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Transcript: The ReidOut, December 3, 2020

Guests: Christina Geer, Chuck Rosenberg, Eric Swalwell, Ashish Jha, Michael Eric Dyson


GOP Senator Perdue under scrutiny for stock trades. GOP infighting ahead of Georgia Senate runoffs. Trump ally Lin Wood says Georgia's GOP governor should be locked up. Congress has not yet passed comprehensive police reform, and not because the House hasn't tried; such reforms have met their untimely deaths in Grim Reaper Mitch McConnell's Senate.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: You can press your cable homepage, search for Melber, that's M-E-L-B-E-R, press DVR. And then if you're ever away or busy, you can always catch up on episodes of THE BEAT. We'd love for you to do that.

Don't go anywhere. THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid starts now.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Martha Stewart, Queen of Domesticity, Baroness of the bunt cake, and ironic gal pal of Snoop D-O double shizzle your nizzle. Now, despite her fame and her wealth, Ms. Stewart once sold a bunch of stock one day before those very stock prices plummeted. She never faced criminal insider trading charges, but she still served five months in prison for lying to authorities during an investigation of that sale.

Enter Republican Senator David Perdue, who may or may not be able to whip up a homemade creme fraiche, he was scrutinized for possible insider trading for his sale of more than $1 million worth of stock.

Now, the system must work differently for Perdue because the Justice Department, also known as Trump/Barr and Associates, declined to bring charges. And now, we're learning that Perdue is the Senate's most prolific stock trader.

According to The New York Times, Perdue sometimes made 20 or more transactions in a single day and nearly 2,600 trades in a single term, most of which are in companies that stood to benefit from policy and spending matters that came not just before the Senate as a whole but before the committees and sub committees on which he served. I mean, when did he have time to pass bills?

Now, we know that almost none of Donald Trump's campaign promises came true, but in particular his vow to drain the swamp was clearly a joke, because perhaps he, his cronies and his family are that swamp's main artery. And the fishy financial transactions of Perdue and his fellow Georgia senator, Kelly Loeffler, are the latest in this wide open, bombs out, naked corruption that we are seeing from the Republican Party writ large.

This corruption is new, of course, but what is new is that the Frankenstein's monster that ate the Republican Party for lunch isn't just Trump anymore. It's an entirely new set of people who even Trump can't get his little stubby arms around. It's folks like Trumpian Attorney Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, who are lighting up Republican infighting in Georgia in ways that could cause the gritty old party everything.

Now, the attorney I just mentioned, Lin Wood, isn't just stoking conspiracy theories about the election, he is now accusing Georgia's Republican governor, Brian Kemp, of being personally complicit in election fraud. Here is what Wood said in rally that was streamed on MTD.


ATTY. LIN WOOD, PRO-TRUMP ATTORNEY: And he can resign. And as far as I'm concerned, lock him up.


REID: You heard that, right? Lock him up, a man, a Republican white man, and a man who is so Republican, he gained his own gubernatorial election when he was secretary of state so he could defeat Stacey Abrams and become the governor in the first place, that Brian Kemp.

But that isn't the wildest part of this fever swamp of delusion. Wood also told the audience, get this, not to vote in the Georgia runoffs, because he says the system is rigged.


WOOD: If Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue do not do it, they have not earned your vote. Don't you give it to them? Why would you go back and vote in another rigged election? For God sake, fix it.


REID: You simply cannot make this stuff up.

Joining me now is Jason Johnson, Professor of Journalism and Politics at Morgan State University, Christina Greer, Associate Professor at Fordham University and Politics Editor at The Grio, and Chuck Rosenberg, former U.S. Attorney and former senior FBI official, a esteemed panel here today.

Jason I'm going to skip the fabulous woman in the glass, let's go to you first. You I'm tempted to go to her because of her glasses. But, Jason, this is insane. This is like the most complicated game of Jenga ever. You have David Perdue, who apparently just buys stock while he's a senator, and like find out what's happening through his inside information and buys a lot of stock. And then, now you have Lin Wood say, don't vote in that election and put him back in because it's Brian Kemp who kind of stole an election for himself. He's also -- I don't understand it. Explain Georgia to me please right now?

JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: So, Joy, like this Lin Wood thing, I watched this over and over again. And I am convinced that this a Scooby Doo episode. This is the point where he would tear off his mask that he's Chuck Schumer. Like this is -- this couldn't work any better for the Democratic Party, like the Republicans have an inherent advantage when it comes to turnout. You know, Georgia has only been bluish for about a month now.

But this is not just infighting. When you have people not just questioning the value and significance of voting, what Republicans actively telling Republicans to not vote, they may seriously actually blow these elections.

