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Transcript: The ReidOut, January 11, 2021

Guests: Ayanna Pressley, Chuck Rosenberg, Maxine Waters, Michael Cohen, Philip Rucker, Kathleen Belew, Nikole Hannah-Jones


House Democrats introduce article of impeachment against Trump. Speaker Pelosi says, Trump is guilty of inciting insurrection. Poll shows 52 percent say Trump should be removed from office. GOP Senator Toomey calls for Trump's resignation. Vice President Biden calls for accountability after Capitol Hill riot. Major social media platforms ban Trump's accounts. Republicans push back against Trump's impeachment. House will meet to consider impeachment on Wednesday. House resolution has been introduced calling for removal of members of Congress for inciting violence. Texas Democratic state representative calls for investigating Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for role in inciting Capitol Hill riot.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Thank you for watching THE BEAT with Ari Melber. I'm signing off. I'll be back with you tomorrow night at 6:00 P.M. Eastern.

"THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid starts now.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: The United States House of Representatives is ensuring that Donald Trump's presidency will end in the disgrace and utter infamy it deserves, making clear that he's unfit for office and presents a clear and present danger to this country, moving toward an historic second presidential impeachment, as we're learning more horrific details about the violent insurrection that Trump incited just five days ago.

House Democrats introduced a single article of impeachment charging Trump with incitement of insurrection with more than 200 House Democrats signing on. It alleges that Trump, quote, gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of government. He thereby betrayed his trust as president to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

The article of impeachment also cites Article 3 of the Constitution's 14th Amendment, an artifact of the civil war in which United States senators had sided with the seditious confederacy. Article 3 prohibits any person who has engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States from holding office without the approval of two-thirds of the House and the Senate.

In an interview last night on 60 MINUTES, Speaker Nancy Pelosi stressed the need for accountability.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): He has done something so serious that there should be prosecution against him.

There is strong support in the Congress for impeaching the president a second time. This president is guilty of inciting insurrection. He has to pay a price for that.


REID: The House meets tomorrow to vote on a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, to remove Trump immediately, and a vote on impeachment could come as early as Wednesday. If the House impeaches Trump this week, the earliest the Senate trial would begin is January 19th, the day before Joe Biden's inauguration, according to a memo circulated by soon to be Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The American people have already had it with Trump but after last week's -- last Wednesday's display of domestic terrorism at the capitol. A Quinnipiac poll today showed a majority of Americans, 52 percent, say he should be removed from office now, and three quarters now say American democracy is under threat.

And now that they don't need Donald Trump anymore, a handful of his Republican enablers are joining calls for him to go. Republican Senator Pat Toomey, who's not running for re-election, said Trump should resign and could face criminal liability.

While some of the same sedition caucus Republicans who voted to overturn Biden's victory are calling for unity. Despite Republicans trying to sweep their complicity under the rug, at least some of them will face another consequence of supporting sedition with several corporations halting donations to Republicans who voted against counting Biden's Electoral College win.

President-elect Joe Biden, who's pledged to bring the country together, today also vowed accountability for the rioters. For his part, Donald Trump has been iced out from inciting his mob further after social media companies did what Trump never could and built a wall around him.

Several online platforms joined Twitter in either banning Trump outright or restricting accounts affiliated with pro-Trump violence and conspiracies.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and along with Michael Steele, former chairman of the RNC, and Chuck Rosenberg, former U.S. Attorney and Senior FBI official.

I'm going to start with you, Congresswoman. I want to first ask you having -- you went through this ordeal. We did not. So I want to give you an opportunity to talk about what you experienced and how is your staff and how are you doing in the wake of it?

REP.AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MA): Thank you, Joy. It was a harrowing experience. They were terrorizing members of Congress and all who work in the Capitol, our staff. I was, for a period there, with my husband and my chief of staff on the ground in the dark with gas masks in our hand and the doors barricaded.

REID: And, you know, we heard Speaker Pelosi talk about her staff hiding under a table. She showed that -- she showed the table on 60 MINUTES and then, you know, they played back the banging on the door. I mean, it had to be terrifying. And I wonder how you feel in the wake of that.

