your holiday gift list. UNICEF will send them an acknowledgement of that gift.

REID: Yes.

O'DONNELL: And some people have given me the gift of desks this year, including, including the staff of "THE LAST WORD." They're so great -- there's -- it's really great.

REID: We love it. Well, we do it every year at the Reid household.

I'm going with you to Malawi one of these years. You're taking me with you, man. Thank you very much.

O'DONNELL: You got to come.

REID: Appreciate you. Have a great weekend. Cheers. I'm coming with you.

And before we go this week's moment of Joy, a clever PSA about wearing masks that even caught Cardi B's attention. Here it is.


UNIDENTIFIED SINGER (singing): Now, from the hop, it's a bop, saying wear a mask, please. When you go out to the shop, you have got to a wear mask, please.

You have got to stop, stop, stop and just wear a mask, please. Don't just hold it like a prop. You have got to wear a mask, please.


REID: Love that.

That is tonight's REIDOUT.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


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