And I want people to understand this about Georgia in case they are confused as to how the state really plays out. Once you get outside of metro Atlanta, or Savannah, it's Trump country, okay? The only place where things are competitive is just how big metro Atlanta is.

And so these people are not outliers. They're not crazy. They were in Alpharetta. That is a North Atlanta suburb. So if they can get a hearing in these places and they can say, yes, you shouldn't vote in the election for the corrupt inside traders and instead let in the two guys who we say want to defund police. Well, we'd rather have that than someone who doesn't like Trump.

I don't know how this works. I don't know how this movie script (ph) of campaign messaging works but it doesn't end up working for the Republican Party. If I was Jon Ossoff and Warnock right now, they're high fiving. they may actually march into office based on this incompetence.

REID: I mean, if he ripped off his face and he was Chuck Schumer, I would die.

But, you know, we're at the point Christina where you've got Newt Gingrich who invented the politics of personal destruction. It's like the ultimate Georgia Republican villain mincing, oh, no, don't listen to Lin Wood, don't listen to Sidney Powell, they're crazy. Like you got him going after them. They're all eating each other alive. And you're right, it's over two senators who both appear to be inside traders.

CHRISTINA GREER, THE GRIO POLITICAL EDITOR: Yes. Indeed Joy. And, you know, I've asked you this several times. I keep asking you, are they trolling us? Like what is happening? Because you know that the Republican Party -- I mean, I'm laterally confused. I feel like my PhD was just out of the window. Because I am absolutely confused as to why it is the Republican Party has chosen this moment, Joy, because the Republicans need to hold on to their majority so that Mitch McConnell can try and slow down or obstruct any policy positions of Joe Biden.

What the Republican Party is doing right now is almost trying to make sure that the Democrats win in Georgia, take a majority, Chuck Schumer is the majority leader, and then the Democrats will have unified government for at least two years and Joe Biden can actually try and push forward certain legislative agendas that, quite honestly, they haven't able to even think about since the first half of the first term of Barack Obama.

So this is, I think, a result of Donald Trump in the sense that he is practiced the politics of individuality and so many of the people in his party that just cater to him. And so now the Republican Party as a whole has no real compass, no real ideology. And now that Donald Trump is projected the loser, he will be leaving on January 20th by hook or crook, they're just scrambling.

And now we see, as Jason has said, they're starting to eat themselves and, sadly, they're going to eat their young. There isn't even a vision about the future of the Republican Party with younger people across the country, senators, members of the House, governors, who should be being elevated at this moment to think about 2024.

REID: Well, their vision is don't let them vote. I mean, it's ironic that Brian Kemp could have crushed the belief of black people in voting. But instead, black folks like believe deeply in voting and they're voting, and they're just like telling each other not to vote. It's wild.

But I want to get just back a little bit, Chuck, to this idea of Perdue himself, because we started -- I started talking about Martha Stewart, right? Martha Stewart got in a lot of trouble for doing a small little bit of stock trading based on what was said to be inside informs and not telling the truth when she was confronted about it by the FBI. Sounds familiar for assuming he just got pardoned for that or much worst. But David Perdue, what he seems to have been doing is systemically playing the market while he was a senator.

In your view, is he potentially in legal trouble and is Kelly Loeffler in similar legal trouble?

CHUCK ROSENBERG, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Right. Well, great question, Joy. First of all, trading a lot is not a crime. Trading more than any other senator is not a crime. But if he's trading on inside information, meaning, he has some advantage that you and I as members of the public don't have, and he's trading on that, that's not just the problem, that's a crime. And if you recall there was a congressman from Upstate New York, a gentleman named Chris Collins, who was convicted of that, right?

So, what we need to know is whether he had inside information and traded on it. You have to show that he did it intentionally. And that's always is hard. But, you know, I don't think on a yard sign, it would look very good to say questionable ethical behavior but not indicted for it. That's not really a campaign slogan but that's where we're at right now, and that is troubling. Is it criminal? Don't know enough yet.

REID: Well, I mean, by the way, they both have been saying Loeffler and Perdue, part of their campaign thing is, we never got indicted for any of this. I mean, so that is part of what they're saying, believe it or not. I want to stay with you just for a moment Chuck.

You've also got this lawyer in Florida, because, of course, Florida cannot be left out with a story that's embarrassing. Florida is like, I got to get in here, hold my beer. This is lawyer said -- let me just play what he said. This is a lawyer that is apparently a member of the bar in Florida. Here he is.


BILL PRICE, FLORIDA ATTORNEY: I can do whatever it takes, and if that means changing your address for the next two months, so be it. I'm doing that. I'm moving to Georgia.