People like Elise Stefanik, a fellow member of Congress, opposing impeachment and calling for unity, people like Senator Lindsey Graham saying, oh, you know, now that Donald Trump says there's going to be a peaceful transfer of power, they're both citing peaceful transfer of power, it seems to me that the peaceful transfer of power is already off the table.

What do you make of these calls for unity in the wake of that?

PRESSLEY: Joy, this was an attack led and coordinated by white supremacists. It was a violent mob, an attempted coup, to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power. Within hours of my being on the ground, on the floor of my office, with our door barricaded with gas masks, with my husband and my chief of staff, I immediately co-led articles of impeachment with Representative Omar, calling for the immediate impeachment and removal of Donald Trump because he's a clear and present danger to the American people.

Joy, if he has been barred from Twitter, he certainly should not have access to the nuclear codes. Just mere days ago, I took my second oath of office for my second term in Congress to defend the American people against all enemies foreign and domestic. Donald Trump is a threat to the American people, clear and present, he has been for a long time, he must be impeached and immediately removed from office before he can put any more lives in peril, and he needs to be barred from ever running for public office again. So that's why every single tool of accountability must be on the table in this moment.

REID: And I wonder if that also, in your view, applies to your Republican colleagues. I mean, you know, we saw that even after the siege of the Capitol, you had more than 100 Republicans go to the House floor and still vote to try to overturn an election that, let's face it, was decided by people who look like us, decided primarily by people of color, by black voters, and I feel like we're sort of at this kind of civil war-related moment and after the civil war, the 14th Amendment says, you know, if you incited insurrection, you can't be a House member or a Senate member.

Do you think -- you know, Cori Bush, Representative Cori Bush, a freshman congresswoman, she has introduced a resolution saying that these representatives should be expelled. Do you agree with that?

PRESSLEY: Absolutely. There is enough culpability to go around here. I'm proud to be a co-sponsor of Representative Bush's resolution.

In addition to my early calls for impeachment and the immediate removal of Donald Trump in my capacity on the Oversight Committee, I've also called for an investigation so that we can better understand what individuals and agencies enabled this violent coordinated white supremacist mob to seize the Capitol and to terrorize members of Congress, our staff, and all who work in the Capitol.

REID: My final question to you, Congresswoman, we know that there have been some suspensions in the Capitol police. We saw a very light -- you know, they weren't exactly, you know, very well reinforced, let's just put it that way. There have been reports from black officers that they felt threatened, were called the N word and were pretty much left on their own in a lot of ways. Do you feel safe with the Capitol police being the ones to protect you and other members?

PRESSLEY: Well, you know, Joy, to be frank, just for the last two years, any sense of safety and security, that foundational ground has certainly been deeply cracked because I have been in the sightline, as have my closest colleagues, of Donald Trump and those who support him. So, feeling unsafe is not new, and certainly being a black woman and feeling unsafe is not new.

The experiences of Wednesday were harrowing and, unfortunately, very familiar in the deepest, most ancestral way. And that includes for, you know, all black Americans, all black members, and certainly for our United States Capitol police officers who did have racial epithets thrown at them, who were doing everything that they could, putting their lives on the line to protect us. And so, of course, you know, I'm fearful, but that fear is not new.

What I know is that we have got to impeach and remove Donald Trump because he is a clear and present danger, and that is exactly why I co-led articles of impeachment early on and momentum for that and support for that is growing throughout our caucus.

REID: Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, stay safe, thank you so much for spending some time with us this evening. I really appreciate you.

PRESSLEY: Thank you, Joy.

REID: And I want to -- cheers, thank you.

I want to bring in Michael Steele and Chuck Rosenberg. On that very point, you know, I want to play just a little bit of some Republicans, and this is sort of a before and after thing. These are Republican Senator James Lankford, Representative Jim Jordan and Representative Matt Gaetz before and after the siege.


SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): Constitutional crisis in our country right now is that millions of Americans are being told to sit down and shut up. Their opinions matter.

This is a heated political moment. We've got to be able to bring volume down. Speaker Pelosi talking about, well, let's impeach the president with one week to go and to try to drive this is trying to drive a wedge further, is trying to make a difficult situation more difficult.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): We should do our duty. We should object to and vote for this objection to the Arizona electors.

Now the Democrats are going to try to remove the president from office just seven days before he's set to leave anyway. I do not see how that unifies the country.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): States that do not run clean elections should be stripped of their electors. This fraud was systemic.