REID: So WSB Investigative Reporter Nicole Carr is who recorded this, recorded this nearly hour-long video. The guy's name is Bill Price. But shortly before, it got deleted. He was contacted by the station, WSB, denied that he was serious about the move. But what WSB went and confirmed he had registered to vote using his brother's address in Georgia.

So, basically, you have this guy encouraging people to commit voter fraud and then apparently maybe committing it. How much trouble is he in?

ROSENBERG: Well, if I were still a government prosecutor, Joy, I would mark that tape government exhibit one, submit it into evidence. I mean, this is not good. Even if it's just rhetoric, even if it's just rhetoric, it's awful. You don't often have people soliciting crimes and encouraging crimes on video tape. And that's what he seems to be doing.

Now, look, I don't mean to glib about this. Maybe it's just rhetoric and he get off the hook that way. But it's deeply disturbing to have anybody, particularly an election official, talking about committing a crime.

Can I just add one thing, Joy?

REID: Yes.

ROSENBERG: Yes, I wanted to tell Christina from a fellow Jumbo, it's nice to see you, and she'll know being a Jumbo is not an insult. It's our college mascot.

GREER: That's right.

REID: I love it. I thought you were going to complicating her glasses, which is the right thing to do. Well, then I'll stay with you for a second, Christina. I mean, you've got an aide to Donald Trump being actually literally barred from the DOJ building because she's in there like trying to solicit and force people to give information that might help this sort of loony case that Donald Trump is trying to build, 46-minute he did to try to prove that there's something fraudulent going on. I don't understand why anyone is still going along and helping him do this.

But I do wonder if long-term for these people who are going to be probably going to get jobs in academia, going back out into world, what happens to all of these people after they sully themselves in this way?

GREER: Well, I mean, Joy, we've talk about this and we're still trying to figure it out. I mean, the only person who thus far seems unscathed is Donald Trump. He seems to be the one who's Teflon. Everyone else either leaves in shame, they're reputation is in shambles, they either have gone to prison, are going to prison or are trying to stay out of prison.

I really do hope that American universities across the country do not do what they do with Sean Spicer and give them a cushy fellowships, lots of money for them to sit there and push rhetoric that was complete nonsense and, you know, an agenda that's antithetical to American democracy. So, I really do hope the academy stands up against this regime.

But I actually don't know where these people go. I mean, I'm sure some of them will be able to make money in a lot of sectors. We know that Donald Trump will most likely spend at least the first year or two out of his presidency trying to stay out of prison himself. And you'll probably throw lots of his former colleagues under the bus if he has too because that's what he has always done.

You know, you and I have deep Florida roots, but I have been in New York for a very long time, as have you, and we know that Donald Trump has always been a liar, a cheater and a thief. Why people still continue to work with him, I have never understood that.

REID: Yes.

GREER: But this is his M.O. I mean, this is what he's always done as a businessman in New York and New Jersey and, sadly, he's been doing this as the president of the United States.

REID: Well, and, you know, Jason, you've got the daughter, you've got Ivanka Trump now being questioned about whether the inaugural fund was just basically a way to funnel money into the Trump organization. She's trying to defend herself on that. So, you have all of this just messiness.

But I want to get back to Donald Trump for just a moment because he's going to now go on Saturday. You're going to be hosting in my old hour, on A.M. Joy. I don't know if it's going to be at the same time. But he is going down there to Georgia. What is he going to say? I mean, isn't it most likely that he just repeats the 46-minute video and says that stuff and nothing about Loeffler and Perdue?

JOHNSON: Yes. So like if you've ever been pre-pandemic to a wedding, where somebody takes the microphone and they talk nothing about the bride and groom, they just talk about themselves and traffic and their marriage for 45 minutes, that's what this is going to be, right? Like Donald Trump is not going to come down there and do an actual campaign event. He's going to come down there and scream and yell.

And it's going to be festive. It's going to be the airing of grievances of all the people who haven't treated him properly. And then in the end, he'll mispronounce Kelly Loeffler's name. He'll compare Perdue to chicken and then he'll walk off the stage.

I don't think people understand just how insignificant Trump himself is going to be when he goes down there. And, look, I get, damned if you, do damned if you don't. If he doesn't show then, the Republicans in the red part of the state say, oh, my gosh, these guys aren't loyal enough, but he is no longer helpful. The data is out there. Donald Trump rallies don't help as much.

And here is something else, Joy. I want to say this really quick about the guy in Florida, you know, talking about illegal voting and everything else like that. At some point, some of these lawyers have to be challenged. Some of these lawyers need to be disbarred. Some of these lawyers need to be suspended. They need to be censured. The only bar they could be a part of would be like Moe's or Patty's Pub or something. No real bar in any state should allow these people anymore.

And if the Biden Administration wants to stop these kinds frivolous lawsuits going forward, they need to start investigate these people and have them removed from having their legal licenses.