I'm increasingly concerned the Democrats are drafting articles of impeachment to further divide America in days when we really ought to be focusing on the policies.


REID: You know, and I'm going to put up, if my producer can put it up again, Elise Stefanik saying there's going to be a peaceful transfer of power, hooray. Lindsey Graham who was calling into Georgia saying, flip the vote and give it to Trump, are now all saying, unity, unity and peace. Michael Steele, your thoughts.

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIR: Well, it's not believable. It's silly. Look, these -- every last member that you just showed has the blood of five dead Americans on their hands. They're responsible for the damage done to the Congress. They are part of the cabal of collaborators who sided with the president in thinking initially this was going to be, you know, that great moment where they were going to send a message to the country. Well, you did and we received it. And now your names is and your faces and what you have said and done are firmly etched in our minds, and we will remember. And you will be held accountable.

Look, all this backsliding at this point, Joy, will not save them for the reckoning that is to come, at the ballot box, with their donors, politically or otherwise. I just think that it's important for them to understand that you can talk about, oh, now we need to do unity. Where was that? Where was that when we were talking about, you know, we were hearing you up there silent on Black Lives Matter, silent on fine people on both sides? So, you know, we remember. That's okay. Just keep talking. It doesn't matter.

REID: You know, and Chuck, you've got the New York Bar Association looking at Rudy Giuliani's law license, which seems appropriate. You've got a Democratic state representative looking into the attorney general of Texas saying maybe he ought to be investigated because he was giving speeches whipping up that crowd before they marched on the Capitol. And so, you know, the question of accountability seems particularly relevant here.

And when it comes to Donald Trump himself, talk about whether or not it matters, if his accountability comes while he is still president, if Mitch McConnell manages to push this off until the 19th of January. Does it really matter? Like can Trump still be impeached after he is no longer president -- I mean, removed after he's no longer president?

CHUCK ROSENBERG, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Yes, he can. Yes, he can, Joy. It's a really good question. A president can be impeached after he leaves office, and, in fact, this president has committed impeachable offenses again and again and again. This is not new. He fired Jim Comey to undermine the Russia investigation. He obstructed the Mueller investigation. Mueller laid that all out in volume two of his report. He pressured the president of Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 presidential election, and now this, inciting a riot, inciting an insurrection.

And so, if the framers thought that a president ought to be subject to impeachment and removal except in the last seven days of his presidency, they could have added that language to the Constitution, where they did not. And so the rule is, I believe, that -- go ahead. I'm sorry, Joy.

REID: No, I was going to just ask you really quickly, if, let's say, he was convicted, somehow we found, you know, 17 Republicans who would vote for it, what then would happen? What would the sanction actually look like since he would no longer be president?

ROSENBERG: Yes. So, there are two sanctions that the Senate can levy. One, of course, is removal. And to your point, he would already be gone, but there's a second sanction and it's really important, and it comes right out of the Constitution itself. He can be disqualified from ever holding federal office again if the Senate so votes.

They have done that on occasion. They have impeached two federal judges in the last 15 or 20 years, both of whom were barred, disqualified from ever holding federal office again. And so, even though he's gone as president, there is this second sanction, the second penalty that could apply. And if you ask me, and I guess you did, it's completely appropriate.

REID: It seems so. So I guess the million dollar question then, Michael Steele, are there 17 Republicans who will vote for that?

STEELE: You know, that's always the question when it comes to the Republicans. What will they do? I mean, the history over the last five years has told us they won't do anything. So, I can only surmise that there are not 17 Republicans who would do that. But we'll see. You know, again, I think the way you move the needle here, Joy, is when you start holding these individuals accountable and they realize that there is a political price to be paid.

These folks came to this Capitol thinking that they were immune from any form of prosecution or any form of accountability. Members stood up in the well of the House and the Senate to proclaim their fidelity to Donald Trump and their fealty to this cause to storm the Capitol to make a point because they didn't think they would be held accountable. We the people now have the opportunity to hold them accountable.

REID: Yes, indeed. Michael steele, chuck rosenberg, thank you very much, very illuminating.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, the MAGA criminals trashed the Capitol and murdered a police officer, and they're not done yet. The FBI warns of possible armed protests in the days leading up to Joe Biden's inauguration.