REID: Well, and, I mean -- and that is a good question. Before we go, we are a little bit out of time. But I want to play just one more thing. Because there is another bar, which is Bill Barr, William Barr, who I wonder why if he shouldn't have the same sanctions facing him, to be honest, based on the things he's done.

Let me really quickly play what Trump had to say about whether he's confident in him still.


REPORTER: Do you still have confidence in Bill Barr?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ask me that in a number of weeks from now. And they should be looking at all of this fraud. This is not civil. He thought this was civil. This is not civil. This is criminal stuff. This is very bad, criminal staff.


REID: Chuck, you know William Barr. If, in fact, he gets fired by Donald Trump, what becomes of him? He's torched his reputation. I can't imagine what becomes of him after this is all over.

ROSENBERG: Yes, I don't think there is much he can do to save the reputation among those of us who work in the Department of Justice, Joy. I mean, the fact that he said the other day that, you know, the earth is round and the sunrises in the east, essentially that there was no evidence of criminal election fraud doesn't get him any points in my book.

He's gone way too far and lied too often. He lied about the contents of the Mueller report. He undermined confidence in the Department of Justice among us alum when he intervened on behalf of the president for Flynn and Stone. I don't there's anything he can do at this point to save his legacy.

REID: Yes, there is no laundering that reputation. Jason Johnson, Christina Greer, Chuck Rosenberg, thank you all very much, you're all great.

And be sure to check out the latest episode of Chuck's podcast, The Oath, where, in fact, talks with former FBI Director Robert Mueller. And, of course, Jason will be hosting A.M. Joy this weekend.

Before we take a quick break, remember this Michigan woman? Thank you, Christian Greer, as well, all you guys were great.

Remember this Michigan woman who made wild claims about mysterious food vans allegedly stuffed with phony ballots?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never saw anything being brought out of the vans, but the vans were not big enough to be carrying enough food for two-thirds of those workers.


REID (voice over): A judge found her claims not credible. But despite that, she's back as Trump star witness at a Michigan lawsuit hearing. And even Rudy found it really embarrassing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How about the turnout rate, 120 percent?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why? We're not seeing a poll off by 30,000 votes. That's not --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What if you guys do take it and do something crazy to it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just saying the numbers are not off by 30,000 votes. So --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- what you're saying about they're filling in --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know what I saw. And I signed something saying that if I'm wrong, I can go to prison. Did you?


REID: Hello, SNL, paging SNL, I told you all, you cannot make this up. We're back after this.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can describe the sound the zipper on a body bag makes. I can describe with great detail the odd and very ugly color of purplish gray you turn when your body is suffocating.

So, for me, whereas I can't understand the numbers, I can understand the humans behind those numbers.


REID: That is the reality of the pandemic for Brandi (ph), a nurse in Indiana, a reality from which Donald Trump remains appallingly detached, instead creating an alternate reality that is having a real and dangerous impact on Americans.

This is the reality of COVID. The U.S. has now surpassed 14 million cases, after more than 200,000 new cases were reported in a single day for the first time. And 2,077 Americans died from the virus, also in a single day.

Right now, an American is dying from COVID every 30 seconds, meaning that, by the end of this show, we will lose another 120 Americans to the virus.

But Donald Trump has not said a word, not about any of those lost souls, not a word of encouragement for the more than 100,000 who are hospitalized nationally or the exhausted health care workers who are risking their own lives caring for them.

Instead, yesterday, Trump put out a 46-minute infomercial he made inside the White House about his election conspiracy fantasies.

And, today, he crammed a bunch of people into the Oval Office to give out the Medal of Freedom to a football coach who is one of his biggest fans.

Trump's leadership is so nonexistent, it was even called out, though not by name, on the international stage at today's U.N. COVID summit.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: In some situations, there was a rejection effect and an ignorance of the guidance.

And when countries go in their own direction, the virus goes in every direction.


REID: Trump has also been silent on Britain, under his former Brexit friend Boris Johnson, which is green-lighting Pfizer's vaccine candidate. It's actually, frankly, embarrassing.

But former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton all volunteered today to publicly take one of the vaccines. And, today, president-elect Joe Biden stated the obvious.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: And it matters what a president and a vice president do.

And so, I think that my three predecessors have set the model as to what should be done.


REID: Meanwhile, California just imposed new restrictions as it nears its ICU capacity.

But Donald Trump continues to hold holiday gatherings indoors, as does his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, this while Dr. Anthony Fauci met virtually with the Biden transition team for the first time today. And in an interview, Dr. Fauci addressed the lack of leadership we're stuck with for the next 48 days.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: This is real. This is not fake. This is not hoax. This is real.