Plus, Michael Cohen joins me on Donald Trump's dangerous final days with Twitter cutting off his oxygen and businesses cutting ties. A historical significance of what we saw that day, images of nooses and broken glass.

Back with more of THE REIDOUT after this.


REID: Officials are scrambling to understand how the U.S. Capitol suffered its worst security breach since the War of 1812.

We're now learning that, despite earlier denials, the FBI did warn Capitol Police about the threat of violence ahead of last Wednesday's siege. It comes as new video reveals how violent this pro-Trump mob really was.

The very people who holler "Blue lives matter" can be seen severely beating an officer right on the front steps of the Capitol. And they make crystal clear what they intended to do once they got inside the chamber, where Mike Pence was overseeing the counting of electoral votes.


UNIDENTIFIED RIOTERS: Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!


REID: If you didn't catch that, they were saying, "Hang Mike Pence."

And as we know, they also erected a makeshift gallows with a noose in front of the Capitol, indicating that, at least for some of these people, this murderous chant was not just meant to be theatrical.

We're also now learning that the Capitol Hill police officer who was chased up the stairs by the pro-Trump mob averted a much worse disaster. When he reached the top of those stairs, you can see that he glances to his left for just a brief moment. And that's because he knows the entrance to the Senate floor is right there, between those two chairs that's right down the hallway.

That's where lawmakers were counting the electoral votes. So, in order to divert the mob from their intended target, this hero officer, who we have stopped naming to protect his safety, faced this menacing crowd of white rioters alone, leading them in the other direction, away from the chamber, just seconds before the doors were locked shut.

As federal authorities continue to round up those who stormed the Capitol, they have issued wanted posters for help identifying the perpetrators. And NBC also reports that law enforcement is preparing for a possible second wave of violence.

Quote: "The FBI has sent a memo to law enforcement agencies across the country warning of possible armed protests at all 50 state capitol buildings starting January 16."

As Reuters reports, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is pushing federal law enforcement to do more to safeguard Biden's inauguration next week.

And with that, joining me now is Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California, chair of the House Financial Services Committee.

And, Congresswoman, you questioned the Capitol Police chief then Police Chief Sund. And I know that I have read reports that you say that he assured you that they had everything under control.

What did he tell you at the time? And what do you make of what's happening now, in terms of their lack of response in even -- not even a press conference since? REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): Well, thank you for asking the question, because it is absolutely true that I brought the question up about security in the caucus.

And Zoe Lofgren, who's head of our administrative committee, had him call me. So, the chief of police called me. And I was very specific in what I talked to him about.

The first thing I said to him was, are you going to make sure that these so-called protesters do not occupy the plaza that's around the Capitol Building? He said, don't worry about that. That will be barricaded, absolutely. They will not get on the plaza.

And then I asked him, what about the grassy area? What if you have opposing protesters who will want to stop them or just confront them? Don't worry about that, he said. We're going to have officers on the grassy area, and they will make sure that there is no confrontation.

And then I asked him about whether or not he had the cooperation of the Metropolitan Police. He said, absolutely. We're working with them. We have a great relationship. And then I asked him whether or not they were going to have police officers on top of the buildings, because I told him, I was thinking about the assassinations of Martin Luther King and John Kennedy, and how it happened from tall buildings, even though they may have been coming from a window, that snipers like getting on top of buildings.

He said they can't get on top of the building, because they would have to go through the Capitol in order to get up to the top of the building. Don't worry about that. That will not happen.

I asked him about whether or not he had identified the domestic terrorist groups that were coming. And he said that they have a permitting process, and that they don't have to identify the group, per se. Individuals could come in, and they could get a permit just by giving their name and filling out the papers.

I reminded him that the Proud Boys were in town. I also reminded him that I understood the Oath Keepers and that the white supremacists and all these other groups, the KKK, all of them were coming.

And he said that we have -- we have everything under control, that we are confident that we can handle this. He absolutely assured me that there would be -- that they had it all under control and that they were not worried, because they had planned it and it was going to be fine.

He absolutely did. I kept him on the phone for one hour, Joy, one hour asking him all of these questions and more. And I was a little bit uneasy about the fact that he did not seem to be worried about the domestic terrorists and the way that the permitting process was being handled.

But I thought, now, this is a police chief, and he must know what he's doing.

REID: Right.

WATERS: Now it seems that he's telling another story, a different story.

But, evidently...


REID: Well, and he's making...

WATERS: Go ahead.

REID: He's certainly making a lot of excuses. And there's a lot of finger-pointing like this way, like everyone's saying that it was someone else.

And I think about that now with what we see coming. We know that Dr. King's real birthday on the 15th is coming, the official birthday on the 18th. There have been stories and news reports out there that the 17th is being targeted as another day for Trump forces to rally all over the country, that the 19th is being named.

And, obviously, now, you have the inauguration in which the Clintons, the Obamas, the Bidens all will be there. And the Obamas will be there. I'm nervous about that calendar, Congresswoman. Are you -- are you confident that, after watching the Capitol get sieged, that the Capitol Police, the Secret Service and other federal law enforcement are ready for the inauguration?

Do you think it'll be secure?

WATERS: Well, no, I'm not confident, based on what we have just experienced. And we need to do a deep investigation about how this happened and who's complicit in all of this.

But I want to tell you, not only am I not confident about the times that you are identifying that possibly we could have real problems. I do believe that the president of the United States, Trump, has organized and worked in a way that, even after he's not serving as a president, that he believes that he's going to have control over a significant population in this country that he can use to basically rule and to basically confront whatever entity he'd like to confront that's not agreeing with him, turn them on to other groups, et cetera.

I think that he intends to exercise power even past his presidency.

REID: Yes.

WATERS: And so whether you're talking about a particular dates where we may have trouble, and I also think that, when they talk about the 17th, and they talk about the 20th, that some of us state legislative offices also targeted.

REID: Yes. Yes.

WATERS: And they may have an operation that's going on all over the country at one time, where they are being attacked.

REID: Yes.

WATERS: So, I think we're in a very dangerous time in the history of this country.

REID: What that sounds like is an insurgency. And we have seen that in places like Iraq. And that is a frightening prospect, that that's what we might be seeing here.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, stay safe. Thank you so much for being here. We will look forward to those investigations.


REID: And still ahead -- cheers.

And we are still more than a week away from Trump's final day in office, as we just mentioned. How much more damage can he do before his time is up?

We will talk with somebody who knows him very well, Michael Cohen, who just announced his cooperation with government officials who are investigating Trump and his family.

More on that after the break.


REID: Nine more days, that's all that's left before the White House can be sanitized from top to bottom from the likes of Donald Trump.

And while Trump has been silenced by Twitter and nearly every other social media platform -- I mean, Pinterest? I mean, what do you -- how bad do you got to be that you can't go on Pinterest?

Well, that doesn't stop him from acting out in his final days. Anything is possible, as Trump tries to distance himself from the insurrection he himself fomented among his supporters.

Even his whole staff wants his administration to be over. A current White House official told Reuters: "Everyone's defeated and honestly just want the next two weeks to go by."

Yes, take a number, people.

Joining me now is Philip Rucker, White House bureau chief for "The Washington Post," and Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former personal attorney.

Philip, give us a sense of what's going on at the White House. Are people furiously looking for jobs and not getting their calls returned? People saying they feel defeated. I don't think people feel too sorry for them.

We're hearing now that Mike Pence did, in fact, meet with Donald Trump. What have you got?



We're hearing in the last hour that Pence had his first meeting with President Trump today, that they apparently had what aides described as a cordial sort of good conversation about the legacy of this administration.

But, look, it's remarkable that it took until for them to talk.

REID: Wait, wait. Hold on. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Philip. Did -- what -- hold on, Philip.

You telling me that it didn't come up that Donald Trump supporters chanted that they wanted to hang the vice president and put a noose up for that purpose? That didn't come up.

RUCKER: Well, Joy, I don't know if the specific chants of "Hang Mike Pence" came up, or if the president offered any explanation for why he hadn't reached out to Mike Pence the day of the mob riot to see if he was OK.

But, according to an aide, the meeting today, they did discuss that they shared in condemning the violence that occurred and don't think that that represented the America first agenda and movement, which, of course, is...


RUCKER: There's probably more to the conversation than we know.

But, look, the reality is...