The thing that's so frustrating is that we can do something about that to blunt it. And when you see on TV or in the newspapers people gathering indoors in congregate settings without masks, it's -- you have to say to yourself, what is going on here? What are they not seeing?

It doesn't matter where you are, who you are, what your position is; that's a very risky situation, no doubt about it.


REID: President-elect Biden has asked Dr. Fauci to stay on in his current role in the Biden/Harris administration and to be his chief medical officer, which is good news.

Joining me now is Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, and Congressman Eric Swalwell of California.

Gentlemen, thank you both.

I want to play President Obama doing the pledge to take the virus (sic) live on TV to show its safety. Take a listen.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: But if Anthony Fauci tells me this vaccine is safe and can vaccinate -- immunize you from getting COVID, absolutely I'm going to take it.

I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know I trust this science.


REID: Dr. Jha, that is only newsworthy because we don't have a president right now, for all intents and purposes.

All over the world, you're seeing people, even like Boris Johnson, who are considered a little bit out there, are trying to show leadership and behave like leaders.

And, in our country, 46 minutes, not a word about the virus, a whole bunch of crazy fantasies.

I don't know. I don't know. Is this what it's going to take? Are we going to have to rely on former presidents and the future president to do all the work here?


Yes, I think, at this point, it is not reasonable to expect -- it's reasonable to expect, but I don't think we should expect a lot from the White House. Obviously, over the last couple of months, there's been radio silence.

And particularly at this point, when we are at the worst of the pandemic, with the number of people getting infected, hospitalized and dying, to have no guidance, no engagement from the federal government, it's mind-boggling.

And so we're going to have to see leadership from states. We're going to have to see leadership from our president-elect. And we're going to have to see leadership from our former presidents. And that's what it's going to take.

I'd much rather have the federal government be involved at this point. But that's not a possibility at this point.

REID: You know, and, Representative Swalwell, it's frustrating, because everybody is tired. Everybody's exhausted. People are sick of staying home. They're sick of being locked down and not seeing their families and not seeing their friends. And we all get it, right?

But when you have, in your own state, the governor eating at a fancy restaurant, the mayor of San Francisco the next night eating at a very -- these are -- very expensive restaurant that they both went to at French Laundry.

When you have the Austin mayor -- his name is Steve Adler -- telling people to stay home, then it turns out the video was made in Cabo, where -- even the -- even the good politicians are messing up. And I don't know what to do at this point if even the good guys are messing up.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Well, Joy, it's never too late to just do what's right.

And I will say, Joy, that if you didn't believe in wearing masks a couple weeks ago, and you have adopted now, great. If you mixed families a couple weeks ago, and you recognize that you shouldn't do that now, great. Like, there's never -- it's never too late to do the right thing.

And, right now, we just need to get to the other side of this. And in Congress, what's so frustrating is that we have got a bipartisan deal now that gets us to the other side. It gets to a vaccinated country by April. This deal would run to April.

It would help small businesses. It would help schools. It would help with childcare costs. So, let's do the right thing.

I -- Joy, I get a text every single day from a restaurant owner. He's frustrated by what you just described. And he asks me -- he owns an Italian restaurant, has run it for 40 years. And he just says, have you guys passed anything yet?

He still believes this is a place where we show up and want to help people. And you know what we did today? We had Republicans pass a motion -- or try and pass a motion to adjourn. What does that mean? That means, I quit. They wanted to quit.

The virus hasn't quit. The hunger hasn't quit. The bread lines and the food lines haven't quit. And the unemployment lines haven't quit. And so, we can't quit. We have to get this deal passed. It is -- again, it's never too late to do what's right and get us to vaccination day.

REID: That would be nice. And if you could somehow place a call to the other end of Capitol and get Mitch McConnell to give a damn, then we'd all appreciate it, because it doesn't matter what you guys do in the House.

He doesn't care. He doesn't...

SWALWELL: But, Joy, Republican senators also -- Lindsey -- Lindsey Graham, Joni Ernst, they have come forward. John Cornyn has come forward and said it's time to do this.

So, when they start speaking up, it's time that Mitch McConnell puts this up for a vote.

REID: We will see. I will believe it when I see it. I'm not as hopeful as you. But I hope that you're right.

And, Dr. Jha, my husband's family is in England. And you know what? There's not like a huge difference between Americans, British people, people in Canada, people all over the world. They're sick of the lockdowns too. They're sick of having to wear a mask all the time, too.

But they're going to get a vaccine rollout next week. They have a plan that is national, where they're going to have a national plan to roll their vaccine out. They're going to be way better off than we are.

Italy had it as bad as New York. Italy was a hot mess of COVID. They're getting it under control. It's like we're the only ones who can't do this. And I -- there's nothing inherently wrong with us as Americans, so why can't we just do what Britain is doing?

JHA: Yes, so we are seeing some leadership from states, right? There are states that are trying to do good things. And I think that is helpful.

The problem is that our country, in order to manage crises, needs both an effective federal government and state leadership. And so good state leaders and their governors -- for instance, I think Gretchen Whitmer has been amazing and really leading in a lot of things.

REID: Yes.

JHA: Governor Raimondo. I'm not going to -- I'm not going to list them all, but there are a lot of people doing good work.

REID: Yes.

JHA: They are limited in how much they can do without a federal government that's really involved.

REID: Yes.

JHA: And I do think, as the congressman said, there is a bipartisan bill. It's a very good bill. It's going to have a lot in terms of helpful stuff for COVID.

But you got to get it -- get it out there to the American people. And the key points that people need to understand is, this is not forever. The next couple of months are going to be really hard. And then life will start getting better. The vaccines are coming.

REID: That's right.

JHA: They're really good. They're effective. We got to get through this time period.

REID: Absolutely. Amen.

Dr. Ashish Jha, Congressman Eric Swalwell, thank you both, two of the good guys that are trying to get it done. Thank you very much.

SWALWELL: My pleasure.


REID: Appreciate you both. Cheers.

And up next, speaking of the federal government and who's got to do something to actually make things better, Mitch McConnell. Old Mitch is trying to rebrand himself as -- get this -- the king of civil rights. You heard that right.

Well, we're going to address that right after this short break.


REID: Today, Mitch McConnell wrote an editorial touting his civil rights record, yes, that Mitch McConnell.

He was responding to a piece from a voter asking, what happened to the moderate he originally voted for, the one who attended the March on Washington as a young man and publicly disagreed with President Ronald Reagan about sanctioning South Africa over apartheid, but who, once President Obama was elected, that voter says, he watched in absolute amazement that McConnell fought Obama on every single issue?

The writer cited McConnell saying that, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president" in his rebuke.

In his defense, McConnell knows that he voted for Trump's criminal justice reform bill and that one of his former staffers, Daniel Cameron, made history as Kentucky's first African-American attorney general, you know, Daniel Cameron, the attorney general who was accused of lying about the Breonna Taylor case by one of his own grand jurors.

And that reform, well, that only passed after McConnell refused to bring it up during the Obama administration.

Now, we could go on and on. In 2018, McConnell said blocking Obama's Supreme Court nomination was his biggest accomplishment. Let me repeat that. His biggest accomplishment wasn't anything he did on civil rights or to help the American people. It was obstructing the first black president of the United States, who he pretended was a demi-president who had no right to add members to the federal bench.

Here he is actually laughing -- hah, hah -- about how he blocked Obama's judicial nominees.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: I was shocked that former President Obama left so many vacancies and didn't try to fill those positions.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): I will tell you why. I will tell you why.

I was in charge of the -- of what we did the last two years of the Obama administration.

HANNITY: I give -- and I will you full credit for that.


HANNITY: And, by the way, take a bow.


REID: Hah, hah, hah, hah, hah.

McConnell is so determined to stamp out progress in America, he literally calls himself the Grim Reaper when it comes to passing bills that would help ordinary people, like expanding health care or the Voting Rights Act bill that's named by actual civil rights hero John Lewis.


MCCONNELL: Let me tell you this. If I'm still the majority leader of the Senate, think of me as the Grim Reaper. None of that stuff is going to pass.


REID: Hah, hah, hah, hah.

And the bills the man a Kentuckian first named Moscow Mitch has brought to the floor have been much weaker versions of House bills, especially when it came to the police reform legislation the Senate pushed in reaction to a comprehensive House bill following the murder of George Floyd this summer.

And we will have more on that after the break.


REID: In the opening of his new book, Michael Eric Dyson writes directly to Elijah McClain, the 23-year-old black man who died last year in Colorado police custody.

Quote: Dear Elijah, we are about to see if it is true that we are one, to see if your death and those of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Hadiya Pendleton, Sandra Bland, Clementa Pinckney and untold others are viewed as worthy of the moral revulsion and from there the change of practice and belief that would prove a real reckoning is taking place.

Congress has not yet passed comprehensive police reform, and not because the House hasn't tried. Such reforms have met their untimely deaths in Grim Reaper Mitch McConnell's Senate.

And I'm joined now by Michael Eric Dyson, distinguished professor of African American and Diaspora studies at Vanderbilt University, and the author of "Long Time Coming: Reckoning With Race in America."

Michael, my friend, it is good to see you.

We're going to talk about the book. But I want to very quickly ask you what you make of this attempt by Mitch McConnell to rebrand himself in part by touting police reform, having signed a police reform bill. We know he blocked the one during President Obama's tenure.