REID: I bet,.

RUCKER: ... that the officials in the White House -- yes, they feel defeated, as you just pointed out. They're really counting down the days and just trying to avert any further catastrophe.

There are nine days left, the folks who are still there, and it's basically a ghost town. Many officials have already left or are not showing up to work.

REID: Yes.

RUCKER: But those who are left around the president are just kind of hanging on and trying to get to January 20 without another problem.

REID: Yes. Good luck getting jobs, people. Good luck getting jobs.

Michael Cohen, you see Donald Trump there. I mean, he can't even get on Pinterest and put up his favorite photos of decor. He's off of his favorite social media, Twitter. He now has lost his prized golf tournament that's not coming to Turnberry anymore.

What would you guess that his state of mind is right now? And how dangerous does that make him?

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER ATTORNEY/FIXER FOR DONALD TRUMP: Well, I have often said it on this program, whether it was yours or on other MSNBC programs, that the single most dangerous time in America is going to be from the 6th of January to the 20th of January, because that's the time that Donald Trump is going to ultimately realize that he is not going to be president come January 20 of 2021.

And what he's going to do, I predicted that Captain Chaos was going to continue to sow more and more dissension in this country, and he's going to commit more and more sort of atrocities during the course of these days.

And I expect that, on behalf of Donald Trump (INAUDIBLE) more of these different radical racist groups. I mean, seven different racist groups have been identified by the FBI. They will continue to do whatever they can, because they think that's what Donald Trump wants.

REID: Yes.

And I know that -- and it was Bedminster, by the way, that lost the PGA tournament.

I know you're testifying, Michael. Several government agencies have approached you that they want to talk to you. I wonder if, in -- you know this guy very well. Is the goal here in his mind to go ahead and lead -- we just heard the congresswoman say on the other side of that commercial break -- to essentially lead an insurgency, that, from here on in, to sort of lead his own kind of domestic terrorist insurgency, a la Iraq?

COHEN: Yes, well, I have talked about this all the time on my podcast, "Mea Culpa."

I don't call Mar-a-Lago where he's going to ultimately go. I call it MAGAstan, because he wants to be the ruler of a country.

What people don't realize is just how close this country was in order to becoming a dictatorship, something similar to North Korea or to Russia. If Donald Trump had won the election, you could rest assured he was never leaving office, not four years, not eight years.

The only way that they were going to -- that he was going to leave was going to be in a casket. And he would then pass it down to one of his scion, who, in all fairness, are even worse than he is.

REID: Well, and, Philip, I wonder, the people who hung on in the end, you have to under -- you have to believe that they're the truest of the true believers.

What is it they think they're going to do after having served this administration? Is there any talk of where these people think they're going to wind up? And are they down with this insurgency?

RUCKER: Well, some of them are the true believers. There are also others who are saying, like the national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, because they have been urged by national security professionals outside of the government to stay there, because, if they were to leave, my God, who would be in that job for these final 10 days?

And so that's -- there are different reasons for it.

But, look, the traditional path out of a senior White House job is to go join a corporate board or work for a major company. The last Obama White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, is now an executive at United Airlines. I don't think Kayleigh McEnany is going to become an executive at United Airlines.


RUCKER: It's just a very different trajectory for the people who've been a part of this White House and this particular presidency.

REID: Yes, I think insurrectionist and member -- and participant in an attempted coup against the United States doesn't really work on the resume. That doesn't really sell. It doesn't really sell.

So, we will see how things wind up.

COHEN: No. It's a no.REID: Philip...


REID: Philip Rucker, Michael Cohen, thank you guys very much. Be safe out there.

COHEN: Thank you.

REID: Up next: Last week's riot on Capitol Hill was an example of America repeating history over and over again.

We will be right back.



ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, FORMER CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: I grew up in Austria, and I'm very aware of Kristallnacht or the night of broken glass. It was a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys.

Wednesday was a day of broken glass right here in the United States. The mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol. They shattered the ideals we took for granted. They trampled the very principles on which our country was founded.


REID: In a video that drew millions of views, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who was born two days after World War II discussed the rampage that occurred in Germany in 1938 when mobs of paramilitary forces and civilians ransacked Jewish schools, synagogues, shops, and even hospitals, leaving 91 Jewish Germans and Austrians dead.