And the House had passed a much more comprehensive one with chokehold bans and banning no knock warrants and getting rid of qualified immunity. They passed a weaker version in the Senate and shoved Tim Scott out front to be the face man for it.

Do you think there's a way that McConnell can launder his reputation based on that?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, AUTHOR, "LONG TIME COMING": No. It's utterly ridiculous. First of all, this is revision history before our eyes.

Usually, people wait a couple years to try to tell the story again, of what they did and did not do. And yet McConnell is caught in the very vice grip of a revisionist that says we're just going to paint everything like we did it great back then like we're doing it great right now. He wasn't as great back then and isn't as great as he thinks he is right now.

And to stand in the way of the making sure that a comprehensive piece of legislation passes after one of the most rancorous and horrible summers that we've endured in the long trek toward transformation of race in this country suggests that Mitch McConnell is tone deaf but he is color blind in the worst sense of the fashion, in the worst sense of the word. He refuses to acknowledge the persistence of the color in this culture.

He refuses to acknowledge that black continues to be a thing that generates such deep and profound opposition. That a policeman can put his knee on the neck of a black man lying on the pavement as his pallet and asphyxiate him before our eyes.

Mitch McConnell is one sense unwitting, but in another sense, a conscious accomplice in refusing racial progress in nation and now to paint himself, to portray himself as Martin Luther McConnell is deeply and profoundly problematic.

REID: And, you know, your new book you talk about reckoning with race in America. And, you know, I think about Mitch McConnell centrality in the story of races in the last ten years, his blanket opposition in filibustering, the good old fashion Southern technique from Alabama, who used the filibuster prodigiously against President Obama. You can't put anybody on the federal court. You don't have the right. You're not a real president.

And then to try to tout his deputy becoming general attorney of Kentucky, and then for that black man to lie about the grand jury proceedings so that he can let white officers off for killing Breonna Taylor, I feel like Mitch McConnell is just as center to the sort of-- you know, diminution of black life that we've seen over the last 10 years as Trump.

DYSON: There is no question about that. That on the one hand -- I talk about fast terror and slow terror. Fast terror is when bombs drop and lynch black people and heard this very explicitly by the police who hurt and harm and kill us. Slow terror is kicking kids out of school, denying opportunity to be fed both mentally and physically.

Mitch McConnell in this sense if Trump is the fast terrorists and a fast racist, then McConnell is taking a slower train towards racial revulsion. He is enacting some of the worst practices we have seen in the history of this nation. In regard to senator blocking the coming to fruition of legislation that could relieve the hurt and suffering of black people.

And to proudly stand up and say he wanted to make Obama a one term president, this shows us that the real religion in America is whiteness. The real politics in McConnell's orbit are whiteness, the worship of whiteness at the altar of whiteness, genuflecting before the god of whiteness. And therefore, Donald Trump is a product of a womb that has generated this disfigured first person in terms of politics.

But McConnell is part of that womb. Mitch McConnell gives life and breath to the very denunciation of blackness that Donald Trump has been denounced so vehemently denounce for.

And look, he then puts forward a black face representation literally in Daniel Cameron, so that there's a ventriloquism going on. Daniel Cameron's mouth is moving, McConnell's thoughts are coming through his tongue. This is the worst japito (ph) we've ever seen, and pulling those strings is one of the worst white supremacists enactments that we've seen in the last 15 years in American politics.

REID: You know, you're writing about reckoning with race. Talk to me about how we do that when somebody like this guy can start off at the march on Washington at 20 years old and get all the way here, right? Get all the way to the place where he's denying a black president's humanity, and rite to even occupy the office.

If he can fall that far, I mean, this guy was against -- he was for having sanctions on South Africa. That's an actual true thing.

DYSON: Right.

REID: For him to have devolved into whatever this is Mitch McConnell is now, blocking the John Lewis bill on voting rights from getting to the floor, blocking people from getting rent relief, people are hungry, people are standing in food lines. People are suffering, and he doesn't give a damn.

If people can devolve that much, I don't know how we reckon with race in America. Do you have an answer for that? In this book?

DYSON: Well, this is what is true. First of all, he was mistakenly there. He happened to be there. He was accidentally there.

He did not deliberately go to attend the march. He even admitted that he couldn't hear the words, Martin Luther King Jr., uttered that day and this many years later, he still cannot hear the resounding echo of an edifying sonic appeal from a majestic trumpet of conscience like Martin Luther King Jr. He still is tone deaf, still incapable of listening to calls and cries of black people who say what will be done in the Senate to at least acknowledge the centrality of race and the degree to which black people continue to be punished by legislation and practices on the street.

So, Mitch McConnell isn't never been there for real to begin with, and even now, yes, how we reckon with it because black folks know this isn't the first time, we done seen this. We have seen this from get-go. We have seen this from the very beginning -- white people who pretend to be our friends and then stab us in the back.

And what we understand is that Mitch McConnell is showing us that diversity by itself without equity, without justice, means nothing. Think about it. The police people who killed George Floyd, two white men, a black man, an Asian man, that's diversity, but diversity toward an unjust goal. That's diversity but without equity being embraced.

So, Mitch McConnell is articulating the noble ideals and words, but he is falling short on their follow through. Black people have always been dealing with this from the very beginning. This isn't the first time.

REID: Yeah.

DYSON: (AUDIO GAP) god who will overcome, we believe in people who transcend barriers and we know that --

REID: Yeah.

DYSON: -- black people will survive (AUDIO GAP).

REID: The book is "Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America", another must-read book from Michael Eric Dyson. My friend, thank you very much. Really appreciate you being here tonight.

And up next, my people are on the show tonight, my people. Tiffany Cross, Jonathan Capehart, they will be here with a big announcement. Do not go anywhere.



TIFFANY CROSS, MSNBC HOST: Good morning, and welcome to "A.M. JOY." I'm Tiffany Cross.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC HOST: Good Sunday morning, and welcome to "A.M. JOY." I'm Jonathan Capehart. We begin this morning with breaking news.


REID: Breaking news, indeed. Today, I am overjoyed to announce my dear friends who will be taking over my old "A.M. JOY" time slot with their own show starting next week.

Joining me now, Saturday's new stars, host Tiffany Cross, and Sunday's new star, Jonathan Capehart.

I'm so excited for you guys. I'm so proud of you guys. I'm so excited. I'm just going to let you talk.

Ladies first. Tiffany, tell us everything about your new show.

CROSS: OK, I'm going to be really quick because I know Jonathan wants to go next. I'm going to say, the show is going to be awesome. Please tune in. We have a lot of exciting segments.

I don't want to spend time talking about that. I want to say, Joy, I would not be here without you. You're an example of why diversity matters on the screen and off the screen. You don't walk through the door and shut is. You walk through the door and hold it open for others.

You grabbed my hand. You took me with you. Throughout this process, I dealt with women who look like me. Our new boss, Cesar Conde, is a historic hire man of color. And so, this is why diversity matters.

And so, I want to thank you for everything you do not just for me and Jonathan, but for all of us. And to my show, tune in, I promise you, it's going to be a full two hours of dopiness every Saturday.

REID: Okay. Don't make -- you're not allowed to make me cry on TV, because I do not cry. I try not to cry. I really do.

Jonathan Capehart, Jonathan Capehart, it's your turn. Tell us about your show. We want to hear all about what it's going it be like on Sundays.

CAPEHART: OK. So, my show is on Sunday. I'm very much looking forward to playing in the so-called Sunday show space, and, you know, bringing to the viewers of 10:00 a.m. to noon the "A.M. JOY" viewers the kind of show that they've come to expect. And that is a show that is about the news. Our viewers know what the news is, but what they want to know is --

REID: Right.

CAPEHART: -- what does it mean? Put it into context and help me understand how it fits into the larger story. So that's what I'm going to be doing on Sunday.

REID: Absolutely. And, you know, Tiffany, you wrote a fantastic book, "Say It Louder" and talk a little bit -- I want each of you to talk about what it means to have our voices in, as Jonathan just said, that Sunday show space, that weekend space.

CROSS: Right.

REID: The news space in general. What does it mean?

CROSS: It means so much because I think at this moment in time, we're at a historic moment where black women have ascended to the highest most senior levels of government, and so, it's not enough just to have a black face on air but to have an authentic black voice as well who can have these conversations and, again, bring other people the rising majority of this country --

REID: Yes.

CROSS: -- a majority of kids under 18 in this country are not white. They're actually Asian Americans Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hispanics, Latinos.

REID: Yes.

CROSS: So, we want to center the new American electorate. So, I'm looking really forward to it.

REID: Yes.

Jonathan, Sunday shows has been unfortunately very white and that's now changing big-time.

CAPEHART: Yes, and, well, just by my sitting in the chair it's going to change that big-time.

REID: Yes.

CAPEHART: But we're also -- we're also going to do it in a way by bringing people to the table who haven't been to the Sunday show table before.

REID: Yes. Yes. I'm so excited.

Tiffany Cross, Jonathan Capehart, two of the best, brightest, most wonderful people and amazing people just as humans. Thank you.

One again, Tiffany's new show premieres Saturday, December 12th. Jonathan's new show premieres Sunday the 13th. Both are at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. You do not want to miss it. Get your ticket. Get your mimosa, get your coffee ready, and tune in.

That's tonight's THE REIDOUT.

And "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.


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