Schwarzenegger went on to describe the ordinary Austrian men, including his own father, who later drank and sometimes beat their wives and children amidst their private moral hell for having participated in such atrocities before and after the war.

America, too, has repeated versions of this story, particularly after the civil war ended slavery and ignited a reign of terror throughout the South. A many murderous frenzy of white men calling themselves redeemers later morphed into the Ku Klux Klan who ended reconstruction by force after it was politically halted by a hideous bargain following the contested election of 1876.

Gangs of white rioters later decapitated the black-white fusion government in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1898. A Klan-led burning, looting, and masked murder all by wiped out the black town of Rosewood, Florida, in 1923.

And then, the Tulsa race massacre, which HBO's "The Watchmen" dramatized so well where white mobs even used fighter planes to ransack and burn out the Greenwood district known as black Wall Street.

Throughout both world wars, black men were lynched simply for daring to proudly wear their uniforms in public or for trying to vote. Black women and even children were lynched, including Emmett Till, who in 1955 was falsely accused by a white woman of flirting with her. He was 14 years child.

Lynchings of black and sometimes also Jewish men stretched into the 1960s, targeting those who dared to push for black civil rights and voting rights. From civil rights activists Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Cheney, to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

And just as Arnold described the ordinary Austrians and Germans who just went along, American lynchings were the product solely of extraordinary evil but also of evil dripping with banality, the nice couple next door who sometimes brought their kids along for the hanging, the friendly salesman and his teacher wife who lived down the block.

The earliest American lynchings often opened with an attack on the sheriff's office where the frenzied crowd demanded that the accused, often of a sexual offense against a white woman, be brought outside and handed over, and sheriffs often complied, lest the whole place be torn apart or burned down. And while those lynchings were not on tape, they very likely sounded something like this.


CROWD: Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!


REID: We're now learning the identities of the people who swarmed into the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

And let's just be clear: some had the goal of lynching the vice president of the United States, the speaker of the House, and whatever political leaders they could get their hands on. We're also learning how ordinary members of the mob were. The florists, the state senators, and a stay-at-home dad, a CEO and a radio host who hired a private jet to fly her to D.C., off duty police and military veterans -- not some poor rabble but Donald Trump and the far right's actual base, the perfectly comfortable, frighteningly normal mainly white neighbors next door.

And when we come back, we'll talk about the white power right currently led by Donald Trump but far from created by him. Who they are and what we should expect they'll do next with an expert on the white power movement and the woman behind the 1619 Project.


REID: Donald Trump will no longer be president in nine days. What remains is the stench of white supremacy seen throughout American history and here to stay unless we finally confront it.

And joining me now is Kathleen Belew, assistant professor of history at University of Chicago and author of "Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America." And Nikole Hannah-Jones, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for "The New York Times" magazine and creator of the 1619 Project.

And thank you both for being here. This was my dream panel to discuss this today. Thank you both for you saying.

And, Kathleen, I started your book, tell us, because I've seen some of your interviews and you talk about the pre-Trump origins of this white power movement. Tell us a little bit about that and how dangerous will it remain when he's gone?

KATHLEEN BELEW, AUTHOR, "BRING THE WAR HOME": I think the problem here is that many of us are -- Donald Trump's role in inciting the violence we saw at the Capitol last week but the problem is no matter what the president's role was in this groundswell, there's not enough evidence to know he will be able to call off the activists.

We're talking about at least some part of Wednesday's action as being comprised of people who have been interested in the violent overthrow of the United States government and harm of civilians since the '80s, a coalition of chance men, skin heads, and militiamen and other violent groups in the militant right who amassed a large following online.

This problem won't go away regardless of the action being taken against President Trump in the coming days.

REID: You know I think about, Nikole, you went to Oklahoma City. That was a white nationalist operation. You go back to the Tea Party and Tea Party members spitting on John Lewis because, you know, they view health care as some sort of, their version of reparations, and some of them are in the Senate and in Congress.

You get to Donald Trump. All of this is so race-based. I do think that people are getting a bit naive thinking it'll go away when Trump goes away. The lynching movement lasted a hundred years or more or at least a hundred years.

NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES, PULITZER PRIZE WINNER: Yes, I think that's really dangerous thinking. I think that as of thinking that comes from the desire to get back to normal except this has been the normal for many, many years. It's a denial of American history.

When I saw what happened at the capitol, had all of the markings of past lynchings. The lynchings were organized in advance. That's what happened in the past. They were advertised in newspapers and people were told where and when to show up and how to act once they showed up. There was acquiescence of law enforcement and sometimes participation of law enforcement. It's went back then across social class.

It would be some of the highest members of society and some of the lowest members of white society. Here we saw, you know, the lieutenant colonel in the military. We saw the relatives of judges. We saw CEOs there.

They brought a noose, you know, there were chants to kill people in office and this was directly related to black political power. That's what lynchings were about a hundred years ago. That's what lynchings were about 60 years ago.

So I think this belief that somehow if Trump leaves office, you can put all this back in the can and it will disappear it just isn't true. Trump didn't create this. He tapped into what was already a very important part of the American fabric and important part of the fabric that this country, that we have not yet dealt with.

REID: I totally agree. I want to read for both of you. This is a gentleman named Terry Bouton. He's a historian. He is from Maryland.

He attended the riot with his wife as an observer. He was not a participant. This was one of the tweets. I cannot describe the blood lust we heard everywhere as we walked over the Capitol grounds even from mild-mannered looking people.

Nikole first and then Kathleen.

That's a thing I think people aren't getting to. The ordinariness of people that participated in lynchings is the same as the ordinariness of these people. They weren't all highly trained paramilitaries.

HANNAH-JONES: No. Most of them weren't. This is how psychology of a mob works.

You play into people's grievances. You get into the big group and then people go with a mob. They do things they wouldn't normally have done. I mean, people brought their children to lynchings. People posed in front of photographers at the lynchings.

So, you saw when people went into the capitol, some of them were surprised they had gotten in there. Once they're in there, they start getting stoked all these resentments that brought them there in the first place get to be stoked.

And the thing that Donald Trump did was what savvy politicians have done in this country for centuries, is they have played on the racial divide, which is, of course, kind of the most challenging and easy to stroke division in this country. That's what he did.

So, yeah, normal people, and I think that's what we need to understand, yes, there were certainly white nationals, organizers there I think trying to push the crowd to that way but it's how susceptible normal everyday Americans -- whom we would consider good people in normal life.

That's the other thing. These are my neighbors. They're good people. Good people can do terrible things in the right conditions.

REID: Exactly. Exactly. Arnold Schwarzenegger made exactly that point about Kristallnacht.

So, then, I go back to you, Kathleen. You've written so much about the white power movement, going as you said all the way back to the 1980s and today. What is different, at least as I see it, is that there was never a singular charismatic leader who can be at the top of that.

That feels like it makes it much more dangerous having somebody like Donald Trump who is a television star and therefore can provide a certain kind of charismatic leadership. Am I overwrought in thinking that?

BELEW: I think that's correct and also a little bit too simple for the problem we need to confront. And the reason is, that this is a movement that has been oriented around self-violent terrorism since 1993. It's been oriented around individual activism, using the Internet and social networks since 1983-'84. We're decades if not generations into this kind of organization.

And the reason that's a problem is that all though Trump can form a sort of momentum right now and certainly we see that, with coordinated actions on state houses being a concern of the FBI. They released a memo all 50 states coming up with continued worried about what the group of might do. But also is a problem because these are activists that are part of this crowd can work to direct this momentum not as sort of the fundamental status quo systems of power we saw throughout the lynching throughout American history but the newly revolutionary goal, which is armed revolution against the state and mass attacks on American civilians.

We're talking about a terror movement here that now represents the largest threat to Americans from terrorism, according to the DHS. The largest terrorist threat, more than what our Antifa on the left, more than radical Islamist terror, white supremacy extremism is the most significant terror threat to our nation, according to DHS, and we're talking about a group that is responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing, untold infrastructure attacks, assassinations, the list goes on and on and on. And it is a problem we haven't solved because of our deep history of racial injustice.

REID: Well -- indeed. And our refusal to talk about white people as terrorists and not willing to cross that line and have that conversation but we did it tonight.Kathleen Belew, Nikole Hannah-Jones, thank you both so much.

That is tonight's REIDOUT.



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